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Louisiana

The Takeaway

Playing Politics With the Keystone XL

Monday, November 17, 2014

Senator Mary Landrieu is facing a runoff for her seat. She worked with the GOP to bring the Keystone XL Pipeline up for a vote. Will it help her in Louisiana?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Can Louisiana Stay (Literally) Afloat?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Lousianna is sinking into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of about a football field every day. That’s equivalent to a space the size of Central Park disappearing each month.

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The Takeaway

Wendell Pierce of 'The Wire' and 'Treme' Hopes Groceries Can Revitalize New Orleans

Monday, March 04, 2013

Wendell Pierce, best known for his role as Bunk in the HBO series "The Wire," is starting a chain of grocery stores in New Orleans as a means of revitalizing the city.

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WNYC News

Calls for Better Evacuation Plans for the Infirm

Friday, February 22, 2013

As state panels prepare final recommendations for improving disaster preparedness, advocates and experts point to a series of failures in evacuating and housing some of society’s most vulnerable citizens.

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The Takeaway

One Student's Quest to Stop the Teaching of Creationism in Louisiana Schools

Monday, January 21, 2013

In 2008, Louisiana passed the Science Education Act, a law that allows schools to use supplemental materials when teaching evolution and global warming. Critics like activist Zack Kopplin argued that the law allows teachers to promote creationism.

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Life of the Law

Law in Translation

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vietnamese fishing communities are still finding themselves grounded by the BP oil spill, one of the largest environmental disasters of the century. These fishermen and women are without adequate interpretation services and legal representation and are...

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The Takeaway

Riding Out Isaac in the Shadow of Katrina

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For many in Louisiana, Hurricane Isaac arrives in the shadow of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the region exactly seven years ago. While some residents have evacuated, others have ignored orders and chosen to ride out the storm in their homes.

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The Takeaway

New Orleans Resident Documents the Storm

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As Humvees rolled into New Orleans yesterday and officials urged Gulf Coast residents to leave their homes, you couldn’t help an eerie sense of familiarity. The details are similar, and the fears are as well.

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The Takeaway

As New Orleans Remembers Katrina, Isaac Approaches

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On the advent of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, tropical storm Isaac is heading towards New Orleans. Isaac revives the memory of both the devastation and reconstruction of Katrina, and poses the question of how New Orleans will handle its next big storm.

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The Takeaway

No Child Left Behind Conflicts with Desegregation Policy in Louisiana

Friday, August 03, 2012

Like many schools since No Child Left Behind was enacted, Rayville Elementary School is required to allow its students to transfer to a better school in the district because it has received a failing grade, but not if those students are white.

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The Takeaway

Louisiana Sex Offenders Must Make Their Status Public on Social Media

Friday, June 22, 2012

While the standards for sex offender registration and notification have always been high, a new law authored by Louisiana State Representative Jeff Thompson takes public disclosure one step further and marks itself as the first law of its kind in the nation. Should sex offenders be required to list their past crimes on Facebook?

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Transportation Nation

New Amtrak Line for Northeast Texas?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Amtrak train in Fort Worth (photo by StevenM_61 via flickr)

(Houston, TX -- KUHF)   Texas transportation officials are studying the viability of a new Amtrak line in northeast Texas. The 200-mile route would follow the I-20 corridor between Dallas-Fort Worth and Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana -- a popular gambling destination.

Three Amtrak lines currently serve Texas. There's the Sunset Limited, which passes through Houston and San Antonio as it travels between New Orleans and Los Angeles. The Heartland Flyer has daily service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth.  The Texas Eagle takes a jagged route through northeast Texas on its way between Chicago and San Antonio.

TxDOT Rail Division Director Bill Glavin says they're looking at passenger rail as a way to provide better connectivity between Shreveport's airport and the big international airport located between Dallas and Fort Worth. The train would make up to seven stops on two daily round-trips. The Texas Eagle's current route passes through Marshall, Texas, west of the state line, and  Glavin says they'll examine whether to extend that line into Louisiana or build a new route.

TxDOT is using $265,000 in federal funds to do the study.  Glavin says they'll look at the costs associated with setting up the new route.  The train would operate on existing rights-of-way and would share routes with freight trains, and Glavin says they may have to construct additional sidetracks.  They'll also study projected ridership. Since the train would be a short-distance route as defined by Amtrak, Glavin says the route would be state-supported. That means filling the gap between revenue and operating costs.

The study does not include the cost of building rail stations.  TxDOT says that would be the responsibility of local governments.

Funds for the study were secured by the East Texas Corridor Council.  Amtrak says any new route would have to be approved by state legislatures in both Texas and Louisiana.  Officials in the Shreveport-Bossier City area have expressed support for the route, saying it would help bring in visitors to the area's attractions, including its popular casinos.  Shreveport hasn't had passenger rail service since 1969.

This isn't the only proposed passenger line TxDOT is currently studying.  The agency is working on a $15 million, multi-year study of a possible high-speed route between Houston and Dallas.  They're also looking at Amtrak routes between Houston and Austin, and Oklahoma City and south Texas.

TxDOT says it hopes to complete the Dallas-to-Shreveport study by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

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The Takeaway

Storms Ravage Southeastern US

Thursday, November 17, 2011

At least five people are dead and many are injured after storms hit the nation's southeast. South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi were all slammed by the severe weather and suspected tornadoes. Thousands remain without power. Derrick Becker, a public information officer for South Carolina Emergency Management, talks about what his organization is witnessing.

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The Takeaway

Closing the Mississippi River: Safe but Costly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers continue working around the clock to prevent massive flooding to major cities in the South. But even as they open floodgates and break through levees, the Mississippi River continues to rise. If it rises above 18.5 feet — two feet higher than it was on Saturday — access to parts of the river could be limited or temporarily shut down.

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It's A Free Country ®

As Redistricting Begins, Racial Gerrymandering Follows Black Migration

Friday, April 29, 2011

With Republicans now controlling most state legislatures, the GOP has the luxury of steering the process. That likely means packing newly-distributed black voters into strategically drawn borders, siphoning them from swing districts that would become more solidly Republican as a result.

Obviously, there are big implications for the next decade of elections. In post-census years, it's good to be the king.

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The Takeaway

Documents Reveal Congressional Safety Concerns Prior to BP Disaster

Friday, December 17, 2010

Long before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, officials in Congress were concerned about the "cozy" relationship between federal regulators and the oil industry and the failure of regulators to spend funds on safety measures, according to documents recently acquired by The New York TimesThe documents were acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, and include emails between Congressional officials and the Minerals Management Service. Was the M.M.S. "stonewalling" all along? And how will Gulf residents take the news?

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WQXR News

Oil Platform Explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 13 people following an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning. The oil platform is about 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

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The Takeaway

2010's First and Only New Bank

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, hundreds of banks have folded and federal regulators have become more cautious about the banks they approve to go into business. Hartie Spence is the President and CEO of Lakeside Bank in Lake Charles, La. He explains how Lakeside Bank became the only truly new bank to open this year.

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The Takeaway

A 'Requiem for Katrina' with Terence Blanchard

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, ripping the footing out from under the residents of New Orleans. Many of those residents were musicians, who not only had to rebuild their homes but find their creative spirit after the devastation of the storm. Terence Blanchard, Grammy-winning jazz musician, says he's learned how to set his ego aside when composing music in the aftermath of the hurricane. 

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The Takeaway

BP Investigating Potentially Bogus Compensation Claims

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BP has pledged to give $20 billion in compensation to victims of the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil gusher. So far, $300 million has been distributed, but many are concerned that some portion of this money has gone to people scamming the system.

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