in 2 vehicle crash
ABBEVILLE — State police say a 35-year-old man died in a two vehicle crash on La. 339 east of Abbeville.
Troopers say 35-year-old Jamie P. Landry of Abbeville was driving a car north on La. 339 when his vehicle crossed the center line and hit a tractor trailer hauling sugar cane.
Landry was pronounced dead by the Vermilion Parish Coroner.
The truck driver sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
The crash remains under investigation.
2 women charged
with infant cruelty
EUNICE — Two women have been arrested after they allegedly left an infant in their car for 90 minutes while they gambled.
Blair Buller of Eunice and Anna Simoneaux of Rayne, both 29, were booked over the weekend with cruelty to a juvenile.
St. Landry Parish sheriff’s Capt. Megan Vizena said the pair were arrested following a complaint from a concerned citizen who noticed the infant alone in a vehicle at the 24/7 Truck Stop Casino in Eunice.
Vizena said a deputy reviewed the truck stop’s surveillance video, which showed the infant alone in the vehicle for approximately an hour and 30 minutes.
It was unclear whether the women have attorneys.
Natural-gas bus fleet grows in Lafayette
LAFAYETTE — The initiative to transition Lafayette’s bus fleet from diesel fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas is about to get a big boost.
Lafayette has received 12 natural gas-powered buses at no cost from Gwinnett County, Ga., that phased out the units in favor of larger models.
The buses are now undergoing inspections and routine maintenance and should be newly painted and rolling by the spring, said City-Parish Transit and Parking Manager Mike Mitchell.
The buses will add to the existing fleet of five natural gas-powered buses that Lafayette bought new in 2011, and five more new natu-ral-gas buses are on order, said City-Parish Director of Traffic and Transportation Tony Tramel.
Mitchell said the full conversion of the bus fleet to natural gas is not expected until 2020, but Lafayette has taken a big jump over the past two years in switching to what’s touted as a cheaper and cleaner-burning alternative to diesel fuel.
Tramel said another selling point for the effort is that the local oil and gas service industry has been a key player in the discovery and production of what has been a growing supply of natural gas in Louisiana.
“Why shouldn’t we be the model for the state,” he said of the switch to natural gas-powered vehicles.
The use of natural-gas buses should help cut air pollution from exhaust, but a major lure has been the reduction in fuel expenses, Mitchell said.
A regular diesel bus in Lafayette’s transit service uses an average of $4,300 worth of diesel fuel a month, but the monthly fuel cost for a natural gas-powered bus ranges from $1,400 to $1,700, according to estimates from Mitchell.
“We believe we will see a huge benefit in transportation costs,” Mitchell said.
City-parish government has also been converting its normal fleet of vehicles from gasoline to natural gas.
Tramel said 45 vehicles have already been converted and another 20 will be converted before the end of the year.
Terrebonne council to vote on sports complex
HOUMA — The Terrebonne Parish Council is expected to approve this week a long-awaited purchase of property off La. High-way 311 to build the so-called “Field of Dreams” sports complex.
The council meets Wednesday.
The cost of the roughly 114-acre property located on and around the existing soccer fields near the Terrebonne Lakes subdivision is about $2.1 million. The money comes from Recreation District 2-3 and the parish’s general fund.
Terrebonne Parish Manager Al Levron said if the proposal is approved the parish would be in a position to close the deal before the end of the year.
The Danos and Bollinger families, who own the subdivision, each own sections of the property.
Acquiring the land is the first step in moving forward with the development of the sports complex, which has been discussed for years, Levron said. It will be designed by Joseph Furr Design Studio, a Baton Rouge firm specializing in landscape designs and sports com-plexes.
“Under this proposal, the parish would purchase the property, and we would enter a cooperative-endeavor agreement with Recreation District 2-3. And they will develop the complex over time,” Levron said.
Gary Beeson, Recreation District 2-3 president, said the district budgeted about $1 million so far to start the construction of phase one, which involves building five softball fields.
Phase two of the complex involves building five baseball fields, he said. The baseball and softball fields in other locations will remain for now.
“We’re hoping to break ground on this by April,” Beeson said.
A contractor hasn’t been selected, but a bid will go out once the property is purchased, he said.
Man struck, killed by SUV in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge police say a 75-year-old man was killed when he was struck by an SUV while trying to cross the street.
The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Highland Road.
Police says Mark Deshotels was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
The accident remains under investigation.
retire amid probe
of online posts
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal prosecutor demoted for anonymously posting comments on a newspaper’s website has retired.
A Justice Department spokesman said Monday that Jan Mann and her husband, fellow prosecutor Jim Mann, both retired from the U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans.
Jan Mann was former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s top assistant before he demoted her last month. Letten resigned earlier this month amid a Justice Department probe of comments that she and another prosecutor, Sal Perricone, posted on nola.com, The Times-Picayune’s companion website.
Perricone resigned in March after acknowledging he criticized judges and politicians and commented on cases in his posts. Mann didn’t admit posting comments until after a defamation suit was filed against her by the owner of a landfill at the center of a federal probe.
Cab driver fatally shot during robbery
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans police are investigating the fatal shooting of a cab driver.
Police say the 56-year-old driver was found death is his taxi shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.
Police believe the cab driver was shot during a robbery.
The victim’s name has not been released.
From The Associated Press.