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December 02, 2018 - 12:00 am


Retired federal judge who struggled with alcoholism dies

(Information from: KPLC-TV,

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A federal judge who retired from the bench in Louisiana last year amid struggles with alcoholism has died in her home.

Citing a news release from Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, KPLC-TV reports that 60-year-old retired U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi was found dead in her Lake Charles home Saturday.

Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke says Minaldi's death appears to be the result of natural causes.

Tony Moore, the clerk of court for the Western District of Louisiana, confirmed Minaldi's death to the AP but said he didn't know any details.

Minaldi served as a judge in the 14th Judicial District Court from 1996 to 2003 before being appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003 as a federal judge in the Western District of Louisiana.

Her July 2017 disability retirement came after she had been on medical leave for months for treatment of severe alcoholism.



Louisiana gets $11M settlement in interest rate manipulation

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is receiving $11 million as its share of a multistate settlement with Deutsche Bank over the manipulation of a key benchmark involving global interest rates.

Attorney General Jeff Landry's office, which was involved in the settlement, says $3 million will go to the Bond Commission and the remaining $8 million to the transportation department.

According to the treasurer's office, the $3 million will be used to pay down state debt, freeing up general state tax dollars for other spending areas. The $8 million will be available to pay for road construction debt, freeing up gasoline tax dollars to use on other projects.

Landry's office says 45 state attorneys general were involved in the investigation and resulting $220 million settlement with Deutsche Bank first announced in October.


Final 2 victims from southern Indiana jet crash identified

MEMPHIS, Ind. (AP) — Coroners have identified the final two people killed when a small Chicago-bound jet crashed shortly after taking off from a southern Indiana airport.

The Clark County coroner's office said Saturday that the Friday crash killed the pilot, 32-year-old Andrew Davis of Sellersburg, Indiana, and 54-year-old passenger Sandra Holland Johnson of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Authorities had previously identified the third person killed as 63-year-old Wayne Estopinal from Louisville, Kentucky. He was an architect and a board member of Ball State University.

A cause for the crash hasn't been determined.

The Federal Aviation Administration says flight plans indicate only three people were on the small plane when it left Clark Regional Airport late Friday morning en route to Chicago's Midway Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board identified the aircraft as a Cessna Citation.


Police: Toddler accidentally shoots mother in back

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Police say a woman in Louisiana has been accidentally shot in the back by her 2-year-old child.

The Shreveport Times reports that the woman was seriously wounded in the shooting early Saturday morning. Police told the newspaper that the woman and her 2-year-old child were in a bedroom when the child appears to have accidentally discharged an unsecured handgun.

Authorities say the woman received a single shot to the back and was taken to a hospital. There was no immediate update on her condition Sunday.

Police said an investigation into the shooting is ongoing.


Show filmed near Georgia's coast draws complaints, concerns

(Information from: Savannah Morning News,

SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (AP) — A true crime series that's filming near Georgia's coast has drawn complaints from neighbors about vehicles speeding by their houses to reach the set.

Effingham County Commissioner Phil Kieffer says the county needs an ordinance regulating filming locations.

Kieffer said he learned that "The Act" was filming when 14 building facades were set up for background scenes, and neighbors complained about the speeding.

Location manager Steve Yetman said the crew held a low country boil for neighbors and has been responsive to their concerns.

Yetman says the filming began in early October and takes place five or six days a month.

The Savannah Morning News reports that the show being filmed for Hulu follows Gypsy Blanchard, a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother.



Restaurant workers donate to replace dishwasher's stolen car

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — When a restaurant dishwasher's car was stolen, his co-workers pitched in to buy a replacement.

Restaurant manager Chris Muffoletto tells The Advertiser that Kea Senegal had saved for months to buy the car. News outlets report it was stolen just before Thanksgiving from the restaurant parking lot in Lafayette.

Muffoletto says he asked the staff at Ruffino's on the River last week if they'd help.

They raised $2,500 in three days. Muffoletto says a used-car dealer, Don's Wholesale Automotive, heard about what they were doing and matched the donations.

On Wednesday, Senegal was given a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu.

Video shows Senegal wiping away tears after co-workers gathered on the parking lot move away to let him see the car.


Visually impaired sea lions join group at New Orleans zoo

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A pair of visually impaired 2-year-old sea lions has joined the four sea lions already at the zoo in New Orleans.

Audubon Zoo officials say in a news release that Ayah and Jolee were both malnourished when rescued along different parts of the California coast in June 2017.

Jolee has cataracts in both eyes, and had an injury in her left eye when she was found on an El Segundo jetty. She gets around by following Ayah, who lost her left eye to a small-caliber bullet found in her brain after she came to Audubon.

Ayah was found off the Malibu coast.

Both youngsters were nursed back to health at the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles. Its staff veterinarian, Lauren Palmer, says Audubon saved their lives by accepting them.


Louisiana food banks shelves are low ahead of holidays

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisiana residents to make donations to their local food banks during the holiday period, saying supplies are low.

The Democratic governor and his wife Donna went to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to draw attention to the need for contributions.

Edwards says food banks across the country have been offering assistance to areas hard-hit by recent disasters, depleting food bank shelves by lessening availability of bulk food products usually offered for the hungry.

Mike Manning, president of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, says the shortage of food makes for a tough situation ahead of the holidays. But he says there's still time to turn it around through awareness of the need.

A list of food banks in Louisiana is online at .

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