"Between 1950 and 1960," according to NPR's John Burnett, Texas "lost nearly 100,000 farms and ranches," and rural residents who had made up more than a third of the population dwindled to just a quarter of the population.
In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.
From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter is highlighting his role as Louisiana's lone member on the congressional committee that drew up a final version of the federal highway bill. But he's omitting the detail that the bill blows an $859 million hole in Louisiana's Medicaid funding.
As President Barack Obama was set to sign the measure into law Friday, Louisiana's Democrats were questioning Vitter's role in slashing the Medicaid dollars and asking if he fought against the cuts.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Louisiana for the week ending June 30 decreased from the previous week's total.
State labor department figures released Friday show initial claims fell to 3,456 from the previous week's total of 3,633. The figure was lower than it was for the comparable week a year earlier, when there were 4,169 initial claims.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,792 from the previous week's total of 3,972.
Three federal judges in New Orleans have recused themselves from presiding over Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson's lawsuit seeking to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to be the court's next chief justice.
The case was transferred Friday to U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan after three other judges — Jay Zainey, Ivan Lemelle and Carl Barbier — disqualified themselves. It wasn't immediately clear if Morgan will keep the case.
Residents in Kenner will be able to vote Nov. 6 on two amendments to the Home Rule Charter. Both charter revisions, if adopted by voters, would check the mayor's power by stopping his appointees from politicking for him and by giving the council oversight of more contracts.