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October 10, 2018 - 12:00 am

ELECTION 2018-LOUISIANA SECRETARY OF STATE

Donors limited in election for Louisiana secretary of state

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Political donors are not breaking out their checkbooks in Louisiana's secretary of state race.

Most contenders for the job in the Nov. 6 special election have limited dollars to get their messages out in the final weeks. Even though it's the only statewide competition on the ballot, the special election has drawn little attention.

The six major candidates seeking to be the state's elections chief reported modest fundraising in finance reports filed Tuesday, accounting for July 30 through Sept. 27.

Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Baton Rouge Republican, raised the most during the period, with $140,000. Ardoin narrowly edged Rep. Julie Stokes, a Kenner Republican, who brought in nearly $134,000.

Stokes reported the largest amount of money in the bank, $514,000. But that includes a $250,000 personal loan.

POLICE SHOOTING

Suspect shot by Louisiana police listed in stable condition

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State Police say a suspect shot by Lafayette police is in stable condition.

News outlets cite a state police release that says Lafayette police officers responded to "criminal activity" Tuesday night and encountered the suspect. The release doesn't say what lead to police shooting at the suspect, who was taken to a hospital.

Lafayette police Sgt. Bridgette Dugas says the encounter escalated. It's unclear where the suspect was wounded. State police spokesman trooper Thomas Gossen says no officers were wounded. He says more information will be released later.

TEACHER-STUDENT SEX

Louisiana teacher charged with sex with student

(Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com)

GRETNA, La. (AP) — A school teacher in Louisiana has been arrested and charged with having illegal sexual contact with a student.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Kim Minor has been charged with prohibited sexual contact between an educator and a student.

Minor is a social studies teacher and baseball coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Gretna.

Capt. Russell Lloyd said the student is a girl. Lloyd would not provide other information Tuesday.

Jefferson parish Public School System spokeswoman Gabrielle Misfeldt said Minor had been placed on paid administrative leave while the police investigation was pending.

It's illegal in Louisiana for an educator to engage in sexual activity with a student, even if the student is old enough to consent to sexual activity.

It was not known if Minor has an attorney.

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PRISON-MEDICAL LAWSUIT

Trial starts over 'grossly deficient' prison medical care

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal trial has begun in a lawsuit that accuses Louisiana prison officials of "grossly deficient medical care policies that have caused death and suffering" at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2015 on behalf of inmates represented by advocacy groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. A trial expected to last as long as three weeks opened Tuesday. The suit says problems at the prison include too few doctors and nurses, and a lack of funding for adequate medical care.

The suit said delays in treatment in some instances have led to death.

The state has denied the suit's allegations in court briefings.

DEATHS-VEHICLE CRASH

Police: 2 passengers in car involved in crash have died

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police say two passengers in a car involved in a crash have died.

News outlets report 20-year-old Deshon Murphy died on the scene, while 19-year-old Tyrin Carter later died.

Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. says Murphy and Carter were passengers in a 2010 Honda Accord at about 1:35 p.m. Monday, when the 21-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle and crossed a double yellow line. They were hit by an oncoming 2019 Freightliner tow truck.

Police say Murphy was the front seat passenger, and Carter was in a backseat. The car's driver was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries. Police say the driver of the truck wasn't injured in the crash.

Police say the crash remains under investigation.

SUPREME COURT-LOUISIANA TRIPLE KILLING

Justices won't disturb conviction in triple killing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a man convicted of joining a New Orleans police officer in the killing of her fellow officer and two other people during a 1995 robbery.

The justices on Tuesday declined to review a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that upheld the man's convictions, despite questions about the impartiality of several jurors and the judge who presided over the trial.

Defendant Rogers LaCaze said the judge should have stepped aside from the trial because of an appearance of possible impropriety. The judge's signature is on a form that the officer convicted in the killings used to obtain a handgun from the police evidence room. The judge denied that the signature was his. Authorities believe the weapon may have been used in the killings.

AP POLL-ELECTION SECURITY

Poll finds partisan divide in concerns for election security

ATLANTA (AP) — A new poll finds that a strong majority of Americans have concerns that the nation's voting systems might be vulnerable to hackers in the upcoming midterm elections.

That is roughly unchanged from concerns over election security just before the 2016 presidential election, but there is a twist. Two years ago, it was Republicans who were more concerned about the integrity of the election. This year, it's Democrats.

The survey released Wednesday by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that Democrats have grown increasingly concerned about election security. Republicans have grown more confident.

The poll finds nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they are at least somewhat concerned about potential hacking.

METH GHOST

Man charged with meth possession says ghost planted the drug

MONROE, La. (AP) — Deputies say a Louisiana man who called 911 to report an ax attack was found uninjured and in possession of meth he says was planted by a ghost.

News outlets report Michael L. Auttenberry is charged with giving a false police report and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Ouachita Parish Sheriff's deputies say Auttenberry called authorities this month to report that he had been hit in the head with an ax.

Responding deputies found an uninjured Auttenberry cursing at people "obviously not there." Auttenberry then said intruders were inside his home, prompting deputies to search the place and find a bag of meth.

They also found meth on Auttenberry, who told them the drug was planted by a ghost or intruder. It's unclear if Auttenberry has a lawyer.

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