Government & Politics
Color by numbers: Mapping election turnout and margin of victory across city | The Lens – The Lens’ news technologist Abe Handler does a post-election analysis, looking at turnout and density of candidate support with a series of election night maps.
Audubon Nature Institute won’t disclose finances behind tax campaign until April | The Lens
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.
Live chat Thursday: State Rep. Walt Leger discusses New Orleans legislation | The Lens – Leger will discuss issues before the Legislature this session, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s agenda for the city. Landrieu wants $100 million in state funds for his controversial plan to convert the old Charity Hospital building into a civic complex. He also wants the Legislature to advance a proposed property tax increase to pay for police and fire services.
Dr. Jeffrey Rouse to appear at Breakfast with the Newsmakers | The Lens
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.
Funding of Orleans Parish Prison reform topic of two-day federal court hearing | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The city gave Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman $2 million this year to pay for prison reforms mandated by a sweeping federal consent decree. But Department of Justice officials and inmate advocates think it will cost at least $10 million a year. Both sides will make their case today before a federal judge. NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune is live-blogging the hearing.
DA confirms contraband cellphone probe at prison | The New Orleans Advocate – District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro confirmed a rumor that his office is looking into alleged cell phone smuggling at Orleans Parish Prison. Charges could be filed against inmates and Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputies. “In a case like this, you’re not only looking at the inmates, but you’re potentially looking at some official involvement,” Cannizzaro told The Advocate.
6 months after Danziger Bridge convictions tossed, still no resolution | NOLA.com
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.
‘LaLa’ Lalonde calls Big Oil’s bluff: Ignore threats that they’ll bail on Louisiana | The Lens – Louisianans can expect to hear a lot during this legislative session about how the levee board’s coastal loss lawsuit against the oil and gas industry will drive job creators out of Louisiana. Don’t believe it, says former state Rep. Raymond “LaLa” Lalonde: “As long as there is oil offshore and beneath Louisiana soils, there will be oil-related jobs in Louisiana.”
BP returns to bidding block at federal Gulf of Mexico lease sale | NOLA.com – Newly allowed to bid on federal contracts after the 2010 blowout, deaths and massive oil spill at their Macondo well, BP submits 24 high bids on Gulf oil leases, totaling nearly $42 million.
Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change | FiveThirtyEight
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.
As New Orleans Fair Grounds experiences turf problems and purse cuts, competing tracks sense opportunity | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune continues its special series on the struggles of the New Orleans Fair Grounds racetrack, even as its owner, Churchill Downs, is posting record profits.
Museum City Park Cultural District may expand to include large stretch of Tulane Ave | Mid-City Messenger – The city is proposing a tax exemption district to include a huge chunk of Mid-City. Sales of original works of art would be exempt from sales taxes in the district, and tax credits would be offered for some property owners.
Recovery School District charters to have new special education funding rules | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – In a meeting in New Orleans this week, the state school board unanimously approved a new formula for funding special education students in the RSD, one that officials say will be more fair.
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.
In rural Mississippi, a district copes with Common Core changes | Hechinger Report – The Hechinger Report visits rural Forrest County, Miss., where some students are struggling with new national education standards. Many parents are skeptical of the program.