Officials say about half of the households in unincorporated East Jefferson participated in the first week of curbside garbage recycling, a significant increase for a service they last had before Hurricane Katrina.
Director Marnie Winter of the Department of Environmental Affairs tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/MUJnkD) the overall rate of households putting out the new green bins Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was 51 percent.
Before Katrina, Winter says an average of about 32 percent of homes participated in curbside recycling.
A former hospital is among 20 blighted properties being auctioned this month in New Orleans.
A city news release says the former River of Life hospital was last appraised at $1.4 million, and the minimum bid is $933,333.33. The city is foreclosing because the owner owes more than $320,000 in taxes and liens.
It will be the only property sold July 12. Fifteen will be auctioned off on July 19, and four on July 26.
Lawyers for a former BP engineer are pressing federal prosecutors to explain how their client impeded a grand jury probe by deleting text messages about the company's response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a court filing Monday, Kurt Mix's attorneys also seek a court order requiring prosecutors to specify which deleted texts form the basis for the obstruction-of-justice charges against him.
Candy Chang, co-founder of the website Neighborland, writes on an art installation in New Orleans in April. As part of a public street art project that later became Neighborland, Chang put nametag-like stickers on empty New Orleans storefronts for residents to write ideas for improving the city.
Credit Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
Jasmine Fournier stands by a window in her home on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. Fournier proposed extending a streetcar line to the city's downtown on Neighborland.
Credit Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
Festival-goers at the Jammin' on Julia street fair in New Orleans interact with Neighborland's art installation on the side of an empty building in the city's arts district in April.
Credit Debbie Elliot / NPR
After Hurricane Katrina, local produce vendor Mr. Okra became the only source of fresh produce in New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood. Residents have posted calls for a local grocery story on Neighborland.
New Orleans became a blank slate after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. And ever since, entrepreneurs have rushed in to experiment with new ideas for building and running a city.
Among them is a startup called Neighborland.com, a social media tool for sharing ideas to make your neighborhood better. After signing in to Neighborland, you can find your neighborhood and post your idea. The posts all start with "I want," and you fill in the rest.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu says a transportation bill that Congress is close to approving includes a provision to steer 80 percent of the fines BP PLC is expected to pay in water pollution penalties stemming from the Gulf oil spill to pay for restoration in five Gulf states.
The Army Corps of Engineers has restarted bidding for a $700 million contract to design and build permanent storm surge closure and pump stations on three canals that end in Lake Pontchartrain. Levees on two of them broke after Hurricane Katrina, letting floodwaters into the city.
The projects represent the final major construction of the post-Katrina levee system.