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Man arrested for alleged crawfish theft

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have arrested a Crowley man for alleged theft of crawfish and criminal trespassing.  39 year-old Jason Mire was observed allegedly taking crawfish from traps in a pond that did not belong to him. 

  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Adam Einck describes what happened.

"We did receive some complaints and we went out there to check it out and, sure enough, we found this Mr. Mire breaking the law.  He was trespassing and also the theft of the crawfish as well."
LDWF Agents received complaints from crawfish farmers in Acadia Parish about people stealing mudbugs from traps in their ponds.  Einch says crawfish theft is something that the LDWF doesn't take lightly.
"You know we take our crawfish very seriously here in Louisiana and these crawfishermen, you know, this is their livelihood.  So we try to protect the resource and also protect the economy of the crawfish that happens in Louisiana."
 Mire was caught with 31 pounds of crawfish, valued at $62.  Einck says that Mire is facing a pretty stiff penalty.
"Theft of crawfish it could bring up to $500 in fines and six months in jail.  And also for the trespassing charge he's also looking up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail.  So, basically a total of about $1000 in fines and maybe up to 90 days in jail."

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New poll suggests McAllister likely not horribly damaged by scandal

Jeff Palermo reporting.
51-percent of those polled in the 5th congressional district, say they will not vote for US Representative Vance McAllister this fall. The telephone survey of 13-hundred registered voters was conducted by Pineville pollster David Glascock. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says McAllister should be encouraged by the poll.

"Clearly Representative McAllister has been damaged by the scandal," said Stockley. "But the numbers tell us while he's been damaged he hasn't necessarily been destroyed or knocked out."

The pollster says the survey was paid for by "political activists." It also asked voters who they would vote for in a run-off election between McAllister and state senator Neil Riser.

McAllister lost by 12-percentage points. Stockley says there's time for the so-called kissing Congressman to rebound before the November election.

"Representative McAllister still stands a good chance of being re-elected, even if he runs against a formidable opponent as Senator Riser would be," Stockley said.

The poll comes out on the heels of a video that shows McAllister, a father of five, kissing a staffer that was also married.

Stockley says the poll shows many people are not happy with McAllister, but there's time to make a political comeback.

"53% said there is nothing Representative McAllister can do to gain trust or re-gain trust in him," said Stockley. "I really do suspect that number would change over time. This poll is only a week out of a major scandal."

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LSP: Man arrested for 6th offense DWI for "drug driving"

Michelle Southern reporting.
State police say a Denham Springs man who is just 29-years-old was arrested for 6th offense DWI Wednesday. Trooper Jared Sandifer says the warrant came down following a serious injury crash that was caused by Lee Edward Easley in February in Livingston Parish.

He says Easly hit a car head on and both drivers were sent to the hospital.
"Medical professionals over there were able to obtain toxicology samples from him because troopers felt that he may have been impaired at the time of the crash," Sandifer said. "Basically those toxicology samples came back and showed that he did have several narcotics in his system on the day of the crash."

He says this was not the first time Easley was arrested for driving under the influence.

"When our troopers were doing their investigation they learned that Mr. Easley had been charged 5 prior times for DWI," Sandifer said. "That's what made this his 6th offense."

Sandifer says they obtained an arrest warrant through the 21st JDC and charged Easley with DWI 6th offense, reckless operation, 1st degree vehicular negligent injuring and possession of marijuana.

He was arrested at his home and booked into the Livingston Parish jail.

Sandifer it's a shame someone so young has committed so many crimes.

"There is a huge problem out there not just with drunk driving but drug driving as well," said Sandifer.

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ASPSO: Man shoots wife and 12 year old son then jumps into river

Michelle Southern reporting.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office is currently investigating a case in which they believe a man murdered his wife and 12-year-old son in Gonzales, then jumped into the Mississippi River. Chief Deputy Tony Bacala says 44-year-old Ronald Green called someone at the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office around 2am this morning.
(pictured: Ronald Green)

"Then said, 'I just killed my wife and son and I'm going to jump off the Mississippi River Bridge,'" Bacala said. "We sent deputies to the home where they found the front door had been broken in and they went inside and found Dewona Green and their 12-year-old son both dead, they'd been shot."

He says soon after they located Green's car on top of the Veterans Memorial Bridge in St. John Parish.

Bacala said the Green's had recently been involved in domestic violence situations.

"And last week we assisted Dewona in getting a restraining order against Ronald Green," said Bacala. "He was not supposed to come near the home or contact her. Obviously it didn't end well."

Bacala says the victims were found in a bedroom of the home and he believes they were shot shortly before Green made the call.

He added, "This makes no sense at all. You just sit back and wonder how someone could do something so horrible."

Bacala said the investigation is ongoing as Green has not yet been located but there is currently a warrant out for his arrest for 2 counts of first degree murder.

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Elmer's Easter candy sales hopping right along!

Michelle Southern reporting.
A must-have for Louisiana Easter baskets is a candy that's been around over 160 years and is manufactured in Ponchatoula -- Elmer's Chocolate's. President Rob Nelson says the Easter Bunny has been filling baskets with Gold Brick Eggs since 1936 and Heavenly Hash Eggs have been around since 1923.

"Those are certainly the staples down here for the Easter diet in south Louisiana," said Nelson.

The company started in New Orleans in 1955 as a pastry business but eventually became Elmer Candy Corporation.

