Louisiana news briefs
Port Allen council fails to override budget veto
PORT ALLEN (AP) — The Port Allen City Council has failed to override Mayor Demetric Slaughter’s veto of the council’s $8.5 million 2013-14 fiscal year budget after it was unable to muster the two-thirds majority required to reverse the mayor’s decision.
The city is nearly five months late approving a new spending plan for 2013-14.
The city has been operating on 50 percent of the revenue from the 2012-13 fiscal budget, which officials said previously will start running out next month.
Council members Hugh Riviere, R.J. Loupe and Garry Hubble voted in favor of overriding Slaughter’s veto of the 2013-14 budget as it had been amended by the council. Council members Ray Helen Lawrence and Brandon Brown voted in opposition.
A 4-1 vote was required to override Slaughter’s veto.
In her veto message, Slaughter said she rejected the council’s amended version of her budget because it stripped her spending plan of funding needed for several capital outlay projects to repair, maintain and improve the city’s infrastructure.
Stepmom found guilty
in child abuse trial
LAKE CHARLES (AP) — It took a Lake Charles jury just under 1 1/2 hours to convict a 31-year-old woman of abusing her stepson.
The jury of eight men and four women found Jaime Brooks Day guilty on Wednesday of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.
Prosecutors accused Day of brutally abusing and starving her stepson, who reportedly weighed 38 pounds at 9 years old when he was taken from the Days in early 2010.
Day faces up to 40 years in prison when she is sentenced on Dec. 10.
Day was arrested in March 2010, along with her husband, Murry Day. Murry Day was in court for Wednesday’s testimony and the verdict.
DeRosier said that Murry Day “will face his criminal charges.”
Jaime Day’s stepson, who turned 13 during the trial, testified that Day starved him and brutally abused him. He said she hung him upside down by his ankles in the bathroom; burned him on the back with a sock full of rice; had his younger half brother help her Saran-wrap him to his bed; hit him in the face with a dustpan; threw a screwdriver at him while he was bathing; burned him with a blow dryer; and made him eat a handful of salt.
Man, baby die in shooting near New Orleans bridge
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man and his 7-month-old son were fatally shot in an apparent ambush near a New Orleans bridge spanning the Mississippi River, and authorities are offering a $15,000 reward for tips leading to whoever shot them.
Gang activity may be behind the shooting of DeShawn Butler, 25, and his son, DeShawn Kinard, Police Chief Ronal Serpas said Thursday.
The FBI and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are contributing $5,000 each to the reward, with $5,000 from the Crime Stoppers organization.
Police said someone opened fire Wednesday night on the black Honda Accord in which Butler and Kinard were back-seat passengers. The driver then pulled over near the toll plaza of the Crescent City Connection bridge, where the man was pronounced dead. The baby died later at a hospital.
The gunfire is believed to have come from a black sport utility vehicle with at least two people inside, Serpas said at a news conference. Butler was hit four times; his son, once.
Police do not have a named suspect but believe the shooter knew Butler. Police would not say whether Butler had been armed.
Lafayette board to discuss $386M in school repairs
LAFAYETTE (AP) — The Lafayette Parish School Board will discuss more than $386 million in campus-by-campus building and repair needs and ways to fund them during a facilities-focused retreat set for Saturday.
The retreat is open to the public school board office.
The board will discuss a volunteer advisory group’s recommendation to pay for facility needs through new taxes, which will require voter approval.
The group, called the community education plan committee, recommended that the board ask voters to support a combination of property and sales taxes to pay for not only school construction and repairs, but also instructional programs.
2 accused of conspiracy
in Vermilion crash
LAFAYETTE (AP) — State police have arrested two people who investigators believe switched seats after a wreck in Vermilion Parish that sent one of them to the hospital with injuries.
Troopers say 23-year-old Kristian Hebert, of Gueydan, and 27-year-old Carrie J. Sensat, of Egan, were booked Thursday on allegations including criminal conspiracy and injuring public records after a hit-and-run crash, which remains under investigation.
State police investigated a single-vehicle wreck on La. 91 on Nov. 10.
Troopers spoke with Hebert, who claimed to be the driver.
The pickup veered off to the right side of the road, hit an embankment and overturned several times.
After investigating, troopers discovered there were three other people in the truck and the driver was actually Sensat.
Surgery for bald eagle
with broken wing
SHREVEPORT (AP) — Veterinarians don’t know how a bald eagle found in a Sabine Parish ditch wound up with a broken wing. But there’s no evidence of a bullet wound, says Ginger Guttner, spokeswoman for the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
The eagle was scheduled for surgery today at the vet school in Baton Rouge, followed by rehabilitation there, Guttner said.
The length of rehabilitation time depends on how successful the surgery is, she said.
If the bird can be returned to the wild, veterinarians and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will return it to the general area where it was found.
Choctaw-Apache Tribe Assistant Chief Jake Rivers — a sheriff’s deputy who helped capture the eagle — hopes that will happen.
The bald eagle is one of the “most sacred things in my world,” Rivers said.
Rivers got a call about the crippled bird from someone in the Aimwell community. Even though it couldn’t fly, it was hard to catch.
Rivers said he kept it from leaving until wildlife agents arrived with a net.
Once the eagle was in a pet carrier, the agents could tell the injury wasn’t severe, said Adam Einck, spokesman for the department’s enforcement division.
Veterinarians will try to determine the cause of the injury.
About eight to 10 injured bald eagles come to LSU’s veterinary school each year, Guttner said. She said birds make up most of the 1,800 injured wild creatures brought to the school annually.
Bald eagle nests are common along Toledo Bend Reservoir, where the large birds feed on fish along the water’s edge, and along Louisiana’s coastal marshes.
Bald eagles and their feathers are considered a sacred part of the Native American culture. The birds, believed to have a direct connection to God, represent strength and freedom, while their feathers are symbols of prayers being carried to the creator.
“When a Native American is presented with an eagle feather, it is equivalent to receiving the Purple Heart. It’s that sacred,” Rivers said.