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This Hour: Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Lafourche council to consider pit bull regulations

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - The Lafourche Parish Council is taking up a measure aimed at regulating the ownership of pit bulls in the parish.

The Courier reports the measure would require pit bull owners to have special permits. The council will consider the measure Tuesday and will take a vote on May 13.

Councilman John Arnold is authoring the legislation and said he wants owners to agree to nurture their dog in a "responsible" manner.

Earlier this month, 4-year-old Mia DeRouen of Houma was killed by a dog police originally identified as a pit bull, though the dog's unusual size has led some to speculate it might be a mixed breed.

Arnold will also discuss creating an animal control officer position for the parish. The sheriff's office currently handles animal calls.


Hancock Co. sends case of dismembered woman to La.

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi authorities say the unsolved death of a dismembered New Orleans Bourbon Street dancer is being turned over to police in Kenner, La., and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office.

Glenn Grannan of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office tells The Sun Herald evidence gathered during the investigation indicates 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart was killed in Kenner before her body parts began to wash ashore in Hancock County in June 2012.

No one has been arrested.

Lockhart was last seen leaving work with a couple identified as persons of interest.

Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez were arrested on unrelated charges and were questioned about Lockhart's disappearance.

Grannan says Sanchez has moved away from Louisiana and Speaks is serving time in a federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender.


Deadlines, meetings set ahead of Jan. BP trial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal court magistrate has issued a seven-page schedule of hearings, conferences and deadlines leading up to January's trial aimed at determining how much money BP will owe in Clean Water Act fines as a result of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Jan. 20 date for the trial was set earlier this year by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (BAHR'-bee-aye). It will be the third phase of litigation to determine penalties arising from the disaster

On Monday, a U.S. magistrate judge issued a lengthy schedule of pre-trial activities, including telephone conferences and deadlines for providing witness and exhibit lists.

Earlier phases dealt with causes of the 2010 rig explosion and estimates of the amount of oil that spewed into Gulf waters as a result of it.


Monroe mayor expects transit contract next month

MONROE, La. (AP) - Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he expects the city to enter into a contract with a management firm to run the city's transit system by the end of May.

The News-Star reports funding for the current management firm, First Transit, expires on April 30. The city council has not renewed the contract.

However, Mayo says First Transit will remain in place for the foreseeable future while the city administration continues to work toward a new contract.

Though he declined to offer details into the negotiations, Mayo has been meeting with city council members over the last several months on different issues.

Mayo said he still prefers keeping First Transit. He says he is still waiting for a list of grievances the council members had against the system.


2 New Orleans firefighters injured in house fire

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Authorities say two New Orleans firefighters are recovering from injuries after a house on fire collapsed and trapped them under debris.

Firefighters say the house was "heavily involved" when the first unit arrived at the unoccupied, single-story structure early Tuesday morning.

Officials tell Times-Picayune firefighters were inside the home attacking the fire when the home collapsed.

The fire department says the home was then evacuated to do a roll call and a rescue team was sent in.

The two firefighters were rescued, taken to a hospital for minor injuries and later released. No other injuries were reported.


West Feliciana schools seek millage increase

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (AP) - West Feliciana Parish voters will consider a 14-mill property tax increase for the public school system when they go to the polls May 3.

If passed, the 10-year, 14-mill property tax for the parish-wide Consolidated School District 1 is expected to bring in an additional $3.8 million annually for the school system.

Superintendent Hollis Milton tells The Advocate if the tax is approved, the money would be used to increase opportunities for high school students to take advanced placement and dual-enrollment classes as well as earn industry-based certification; develop a science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in the schools, add summer programs; and improve academic and athletic facilities.

There are four public schools in the parish.

The school system has more than 2,200 students and 375 employees.


Autopsies determine man, woman in burned-out car

MAURICE, La. (AP) - Autopsies have determined that two bodies found last week inside a burning SUV just south of Maurice were that of a man and woman, but they remain unidentified.

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon said Monday his office and investigators with the state Fire Marshal's Office are aggressively trying to identify the victims found last Wednesday inside a burning mid to late 1990s sports utility vehicle.

Couvillon says the man had a tongue piercing and was wearing a long rope chain necklace with a cross; the woman was wearing a bangle bracelet that says "I Love You More."

Anyone who may have a missing family member or friend who they have not heard from within the last week is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 337-898-4403.


Former Rapides Coliseum official arrested

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputies have arrested former Rapides Parish Coliseum Executive Director Kimberly Neal-Townley after a lengthy investigation into finances at the facility during her tenure.

The Town Talk reports the 37-year-old Neal-Townley was arrested Monday and booked with malfeasance, theft of $1,500 or more, two counts of false accounting, two counts of false accounting and two counts of filing false public records.

A Legislative Auditor's reports stated that Neal-Townley allegedly wrote 14 checks to herself for a total of nearly $16,000 for 560 hours not worked, or for which she was not entitled to be paid, as well as another $15,000 for 538 hours of leave she did not earn.

Neal-Townley resigned in February 2013

It was unclear whether she has an attorney.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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