Louisiana news briefs
Baker teacher jailed for ‘yanking’ student’s shirt
BAKER (AP) — Baker School Superintendent Ulysses Joseph says he thinks police went too far when they put a Baker Middle School teacher in jail after she was accused of grabbing a student by his shirt and yanking him out of her classroom.
Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said 47-year-old Deborah Anderson was booked Thursday with simple battery.
Knaps defended the police department’s decision to book Anderson.
He says the teacher allegedly snatched him, physically yanked him very hard. The chief says a teacher has no authority to do that.
Southern police arrest
3 in dorm robbery try
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Southern University police have arrested three students accused in an attempted armed robbery and home invasion on campus in late February.
Police booked 18-year-old Jaleel Bridges, of DeQuincy; 20-year-old Rodney Briggs, of Kentwood; and 19-year-old Deylan Jones, of Mesquite, Texas, on counts of attempted armed robbery and home invasion.
Police say the three, along with a fourth student, are accused of breaking into a Ulysses Jones Hall dorm room the night of Feb. 26 and demanding clothes and money from the dorm room’s resident at gunpoint.
Police are still looking for the fourth suspects.
Attorneys confident of Livingston’s case with FEMA
LIVINGSTON (AP) — Livingston Parish’s arbitration attorneys say they remain confident in the parish’s case for $59 million in unpaid Hurricane Gustav cleanup costs, despite accusations of fraud and misconduct in the debris removal effort.
Parish President Layton Ricks told the parish council Thursday that the parish’s legal team at Baker Hostetler in Washington, D.C., is preparing to answer the 192-page pleading the Federal Emergency Management Agency filed in the case.
FEMA has alleged that monitors the parish hired to oversee the removal of leaning trees and hanging limbs from parish rights of way were inexperienced, poorly trained and specifically advised to document ineligible work and submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement.
Ricks said Livingston’s attorneys will respond to FEMA’s allegations by Monday.
of stealing from elderly man
GALLIANO (AP) — Lafourche Parish sheriff’s deputies say a 54-year-old Galliano woman who allegedly stole money from an elderly friend on multiple occasions, has been arrested on 10 felony charges.
Charlene Romero was arrested on March 7.
Deputies say family members of an elderly Galliano man determined Romero had befriended the man and allegedly took his money on multiple occasions.
She was booked with thefts of assets of an aged/disabled person, exploitation of the infirmed, and two counts of simple burglary.
She was released from the Lafourche Parish jail after posting and $80,000 bond.
Jury convicts Gonzales man
GONZALES (AP) — A 30-year-old Gonzales man accused of drunken driving has been convicted of vehicular homicide for a crash in 2012 that killed a Prairieville woman.
Ashton Claiborne faces five to 30 years in prison following his conviction Thursday by a six-person Ascension Parish jury after a three-day trial.
The three-vehicle crash on Sept. 28, 2012, killed 56-year-old Carolyn Brouillette, and shut La. Highway 73 between Airline Highway and La. 42 most of that day.
State troopers have said Brouillette was driving south when Claiborne tried to pass her in a no-passing zone on the two-lane road.
Claiborne’s sport utility vehicle crashed head-on into a 2012 Mack truck, which then hit Brouillette’s vehicle.
Lafayette developer faces $1.5M in fines in ethics case
LAFAYETTE (AP) — The state Board of Ethics and a Lafayette developer faced off at a hearing on whether he should face $1.5 million in fines on allegations of contracting with a public agency while still serving as chairman of its board.
Greg Gachassin is accused of signing two $500,000 consulting contracts for low-income housing developments while serving as chairman of the Lafayette Public Trust Housing Authority, which helped finance both developments.
Thursday’s hearing before a three-member Ethics Adjudicatory Board was on a request by Ethics Board attorneys to fine Gachassin $1.5 million without further hearings and on a counter-request by Gachassin’s attorney Gray Sexton, to dismiss the case, or at least part of it.
faces felony theft charge
SHREVEPORT (AP) — A former manager/bookkeeper for Trinity Southern Foods has been accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from his employer.
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says 54-year-old Jeffery Norbury, of Bossier City, was arrested Monday by Louisiana Probation and Parole for violating conditions of parole. He was convicted in 1991 for stealing over $35,000 from the City of Shreveport, while employed as the payroll and benefits coordinator. He was also convicted in 1995 for theft from another Shreveport business.
Prator, in a news release Thursday, said Norbury was booked Wednesday with felony theft involving Trinity Southern Foods. He says investigators allege the theft occurred between Jan. 2, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2013.
Detective Bobby Herring examined point of sale records, bank deposits and accounting software to uncover the alleged theft of $97,655.
Miss USA pageant to be held in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Miss USA pageant is coming to Baton Rouge this summer.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne joined with Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden and others Thursday to provide details about the event which will be held at the Baton Rouge River Center on June 8.
Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, appeared on the Today Show earlier Thursday to announce that this year’s competition would be held in Louisiana’s capital city.
To lure the pageant, officials say Visit Baton Rouge offered a $300,000 incentive package, including $50,000 for events to showcase the city. The state Office of Tourism also gave $50,000 to attract the event.
Leaders said it’s unclear how much of an economic impact the event will have, but they are expecting it to be a boon to the local economy. Contestants will stay at L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge during the competition, which airs on June 8 from 7-10 p.m. CDT on NBC.
“Any opportunity we have to focus the eyes of the entertainment world on our community and on our state is just another feather in our cap,” Dardenne said. “You can’t put a dollar figure on how valuable that is.”