The school bus company that transports most public school students in New Orleans has laid off its drivers in a dispute over $7.2 million in unpaid bills.
Blaine Krage, a spokesman for Warrenville, Ill.-based Durham School Services, told The Times-Picayune Tuesday that the company has sent termination letters to 142 drivers and 55 bus monitors telling them "we will not need their services this upcoming school year."
Even with $523 million in announced health care cuts, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has slashed only two-thirds of the spending needed to close the entire gap in Louisiana's Medicaid budget.
The administration is banking on better-than-expected revenue projections to close the remaining budget hole.
If that doesn't pan out in the next few months, more reductions are on the horizon. And even if the funding does show up, there could be legal hurdles to accessing the cash to fill the Medicaid budget.
An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program.
Judge Tim Kelley chose the hearing date Tuesday in a meeting with lawyers for both sides in the case.
Attorneys for two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.
The Louisiana Ballooning Foundation has canceled the Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship and Festival that had been scheduled for the first weekend in August in East Baton Rouge Parish.
The Advocate reports ( http://bit.ly/NCr4B2) officials in neighboring Ascension Parish say they will hold a festival and balloon race in October, though it won't be affiliated with the Louisiana Ballooning Foundation.
Linda Wunstel, president of the foundation's board, said the East Baton Rouge event was canceled because of funding problems.
A nonpartisan government watchdog group is asking Superintendent of Education John White to seek legislative guidance as he designs the accountability standards required of schools participating in Louisiana's new voucher program.
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana sent a letter Tuesday to White, urging him to present his draft accountability policies to the House and Senate education committees for the program that will use tax dollars to send students to private schools.
Louisiana's motor vehicles commissioner, Nick Gautreaux, is leaving the job in August.
Gautreaux told The Advocate that he is planning a career in corporate development and governmental work, a move that will keep him closer to home and his five children in Youngsville.
A former state senator, Gautreaux took the position as commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles in December 2010. His last day will be Aug. 5, according to a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, which oversees the office.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget office won't provide most of its records tied to the state's alternative fuel vehicle tax credit program and a controversial ruling about qualifying vehicles that was rescinded by the governor.
A lawyer for the Division of Administration said records requested by The Associated Press are shielded by a public records exemption. Only one e-mail was provided. Other records were kept hidden, citing an exemption given to the governor for items involving his "deliberative process."
New Orleans has a reputation for its rich food, and the extra pounds it can pack on its fans. But a Tulane University doctor is working on a culinary plan to return the city’s cuisine — and the national diet — to its healthier roots.
A teenage son of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
A spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department says 19-year-old Benjamin Landrieu was arrested early Tuesday. He was booked into the city's jail on charges that also include reckless operation of a vehicle.
The mayor said in a statement that his loves his son but there will be legal consequences for his actions in the courtroom and "family discussions in our living room." Mitch Landrieu also said his son will be treated "just as any other citizen."