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UL-Lafayette to lead research effort aimed at unlocking Tuscaloosa Marine Shale potential

BY BEN MYERS | bmyers@theadvocate.com

The massive Tuscaloosa Marine Shale covering eight million acres in Louisiana and Mississippi has long tantalized oil companies and economic development officials with the promise of a new oil boom. But idiosyncratic extraction challenges and the 2014 plunge in the price of oil have kept the Tuscaloosa Marine from realizing its economic potential, analysts say. Read more

Truckers sidelined by Louisiana's frozen highways aren't happy, but mostly taking it in stride

BY DAVID J. MITCHELL | dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Jerry Atkins figured late Thursday morning that his long-haul delivery was already destined to be a losing proposition whenever I-10 eventually did open up from the unexpected snow and ice that left traffic paralyzed in south Louisiana. Read more

Critically low water pressure leaves New Orleans hotels, restaurants scrambling to accommodate guests

BY GORDON RUSSELL AND IAN MCNULTY | grussell@theadvocate.com imcnulty@theadvocate.com

On the cusp of a busy weekend, New Orleans tourism officials were scrambling to accommodate guests late Thursday as water pressure in some hotels — particularly high-rises — dropped so low that toilets and showers stopped working. Read more

Grace Notes: As it struggles with weather woes, south Louisiana not looking so ready for prime time

BY STEPHANIE GRACE | sgrace@theadvocate.com

The concept of prime time, the evening window when television networks broadcast their biggest shows, is pretty dated. These days, when people want to watch something, they just call it up and hit play. And when they use the word prime, they're often talking about the popular bundle of services offered by online giant Amazon. Read more

Stephanie Grace: TOPS emerging as political pawn in budget fight

BY STEPHANIE GRACE | sgrace@theadvocate.com

For the past year, a legislative task force has been working away, gathering data and trying to come up with a proposal to curtail the future cost of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarships, or TOPS. This, it has long seemed, would be where the politics over the immensely popular entitlement, which pays tuition but not fees at state colleges for students who meet relatively modest benchmarks, would play out this year. Read more

Loved ones mourn infant killed when car plunged into Metairie canal, pray for mom's recovery

BY RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS | rvargas@theadvocate.com

The young mother whose infant son died after their car slid off an icy Metairie bridge and into a drainage canal was fighting for her life Thursday at a hospital, said family and friends stuck between mourning for the boy and praying for his mom's recovery. Read more

New Orleans, south Louisiana not among finalists for new Amazon headquarters

Advocate wire and staff report

It was worth a try, but the long shot New Orleans and Baton Rouge took at landing Amazon's 50,000-job second headquarters didn't make the cut to 20 finalists. Read more

Kyle Duncan's nomination to 5th Circuit advances out of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

BY ELIZABETH CRISP | ecrisp@theadvocate.com

Kyle Duncan's nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is advancing to the full Senate for confirmation, despite concerns raised by some Democratic senators over positions he has taken on LGBT issues. Read more

Though panel has no consensus, a vote is planned on whether Louisiana should classify felonies

BY MARK BALLARD | mballard@theadvocate.com

Members of a task force charged with simplifying Louisiana’s criminal code can’t seem to agree on what to do. Nevertheless, next week they will be recommending to the Legislature how to go about classifying crimes. Read more

Saints film room: What happened on the final play against Minnesota?

BY NICK UNDERHILL | nunderhill@theadvocate.com

The bottom line is the Saints didn’t make a play. Read more

Nicolas Cage talks new movie, 'Mom and Dad,' and why he loves New Orleans

BY MATTHEW SIGUR | msigur@theadvocate.com

Nicolas Cage, the Oscar-winning actor who has starred in more than 80 films, has a new personal favorite to add to his résumé, and it comes out Friday.  Read more

Trombone Shorty talks being home, Mardi Gras and Toussaint before his Baton Rouge show

BY JOHN WIRT | Special to The Advocate

Born into a musical family in New Orleans’ historic Treme neighborhood, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews turned music pro and band leader when he was still in elementary school. The French Quarter street performances and children’s parties he played then bloomed into the worldwide career he enjoys today. Read more

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