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, 23 Oct 2014 07:10:39 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Workshops announced for small business competition http://www.wbrz.com/news/workshops-announced-for-small-business-competition/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/workshops-announced-for-small-business-competition/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 3:51:56 PM Russell Jones Workshops announced for small business competition

BATON ROUGE - Small businesses have the chance to compete for a combined $60,000 in cash and prizes for coming up with plans to create more jobs in Louisiana.

Capital One Bank announced plans for their 2014 Bayou Classic Business Plan Competition this week, with the winners scheduled to be announced on the field at the annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans.

Businesses which take part will attend development workshops, then must submit a letter of intent by Oct. 31 and a business growth plan by Nov. 7. Finalists will be chosen to pitch their plans on Nov. 28, and winners will be announced at the game the next day.

Overall winners in the contest's two categories will receive $25,000 each. Runners-up will get $5,000.

Applicants must attend one of two business development workshops offered on Oct. 24 or 25 in Baton Rouge, Shreveport, or New Orleans. For specific locations, dates, and eligibility requirements, click here.


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French Quarter home collapses http://www.wbrz.com/news/french-quarter-home-collapses/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/french-quarter-home-collapses/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:43:32 AM Brock Sues French Quarter home collapses

NEW ORLEANS - A building in the French Quarter that suffered a partial collapse late Tuesday afternoon, entirely gave way Wednesday shortly before 1 p.m., according to WWL-TV in New Orleans.

No one was injured in the collapse, but a reporter on the scene said the collapse and ensuing cloud of dust made people in the vicinity run for cover.

Royal Street from St. Ann to Dumaine Street were still closed off to pedestrian and vehicle traffic after the historic New Orleans home's partial collapse yesterday.

Crumbling bricks and mortar rained down onto the 800 block of Royal Street shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and the area filled with NOFD firefighters, emergency responders and Entergy technicians. The unusual sight also drew a crowd of on-lookers as the wall of the three-story French Quarter residence tumbled down to the pavement.

One witness reported seeing large amounts of dust and some dripping water along with the smell of gas. Fire officials say no one was home when the partial collapse happened, and no pedestrians were in the area at the time to be injured by the falling debris.

The road closures and remnants of wall that remain in the street concern area business owners and their patrons as they wonder how long it will take to get the mess cleaned up. A store next to the collapsed building is forced to stay closed until the job is complete.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why the wall and its connected balcony collapsed. NOFD spokesperson Captain Edwin Holmes told WWL-TV that while the building is old like most of "The Quarter", the age of structure alone does not explain why part of the structure came down on Tuesday and then completely gave way the following day.

Firefighters worked past sunset to continue efforts to stabilize the building, and Entergy workers shut off power and gas to prevent an explosion after a small gas leak was confirmed by investigators.

Residents of the area were forced to wait until the workers called it quits to return to their homes for the night.

According to the City of New Orleans, Royal Street from Dumaine to St. Ann will remain closed to car and pedestrian traffic until further notice.

Image: Meg Farris, WWL-TV


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GOP candidates in La. not embracing Bobby Jindal http://www.wbrz.com/news/gop-candidates-in-la-not-embracing-bobby-jindal/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/gop-candidates-in-la-not-embracing-bobby-jindal/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:50:48 PM Melinda Deslatte GOP candidates in La. not embracing Bobby Jindal

BATON ROUGE - While Democrats in Louisiana are largely dodging ties to President Barack Obama this election season, Republicans aren't necessarily embracing Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Asked to grade the Republican governor's performance, GOP congressional contenders have answered with middling marks to outright avoidance of the question as support for Jindal has waned in Louisiana.

The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.

At a Tuesday forum, only two of six Republican candidates in the 5th District congressional race said they would support Jindal for president.

In the 6th District congressional race, even Jindal's former coastal restoration chief, Republican Garret Graves, hedged when asked to rate his former boss. Other candidates gave the governor lukewarm ratings.

Image: Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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4 held in New Orleans prison stabbing http://www.wbrz.com/news/4-held-in-new-orleans-prison-stabbing/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/4-held-in-new-orleans-prison-stabbing/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:40:06 PM 4 held in New Orleans prison stabbing

NEW ORLEANS - Four men being held at the Orleans Parish Prison face additional charges after allegedly attacking a man with a knife.

Prison officials say a fight broke out Tuesday morning at the prison.

A 43-year-old inmate was found with multiple stab wounds. It was not clear how many individuals were involved in the fight.

The suspects were identified as Darnell Jymes, Dernell McGuffey, Cleveland Ross and Davell Jenkins.

Officials say they were being held at the prison on various charges and now face aggravated battery charges from the stabbing incident.

It was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys in the latest case.


