Tuesday morning news dump



• It's the first day of fall, but it still feels like summer-sinusitis weather out there. And your nose isn't lying; we have the worst pollen count in the nation today. (We're #1!)

• 8 dead so far in those Atlanta-area floods in a story that just keeps getting sadder.

• Rep. Steve Scalise is spearheading a "Sack the Czars" movement in Congress; it's HB 3569.

• Speaking of sacks: a columnist for The Town Talk in Alexandria wonders: "Weren't the New Orleans Saints more interesting when their fans were wearing grocery bags over their heads?" Um...no.

Harry Connick Jr.'s new CD is a collaboration with Clive Davis. The focus? Standards, of course:

Connick, who penned the arrangements and orchestration for Your Songs, also tapped lifelong New Orleans pals Wynton and Branford Marsalis for guest appearances. "You're asking arguably the greatest living trumpet player to play a melody on an Elvis tune," he said of Wynton's solo on "Can't Help Falling in Love With You."

• New Orleans native Richard Simmons is profiled in a Canadian paper:

He grew up in the French Quarter, where he says: "Lard was a food group and dessert mandatory." He notes that his dining room table -- often laden with fried food and gravy -- was more like an altar.

Nicolas Cage on his crazy Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans movie (which features singing lizards):

New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz. It's African, French and full of magic. The city itself is a character and it informed my performance. I directed my movie, Sonny, there and I wanted to go back. Now, I had some experiences in New Orleans that I don't want to talk about. Let's just say that I knew that returning would put me face to face with demons. So, filming in New Orleans could be a disaster or it could be cathartic and fantastic.

• And finally, something new to worry about, courtesy of ABC26 News (where this was last night's top story) -- CRAZY "RASBERRY" ANTS!


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