Age limit on La officials on hold indefinitely
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A state judge has indefinitely blocked enforcement of a new Louisiana law that sought to force incumbent constables and justices of the peace who are 70 or older into retirement.
District Judge Tim Kelley of Baton Rouge replaced a temporary restraining order he issued Aug. 18 with a preliminary injunction, saying the Louisiana Justice of the Peace and Constables Association demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of a lawsuit the group filed against the state.
The Advocate reports association attorney Domoine Rutledge argued at a Friday hearing that the new law unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of age. He notes there are no age restrictions for sheriffs or chiefs of police.
William Bryan, an attorney for the state, did not object to Kelley granting a preliminary injunction.
Solemn remembrances set for Katrina Anniversary
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Julian Castro, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were among those attending a Friday morning wreath-laying ceremony where scores of unidentified Katrina victims are entombed.
Many of the more than 1,800 who died were in the New Orleans area, where levee failures contributed to catastrophic flooding.
The storm did billions of dollars' worth of damage in Louisiana and in Mississippi, where coastal homes were wiped out. Memorials in Mississippi included a series of events at the Ground Zero Museum in Waveland.
State: Data breach involving JP Morgan Chase
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state says JP Morgan Chase has notified it of a data breach that could affect those using pre-paid debit cards issued for income tax refunds, unemployment benefits or other payments through the Department of Children and Family Services.
The Department of Revenue said Friday the bank notified the state a day earlier that personally identifiable information it holds under contracts with state agencies may have been breached. JP Morgan Chase said it does not know if or to what extent information on Louisiana citizens may have been exposed.
JP Morgan Chase issues pre-paid debit cards for certain state agencies, including for income tax refunds, unemployment benefits paid by the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Child Support Enforcement and STEP Supportive Services and Child Care Assistance provider payments paid by DCFS.
LAFAYETTE SHOOT TEAM
Lafayette to self-investigate police shootings
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Police Department no longer seeks outside reviews for officer-involved shootings.
Police confirmed to The Advertiser this week that at the end of 2013, the department created its own "Shoot Team" - a unit to investigate shootings by its officers.
Cpl. Paul Mouton said the unit is composed of five to six "senior officers" who have been appropriately trained.
State police often handle external investigations for reviewing such issues within other law enforcement agencies. But a state police spokesman, Master Trooper Brooks David, said there's no law that requires police departments to seek such outside investigations.
Grand jury indicts 3 in Reserve couple's deaths
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted three people in the slaying of a Reserve couple who authorities say were bound and dumped into the Intracoastal Waterway in eastern New Orleans in February.
A fourth man was indicted for his alleged role in a botched attempt to cover up the killings.
Along with 38-year-old Horatio Johnson and former state prison guard, 25-year-old Brittany Martin, both of whom previously were booked in the murders, The New Orleans Advocate reports the indictment handed up Thursday also names alleged conspirator, 28-year-old Steven Bradley, in the killings of Lakeitha and Kenneth Joseph.
Until the indictment, Bradley had been booked only with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the deaths.
Bond for Johnson, Martin and Bradley was set at $2.5 million.
TV HOST KILLED
Sheriff: Victim faced molestation charges
ST. GABRIEL, La. (AP) - A Louisiana sheriff says a Baton Rouge television host who was shot to death in his home in Iberville Parish faced unresolved child molestation charges in England.
Scott Rogers was killed at his St. Gabriel home Wednesday. Investigators said Mathew Hodgkinson is suspected of shooting Rogers then turning the gun on himself. Hodgkinson was hospitalized, on life support, after the shooting.
Rogers' attorney told The Advocate that federal investigators were looking into whether Rogers submitted fraudulent naturalization and adoption paperwork.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi described Rogers and Hodgkinson as lovers who met years ago.
Stassi said Hodgkinson was married to Rogers' daughter. Stassi said it was a sham marriage to prevent Hodgkinson from being deported to England.
Rogers hosted "Around Town," a Baton Rouge area talk show.
Crest Industries to expand Precision Cutting
EUNICE, La. (AP) - Crest Industries is acquiring the assets and will expand the workforce of Eunice-based Precision Cutting Specialties Inc.
Crest, based in Pineville, will invest $5 million to develop a new cutting, machining and fabrication facility in Eunice and add new machining centers to PCS' existing equipment.
The state says Crest will retain 18 jobs and create 20 new jobs averaging $50,000 per year, plus benefits.
Crest will begin filling the new positions in the fourth quarter. It expects to complete hiring by the end of 2016. With the addition of PCS, Crest will employ more than 630 workers throughout Louisiana.
Crest serves a global market in the electric utility, commercial and industrial electrical contractor, forestry and energy industries. The PCS acquisition allows Crest to diversify into the oil and gas sector.
Brees reveals new daughter's name
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Drew Brees and wife Brittany have named their baby girl, Rylen Judith Brees.
WVUE-TV reports the name was announced publicly Thursday during the CST broadcast of the Saints' final preseason game.
Brees' wife, Brittany, gave birth Tuesday. Rylen has three older brothers: Baylen, Callen and Bowen.
The Saints were facing off against the Ravens in the Superdome. The final score was 22-13 Ravens.
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