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Solemn remembrances set for Katrina Anniversary

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.

In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Julian Castro, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were among those attending a Friday morning wreath-laying ceremony where scores of unidentified Katrina victims are entombed.

Many of the more than 1,800 who died were in the New Orleans area, where levee failures contributed to catastrophic flooding.

The storm did billions of dollars' worth of damage in Louisiana and in Mississippi, where coastal homes were wiped out. Memorials in Mississippi included a series of events at the Ground Zero Museum in Waveland.


Woman, 18, found dead in Baker

BAKER, La. (AP) - Police in Baker are investigating the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman.

The body was discovered outside a Baker home late Thursday.

The victim's name was not immediately available. Police have not identified a suspect.


Pastor arrested in shooting of suspected thief

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A pastor who once was a New Orleans police officer has been arrested for allegedly shooting a man suspected of stealing copper.

Police said 62-year-old William Littleton was arrested Thursday. He was booked with one count of aggravated battery in connection with the shooting of 50-year-old Rodney Mitchell.

Interim police chief Michael Harrison said Littleton told investigators that on Wednesday he caught two men dismantling and stripping air conditioner units between Littleton's church and his adjacent snowball stand in the Algiers neighborhood.

Harrison said Littleton pointed a gun, ordered the men to stop, and fired after the men fled in a pickup truck.

Mitchell was struck in the head and was last reported in serious condition; 34-year-old Joseph Cross was arrested and booked with theft.


Downsville woman dies in north La. accident

FARMERVILLE, La. (AP) - State police say a 74-year-old Downsville woman was killed in a Union Parish traffic accident.

It happened Thursday afternoon on Louisiana Highway 33.

The accident involved a 2012 GMC Acadia driven by Patricia Holloway of Downsville. State police say an investigation determined that the vehicle was northbound when the driver lost control, crossed the center line and drove off the left side of the road.

The GMC then traveled into a ditch and struck a tree. Holloway died later at a hospital in Shreveport.


Vitter: $180K in criminal justice grants for state

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter says the federal government is awarding $181,269 in grants to support criminal justice services in Louisiana.

The grants include:

$132,984 to Shreveport and the Caddo Parish sheriff's office to buy equipment and supplies

$28,856 to Bossier City and the Bossier Parish sheriff's office to buy equipment and supplies

$19,429 to the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government to buy equipment for the Houma Police Department.

Vitter, in a news release this week, said the grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which supports states, tribes and local governments in preventing and controlling crime.


Jury convicts man in truck stop casino robbery

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - After a three-day trial, a federal jury has found a Ville Platte man guilty of taking part in an armed robbery in which more than $11,000 was taken from a truck stop store and casino in St. Landry Parish.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says Wednesday's verdict against 24-year-old Arinskie Jones came after jurors deliberated more than four hours. Jones was convicted of one count of interference with commerce by robbery. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik has not set sentencing.

Finley's office, in a news release, said Jones and two other men - Ronald Doomes and Steven Nelson - were indicted in October 2012 on charges involving the 2011 robbery of Tiger Trax Truckstop #7 and Video Joker II Casino.


State asks shrimpers to report tiger prawn catches

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State wildlife and fisheries officials are asking shrimp harvesters to report catches of Asian tiger prawns.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking are key in helping state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations.

Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail. Occasionally, red or yellow stripes are present too.

The department asks that harvesters retain the prawns by freezing and contact the state with the date, location and size of capture. Photos also are encouraged.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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