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Latest News
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Judge overturns Alexandria's fortunetelling ban

A federal judge has struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell's ruling Wednesday concurs with a magistrate's conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Rachel Adams is a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn't charge for her services. She sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500.

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Education
12:31 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Orleans Parish School Board to lay off 21

The Orleans Parish School Board plans to lay off nearly two dozen employees, largely because of a drop in federal funding for low-income students and those with special needs.

The Times-Picayune reported the list of staff losing their jobs includes four teachers.

Interim Superintendent Stan Smith, who has been warning of a potential budget gap for months, said layoffs would have gone deeper — to more than 30 positions — were it not for some recent resignations.

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Latest News
12:26 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Slidell man cashes in million-dollar Lotto ticket

A Slidell man thought he was lucky when he won more than $1,800 on the Louisiana Lotto on July 4. But, 29-year-old Evan Bauer was even luckier three days later when he became a millionaire.

The Times-Picayune reports Bauer matched all six Lotto numbers to win Saturday's $1.7 million jackpot — the state's largest since 2009. After federal and state taxes were withheld, officials said Thursday he received a $1.2 million prize.

The winning numbers were: 3, 6, 9, 10, 14 and 25. His advice: "Pick your numbers and stick to them. Eventually, it will pay off!"

Embezzlement
12:23 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Man pleads guilty in embezzlement case

A 69-year-old New Orleans man has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of theft of government funds.

U.S Attorney Jim Letten's office says Robert P. McFarland entered the plea Thursday before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

Medicaid Cuts
12:19 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

$859M in Medicaid cuts expected today

Health care providers and patients who rely on Louisiana's Medicaid program are expected to learn Friday how the Jindal administration plans to slash $859 million in the program that takes care of the poor, elderly and disabled.

The cuts are tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.

The reductions will strip 11 percent of the funding from the $7.7 billion Medicaid budget that lawmakers passed for the fiscal year that began July 1.

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Child Abuse Hotline
12:17 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Child abuse hotline: 114,000 calls in first year

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says its child abuse and neglect hotline has received 114,000 calls in its first year, and more than 50,000 of those calls reported suspected abuse or neglect.

The hotline is 1-855-4LA-KIDS. It's for both people required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect, and people in the general public.

Department Secretary Suzy Sonnier said Thursday that the toll-free number replaced a long list of parish and regional phone numbers. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 41 trained child welfare specialists.

Day Care Wages
12:12 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Labor: Louisiana day cares violating wage laws

The U.S. Department of Labor says more north Louisiana child care businesses are paying workers a legal wage after a crackdown by the Wage and Hour Division. But it says a majority of such businesses in Bossier, Caddo, East Carroll, Lincoln and Ouachita parishes are still breaking the law.

A news release Thursday said 57 percent of the employers investigated this year were violating minimum-wage, overtime or record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act — compared to 81 percent last year.

Shots - Health Blog
11:02 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Generic Drugs Make Dent In Global AIDS Pandemic

In the absence of a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, drug treatment has at least helped lower the pandemic's toll.

Since 2003, much of the treatment dispensed in hard-hit countries has come in the form of generic versions of previously expensive drugs. The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has paid for quite a bit of the medicine.

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Latest News
6:00 am
Fri July 13, 2012

New Orleans Bracing for Housing Baby Boomers

Population studies show that New Orleans, more than many American cities, needs to plan for housing Baby Boomers as they get older. A new study warns that blight could worsen as properties become abandoned.

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Alligator Thieves Apprehended
5:38 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Police snag alligator thief after nighttime street chase

Rodney Thornton.
Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

One of the suspects in last week’s brazen gator burglary was arrested last night after a chase through the Central Business District, according to New Orleans police.

A police sergeant spotted 29-year-old Rodney Thornton pulling on the door handles of parked cars in the 900-block of Poeyfarre Street at about 9:45 p.m. last night. When the officer approached Thornton, Thornton broke and ran, leading police on a chase that ended with his apprehension in an empty lot.

Officers witnessed Thornton pull a gun from his waistband and drop it on the ground during the chase.

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