WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ State News State News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:04:52 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Skeleton found at New Orleans apartment building http://www.wbrz.com/news/skeleton-found-at-new-orleans-apartment-building/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/skeleton-found-at-new-orleans-apartment-building/ State News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:56:38 AM Skeleton found at New Orleans apartment building

NEW ORLEANS - Police say an elevator repairman found the skeletal remains of a man inside an unoccupied apartment building Thursday in the Central City neighborhood.

Nola.comThe Times-Picayune reports the body was found in an elevator shaft of the three-story building on South Claiborne Avenue.

Nearby residents say the building was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and had been unoccupied since then. Renovation work resumed at the site recently.

Investigators are working to identify the body and cause of death.

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Elderly couple killed in crash with train http://www.wbrz.com/news/elderly-couple-killed-in-crash-with-train/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/elderly-couple-killed-in-crash-with-train/ State News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 9:42:37 AM Elderly couple killed in crash with train

KEITHVILLE - An elderly couple died in a crash with a train in Caddo Parish.

Caddo Parish sheriff's deputies say 85 year old Wilson Evans and his wife, 79-year-old Kathleen Evans, died at the scene near Keithville.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick says Wilson Evans drove around the crossing arms and his pickup was hit on the passenger side by a Union Pacific train.

Chadwick says the couple lived nearby.

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Jazzfest at 45 http://www.wbrz.com/news/jazzfest-at-45/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jazzfest-at-45/ State News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 9:32:53 AM Jazzfest at 45

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival gets under way Friday, with musical performances featuring pop and rock stars along with traditional jazz.

It's the 45th annual festival and is held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds, where it's been since 1972. The two weekends of music include headliners Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Lyle Lovett, and Public Enemy.

About 500 acts and 5,000 performers are entertaining including plenty of jazz, gospel, and zydeco.

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Winning Powerball ticket in Florida http://www.wbrz.com/news/winning-powerball-ticket-in-florida/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/winning-powerball-ticket-in-florida/ State News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 8:51:19 AM Winning Powerball ticket in Florida

BATON ROUGE - Lottery officials say a winning ticket sold in Florida has won Wednesday's $150 million Powerball drawing.

The top price for Saturday's drawing will be $40 million.

There were no big winner in the Louisiana Lotto or Easy 5 drawings.

Lotto players matching all six numbers drawn would have won or shared a $275,000 prize. The prize will rise to an estimated $300,000 for the next drawing, on Saturday.

Also, the lottery says, no one won the $60,000 Easy 5 jackpot. Saturday's drawing will be worth $70,000.

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$3 million grant awarded to St. Bernard Project http://www.wbrz.com/news/3-million-grant-awarded-to-st-bernard-project/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/3-million-grant-awarded-to-st-bernard-project/ State News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 8:29:25 AM $3 million grant awarded to St. Bernard Project

NEW ORLEANS - The Z Zurich Foundation is giving a $3 million grant to St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disaster-impacted communities recover in a prompt, efficient and predictable way.

The grant is a three-year commitment to create a Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab that will share lessons learned in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help others be better prepared for disasters.

The foundation says the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab is not intended to be a physical structure but rather a model for increasing the resilience of individuals, families and businesses that are facing or recovering from natural disasters.

The Z Zurich Foundation is the community investment arm of Zurich Insurance Group.

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No charges for man who shot cousin's kidnapper http://www.wbrz.com/news/no-charges-for-man-who-shot-cousin-s-kidnapper/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/no-charges-for-man-who-shot-cousin-s-kidnapper/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 3:13:22 PM No charges for man who shot cousin's kidnapper

LAFAYETTE - A Lafayette Parish grand jury has declined to bring charges against a man in the fatal shooting of a suspect accused of abducting and stabbing his cousin.

The shooting happened in November after Bethany Arceneaux was abducted from a day care center where she was picking up her child.

Authorities said the suspect was her ex-boyfriend, 29-year-old Scott Thomas.

Thomas held Arceneaux at an abandoned house for two days before relatives found her.

Thomas was fatally shot by 23-year-old Marcus Arceneaux, the woman's cousin.

Thomas began stabbing Bethany Arceneaux after relatives arrived to rescue her and authorities said it appeared that Marcus Arceneaux fired to save his cousin's life.

