WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Local News Local News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:07:28 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Driver arrested in hit-and-run where child was hurt http://www.wbrz.com/news/driver-arrested-in-hit-and-run-where-child-was-hurt/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/driver-arrested-in-hit-and-run-where-child-was-hurt/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 7:09:37 PM Trey Schmaltz Driver arrested in hit-and-run where child was hurt

BATON ROUGE- A 20-year-old woman faces charges after a hit-and-run crash where a child was seriously hurt Monday.

Police said Maigan Scott hit a six-year-old girl on a bicycle on Washington Avenue between Plank and North 26th Street.  According to police, after Scott hit the child, she left the scene and went to a house on North 18th Street.

Scott was arrested after police found her car, a department spokesperson said.

Scott was booked into jail for hit-and-run driving, negligent injuring, driver license required, insurance required and switched license plate.

The child is in critical condition, police said.
*************
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Congestion relief for La. 1 http://www.wbrz.com/news/congestion-relief-for-la-1/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/congestion-relief-for-la-1/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 8:17:50 PM Brittany Weiss Congestion relief for La. 1

PORT ALLEN - The state is formulating a plan to deal with congestion along an important artery on the west side of the river.

DOTD evaluated La. 1 following a push from the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board.  System leaders said bus drivers have trouble running routes because of the congestion and kids are forced to wait longer.

Among the solutions traffic engineers are considering is a review of the signal times throughout the La. 1 corridor. Also, more traffic monitoring cameras and traffic message boards will be installed to notify drivers of delays and what is ahead.

Already, the Motorist Assistance Patrol has expended to include areas on La. 1 between US-190 and the Intracoastal Waterway along with La. 415 between US-190 and I-10. The MAP vehicles are used to get stalled vehicles off roads and have primarily been used along I-10.

In a letter to the school system, the Department of Transportation and Development also discussed a study about a new bridge over the Mississippi.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Recommendations proposed to combat food deserts http://www.wbrz.com/news/recommendations-proposed-to-combat-food-deserts/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/recommendations-proposed-to-combat-food-deserts/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 7:45:30 PM Brittany Weiss Recommendations proposed to combat food deserts

BATON ROUGE - For some people, finding a fresh head of lettuce or an orange is not easy since parts of East Baton Rouge Parish lack grocery stores and have been labeled "food deserts."

Monday night, The East Baton Rouge Food Access Policy Commission presented five recommendations to fix the problem.

According to data collected by Together Baton Rouge, about 75,000 residents live in areas that have "unacceptably low access" to grocery stores.  Living in those communities can lead to more health risks, higher costs for food, crime and little to no economic development.

"We want to reduce obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other diseases," said Edgar Cage with Together Baton Rouge. "A step in doing that is having access to having fresh, healthy food."

The EBR Food Access Policy Commission is a joint project of Together Baton Rouge and the Mayor's Healthy City Initiative, launched in February 2013.

One of their recommendations include creating and funding the "EBR Fresh Food Financing Fund," a financing initiative to attract grocery stores to increase access to food in certain areas.

Another involves working with the Capital Area Transit System to provide a transit service from low food-access areas to grocery stores.

The commission also suggested asking the state legislature to allocate funding to the Louisiana Healthy Food Retail Fund to make Baton Rouge more appealing in low food access areas.

Monday, the commission issued a survey to a group of about 100 people to gather their opinions about each suggestion.

The findings will be presented at future community meetings. The commission plans to roll out a more comprehensive plan at the end of the year.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Mansion raid suspect appears in another federal courtroom http://www.wbrz.com/news/mansion-raid-suspect-appears-in-another-federal-courtroom/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mansion-raid-suspect-appears-in-another-federal-courtroom/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 6:48:36 PM Trey Schmaltz Mansion raid suspect appears in another federal courtroom

TULSA, Okla. - A man from Baton Rouge appeared before a federal judge Monday for an arraignment hearing related to his arrest and indictment in a smuggling case that spans multiple states and China.

