New Orleans committee to evaluate proposals for former World Trade Center site on Tuesday — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A committee made up of Landrieu administration officials meets today to decide how the former World Trade Center building will be redeveloped. Three proposals are being considered— two to repurpose the building as a hotel/condo building and one to tear it down and replace it with an undetermined giant thing. Each of the proposals lacks specifics on proposed funding, according to a report by the Bureau of Governmental Research, released Monday.
I-10, I-55 flooding prompts road raising plan — The Advocate | The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is set to begin work on a $2.8 million project to raise I-10 in LaPlace and I-55 in Ponchatoula, following interstate flooding during Hurricane Isaac in 2012. The St. John the Baptist Parish president praised what she called an “interim” flood mitigation project, but she urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee project.
Teachers union sues state for $200 million; second $65 million suit possible — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The Louisiana Association of Educators claims the Louisiana Legislature has not properly approved a K-12 education funding formula since the 2009-2010 school year. That year’s education allocation demanded an automatic 2.5 increase for subsequent years, so the group believes the state’s public schools are owed that increase retroactive to the 2010-2011 school year.
Jefferson Parish Schools presents preliminary 2013-14 budget, with no predicted cuts | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The Jefferson Parish public school system will have a balanced budget next year in spite of a loss in federal funding, avoiding cuts and layoffs. The system is going to make up the loss as a result of a recent state supreme court decision prohibiting the state from diverting public school money into private voucher schools.
Government & Politics
Louisiana’s new gun laws — Gambit | Alex Woodward on new guns laws passed by the state legislature this year, including Act 401, which makes it illegal to publish information — like permit holder names and addresses — contained in concealed handgun permits or permit applications. The Louisiana Press Association calls the law “blatantly unconstitutional.”
Constant takes reins in Gretna — The Advocate
Belinda Constant officially took up her post as Gretna’s mayor Monday, becoming the first woman to hold that post since the city was founded 100 years ago.
Jindal staffer given promotion, pay bump — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Gov. Bobby Jindal’s communication director Kyle Plotkin will also serve as his chief of staff, The Times-Picayune reports. Plotkin will get a $20,000 raise.
State Police to hold first academy in years —The Advocate | Due to state budget shortfalls, the last state police cadet graduation class was 2009, and the number of troopers has dropped from more than 1,100 then to 960 today. But a new funding source will allow the academy to start training cadets again beginning early next year.
From America’s busiest death chamber, a catalog of last rants, pleas and apologies — The New York Times
Among the death-penalty states, Texas and California are the only ones that make the last words of offenders available on their Web sites. But only Texas has compiled and listed each statement in what amounts to an online archive. The collection of 500 statements, which includes inmates’ verbal as well as written remarks, has been the subject of analysis, criticism and debate by lawyers, criminal justice researchers and activists who oppose the death penalty.
BP profits under threat from spiralling US claims — The Financial Times (registration required) | With nearly a year left for victims to file claims for BP settlement money, Court-appointed claims administrator Pat Juneau has already made $3.8 billion in offers. If claims from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster continue at their current rate, BP will have run through its spill victim trust fund by the end of September.
President Barack Obama: With climate changing, what world will we leave to our children? — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
“Many Americans who already feel the effects of climate change don’t have time to deny it – they’re busy dealing with it. Firefighters are braving longer wildfire seasons. Farmers are seeing crops wilt one year, and wash away the next. Western families are worried about water that’s drying up. And while we know no single weather event is caused solely by climate change, we also know that in an increasingly warmer world, all weather events are affected by it. “
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