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Latest News
6:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Two Seats Now Open in New Orleans Council Special Election After Johnson's Plea

The New Orleans City Council will have two open seats on the November 6 ballot. The second vacancy comes after District E Councilman Jon Johnson’s guilty plea to federal corruption charges.

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Latest News
4:05 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Councilman Jon Johnson Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Corruption

Councilman Jon Johnson
New Orleans City Council

A New Orleans city councilman is resigning his office after pleading guilty to corruption. Federal charges link Hurricane Katrina relief to the politician’s failed-campaign fund.

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Business & Technology
2:25 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

City marketing group picks New York agency

Local advertising agencies that held the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. contract for more than a decade failed to win a new deal with the tourism promotion organization.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/Q6WU9Z) the work will go to a New York company.

The marketing corporation's board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Dentsu America as its advertising agency of record. Dentsu will work with a local company, Spears Consulting Group.

Education
2:17 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

ULM professor settles harassment suit with college

MONROE — An internationally recognized University of Louisiana at Monroe toxicology professor has settled a lawsuit he filed against the university alleging he was harassed and discriminated against after he suffered a stroke five years ago.

The News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/OG813H) that the university announced Tuesday that it had reached "an amicable settlement" with Harihara Mehendale in the College of Pharmacy.

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Legislative Fiscal Officer Retires
2:14 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Legislature's top budget adviser retiring in Aug.

The Louisiana Legislature's top financial adviser is retiring.

Legislative Fiscal Officer Gordon Monk has worked in state government for 33 years. His last day will be Aug. 8. Monk told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/NztEFS) a contentious legislative session convinced him it was time to go.

The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget plans to name a temporary replacement on Monday. Lawmakers will pick a permanent fiscal officer when they are next in session, likely not until 2013.

Latest News
1:09 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Jon Johnson pleads guilty in Katrina fraud

A New Orleans city councilman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal criminal charge of misusing federal money intended to help a nonprofit organization after Hurricane Katrina and diverting some of it to one of his political campaigns.

Jon Johnson, who is 63, faces up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk set sentencing for Oct. 25.

Johnson said he will resign from his seat on the council.

Environment
1:05 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Lake Charles looks at alternative fuels

Lake Charles city officials are taking a new look at alternative fuels for public vehicles. City Councilman Rodney Geyen has been pushing Lake Charles City Hall officials to research the costs and savings of using natural gas to run vehicles.

Geyen points to the Lafayette Consolidated Government as an example of what can be done. Lafayette officials have told Geyen that a $25,000-a-month fuel bill for five city buses was reduced to $1,800 a month using compressed natural gas.

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Latest News
12:56 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Orleans judge under scrutiny for backlog quits

An Orleans Parish criminal court judge who has been criticized for her backlog of cases is resigning.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Lynda Van Davis submitted a letter of resignation from the bench on Tuesday. Davis, a former state and federal prosecutor who was elected in 2003, said her resignation is effective Dec. 31.

Davis says she's resigning because she's getting married.

Building Implosion
12:51 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Residents worry about dust from pending implosion

Public housing residents near a 17-story hotel slated to be imploded Sunday in New Orleans are worried about dust blanketing their homes.

The Times-Picayune reports that the state decided not to move the 400 households in the Iberville housing complex before the hotel is imploded. Now, some residents are upset about not being told what precautions to take when the building is brought down.

Fifty-four-year-old Lanetter Dorsey said she was in poor health and doesn't feel comfortable staying inside her Iberville apartment during the implosion.

Latest News
12:50 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Fire out, evac over after gas pipeline rupture

INTRACOASTAL CITY — A rupture in a south Louisiana natural gas pipeline erupted into a fire that led to an evacuation and road closures.

State police say the rupture and fire were reported around 4 a.m. Wednesday in southern Vermilion Parish.

The area is sparsely populated. State police said only one residence was evacuated and two businesses were prevented from opening until the pipeline was shut down and the fire went out around 6:30 a.m.

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