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This Hour: Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Judge rules against Jindal in Common Core lawsuit

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A state judge has ruled against Gov. Bobby Jindal in a lawsuit filed by Common Core supporters, lifting a contract suspension Jindal enacted to derail the multi-state education standards.

Judge Todd Hernandez issued a written ruling Tuesday.

He said Jindal's suspension of contracts the education department planned to use to buy testing material aligned with Common Core is causing harm to parents, teachers, administrators and students.

The contract suspension has stalled standardized testing plans for third-grade through eighth-grade students in Louisiana's public schools.

Jindal Chief of Staff Kyle Plotkin says the governor will appeal Hernandez's ruling, calling it "wrong on the facts and the law."

Parents, teachers and a charter school organization sued Jindal after he suspended the contracts, alleging he violated constitutional separations of authority over education policy.


Drive-by shooting suspect gets in fight in custody

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A suspect in a deadly drive-by shooting in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward got into a fight with another inmate on his first day inside Orleans Parish Prison.

Court records show Blair Taylor, one of two men police say opened fire Aug. 10 on a crowd of mostly women and children, was attacked by another inmate last Thursday - hours after being booked on murder charges.

A new arrest report shows Taylor was re-booked with an additional charge of aggravated battery, after deputies said he grabbed a wooden cane from a disabled inmate and swung it at his attacker's head while that man was restrained by guards who broke up the fight. Times-Picayune reports Taylor fought with 30-year-old Lawrence Wells, the alleged aggressor in the altercation.


Child's father arrested, accused of beating son

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Detectives have arrested a Baton Rouge man after they accused him of beating his 5-year-old son so badly the child was put in the hospital in critical condition.

WBRZ-TV reports 36-year-old Vernell Day was booked Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Investigators say Day's son was taken to the hospital, where he was found to have contusions on his forehead and multiple brain bleeds, as well as old bruises that were in various stages of healing and signs of malnourishment.

Detectives said Day refused to make any statements to investigators. It was unclear if he has an attorney.


Graphic Packaging to upgrade West Monroe mill

WEST MONROE, La. (AP) - Graphic Packaging International Inc. says it's making a $41.5 million investment in its paper mill in West Monroe to upgrade production machinery.

Company officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the new investment Tuesday. They say the move will help Graphic Packaging retain 1,340 employees at its three Louisiana sites.

The upgrades will include expansion of the facility's fiber storage capacity and improvements to the dryer section, coater and stock cleaning areas. They also will help reduce the site's environmental footprint, including improvements in the handling of solid waste.

The project follows the company's 2012 enhancement of its consumer carton production, also in West Monroe.

Graphic Packaging, based in Atlanta, Georgia, produces paperboard for use in beverage and other consumer-based packaging.


Jindal supports reversal of Edmonson pension boost

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.

Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said Tuesday the governor will support efforts to reverse the law change in the next legislative session. Reed says while Jindal knew the change helped Edmonson, he didn't realize the legislation only affected two people when he signed it into law.

The change, which carries a $300,000 price tag over five years, has drawn significant criticism as a backroom deal for a political insider.

Edmonson has said he won't take the increase.

The state police retirement system board is holding a Sept. 4 meeting to review recommendations from its attorneys, who say the retirement boost wasn't properly passed.


Age limit on Louisiana officials on hold for now

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana court officials facing new age restrictions that could oust them from office will instead be allowed to sign up for re-election bids next week.

A Baton Rouge judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a law that prohibits anyone age 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.

District Judge Tim Kelley granted the request from the Louisiana Justice of the Peace and Constables Association, which has filed a lawsuit claiming the restriction is unconstitutional.

A law that sets the mandatory retirement age of 70 for the court officials has been on the books since 2006, but it excluded anyone elected before then. Sen. Elbert Guillory's bill removed that exemption.

Kelley's order allows anyone exempted before Guillory's bill to sign up for re-election.


Attorney general sues State Farm over auto repairs

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed a lawsuit against State Farm, alleging the insurer is illegally diverting customers who have been involved in an accident to repair sites that use junkyard and substandard parts.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Baton Rouge, accusing the insurance company of violating Louisiana's unfair trade practices act.

Caldwell says State Farm steers people who have been in a car crash to repair providers that have agreements to get the car fixed as cheaply as possible. The attorney general's office says that jeopardizes safety.

State Farm insurers 33 percent of drivers in Louisiana. Company spokesman Phil Supple said State Farm still is reviewing the lawsuit, but he says the claims are out of line with the company's mission and its history of vehicle safety advancements.


Ingram's confidence surging after strong outings

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career undermine his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.

With 1,605 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns in his first three pro seasons, Alabama's first Heisman Trophy winner is now a widely perceived under-achiever in the NFL.

Still, Ingram has said this week that he aims to be one of the best running backs in NFL history, adding that experience has made him more comfortable with what it takes to succeed as an NFL running back. Coaches and teammates agree, saying Ingram looks as confident and comfortable as ever.

Ingram has averaged 7.8 yards per carry in the preseason, and has scored touchdowns running and receiving.

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