Louisiana news briefs
Flood control board to again consider ‘Big Oil’ lawsuit
NEW ORLEANS — A south Louisiana flood control board is again taking up the issue of a lawsuit against oil and gas companies over coastal wetlands loss.
A resolution to re-affirm the lawsuit — and a competing resolution to stop action on it — were on the agenda released this week for today’s meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.
Three members of the board have been replaced by Gov. Bobby Jindal since the lawsuit was passed. But John Barry, a board member who was not re-appointed by Jindal when his term expired, says he believes support on the board remains strong and he expects the suit to continue.
Police: Suspect shoots
2 officers, then kills self
BATON ROUGE— A suspect is dead after allegedly opening fire on police, wounding two officers.
The suspect had active arrest warrants from two agencies in Livingston Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish deputies also wanted him for questioning.
Officers got a tip the man was at a Baton Rouge hotel around 1 a.m. Thursday.
When officers knocked on the man’s door, they say the suspect opened fire.
Authorities say a state trooper was shot twice and his injuries are not considered to be serious. A sheriff’s deputy suffered a superficial wound.
A SWAT team entered the room and found suspect dead. Police believe the man killed himself.
The names of the injured officers were not immediately released. Police have not yet released the name of the suspect.
Port Allen council rejects mayor’s spending plan
PORT ALLEN — Port Allen Mayor Demetric Slaughter presented a 2013-14 fiscal year budget and it was dead on arrival.
A majority of the City Council refused Wednesday night to even entertain a vote on the outgoing mayor’s proposed spending plan.
The budget’s introduction would have likely been Slaughter’s final act as mayor before she is forced to vacate office at 4:30 p.m. on Monday following the results of a recall election four days ago. But a motion by Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence to introduce Slaughter’s proposed budget failed to get a second.
In Nov. 16 recall election, 57 percent of the city’s voters supported the recall effort against Slaughter while 43 percent tried to keep her in office.
Lafayette airport set record
LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Regional Airport enjoyed the best October in its history for record-breaking numbers of passengers boarding and departing.
Airport Deputy Director Michael Burrows said October is usually a slow month but the airport reported 22,459 passengers boarding and departing.
Burrows says that’s up from 19,494 in October 2012.
Burrows credits Lafayette’s oil and gas industry coupled with the growth of shale oil extraction in other states for the airport’s busy October.
From January through October 2013 there was an increase in passengers flying into Lafayette for a total of 197,755. That same period this year, there were 197,082 flying out.
for sex offense with juvenile
LAKE CHARLES — A state district court judge has handed down the maximum sentence to a 71-year-old man who pleaded guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile.
Judge Clayton Davis sentenced David Bird Tarver to 25 years in prison, without parole. Tarver pleaded guilty in August under an plea deal.
Prosecutors say Tarver, who was originally charged with three counts of sexual battery, one count of molestation and one count of indecent behavior, began molesting the girl when she was 11 years old.
State officials get update
on debt collection work
BATON ROUGE — Efforts to set up a new office aimed at collecting state government’s back-owed debts are under way in the Department of Revenue.
The state’s Cash Management Review Board receives an update tosday on the creation of the Office of Debt Recovery.
Lawmakers established the office in the last legislative session, hoping that money from its work will start rolling in before the budget year ends June 30.
Under the law, the Office of Debt Recovery has the authority to revoke and suspend state-issued licenses and offset tax refunds or other state accounts payable until a debt is paid.
Agencies will be required to refer all their delinquent accounts to either the attorney general’s office or the new debt recovery office for collection.
Louisiana’s delinquent accounts top $1 billion.
Galliano driver dies in crash
GALLIANO — State police say a 38-year-old Galliano man was killed after his car rear-ended an SUV on La. Highway 3235 in Galliano.
Trooper Evan Harrell says Glennon Quinley, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead on the scene by the Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office.
Harrell says Quinley was driving north when he slammed into the rear of an SUV that slowed to make a right turn onto West 163 Street in Galliano.
The driver of the Ford Explorer, 41-year-old Danielle Plaisance, of Golden Meadow, is being treated at Lady of the Sea Hospital with what police described as moderate injuries
Man arrested for killing bear
VIDALIA — State wildlife officials say a 23-year-old Monterrey man turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Monday for allegedly killing a Louisiana Black Bear.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents got an arrest warrant for Duell Moreland on Nov. 14 for his alleged role in the illegal killing of the bear.
Agents began the investigation after receiving a mortality signal from a radio collared black bear that was a part of state’s Black Bear Program. A mortality signal is sent after a certain amount of inactivity.
Agents say they found the collar and a burn pile next to the collar containing bear parts near Wildsville.
Agents also noticed an abandoned broke down pickup truck on the property that they later found belonged to Moreland.
Riverwalk outlet mall be finished by summer 2014
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Riverwalk on the New Orleans riverfront has been stripped to exposed concrete and beams, all evidence of a 1980s-era shopping mall hauled away.
By summer next year, developers with The Howard Hughes Corp. hope their new tenants in the planned Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will be open for business in a transformed space.
The Dallas-based development company gathered city and business leaders Tuesday for a hard-hat tour of the $70 million construction project.
Construction is expected to be complete by late spring or early summer of next year.
The renovation will add 50,000 square feet, bringing it to a total 250,000 square feet. In some areas, the mall is widened 30 feet toward the land side and 90 feet toward the river.