WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ News News en-us Copyright 2018, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 20 Jan 2018 HH:01:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Government shutting down amid partisan standoff http://www.wbrz.com/news/government-shutting-down-amid-partisan-standoff/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/government-shutting-down-amid-partisan-standoff/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:03:55 PM APNewsNow Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending.
In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline.
Democrats have tried to use the Friday night funding deadline to win concessions from Republicans, including an extension of an Obama-era program protecting some young immigrants from deportation. The program is set to expire in March. Republicans sought more time for talks, but Democrats refused.
The shutdown is only the fourth government closure in a quarter-century. It will only partially curb government operations. Uniformed service members, health inspectors, and law enforcement officers are set to work without pay.

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Free clinic continues this weekend http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-clinic-continues-this-weekend/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-clinic-continues-this-weekend/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:48:32 PM Bess Casserleigh Free clinic continues this weekend

BATON ROUGE - Hundreds of residents visited the Mosquito Control facility on Veterans Blvd. for the first of three days of a free clinic.

The free, three-day dental, medical, and vision clinic is open from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The clinic will provide eye exams with prescription and glasses, dental fillings, cleaning and extractions, partials as well as diabetes and blood pressure screenings, and more, at no cost to the patient.

Patients will be cared for on a first come, first serve basis. They will not require proof of insurance, employment, income, ID or immigration status.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome praised the program, saying "the three day clinic will provide much needed services to the Baton Rouge Commuity."

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'Suspicious package' at Slidell post office turns out to be human waste http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspicious-package-at-slidell-post-office-turns-out-to-be-human-waste/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspicious-package-at-slidell-post-office-turns-out-to-be-human-waste/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:15:18 PM Austin Hart 'Suspicious package' at Slidell post office turns out to be human waste

SLIDELL - Police investigating a suspicious package found at a post office Friday afternoon said there was no threat to the public after it was discovered to actually be a box filled with human waste.

Officials from the Slidell Police Department updated the public on Twitter around 8:30 p.m., saying the box turned out to be about 70 pounds of human sewage or feces.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The suspicious package at the post office turned out to be approximately 70 pounds of human sewage/feces ??????‍??.... <a href="https://t.co/BUAenm47v5">https://t.co/BUAenm47v5</a></p>— Slidell Police (@SlidellPD) <a href="https://twitter.com/SlidellPD/status/954542320216657922?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Calls about a suspicious package first came in Friday afternoon. All streets surrounding the post office were closed while investigators worked to clear the scene. The St. Tammany Bomb Squad was activated as well.

Chief Randy Fandal said a person of interest was being questioned. Fandal suggested the person of interested has mental health issues.

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Budget deal 'Not looking good,' Trump tweets http://www.wbrz.com/news/budget-deal-not-looking-good-trump-tweets/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/budget-deal-not-looking-good-trump-tweets/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:01:48 PM Associated Press Budget deal 'Not looking good,' Trump tweets
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump says efforts to avert a government shutdown are "Not looking good."
Trump says in a tweet late Friday evening that it's "Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border."
And he's blaming Democrats, saying they want a federal government shutdown "in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy."
Lawmakers are trying to hash out a deal to keep the federal government open. A partial shutdown will begin at midnight if Congress doesn't pass a funding bill.

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Fugitive wanted in Mississippi arrested in Louisiana http://www.wbrz.com/news/fugitive-wanted-in-mississippi-arrested-in-louisiana/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fugitive-wanted-in-mississippi-arrested-in-louisiana/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 8:52:07 PM Associated Press Fugitive wanted in Mississippi arrested in Louisiana
GRAY (AP) - A man wanted in Mississippi on sexual battery charges has been arrested in Louisiana.
Louisiana State Police and the U.S. Marshal's Service arrested 27-year-old Trey Verrett on Friday.
Verrett, a registered convicted sex offender in Terrebonne Parish, was wanted by the Tishomingo County Sheriff's Office on three counts of sexual battery. Troopers found Verrett at his home in Gray, Louisiana, and arrested him without incident. He's being held at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center and is awaiting extradition to Mississippi.
It was unknown if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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Family: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-tom-petty-died-of-accidental-drug-overdose/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-tom-petty-died-of-accidental-drug-overdose/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 6:33:33 PM Associated Press Family: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose
NEW YORK (AP) - Tom Petty's family says his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose.
His wife and daughter released the results of Petty's autopsy via a statement on his Facebook page Friday night. Dana and Adria Petty say they got the results from the coroner's office earlier in the day that the overdose was caused due to a variety of medications.
They say Petty suffered from emphysema, a fractured hip and knee problems that caused him pain but he was still committed to touring.
He had just wrapped up a tour a few days before he died in October at age 66.

