BC-LA-MS--Louisiana-Mississippi News Digest, LA

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Associated Press

Posted on October 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Louisiana and Mississippi at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

If you have any contributions for or questions about the report, call 1-800-662-7717. To report technical problems: 1-800-469-1362. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616). The news editor is Brian Schwaner.

LOUISIANA

TOP STORIES

DEEP SPACE ROCKET

(Information in the following story is from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)

NEW ORLEANS — A month after the space shuttle Endeavour passed over the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on its final journey to California, NASA officials this week looked to the future as they gave business owners from across the country an update on the Space Launch System, a new mega-rocket designed to transport astronauts to deep space. The session drew more than 150 people from dozens of businesses, including some already partnering on the project and others interested in working alongside one of its major contractors, like Boeing, said Todd May, the manager of the program, The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/THXB6o).

LAFAYETTE'S FUTURE

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

LAFAYETTE, La. — City-parish government will seek community comment next month in a four-day series of forums to help craft a comprehensive plan for Lafayette's growth. A separate meeting focused specifically on a growth plan for the downtown area is scheduled on Tuesday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

SUPREME COURT-VOTING RIGHTS

WASHINGTON — Three years ago, the Supreme Court warned there could be constitutional problems with a landmark civil rights law that has opened voting booths to millions of African-Americans. Now, opponents of a key part of the Voting Rights Act are asking the high court to finish off that provision. The basic question is whether state and local governments that once boasted of their racial discrimination still can be forced in the 21st century to get federal permission before making changes in the way they hold elections. By Mark Sherman and Jay Reeves.

AP Photos WX105-0806650800, WX104-0727061011, WX103-1019101937, WX102-0927121222.

INSURANCE HIKES

(Information in the following story is from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com)

HOUMA, La. — Significant rate increases for state-sponsored wind and hail property insurance policies that Citizens Property Insurance Corp. approved earlier this year were legal, according to an opinion by the state's attorney general. The Courier reports (http://bit.ly/Vx61iv ) that the Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell issued the opinion last week.

BATON ROUGE BLIGHT

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

BATON ROUGE, La. — To combat blight, East Baton Rouge officials want to make it easier to foreclose on neglected or abandoned property. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/TosmkN ) that city-parish officials are pushing a new plan to foreclose on a property if the owner fails to pay liens placed on the property, said David Guillory, interim director of the Department of Public Works.

CONVICTION OVERTURNED

(Information in the following story is from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)

NEW ORLEANS — Citing a history of New Orleans police officers frisking people illegally, a state appeals court panel has thrown out a drug conviction that sent a man to prison for life. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeal panel ruled a pair of police officers had no valid reason for patting down Jody Butler on a Central City street in 2010.

PEOPLE-MADONNA

NEW ORLEANS — Madonna drew boos and triggered a walkout by several concertgoers after she touted President Barack Obama on her "MDNA Tour" in New Orleans. The Material Girl asked about midway through Saturday night's performance: "Who's registered to vote?" She added: "I don't care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama." Drawing boos in touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, Madonna followed: "Seriously, I don't care who you vote for ... Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote." By Stacey Plaisance.

AP Photos NY110-0809121755.

LOUISIANA BRIEFS

FOOD VOYAGE

(Information in the following story is from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com)

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Food gathered from around the nation is in Lake Charles to be loaded onto a cargo ship that is headed to West Africa. The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/cseYHv) the M/V Sheila McDevitt will carry 28,000 tons of rice, lentils, cornmeal and other goods provided under relief programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Agency for International Development.

LOUISIANA COLLEGE

(Information in the following story is from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com)

PINEVILLE, La. — Louisiana College, a Baptist institution, is embarking on a $50 million capital campaign to upgrade its campus and the college hopes to get a lot of its funding from Baptist churches. The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/TObOPt) that the Louisiana Baptist Convention has approved the college's request to make direct appeals to its 1,500 churches to raise $12 million over the next five years. The money would be spent on student housing.

