The Civil Service Commission has narrowly agreed to a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan.
The panel voted 3-2 Wednesday to allow Blue Cross/Blue Shield to run an insurance plan in the Office of Group Benefits that covers more than 62,000 employees and their dependents. The outsourcing will take effect Jan. 1.
The move will eliminate 177 state jobs — 121 of which are currently filled.
State officials say a stinky smell reported from Bayou Manchac last week stems from stagnant swamp water in Spanish Lake that heavy rains pushed into the bayou.
Rodney Mallett, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, tells The Advocate in an email that inspectors reached that conclusion by tracking the flow of the water, visual observations and some field parameters.
Mallett said the stagnated water washed through Alligator Bayou to Bayou Manchac.
DEQ officials say the same phenomenon has occurred a few times a year for the past three to four years.
A Slidell bar accused of playing songs without paying a standard music licensing is being sued for copyright infringement.
The Times-Picayune reports Broadcast Music Inc., a nonprofit composers' rights organization, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans against Tooloula's Bar.
Federal law mandates that writers and publishers of music are entitled to be paid for the public performance of their music. Bars and other businesses usually pay an annual fee to groups such as BMI for a blanket license to their songs.
A friend of imprisoned rapper Torence "Lil Boosie" Hatch and a former Dixon Correctional Institute guard have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to smuggle drugs into Dixon for Hatch while he was jailed there.
As part of negotiated plea agreements, state District Judge Mike Erwin put Walnita Decuir on active supervised probation for five years and Joshua Wilson on unsupervised probation for six months.
The Baton Rouge Metro Airport's budget is projected to increase by nearly 5 percent in 2013 to $13.1 million. That's according to a proposal presented to the Airport Commission's finance committee.
Cary Morgan, the airport's business manager, says the increase from an expected $12.5 million expenditure in 2012 will be funded primarily through non-airline revenue, which is expected to jump $400,000 to $9 million.
Non-airline revenue comes from parking, concessions, rental car companies, leases of airport property and other sources.
Entergy Corp.'s net income rose 16 percent in the second quarter after the power company received favorable tax terms on financing costs for fixing damage to lines and equipment caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The increase also reflected stronger sales to Entergy's utility customers.
The New Orleans-based company reported Tuesday that its net income rose to $365 million, or $2.06 per share, for the three months ended June 30, up from $315.6 million, or $1.76 per share, a year ago.
Researchers at Tulane University are calling for long-term studies on how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill two years ago is affecting migratory birds. Traces of BP’s oil spilled in the Gulf is being spread far inland by the birds.