Tim Tran pleaded not guilty. A judge removed his ankle monitoring device and lifted his bond obligations, Tran's attorney told WBRZ News 2. The judge's decision in the Northern District of Oklahoma followed a federal judge in Louisiana who blasted prosecutors' evidence in the case built against Tran.

Tran is accused of smuggling illegal substances used in the making of synthetic marijuana. Tran was arrested earlier in July after his mansion off O'Neal Lane was raided by the FBI along with his warehouse in Florida Boulevard.

Tran had to appear in Tulsa since that is where the investigation originated.

"They made a big stink, big to-do about it. Turns out, it kind of fell flat," Tran's attorney, Lance Unglesby said, following the high-profile raids.
*************
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
What your neighbors think about where we live http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-your-neighbors-think-about-where-we-live/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-your-neighbors-think-about-where-we-live/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 6:52:44 PM Trey Schmaltz What your neighbors think about where we live

BATON ROUGE- Locals are more open to walking around at night, letting people with illnesses smoke marijuana, and allowing people of the same sex to get married, according to an annual survey conducted by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Sixty-five percent of people responded that they would be in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. But, when it comes to letting anyone light a blunt, there is less support. Fifty-five percent of people said they opposed legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Although, most said they see what is happening in other places. Sixty-four percent said they believe marijuana sales and consumption will eventually be legal in the state.

Roughly the same amount of people said they feel safe walking around their neighborhood at night, a significant increase in the last few years. Sixty-three percent said they were not worried while 35% said they did not feel comfortable. There has been a gradual increase in the feeling of safety for the last few years, but the percentage of those who do not live in fear has yet to reach the peak of 64% from 2011. Also dropping, the number of people who expect to be a victim of crime in the next 365 days. Forty-eight percent of people responded there is a concern
that they or their family members would be victims of crime in the coming year.

Most people also said they believe gays and lesbians should be able to get married. Respondents in East Baton Rouge are mirrors the national average of 54-percent.

There was little change in how people felt about government services like police, fire, parks and the education system.

Click HERE to read the full report.
************
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Livingston Parish focused on Juban Crossing jobs http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-focused-on-juban-crossing-jobs/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-focused-on-juban-crossing-jobs/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 3:07:44 PM Troy Gaulden Livingston Parish focused on Juban Crossing jobs

DENHAM SPRINGS - With the Juban Crossing retail development nearing its grand opening, Livingston Parish is setting its sights on the jobs it will create for parish residents.

The $350 million development includes 400,000 square feet of leased space so far. The retail center is set to open phase one in October after years of setbacks. Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce President April Wehrs says the chamber is currently working to make job hunting easier for people in the parish.

"What's really important is that people are able to work here locally and be able to find employment here locally. That's huge for the area and the economy," she said. "We're just trying to centralize the information. We think that's important to have it all in one place, and in that manner we'll be able to list exactly what jobs are there. We'll be able to take them with links directly to the options on the Academy or Belk site or any other big retailers that are coming in."

Along with sales tax revenue, Juban Crossing is expected to bring 2,500 full-time jobs and another 1,500 part-time jobs when construction is completed. Right now the project offers 1,500 construction jobs alone.

"We have a lot of people that need to go to work in Livingston Parish," said Department of Public Works Director Sam Digirolamo. "We want to give them the first opportunity, and I know (Parish President) Layton (Ricks) is really stressing that point. We've got a lot of unemployment here, and we've got an opportunity to put a lot of people to work so he wants to take advantage of that."

The first phase of construction includes a dine-in movie theater along with well-known stores like Academy Sports, Old Navy, Petsmart, Rouses, Bed Bath & Beyond, Belk, Lane Bryant, Ross Dress for Less, Shoe Carnival, TJ Maxx and Ulta Beauty.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Port Allen school to be demolished, remembered http://www.wbrz.com/news/port-allen-school-to-be-demolished-remembered/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/port-allen-school-to-be-demolished-remembered/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 4:02:16 PM Rob Krieger Port Allen school to be demolished, remembered

PORT ALLEN - The old building that once housed Cohn High School students will soon vanish, once the West Baton Rouge School Board lands a crew to demolish the crumbling facility.

