“We’ve been fighting to have these torn down for years,” said [the Rev. Martha] Orphe, who leads First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church. She pointed to a blue dilapidated house with boarded-up windows across the street from the scene of the fire. “This one’s going to either fall or burn too,” she said.

About a year ago, she said, residents were elated when the city tore down one blighted building at the corner of First and Daneel streets. But officials never came back to demolish the others on the block.

Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, which filed the lawsuit, said “The judge basically affirmed what we said from the very beginning. Facts are facts.

“This was a sprawling piece of legislation that was duct-taped together,” he said. “It was hastily done, and we took it to court as we promised to do. As we said from day one, we came to court out of respect for the constitution.”

The Obama administration issued guidelines on Wednesday that recommended public school officials use law enforcement only as a last resort for disciplining students, a response to a rise in zero-tolerance policies that have disproportionately increased the number of arrests, suspensions and expulsions of minority students for even minor, nonviolent offenses.

“There will probably be a bit of an impact on Florida gasoline stocks and prices,” James Williams, president of energy consulting firm WTRG Economics, said by telephone from London, Arkansas. “It’s too soon to tell exactly how much of an impact that will be, but a week’s interruption, just a week, is going to put pressure on the system.”

A death-row inmate who has seen several execution dates come and go since he was convicted in 1993 of killing his stepson has a new date scheduled for early March – but the state may have trouble killing him.

That’s because lawyers and a state official indicate that the state has disposed of the lethal-injection drug because it was expired. The drug’s only manufacturer has said it will not sell current doses to officials who plan to use them for lethal injection.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the current RSC [Republican Study Committee] Chair, said that all the government had to show for the 50 year War on Poverty was $15 trillion spent and 10 million more people in poverty.

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...