November 11, 2013 8:15 AM
BATON ROUGE - Hundreds of state rank-and-file employees got extra pay last fiscal year even though the general government workforce went through another year of no pay increases.
The extra money came from state Civil Service programs that allow state agencies to develop policies to pay more for retaining... more »
November 6, 2013 9:02 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Department of Health and Hospitals is requiring all water systems in Louisiana to raise the disinfectant levels.
The emergency rule is an attempt to flush out an amoeba that has appeared in two of the state's water systems.
The amoeba was first detected in... more »
October 29, 2013 6:51 PM
BATON ROUGE - Oil and gas officials in Louisiana expect activity to ramp up on the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale sometime in 2014.
According to Baton Rouge Consultant Dr. Loren Scott, The Goodrich Petroleum Corporation recently bought several leases throughout the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale area. Scott also said a technological... more »
October 23, 2013 11:44 AM
BATON ROUGE - After a tough loss to Ole Miss, LSU is delaying a decision on raising football ticket prices. The LSU Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday that a proposal for price hikes on football and baseball tickets and some parking costs has been removed from the agenda for its... more »
October 21, 2013 11:56 AM
BATON ROUGE - Lawsuits, funding concerns and questions of quality haven't stopped the growth of Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program. The program added more than 1,800 students this year, according to the first official tally for the current school year released Monday. The state education department said 6,751 students are... more »
September 22, 2013 11:38 AM
NEW ORLEANS - Shrimp processors have lost a call for higher duties on frozen shrimp imported from five countries - China, Vietnam, Ecuador, India and Malaysia. The U.S. International Trade Commission rejected the proposal 4-2 Friday, saying the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries failed to present strong evidence that the... more »
August 28, 2013 7:33 AM
AMITE - Superintendent Mark Kolwe says about 350 additional students are attending schools in Tangipahoa Parish.
Kolwe says a total of 19,528 students are enrolled, up 2 percent from August 2012.
Hammond Eastside Magnet School Principal Maureen Terese reports her student count had reached 900, a 13.6 percent... more »
August 19, 2013 11:32 AM
BATON ROUGE - A new audit says Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of behavioral health and addictive disorder treatment programs has created confusion and added costs for the local human services districts that provide the care. The review by the Legislative Auditor's Office was released Monday. It looked at the first... more »
August 15, 2013 3:53 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana's statewide casino winnings are up from a year ago, even though the take fell at 10 of 19 riverboat casinos and three of four racetrack slot machine casinos. State figures released Thursday show that two riverboats that opened within the past year made most of the... more »
July 31, 2013 4:47 PM
NEW ROADS - A judge today did not grant a request by the town of New Roads to halt a tax increase from being enacted in Pointe Coupee Parish.
The town's mayor, Robert Myer, said they would appeal the decision.
At issue is a millage increase which would... more »
July 30, 2013 10:19 AM
WASHINGTON - U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May compared with a year ago, the biggest yearly gain since March 2006. The increase shows the housing recovery is strengthening. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index also surged 2.4 percent in May from April, nearly matching the previous... more »
July 26, 2013 2:15 PM
BATON ROUGE- LSU System employees will receive a pay adjustment for the first time in four years the new president and chancellor announced Friday.
"This is a long overdue action that has been precluded by financial circumstances," F. King Alexander said.
The pay raises or supplements will range... more »
July 25, 2013 4:55 PM
BATON ROUGE - Southern University's campus may be a little more crowded this fall.
Around 800 students recently completed a freshman orientation program. That's more students than last year's entire incoming fall class last year of a little more than 700.
According to the university, new recruitment programs... more »
May 8, 2013 2:10 PM
BATON ROUGE- LSU students could see a $60 a year fee increase this fall, thanks to an approval from the House Education Committee. That fee could top out at $300 a year by the fall of 2017. Baton Rouge Rep. Franklin Foil, sponsor of the fee bill, said the money... more »
April 25, 2013 9:06 PM
LIVINGSTON - Just one year later, leaders want to push a property tax increase to fund Livingston Parish mosquito control again.
