A tropical wave is moving from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation is over land right now, but it is worth watching as it pushes west. It is not likely anything will develop untilmore>>
Dolly has developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but not a threat to the northern Gulf coast.more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. The traditionally slow months are transforming with the return of some big-name conventions. more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as the last day to wear white.more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as a stopping point for wearing white.more>>
"The goal here is to get the best practices," said Firefighters Pension Board CEO and Secretary-Treasurer Richard Hampton at a board meeting Thursday. But the board doesn't even follow the best practices laid out by the state's legislative auditor.
"There's no alcohol purchased under the pension fund credit card," Hampton told us in an interview. "If anybody drank alcohol, it was purchased by an outside investment manager."
A receipt showed otherwise. The pension board paid $1,000 for unlimited beer, wine and liquor. The receipt didn't come from the pension board, though -- they don't keep any.
"I reviewed the credit card statements," said Hampton, "and as long as everything I see on the statement is in compliance with our rules and our expense policy, there's not an issue."
The board's policy states they have an expense review committee. The problem is they never created one, until Thursday.
"Given the info that was reported, our thoughts were that a review of our expense policy and a review of all checks and balances that we have in place for expenditures is warranted," Hampton told the board.
The board ordered that committee to review past expenses and create a tighter policy for the future.
Hampton said, "What we need to do is regain the confidence in anybody that would have any doubts that any actions that this board take were actions that were inappropriate or illegal [sic]."
Our story Monday night showed the New Orleans Fire Pension Board issued 11 credit cards to members and employees. New Orleans City Hall has a total of five cards for 4,000 employees.
But the board voted to suspend the use of all but one card -- the card assigned to the office will remain available for use.
"I think it would be appropriate, until committee does a report and makes a recommendation, that the credit cards assigned to any of the trustees cease to be used." Hampton said.
Trustees mainly used their cards for travel, but some charged meals. And with no receipts, it's hard to track what's a legitimate expenditure.
The board had some pricey restaurant bills -- $2500 at Mr. John's, $1100 at Tommy's Wine Bar -- but all of that will stop now, as the Fire Pension Board tightens its policies on spending.
I know everyone is busy, I know everyone has got commitments, but it's a necessary thing and I think that we've got to do it," said Board President Bud Carrouche. "We just have to make it our number one priority."
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffeymore>>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.more>>
For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where theymore>>
Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.more>>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.more>>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.more>>