The West Feliciana Parish Police Jury has voted to give its attorney the authority to settle lawsuits related to Hurricane Gustav debris removal.

Phillips and Jordan Inc., a firm the jury chose to pick up and dispose of storm debris after the 2008 hurricane, filed suit in 2010 after being paid only a little more than half of the $4.12 million the company said it is owed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency refused in 2009 to reimburse the parish for leaning trees and broken or partially broken limbs hanging over public rights of way that threatened public safety.

Eileen Fleming

New Orleans officials kicked off a renovation project to return the St. Roch Market into commerce. The historic building is considered an essential anchor to improve the neighborhood.

Livingston Parish will hire a lawyer to defend a $53 million lawsuit against the parish over the costs of cleaning up after Hurricane Gustav.

The Advocate reports International Equipment Distributors Inc., the parish's main contractor in the 2008 cleanup, filed suit last year claiming Livingston had paid only "a small fraction of the money it owes IED."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to pay the parish for most cleanup costs, and the parish is in the process of making a final appeal to FEMA for payment of a portion of the bills submitted by IED.

A deal has been reached to resolve nearly all of the remaining court claims from allegations that government-issued trailers exposed Gulf Coast residents to hazardous fumes after Hurricane Katrina.

Lead plaintiffs' attorney Gerald Meunier told The Associated Press on Monday that a class-action settlement agreement has been expanded to include several companies that manufactured, installed or refurbished FEMA trailers after the 2005 storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing another $9.2 million to help southeast Louisiana recover from Hurricane Katrina.

St. Bernard Parish is getting back $1.4 million spent to demolish and remove thousands of houses that couldn't be repaired after the 2005 storm.

The largest grants are $3.3 million to repair flood and wind damage at Brown Hall on the Southern University at New Orleans campus, and nearly $3 million for a crane rail extension at the Port of New Orleans.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has come up with $103,000 to help replace contents of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Following the 2005 storm, the basement of the courthouse flooded, destroying the contents of court offices, including the Judicial Administration Office which handles administrative functions required for the court to operate.

FEMA announced on Monday that the contents to be replaced include computer equipment and two-way radios, as well as drug testing equipment.

Tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents may be getting relief from debt they thought they owed the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sorting through rules Congress recently approved.

FEMA sent out 83,000 letters this year to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms. They were told they may have gotten too much federal money. FEMA says it may have made the wrong calculations, but the law requires it try to recoup the funds it paid by mistake.