It was voted-down last year, but since about a third of residents still skip-out on paying the fee, Mosquito and Abatement believes the tax is necessary.
Without... more »
April 22, 2013 12:07 PM
BATON ROUGE - An attempt to raise cigarette taxes by $1.05 per pack has stalled in the House tax committee. Bogalusa Rep. Harold Ritchie pulled his proposal before a vote Monday, saying he knew he didn't have the support to advance the measure to the House floor. It would have... more »
April 18, 2013 3:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal says he'll veto any cigarette tax increase that wins passage from lawmakers, unless it's coupled with a corresponding cut in taxes somewhere else. Jindal says he will oppose anything he considers a net increase in state tax revenue. A few weeks ago, Jindal was... more »
April 11, 2013 2:37 PM
NEW ORLEANS - State officials say the percentage of Louisiana public high school students who graduate in four years edged up again in 2012, reaching 72.3 percent. The record high rate was announced Thursday by Gov. Bobby Jindal during an appearance at Dutchtown High School in Geismar. The state's rate... more »
April 10, 2013 5:47 PM
LIVINGSTON - Livingston Parish leaders want to address the parish's drastic population boom.
From 2000 to 2010, the parish's population grew nearly 40 percent. Leaders want to create a master plan to deal with the increase.
"We're already way behind in infrastructure," Parish President Layton Ricks said. "We're... more »
March 28, 2013 6:28 PM
LAPLACE - Homeowners in St. John the Baptist Parish are concerned new FEMA flood maps will send flood insurance rates up 25 percent each year.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act signed into law by President Obama last year allows rates to increase on certain properties in flood zones... more »
March 28, 2013 6:13 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has made changes to his tax revamp proposal and will push to boost state sales taxes even higher than already announced to make the numbers balance. Jindal's proposal would increase the state sales tax from 4 percent to 6.25 percent, rather than the 5.88... more »
March 1, 2013 10:35 AM
NEW YORK - An NFL Players Association official familiar with the league's salary-cap negotiations tells The Associated Press the figure for the 2013 season will rise to $123 million from $120.6 million in 2012.
The official spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because no formal announcement... more »
February 14, 2013 7:06 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour and tying future increases to inflation will raise the incomes of millions living in poverty and spur job growth. Business groups are not so sure. They complain that boosting the federal rate from $7.25 an hour... more »
February 1, 2013 3:48 PM
BATON ROUGE- The LSU Board of Supervisors signed-off on a pay raise for the school's head football coach, Les Miles.
Sports 2 Director Michael Cauble Tweeted that there were "no questions, no opposition" to the increase.
Miles received a $549,000 annual pay raise. The change bumps his salary... more »
January 24, 2013 10:51 AM
BATON ROUGE - A pay increase and extension for LSU head football coach Les Miles' contract will go before the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 1, according to the university.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said the amendment to the contract was agreed upon in December, increasing his annual... more »
January 18, 2013 12:49 PM
LIVINGSTON - Livingston Parish sales tax revenue rose 7 percent in December, compared with the previous year, marking the 26th straight month that tax receipts have increased. The Advocate reports more than 70 percent of the sales taxes collected in the Denham Springs Economic Development District are still being used... more »
January 1, 2013 10:45 PM
WASHINGTON - Past its own New Year's deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national "fiscal cliff" of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America's divided government to the limit.
The bill's... more »
December 21, 2012 2:22 PM
Louisiana payrolls rose by 13,000 jobs in November or 0.9 percent, the largest jump in percentage from October levels of any state in the nation.