The buildings are filled with asbestos, mold and termites and must come down, but some alumni aren't ready to see it go.

"There's a lot of memories in here all the people that went to Cohn High, I don't think the school should just disintegrate like that," said Wendell Hamilton, an alumni of the school.

The West Baton Rouge School Board plans to put up a memorial marker for the school and will allow alumni to take part in future building decisions.

"I would rather restore it, but in time, sometimes you have to give up on some of the things you have for modernization, you can't keep holding onto the same things, you have to move on," said Leon Goudeau, a School Board member and alumni of Cohn.

Goudeau hoped to have the buildings demolished, before school begins for Cohn Elementary students next door, but that likely won't happen. They're currently seeking bids for the work.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
WBR narrows teacher shortage to 7 positions http://www.wbrz.com/news/wbr-narrows-teacher-shortage-to-7-positions/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/wbr-narrows-teacher-shortage-to-7-positions/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 3:54:50 PM Russell Jones, Alexa Vogue WBR narrows teacher shortage to 7 positions

PORT ALLEN - Administrators in West Baton Rouge Parish said they're making headway on plugging the holes left in their school system after dozens of teachers retired, quit, or changed positions.

Superintendent Wesley Watts said Monday that after shuffling around their existing staff the school district made 42 position changes, and now have only seven positions that still need to be filled.

Watts said they're also in the process of interviewing candidates for some of those final positions this week.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers said the shortage is most likely a combination of Common Core frustration, a spike in retirements and the change in administration. Watts takes over for former Superintendent David Corona this school year. LFT said other districts in the state are dealing with similar shortages for many of the same reasons.

Classes begin in West Baton Rouge Parish Aug. 11.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
BESE special meeting planned over Common Core http://www.wbrz.com/news/bese-special-meeting-planned-over-common-core/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bese-special-meeting-planned-over-common-core/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 9:08:06 AM Russell Jones BESE special meeting planned over Common Core

BATON ROUGE - The state school board announced they would hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss recently filed lawsuits affecting the Common Core education standards.

The Board of Secondary and Elementary Education scheduled the meeting for 11 a.m. at the Claiborne Building.

The agenda included consideration of the two pending suits, one filed by a group of lawmakers claiming BESE did not implement Common Core according to state law, and the other filed by parents and educators against Governor Bobby Jindal's actions to remove the state from Common Core.

Jindal caused a political and educational firestorm when he announced plans to end the state's involvement in Common Core. BESE and Superintendent of Education John White said Jindal doesn't have the authority, and is attempting to circumvent BESE's role in guiding the state's education system.

The political struggle created uncertainty for educators making plans for the upcoming school year. BESE said Common Core would continue to be implemented, even though the governor issued executive orders to not honor the state's contract to administer the PARCC exam.

At their last meeting BESE voted to hire an attorney to give them legal advice in the ongoing struggle. Last week Jindal's administration blocked BESE from hiring that attorney, saying ethics laws prevent state agencies from hiring attorneys to take adverse action against the state. BESE said the attorney agreed to work pro bono, and the contract to hire them matched existing contracts used by Jindal's outside counsel.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
State gets Homeland Security money http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-gets-homeland-security-money/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-gets-homeland-security-money/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 3:08:58 PM Jason Newton State gets Homeland Security money

BATON ROUGE - The state is set to receive millions in grant money just in time for hurricane season.

The money is part of an annual Homeland Security fund from the federal government. This year Louisiana is in line to receive about $3 million more than last year, for a total of $11.6 million.

"(It's) very important to state and local (governments)... ability to respond to any disaster," said GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis, regarding the funds.

The federal funds are distributed to states in regard to their need, and the state governments divvy it up on a parish-by-parish basis.

"We need to make sure we're protected and ready for any type of disaster," Davis said. "Doesn't have to be terror-related, could be man-made issues locally."

The money will help prevent, mediate, or respond to emergency situations. Baton Rouge Police have been able to purchase several large vehicles with their share of the Homeland Security funds that help first responders with tactical operations or search and rescue.

