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June 14, 2018 - 12:00 am

SPANISH ROYALTY-NEW ORLEANS

Spain's king and queen visit New Orleans for tricentennial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The king and queen of Spain are coming to New Orleans as part of the city's tricentennial celebration.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are scheduled to arrive Thursday night in Louisiana, which was a Spanish colony from 1763 to 1802.

They'll meet privately Friday with Gov. John Bel Edwards. Then Mayor LaToya Cantrell will welcome them at Gallier Hall , a former City Hall opened in 1853 and renovated for the city's 300th anniversary.

Friday evening, they'll visit St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo , built as the government seat under Spanish rule and the center of New Orleans government until Gallier Hall opened.

Saturday, musicians and Mardi Gras Indians will perform for the royal couple. Then they leave for San Antonio, Texas — another former Spanish colony celebrating its tricentennial.

EX-PROSECUTOR-INVESTIGATION

New Orleans Sheriff: Ex-US Attorney under investigation

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities say they found narcotics in an envelope a former U.S. attorney was handing to a jail inmate in a New Orleans courtroom.

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release Thursday that a courtroom deputy spotted Eddie Jordan handing the envelope to the inmate. The deputy searched the envelope before the inmate could access the contents.

The release said narcotics were found. It did not give details.

Jordan has not been arrested or charged. The release says he is "a suspect" in a sheriff's investigation. He did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Jordan was the New Orleans-based U.S. Attorney from 1994-2001. He was elected New Orleans' district attorney in 2002. He resigned in 2007 amid heavy criticism over his running of the office.

DOG KILLING VIDEO

Probation for slitting dog's throat, putting video online

BASTROP, La. (AP) — A judge has ordered probation for an Arkansas man who slit a pit bull's throat on camera in Louisiana and another man who made the video and posted it on Snapchat.

Steven Sadler and video-maker Boots Stanley, both of Hamburg, Arkansas, were sentenced Thursday in Morehouse Parish on one count each of aggravated animal cruelty.

Lewis Unglesby is one of Stanley's attorneys. In a phone interview from Baton Rouge, he said each man got three years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and 480 hours of community service. He says donating $5,000 to the Morehouse Parish Humane Society would cancel half the community service.

Both pleaded guilty in April to the felony.

Sadler originally had been charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and both had been charged with conspiracy.

CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL

Scalise back for congressional game a year after shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Scalise, the House majority whip who was shot at a Republican baseball practice a year ago, fielded a ground ball and threw out the first batter of the annual congressional baseball game Thursday.

Scalise suffered life-threatening injuries in the June 2017 shooting, but returned to work last fall. He was walking with the aid of one crutch before the game, but took the field without it.

He said before the game, "I know how lucky I am to be alive." Scalise said he was starting at second base despite his physical limitations, which "tells you how bad the talent level is."

He told Fox News Channel, "I can field balls and still make the throw at first." And he proved it to start the game.

TAX SESSION

'Best solution:' Ex-Jindal aides back sales tax to stop cuts

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two of former Gov. Bobby Jindal's top aides are urging Louisiana lawmakers to support a sales tax renewal to patch budget holes.

Paul Rainwater was Jindal's chief of staff and top budget adviser. Tim Barfield worked as Jindal's revenue secretary, chief lawyer and labor secretary.

The two men wrote a letter appearing Thursday in The Advocate, backing the state Senate's proposal to renew one-half of a 1 percent sales tax that expires on July 1. The proposal would raise $500 million to stop steep cuts to public safety programs, social services and education.

Rainwater and Barfield call it "the best solution for our state in this moment." The idea will be considered in a special session starting Monday.

House Republican leaders have favored a lower sales tax renewal.

FATAL SHOOTING

Homicide victim: 'What are you going to do, shoot me?'

(Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A witness says that moments before a Louisiana man was shot to death he asked "What are you going to do, shoot me?"

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports a jury heard the victim's fiancee, Kristin Copeland, detail Cody Couch's comments Tuesday. Margaret Stockstill is charged with second-degree murder in his death. Defense attorney Buddy Spell has said Stockstill shot Couch in self-defense.

Copeland told investigators shortly after the April 2017 shooting that she and Stockstill were trying to get Couch to leave a home during a drunken brawl. She says Stockstill then pulled out a gun and shot the 27-year-old Couch. Copeland said she then put pressure on Couch's wound while Stockstill called the police. Couch was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

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SLAVE CEMETERIES

Unforgotten: Oil company preserves hidden slave cemeteries

CONVENT, La. (AP) — A major oil company is taking steps to honor forgotten slaves buried on its land in Louisiana's old plantation region.

The Shell Oil Company has spruced up, marked and blocked off tracts of its land in the Convent community west of New Orleans where archaeologists confirmed the presence of slave burial grounds in 2013. The company also has been working with the nearby River Road African American Museum to arrange commemorative events and accommodate visitors.

A local museum director and descendants of plantation slaves see the effort as part of a larger movement to recognize and protect slave cemeteries around the country.

CONGRESSMAN SHOT-BASEBALL-THE LATEST

The Latest: White House to cheer on congressional players

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House plans to cheer on members of Congress at their annual baseball game Thursday night — a year after some Republican players and others were wounded in a shooting spree at a team practice in Virginia.

Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says "those injured have fought hard for this moment and we will proudly be cheering them on." Sanders says she's heard "the Republican team looks pretty good in practice and they are headed for victory."

The game at Nationals Park falls exactly one year after a gunman opened fire at the Republicans' practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Among those wounded was the third-ranking House GOP leader, Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES').

He's expected to start at second base.

Members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet plan to attend the game.

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