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State Board Overturns Some Restrictions On Medical Marijuana

It’s been three years since the Louisiana Legislature approved medical marijuana as a treatment option for certain health conditions. The drug is expected to become available to patients this year, and the number of people who could qualify has grown to about 100,000, after the Legislature expanded the program to include medical conditions like chronic pain and PTSD.

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Violent Crime Stays Flat Nationally, Louisiana Still Leads States for Murder

Violent crime stayed essentially flat last year, according to statistics just released by the FBI. Those crimes were down by 0.2 percent last year, after a sharp increase of more than 5 percent the year before. That means violent crime has essentially plateaued at a level higher than the lows of a few years ago — but is still substantially lower than the high rates of the 1980s and 1990s. As always, there's great regional variability in violent crimes, even within metro areas. The overall...

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For the first time in more than a century, the contents of a time capsule revealed Confederate secrets.

The copper box was unearthed from the pedestal that used to carry the statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in front of City Park.

Columbine "Swan Blue white" ...bicolored columbines grace landscapes in April with their stately flower stalks arising above the plant foliage.
LSU AgCenter

Gardeners can utilize the intense heat of the summer sun to control soil-born pests in vegetable gardens. Through solarization, you can use heat from the sunlight to control pathogenic fungi, nematodes, and weed seeds in the soil.

Solarization is the process of heating the soil in our beds under a covering of clear plastic using the energy of the sunlight, similar to the way a greenhouse might work. It can only be used on an empty bed, so as you remove vegetable crops you might have a perfect opportunity to use solarization.

It’s been almost exactly one year since record-breaking rains flooded much of the city, and the city’s pumping and drainage system couldn’t keep up. Later it was revealed that many of the Sewerage and Water Board pumps and turbines weren’t working. Sewerage and Water Board officials say since then they've made $82 million in repairs, and today, the pumping and drainage system is in much better shape.

More than half of Louisiana’s public school children get free or reduced-priced meals at school because their families are struggling financially. But when school lets out for the summer, kids still need to eat. And that’s tough on poor families, especially in rural areas. 

United Soybean Board / Flickr Creative Commons

Louisiana plants more soybean per acre than any other row crop in the state. Last month, China introduced a tariff on American soybeans, making them 25% more expensive for Chinese buyers. The move was a response to tariffs announced by President Trump on Chinese goods. How will the soybean tariff impact Louisiana farmers? 

Every summer, a dead zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area with so little oxygen that marine life can’t survive, caused mostly by agricultural fertilizers that wash down the Mississippi River.

 

According to a new study from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), it’s much smaller this year. But, that might not necessarily be a sign of progress.

Rick Bogren / LSU AgCenter

Summer flowering vines can add color and fragrance to any landscape. They could add shade and screening if they're allowed to cover an overhead structure. No other group of landscape plants can provide the same effect that vines can.

This week, we'll talk about a selection of perennial vines that can thrive even during the blistering heat of Louisiana's summer and are best planted in full to part-sun areas of the garden.

The Army Corps of Engineers has a system for classifying river and hurricane levees across the country. On Thursday, officials announced the final classifications for Southeast Louisiana. From Baton Rouge to New Orleans levee systems are considered “Moderate to High Risk.”

Though that may sound concerning, the Army Corps stresses that these classifications are not safety ratings. New Orleans District commander Colonel Mike Clancy says the levees themselves are in good shape.

Wallis Watkins

Election season is officially underway, as qualifying for the fall election ended Friday, July 20. Voters in Louisiana will head to the polls Nov. 6 to choose the state’s six members in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Secretary of State in Louisiana. 

LSU AgCenter

In many ways, having a plant produce a flower is our trophy as gardeners for doing such a good job in the care and maintenance of our landscape plans. But there is much more to a flower than the symbolism of success. To understand flower biology, you must understand the parts of a flower.

The main components are the sepals, the leaf-like structures under the flower itself; the pedals, the colored part of the flower, which contain the perfume and nectar glands, and are the part to which we're more attracted; and, lastly, the male and female parts of the flower, which are responsible for production of the seed.

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