In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden will be opened Aug. 8 for a lake drawdown.
As a result of mild winter temperatures, experts say giant salvinia has expanded beyond the control capacity of herbicide applications and salvinia weevils. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries survey estimates show giant salvinia coverage to be in excess of 2,000 acres.
The lake will be lowered seven feet below pool stage and will remain there until Jan. 31, 2013.
HOUMA — A black jail inmate has been booked with a hate crime after allegedly saying he would squirt human waste on every white inmate in his dormitory, and then doing so.
Terrebonne Parish sheriff's Maj. Malcolm Wolfe says all seven white inmates were squirted with urine and feces from a shampoo bottle. He says the waste was on the walls and on inmates' clothes, bodies and personal property — but not on any of the three African-American inmates in the dorm with them and 41-year-old Avis James Williams of Houma.
Attorneys for the city of New Orleans and the federal government met behind closed doors with a federal judge to discuss a new agreement to overhaul the New Orleans Police Department.
Participants in Thursday's status conference with U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan declined to go into details. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten described the meeting as productive but added that he was not at liberty to say more. It was unclear when Morgan might grant final court approval to the agreement, which was the result of long negotiations between the city and federal officials.
A state appeals court has upheld a decision that allows Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program to begin in August.
Teacher unions and local school boards sought to block the start of the program as they challenge its constitutionality.
But in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge appellate court panel agreed with a lower court judge that an injunction couldn't be issued, citing a law that bars injunctions if a state agency chief says it would cause a deficit.
The Navy plans a Saturday christening for the USS Somerset, the last of three ships named for sites of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The amphibious landing transport is named for the Pennsylvania county where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after passengers fought back against a terrorist takeover.
The 684-foot-long Somerset is the final ship to be built at the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in suburban Avondale. The yard is scheduled to close in 2013; its workforce has been cut nearly in half since 2010.
A federal judge in New Orleans has ordered the operator of a cargo ship to pay a $1.2 million criminal penalty for violating pollution laws and obstruction of justice.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. also on Wednesday sentenced Athens, Greece-based Odysea Carriers to three years of probation.
Federal prosecutors say engine room crew members on the company's ship, Polyneos, used a hose to pump oil waste directly overboard in 2011. The ship's chief engineer allegedly tried to conceal the illegal discharges from the Coast Guard by falsifying the vessel's records.
A woman who served as chief financial officer of a Metairie nonprofit company has pleaded guilty to a charge she embezzled nearly $250,000 from her former employer and another company official.
Thirty-eight-year-old Kelley Williams, of Terrytown, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine following her guilty plea Wednesday to forgery. Her sentencing is set for Nov. 7.
Williams' former employer isn't disclosed in court records, but it provides personal care attendants, transportation, education and training to people with developmental disabilities.