Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment


Justices won’t hear appeal from BP, Anadarko over Gulf spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Supreme Court won’t hear appeals from BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. over Clean Water Act fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the owners of the blown-out Macondo well could not avoid federal fines for the spill by blaming another company’s failed equipment.

The companies had argued that the oil had not leaked from the well itself, but from the broken underwater pipe that connected the well to the rig owned by Transocean Ltd. That riser was ripped apart when the burning rig sank. The companies argued that the rig’s owners should be the only companies to pay.

A district judge and a federal appeals court rejected that argument.


Sheriff candidate allegedly claimed to be military veteran

(Information in the following story is from: The Advertiser,

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A candidate for sheriff in Lafayette Parish is coming under criticism from military veterans.

The Lafayette Advertiser reports that candidate Mark Garber was awarded the Bronze Star for work as a civilian interrogator with the Air Force in Iraq.

But Lafayette area veterans are criticizing him for campaigning as a military veteran.

Garber is pictured in campaign material dressed in military gear.

The Southwest Louisiana Veterans Coalition board wants an apology. One Lafayette veteran said Garber should withdraw from the Sheriff’s race.

Garber told the newspaper that he has never claimed to be a military veteran. He said a statement on his legal practice’s website referring to him as a veteran was written long ago and was worded improperly because his law partner is a military veteran.


Gonzales master plan would take advantage of commuter train

(Information in the following story is from: The Advocate,

GONZALES, La. (AP) — The draft of a new master plan for the city of Gonzales calls for turning the oldest section of the city into a renewed downtown.

The Advocate reports that Gonzales officials hope to capitalize on a commuter train line that may one day go through the city. They also are looking at the possibility of more housing options, including town homes and courtyard homes.

An open house for public comment on the draft will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Gonzales Civic Center

City leaders have said that the master plan would replace the one created in 1997 that’s become badly outdated.


13-year-old charged, shooting BB gun at passing motorists

(Information in the following story is from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk,

CAMPTI, La. (AP) — A Campti 13-year-old has been charged with two counts of criminal damage to property after authorities say he was shooting a BB gun at passing motorists.

The Town Talk reports the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office says last week motorists reported that someone had shot at their vehicles on Louisiana Highway 9. Police say passenger windows of two vehicles were shattered.

Authorities say damages totaled $500.

Chief Investigator Greg Dunn says detectives spoke with area residents near the scene and were able to collect information that helped led to a juvenile suspect.

Police say the juvenile, who came to the sheriff’s office with a parent, was interviewed Thursday.

Police say after being charged, the juvenile was released to the parent.


LSU professor fired for profanity, plans court fight

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An LSU associate professor has been fired for using curse words and telling sexually-themed jokes to undergraduate students.

However, The Advocate reports that the professor, Teresa Buchanan, says she is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

She plans to fight her dismissal in court.

The dismissal of Buchanan, who specializes in early childhood education and trains elementary school teachers, took effect June 19.

LSU administrators said Buchanan’s off-color language and humor created a hostile learning environment that amounted to sexual harassment.

The 20-year veteran of LSU argues that she has never sexually harassed anyone. She acknowledged using profanity every so often and making jokes to keep the attention of her students.

Buchanan was fired even though a review committee of faculty members recommended that she keep her job.


Truck theft leads to chase, crashes, gunfire; 2 teens booked

GRETNA, La. (AP) — The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of two teenagers after a report of a stolen pickup truck led to a chase, car collisions and gunfire.

A Sheriff’s Office news release says officers spotted a stolen Ford pickup Sunday afternoon near the Crescent City Connection bridge over the Mississippi River. When an officer stopped his car on a bridge ramp and approached the truck, the driver tried to drive away, causing a chain reaction of accidents. The officer at one point fired his weapon at the truck as it headed for him.

Authorities say the truck hit several vehicles during a chase into New Orleans. Authorities say the occupants tried to run away after one final crash but were caught with the help of the New Orleans canine unit.


1 dead, 2 hurt in New Orleans triple-shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An overnight shooting incident in eastern New Orleans left a 25-year-old man dead and two other people hurt.

Police in New Orleans say it happened around midnight Sunday. The man was in a car with another man and a woman in the parking lot of a strip mall when someone in another vehicle drove up.

Police say the occupants of that second vehicle opened fire.

Officers arrived to find one victim dead in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. The other man was hospitalized with gunshots to the back and arm. His condition was unavailable early Monday. The woman had a graze wound to the face that was not considered life-threatening.

One weapon believed to be connected to the shooting was found at the scene.


Police: Baton Rouge man arrested, cut woman and dog

(Information in the following story is from: The Advocate,

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Baton Rouge man has been arrested after authorities say he choked a woman and cut another woman and a dog with a knife.

The Advocate reports that police say 28-year-old Roosevelt Bell was arrested Saturday. Police responded to a home where authorities say Bell had choked a woman and cut another woman’s cheek with a knife.

Police say the woman cut on the cheek had filed a protection order against Bell in 2014.

Police say Bell also choked and cut a dog at the home with the same knife.

Police say Bell has been booked on several charges, including aggravated battery, violation of a protection order and cruelty to animals. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.


Offshore helicopter company opens 35-acre Houma base

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Houston-based Era Group has opened a 35-acre helicopter base for offshore flights to and from Houma-Terrebonne Airport.

The Courier reports that the base houses 30 helicopters that will carry 15,000 workers to and from oil platforms each month.

President, CEO and chief financial officer Chris Bradshaw says the base includes expanded parking and baggage transfer ability and adds real-time flight status screens, automated kiosks, televisions and guest Wi-Fi.

The company got its second 19-passenger Sikorsky S-92 helicopter on Friday, the day it opened what Bradshaw calls a “super base.”

He says the company plans to buy two more of the $30 million helicopters next year.

Era is one of three helicopter companies with bases at the airport. The others are Petroleum Helicopters Inc. and Bristow, formerly Air Logistics.


Accelerant-sniffing Labrador joins New Orleans fire dept.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Fire Department is celebrating the arrival of a new four-legged recruit.

“Dakota” is a Labrador retriever trained to sniff out accelerants used by arsonists.

The department says in a weekend news release that the dog and its handler, Capt. Michael Ebbs, recently completed five weeks of training at a school sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

The dog aids arson investigations by leading investigators to the location of accelerants used at fire scenes.

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