Saints Spread Cheer, Bring a Toy to the Game!

December 16, 2009 - 2 Responses

Fans attending the Saints game this Saturday can bring joy to local youngsters this holiday season by giving a new, unwrapped toy to the Saints “Toys for Tots” Toy Drive at the Saints-Cowboys game outside the Louisiana Superdome. Toys and cash donations will be collected at the Gate C bridge by servicemen and women from the United States Marine Corps Reserve. The toys will be distributed to children throughout the New Orleans area, just in time for the holidays through various charitable organizations.
Additional information about the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program can be found at

Do You Tip Extra For the Holidays?

December 12, 2009 - One Response

Poor Clark Griswold, one of my favorite holiday characters!   When money is tight employers or employees might skimp out on a holiday bonus (meaning no family swimming pool) or an extra tip.  But ’tis the season of giving.   Don’t forget to keep your service professionals in mind for the holidays with a sign of your appreciation for their (hopefully) good service to you and yours this past year.  A little something extra can go a long way, and… what goes around comes around!

See our story here

I like this holiday tipping guide from CNN Money

I also like this one from Ettiquette Adviser Emily Post

Happy Holidays!

Cash For Appliances and Energy Efficient Improvements

December 10, 2009 - One Response

See 5pm story here

Here are two separate pots of money you can tap into when making energy efficiency improvements to your home: 

  1. Tax credits from the federal government
  2. Energy Star appliance rebates from each state (Louisiana is scheduled to start this program in January, and Mississippi in March)

The “Stimulus Bill” (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) provided $300 million to states for consumer rebates on the following Energy Star qualified appliances:

  • Central air conditioners
  • Heat pumps (air source and geothermal)
  • Boilers furnaces (oil and gas)
  • Room air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators/freezers
  • Water heaters

For more information on Energy Star appliance rebates click here

For more information on Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

Entergy Louisiana’s Information On Financial Help For Rebuilding New Orleans and Louisiana Energy Efficiently

Mississippi’s Plan for Cash for Appliances Program

Price of Gold

December 10, 2009 - Leave a Response


Here’s the story from November on selling your gold… how much is worth?and when should you sell it? Click Here

To see how much the price of gold has risen over the years click here (check the boxes at the bottom under “multi year gold” and click “view charts.”

To track the price of gold live click here

How Many Violations Does Your Water System Have?

November 12, 2009 - Leave a Response

 Dr. Mehmett Oz warned consumers on national television last month, “There’s a state of emergency with America’s water.”  See our story on Tap Water here

Click here to see all the violations of the Louisiana Sanitary Code or EPA Safe Drinking Water Primary Drinking Water Regulations in Southeast Louisiana.

Is Your School State Approved?

November 4, 2009 - Leave a Response

metroI just finished wrapping up a story on schools that are not state approved in Louisiana.  My research started when our WDSU Problem Solvers told me they had several complaint calls from graduates of Metro Outreach Christian Academy  who believe their diplomas are not good.  See story here

At the Department of Education in Baton Rouge, I found there are more than 3,000 schools in the state that are registered but not state approved.  The students who graduate from such schools have more hurdles to jump through when trying to get into college or find work.   For information on criteria for state-approved schools click here. See below the numbers of Louisiana schools in your area that are not approved (and are not currently seeking approval):


July 2009

Parish Registered NonpublicSchools Number of Students
Acadia 58 148
Allen 19 34
Ascension 84 190
Assumption 9       12
Avoyelles 25 40
Beauregard  59 118
Bienville 7 9
Bossier 88 243
Caddo 125 260
Calcasieu 167 472
Caldwell 4 6
Cameron 0 0
Catahoula 7 10
Claiborne 5 6
Concordia 4 9
DeSoto 28 57
E. Baton Rouge 237 942
E. Carroll 1 1
E. Feliciana 34 75
Evangeline 14 22
Franklin 32 139
Grant 22 47
Iberia 35 62
Iberville 21 70
Jackson 8 15
Jefferson 223 758
Jefferson Davis 29 51
Lafayette 167 397
Lafourche 84 378
LaSalle 2 3
Lincoln 18 28
Livingston 107 212
Madison 2 6
Morehouse 13 22
Natchitoches 15 210
Orleans 68 129
Ouachita 60 107
Plaquemines 22 67
Pointe Coupee 13 31
Rapides 110 294
Red River 2 4
Richland 5 5
Sabine 12 27
St. Bernard 7 15
St. Charles 47 92
St. Helena 2 4
St. James 19 36
St. John 34 60
St. Landry 80 327
St. Martin 40 261
St. Mary 30 60
St. Tammany 305 618
Tangipahoa 109 198
Tensas 1 1
Terrebonne 132 219
Union 25 43
Vermilion 45 97
Vernon 50 349
Washington 21 38
Webster 28 51
W. Baton Rouge 11 113
W. Carroll 2 5
W. Feliciana 8 15
Winn 8 9
City of Monroe 34 114
City of Bogalusa 6 17
Zachary Community 0 0
City of Baker 0 0
Central Schools 2 2

