Three students withdraw from eastern New Orleans charters after protests | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Parents and students are concerned about educational quality and unusually strict discipline policies, which include mandatory handshakes with staff and not straying from hallway guidelines taped to the floor.
Teachers’ union criticizes Hosanna Christian Academy | The Advocate –
Officials of a teachers’ union Tuesday charged that Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge, which is one of Louisiana’s top recipients of state-funded vouchers, unfairly asks prospective employees whether they engage in homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and detailed questions about their faith.
Could the International Baccalaureate Be a Tool for Integrating Students? | New York Times – This New York Times op-ed cites Morris Jeff Community School — a charter in Mid-City— as a positive example of a school that uses its International Baccalaureate programs to attract a diverse student body.
As Landrieu touts success of gang initiative, police look for perjury suspect in Briana Allen murder | The New Orleans Advocate – At a news conference, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, new U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite Jr. and Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro hailed recourse to racketeering indictments against alleged gang members. “Joined by Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, Sheriff Marlin Gusman and others, they issued a stern public warning about a new era for the city in corralling violent criminals.”
Ex-BP engineer involved in Gulf oil spill found guilty of obstruction charge | Associated Press – “A former BP drilling engineer has been convicted of one charge that he deleted text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal probe of the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A jury acquitted him of a second charge.”
Government & Politics
911 board clears way for Landrieu donor to build billboard along I-10 | The Lens – “The board overseeing the Orleans Parish Communication District voted Tuesday to finalize an agreement that lets the city of New Orleans move ahead on a no-bid land lease with billboard advertising firm Marco Outdoor Advertising.” Marco Outdoor Advertising says the city promised the billboard location 10 years ago. This is a follow-up to an earlier Lens story.
Report: Taxpayers not getting fair return from drilling | Houston Chronicle – U.S. royalty and lease rates are among the lowest in the world, and haven’t been substantially updated in decades.
Companies find loophole in state amnesty program | The New Orleans Advocate – Companies return unused tax credits in lieu of cash to settle tax bills with the state.
More massive tar mats from BP oil spill discovered on Louisiana beaches | The Lens – Loaders are lined up along the beaches between Port Fourchon and Elmer’s Island to collect massive tar mats. In the past few weeks, 1.5 million pounds of oily sand and mud have been collected from one spot alone. Experts say remnants of the spill will turn up along the coast for decades.
Study: Dolphins Suffering From Lung Disease Due to Gulf Oil Spill | Wall Street Journal – “The peer-reviewed paper, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, makes the strongest connection to date between the spill and dolphin deaths, which spiked in the Gulf of Mexico after the spill. BP disputes that the report shows any clear link between the spill and dolphin illnesses.”
The Sinkhole That’s Eating Louisiana | Newsweek – A lengthy and at times sensationalized overview of the Assumption Parish sinkhole, which is located in the industrialized, polluted stretch between New Orleans and Baton Rouge known as Cancer Alley.
First recipient of Fresh Food Retail Initiative closes, puts store on market | The Lens – DaFresh Seafood received a $117,000 low-interest loan through the city’s program. The owner says he’ll repay it.
NORA management struggles with more than 30 areas of concern, according to audit | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, the city’s lead agency responsible for eliminating blight and revitalizing troubled neighborhoods, has internal inefficiencies that include an inadequately trained staff, lack of financial oversight, and incomplete, wrong and sometimes non-existent record-keeping, according to a report released by the Legislative Auditor’s office.”