SMALL PLANE CRASH-LOUISIANA
NTSB: Poor condition of wreckage will slow plane crash probe
Federal investigators are just beginning to probe for clues as to why a small, twin-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Louisiana, killing five people. National Transportation Safety Board investigators said Sunday that no distress calls were made and that much of the aircraft was consumed by fire in the crash after the plane departed Saturday from Lafayette. NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said investigators would examine the aircraft’s maintenance record and seek evidence from the badly charred debris. But authorities said the lack of a distress call and a flight data recorder will make finding the cause extremely challenging.
Missionary priests help Hispanics in Mississippi Delta
GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — Catholic priests known as Redemptorists have spent five years expanding outreach to Hispanic residents in the Mississippi Delta. The missionaries are moving away for other assignments. They came to train lay people, priests and others to provide opportunities for worship and support. They helped establish a Hispanic ministry at Our Lady of Victory parish in Cleveland, Mississippi. They have also worked with families on immigration issues. One of the priests is moving to Canada. The others are moving to different parts of the United States.
Georgia city sets $2.3M in work for giant convenience store
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — Middle Georgia governments will spend almost $2.3 million on traffic and utility improvements to attract a a branch of mammoth Texas convenience store chain Buc-ee’s. The Telegraph of Macon reports the committments by the city of Warner Robins and Peach County are part of a deal for Buc-ee’s to invest at least $35 million. Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms said city leaders hope people stopping for Buc-ee’s will visit other local attractions. The Warner Robins Buc-ee’s is expected to open in early 2021. Long a Texas phenomenon, Buc-ee’s opened its first store outside the Lone Star state in January in Robertsdale, Alabama.
Mobile to decide key issue on Amtrak future on Gulf Coast
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — City leaders in Mobile, Alabama, are preparing to decide a key issue in restoring passenger train service along the northern Gulf Coast. Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to commit as much as $3 million over three years to operate Amtrak trains through the city. Passenger trains haven’t run through the region since Hurricane Katrina badly damaged rail lines in 2005. Mississippi and Louisiana already have dedicated money toward the project to resume service. Officials at Alabama’s main seaport in Mobile worry that passenger trains could interfere with freight traffic.
Plane crash kills 5, including LSU coach’s daughter-in-law
ATLANTA (AP) — Several of the victims of a plane crash in Louisiana had ties to a local tech company. Among the five who died Saturday in Lafayette were Gretchen D. Vincent and her 15-year-old son. Vincent was the wife of the CEO of Global Data Systems. The two men who died, including the pilot, were also employees of the Lafayette company. The other fatality was Carley McCord, a well-known sports reporter who was also the daughter-in-law of a Louisiana State University football coach. The passengers were headed to the Peach Bowl playoff game in Atlanta between LSU and Oklahoma.
Edwards reelected, black churches torched among top stories
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards heads into the new year as the nation’s only Democratic governor representing the Deep South after a bruising battle with a political newcomer backed by President Donald Trump. Other top stories in 2019 include the sale of medical marijuana, Saints fans protesting a blown call that kept the team out of the Super Bowl and a round of deliberately set fires that destroyed several churches in Louisiana’s Acadiana region. The state also struggled with a number of cyberattacks on area governments, and celebrated the opening of a new airport in New Orleans.
Louisiana stocking rainbow trout in 13 ponds statewide
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will be stocking 1- to 2-pound rainbow trout in 13 ponds statewide during January, for kids and grownups to catch. It’s part of the Get Out and Fish! program put on by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The department put thousands of channel catfish into the ponds during the fall. A news release says rainbow trout can be stocked only in cold weather.
Judge blocks California’s alligator ban after Louisiana sues
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked a California law banning the import and sale of alligator and crocodile products. The judge has also scheduled an April 24 hearing on Louisiana’s request for a longer-lasting order. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that it’s a first step toward protecting an industry that creates jobs and contributes to coastal restoration. Online court records show that Mueller granted the request for such an order Sunday, saying both sides had agreed to it. She notes that California is not conceding anything by such agreement.