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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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Home Insurance
1:04 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Citizens sets annual Katrina-Rita bond assessment

Homeowners will pay $54 on average next year on their insurance policies to cover bond payments being made by state-backed Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which had to borrow nearly $1 billion to pay claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The board voted Thursday to impose a 3.74 percent assessment on all commercial and personal policyholders in the state starting Jan. 1.

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.

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