The funds should be in place by this fall.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Two wanted in store armed robbery http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-wanted-in-store-armed-robbery/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-wanted-in-store-armed-robbery/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 2:37:05 PM Caroline McDougall Two wanted in store armed robbery

BATON ROUGE - Police are looking for two men who pulled out a gun and robbed Super Stop convenient store off of Foster Drive Monday morning.

Police said one man held employees at gunpoint and demanded money, while the other stole items from the store.

Investigators say the two suspects fled north after taking an unknown amount of cash and stolen merchandise from the business.

Police said the first person was a black male wearing a yellow ski mask, grey t-shirt with black pants and white tennis shoes. The second person was described as a black male wearing dark clothing along with a ski mask and was also carrying a black duffle bag.

Police are asking anyone with tips to contact the BRPD Armed Robbery Division at 389-3845.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
State Civil Service to hold Aug. 6 career fair http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-civil-service-to-hold-aug-6-career-fair/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-civil-service-to-hold-aug-6-career-fair/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 2:13:27 PM Brock Sues State Civil Service to hold Aug. 6 career fair

BATON ROUGE - Several state agencies will be represented at a targeted career fair hosted by the Louisiana Department of State Civil Service next Wednesday.

The Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Corrections, Eastern LA Mental Health System, the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Juvenile Justice and the Office of State Fire Marshal will be seeking candidates for a range of job opportunities.

The agencies are looking to fill positions in the following areas:

  • Adult and Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers
  • Corrections Medical Staff (LPN and RN)
  • Correctional Officers
  • Mental Health Staff (LPN)
  • Police Officers
  • Professional Social Services Staff

The career fair will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Baton Rouge Information and Recruiting Office located at 5825 Florida Boulevard.

For more information about the event, contact the recruiting office at (225) 925-1911 or visit their website to view the list of open jobs.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Free lunches to be provided for EBR students http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-lunches-to-be-provided-for-ebr-students/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-lunches-to-be-provided-for-ebr-students/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 2:08:34 PM Russell Jones Free lunches to be provided for EBR students

BATON ROUGE - School officials said a federal lunch program will allow all students at many East Baton Rouge schools to get free breakfasts and lunches this school year.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture program will give meals for no cost to all students enrolled in schools that participate in the national school lunch and breakfast program. Students who bring their own lunches can also get free milk if they also get a fruit or vegetable and another item, like a whole grain roll.

"We are excited about participating in this program that offers free nutritious meals to all students regardless of economic need," said Dr. Nadine Mann, director of the district's Child Nutrition Department. "This program allows us to focus on what is important in terms of ensuring all of our students eat fresh healthy meals, instead of concerning ourselves with who is required to pay for the food."

Money still left in individual student meal accounts will be rolled over from last school year to the 2014-15 school year. Parents who want that money refunded can request that through the school food service manager. Parents may continue to add money to their child's lunch account to allow the purchase of extra food items or a second meal.

EBR Schools said they will also try out a new program called Breakfast in the Classroom, in which kids will be allowed to eat breakfast during the first ten minutes of class. The district also plans to continue the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in select schools, along with the Supper Program at schools that have after school tutorial programs.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Teen accused in rape, robbery and shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/teen-accused-in-rape-robbery-and-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/teen-accused-in-rape-robbery-and-shooting/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 1:32:50 PM Chris Nakamoto Teen accused in rape, robbery and shooting

BATON ROUGE - Victims from a Sunday morning of terror in Baton Rouge are recalling what happened to them when they came face to face with Andre Young.

Young is accused of raping, robbing and shooting people in Baton Rouge over a four hour window Sunday morning.

It started on in the 5600 block of McClelland Drive. That's where Young allegedly robbed a woman. Then Young and some of his accomplices robbed several individuals in the 5400 block of Greenwell Street. Young then forced two female victims into their vehicle and raped them at a BREC Park on Evangeline Street, according to investigators.

It didn't end there. Young then robbed a man in the 3400 block of Ontario Street and shot another male victim who asked what was going on.

