Time range extended for pipeline’s completion in Louisiana
(Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com)
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The range of time has been extended for when an oil pipeline in Louisiana will be finished.
Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Alexis Daniel told The Advocate on Thursday the Bayou Bridge Pipeline’s target completion date now includes anytime during this year’s final three months.
Energy Transfer is the project’s majority owner. It said the pipeline’s construction would be complete by October. But, Daniel says the message it was telling investors since August that the pipeline would be done in 2018’s fourth quarter accidentally wasn’t relayed to its communication team.
She says the timeline was updated in spring when the company was still looking at weather conditions in the Atchafalaya Basin.
Cherri Foytlin says the pipeline’s challengers like her group and environmentalists are the real reason the date may be later.
Allegations of sex discrimination at a Louisiana university
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Complaints of sex discrimination made against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette by nine female athletes include allegations by some of the women of inappropriate behavior by the university’s president and athletic director.
The complaints to the U.S. Department of Education have been released by an attorney for the women, who played softball for the university. All allege that the university denied them the kind of physical training, medical attention and facilities male athletes get. One athlete said President Joseph Savoie made team members uncomfortable by “being drunk and giving inappropriate hugs.”
Another athlete alleges she was groped by Athletic Director Bryan Maggard.
Savoie and Maggard both issued statements vehemently denying the accusations. The university also issued a statement calling the discrimination allegations “patently false and baseless.”
Treasurer: Louisiana has $300M-plus surplus from last year
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s treasurer expects the state to have a surplus topping $300 million from the last budget year.
Treasurer John Schroder said Friday the state recently closed the books on the budget year that ended June 30. Schroder said a cash balance around $400 million remained, although the figure has to be audited and double-checked against outstanding obligations.
When that accounting check is complete, Schroder says he anticipates the official figure will exceed $300 million.
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ spokesman Richard Carbo confirmed Louisiana has a surplus, but he said the exact amount won’t be determined until mid-October. Carbo called it premature for Schroder to discuss a figure.
Under Louisiana’s constitution, surplus dollars can only be spent on certain one-time expenses, like debt payments, construction work and rainy day fund deposits.
Husband arrested in death of wife missing for 7 years
(Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com)
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Officials say a man suspected of killing his wife in Louisiana and then fleeing to Venezuela with their daughter seven years ago has been arrested in Mexico and the daughter safely brought to the U.S.
During a news conference Friday, East Baton Rouge Parish Sherriff Sid Gautreaux called the development a “historic accomplishment.”
Local media reported Thursday that officials had filed an arrest warrant for 43-year-old Oscar Alberto Lozada in the death of Sylviane Lozada, a Belgian national. Her body has not been found.
Investigators said they believe the Venezuela native killed his wife and then fled to his home country with their 4-year-old daughter, Angelina.
The sheriff says the daughter is now in Baton Rouge and the father is in Texas awaiting extradition to Louisiana.
The Latest: North Carolina city gets 23 inches of rain
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — One city in North Carolina has picked up more than 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain in two days from Tropical Storm Florence.
The National Weather Service said on Twitter on Friday night that Morehead City had received 23.04 inches of rain with more heavy rain coming.
Forecasters have issued what they call a a flash flood emergency , saying areas of surrounding Carteret County are flooding that have never flooded before.
Forecasters say it is especially dangerous after dark because people trying to escape may not realize how deep flood water is on roads.
Officials recommend anyone whose home starts to flood get to the highest point they can and call 911.
About 500 people had to be rescued in flooding early Friday in New Bern, which is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Morehead City.
Forecasters say an additional 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain is possible through the night.
$7.2M grant to create SW Louisiana veterans’ cemetery
(Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com)
JENNINGS, La. (AP) — A $7.2 million federal grant is set to create a new veterans’ cemetery in southwest Louisiana.
State Sen. Dan Morrish says the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will provide another $1 million. Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn tells the American Press that people are eager to begin construction.
The cemetery will be on a 12.6-acre (5-hectare) site near the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings. The home’s administrator, Matt Duhon, says it will serve all of Southwest Louisiana from the Texas border to the Atchafalaya basin up to Leesville, 80 miles (129 kilometers) from Jennings.
U.S Sen. Bill Cassidy is a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He says the area’s only veterans’ cemetery now is in Leesville. Others are farther off in Keithville, Rayville and Slidell.
TROPICAL WEATHER-STORM SURGE
AP Explains: How hurricanes unleash lethal storm surges
WASHINGTON (AP) — Storm surges kill more people in a hurricane than anything else. Never mind the winds that rip rooftops from homes. It’s the water — from storm surge, flooding and ocean drowning — that kills nearly 9 out of 10 people in storms like Florence.
A study by the National Hurricane Center found that between 1963 and 2012, nearly half of all of U.S. hurricane deaths were from storm surge — and the rest from all the other threats like wind and surf combined.
Storm surges aren’t walls of water, like a tsunami. Caused by a hurricane’s winds pushing relentlessly onshore, they are more like domes of high water that form from the ocean spreading inland.
The deadliest hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland killed most of their victims with storm surge, including 2005’s Katrina.
TROPICAL WEATHER-SHIFTING SANDS
Beyond hurricanes, rising seas menace barrier island homes
NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (AP) — For the barrier island homes that manage to survive Hurricane Florence’s assault on the Carolina coast, it’s only a matter of time.
The fragile islands just off the U.S. Southeast coast are experiencing some of the fastest rates of sea level rise in the world. By the end of this century, experts project, the ocean will rise more than 6 feet (2 meters) — enough to wash over wide sections of some coastal islands with every high tide.
Coastal property owners in low-lying areas typically rely on federal flood insurance since many private insurers have pulled out of the market. And in North and South Carolina, more than $87 billion in private property is covered by federal flood insurance — leaving taxpayers likely left holding much of the bill as sea levels rise and future natural disasters mount.