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, 16 Sep 2014 07:09:40 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 BR couple rescued from storm by Dr. Phil's son http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-couple-rescued-from-storm-by-dr-phil-s-son/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-couple-rescued-from-storm-by-dr-phil-s-son/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 8:42:22 PM Trey Schmaltz BR couple rescued from storm by Dr. Phil's son

CABO SAN LUCAS - About 30,000 tourists have been put up in temporary shelters after Hurricane Odile moved ashore and leveled much of what was in its path.

A number of families from the Baton Rouge-area where vacation along the popular Mexican coastline as the storm approached.

"We woke up to Federales with machine guns tells us we must evacuate; mandatory," real estate agent Ruthie Golden told WBRZ News 2 in a phone conversation from California Monday evening. She and her husband were fortune, she says, to get out before the storm closed the airport and forced vacationers to seek shelter.

"We were pretty shocked," Golden said about how fast the storm strengthened.

As the Category 3 storm approached, the Goldens packed their week of vacation into bags in just 15 minutes and were told to get on a bus for the United States. The 20 hour ride to Los Angeles was the only safe way out they were told.

The trip has turned out to be a series of unexpected events. As the couple was about to step foot on the bus for the expected tiresome journey, people they briefly met at the pool a few hours earlier offered an alternative: a private flight out of Mexico; and it was leaving soon.

"We ran in to Jay McGraw, Dr. Phil's son, and they invited us on their private jet. We took off; we were the last ones to leave the airport," Golden said with a sigh as she reflects on the past 72 hours.

Golden said they only met the McGraws at a pool and had a brief conversation with their party. She said they are extremely grateful the McGraws remembered them and helped them leave the area.

But, the Goldens' friends about 30 miles away at another hotel were not so lucky. They stayed behind and have had to endure power outages and draining batteries and generators.

The storm damaged the Los Cabos international airport and it remained closed Monday evening.

Ruthie Golden said the McGraws did not want to take any kind of payment for their generosity, although she plans to send them something when they return to Baton Rouge.
"It proves there are people that are good, just out of the kindness of their hearts," she said. "They're not looking for any PR, they really are just good people."
Ruthie added she has limited conversations with her friends who remained in Cabo, but they appeared to be doing okay.

Scores of people have been injured but there are no reports of fatalities.

The storm is the most powerful to hit Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz


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LSU students compete in big birding competition http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-students-compete-in-big-birding-competition/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-students-compete-in-big-birding-competition/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 8:39:30 PM Brittany Weiss LSU students compete in big birding competition

BATON ROUGE - A team from LSU is hoping to break the record for the number of birds they can identify in one day.

The group has been practicing their technique for years, sometimes around Baton Rouge.  Glenn Seeholzer and Mike Harvey are LSU graduate students headed to Peru to take part in the competition.

"You're looking for owls in the dark," said Harvey. "As soon as the first light hits, you're on your feet or in the car, going as fast as you can, stopping as many places as you can."

The record was set in 1982 by LSU researcher Ted Parker and Princeton graduate student Scott Robinson. The pair tallied 331 species at a single site in Peru. The record has not been beat without using aircraft.

"There's no place else in the world you can go to see as many species as you can in Peru, Bolivia or Brazil," said Seeholzer.

Their birding travels have taken them all over the world collecting research for the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.

"A lot of it is about movement, getting to new places and trying new habitats," said Seeholzer.

The team of four will go to Peru in October to scout locations and compete on several thousand meters of elevation to break the record. They'll also be raising money for discovery-based research in the Tropics.

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Neighborhood: dark streets adding to crime problem http://www.wbrz.com/news/neighborhood-dark-streets-adding-to-crime-problem/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/neighborhood-dark-streets-adding-to-crime-problem/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 6:55:09 PM Ryan Naquin Neighborhood: dark streets adding to crime problem

BATON ROUGE - Glen Oaks residents are putting a spotlight on crime in their neighborhood.

Tuesday, Entergy workers will install more than 100 lamps on existing utility polls.

