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Hurricane Isaac
4:46 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Maurepas Swamp WMA reopens after Isaac cleanup

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, which closed before Hurricane Isaac's landfall.

The area in Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes reopened Monday.

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BP Oil Spill
4:43 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Transocean, feds considered $1.5B settlement

Transocean Ltd. and the Justice Department have discussed a $1.5 billion settlement that would resolve federal civil and criminal claims against the company over its role in the deadly 2010 rig explosion that spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

But Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd. said in a regulatory filing Monday that a "number of issues," including the possible time period for payment, must be resolved before a deal can be completed.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

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Public Records
4:15 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Lawsuits challenge shielding of state records

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is facing court challenges over attempts to keep records from the public.

At issue is the use of a public records exemption successfully pushed by Jindal and added to state law during his first term.

Shreveport-based Willis-Knighton Health System sued the Department of Transportation and Development over its refusal to provide information about a highway extension project. The department claimed an exemption tied to the governor's "deliberative process," a permitted exemption under the open records law.

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La. 1 Tolls
4:12 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Tolls resume on La. 1

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development resumed toll operations on the La. 1 Expressway in Leeville this morning at 10 a.m.

DOTD is conducting manual toll collections, and automated tolls will be collected by Geaux Pass toll tags. The in-lane cash and charge machine was severely damaged when a large truck struck it last month, but DOTD expects to have a replacement installed sometime this fall.

Opelousas Police Department
4:09 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Opelousas police creating stolen items website

The Opelousas Police Department is seeking the rightful owners of everything from bicycles to television sets.

Sgt. Jody White tells The Daily World police often recover stolen property during the course of their investigations but can't always locate the rightful owners.

To make it easier for victims to recover their property, police are posting pictures of the recovered items on its website at www.opelousaspd.com.

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Nicholls State University
4:03 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Anti-blowout technology in lab at Nicholls

A new laboratory at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux will give students hands-on experience with the kind of equipment used to prevent blowouts and other catastrophes on oil rigs.

Nicholls officials and industry executives last week unveiled the lab, which is named after Johnson L. "Bubba" Hale Jr., a Nicholls alumnus and oil industry executive. The Daily Comet reports the Friday ceremony was one of the last formal steps before students in petroleum services and safety technology courses start using the equipment.

Politics
3:27 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Five named to state cosmetology board

Five appointments have been made to the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The board regulates the cosmetology in the state.

Appointed to the board were:

— Frances Hand of Denham Springs, owner of Denham Springs Beauty College.

— Michelle Hays of Pineville, owner of Meshelz Hair Salon and Pineville Beauty School.

— Lora Moreau of Lafayette, owner of Cosmetology Training Center.

— Carolyn Robichaux of Baldwin, owner of Carolyn's Friends and Company Salon.

Flood Protection
3:24 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Corps awards $14.7M drainage contract

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to improve drainage at the Trapp Canal on the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

Corps officials say the project, which is part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project, will reduce the risk of damage from a 1-in-10-years rainfall.

The $14.7 million contract to was awarded to Hamp's Construction LLC. Under the contract, 7,400 feet of the canal will be widened and other improvements made between Bayou Fatima and Bayou Barataria.

Ascension Parish Development
3:21 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Tax doubt could hurt project in Ascension Parish

A land owner in Ascension Parish worries that a local sales tax dispute could force a Fortune 500 company to abandon its development plans in Gonzales.

Nolan "Sonny" Lamendola has an agreement to sell 18 acres to Emerson Process Management.

Emerson has been in Ascension Parish for 40 years and plans to build a $10 million expansion to consolidate six of its operations or subsidiaries, including two elsewhere in the parish.

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Ouachita Parish Drainage
3:17 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Ouachita Parish seeks money for drainage projects

Ouachita Parish officials say they're seeking more than $165,000 in state funding for drainage improvement projects.

The News-Star reports that the parish typically receives $145,000 a year from the Local Government Assistance Program.

However, the Police Jury only gets $60,000 because the rest is divided among the cities of Monroe and West Monroe and the towns of Richwood and Sterlington.

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