- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

Good morning Louisiana editors. Here’s an early look at AP’s general news coverage plan for Friday in Louisiana. If you have questions about the coverage plan, feel free to direct them to Louisiana News Editor Brian Schwaner at 800-662-7717, 504-523-3931 or [email protected]

This information is not for publication, broadcast or online use, and coverage plans are subject to change. For updates, please check the Louisiana News Digest, which will be sent by 12:15 p.m., as well as later advisories to be issued as warranted.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.”



BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers hold a special hearing Friday to receive testimony from Louisiana veterans about their treatment in the federal VA hospitals and clinics around the state, after allegations that veterans around the nation have faced long waits and other roadblocks to health care. By Melinda Deslatte. UPCOMING: 500 words by 3 p.m.


NEW ORLEANS - Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman will ask voters in the fall to approve a change in how certain property tax proceeds may be used by his office. Gusman says the move would not increase taxes but would allow an existing millage to be used for operating expenses instead of strictly capital expenditures. Under the proposal, Philip Stelly, Gusman’s spokesman, said tax dollars not needed for capital debt could be used for the maintenance of new jail facilities. The 2.9-mill property tax in question is levied by the sheriff’s Law Enforcement District. Stelly says the change would generate $7.5 million. The proposal comes as the sheriff’s office is seeking to hire hundreds of new employees to meet the requirements of a court-ordered plan for jail reform. SENT: 308 words.


NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Army veteran Staff Sgt. James Harrington has reunited with Military Working Dog Ryky, a Belgian Malinois with whom he served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ryky is a 7-year-old specialized Improvised Detection dog who helped detect explosives. She served with Harrington for four years on two combat deployments in Iraq from 2008 to 2009 and an Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. Each military working dog saves about 150 to 200 military service member lives. Thursday’s reunion was made possible by American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue - nonprofit groups that work to bring military working dogs back to the U.S. and reconnect them with their former handlers. SENT: 144 words.


NEW ROADS - A plan by Superintendent Linda D’Amico to transform Pointe Coupee Central High into a college readiness and career academy holds such promise that two school board members want that academy to start in the fall. But that was too soon for D’Amico, whose plan calls for opening the academy in August 2015 and who expressed doubts she could properly staff the new program to open this August. and six other board members backed her up Thursday, defeating with a 2-6 vote a motion by board member Ted Nelson to open Central High as the Pointe Coupee Early College/Career Academy this fall. The board will revisit the effort as early as next month, after board members meet with the superintendent to work out their concerns. SENT: 360 words.


Stories move in advance for Saturday or Sunday editions.


BATON ROUGE - As soon as the five-gallon bucket gets pried open, the smell of preserved sea creatures captured from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico pervades the LSU laboratory. “They are very lipid (fat) rich, and the lipids don’t preserve very well, so that’s what you’re smelling. That rancid smell,” said Robert Carney, a retired professor of oceanography and coastal studies at LSU. The giant isopods in the bucket - a football-sized crustacean that looks like it emerged direct from the fossil record - are just a portion of the 28-year collection of deep sea marine life that Carney is donating to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. By Amy Wold, The Advocate. SENT: 700 words.


HOUMA - Lloyd Harris is proof that age doesn’t matter when it comes to doing something you love. At the age of 91, the Houma resident likes to spend his afternoons doing something near and dear to his heart - playing golf. It’s not uncommon to find Harris at the Houma Golf Club on Alma Street with his friends. “It’s a great way to get some exercise both mentally and physically,” he said. “I just love it. It is something that is absolutely relaxing, and it is fascinating. It’s a game that you are constantly learning about no matter how old you are. This is what I do, and this is what I love to do.” Harris always had time for golf while working in the oilfield and later as a contractor. Since retiring at the age of 89, he now has more time to spend on the course. By Brent St. Germain, The Courier. SENT: 760 words.

- The Associated Press, New Orleans



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