HOMER — Claiborne Parish authorities say two people died from carbon monoxide poisoning while in a pop-up camper
Sheriff Ken Bailey said 50-year-old Paul Pitts and 47-year-old Linda Scott were pronounced dead Sunday. Authorities say they fell asleep and never woke up.
Bailey says the victims were found in a pop-up camper that was inside a metal building near the Summerfield community northeast of Homer.
He says a generator was being used to power an electric heater. The generator was inside the building.
Woman escapes from prison
ST. GABRIEL — Authorities continue their search for an inmate who escaped the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at St. Gabriel.
Department of Public Safety and Corrections spokeswoman Pam Laborde said 33-year-old Keana Barnes escaped around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Laborde said the escape is the first at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women since 1985.
She says authorities are not sure how Barnes escaped.
Barnes was serving a 25-year sentence for manslaughter in 2004. Laborde said Barnes is considered armed and dangerous.
in B.R. murders
BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge experienced a 4.7 percent increase in the number of murders in 2012 from 2011. That’s according to preliminary statistics released Tuesday by the police department.
According to unofficial statistics, police spokesman Lt. Don Kelly said there were 67 homicides within Baton Rouge city limits in 2012, up from 64 in 2011.
That number is down from 69 homicides in 2010 and 75 in 2009.
Kelly said those numbers could change when the department releases its official numbers to the FBI.
Kelly said that in the first eight months of 2012, there was an average of more than seven murders a month and that number decreased to 2.5 murders a month in the final four months.
Man, 83, stabbed to death
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans police are investigating the fatal stabbing of an 83-year-old man inside his senior living apartment.
Officer Garry Flot said in a news release the man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of family, was found by a security guard at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Flot said the victim had been stabbed multiple times and died on the scene.
Parish may scrap private trash collection
NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury is considering a proposal that it take over local garbage collection from a private contractor.
The police jury has been told by a consultant that it could save about $4.9 million within the first eight years of operating a residential garbage collection program.
The parish currently contracts its twice-a-week trash collection with Progressive Waste Solutions. More than 9,800 residential homes are served by the company.
The police jury is faced with a 4 percent increase in garbage collection as it considers renewing the contract with Progressive. If approved, residential monthly fees for garbage collection would go from $18 to $18.72.
In September, Progressive said it would save about $1.1 million over a new five-year contract by reducing residential trash collection to a once-a-week. The savings would take effect if the police jury renegotiated the new agreement before Jan. 31.
“A lot of other communities around us are doing exactly that,” said parish administrator Jim Bello. “It’s kind of a luxury to have twice-a-week pickup now.”
Bello said the contract with Progressive expires in February of 2014.
The report from consultant John Nix, which forecast spending over eight years, says the parish will need to spend nearly $800,000 in the first year of an in-house program with once-a-week trash pickup. The first year cost estimates includes employee salaries, equipment and truck maintenance as well as expenditures for fuel and insurance.
of bridge danger
LAKE CHARLES — Louisiana transportation officials say boaters should be cautious but they do not have to avoid going under the Interstate 210 bridge.
The protective netting extends across the main channel and about 125 feet beyond the channel to the east and west.
Steve Jiles, the state Department of Transportation and Development’s district administrator, says a safety advisory could be in place for about three months or until a contract is awarded to chip away any remaining loose concrete.
Jiles says DOTD officials have not received any reports of injuries from the falling concrete pieces.
E.B.R. mayor Holden begins 3rd term
BATON ROUGE — East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden rang in the New Year shortly after midnight Monday and at the same time was officially sworn into office for his third term.
Holden plans a day of inaugural activities on Friday, all open to the public.
Rannah Gray, a spokeswoman for Holden, says the mayor will start at 8:30 a.m. Friday with an interfaith service at St. Joseph Cathedral.
At 10:30 a.m. Holden will be inaugurated at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts at 220 St. Louis St. where he will take the oath of office in a public ceremony.
Nicholls upgrades website features
THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University officials say upgrades to the university’s website should make it easier for prospective students to apply.
Officials say students can research scholarship information, make formal application for admission to the university and track the process of an application.
More information is available online at www.nicholls.edu/apply.
HOUMA — Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2013 on a pedestrian bridge over Bayou Terrebonne in Houma.
The bridge is one of a few projects city officials hope will move from planning to reality in the coming year.
Capital Projects Manager Jeanne Bray said it will be similar to the one by the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum.
Woman booked with attempted murder
LAFAYETTE — Police say a 37-year-old Lafayette woman faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly slitting a man’s throat.
Officers were dispatched to a home shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday and found Chandra Hamilton standing outside.
According to the arrest affidavit, Hamilton told officers that “the victim’s throat was cut and she did it.”
Police say the man was found inside with an approximate 3 inch cut to his throat.
Hamilton is being held on $150,000 bond.
From The Associated Press.