Nelson says Elmer's candy sales so far are up over 10% from last year. He says though the chocolates are extremely popular every year, the boost in sales can be attributed to the length of the Easter season.

"It always starts right after Valentine's Day and this year is a late Easter," Nelson says. "The weather has also been nice and it's got people out buying their Easter candy."

Heavenly Hash is their second most popular Easter candy but the Gold Brick Eggs and their different flavors top the charts every year.

Nelson says the Gold Brick Egg started being sold in 1936 for a dime around the time when candy bars were going for five cents.

"Nobody thought it would sell but it just took off right away and we've been moving along ever since," Nelson said.

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Coastal expert responds to BP's move to end active clean-up efforts along the coast

The advisor to Governor Jindal on coastal affairs is concerned about BP's announcement that the Coast Guard is ending active clean-up efforts on Louisiana's coast. The oil company makes the announcement just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Jerome Zeringue says oiling of Louisiana's coastline will continue.

"We continue to experience re-oiling on a daily basis," Zeringue "BP must continue to respond to this oil and we are going to be experiencing oil on our shoreline for many years to come." 
Zeringue says Louisiana has a monitoring agreement with BP, which means they call on the Coast Guard whenever oil is spotted on the coast. He says it's disappointing active operations have concluded, but at least BP is not abandoning Louisiana completely. 
"We just need to make sure that we do what we can to address those issues and concerns and those potential long term impacts."

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House education committee approves the "Merry Christmas" bill

The House Education Committee approves a bill that gives public schools the authority to put up nativity scenes and Christmas trees as part of a holiday display. The author of the measure is Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh, who says it's the Merry Christmas bill.

"The point of the bill is that you don't have to call it a holiday tree, it can be a Christmas tree and the Supreme Court said repeatedly that's okay," Seabaugh said.
Seabaugh says he gets calls every year from public schools, asking if they can have a Christmas play or put up a Christmas tree.
But he says schools are still now allowed to promote one religion over another. The bill heads to the House floor.

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ULM named most underrated college in Louisiana by Business Insider

Michelle Southern reporting.
Business Insider Magazine has named The University of Louisiana at Monroe the most underrated college in the state. ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno said the publication chose one college from each state which exhibited great academics, high acceptance rates and strong in state student populations.

He says he's known for a long time that ULM is the best kept secret in Louisiana's higher education system.

"It's also exciting to see the other notable schools from other states that also made the list along with ULM," said Bruno.

Others on the list include Clemson, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and the University of Florida.

Bruno says it's very rewarding to see such a notable publication recognize that ULM is an institution that has a lot to offer students seeking a quality education.

He says he's told his staff that bragging ends when fact begins.

"In many cases we always like to think that the facts spoke for themselves and this recognition is identified on facts," Bruno said.

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State lawmakers do not like the idea of armed school teachers

Members of the House Criminal Justice committee shot down a proposal to allow some teachers and administrators to carry a gun on school campuses. Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton said no way.
"They (teachers) are not going to have the training that law enforcement has," Norton said. "There is no way they are going to qualified, they are teachers."

 Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo is the bill's author. He says teachers and administrators would need a concealed handgun permit and undergo training before they are allowed to bring a weapon to school. He says the bill's main goal is to make criminals think twice before going on a killing spree at a school.
"When we have a sign out front that says gun free zone, it's like a welcome sign," Garofalo said. "This is the place you want to go, if you want to kill as many people as possible before the police arrive to stop you."
New Iberia Representative Terry Landry, is a former State Police commander, and he also voiced his opposition to Garofalo's proposal. Landry says teachers chose their profession to be teachers and not police officers.
"We are putting our children and community at risk when we just blatantly give the authority for people to carry guns in schools," Landry said.
Garofalo saw there was enough opposition that he voluntarily deferred the bill and will try to come up with another proposal. 
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Man shot and killed by police after attacking his mother

Michelle Southern reporting.
State Police say they are investigating an officer involved shooting for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Department in which a male suspect, who was found attacking his mother was fatally shot by law enforcement.

 Trooper Greg Marchand says deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in Hammond around 12:30pm Tuesday.
"Upon arrival deputies encountered an armed suspect who was actively engaging in a female victim who we later determined was his mother," said Marchand.

Marchand says the victim, 70-year-old Barbara Nichols, called the sheriff's office to report her son was apparently trying to kill her.

He says first responders arrived to find 48-year-old Michael Nichols brutally assaulting his mother with a weapon.

"And because of the threat of imminent danger and loss of life to the victim, the officers had to use lethal force and they fatally wounded the suspect," Marchand said.

Marchand says the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner.

Barbara Nichols was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries. Motive has not yet been determined.
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Two bodies found in burned out vehicle in Vermilion Parish

Two bodies were found inside a vehicle that was on fire in Vermilion Parish. Sheriff deputies made the gruesome discovery at around one o' clock this morning. Major Darryl LeBlanc, with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Deputies says it will take awhile before they are able to positively ID the victims.

"I can tell you that the bodies were burned beyond recognition," Leblanc said. "Not able to tell race or sex." 
LeBlanc says at this time the deaths are considered suspicious, but there are more questions than answers than at this time. He says more clues will be developed, when an autopsy on the bodies is completed. 
The Acadiana Crime Lab, State Fire Marshal's Office and State Police is assisting in the investigation.

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