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Environment
11:56 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Despite Debby, Fourchon beach rebuild progresses

Lafourche Parish officials say a restoration project aimed at rebuilding beach and dunes at West Belle Pass on Fourchon beach is nearly halfway done.

Progress has been made despite some damage from Tropical Storm Debby in late June.

Lafourche Parish Coastal Zone Administrator Archie Chaisson told The Courier that the restoration project was moving along smoothly with 66 percent of the beach and dune recreation finished. Sand fending to prevent erosion is 44 percent complete.

St. Charles Parish Burglaries
11:26 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Unlocked homes lead to St. Charles Parish burglaries

An increase in home burglaries in St. Charles Parish has deputies making a simple warning to residents: Lock your doors.

WWL-TV reports that five burglaries have been reported in the parish in the last few days, most recently in St. Rose and Luling. The burglaries have usually happened in the middle of the day.

Residents of each home had left their back door unlocked.

Shrimp Season
11:21 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Shrimping to close Saturday in Pontchartrain Basin

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. Saturday in most remaining state inside waters east of the Mississippi River. The closure is designed to protect developing white shrimp.

The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds will remain open, but all other inside waters will be closed to shrimping.

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Education
11:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Report examines Orleans schools progress, problems

A policy institute at Tulane University has released its annual look at the progress and problems of public education in New Orleans.

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Budget Cuts
10:58 am
Wed July 11, 2012

State health secretary says cuts expected by Friday

Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein says he expects to announce by Friday how he'll divvy up $859 million in cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid program.

The cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.

Greenstein didn't offer details Tuesday about what will be slashed. But hospitals, doctors and other health providers are bracing for cuts that could shrink the money they receive for taking care of Medicaid patients and the uninsured.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
10:54 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Louisiana Chief Justice declines to discuss successor

Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball says the state's code of judicial conduct prohibits her from meeting with a group of community leaders to discuss their concerns about the court's impending debate over naming Kimball's successor.

Several supporters of Justice Bernette Johnson, who sued last week to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is entitled to become the next chief justice, had asked to meet this week with Kimball.

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Latest News
6:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Newhouse Says Times-Picayune Not For Sale

Erin Krall

Plans to continue the New Orleans Times-Picayune as a daily newspaper have taken a blow from its publisher. Advance Publications says it has no intentions of selling the paper.

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Latest News
5:07 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Newspaper: DOJ lawyer tried to stifle reporter

Two Louisiana congressmen are calling on the Justice Department to respond to a complaint that one of its attorneys tried to bar a newspaper reporter from quoting or recording her comments at a public hearing in New Iberia.

The Daily Iberian contends Justice Department attorney Rachel Hranitzky became "belligerent and threatening" after the reporter, Matthew Beaton, questioned why he couldn't quote her comments during a June 12 public hearing about the New Iberia Fire Department's hiring and promotion practices.

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Latest News
4:59 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Missing student case to be taken up by grand jury

Officials say a grand jury next week will consider the case involving the man accused of kidnapping and murdering college student Mickey Shunick.

Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson told the Associated Press Tuesday that Brandon Scott Lavergne's case will be considered by a grand jury July 18.

Lavergne was arrested Thursday and is being held without bail at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

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Farming
4:40 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Louisiana farmers plant more soybeans, less cotton

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Louisiana farmers are planting more soybeans than they have in 14 years but may tie a record low for cotton.

Changing weather patterns appeared to be a factor as the wet early spring gave way to a drier pattern. So farmers are planting more soybeans and less rice than originally expected.

The USDA's July crop report says Louisiana farmers are planting 1.14 million acres of soybeans, the highest since 1.2 million acres in 1998 and 70,000 acres more than projected in March.

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