"The norm is that it is alright to shoot a gun in our neighborhood. It's not alright," New Beginnings Baptist Church pastor Donald Hunter said.

Hunter's congregation along with the Chapel at LSU raised $40,000 to purchase the bulbs, install the lamps and maintain them for a year.

"It's an ongoing comprehensive approach to literally rebuilding a neighborhood and community," Hunter said.

"Lately we've been having a lot of gunshots," the homeowners' association member Charman Herbert said. "You know a bullet don't have a name. So yea, we are afraid."

The residents live in fear and they blame a lot of the crime on the lack of lighting.

"We hope that what we do here can be replicated in such a way that other communities can embrace what we are doing and have the same type of effect on creating a better place for families and children to live."

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4-vehicle wreck snarls Miss. River bridge traffic http://www.wbrz.com/news/4-vehicle-wreck-snarls-miss-river-bridge-traffic/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/4-vehicle-wreck-snarls-miss-river-bridge-traffic/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 2:10:00 PM Russell Jones 4-vehicle wreck snarls Miss. River bridge traffic

BATON ROUGE - Traffic officials closed all but one lane of I-10 West crossing the Mississippi River Bridge after a wreck at the beginning of rush hour.

The Department of Transportation and Development said the wreck happened at the top of the bridge, blocking the left and center lanes of travel. 

Baton Rouge Police said four vehicles were involved in the wreck, and there were no injuries.

DOTD said all lanes of traffic were open again shortly after 5:15 p.m. with congestion backed up to Siegen Lane.

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Sorrento councilman wants police department gone http://www.wbrz.com/news/sorrento-councilman-wants-police-department-gone/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sorrento-councilman-wants-police-department-gone/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 4:01:00 PM Rob Krieger Sorrento councilman wants police department gone

SORRENTO - The voters will get to decide if the police department should be abolished when they hit the polls in November.

The Police Department has been defunct since it lost liability coverage last year and the chief of police resigned after he lied to the FBI about a sexual encounter with a woman in his office.

The legislature created a law that will allow voters to scuttle the police department for good, if they decide to pull the plug during an election in November.

Voters will also have to decide on a chief of police to fill the vacant position.

Councilman Don Schexnaydre doesn't think it's worth the trouble to try and rehab the force, especially after losing insurance.

"I think you'll always have trouble getting insurance, how do you rehab a department that's been defunct this bad, we're still facing three lawsuits that haven't come up yet," said Schexnaydre.

Two people are running for the chief of police position, Fern Barnett and Gary Leblanc, but it's unclear how they would handle the job if the voters nix the police department.

"What do you plan on doing," questioned Schexnaydre, "do you plan on coming in and saying I want a pay check? Are you gonna stay or are you gonna resign? What are you gonna do if the people want it gone?"

Barnett, who was the only candidate able to comment today, says she's as qualified as any other resident in Sorrento to take the position, but admitted she's not as qualified as Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley, the man who will take over if the force gets the axe.

If voters decide to get rid of the department, the winning chief of police will have two years to serve, before the force is completely shuttered. If they decide to resign before then, it would mean an immediate closure of the department.

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Immigrant influx strains EBR teaching staff http://www.wbrz.com/news/immigrant-influx-strains-ebr-teaching-staff/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/immigrant-influx-strains-ebr-teaching-staff/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 3:22:18 PM Jason Newton Immigrant influx strains EBR teaching staff

BATON ROUGE - An influx of immigrant children is putting a strain on resources for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District. More than a thousand unaccompanied alien children are now in schools across the state.

East Baton Rouge Parish has 173 students from Central America recently enrolled that may be unaccompanied minors who have flooded over the southern border this summer. Part of more than a thousand who landed in Louisiana.

"The majority come from Honduras," said Keith Bromery, spokesman for East Baton Rouge School Board. "The remainder come from El Salvador and Guatelmala."

