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Special ed funding revamped; horse track in trouble; Mid-City tax district proposed

Where did the Audubon Nature Institute get the money it spent trying to get New Orleans voters to approve a property tax increase on Saturday? How did Audubon spend its money? Who worked for the campaign?

Voters won’t know the answers to these questions until April 24, when Audubon files its first campaign finance report for the ballot proposition with the Louisiana Ethics Administration. That date is 40 days after the March 15 election.

On Saturday, New Orleans voters made Dr. Jeffrey Rouse the city’s first new coroner in a generation. On March 27, Lens reporter Charles Maldonado will interview the coroner-elect at our monthly Breakfast with the Newsmakers event.

Six months after a federal judge granted a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of civil rights violations in the post-Hurricane Katrina shootings on the Danziger Bridge, there has been little progress in the case.

The ruling citing “grotesque” prosecutorial misconduct erased the hard-won jury verdict and sent ripples through the federal courthouse. But the fate of the officers still remains in the hands of appellate judges who have not even begun to evaluate the case.

When you read that the cost of disasters is increasing, it’s tempting to think that it must be because more storms are happening. They’re not. All the apocalyptic “climate porn” in your Facebook feed is solely a function of perception. In reality, the numbers reflect more damage from catastrophes because the world is getting wealthier.

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The new formula has five tiers, ranging from $1,500 to $20,000, and is tied to both diagnosis and the total number of minutes students receive services each week. So schools will receive either $13,000, $15,000 or $20,000 for a student with autism; for students with developmental delay, the extra money will range from $8,000 to $15,000.

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About Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado covers the city of New Orleans and other local government bodies. He previously worked for Gambit, New Orleans’ alternative newsweekly, where he covered city hall, criminal justice and public health. Before moving to New Orleans, he covered state and local government for weekly papers in Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.