BC-LA--Louisiana-News Digest,ADVISORY, LA


Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Louisiana at 6:25 p.m. on Friday.

Good evening, Louisiana editors.

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Editors: A separate advisory has moved on AP's testing plans for tables associated with the Nov. 6 election.



NEW ORLEANS — A huge prisoner-of-war camp in what was then Manchuria was set up to provide skilled workers at plants that made tools and machine and airplane parts for Japan during World War II. What the Japanese got at Mukden — now Shenyang, China — was motivated saboteurs. Army Air Corps veteran Erwin Johnson of Lacombe, La., was sent to the camp after surviving the Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942. He says he doesn't know what the tools and parts were intended for, but he's pretty sure much of it was sabotaged. Johnson and three other survivors of the camp are holding their 29th reunion in New Orleans through Saturday. Two were taken prisoner in the surrender at Bataan and two when the island fortress of Corregidor fell to the Japanese. By Janet McConnaughey.

AP Photos LAGH101-LAGH104


HOUMA — Officials in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes are looking into residents' reports of earth tremors in the area this week. So far, they have no answers. A Lockport resident described feeling a sudden vibration that hit his house at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Chris Boudreaux, Lafourche's director of Emergency Operations, said efforts to find a possible source — such as sonic booms from airplanes or vibrations from oilfield activity — have turned up nothing. Boudreaux said the U.S. Geological Survey reported no seismic activity, although it has few monitors in the area. Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey's National Earthquake Center, said that there are not many seismic monitors in south Louisiana because there is rarely any such activity in the area.


ZACHARY — The Zachary Community School Board has voted to call three of five candidates for district superintendent back for a second round of interviews Oct. 16. The board decided Thursday to continue interviewing Scott Devillier, Patrick Jenkins and Michelle Clayton. Devillier and Jenkins are employed in the district, and Clayton was the district's accountability and curriculum director until earlier this year. The board received 11 applications for the post vacated by Superintendent Warren Drake, who served for 10 years and took a position Sept. 4 as a regional network leader for state Education Superintendent John White. The board plans to choose a new superintendent on Oct. 25.


LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department is seeking fee increases for facility rentals and athletic programs that could bring in an extra $180,000 a year to help close a budget gap. The City-Parish Council is set to vote Oct. 16 on the proposal, which comes as city-parish officials also are considering asking Lafayette voters in to increase the recreation property tax. Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Boudreaux said his department has to either generate more revenue or cut back on services.


BATON ROUGE — More black and Hispanic students enrolled at LSU this fall than at any other time in school history, an achievement the university credits to an expanded recruiting effort. This fall's black student enrollment of 3,054 students just barely eclipses the previous high of 3,035 set in 2002 but represents a 200-student increase over last year. LSU's Office of Budget and Planning says the school also saw Hispanic enrollment rise by 156 students this fall, increasing from 1,305 students compared with the previous high of 1,149 set last year. David Kurpius, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said part of the minority gains can be attributed to LSU's strategy to place a recruiter in New Orleans.


MONROE — A former River Oaks School teacher, who allegedly called in several bomb threats, has posted a $200,000 bond and released from custody. Prior to posting bond Thursday, David Reyna was ordered to surrender his passport. Judge Stephens Winters also ordered that Reyna cannot have any contact with any school institution in the state. The court also strongly suggested Reyna remain within the jurisdiction of the state. Reyna was arrested late last week and accused of making bomb threats against River Oaks, St. Frederick and Ouachita Christian schools on Sept. 24. The three schools were temporarily evacuated. No explosives were found by police.


LAPLACE — It may be a full school year before students from East St. John High School and Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School can return to their campuses. St. John the Baptist Parish school officials had hoped to have the two campuses, which were flooded during Hurricane Isaac, ready for students by January. But at Thursday's school board meeting, board members learned they would have to take on significant financial risk to do so. Interim Superintendent Herbert Smith had pushed for a January opening. The school board will call a special meeting next week to decide whether to work for a January or August opening.


BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana's health department says 25 new West Nile virus infections have been reported in the state this week, including seven that caused potentially fatal neuro-invasive disease, the most serious consequence of the mosquito-borne virus. The seven were reported in Ascension, Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Franklin, Grant and Morehouse parishes.


(Information in the following story is from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com)

LIVINGSTON, La. — Livingston Parish sheriff's deputies hiding in the woods near the parish jail intercepted drugs worth thousands of dollars that apparently were bound for the facility. Deputies booked Kennie Wascom II and Kimblery Blount, both of Livingston, into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on multiple drug counts. Bond was set at $1 million each


Editors: The following brief items moved Friday on AP's Louisiana wire and may be of interest for your Saturday editions.


BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is moving forward with plans to sell the site of the former insurance building on downtown property near the Louisiana Capitol. Michael DiResto, a spokesman for the Division of Administration, says the Office of State Lands submitted a request to lawmakers for permission to sell the property. DiResto says the lowest acceptable bid for the property would be the appraised value of $4.9 million.


OBERLIN — Some rural Allen Parish voters will be asked on Dec. 8 to help fund improvements and upkeep of Fire Protection District 3. The Allen Parish Police Jury voted this week to place a proposed 15-year, 13-mill property tax on the ballot.


EPPS — The state Department of Corrections moved 73 of its 732 inmates housed at West Carroll Detention Center after a search for contraband. Corrections spokeswoman Pam LaBorde said the department had about 60 officers on site at the detention center Thursday.


BATON ROUGE — A fire that killed two people in a Grand Isle apartment complex last week may be the result of an accident. Deputy Chief Brant Thompson of the state Fire Marshal's Office said combustible materials, including plastic containers and a plastic tarp were stored under a balcony at the complex.