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Rebel-themed flag stays down at police office, up elsewhere http://www.wbrz.com/news/rebel-themed-flag-stays-down-at-police-office-up-elsewhere/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/rebel-themed-flag-stays-down-at-police-office-up-elsewhere/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 6:03:04 PM Associated Press Rebel-themed flag stays down at police office, up elsewhere
TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - A City Council in Mississippi is not challenging the mayor's decision to stop flying the Confederate-themed state flag outside a police building.
However, the Tupelo council is requiring that flag remain up at other city buildings. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports four white council members voted for the new ordinance Thursday. One white and two black members voted against it.
Mayor Jason Shelton, a white Democrat, issued an executive order Jan. 9 taking down the flag, which includes a Confederate battle emblem, about a week after it started flying outside the police headquarters in a predominantly black neighborhood.
For just over a year after the building opened in late 2016, one pole flew a state bicentennial banner, which does not include the Confederate symbol that critics see as racist.

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2 teens plead guilty in death of passenger hit by sandbag http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-teens-plead-guilty-in-death-of-passenger-hit-by-sandbag/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/2-teens-plead-guilty-in-death-of-passenger-hit-by-sandbag/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 4:12:56 PM Associated Press 2 teens plead guilty in death of passenger hit by sandbag
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two of four teenage boys arrested after a sandbag tossed from an Ohio interstate overpass killed a Michigan man have pleaded guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter.
A prosecutor in Toledo said Friday the 14- and 15-year-old boys didn't toss the sandbag that killed 22-year-old Marquise Byrd, of Warren, Michigan. She says one of the boys threw another sandbag from the overpass the night of Dec. 19.
Byrd died a few days after a sandbag smashed through the windshield of a car he was riding in on Interstate 75 in Toledo.
Two other boys remain charged in Byrd's death.
The teenagers who pleaded guilty told a juvenile court judge they first started out throwing rocks before dropping sandbags off the overpass. They will be sentenced next month.

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Lawsuit over officer seizing phone, deleting photo settled http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawsuit-over-officer-seizing-phone-deleting-photo-settled/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lawsuit-over-officer-seizing-phone-deleting-photo-settled/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 3:45:04 PM Associated Press Lawsuit over officer seizing phone, deleting photo settled
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A settlement has resolved a federal lawsuit that accused a Louisiana police officer of violating a woman's constitutional rights by grabbing her cellphone and deleting a photo she took of her son in the officer's vehicle.
The Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government agreed to pay $12,000 to cover the woman's attorneys' fees. It also agreed to train its officers on the public's First Amendment right to photograph police performing their duties.
A judge formally dismissed the suit Friday.
Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed the suit last March on behalf of Chelline Carter. Lafayette police Officer Shannon Brasseaux arrested Carter's son last January in a parking lot outside a CVS store.
The suit claimed the officer seized Carter's cellphone without a warrant or her consent.

