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Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. CDT

Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. CDT
Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 1:23 AM CDT
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VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA

Louisiana health officials probe COVID-19 clusters

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana health regulators have tied at least 100 cases of the new coronavirus to bars near LSU in Baton Rouge and report a new cluster of the illness in the Orleans Parish area. The state Department of Public Health said Friday that bars in an area near the campus called Tigerland are believed to be a major contributor to the outbreak in Baton Rouge. New Orleans health officials are investigating another COVID-19 outbreak that is likely linked to a New Orleans graduation party.  Statewide, numbers are rising both in cases and hospitalizations. As of Saturday, the state reported 49,385 cases of the disease with almost 3,000 deaths.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA COLLEGES

$24M in virus refunds planned to Louisiana college students

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana colleges are returning at least $24 million to students because the academic year was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Among the largest figures, LSU is doling out $4.4 million in refunds. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is sending back $3.8 million, and Southern University in Baton Rouge is returning $3.5 million to its students. The figures were discussed Wednesday by the Board of Regents. The Advocate reports most of the refunds cover charges for housing, since students had to vacate their dorms and on-campus apartments about two months before the scheduled end of the school year. Refunds also cover some meal plans reimbursements.

AP-MS-HEROIN SENTENCE

Louisiana man gets 11+ years for Mississippi heroin delivery

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A 61-year-old Louisiana man has been sentenced in Mississippi to more than 11 years in federal prison for heroin dealing. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Hattiesburg says Peter Oliver Henry of Chalmette was sentenced by District Judge Sul Ozerden to 11 years and 3 months in prison. A news release says he was arrested on June 4, 2019, while delivering 4 ounces of heroin to someone in Gulfport, Mississippi. He pleaded guilty in December to drug trafficking.

TEACHER-DIVERSE AUTHORS

Teacher pushes for more diverse authors in reading lists

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A middle school English teacher in Lafayette is pushing for more diversity in the authors who his students are reading. The Advertiser reports that Jacob Leger is a teacher at the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy. He told the newspaper that when his department was being trained on the new English curriculum educators realized most of the 23 authors were white men. Leger was troubled by that because it doesn’t leave a lot of room to tell other stories. The teacher has started an online petition to get the curriculum changed and has met with local and state officials to push for changes.

AMERICA PROTESTS-THE LATEST

The Latest: Nevada officials seek removal of McCarran statue

Democratic members of Nevada’s congressional delegation are renewing a proposal to remove a statue of former Nevada Sen. Patrick McCarran from the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, saying that he left a “legacy of racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia.” Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto and Reps. Steven Horsford, Dina Titus and Susie Lee made the request in a letter to Gov. Steve Sisolak and legislative leaders. The letter says McCarran supported workers’ rights and helped shape the air travel industry, but that his statue should be replaced with one of a person who better represents Nevada’s values “as a compassionate, diverse and welcoming state.”

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA NURSING HOMES

Louisiana gets tougher with nursing homes over virus testing

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s health department has toughened its coronavirus testing requirements for nursing homes. The agency is telling the facilities that they must regularly test residents and workers for COVID-19 or face financial penalties from the state. The bolstering of protections for the state’s most vulnerable comes after some Louisiana nursing homes didn’t follow earlier voluntary testing standards recommended by the state Department of Health. Several facilities refused to provide any information about their testing plans to the agency. Nursing homes account for more than 40% of Louisiana’s COVID-19 deaths. Louisiana fell short of its goal to test all nursing home residents and workers by the end of May.

PEOPLE-HURRICANE CHRIS-ARREST

Rapper Hurricane Chris arrested for murder in Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Rap artist Hurricane Chris has been arrested on a murder charge in Louisiana. Shreveport Police say the rapper was arrested Friday after an early-morning shooting at a gas station. In a news release, police say the rapper claimed self-defense after shooting a man he thought was trying to steal his car. But they say video footage appears to show otherwise, and the car was reported as stolen from Texas. Online jail records don't indicate if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. The 31-year-old rapper is known for the hit “A Bay Bay.” His real name is Christopher Dooley Jr., and he hails from Shreveport.

FORMOSA PLASTICS-SLAVE CEMETERIES

Juneteenth at slave cemetery: loved, though names unknown

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Community and environmental groups have held a Juneteenth ceremony at a Louisiana site archaeologists have described as probably a cemetery for enslaved Africans Americans when the land was a plantation. Organizer Sharon Lavigne said afterward that she felt like “the ancestors were shouting for joy in heaven.”  The site is part of a much larger one where a local member of Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group has begun construction on a $9.4 billion chemical complex. Father Vincent Dufresne of the Catholic church in nearby Convent prayed for those buried there.