Planning for the moment when the next pope is proclaimed to the world, and for the installation ceremony a few days later, is a big-time guessing game. And that adds up to an ungodly logistical headache for the city of Rome.

Can the fractious Italians rally behind a single candidate? Can the Americans live up to their surprise billing as a power broker?

On the eve of their conclave to select a new pope, cardinals held their final debate Monday over whether the Catholic Church needs a manager to clean up the Vatican or a pastor to inspire the faithful at a time of crisis.

It closed Monday and will remain closed until Friday, April 12 for all public uses — off-road vehicles, horseback riding, bicycles and walking.

University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley has been appointed to the Southern Regional Education Board.

unemploymentThe unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years.

The conclave date was set on Friday afternoon during a vote by the College of Cardinals. Tuesday will begin with a Mass in the morning in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by the first balloting in the afternoon.

BP is cautioning investors that the price tag will be higher than initially estimated for its multibillion-dollar settlement with businesses and residents who claim the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money.

The wife of City-Parish Councilman Keith Patin died last night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

City-Parish President Joey Durel’s wife, who suffered 11 broken ribs, several with multiple fractures, in a head-on collision March 1, is now recovering at home.

Laura Boudreaux, senior paralegal aide/supervisor for the city prosecutor’s office, has been on administrative leave — collecting about $3,200 a month — since May.

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