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Politics
12:26 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Vitter's New Clout Could Bring Changes to Army Corps

The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for many flood control projects around the state - like the Morganza floodway.
Credit US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets Thursday to discuss reforms to the Army Corps of Engineers.

One of Louisiana’s senators, David Vitter, now sits as the ranking minority member of the committee.

Vitter saif the Corps has a history of putting projects on the back burner because of cost and bureaucratic entanglements.

“Important projects take twenty years or more, deadlines are almost never met,” Vitter said. “It’s just one paper shuffle after another.”

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Politics
9:36 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Tobacco Tax Could Nearly Close Budget Gap

Credit Geierunite / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax reform proposals may include raising the tobacco excise tax. Health officials have suggested raising the tax by a dollar per pack. A study shows raising the tax by that much would raise $223 million a year – that’s almost enough to have closed this year’s $240 million budget gap. 

Jindal has said his tax reforms would be revenue neutral, replacing the income tax with higher sales tax.

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Super Bowl 2013
3:42 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

BR Gets Tourism Bump From Super Bowl Spill-Over

Baton Rouge promoted its accommodations to Super Bowl fans.
Credit Visit Baton Rouge

Preliminary data from the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation shows Super Bowl XLVII brought an estimated 150,000 visitors to New Orleans, and is expected to rake in an estimated $432 million for the city’s economy.

Just about 80 miles up the road here in the capital city, tourism spill-over from the Super Bowl-boom gave Baton Rouge a bit of an economic bump as well.

Visit Baton Rouge President and CEO Paul Arrigo says Baton Rouge started planning for Super Bowl 2013 in 2009, when New Orleans was initially chosen for the site.

This audio is pending

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LSU Football
4:55 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Winning Coach of the Tigers Gets Raise

LSU football coach Les Miles has been with the Tigers since 2005, and hasn't gotten a raise since 2007.
Credit Louisiana State University

 

LSU's governing board has approved a $549,000 annual pay raise for football coach Les Miles.

The change has bumped Miles' salary to $4.3 million a year and extended his contract through the 2019 season.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Black Justice Sworn in as Supreme Court Chief

Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson
Credit Louisiana Supreme Court

Her honor Bernette J. Johnson was sworn in as Louisiana's first African American chief justice Friday morning. Johnson was only able to take her seat after two civil rights lawsuits.

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Education
10:04 am
Fri February 1, 2013

LSU Supervisors' 'Disregard' Garners National Attention

The rules of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the organization that issues LSU's accreditation, mandate that "the governing board is free from undue influence from political... bodies."
Credit K. K. Murray

A report  in the Chronicle of Higher Education detailed a letter received by LSU’s Board of Supervisors. A national organization that monitors academic freedom at colleges and universities shook their finger at what they called the mistreatment of faculty at LSU.


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Brain Drain
6:48 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Student Surveys Reveal More LSU Grads Staying In State

Director of LSU Career Services Mary Feduccia says according to her office, more LSU graduates are staying in Louisiana.
Credit WRKF

At the start of the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit in November, keynote speaker Mitchell J. Silver – who works for the Department of City Planning in Raleigh, North Carolina – gave his audience some constructive criticism:

“Baton Rouge, you’re not keeping your young people. They're leaving," said Silver.


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Politics
4:30 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

First Bills Take Up Gun Regulations

State legislators are likely to consider gun regulation next session - but a recent constitutional amendment might hamper lawmaking.
Credit Alex C. Balla

Legislators have begun filing their bills for the upcoming session. The first three take up gun regulation.

 Because this is an odd-numbered year, legislators will concentrate on tax and appropriation bills. But each legislator is allowed to file five bills on other topics. Gun regulation is likely to be a recurring theme. 

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Medicaid
12:44 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Medicaid Cuts Take Effect Friday

Nearly $52 million in state cuts to Medicaid services go into effect Friday, Feb. 1. The reductions are part of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals’ response to a mid-year shortfall in Louisiana’s general fund.

The cuts include the elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women and a healthy parenting program for first-time mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, the rate paid to hospitals and physicians for non-primary care services through Medicaid will be dropped by 1 percent.

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LSU Hospitals
5:24 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Local Partnerships Key To LSU Hospital Privatization

As privatization moves forward, the LSU hospital system is focused on partnering with health care providers already operating in the communities where LSU facilities are.

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