Payroll employment pushed to an all-time high of 1.96 million in the state, moving beyond the pre-Hurricane Katrina peak of 1.95 million for the first time,... more »
December 17, 2012 6:37 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has proposed a deficit-reduction package to House Speaker John Boehner that would increase the top tax rates on taxpayers earning more than $400,000, cut more spending from health care programs and add $200 billion more in spending cuts over 10 years to his earlier offer.... more »
December 13, 2012 10:45 AM
WASHINGTON - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says a deal must be reached "in the next couple of days or the very beginning of next week" to avoid the fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. The California Democrat criticized Republican House leaders for sending lawmakers home on... more »
December 11, 2012 2:18 PM
WASHINGTON - The Senate's top Democrat says "it's going to be extremely difficult" to pass legislation to address the so-called fiscal cliff before Christmas, but adds there's still a chance it can be done. Majority Leader Harry Reid commented Tuesday amid a souring mood in Washington over negotiations to forestall... more »
December 5, 2012 4:37 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner discussed the fiscal cliff Wednesday in a telephone call. It followed several days of political sparring over steps to prevent a year-end series of tax increases and spending cuts. The call raises the possibility that negotiations will soon resume between... more »
December 3, 2012 4:47 PM
WASHINGTON - The White House is rejecting a Republican counteroffer aimed at averting the "fiscal cliff," saying it does not meet what the White House calls "the test of balance." White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer says the GOP proposal would lower tax rates for the wealthy and stick the... more »
December 3, 2012 2:16 PM
WASHINGTON - House Republicans negotiating with President Barack Obama on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff are proposing to increase the eligibility age for Medicare and to lower cost-of-living hikes in Social Security benefits. The proposal is a response to Obama's offer last week to hike taxes by $1.6 trillion over... more »
November 26, 2012 10:33 AM
OMAHA, Neb. - Billionaire Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on the "ultra-rich" and he's urging Congress to compromise on spending cuts and tax increases. Buffett expressed his views on fiscal policy in an opinion article Monday in The New York Times. In the article, Buffett mocked the... more »
November 19, 2012 10:19 AM
PLAQUEMINE - Despite declining tax revenues, Iberville Parish's $41.6 million budget for 2013 reflects a 1.5 percent increase in spending compared to 2012. The Advocate reports nearly 30 percent of the $611,882 projected spending increase is attributed to more than $11 million in capital outlay projects reflected in the proposed... more »
November 8, 2012 3:50 PM
WASHINGTON - Congressional budget experts are offering a dire analysis of what would happen to the economy if the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts can't be averted. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says the economy would go back into recession, with the jobless rate jumping... more »
November 7, 2012 6:02 PM
WASHINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner is offering to pursue a deal with a victorious President Barack Obama that will include higher taxes "under the right conditions" to help reduce the nation's staggering debt and put its finances in order. Boehner tells reporters a day after the president's clear re-election... more »
November 7, 2012 4:29 PM
WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden says he and President Barack Obama are anxious to move forward on a bipartisan solution to the looming "fiscal cliff" that could force tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts next year. Biden told reporters Wednesday the real question is what Republicans in Congress will... more »
November 7, 2012 10:54 AM
WASHINGTON - Fitch Ratings says President Barack Obama must pivot off his re-election victory and quickly forge an agreement with Congress to prevent a series of tax increases and spending cuts that kick in next year. The credit rating agency issued a news release Wednesday - hours after Obama won... more »
November 6, 2012 12:18 PM
WASHINGTON - A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September compared with a year ago. It is the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offers the latest evidence of a continued housing recovery. The real estate data provider also says that prices... more »
August 24, 2012 9:09 AM
LAFAYETTE - The Lafayette City-Parish Council is considering an increased subsidy to the Cajundome.
The council this week briefly discussed City-Parish President Joey Durel's proposed $550,000 allocation to the Cajundome for the upcoming fiscal year, which marks a $50,000 increase from the current fiscal year.
The Cajundome subsidy... more »
August 15, 2012 10:52 AM
HENDERSON, LA - Alligators are causing big problems for fishermen in the Henderson area.
The gators are destroying hoop nets set out by local fishermen.
