Louisiana

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

'Scalise Strong' blood drive in Metairie garners 40 pints of blood

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 3:38 PM

Forty pints of blood were donated yesterday at a "Scalise Strong" blood drive in Metairie, in honor of the local U.S. Congressman who was shot last week. - ALLEN JOHNSON JR.
  • ALLEN JOHNSON JR.
  • Forty pints of blood were donated yesterday at a "Scalise Strong" blood drive in Metairie, in honor of the local U.S. Congressman who was shot last week.

Local Democrats and Republicans alike turned out yesterday for a Metairie blood drive in honor of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot last week at a baseball practice in a Virginia suburb. Scalise still is hospitalized, but his condition continues to improve, according to doctors and visitors.

“I didn’t vote for him, but this shouldn’t have happened to him,” one woman said as she left the one-day "Scalise Strong" blood drive hosted by the real estate firm of Engel & Völkers in Metairie.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Y@ Speak: thoughts and prayers edition

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 6:25 PM

Twitter reacts to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Legislature closes out the very special limited edition ultra-rare super exclusive session, and New Orleans endures chin straps, cement, and Sidney Torres.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

LSU announces operators for medical marijuana program

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 3:05 PM

weed.jpg
Louisiana State University announced plans to partner with GB Sciences for the state's medical marijuana manufacturing program. LSU's AgCenter will contract with the Las Vegas-based company — pending approval of the school's Board of Supervisors — to grow weed and produce a medical-grade marijuana-based product available for prescription by 2018.

The program comes two years after the passage of statewide legislation to begin planting, cultivating, dispensing and prescribing medical marijuana in Louisiana — a long, strange trip that began in the 1970s with the passage of a statewide medical marijuana law but was effectively useless over the last four decades, until now.

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Report: Louisiana one of nation's worst states for black women

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 11:44 AM

IMAGES MONEY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • IMAGES MONEY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

A new report from the nonpartisan Institute for Women's Policy Research reveals extremely troubling data about the economic and social challenges facing black women here in Louisiana.

The report, which was compiled with the National Domestic Worker's Alliance, studied factors like political participation, employment, income and family structure to create a snapshot of the state of black women the U.S. The report's findings are genuinely disturbing: it finds black women concentrated in lower-paying jobs (even relative to their academic achievement), being paid less than white women and men in similar occupations and having more limited access to health insurance, often while acting as their family's primary breadwinner.

"Black women continue to experience structural barriers to progress that have roots in the nation’s legacy of racial and gender discrimination and exploitation," the report's authors explain. "A shifting political landscape has put Black women even more at risk for disenfranchisement and marginalization."

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Landrieu postpones State of the City, says 'senseless violence cannot go unchecked' in wake of Scalise shooting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 1:10 PM

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu postponed his annual State of the City address this morning following the shooting of Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and several Congressional staffers at a baseball field outside Washington D.C.

The speech was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 14 at the Civic Theatre. Landrieu will announce a rescheduled date for the address at a later date.

“In times like these, we have to pause and reflect, which is why I postponed the State of the City Address," Landrieu said from City Hall. "I want to ask the people of New Orleans and the country to keep him and the other victims in your thoughts and prayers. I am encouraged by reports that he is in stable condition."
Landrieu and District D City Councilman Jared Brossett both served with Scalise in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Brossett said he's glad the shooting "was not a worse event than it is."

Landrieu called the shooting an "attack on our very democracy" and called for unity "against cowardly violence."

"Unfortunately we have been here before, but it's no less shocking," he said. "This is not a partisan issue ... This senseless violence in America cannot go unchecked."

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Y@ Speaks: The Return

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 6:25 PM


After being trapped in the Black Lodge where no tweet can be read or written unless it's backwards and yelling at me, Y@ Speak is back (after a long time! sorry!) to document another week's worth of nightmares committed to online permanence. Also this week: The state Legislature is a fantastic mess, as always, and Margaret Orr had a great time at Pride.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Da Winnas & Da Loozas of the 2017 Louisiana legislative session: Part 1

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 1:25 PM

The Louisiana legislature in the final hours of the regular session. - CAITIE BURKES/MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • CAITIE BURKES/MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • The Louisiana legislature in the final hours of the regular session.

The partisan divide in the Louisiana Legislature is more palpable than ever, especially in the House of Representatives. Whether you call it Washington-style politics or something else, there’s no denying that the days of lawmakers putting their differences aside and getting along on a personal level are fading fast.

That makes legislating look like something even bloodier than making sausage.

When the House adjourned amid a ham-fistedly orchestrated meltdown — which was designed to prevent a vote on the state operating budget — it was obvious that most of the carnage (and most of the bloodletting) came at the hands of the House GOP leadership. That made Gov. John Bel Edwards look like a “winna” even though the governor suffered his share of defeats on other fronts.

Speaking of other fronts, one of the bright spots of the session was the bipartisan effort to enact meaningful criminal justice reform — a heroic feat that proved lawmakers are indeed capable of working together when they put their minds to it (and put partisan political agendas aside).

All of which brings us to our annual review of the slaughters and triumphs — Da Winnas and Da Loozas — which we’ve done for more than 30 years now. Let’s start with …

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Domestic violence protections enhanced in state Senate

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:33 PM

State Rep. Helena Moreno.
  • State Rep. Helena Moreno.

Louisiana legislators took steps to broaden and strengthen the state’s domestic violence and protection laws Sunday when they gave the OK to two Senate amended measures, House Bills 223 and 509. The bills now will move to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk for his expected signature.

House Bill 223, by state Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, would expand the state’s domestic violence laws to cover dating partners. Current law restricts the criminal charge to couples who are married or living together, meaning offenders who are not living with or married to their victim can only be charged with simple battery.

Extending the law will offer increased protection to victims and enhanced sentencing for offenders, including stronger sentences for strangulation, burning or the presence of a firearm, as well as access to domestic abuse intervention programs.

The bill extending coverage — including same-sex couples — passed on a 66-32 vote.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Louisiana officials react to Trump's withdrawal from climate agreement

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM

A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues.

As Louisiana and coastal states prepare for the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. pledge to reduce emissions under the international Paris climate accord. Paricipating countries under the agreement — which President Barack Obama joined in 2015 along with dozens other countries — have committed to lowering emissions to shrink the global footprint on climate change.

It's another potential blow to the future of Louisiana's coast following Trump's proposed 2018 budget. Trump — who has said global warming "was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive" — glimpsed potentially devastating rollbacks to Louisiana coastal protections in his budget plans, revealed last month.

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Editorial: It's hurricane season again. Tips for preparing

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 1:33 PM

A thermal image of Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly storm in U.S. history. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/ NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
  • A thermal image of Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly storm in U.S. history.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, even though the first named storm of the season (Tropical Storm Arlene) formed April 19, one of only two named storms to form in April since at least the 1960s. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center have forecast a second above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine of which could become hurricanes and two to four Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes. But as we know in Louisiana, it only takes one.

Now is the time to review hurricane preparations and make sure friends, relatives and neighbors have a plan as well. The basics for “hunkering down” in a non-evacuation situation include bottled water (at least a gallon per person per day), ready-to-eat food, flashlights, a battery-operated radio (and extra batteries), baby supplies, pet supplies, wet wipes, a stash of cash, cellphone chargers (a portable power source for them is a good idea) and at least a week’s worth of necessary medication. For emergency fixes, a tool kit and contractors’ garbage bags are a good idea. A rule of thumb throughout hurricane season is not to let your gas tank go below half-full.

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