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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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Street Repairs
12:08 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Street work set to begin in 9th Ward

The state is set to begin reconstruction work on Monday on several New Orleans streets in areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

All are in the city's 9th Ward.

Barrier Construction Co. is the contractor for the $2.4 million project, which involves segments of Forstall, Tupelo and Alvar streets.

The state Department of Transportation and Development said the work will include resurfacing, repairing curbs and installing handicap-compliant ramps. Completion is expected by October.

Education
12:04 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Southern has new strategy to bring in students

BATON ROUGE — Southern University will compete for a share of Baton Rouge's community college market this fall as part of a strategy to boost sagging enrollment.

The student numbers have dipped during the past several years with the introduction of tougher state admissions standards.

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Jefferson Parish Recycling
11:59 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Jefferson Parish recycling has banner first week

Officials say about half of the households in unincorporated East Jefferson participated in the first week of curbside garbage recycling, a significant increase for a service they last had before Hurricane Katrina.

Director Marnie Winter of the Department of Environmental Affairs tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/MUJnkD) the overall rate of households putting out the new green bins Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was 51 percent.

Before Katrina, Winter says an average of about 32 percent of homes participated in curbside recycling.

Curfews
11:56 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Earlier curfew being considered in St. John Parish

St. John the Baptist Parish could enact one of the earliest curfews in the metro New Orleans area if the parish council approves a request by the sheriff's office to require unaccompanied minors to be off the street by 9 p.m. on school nights. The curfew is currently 10 p.m.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/RMjOBP) the council will consider the change on Tuesday.

Councilman Michael Wright, who proposed the ordinance, said he did so at the request of Sheriff Mike Tregre.

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