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ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
“The Bathtub,” the grittily colorful Bayou region in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” may seem like a difficult and impoverished place. After all, director Benh Zeitlin based it on towns outside the Louisiana levee system that have been destroyed and rebuilt dozens of times and lack what might be considered a conventional quality of life. But Zeitlin says that he views the Bathtub -- and the real-life towns that inspired it -- as something very different. “There's this kind of joyous spirit that's still intact and this culture that's still intact,” he told the audience at the Times' Envelope Screening Series earlier this week.
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OPINION
April 23, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
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BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | By Lauren Beale
The Louisiana home used in the film “Steel Magnolias” will be sold by auction on Oct. 26. Located in Natchitoches near the Cane River, the red-brick house was built in 1840 and used as a hospital during the Civil War.   Many of the scenes from the 1989 movie, starring Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field and Julia Roberts, were filmed in the home and on the grounds. In recent years the property has been used as a bed and breakfast. Distinctive L.A. homes draw vacationers Features include circular brick columns along the front of the home, original wood floors and a grand staircase.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Left-leaning political talk show host Cenk Uygur has raised $4 million to expand his digital video company the Young Turks Network, and the money comes from a seemingly unlikely source: Republican Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana. Roemer's private equity fund, Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co., is providing $4 million in seed financing with an option to go up to $8 million, which the network plans to use to expand its reach through Internet streaming, local television and international syndication deals.
NATIONAL
June 13, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- At least one person died and another is missing and presumed dead after an explosion Thursday at a petrochemical plant in the central Louisiana town of Geismar, authorities said. Another 49 people were removed from the plant by ambulance, according to Jean Kelly, a spokeswoman for the state's department of environmental quality, which responded to the explosion. She said 300 workers were evacuated at the time of the blast. The explosion occurred at about 8:37 a.m. CDT at the Williams Geismar Olefins plant, leading officials to notify local emergency managers, activate emergency shut-down valves and isolate the unit, according to a company statement . After the explosion, a boiler at the plant caught fire, according to a statement on the Iberville Parish Facebook page.
NATIONAL
April 25, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
In Texas, there is a special opprobrium reserved for a man who would steal another man's horse. In Louisiana, the same can be said for a crawfish thief. The Bayou State's criminal code, in fact, specifically addresses the pilfering of mudbugs, in Title 14, Chapter 67, Part 5. Make off with enough of the tiny crustaceans and you could find yourself, at least theoretically, doing a 10-year prison sentence, "with or without hard labor," the law states -- and with a low likelihood of earning the respect of your bunkmate when you tell him how you ended up in Angola.
OPINION
May 28, 2010 | Danny Heitman
The oil spill disaster off the coast of my home state of Louisiana is stark evidence that humans have an awesome power to change the natural landscape, often for the worse. But landscapes also have the power to change us, as John James Audubon was reminded when he arrived in Louisiana in 1821. In Louisiana, Audubon encountered a biblical abundance of wildlife that transformed him and his bird art, enlarging his sense of possibility and refining his genius as an observer of the natural world.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2011 | Tribune staff and wire reports
A tornado reportedly damaged more than 100 homes in southwest Louisiana Saturday, killing one woman, authorities said. Witnesses reported seeing houses completely ripped from their foundations. Eleven people were reported injured. The 21-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on her house, said Maxine Trahan, a spokeswoman for the Acadia Parish sheriff. Debris was littered throughout Rayne, the town of about 8,500 people, after a line of violent thunderstorms moved through the area and left behind a swath of damage about a quarter of a mile wide to three miles long.
NEWS
March 24, 2012 | By David Meeks
Louisiana holds its Republican primary today in a race that is mostly about building momentum, as the winner can collect no more than 20 of the state's 46 delegates, and the results will have little impact on the fight for the nomination. It has turned out to be a bad week for Republicans to hold the primary. Louisianans have been spent the week obsessed with the New Orleans Saints, the state's NFL franchise, which was hit with unprecedented penalties by Commissioner Roger Goodell for running - and repeatedly lying about - an illegal "bounty" program that for three years rewarded defensive players with extra cash payments if they injured opponents.
NATIONAL
July 26, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Officials said on Friday that they are continuing to study the scene of a blowout and fire at a natural gas well 55 miles off of the coast of Louisiana to decide how to  secure the site. A slight sheen associated with spilled oil is still being detected on the water's surface but is dissipating, according to a joint statement by the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Coast Guard, and the company involved, Walter Oil & Gas Corp . On Tuesday, the natural gas well had a blowout, forcing 44 workers to evacuate.