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Most teachers 'effective' or 'highly effective' http://www.wbrz.com/news/most-teachers-effective-or-highly-effective-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/most-teachers-effective-or-highly-effective-/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:39:58 PM APNewsNow Most teachers 'effective' or 'highly effective'

NEW ORLEANS - A new state report says 92 percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in the second year of a statewide evaluation process.

Last year, the figure was 89 percent.

The latest figures were released Wednesday.

The new system does not yet require that growth in student achievement be part of a teacher's evaluation. That factor is being delayed as the state phases in tougher Common Core standards. Meanwhile, teachers are rated on subjective classroom observations by principals.

The state Department of Education said that in the best-performing school districts, it appears to be more difficult for teachers to earn a "highly effective" rating. Districts that did best at boosting student achievement often had a lower number of teachers rated "highly effective" than the state average.


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Audit questions $13 million in Tulane Katrina aid http://www.wbrz.com/news/audit-questions-13-million-in-tulane-katrina-aid/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/audit-questions-13-million-in-tulane-katrina-aid/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 8:56:38 AM Audit questions $13 million in Tulane Katrina aid

NEW ORLEANS - The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says federal emergency officials should recover nearly $13 million in Hurricane Katrina recovery aid awarded to Tulane University.

The report also says Louisiana officials should review more than $290 million in recovery aid given to Tulane after the 2005 storm.

An Oct. 8 audit report says a contractor working on a Tulane project either overbilled or could not document $13 million in costs.

The report noted nearly $7 million in unsupported fuel, equipment and labor costs and another $3.8 million in excessively high equipment costs. It also cited more than $1 million in volume discounts the university should have received, which would have reduced costs.

A Tulane spokesman said the university would comment later Wednesday.


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Driver dies in Ouachita Parish crash http://www.wbrz.com/news/driver-dies-in-ouachita-parish-crash/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/driver-dies-in-ouachita-parish-crash/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 3:46:23 AM Hunter Robinson Driver dies in Ouachita Parish crash

WEST MONROE - State police say a Monroe man died when his car ran off the road into a ditch and overturned.

The accident happened Tuesday on Louisiana Highway 143 near West Monroe.

Senior Trooper Michael Reichardt says 32-year-old Jason Jones of Monroe was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from his car

He says Jones was taken to Glenwood Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The crash remains under investigation.


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Shreveport officer admits buying teen son beer http://www.wbrz.com/news/shreveport-officer-admits-buying-teen-son-beer/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/shreveport-officer-admits-buying-teen-son-beer/ State News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:22:32 AM Hunter Robinson Shreveport officer admits buying teen son beer

SHREVEPORT - A 21-year veteran of the Shreveport Police Department, placed on administrative leave this month, has pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Sgt. Jason Brook faces up to six months in jail when sentenced next month by Judge David N. Matlock.

Brook admitted buying his 15-year-old son two beers at a Shreveport bar on Sept. 13 during a hearing Tuesday in Caddo Parish Juvenile Court.

His wife, Sgt. Kimberly Brook, who is also on administrative leave, was with him at the bar and appeared at the hearing. She faced the same charge as her husband, but her case was dismissed.

Police spokesman Cpl. Marcus Hines confirmed both officers remain on paid leave pending an internal investigation to determine whether they committed policy violations.


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Part of building falls in French Quarter street http://www.wbrz.com/news/part-of-building-falls-in-french-quarter-street/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/part-of-building-falls-in-french-quarter-street/ State News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 3:52:40 PM Brock Sues Part of building falls in French Quarter street

NEW ORLEANS - Part of a building in the French Quarter near Royal St. and St. Ann drew a crowd of onlookers on Tuesday afternoon as it collapsed into the street below.

WWL-TV reported that debris from the building closed up to two blocks of Royal Street while Quarter denizens gathered to watch the action.

The New Orleans Fire Department was on hand shortly after the collapse to close the roadways and assess the situation.

Image: Chad Bower


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FACES Lab to analyze remains found in Belle Chasse http://www.wbrz.com/news/faces-lab-to-analyze-remains-found-in-belle-chasse/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/faces-lab-to-analyze-remains-found-in-belle-chasse/ State News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 2:24:28 PM Brock Sues FACES Lab to analyze remains found in Belle Chasse

BATON ROUGE - The LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Laboratory will analyze skeletal remains found on Monday morning inside of an abandoned Belle Chasse home.

Sheriff's deputies in Plaquemines Parish said the complete skeletal remains including human skull were found by a laborer who was cleaning the property in the 16000 block of Hwy 23 on Oct. 21.

The FACES Lab on LSU's campus will analyze the remains in order to determine the possible age, gender, race and identity.

Officials said there is no foul play suspected. The cause of death is unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.


