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Health Care
1:09 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Health groups sue Donelon over Isaac action

Two health care groups have filed a lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, over an insurance coverage change he made after Hurricane Isaac.

The lawsuit by the Louisiana State Medical Society and the Louisiana Hospital Association was filed in Baton Rouge district court late Monday, challenging an emergency rule Donelon issued on Sept. 4.

The emergency rule affected health insurance policies in 23 parishes.

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Bridge City Center for Youth
1:07 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Jefferson Parish youth center counselor arrested

A 32-year-old counselor at the Bridge City Center for Youth has been arrested after authorities discovered she had improper contact with one of youths held at the facility.

The Times-Picayune reports Shantel Fitzgerald of New Orleans was booked Friday with sexual malfeasance in a prison after it was determined she had a sexual relationship with an inmate at the facility. Fitzgerald was taken into custody after an investigation by the state Department of Juvenile Justice, but has since been released.

Delta Community College
1:05 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Enrollment declines at Delta CC

Louisiana Delta Community College saw an 8 percent decrease in total enrollment this fall, largely because of a 21 percent decrease in students enrolled in technical programs.

The news came as an unfortunate surprise to Delta's Interim Chancellor Jerry Ryan. He said he was disappointed and stunned.

The total fall enrollment for Delta decreased by about 8 percent from last fall, going from 4,509 students in fall 2011 to 4,150 in fall 2012.

Louisiana Tech
1:03 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Panel selected to find La. Tech president

The University of Louisiana system Board of Supervisors has named 11 people to serve on the Louisiana Tech University Presidential Search Committee.

The Advocate reports the committee will hold its first meeting and public forum on Sept. 25 on the main floor of the Student Center on the Ruston campus.

The committee will find the successor to 26-year President Dan Reneau, who is scheduled to retire June 30.

Nonvoting members include Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth and Louisiana Tech Foundation President-Elect Jack Byrd.

Bayou Corne Sinkhole
1:01 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Meeting scheduled about Assumption sinkhole

Residents will hold an emergency town-hall meeting to encourage state and local officials to provide more information about the sinkhole in Assumption Parish.

John Achee Jr., a community activist, said the meeting will be held Thursday at the St. Joseph the Worker Church parish hall in Pierre Part.

Achee said residents called the meeting because of a lack of information from emergency officials and Texas Brine Co., which owns the property where the sinkhole was found.

Environment
12:46 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Invasive fish rodeo at City Park Sept. 29

The state fisheries department is hosting a free fishing rodeo to teach people how to catch the Rio Grande cichlid, an invasive species of fish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is hosting the rodeo on Sept. 29 in City Park in New Orleans.

The cichlid fish out-compete native sport fish for habitat and bedding areas. The fish are from northeast Mexico and southern Texas. They were first reported in Louisiana in 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain and since then have spread throughout the New Orleans area.

State Parks
12:43 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Isaac's damage to state parks pegged at $7 million

Hurricane Isaac caused more than $7 million in damage to state parks in south Louisiana and forced some into months-long closures.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees the state parks agency, told The Times-Picayune that the damage estimates are based on preliminary surveys.

Dardenne says Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville and Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville bore much of Isaac's wrath. The two St. Tammany Parks account for more than $3 million of the damage.

Board of Ethics
12:40 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Board of Ethics member resigns from position

A member of the Louisiana Board of Ethics has resigned, and the state House hopes to have a replacement chosen by November.

The Advocate reports that Baton Rouge lawyer Vanessa LaFleur could no longer serve because she accepted a $90,000-a-year state job as director of the state Department of Revenue's Policy Services Division.

LaFleur was one of two Louisiana House appointees to the 11-member board that oversees state conflict of interest, nepotism, campaign finance, lobbyist reporting and personal financial disclosure laws.

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Chimp Haven
12:34 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

3rd surprise: chimp's daddy is... Conan! Again!

The latest paternity test at the national sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees confirms that Conan has overcome two vasectomies to father three babies.

Chimp Haven announced the results Monday.

Every male chimp must get a vasectomy before coming to the northwest Louisiana sanctuary. After Conan fathered a baby in 2007, his tubes were clipped again. After a Valentine's Day baby turned out to be his, every male chimp still interested in and living with females got a more complicated vasectomy.

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Hurricane Isaac
12:31 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

St. Bernard gets hay for Isaac-affected horses

The Louisiana State Animal Response Team has sent 360 bales of hay to St. Bernard Parish Animal Services to horses affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Parish officials said Monday the hay was divided between Poydras Arena and a farm where displaced horses from Plaquemines Parish were being housed. It was also distributed from those two locations to St. Bernard residents whose horses were affected by the storm, which hit the state last month.

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