Louisiana news briefs
Tue, 2013-10-22 14:41
From The Associated Press
Carnival ride attendant arrested at Dularge fair
DULARGE (AP) — Terrebonne Parish sheriff’s deputies say a carnival ride attendant from Wisconsin is in jail after a 12-year-old girl told authorities he fondled her at a fair in Dularge.
Edward Jackson, 24, was booked Saturday on one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
The sheriff’s office says the girl approached an off-duty deputy working a detail at the Knights of Columbus fair. She told the deputy Jackson allegedly fondled her buttocks after she exited a ride.
Jackson is employed by the Calkins Midway Carnival group and travels around the country as a carnival ride attendant.
State urged to release
last ‘Angola 3’ inmate
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A human rights organization is calling on Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to release an inmate who has spent 41 years in solitary confinement after being convicted of murdering a prison guard.
Amnesty International delivered a petition Monday urging the officials to end efforts to keep Albert Woodfox jailed, calling the conditions inhumane.
Woodfox and two other men, known as the “Angola 3,” were moved to isolation after their convictions of fatally stabbing a Louisiana State Penitentiary guard. The men denied involvement, saying they were targeted because they were Black Panthers.
State officials have rejected efforts to release Woodfox and didn’t change positions Monday.
Of the other Angola 3 members: Herman Wallace died this month, days after a judge freed him. Robert King was released in 2001.
Judge extends pause on payments in BP settlement
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge is extending a pause on payments for some business losses tied to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, while ordering the claims administrator to adjust the rules for some companies in response to a federal appeals court ruling earlier this month.
In a temporary injunction issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier adjusted his interpretation of part of the multi-billion-dollar private claims settlement agreement with BP.
But a spokesman for the oil giant said Barbier’s changes still don’t go far enough in stopping claims BP has questioned, because even Barbier’s revised interpretation won’t require confirmation that losses were caused by the 2010 spill in some cases before a claim is approved.
La. Marine dies in Afghanistan
(AP) A U.S. Marine from Louisiana has died while serving in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Department of Defense says 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Christopher Grant, of Richwood, died Sunday while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The Defense department, in Monday’s statement, did not release details of how Grant died.
Officials say he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
75 teens cited for drinking
SORRENTO (AP) — Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies broke up a party in Sorrento over the weekend and 75 teens were cited or arrested with underage drinking.
Deputies say the teens, who ranged in age from 15 to 18 and whom deputies refused to identify, were partying at a home, while the owners were out-of-town.
Sheriff’s Maj. Ward Webb said when deputies arrived, they spotted about 40 vehicles parked outside the home with empty beer cans on the ground. As the deputies began to raid the party, they saw teenagers running into the woods.
Deputies said they are still investigating how the teens obtained the alcohol.
Deputies: Daughter shoots mother, then herself
BATON ROUGE (AP) — East Baton Rouge Parish deputies said a mother and daughter died in an apparent murder-suicide.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Savannah Williams said 47-year-old Karen Diamond shot and killed her mother, 84-year-old Eula Diamond, and the family dog before shooting herself.
Williams said the bodies were found Monday afternoon when deputies received a phone call from a woman asking that they check on her friend, Eula Diamond.
Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said the two women died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Officials: State needs to scrap school funding formula
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The former president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents says the state’s complex method for aiding public schools should be scrapped.
Michael Faulk, who is superintendent of the Central school system, says the formula has outlived its usefulness.
Faulk made his comments Monday during the third meeting of a task force set up to tweak, but not abolish, the state’s system for funding public schools, the Minimum Foundation Program.
He and others on the panel said replacing today’s school aid system would take far more time than the two gatherings left on the task force’s schedule.
State Superintendent of Education John White called Faulk’s comment bold.
The state is sending $3.5 billion through the MFP this year to support about 700,000 public school students.
Audit: Ex-St. Tammany coroner’s spending reviewed
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Former St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan and his employees made $53,491 in purchases with taxpayer money between 2008 and 2012 that appear to have no public purpose, a new audit reports.
The state Legislative Auditor, in a report released Monday on the coroner’s office financial operations, said Galvin also appears to have used his position to benefit personally from a contract he held as a private physician with the City of Slidell to treat inmates at the city jail.
The audit covered a wide range of expenditures.
Galvan, coroner since 2000, resigned late Friday after being charged in a bill of information with conspiring to steal money from the coroner’s office. He pleaded not guilty last week, but is scheduled to be re-arraigned Wednesday.
The Legislative auditor’s office began its probe in February, shortly after media reports surfaced detailing the agency’s questionable fiscal behavior, including liberal use of debit cards and sky-high pay for the coroner.
“This audit report is thorough and enlightening,” Parish Councilman Jake Groby said. “The public can now understand how far-reaching Dr. Galvan’s reach was.”
According to the audit, Galvan used Mark Lombard, formerly the coroner’s office chief investigator, to perform medical services at the jail, services for which his private practice received $401,250 between July 2004 and March.
Also, Lombard performed some of this contract work during coroner’s office hours using a vehicle owned by the coroner’s agency, which also may violate state law, the audit says. Lombard, who has not been charged with a crime, resigned last week.
Auditors said Galvan did not respond to written questions submitted to him.
Galvan purchased or instructed his employees to buy $21,003 of boating or airplane equipment and fuel with office funds “for his personal benefit.” The coroner’s office has never owned a boat or an aircraft, the audit said.
The audit further revealed that Galvan received full-time employee benefits even though he did not work full-time as coroner and was paid more than $30,000 for 326 hours of vacation not recorded in leave records.