Louisiana news briefs

Consultant recommends $25M Lafourche jail 
THIBODAUX  (AP) — A consultant says the Lafourche Parish Council should build a 540-bed jail at a cost of $25 million.
The recommendations from Michael LeBlanc of MWL Architects in Lafayette were received favorably on Tuesday by the council.
But members are awaiting the results of a November election in which parish voters will decide whether to redirect tax money from local libraries to a new jail.
Of the 3.8 mills, one would be rededicated for construction and operation of a jail to replace the current one, whose condition one consultant has described among the worst he’s seen. The tax, set to expire in 2016, would be extended to 2034.
The jail, built in 1976, was designed to hold fewer than 100 inmates.
 
Worker dies in accident 
at Port of West St. Mary 
FRANKLIN  (AP) — A contract worker is dead following a jobsite accident at the Port of West St. Mary.
Sheriff’s deputies received the call around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday about a medical emergency at the port.
Port executive director David Allain said the victim was working on the roof of a building that the port rents when he fell.
The victim’s identity has not been released.
Allain refused further comment pending an ongoing investigation into the accident by the port and other agencies.
 
Sergeant assaulted detainee 
NEW ORLEANS  (AP) — A Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting a detainee at the parish jail.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Gary J. Shine, a sergeant who has worked in the parish jail for nearly a decade, entered the plea Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle.
Shine was charged in a bill of information earlier this month with depriving an inmate, identified as “D.R.,” of his rights. According to that document, Shine used excessive force when he kneed the handcuffed inmate and punched him in the head on Oct. 21, 2012.
 
Reward offered for information on dead black bear 
BATON ROUGE  (AP) — State wildlife and fisheries agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear found in Avoyelles Parish.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was notified Oct. 8 about a dead black bear lying in the woods a couple miles south of the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area. The animal was collected and sent in for a necropsy, which revealed the bear was shot in the head with a shotgun and had probably been dead for about five to six days.
The Humane Society and the wildlife department are offering a cash reward of up to $8,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction in the bear’s death. The bear has been listed on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list since 1992.
Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail. In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing one in Louisiana.
Anyone with information about the animal’s death should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
 
La. about average in international test comparison 
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A new report comparing eighth-graders in the United States with 38 other countries shows that Louisiana students scored slightly above the international average in science and on par with the average in math.
The study was released today by the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics. Most states performed above the international average in both subjects.
Researchers took eighth-grade test results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress to predict performance on an international comparative study test.
Among states, Louisiana students’ average scores in the math and science testing were slightly below average.
The scores were ranked on a scale of 1,000. Louisiana’s average score in science was 514, compared to 522 nationally. The state’s average math score was 500, compared to the national average of 507.
 
3 charged for Medicaid fraud 
BATON ROUGE  (AP) — Three LaPlace women who operate a Kenner personal care agency have been arrested on charges they defrauded Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell’s office said the women surrendered to investigators on Monday and were booked into East Baton Rouge Parish jail.
The agency’s program director, 38-year-old D’Wan Jeanpierre-Nunnery, is accused of submitting false insurance records to the state to obtain a Medicaid provider license.
The agency’s executive director, 56-year-old Catherine Marshall, and its service coordinator, 46-year-old Juliette Jones, each was charged with three counts of Medicaid fraud.
Caldwell’s office says their agency, Family Resources Unlimited Inc., has received more than $4 million in payments from the Medicaid program since March 2012.
 
California ticket wins Powerball 
BATON ROUGE  (AP) — Louisiana Lottery officials say there were winning tickets in the Wednesday night Powerball and Easy 5 drawings.
The $216 million dollar Powerball ticket was sold in California. The next Powerball drawing on Saturday has an estimated jackpot of $40 million.
The winning $60,000 Easy 5 ticket was purchased in Minden. Saturday’s drawing has an estimated jackpot of $50,000.
 
Regents ask for $87M budget
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The state’s top higher education board is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal and lawmakers for an $87 million boost in college funding next year.
The Board of Regents approved its 2014-15 budget request Wednesday, to be forwarded to the governor’s Division of Administration.
Regents’ proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 comes after six years of budget cuts that have stripped $690 million in state financing from Louisiana’s colleges. Tuition has filled only part of the gap.
The higher education request includes a $36 million base increase for two-year and four-year campuses, $17 million for specialized programs like the law schools, $4 million for research facilities and $30 million to reduce the backlog for high-demand programs.
Jindal won’t unveil his 2014-15 budget recommendations to lawmakers until early next year.
 
Reward offered for information on dead black bear 
BATON ROUGE (AP) — State wildlife and fisheries agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear found in Avoyelles Parish.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was notified Oct. 8 about a dead black bear lying in the woods a couple miles south of the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area. The animal was collected and sent in for a necropsy, which revealed the bear was shot in the head with a shotgun and had probably been dead for about five to six days.
The Humane Society and the wildlife department are offering a cash reward of up to $8,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction in the bear’s death. The bear has been listed on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list since 1992.
Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail. In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing one in Louisiana.
Anyone with information about the animal’s death should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
 

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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