US judge blocks enforcement of new La abortion law
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana's restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers disagree about whether his order covers doctors at all five of the state's clinics or only two doctors and three clinics.
District Judge John deGravelles says the law can still take effect Monday. But he says officials cannot penalize the doctors and clinics that sued for breaking it until after a hearing on a broader pretrial order.
The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. A lawsuit claims that likely would close all five abortion clinics.
DeGravelles says the doctors' risk of fines and losing licenses outweighs any injury to the state from keeping the status quo. He noted the state health secretary says she won't prosecute doctors while their hospital applications are still undecided.
Ex-candidate sues re US Sen Landrieu's residency
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Former challenger Paul Hollis has sued Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, contending that she cannot represent Louisiana because she lives full-time in Washington.
The suit was filed Friday in state district court in Baton Rouge. It says Landrieu's home "is her 2.5 million dollar residence on Capitol Hill."
Landrieu is registered to vote in Louisiana, using the New Orleans address where her parents live. It's owned by a trust in which the senator, her eight siblings and their parents share equally.
Landrieu has said she lives there when not serving her constituents across the state and in Washington.
Hollis dropped out of the race in July and endorsed Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Cassidy and tea party favorite Rob Maness (MAY-ness) have both taken aim at Landrieu's residency in speeches.
GULF OIL SPILL-RESTORATION
Forum set on Gulf restoration
HOUMA, La. (AP) - State coastal restoration officials plan a public meeting Sept. 11 in Houma to get feedback on proposed spending of money from fines levied in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Courier reports projects will be funded through the Restore Council using money from criminal fines paid by Transocean Ltd. Transocean owned the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which was working at the site of BP PLC's Macondo well when the well blew out in April 2010.
The disaster killed 11 workers and created the nation's largest offshore oil disaster.
Residents can submit proposals for projects or programs, voice support for existing projects or provide feedback on priorities for Gulf restoration.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Houma Municipal Auditorium.
LOUISIANA SUGAR HARVEST
Cool spring hurts La. sugar crop
THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - The cold spring is coming back to haunt local sugarcane farmers who are expecting a stunted crop and later harvest season.
American Sugar Cane League executive director Jim Simon says he expects the harvest to begin later this year because of spring's cold temperatures.
Usually, harvesting starts in mid- to late-September. It often ends in late December.
The Courier reports Louisiana farmers harvest about 13.5 tons of sugarcane on average. Last year, the crop topped 14.5 million tons. The largest Louisiana crop came in 1999 when farmers brought in almost 16 million tons.
Spring's cooler temperatures have produced about 4- to 5-foot sugarcane stalks, about a foot shorter than normal, farmers say. The shorter stalk can affect how much farmers earn because they are paid by weight.
Bogalusa gets grant to fix homes hit by hurricanes
BOGALUSA, La. (AP) - Nine years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck Louisiana, Bogalusa is getting $315,000 to repair homes damaged by the storms.
City Manager Melvin Keith tells The Daily News that the Louisiana Housing Corp. recently approved the request for the rehabilitation grant.
He says the city will notify residents when the city receives certification paperwork requirements from the state.
DISABLED BOY KILLED
State bed opens ½ year after insanity plea granted
THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - Six months after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the beheading of his disabled 7-year-old son, 33-year-old Jeremiah Wright is back in Louisiana's forensic mental hospital.
Sheriff's spokesman Brennan Matherne tells The Daily Comet that Wright was moved Aug. 25 from the Lafourche Parish jail to East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson.
He had been jailed since Feb. 14, when District Judge John LeBlanc made the insanity ruling.
State health spokesman Ken Pastorick says all 355 beds in the hospital had been full.
Doctors who evaluated Wright says he could not tell right from wrong because a mental disorder made him think his son had been replaced by a CPR dummy. The boy, named Jori Lirette, had little speech and was fed through a tube.
Police: officer shot man who tried to take gun
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge police Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. says an officer shot and critically wounded a man who allegedly tried to grab the officer's gun while threatening his life.
Coppola says the 27-year-old man was being arrested on suspicion of drunk while intoxicated shortly after 1 a.m. on Morning Glory Ave.
The police spokesman says the officer is on paid administrative leave during the investigation of the shooting. He's described as a five-year department veteran.
Coppola says the man who was shot was taken to a hospital.
Police would not release further details about him.
Drawdown of False River to start Tuesday
NEW ROADS, La. (AP) - The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury has chosen a Texas contracting company to conduct False River dredging projects and drawdown of the river will begin on Tuesday.
WBRZ-TV reports the police jury will oversee the drawdown which will take place over a three-week period with the water level being reduced by 1.5 inches per day until a target level is reached. According to engineering plans, False River will remain at this low level through March.
Once drawdown is complete, officials said last week RLB Contracting, Inc. of Port Lavaca, Texas, will perform hydraulic dredging and construction of a containment dike in the South Flats of the oxbow lake.
The first phase of the project to improve water quality in False River will cost the state an estimated $2.7 million.
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