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All the news that doesn't fit

  • Legislative news: Senate Bill 147 would outlaw drivers from posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media services while driving. State Sen. Dale Erdey, R-Livingston, the bill's sponsor, said the measure came about when lawmakers realized the existing law against text messaging while driving didn't cover social media. The bill made it through committee and will now be voted upon by the full Senate ...

  • On the House side, HB 660 seeks to allow Louisiana public school students to recite The Lord's Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The bill is sure to be criticized by House Democrats, but complicating matters is its sponsor: Rep. Katrina Jackson, a Monroe Democrat who also is chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus ...

  • At last week's New Orleans City Council meeting, councilmembers passed a zoning change for the development of Magnolia Marketplace, a shopping complex on South Claiborne and Washington avenues with T.J. Maxx, Shoe Carnival, Raising Cane's, PetSmart and other stores. The zoning change would allow for a fast food restaurant as well. The council also voted to approve the demolition of several dozen blighted Housing Authority of New Orleans properties. After District D Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell filed to demolish several properties in her district, all other district councilmembers promptly filed motions for demolitions in their own districts. ...

  • In a video interview with the New Orleans Tribune, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman agreed with a reporter who said, "There still seems to be a concerted attack against your leadership as sheriff. Do you think it is personal in any way, maybe even couched in some sort of race-based effort to malign your work as sheriff?" Gusman replied, "The only way I could explain how someone would question my leadership, my ability, has to be because they have a different agenda. ... Maybe they're looking at, they don't like the way that person looks. So — maybe that's what it's about. I'm not sure." Earlier this month, Gusman accused Mayor Mitch Landrieu of employing "Archie Bunker rhetoric" in Landrieu's criticism of the way Gusman runs Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) ...

  • And speaking of OPP: made a big deal of Fox News personalities Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera's criticism of the city ("a vast wasteland") on the show The O'Reilly Factor in the wake of the now-infamous Orleans Parish Prison video. Not mentioned in the kerfuffle: Bill O's trip to the Super Bowl two months ago, which seemed to have been just fine. "A bunch of us at The Factor went down to New Orleans over the weekend," he told his audience on Feb. 4. "Didn't stay for the game for a variety of reasons — mostly time constraints — but I did have a good look around. New Orleans has come back big time from Katrina," he concluded. "It's once again a great American destination." Vast wasteland, great American destination — what's the difference? — Kevin Allman & Alex Woodward


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