Louisiana news briefs
Terrebonne summer meal program use declines
HOUMA (AP) — While the number of families using Terrebonne Parish food banks has increased, the number of participants in the school district’s summer feeding program has decreased.
The feeding program, which ends Friday, serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and is designed for children ages 2 through 18.
Child Nutrition Program Supervisor Monica Walther said the district’s three feeding sites are at Oaklawn Junior High, Houma Junior High and Southdown Elementary schools and are serving around 622 participants, a 17 percent decrease from last year.
Walter says they served 201 breakfast meals and about 550 lunches last year.
DEQ stops operations
at Shreveport landfill
BATON ROUGE (AP) — State environmental regulators have ordered a Shreveport landfill to stop receiving and disposing of new material, which is believed to be causing fire and smoke issues at the site.
The Department of Environmental Quality issued an administrative order Wednesday to Harrelson Material Management, Inc. for its Russell Road Landfill.
DEQ issued the order “out of an abundance of caution” and is currently testing environmental conditions at the site and monitoring the air in the area.
The order also requires Harrelson to submit a revised fire mitigation plan by July 1. Under the order, the landfill operator must submit weekly written reports to DEQ documenting the plan’s implementation. An emergency declaration was also included in the order.
3 SU campuses fail to meet GRAD Act requirements
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Tuition won’t be rising at Southern University in Baton Rouge, its law center or Southern University at Shreveport this fall because those schools didn’t meet “student success” requirements that are part of the GRAD Act.
The Louisiana Board of Regents accepted the results Wednesday of the annual review required by the Granting Resources and Autonomy for Resources for Diplomas Act, which gives schools the ability to raise tuition if they meet certain performance measures.
Last year, all of the colleges and universities met the performance requirements, but Southern didn’t perform well enough to meet the demands for three of the system’s schools this year.
BESE sets special meeting
to discuss Common Core
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana’s top school board is holding a special meeting next week to talk about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s attempt to derail the Common Core education standards in public schools.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education set a Tuesday meeting to discuss “possible next steps.”
BESE President Chas Roemer made it clear in his statement Wednesday, however, that he intends to push forward with Common Core. He says the board is bound by law to use the education standards and associated testing. Roemer says the board will “follow the law to that end.”
Jindal has taken steps to try to disrupt use of the multi-state standards in Louisiana’s classrooms. His administration has suspended a state contract to try to keep the education department from buying testing material tied to Common Core.
Lawsuit filed against
truck stop tiger owner
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A former state lawmaker and a national animal rights group filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a newly passed law that lets a Grosse Tete gas station owner keep a tiger on site, despite previous court decisions against him.
The lawsuit, filed in Baton Rouge district court, claims lawmakers and the governor violated the Louisiana Constitution, which bans special laws granting exclusive privileges to a single person.
The new law exempts Michael Sandlin, owner of Tiger Truck Stop and a 14-year-old, 550-pound Bengal tiger named Tony, from state restrictions on owning exotic cats.
Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law last week, after lawmakers gave it final passage in May.
The lawsuit says Sandlin “has repeatedly sought preferential treatment while for years openly violating a state law intended to protect public safety, animal welfare and conservation efforts.”
The lawsuit was filed by former lawmaker Warren Triche, along with Louisiana residents John Kelleher and Juliette Dauterive. Animal Legal Defense Fund is providing the attorneys in the case.