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MISSISSIPPI RIVER-BARGE CRASH

Search suspended for missing crew in Louisiana barge crash

LULING, La. (AP) — Authorities say they have suspended the search for the three men who went missing when two barge towing vessels collided on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard says the agency searched over 835 nautical miles for the missing mariners. The Coast Guard says the two vessels collided Sunday morning near Luling, Louisiana. The towing vessel sank, and three crew members were missing. The Coast Guard began permitting one boat at a time to travel between Destrehan and Hahnville on Monday. The agency did not release the names of the missing mariners.

MARIJUANA-LIFE SENTENCE

Under court review: A little marijuana, a life sentence

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's highest court is considering the case of a veteran who drew a life sentence as a habitual offender for selling less than a gram of marijuana to an undercover investigator. At issue in Monday's arguments is whether Derrick Harris can pursue an appeal based on the ineffectiveness of his original attorneys. Lawyers for Harris say his trial attorney failed to note mitigating circumstances — including mental health problems — that would have allowed less than a life sentence. The state Supreme Court heard the arguments during a hearing held before students at Tulane University's law school.

HIGH MISSISSIPPI RIVER

High Mississippi River: levee inspections up, no nearby work

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Mississippi River is high enough at New Orleans to prompt daily levee inspections and a ban on subsurface work within 1,500 feet of a levee. The Army Corps of Engineers says the river was 15 feet at the Carrollton Gage on Monday, prompting the moves. The corps has been checking levees south of Baton Rouge twice a week since Jan. 9, when the rising river hit 11 feet. What's called a “Phase 1 flood fight” also barred subsurface work within 1,500 feet, but waivers were possible. Now there won't be waivers until the river is again below 15 feet.

MASSAGE PARLOR THEFT

Warrant: Massage worker steals over $8K in fake transactions

Authorities in Louisiana say a woman was arrested and accused of stealing more than $8,000 from her workplace. News outlets report 23-year-old Tiana Thompson was arrested Friday and charged with one count of felony theft. Monroe police say Thompson worked at a Massage Envy and defrauded the system by creating a fake service in the company's computer. It says Thompson would turn members' money into gift card to pay for the service, then take the money from the register. Thompson stole $8,508 from March 2019 to December 2019. It's unclear whether Thompson has an attorney.

CHILDREN SHOT

Two 3-year-olds find guns, accidentally shoot selves; 1 dies

KEITHVILLE, La. (AP) — Louisiana authorities say two 3-year-old boys accidentally shot themselves in separate incidents on the same day with guns they found in their homes, and one of them died. One day earlier, a 5-year-old boy was shot in the hand. Authorities say Amir Antoine of Baton Rouge died Saturday after accidentally shooting himself in the head. The same day, a 3-year-old Keithville boy accidentally shot himself in the shoulder. The 5-year-old was shot in a hand on Friday in an East Baton Rouge Parish motel. Authorities say nobody has been arrested in any of the shootings but all three remain under investigation.

AP-US-ROBBERY-GYM-COMMENTS

Police: Man man asks gym mates to borrow guns for robbery

MONROE, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana have charged a man with drug possession after he approached people in a gym parking lot and asked to borrow their guns to commit a robbery. West Monroe Police charged 19-year-old Landon Duke after two men flagged down an officer and said Duke had approached them at a Planet Fitness. An arrest report obtained by The Monroe News Star says Duke noticed they had guns in their truck and asked if he could borrow them to rob someone. Investigators wrote that Duke allegedly worked out with the men and continued talking about a potential robbery. Police said they later located Duke and found methamphetamine on him.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER-BARGE CRASH

3 missing after barge crash on Mississippi River

LULING, La. (AP) — Three people are missing after two barges collided on the Mississippi River. The Coast Guard said in a news release that crews are searching for three people after two towing vessels crashed near the Luling Bridge in Louisiana. The Coast Guard said one of the vessels sank in the river. A section of the river as closed to boats because of a possible chemical release. Officials say there are no immediate health concerns. The waterworks and industries along the river were told to close water intakes from the river as a precaution.

DRAG RACING-FATAL CRASH

Police: Driver, bicyclist killed in drag racing crash

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana say a man and an innocent bicyclist have died in a drag racing crash. News outlets report 57-year-old Lattimore Brock and 56-year-old Christopher Brock were racing Saturday evening in Baton Rouge. The two are brothers. Police say Christopher Brock crashed into the driver's side of Lattimore Brock's vehicle. Both cars veered off the road, hitting a utility pole, 24-year-old Deondrick Rudd who was on a bicycle, and then a tree. Both Rudd and Christopher Brock were pronounced dead at the scene. Lattimore Brock has been charged with vehicular homicide and other charges. It's unclear whether he had an attorney who could speak for him.