Crossing paths with a Japanese-speaking producer, a reporter from Finland and an Australian photojournalist wasn't much of an oddity in New Orleans during the early months following Hurricane Katrina's landfall. While national attention hasn't died off completely, international press has moved on in many cases to other worldwide woes. But with the anniversary of the storm upon us, they're back on the beat.
Natalie Wyeth, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, says she has been fielding requests for credentials from France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere around the globe. "So far, we are up to 150 requests for credentials, ranging from local to international," Wyeth says. "This is going to be a great opportunity to show people this is a functioning city. We're excited to show off our promise and progress." As for documentary filmmakers and celebrity news hounds, no one of that stature has requested credentials yet, she says. ' Jeremy Alford
WHAT ABOUT BOBBY?
We know that Bobby Jindal can deliver his own children, but can he deliver congressional seats for fellow Republicans around the state? Jindal, who represents the First Congressional District, will be hosting a fund-raiser in Metairie in September for Republican state Sen. Craig Romero of New Iberia. Romero is the GOP's hope in the Third Congressional District, which runs nearly the entire coastline from St. Bernard to Vermilion. Even though he faces only token opposition, Jindal spent $1 million on political operations during the second quarter of 2006, sinking about half of that into an aggressive media buy.
Is it possible that Jindal ' eager to flex his political muscle ' might use some of that media to help Romero claim the Cajun district seat from Congressman Charlie Melancon, an Assumption Parish Democrat? The Romero camp is staying mum on the possibilities. "I am not aware at this time that any of that coverage would be used to benefit this campaign," says spokesman Brent Littlefield.
Jan Witold Baran, a high-profile elections lawyer with Wiley, Rein and Fielding in Washington, D.C., says as long as Jindal doesn't attack or directly oppose Melancon in the ads, he can run spots supporting Romero with virtually no limit. "There are ways it can be done," he says, adding the law was recently clarified by the Federal Elections Commission. As for cold hard cash, Jindal gave Romero's campaign $4,000 earlier this month. ' JA
BLANCO WANTS TO MAINTAIN GUARD CONTROL
If there's one state in the nation that has come to recognize the countless uses for National Guard troops, it's Louisiana. In addition to working search-and-rescue missions, the guard sent soldiers to New Orleans to police looters during the early days and murderers in recent weeks. President Bush is considering an executive takeover of the National Guard ' it was sent to him in the House version of the defense authorization bill ' but governors around the nation, including Kathleen Blanco, are asking Bush to let it go.
Blanco says the language would give Bush "unnecessary authorization" to take control of the guard. But the legislation only allows it to happen in the event of a "serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe that occurs in the United Statesâ?¦" It was a core issue in the blame game the feds and state played in the months following Katrina, and Blanco contends the proposed change would do nothing to improve that situation. "Federalization is not, never has been and never should be a condition for getting help for federal troops when requested by a governor," she says. "Federalization of the National Guard would in no way guarantee additional Department of Defense troops, and indeed could even preclude the deployment of those forces." ' JA
HEAD OF THE CLASS
If Sports Illustrated's preseason predictions hold true, it will be another great year of college football in Louisiana. SI has picked both LSU and UL Lafayette to win their respective conferences, a feat that would put each team in a major national bowl game at the end of the season. SI has LSU picked as the country's fourth best team and features a trio of up and coming LSU defensive stars, cornerback Chevis Jackson, free safety LaRon Landry and linebacker Ali Highsmith on one of six regional covers it has printed for its current Aug. 21 issue. LSU and UL Lafayette kick off the season against each other next weekend in Tiger Stadium. ' Nathan Stubbs
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.