The students are scattered throughout the system at 16 elementary schools, seven middle and seven high schools. Now the school system is struggling to accommodate the special needs of students who don't speak English. East Baton Rouge is maxed-out when it comes to English-Second-Language professionals.

"We are currently looking for more teachers with the ESL endorsement," Bromery said. "Or bilingual who can support us in this regard."

Federal law requires the kids to stay in the U.S. until their deportation hearings. The head of a state teacher union says that's fine, but the feds should kick in some cash to help the local districts.

"Who's responsible for picking up the tab?" asked Steve Monaghan, head of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. "In (this) case, the federal government. And that's what the expectations should be."

With a mission of educating all children regardless of the circumstances, EBR said they're goals remain unchanged.

"That's our responsibility, to teach students, regardless of where they come from," said Bromery.

Five parishes in the state have these students enrolled. Only Jefferson and Orleans have more than East Baton Rouge.


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BR video game developer seeks funding http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-video-game-developer-seeks-funding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-video-game-developer-seeks-funding/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 2:31:38 PM Troy Gaulden BR video game developer seeks funding

BATON ROUGE - An independent video game developer in Baton Rouge has a few days left to raise money for his game.

In the game "Nefarious" you're not the hero. Instead, you play a villain dead set on kidnapping the princess and keeping her away from the hero. The game was created by Josh Hano who uses the Louisiana Technology Park's Level Up Lab to build the game.

"You're not the little guy trying to get at the big guy who's like taking up the entire screen," said Hano. "You are the guy taking up the entire screen, and you're trying to squish a little guy who's jumping around and trying to hit your flashing weak point."

Hano began a Kickstarter campaign online to raise $50,000 to fund the game development. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects to raise money from people who back ideas.

Hano has raised more than $31,000 so far with just three days left on the campaign. The money would go toward hiring a game programmer and would allow Hano to work on the game full-time.

"I'm more than willing to work for free just because it's a project of passion for me, but I really think to really get the quality that I'm looking for I have to be able to work on it full-time," he said.

More than 800 people have backed "Nefarious" on Kickstarter by donating money. If enough money is raised to further game development Hano says he's aiming to release "Nefarious" on PC, Mac, Linux and Wii U.

"It's actually been a really great feeling. People message me all the time telling me 'I love your idea. It's so cool and original.' It just feels great," he said. "I try to always have a lot of back and forth with the fans and talk to them and answer their questions. It's really blown me away."

The campaign ends Friday, Sept. 19. You can donate to the "Nefarious" Kickstarter here. More info on the game itself is available here.


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Man accused in EBR gun battle http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-in-ebr-gun-battle/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-in-ebr-gun-battle/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 1:44:10 PM Russell Jones Man accused in EBR gun battle

BATON ROUGE - Sheriff's deputies arrested a Baton Rouge man who investigators said was involved in a gunfight in the northeast part of the parish.

Deputies charged Justin Stoute, 19, with attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon after his arrest Monday.

Investigators said Stoute admitted to exchanging fire with a group of people he'd been arguing with just before 2 a.m. Monday on Joor Road. Deputies said Stoute also showed them text messages on his phone between the people involved with the shooting, including one message before the shooting which said "You don't want none of this glock."

Deputies booked Stoute into the parish jail.


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Wrecked race car trailer delays I-10 traffic http://www.wbrz.com/news/wrecked-race-car-trailer-delays-i-10-traffic/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/wrecked-race-car-trailer-delays-i-10-traffic/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:04:59 AM Russell Jones Wrecked race car trailer delays I-10 traffic

GONZALES - Traffic officials warned drivers to avoid I-10 East around Gonzales because of a wrecked race car trailer which was being removed.

Authorities told News 2 the drag racer's trailer crashed off I-10 west of LA 30 overnight, going into a nearby wooded area.

State Police said at 1 p.m. that vehicle recovery operations would take at least another hour in the area, and even though only one lane was shut down they asked drivers to choose alternate routes.

All lanes were reported open by state police around 3 p.m. with minimal congestion.

