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Houma woman stabs boyfriend for coming home late


Michelle Southern reporting.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's office says a Houma woman is under arrest for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend for staying out too late. Captain Dawn Foret says they received a call around 4:30am Sunday in reference to a domestic disturbance.

"When our deputies got there we found a male subject with a stab wound to the leg and there was a massive amount of blood," said Foret.

Foret says it was the suspect, 21-year-old Kera Dupre, who called 911 and she told investigators she stabbed her boyfriend because he didn't come home at a time she felt was appropriate.

"And a verbal argument occured and she threw a butcher knife at him as he went to walk away from her," said Foret.

Dupre was arrested for one count of aggravated second degree battery and is being held at the Terrrebonne Parish jail.

 
 

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LDWF searching for boat involved in hit-and-run accident


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating a rare hit-and-run boating crash. L-D-W-F's Adam Einck says the  incident happened Saturday night on the Amite River Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish when a ski boat was rear ended and run over by another ski boat. 
 
"In the process all three of the people in that boat were treated for minor injuries," Einck said. "But the other ski boat took off and never came back."
 
Einck says they believe a yellow and white ski boat, with a black stripe was involved in the Hit and Run. He says it was last seen speeding trough a wake zone. 
 
"Very rare for a hit-and-run to occur in the water," Einck said.
 
Einck says if anyone has information about this incident, they should call LDWF's Operation Game Thief (800-442-2511) or use the LADWF Tips app on their smart phones. 
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APSO department veteran drowns when trying to save his dog


Michelle Southern reporting.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office is in mourning today after a 32-year veteran of the department drowned Sunday while trying to rescue his dog from a pond. Lt. Col. Bobby Webre says 56-year-old Sam Vitter's Yorkshire Terrier slid under the fence of the residence and was running after something near the water.

"It looks like the little Yorkshire Terrier went into the pond chasing after some wildlife and Sam went in to get the animal but never resurfaced," said Webre.

Vitter is survived by his wife Sandy and one son currently serving in the Navy. Webre says they aren't exactly sure what happened to cause the drowning.

"The pond is 12-14 feet deep and maybe he didn't realize it was so deep," said Webre.

Webre says a neighbor called to report seeing shoes and keys on the side of the Spanish Oaks pond in Prarieville and altered deputies. He says Vitter's body was recovered around 2pm.

Webre says this is a horrible tragedy.

"You see somebody retire and you hope they have a long and fruitful retirement," says Webre. "Sam didn't even get to enjoy less than a year of it."

Vitter retired in December 2013. The dog survived.


 
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Back-to-school shopping could be eligible for tax breaks


The new school year begins in less than a month and thoughts are turning to back-to-school shopping.  The Department of Revenue encourages families to keep their receipts while shopping for back-to-school items such as books, supplies, uniforms, and equipment required by schools. 

Press Secretary Byron Henderson.
 
"A lot of people might not be aware that many of these purchases may be eligible for income tax deductions that they can claim when they file their Louisiana Individual Income Tax Returns next year, on May 15, 2015"
 
There are three income tax breaks under the Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Deductions.  Henderson says there are two conditions under which a taxpayer can claim these school tuition and expense deductions.
 
"The first is that you have to be able to claim the student as a dependent on your state individual income tax return.  The second one is that you have to be able to document the expenses.  Which is why we're encouraging people during this time of year, when they are shopping for back-to-school items, to hold on to those receipts."
 
Henderson also reminds residents the state's annual sales tax holiday is this Friday and Saturday.  He says the state sales tax exemption applies to more than back-to-school items.
 
"Anything from furniture and computers, to TV sets, to stereo equipment, to school supplies." 

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Colonel Mike Edmonson declines retirement boost


Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson turns down a controversial retirement package that was approved by lawmakers in the final hours of the legislative session. Edmonson says the controversy surrounding his retirement boost was creating too much of a distraction.

 
"The more I look at it, the more I studied it, it just wasn't the right way to handle this," Edmonson said. "If I'm going to be truly who I say I am, I don't need to accept it." 
 
State Treasurer John Kennedy called for an investigation after it was learned Edmonson and another trooper's boost in benefits would cost the state an extra 300-thousand dollars. 
 
