HOUMA — Authorities in Terrebonne Parish say a weekend accident resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.
State police said 33-year-old Robb Martinez of Houma was fatally injured when he failed to negotiate a curve. He was thrown from the motorcycle after striking a utility pole.
The wreck happened shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. Martinez died that evening at Terrebonne General Medical Center.
DHH employee accused of misusing $800K
BATON ROUGE — State health officials say more than $800,000 in public money allegedly has been misappropriated by a Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals employee.
DHH said the theft was uncovered during an internal investigation. DHH’s Bureau of Health Care Integrity began the probe after officials noticed unusual accounting practices involving the employee, whose name has not been released.
DHH says the employee allegedly deposited checks to the department into a non-DHH account and then withdrew the money for personal use. The worker has been put on leave and the DHH is taking steps toward terminating the employee. DHH also will work to recover the funds.
The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney and the state Legislative Auditor’s Office were notified of the alleged theft Friday.
Middle finger light display suit settled
BATON ROUGE — A lawsuit over a Denham Springs woman’s light display, which extended a middle finger to her neighbors, has been settled.
Final dismissal documents were filed in Baton Rouge-based federal court this week.
Sarah Childs said she put up the roof message in November because she believed a neighbor stole her dog. She said police threatened her with fines and arrest because of the lights. She and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sued the city, its mayor and police.
ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman described the final settlement as allowing Childs to keep the lights up without harassment and requiring the city to make a payment to the ACLU to cover legal costs.
“The city agreed to leave her alone and paid $15,000 in attorney’s fees,” Esman said Friday.
Lawyer Brad Myers, representing Denham Springs, said the city’s insurance company covered the cost, and he said city officials continue to deny any harassment ever happened.
“The city agreed not to do what it had not done in the first place,” Myers said in an email.
Esman said Childs moved out of the house a few weeks ago. When she left, she kept the lights on the roof.
Tickets on sale
for Angola rodeo
ANGOLA — Tickets are on sale for the spring rodeo at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Events are scheduled for April 20 and 21.
All seats are priced at $15. The prison gates will open to visitors at 9 a.m. each day.
Rodeo performances begin at 2 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online at the rodeo website, www.angolarodeo.com, or by calling 225-655-2030 or 225-655-2607 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In addition to the inmate competition, prison bands will perform and prison hobby art and craft work will be on display.
Pony rides, carnival games, carousel rides and other activities will be offered for children.
Thibodaux to mark anniversary
THIBODAUX — The city will celebrate its 175th anniversary in March and is planning commemorative ceremonies.
Mayor Tommy Eschete said a program marking the anniversary of the incorporation of the Lafourche Parish city will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 11 on the front lawn at the Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium.
More details are available from the mayor’s office at 985-446-7218.
Museum show salutes Sinatra
NEW ORLEANS — A musical show highlighting the work of singer Frank Sinatra opens March 15 in the Stage Door Canteen at the National World War II Museum.
Performers include Courtney Boe, a member of the museum’s Victory Belles trio, Ryan Fischer, Clint Johnson and Cristina Perez.
They will be accompanied by the museum’s Victory 3 Band.
The cast will cover more than 30 Sinatra songs.
The show, titled My Way after the Sinatra hit song, runs through May 12.
Ticket information is available online at www.stagedoorcanteen.org or by calling 504-528-1943.
1 dead in morning Carencro house fire
CARENCRO — Carencro fire officials say a house fire has killed a 28-year-old man.
Authorities say Shawn Woods was the only person home when the fire was reported about 5:40 a.m. Sunday.
He lived with his father, who was not home.
The Lafayette and Carencro Fire Departments and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire.
A news release says heavy smoke was coming from the eaves and roof when firefighters arrived, and the blaze broke through the roof shortly afterward.
Firefighters had to break in, and found Woods’ body in a bedroom.
Officials say the house did not have any smoke detectors.
Millions in liens filed against casino
BATON ROUGE — Roughly three dozen companies have filed millions of dollars in liens against a Baton Rouge casino that opened in September.
The liens on record in the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office involve disputes between Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and its contractors.
Pinnacle is the parent company of the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge.
Companies that have filed liens include general contractor Manhattan Construction Co.
Four companies have sued Pinnacle, Manhattan or both in 19th Judicial District Court over the past three months.
Wilhite Electric Co. Inc., of Bossier City, has sued both for a total of $8.5 million. The lawsuit alleges that it has been paid $19.1 million but did $27.6 million worth of work.
Terrebonne college plans job fair
SCHRIEVER — Fletcher Technical Community College is planning a job fair Tuesday and Wednesday at which companies in south Louisiana can meet with students who’ve studied in technical and professional disciplines.
The matchmaking event is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday.
The Tuesday fair is set at the school’s Houma campus, 310 St. Charles St., and focuses on technical, marine, nursing and allied health programs.
On Wednesday, the session will be at the college’s main campus at 1407 La. 311 in Schriever. The focus will be on arts and sciences, criminal justice, accounting, office systems, drafting and integrated production technologies.
More details are available online at www.fletcher.edu/jobfair2013.
Donaldsonville to update logo, website
DONALDSONVILLE — The City Council has agreed to contract with two companies to update the city’s logo and Internet presence to step up marketing of the Ascension Parish city.
The council has authorized Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. to sign contracts with two design firms for the logo and website hosting, while contracting with a Donaldsonville resident to maintain information on the city’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
LNG facility planned at Baton Rouge port
PORT ALLEN — Houston-based Waller Marine will build a small-scale liquefied natural gas facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge in Port Allen to supply vessels with the cleaner-burning fuel they will need to keep up with tougher environmental standards.
The facility is small compared with the billion-dollar LNG projects announced in south Louisiana in recent years. Company officials said Thursday Waller Marine plans to spend $200 million initially, though that amount could double as it adds capacity.
Taylor Norton, Waller’s chief general counsel, said the facility would create upward of 300 construction jobs. It will employ 45 people initially and could double that when fully built out.
Norton said Waller Marine wants to have the LNG facility operational within the next year and a half.
The first “train” — industry term for the unit in which the LNG is created from regular natural gas — would have the capacity to produce 450,000 gallons of LNG per day. Three additional trains are planned and would cost about $70 million each, effectively doubling the company’s initial $200 million investment.
The fuel would then be sent by pipelines and put onto barges, which would fuel the ships.
Port Director Jay Hardman said the lease, which is 10 years with two 10-year options, would bring the port $54,000 a year in base rent and, when the facility is running at full capacity with four trains, about $600,000 a year in throughput.
From The Associated Press.