Government & Politics
New details on feds’ probe of DHH chief – FOX 8 WVUE | Fox 8 reporter Rob Masson has video testimony showing state Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein’s reluctance in 2011 to “divulge that his former company had already landed [a] $300 million contract.” Last week, the state cancelled the contract after news broke about a federal investigation into the matter. A commentary by Jim Beam summarizes why the contract seemed like a lowball deal from the beginning and traces attempts to increase its value by nearly $50 million after it was awarded.
GOP governors hedge Medicaid positions — The Advocate | Republicans have been encouraged by recent signals from federal officials indicating “that Arkansas might be able to use Medicaid money to buy private insurance policies.” Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has implored the White House to be more flexible with states in its implementation of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
Informed Sources — WYES | The Lens Editor Steve Beatty, NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune columnist James Gill and LaPolitics publisher John Maginnis discuss controversial current events on Friday’s show. Among the topics: Gov. Jindal’s tax swap plan, charter schools and the local media landscape. Regarding the proposed tax overhaul, The Times-Picayune editorial board says “Kill the tax swap” while the Cato Institute gives it “Three Cheers.”
Jindal supports giving universities more control over tuition — The Advocate | “Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would support giving Louisiana’s public colleges and universities more control over tuition, provided they agree to higher performance standards and greater oversight from the state Legislature. … Louisiana legislators historically been reluctant to grant institutions the power to set their own tuition prices.”
Mississippi School Discipline Case: District, Feds Reach Deal Over Harsh Disciplinary Practices — Huffington Post
The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it has reached a deal with a Mississippi school district to end discriminatory disciplinary practices in which black students face harsher punishment than whites for similar misbehavior.
The agreement comes after a lengthy federal investigation that found that black public school students in Meridian are five times more likely than whites to be suspended from classes and often got longer suspensions for comparable misbehavior.
Tremors detected at Assumption Parish sinkhole — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Work stopped on the 13-acre sinkhole at Bayou Corne after seismic readings detected underground water movement, indicating tremors.
La. Guard practices storm response — The Advocate | “The exercise takes place annually in advance of hurricane season but is designed for response to any and all natural or man-made hazards. Over and over, officials stated the vital importance of communication and cooperation among agencies.”
Brad Pitt’s Make it Right in Wrong Neighborhood, Says TNR — NOLA DEFENDER | The article quotes from the Make it Right Foundation’s response to an article in The New Republic that took a dim view of Pitt’s housing initiative and the prospects for full recovery in the 9th Ward. At the end, there is a welcome summary of new projects in the pipeline for the neighborhood.
Long-awaited recreation center opens in Gretna — The Advocate | At $5.8 million, “The Mel Ott Recreation Center is easily the most expensive publicly owned structure in Gretna. … In order to afford the center, Gretna had to borrow $9 million through a bond issue that officials got approved by voters by tying it to the troubled wastewater treatment plant and recreation.”
Owen Courreges: Annex Metairie — Uptown Messenger | “New Orleans should annex all of unincorporated Jefferson Parish! Metairie shall henceforth be known as New Orleans West! ‘Fat City’ will receive a makeover and be reinvented as ‘the little Bourbon!’ Prosperity shall rein!” Go read.
Gillibrand, Vitter, Coons, Blunt, Landrieu, Leahy, Warner, Murray Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Expand Cyber National Guard – Dark Reading | The legislation would establish incident response teams called “Cyber Guards” within the National Guard to prevent attacks on energy grids, financial markets and banking.
“Cyber-attacks remain one of the highest threats to the United States, and there is no excuse for us to not be completely prepared with resources and personnel,” Senator [David] Vitter said. “Our legislation will help ensure that many of our states, including Louisiana, can continue developing capabilities and cyber response effectiveness.”
NOPD releases more details about night Terrilyn Monette disappeared; seeks to speak with Marconi Drive jogger — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Police are not ruling anything out.
‘We’re going to have more visibility and less privacy’: Mayor Bloomberg admits soon NYPD surveillance cameras will be on nearly every corner and in the air – New York Daily News
“You wait, in five years, the technology is getting better, they’ll be cameras everyplace… whether you like it or not,” [New York City Michael] Bloomberg said. The security measures have drawn scorn from some civil libertarians — but Bloomberg scoffed at privacy concerns on his Friday morning program on WOR-AM. “The argument against using automation is just this craziness that ‘Oh, it’s Big Brother,’” Bloomberg said. “Get used to it!”