Lawmakers were unaware they passed a bill that gave Edmonson and another trooper such a lofty retirement package. Edmonson says that was not the goal of the legislation, so he'll ask the legislature to revisit the issue next year.
 
"They can review it, they can stamp it yea or nay," Edmonson said. "They can show exactly what my benefits should be based on my years of service."  
 
 
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Public Service Commission looks to keep energy customers informed


In the wake of the power outages that recently plagued portions of the state, the Louisiana Public Service commission will consider implementing a new system for power companies to better keep the public informed when outages occur. 
 


 
Commissioner Foster Campbell explains.
 
"I want them to text or telephone all these customers and say, 'We know you're out of power, you don't have to call us.  We know you're out of power.  Here's where we are and we will keep you updated.'"
 
The system would send automated telephone and text messages to customers when outages occur.  He says Entergy power companies have already implemented such a system.  Campbell says he'll ask all electric utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission to do likewise.
 
"This is the 21st century.  Let's get innovative, here.  You know, if you can do it by computer or you can do it by text or you can do it by telephone.  Whatever you got to do it by, come on, tell the people what they can expect."
 
The topic will be discussed at the PSC's August 6th meeting in Baton Rouge.  He says storms and power outages are a reality in Louisiana and with modern forms of communication, power companies can easily tell customers what they need to know quickly.  Campbell says this system would ease a lot of customers frustrations during an outage.
 
"They call my office and my lines are busy.  They call the SWEPCO office and their lines are clogged up.  We need to be proactive in calling these people and say, 'Look, we know that you're out of electricity.  Here's what you can expect.  And we will be back if there are any other changes.'  That's the least we can do and I'm going to get that done."
 
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Louisiana reports its first West Nile virus death of 2014


State health officials say a man from Caddo Parish has died from the West Nile Virus. The department of health and hospitals is not providing many details about the victim, citing confidentiality rules, but they can say the individual was between 60 and 74 years. State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says this is a reminder West Nile can be fatal.

"Usually when the virus attacks the brain, 10% of the people die from it," Ratard said. 
 
This is the first fatality of the year from West Nile Virus. Ratard says they've only recorded nine total cases this year, but the season is just starting.
 
"We expect cases to last until November, maybe early December."
 
Ratard says take precautions to keep mosquitoes out of your house, our of your yard and off your skin. 
 
"So you either protect your skin with long pants and long sleeves or you wear mosquito repellent."
 
 

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LSU Health Sciences Center participating in new treatment for lung cancer


The LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans is offering a possible break through treatment for those diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Eileen Mederos is the program manager of the clinical trial and she says participants will receive a personalized medicine approach based upon the genetic makeup of their cancers.


"This maybe a better way to treat cancer as opposed to a blanketed approach, because not everyone responds to the same drug." 
 
Mederos says LSU Health Sciences Center is one of a just a few sites in the country to offer this new way of treating of lung cancer. She says it's a targeted therapy based on the genetic changes fueling the growth of the tumor. 
 
"They would receive treatment based off of the genetic testing."
 
Mederos says they are partnering with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, which has several locations in Southeast Louisiana to offer this cutting edge treatment. She lung cancer patients can call the LSU Health Sciences Center to participate in the clinical trial. 
 
"Eventually it will be offered across the country, but for now we are one of the first five sites." 
 
For more information call Eileen Mederos at (504) 407-7395
 

 
 

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JPSO: Man shoots neighbor in the groin, kills him


Michelle Southern reporting.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office says a man is dead after his neighbor allegedly shot him in the groin last night. Col John Fortunato says they responded to an apartment complex around 1:30am and found the body of a 54-year-old at the door step of the suspect's residence. Witnesses told investigators the two had a long time feud.

"Sometime during the early morning hours, the victim was kicking on the front door of the suspect over and over and wouldn't stop," said Fortunado.

Fortunato says the shooter is identified as 61-year-old Frank Stewart, "At some point the suspect opened the door and fired one shot to the victim in the groin and he was pronounced dead on the scene."

