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Kenner Brake Tags
1:31 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Kenner takes plastic for brake tags

Kenner officials say the city's vehicle inspection station has begun accepting credit cards and debit cards for payment.

Officials of the city in suburban New Orleans said there is no additional charge to use plastic to pay for annual inspections to receive a city brake tag.

The tags cost $10 and are good for 1 year.

U.S.
5:08 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Texas Seeks New Water Supplies Amid Drought

Receding water at Lake Travis near Austin, Texas, has the state concerned about its water supply. In 2011, Lake Travis had the lowest inflow since it was created about 70 years ago.
Joshua Lott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 1:59 pm

The punishing seven-year drought of the 1950s in Texas brought about the modern era of water planning. But the drought of 2011 was the hottest, driest 12 months on record there.

Though only a handful of towns saw their water sources dry up last summer, it got so bad that cities, industries and farmers began to think the unthinkable: Would they run out of water?

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The Picture Show
5:10 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Portraits: Texas Ranchers Remember An Epic Drought

Eugene "Boob" Kelton, 80, is an Upton County rancher and brother of writer Elmer Kelton.
Michael O'Brien

"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.

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U.S.
5:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:40 pm

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.

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West Nile Virus
5:10 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

3 new Louisiana West Nile cases, 1 serious

Louisiana's health department says three new cases of West Nile virus infection have been confirmed in the state — including a potentially fatal case in Vernon Parish.

Two of the people who tested positive for the infection showed no symptoms. They were in Tangipahoa Parish.

But the Vernon Parish case involves what officials call "neuro-invasive" disease — the first such case in the state this year.

A neuroinvasive illness is severe and typically results in a swelling of the brain or spinal cord. It can cause brain damage or death.

Medicaid Cuts
5:06 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Vitter talks of highway bill, skips Medicaid cuts

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.

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Unemployment
5:02 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Louisiana first-time jobless claims decrease

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.

Louisiana Supreme Court
4:56 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

3 judges recuse themselves from La. justice's suit

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.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
11:30 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Suit Filed Over Naming Chief Justice

A Louisiana Supreme Court justice is suing to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.

A federal suit filed Thursday on behalf of Justice Bernette Johnson says she is next in line for the job because she qualifies as the court's longest-serving justice.

But Justice Jeffrey Victory also has staked a claim to succeeding Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball, who retires next year.

Kenner Charter Election
11:25 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Kenner Council Refuses to Call Off Charter Vote

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.

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