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Agents arrest fishy fisherman after bayou boat chase http://www.wbrz.com/news/agents-arrest-fishy-fisherman-after-bayou-boat-chase/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/agents-arrest-fishy-fisherman-after-bayou-boat-chase/ State News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 1:38:59 PM Brock Sues Agents arrest fishy fisherman after bayou boat chase

BAYOU DECADE - Agents with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said they arrested a Houma man accused of trying to conceal his catch after a Terrebonne Parish bayou boat chase early Monday morning.

Agents said they first made contact with Charlie Usè, 32, on Bayou DeCade south of Houma when they attempted to stop his vessel for improper navigation lighting shortly after 6 a.m. As they approached, agents said they saw the man dump several redfish into the water before he cranked the motor and took off.

Agents chased Usè for a mile before the fishy fisherman gave up and allowed authorities to board his 18-foot vessel.

After a search of Usè's boat, LDWF agents determined that the man had more than 10 redfish in his possession and some of them were under the legal size set by state law. Usè admitted to dumping undersized redfish back into the bayou during questioning, according to one of the arresting agents, Lt. Joe Arnaud of LDWF.

Charlie Usè was arrested and booked into Terrebonne Parish Prison on charges of aggravated flight from an officer, careless operation of a vessel, taking or possessing more than 10 redfish, taking or possessing undersized redfish, no navigation lights, intentional concealment of fish. He will also face fines and possible jail time for fishing without a license.

In total, Usè's offenses will land him a minimum $3,500 in fines and could send him to jail for more than five years.

Image: Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office


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More have jobs in La., but jobless rate rises http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-have-jobs-in-la-but-jobless-rate-rises/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-have-jobs-in-la-but-jobless-rate-rises/ State News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 9:59:24 AM More have jobs in La., but jobless rate rises

BATON ROUGE - The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.

The state's jobless rate rose to 6 percent, up for the fifth straight month. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August and 6 percent in September 2013.

The labor force rose by 17,500 people in September, while a thousand more people reported having jobs.

A separate survey shows employer payrolls rose by almost 5,000, again hitting an all-time high.

Both sets of figures - adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes - were released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The report found almost 130,000 Louisianans unemployed in September, up from about 123,000 in August and 126,000 in September 2013.


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Times-Picayune to be printed in Mobile, Alabama http://www.wbrz.com/news/times-picayune-to-be-printed-in-mobile-alabama/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/times-picayune-to-be-printed-in-mobile-alabama/ State News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 9:52:25 AM Times-Picayune to be printed in Mobile, Alabama

NEW ORLEANS - NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune reports that the Times-Picayune pressroom will close in late 2015 or early 2016, and the newspaper will be printed in Mobile, Alabama.

ACS Louisiana General Manager Ray Masset says the move will eliminate 100 jobs at his company, which prints and packages the newspaper.

NOLA Media Group, which operates the website and publishes the newspaper, says news and ad sales staffs will remain the same.

Its news staff of 165 includes 95 reporters. Fifty-seven freelancers also contribute to the website and newspaper.

The New Orleans plant was built in 1968 and the one in Mobile in 2002. It prints The Press-Register 144 miles east of New Orleans.

Masset says the newer plant will cut costs, improve efficiency and allow much better reproduction and color.


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2 indicted in tainted St. John Parish water probe http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-indicted-in-tainted-st-john-parish-water-probe/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-indicted-in-tainted-st-john-parish-water-probe/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 4:28:32 PM APNewsNow 2 indicted in tainted St. John Parish water probe

EDGARD - A St. John the Baptist Parish grand jury has indicted two parish workers for failing to properly collect and record water samples from testing sites where a brain-eating amoeba was found in the parish's water system.

The Louisiana Attorney General's office says 54-year-old Kevin Branch, of LaPlace, and 43-year-old Danielle Roussel, of Paulina, were charged Monday with malfeasance in office and filing or maintaining false public records. The charges stem from allegations the two failed to perform a duty lawfully required and falsified information on water testing logs.

They turned themselves into authorities on Tuesday and were later released on bond.

State health officials asked for the investigation after the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found, even though records indicated chlorine levels high enough to kill it. Independent tests found chlorine levels below state standards in a water line serving 12,000 customers.

On Tuesday morning, St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom announced a press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning to discuss public water safety in the wake of the indictment. Robottom said measures will be taken to ensure the parish's water system remains safe in the future.

"In addition to the State Police investigation findings, the St. John the Baptist Parish government has been very cooperative in sharing information from their own internal investigation," said Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. "This investigation remains ongoing as additional information comes to light."


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Jindal: report any state travel to Ebola countries http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-report-any-state-travel-to-ebola-countries/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-report-any-state-travel-to-ebola-countries/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 4:25:09 PM Jindal: report any state travel to Ebola countries

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has ordered every part of state government under his control to start reporting any travel to countries where people might catch the Ebola virus.

