U of Minn. professor arrested in La. child case
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An associate professor who taught at the University of Minnesota is under arrest in connection with alleged child exploitation in Louisiana.
The FBI says 62-year-old Woody Dale Branton was arrested without incident at his home in Minneapolis Friday. Branton later appeared in federal court.
The warrant for his arrest was issued in Louisiana.
Branton was hired by the University of Minnesota on Sept. 1, 1988. He's an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience but is not teaching this semester.
A university spokesman says the school is reviewing Branton's employment status.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports court documents say Branton will be kept in custody for a detention and removal hearing set for Wednesday in St. Paul.
La. Legislature opens three-month session Monday
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers kick off their annual legislative session Monday, with lessened budget worries but new disputes on educational standards, medical marijuana and a statewide minimum wage.
The three-month regular session is a free-for-all, with legislators able to consider most any issue - except taxes.
More than 1,500 bills have been 3proposed, ranging from new abortion restrictions and loosened gun laws to renewed debates over Medicaid expansion, teacher tenure and privatization efforts.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's agenda appears light, focused mainly on workforce training efforts to fill petrochemical and manufacturing jobs his administration has drawn to Louisiana.
Meanwhile, lawmakers want to revisit his education policies from years past, putting the Republican governor on defense, trying to keep his signature achievements in place.
The session opens Monday at noon.
WINTER WEATHER-ROADWORK DELAYED
Winter weather delays highway work
MINDEN, La. (AP) - State transportation authorities say work to install cable barriers along Interstate 20 in north Louisiana - delayed by a series of winter storms that dumped ice and snow on the state's northern tier of parishes - may finally get underway soon.
The Minden Press-Herald reports contracts for the work were signed in September 2013.
State Department of Transportation and Development spokeswoman Susan Stafford says crews are waiting for ground and weather conditions to improve, fearing that moving ahead in marginal conditions might lead to later problems.
The project in Bossier and Webster parishes is intended to install protective cable barriers along the median to keep vehicles that skid off the road from overturning or running into lanes of oncoming traffic.
LOUISIANA CLASS 2A-GIRLS' CHAMPIONSHIP
North Caddo girls beat Doyle 80-46 for 2A crown
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Ledetriha Sheppard scored 24 points as North Caddo dominated the first quarter and led wire-to-wire in an 80-46 win over Doyle in the Class 2A state championship game.
The top-seeded Lady Rebels (35-1) made 11 of 14 field goal attempts in the quarter, starting the game with a 16-2 run and outscoring Doyle 26-11 in the quarter. Sheppard made all five of her attempts in the quarter, scoring 12 points.
Sheppard was named the game's Most Outstanding Player.
North Caddo outscored Doyle 22-10 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 27 points. Jasmine Thomas scored nine points in the quarter and finished with 23. Summer Williams added 17 points and 14 rebounds for North Caddo, which was making its first appearance in the state tournament.
Doyle (27-6), the second seed, was led by Taylin Underwood, who scored 29 points.
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