Like Ohio, Louisiana may use controversial 2-drug mix for Feb. 5 execution | The Lens – A state prison spokeswoman says officials can’t get the necessary drug for an execution scheduled next week, so they’ve added the option for a two-drug mix that caused concern after drawn-out execution in Ohio earlier this month.
Gusman spokesman offers differing explanations for inmate’s intoxication | The Advocate — A spokesman for Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office suggests that a test showing an inmate was on opiates in court may have been a false positive. Gusman, who is running for re-election, continues to deny that the inmate obtained contraband from outside the jail.
Snow, freezing rain predicted across Louisiana | Associated Press – Today’s big story: “An approaching winter storm moved governments and school systems in south and central Louisiana to call rare snow days Tuesday.” NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune has a master list of weather-related closings. Stay safe.
Analysis: BP back in favor despite spill legacy, Russia doubts | Reuters –Over a dozen investment banks are rating BP stock at “buy” and “outperform.” This may be a good indicator of BP’s expectations about how much it expects to pay for the 2010 oil spill.
Deutsche Bank … argues that the net present value of [BP] spill litigation has fallen.
“This is not to say that BP’s position in the court trial has improved … rather… it is likely to be multiple years before additional cash of any magnitude over and above that already agreed flows from the BP balance sheet,” the bank said in a research note.
The note estimated cash outflows from future fines at less than $1 billion a year over the next decade.
That is only about two weeks’ worth of capital spending at current rates.
Government & Politics
Top aide in mayor’s office asked city department heads to campaign for Mitch Landrieu | The Lens – State ethics law says public officials can’t coerce anyone to engage in political activity. But in this case, no one was required to participate, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Civic groups quiz candidates on transparency, other issues | The Lens – Landrieu and many candidates for City Council declined to answer yes-or-no questions on openness and accountability.
A look at the 2014 Mayoral candidates, in their own words. Part II | The Louisiana Weekly – Landrieu, former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris and local NAACP President Danatus King explain their positions on blight, the North Claiborne overpass and promoting retail development. (For more, see Part 1 of the interview.)
New Law Could Force All of Louisiana’s Abortion Clinics to Close | The Nation
Women in Louisiana could lose all access to abortion services if the state succeeds in enacting a secretive overhaul of its clinic regulations. The requirements are so stringent that not one of the five clinics currently operating in Louisiana would meet them, according to a lawyer advising the clinics. The new regulatory framework would also impose a de facto thirty-day waiting period for many women—an exceptional requirement.
French Market Corp. to cancel lease with council candidate due to ethical conflict | The Lens – The French Market Corporation will let council candidate Eugene Green out of a lease that would’ve been illegal if he won. The committee took no action on a separate, rock-bottom lease to a local nonprofit.
At Old Metairie mansion, six parking spaces aren’t enough | NOLA.com –
The homeowners want to push a sidewalk closer to traffic in order to add more parking spaces for their household staff.
The owners of 201 Northline, Shane and Holley Guidry, have not yet moved in, but they have long been the subject of neighborhood attention. In January 2013, when their house was first being built, a protected live oak that sat squarely before the Guidry property was found hacked, after a request by the Guidrys to remove the tree. Though a perpetrator was never pinned, the parish fined the homeowners $950.
Panel recommends new grade rules | The Advocate
A key state advisory panel voted 12-0 on Monday to revamp a controversial policy that awards bonus points for low-achieving students in figuring grades for public schools. …
State Superintendent of Education John White told the School Accountability Commission that the policy is aimed at ensuring attention for struggling students as the state increases academic standards.
John McDonogh charter group audit has $1 million discrepancy with budget | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
New audits of Future Is Now-New Orleans, the charter group that runs John McDonogh High School, record $1 million in revenue that was not in the group’s 2012-13 budget. Simultaneously, though, they show no sign that administrators filled a $1.5 million budget gap.
Despite John McDonogh’s pending closure, calls for accountability continue | The Louisiana Weekly – Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard denies reports from an alumnus that the John McDonogh High School suffered from hazardous mold, asbestos and termite damage.
De La Salle’s social justice initiative attracts the attention of U.S. Attorney | The Louisiana Weekly – U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, a De La Salle alum, applauds a study group that’s reading about the roots of violence in the community.