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Environment
2:46 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

LSU scientist receives environmental award

An LSU scientist has received the Wetland Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Ecology.

The Advocate reports the award was presented to Eugene Turner during the organization's International Wetland Conference held in Orlando, Fla., in June.

Turner is a distinguished research master and holds the Shell Endowed Chair in Oceanography and Wetland Studies at LSU.

His work has focused on low oxygen levels in Louisiana coastal areas, a phenomenon known as the "dead zone."

Louisiana Board of Ethics
12:32 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Iffy spending prompts new look at campaign rules

Campaign cash spent on such expenses as football tickets, personal clothing and flower deliveries is drawing attention from the Louisiana Board of Ethics, whose members say the "gratuitous and purely personal" use of political donations is a growing trend.

So the board has launched an effort to create stronger definitions for what is considered improper personal use of campaign contributions.

A committee created in March is working on new rules and is expected to complete its work within a few months.

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Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office
12:29 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Jefferson Parish investigating slaying

Jefferson Parish authorities are investigating the shooting death of a 27-year-old woman.

Sheriff Newell Normand says in a news release that that woman, whose identity has not been released, was shot at an apartment in Terrytown on Friday night.

Normand says three children and another woman were in the apartment at the time of the shooting, but it wasn't immediately clear if the victim was the children's mother.

Science
12:25 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Shreveport astro society takes a last look at Saturn

The Shreveport-Bossier Astronomical Society is sponsoring a free star party Saturday, offering the last chance to see Saturn until next summer.

The Times reports the show will go on from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Ralph A. Worley Observatory on Louisiana Highway 175.

Organizers plan viewing of star clusters, nebula and galaxies as well as the focus on Saturn — weather permitting.

A free moon map and sky map will be given to visitors.

Nicholls State University
12:22 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Nicholls to offer master's in nursing

Nicholls State University is going ahead with plans to offer a master of nursing program beginning in spring 2013.

The university recently received approval from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing to offer the program under its College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Master's candidates will be able to choose from four areas of concentration: family nurse practitioner, family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, nursing educator or nursing executive.

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Highway 23 Closure
12:19 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Belle Chasse tunnel closed until Monday

State transportation officials say the Belle Chasse tunnel on Louisiana Highway 23 will be closed until Monday at 5 a.m. Crews are working on the floodwall at the site, officials say.

The Perez Bridge will handle two-way traffic while the tunnel is closed.

Unemployment
12:16 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Jobless rates drop in 62 of 64 Louisiana parishes

Unemployment rates fell from June to July in 62 of Louisiana's 64 parishes, according to figures released Friday.

Lafourche Parish has the lowest jobless rate at 5.2 percent. East Carroll Parish's 20 percent rate is the highest. Only Concordia and Franklin parishes saw increases.

The oil-fueled Houma metro area, with 5.4 percent unemployment, is lowest among Louisiana's eight urban areas. Joblessness in metro New Orleans fell to 8.1 percent from 8.7 percent in June. In metro Baton Rouge, it fell to 8 percent from 8.7 percent.

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LSU Hospitals
12:14 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Fred Cerise removed as LSU health care leader

The LSU System's top health care leader has been ousted from his role overseeing the university's network of public hospitals and clinics.

Fred Cerise had clashed with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration over budget cuts that stripped hundreds of millions of dollars from the LSU safety net health care system.

Cerise's replacement was announced Friday by LSU with no explanation. But in an e-mail to The Associated Press, Cerise said he was notified a day earlier by LSU System President William Jenkins that, "I will no longer lead the LSU Health System."

West Nile Virus
12:06 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Three new West Nile deaths, total cases up to 53

State health officials confirm three more people have died from West Nile virus, bringing the total to nine so far this year.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals also said Friday that 53 new human cases of the virus have been confirmed and mark 145 reported infections so far in 2012 — the highest number of cases the state has seen in the past several years.

St. Tammany Parish Grass Cutting
11:46 am
Fri August 24, 2012

St. Tammany residents face fines for overgrown property

Residents who live in the unincorporated areas of St. Tammany Parish and fail to mow the grass on their lots could face a penalty of $300 and a possible property lien.

The Times-Picayune reports the parish is funding a new grass-cutting initiative with $15,000 and a focus on chronic violators.

The owners of property with growth taller than 15 inches could get a letter from the parish giving them 10 days to remove weeds, grass or deleterious, unhealthy growth or the parish will take action.

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