NEWS
April 15, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
When Sen. Mary L. Landrieu assumed the chairmanship of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee this year, it was a major boon to her difficult reelection campaign - placing her in a prominent position to aid her state's oil and gas industry and strengthening her argument to voters that her seniority is an asset. A new television ad released by Landrieu on Tuesday hammers that point, reintroducing the three-term Democrat as holding “the most powerful position in the Senate for Louisiana” and demonstrating her independence from the Obama administration - a recurrent theme in her red-state campaign where President Obama has cast a long shadow.
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister has apologized after a video surfaced of the Republican lawmaker in a romantic encounter with a member of his staff. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen posted a brief video sent by an anonymous source that shows McAllister, who is married, leaving his congressional office in Monroe, La., after passionately kissing a woman the paper identified as his district scheduler, Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock. According to the newspaper, the incident occurred on Dec. 23, barely a month after McAllister had been sworn into office.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Most people may take natural gas for granted. It fuels the flame on your stove, fires your furnace. It's there when you need it. For Sempra Energy, natural gas is big business. The San Diego company owns Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution company, and San Diego Gas & Electric, one of the largest publicly owned power companies in the country. Sempra reported net income of $1 billion last year on revenue of $10.6 billion. It has 17,000 employees worldwide and provides energy to more than 30 million people.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Mark Z. Barabak
He has served in prison, starred in a short-lived reality TV show and delivered enough quotable quips to fill a bookshelf in the public library. Now, in his latest exhibition of life as political performance art, Edwin Edwards - former Louisiana governor, convicted racketeer, celebrated womanizer and, at age 86, new father - announced Monday he would be a candidate for Congress. "I've given a great deal of thought to this ... and I acknowledge that there are good reasons why I should not run ... but there are better reasons why I should," Edwards told reporters in Baton Rouge, La. "I am positive I can run, and I am confident I can win. " When last seen on the national stage, Edwards was co-starring in " The Governor's Wife ," an A&E series focused on his pen-pal-turned-bride No. 3, Trina Scott.
NATIONAL
March 11, 2014 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Glenn Ford, one of the nation's longest-serving prisoners on death row, is scheduled to be freed from a Louisiana prison after he was exonerated of charges that he killed a man in 1983, his lawyers announced. A Louisiana court on Monday ordered that Ford, an African American who served 30 years on death row, be released after new information exonerated the former yard worker of killing a white man. Ford was expected to be released Tuesday. [Updated, 5:53 p.m.:  Ford walked free Tuesday afternoon.
SPORTS
January 30, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
When Elijah Stewart arrived at Westchester High as a sophomore from DeRidder, La., population 10,578, the junior varsity basketball coach, Dewitt Cotton, started calling him "Texas. " "That was the first thing that came out of my mouth, because he was from the South," Cotton said. Stewart, an unassuming, polite, 6-foot-4 senior who lived in Cajun country most of his life, simply went with the flow. "The story is they didn't think I was going to last in the program," Stewart said.
NATIONAL
November 16, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Richard Simon
An oil platform exploded off of the coast of Louisiana, injuring at least four people, the Coast Guard said Friday. Officials were searching for at least two people who were believed to be missing. The explosion took place about 9 a.m. local time, sparking a fire on the platform that has since been extinguished, a Coast Guard spokesman, Chief Bobby Nash, said in an  interview with the Los Angeles Times. At least four people were evacuated from the platform, about 25 miles off the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle, and taken to a hospital.
NEWS
December 19, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The suspension of A&E "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson this week, for comments he made condemning homosexuality in a new GQ magazine profile, has managed to open another breach in the long-simmering American culture wars. This time, the controversy involves one of the few bona-fide conservative stars on television, part of the hottest reality show on cable TV, lending the brouhaha a "Casablanca" feel: Liberals are shocked, shocked that a star from a show about life in rural America has expressed opinions still common in much of rural America.
NATIONAL
December 26, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
It was about 2:15 a.m. on Christmas Day when Chantel Guillote and her family heard a boom from the home next door at Whispering Oaks Trailer Park in Houma, La. Then came the screaming, in Spanish, as the neighbors banged on Guillote's windows. When she opened the door, she saw the smoke, and a family on her doorstep crying for help. Guillote, 35, her son and her boyfriend rushed to try to save her neighbors from the fire.  They grabbed as many of the children as they could and brought them to their trailer.
NATIONAL
December 26, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
METAIRIE, La. - In the months before Congress passed the president's healthcare law, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu faced a deluge: The office phones rang off the hook, the mail was heavy and a few restive constituents - well aware of the cameras - showed up at her events urging her to vote against it. The three-term Louisiana Democrat was one of the final holdouts, but ultimately she backed the bill. And now in this red state - where President Obama lost by 18 percentage points in 2012 - her opponents intend to make her pay the price.
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