Fortunato says Stewart was taken into custody and transported to their investigations bureau for questioning, but he was not arrested. He says the case has been turned over the District Attorney.

"No decision has been made as of yet on whether or not to charge Stewart with a crime," said Fortunato.



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Former Baldwin officer allegedly gets teenage girl pregnant


Michelle Southern reporting.
Louisiana State Police say a former Baldwin Police officer is under arrest amid allegations he fathered a baby with a 14-year-old girl. Master Trooper Brooks David says they were initially called to investigate 39-year-old Joseph Brent about possible drug dealing in 2013, but they ended up finding more information.


"He possibly was fathering a child with a 14-year-old juvenile," said Brent.

David says detectives couldn't substantiate the narcotics allegation. He says they discovered instead that Brent was living with a minor who was carrying his child. David says the baby was born this month and DNA was collected from all parties.

"Once the DNA samples came back, the results showed Mr. Brent was the father of the child," said David.

David says Brent left his job as a police officer a few months ago unaware that he was under investigation by the state. He says they learned through DNA that the suspect was the father of the teenager's baby.

The suspect was booked into the St. Mary Parish Jail for molestation of a juvenile, malfeasance in office and sexual battery.


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Saints start training camp in West Virginia


White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, has rolled out the red carpet for the New Orleans Saints who begin training camp there today. The Black and Gold will spend the next three weeks getting ready for the upcoming season at the Greenbrier resort.

Kara Dense, with the Greenbrier Convention and Visitor's Bureau, says they were thrilled when the team bus rolled in.
 
"There were people on the streets with signs, balloons, and it was kind of a first opportunity for all the players come and visit with us and see how exited we are that they will be with us for the next few weeks."
 
For the past few seasons, the team has held training camps exclusively at their Meterie facility. Dense says this is a great chance for some out of town Saints fans to watch the team play.
 
The county, home to only 35 thousand people, isn't used to getting big name stars like Quarterback Drew Brees. Dense says the locals are eating it up.
 
"We were so excited. We were following Drew Brees on twitter last night and he ate at one of our local country kitchens in White (Sulfer) Springs. Wow, what great exposure for our area."
 
 
 
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International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo this weekend


The annual International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is underway and thousands of people are expected descend on coastal town to enjoy the festivities.  Anglers from across the area will compete to see who can catch the biggest fish in a number of categories. 
 


 
Property tax clerk for the town of Grand Isle, Bonnie Pizani, says there's a lot more going on than just fishing.
 
"They have events at the pavilion for children.  They have crab races.  They have craft venders, merchandise booths, and the awesome band line-up that we have this year."
 
The fishing rodeo began in 1928 and is informally referred to as the "Mardi Gras of Grand Isle."  Pizani says businesses across the island look forward to the economic boost the thousands of people who attend the event bring every year.
 
"The grocery store will be packed.  The marinas will be packed.  This is our big event of the year."
 
Grand Isle bills the rodeo, which runs through Saturday, as "the oldest fishing tournament in the United States".  Pizani says if you plan to attend, you may want to leave early as traffic tends to creep along Highway 1, the only road that accesses the island.  She says the locals get into the spirit of the rodeo, too.
 
"They'll pop out a pool in their front yard and they'll have little celebration parties at their camp in their front yard after getting in from their fishing and, hopefully, catching the big catch to put on the board."
 
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Wednesday storms in northwest Louisiana claim life of Shreveport woman


The National Weather Service in Shreveport says a bad storm that blew through northwest Louisiana last night left thousands without power and claimed the life of one person. Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford says they saw 60-70 mile per hour winds which downed numerous trees and power lines.

"At one point during the peak of the power outages we had 70,000 people without power," said Hansford.

Hansford says as of early this morning there were still over 50,000 people who did not have power. He says one woman even lost her life.

"A 64-year-old female was struck by a very large tree limb that fell during the height of the storms there yesterday evening," Hansford said.

Hansford says the victim was walking down a street during the height of the storms when the winds really started picking up.

"So she turned around and was heading home, and at the same time a big gust of wind blew threw and downed the limb that fell on top of her," said Hansford. "Unfortunately she later succumbed to her injuries."



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