The total cost of the cyberattack that brought down New Orleans' computer systems almost a week ago and how long it will take to bring them back online both remain unclear.
But city officials, who held a media briefing on the crisis late Thursday, said the price tag for the response is likely to be substantial. And despite dozens of volunteers onsite to assist in the recovery, only about a tenth of the city's computers have been repaired so far.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell told WWL-TV that she expected the cost of the attack would exceed the $3 million cyber insurance policy the city has in place, and that she will seek to increase the policy to $10 million next year. She did not discuss the insurance policy at the briefing.
"This is a very large task ahead of us," Cantrell said. "In terms of a dollar amount, thats still really in the works as we determine the computers or equipment that will be pulled offline indefinitely."
Read more: https://www.nola.com/news/article_f4f6d0be-22a8-11ea-acd6-670063aa544f.html
The developers of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans are seeking a permit to take down three adjacent buildings as part of their demolition plan for the site, according to permits filed with the city.
The plan would involve tearing down century-old structures two on Canal Street and one on Iberville Street that survived the collapse and are owned by the major partners in the Hard Rock project.
Historic preservationists said they are sensitive to the complex challenges of bringing down the rest of the hotel safely and recovering the bodies of two workers that remain in the rubble. But they, along with a City Council member, worry the demolitions may be unnecessary and simply result in more properties being destroyed.
Its been a tragedy, Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents and Associates Executive Director Erin Holmes said of the collapse. But we dont need to continue removing the historic fabric of Canal Street. VCPORA is going to be opposed to any further demolition around the site unless a clear need is demonstrated for their removal.
Read more: https://www.nola.com/news/article_6a354d5e-2378-11ea-bf29-c314fc7d4692.html
On Saturday, two days after former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to rip off a health care program, he released an apology through his attorney, Robert Beeman.
In life we are challenged to make choices that may shift or slow the trajectory of our future, Horn, 47, said in the emailed statement. Unfortunately, we do not get to determine the consequences of ill-advised decisions.
Horn appeared before a federal judge in Kentucky on Thursday and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud after admitting that he received $149,775 for fake claims submitted through fake invoices and phony prescriptions in 2018.
He was one of 10 retired NFL players charged by the U.S. Justice Department this month with defrauding the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Plan, which provides tax-free reimbursements to former players and their families for medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Read more: https://www.nola.com/news/courts/article_cec3b99c-244d-11ea-b0e0-c3e1c4f649e4.html
A man and woman who were discovered shot to death this month under the North Boulevard overpass may have been homeless, but they weren't without families who loved and cared about them.
Now, their families want people to know that their lives had value as they try to process what happened on Friday, Dec. 13.
A resident walking along South 16th Street discovered the bodies of 53-year-old Christina Fowler and 40-year-old Gregory Corcoran Jr. around 1 p.m., resting beside an empty shopping cart near the roadway. The nature of Fowler and Corcorans relationship is not known. They were still wrapped in their blankets, apparently shot as they were laying down.
No motive or suspects have been identified as yet, Baton Rouge Police Sgt. LJean McKneely Jr. said. It's unclear when the shootings occurred, and authorities are not releasing further information while the investigation remains open.
Read more: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/crime_police/article_c0c1816a-22c9-11ea-a8be-5375e19e50c9.html
Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux revealed Tuesday that the Lafayette Utilities System overpaid more than $2 million to its sister utility LUS Fiber for services over eight years.
The additional $2 million in questionable payments comes after Robideaux already identified more than $8 million in payments made by LUS to Fiber, which he reported as possible violation of state law that prohibits the public utility from subsidizing its related cable TV and internet provider.
Those payments were for a power outage monitoring service that Robideaux said was not being used and had duplicated a similar service LUS created under a $22 million smart meter system developed by the utility.
The payments between LUS and Fiber cost the utility's ratepayers more than they should have paid, according to Robideaux's review. He and others have raised concerns that LUS was overpaying Fiber to help keep the sister utility afloat during because of its struggling finances.
Read more: https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2019/12/17/report-lus-fiber-overcharged-lafayette-utilities-system-services/2679714001/
NEW YORK (AP) Nancy Glynn could not afford a funeral for her newborn son who died after a premature birth.
She was already taking time off from her job as a waitress in Manchester, New Hampshire, to recover from a C-section. Adding to her difficulties, her husband had an unplanned surgery just two days after the baby died.
