Louisiana news briefs
Man wrests gun away, kills gunman during assault
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Police say a gunman was shot to death with his own weapon after accosting a couple at gunpoint as they walked through a New Orleans neighborhood.
It happened Thursday night when a 26-year-old man approached another man and a woman who were walking in the city’s Bywater area. He pulled a gun and forced the two to walk to the yard of a nearby school building that is under renovation. Then, the gunman began to sexually assault the woman. However, the other man was able to disarm the assailant and shoot him.
The dead man’s name has not been released.
Police interviewed the woman and the man who fired the fatal shot. No charges were filed and their names were not made public. The case will be reviewed by prosecutors.
Lt. Gov. Dardenne suing MoveOn over tourism slogan
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne filed a lawsuit Friday against a pro-Medicaid-expansion group over its use of the state’s tourism slogan in a billboard campaign.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge. At issue is the use of the state’s “Pick Your Passion” tourism message by the group MoveOn, which opposes Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid in Louisiana under the federal Affordable Care Act.
A MoveOn ad on an Interstate 10 billboard near Baton Rouge states: “Louisiana! Pick your passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal is denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”
Dardenne said in a news release that the state has invested millions of dollars in the tourism campaign. He said organizations should not be allowed to use the brand for “partisan political purposes.”
Meal prices rising
in Lafourche schools
THIBODAUX (AP) — The price of breakfasts and lunches will rise 10 cents in Lafourche Parish public schools beginning in the fall semester.
The parish School Board voted to raise the price, citing higher prices for food and transportation.
The price of meals has been raised in each of the past five years.
Beginning in August, lunch will cost $1.35 for elementary students, $1.50 for middle school students and $2 for high school students.
Breakfast will cost elementary students $1.25, middle school students $1.35 and high school students $1.50.
Bollinger to build 2 more Coast Guard cutters
LOCKPORT (AP) — Bollinger Shipyards will build two more Fast Response Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard, for a combined price of $80 million.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., made the announcement in a news release Friday.
In 2008, Bollinger was awarded a contract to build up to 34 FRCs through fiscal year 2014. Thirty of those cutters have been funded.
Bollinger Shipyard employs 850 workers in its Lockport Yard, where the 154-foot vessels are built.
Congress will still have to appropriate the funds for the two cutters.
Bollinger is one of three finalists for a $10.5 billion contract for design and construction of 25 larger Offshore Patrol Cutters. The Coast Guard plans to announce in 2016 which of the three companies will build the OPCs.
Landmark sign will get
a remake in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plans to restore the neon Coca-Cola sign that’s been in place at Third and Florida streets since 1946.
Downtown Development District executive director Davis Rhorer said the work will include replacing all neon and electronic components on the sign.
The soft drink company’s sign was repaired in the mid-1980s, but over the years its red neon dimmed.
Orleans Parish Sheriff
Marlin Gusman re-elected
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman has defeated challenger Charles Foti to win re-election.
The race centered on the conditions at the city’s jail. The U.S. Justice Department has said the Orleans Parish Prison is a chaotic, dangerous facility that is understaffed.
Gusman says the jail is close to being transformed and he told voters he wanted to see the problems fixed. Foti also vowed to fix the issues.
The sheriff has authority over the roughly 2,000 inmates and more than 700 employees.
City and sheriff’s office officials are due in federal court next week to work out the city’s contribution toward a federal consent decree to improve the jail.
Port Allen mayoral
PORT ALLEN (AP) — One of the four candidates seeking to be Port Allen’s new mayor has been arrested and jailed in the mistreatment of animals.
Larry Bell, 63, had been issued multiple warnings — written and verbal — about the undernourished appearance of his horses before he was taken into custody last week by the parish’s Animal Control division.
Bell was booked Thursday on charges of cruelty to animals and on a bench warrant for having an animal at large.
The special April 5 election is being held in the wake of a November recall of former Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter.
Leon Goudeau Jr. dropped out of the race shortly after qualifying, so his name will not appear on the ballot. The other candidates are retired law enforcement officer Richard Lee, retired teacher Kirby Anderson and Slaughter.