Louisiana news briefs
Man gets 40-year sentence in ULL student’s death
LAFAYETT — A man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the January 2010 shooting death of a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student.
Jose Luis Segura Jr., 46, was sentenced Wednesday. Segura was initially charged with second-degree murder in 22-year-old Allen Aucoin Jr.’s killing, but a jury in November convicted him of manslaughter.
At the hearing, Segura maintained his innocence, saying another man, known to him only as “Richard,” pulled the trigger. He pleaded with state District Judge Patrick Michot for a new trial.
But Allen Aucoin Sr., the victim’s father, said authorities got the right man.
Aucoin’s body was found Jan. 10, 2010, in Beaver Park. He had been shot once in the upper torso, police said.
Aucoin’s family said he was working for Segura, who claimed he was a contractor, running errands and buying supplies. But more than $4,000 in checks from Segura to Aucoin bounced, they said.
DEQ studying Bayou Lafouche
BATON ROUGE — State environmental regulators are preparing for the next phase of water study of Bayou Lafourche.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says bright red, non-toxic dye will be injected into the bayou from Napoleonville to Thibodaux in phase two of testing. In phase one, the bayou around Donaldsonville was studied.
The study is scheduled to begin next week and end the following week. Officials say the bayou should return to its normal color by the end of the testing day.
The purpose of the survey is to gather flow pattern information. DEQ said Wednesday the data will help it form better strategies and procedures in maintaining water quality during natural disasters, like flooding from hurricanes.
French Quarter Festival turns 30
NEW ORLEANS — Jazz guitarist Raphael Bas says French Quarter Festival is as close as it gets in the U.S. to the music festival he grew up attending with his family in Bourges, France.
Bas moved to the U.S. 20 years ago and made New Orleans his home in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina hit. Bas chose to stay and be a part of the city’s rebuilding. He says he found comfort in the four-day festival, which showcases Louisiana food and music on stages throughout the historic neighborhood.
This year the festival turns 30. It runs today through Sunday with performances by New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and about 250 other acts.
Cab driver killed
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old taxi driver.
Police say the driver was found dead in his cab around 1 a.m. today.
Officers were called out to an initial report of a vehicle crashing into a tree.
Police says the driver was shot multiple times.
Authement named Rapides Supt.
ALEXANDRIA — After nearly a yearlong search, Nason Authement of Houma is the new superintendent of Rapides Parish Schools.
Authement was selected Wednesday by a 5-4 vote of the school board, edging Rick Williams of McKinney, Texas. Karl Carpenter, the principal at Pineville High School, was the third finalist. He did not receive any votes from the board.
Authement will replace Gary L. Jones, who resigned Sept. 1, 2012, to take a job with the state department of education. The board had decided, in a 5-4 vote, on May 1 to not renew Jones’ contract when it was due to expire Dec. 31.
Gerald Woodard, a retired superintendent from Grant Parish, has been serving as interim superintendent.
Manda recalls meat
A Louisiana meat-packing company has recalled 20,166 pounds of potentially bacteria-tainted cooked roast beef deli meat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday that Manda Packing Co., based in Baker, is recalling the meat that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Food contaminated with the bacterium can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.
The possibly tainted products were packed Feb. 27 and shipped for distribution and to retail deli stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Illinois and Tennessee.
The recall includes Manda Supreme Roast Beef, Four Star Cajun Roast Beef, Four Star Roast Beef, Cajun Prize Roast Beef, Manda Supreme Natural Roast Beef, Manda Natural Roast Beef, Manda New Orleans Style Roast Beef and Manda Whole Wet Pack Roast Beef.
Each package has a "Sell by" date of May 13, 2013, and bears the establishment number "EST. 8746A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Judge shuts down tax preparer
BATON ROUGE — A federal court has permanently barred Ann Williams and her tax preparation firm, Ann’s Tax Service, from preparing federal tax returns.
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that the civil injunction order, to which Williams and Ann’s Tax Service agreed without admitting the allegations against them, was signed by U.S. District Judge James J. Brady of Baton Rouge.
The government alleged that Williams, of Morganza, and her business had repeatedly prepared false federal income tax returns that understated customers’ tax liabilities.
According to the complaint, Williams inflated or fabricated business expenses, reported fictitious business income, and fraudulently claimed the earned-income credit on customers’ tax returns. Prosecutors allege Williams’ practices may have resulted in as much as $2.2 million in lost tax revenue.
Bond sales to fund LNG facility
BATON ROUGE — Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC is trying to raise $1.5 billion through two bond sales to help build the first two units of a natural gas liquefaction export facility in Cameron Parish.
Cheniere Energy Partners LP owns Sabine Pass Liquefaction.
Cheniere said in August it had given Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. permission to begin work on the two units. Cheniere estimated the project’s cost at $5.6 billion.
Burglary suspect dies in car crash
BROUSSARD — Broussard police are investigating the death of a suspected burglar.
Police were answering a burglary in progress call at the Zoo of Acadiana shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday when vehicle was seen leaving the zoo at a high rate of speed.
Police attempted to catch up to the car, but lost sight of it
A short time later, officers received a report of a car on fire in a wooded area.
They Yongcun Su, 35, of New Iberia, on the ground outside the burning car. Su was taken a nearby hospital where he died.
Police say two of three birds taken from the zoo’s veterinary clinic were found at the crash site.
From The Associated Press.