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BC-Louisiana-Mississippi News Digest,ADVISORY

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News,Science and Technology

Good morning, Louisiana and Mississippi editors.

The news editor is Brian Schwaner (1-504-523-3931). If you have contributions for or questions about the Mississippi report, call 1-800-222-0046 or 1-601-948-5897. To report technical problems: 1-800-469-1362. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (877-836-9477).

Breaking news staffers Bill Fuller of New Orleans and Jack Elliott Jr. of Jackson will be in at 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., respectively.

LOUISIANA

TOP STORIES

COLORADO SHOOTINGS

BATON ROUGE — Bonnie Kate Pourciau likes to wear a flower in her dark hair. There's usually a bouquet of fresh flowers in her house. She wore a bright one to a winter physical therapy session — a flag of cheer in the face of the difficult, painful work of recovering the full use of her left leg. Pourciau, 19, goes to physical therapy three times a week for injuries she suffered in July when a gunman opened fire in an Aurora, Colo., theater. A road trip out West with a friend had been slowed by drought and fires in Colorado, so the movie was an afterthought when they stopped in Aurora on July 19 and went to the midnight premiere of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." By Ellen Couvillion, The Advocate.

The following items moved Sunday for Monday newspapers.

LOUISIANA-MISSISSIPPI WEATHER

As rain followed rain in south Louisiana, crawfish farmers saw their livestock swim over the levees around his ponds while fish swam in to feast on those remaining. Diagonally across the state, northeast Louisiana and west Mississippi residents were warned that freezing rain could make bridges and overpasses dangerous Monday. The National Weather Service called a winter storm watch in the delta area of northeast Louisiana and east Mississippi. It covers northeast Louisiana to Delhi and Rayville, just north of Interstate 20, and crosses most of the delta to Interstate 55 at Grenada and Durant, said meteorologist Ed Agre of Jackson, Miss. Freezing rain is likely to start around midmorning Monday and continue into the evening, the warning said. By Janet McConnaughey.

VERMONT YANKEE

NEW YORK — The question of whether Vermont's only nuclear plant can continue operating without the approval of state regulators goes before a federal appeals court Monday in a dispute that has gained increasing attention nationally about the boundaries of federal authority over a controversial power source. The New Orleans-based Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc. brought the issue to court. The utility won a decision last January in which a federal judge in Brattleboro, Vt., ruled that safety issues are the sole responsibility of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 2011, that panel had extended the license for Entergy's Vermont Yankee plant by 20 years. Without the judge's ruling, the plant could have been forced to close on March 21, when state approval expires. By Larry Neumeister.

AP Photos NYR401-0530100225.

BRUSLY SCHOOL ADDITION

BRUSLY — Final plans for building a 13,000-square-foot addition to overcrowded Brusly Elementary School will be presented to the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board on Wednesday. School Superintendent David Corona said architectural designs will be submitted to the board along with a request to begin advertising for construction bids.

TERREBONNE WATER TAX

HOUMA — Terrebonne Parish voters probably will decide May 4 whether to approve a property tax designed to pay for water service. The Parish Council voted this past week to put the 2.11-mill property tax on the ballot. The council must still ratify the measure Jan. 23 after a public hearing. The tax is a requirement for Terrebonne to join the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District, which supplies Terrebonne with 80 percent of its drinking water.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW-BR

BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge will be one of eight cities on the 2013 'Antiques Roadshow' summer tour. Beth Courtney, president and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, says the popular Public Broadcasting Service show, viewed nationally by an estimated 10 million people per episode, will take over the River Center on July 27 for taping of three episodes.

AGRICULTURE OUTLOOK

WELSH — Despite uncertainty surrounding federal farm legislation, agricultural economists are optimistic about the market outlook for rice and soybeans with higher prices and more varieties expected. That that was the message given to more than 50 Southwest Louisiana rice and soybean growers attending an agriculture forum last week in Welsh

CALCASIEU LOCK

SULPHUR — The staff at the Calcasieu Lock could be cut by half within the next 18 months because less federal money could be allocated to its operation and maintenance, the Army Corps of Engineers says. Lockmaster Kevin Galley told a ports group meeting this past week that traffic will experience slowdowns in going through the lock.

CENLA-CHINA PARTNERSHIP

ALEXANDRIA — The Rapides Parish Police Jury is a step closer to forging an educational, cultural and commercial partnership with a Chinese city. A jury committee approved a motion brought to the panel by state Rep. Herbert Dixon, D-Alexandria, to support efforts to build a sister community relationship with the city of Shangqiu.

