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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

Voters go to polls Saturday in Harahan, parts of St. Tammany

Voters in a few parts of the New Orleans metropolitan area will go to the polls Saturday to decide on a handful of candidates and issues. Harahan and parts of St. Tammany Parish are the only areas with elections. In Harahan, voters will decide whether to renew a 5-mill property tax that brings in about… Continue reading →

Senate leaders offer bill to control TOPS costs, with support this time from Taylor Foundation and the Board of Regents

Senator Jack Donahue

Legislation aimed at reining in the costs of TOPS, the state’s popular college tuition-paying program, was filed Friday. But unlike previous years, when similar measures have gone down to defeat, state Sen. Jack Donahue is more optimistic, saying the legislation has the backing of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, which founded the scholarship, and… Continue reading →

U.S. Senate approves mental-health proposal backed by Bill Cassidy

The U.S. Senate has approved a bipartisan proposal to increase access to mental-health treatment that was co-sponsored by Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. The unanimous agreement on the Cassidy-Murphy amendment came during a marathon Thursday might-Friday morning session as the Senate considered a Republican federal budget plan, which passed shortly before dawn Friday. The legislation is not binding, but… Continue reading →

Amoroso and Ourso square off in Saturday runoff for House District 66

On paper, both of the candidates in Saturday’s runoff to represent southeast Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Legislature look similar: conservative Republicans with experience on the Metro Council. Though they come from the same philosophical place, they represent opposing factions: one unyielding and the other, practical. East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso says… Continue reading →

Oil spill money targeted for La. colleges, under proposal

Higher education leaders are eyeing Gulf oil spill recovery money as a possible long-term financing source for Louisiana’s college campuses. The Board of Regents on Wednesday supported a proposal to be sponsored by state Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, that could steer to public colleges some of the money Louisiana is expected to receive from BP to… Continue reading →

LSU's Acacia fraternity booted from campus following university hazing probe

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Both foot and vehicular traffic pass the Acacia Fraternity house on LSU's Campus, Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015. The fraternity has been shuttered -- at least through 2018 -- after the university concluded that it had hazed new members last fall. According to LSU, the university was notified of several allegations against the fraternity, including forced alcohol consumption and physical violence.

LSU’s Acacia fraternity has been shuttered — at least through 2018 — after a university investigation concluded that the group had hazed new members last fall. According to LSU, the university was notified of several allegations against the fraternity, including forced alcohol consumption and physical violence. The university says it confirmed those and other Student Code… Continue reading →

Our Lady of the Lake adds free valet parking for ER patients, visitors

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center announced Thursday it has begun offering free valet parking services to emergency room patients and visitors. The idea is to get ER patients in for treatment faster. “When a patient is distressed and focused on seeking medical care, the last thing they should worry about is finding a… Continue reading →

Voters back tax incentives for business, draw line at credits where Louisiana writes a check, survey says

LSU 2015 Louisiana Survey -- Third Report on Tax Incentives

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series about findings from the 2015 Louisiana Survey. Incentives that attract business but cost the state revenues are at the center of this year’s budget controversies and are generally supported by adults in Louisiana, according to the latest installment of LSU’s 2015 Louisiana Survey. But… Continue reading →

Grover Norquist groups scolded Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2007 over massive, 'unacceptable' bill

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal has gone to a lot of trouble to have an anti-tax group certify that all his dicey plans for next year’s state budget wouldn’t raise taxes. But as a congressman eight years ago, Jindal bucked Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and he was scolded. The Washington, D.C.-based group in Continue reading →

Southern University hosts pep rally for high schoolers

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Southern University Human Jukebox marching band members including mellophone players Lorrell Johnson, left, and Damien Carter,both from New Orleans, blast out one of several songs designed to inspire high school students at a recruiting seminar inside the school's  Student Union Wednesday.

Several hundred high schoolers gathered around Southern University’s Smith-Brown Memorial Union on Wednesday afternoon. A DJ played. Girls danced in sync. The Human Jukebox, Southern University’s famed marching band, even made an appearance. The pep rally had a dual purpose: cap a day of learning about financial aid and money management, and to try to lure students… Continue reading →

Why Jindal administration's attempt to privatize Louisiana's charity hospitals is running into financial trouble

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal talks about his plan for national education reform at a policy breakfast on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. If he runs for president, Jindal is expected to make education a central part of his message with a focus on his opposition to Common Core.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Jindal administration’s experiment in privatizing Louisiana’s charity hospitals is running into some troubled financial waters. The House Appropriations Committee learned Wednesday that $332 million of the funding to keep the hospitals operating at a stand-still level relies on the uncertain legislative approval of some tax law changes. Committee chairman Rep. Jim Fannin said there… Continue reading →