Fishermen say an increase in the gator population around the area is at the center of the problem.
The Louisiana Department of... more »
June 27, 2012 11:35 AM
BATON ROUGE - The state Board of Regents gave all but one public state university permission to raise their tuition under the GRAD Act today.
The Baton Rouge campuses of LSU, Southern University and the Baton Rouge Community College were all given permission to raise their tuition by 10... more »
June 15, 2012 5:35 PM
BATON ROUGE - First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending June 9 increased from the previous week's total. The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims increased to 4,272 from the previous week's total of 4,177. The figure was below what it was... more »
June 5, 2012 12:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - The LSU Board of Supervisors is set to discuss numerous pay increases for assistant football coaches along with the approval of new Men's Basketball Coach Johnny Jones' contract at their monthly meeting on Friday.
Jones' contract runs from April 14, 2012 through June 30, 2017 earning... more »
May 17, 2012 9:45 AM
BATON ROUGE - A new study found people taking the antiobiotic azithromycin, more commonly known as Z-pack, were more likely to die from heart problems such as stroke, heart attacks, or similar conditions.
The study's authors say doctors often prescribe Z-pack instead of the antibiotic amoxycillin because it's easier... more »
April 26, 2012 6:04 PM
BATON ROUGE - Due to rising property taxes, landlords that own property in the city limits may pass those costs onto renters.
On a $100,000 property, owners will pay an additional $106 a year in property taxes which could send rent up just as high.
Property owners we... more »
April 20, 2012 5:14 PM
NEW YORK - The worst is over, for now: Gasoline prices are starting to fall. After a four-month surge pushed gasoline to nearly $4 per gallon in early April, drivers and economists feared that gasoline prices might soar past all-time highs. Instead, pump prices have dropped 6 cents over two... more »
April 20, 2012 7:12 AM
GONZALES - Ascension Parish Council members have taken the first step toward giving themselves a 33 percent pay increase, boosting their pre-tax salaries from $1,200 to $1,600 per month. The council introduced the increase on a 7-3 vote Thursday. The proposal will be set for a public hearing and possible... more »
April 16, 2012 7:26 AM
SULPHUR - Sulphur police are hoping to use their two bicycle patrols to get to places and scenes that cars can't. Police Chief Lewis Coats told the city council last week he wants to expand the patrols to six or eight officers. He said the bike patrols can be used... more »
April 3, 2012 10:12 AM
BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers are discussing whether or not to increase the amount of time a traffic light stays yellow to five seconds.
Already, some traffic signals in Baton Rouge run yellow lights at 5 seconds, but some slower intersections only use 4 seconds of yellow time.
Experts say... more »
April 2, 2012 10:24 AM
BATON ROUGE - The price of gas increased 3.7 cents a gallon in Baton Rouge last week, averaging $3.78. The increase nationally was 3.2 cents upping the average price to $3.89 a gallon. Gas prices in Baton Rouge are now 27.7 cents higher compared to a year ago and up... more »
March 30, 2012 2:39 PM
BATON ROUGE - First-time claims for jobless benefits rose a bit last week in Louisiana. The state Workforce Commission reported 2,873 initial claims for the week ending March 24. The previous week, there were 2,830 first-time claims. For the comparable week a year ago, there were 4,087 initial claims. The... more »
March 19, 2012 7:48 AM
MONROE - Effective July 1, municipalities' contribution into Louisiana's Police Employees' Retirement System will increase another 4 percent to 31 percent, costing some cities hundreds of thousands. Monroe city Accounting Director Stacey Haney says the rate increase will cause the city to pay $2.9 million next fiscal year if the... more »
March 5, 2012 10:28 AM
BATON ROUGE - Gas prices increased 3 cents a gallon last week in Baton rouge now averaging $3.61 a gallon.
This compares with the national average that increased 5.2 cents per gallong last week to $3.71 per gallon.
