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

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State police investigate homicide in Tallulah

TALLULAH, La. (AP) - State police suspect that a body found in Tallulah is that of a homicide victim.

The News-Star reports the body was discovered between 3 and 4 a.m. Monday near a motel.

Authorities say the body was badly burned, and investigators are working to confirm an identity.

No further details have been released.


Coroner: Fleeing Gonzales man drowned

GONZALES, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Coroner's Office says the autopsy of a man who drowned last week in Bayou Francois while running from police turned up no evidence that the man had been injured by officers before he went into the water.

Coroner John Fraiche said in a statement there was no indication of any injury caused by law enforcement in the death of 25-year-old Jerrick Lane, of Gonzales.

Gonzales Police Sgt. Steven Nethken told The Advocate last week that Lane fled as officers arrived to investigate a report of a man assaulting a woman.

Nethken says officers followed Lane into the bayou, but were unable to locate him.

Gonzales Fire and Rescue personnel found Lane's body a short distance from where he jumped.


Westwego renews Reflex traffic camera contract

WESTWEGO, La. (AP) - Westwego's City Council has voted to extend the city's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Arizona company that provides equipment designed to slow motorists down.

The council's unanimous vote on Monday directs Mayor Johnny Shaddinger to renew the contract Westwego has had with Redflex since 2009 for the traffic cameras.

Police Chief Dwayne Munch, who is credited with bringing the program to the city, acknowledged it is controversial.

Munch tells The Times-Picayune Westwego has seen an 80 percent drop in accidents with injuries on Lapalco Boulevard.


Woman faces cruelty charges

MONROE, La. (AP) - Police say a 39-year-old Monroe woman has been arrested on charges of cruelty to a juvenile.

The News-Star reports police arrested LaToria Winder on Monday after a complaint was filed Thursday regarding extensive marks and bruising on a 12-year-old girl.

Police say the marks, which were on the child's buttocks and body, were in various stages of healing.

Investigators found that the abuse happened after the victim reportedly had stolen items at school.

The girl's mother died in 2013, and she has been in Winder's custody since then.

It was unclear whether Winder has an attorney.


Regional health group expands into more parishes

MONROE, La. (AP) - Northeast Delta Human Services Authority has joined efforts with Franklin Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Morehouse Community Medical Centers to provide services for patients who need both behavioral and primary health care.

Under the agreement, Northeast Delta will accept appropriate referrals from the Franklin hospital district and Morehouse medical centers to provide major mental health and substance abuse disorder services. The Franklin district and Morehouse centers will accept appropriate referrals from Northeast Delta to provide primary health and dental care services to patients who do not require services for serious mental illnesses.

Northeast Delta Human Services Authority director Dr. Monteic Sizer tells The News-Star he hopes the partnership will serve as a model for other health care providers.


Man charged with killing prisoner

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A man alleged to have killed another man in jail has pleaded not guilty in state district court.

The American Press reports 41-year-old Shahron Anthony Prater pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter and requested a jury trial.

A case management conference was set for Oct. 26 by Judge Clayton Davis.

Prater is accused of killing 35-year-old Damon Lee Jones during an altercation at Calcasieu Correctional Center on July 26, 2013.

Prosecutors say Prater punched Jones, who fell and hit his head. It was first believed that Jones was the instigator, but authorities now believe Prater was the aggressor.

Authorities said there were several witnesses to the incident.


State police: Texting causes truck-bus crash

GILLIS, La. (AP) - An accident involving a Calcasieu Parish school bus and a pickup truck sent one student and the bus driver to the hospital.

State Police Sgt. James Anderson tells the American Press the accident happened Monday on U.S. Highway 171 in Gillis.

Anderson says 19-year-old Tyler Moses, of Longville, was traveling south when he crashed into the stopped bus.

Anderson says Moses is believed to have been using a cellphone while driving, which is suspected to be the cause of the crash.

Kirby Smith, Calcasieu Parish School Board spokeswoman, said a student and bus driver were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

Moses was issued citations for careless operation, texting while driving and failure to stop for a school bus.


Police: Woman accidentally drown in Lafayette park

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Lafayette authorities have ruled out foul play in the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found in Girard Park over the weekend.

Sgt. Randal Leger, spokesman for the Lafayette Police Department, tells The Advertiser the cause of death has been determined to be accidental drowning.

Leger said an investigation is still ongoing. Police are trying to determine why Alexandria Shelton was at the park Saturday night.

Leger says Shelton last spoke to friends around 8:30 p.m. Saturday and made plans to meet up with them. According to Grambling State University, where Shelton was a student, she was expected to attend a goodbye party for a friend.

Police found Shelton's body in a drainage ditch near the Girard Park pond around 12:10 a.m. Sunday.

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

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