LAKE CHARLES TAXES

LAKE CHARLES — The City Council has approved a resolution calling for an election in April in which voters would decide whether a lakefront taxing district could be activated to collect sales taxes. Mayor Randy Roach told the council the matter centers on a tax incremental financing, or TIF, district, in which sales tax collections are used to pay costs of some developments within the district. The Legislature authorized the TIF for the lakefront to help provide financial support for capital improvements to the district, where voters previously approved the concept of public-private development.

ANALYSIS

Moved in advance for use in Monday editions

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS

NEW ORLEANS — State leaders are struggling to find money to plug big gaps in the state's budget. The Super Bowl is coming to New Orleans. Across the state, the revelry of Mardi Gras is just around the corner. And hurricane season — even in winter — is always on the minds of Louisianians. But the real talk of the town is about the Edwardses — Trina and Edwin — and whether the former governor and his bride are expecting a blessed event. AP News Analysis. By Stacey Plaisance.

LOUISIANA NEWS IN BRIEF

ULM BUSINESS

MONROE — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has reaffirmed accreditation of the University of Louisiana-Monroe's majors in business and accounting. About 650 business schools in 45 countries and territories are accredited by the association. The ULM programs are housed in the College of Business.

ST. CHARLES TREES

NEW ORLEANS — Crews will pick up Christmas trees at curbside in St. Charles Parish through Jan. 19. Parish officials say all decorations must be removed and flocked trees will not be picked up. Collected trees will be used in coastal restoration efforts in the Bayou Gauche area.

LOYOLA MUSICAL

NEW ORLEANS — Leonard Bernstein's comic operetta "Candide" will be performed Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 at Loyola University. The performances are set for the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall on the university's campus in uptown New Orleans. The Jan. 18 presentation is set for 7:30 p.m. will the Jan. 20 performance will be at 3 p.m. The Loyola Symphony Orchestra will perform the score.

FLORIDA TOURISM

NEW ORLEANS — Tourism officials in Okaloosa County, Fla., have selected New Orleans-based Peter Mayer Advertising to design a program to attract visitors to the Panhandle community. The county includes the communities of Destin, Fort Walton and Okaloosa Island. The agency began working with county officials in December. Its destination-marketing experience includes work with the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., hotels and attractions such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

HAMMOND — The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University will partner with the Franklinton Chamber of Commerce for a seminar focused on social media marketing. The session will be held on Jan. 30 from 1-3 p.m. at the Franklinton Town Hall. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested. Wi-Fi will be available during the class, so participants can bring a fully charged laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The following items moved Sunday for Monday newspapers.

LOTTO-POWERBALL

NEW ORLEANS — Nobody won weekend jackpots in big-money lotteries sold in Louisiana. The Louisiana Lottery Corp. says estimated jackpots for Wednesday's drawings will be $90 million for the Powerball, $575,000 for Lotto and be $70,000 for Easy 5. The largest prize for any ticket sold in Louisiana for Saturday night's drawings was $1,830 for 14 Lotto tickets. The Louisiana Lottery Corp. says each of those tickets matched five of the six Lotto numbers.

CANEY CREEK RESERVOIR

CHATHAM — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing Jan. 21 on marine life and vegetation in the Caney Creek Reservoir. The department developed a management plan for the reservoir in 2006, focusing on fisheries management and vegetation control. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the conference center at Jimmie Davis State Park in Chatham. Presentations are planned on the results of recent sampling at the reservoir.

PLAQUEMINES COASTAL PLAN

BELLE CHASSE — A public hearing on coastal management in Plaquemine4s Parish will be held Feb. 7. The parish Coastal Zone Management Department said the public will be able to offer comment on coastal management issues. The session is planned from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Belle Chasse Library on Louisiana Highway 23.

MCNEESE CONCERT

LAKE CHARLES — Gateway Brass, the brass ensemble of the Air Force Band of the West, will presenting a free concert Jan. 24 at McNeese State University. The performance is planned for 7:30 p.m. at the university's Shearman Fine Arts Performing Arts Theatre. Gateway Brass, stationed in Texas, has performed around the country and plays a variety of musical styles.

JEANERETTE WATER

JEANERETTE — Jeanerette officials and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority say better water is on the way. The authority has granted a no-percent interest loan to the city as it works to replace outdated and rusty pipes with six miles of new lines and filters. A new water plant was built six years ago but many of the city's lines are more than 60 years old. The cost to renovate the system is estimated at $2.5 million. The authority says it will provide $492,000 of the total through the no-interest loan.

