Pledging: U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham took to Twitter Friday to defend his decision to begin collecting his Congressional paycheck in 2017 after donating his salary to charities during his first term, The Daily Advertiser reports. Abraham, R-Alto, pledged to forgo his $174,000 annual salary when he first campaigned for the job in 2014, but didn’t publicly say he would begin accepting it during his second term. Abraham spokesman Cole Avery says when Abraham made the pledge he was unaware he would be limited by law on what he could earn as a physician. Read the full story.
Flying high: Louis Armstrong International Airport served more than 13 million passengers in 2018, a 9% increase over last-year’s record of some 12 million passengers, airport officials said, according to New Orleans City Business. Read the full story.
Oil data down: The number of working oil rigs in the U.S. plunged by 21 this week to 852, the lowest since late May, according to data released today by oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes. A 26% surge in American crude prices since Christmas Eve has failed to reassure management teams chastened by a fourth-quarter price collapse that crushed drilling plans. Bloomberg has the full story.