Louisiana news briefs
New discount airline to add service to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport officials say they’re welcoming a new low-cost carrier that will provide service to Virginia.
Officials say PEOPLExpress will begin flying from New Orleans on Aug. 28. The airline will provide service three days a week to Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.
PEOPLExpress started service June 30 on three routes from Newport News, and will grow to seven routes with the addition of New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida, also on Aug. 28. It’s a new airline resurrecting the name of a 1980s discount carrier.
The airline advertises fares between New Orleans and Newport News starting at $119. Extra fees are charged for checked luggage, use of overhead bins and in-flight beverages.
New Orleans was the fastest growing major American airport in 2013.
Mexican man pleads not guilty in woman’s killing
LAKE CHARLES (AP) — A Mexican man captured after an international manhunt has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary charges in Lake Charles.
Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara, 26, entered not guilty pleas Friday.
Guervara took part in the hearing through an interpreter.
He’s accused of breaking into 26-year-old Wanda Barton’s trailer in Lake Charles on Feb. 19, 2008, raping her and then stabbing her to death in front of her then-4-year-old stepson.
Louisiana authorities charged Guevara, a construction worker in the country illegally, in 2008. The FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list last year and he surrendered to Mexican authorities in July.
Trial is set for January 2015. Prosectors agreed not to seek the death penalty in an extradition agreement with Mexico.
Nagin’s tech chief fined
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans technology chief Greg Meffert has paid a $2,000 fine for violating state ethics law.
The payment settles state ethics charges related to Meffert’s use of credit cards and gifts from a man whose companies were doing business with the city.
Meffert was technology chief under former Mayor Ray Nagin and testified during Nagin’s recent trial.
Meffert was indicted in 2009 on charges of conspiracy, bribery and public corruption. He pleaded guilty in November 2010 to accepting about $860,000 in bribes from Mark St. Pierre, whose firms collected millions from the city.
The state Board of Ethics ended its case against Meffert on Friday. It could have fined him up to $10,000.