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FBI SHOOTING

Feds drop fatal FBI involved shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department says the agency will not pursue a criminal investigation involving an FBI agent who shot and killed a New Orleans man during an undercover drug sting last summer.

Dena Iverson tells NOLA.com/The Times Picayune the Civil Rights Division reviewed the information collected by the FBI regarding the shooting and declined to open a criminal investigation.

The decision comes more than three months after Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office declined to pursue charges against the agent, who fatally shot 37-year-old Allen Desdunes on July 30. He referred the case to federal prosecutors on jurisdictional grounds.

The shooting occurred in the back of a Motel 6 parking lot during what the FBI has said was a drug-related surveillance operation.

LAKE CHARLES AIRPORT

Lake Charles airport opens passenger lounge

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - In anticipation of the area's projected economic boom, Lake Charles Regional Airport has opened its expanded passenger lounge.

It's a business center on the second floor of the passenger terminal.

Airport Director Heath Allen tells the American Press the area was designed to provide a place for ticketed passengers to relax or work as they wait for their flights' departure.

Amenities of the $230,000 lounge include free Wi-Fi, computer workstations, a conference table and comfortable seating. The space has been empty since the airport was built.

Allen says the airport is working with the Transportation Security Administration to allow for the passenger screening area to open earlier so passengers can arrive well in advance of their flight and not be rushed.

RANDOLPH-ETHICS

Court date set in Randolph's ethics appeal

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A court date has been set for Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph to argue the unfairness of her ethics fines stemming from renting out her Grand Isle camp to BP.

The Courier reports the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge will hear the case on May 22.

Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Randolph rented out her Grand Isle camp to BP, which the state ethics board ruled was in violation of state law. Randolph was fined $5,000 and ordered to repay the $50,000 she received for rent.

A three-judge panel, the same judges who fined Randolph, will review a transcript of the previous hearings along with written and oral arguments from Randolph's representatives and lawyers for the ethics administration before making a decision.

DENHAM SPRINGS-SICK LEAVE

Denham Springs to review sick leave policy

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) - The Denham Springs City Council may have to repeal part of the city's advance sick leave policy after the state Legislative Auditor's Office said the policy violates state law.

Under the policy, The Advocate reports city employees may apply to the city council for sick leave beyond the hours they have accrued, up to 120 days.

Any advance leave is repaid using sick time the employee earns after returning to work.

If the employee stops working for the city before earning enough sick leave to repay the advance, the employee must reimburse the city for the difference.

The policy, included in the city's code of ordinances, also permits the city council to waive that repayment.

The council will meet April 28 and vote on a repeal of the policy.

LAFAYETTE SCHOOL BOARD

3 House bills target Lafayette school board

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board meets Wednesday to consider taking a formal and unified stand against proposed legislation that singles out the board.

The Advocate reports state Rep. Nancy Landry filed three pieces of legislation specific to the Lafayette board that are under consideration in the current legislative session. One bill would move the board's current election cycle to a gubernatorial election year. That bill received approval in the House on April 10 and awaits consideration in the Senate.

Two more bills are related to how the board is structured.

School board President Hunter Beasley questioned why the bills "single out" Lafayette Parish and criticized Landry for not discussing her intentions with the board.

Landry says her bills are products of constituents' concerns that the board has lost focus.

COUNTERFEIT GOODS

Ala. man sentenced for copyright violation

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - An Alabama man faces two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to copyright infringement in November.

In a news release, prosecutors say 54-year-old Augustus Powell, of Huntsville, Ala. was stopped by police in Louisiana three times in one year and found in possession of thousands of bootlegged movies and music.

U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik in Lafayette, La., ordered Powell to undergo three years of supervised release last week and pay $7,000 in restitution to the Motion Picture Association of America.

PEOPLE-ROBIN ROBERTS

ABC's Robin Roberts to get honorary degree

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - Southeastern Louisiana University will honor ABC's "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts with an honorary doctorate at its spring commencement on May 17.

The school's governing body, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, approved awarding Roberts with the degree last year. The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. at the University Center, where about 1,200 students will receive bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

Roberts is a 1983 communications graduate and former basketball star at Southeastern. After graduating, she entered the broadcasting field and eventually joined ESPN, hosting "SportsCenter" and contributing regularly to "NFL Primetime." She joined "Good Morning America" in 2005.

WILDLIFE FIELD DAY

Field day focuses on deer, nuisance animals

CLINTON, La. (AP) - The LSU AgCenter plans a wildlife field day May 3 at the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station near Clinton.

LSU AgCenter forestry and wildlife specialist Don reed says the session will focus on the management of white-tailed deer and on controlling feral hogs and other nuisance animals.

The program will begin at 8 a.m. and end at noon with a lunch. Preregistration is $30 if paid by April 25 or $40 after that date.

More information about the field day is available by contacting Reed at 225-683-5848.

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