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Community
11:51 am
Thu September 20, 2012

$1M donated to help homeless vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs is giving $1 million to a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans in northeast Louisiana.

The funds will go to the Wellspring Alliance for Families Inc., a group based in Monroe that provides housing for homeless veterans.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., says the money comes from a VA program that seeks to help veterans who are in the most need of aid — such as women with children, those from American-Indian tribes and those with drug addiction and mental health problems.

Baton Rouge Community College
11:49 am
Thu September 20, 2012

New auto technology training center planned for Baton Rouge

Gov. Bobby Jindal is backing nearly $14 million in state construction spending to build a new automobile technology training center at Baton Rouge Community College.

The center will educate students seeking careers in the auto industry, part of a local community effort to bolster skills training in the area.

The governor announced Wednesday that he'll ask the Bond Commission to back the funding through the state's construction budget, the final step to fund the project.

Construction on the training center is expected to begin in 2014.

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BP Oil Spill
10:53 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Some catches in Gulf above some pre-spill levels

Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.

A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.

Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.

Aaron Broussard Trial
10:51 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Ex-Jefferson Parish attorney faces reduced charge

Federal prosecutors have filed a reduced charge against former Jefferson Parish attorney Thomas Wilkinson in a corruption case that also has resulted in charges against former parish president Aaron Broussard.

Wilkinson faced more serious charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery, before a court filing Wednesday replaced them with a new charge of conspiracy to commit misprision of a felony.

The new charge is contained in a bill of information, which typically signals a plea deal has been reached. Wilkinson's attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Vermilion Parish
10:50 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Vermilion Parish sheriff sued over detention of immigrants

To see if detained immigrants are being locked up unlawfully for long periods of time, a civil rights group is seeking to get the Vermilion Parish sheriff to turn over documents on immigrants who've been jailed since 2009.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Mike Couvillon Wednesday. The group says the sheriff has refused to hand over the documents, citing privacy concerns.

The group charges sheriff's offices may be holding immigrants longer than federal law permits.

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Tour Buses
10:47 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Red double-decker tour bus service opens in New Orleans

The bright red open-top double-decker tour buses seen in New York, London and Paris are now headed for New Orleans.

City Sightseeing New Orleans launched its new service Wednesday with an inaugural tour of downtown with tourism and hospitality industry officials.

Emily Valentino, the company's general manager, says the buses will offer a new convenient, entertaining and informative way to experience the city with a hop-on and hop-off model.

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Latest News
10:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Nov. sanity hearing; man accused of beheading son

A man accused of beheading and dismembering his disabled 7-year-old son will have a sanity hearing in November rather than Friday.

Defense attorney Kerry Cuccia says 31-year-old Jeremiah Wright's hearing is now scheduled Nov. 26 and 27.

Mental health experts will testify about whether he has the mental capacity to proceed with his trial. That could include whether he can understand the charge against him and help with his defense.

Aaron Broussard Trial
10:43 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Sentencing delay sought for Broussard's ex-wife

With Aaron Broussard's corruption trial postponed to Nov. 5, federal prosecutors have moved to delay the sentencing of the former Jefferson Parish president's ex-wife and co-defendant, Karen Parker. They are seeking an unspecified date in January.

Parker is listed as a prosecution witness against Broussard and co-defendant Tom Wilkinson. Having cooperating witnesses testify against a co-defendant before the witness' own sentencing is a standard practice with plea agreements such as Parker's, to help ensure they live up to the terms of their agreements.

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Sunset Point Pier
10:42 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Mandeville pier damaged by Isaac

Officials say repairs to the Mandeville fishing pier, which was damaged by Hurricane Isaac, will take about three months to complete and could cost around $200,000.

Public Works Director David deGeneres tells The Times-Picayune the popular 400-foot pier at Sunset Point on the city's lakefront will remain closed until the repairs are complete.

City officials are hoping that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help pay for the repairs. If federal money is made available, officials say the city would have to pay only 25 percent of the repair costs.

Shots - Health Blog
10:17 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The 'Facebook Effect' On Organ Donation

Facebook is taking its campaign to boost organ donations to Canada and Mexico this week, four months after its premiere.

The feature allows Facebook users to tell their friends and family that they're registered organ donors. It also directs people who aren't signed up as organ donors to the official registries where they live.

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