March 30, 2009 |
A couple of months ago, an obscure New Orleans tax assessor was ticketed for allegedly using flashing police lights on his car to weave his way through a traffic jam. As public corruption allegations in Louisiana go, it was strictly penny ante.
March 3, 2009 |
Pope Benedict XVI was forced to cancel the promotion of a conservative Austrian priest whose appointment had polarized the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican said the pope had waived Father Gerhard Maria Wagner from his obligation under church law to accept the promotion to auxiliary bishop of Linz, effectively revoking the appointment. Critics have attacked Wagner for numerous comments, including one that Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was God's way of punishing the city of New Orleans for its sins.
February 22, 2009 |
Nine Lives Death and Life in New Orleans Dan Baum Spiegel & Grau: 336 pp., $26 -- Although it grew out of his reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for the New Yorker, Dan Baum's extraordinary book reads more like fiction than journalism.
January 29, 2009 |
The mayor of Gulfport faces federal fraud charges for allegedly filing a false claim for disaster assistance after Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Brent Warr says he will continue to run the city, which was heavily damaged by Katrina's wind and storm surge in 2005. The indictment alleges Warr and his wife, Laura, sought a grant for a damaged beachfront house they did not live in. They pleaded not guilty.
January 6, 2009 |
Three and a half years after the floodwaters rose and swallowed New Orleans, popular culture doesn't quite know what to do with Hurricane Katrina and its ongoing effect on the city's and the country's identity. The diminishing news reports vacillate between patly hopeful -- Mardi Gras is back! -- and numerically dispiriting as the city faces funding issues and the overwhelming challenge of recalling a diaspora. Attempts to explore Katrina artistically have been less than wildly successful.
November 8, 2008 |
Hurricane Paloma pounded the British Caribbean territory of the Cayman Islands after strengthening into a dangerously powerful storm, posing a serious threat to storm-battered Cuba. Businesses, schools and offices closed down in the Caymans, a major financial center, while residents shuttered homes and visitors tried to flee as the late-season storm hurtled northward. Paloma gathered power menacingly fast as it neared Grand Cayman Island and it became a major hurricane -- Category 3 on the five-step scale of storm intensity -- with top sustained winds of 115 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
September 3, 2008 |
As the water began to rise on the first floor of her house Monday, Connie Danese hurriedly stacked ornaments, photos and other valuables on top of a piano that had been in her husband's family for decades. Other keepsakes were piled onto every available surface on the kitchen counter and table. More belongings were hauled upstairs. Connie and Sam Danese refused to evacuate when Hurricane Gustav approached their two-story house in the Oak Harbor subdivision of this small coastal Mississippi town.
September 2, 2008 |
Three years after disgracing itself with a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledged Monday, as it mobilized against the force of Gustav, that it had learned some lessons. Nearly 2 million Gulf Coast residents were evacuated to shelters by plane, train and bus hours before Hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana. Helicopters sat on the fringes to start search-and-rescue efforts as soon as the skies cleared. Crates of food, water and blankets were at the ready -- all in stark contrast to the too-little-too-late response to Katrina that left thousands stranded, about 1,800 dead and 90,000 square miles devastated.
September 1, 2008 |
The first stirrings of Hurricane Gustav on Mississippi's coast showed up late Sunday in the ominous rain that pelted down along Highway 49. The rain was accompanied by the drenched, forlorn Louisiana evacuees who showed up in hotel lobbies desperate for a place to stay. Desperation was just as palpable on the other side of the projected hurricane zone, in Beaumont, Texas. There, thousands of residents were joining the auto caravans snaking eastward, leaving a nearly emptied ghost town for the Louisiana refugees who fled behind them.