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5:50 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Lafayette Republican drops out of PSC race

The pool of candidates seeking an open seat on the state's utility regulatory agency, the Public Service Commission, has gotten smaller.

Republican candidate Ed Roy, a private investigator and former TV and radio weatherman from Lafayette, said Friday that he has withdrawn from the race. He said he dropped out of the contest because of difficulties raising enough money to run a competitive campaign.

Five other candidates remain in the race for the south central Louisiana seat left open by retiring commissioner Jimmy Field.

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Hurricane Isaac
2:56 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Dead whale found on Fourchon beach

The Louisiana governor's top coastal adviser says a dead whale has been reported washed ashore on Fourchon beach.

Garrett Graves said Friday the state was sending workers to examine the whale, which washed up southwest of New Orleans.

The size and species of the whale was not yet known. Graves said the whale was found in an area where tar balls and mats of weathered oil have been washing ashore from waters churned by Hurricane Isaac, resulting in the closure of a small portion of coastal waters to commercial fishing.

Hurricane Isaac
12:47 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Less chance of Isaac remnant spawning new storm

Weather forecasters are reducing the likelihood that a tropical weather system will develop from a remnant of Hurricane Isaac that drifted south and into the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service on Friday reduced the probability of development to 20 percent. It had been 40 percent on Thursday.

The area of low pressure was described by forecasters as a small part of the Isaac circulation system that dissipated over Ohio. Earlier this week, a weather service meteorologist dubbed it the "spawn of Isaac."

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Hurricane Isaac
12:37 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

City of New Orleans train returning to New Orleans Monday

Amtrak says the City of New Orleans passenger train will pull into its namesake city on Monday — the first time since Aug. 27, when service was suspended because of Hurricane Isaac.

It says daily service from Chicago will start and end in Memphis through Sunday. trains will start and end in New Orleans on Monday, when service on the route in Mississippi also will resume.

Passengers who already had bought tickets for the suspended trains can get a refund or a voucher for future travel.

Food Stamps
12:21 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Food stamp use up sharply in Louisiana, even before Isaac

U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that Louisiana had a big increase in food stamp use even before Hurricane Isaac and approval of emergency food stamps.

The Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana tied North Carolina for the nation's biggest increase in food stamp use between May and June, at 1.3 percent.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Children and Families said last month that the growth of the food stamp program in Louisiana has been only about half the national increase. Between May and June, the national increase was 0.4 percent.

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Algiers Murder
10:45 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Police arrest boyfriend of woman shot to death

New Orleans Police have arrested the boyfriend of a woman found shot to death.

Authorities Thursday booked 27-year-old Gary Burnett with second-degree murder of 35-year-old Shonray Lee, who lived on the city's west bank. Detectives found Lee near the bottom of a staircase early Wednesday. The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office says she died of bullet wounds to the back and chest.

Hurricane Isaac
10:34 am
Fri September 7, 2012

State closes last medical shelter after Isaac

The state's last medical special needs shelter, opened before Hurricane Isaac, has been closed.

State officials say the shelter at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans closed Wednesday, after the shelter's final patient was discharged.

During the height of Isaac, Louisiana operated five special needs shelters at LSU in Baton Rouge and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, in Alexandria and Bossier and at the Morial Convention Center.

Hurricane Isaac
10:13 am
Fri September 7, 2012

$3.6M grant will fund cleanup hiring

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $3.6 million grant to the Louisiana Workforce Commission that will fund temporary jobs for cleanup efforts following Hurricane Isaac.

The grant, announced Thursday, will affect hiring in Ascension, Assumption, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Point Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and, West Feliciana parishes.

Carnival 2013
9:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

With Super Bowl coming, parades moved up a weekend

The first big parade weekend of the 2013 Carnival season is being moved up a weekend to avoid parades rolling during the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played on Feb. 3 in New Orleans — right when the Carnival season starts getting into high gear.

The Times-Picayune reports that the City Council unanimously approved the change Thursday.

Bank Robbery
9:39 am
Fri September 7, 2012

New Orleans man gets prison for armed bank robbery

A New Orleans man who pleaded guilty to robbing a bank at gunpoint has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman on Wednesday sentenced 30-year-old Khadafi Chico Degruy to 85 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $9,500 in restitution to First Bank & Trust.

Degruy pleaded guilty in May to robbing one of the bank's branches, in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans.