TWO LAFAYETTE PARISH RESIDENTS HAVE FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE PARISH COUNCIL, SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS, MAYOR PRESIDENT JOSH GUILLORY AND THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT ALLEGING THAT THE STATE OPEN MEETINGS LAW WAS VIOLATED. LESSI LEBLANC-MELANCON AND DOMINIQUE DUCOTE CLAIM THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS CONFERRED AND DECIDED IN ADVANCE OF A PUBLIC MEETING WHO THEY WOULD APPOINT TO THE LIBRARY BOARD OF CONTROL. ON FEBRUARY NINTH, THE COUNCIL APPOINTED ROBERT JUDGE FOR A VOLUNTEER POST ON THE LIBRARY BOARD, WHO WAS VOCALLY OPPOSED TO A DRAG QUEEN STORY EVENT IN TWENTY-EIGHTEEN. THE LAWSUIT SEEKS CIVIL PENALTIES AND LEGAL FEES.
St. Landry parish is declaring a state of emergency after a tornado killed one person and injured seven in Palmetto on Saturday. St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard says two injured people remained hospitalized on Sunday. One person could have surgery, but both are expected to recover. The National Weather Service said the EF-3 tornado had peak winds of 140 mph and a path that ran for 8.7 miles.
The Louisiana Legislature is opening a regular session that seems more like those of pre-pandemic times. Debates are planned on taxes, sports betting, and other issues far beyond the coronavirus’ aftermath. Lawmakers will haggle over some COVID-19 topics, such as whether to curb the governor’s emergency response authority and possible bans on vaccination mandates. They’ll also try to decide how to divvy up more than $3 billion in new federal coronavirus aid heading to Louisiana, but the agenda for the two-month gathering that begins Monday is broad.
OVER THE WEEKEND, A LAKE CHARLES FAMILY HELD A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR STEVE AND BARBARA RANDOLPH, ONE YEAR AFTER THEY DIED FROM COVID-NINETEEN. THE FAMILY WANTED TO HAVE A PROPER SERVICE WHEN THE STATE EASED THE PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS. THE FAMILY WAS KEPT AWAY FROM STEVE AND BARBARA, BUT THEY STAYED IN THE SAME ROOM AND A PHOTO WAS TAKEN OF THE COUPLE HOLDING HANDS MOMENTS BEFORE THEY PASSED AWAY. THEIR DAUGHTER, ASHLEY BRISCOE, TOLD NEXTAR THE SERVICE BROUGHT A SENSE OF CLOSURE.
POLICE IN CARENCRO ARE LOOKING FOR A MISSING GIRL. SYLVIA MASTERS HAS MORE.
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STATE POLICE HAVE RELEASED THE IDENTITIES OF THE THREE PEOPLE KILLED IN A FOUR VEHICLE CRASH ON I-TEN IN ACADIA PARISH LAST WEEK. STATE POLICE DETERMINED A VEHICLE WAS TRAVELING EAST IN THE WESTBOUND LANES, CAUSING THE CRASH. THE TWO PEOPLE KILLED IN THE WRONG WAY VEHICLE WERE TWENTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD DERREL W. SMITH OF LAKE CHARLES AND TWENTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD KELSIE MURPHY OF CROWLEY. THE THIRD PERSON KILLED IN ONE OF THE OTHER VEHICLES INVOLVED IN THE CRASH WAS TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD SADIE FONTENOT OF EUNICE.
COVID-NINETEEN HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE UP ABOVE THREE HUNDRED AGAIN IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, WHICH COVERS A THREE DAY PERIOD. THERE ARE ELEVEN MORE PATIENTS, MOVING THE TOTAL TO THREE HUNDRED SEVEN. THERE WAS ONE MORE PATIENT ON A VENTILATOR. LOUISIANA HAD THIRTEEN MORE CONFIRMED COVID-NINETEEN DEATHS. THE STATE REPORTED SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO NEW CASES. THAT PUTS THE TOTAL OVER THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE THOUSAND.
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA HAD SEVEN MORE COVID-NINETEEN DEATHS, INCLUDING FIVE IN CALCASIEU PARISH AND TWO IN JEFF DAVIS PARISH. ACADIANA HAD NO NEW DEATHS. THERE WERE ONE HUNDRED FORTY-SIX NEW CASES IN ACADIANA INCLUDING SIXTY-FIVE IN LAFAYETTE PARISH. MEANWHILE SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA ADDED EIGHTY-EIGHT NEW CASES. CALCASIEU PARISH LED THE WAY WITH FIFTY-ONE.