New Orleans schools abate erasures on standardized tests, but plagiarism persists | The Lens – New Orleans schools continue to have a higher rate of plagiarism on standardized tests than the rest of the state. Two factors could be at play: There could be a greater pressure to succeed, and there are more low-scorers in big cities.
3 Louisiana schools get major arts focus in federal Turnaroud Arts program | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Three Louisiana schools, including Homer A. Plessy Community School in New Orleans, were chosen to participate in the federal Turnaround Arts Initiative.
USDA delays whole grains rule for school pastas | Associated Press – Some schools will be granted a delay in implementing a rule requiring more whole grains in school meals. Republicans proposed waivers to the mandate, saying kids refuse to eat many of the new food items.
LSU projections show storm surge swamping entire region by century’s end | The Lens – LSU sees storm surge engulfing Lake Pontchartrain and washing into northern parishes by 2100. The highest rates of sinking afflict communities protected by levees, New Orleans among them.
Louisiana Senate approves amended bill restricting environmental damage ‘legacy lawsuits’ against oil and gas companies, sends to Gov. Jindal for signature | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The Louisiana Senate Tuesday (May 20) approved the House-amended version of legislation restricting so-called “legacy lawsuits” filed against oil and gas companies to get them to clean up oilfield waste pits and restore damaged property or pay damages.
Stirring up forgotten lead: Smelters across US at risk from tornadoes, floods, quakes | Environmental Health News –
It’s impossible to know what natural disasters will do to buried contaminants, [State University of New York medical professor Robert] Kanter said. After hurricanes Rita and Katrina, soil lead levels declined in 63 percent of census tracts in New Orleans. Apparently, floods carried away the contaminants.
But we can’t count on natural disasters always carrying toxics away, Kanter said.
Lower 9th Ward proposition advances | The Advocate — “House Bill 489 would allow the city of New Orleans to donate or sell, at a price that the Legislature might set, abandoned or blighted housing property to residents of the Lower Ninth Ward.”
Rural Studio builds brand new $20,000 houses in Alabama | Slate – A reader sent me this link and suggested that affordable homes pictured in the article could be a “game changer” if put on cheap blighted lots — perhaps in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Battle brewing over short-term rentals, as residents discuss Airbnb | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – At a local meeting property owners seemed eager to push back against the rise in short-term home rentals to tourists.
Big Fees For The Big Easy’s Poorest Defendants | NPR – NPR investigates how poor people in New Orleans are charged to have a public defender in court. Problems in public defense have been outlined in The Lens by chief defender Derwyn Bunton.
Don’t text and walk, NOPD warns | Uptown Messenger – Detectives thanked residents for the use of private surveillance cameras and said that DNA testing was being used to solve a wider array of crimes.
U.S. Supreme Court justice halts planned Missouri execution of Russell Bucklew at 11th hour | CBS News – “A U.S. Supreme Court justice has issued an order suspending the planned execution of a Missouri inmate with a little more than an hour to spare before the inmate’s scheduled lethal injection.”
Zeitoun’s latest arrest made possible by Judge Frank Marullo: Jarvis DeBerry | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Columnist Jarvis DeBerry says Judge Marullo was more concerned with sending a message to prosecutors about the quality of their witnesses than in protecting Kathy Zeitoun from her husband.
Government & Politics
Stephanie Grace: On sex ed, lawmakers choose to abstain | The Advocate
If lawmakers are going to do everything in their power to restrict the availability of abortion services — and Louisiana lawmakers are in the process of doing just that by overwhelmingly backing a bill that purports to protect women but in reality limits their access to a constitutionally protected procedure — the least they can do is confront the problem of unwanted pregnancy on the front end.
Zurik: At $149K a year, what is Walter Reed campaigning for? | FOX 8 WVUE – “The last time St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed faced an opponent, Jim Mora was the Saints’ head coach. But that hasn’t stopped Reed from raising and spending, on average, $149,000 of campaign money every year.”
Louisiana budget woes; Feds keep Jindal in tow? | Bayoubuzz – The second installment in a series of discussions on the legislative session between The Lens’ Tyler Bridges and former government official Jim Brown.