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State Government
2:38 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Attorney General: Jindal outsourcing plan needs legislative approval

The Louisiana attorney general's office says a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan requires legislative approval.

In a legal opinion issued Friday, Assistant Attorney General Michael Vallan said the proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield "is subject to review and final approval" by the legislative committees that have jurisdiction over similar matters.

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ULL Football
2:36 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Oklahoma State seeks rebound from rare blowout

For most of the players on Oklahoma State's team, the feeling of getting blown out in a college football game was unfamiliar until just last week.

The Cowboys (1-1) rode the highs of the best season in the program's history last season, winning the school's first Big 12 championship and a BCS bowl. So, when a road trip to Arizona in Week 2 resulted in a 21-point blowout, it was a brand new experience for most.

Business
2:34 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Judge asked to toss claims spill hurt BP brand

BP PLC has asked a federal judge to dismiss claims by its fuel dealers that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico diminished the value of the BP brand and cost them business.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule Friday after hearing arguments on the company's request.

BP attorney Christopher Landau says claims that BP dealers lost money due to "consumer animosity" after the spill aren't covered by either the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 or general maritime law.

A lawyer for BP dealers argues other federal and state laws apply to their claims.

Bayou Corne Sinkhole
1:59 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Wells planned to learn more about sinkhole

Officials say drilling on two wells is expected to begin over the next week near the Assumption Parish community of Bayou Corne to learn more about the sinkhole that emerged there last month.

The Courier reports that officials believe a planned vent well will determine whether natural gas exists in a water aquifer used to create oil mud known as brine.

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Baton Rouge Zoo
1:55 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Baby giraffe dies at Baton Rouge Zoo

A female baby giraffe born earlier this week at the Baton Rouge Zoo has died.

Officials say the giraffe calf looked fairly healthy Wednesday, nursing as she stood with her mother in the grass.

When zookeepers checked on the giraffe Thursday morning, Assistant Director and General Curator Sam Winslow tells The Advocate the calf looked weak and died a short time later.

The cause of death is unknown and a necropsy will be performed. Winslow said the full necropsy results should back in two to three weeks.

The baby giraffe was the 19th born at the zoo.

Atchafalaya Welcome Center
1:53 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Atchafalaya Welcome Center reopens

The Interstate 10 Atchafalaya Welcome Center in Butte La Rose is open after repairs to the facility's water system.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development closed the welcome center earlier this week while crews worked to repair a water system left inoperable after a power outage.

Latest News
1:52 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Metairie man booked on solicitation of a juvenile

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputies have accused a Metairie man of sending sexually inappropriate messages to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks tells The Advocate 26-year-old Michael Stafford communicated in July via the internet, cellphone and text message with whom he believed to be a teenage girl.

During the communication, Hicks says Stafford sent lewd or lascivious text messages to the person who turned out to be an undercover sheriff's detective posing as the girl.

Community
1:50 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

EPA to aid Baton Rouge's greening design

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with Baton Rouge to help create more green spaces and trails to connect the LSU area to downtown.

Baton Rouge was one of five cities selected for the EPA's Greening America's Capitals program. The others are Indianapolis, Des Moines, Helena, Mont., and Frankfort, Ky.

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Corrections
1:48 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

New state law sets stage for lifer's release

A Jefferson Parish man serving life in prison for raping a woman when he was 15 years old is now eligible for parole under a state law passed this year in response to a U.S. Supreme Court order.

The Times-Picayune reports 46-year-old Jerome Richardson is the first of 10 juvenile lifers who were prosecuted as adults in Jefferson Parish of crimes other than murder whose sentences are modified under the new law that became effective Aug. 1.

Richardson has served about 30 years of the life sentence for a 1981 aggravated rape conviction.

Oil Industry
1:45 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Production starts at ultra-deep Gulf oil field

Petrobras USA says production has begun at its Chinook oil field in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The company says production started last week in the field using a specialized ship that processes and stores oil and natural gas in place of a production platform. The field is being worked by BW Pioneer, a type of ship known in the oil industry as a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO.

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