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Essence Fest
12:24 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

2012 Essence Fest draws 413,000 to New Orleans

The 2012 Essence Music Festival drew 413,000 people to New Orleans for the four-day event held over the Fourth of July weekend.

That's less than the 422,000 who gathered for the 2011 festival. Last year the festival ran for three days.

This was the 18th anniversary of the festival which features nightly concerts at the Superdome and free, daily "empowerment" seminars and community events at the city's convention center.

Business Image
12:17 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Business group seeks to update New Orleans' image

The president of a business organization in New Orleans says the group is focusing on changing the image the city presents to businesses that are thinking about relocating or expanding.

Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, told a luncheon Wednesday that many people often associate New Orleans with Bourbon Street, jazz and its port. But Miller said they don't think about the new things coming to the city like the film industry and technology companies.

Business
11:39 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Nicholls business dean named president of LCPA

The business dean at Nicholls State University is now the president of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants for 2012-2013.

Shawn Mauldin received the group's 2005 lifetime award for achievement in accounting information, and is a past president of its south central chapter. The LCPA has 6,300 members statewide.

Mauldin has bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Nicholls State and a doctorate in accounting from the University of Mississippi.

In Memoriam
11:35 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Musicians to honor Tremé Brass Band singer

Many of New Orleans' best known musicians are planning to gather for a musical tribute to Lionel Batiste, the 81-year-old vocalist and bass drummer with the Tremé Brass Band who died last Sunday.

Kermit Ruffins, Deacon John, Michael Ward and Rockin' Dopsie are among the musicians expected to attend the tribute at Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club on Friday at 7 p.m.

The organizers of the memorial say proceeds will pay Batiste's outstanding medical bills and funeral costs.

Latest News
11:33 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Former bank manager pleads guilty to embezzlement

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says a former manager of a Whitney Bank branch in Metairie has admitted stealing more than $56,000 from the bank.

He says 50-year-old Karen Sork pleaded guilty Wednesday to bank theft, and could get up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, and restitution.

Film Tax Credits
8:45 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Setbacks for agency in recovering film tax credits

Officials from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development say the only action they could take against two companies that received about $935,000 in ineligible state motion picture tax credits is to file a civil action lawsuit.

Legislative auditors say members of the state economic development agency improperly issued thousands of tax credits for expenditures made by two companies involved in making a documentary about the Mardi Gras season called "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth."

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Latest News
8:56 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Woman collected mother's Social Security 13 1/2 years after death

Federal prosecutors say a 75-year-old woman has admitted collecting her mother's Social Security payments for 13½ years after her mother died.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Shirley A. Bunda of Gretna got more than $173,000 to which she wasn't entitled, and pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of theft of government funds.

A news release says Bunda and her mother shared a joint checking account, and her mother's Social Security payments came by direct deposit.

Colonial Golf & Country Club
8:52 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Colonial Golf & Country Club sale approved

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Colonial Golf & Country Club's 88-acre property to businessman John Georges and real estate developer Wayne Ducote.

Judge Elizabeth Magner congratulated the parties assembled Wednesday after confirming the Harahan-based club's Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The Times-Picayune reports the 87-year-old club closed in January and declared bankruptcy in February, a day before the property was to be sold at a state court-ordered auction.

School Vouchers
4:49 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Applications top 10,000 for school voucher program

The state education department has received more than 10,000 applications for Louisiana's statewide voucher program set to start in August that will use taxpayer money to send students to private and parochial schools.

Superintendent of Education John White announced the applicant numbers Wednesday.

As many as 2,000 of the applicants are in an existing New Orleans voucher program. The others will be vying for slots available to new students under the statewide program pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

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State Hiring Freeze
4:47 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Jindal continues state's partial hiring freeze

In what is becoming an annual ritual, Gov. Bobby Jindal has again issued a partial hiring freeze on executive branch agencies in state government.

The hiring freeze covers the 2012-13 fiscal year that began July 1.

For most agencies, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater will set a number of vacant positions that the offices can't fill. If they want to add new workers who will shrink the number of vacancies below that benchmark, the agencies will need Rainwater's permission.

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