Louisiana news briefs
Thibodaux readies new zoning plan
THIBODAUX (AP) — Thibodaux officials will present a draft zoning map to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday.
The presentation will take place during a 5 p.m. public hearing at the Thibodaux Civic Center.
The draft can be viewed online at the city’s website, ci.thibodaux.la.us.
Houma police get funding
HOUMA (AP) — Houma police have received approval to use hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and state funding to upgrade operations.
Chief Todd Duplantis said two grants will fund operations while the state funding will go toward purchasing police cruisers.
The Terrebonne Parish Council this past week approved using more than $184,000 to buy seven patrol cars.
Duplantis said the department should take delivery in a few months.
The cars will replace existing vehicles in the department’s 90-unit fleet.
“We take out the old and put the new in,” Duplantis said.
The state Highway Safety Commission also gave the department a grant of about $105,000 for traffic safety. Another grant of about $10,400 grant from the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement will be used to help crime victims.
The department routinely replaces its cars, which tend to accumulate miles fast.
Patrol cars are used for six or seven years. On an average 12 hour shift, police say an officer drives between 50 and 75 miles.
Tax preparer sentenced
to 18 months in fraud case
ALEXANDRIA (AP) — A Natchitoches tax preparer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for her part in a scheme in which she received kickbacks for helping customers prepare false returns so they would get inflated refunds.
Lashanda E. Harris was sentenced Friday to the prison term and a year of supervised release for aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return.
Evidence presented at Harris’ guilty plea in October showed that she had helped customers prepare false, all of which had false information about W-2s, federal tax withholdings, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
The false returns allowed customers to receive more than $100,000 in fraudulent tax refunds. Harris would receive kickbacks from the customers for preparing the returns.
Lafayette charter school receives applications
LAFAYETTE (AP) — More than 80 students have applied to attend Willow Charter Academy, one of three new charter schools planned to open in Lafayette Parish for the upcoming school year that starts in August.
The school is part of Louisiana Achievement Charter Academies, a small network of schools managed by the charter management company, National Heritage Academies.
Enrollment in the school is open to any Louisiana student in grades K-5. A total of 492 seats are available at the school in August, if the number of applicants exceeds available seats, students will be selected by lottery. The school plans to expand each year to add additional grades through grade eight.
Restored WWII fighter
plane in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — World War II Gen. Claire Chennault’s granddaughter is in New Orleans to see a fighter plane lifted into the National World War II Museum to represent Chennault’s famed Flying Tigers.
Nell Calloway came from Monroe, where she’s director of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum.
Coming from Los Angeles are workers who rebuilt the wrecked Curtiss P-40E — the last model the 1st American Volunteer Group flew in China and Burma.
Flyboys Aeroworks head Rolando Gutierrez says they made most parts from scratch.
The plane flew in the Aleutian Islands.
moves closer to reality
LIVINGSTON (AP) — Plans for a proposed general aviation airport in Livingston Parish are progressing with state and federal authorities signing off on the project and parish officials moving toward site selection.
Parish President Layton Ricks said the proposed airfield would include a single runway of 5,000 feet to 5,400 feet and would accommodate small, private planes and corporate jets but not large jets.
The state Department of Transportation and Development’s aviation section and the Federal Aviation Administration have approved the project. In mid-January the parish entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the state Office of Facility Planning and Control to manage the $100,000 in capital outlay funds appropriated for the airport.
Work to start
on Terrebonne complex
HOUMA (AP) — The groundwork for the planned Terrebonne Parish government complex is complete, and officials are getting closer to starting construction.
Parish Capital Projects Administrator Jeanne Bray said workers have finished the roads, pipes and water lines that will connect the site to the parish grid, which means ground will be broken soon for new buildings.
She says design plans for the new juvenile detention center, the animal shelter and a Public Works Department yard are in their final stages. Design plans for the Office of Emergency Preparedness are in the early stages.
The facilities will sit on the new the 30-acre parish complex, located off La. 24 north of the U.S. 90 overpass in Gray.