Louisiana news briefs
3 children die in Houma mobile home fire
HOUMA (AP) — A mobile home fire in Louisiana killed three children and injured seven others early on Christmas Day, fire officials said.
Two brothers, ages 12 and 11, and their 13-year-old sister died at the Whispering Oaks Trailer Park in Houma, said District Chief Lance LaMarca of the state Fire Marshal’s office.
Another sibling, the children’s parents and four other children were taken to a Baton Rouge burn unit, LaMarca said.
The trailer was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Houma Fire Inspector Mike Millet said.
The children’s father rescued one child after smoke came under his bedroom door, but was unable to get the other three because the fire spread so quickly, LaMarca said.
The dead children’s father was the most severely burned, LaMarca said, followed by their mother. He said all the survivors are expected to recover.
The mother and another child escaped through a window, while relatives sleeping in another bedroom at the opposite end of the mobile home got out through a back door.
LaMarca said the deceased children and their parents were visiting from Alabama for Christmas, and there were 12 people in the trailer.
There were no working smoke alarms in the trailer, LaMarca said.
Officials worry gun range
too close to levee
GALLIANO (AP) — Officials say they’re worried that shooters at a gun range may hit levee board employees.
South Lafourche Levee District Director Windell Curole says employees pass through an area on the levee that’s about 400 yards behind the protective berm for Eymard’s Shooting Academy.
The gun range owner Hugh Eymard told levee district officials that the levee is too far from shooters to pose a real threat.
Audit: Workers took $10K
in equipment from ULL lab
LAFAYETTE (AP) — Auditors say employees at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s primate lab in New Iberia stole more than $10,000 worth of batteries, scrap metal and other material and sold it to a scrap yard over two years.
The legislative audit released Monday also found that managers at the New Iberia Research Center waited two weeks to tell police that a cellphone was missing. During those weeks, the phone was used for $16,000 in calls.
The audit also found that $12,000 worth of thefts from the university in Lafayette weren’t reported for up to a year. It says items reported stolen at the end of May had been taken between April and December of last year.
University officials say in their response that they are taking steps to change problems.
with having sex with juvenile
SINGER (AP) — A Singer High School teacher has been arrested on charges that she had a sexual relationship with a juvenile.
Pamela R. Jackson Taylor, 28, of Singer was arrested Monday and charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. The Beauregard Parish School Board lists Taylor as an art teacher at Singer High School.
It wasn’t clear if Taylor had a lawyer. Taylor’s bond was set at $540,000 and she had been released from jail Wednesday.
Angola guard arrested, smuggles items in bra
ANGOLA (AP) — A guard at the state penitentiary is on the other side of the cell walls after she was arrested on smuggling charges.
LeAngela Handy was stuffing her bra with drugs and other illegal items and sneaking them into the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Warden Burl Cain said Tuesday that Handy had a drug store stuffed in her bra: crack cocaine, crystal meth, Lortab, Xanax, cocaine and fake pot. She’s also accused of smuggling cigars, a cell phone and cell phone charger.
2 men arrested, accused
of sex with young teen
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Two Baton Rouge men are in custody, accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in a hotel room after smoking marijuana with her and the girl’s 17-year-old relative, the sheriff’s office said.
Myron Robinson, 26, and Terry Landry, 22, both told East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s investigators during questioning that they thought the teen was 17 or 18 years old.
But the girl’s relative told authorities she told the men her age before they smoked the drugs Sunday and they had known the girl for several months.
Robinson and Landry drove to the Glen Oaks area at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday and picked up the 17-year-old and the 13-year-old girls, then drove to a hotel and rented two rooms, the affidavits say.
Number of injured
from Axiall fire rises to 18
WESTLAKE (AP) — The number of people taken to the hospital after an explosion and fire at an Axiall Corp. chemical plant near Lake Charles has risen to 18.
Christus St. Patrick Hospital spokeswoman Heather Hidalgo-LaFleur said all 18 people were released after treatment for injuries related to hazardous smoke that drifted over Interstate 10. She declines to discuss the nature of the injuries.
Atlanta-based Axiall says it’s still investigating the cause of the Dec. 20 explosion at the Westlake plant. Callers to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center reported the fire released unknown amounts of vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid and EDC dichloroethane. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said monitors didn’t detect any chemicals. The agency says it could release a report as soon as Friday.
Guns fired into crowd
during Slidell bar fight
SLIDELL (AP) —Slidell police say an unknown number of people were shot by guns fired into a crowd during a fight as bars were closing in Slidell’s bar district.
Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said police cannot confirm how many people were shot or their conditions. He just says multiple people were shot.
He says they were taken from Olde Town Slidell to hospitals in Slidell and the New Orleans metro area.
Seuzeneau says more information will be released when details become available — probably this afternoon.