OPELOUSAS — The mother of a 7-year-old Swords girl struck and killed while crossing U.S. 190 in January has turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Stephanie Fontenot, mother of Ken’Desa Marie Castille, was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail over weekend after turning herself in to state police. Trooper Stephen Hammons says Fontenot was booked with child endangerment.
Castille was crossing U.S. 190 near the La. 752 intersection at around 7:18 p.m. Jan. 28 when two vehicles traveling westbound struck her. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Man tries to steal locomotive’s fuel
METAIRIE — Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 33-year-old New Orleans man for allegedly tried to steal 250 gallons of diesel fuel from a train locomotive in Metairie.
Deputies say railroad police patrolling the Metairie yard around 4 a.m. Sunday spotted a black pickup with two large fuel containers in the bed. The truck was parked next to a Kansas City Southern Railroad locomotive.
Deputies say Ashanti Temple was allegedly pumping diesel out of the locomotive and into the containers. He had already siphoned about 250 gallons worth $792 by the time they arrived.
Temple was booked with theft. He was released on a $2,500 bond.
3 hurt when train collides with SUV
ELTON — Louisiana authorities say three people were hospitalized after a crash involving a train and a sport utility vehicle in Jefferson Davis Parish.
Louisiana State Police say in a news release that 32-year-old Pamela Thomas Thompson, of Elton, was driving the 2000 Ford Expedition Tuesday morning when it when into the path of a Union Pacific freight train. Troopers say Thompson tried to back up but the vehicle was struck on the passenger side and pushed off the track.
Police say none of the occupants was restrained. Thompson and 26-year-old Jennifer Gentry, of Elton, had moderate injuries. A 3-year-old child had minor injuries.
Thompson faces charges of failure to yield to a train, failure to wear a seatbelt and no child restraint.
There were no active warning devices at the crossing.
Retrial dates set for ex-cops
in Katrina case
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has rescheduled the retrials of two former New Orleans police officers charged in the fatal shooting of a man whose body was burned in a car in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.
A retrial is scheduled to start Aug. 26 for David Warren, who shot and killed 31-year-old Henry Glover outside a strip mall less than a week after the 2005 storm.
A retrial for Travis McCabe, who is charged with writing a false report on Glover’s shooting, is set to start Sept. 23.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a retrial for Warren in December, ruling he should have been tried separately from four other officers charged in Glover’s 2005 death.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ordered a retrial for McCabe based on newly discovered evidence.
Lawmaker looking for suggestions
on school safety
BATON ROUGE — A state lawmaker who heads the House homeland security committee is seeking ideas from educators and parents about ways to improve school safety.
Covington Rep. John Schroder has set up a special email address to solicit comments. He’s asking people to send their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schroder’s committee held an earlier hearing to get suggestions from state education leaders and law enforcement officials about how to strengthen school security.
The review is prompted by the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. A gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In addition to the House review of school safety preparations, Gov. Bobby Jindal formed a 13-member study group to look at the issue and offer ideas in advance of the regular legislative session.
Portions of Elmer’s Island to open
BATON ROUGE — State wildlife and fisheries regulators have temporarily opened a section of beach along the Elmer’s Island Refuge.
The open section will include the area at the end of the access road and continue about a half-mile to the east. Road access will open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset seven days a week.
Officials said Tuesday that the temporary opening will be assessed after 10 days, and is subject to reconsideration.
The refuge was closed Aug. 26 in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac. It has remained closed because of road conditions and continual oiling events resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Iberville council discusses new medical facility
PLAQUEMINE — Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. said the parish is set to advertise for bids to build the planned Ochsner Health System medical complex along La. 1 south of Plaquemine.
On Feb. 28, Ourso says the Iberville Parish medical facility is going out for public bid. Construction is expected to cost about $19 million.
When completed, the facility will offer a free-standing emergency department and a full-service Ochsner health center providing primary care and specialty services.
Judges to hear truck stop tiger case
BATON ROUGE — An attorney for a truck stop owner told a Louisiana appeals court that an animal rights group and several individuals had no legal right to file suit in 2010 challenging a Grosse Tete truck stop’s state permit to house a 550-pound tiger at the facility.
But a lawyer representing the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the other plaintiffs countered that Tony poses a threat to the “safety and welfare of the citizens” and that those very citizens, as taxpayers, had the right to contest the permit.
A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal heard the arguments Tuesday. The panel took the arguments under advisement without indicating when a decision would be issued.
Tony has been at Tiger Truck Stop for more than a decade.
Deputies arrest man in ‘92 murder
BATON ROUGE — East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 51-year-old man accused in a 1992 homicide after investigators discovered that fingerprints allegedly link him to the scene of the crime.
Edward Belin was booked Tuesday on one count of principal to first-degree murder.
Belin is accused in the death of Leonard Noriega.
Noriega’s body was badly decomposed and had been bound with an electrical cord and a white cloth.
Autopsy results showed Noriega was bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument and had his skull crushed.
From The Associated Press.