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Culture
6:35 am
Tue May 20, 2014

The Crawfish Festival: Sights, Sounds and History

Claws up!
Ann Marie Awad WRKF News

Festival season is winding down but crawfish season is still going strong. A few weeks ago, I decided to take a trip to Breaux Bridge for the world famous Breaux Bridge crawfish festival. And who better to show a Yankee girl around than Sam Irwin, a freelance writer who just put out a book all about crawfish. It’s called Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

The 54-Million-Dollar Question: FY 2015

Louisiana Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield urges Revenue Estimating Conference to keep questioned income in forecast.
Credit Sue Lincoln

The Revenue Estimating Conference, the state’s official income predictors, met Monday afternoon to adopt new revenue projections for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

LSU economist Dr. Jim Richardson had immediate concerns about the Jindal administration’s numbers, which included $54-million extra in anticipated tax collections.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

20/20 Hindsight: Dedicating State Funding Streams

 “I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about this,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Jack Donahue said, regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to help Higher Ed.

The House-approved measure that would have dedicated state funding for colleges and universities was shot down in Donahue’s committee late last week. Donahue, who also serves on the Senate Education Committee, said he supported the concept but was reluctant to lock up any more state dollars.

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Business
5:45 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Insight: Baton Rouge 'Beyond Shovel Ready'

The Baton Rouge Profile from the Brookings Institution report, Beyond Shovel Ready.

 

The Brookings Institution's latest analysis of metro economic data, "The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure jobs," focuses on infrastructure employment for the first time.

The Baton Rouge area is ranked 15th nationally for the share of overall employment made up by infrastructure jobs. 


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Rules for Environmental Damage Suits Advance

They’re called “legacy lawsuits”—when property owners sue oil and gas companies for environmental damage done in decades past. Thursday, Louisiana’s House spent hours hearing—and ultimately approving—two bills dealing with legacy lawsuits.

“When we get to court, we know there’s an issue,” explained Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, while introducing his bill, which would let parties on either side ask the Department of Natural Resources to come up with a remediation plan for the polluted or otherwise damaged property.

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Politics
3:04 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Metro Council Approves Annexations that May Stymie St. George Effort

Members of the group Better Together, which advocated in favor of the annexations, fill the front row of the Metro Council chamber, May 15, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

 

The Baton Rouge Metro Council has approved the annexation of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge General Hospital, and the Mall of Louisiana. 


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Louisiana Senate Approves House Abortion-Restriction Bill

 With a 34 to 3 vote, the full Senate has approved HB 388, requiring doctors who perform any abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

“There are parts of the state where there is no hospital within 30 miles, period,” protested New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell. “That would make it impossible for there to be procedures done in rural areas.”

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings and Messages About Sex Education

Louisiana’s full House approved “Erin’s Law” on Monday. Approved in 20 other states, it requires schools to teach kids what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There was no debate, and the votes for passage were unanimous.

Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearing a bill to require schools to teach comprehensive sex education. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith is the author, and she made reference to the previous day’s approval of “Erin’s Law”.

“It came out of this committee; passed the House floor. My question to you is, how can you teach sexual assault without talking about sexual education?” Smith queried her fellow committee members.

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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Effort to Elevate TOPS Standards Ends

“It it’s not broken, let’s don’t try to fix it,” Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi summed up the sentiment of a majority of the Senate regarding TOPS.

TOPS isn’t broken, but many lawmakers see curbing the cost of the college scholarship program as part of the fix for the state budget. A measure that would have saved an estimated $24-million per year, by raising the standards for TOPS was argued on the Senate floor Monday.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Drive to Get St. George Petition Signers to Remove Their Names

A campaign to incorporate a new city in the southeastern part of East Baton Rouge Parish is aiming to collect 18,000 signatures by July 23 to get the issue on the November ballot.

Monday, opponents with the group Better Together, announced a drive to get some of the thousands who have already signed on to remove their names.

Lionel Rainey, spokesman for the incorporation effort called the withdrawal campaign the latest in a series of tactics to maintain the status quo.

“I guess they think these people are too stupid to understand what they are doing," Rainey said.

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