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GOP candidates attack opponent in 6th District race

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy in the Baton Rouge-based 6th Congressional District met Thursday in a final scheduled forum sponsored by Leaders With Vision.

In the final scheduled forum for the 6th District congressional race Thursday, Republican candidates turned on Garret Graves, who has raised the most money, sharply questioning him about who contributed to his campaign and how his father’s firm won government contracts while he was a member of the Jindal administration. Paul Dietzel, of Baton Rouge, first… Continue reading →

Crawfish processors to get compensation for Chinese dumping

— Louisiana crawfish processors will collect nearly $20 million from the federal government under an agreement announced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., that compensates the industry for illegal market “dumping” by Chinese importers. “When I think of Louisiana, I think of crawfish and seafood,” Landrieu said. She described the efforts to extract… Continue reading →

New Orleans-area man being monitored for Ebola

In this Oct. 12, 2014, file photo, Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a news conference in Atlanta. People who shared an apartment with the country's first Ebola patient are emerging from quarantine healthy. And while Thomas Eric Duncan died and two U.S. nurses were infected caring for him, there are successes, too: A nurse infected in Spain has recovered, as have four American aid workers infected in West Africa. Even there, not everyone dies. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

State health officials are monitoring a New Orleans area man for signs of the deadly Ebola virus, a Department of Health and Hospitals spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. Continue reading →

OMV offices testing days for seniors only

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is testing a program that could help seniors renew their driver’s licenses and register vehicles without the long wait times they may currently face. “Senior Day” will be tested at select locations throughout the state, one Saturday a month beginning next month, as a time for only Louisianans older than… Continue reading →

Join a live chat now with Michelle Singletary

Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary is holding a live chat at 11 a.m. March 27 with with Crystal Paine, author of 'Say Goodbye to Survival Mode' and operator of

Syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary is hosting an online chat at 11 a.m. today with Robert Maurer, a clinical psychologist at UCLA and author of the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.” They will be talking about how small steps can be used to accomplish large goals, including tackling debt. Continue reading →

Pro-Family political rally set

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins is hosting a “Stand for the Family” political rally Saturday in Pride. Featured speakers include Perkins, U.S. Senate candidate retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness, 6th Congressional District candidate Lenar Whitney and 5th Congressional District candidate Zach Dasher — all Republicans — as well as FRC Action executive… Continue reading →

Louisiana colleges ask Legislature for less money than they want

Louisiana’s colleges and universities will ask for about $504 million from the state in next year’s budget — well below what leaders say the higher education institutions should be getting from the state’s coffers, but a slight increase from this year’s funding. On Wednesday, the state Board of Regents agreed to a preliminary budget request for fiscal… Continue reading →

John Lewis leads students to early vote

Advocate photo by MARK BALLARD -- U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., met Wednesday with Southern University students and recalled his days as a civil rights leader.

Civil rights icon John Lewis rallied Southern University students Wednesday, then led about 50 of them to an early vote. Lewis, the last living member of the civil rights era’s big six, described for about 250 Southern students such events as the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery to campaign for voting rights. Lewis and others were… Continue reading →

Louisiana public school teachers improve in job reviews, but superintendent of education notices issue with evaluations

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- State Superintendent of Education John White

Amid less rigorous reviews, public school teachers showed gains Wednesday in their annual job evaluations. A total of 43 percent of teachers landed the top rating — “highly effective” — compared to 32 percent last year. State Superintendent of Education John White, who spelled out the results, said there were other signs… Continue reading →

Mary Landrieu looks to seniors in tight race

Facing a tight re-election bid, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is ramping up efforts to court seniors, hoping older voters will help push her over the edge to win a fourth term. Landrieu on Tuesday made several stops across the state to tout an endorsement from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a Washington-based… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal: Only office I’d seek is presidency

Associated Press photo by JUSTIN HAYWORTH -- Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition fall fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, in September

Gov. Bobby Jindal would not respond Tuesday to the flurry of GOP congressional candidates grading his governorship, often with below-average marks, repeating what he called his accomplishments and saying the only accurate grade was “incomplete.” Jindal also told a news conference that he was not interested in any other future office but president of the United States.… Continue reading →

Secretary of State Tom Schedler eyes voter turnout

Louisiana election turnout could be low for Nov. 4 statewide balloting based on historical data, Secretary of State Tom Schedler said Tuesday. Schedler said past history in recent federal elections indicates a potential 45 to 50 percent voter participation rate. “I hope I’m wrong,” Schedler said. “This election should draw 70 percent because of the magnitude… Continue reading →

State: 28% of schools get D or F

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White is shown speaking in the cafeteria of the W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center in Lafayette on Oct. 6, 2014. White was visiting schools around Lafayette Parish as part of his Louisiana Believes tour.

Shielded from any nosedives, public school letter grades were largely unchanged for the 2013-14 school year, with 28 percent of schools receiving a D or F, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday. However, state Superintendent of Education John White said schools will have to show improvements to meet higher expectations starting with the 2015-16 school year.… Continue reading →

Jindal orders Ebola policy

Associated Press file photo by Molly Riley -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered Monday state agencies to develop policies covering travel to Ebola stricken countries by their employees, students and faculty. The executive order covers those who travel as a result of educational trips or work-related missions to countries identified by the federal Centers for Disease Control as having an epidemic of the deadly virus,… Continue reading →

Dan Claitor’s parents involved in car crash

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- From left, as mom Nancy Claitor and son Sam Claitor watch, Dan Claitor, right, signs in to qualify to run for office at the Secretary of State's office.

State Sen. Dan Claitor’s parents remained hospitalized Monday after an automobile wreck on Airline Highway near Siegen Lane. Nancy Claitor, 80, and Robert Claitor, 88, were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center after the collision on Saturday, State Police Troop A spokesman Jared Sandifer said Monday. Nancy Claitor was in serious condition and… Continue reading →

Rape victim billing fix proposed

Rape victims won’t get bills from hospitals for exams and tests under a plan unveiled Monday by the state health agency. But the plan requires a change in state law and in some agency regulations, both of which will take months to accomplish, so victims still could receive the bills in the meantime. Legislators… Continue reading →

U.S. Senate campaigns in Louisiana relying on social media to deliver messages

While the leading candidates in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race debated on a stage in Shreveport and on TVs throughout the state last week, their Twitter feeds battled it out online. “Senator Landrieu is clearly desperate. My bill in the state Senate was voluntary and market-based, unlike #Obamacare,” Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy’s campaign blasted out about… Continue reading →

Magazine notes Jindal comments on Ebola

Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s incursion in the world of Ebola politics brought him some ink in the latest edition of The New Yorker magazine. The article, by Michael Specter, is titled “The Fear Equation” and Jindal is the example used for fueling public fears. “Actually, all it takes to discombobulate a… Continue reading →

LSU gets OK for self-insurance

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The LSU Campanile.

LSU’s Baton Rouge campus on Friday became the first state college given approval to leave the state-run insurance program and buy its own coverage. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget gave the go-ahead for the pilot program, which LSU executives said would cut costs and allow purchase of insurance coverage suited to university needs. LSU… Continue reading →