A LAFAYETETE WOMAN AND SEVERAL PETS WERE KILLED IN A HOUSE FIRE EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. AT AROUND ONE A-M, 65-YEAR-OLD MADELINE MCQUADE, WHO LIVES ON PALMETTO DRIVE, CALLED 9-1-1 TO REPORT HEAVY SMOKE IN HER HOUSE. WHEN FIREFIGHTERS ARRIVED, THEY FOUND MCQUADE AND TRANSPORTED HER TO THE HOSPITAL IN CRITICAL CONDITION, WHERE SHE LATER DIED. INVESTIGATORS DETERMINED THAT THE FIRE WAS STARTED ACCIDENTALLY WHEN A CIGARETTE IGNITED A CHAIR.
THE CALCASIEU PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE HOMOCIDE, ACCORDING TO SPOKESWOMAN KIM MYERS. A PARISH WORKER FOUND THE BODY OF A MAN IN A WOODED AREA NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF BUD BENNET AND CREEK ROADS IN STARKS. THE BODY HAS NOT YET BEEN IDENTIFIED. THE CALCASIEU PARISH CORONER IS TRYING TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH.
THE EVANGELINE PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS SEARCHING FOR A THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL, WHO IS BELIEVED TO BE WITH HER GRANDMOTHER. THE FATHER OF SOPHIE SIDWELL AGREED TO ALLOW HIS DAUGHER TO GO WITH THE GRANDMA, CAROL DENISE CLARK, LAST FRIDAY TO ATTEND AN AUNT’S BIRTHDAY GATHERING, AND SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO RETURN HER THE NEXT DAY. THE FATHER TOLD THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE THAT THE LAST CONTACT HE HAD WITH CLARK WAS ON SUNDAY, AND THEY ISSUED A WARRANT FOR SIMPLE KIDNAPPING. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON SOPHIE OR CLARK’S WHEREABOUTS IS ASKED TO CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 363-21-61.
There’s an unwanted record in the Gulf of Mexico: This year’s “dead zone,” where there’s too little oxygen to support marine life, is the biggest ever measured.
Scientists say the oxygen-depleted region is about the size of New Jersey, covering 8,776 square miles. Scientist Nancy Rabalais (RAB-uh-lay) Rabalais says the area was actually larger, but the mapping cruise had to stop before reaching the western edge. Studies based on nitrogen and phosphorus in the Mississippi River had predicted one of the largest dead zones ever.
PARENTS OF LAFAYETTE PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL HAVE TWO OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET WITH SCHOOL STAFF TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT BUS TRANSPORTATION FOR THIS YEAR. IN ORDER TO SAVE MONEY, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM REDUCED THE NUMBER OF BUS ROUTES, GOING FROM ABOUT 335 LAST YEAR TO LESS THAN 290 ROUTES THIS YEAR. STAFF WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE ROUTE INFORMATION ON FRIDAY AND MONDAY, FROM 7:30 TO 4:30 EACH DAY. THE SESSIONS WILL BE HELD AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING, LOCATED AT 113 CHAPLIN DRIVE IN LAFAYETTE.
An agreement has resolved a lawsuit that challenged a now-retired federal judge’s mental and physical capacity to manage her personal and financial affairs. A magistrate who served under U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi in Lake Charles filed the lawsuit in April after Minaldi took medical leave to get treatment for severe alcoholism. A court filing last week said Minaldi and the magistrate had “reached an accord” and wanted the case to be dismissed, with Minaldi bearing the unspecified costs of the proceedings. Minaldi’s disability retirement took effect on Monday.
SOME RESIDENTS ON OHLENFORST ROAD IN RAYNE ARE COMPLAINING THAT THEY ARE BLOCKED IN BY ROAD CONSTRUCTION. ON ONE SIDE THE OHLENFORST BRIDGE IS OUT AND ON THE OTHER, THEY FACE HEAVY DELAYS CAUSED BY ROAD CONSTRUCTION ON HIGHWAY 98. A PILOT CAR IS USED TO GUIDE VEHICLES THROUGH THE CONSTRUCTION SO THEY DON’T GET INTO WORK ZONES. PARISH ROAD MANAGER PEEWEE SCHEXNIDER TELLS KATC TV IT COULD BE ANYWHERE BETWEEN TWO WEEKS TO LESS THAN A MONTH BEFORE CONSTRUCTION DELAYS CLEAR UP.
As they scraped together dollars to fill gaps in last year’s budget, Louisiana lawmakers relied on $36 million from a state escrow account tied to ongoing tax litigation. But those dollars can’t be spent while the lawsuits are unresolved — and much of the money earmarked for spending in the budget year that ended June 30 remains inaccessible, leaving that fiscal year out of balance. A $7.8 million transfer was made Tuesday evening after settlement of some litigation. Obligations tied to escrow money not moved by the mid-August close of books shift to the current financial year.