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
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.