RAYNE — State police are investigating a three vehicle crash on La. 95 north of Interstate 10 which claimed the life of a Eunice man.
The accident happened Sunday around 7:30 p.m.
Troopers say 28-year-old Gerardo Robles of Church Point was driving a truck south on La. 95 and struck the rear of an SUV driven by 58-year-old Mary Dupuis of Scott.
After the initial impact, Trooper Stephen Hammons says Robles’ vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a car, driven by 63-year-old George Fisher of Eunice, head-on.
Fisher was pronounced dead at the scene.
Once he released from the hospital, Robles will be booked with vehicular homicide, six counts of vehicular negligent injury and reckless operation.
Strip club owner
alters trial request
LAFAYETTE — The owner of Desperado’s Cabaret strip club in Carencro has decided he does not want his federal trial moved out of Lafayette after all.
Scott Iles, the Lafayette attorney representing James Panos in federal court, asked last week to withdraw a previous request to move his trial outside of Lafayette.
Panos had claimed publicity in the case would make it difficult to seat an unbiased jury.
In the motion, Iles said that moving the trial out of Lafayette could create a potential hardship for witnesses that the defense may call.
Panos was arrested during a Dec. 5 raid by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He pleaded not guilty in January to a federal charge of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises.
1 killed at Lake Charles nightclub
LAKE CHARLES — A shooting at a Lake Charles nightclub has left one man dead and law enforcement searching for a suspect.
After responding to a call at The Keg early Sunday morning, Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s deputies discovered the body of 33-year-old Quincy James Ledet of Lake Charles.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kim Myers says Ledet was found dead in the parking lot from a gunshot wound to the chest.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 23-year-old Jordan Davis. He faces a charge of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
2 dead following head-on collision
NEW IBERIA — Two men were killed when the vehicles they were driving collided on La. 85 near La. 674 in Iberia Parish.
The accident occurred at 5:32 p.m. Saturday.
State police said 24-year-old Joel Morvant of New Iberia was southbound and attempted to pass another southbound vehicle when he struck a northbound SUV, driven by 54-year-old Gregory Landry of Lafayette, head-on.
Morvant and Landry were pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberia Parish coroner.
A passenger in Morvant’s vehicle, 27-year-old Cody Snyder of New Iberia, was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
Judge revives annexation bid
LAFAYETTE — A state appeals court has revived Henderson’s attempt to annex 46 acres at the Interstate 10 exit west of town.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal this past week overturned a state district judge’s decision to throw out the annexation. The court ruled that the town of Henderson should have a chance to argue at trial that the annexation of an area that includes restaurants, truck-stop casinos and gas stations that could beef up tax revenues was legal.
Mayor Sherbin Collette said he wants to develop the area as a gateway to the town.
“I’m going to make that exit one of the prettiest exits on the interstate,” Collette said.
Henderson annexed the property in 2011 and several businesses sued, contesting the move.
after train collision
SLIDELL — Slidell police say a 53-year-old woman died after turning onto railroad tracks and running head-on into a freight train.
Police say in a news release that Jamii Pizzitolo of Slidell had to be extricated from her car. She was flown late Friday to the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans, where she died.
Police believe impairment may have contributed to the accident.
About an hour before the crash, someone called 911 to report a possible drunk driver in a gold Oldsmobile Alero. Police looked for the car but could not find it.
Pizzitolo was driving a 2004 gold Oldsmobile Alero.
Sunshine Bridge tolls
ST. JAMES— Residents in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes could be shelling out for a new toll to cross the Sunshine Bridge.
State Sen. Troy Brown has been meeting with officials in the parishes to tout his plan to draft legislation during the upcoming legislative session to bring back tolls on the Mississippi River bridge.
The Sunshine Bridge has a long history with tolls. They were collected from its inception until they were suspended in 1979, but were brought back in 1989. The tolls were suspended in 1999.
Brown says a 50-cent toll each way would generate just over $4 million per year. The senator said his plan would split the revenue equally among the state and the three parishes.
School tax is on Terrebonne ballot
HOUMA — As Terrebonne Parish voters ponder whether to raise the property tax collected for schools, officials are laying out plans for construction and renovation projects the increase would pay for.
The School Board wants to increase the property tax it collects by 31 mills. The issue is on the May 4 ballot.
The tax costs the owner of a $150,000 house about $67 a year now; the increase, if approved, would add another $232 to the bill.
The board is set to approve a spending plan at its Tuesday meeting.
The board’s Finance Committee has determined that 11 of the 31 mills would go to construction and renovation projects.
The 11 mills would raise enough money to pay for about $120 million in building projects.
B.R. airport hopes to land cargo carriers
BATON ROUGE — Engineers are designing a new $11 million landing system for Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, one that officials hope will improve safety and help lure cargo carriers to the airport.
Ralph Hennessy, the airport’s assistant director of aviation, said the new system will enable planes to descend farther before deciding whether to attempt to land or not.
With the current system, known in industry parlance as a Category I, Hennessy says pilots have to decide whether to abort a landing when the plane descends to about 200 feet. When the new system — a Category II — is installed, he says planes will be able to descend to about 100 feet before making a decision.
Hennessy says no major cargo carriers are using Baton Rouge’s airport.
From The Associated Press.