Louisiana news briefs
Hospital manager says it paid LSU $7M in dispute
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The research foundation running the LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe said it paid the university system nearly $7 million Friday for back-owed debts tied to privatization, less than one-third of the amount demanded by LSU in a collection letter this week.
The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF, said it placed another $10.6 million into escrow, saying it will be disbursed to LSU once remaining financial terms are worked out. The foundation said in a statement that it will cover the balance of what is owed to the university system.
LSU health care adviser Jerry Phillips said he didn’t know if the foundation had wired any money — but said the university system and BRF hadn’t reached an agreement about how much was unpaid. He said the $17 million offered by the foundation is “way short of $25 million” that LSU is owed.
State confirms 10 new
West Nile virus cases
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana has confirmed 10 new cases of West Nile virus.
Seven of the new cases were neuroinvasive disease infections — the most serious type of the virus, infecting the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.
The cases confirmed Friday bring this year’s total number to 52.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the new infections include five neuroinvasive disease cases in East Baton Rouge Parish and one each in Ascension and Ouachita parishes. There also were three asymptomatic cases in the state, two in Caddo and one in Pointe Coupee.
Last year, Louisiana saw 34 neuroinvasive disease cases, down from 2002’s high of 204
Dr. Raoult Ratard, state epidemiologist, urges residents to do what they must to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
State: 2 new chikungunya cases, no dengue
BATON ROUGE (AP) — State health officials report two new cases of chikungunya (chih-kihn-GUHN’-yuh) fever but none of dengue (den-GEE) fever in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in its weekly Arbovirus Surveillance Summary released Friday, said so far there have been 10 cases of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia and only one of dengue fever.
DHH says all of the infections took place while the individuals were outside of the United States.
The department says the new cases were reported in Livingston and Natchitoches parishes.
Baton Rouge, New Orleans gain nonfarm jobs
BATON ROUGE — The Baton Rouge and New Orleans metro areas each gained 12,600 nonfarm jobs over the year ended July 31, state labor officials said.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission reported Friday that seasonally adjusted numbers show that was a 3.3 percent increase to a new total of 397,200 jobs in the Baton Rouge area. New Orleans had a 2.3 percent increase to boost its job total to 557,300, the commission said.
The commission said big job gains were experienced at both goods-producing businesses and those that provide services in Baton Rouge, while the service-providing sector was responsible for most of the increase in New Orleans.
The Lafayette area ended July with 163,800 jobs, an increase of 4,900, or 3.1 percent over the same month in 2013. Goods producers and service providers split the majority of those new jobs.
The Lake Charles area, in the beginning stages of an industrial boom expected to add as much as $34 billion in new facilities, had the largest 1-year rate of growth in the state — 4.1 percent. That was an increase of 3,800 jobs, which placed the area’s total at 95,700.
Two percent job growth in the Houma-Thibodaux area pushed that region’s new total to 101,800.
Plans under way for renovation of historic park
DONALDSONVILLE (AP) — Officials in Donaldsonville hope to have a detailed plan for improvements at the historic Crescent Park ready in early September and could advertise for bids on the project in October.
Earlier this month, local officials held a ground-breaking for the $780,000 project that will include an open-air park pavilion that will be twice the size of the old one and draw on the influence from the French Market-style architecture of the past.
investigate fatal shooting
LAFAYETTE (AP) — Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Police say a homeowner noticed from across the street someone entering is home late Sunday night.
They say the homeowner went to his home and confronted the alleged burglar through a window.
Cpl. Nicole Benoit says the homeowner fired several shots, the suspect ran from the home and the homeowner fired two more shots.
Benoit says the suspect was found dead in the home’s backyard. Police have not released the names of the homeowner or the alleged burglar.