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Louisiana Children's Health Insurance Program
has launched a monthlong "back to school" campaign to enroll more uninsured children in the free state-federal health plan that covers youths up to the age of 19. Throughout August, LaCHIP representatives will be at community centers, schools, malls and Wal-Marts around the state to sign kids up for the no-cost program. Since it began in 1999, LaCHIP has provided insurance to more than 200,000 Louisiana children.

Frederich Trenchard,
a New Orleans artist, was selected by an international jury to participate in the Florence Biennial of Contemporary Art, held in December 2003 in Florence, Italy. Trenchard, who received a Master's in fine arts from Tulane University and a Fine Arts degree from the University of New Orleans, has paintings on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art and is working on a series of new paintings in his Synthetic Nature Series.

Shell Offshore Inc.
admitted it violated federal regulations on natural-gas disposal when it improperly released gas from eight oil and gas leases off the Louisiana coast in the 1990s. Shell said it did not properly report or pay royalties on the gas, as federal law requires. The company agreed to pay $49 million to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department. The case marked Shell's third settlement involving royalty underpayments in four years.

Tyronne Leon,
the ex-chairman of the city's Board of Examiners of Operating Engineers, pled guilty in federal court to conspiring with another city official to take $9,650 in bribes in exchange for stationary engineering licenses for people who had not passed the required tests. Leon said he and Property Management Supervisor Carlos Palma issued fake certificates for operators of heavy air-conditioning, boiler and combustible equipment.

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