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Business & Technology
11:53 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Oil rises slightly to near $85 on stimulus hopes

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil rose slightly to near $85 a barrel today, clawing back some of a large drop from the previous session amid hope that weak U.S. economic growth may trigger new stimulus measures.

The Labor Department on Friday said the U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs last month, which was fewer than expected and prompted speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may implement more monetary stimulus measures known as quantitative easing.

Last week, the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China both cut lending rates in the bid to boost flagging economic growth.

Latest News
6:00 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Senator Landrieu Visting Coastal Communities to Mark Restore Act

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is visiting coastal areas today to mark passage of the Restore Act. Exactly how much money the state can expect from BP fines is still being worked out.

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Essence Fest
1:49 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Alex Boyd brings 'blue-eyed' soul to Essence

He has danced with Debbie Allen, acted alongside Bruce Willis, blended his voice with Patti Labelle's and even dabbled with opera.

But Alex Boyd's true calling has always been classic, old-school soul — despite being one of only a handful of white performers in the genre.

Boyd says he was "over the moon" about his closing night debut performance on Sunday at the Essence Music Festival.

Arts & Culture
1:47 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Spidey swings back to action with $140M launch

Your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has spun himself a $65 million opening weekend and $140 million in his first six days at U.S. theaters.

Worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has climbed to $341.2 million.

The movie started off as a smaller domestic moneymaker than the previous three Spidey films, but it laid to rest objections that it was too soon to relaunch the superhero franchise.

The new origin story for the Marvel Comics web-slinger comes just five years after Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3."

In Memoriam
1:42 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Tremé Brass Band's Lionel Batiste dead at 81

Lionel Batiste, the vocalist, bass drummer and assistant band leader of the Tremé Brass Band, has died. He was 81.

Band leader Benny Jones Sr. says Batiste died Sunday. He says funeral arrangements are incomplete for Batiste, who was known as "Uncle Lionel."

He says Batiste had been ill for about a month.

Jones says Batiste had been with the Tremé Brass Band since it was formed in 1995, but he had been a musician nearly all his life.

Business & Technology
1:37 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Distillery hopes to start making rum by fall

LACASSINE, La. — Construction of a $5 million rum distillery in Jefferson Davis Parish continues, with production expected to start this fall.

Trey Litel, president of Louisiana Spirits, tells the American Press (http://bit.ly/OjaSjJ) that some of his company's rum is expected to be available by year's end.

Litel brings 25 years of sales and marketing expertise, including over 10 years with Bacardi USA, to the job.

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Flood Protection
1:34 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

New use for an old floodgate possible

Terrebonne Parish Levee District officials say a second-hand floodgate from Westwego could provide Pointe-aux-Chenes residents with some quick flood protection for a little money.

The Courier of Houma reports (http://bit.ly/NatJMM) that the 11-foot-tall barge floodgate was installed as stop-gap flood protection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2007 while it finished a larger floodgate in Bayou Segnette. It is set to be removed in August.

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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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