NEW ORLEANS — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending $7.4 million to Louisiana in Hurricane Isaac recovery funds to help impacted families with additional household and education needs and more.
The FEMA dollars are going to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services for a Disaster Case Management Program to aid Isaac victims.
Sen. Mary Landrieu announced the new grant Tuesday and said that she had pressed for such family assistance with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate.
Lafourche Parish administrator OK’d
THIBODAUX — Lafourche Parish has a new administrator two months after ousting its previous administrator.
The Parish Council approved President Charlotte Randolph’s appointment of Archie Chaisson III at its first meeting of the year Tuesday.
The position is the parish’s top executive under Randolph. The administrator oversees grants, contracts, personnel and paying for projects.
Chaisson has worked as the parish’s coastal zone manager since 2011.
Randolph said Chaisson will balance some of his coastal zone manager duties with the new position.
Crystal Chiasson, the previous administrator, was ousted in November when voters approved a new law requiring that the administrator live in Lafourche. She is an Assumption Parish resident.
Medicaid contract gains in value
BATON ROUGE — A $185 million multiyear contract with a company to take over the state’s Medicaid claims processing is getting more lucrative.
State Department of Health and Hospitals Undersecretary Jerry Phillips said Tuesday that an amendment will add about $8 million to the money CNSI will receive under its contract.
CNSI won the state contract, overcoming protests from unsuccessful bidders who claimed the business information processing firm had “low balled” costs.
DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein had once worked for CNSI. He repeatedly has denied having anything to do with CNSI’s selection by DHH.
The change increasing the contract by $8 million is pending approval by the governor’s Office of State Purchasing.
LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette City-Parish Council has approved a rate increase for Acadian Ambulance.
The council approved a resolution that will increase the costs of receiving emergency services from Acadian Ambulance by about 44 percent and the costs of non-emergency services by nearly 75 percent during the next two years.
The resolution approved Tuesday increases the current emergency service rate of $673 to $822 in 2013 and $971 in 2014. The non-emergency service rate would increase from the current $376 to $516 in 2013 and $657 in 2014.
Jerry Romero, Acadian’s senior vice president of operations, said the increased rates will “put Lafayette on par with the rest of the state” by 2014.
Woman arrested for stalking herself
CROWLEY — Police say a 34-year-old Crowley woman they arrested tried to convince investigators that her estranged boyfriend was sending her threatening text messages.
Trudy Miller was arrested Tuesday on one count of false swearing for violation of health or safety, a felony charge.
Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson says Miller was believed to be the victim of stalking about five weeks ago when she filed her first complaint.
But after charges were filed, Gibson said Miller’s former boyfriend repeatedly said he didn’t own the cellphone from which the threatening texts were sent.
After further investigation, Gibson says detectives found that Miller was in possession of the cellphone being used to send her threatening text messages.
Man admits he killed grandmother
LAKE CHARLES — A 35-year-old Lake Charles man accused of killing his grandmother has agreed to a last-minute plea deal.
A jury was picked and opening statements were expected to be given Tuesday when Carl Webb Jr. pleaded guilty to a lesser count.
Webb was charged with first-degree murder in the February 2009 death of 75-year-old Helen Webb, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Judge Clayton Davis sentenced him to 12 years in prison, to run concurrent with the 65-year sentence Webb received on unrelated weapons charges.
Prosecutor Jonathan Blake said an autopsy confirmed that Helen Webb died from three strikes to the head.
La. buys wetlands with oil spill funds
BATON ROUGE — The state has acquired more than 11,000 acres of wetlands in Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes as part of a conservation project funded by a settlement over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana said Monday that the $6.7 million purchase of the forested wetlands on the north shore of Lake Maurepas is funded by MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, which was a minority partner in BP’s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.
MOEX agreed last year to pay $90 million in a settlement with the federal government and Gulf states over the massive 2010 oil spill.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will manage the property as part of its existing Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
La. officials deny EPA violation claim
BATON ROUGE — State environmental quality officials say they followed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s instructions on submitting a plan to reduce ozone, but they are unsure why Louisiana was included on a list of states that failed to do so.
On Jan. 4, the EPA sent notices of failure to 28 states while also acknowledging that the letters are the result of unclear guidance from the federal agency.
Sam Phillips, assistant secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality, said he did not know why Louisiana received a failure notice since its draft plan was submitted before the EPA’s January deadline.
Phillips said there’s no fine or other consequence from the notice of failure, but it’s troubling that DEQ will have it on the department’s record.
B.R. company gets canal contract
NEW ORLEANS — A Baton Rouge company has a $44.8 million, 48-month contract for concrete-covered canals along two New Orleans streets.
The Army Corps of Engineers says the canals will reduce the risk of damages from the equivalent of about nine inches of rain over 24 hours. Such storms have a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year.
Cajun Constructors Inc. has the contract for about 3,700 feet of canal along Jefferson Avenue between Dryades and Constance streets, and another 1,300 feet along Prytania Street between Nashville and Jefferson avenues.
All Prytania Street traffic in the construction area will be detoured. On Jefferson Avenue, southbound traffic will be detoured to Nashville Avenue.
The Corps says work should begin in late March or early April.
From The Associated Press.