GULF OIL SPILL-SETTLEMENT
BP notches win in bid to block settlement payments
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has temporarily suspended BP oil spill settlement payments to businesses while he reconsiders the company's arguments against compensating those that cannot trace losses directly to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
Judge Carl Barbier (BARB-yay) issued an order Thursday noting the claims office will continue taking and processing business claims but won't make final decisions or payments until the matter is settled.
BP is trying to block what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to Gulf Coast businesses.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Barbier must reconsider BP PLC's arguments.
Judge: Brennan's in New Orleans is bankrupt
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal bankruptcy judge says the company that formerly owned the landmark New Orleans restaurant Brennan's is bankrupt and must be liquidated.
Companies that supplied food and flowers sued in October to force Brennan's Inc. into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Judge Jerry Brown's order Thursday says the company never responded, so creditors get what they asked for.
Attorney Vic Welsh represents Owen "Pip" Brennan Jr., a company director. Welsh tells The Times-Picayune that creditors had good reason, and there was nothing his client could do.
Attorney Todd Slack represents Brennan's brother Ted Brennan, who was ousted as company president when Pip Brennan became a director. Slack also represents Ted Brennan's daughter. Slack says they think Pip Brennan should have fought the petition.
The Times-Picayune first reported the bankruptcy.
FATAL BOAT CRASH
Springfield man killed in boating accident
SPRINGFIELD, La. (AP) - Louisiana wildlife agents are investigating a boating accident that claimed the life of a 68-year-old Springfield man.
Agents say the accident happened Thursday on the Blood River east of Springfield in Livingston parish.
Officials say Emil J. Durbin's 16 foot board struck a tree, ejecting him into the water.
Weekly unemployment insurance claims drop
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Nov. 30 decreased from the previous week's total due to the shorter work-week for Thanksgiving.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 1,850 from the previous week's total of 2,854. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 4,048.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 2,444 from the previous week's total of 2,558.
Continued unemployment claims claimed for the week ending Nov. 30 decreased to 22,425 compared to 22,839 the previous week.
The four-week moving average for such claims increased to 22,539 from the previous week's average of 22,536.
GULF OIL SPILL-RESTORATION
Gulf gets more restoration projects from BP fund
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says coastal resiliency is important to President Barack Obama's climate action plan.
Jewell was at a national park outside New Orleans Friday to describe the latest round of efforts to help the Gulf Coast recover from the 2010 BP oil spill.
Money for the 44 projects is coming from a $1 billion fund BP created in 2011.
Of the projects, 16 have been added in Florida since a preliminary announcement last spring. The new projects raise Florida's total fund allocation from about $73 million to more than $105 million, and boost the Gulf-wide total to $627 million.
More than $300 million will remain in the fund once final approval is granted to the new projects.
LSU Health Shreveport establishes new center
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A new center at LSU Health Shreveport will help people who suffer strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
The Times reports the Louisiana Board of Regents approved the new center Thursday. The LSU Board of Supervisors in November approved a five-year plan for the center, which will be funded with money from the Feist endowment. The center has a $2 million proposed operating budget.
LSU Health researcher Chris Kevil believes the center will help coordinate existing efforts and spur more research. Kevil will head the center.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.