He also ordered restrictions or advisories on such travelers' use of commercial transportation and going to gathering places including restaurants, groceries and theaters for 21 days after their return.

Jindal's executive order Monday covers public college and university students, faculty and staff as well as all executive branch employees.

Jindal says his order is needed because the federal government hasn't set up national precautions to keep the virus out of the country.

Jindal says "all departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch" must have policies and reporting mechanisms ready within five business days.


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Rouses, Associated Grocers reach settlement http://www.wbrz.com/news/rouses-associated-grocers-reach-settlement/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/rouses-associated-grocers-reach-settlement/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 2:24:53 PM Rouses, Associated Grocers reach settlement

BATON ROUGE - Thibodaux retail grocery chain Rouses Enterprises and Baton Rouge-based wholesale grocery supplier Associated Grocers have reached an undisclosed settlement in a legal dispute.

Donny Rouse, the chain's managing partner, said in a statement Monday the Rouse family is "very satisfied with this resolution."

The issue is whether Rouses Enterprises was ousted improperly from membership in Associated Grocers in 2008 and whether it was compensated fairly for an ownership interest in the grocery distribution company.

In addition to more than $900,000 in alleged damages, Rouses had sought return of its wholesale membership.

 


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Early voting begins Oct. 21 in La. http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-begins-oct-21-in-la-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-begins-oct-21-in-la-/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 9:30:45 AM Russell Jones Early voting begins Oct. 21 in La.

BATON ROUGE - Early voting in Louisiana begins Tuesday, Oct. 21 for the Nov. 4 election.

The early voting period continues until Oct. 28 with voting times from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, Oct. 26.

"This election has garnered a lot of interest throughout the state and early voting is a great way to conveniently cast your ballot," said Secretary of State Tom Schedler.

Besides congressional primaries such as the Senate race between Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy, and Rob Maness, there are 14 constitutional amendments for voters to consider as well. Schedler suggested voters do their homework before going to their polling place.

Voters can get more information on what's on the ballot and where their nearest early voting location is through the GeauxVote mobile app, or by visiting the Secretary of State's website. You can also call (225) 922-0900.


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Speaks pleads not guilty to 2nd degree murder http://www.wbrz.com/news/speaks-pleads-not-guilty-to-2nd-degree-murder/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/speaks-pleads-not-guilty-to-2nd-degree-murder/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 8:36:02 AM Speaks pleads not guilty to 2nd degree murder

GRETNA - The 42-year-old man accused of killing and dismembering a Bourbon Street strip club dancer pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Monday.

Terry Speaks also met the court-appointed attorney who'll defend him against the charges for the first time Monday.

A Jefferson Parish grand jury indicted Speaks and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Margaret Sanchez, in August on charges of second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruction justice. Speaks faces an additional charge of failure to register as a sex offender.

Officials say Jaren Lockhart was stabbed in the back on June 6, 2012, before her body was cut into pieces and discarded in the Mississippi Sound. Parts of her body drifted onto Bay St. Louis beaches.

Speaks and Sanchez are due back in court Nov. 17.


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Justices won't revive Louisiana parish claims http://www.wbrz.com/news/justices-won-t-revive-louisiana-parish-claims/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/justices-won-t-revive-louisiana-parish-claims/ State News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 8:25:03 AM Justices won't revive Louisiana parish claims

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from 11 Louisiana parishes that wanted to revive their lawsuits over wildlife damage from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill. A rupture of BP's Macondo well and the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers.

BP says it has paid more than $27 billion to restore the coast and settle damage claims. It also faces a federal lawsuit under the Clean Water Act.


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NOPD: Drunk driver killed Baker woman in Quarter http://www.wbrz.com/news/nopd-drunk-driver-killed-baker-woman-in-quarter/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/nopd-drunk-driver-killed-baker-woman-in-quarter/ State News Sun, 19 Oct 2014 4:15:56 PM NOPD: Drunk driver killed Baker woman in Quarter

NEW ORLEANS - Police in New Orleans accused a man of driving drunk and killing a Baker woman in the French Quarter over the weekend when he ran into a balcony pole.

Police charged Tevest Vance, 37, with vehicular homicide and probation violation after the wreck early Sunday morning.

Investigators said around 5 a.m. Vance went off the road at Conti Street and Burgundy, hitting a balcony pole. The pole hit Taylor McGonigle, 21, and she died on the scene.

NOPD said Vance tried to flee the scene but was stopped by a pedestrian when his car stalled. Investigators said he was intoxicated when police caught him, but further blood and alcohol tests are pending.

Officers booked Vance into the Orleans Parish Jail on the above charges.

 


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