HAPPENING TODAY: Major BP announcement expected; Essence Fest kickoff

HAPPENING TODAY: Major BP announcement expected; Essence Fest kickoff
Attorneys general in 4 Gulf states may announce BP news

Attorneys general in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all called news conferences in their respective states at the same time Thursday morning, and sources say it has something to do with the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell sent a notice to the media early Wednesday evening, but his office would not comment on the subject matter, saying only that "State leaders will make an important announcement at a news conference on Thursday, July 2, at 8 a.m." Media outlets in the other states received similar notices.

Speculation is rampant about a global settlement with BP that could bring billions of dollars to the federal, state and local governments. Sources tell FOX 8 News that Judge Carl Barbier has ordered details and documents sealed.

The blowout on April 20, 2010, killed 11 rig workers. For 87 days, the wild well 50 miles south of Venice belched millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf.

Chance of showers lessens Thursday

Storm coverage Wednesday was quite extensive. It was estimated around 60-70 percent.

That does not appear to be the case Thursday with coverage only around 20 percent. The same is true for Friday.

That's good news for fireworks in Metairie, with only a few more showers possible on the 4th.

Sunday could be a bit wetter with around 50 percent coverage.

We look to dry out again for early next week. Drier days with fewer clouds also lead to hotter afternoons.

Essence Music Festival begins with star-studded Thursday night

The 21st Essence Festival begins Thursday with a day of remembrance and star-studded main stage lineup.

Thursday will feature a day of service in commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. Music is set to kick off Thursday night at the Superdome.

This evening's schedule includes:

  • Lecrae (7 p.m.)
  • Trey Songz (7:45 p.m.)
  • Kevin Hart (8:45 p.m.)

The Essence Festival features empowerment seminars with nationally known speakers by day and concerts by top artists by night.

Headliners for 2015 include Usher, Missy Elliott, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, comedian Kevin Hart, Common, India.Arie, Trey Songz, and New Orleans' own Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.  Empowerment speakers include Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Shaun T, and Kim Burrell.