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Jets WR Anderson arrested in Florida on slew of charges http://www.wbrz.com/news/jets-wr-anderson-arrested-in-florida-on-slew-of-charges/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jets-wr-anderson-arrested-in-florida-on-slew-of-charges/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 3:40:32 PM Associated Press Jets WR Anderson arrested in Florida on slew of charges
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson faces a slew of charges in Florida, including threatening a police officer's family and saying he would rape the officer's wife.
A Sunrise police report shows the 24-year-old Anderson was stopped early Friday in a sport utility vehicle after it ran two red lights and was swerving while traveling about 105 mph (168 kph).
After he was stopped, police say he made the threats and then boasted about how much money he has. Jail records show Anderson faces nine charges, including threatening harm to a public servant, resisting arrest and traffic violations.
The records don't list an attorney for Anderson.
A 2011 graduate of South Plantation High School, Anderson caught 63 passes for 941 yards and seven touchdowns this season with the Jets.

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Ex-employee: Michael Douglas fondled himself in front of her http://www.wbrz.com/news/ex-employee-michael-douglas-fondled-himself-in-front-of-her/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ex-employee-michael-douglas-fondled-himself-in-front-of-her/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 3:29:47 PM Associated Press Ex-employee: Michael Douglas fondled himself in front of her
NEW YORK (AP) - A woman who worked for Michael Douglas in the late 1980s says he fondled himself in front of her - an allegation the actor has vigorously denied.
Susan Braudy appeared Friday on NBC's "Today" show.
Braudy, a journalist and author, says Douglas unbuckled his belt, put his hand into his trousers and fondled himself in her presence. She says a friend later cautioned her not to tell anyone.
Douglas, a two-time Oscar winner, told Deadline earlier this month that he anticipated an upcoming report would contain an allegation by a former employee that he acted inappropriately in front of her about 32 years ago. He called it a "complete lie, fabrication." He says his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, "has been very supportive."
Douglas' publicist said he would have no further comment.

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Authorities: Body of missing woman found in New Orleans http://www.wbrz.com/news/authorities-body-of-missing-woman-found-in-new-orleans/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/authorities-body-of-missing-woman-found-in-new-orleans/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 3:08:48 PM Associated Press Authorities: Body of missing woman found in New Orleans
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A criminal court document accuses the ex-boyfriend of a Minnesota woman with killing her and burning her body in Louisiana.
Twenty-seven-year-old Cristina Prodan, of Edina, was reported missing by her mother Jan. 5. Prodan's former boyfriend, 25-year-old Joseph Porter, was arrested by Arkansas State Police last week on suspicion of auto theft at a Little Rock home he shares with his husband.
The Star Tribune reports the theft charging document says Prodan's burned body was found in a shipping container in New Orleans on Jan. 6. The document says Porter's husband, Richard Crawford, told investigators that Porter admitted to killing Prodan Jan. 4 somewhere in Minnesota and taking her body to New Orleans where he burned it. Porter has not been charged in Prodan's death.
Pordan's attorney in Little Rock, Peggy Egan, declined to comment on the case.

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School board president to resign amid fallout from teacher's forceful removal http://www.wbrz.com/news/school-board-president-to-resign-amid-fallout-from-teacher-s-forceful-removal/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/school-board-president-to-resign-amid-fallout-from-teacher-s-forceful-removal/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 2:06:45 PM Jeremy Krail School board president to resign amid fallout from teacher's forceful removal

ABBEVILLE - Vermilion Parish School Board President Anthony Fontana is reportedly resigning early amid a whirlwind of controversy, according to a report from Abbeville Meridional. 

Fontana sent a letter to the newspaper Friday announcing his intentions.

Fontana fell under a cloud of controversy after he tried to silence a teacher's questioning of the district superintendent's raise when teacher salaries hadn't been increased in 10 years. Video of the teacher Deyshia Hargrave's forceful removal made national headlines shortly afterward.

Fontana, who is serving his sixth term on the board, had previously announced that he would not run for re-election in 2018.

“When I was re-elected three years ago for my sixth time, my goal was that this would be my last term. That is why I announced last year that I would not seek re-election in 2018," the letter states. "However, over the course of the last two years many things have occurred that made me think long and hard about resigning my seat."

Fontana wrote that he felt he needed to ensure that Superintendent Jerome Puyau got a new contract - and that was accomplished at the last board meeting.

