Good afternoon , Louisiana and Mississippi editors.
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DONALDSONVILLE — Federal investigators are expected in south Louisiana over the weekend at the site of an explosion that killed one worker a chemical plant in Donaldsonville, La. — the second such blast in the area in as many days. State Police Trooper Jared Sandifer said Saturday that officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were coming to the CF Industries facility as soon as the site was deemed safe. Sandifer said the state police's hazardous materials unit was at the plant overnight.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Continuing to struggle to represent clients who can't afford attorneys, nearly 70 percent of Louisiana's public defenders offices ran deficits last year, forcing them to dip heavily into fund balances to keep operations afloat, state data show. According to an annual report issued this week by the state legislative auditor's office, 29 of the state's 42 indigent defense offices spent more money than they received for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012. By Littice Bacon-Blood.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE TUITION
JACKSON, Miss. — Tuition at Mississippi's community colleges will increase by an average of about 6 percent this fall. Of Mississippi's 15 independently governed community colleges, 11 are choosing to raise charges on students, according to figures from the state Board of Community and Junior Colleges. State aid has just begun to rise after cuts during the recession. As the economy recovers, people are going back to work, reducing enrollment levels and cutting tuition income. By Jeff Amy. With glance of tuition changes at all 15 colleges.
LOUISIANA-MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF
PRISON GUARD ATTACKED
POLLOCK, La. — Authorities have put the federal penitentiary in Pollock on lockdown after an inmate attacked a guard Saturday. Prison officials say in a news release that the incident occurred about 8:05 a.m. They say a guard was attacked by an inmate with a sharpened homemade weapon. The guard was monitoring inmate movement at a housing unit where he was working.
BATON ROUGE SHOOTING
BATON ROUGE, La. — Baton Rouge police have charged 51-year-old Michael Hebert with second degree murder in a Saturday shooting in which Hebert's brother was killed. Police spokesman Cpl. Tommy Stubbs says officers found the body of 45-year-old Wayne Herbert Jr. of Austin, Texas, in the driveway of a Baton Rouge home while responding to a call.
MADISON, Miss. — A Jackson woman was killed Friday when her motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 55 in Madison County. Madison police say 29-year-old Steffi Mitchell hit the truck when it was slowing for traffic. Police say she and two other motorcycles were traveling southbound at the time.
WATSON, La. — A Denham Springs man has died after being struck by a vehicle as he walked along Louisiana Highway 1024 in Livingston Parish. State Police say 37-year-old Bennie D. McInnis was pronounced dead at the scene.
JACKSON, Miss. — The G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Jackson has added 30 new mental health professionals. President Barack Obama has set a goal of adding 1,600 providers in the nation's 152 VA medical centers.
CORINTH, Miss. — Alcorn County has signed a garbage collection contract with Waste Connections Inc. The new agreement takes effect July 1.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Ascension Parish is considering an ordinance that would greatly restrict door-to-door peddling. Parish Council Chairman Chris Loar said the proposed ordinance is designed to allow residents to spend time in their homes without worrying about being disturbed by sales people.
FRENCH MARKET-EXECUTIVE SEARCH
NEW ORLEANS — The French Market Corp. has selected four finalists for the position of executive director. The public agency provided little information about the four, who were interview this past week. The organization oversees the historic market along North Peters Street and the Upper Pontalba Building at Jackson Square.
HERNANDO, Miss. — The DeSoto County school system will host meetings in late June and July to explain a new Common Core math curriculum being implemented in the fall. Michelle Corbin, the school district's math specialist, says the new math courses will better prepare students for college.
RAYMOND, Miss. — Mississippi State University will name the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in memory of Frank T. "Butch" Withers Jr. on July 10. Withers, who died in 2012, worked for 40 years in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at MSU. He was director of the Research and Extension Center for 10 years. He retired in 2006.
FARMER WORKER GRANT
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — The Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Workers Opportunities will received a $1.2 million grant to serve migrant and seasonal farm workers in 39 Delta-area counties. The grant was announced this week by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Thompson says the grant is from the U.S. Department of Labor.
HOUMA, La. — Terrebonne Parish officials are moving ahead with a project designed to dump freshwater from the Houma Navigation Canal into endangered coastal forests north of the Falgout Canal. The project will replace aging water-control structures and dredge canals to flush the area with additional freshwater.
BOGALUSA-ONLINE TAX SALE
BOGALUSA, La. — Bogalusa's first online property tax title sale went "very well," City Administrator Jerry Bailey said. The city contracted with Archon, a company that specializes in third-party government tax collections, to help secure payment of delinquent property taxes. The first online event, held earlier this month, bodes well for Bogalusa, Bailey said.
NEW ORLEANS — The Army Corps of Engineers says it has completed all permanent structures in a $3 billion system of levees and floodwalls around the west Bank of New Orleans and Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes. Ceremonies are planned Monday to mark completion of the West Bank and Vicinity project.
