Fair Grounds supporters say track facing hard times | The New Orleans Advocate – Horse racing enthusiasts in New Orleans claim Churchill Downs Inc. is not maintaining and investing in the track and facilities it owns at the historic Fair Grounds. In the last week, NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune has published a series of stories, called “Fair Grounds Off Track,” examining these issues.
Lafitte Greenway project gets underway after years of planning – Video | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Video report of the groundbreaking on the $9.1 million multi-use, linear trail that will connect neighborhoods from the French Quarter to Mid-City.
Festival season brings increase in illegal rentals | FOX 8 WVUE – Airbnb and Craigslist connect tourists with unlicensed, short-term rentals. The hospitality industry cries foul and says the city loses $1.4 million each year in taxes and fees.
Government & Politics
Advocate looking for legislative help to compete for Orleans, Jefferson legal ads | The Lens – John Georges, who owns The Advocate, hopes lawmakers will modify current law that requires publications to have a five-year track record before seeking contracts to publish government notices.
Bill to criminalize some payday lending practices | The Advocate – The legislation aims to make the state’s laws against loansharking apply to payday loans with exorbitant interest rates. The Louisiana Budget Project highlighted a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that showed most payday loan customers become trapped in a cycle of high-interest debt that takes years to pay off.
Fed study: Big banks enjoy ‘too big to fail’ perks | The Hill
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) have long pushed to subject the biggest banks to additional restrictions due to their size, or breaking them up into smaller pieces.
On Tuesday, Brown called the New York Fed’s work [a collection of 11 studies] a confirmation of their message.
And Vitter said it was noteworthy that they came from the New York Fed, long seen as close to the industry.
Education bills top agenda Wednesday | The Advocate – Backers of a bill by John Schroder, R-Covington, worry that new Common Core tests will require, according to the article, “invasive requests for student information in tests tied to Common Core.” Superintendent John White says the state Department of Education must have access to student information to compare test scores; higher-ed leaders say data access is necessary for students to be eligible for federal scholarships.
Are state takeovers fixing Mississippi’s failing districts? | Hechinger Report – Six years after state takeover, the Hazlehurst City school district has shown academic improvement and will return to local control.
Plaquemines residents alarmed as levee project sits unfinished | WWL-TV – Officials haven’t explained why levee construction at Braithwaite was suspended three months before hurricane season starts. “Braithwaite is now more vulnerable to flooding than before the work started.”
Ship Operator in Texas Spill on Probation for ‘Magic Pipe’ Pollution Case | Bloomberg – A “Magic Pipe” is when an unmonitored outlet is used to illegally discharge pollutants into the water in order to to evade reporting requirements. The operator of the bulk carrier that spilled fuel into the Houston Ship Channel over the weekend was on probation for a “Magic Pipe” incident in 2011.
Supreme Court appears split on latest challenge to La. gun laws | The New Orleans Advocate – A man who would normally face a fine and probation may get five years in prison because he was legally carrying a firearm when arrested for pot possession. The judges seem split on the issue.
Your Smartphone Is A Crucial Police Tool, If They Can Crack It: All Tech Considered | NPR – Courts have yet to settle the issue of whether arrested citizens must give up their smartphone passwords upon police request.
Jeffrey Ferguson makes funny faces before Missouri executes him for rape, murder of girl, 17 | Associated Press – Ferguson was executed with pentobarbital, but the state of Missouri won’t reveal which compounding pharmacy supplied the drug. The controversy is similar to the one in Louisiana, where death row inmates want to know where and how their lethal injection drugs have been procured.