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Supreme Court to rule on Trump travel ban http://www.wbrz.com/news/supreme-court-to-rule-on-trump-travel-ban/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/supreme-court-to-rule-on-trump-travel-ban/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 1:23:10 PM Associated Press Supreme Court to rule on Trump travel ban
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the legality of the latest version of President Donald Trump's ban on travel to the United States by residents of six majority-Muslim countries.
The justices plan to hear arguments in April and issue a final ruling by late June.
The action follows last month's ruling by the federal appeals court in San Francisco that struck down the travel ban.
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, also is considering a challenge to the ban.
Last month, the high court said the ban could be fully enforced while appeals made their way through the courts.
The policy applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela.

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Mom uses stroller to collect 20,000 diapers for families in need http://www.wbrz.com/news/mom-uses-stroller-to-collect-20-000-diapers-for-families-in-need/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mom-uses-stroller-to-collect-20-000-diapers-for-families-in-need/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:22:05 PM WBRZ Staff Mom uses stroller to collect 20,000 diapers for families in need

NEW YORK CITY - With a stroller and a Facebook post, a New York City mom was able to collect 20,000 diapers to donate to families in need.

Audrey Symes, a consultant and mom to a then 2-year-old, was looking for a way to volunteer in her free time. So she called the Good Plus Foundation and asked them if she could help out, perhaps by updating spreadsheets.

But what they really needed, Symes told ABC News, was diapers.

"I had never heard of this need," Symes said. "My daughter was still in diapers. I couldn't stop thinking about it."

So she posted to a popular Facebook group called UES Mommas, which has about 30,000 members. "I was hoping to get 500 diapers with that post," she said. "I got about 1,200."

Symes collected the diapers by walking around the neighborhood and picking them up from moms or in building package rooms. She was inspired.

"There are so many reasons why you might have leftover diapers," she said. "The child moves to a different size or you decide to potty train. If I had one message I want to get out it's that you can donate open packages of diapers."

For people who want to donate but don't live close enough to get their diapers to Symes, the National Diaper Bank Network can help.

"By focusing on diaper need, the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) works to meet the basic needs of all children and families living in the United States," Joanne Goldblum, CEO of NDBN told ABC News. "Our mission is to raise awareness of diaper need, strengthen community-based diaper banks, and generate donations of dollars and diapers so that all babies remain clean, dry and healthy."

The issue of not having diapers, she said, extends well beyond the obvious.

"Most child care centers require parents to provide the diapers their children use, many parents do not use child care when they do not have clean diapers so they either miss work or school, or use less-optimum child care for the day," Goldblum said.

In a survey taken by the organization of families in diaper need taken this past summer, 57 percent said that they missed work or school because of a lack of diapers that month.

Goldblum shared with ABC News the story of how a lack of diapers was truly affecting one family's quality of life.

"They didn’t have a lot, but they worked hard to make ends meet. So when the husband, who served in the Army reserves, got deployed overseas, their plans and financial stability were interrupted. He made significantly less [money] during this time. The wife quit school and got a part-time job, but the cost of daycare for their 8-month-old and transportation still made it difficult to pay their bills.

"Sometimes, she had to call out of work because she had to choose between buying gas or diapers. She learned about her local diaper bank from another military spouse and began getting help with diapers and baby essentials. Getting help with the diapers and wipes had a tremendous impact on this family’s ability to provide the basic necessities and work towards a better future and she didn’t have to choose between buying diapers or gas."

The organization collects more than 250,000 diapers a month.

There are hundreds of diaper banks around the nation, and people can find their local diaper bank on the organization's website. They also can donate directly to NDBN on that website.

Since that first Facebook post in June of 2016, Symes has continued collecting in her neighborhood, to the tune of 20,000 diapers so far. She collects the majority of them as she did in that very first round: walking her stroller from building to building.

"It's my passion," she said. "I want to prevent a child from a rash or enable a mom to work."

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Cancer Services to merge with Mary Bird Perkins http://www.wbrz.com/news/cancer-services-to-merge-with-mary-bird-perkins/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/cancer-services-to-merge-with-mary-bird-perkins/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:20:58 PM WBRZ Staff Cancer Services to merge with Mary Bird Perkins

BATON ROUGE- After working together for years, two cancer-focused organizations in the capital area are merging.