BATON ROUGE, La. — A dispute over a bingo game at a Baton Rouge senior center has led state officials to suggest the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging should implement sensitivity training for its staff. The controversy stems from an incident May 2 in which four women complained about being denied an opportunity to play bingo at Dumas House Senior Center, as they had done every Thursday for more than a year.
CHARTER SCHOOL AUDIT
BATON ROUGE, La. — The charter school group that ran Crestworth Middle School owed almost $79,000 when the group handed the school back to the state Department of Education a year ago, according to an audit made public this past week.
LAKE CHARLES DEVELOPMENT
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Businessman Roger Landry has signed a contract with city officials to buy a 3.5-acre downtown tract. Landry paid $1.06 million for the land and plans to build a 170- unit residential building that also will have 22,000 square feet of business space. The project is expected to cost $20 million. The contract was signed on Wednesday.
HOUMA, La. — Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet plans a June 27 meeting with residents to discuss services and parish projects. The forum style meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, 151 Library Drive, Houma.
SCHRIEVER, La. — Traffic will be restricted through the weekend on portions of Louisiana highway 24 as crews work on repairs. The highway will be reduced to one lane of traffic as repairs are made to the barrier rail. The work will require closing the eastbound right lane from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
WALKER, La. — Utility rates in Walker may rise for the first time in more than a decade. The Board of Aldermen has scheduled a public hearing for June 24 on four ordinances to adjust the city's rates on gas, water, sewer and garbage collection.
SHREVEPORT, La. — Cab drivers in Shreveport will be trained in providing good public relations for the city. Tourism officials want them to help improve visitors' first impressions of Shreveport. A new city ordinance requires cabbies to take a free two-hour course on how to talk up restaurants and events.
NATURAL RESOURCES FORUM
BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter will sponsor a natural resources symposium on Aug. 1-2 at the Lod Cook Conference Center on the Baton Rouge campus of Louisiana State University. The session will focus on impact of human and natural disasters on forested and wetland ecosystems and wildlife.
NEW ORLEANS — The City Planning Commission did not name an interim director when it met on Thursday. The commission on Tuesday ousted Executive Director Yolanda Rodriguez, who had held the position for almost a decade. On Thursday, commissioners didn't even appoint an interim director.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Three tenants have moved into the Louisiana Business & Technology Center at LSU, bringing the number of companies in the business incubator to 35. The new companies are Factor3 Solutions, E.A.S.Y. Ads Advertising & Directory LLC and EcoPro LLC.
QUILT TRAIL SURPRISE
BOGALUSA, La. — A colorful, wordless sign popped up without explanation in a triangle of public property in Bogalusa, perplexing residents and travelers alike. Passersby wondered who put it up, why it was there and what its purpose might be. The 4-foot-square turned out to be part of a regional tourism project. By Marcelle Hanemann, The Daily News.
SHREVEPORT, La. — The jagged lines on Deborah Morgan's weight chart are going in the right direction. Morgan, of Shreveport, is one of nearly two dozen people participating in a diabetes prevention program at Martin Luther King Health Center in Shreveport. She's lost eight pounds toward the program goal of a 7 percent weight loss. By Melody Brumble, The Times.
PALMERTREE'S LIFE JOURNEY
MCCOMB, Miss. — Therese Palmertree was a champion of public schools even before she began her 41-year career in education. At age 22, her first job after graduating from Augsburg College in Minneapolis was in the Desire Housing Project in her hometown of New Orleans. Now, the superintendent of the McComb School District is opening a new chapter of her life — retirement. Palmertree is stepping down at the end of June after leading the district since February 2008. By Karen Freeman, Enterprise-Journal.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — When she handed her son the last pack of noodles in their kitchen, Betty Mayfield came to a realization - she needed help. In 2009, Mayfield was the single mother of a toddler, a full-time student at the University of Southern Mississippi and working a part-time job. "I had a decent job, but at the same time, I'm a single mother and I was paying rent, a car note, insurance and bills. Me and my son were really struggling," Mayfield said. "I decided I was going to go down to the food stamp office. Once I gave them my information and how much money I made, they denied my application." Mayfield said she was in disbelief that she and her son, Jordan, were turned away when they needed help so badly. By Emily Ham Price, Hattiesburg American.
BBC-CWS-MISSISSIPPI ST-OREGON ST
OMAHA, Neb. — Oregon State opens the College World Series against Mississippi State. The Beavers will start freshman left-hander Andrew Moore against the Bulldogs' Kendall Graves. By Sports Writer Eric Olson.
— With: hometown lead
NEW YORK — The patriarchs of the NFL's first families of quarterbacks and coaches are anything but interfering dads. In fact, Archie Manning and Jack Harbaugh are just as influenced by their successful sons as their boys are by them. That's a special quality they cherish on Father's Day, and every day. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner.
AP Photos NY183, NY185, NY184, NY182.
The AP-Jackson, Miss.