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Update: Police now say driver not deceased in wreck http://www.wbrz.com/news/update-police-now-say-driver-not-deceased-in-wreck/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/update-police-now-say-driver-not-deceased-in-wreck/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 9:05:45 AM Russell Jones Update: Police now say driver not deceased in wreck

BATON ROUGE - Police said a woman involved in a wreck in Baton Rouge Monday did not die, despite an earlier report from officers she had.

A BRPD spokesperson said the driver who wrecked on South Acadian Thruway near Capital Heights may have had an unknown medical issue which caused the crash. The highway was shut down between Claycut Road and Capital Heights while officers investigated the wreck.

Monday afternoon, police said they mistakenly reported the woman had died. She is instead being treated at a local hospital.


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Groundbreaking held for new downtown BR apartments http://www.wbrz.com/news/groundbreaking-held-for-new-downtown-br-apartments/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/groundbreaking-held-for-new-downtown-br-apartments/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 9:41:10 AM Brock Sues Groundbreaking held for new downtown BR apartments

BATON ROUGE - Representatives from Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Baton Rouge Metro Council, the Downtown Development District and the Mayor's Office came together Monday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony that marks the official beginning to construction of the new Onyx Residences.

The five-story building, located at the corner of Third and Convention Streets, will be the future home of 28 one- and two-bedroom apartments tucked above 5,600 square feet of commercial space. The apartments will range from 600 to 1,100 square feet.

Marketing Director of the Commercial Properties Realty Trust Tina Rance says CenturyLink will equip the facility with some of the latest in next-generation tech including fiber-based gigabit internet service along with security and home entertainment services. The fees for the advanced internet and smart home features will be included in the rent.

Each apartment will have a balcony or terrace attached to provide excellent views of Third Street, Convention Street or the Shaw Center for the Arts.

The redevelopment project is estimated to require more than $7 million in investment with the building ready for occupancy in fall of 2015. Pre-leasing is set to begin in the next few weeks at the Onyx Residences website.

The Onyx Building opened in the 1950's and was the home of Rider's Jewelry store until the late 1970's. The building sat empty for more than 30 years until nonprofit organization City Year briefly occupied it in the last decade.


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Tree limb falls on motorcyclists, killing 1 http://www.wbrz.com/news/tree-limb-falls-on-motorcyclists-killing-1/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tree-limb-falls-on-motorcyclists-killing-1/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 8:22:24 AM APNewsNow Tree limb falls on motorcyclists, killing 1

FRENCH SETTLEMENT - State police said one motorcyclist was killed and another was injured when a tree limb fell and struck them while they were riding near French Settlement.

Trooper Jared Sandifer says 53-year-old Travis Lessard was riding a Harley Davidson alongside his brother, 52-year-old Joseph Lessard on La. Highway 22 Sunday afternoon when the limb fell.

Sandifer says Travis Lessard, of Gonzales, was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Gonzales while Joseph Lessard, of Maurepas, was taken to a Baton Rouge Hospital with serious injuries.

He says both riders were wearing their helmets.

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Police: Suspect arrested after New Orleans officer shot http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-suspect-arrested-after-new-orleans-officer-shot/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-suspect-arrested-after-new-orleans-officer-shot/ Local News Sun, 14 Sep 2014 1:16:09 PM Greg Renoud Police: Suspect arrested after New Orleans officer shot

NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans police say one of their own was shot early Sunday morning and a suspect has been arrested.

News 2's sister station reports the officer is Jonathan Smith, 44. He was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

Police say Smith was shot several times while working a detail at a food place near the intersection of Elysian Fields and St. Claude avenues at 1:45 a.m.

Officials say three suspects were in a Ford SUV. Two of them got out of the vehicle and one of them opened fire Smith. Smith was hit at least three times and the men drove off.

Police say one of the suspects was found shot in a parking lot in Gretna. He was arrested after his story didn't add up and his vehicle matched the getaway car. In the vehicle, police found a dead body who is also believed to be one of the three men. The third man is still on the loose.

