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Education
11:34 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Team to aid districts with curriculum, evaluation

Five people have been appointed to a state Department of Education team to help Louisiana school districts implement new education standards and a teacher evaluation system.

State Superintendent of Education John White said in a Monday news release that the team will work with districts as Louisiana joins most other states in adopting uniform standards known as "Common Core." They also will aid in adoption of a teacher evaluation system called "Compass," which focuses on student improvement as well as other evaluation methods including classroom observation.

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School Vouchers
11:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Pro-voucher groups want to battle against lawsuit

Two parents with children in a New Orleans voucher program and two pro-voucher groups are asking to join the state in fighting a lawsuit that seeks to block a statewide program using tax dollars to send children to private schools.

The intervention petition was filed in Baton Rouge district court Monday for the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Alliance for School Choice and the New Orleans parents.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
11:25 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Feds asked to review debate over La. chief justice

Several black Louisiana elected officials are asking the Justice Department's civil rights division to intervene in a dispute over whether state Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

A letter sent Monday to the head of the division's voting section accuses Johnson's colleagues of trying to dilute the rights of black voters by unilaterally creating a new process for deciding which justice has the most seniority.

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Education
4:54 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Head of the University of Louisiana System retiring

The president of the University of Louisiana System has announced his retirement.

Randy Moffett, who's been in the job for four years, said Monday that he will leave the position in the fall to spend more time with his family.

Moffett's retirement comes after a tenure marked by repeated budget cuts that have stripped more than $426 million in annual state financing from higher education in Louisiana. The UL System has lost nearly 46 percent of its state funding since 2008.

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Latest News
4:50 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Chemical company says March fire was unexpected

GEISMAR — A Houston-based chemical company contends it should not be penalized for a March plant fire at its vinyl chloride complex here because an unexpected and unprecedented chemical chain reaction touched off the fire.

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Latest News
4:43 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

New head takes over FBI's New Orleans office

Michael J. Anderson, an agent with extensive experience in public corruption cases, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI's New Orleans division.

The 45-year-old native of Alexandria, Minn., joined the FBI in 1995 and has served as a supervisor in the FBI's public corruption unit.

The FBI says Anderson rewrote its public corruption field guide in 2003. He also played a supervisory role in the corruption probe of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat serving a 13-year prison sentence.

Anderson replaces David Welker, who retired in May.

Weather Alert
1:58 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Weather alert issued for New Orleans East

The National Weather Service has issued an alert for New Orleans East and upper St. Bernard Parish, due to a cluster of strong, slow-moving thunderstorms affecting the area.

The storms, located northeast of Chalmette, are moving to the northeast at approximately 5 mph, and packing frequent lightning and wind gusts up to 35 to 45 mph, according to the Weather Service.

Latest News
12:36 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Audit: Waste tire program not tightly monitored

A new audit says the state Department of Environmental Quality didn't have proper controls over a state program meant to keep tires from being dumped illegally, allowing overpayments.

The report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office says DEQ allows waste tire processors to weigh their own tire shipments, rather than confirming the weight through a third party. Since the payments are based on weight, the audit says the lack of confirmation gives processors an ability to overstate what they've done.

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Business & Technology
12:33 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Covington-based Smoothie King chain sold

Covington-based Smoothie King Franchises Inc. is being sold to a South Korean company.

Smoothie King currently has more than 600 units operating in 32 states, the Caymans and the Republic of Korea.

The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release on Monday.

Buyer SK USA Inc. is headed by Chief Executive Officer Wan Kim, a Boston University graduate who opened his first Smoothie King in 2003. Since then Wan's Smoothies Korea has opened more than 100 locations.

Environment
12:15 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Nature takes a crack at rebuilding marsh

A small breach on the marsh-covered east bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans is giving rise to calls to let the river run wild.

The debate centers on a 77-foot-wide channel the river carved through a levee road in the unused Bohemia spillway in Plaquemines Parish, about 45 miles south of New Orleans. The breach is outside levees that protect thinly populated communities on the sliver of delta that extends south to form Louisiana's boot.

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