GEISMAR — A Houston-based chemical company contends it should not be penalized for a March plant fire at its vinyl chloride complex here because an unexpected and unprecedented chemical chain reaction touched off the fire.
Michael J. Anderson, an agent with extensive experience in public corruption cases, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI's New Orleans division.
The 45-year-old native of Alexandria, Minn., joined the FBI in 1995 and has served as a supervisor in the FBI's public corruption unit.
The FBI says Anderson rewrote its public corruption field guide in 2003. He also played a supervisory role in the corruption probe of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat serving a 13-year prison sentence.
Anderson replaces David Welker, who retired in May.
A new audit says the state Department of Environmental Quality didn't have proper controls over a state program meant to keep tires from being dumped illegally, allowing overpayments.
The report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office says DEQ allows waste tire processors to weigh their own tire shipments, rather than confirming the weight through a third party. Since the payments are based on weight, the audit says the lack of confirmation gives processors an ability to overstate what they've done.
Covington-based Smoothie King Franchises Inc. is being sold to a South Korean company.
Smoothie King currently has more than 600 units operating in 32 states, the Caymans and the Republic of Korea.
The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release on Monday.
Buyer SK USA Inc. is headed by Chief Executive Officer Wan Kim, a Boston University graduate who opened his first Smoothie King in 2003. Since then Wan's Smoothies Korea has opened more than 100 locations.
A small breach on the marsh-covered east bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans is giving rise to calls to let the river run wild.
The debate centers on a 77-foot-wide channel the river carved through a levee road in the unused Bohemia spillway in Plaquemines Parish, about 45 miles south of New Orleans. The breach is outside levees that protect thinly populated communities on the sliver of delta that extends south to form Louisiana's boot.
Officials say about half of the households in unincorporated East Jefferson participated in the first week of curbside garbage recycling, a significant increase for a service they last had before Hurricane Katrina.
Director Marnie Winter of the Department of Environmental Affairs tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/MUJnkD) the overall rate of households putting out the new green bins Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was 51 percent.
Before Katrina, Winter says an average of about 32 percent of homes participated in curbside recycling.
St. John the Baptist Parish could enact one of the earliest curfews in the metro New Orleans area if the parish council approves a request by the sheriff's office to require unaccompanied minors to be off the street by 9 p.m. on school nights. The curfew is currently 10 p.m.