Orleans Parish sheriff candidates spar over jail conditions, size and funding | The Lens – Sheriff Marlin Gusman said vulnerable inmates are not being placed with violent offenders.
I-Team: Judge demands Orleans sheriff explain release of DA spokesman | WDSU Home – District Attorney Chris Bowman was thrown in Orleans Parish Prison on a charge of contempt of court, and ordered to spend 24 hours in jail. However records show that he was released before a full day had elapsed.
Family plans lawsuit after Ohio killer’s execution takes almost 25 minutes | Associated Press – A killer struggled to breathe and “made loud snorting noises” during an execution that lasted 25 minutes. The state of Ohio used a new combination of drugs to kill Dennis McGuire because “supplies of a previously used drug, the powerful sedative pentobarbital, dried up because the manufacturer declared it off limits for capital punishment.”
The Lens has reported on a parallel situation in Louisiana, where a death row inmate is scheduled to be executed in February. It is unclear whether the state has the necessary drug, or if the state will have to experiment with a new combination of lethal drugs.
Government & Politics
Live chat: Share reactions, discuss our story on Landrieu’s political tactics | The Lens – Talk with The Lens’ Tyler Bridges at 1:30 p.m. Friday, about his story on allegations that Mayor Mitch Landrieu has retaliated against his political enemies.
City employees solicit Landrieu endorsements from neighborhood leaders | The Lens – A spokesman for the mayor says they were working on their own time.
City Council to go back to drawing board on issue of music volume | The New Orleans Advocate
Councilwomen Stacy Head and Kristin Gisleson Palmer issued a statement citing “much public consternation over the perceived intent and impact of the ordinance, and fear that the hard work and recommendations of the many constituency groups … were not followed.”
To allay those fears, they said they will withdraw the proposed ordinance and work on a new one focusing only on sections of the French Quarter zoned for entertainment, such as Bourbon Street. They said the first draft of that measure will be ready for discussion Jan. 27.
Orleans Parish GOP would rather endorse Democrats than a gay Republican | CenLamar – At his blog, Lamar White is disappointed that a local Republican body withheld its endorsement from the only Republican in the City Council race.
If Drew Ward, a military veteran, non-profit leader, and candidate for New Orleans Council District A, is to make history as the first openly gay Republican elected to public office in the American South, it will be without the support and endorsement of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee.
Legendary 7th Ward grocery, closed since Katrina, to reopen Friday | The New Orleans Advocate – The neighborhood insisted that the iconic location remain a supermarket after it was flooded in 2005.
Design of Louis Armstrong Airport’s proposed new, modern terminal unveiled | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Mayor Mitch Landrieu believes the city can actualize a “reimagined” airport in time for the tricentennial anniversary in 2018.
Slideshow: Five inspirational shipping container homes | Dwell – New Orleans is a port city that handles thousands of shipping containers. Residents are already used to long narrow shotgun houses… Would re-fitted shipping containers be an easy, mobile option for some of our empty lots? (Via curbed.nola.com)
John McDonogh High School to close at end of the school year | The Lens – Students will get priority in choosing other schools. It’s not clear if Future Is Now will run the school when it reopens.
Independent auditor expresses confidence in Orleans Parish School Board finances | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Dawn Laborie, vice president of audit and assurance for LaPorte, told the board’s finance committee that her analysts have “a sense that the policies and procedures are being improved as best as they can. That gives us a sense of peace.”
Delay in flood insurance premium increases finally passed | The Advocate
The U.S. Senate gave final approval Thursday to an omnibus federal budget bill that also would delay flood insurance rate hikes until 2015 for some Louisiana homeowners. The legislation will head to the desk of President Barack Obama, who already has announced his support.
Plaquemines air testing finds potential health concerns near coal terminals | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A coalition of environmental groups claims that tests that show elevated levels of particulates in the air should concern some residents, and that planned coal terminals in the area should be shelved.