Police are continuing to investigate the case.



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Agriculture exhibit to open at LSU http://www.wbrz.com/news/agriculture-exhibit-to-open-at-lsu/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/agriculture-exhibit-to-open-at-lsu/ Local News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 8:14:31 AM APNewsNow Agriculture exhibit to open at LSU

BATON ROUGE - An exhibit marking 100 years of the Cooperative Extension Service in Louisiana will open at the LSU Hill Memorial Library on Sept. 22.

The exhibit will include historical documents regarding LSU president Thomas Boyd and the establishment of cooperative extension at LSU, photos from early extension agent annual reports and first-edition extension bulletins containing advice on farming and food safety.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created to improve agricultural practices. Over the years, the service also expanded into urban areas with programs aimed at economic development, food safety, nutrition education, gardening and disaster recovery.

In addition to photos and documents, the exhibit will include a listening station at which visitors can select audio clips from current and retired extension employees.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 24, 2015.

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Police: Two injured in Tigerland shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-two-injured-in-tigerland-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-two-injured-in-tigerland-shooting/ Local News Sun, 14 Sep 2014 9:40:47 AM Greg Renoud/Jessica LeBlanc Police: Two injured in Tigerland shooting

BATON ROUGE - Police say a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning in Tigerland after the LSU football game against ULM.

Witnesses tell News 2 that there were football players in the area at the time, but police say they weren't involved with the shooting or injured.

Officials say two or three shots were heard and two people were taken to the hospital. The victims were a 20-year-old male and a 23-year-old male. Preliminary reports say one was shot in the leg and the other in the abdomen.

It happened on the 4400 block of Alvin Dark, which is right behind the popular college bar Reggie's.

Police say none of the victims suffered life threatening injuries.

No suspects have been named yet and the investigation is ongoing.

Residents who live in the neighborhood are tired of the violence in TigerLand.

They say a lot of it's just people being irresponsible. 

"It's very wild. It gets crazy over here. I almost ran over someone coming down {the street}...on the way home. I was like this close from hitting them because I didn't see them. They just staggered out in the middle of the street. They were drunk," said Shameka Bradley.

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Local church recovers from burned bus http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-church-recovers-from-burned-bus-64593/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-church-recovers-from-burned-bus-64593/ Local News Sat, 13 Sep 2014 6:53:48 PM Jessica LeBlanc Local church recovers from burned bus

BATON ROUGE - The New Philadelphia Full Gospel Baptist Church is moving forward after losing a major means of transportation for the congregation.

Pastor Curtis Shepherd says, since the church's bus caught fire last week the church has come together in supporting one another.

The bus was used to pick up church members for Sunday morning service.

Pastor Shepherd says the other members have pitched in by taking up the slack and picking up bus riders until the church can afford to buy a new bus.

"Although it was a catastrophe or a calamity, God is going to bring some good out of it."

Investigators say the cause of the fire was "mechanical in nature" and they don't suspect foul play.

A benefit luncheon will be held at the church on September 27 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. to raise money for a new bus.

If you would like to make a donation to the church's bus fund, you can make a check payable to The New Philadelphia Full Gospel Baptist Church or drop a donation off by the church.

"Our faith is keeping us," said Shepherd.


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La. DEQ objects to proposed CO2 rules http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-deq-objects-to-proposed-co2-rules/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-deq-objects-to-proposed-co2-rules/ Local News Sat, 13 Sep 2014 8:39:31 AM La. DEQ objects to proposed CO2 rules

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality has released a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, raising objections to EPA's proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

The letter from DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch was released Friday. It says EPA is exceeding its authority with the rules and that it made errors and omissions in the data used to calculate Louisiana's carbon emission reduction goals.

The EPA rules announced in June set a goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent nationwide from 2005 levels. The goal's deadline is 2030.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has long said that strong carbon standards are needed. She has emphasized that states will have flexibility in developing plans to reduce carbon output.