LIVINGSTON — Deputies hiding in a wooded area near the Livingston Parish Detention Center intercepted thousands of dollars-worth of drugs bound for the jail. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said deputies arrested two people.


OPELOUSAS — A new website launched last month by the Opelousas Police Department to help the rightful owners to recover their stolen property is producing results. Police Chief Perry Gallow said he personally returned the first item, a weed eater, to Diane Pellerin this week.


LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Parish School System's new online portal system is up and running for public school parents. The system went into effect Monday. Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau said the district received word Wednesday from EdGear, the company that makes the JPAMS software, that everything was working as it should.


GRETNA — A Mississippi man jailed in Jefferson Parish about 15 months for gunning down a Marrero man in Gretna last year has been acquitted of second-degree murder. The jury deliberated for several hours Thursday night before finding 26-year-old Terrance Miller, Pattison, Miss., not guilty of shooting Keidrick Shorty Sr.


BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says biologists did not see any external sign of trauma in a young dolphin found dead along the Mississippi River bank at Baton Rouge. Spokeswoman Ashley Wethey said Thursday that the body was moderately to severely decomposed when biologists retrieved it by boat on Wednesday for testing. A hydrologic survey crew reported the body Monday near the U.S. Highway 190 bridge.


SHREVEPORT — Shreveport police took at least two suspects into custody following a reported late night gunfire incident at an apartment complex. Police say shots were heard at the Southfield Apartments in Shreveport around 10 p.m. Thursday. Police said several people in a car pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex and opened fire.


CLINTON — An East Feliciana Parish jury deliberated less than 45 minutes before convicting a Roseland man of second-degree murder in the death of his estranged girlfriend. Antwoene Irving, 34, was found guilty Thursday.


BATON ROUGE — A 20-year-old Baton Rouge man has been indicted in the June 9 drug-related shooting death of another man. An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury on Thursday charged Jeremy Payne with second-degree murder in the slaying of 31-year-old Curtis Mitchell.


LAKE CHARLES — Federal prosecutors say a member of the Coushatta Tribe has pleaded guilty to an assault charge. U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says 21-year-old Nicholas Tyler Poncho, of Elton, pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon related to an incident that occurred on the tribe's reservation on Jan. 22.


ALEXANDRIA — Louisiana State University at Alexandria Chancellor David Manuel is one of three finalists set to interview for the post of president at Drury University in Springfield, Mo. Manuel and the other two candidates will make multi-day visits to the Drury campus starting this weekend. The visits will include interactions with students, staff, faculty and alumni.


VACHERIE — A 59-year-old woman was killed and two men were injured in a head-on collision on La. 18 in St. James Parish. State police say Linda Dupard, of Vacherie, was driving a car east on La. 18 when it was hit by a pickup about noon Thursday. Troopers say the truck crossed the center line.


BATON ROUGE — State crews will make a last pass to pick up Hurricane Isaac debris in southeast Louisiana starting Monday. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says this will be the third and final pass for debris removal in Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, St. Charles, and Terrebonne parishes and inside the levee system for St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.


NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority will auction 125 properties in several neighborhoods, including Lakeview, eastern New Orleans, Holy Cross, Gentilly, the 7th Ward, St. Roch and Uptown. The auction will occur on Oct. 27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.


The following stories from Associated Press members in Louisiana moved in advance and are suggested for use in Saturday or Sunday editions.


OAKDALE — It has been three years since Shalonda Yvette Todd underwent a double-lung and single kidney transplant after being diagnosed with scleroderma, a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease. But the 44-year-old retired special-education teacher and grandmother of two is not slowing down. She has found a new life with the new organs after the triple transplant. By Doris Maricle, The American Press.

AP Photo LACHA101


LAFAYETTE — Lean forward and take a closer look. From a distance, Shawne Major's works look like abstract tapestries. Close up, they're complicated — a bit like life, she said. Thousands of objects — among them children's toys, costume jewelry, auto parts, electrical cords, strings of freshwater pearls, Christmas lights, computer chips and baby shoes — intertwine in explosive color and texture. By Jessica Goff, The Daily Iberian.



PORT GIBSON, Miss. — Entergy Corp. and the union security guards that it locked out of the Grand Gulf nuclear plant are squabbling over mandatory overtime. Leaders of the United Government Security Officers of America said in a statement Thursday that guards are being forced to work too much overtime at Mississippi's only nuclear plant.



BATON ROUGE, La. — Initial claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana fell for the week ending Sept. 29. Figures released Friday show initial claims decreased to 2,831 from the previous week's total of 3,294. The claims were below the 3,236 filed in the comparable week ending Oct. 1, 2011.



NEW YORK — Linebackers Chad Greenway of Minnesota and Brandon Spikes of New England were fined $21,000 by the NFL on Friday for unnecessary roughness in games last weekend. Greenway struck Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in the head and neck area in last Sunday's victory over Detroit. He apologized to Johnson afterward.

AP Photos WIMR107-0930121537, PNP148-0930121632, MPD111-0923121315, DTF136-0930121521.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No one needs to remind Florida what happened the last two years. No one needs to remind LSU what happened the last two weeks. Those vivid and somewhat painful memories give the 10th-ranked Gators and fourth-ranked Tigers something to prove when they meet in The Swamp on Saturday. By Mark Long.

AP Photos LAWH126-0929122057, NY165-1008111301, LAWH122-0929122022.


BATON ROUGE — Hurricane Isaac killed so many fawns in parts of southeast Louisiana that Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is limiting deer season in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes and the Lake Maurepas basin. The archery season remains the same, but others are shortened and limited to bucks. Dates also were changed in several wildlife management areas.

— The Associated Press, Louisiana