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NOPD officer charged with child porn possession http://www.wbrz.com/news/nopd-officer-charged-with-child-porn-possession/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/nopd-officer-charged-with-child-porn-possession/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 3:03:16 PM Russell Jones NOPD officer charged with child porn possession

NEW ORLEANS - Authorities accused a New Orleans Police officer Wednesday of possessing child porn, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Officers arrested Bradley Wax, 54, of Mandeville on 38 charges of pornography involving juveniles. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail, and faces 20 years in prison on each count if convicted.

The Attorney General's Office said an online undercover investigation led authorities to search Wax's home in January. After forensic analysis was conducted on computers and other electronic devices seized during the search, investigators determined Wax possessed child porn.

The arrest was part of a joint investigation involving the Attorney General's Cyber Crime Unit, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security Investigations.


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Bill for more elected BESE members rejected http://www.wbrz.com/news/bill-for-more-elected-bese-members-rejected/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bill-for-more-elected-bese-members-rejected/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 2:38:17 PM Bill for more elected BESE members rejected

BATON ROUGE - An effort to make more of the state education board's members elected by the public, rather than appointed by the governor, failed to win support Wednesday in the House and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Currently, eight members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are elected from individual districts around the state, and three are appointed by the governor.

Rep. Brett Geymann's constitutional change (House Bill 374) would have reconfigured the board so that two of the governor's appointments would have become at-large seats elected by voters statewide. The governor would have maintained one appointment.

"Parents want to have a voice, and I think this is one way we can do that," said Geymann, R-Lake Charles.

He said parents have complained that BESE members haven't responded to their concerns about the Common Core education standards.

Opponents of the bill said they didn't necessarily believe that having elected members would make BESE members more responsive to the public. They said the current model is a balanced approach to overseeing education policy for the state.

"I kind of like the ability for the governor to have some say because he represents the whole state," said Rep. Greg Miller, R-Norco.

The committee voted 6-2 against the bill, stalling it in committee.

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Bill to derail parish 'big oil' lawsuits stalls http://www.wbrz.com/news/bill-to-derail-parish-big-oil-lawsuits-stalls/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bill-to-derail-parish-big-oil-lawsuits-stalls/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 1:22:56 PM Bill to derail parish 'big oil' lawsuits stalls

BATON ROUGE - A new website is aimed at refuting arguments being made by supporters of legislation that could scuttle a New Orleans-based flood board's lawsuit against the oil and gas industry.

The website was announced in a news conference Wednesday by a member of the law firm hired to file the suit by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The lawsuit seeks damages from oil, gas and pipeline companies over loss of coastal wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

Bills aimed at derailing the lawsuit are moving through the Legislature. However, lawmakers appear to be backing away from measures that could stop similar lawsuits filed by the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and Jefferson.

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Senators reject Medicaid expansion bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/senators-reject-medicaid-expansion-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/senators-reject-medicaid-expansion-bill/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 9:31:21 AM Senators reject Medicaid expansion bill

BATON ROUGE - A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.

The definitive 6-2 vote Wednesday against expansion likely ends the Senate's debate on the issue for the session.

Sen. Ben Nevers' bill would have let voters decide whether to direct Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to offer insurance coverage to up to 250,000 adults, mainly the working poor - with most of the cost picked up by the federal government.

Opponents, including Jindal, say the expansion is too costly to the state and federal government.

The vote of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee divided along party lines. Republicans voted to kill the measure, while Democrats supported passage.

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Officials announce Well-Ahead Louisiana Initiative http://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-announce-well-ahead-louisiana-initiative/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-announce-well-ahead-louisiana-initiative/ State News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 5:34:53 AM Hunter Robinson Officials announce Well-Ahead Louisiana Initiative

BATON ROUGE - State officials announced the Well-Ahead Louisiana Initiative last week. Secretary of Public Health J.T. Lane dropped by 2une In Wednesday morning to talk about the goals of the program.

"We see a lot of headlines about ranked last in the country in obesity and overall health, we're now 48th," Lane explained, "so what we want to do it build on the progress that has already been made".

The plan is to build on progress by partnering with schools, businesses and other organizations to energize health and wellness in Louisiana. According to the Department of Health and Hospitals, that doesn't mean you have give up things you love like good food. Instead, it means maker smart choices to extend your life so you can enjoy those things longer.

To find out more about the Well-Ahead Louisiana Initiative, watch the video or check out this website.

