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Politics
5:34 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Vitter Slings Mud After Katrina Belittled

Even days after Katrina passed, parts of New Orleans and surrounding areas were still underwater.
Credit Lieutenant Commander Mark Moran / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Senator David Vitter made his opinion of Senator Harry Reid clear this morning via twitter. "Sadly," Vitter wrote, "Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."

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Deepwater Horizon
4:17 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Transocean's Battle in Gulf Oil Spill Case Concludes

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April, 20, 2010.
Credit U.S. Coast Guard

The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.

About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.

BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.

The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.

Carrie Johnson, NPR’s Justice Correspondent, has been following this case from the beginning.

WRKF's Amy Jeffries speaks with NPR's Carrie Johnson about the Transocean settlement.

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School Safety
4:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Jindal Orders School Safety Review

Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for a state officials to look at safety measures at Louisiana public and private schools, from pre-K through college.

The governor issued the executive order Friday in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last month.

On the day of that shooting, State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, said his department immediately started talking about making sure they would be able to respond if something similar happened here.

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Consolidation Campaign
1:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In Vegas, Merger Led to More Efficient Law Enforcement

The Fight Not Fear campaign is pushing for consolidated law enforcement in Baton Rouge.
Credit Fight Not Fear

Ads by Fight Not Fear, the campaign to consolidate law enforcement in Baton Rouge, were on heavy rotation during the weeks leading up to the November election for mayor-president and metro council members.

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Politics
5:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Laws Impact Voting, Sex Offenders, School Vouchers

One of the state laws going into effect Jan. 1 provides tax rebates for donations to organizations that will pay private and parochial school tuition for students from low and moderate-income families wanting to escape under-performing public schools. The rebates come into play barely a month after a state judge ruled a similar voucher program couldn’t be paid for through the formula for funding public schools.

Louisianians will also be able to check boxes on their tax forms to designate resources to fighting fraud in the state’s food stamp program.

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Business
12:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Chemical Company Declares Force Majeure After Facility Fire

Surface coating and specialty products giant PPG Industries declared a force majeure Thursday for vinyl chloride monomer made at its Lake Charles facility.

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Economic Development
1:11 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Shaw Group Shareholders Approve Sale To CB&I

Shareholders of the construction and engineering company The Shaw Group voted Friday to sell the company to Netherlands-based infrastructure giant CB&I.

Baton Rouge’s only Fortune 500 Company said in a statement that 99-percent of its shareholders voted in favor of the deal worth a little over $3-billion-dollars.

Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO Adam Knapp said CB&I sees Baton Rouge as a center for engineering talent.

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School Shooting
12:54 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Bells Ring for Sandy Hook

Bells chimed at St. James Episcopal Church for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Dec. 21, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

In Louisiana and across the country church bells were rung at 9:30 a.m. this morning in memory of the women and children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT a week ago.

Without fanfare, the bell at St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Baton Rouge chime 26 times, once for each victim of the shooting at the school.

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LSU Hospitals
7:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Medical Students Weigh In On Changes To LSU Charity Hospitals

(L to R) Third-year LSU medical students Matt Landrum and Dan Logsdon with fourth-year medical student, Clark Alsfeld.
Credit WRKF

When the federal government reduced its funding of Medicaid in Louisiana, the LSU charity hospital system took the brunt of the $152 million in cuts. LSU’s medical students, for whom the charity hospitals are a training ground, have been caught in the tumult.

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Environment
3:07 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

EPA Notes Safety, Maintenance Issues at Exxon Refinery

ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery.
Credit Frank McMains

EPA inspectors made a surprise visit in July to ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery.


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