Southern University’s Ronald Mason among 3 finalists for University of the District of Columbia job

Ronald Mason

Southern University System President Ronald Mason has been named a finalist in the search for the University of the District of Columbia’s next president. Mason is slated to be on the UDC campus April 3 for interviews. Two other finalists for the job will interview this week and April 10, according to the university.… Continue reading →

Louisiana lawmaker proposes increasing cigarette tax fourfold to help close massive budget gap

Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa,. (AP Photo/The Baton Rouge Advocate, Adam Lau)

State Rep. Harold Ritchie is proposing a more than fourfold increase in Louisiana’s cigarette tax to help generate dollars to close a $1.6 billion state budget hole. The tax is 36 cents per pack — the third-lowest in the nation. Ritchie has prefiled two bills: One would change the constitution and the other would change a state… Continue reading →

Diversion of transportation funds to total $418 million

Despite a massive backlog of road and bridge projects, the state will have soon diverted $418 million from its key transportation fund to State Police since 2005, officials said Tuesday. Louisiana has a $12.3 billion backlog of transportation work, which state Transportation Secretary Sherri LeBas said will be “almost impossible” to eliminate amid an always… Continue reading →

LSU's Acacia fraternity indefinitely suspended, under investigation for alleged 'behavioral misconduct'

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Aerial view of LSU campus in Baton Rouge, La.

An LSU fraternity is on indefinite suspension amid allegations of “behavioral misconduct.” LSU confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating claims involving the Acacia fraternity but declined to elaborate on the specific nature of those claims. “LSU is in contact and working with the Acacia national office, the alumni and chapter leadership,” LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said.… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal's tax policy gets national attention in Washington Post, called 'a very good idea' in Forbes commentary

. Governor Bobby Jindal's tax rebates solution has some lawmakers and political commentators accusing him of selling out Louisiana's tax policy to Grover Norquist, according to an article on the Washington Post. Meanwhile, Forbes commentator David Brunori praises Jindal’s plan, which he says should be emulated by other states. Refundable tax credits “support activities… Continue reading →

Bill Cassidy, other senators continue calling for 'Obamacare' to go as the ACA begins its 5th year

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Sen. Bill Cassidy speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Louisiana Key Academy, a tuition-free charter school specializing in the education of students with dyslexia, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.

Washington — The Affordable Care Act has not solved the problems of health insurance cost and coverage it was supposed to address, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Monday on the fifth anniversary of the day Democratic President Barack Obama signed the bill into law.

Not only that, the ACA is antithetical to Republican principles, Cassidy said at a news conference… Continue reading →

Experts: Decoding why Gov. Bobby Jindal will wait until June to announce whether he'll run for president

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

At nearly the same time Monday that one high-profile Republican, Ted Cruz, officially announced that he’s running for president in 2016, a close political adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal said the governor won’t declare his own intentions about that race until after the upcoming legislative session ends in June. The difference… Continue reading →

David Vitter holds closed-door meeting on combating corruption

U.S. Sen. David Vitter says Louisiana has a corruption problem — a holdout from the state’s colorful, long-standing culture of political cronyism. “I think it’s a serious problem,” Vitter told reporters Monday. “To change that culture takes a lot of work.” Vitter held a closed-to-the-media “leadership meeting” on the topic with nearly two dozen experts, including… Continue reading →

Louisiana's state Capitol security upgrade costs rise again; will it be ready in time for the upcoming session?

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Construction work continues at the State Capitol on a major security upgrade project as the April 13 start of the 2015 legislative session approaches.

Costs of the State Capitol security upgrade project keep growing — approaching $400,000 more than the original bid. And three weeks before the April 13 start of the 2015 session of the Louisiana Legislature, those unexpected problems have led to construction delays, pushing back the project’s completion closer and closer to when all those legislators arrive.… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal adviser: Governor will wait until June to announce whether he'll run for president

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Surrounded by supporters of the legislation, Gov. Bobby Jindal answers a question after announcing the latest plan to get Common Core out of Louisiana.

Gov. Bobby Jindal will wait until the state legislative session ends in June before announcing whether he'll enter the 2016 presidential race. The Republican governor's chief political adviser, Timmy Teepell, said Monday that Jindal wants to stay focused on the final session of his term before deciding about the White House bid. The legislative session begins April 13. Lawmakers must wrap up… Continue reading →