PARISH PRESIDENT INDICTED
St. Bernard president surrenders after indictment
CHALMETTE, La. (AP) - St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta surrendered Thursday at the parish jail in Chalmette, a day after he was indicted on a charge of sexual battery of his wife.
He was released around midday after posting bond.
The Times-Picayune reports his attorney, Stephen London, called the charge against Peralta "baseless."
Various news organizations reported Wednesday that the case deals with an accusation by Sharon Peralta that David Peralta sexually assaulted her in October 2013.
The Associated Press doesn't generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault. However, Sharon Peralta has spoken publicly about the case and her lawyer issued a public statement identifying her Wednesday.
SKELETON IN BUILDING
Skeleton found at New Orleans apartment building
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Police say an elevator repairman found the skeletal remains of a man inside an unoccupied apartment building Thursday in the Central City neighborhood.
Nola.comThe Times-Picayune reports the body was found in an elevator shaft of the three-story building on South Claiborne Avenue.
Nearby residents say the building was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and had been unoccupied since then. Renovation work resumed at the site recently.
Investigators are working to identify the body and cause of death.
Senators reject repeal of law on class materials
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
Senators voted 3-1 Thursday against removing the Louisiana Science Education Act.
Critics of the law say that by allowing supplemental materials, science teachers could have a loophole to teach the concept of creationism.
Democrat Sen. Karen Carter Peterson of New Orleans sponsored a proposal to repeal the law.
Supporters of the law say it promotes critical thinking.
They say guidelines adopted by the state education board prohibit promoting religious doctrine in supplemental materials and require that information teachers present must be scientifically sound.
MUSIC-JAZZ FEST AT 45
Jazz Fest builds on its roots after humble start
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival begins a two-weekend run Friday, showcasing a blend of traditional jazz and performances by pop stars that are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and fill the city's hotels.
The 45th annual festival will be held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, its home since 1972.
Headliners include Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Lyle Lovett, Chaka Khan and Public Enemy.
And in keeping with its roots in Louisiana culture, there will be numerous jazz, gospel and zydeco performances.
In all, about 500 acts with 5,000 performers will entertain.
The festival began in 1970.
DEATH CROSSING HIGHWAY
Man crossing I-10 is struck, killed
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - State police say a 34-year-old Jefferson Parish man died after being struck by a vehicle Wednesday as he tried to run across Interstate 10 in Metairie.
The New Orleans Advocate reports the victim was identified by Trooper Melissa Matey as Harry Daigle III of Metairie.
She says he was struck at about 9 a.m. on I-10 near Veterans Memorial Boulevard. Matey says Daigle died at the scene.
The female driver of the vehicle that struck Daigle was not identified. Matey says the driver submitted to a breath test and investigators do not believe she was impaired at the time of the accident.
Senators kill proposal to raise minimum wage
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Senators have rejected a proposal that could have increased the minimum wage in Louisiana, a vote that's expected to shelve the debate for the legislative session.
Without objection Thursday, the Senate Labor Committee killed the bill by Sen. Ben Nevers, a Bogalusa Democrat. The House Labor Committee earlier rejected a proposal to raise the minimum wage above the federal hourly rate of $7.25.
Under Nevers' proposal, voters in a statewide election would have decided whether to require businesses to pay at least $9.50 an hour.
Supporters say a wage increase would help the working poor in a state known for its poverty.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
FATAL TRUCK-TRAIN CRASH
Elderly couple killed, truck struck by train
KEITHVILLE, La. (AP) - Caddo Parish sheriff's deputies say an elderly couple died in a truck-train accident.
Deputies tell KSLA TV 85-year-old Wilson Evans and his wife, 79-year-old Kathleen Evans, died at the scene in Wednesday's crash near Keithville.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick says Wilson Evans drove around the crossing arms and his pickup was hit on the passenger side by a Union Pacific train.
Chadwick says the couple lived nearby.
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