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Miss. sends case of dismembered woman to La. http://www.wbrz.com/news/miss-sends-case-of-dismembered-woman-to-la-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/miss-sends-case-of-dismembered-woman-to-la-/ State News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 1:25:12 PM Miss. sends case of dismembered woman to La.

KENNER - The police chief of a New Orleans suburb says he hopes his department can bring closure to the case of a Bourbon Street dancer whose body parts washed ashore in Mississippi in 2012.

But Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said Tuesday there is still no break in the case of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart as his department prepares to take the lead in the investigation.

Authorities in Mississippi's Hancock County said Monday they are turning the case over to Kenner investigators.

Lockhart was last seen alive leaving a Bourbon Street strip club with two people in June 2012.

Caraway noted that Kenner officials have been involved in the investigation since the beginning. Their early work included the search of the home of one of the last people seen with Lockhart.

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Lawmaker pulls gay rights anti-discrimination bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawmaker-pulls-gay-rights-anti-discrimination-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawmaker-pulls-gay-rights-anti-discrimination-bill/ State News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:50:17 AM Lauren Langlois Lawmaker pulls gay rights anti-discrimination bill

BATON ROUGE - An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity has been shelved for the legislative session.

Rep. Karen St. Germain, a Democrat from Pierre Part, told the House civil law committee Tuesday that she wouldn't push the bill because she doesn't have the votes for passage.

Before pulling the bill, the committee heard from supporters of the proposal who argued it would make people want to stay in Louisiana and with their employers. They say people shouldn't be fired for being gay.

Opposition for the measure came from business organizations and conservative groups. But they didn't testify before the committee because St. Germain pulled the bill.

St. Germain says she'll return with the proposal next year.

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Two Eunice police officers arrested http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-eunice-police-officers-arrested/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-eunice-police-officers-arrested/ State News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 9:48:35 AM Two Eunice police officers arrested

EUNICE - Two Eunice police officers were arrested on charges of malfeasance in office, accused of intentionally not responding to a fellow officer in need of assistance.

St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says Eunice Police Chief Ronald Dies requested an investigation of officers Jade Weaver and Tayla Fruge after an incident on April 1. The investigation led to the arrest of both women for not helping an officer who was in a physical altercation.

"Both Fruge and Weaver were put on administrative leave while the investigation was underway," Guidroz said. "They were both booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on April 21, 2014 and have both since been bonded out."

Each was released on $2,500 bond.

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2 New Orleans firefighters injured in house fire http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-new-orleans-firefighters-injured-in-house-fire/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-new-orleans-firefighters-injured-in-house-fire/ State News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 6:35:43 AM Hunter Robinson 2 New Orleans firefighters injured in house fire

NEW ORLEANS - Authorities say two New Orleans firefighters are recovering from injuries after a house on fire collapsed and trapped them under debris.

Firefighters say the house was "heavily involved" when the first unit arrived at the unoccupied, single-story structure early Tuesday morning.

Officials say firefighters were inside the home attacking the fire when the home collapsed.

The fire department says the home was then evacuated to do a roll call and a rescue team was sent in.

The two firefighters were rescued, taken to a hospital for minor injuries and later released. No other injuries were reported.

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Lawmaker closes book on Bible as state book, pulled from debate http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawmaker-closes-book-on-bible-as-state-book-pulled-from-debate/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawmaker-closes-book-on-bible-as-state-book-pulled-from-debate/ State News Mon, 21 Apr 2014 5:08:54 PM Trey Schmaltz Lawmaker closes book on Bible as state book, pulled from debate

BATON ROUGE- The Bible won't be the official book of the state since the lawmaker who was pushing the move walked away from it during Monday's meeting of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

WBRZ News 2 reporter Ryan Naquin was first to report on Twitter that Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody dropped his legislation. He said it "causes a constitutional problem that could not be overcome." Carmody added, lawmakers had told him they were worried the bill was becoming a distraction from more important debates, like on the state budget.

During the session Monday, Carmody called out other legislators for defeating his bill before it was debated, saying amendments made his bill unconstitutional.

"The original bill was amended in committee. So that it now caused a constitutional problem that really did not appear to be able to overcome," Carmody said to his colleagues.

Carmody wanted to make a specific Bible the official book, the Johannes Prevel version, which is the oldest copy in the Louisiana University Museum system.  A House committee changed the official book to the broader term 'Holy Bible'.

