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Environment
3:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Environmental Groups Sue Plaquemines Coal Terminal For Violating Clean Water Act

Coal and petroleum waste leak into the Mississippi River from the United Bulk Terminal facility in Plaquemines Parish on Feb. 18. A consortium of environmental groups sued the facility Tuesday morning.
Credit Scott Eustis / Healthygulf.org and SouthWings.org

A lawsuit filed Tuesday morning by a coalition of environmental groups says the United Bulk Terminal, a coal export plant in Plaquemines Parish, is polluting the Mississippi River and threatening communities, and wetlands, nearby.

With a number of new coal plants scheduled to come online in the next few years, the lawsuit seeks to bring the plant into compliance with the law, and up to the standards of other states.

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Latest News
6:43 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards Is Running For Congress

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and his new wife, Trina Grimes Scott, after getting married in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La., in July 2011.
CHERYL GERBER AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:27 pm

Edwin Edwards, the 86-year-old ex-con and former Louisiana governor, is seeking public office again.

Today, Edwards announced he was running for the state's 6th Congressional District.

The Times Picayune reports:

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Latest News
5:00 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Edwin Edwards Running For Congress

Former Louisiana governor is back in a campaign.

Edwin Edwards, the former governor of Louisiana who served eight years in federal prison for corruption is now running for Congress. The 86-year-old Edwards wants to represent the Louisiana 6th District in the House of Representatives.

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The Lens
4:27 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

An Unusual Coalition Opposes Sky-High Incarceration Rates

An unusual coalition of organizations are hoping to ease sentencing requirements for some crimes, either keeping convicts from seeing the inside of a prison cell, or lessening the time they spend in one.
Digital Archaeology CoDiFi via Flickr

Many lawmakers around the nation have adopted the “get tough on crime” slogan in the last 25 years. But Louisiana took it to heart, perhaps more so than anywhere else.

Without question, Louisiana leads the country in the percentage of its residents imprisoned. The rate is twice as high as the national average. In fact, the state’s figures are close to the worst in the world, inviting comparisons to countries like North Korea.

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WRKF
4:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

First Bell: State Superintendent's Lunch Hour Lessons

State Superintendent John White

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 8:27 pm

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________ 

When state Superintendent John White was playing sports in high school, he says the poverty of the kids who lived a mile or two away from him came into view.

"I think there was something always, in a way, powerful, about being in a low-income community’s home court. Because, when you come in with your nice uniforms and, you know, you practice everyday in a nice gym or on a nice field, and you play guys whose uniforms don’t quite look the way they should, or the gym’s in bad shape, and the field is also a soccer, also a baseball, also a something else field, you get a very material view of what inequity looks like."

White found the disparity was something he couldn’t turn his back on.

He now oversees the education of Louisiana’s roughly 700,000 public school students. But he started his career teaching English in a high-poverty high school in Jersey City, NJ.

He says he never considered a career in private education, even though he went to an elite all-boys school — St. Albans in Washington, D.C. — from elementary school all the way through 12th grade. And he loved it.


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WRKF
3:42 am
Mon March 17, 2014

First Bell: Resounding Experiences in Education

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 8:54 am

We have all had experiences in education that have shaped our ideas about teaching and learning, that have shaped who we are.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Getting That Settlement Paid Could Take an Act of the Legislature

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:44 am

Each session, lawmakers file appropriations bills, trying to get the state to pay what courts have ruled is owed to plaintiffs.

This session, one of the 26 “Appropriations/Judgment” bills is authored by Crowley Representative Jack Montoucet, on behalf of the Louisiana Probation and Parole Officers Association. The amount due that group is $3,722,315.00.

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Politics
12:43 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman Re-Elected

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman at a press conference last year. Gusman defeated challenger Charles Foti to win re-election as sheriff.
Tom Gogola The Lens

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman has defeated challenger Charles Foti to win re-election.

The race centered on the conditions at the city's jail. The U.S. Justice Department has said the Orleans Parish Prison is a chaotic, dangerous facility that is understaffed.

Gusman says the jail is close to being transformed and he told voters he wanted to see the problems fixed. Foti also vowed to fix the issues.

The sheriff has authority over roughly 2,000 inmates and more than 700 employees.

Latest News
7:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

GNO, Inc. Celebrates Flood Insurance Changes And Overall Economic Outlook

GNO Inc.'s annual review

The annual assessment by the economic development group Greater New Orleans, Inc. comes as one of its priority projects — reforming flood insurance — sailed through the U.S. Senate. The organization is also celebrating what it sees as a glowing economic climate for southeast Louisiana.

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Politics
7:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

New Orleans Voters Will Decide Runoff Elections This Saturday

UNO political science professor Ed Chervenak reviews the runoffs on Saturday's ballot.

Voters in New Orleans are heading to the polls Saturday to decide several citywide offices. Runoffs will decide two council seats, the sheriff, the coroner and a request for funds from the Audubon Nature Institute.

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