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MARDI GRAS PARADE-FATALITY

2nd person in days killed by Mardi Gras float in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities say a man has been struck and killed by a Mardi Gras float during a parade in New Orleans. It was the second death in days involving a parade float and cast a pall over the Carnival festivities. Police said in a statement that the death occurred Saturday night at the parade of the Krewe of Endymion. The rest of the parade was canceled. The New Orleans mayor said the city is grieving anew after a woman was killed on a parade route Wednesday. New Orleans police said late Sunday that tandem floats, save large ones lit by generators, would be banned from parades for rest of Carnival season.

LAW SCHOOL-SHREVEPORT

Study's verdict goes against new law school in Shreveport

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The idea of establishing a new law school in northwest Louisiana has been rejected in a study for state higher education officials. The Shreveport Times reports that two state lawmakers had asked for the feasibility study by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The study, presented Wednesday, found “little compelling evidence” that a new law school should be placed in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. State Rep. Cedric Glover was one of the lawmakers who sought the study. He said he was disappointed in the findings.

2020 CENSUS-LOUISIANA OUTREACH

Louisiana education department pushes census participation

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's education department has posted online information aimed at promoting participation in in this year's U.S. Census in classrooms and at home. The 2020 Census Toolbox site includes general information about the counting process, flyers, statistics and videos. It also includes learning activities by grade level that teachers can use to talk about the importance of the census. Census data determines how many members of Congress a state has and is used to divvy up significant sums of federal dollars that flow to states, among other things. Superintendent of Education John White stressed the data's use in education funding.

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR-CLIMATE CHANGE

Gov. Edwards creates task force to respond to climate change

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is planning an expansion of coastal restoration and flood protection efforts that will target greenhouse gas emissions by Louisiana industry as a way to reduce future sea level rise. Edwards announced the plans Thursday. The Democratic governor says he's forming a new Climate Initiatives Task Force that will come up with “next steps” for the state to take. But Edwards offered few specifics about how aggressive a line he would take towards reducing emissions. He praised Louisiana's energy industry and stressed that the carbon reduction efforts would be as industry-friendly as possible.

HEMP FARMING-LOUISIANA

Louisiana licenses issued allowing farmers to grow hemp

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has started handing out its first licenses to farmers to grow industrial hemp. Lawmakers legalized the crop last year in a bid to start a new agricultural industry in the state. The prospect of hemp as a new crop has excited farmers in Louisiana. Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but contains only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a high for marijuana users. Louisiana's hemp legalization came after Congress' 2018 Farm Bill removed the crop from the list of federally controlled substances. It also coincides with the increasing popularity of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant that is often extracted from hemp.

OKLAHOMA WIND FARMS

State gives go-ahead to share of massive wind farm project

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma electric utility has gotten regulatory approval of a share of a massive wind farm project proposed for seven counties in the north central part of the state. Public Service Co. of Oklahoma got approval for a 675-megawatt share of the project last week from a unanimous Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The PSO will own 45.5% of the 1,485-megawatt capacity of the North Central Energy Facilities. Corporate sibling Southwestern Electric Power Co. will own the rest. The four-state project also has been approved in Arkansas and awaits approval in Louisiana and Texas.

RIVER CRUISES

New riverboat passes sea trials, set for April cruise

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The American Queen Steamboat Co. says its fourth cruise boat has passed its second sea trial and will make its first cruise in April from New Orleans to Memphis. The company based in New Albany, Indiana, says the 245-passenger American Countess went through the Intracoastal Waterway from Houma to Morgan City, Louisiana, as part of its trial. A news release says the ship will move to New Orleans in late February for four weeks of finishing touches. The American Queen was built on the hull of a former casino boat from Iowa, but was lengthened by 60 feet.

AP-US-PLANTATIONS-HIDDEN-HISTORY

US 'honor roll' of historic places often ignores slavery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The National Register of Historic Places is the government’s official honor roll for more than 95,000 sites that are important to the story of the United States. Yet it’s also just another place where the U.S. largely skirts the evil of slavery on antebellum plantations. An Associated Press review found that register entries often ignore the topic of slavery or mention it only in passing. That includes the description of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Some entries are being updated to include the stories of slaves. But experts say the problem is rooted in a lack of concern for the stories of black people.