Bermuda grass is a cheap way to resist erosion — but it may not be enough | The Lens – One alternative to “armoring” levees with bermuda grass is to install porous mats that hold soils in place while allowing grass to grow — at an added cost of more than $350 million. Layering the whole system with concrete is another costly option.
Insurer claims Texas Brine ignored warnings | The Advocate
Texas Brine ignored warnings from its own people and others for nearly 15 years that disaster loomed if the company continued mining a troubled Assumption Parish salt-dome cavern, which created a massive sinkhole after collapsing in 2012, according to one of its insurers.
Louisiana, China team up on improving wetlands | The Daily Reveille – The LSU AgCenter will exchange research data with scientists who are studying wetlands loss in China. (Via Restore the Mississippi Delta)
Four Common Core Questions | LaPolitics – A fine roundup of links, quotes and political analysis surrounding the implementation of — and reaction to — Common Core standards in Louisiana.
More rigorous GED test rolls out in January | Associated Press – “Americans who passed part, but not all, of the GED test are rushing to finish the high school equivalency exam before a new version rolls out in January and their previous scores are wiped out. About 1 million people could be affected.”
ReNEW pays Recovery School District $196,000 for school meals | The Lens – The federal government would’ve paid most of the meal costs if ReNEW had been able to meet reimbursement deadlines.
Judge Julian Parker orders financial bonds for all defendants in his court | The Lens – Even arrestees rated as low-risk must go to a bail bondsman or post bail themselves.
Financial separation of New Orleans’ civil, criminal courts must end | The Lens – Retired Judge Calvin Johnson says it’s time to deal with financing of the courts while city leaders discuss Charity Hospital and a new courthouse. Johnson served 17 years on the Criminal District Court bench and is the chairman of The Lens’ board of directors.
La. Supreme Court: Juvenile killers not eligible for new sentences | The New Orleans Advocate – The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that a nationwide ban on juvenile convicts locked up for life without parole does not apply retroactively, and they will not be re-sentenced.
Government & Politics
Louisiana Purchased | FOX 8 WVUE – Fox 8 WVUE teamed up with NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune to examine how campaign donors legally route big money into the campaign war chests of Louisiana politicians. After sifting through a mountain of finance data, the two news outlets found that the top 400 political donors account for nearly a third of all campaign money raised by politicians in Louisiana.
Landmarks budget down, SPCA up as City Council haggles over 2014 spending | The Lens – Contending the city’s incarceration rate is too high, Councilmember James Gray has begun quantifying budget requests in terms of the annual cost of housing an inmate: $18,000.
Fitch downgrades state’s bond rating outlook to ‘negative’ | The Clarion-Ledger
Fitch Ratings on Tuesday downgraded Mississippi’s bond rating outlook from “stable” to “negative,” saying lawmakers have relied too much on “one-time” money for recurring expenses and continue to raid the state’s rainy day fund to balance the budget.
The Lens’ Tyler Bridges reported on disputes between the Louisiana Legislature and the Jindal administration over “one-time money” during the budget battles this spring.
As more people are killed in South Claiborne traffic, residents get angrier | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Residents said problems on that stretch of Claiborne, where the neutral ground is a traditional spot for the community to congregate and socialize, are compounded by a lack of speed controls. “It’s like an interstate,” one woman said. “People would get hit, but not killed, if drivers weren’t going 45 miles an hour.” One man laughed: “Just 45?”