Louisiana news briefs
Bayou Corne sinkhole. Photo courtesy of the Assumption Parish government.
Murphy to be inaugurated Thursday at Nicholls
THIBODAUX (AP) — Nicholls State University is preparing for the official inauguration of its new president.
Bruce T. Murphy, who was selected last fall to replace the retired Stephen Hulbert, will be inaugurated Thursday afternoon in Thibodaux.
Murphy is the fifth president of Nicholls. He was chosen for the job by the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors in September.
Nicholls’ schedule of events for Thursday includes a procession with delegates from regional and national universities, several speakers, and the formal presentation of the presidential medallion, symbolizing the transition of Nicholls leadership
Assumption sinkhole claims another patch of earth
BAYOU CORNE (AP) — The sinkhole near Bayou Corne sucked down another patch of earth as Texas Brine Co. released pressure again from its failed salt dome cavern near the 29-acre swampland sinkhole in Assumption Parish.
Officials say the edge collapse, or slough-in, came five days after six trees in the same area were pulled down into the hole’s watery depths. Texas Brine was releasing pressure from the cavern around the same time.
State regulators said Monday they are trying to determine to what extent reducing pressure in the cavern is linked to recent slough-ins.
Patrick Courreges, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources, said state and Texas Brine officials are trying to reduce cavern pressure in measured amounts and watch for any consequences.
“Any sudden, sharp change in condition that might have the potential to release additional gas/crude oil, or alter the sinkhole growth trend in some way that would pose a greater threat to the public or to Bayou Corne itself must be prevented,” Courreges said in an email Monday to a resident asking about the situation.
Video provided by parish officials Monday shows an estimated 40-foot by 10-foot section of the well pad slowly sink underneath the sinkhole’s surface at about 2:35 p.m.
The video was shot by John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. He said he continued to see small bits of the well pad — once used by the company to work on the well — continue to be eaten away by the sinkhole Monday afternoon.
“Every now and then, I see a piece fall in,” he said.
Scientists think the Texas Brine cavern, which was carved with fresh water from a large underground deposit of salt, had a breach or collapse in its supporting side wall. Rock surrounding that deposit flowed inside the cavern. The shifting rock underground resulted in the sinkhole in August 2012.
Police: Suspect arrested
in teen party shootings
BAKER (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 16-year-old boy in Friday night’s triple slaying at a private birthday party in Baker.
Killed in the shooting were 18-year-old Diontrey Claiborne, Marcell Franklin and Kendal Dorsey, both 15.
Police arrested the teenager on Monday.
He is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court on April 14 for a detention hearing. That hearing was supposed to take place Monday, but his attorney, Erika Green, asked for a continuance.
Police says the teen is accused opening fire on a crowd of between 50 and 100 gathered for the birthday party.
He faces three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and a single count of illegal possession of a weapon.
District Attorney Hillar Moore said the case is remains under investigation.
Teen found dead in abandoned building
DENHAM SPRINGS (AP) — Denham Springs police says a 19-year-old man was found shot to death in an abandoned building.
Police Chief Scott Jones said officers found Darrell Elliott Woods early Monday morning with a gunshot wound to the head.
Jones says Woods was in a building about two blocks from where he lived.
He says officers have not developed suspects or motive in the case.
ULL grad students win regional oil geology contest
LAFAYETTE (AP) — A team of master’s degree geology students has won a regional petroleum geology contest and will compete Friday to Sunday in the international finals, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette says.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s team competed against students from 12 other universities in Gulf of Mexico states, analyzing real data and explaining what they felt would be the best place to drill.
The finals for the Imperial Barrel Award will be in Houston during the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
The Lafayette team will compete against students from five other U.S. regions and six world regions — Africa, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific.
The contest has a top prize of $20,000 in cash and scholarships.
for Baton Rouge lakes
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Baton Rouge Area Foundation says that for its 50th anniversary, it’s hiring companies to create a master plan for the LSU and City Park lakes.
The foundation says dredging is needed to keep the lakes from silting up and reverting to swampland.
The first step will be surveying the lakes’ depth and the soil at their bottoms. That’s a key to understanding how much must be dredged and how it can be used.
A team led by landscape architects will then be hired to create new amenities based on ideas from the community.
From The Associated Press.
The master plan will also identify sources of money for the work and recommend ways to ensure the long-term upkeep and improvement of lakes, and the smaller lakes connecting to them.
Man sentenced in death of fuel delivery driver
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A 23-year-old Port Allen man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty in the 2012 robbery and slaying of a truck driver delivering fuel to a downtown Baton Rouge gas station.
Phillip Carter was scheduled to stand trial Monday on second-degree murder and armed robbery charges in the robbery-killing of Bobby Nelson, but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery.
State District Judge Don Johnson sentenced Carter to the maximum 40 years on the manslaughter charge and 60 years on the armed robbery charge, and ordered the terms to run concurrently.
Carter’s co-defendant, Robert Pierson, has not yet been tried. He is charged with second-degree murder and armed robbery.
Nelson was shot Aug. 7, 2012, and died two days later.