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November 23, 2018 - 12:00 am


McNeese will not renew Guidry's contract

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — McNeese State University will not renew the contract of football coach Lance Guidry.

In a statement this week, McNeese Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill said a national search for a new head coach would begin immediately.

He did not say what sparked the decision regarding Guidry but wished him well in his future endeavors.

Guidry, a McNeese graduate and former football player, was hired in December 2015 to replace Matt Viator, who left to take the head coaching position at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He compiled a 21-12 record in three seasons at McNeese but never took the team to the playoffs.


Eldorado: Lake Charles riverboat may move ashore

(Information from: The Advocate,

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The owner of two Louisiana riverboat casinos says it may move one near Texas onto land, but probably will leave its Baton Rouge boat afloat.

The Advocate reports that Eldorado Resorts chairman and CEO Gary Carano said in a conference call this month that the company is considering moving the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles. He says work could begin in the second half of 2019, with a land-based opening in 2020.

But he says it's highly unlikely that Eldorado will move the Belle of Baton Rouge's casino into the 80,000-square-foot (7432.2 square-meter) atrium next to the riverboat.

The Baton Rouge market has been slumping since July 2017, while gamblers from Texas have helped boost the three Lake Charles riverboat casinos.

A law passed this year lets riverboat casinos move onshore.



Back to the polls: Early voting starts in Louisiana's runoff

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Early voting opens Saturday in Louisiana's Dec. 8 runoff election, with a contested seat to be the state's election chief at the top of the ballot.

Republican Kyle Ardoin and Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup are vying to be secretary of state, the top two vote-getters in the November primary. Though that election drew large numbers of voters in Louisiana, the runoff — competing with the holidays for attention — is expected to see fewer people show up at the polls.

Also on the ballot are runoffs for local elected seats across 47 parishes. Several parishes have local proposition elections, such as taxes, up for consideration.

The early voting period runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 1, except Sunday, at parish registrar of voters' offices and other locations.


Former priest convicted of raping altar boy dies in prison

(Information from: The Courier,

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A former Catholic priest has died in prison while serving a life sentence for repeatedly raping an altar boy.

Louisiana state corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick tells The Houma Courier that 82-year-old Robert Lester "Bobby" Melancon died of natural causes this month. Melancon was convicted in 1996 of the aggravated rape of an altar boy.

Prosecutors said then that the boy, who turned 19 during the four-day trial, was abused from 1985 to 1991 while Melancon was a priest in Terrebonne Parish. His lawyers have said the allegations were false and came about after the victim learned that Melancon had paid $30,000 to settle a separate child sex abuse lawsuit.

He was serving time at a minimum-security prison near Shreveport when he died. He maintained his innocence.



Holiday housecleaning bonus: $1.8M lottery ticket

MANDEVILLE, La. (AP) — A New Orleans couple who wanted their home to be tidy for Thanksgiving guests really cleaned up: They found a $1.8 million Lotto ticket on a nightstand.

The Louisiana Lottery Commission said in a news release that if Harold and Tina Ehrenberg of Mandeville had found the ticket two weeks later, it would have been too late.

Their winning number was drawn on June 6, and prizes must be claimed within 180 days.

After state and federal taxes were deducted, the couple's check came to nearly $1.3 million. They said they'd save it for retirement.

The Metairie (MET-uh-ree) store where they bought the ticket received a bonus of just under $18,000.


Houston food manufacturer recalls pork rolls

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities have traced a multi-state listeria outbreak which has hospitalized four people to a Houston-based Vietnamese food manufacturer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Long Phung Food Products issued a recall for seven types of pork rolls that have been shipped nationwide. They have the number "EST. 13561" inside the USDA mark of inspection. All recalled rolls should be returned or discarded.

There have been four reported cases of listeria, three of them since Sept. 1. Cases have been reported in Louisiana, Michigan, Texas and Tennessee. No deaths have been reported.

Listeria primarily affects pregnant women, the elderly and others with weakened immune systems. It can cause headache, stiff neck, confusion and convulsions, and in pregnant women can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery and other life-threatening conditions for newborns.


Coast Guard helicopter rescues 3, dog, after boat capsizes

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard says it has rescued three people and a dog whose 14-foot boat capsized near the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

A news release Friday says the agency received a report late Thursday that the flat-bottomed boat had capsized near Bayou Heron, Mississippi, and the people and dog were in the water.

Petty Officer Lora Ratliff says a helicopter from the Coast Guard station in New Orleans hoisted them to safety about 1:30 a.m. Friday and took them to the airport in Mobile, Alabama. They'd been in the water about two hours.

They reportedly were in good health.

The bayou is in both the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Grand Bay Estuarine Research Reserves .


Lake Charles promoting deputy chief to police chief

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A Louisiana city has chosen its deputy chief for operations to replace its police chief, who is retiring in January after nearly 20 years.

News agencies report that six Lake Charles City Council members voted Wednesday to appoint Shawn Caldwell as chief after Don Dixon retires Jan. 15.

Councilwoman Mary Morris abstained, saying city residents never had a chance to comment on the candidates.

The American Press reports that she also said the department doesn't reflect the city's racial makeup. Lake Charles is 53 percent non-white.

Caldwell says he'll probably send Mayor Nic Hunter his recommendations for the two deputy chiefs before he takes over.

Hunter recommended Caldwell after an advisory panel recommended three of nine candidates.

KPLC-TV reports that the job pays at least $85,000 a year.

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