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

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La. attorney joins in appeal of Ind. marriage case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana's attorney general has joined his counterparts in eight other states in supporting an appeal of a ruling that found Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

A copy of the brief filed in the case was released Friday by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office.

It cites last year's Supreme Court decision that struck down a federal prohibition against recognizing legal gay marriages. That same decision, the brief asserts, upheld the right of states to define marriage.

Gay marriage supporters cite the same ruling in some of their arguments.

In Louisiana, where a federal judge is weighing the state's same-sex marriage ban, supporters of gay marriage say the ban denies constitutional equal protection to same-sex customers.


2 pit bulls attack woman on walking trail

SLIDELL, La. (AP) - Police say a woman walking her miniature collie on a trail near Slidell was attacked by two pit bulls.

Authorities say it happened shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday near Hunters Point Road, when the pit bulls approached her and began attacking her dog. When she tried to stop them, authorities say, they turned on her.

Someone living near the trail heard the woman screaming for help and fired a shot, striking and killing one of the dogs. The other pit bull was also injured but ran off.

Police said Friday the pit bulls' owner, 22-year-old Leonard Harvey of Slidell, was issued a misdemeanor summons for violating the parish's leash law. The injured dog was found and will be euthanized.

The woman and her dog each was treated for bite wounds.


Louisiana firm wins West Pier contract

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Port of Gulfport has awarded a $47 million contract for work on the port's West Pier.

The Sun Herald reports the contract went to Southern Industrial Contractors LLC of Rayville, Louisiana.

The company will build a transit shed for tenants Dole Fresh Fruit Co. and Crowley Liner Services Inc., and Dole's administrative office building and entry gate. The transit shed will include storage for Crowley's dry goods and chillers for Dole's fruit.

The Dole office, plus electrical systems, will sit about 25 feet above sea level for storm-surge protection. The office will be attached to the transit shed. Construction is expected to take 16 months.

The West Pier was expanded and restored after Hurricane Katrina. Work included elevation of the pier to about 14 feet for storm-surge protection.


Edmonson says he won't accept retirement hike

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's state police superintendent says he won't take a hefty retirement boost tacked onto an unrelated bill in the final hours of the legislative session.

Col. Mike Edmonson said Friday the issue had become a distraction and he'll ask lawmakers to look at the issue again next year.

The pension hike sparked controversy because it was passed with no public debate and with the sponsor of the bill saying he didn't realize the implications of the last-minute add-on.

The state police retirement system had decided to investigate the retirement law change, to determine whether it was properly handled.

The provision affects Edmonson and a 32-year trooper who works in Houma.

Edmonson said he didn't personally ask for the pension change, but gave his staff permission to seek it for him.


Ex-Rayville official pleads guilty to malfeasance

MONROE, La. (AP) - Former Rayville Public Works Director Arad Lorenzo Brown faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of malfeasance in office.

The News-Star reports Brown entered the plea Friday in state court. He remains free on $120,000 bond.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 24.

Authorities allege the 50-year-old Brown used inmate labor to run his private enterprise while working as an employee with the town of Rayville.

Brown was initially indicted on 24 counts of malfeasance in office but that was reduced to five counts and a 20-year cap on his prison sentence as part of a plea agreement.


Baudoin to resign from Iberia Parish council

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) - In an emotional announcement, Iberia Parish Councilman Curtis Baudoin says he will be resigning, effective Aug. 15.

Baudoin is the parish's longest serving councilman. KLFY-TV reports Baudoin has served 34½ years and cites his personal health concerns as the primary reason for his abrupt announcement during Wednesday's council meeting.

Baudoin has served under six different parish presidents since his first election win in 1979. Prior to that, he served on the parish police jury.


Woman sentenced for oil spill fraud

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi woman has been sentenced to serve six months in federal prison for submitting false claims to get oil-spill recovery money.

Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Katisha Lombardo Deroche of Bay St. Louis was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden in Gulfport.

The judge also sentenced Deroche to six months in a community correction center and three years of supervised release for mail fraud. She was also ordered to repay $13,600 in restitution.

Prosecutors say Deroche submitted false documentation alleging she lost earnings and profits as a result of the 2011 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a result, she received funds to which she knew she was not entitled.

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

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