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WRKF
3:02 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Ice Cream: Red, White, or Rosé?

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 3:38 pm

Louisiana is known as a foodie paradise, but wine ice cream--one of the latest gourmet trends--can’t be sold here without a change in the current alcohol laws. Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter’s bill to allow sales of the new product was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Friday, and members were quick with the quips.

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Politics
5:10 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., speaks at an Oct. 2013 news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Landrieu's support for the Affordable Care Act is center stage in her campaign for a fourth Senate term.
Evan Vucci AP

With only four days left before the March 31 enrollment deadline, the White House is kicking into high gear trying to round up more Affordable Care Act enrollees – and Louisiana got special attention Thursday.

Why? Enrollment in the federal healthcare exchange there has lagged behind other states and, perhaps as important, citizens are getting bombarded with anti-ACA ads as Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu gears up for a tight race in November.

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Latest News
4:30 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Study: Funding Master Plan Would Create Jobs

According to a new study, funding Louisiana's master plan for the coast will bring jobs and other economic benefits.
Arthur Belala Wikimedia Commons

A study commissioned by an environmental group says funding the state's multi-billion-dollar, 50-year plan for coastal protection and restoration would create anywhere from 109,000 to 212,000 permanent jobs while spurring the economy with billions in spending related to the projects.

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Latest News
3:52 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

911 Emergency Call Response Time Slows

In New Orleans, emergency 9-1-1 callers face increased wait times and unanswered calls.
KayVee.INC Flickr

National standards say that operators should answer 95 percent of all emergency 911 calls within 20 seconds. But operators in New Orleans are not meeting that mark. The City Council took up the issue on Wednesday.

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WRKF
3:03 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Do Heroin, Do Time

LSP Commander Col. Mike Edmondson testifies on behalf of bill to impose mandatory jail time for heroin.

While state lawmakers will be considering moves toward decriminalizing marijuana later in this session, they’re heading the other direction when it comes to heroin. Law enforcement officials say that drug has become a lethal epidemic.

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Latest News
5:09 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Lawmakers Reject Tweaks To TOPS Tuition Program

Lissandra Melo Shutterstock

The House Education Committee shot down a bill that would change eligibility for Louisiana's TOPS program and require repayment of the free college tuition if students lose their awards.

Napoleonville Representative Joe Harrison was pushing the TOPS changes as a way to cut costs for a program expected to cost about $235 million next year.

Several lawmakers said they were worried about the long-term financial stability of the program, but that didn't generate enough votes for Harrison's proposal to put limits on the popular program.

WRKF
4:01 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Forced Charity: LSU Hospital System Makeover

Baton Rouge General Mid City

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:27 am

It’s been nearly a year since the state started implementing public-private partnerships for the LSU Hospital System, formerly known as Louisiana’s Charity Hospitals. The plan was pushed as a cost-saver for the state. How is it working out? Good for some and not so good for others—with patients and hospital caregivers caught in the middle.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Rally for Payday Lending Reform

Sen. Ben Nevers speaks at payday loan reform rally

Penny Fisher says she got caught in the payday loan trap.

“I borrowed $300 back in ’95, and ended up paying $4,983.30 back.”

Thelma Fleming had two jobs, and lost one. She went to a payday lender to borrow money to pay her bills.

“And I borrowed $300. That really changed my life because I lost my car. My checking account was closed.”

State Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa says enough is enough.

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Latest News
5:18 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Construction Begins On Lafitte Greenway

Hiking the Lafitte Greenway.
Bart Everson

Crews broke ground on the multimillion-dollar Lafitte Greenway Bike and Pedestrian path Tuesday.

The two-and-a-half mile bike and jogging trail is built along an old shipping canal and and connects six historic communities from the French Quarter to City Park. New athletic fields and a tree canopy will line the 12-foot-wide pedestrian trail.

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Latest News
5:47 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

No Ban On Cellphones For Louisiana Drivers

A proposal to prevent drivers from using handheld cellphones stalled in the House.
Ed Brown

Louisiana drivers will not face new restrictions on using handheld cellphones while driving. An effort to require drivers to use hands-free devices stalled Monday in the House Transportation Committee.

Republican Rep. Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge voluntarily shelved his proposal after criticism that the cellphone ban was too broad.

Louisiana has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Reducing the risk of accidents by limiting cellphone use while driving could help to lower those costs.

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