NEW ORLEANS SECURITY DISTRICTS

(Information in the following story is from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)

NEW ORLEANS — Voters in three sections of New Orleans will decide Nov. 6 whether to join the long list of neighborhoods that pay special property fees or taxes for security patrols or other services. The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/WO4Mkd ) the elections will be in the Gentilly Terrace and Gardens, Lake Vista and North Kenilworth neighborhoods.

IBERVILLE-AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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

PLAQUEMINE, La. — The Iberville Parish Council has authorized Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso to issue a $6.1 million loan-commitment letter to a Mississippi company to build affordable housing in St. Gabriel. The loan to New Horizons Group is part of more than $40 million allocated under the federal disaster recovery program for hurricanes Ike and Gustav, Thomas David, manager of Iberville's Community Development Block Grant program, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/WIGOH4).

SHREVEPORT-TECH CONFERENCE

(Information in the following story is from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com)

RUSTON, La. — Regional industry leaders and faculty of Louisiana Tech University will participate in a program focusing on the development of nanotechnology in Louisiana. The program is planned Nov. 9 at the Louisiana Tech Shreveport Center, the News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/WIBmUl).

JACKSON HALLOWEEN

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

JACKSON, La. — The Jackson Tourism Enhancement Committee is planning a Halloween-themed evening of events on Tuesday. The "Spooktacular" will take place from 6-8 p.m. along College Street between the Centenary State Historic Site and Charter Street. The street will be closed for safety.

EDUCATION SUMMIT

HAMMOND, La. — A summit on a variety of education issues in Louisiana is planned Nov. 1 at Southeastern Louisiana University. Sponsored by the university's College of Education and Human Development, the free program will be held in the Kiva auditorium on the 2nd floor of the university's Teacher Education Center on North General Pershing Avenue.

SCHOOL SECURITY

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

LAFAYETTE, La. — Some Lafayette Parish School Board members want more police stationed at middle and high school campuses, but criminal activity at the schools doesn't warrant the added officers, the supervisor of the district's school resource officers says. Lafayette Police Sgt. Mark Francis supervises the 10 police officers assigned to 11 Lafayette city schools.

ISSAQUENA LEVEE

(Information in the following story is from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com)

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Work to raise 4.7 miles of the Mississippi River levee in Issaquena County is beginning and should take a year to complete, the Army Corps of Engineers says. Raising the levee southwest of Onward requires asphalt to be removed from Mississippi Highway 465 where part of the levee crests, the corps tells The Vicksburg Post (http://bit.ly/P5PlR2).

VIDALIA ROAD

(Information in the following story is from: Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/)

VIDALIA, La. — Deer Park Road residents got little satisfaction from the Concordia Parish Police Jury this past week as they aired complaints about the road's condition. The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/TAbny1 ) jurors heard one resident, Rhonda Walraven, plead for help in putting the road back in shape.

ASCENSION TAX

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

ST. AMANT, La. — Ascension Parish officials say they expect voters to support a half-cent sales tax dedicated for roads. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/VtrfxN) the proposal is on the Nov. 6 ballot.

SPORTS

FBN--SAINTS-BRONCOS

DENVER — Saints quarterback Drew Brees brings the league's top-ranked passing offense to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday. By Eddie Pells. AP Photos.

T25-ALABAMA-ON TO LSU

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference Western Division is getting a jumpstart on the playoff system. No. 1 Alabama won the semifinal game 38-7 over No. 17 Mississippi State, and now moves into the championship round against No. 5 LSU. The winner moves a big step closer toward the SEC championship game and perhaps another national title shot. By John Zenor.

AP Photos ALDM128-1027122150, ALDM119-1027122302, TXEK106-1020121208.

T25-LA TECH-NEW MEXICO STATE

BC-FBC--T25-La Tech-New Mexico State, 3rd Ld-Writethru,497 No. 24 Louisiana Tech tops New Mexico State 28-14

MISSISSIPPI

TOP STORIES

CANADIAN AMBASSADOR

(Information in the following story is from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com)

JACKSON, Miss. — The Canadian ambassador to the United States will be in Mississippi on Wednesday. The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/RqLlch ) that Gary Doer is a special guest at Wednesday's Mississippi Hobnob 2012, an annual event hosted by the Mississippi Economic Council, the state's chamber of commerce. Canadian Consul General Stephen Brereton will also be a special guest.