Prices in Baton Rouge are now 25.3 cents per gallon... more »
February 13, 2012 10:38 AM
BATON ROUGE - The average price for gas increased last week 5.8 cents a gallon.
Drivers in Baton Rouge are now paying an average of $3.44 for a gallon of gas compared to the national average of $3.47 a gallon.
Gas prices in Baton Rouge are now about... more »
January 3, 2012 7:36 PM
Starbucks is raising prices in the South and Northeast due to increasing competition and the rising cost of ingredients. The hike is about 1 percent in most Southern states, and the region that includes New York and Washington, D.C. It means the price for a "tall" will go up 10... more »
December 23, 2011 3:23 AM
LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - The face of Louisianians on food stamps has changed and broadened with the worsened economy in a state mired in poverty and repeatedly hit by disasters. Recipients now include college graduates, two-parent households, elderly residents with growing medical bills and the working poor. For hundreds of... more »
December 7, 2011 2:46 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana's largest insurer of homes has received state approval to boost rates by an average 7.8 percent. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. says the $32.2 million rate hike goes into effect with new policies on Feb. 15 and renewal policies on April 1. The rates will... more »
October 18, 2011 12:03 PM
WASHINGTON - Social Security recipients will get a raise in January - their first increase in benefits since 2009. Experts project the increase will be about 3.5 percent, and on Wednesday, about 55 million beneficiaries will find out for sure.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on... more »
October 18, 2011 12:01 PM
BATON ROUGE - The percentage of Louisiana's public high school students who graduate in four years rose to 70.9 percent this year, up from 67.2 percent for last year - a substantial increase in the rate of improvement but far from the 80 percent goal state officials want to meet... more »
September 14, 2011 5:37 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana seafood and sugar cane processors, hotel owners and operators of amusement parks are among the business interests who hope a federal judge will block new federal rules that they say could increase the wages they are required to pay to temporary foreign workers by as much... more »
September 14, 2011 2:39 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana seafood and sugar cane processors,hotel owners and operators of amusement parks are among the business interests who hope a federal judge will block new federal rules that they say could increase the wages they are required to pay to temporary foreign workers by as much as... more »
April 10, 2011 9:06 AM
BATON ROUGE- With legislative approval out of the way, a $13.8 million increase in tuition at LSU System campuses is up for consideration this week by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
LSU says the hikes to be considered Friday afternoon range from a $50 per semester hike at LSU... more »
March 23, 2011 11:03 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana insurance regulators have rejected a rate increase from the state's largest insurer of homes.
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. wanted an average 14.3 percent rate hike for its 301,000 customers who get homeowners and condominium coverage, as well as renters' protection.
Insurance Commissioner... more »
February 22, 2011 5:47 PM
BATON ROUGE - More volunteers means fewer animals killed each year, according to workers at the East Baton Rouge Animal Control and Rescue center.
Last year more than 6,000 animals were euthanized, which is 2,500 fewer than the previous year. In additions, dog and cat adoptions increased nearly 15%... more »
January 1, 2011 1:35 PM
BATON ROUGE, La.- The Louisiana Department of Insurance says it will examine proposed health insurance rate increases and determine if they are unreasonable.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the state has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review rates for... more »
December 22, 2010 2:21 PM
CHICAGO - Holiday shoppers are racing to the end of the season at a more feverish pace this year, with retail revenue up 5.5 percent during the last weekend before Christmas. The figure, released by ShopperTrak on Wednesday, is a drastic improvement from a year ago, when revenue dropped 6.2... more »
December 20, 2010 7:28 PM
LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish Council has approved a one-cent sales tax increase to help pay for development of a new retail center.
Developers of the Juban Crossing retail center asked the parish for the increase after being turned down by the state.