Carmody's fellow lawmakers applauded the representative's decision to pull back his bill.

"If this bill had continued to be heard and passed, I think Louisiana would have been liable for a lawsuit," Representative Barbara Norton said. "I don't think he had the votes. He didn't have this vote."



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Otter pups, babirusa piglets at New Orleans zoo http://www.wbrz.com/news/otter-pups-babirusa-piglets-at-new-orleans-zoo/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/otter-pups-babirusa-piglets-at-new-orleans-zoo/ State News Sun, 20 Apr 2014 8:56:34 PM Otter pups, babirusa piglets at New Orleans zoo

NEW ORLEANS - Baby animals at the Audubon Zoo include two baby otters rescued from a Louisiana construction site and two babirusa piglets born at the zoo.

Zookeeper Dominique Fleitas says the female North American river otter pups were about two weeks old when they were rescued in Port Sulphur in mid-March. She says their eyes and ears were still closed when they were brought to the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit. They don't yet have names.

The male and female babirusa piglets were born Jan. 31 at the Audubon Zoo. They're in the Asian Domain.

Large mammal curator Joe Forys says their father was born at Audubon but named after Chicago's Wrigley Field, and little Clark and Addison are named for cross streets near Wrigley Field.

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La shuts down bar after underage sales raid http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-shuts-down-bar-after-underage-sales-raid/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-shuts-down-bar-after-underage-sales-raid/ State News Sun, 20 Apr 2014 8:53:37 PM La shuts down bar after underage sales raid

LAFAYETTE - The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says it has closed a Lafayette bar for allegedly selling alcohol to people less than 21 years old.

Commissioner Troy Hebert says in a news release that undercover agents raided The Keg after getting tips about underage alcohol sales. He says agents found that three 17-year-olds and two others under age 21 had bought alcohol. They say four minors got criminal citations for possessing alcohol.

Hebert says the sales violate a consent agreement signed less than four months ago, when the bar's alcohol permit was suspended and it was fined $10,000 for a fourth offense of selling alcohol to minors.

Manager John Slaughter says staffers check all IDs at the door and never wilfully serve alcohol to anyone under age 21.

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Jackpots unclaimed in top Saturday lotteries in La http://www.wbrz.com/news/jackpots-unclaimed-in-top-saturday-lotteries-in-la/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jackpots-unclaimed-in-top-saturday-lotteries-in-la/ State News Sun, 20 Apr 2014 8:49:32 PM Jackpots unclaimed in top Saturday lotteries in La

NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Lottery Corp. says nobody won the jackpots for three big weekend lotteries sold in Louisiana. That means Wednesday's estimated jackpots rise to $60,000 for Easy 5, $275,000 for Lotto and $150 million for the Powerball.

The lottery corporation says the most valuable ticket sold in Louisiana for Saturday's drawings was a Powerball ticket matching the Powerball and four other numbers. It's worth $10,000.

A news release says 10 Lotto tickets match five of the six Lotto numbers and are worth $2,587 each.

Winning numbers drawn Saturday for those games were:

-Powerball: 05-06-29-35-51; Powerball 21; Power Play 5.

(five, six, twenty-nine, thirty-five, fifty-one; Powerball: twenty-one; Power Play: five)

-Lotto: 18-28-29-33-35-38

(eighteen, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty-three, thirty-five, thirty-eight)

-Easy 5: 19-22-26-30-32

(nineteen, twenty-two, twenty-six, thirty, thirty-two)

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Police: Fatal crash, driver at fault missing http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-fatal-crash-driver-at-fault-missing/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-fatal-crash-driver-at-fault-missing/ State News Sun, 20 Apr 2014 3:17:54 PM Greg Renoud Police: Fatal crash, driver at fault missing

IBERIA PARISH - State police say a non-contact hit and run caused a fatal crash Saturday night in Iberia Parish.

It happened on US hwy 90 east of LA hwy 675 around 10:30 pm.

Police say an unknown vehicle changed lanes. To avoid a collision, the victim traveled into the median causing his car to overturn.

Officials say the victim's vehicle caught fire after it was overturned. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

It is unknown whether the victim was properly restrained or if either driver was impaired.

A non-contact hit and run is when the driver at fault causes the accident without actually making contact with the other vehicle.

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