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Trains could cause nightmare traffic to get worse http://www.wbrz.com/news/trains-could-cause-nightmare-traffic-to-get-worse/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/trains-could-cause-nightmare-traffic-to-get-worse/ Local News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 8:30:28 PM Ryan Naquin Trains could cause nightmare traffic to get worse

BRUSLY - A flood of trains in West Baton Rouge Parish might make some drivers' nightmare traffic commute even worse.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Parish President "Pee Wee" Berthelot said.

Berthelot spoke with Union Pacific Railroad officials about more trains carrying potentially explosive Bakken oil riding the rails near LA 1.  The increase happened because other train routes were shutdown to make upgrades to the rail system.

Trains roll through the parish and start backing up traffic because drivers cannot turn and cross over the tracks, Berthelot said.

"The railroad trains come so slow, about five to six mph, and they are about a mile-and-a-half to one point-seven-tenths of a mile long," Berthelot said.  "It takes them some time, close to fifteen minutes, just to clear a crossing."

"I know there is a lot of railroads and a lot of trains that pass through Plaquemine but I think they are starting to route out this way," Addis resident Wyona Bernard said.

The line was hardly used before a few months ago, Bernard said.

To get ready for the increase of rail cars, crews have been working to make the tracks more level and replace old, worn rail ties.

Also adding to the traffic mess that is expected is the Greater Baton Rouge Port expansion, which means more trains and more traffic on LA 1.

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New plan in place for sinkhole http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-plan-in-place-for-sinkhole/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-plan-in-place-for-sinkhole/ Local News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 5:07:48 PM Russell Jones & Rob Krieger New plan in place for sinkhole

BAYOU CORNE - It's been two years since a sinkhole disrupted the lives of people living in Bayou Corne, and some of those residents hope Texas Brine will be allowed to continue with a plan to fix the damage.

Many people left the area after the sinkhole formed, and Texas Brine forked over millions of dollars to buy them out of their properties and mortgages. Not everyone left, though, and the ones who stayed tell News 2 they're pleased to still live in a place they call "their paradise."

Only about a dozen families still live in the community, but they say in the past two years they haven't had many problems. They were initially concerned that gas leaks from the swamp could cause environmental problems, but those worries have since dissipated.

Now, Texas Brine wants to get permission to keep pumping wastewater from their vent wells into the sinkhole. While some involved in the cleanup aren't pleased with the idea, residents of Bayou Corne say they don't have a problem with it.

"The people who should have the most objection about it are those of us who are staying, and to my knowledge, nobody who's staying has any problem with that water being injected or put back into the sinkhole," said resident Dennis Landry.

Texas Brine is already pumping wastewater from the vent wells into the sinkhole, using a one-year general permit form. They're seeking to formalize that permit for five years, something the state Department of Environmental Quality will have to approve.


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Emergency bridge repairs ordered in W. Feliciana http://www.wbrz.com/news/emergency-bridge-repairs-ordered-in-w-feliciana/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/emergency-bridge-repairs-ordered-in-w-feliciana/ Local News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 4:36:15 PM Alexa Vogue Emergency bridge repairs ordered in W. Feliciana

ST. FRANCISVILLE - Emergency repairs were made just in time to a bridge in West Feliciana, after state inspectors found rotting support timbers.

The bridge just north of Saint Francisville on Island road was in danger of collapse. Crews were given just 24 hours to repair the damage.

Work started Friday morning on wooden beams that hold up the bridge. One of the main structures that provides support was completely rotten.

Public works says rapid crumbling is common in older structures, but this bridge needed an emergency fix because it's the only way out for many residents of the area.

"We have a unique situation here," said Jim Ferguson, Director of Public Works. "The only way out of here with this bridge closed, is through a low water crossing. And with rain coming, we have a very short time envelope."

Crews started work at 8:30 a.m. and finished by 3 p.m. to allow school buses through.

"We have all our forces mobilized on this one project," Ferguson said.

The bridge is inspected at least once a year.

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