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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013





Louisiana authorities say three people were hospitalized after a crash involving a train and a sport utility vehicle in Jefferson Davis Parish. Louisiana State Police say in a news release that 32-year-old Pamela Thomas Thompson, of Elton, was driving a 2000 Ford Expedition Tuesday morning when it went into the path of a Union Pacific freight train. Troopers say Thompson tried to back up but the vehicle was struck on the passenger side and pushed off the track. There were no active warning devices at the crossing.





15TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIKE HARSON HAS ENDED A PROGRAM KNOWN AS “IMMEDIATE 894”, WHICH ALLOWED DRUNK DRIVERS TO QUICKLY HAVE THE OFFENSES TAKEN OFF THEIR RECORD. HARSON SAYS HE DISCONTINUED THE PROGRAM BECAUSE LOCAL JUDGES HAVE STOPPED THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN IT. THE “IMMEDIATE 894” PROGRAM IS AT THE CENTER OF A FEDERAL BRIBERY INVESTIGATION WHICH HAS LED TO THE ARREST OF THREE PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, INCLUDING HARSON’S SECRETARY, BARNA HAYNES. UNDER THE PROGRAM, THOSE FACING DRUNK DRIVING CHARGES COULD PROVIDE PROOF THEY COMPLETED PROBATION REQUIREMENTS BEFORE THEY ENTERED A PLEA AND THE JUDGE COULD ACCEPT THE PLEA, DISMISS THE CONVICTION AND REINSTATE DRIVING PRIVILEGES.





QUALIFYING FOR THE APRIL SIXTH ELECTION FOR POLICE CHIEF OF MERMENTAU BEGINS TODAY AND ENDS FRIDAY. IT’S THE FOURTH ATTEMPT SINCE NOVEMBER TO TRY TO FIND SOMEONE WANTING TO RUN FOR THE POSITION THAT PAYS 200 DOLLARS A MONTH. ACADIA PARISH POLICE JUROR JULIE BORILL TELLS THE ADVOCATE THAT THERE’S A LOT OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A JOB THAT IS ALMOST A VOLUNTEER POSITION. SHE SAYS THAT ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES HAVE PATROLLED THE VILLAGE WHILE THE POSITION IS VACANT.





BP and the federal government have agreed that 34 million gallons of oil captured during the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico can't count toward civil penalties the oil giant faces. The agreement is contained in a court filing Tuesday. It came in response to BP's argument that workers either burned the collected oil or shipped it to shore before it could enter the Gulf waters and that it shouldn't count in calculating the company's Clean Water Act penalties. The penalties will be in the billions of dollars.







TONIGHT THE LAKE CHARLES CITY COUNCIL WILL MAKE A DECISION ON MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK’S PLANS TO BUILD A 46 MILLION DOLLAR ENTERTAINMENT FACILITY ON THE LAKEFRONT. MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK OFFICIALS WILL PRESENT AN OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND THE PURCHASE AGREEMENTS NEGOTIATED BY BOTH SIDES AND THE COUNCIL WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE THE PAPERWORK. ONE ISSUE THAT COULD BE A MAJOR STICKING POINT IS MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK’S REQUEST FOR A NINETY DECIBEL SOUND LIMIT, WHICH SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS FEEL COULD DISTURB NEARBY RESIDENTS. CITY COUNCILMAN DANA JACKSON TOLD THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK SAYS THE 90 DECIBEL LIMIT IS A DEAL-BREAKER, BUT HE FEELS THEY CAN MINIMIZE THE SOUND.





LAST NIGHT THE LAFAYETTE CITY PARISH COUNCIL MET BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TO DISCUSS AN ONGOING LAWSUIT AGAINST THEM BY A DEVELOPER, WHOSE PLANS FOR A GARBAGE TRANSFER STATION WAS BLOCKED BY THE COUNCIL. LAST MONTH, THE COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A TENTATIVE SETTLEMENT BUT CITY PARISH OFFICIALS HAVE NOT DISCLOSED THE DETAILS AND THEY WOULD NOT SAY THE PURPOSE OF LAST NIGHT’S CLOSED DOOR MEETING. THE COUNCIL BLOCKED THE GARBAGE TRANSFER STATION AFTER AN OUTCRY FROM NEARBY RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES. WASTE FACILITIES OF LAFAYETTE HAD ALREADY OBTAINED THE NECESSARY PERMITS AND HAD BEGUN CONSTRUCTION ON THE PROPERTY OFF OF SUNBEAM LANE WHEN THE COUNCIL INTERVENED, PROMPTING THE LAWSUIT.





THE MOTHER OF A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS KILLED IN A HIGHWAY CROSSING ACCIDENT, HAS BEEN ARRESTED. THE GIRL, KEN’DESA MARIE CASTILLE, TRIED TO CROSS HIGHWAY 190 NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF L-A 752 IN ST. LANDRY PARISH ON JANUARY 28TH AT NIGHT. SHE WAS STRUCK BY TWO WESTBOUND VEHICLES AND PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. THE MOTHER, STEPHANIE FONTENOT OF SWORDS, TURNED HERSELF IN TO LOUISIANA STATE POLICE OVER THE WEEKEND AND FACES A CHARGE OF CHILD ENDANGERMENT. STATE TROOPER STEPHEN HAMMONS SAYS THEY HAVE EVIDENCE THAT IMPROPER SUPERVISION WAS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE CHILD’S DEATH.





STATE OFFICIALS WILL BEGIN LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR POSSIBLY GENERATING AS MUCH AS 85 MILLION DOLLARS BY REFINANCING PART OF THE STATE’S TOBACCO SETTLEMENT.





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