According to a release Friday, Cancer Services is merging with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The two said no changes or interruptions in client services are expected.

Cancer Services says leveraging Mary Bird Perkins’ 18-parish service area throughout Southeast Louisiana will help it extend its reach and service more people throughout the state.

"The best part is that our clients will still access all resources in the same location and from the same staff they have come to know and trust," said Anthony B. O’Connor, board president of Cancer Services.

Cancer Services currently serves about 4,000 people and MBPCC provides services for more than 3,500 new patients annually. Through the partnership, Cancer Services will have the potential to reach every MBPCC patient in five locations. The locations include Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Hammond, Covington, and Houma.

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Defense: McKnight killing self-defense. Prosecutor: not so http://www.wbrz.com/news/defense-mcknight-killing-self-defense-prosecutor-not-so/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/defense-mcknight-killing-self-defense-prosecutor-not-so/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:21:36 AM Associated Press Defense: McKnight killing self-defense. Prosecutor: not so
GRETNA- Attorneys have made their opening statements in the trial of the man who fatally shot former NFL player Joe McKnight.
Defense attorneys say 56-year-old Ronald Gasser fired in self-defense when McKnight approached his car after a traffic confrontation in December 2016.
Prosecutors say Gasser falsely claimed McKnight tried to lunge into Gasser's car when it was stopped at a traffic light. They say physical evidence indicates he made no such aggressive move.
Gasser is charged with second-degree murder.
Defense attorney Matthew Goetz claims Gasser was jailed amid political pressure for an arrest of a white man who had shot a popular black athlete. Goetz said the shooting happened in a year of racial unrest in American cities.
The trial resumed Friday after two days of weather-related delays.

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WATCH: Penguin jumps into researchers' boat for a visit http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-penguin-jumps-into-researchers-boat-for-a-visit/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-penguin-jumps-into-researchers-boat-for-a-visit/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:59:02 AM WBRZ Staff WATCH: Penguin jumps into researchers' boat for a visit

ANTARCTICA- A group of scientists got a surprise visit from a curious bird during a research trip in Antarctica.

News 7 reports that researchers with the Australian Antarctic Program were collecting water samples in Newcomb Bay when a young penguin leaped out of the water and onto their boat.

The penguin looking around for a few seconds before returning to the ocean.

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Delta wants to know if your dog can behave before it flies http://www.wbrz.com/news/delta-wants-to-know-if-your-dog-can-behave-before-it-flies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/delta-wants-to-know-if-your-dog-can-behave-before-it-flies/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 9:40:00 AM Associated Press Delta wants to know if your dog can behave before it flies
DALLAS- Delta Air Lines says for safety reasons it will require owners to provide more information before their animal can fly in the passenger cabin, including an assurance that it's trained to behave itself.
The airline says complaints about animals biting or peeing and pooping have nearly doubled since 2016.
Starting March 1, Delta will require owners to show proof of their animal's health or vaccinations at least 48 hours before a flight.
Owners of psychiatric service animals and so-called emotional-support animals will need to sign a statement vouching that their animal can behave. But owners will be on the honor system - they won't have to show, for example, that their dog graduated from obedience school.

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Man punches self in face to avoid sobriety test http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-punches-self-in-face-to-avoid-sobriety-test/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-punches-self-in-face-to-avoid-sobriety-test/ News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 8:51:58 AM Associated Press Man punches self in face to avoid sobriety test
BELFAST, Maine- Police in Maine have accused a man of punching himself in the face three times to avoid a sobriety test.
Police in the town of Belfast say they found 27-year-old Brian Fogg in his car, stuck in a ditch last week.
WGME-TV reports police said when they tried to test for his blood-alcohol level, Fogg punched himself in the face, causing himself to bleed. Police tended to his injuries instead of giving him the test, but later charged him with operating under the influence, falsifying physical evidence and criminal mischief.
Fogg's been released on bail. He has an unpublished number and it wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

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