I-Team: NOPD cars sit unused while some say areas patrolled infrequently – WDSU | Dozens of city police cruisers and SUVs sit in a Kenner parking lot, awaiting repairs. City Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin says that some cars require expensive repairs that the city can’t afford this year. Raymond Burkart III, with the Fraternal Order of Police, links the unused vehicles to reduced police presence on city streets.
Political maneuvering in advance of budget review leaves Arthur Morrell in hot water with judge; he blames PR advisor — The Advocate | This story is a good read. Reporter John Simerman expertly summarizes the permutations in this mini-saga involving a news release from the clerk of court and the budgetary disputes between him and the mayor. The bottom line: Criminal Court Judge Laurie White’s courtroom stayed open Wednesday despite an apparently errant press release stating it would close.
Amnesty International Appeals for Release of Terminally Ill ‘Angola 3′ Prisoner, after 40 Years in Solitary Confinement — Amnesty International USA | The human rights organization has asked Gov. Bobby Jindal to release Herman Wallace on humanitarian grounds. He is terminally ill and has spent the past 40 years in solitary confinement at Angola.
Wallace and fellow prisoner Albert Woodfox … were convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1973, yet no physical evidence links them to the crime – potentially exculpatory DNA evidence has been lost and the testimony of the main eyewitness has been discredited. … Federal judges have overturned Woodfox’s conviction three times, while Wallace’s case is once again up for review before the federal courts.
Government & Politics
Jindal administration draining elderly trust fund — The Advocate | At the end of the current fiscal year, the Jindal administration will have scooped $580 million out of the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly.
Lee Zurik Investigation: Who paid for Dr. Galvan’s boating fun? – FOX 8 WVUE | Receipts point to the possibility that embattled St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan used public funds on doodads for his private boat. In any south Louisiana political scandal, it seems, there’s always a boat in the mix.
US government assessment of BP oil spill ‘will not account for damage’ — Guardian | A new report by the National Research Council is unable to put a price on the environmental damage caused by the 2010 BP oil spill.
Specialists work to kill leaking Gulf well — Fuel Fix | This was technically a blowout due to the temporary loss of well control, but the damage is very small: Only a few barrels of pollutants per day are leaking into the water.
New Orleans already taking steps to use rainwater to help residents, the environment and the city, officials — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
New Orleans already is taking steps to adopt or implement sustainable strategies to deal with the city’s surplus stormwater, including developing rainwater storage areas on abandoned lots and developing new zoning regulations that would require the use of water-holding materials in building new streets, sidewalks and parking lots, a variety of city officials said Wednesday afternoon during the last of five Urban Water Series workshops.
City’s house elevation grant program a case study in opaque governance — The Lens | Is the federal government getting a good deal by spending $11.8 million to elevate 48 houses? We don’t know.
The city declined to provide the current list of properties because an individual homeowner’s participation in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is subject to the federal Privacy Act …
Based on 48 homes in the program, the federal government will spend an average of nearly $250,000 on each house. Most of the fully funded renovations run well over that number — up to $771,000.
Hiring freeze planned for Loyola University – FOX 8 WVUE | The school is dealing with unexpectedly low freshmen enrollment.
John McDonogh High School ought to be called McDollar | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes:
Only 13 freshmen have enrolled [at the school] so far, but CEO Steve Barr says no worries. One hundred students enrolled as freshmen in 2012, but at this point last summer, he said, the number of enrollees was similarly small. Except it wasn’t. According to records, last year at this time there were three times as many freshmen who had signed up to go to the school.
Might this year’s entering class be a third of the size as last year’s?
Bridgeport Superintendent Is Ordered to Step Down – The Wall Street Journal | A judge ruled that former New Orleans Recovery School District superintendent Paul Vallas “must immediately step down” as the superintendent of schools in Bridgeport, Conn.
Mr. Vallas gained fame for running districts in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, but he holds no advanced degree in education. On June 28, Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that he failed to complete a program that had been tailored for him to satisfy state requirements to serve as superintendent.