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Oil Platform Fire
5:00 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Coast Guard Investigating Oil Platform Fire

The Coast Guard is investigating an oil platform that caught fire 35 miles off the Louisiana coast. Three people on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico have been safely evacuated.

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Hurricane Isaac
4:41 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Isaac causes property taxes to decline in St. John

Damage from Hurricane Isaac will cost St. John the Baptist Parish about $2 million in property tax revenue.

The Times-Picayune reports Assessor Whitney Joseph Jr. told the parish council the value of the parish's tax roll will drop by approximately $14 million from previous estimates.

However, because of expiring industrial tax exemptions, Joseph says parish taxing bodies will still net about $6 million more than in 2011.

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Extortion
4:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

FBI investigates 2 St. Landry school board members

The FBI says it is investigating two St. Landry Parish School Board members.

While FBI spokesman Kyle Hanrahan wouldn't provide details of the investigation, The Advocate reports the sheriff's office released a report Tuesday about an FBI agent looking into allegations that John Miller and Quincy Richard were allegedly trying to extort money in exchange for their votes for a new school superintendent.

The report was apparently written to officially detail why FBI agent Jeff Goins visited the parish.

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Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative
4:11 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Deadline nears for conservation program

Landowners interested in selling property to help Louisiana and federal coastal forest conservation efforts have until Friday to apply for part of the $7.4 million available in the second round of applications.

Bren Haase, deputy chief of planning with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, tells The Advocate the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative's goal is to protect coastal forest areas not only for the habitat they provide but also for their ability to hamper storm surge from tropical storms.

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St. Joseph Abbey
4:07 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Fire damages abbey in St. Tammany

The state fire marshal say a fire broke out early Wednesday morning in the dormitory of the St. Joseph Abbey in St. Tammany Parish where 65 people were sleeping.

Fire Marshal Butch Browning said one person suffered smoke inhalation. Otherwise, he said everyone safely evacuated the building after alarms went off.

The abbey, founded in 1889, is about 50 miles north of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain.

Hurricane Isaac
4:00 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

School board members recommend Isaac repairs

Tangipahoa Parish School Board members have recommended $220,000 in repairs to school buildings damaged by Hurricane Isaac.

The Advocate reports Loranger High School's gym and the main building at Chesbrough Elementary in Kentwood both require new roofs, at projected costs of $145,000 and $74,000, respectively.

The repairs to Loranger High's gym roof will have to be approved by U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, who oversees the parish's 47-year-old desegregation case. A standing order in the suit requires court approval for all non-priority repair costs over $125,000.

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Latest News
3:19 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Contractor dies cleaning Plaquemines debris

A 50-year-old contractor from Mississippi died in Plaquemines Parish after the bulldozer he was working in slipped into a debris covered pond.

Parish officials say the man from Wiggins was pronounced dead at a local hospital Tuesday. WWL-TV reports the accident happened just off La. Highway 23 near Point Celeste.

The victim's name has not been released.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Hurricane Isaac
3:17 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Central schools approve makeup plan

The school days for most Central, La. students will be extended by several minutes, and other adjustments are planned to make up for the four days of school lost when Hurricane Isaac blew through Louisiana in late August.

The Advocate reports the Central Community School Board on Monday agreed on how to make up the 1,500 minutes of lost instruction due to the hurricane.

In an explanatory letter to the board, Superintendent Michael Faulk said Central schools had different issues and legal requirements and, as a result, will have different makeup schedules.

Hurricane Isaac
3:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Morgan City disaster center to close Friday

St. Mary Parish residents affected by Hurricane Isaac have just a few days left to visit the State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Morgan City.

The center, located at 728 Myrtle Street, will close at 6 p.m. Friday.

Recovery centers have opened in several affected parishes to help homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained uninsured or underinsured losses to their property as a result of the storm.

Legislators Back to School Program
3:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Lawmakers start heading back to school this week

Louisiana lawmakers are heading into classrooms starting this week, as part of the national Legislators Back to School Program.

Started in 1999, the program encourages lawmakers to spend a day visiting classrooms to tell students what it's like to be an elected official. The program is an initiative of the National Conference of State Legislators.

The Times-Picayune reports that lawmakers will begin stopping by classrooms this week and continue to participate in the program throughout the year.

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