Louisiana news briefs
High court rejects Jefferson’s appeal
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is leaving in place the corruption conviction of a former Louisiana congressman who hid money from bribes in his freezer.
The justices on Monday rejected without comment an appeal by former Rep. William Jefferson, who is serving a 13-year term in federal prison.
The Louisiana Democrat was convicted in 2009 after FBI agents investigating allegations of corruption found $90,000 in cash hidden in Jefferson’s freezer.
Jefferson reported to a federal prison in Texas in May. The prison is a low-security institution in Beaumont.
A jury in Virginia convicted him of bribery, racketeering and other charges in 2009. Jefferson was allowed to remain free pending the outcome of his appeal. In March, an appeals court upheld all but one of the 11 counts on which Jefferson was convicted.
Jefferson represented parts of New Orleans in Congress for almost 20 years.
He rose from north Louisiana poverty to become Louisiana’s first modern day African-American congressman and a powerful politician.
Uglesich’s restaurant could be franchised
NEW ORLEANS — Seven years after Anthony and Gail Uglesich closed their famous lunch spot, they’re looking into franchising the name.
Their drab neighborhood joint attracted food lovers from all over the country with a menu ranging from raw oysters and fried seafood to shrimp sauteed with Chinese chili paste, garlic, and three colors of bell peppers — and freshness of its seafood.
Since Uglesich’s closed, they and their children have run a catering company, and their son John has written two cookbooks with recipes and photographs from the restaurant and run an Uglesich’s website that sells cookbooks and T-shirts.
Woman dies after being hit by vehicle
PINEVILLE — A 23-year-old Pineville woman died after she was hit by a vehicle while trying to cross La. 28 East.
Pineville police said the accident happened around 5:37 p.m. Saturday.
Police say Asala Nidal Suleiman was hit by a vehicle driven by 71-year-old Donald Laborde, also of Pineville.
Suleiman was taken to a local hospital, but was pronounced dead.
The accident remains under investigation.
3 men escape
from Orleans jail;
2 caught Monday
NEW ORLEANS — Two of three inmates who escaped from a tent at the Orleans Parish Prison have been captured.
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office says 25-year-old Reginald Batiste and 24-year-old Domonique Battle were caught Monday morning. Fifty-one-year-old Michael Washington, the third inmate who escaped Sunday evening, remains at large. All three were being held on drug charges.
The inmates apparently cut through their tent in the Temporary Housing Center.
A deputy on perimeter patrol saw them escaping and chased them, but they got away.
2 in face off for Port Allen mayor
PORT ALLEN — Voters deciding who will serve as Port Allen mayor for the next four years have a choice on the Dec. 8 election ballot between the incumbent and one of his challengers in a previous mayoral election a year ago.
Mayor Roger Bergeron, a Democrat, is once again opposed by Demetric Slaughter, also a Democrat, in next month’s runoff election. Bergeron narrowly defeated Slaughter, a 50-year-old ExxonMobil analyst, during a special runoff election for Port Allen mayor Nov. 19, 2011.
The Advocate reports Slaughter heads into December’s runoff with momentum after becoming the top vote-getter in the three-candidate Nov. 6 primary election. Slaughter received 1,473 votes, or 46 percent, to Bergeron’s 1,229 votes, or 38 percent, a winning margin of 244 votes.
Breaux Bridge gas proposal on ballot
BREAUX BRIDGE — Voters in Breaux Bridge will decide Dec. 8 whether to sell the city’s natural gas distribution system to a private company. It’s a move the mayor says will put the service in more-experienced hands.
The Advocate reports the ballot measure would allow the city, which has about 1,200 natural gas customers, to sell its distribution system to Atmos Energy Corp., which already serves part of Breaux Bridge.
Mayor Jack Dale Delhomme says the proposal to sell the city-owned natural gas system was prompted in part by new federal regulations that will require more careful management and maintenance of the gas service.
Atmos Energy spokesman Trey Hill said the company has about 600 customers in Breaux Bridge.
Deputy injured in ambush is home
MONTZ — A St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s deputy hospitalized since a fatal August shootout is back home in Montz.
Neither Jason Triche nor Deputy Michael Scott Boyington, who was shot earlier the same day, is back at work, but both are recuperating, Sheriff Mike Tregre said Monday.
Triche was among three deputies ambushed Aug. 16 at a trailer park where they went to investigate the shooting that wounded Boyington at an off-duty security job. Both deputies with Triche — Jeremy Triche, who was a distant cousin, and Brandon Nielsen — were killed.
Seven people were arrested. One is out on bond and six are in state custody.
Isaac registration deadline Thursday
BATON ROUGE — If Hurricane Isaac damaged your uninsured or under-insured property, you have until Thursday evening to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Louisiana residents can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via smartphone at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362.
Louisiana’s last two disaster recovery centers, in Lafitte and LaPlace, will close at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Aid is available for residents and business owners in 26 parishes: Allen, Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Morehouse, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
Cardiologist seeks to remain free
LAFAYETTE — A former Lafayette cardiologist is asking to remain free pending a request that the U.S. Supreme Court hear an appeal of his 2009 health-care fraud conviction and 10-year prison sentence.
Dr. Mehmood M. Patel, who is accused of billing insurers for more than $2 million in unnecessary heart procedures, has avoided prison while appealing his federal conviction for the past three years.
The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld Patel’s conviction sentence in August and the court last week denied a request to reconsider the case.
Patel’s attorney, Amy Adelson, has asked the appeals court to allow Patel to remain free pending his request that the U.S. Supreme Court review the case.
From The Associated Press.