Solar Lighting

October 1, 2009 - Leave a Response

You might wonder about a more efficient energy system when you see street lights out at night and others on during the day.    With the promise of not only cleaner energy but self-sufficient and more cost-efficient energy, New Orleans Public Works Director Robert Mendoza says he’s writing requests for solar-lighting proposals now.

New Orleans is one of the 13 cities originally chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy 2 years ago to be a solar role model for the country.  It’s called a “Solar America City.”  To learn more click here.

Increase Gas Mileage

September 28, 2009 - Leave a Response


If you missed our story on ways to increase your gas mileage click here for tips from the FTC.
     In the meantime, the federal trade commission says you should be skeptical of any device claiming to boost your mileage. The EPA has tested more than a 100 of those products, and very few add any fuel economy benefit.  For more information and a full list of tested products, click here.

Food Labels Mislead

September 24, 2009 - One Response

gr_foodstuff_wideweb__470x446,2Well I’m not that health conscience, but when I did think I was making healthier choices with my groceries I was often wrong.  The bread says “whole wheat” but it almost completely white enriched flour. The cereal “Smart Start” is labeled one of the healthiest options but has more sugar (17 g) than “Fruit Loops” (12 g).   The nutrition bars I thought were nutritious  aren’t really at all.

The symbols and labels food companies use to sell their product can be completely misleading.  Watch story here.  If you don’t know what to look for you can easily be fooled.  In talking to shoppers I found many people read labels and notice symbols like hearts and such, thus leading them to buy a product. But many have no clue that they’re not at all putting what they think in their bodies.

Thanks to nutritionist Molly Kimball I changed three main things in my personal grocery shopping.  I am big on cereal, nutrition bars for grab-and-go breakfast at 3:30 am, and pasta….. yum.  Now I’m going with “Special K Protein Plus” cereal and South Beach Living High Protein or TLC peanut butter  cereal bars.  These changes have had no negative effect on my budget,  the healthiest choices aren’t always the most expensive.  I also learned that I can budget on pasta sauce because as they all have the same nutrition value no matter if they are .99 or 5.50 with the exception of sodium levels for those who need to be aware.

An extra tip not in my story is a rule of thumb … we noticed while shopping that if the product has a couple of specific nutrition numbers very clearly advertised on the front it is usually a good product. (i.e. “sugar 2g, fiber 9g)  You’ll notice the less healthy options (no matter what they are called or look like on the cover) hide the nutrition information on the back panel. These are often the labels you see that read generic phrases like “low fat” or “wheat.”

Here is the link to the Ochsner/Rouses Choose Healthy Grocery List  that makes it very easy for you to choose the healthiest options.   These items are lowest in saturated, trans fats and processed carbohydrates.  They will also add whole grain, protein-rich and vitamin/mineral-rich foods in your diet.

Here’s a recent article I found about the green check “Smart Choices” program raising debate. 

Lemongrass Repels Bugs?

September 18, 2009 - 2 Responses

LemongrassAs many of you know we are renovating a house… ok no easy task.  But in working on this 120 year old gem- with a gutted first floor- it seems another challenge we’re facing is letting bugs in the house!  I am getting bitten constantly and it’s driving me nuts!  (We live upstairs in the main part of the house).   I read that lemongrass is said to be an effective  insect repellent.  What is lemongrass? I have no green thumb.  I bought the essential oil at Whole Foods today, along with 3 plug-in diffusers and a little machine-looking diffuser.  Then I went right down Vets to Perino’s… my first time there and such a cute place!  I bought 2 little pots of lemongrass to plant outside.  I don’t know if it’s enough to make a difference, but I’m just getting started.  The feedback I read online from people who plant lemongrass is so encouraging.  People love it and many use it in their tea.  I just want to repel these pesky bugs but it doesn’t hurt to do it with a nice lemon scent.  (To me it just smells like Pledge… )  But anyway, we’ll see.  I’ll let you know if it works.