TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Utility crews from across US arrive to help
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Utility crews from as far away as California and Canada have been brought to North Carolina to respond to what could be millions of power outages following Hurricane Florence.
As the crews gathered near the State Capitol in Raleigh on Thursday, dozens of trucks clogged the parking lots and lined the streets. Cherry pickers jutted into the darkening sky, and rusty utility pole drills stood at the ready.
With Duke Energy expecting up to 3 million power outages for its 4 million customers, power companies will need an extra hand.
New Brunswick, Canada-based Holland Power Services says it sent 100 vehicles and more than 250 workers to help Duke’s restoration efforts. A mile-long convoy of repair trucks could be seen moving between staging points in Raleigh.
So far, utilities have reported 80,000 customers without power because of Florence.
SHREVEPORT STABBING DEATH
Woman stabbed 21 times; man convicted, faces life in prison
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A 52-year-old Louisiana man faces life in prison for stabbing a 44-year-old woman to death in his home.
The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office says a jury deliberated 40 minutes Thursday before convicting Raymond George Johnson of second-degree murder in the death of Yolanda Moore.
She was stabbed 21 times. The coroner said three wounds were fatal.
Johnson’s sentencing is scheduled Sept. 27, but the conviction carries an automatic life sentence.
A news release said Johnson called 911 to report a medical emergency on April 29, 2017, but the autopsy indicated Moore had been dead at least an hour before he called.
Police found both Johnson’s and Moore’s blood on the walls, floor and furniture, and blood from both was on a knife found in the front yard.
All 7 state inmates caught after escape from Louisiana jail
TALLULAH, La. (AP) — Corrections officials say they’ve caught all seven state inmates who climbed a perimeter fence to escape from a jail in northeastern Louisiana.
Spokesman Ken Pastorick says the last was caught at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, about 10 hours after the escape from the Madison Parish Detention Center in Tallulah.
The jail is run by a private company called LaSalle Corrections .
Pastorick says three of the men were quickly caught, and officers from four agencies and chase teams from three prisons went after the other four.
ENDANGERED FROG-LOUISIANA LAND
Landowner: Frog habitat decision imperils housing plans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana landowner says his plans for a residential development are imperiled by federal designation of 1,500 acres (600 hectares) of his land as critical habitat for a frog currently found only in Mississippi.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s opening case Oct. 1 will be Edward Poitevent’s (POYT-uh-vent’s) challenge to that designation of critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. While the dark, warty amphibian hasn’t been seen in Louisiana since the 1960s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a network of shallow ponds on Pointevent’s land makes it the frogs’ only potential breeding ground outside Mississippi.
Pointevent calls the designation a land grab. An environmental group says the frog and residential development could easily coexist.
RAPE CASE-APPEALS EXHAUSTED
Conviction upheld for man charged with rape in cold case
(Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com)
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Supreme Court has upheld a man’s conviction of aggravated rape in a decades-old case.
The American Press reports 42-year-old Jonathan Jacito Frank was convicted in 2014 of raping a Lake Charles woman at knifepoint in her apartment in 1994.
He was sentenced then to life in prison and has since exhausted his appeals. His appeals have been repeatedly denied by judges who argue the case centered on DNA evidence that proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The woman reported the assault to police, and the case went cold until Frank pleaded guilty in 2003 to attempted rape in an unrelated case. Officials were then able to connect the imprisoned Frank to the 1994 rape with DNA collected from the assaulted women.
Attorney: 13 allege gender discrimination at UL-Lafayette
(Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com)
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — An attorney says 13 women are pursuing complaints involving gender discrimination against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The Advertiser in Lafayette reports Allison Jones said in a Wednesday news release that nine softball players have filed a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights. They allege they were deprived of appropriate trainers, and that they weren’t provided with the same types of facilities, equipment and supplies that their male counterparts had. At a news conference in Shreveport, Jones said the claims resulted in retaliation, including loss of scholarships.
Jones also said four female professors hired her to file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging harassment and discrimination.
The university issued a statement saying it disputes the claims and will “strongly defend itself” from false allegations.
HORSE THEFT CHARGES
Louisiana man accused of fraudulently obtaining 15 horses
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man is accused of fraudulently obtaining 15 horses, and selling some in Louisiana and others out of state.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry says 30-year-old Jonramon Hatfield Vaughns of Port Allen has been arrested on two warrants on charges of horse theft.
One alleges he got seven horses in St. Landry Parish in March, selling two in Louisiana and taking the rest out of state.
The other alleges he fraudulently obtained eight horses in Evangeline Parish in April, selling them all out of state.
A news release Wednesday did not describe the alleged fraud. It says the horses from St. Landry Parish were valued at $4,000, and those from Evangeline Parish at $10,000.
It was not immediately clear whether Vaughns had an attorney who could comment.
CALIFORNIA AG-SOCIAL MEDIA
California AG to attend Sessions’ meeting about social media
WASHINGTON (AP) — California’s attorney general will attend a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that has been planned to discuss concerns over whether social media companies are “stifling the free exchange of ideas.”
Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s says in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that as the chief law enforcement officer in the nation’s tech capital, he has a “wealth of insight and experience to share.”
The Justice Department has said the Sept. 25 meeting was planned to discuss a “growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition.”
A handful of other attorneys general, including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, are expected to attend the meeting.
Becerra says he looks forward to having a thoughtful conversation with Justice Department officials.