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West Nile Virus
7:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

State reports six more cases of West Nile Virus

State health regulators have confirmed six more human cases of West Nile Virus, bringing the year's total to 10, including two cases of the more serious neuroinvasive disease.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in a news release Friday, said the new cases are from East Feliciana, Jefferson, Rapides, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

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Jobless Claims
7:44 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Claims rise for unemployment benefits

First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Louisiana for the week ending July 7 increased from the previous week's total.

State labor department figures released Friday show initial claims rose to 3,960 from the previous week's total of 3,456. The figure was lower than it was for the comparable week a year earlier, when there were 4,053 initial claims.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,714 from the previous week's total of 3,792.

Medicaid Cuts
4:11 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

LSU health care system takes brunt of Medicaid cut

LSU's network of charity hospitals and clinics will lose a quarter of its budget, with the Jindal administration choosing to levy the largest slice of Medicaid cuts on the facilities.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said nearly $317 million of the $523 million in cuts announced Friday will fall on the public health care system run by LSU.

Hospital officials had previously warned that they couldn't make deep cuts without shuttering facilities.

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Arts & Culture
4:07 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Pan-Am crash film set for Houma

A documentary film will be shown Saturday in Houma to mark the 30-year anniversary of the crash of Pan-American World Airways Flight 759 in Kenner.

The Courier reports the program starts at noon at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, 151 Library Drive.

New Orleans filmmaker Royd Anderson directed and produced "Pan Am Flight 759," which focuses on the July 9, 1982, crash that killed 153 people.

Seven of those killed were from Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

The screening is free and open to the public.

Politics
4:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Jindal doesn't tell Dardenne when he leaves the state

Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn't notify Louisiana's second-ranking official when he travels out of state, even though Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne technically becomes governor whenever Jindal leaves.

The Republican governor has been out-of-state more than 25 percent of the time since May, campaigning for Republican presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, raising money for GOP causes and candidates and participating in conferences.

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BP Oil Spill
2:11 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Oil dispersant maker asks judge to toss claims

The manufacturer of a chemical dispersant used to fight the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has asked a federal judge to dismiss claims over the government's use of its product.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule Friday after hearing Illinois-based Nalco Co.'s argument that it isn't liable for how the federal government used Corexit to break up oil gushing from BP's blown-out well.

A plaintiffs' attorney countered that Nalco is liable for claims it supplied a product that wasn't safe to use in the Gulf.

Education
2:08 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

ULL gay studies minor under fire

The head of a prominent conservative Christian group in Louisiana is critical of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette for offering a new minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies.

The Advocate reports that the area of study was first offered in the spring.

Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills said the coursework does not reflect Louisiana values. And U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, a New Iberia Republican, said it doesn't provide an academic benefit to students.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Jindal skipping national governors meeting

Gov. Bobby Jindal isn't joining the nation's governors at a meeting this weekend in Virginia and is instead scheduled to speak at the Nebraska Republican convention.

Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said Friday that the Republican governor won't attend the National Governors Association annual meeting, which is focused on job creation and economic development.

Plotkin didn't answer a question about why Jindal decided against attending the meeting.

UNO Sports
1:17 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Southland Conference officials visit UNO

Southland Conference officials have made a visit to the University of New Orleans as they prepare to make a final determination on the school's petition for membership in the conference.

UNO officials said they were optimistic after the Thursday visit.

Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett was joined in New Orleans by Southeastern Louisiana University President John Crain, Stephen F. Austin President Baker Pattillo and McNeese State Athletic Director Tommy McClelland. He the group was extremely impressed with UNO's athletic facilities, especially Lakefront Arena.

Music
1:05 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Harry Connick Jr. to host TV variety show

Grammy-winning jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. will host and perform in a television variety show that pays tribute to the music of Louisiana and the industries that have shaped its culture and history.

The show, a Louisiana Public Broadcasting special set to air in December, will be available to PBS affiliates nationwide next year and will include performances of "You Are My Sunshine" in genres such as Cajun, zydeco, jazz and blues.

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