Sawyer was cremated, his remains put into an urn the funeral home provided for free. The couple, who also had a 3-year-old son, struggled to pay the bills and their gas was cut off. A cousin set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help them pay the rent.
Glynn was back at work after just a few weeks, smiling for customers. She sometimes hid in the restaurant office to cry.
Read more: https://www.americanpress.com/news/business/most-us-workers-still-pay-price-of-no-paid-parental/article_55760abf-ccbb-5fdf-9b80-abf16ed693b7.html
(Lake Charles American Press)
PORTLAND, Oregon Alisa Holteen likes to play a game where she imagines a life different from the ones shes currently living.
What would it be like, she wonders, to never have to worry about money?
She posed this question recently at the homeless camp she lives at in Northeast Portland, chatting with friends outside her tent about what it would be like to have an unlimited supply of cash. Certainly, theyd always be warm and clean, and have a roof over their heads, they agreed. Perhaps best of all, she recalled wistfully, shed never go hungry.
Holteen, 32, is one of an estimated 36 million Americans on food stamps, a federal benefits program that President Donald Trumps administration wants to cut dramatically.
Read more: https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2019/12/22/trump-food-stamps-cut-snap-benefits-more-hungry-americans/2726447001/
Entergy New Orleans, the citys electric and gas utility, filed two lawsuits on Friday over recent decisions by the New Orleans City Council, which serves as the companys regulator. One of the suits challenges the councils November decision to lower the profit rate the company can collect from New Orleans customers. The other challenges a $1 million fine the council levied on the company for its inaction and omissions in mitigating the thousands of power outages the city experiences every year.
In a letter to the Clerk of Council, Entergy attorney Alyssa Maurice-Anderson said the company needed to file the suits within 30 days of the Nov. 7 council votes in order to maintain the option of pursuing a judgement down the line. But, she wrote, the company is willing to negotiate with the council through the citys regulation process, known as a utility docket.
I would emphasize that [Entergy New Orleans] remains open to efforts to resolve the issues in this docket through agreement as opposed to continued litigation, the letter said.
As part of a resolution setting citywide gas and electric rates, called a rate case, the City Council last month voted to lower Entergys return on equity rate, a key factor in determining the amount of profit it can collect from customers, despite threats from the company that it would sue. The councils decision also went against the wishes Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who sided with Entergys demand for a higher profit.
Read more: https://thelensnola.org/2019/12/10/entergy-sues-the-city-council-over-lower-profit-rate-and-1-million-fine/
The most serious threat to abortion rights right now is a Louisiana law - and it's heading to the SCBy Bruce Hamilton
Recently the ACLU of Louisiana filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights challenging a law that would decimate access to abortion in Louisiana.
The stakes could not be higher.
This will be the first abortion case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court since President Trumps appointment of conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. If the Louisiana law is upheld, it would upend the precedent set by a similar case out of Texas just four years ago and threaten the fundamental right to abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade.
June Medical Services v. Gee challenges a Louisiana law that requires doctors who work at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This is a medically unnecessary requirement that would shutter every abortion clinic in the state but one. Like similar laws around the country, the Louisiana law is an abortion ban in disguise. Designed to look like an attempt to protect womens health, this laws true intent is to close clinics and eliminate access to abortion.
Legal factfinding and evidence from numerous other cases confirms that the Louisiana law would significantly burden peoples ability to get an abortion in Louisiana. In fact, every district court to have examined the effects of comparable admitting-privileges laws has reinforced this determination.
Read more: https://thelensnola.org/2019/12/12/the-most-serious-threat-to-abortion-rights-right-now-is-a-louisiana-law-and-its-heading-to-the-supreme-court/
BATON ROUGE Every year at Denham Springs Junior High, Elizabeth Rea gives her students a quiz to help them to formulate their own political opinions.
I take it with them, and depending on what kinds of questions are asked, my opinions change over time, she said. On some issues, Im more moderate now as Ive gotten older.
Rea, who used to be the most conservative member of her family, found herself siding with Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards in last months gubernatorial election.
Edwards remains the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, even though President Donald Trump, who is popular in Louisiana, campaigned strongly against him. To win re-election, Edwards needed support from some voters like Rea who voted for the president in 2016.
Read more: https://www.thetowntalk.com/story/news/local/louisiana/2019/12/20/louisiana-donald-trump-supporters-vote-john-bel-edwards/2703419001/
(Alexandria Town Talk)
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