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Environment
12:46 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Invasive fish rodeo at City Park Sept. 29

The state fisheries department is hosting a free fishing rodeo to teach people how to catch the Rio Grande cichlid, an invasive species of fish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is hosting the rodeo on Sept. 29 in City Park in New Orleans.

The cichlid fish out-compete native sport fish for habitat and bedding areas. The fish are from northeast Mexico and southern Texas. They were first reported in Louisiana in 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain and since then have spread throughout the New Orleans area.

State Parks
12:43 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Isaac's damage to state parks pegged at $7 million

Hurricane Isaac caused more than $7 million in damage to state parks in south Louisiana and forced some into months-long closures.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees the state parks agency, told The Times-Picayune that the damage estimates are based on preliminary surveys.

Dardenne says Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville and Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville bore much of Isaac's wrath. The two St. Tammany Parks account for more than $3 million of the damage.

Board of Ethics
12:40 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Board of Ethics member resigns from position

A member of the Louisiana Board of Ethics has resigned, and the state House hopes to have a replacement chosen by November.

The Advocate reports that Baton Rouge lawyer Vanessa LaFleur could no longer serve because she accepted a $90,000-a-year state job as director of the state Department of Revenue's Policy Services Division.

LaFleur was one of two Louisiana House appointees to the 11-member board that oversees state conflict of interest, nepotism, campaign finance, lobbyist reporting and personal financial disclosure laws.

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Chimp Haven
12:34 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

3rd surprise: chimp's daddy is... Conan! Again!

The latest paternity test at the national sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees confirms that Conan has overcome two vasectomies to father three babies.

Chimp Haven announced the results Monday.

Every male chimp must get a vasectomy before coming to the northwest Louisiana sanctuary. After Conan fathered a baby in 2007, his tubes were clipped again. After a Valentine's Day baby turned out to be his, every male chimp still interested in and living with females got a more complicated vasectomy.

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Hurricane Isaac
12:31 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

St. Bernard gets hay for Isaac-affected horses

The Louisiana State Animal Response Team has sent 360 bales of hay to St. Bernard Parish Animal Services to horses affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Parish officials said Monday the hay was divided between Poydras Arena and a farm where displaced horses from Plaquemines Parish were being housed. It was also distributed from those two locations to St. Bernard residents whose horses were affected by the storm, which hit the state last month.

Hurricane Katrina
12:29 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Engineer: Excavation caused Katrina collapse

An engineering expert has testified he believes excavation work performed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor caused New Orleans' floodwalls to breach in two places during Hurricane Katrina.

Robert Bea, a retired University of California engineering professor, explained his position Monday during a trial of homeowners' claims against the corps and contractor Washington Group International Inc.

Bea is an expert witness for the plaintiffs.

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Higher Education
11:48 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Retiring UL leader: Cuts harm focus on performance

The retiring president of the University of Louisiana System says higher education's ongoing budget woes will make it harder to attract his replacement and were one of the reasons he decided to leave the job.

Randy Moffett's last day was Friday after four decades in higher education. He says the cuts complicated efforts of the state's largest university system to maintain a focus on increased performance.

Despite the problematic financial picture, Moffett says he's optimistic the UL System will attract a quality leader looking for a challenge.

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State Government
11:46 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Louisiana continues to shed state government jobs

A total of 173 state employees have been laid off in the first two months of the fiscal year that started July 1.

Lindsay Ruiz de Chavez, with the state Department of Civil Service, tells The Times-Picayune that the latest figures show that from July 1, 2008, to Aug. 31 of this year, 2,373 jobs have been abolished.

In the first two months of the present fiscal year, 448 job positions have been abolished, including positions that were vacant.

Latest News
6:00 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Mayor Landrieu Pledges Help for Haiti

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is in Haiti to offer support for ongoing recovery work there from the 2010 earthquake. The city has some advice for the island nation on what worked after Hurricane Katrina.

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Honors
6:06 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Hurricane Isaac rescuers nominated for award

Sen. Mary Landrieu has nominated a father and son credited with rescuing dozens of neighbors from Hurricane Isaac's floodwaters for an award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

The Louisiana Democrat said Friday that she nominated 53-year-old Jesse Shaffer III and his 25-year-old son, Jesse, for the Citizen Service Before Self Honors award because they showed "an extraordinary amount of courage, sacrifice and selfless service" during the storm.

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