Brown is one of Young's alleged victims. He recalled the terror he encountered Sunday morning as he was dressed to go to church.

"I was going to worship God yesterday morning and, lo and behold, the devil rides up with a gun in his hand," Brown said.

What happened next still terrifies Brown.

"(He said) 'I'm going to kill you... Give me your (expletive) money. Give me your (expletive) money,'" Brown recalled. "I don't have money. The money I had was going to church."

Brown managed to escape after he slid away. Skin hangs off of his hand from where he tried to get away. His neighbor came outside when he heard the commotion and diverted attention away from Brown. That's when his neighbor got shot.

Marlon Taylor is the shooting victim's nephew. He claims Young shot his uncle in the abdomen, then stole a GPS out of his work truck that was parked in front of the house.

"He's doing okay," Marlon Taylor said. "He had a couple of surgeries and has another this morning. He's in stable condition. We're praying for the best hoping he's alright."

As Baton Rouge Police were investigating the other reported crimes, they witnessed Young in the area. He was chased and taken into custody after he was found hiding under a house.

The men impacted by Young's alleged crimes are still haunted by what happened.

"We forgive you," Taylor said. "Maybe you were in a bad place. I hope you learn from what you did because you hurt a lot of people."

"His face is still in my sleep, and the gun," Brown said. "I see that in my sleep. I don't think I'll ever be the same."

Andre Young is being held on a $1.17 million bond. The search for two other suspects continues, but Baton Rouge Police have not released any information on their descriptions.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
18-wheeler wreck closes Florida Boulevard http://www.wbrz.com/news/18-wheeler-wreck-closes-florida-boulevard/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/18-wheeler-wreck-closes-florida-boulevard/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:32:04 AM Russell Jones 18-wheeler wreck closes Florida Boulevard

BATON ROUGE - A wreck involving an 18-wheeler closed Florida Boulevard North in Baton Rouge during noon traffic, according to state traffic officials.

DOTD said the wreck shut down the northbound side of Florida Boulevard near its intersection with Airline Highway around 12:20 p.m.

The involved an 18-wheeler which was blocking the lanes of travel. DOTD said traffic had backed up past Goodwood Boulevard when the road reopened 20 minutes later.

There's no word of any injuries involved with this wreck.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Man accused of raping woman he met on Tinder http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-raping-woman-he-met-on-tinder/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-raping-woman-he-met-on-tinder/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 9:30:00 AM Russell Jones Man accused of raping woman he met on Tinder

BATON ROUGE - Sheriff's deputies arrested an East Baton Rouge man accused of raping a woman he met through a social dating app.

Deputies charged Jacob Witz, 22, with forcible rape after his arrest Saturday.

Investigators said the victim contacted them and told them she met Witz using the Tinder dating app and invited him over to her apartment. After talking she said they started kissing, at which point Witz got violent and forced her to have sex with him, slapping her multiple times when she refused.

The victim told deputies Witz forced her to shower afterward, and told her to pretend it didn't happen and not to tell anybody.

Deputies said the victim told them Witz was a body builder and massage therapist, and gave him his address. Investigators detained Witz and brought him in for questioning, where he refused to answer questions without a lawyer.

Deputies booked Witz into the parish prison, where he was given a $35,000 bond.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Police: Man arrested for rape, kidnapping and multiple robberies http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-man-arrested-for-rape-kidnapping-and-multiple-robberies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-man-arrested-for-rape-kidnapping-and-multiple-robberies/ Local News Sun, 27 Jul 2014 3:48:55 PM Greg Renoud Police: Man arrested for rape, kidnapping and multiple robberies

BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge police arrested a teen accused of going on a crime spree that involved three robberies, two women kidnapped and raped, two vehicles stolen, and one man shot early Sunday morning.

Officials say Andre Young, 19, and some other people robbed a woman on McClelland Drive near Greenwell Street at around 4:30 a.m. Shortly after, the alleged criminals robbed a group of people near the same intersection.

