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Louisiana education board kicks off superintendent search

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's statewide public school board, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, has started its search for a new education superintendent. The long-time occupant of the job, John White, announced last week that he's leaving in mid-March. The board hires the superintendent. Its members took their oath of office for the new term Thursday, and then agreed to form a four-member panel that will nominate candidates for superintendent, recommend minimum qualifications and outline a process for decision-making. Louisiana's education superintendent oversees and sets policies governing more than 700,000 public school students across the state. White has been in the position since 2012.


ACLU: Disabled asylum seeker wins humanitarian parole

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A civil rights group says a disabled Honduran man has been released from detention by immigration authorities. The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana says the 23-year-old was granted humanitarian parole and will stay with a sponsor in New Jersey while his asylum case plays out. He had been detained in Louisiana facilities for months after being picked up for being in the country without authorization. The ACLU says the 4-foot-tall man has a malformed leg and neurological and heart problems. The ACLU has said he was persecuted by gangs in Honduras and didn't receive adequate facilities or treatment while detained in the U.S.


Warrant issued for Odell Beckham after video shows butt swat

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Police in New Orleans say a misdemeanor simple battery warrant has been issued for Cleveland Browns wide receiver and former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. The warrant comes as video posted on social media appears to show Beckham swatting a security officer's backside during LSU's locker room celebration after Monday night's national championship game in the Superdome. The Browns issued a statement saying Beckham and his representatives are cooperating with authorities “to appropriately address the situation.” The arrest warrant follows another post-game controversy involving Beckham. LSU has acknowledged contacting NCAA officials about Beckham apparently handing out cash to Tigers players after the championship game.


Ex-top Minnesota teacher takes knee at LSU-Clemson game

A former Minnesota Teacher of the Year staged a protest at the College Football Playoff championship attended by President Donald Trump by kneeling during the national anthem. Kelly Holstine was among top teachers from around the country attending Monday night's game at the Superdome in New Orleans. Holstein took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the game between top-ranked LSU and No. 3 Clemson. Holstine tweeted that she was given a “platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people.” Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked protests by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.


Starbucks, home of the $4 latte, is moving into poor areas

DETROIT (AP) — Starbucks, the home of the $4 latte, is expanding a program to open coffee shops in poor neighborhoods. The Seattle-based company plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. Each store will have event space, and Starbucks will work with local United Way chapters to offer programs like youth job training. Starbucks has opened 15 community stores since it announced the project  2015, including ones in Ferguson, Missouri, and New Orleans. The company says the stores are profitable and feature the same menu and similar prices as regular Starbucks.


LSU football team getting White House visit in quickly

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will welcome the Louisiana State University football team to the White House on Friday after the Tigers defeated Clemson on Monday night in the college playoff final. Before visiting the White House, the LSU team will tour the nearby National Museum of African American History and Culture, according to The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge. Trump attended the national championship game in New Orleans, which LSU won 42-25, and he received an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd. It's unclear what could be on the menu for the team, but the president took much delight in serving last year's champions hamburgers and pizza during the partial government shutdown.


Police: Wrong-way driver causes 4-vehicle fatal crash

VINTON, La. (AP) — Louisiana State Police say a driver going the wrong way on an interstate highway caused a four-vehicle wreck that killed an 83-year-old man. A news release says the crash that killed Gabriel Prejean of Vinton on Wednesday is still being investigated, and charges are pending against 76-year-old Mario De La Cruz of Anahuac, Texas. Police say a preliminary investigation found that De La Cruz's 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck first hit a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado, then ran head-on into Prejean's 2002 Chevrolet pickup, which hit a 2004 Lexus GS 300.


Letter admonished investigator who misidentified homicide

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A coroner's office in Louisiana has issued a letter of reprimand to an investigator who mistook a homicide as a fatal overdose. The Advocate reports it obtained the letter through a public records request. The letter says W. Shane Tindall deemed the New Years Day death of 26-year-old Joah Ross as an overdose. Funeral home workers later discovered a gunshot wound. The coroner's office chief of investigations says Tindall didn't receive any formal discipline other than the letter. Authorities have launched a homicide investigation. The death remains unsolved.