NOVEMBER TORNADOES

(Information in the following story is from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com)

TUPELO, Miss. — National Weather Service meteorologists are warning Mississippi residents to be wary of severe weather in November. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are the only states that historically have a fall tornado and severe weather season each year, Stephen Wilkinson, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Jackson, tells The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/P5EZ3x).

DEEP SPACE ROCKET

(Information in the following story is from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)

NEW ORLEANS — A month after the space shuttle Endeavour passed over the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on its final journey to California, NASA officials this week looked to the future as they gave business owners from across the country an update on the Space Launch System, a new mega-rocket designed to transport astronauts to deep space. The session drew more than 150 people from dozens of businesses, including some already partnering on the project and others interested in working alongside one of its major contractors, like Boeing, said Todd May, the manager of the program, The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/THXB6o).

SUPREME COURT-VOTING RIGHTS

WASHINGTON — Three years ago, the Supreme Court warned there could be constitutional problems with a landmark civil rights law that has opened voting booths to millions of African-Americans. Now, opponents of a key part of the Voting Rights Act are asking the high court to finish off that provision. The basic question is whether state and local governments that once boasted of their racial discrimination still can be forced in the 21st century to get federal permission before making changes in the way they hold elections. By Mark Sherman and Jay Reeves.

AP Photos WX105-0806650800, WX104-0727061011, WX103-1019101937, WX102-0927121222.

MISSISSIPPI BRIEFS

GREENVILLE FINANCES

(Information in the following story is from: Delta Democrat Times, http://www.ddtonline.com)

GREENVILLE, Miss. — Though there were some hiccups in revenue collections for some city departments during the 2011-12 fiscal year, Greenville ended up with about $122,000 more in collections than the previous year. Steve Osso, the city's external financial consultant, tells The Delta Democrat Times (http://bit.ly/P5LgfP) that Greenville brought in almost $15.8 million over the period compared to the $15.6 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

STALKING EX-GIRLFRIEND

(Information in the following story is from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com)

BILOXI, Miss. — Biloxi police say a 28-year-old man has been arrested on charges of aggravated stalking, burglary and felony malicious mischief against his ex-girlfriend. The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/QOfKRP ) that Drake Sermos was taken to Harrison County jail and accused of breaking a no-contact order against him because of prior stalking complaints, according to Sgt. Donnie Dobbs.

LEE COUNTY SCHOOLS

(Information in the following story is from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com)

VERONA, Miss. — Parents and educators must work together if schools in southern Lee County are going to improve, Verona Elementary School Principal Temeka Shannon told a gathering this week. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/VFkw9C) the community meeting was called to focus on academic improvement of Verona Elementary, Plantersville Middle School and Shannon High School. About 150 parents filled Verona's gymnasium.

GUN CASE-PLEA

GULFPORT, Miss. — Federal court records indicate a man plans to plead guilty to knowingly selling a gun to a convicted felon in Harrison County in August 2009. A lawyer for Felipe Morato Queiroz filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport that says Queiroz plans to plead guilty in the case.

CORINTH REDEVELOPMENT

(Information in the following story is from: The Daily Corinthian.)

CORINTH, Miss. — A block of old warehouse buildings is getting a makeover in a redevelopment plan by a partnership in Corinth. The Daily Corinthan (http://bit.ly/RDmqSh) Trey Albright and Stuart Green recently acquired the buildings in the 100 block of Wick Street, along with several buildings in the area, with plans to renovate them for rent.

IBERVILLE-AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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

PLAQUEMINE, La. — The Iberville Parish Council has authorized Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso to issue a $6.1 million loan-commitment letter to a Mississippi company to build affordable housing in St. Gabriel. The loan to New Horizons Group is part of more than $40 million allocated under the federal disaster recovery program for hurricanes Ike and Gustav, Thomas David, manager of Iberville's Community Development Block Grant program, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/WIGOH4).

