Government & Politics
Investigators looking into possible perjury by former Louisiana health chief — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | State and federal investigators are sifting through hundreds of phone calls and thousands of text messages sent by former Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein to his former employer, CNSI, which landed a (now canceled) $180 million Medicaid contract with the state. Greenstein had previously testified to the Legislature that his involvement with the contract and with CNSI had been limited. This was one of the top state politics stories from the weekend; I’m surprised it has drawn only six comments.
Mayor Landrieu’s executive counsel leaving on heels of city attorney — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The departure of Mike Sherman, the mayor’s executive counsel, was announced on the same day that City Attorney Richard Cortizas left City Hall. I’m always interested to learn more about developments that are announced on a Friday afternoon. Some reader comments point to the open letter from Wisner family member Stephen J. Green, recently published by American Zombie, which called for Sherman’s resignation.
Landrieu seeking property tax increase; money could be used for consent decrees — The Lens | “A New Orleans property tax increase sought by Mayor Mitch Landrieu is quietly making its way through the Legislature … The approximately 1.5 mill increase would raise $5.6 million for fire and police protection starting in 2014.”
Bank seeks foreclosure on Operation REACH’s headquarters — The Lens
The $600,000 headquarters of an embattled education nonprofit, which once served more than 10,000 students across three states, is in the process of foreclosure and could be sold as early as June, according to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The Tolls Of Budget Cuts On Higher Education — WWNO | There’s talk of university instructors leaving to take higher-paying jobs at high schools.
Dr. Anna Nardo, a tenured English professor of 38 years, says professors are leaving. “We lose more and more every year. There’s one right down the hall. She’s going to go teach high school in Lafayette and make $10,000 more,” said Nardo. “In fact, if you have a family of four, we calculated this out. If you have a family of four, with a starting salary at LSU, we qualify for food stamps.”
States’ Online Testing Problems Raise Common-Core Concerns — Education Week | (Via EducateNow)
Widespread technical failures and interruptions of recent online testing in a number of states have shaken the confidence of educators and policymakers in high-tech assessment methods and raised serious concerns about schools’ technological readiness for the coming common-core online tests. The glitches arose as many districts in the 46 states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards are trying to ramp up their technological infrastructure to prepare for the requirement that students take online assessments starting in 2014-15.
Did John White lean on LPB to get reporter terminated? Follow the money to Course Choice and Iberville Parish — Louisiana Voice | Blogger Tom Aswell claims that the firing of a Louisiana Public Broadcasting reporter might have had a political component involving Superintendent of Education John White.
Philadelphia Renovating Apartments to Lure Teachers – The New York Times | Tax credits provide an incentive to convert warehouses into inexpensive apartments for inner-city educators. The program began in Baltimore; renovations are now under way on “two redbrick buildings in the up-and-coming but still gritty South Kensington section of Philadelphia. … The Baltimore centers were backed by Teach for America, which trains recent college graduates to teach in poor neighborhoods. It identified school systems in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington as targets for an expansion of the program.”
From his bed, New Orleans child recalls moment he was shot by murderer’s stray bullets — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A powerful story about a young shooting survivor.
Kenner man says insider helped him defraud BP oil disaster fund of $20,000 — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “A Kenner man has admitted in federal court that he conspired with a Gulf Coast Claims Facility insider to collect about $20,000 in fraudulent relief money after the 2010 BP oil disaster.”
Susan Buchanan: Fed-Funded Program Preps New Orleans Workers For Streetcar Expansion — The Huffington Post | Thirteen people learned streetcar maintenance skills courtesy of a one-year workforce training program. However, the cost of that hands-on education — $275,000 in federal grants and $365,000 in in-kind services from the Regional Transit Authority — seems exorbitant. (Via New Orleans Ladder)
New Orleans Volunteers Promote Hurricane Awareness – The New York Times | Evacuteer.org is a nonprofit that “recruits, trains and manages an army of about 350 volunteers every year to evacuate the city in case of a hurricane.” Their latest initiative is to mark the 17 evacuation pick-up points in New Orleans with large sculptures so people who need transportation know where to go.
Reluctant to leave home — The Advocate | Some residents who live near the expanding Bayou Corne sinkhole have defied the evacuation order issued by Assumption Parish officials on August 3.
Lawmakers up pressure on Morganza report — DailyComet.com | Time is money — a ton of money — when it comes to the long-studied, long-awaited, Morganza-to-the-Gulf flood control project for South Louisiana. Lawmakers are urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move ahead.