Hurricane Isaac

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph says contractor IESI/SWDI will work through the weekend to collect garbage.

Crews have been attempting to resume normal collection routes but have had difficulty with the high volume of garbage in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, she said.

Additional trucks are being brought in and normal garbage pickup routes are expected to resume on Monday.

State health officials are reopening some of the oyster beds closed as a precaution before Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says oyster harvesting areas 19, 21 and 23, which are located in coastal areas of Terrebonne Parish, will reopen half an hour before sunrise on Saturday.

Oyster harvesting areas 1-28 were closed on Aug. 28. Last week, the state reopened areas 26, 27 and 28, which are located along the coastal areas of Vermillion and St. Mary parishes.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reopening three wildlife management areas that were closed in advance of Hurricane Isaac's landfall.

Officials say Joyce, Manchac and a portion of Pearl River will reopen Saturday. Due to flood water preventing full site access, only that part of Pearl River WMA south of I-10 will be opened, until further notice.

Additionally, the Swamp Walk on Joyce WMA will remain closed until further notice.

Cox Enterprises and the James M. Cox Foundation say they will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help in relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Cox Enterprises' cable television subsidiary, Cox Communications, is a major provider of service in south Louisiana.

FEMA has added Iberville and St. Mary parishes to the list of Louisiana parishes approved for individual assistance grants after Hurricane Isaac.

State emergency officials announced the addition Friday.

Eighteen parishes are now included in the program that allows residents and business owners to apply for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and to cover uninsured property losses from the storm. More than 10,000 people have been approved for $23 million in aid so far, according to FEMA.

Although Hurricane Isaac blew out electricity for the entire New Orleans metro area, do we collectively understand what it means to be powerless? For too many residents, neither Isaac nor Entergy will prevent electricity from returning; powerlessness will. The silver lining to our temporary blackout should be that it illuminated our awareness to the day-to-day conditions of the poor in New Orleans. 

The Louisiana governor's top coastal adviser says a dead whale has been reported washed ashore on Fourchon beach.

Garrett Graves said Friday the state was sending workers to examine the whale, which washed up southwest of New Orleans.

The size and species of the whale was not yet known. Graves said the whale was found in an area where tar balls and mats of weathered oil have been washing ashore from waters churned by Hurricane Isaac, resulting in the closure of a small portion of coastal waters to commercial fishing.

Weather forecasters are reducing the likelihood that a tropical weather system will develop from a remnant of Hurricane Isaac that drifted south and into the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service on Friday reduced the probability of development to 20 percent. It had been 40 percent on Thursday.

The area of low pressure was described by forecasters as a small part of the Isaac circulation system that dissipated over Ohio. Earlier this week, a weather service meteorologist dubbed it the "spawn of Isaac."

Amtrak says the City of New Orleans passenger train will pull into its namesake city on Monday — the first time since Aug. 27, when service was suspended because of Hurricane Isaac.

It says daily service from Chicago will start and end in Memphis through Sunday. trains will start and end in New Orleans on Monday, when service on the route in Mississippi also will resume.

Passengers who already had bought tickets for the suspended trains can get a refund or a voucher for future travel.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that Louisiana had a big increase in food stamp use even before Hurricane Isaac and approval of emergency food stamps.

The Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana tied North Carolina for the nation's biggest increase in food stamp use between May and June, at 1.3 percent.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Children and Families said last month that the growth of the food stamp program in Louisiana has been only about half the national increase. Between May and June, the national increase was 0.4 percent.