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Find the latest breaking news and in-depth features from around Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, right here on 89.9 WWNO.

A coalition of local non-profits are trying to help educate business owners on emergency preparedness. 

 

A recent city survey asked local business owners what kind of steps they’d taken to deal with disasters and emergencies. 50 percent said they had no written emergency plans. Around half also said they have no backup generators, and no interruption insurance in case their businesses close suddenly.

BP on Thursday announced an $18.7 billion settlement with the U.S. government, five Gulf Coast states and more than 400 local governments. The agreement comes five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Eleven workers were killed in the accident.

The company says the payments, to be made over the next 18 years, "settle all state and local claims arising from the event."

Erin Krall / WWNO

Several proposals are being submitted to the state to revitalize the empty Charity Hospital in New Orleans. A nonprofit called “Healing Minds NOLA” is leading one effort to create a one-stop shop for mental health services.

There’s a battle going on in New Orleans-East and at the Louisiana Bond Commission, over acquisition of a 442-unit apartment complex known as Hidden Lakes. GMF -- Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, Tennessee --is the buyer.

“We have almost 11-thousand units in eight states, as a faith-based housing development corporation,” GMF president Rev. Richard Hamlet told Louisiana’s Bond Commission last month.

Among those units are nearly 2500 apartments in Louisiana; in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and the greater New Orleans area. GMF is asking the bond commission to guarantee $24.5 million dollars so they can buy, renovate and run Hidden Lakes.  Area homeowner associations have been fighting it, because it’s Section 8 housing. State Sen. Edwin Murray has been facilitating meetings between homeowners’ associations and GMF property management, in an effort to resolve the impasse.

There’s a new report from the Data Center on New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.

This one focuses on new Latino immigrants who arrived to work in the area, nearly doubling the number of Latino residents in the region. 

Report co-author Lucas Diaz of Tulane University says the city needs policies to help the new residents feel welcome.

He says those policies should include having bilingual services.

“Christians are now facing discrimination,” Governor Bobby Jindal said during a campaign stop in Iowa last weekend. “Why don’t we save some money and get rid of the Supreme Court?”

Some might view Jindal’s statements merely as presidential campaign rhetoric, but conversations with his inner circle indicate that remarks like, “Christianity is under assault today in America,” are coming from his sincerely-held religious beliefs.

One of Jindal’s closest spiritual advisors is Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills. He is an advocate of “dominionism”, sometimes referred to as the “seven mountains theory”.

For the past 27 years, Young Aspirations/Young Artists — or YAYA — has provided free arts and entrepreneurship classes for young people in New Orleans.

Now the group has a new Arts Center on LaSalle Street in Central City. They celebrated the grand opening on Tuesday.

Until now, YAYA had two studios. One in the Central Business District, the other in Mid-City.

Glenn Ford, the Shreveport man exonerated last year after spending 30 years on death row, died yesterday.

Ford was 33 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of killing a Shreveport jeweler and sent to solitary confinement on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Nearly three decades later, the longest-serving death row inmate in the country was released.

Ford petitioned the state for compensation for his wrongful conviction. He received only $20 for a bus ride.

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

  Louisiana is issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Two New Orleans men have already exchanged vows today.

Earl Benjamin applies for a marriage license at the  Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court's office.
Mallory Falk / WWNO

Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf quietly made history Monday morning as the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage certificate in Louisiana. The license was issued in Jefferson Parish. As word got out, a frenzy of media waiting in downtown New Orleans headed across the river in search of other same-sex couples hoping to marry.

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