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
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 22, 2014:
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.