RAPIDES HEALTH

ALEXANDRIA — The Rapides Foundation is meeting with local church groups to brief them on DASH for a Healthy Lifestyle program. DASH — short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — is a nutrition and exercise program studied at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

LOUISIANA TRANSPORTATION

BATON ROUGE — State officials say more than $668 million was spent on roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure during 2012. Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri LeBas says the money went to 372 improvement projects on more than 1,000 miles of roadways and 71 bridges in Louisiana. LeBas said the state has reduced the backlog of road and bridge needs by nearly $2 billion. The department is responsible for more than 16,000 miles of roadway.

GRETNA WATER RULES

GRETNA — The City Council has revamped rules for customers seeking to avoid disconnection of water service and created guidelines to help in hardship cases. The revisions give residents 15 days after a second delinquent notice to pay bills or negotiate an arrangement with the water department to do so. Councilman Vincent Cox says he worked with city administrators on the changes after a constituent, who had lost his job, was cut off from water service.

GULF OIL SPILL-BERWICK

BERWICK — Berwick will hire outside counsel to represent the town in litigation seeking payments from BP PLC for economic damage during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

MUSEUM ROUNDTABLE

HOUMA — Henry Cook, who served as a Special Forces Green Beret for three decades, will be the featured speaker at Tuesday's roundtable of the Regional Military Museum in Houma.

MEMBER EXCHANGES

Moved in advance for use in Monday editions

LEGISLATORS-HORSERACES

BATON ROUGE — For state Rep. Page Cortez, owning a racehorse began in childhood. Cortez and his brothers grew up spending every weekend at the racetrack, because their grandfather raised quarter horses. By Michelle Millhollon, The Advocate.

WHAT YOU SEE

ALEXANDRIA — Students in Sarah Mendoza's first-grade class at Julius Patrick Elementary School stare at a picture of animals in a forest with a cluster of people in the background. After two minutes of quietly studying the picture on Mendoza's Promethean board, she asks them what they see. By Leigh Guidry, The Town Talk.

SPORTS

The following items moved Sunday for Monday newspapers.

HORNETS-KNICKS

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter, and the New York Knicks ended their season-high, three-game losing streak with a 100-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two points in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes, then outscored the Hornets by himself in the second period as the Knicks took the lead for good. By Brian Mahoney.

AP Photos MSG101-0113131300, MSG106-0113131259, MSG104-0113131251, MSG103-0113131217.

DAVID TOMS ACADEMY

(Information in the following story is from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com)

SHREVEPORT, La. — David Toms says he's building "a pure golf practice experience" for young players in Shreveport, his home town. The 13-time PGA Tour winner tells The Times (http://bit.ly/WClI89 ) that he plans a nine-hole, par-3 course; an 18-acre driving range, eight greens for putting and chipping, and three regulation holes — par 3, par 4 and par 5.

MISSISSIPPI

TOP MISSISSIPPI STORIES

The following items moved Sunday for Monday newspapers.

LOUISIANA-MISSISSIPPI WEATHER

As rain followed rain in south Louisiana, crawfish farmers saw their livestock swim over the levees around his ponds while fish swam in to feast on those remaining. Diagonally across the state, northeast Louisiana and west Mississippi residents were warned that freezing rain could make bridges and overpasses dangerous Monday. The National Weather Service called a winter storm watch in the delta area of northeast Louisiana and east Mississippi. It covers northeast Louisiana to Delhi and Rayville, just north of Interstate 20, and crosses most of the delta to Interstate 55 at Grenada and Durant, said meteorologist Ed Agre of Jackson, Miss. Freezing rain is likely to start around midmorning Monday and continue into the evening, the warning said. By Janet McConnaughey.

OBIT-GIBBS

TUPELO, Miss. — State Rep. David Gibbs, recalled by colleagues as a common-sense lawmaker who preferred to keep a low profile and make things happen behind the scenes, died Sunday. He was 76. Gibbs, who had cancer, died about 5 a.m. Sunday, said Rep. Kenny Wayne Jones, D-Canton, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. He had been hospitalized at Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Hospital spokeswoman Deborah Pugh confirmed his death.

COLLEGE DORMS-FIRE SAFETY

(Information in the following story is from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com)

OXFORD, Miss. — More than eight years after a fraternity house fire killed three University of Mississippi students, only one of the state's public colleges and universities has both installed a sprinkler system in every dormitory and required all fraternities and sororities to do the same. State College Board spokeswoman Caron Blanton tells The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/ZXnjfA ) that the board responded to the 2004 fire by requiring sprinkler systems in all public higher education residence halls.