Cops say Young, now on his own, forced two of the women he just robbed into their vehicle and he got in the driver's seat. He drove them to a BREC Park on Evangeline and raped them. Young fled the scene in the victim's vehicle.

According to authorities, Young shot a man and robbed another at a third robbery scene on Ontario Street near North Acadian. He once again stole the robbery victim's vehicle and drove off.

Young was found hiding under a house on the 3700 block of Shelly Street and arrested at around 8 a.m. He is charged with 4 counts of armed robbery, attempted 1st degree murder, 2 counts of 2nd degree kidnapping, 2 counts of aggravated rape. His bond is set at $1.17 millions dollars.

Baton Rouge police say Young and his accomplices may have committed other crimes before he was caught.

The case is still under investigation and the other suspects have not been named yet.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Together BR to discuss "grocery gap" http://www.wbrz.com/news/together-br-to-discuss-grocery-gap-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/together-br-to-discuss-grocery-gap-/ Local News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 6:37:06 AM Hunter Robinson Together BR to discuss

BATON ROUGE - Together Baton Rouge will hold a public meeting Monday night to discuss the "grocery gap" in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The EBR Food Access Policy Commission was started by Together BR and the Mayor's Health City Initiative to address the lack of grocery stores in some communities throughout East Baton Rouge. According Together BR, the U.S. Department of Agriculture categorizes 75,000 residents of the parish as having "unacceptably low access" to grocery stores.

If you'd like to voice your opinion and give your recommendation about how to solve the "grocery gap", go to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (1134 Julia St.) tonight at 6:30 p.m.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Revised law will help notify law enforcement of arsonists http://www.wbrz.com/news/revised-law-will-help-notify-law-enforcement-of-arsonists/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/revised-law-will-help-notify-law-enforcement-of-arsonists/ Local News Sun, 27 Jul 2014 7:06:52 PM Ambria Washington Revised law will help notify law enforcement of arsonists

BATON ROUGE - A new law is reformatting the arson registry database to keep better tabs on firebugs. The arson registry was established in 2010 to track convicted arsonists but some state leaders call it insufficient. State Fire Marshal Deputy, Brant Thompson, said they are reformatting the registry to monitor convicts by making offenders register longer, and allow other law enforcement agencies to have access to it. The new law eliminates fees that were in place that required offenders to register.

The State Fire Marshal's Office says, there are about 3,000 arsons each year in the state. Some are unsolved, but the ones that are don't match up to the number of convicts in the database, proving offenders are not adding their names to the list as required.

"We've had some difficulty in recent years getting the numbers where we expected them," said Thompson. "Some 18 months ago we had more than a dozen on the registry, and today with our efforts we have more than 100 on the registry but we still aren't where we want to be."
Under the law passed four years ago, offenders were responsible to register by the State Fire Marshal, and that wasn't being done.

Right now, work is being done to notify convicts and law enforcement about the law and the need to register.
"Unfortunately, individuals who commit the crime of arson often commit multiple crimes of arson, so its very important to know where these individuals live and when we have a fire in a given location and to be able to access that registry and check up on those people," said Thompson.

Plans are in the works to lengthen the time by five years where those convicted of arson are forced to register, and the office of Probation and Parole will also register convicts now.

The changes will go into effect on August 1st.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
APSO: Former deputy dies saving his dog http://www.wbrz.com/news/apso-former-deputy-dies-saving-his-dog/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/apso-former-deputy-dies-saving-his-dog/ Local News Sun, 27 Jul 2014 5:11:04 PM Greg Renoud APSO: Former deputy dies saving his dog

ASCENSION PARISH - The Ascension Parish sheriff's office says one of it's former deputies was killed trying to save his dog Sunday morning.

Lt. Sam Vitter, 56, drowned in the Spanish Oaks subdivision pond on Swamp Road in Prairieville.

Ascension deputies, the Prairieville fire department and the Gonzales dive team recovered the body Sunday afternoon.

Lt. Vitter served as an Ascension deputy for 32 years and retired in December 2013.

No word yet on funeral arrangements.

IMAGE: APSO

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>