The Orleans Public Defenders office, which has long said it's inadequately funded, launched a crowdsourcing campaign last week to help cover what the office said was a nearly $1 million shortfall. The novel approach attracted the attention of TV comedian John Oliver, who spotlighted the public defenders' plight on the Sept. 13 edition of his HBO show Last Week Tonight. The exposure did some good; as of press time — hours before the campaign was to end — the office had raised $52,722, surpassing its $50,000 goal ...

   A group of host organizations will hold a gubernatorial candidate forum on health care at Dillard University Sept. 29. The four major candidates — Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, state Rep. John Bel Edwards and U.S. Sen. David Vitter — all have been invited. The event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the university's Georges Auditorium in the Professional Schools Building, is free and open to the public ...