RENOVATION AT MUW

(Information in the following story is from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com)

COLUMBUS, Miss. — After an extended renovation, Mississippi University for Women is readying for the formal reopening of Poindexter Hall. The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/QTvcK7) the building, long the centerpiece of the university's music programs, will be the focus of a preservation program and other activities Nov. 1-3.

COLUMBUS-CATFISH ALLEY

(Information in the following story is from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com)

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Improvements on one of Columbus' most famous streets will continue as more funding has been made available. The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/QTfTB8) the City Council has allocated $25,000 for improvement of Catfish Alley. Money for the project will come from remaining general obligation bond funds used for paving streets in the city's six wards.

HOSPITAL DIRECTOR

(Information in the following story is from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com)

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Nicole Pounders has been named director of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle's education department. The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/RYpjfC ) her duties include oversee nursing and staff education and orientation of newly hired nursing staff.

INNOVATORS HALL OF FAME

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Innovators Hall of Fame Awards Gala is set for Nov. 13. The event, hosted by the Mississippi Technology Alliance, will be followed on Nov. 14 by the annual Conference on Technology Innovation.

FARMING PHOTOS

STARKVILLE, Miss. — An exhibit of photographs focusing on agriculture in Mississippi is on display through November at Mississippi State University's Cullis Wade Depot Gallery. Most of the photos are the work of university photographers Scott Corey and Kat Lawrence.

MAMMOGRAM FUND GOAL EXCEEDED

(Information in the following story is from: Delta Democrat Times, http://www.ddtonline.com)

GREENVILLE, Miss. — The Delta Cotton Belles surpassed its goal in fundraising to pay for mammograms for local residents. The Delta Democrat Times reports (http://bit.ly/XUmgcI ) a benefit tennis tournament earlier this month raised $51,000.

SUPERVISOR INDICTED

JACKSON, Miss. — Former Holmes County Supervisor Norman Cobbins has been sentenced to six months in prison and seven months of house arrest for submitting false invoices to get county money for his own use. Cobbins had faced a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Jackson. His sentence will be followed by three years on supervised release. He also was ordered to pay almost $27,000 in restitution.

ISSAQUENA LEVEE

(Information in the following story is from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com)

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Work to raise 4.7 miles of the Mississippi River levee in Issaquena County is beginning and should take a year to complete, the Army Corps of Engineers says. Raising the levee southwest of Onward requires asphalt to be removed from Mississippi Highway 465 where part of the levee crests, the corps tells The Vicksburg Post (http://bit.ly/P5PlR2).

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE BAND

(Information in the following story is from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com)

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — The Pascagoula High School band will represent Mississippi in the national Memorial Day parade in Washington next May. The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/S2whkT ) that the May 27 parade consists of national military bands, invited bands from across the nation, veterans' groups, military and specialty units, floats and VIPs.

SPORTS

FBN--SAINTS-BRONCOS

DENVER — Saints quarterback Drew Brees brings the league's top-ranked passing offense to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday. By Eddie Pells. AP Photos.

FBC--MISSISSIPPI-STEP FORWARD

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Hugh Freeze has Ole Miss one win away from bowl eligibility after a 30-27 win over Arkansas on Saturday. Times are good, indeed, for the Rebels and their first-year coach. The Razorbacks, meanwhile, were once again left with questions and their present and future — and serious doubts about whether they can reach a fourth straight bowl game. By Kurt Voigt.

FBC--T25-GEORGIA-SEC HOPES

ATLANTA — Georgia's first back-to-back wins over Florida since 1988-89 have the Bulldogs in control of their hopes for back-to-back trips to the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs need to beat Mississippi, coming off a win over Arkansas, on Saturday to remain in control in the SEC East. By Charles Odum. AP Photos. NY EDITING

T25-MISSISSIPPI-GEORGIA TV

ATLANTA — Saturday's game between No. 7 Georgia and Mississippi has been set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised by CBS.

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