VERMONT YANKEE

NEW YORK — The question of whether Vermont's only nuclear plant can continue operating without the approval of state regulators goes before a federal appeals court Monday in a dispute that has gained increasing attention nationally about the boundaries of federal authority over a controversial power source. The New Orleans-based Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc. brought the issue to court. The utility won a decision last January in which a federal judge in Brattleboro, Vt., ruled that safety issues are the sole responsibility of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 2011, that panel had extended the license for Entergy's Vermont Yankee plant by 20 years. Without the judge's ruling, the plant could have been forced to close on March 21, when state approval expires. By Larry Neumeister.

AP Photos NYR401-0530100225.

TRIPLE FATAL-MINNESOTA

CASS LAKE, Minn. — Three members of a Mississippi family died and one was critically injured on an icy highway in northern Minnesota, the State Patrol reported Sunday. The one-vehicle rollover happed about 5:40 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 2, about nine miles east of Cass Lake. A pickup driven by Jeremiah Statham, 28, of Foxworth, Miss., was eastbound when it lost control on the icy highway, left the road, hit some trees and a stump, and came to rest on its roof, the Patrol said.

SCHOOL SECURITY-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON — The McComb school system is looking at switching to uniforms as a way to address security issues. Pearl River County will do a security evaluation at its schools. Officials at both school systems say the steps are a response, in part, to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

VICKSBURG TAXI ORDINANCE

VICKSBURG — Vicksburg's Public Transportation Board is working on 20 proposed changes to the city's taxi ordinance. Board chairman Jim Stirgus Jr. says the plan is to bring all vehicles for hire under one ordinance. He said the board will consider the changes on Feb. 12.

MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF

PATTERSON APPEAL

JACKSON — The state Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday from attorneys for a Scott County man convicted in a 2010 slaying. Timothy Joseph Patterson was convicted in 2011 of murder in the death of 28-year-old Michael Guy. Patterson was sentenced to life in prison.

TIPPAH HOSPITAL

RIPLEY — Tippah County supervisors are moving ahead with obtaining proposals for the lease of the Tippah County Hospital. Officials say health care is changing and it is difficult for a rural hospital to survive without being part of a larger, better funded organization.

ROSEDALE COURTHOUSE

ROSEDALE — Bolivar County supervisors say the reopening of the courthouse in Rosedale is scheduled for Feb. 4. Supervisor Andrew Williams says residents in the western part of the county used the courthouse to buy tags, pay taxes and go to court.

JUDGE INVESTITURE

JACKSON — An investiture ceremony will be held for new state Court of Appeals Judge Ceola James. The ceremony will held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson.

The following items moved Sunday for Monday newspapers.

POLICE OFFICER FATAL

(Information in the following story is from: WAPT-TV, http://www.wapt.com)

JACKSON, Miss. — Jackson police report that an off-duty Hazlehurst police officer died when his car hit a metal light pole in Jackson. WAPT-TV (http://bit.ly/UXsx69 ) reports that 27-year-old Christopher Washington lost control of his Toyota Camry on Interstate 55 near the Savannah exit about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

STURGIS BIKE RALLY

STURGIS — The Sturgis Board of Aldermen will hold a workshop Feb. 12 to develop a counterproposal to bring a bike rally back to the city. Once a proposal is developed the board will ask the Sturgis South Bike Rally Board for a meeting.

ANALYSIS

Moved in advance for use in Monday editions

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON — It's the strength and weakness of a citizen legislature — most lawmakers have other jobs back home. Strength, because it gives them knowledge of particular subjects they make laws on. Weakness because it can make them look like they're pulling for their own self-interest. That conundrum was on display on the first day of the 2013 Mississippi Legislature last week, as the House Insurance Committee considered proposals to regulate special deals cut by drug plans with chain and mail-order pharmacies. AP News Analysis. By Jeff Amy.

MEMBER EXCHANGES

Moved in advance for use in Monday editions

CORINTH SPORTSPLEX

CORINTH — Havis Hurley wasn't looking for another job. He had two that kept him busy. The former executive director of the Corinth Sportsplex couldn't pass up the chance to help bring back a place he played a big part in building. Hurley has been hired part time by the Sportsplex board as the program director. By Steve Beavers, The Daily Corinthian.

PRATHER'S PLAYGROUND

TUPELO — More than 70 years ago, downtown Tupelo was Jacque Prather's playground. He played games with his friends, and he visited with hobos at their camp by the railroad tracks. He was a free-range kid, but could roam only so far. Even as a boy, Prather was a working man. That was by necessity. By M. Scott Morris, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

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