Long stretch of Gulf Coast eyes Tropical Storm Cindy
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Residents and officials along a stretch of the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle to eastern Texas are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Cindy.
The storm formed Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s expected to move slowly toward the Louisiana-Texas line. But the heaviest rain bands were to the east. And the National Weather Service says it poses a threat of dangerous flash flooding.
Forecasters say some areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida could see a foot of rain.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency Tuesday because of the threat of torrential dangerous high tides and rip currents. Other state and local officials along the coast were mulling similar declarations.
FBI to detail findings on Congressional baseball shooting
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI and other law enforcement officials are planning to detail what happened when a gunman shot a top House Republican and four other people on a northern Virginia baseball field.
Leaders of the FBI’s Washington field office will discuss their investigative findings at a news conference Wednesday.
Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was gravely wounded in the shooting last week. He has undergone several surgeries and remains hospitalized. His condition has been upgraded to serious.
Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats when a gunman started shooting. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman, who turned out to be an unemployed home inspector with a deep animus toward President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
ST MARTINVILLE POLICE CHIEF
St. Martinville appoints interim police chief
(Information from: The Daily Iberian, http://www.iberianet.com)
ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (AP) — St. Martinville has appointed an interim police chief, but not without a lot of acrimony.
The Daily Iberian reports the City Council appointed Joseph Nedie to the position until it could be advertised for someone to fill the role permanently.
Nedie replaces Calder Hebert, whose resignation was effective Tuesday.
The motion itself would have passed in less than a minute Monday, but after it was seconded several in the audience yelled several questions, prompting a back-and-forth discussion between Mayor Thomas Nelson, Councilman Mike Fuselier, City Attorney Allen Durand and those in attendance.
Finally, Nelson moved to have a final vote but was cut off again by another audience member.
The final vote was three votes for the appointment and one abstention from recently sworn in Councilman Edmond Joseph.
Rowland named Webster Parish schools superintendent
(Information from: KTBS-TV, http://ktbs.com)
MINDEN, La. (AP) — A product of the Webster Parish School System has been tapped as its leader.
KTBS-TV reports the School Board voted unanimously Monday to Johnny Rowland Jr. as the new superintendent of schools. He replaces Dan Rawls, who retired in April.
Rowland, a graduate of Webster Parish High School, was one of two vying for the position until Monday when the board learned the other candidate, Byron Lyons, of Cleveland, Ohio, had withdrawn his name.
Still, Rowland, who’s served as interim superintendent since Rawls’ sudden departure, had to go through a question-and-answer session with the board prior to the vote.
Rowland’s most recent position was personnel and middle school supervisor. He’s also held roles as principal, coach and teacher over his 25-year education career.
Victims in Louisiana double homicide identified
(Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)
COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The victims of a double homicide in Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish have been identified.
NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports authorities say 34-year-old Donald Gros, of Marrero, and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Jennifer Magee, of Pearl River, were killed Monday at a home in the Pearl River area. Autopsies were conducted Tuesday. Results are being withheld by St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston at the request of the sheriff’s investigators.
The sheriff’s office is seeking the public’s help in locating Jason Magee III who is wanted on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths. The suspect is Jennifer Magee’s ex-husband, who is considered armed and dangerous, although the sheriff’s office said the killings are likely domestic in nature.
Senate confirms Trump’s nominee to head FEMA
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed the nomination of President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The vote was 95-4 on Tuesday for Brock Long. He previously ran Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency and served as that state’s on-scene incident commander during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Long takes over the agency at the beginning of hurricane season. The agency has already managed 41 disaster declarations this year and the Trump administration has proposed cutting nearly $1 billion from the agency’s budget.
More than $500 million in proposed cuts would come from FEMA’s grant programs, including the grants for pre-disaster mitigation efforts.
CHILD CARE AID
Increased demand to cause wait for Louisiana child care aid
(Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com)
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After adding 7,000 children to the rolls, Louisiana is reaching its limit in a key child care aid program and will start a waiting list next month.
The Advocate reports families that apply between now and July 1 can get in without a wait. After that, state officials said Monday the new applicants will head to the waiting list.
The federally-funded Child Care Assistance Program helps pay the cost of child care while their low-income parents are at work, school or in job training. Children receiving the aid can be as old as 12, but most are from birth to five years old.
The Louisiana Department of Education has made changes to bump up use of the program, boosting rolls to 18,000 and growing. Other states have similar waiting lists.
DEAD ZONE FORECAST
Scientists forecast Gulf dead zone the size of New Jersey
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal scientists say this summer could see the third-largest dead zone ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico: a New Jersey-sized area with too little oxygen to support marine life.
Over 32 years, those hypoxic zones have averaged 5,300 square miles (13,700 sq. kilometers), about the size of Connecticut. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a news release Tuesday that this summer’s could be nearly 8,200 square miles (21,200 sq. kilometers).
The main reason is that much more water than usual flowed through streams and rivers, and it carried more nutrients than normal. The nutrients feed plankton blooms that die and sink to the bottom, where their decay uses oxygen.
A study this year found that nonlethal low oxygen levels may slow shrimp growth, making large shrimp more expensive.