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Convention Center Renovations
3:43 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

Convention Center renovation may run into Super Bowl

The renovation of New Orleans' major convention center may be delayed until the time of the 2013 Super Bowl in the city.

The center's governing board says construction costs are about $1.4 million over the initial contract price and the work is already more than a month behind schedule.

The Times-Picayune reports the projected completion date is Feb. 2 — one day before the Super Bowl and well into the weeklong series of events the center will host for the NFL.

The NFL has reserved the building for the entire week.

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Gun Buyback
3:32 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

New Orleans police to hold gun buyback in May

The New Orleans Police crime prevention unit will be buying guns from residents — no questions asked — on May 12.

Police will pay $75 cash for handguns and $200 cash for assault rifles. The weapons can be new or old. Damaged guns will also be accepted.

Those looking to get rid of guns are advised to bring them unloaded and in a bag or container to the event. Police ask that people don't handle the weapons at the event and bring ammunition in separate containers.

Republican Caucus
3:20 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

Louisiana Republicans hold caucus Saturday

Louisiana's Republican Party is holding caucuses Saturday, part of a process to choose delegates who will attend the GOP's presidential nominating convention in August.

GOP voters who participate in the caucuses will elect delegates to the Louisiana Republican State Convention, scheduled for June 2. The delegates to the state convention will choose delegates who will attend the national convention in August.

Grand Caillou
3:15 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

Grand Caillou fire chief on paid leave

GRAND CAILLOU, La. — The Grand Caillou fire chief is on paid leave following his indictment on a sex charge.

The Courier (http://bit.ly/IbS5Fw ) reports that 61-year-old Michael Deroche Sr was charged with sexual battery following allegations of performing inappropriate acts on a community service worker at one of the fire stations last year. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Deroche was never arrested, but an investigation was done by the Terrebonne Sheriff's Office.

Deroche has denied the allegations.

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PayPal Fraud
3:06 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

N.O. man arrested on identify theft, fraud charges

A New Orleans man has been arrested on fraud and identity theft charges for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud the PayPal online payments service.

Federal prosecutors said Friday's arrest of 28-year-old Giray Biyikioglu, a Turkish national who lives in New Orleans, follows a Secret Service probe.

Prosecutors said Biyikioglu illegally used somebody else's identity and conducted transactions of up to $190,000 as part of his alleged scheme to defraud.

No additional details about the case were immediately disclosed.

Voice of the Wetlands
3:02 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

Tab Benoit, Dr. John, others fight to save coast

Some of Louisiana's best known musicians have joined forces in an ongoing effort to help save Louisiana's coast and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival fans will reap the benefits of the homegrown collaboration.

On Saturday, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars featuring Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Anders Osbourne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Vidacovich, Johnny Sansone and Waylon Thibodeaux hit the Acura Stage — the festival's largest — just before another headliner: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

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Houston 84, New Orleans 77
11:04 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Hornets Lose Season Ender

HOUSTON (AP) — The season has ended for the New Orleans Hornets with an 84-77 loss to the Houston Rockets. Jerome Dyson, Lance Thomas and Darryl Watkins scored 13 points for the Hornets, who finished the season by winning eight of their last 13 games. 

New Orleans Saints
10:57 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Loomis Upset with Eavesdropping Allegations

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says he's angry about allegations that his Superdome booth was wired so he could eavesdrop on opposing coaches radio conversations. Loomis spoke shortly before Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft. The Saints don't currently pick until Friday night's third round. 

Flood Insurance
10:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Vitter Pushes to Extend Flood Insurance Program

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Sen. David Vitter is pushing for a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Louisiana Republican wants to stop extending the program with short-term extensions. The insurance program, which provides help for people who are flooded, hasn't been fully reauthorized since 2004. The program is slated to expire at the end of May unless it is extended.

A bill sponsored by Vitter to extend the flood insurance program through 2016 is awaiting a vote before the full Senate.

Louisiana Budget
10:49 am
Fri April 27, 2012

'Rainy Day' Fund Use Considered by Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers are weighing whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to fill a $211 million gap in this year's budget.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Thursday that the state could get $215 million from the fund, if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree. He says he's willing to look at using the money because he's worried that higher education and health care would face deep cuts otherwise that could damage services.

The state's forecasting panel downgraded income projections this week.

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