Supporters of the tax said... more »
November 29, 2010 11:22 AM
BATON ROUGE - First-time claims for jobless benefits in Louisiana increase by over 250 during the week ending Nov. 20. The Louisiana Workforce Commission says there were 4,293 of the newly unemployed seeking benefits. That's up from the previous week's total of 4,041. For the comparable week ending Nov. 21,... more »
November 9, 2010 11:01 AM
GONZALES – Firefighters in Ascension Parish say they need another property tax increase to pay for more firefighters, trucks and stations in the Prairieville area. Chief Mark Stewart is asking for a 10-mill increase to be put on the April ballot to fund expansion for Fire District No. 3.
... more »
November 2, 2010 6:15 AM
CLINTON - The director of Homeland Security and Office of Emergency Management in East Feliciana Parish is getting a $16,000 salary increase after the police jury approved the raise. The increase brings Henry Weigand's salary of $30,000 to the state average of $45,860 for parish Homeland Security directors. The salary... more »
October 27, 2010 10:28 PM
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved increasing the cost of health insurance for city-parish workers on Wednesday night.
A $5 million deficit in the health care budget for the city-parish forced the decision. Had members left 2010's plan in place, the city-parish would instead face a $9 million... more »
October 27, 2010 5:22 PM
The Louisiana Board of Regents approved a tuition hike plan for 34 public colleges and universities.
The GRAD Act calls for the schools to improve things such as graduation and retention rates. Campuses can raise tuition by up to 10 percent a year if goals are met over the... more »
October 27, 2010 4:44 AM
Louisiana's public colleges are entering into contracts pledging to boost graduation rates, improve student achievement, and eliminate underperforming programs in exchange for increasing tuition by up to 10 percent a year. The Board of Regents will consider the performance agreements Wednesday for 34 campuses. If approved, the colleges will be... more »
October 25, 2010 4:14 PM
A highway advocacy group is pushing to raise Louisiana's 20-cent gasoline tax by another 10 cents per gallon, to pay for new roadwork and repairs. Driving Louisiana Forward, a coalition of highway contractors, consulting engineers and material suppliers, also wants lawmakers to back a $3 billion bond issue. The borrowing... more »
October 21, 2010 6:04 PM
Pinnacle Entertainment received approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to change the design plan for its Baton Rouge casino. As News 2’s Michael Shingleton found out, crews have been working non-stop at the Pinnacle site on River Road for the past two months, making sure they meet their deadline.... more »
October 20, 2010 1:23 PM
LSU has submitted a new plan to meet mid-year budget cuts, after finding out this week that the amount they would have to cut had more than doubled. In a press release, school officials said the Division of Administration had notified them Monday that their mid-year budget reduction had been... more »
October 7, 2010 10:01 PM
More Louisiana schools and districts are making the grade, according to scores released by the Louisiana Department of Education today. However, the state's top education official, Paul Pastorek, said they did not meet their overall growth goals. "Some schools and districts are showing minimal or no growth, and some schools... more »
October 7, 2010 11:02 AM
Baton Rouge Police will soon be getting additional manpower on patrols to deal with crime in the city.
Flanked by representatives from city, state and parish law enforcement, Police Chief Jeff LeDuff announced that sheriff's deputies and state police troopers would soon be patrolling alongside city officers.
“It... more »
September 21, 2010 9:46 AM
Louisiana's unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in August from 7.2 percent in July. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Louisiana was one of 27 states that recorded an increase last month, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The agency says there were 8,600 more people listed as unemployed... more »
September 21, 2010 7:05 AM
Officials say McNeese State University has reached its second-highest enrollment in the past seven decades 8,941 students. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeanne Daboval says it is the third consecutive enrollment increase. Enrollment for the fall of 2005 8,992 takes top honors, but that included 232 Hurricane Katrina... more »
September 14, 2010 7:09 AM
An increase in student retention helped Northwestern State University maintain its enrollment for the fall 2010 semester. The Town Talk reports this fall's enrollment of 9,244 was an increase of two students above last year's figure of 9,242.
NSU increased student retention on the undergraduate and graduate level. The... more »