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News in Brief- August 8, 2018

News in Brief- August 8, 2018

Audubon Zoo to redesign exhibit after jaguar escaped

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — About two weeks after a jaguar escaped from the Audubon Zoo, ultimately killing nine other animals, the zoo has unveiled how builders plan to make the exhibit more secure.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports Valerio likely escaped by biting a hole into a woven stainless steel roof. The Audubon Nature Institute, which operates the zoo, says the redesign includes a larger gauge of steel cables, placed closer together.

Zoo officials said the fencing meets standards established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which issues enclosure guidelines for a range of species.

Officials said Friday that zoo staff had concluded their research into the exhibit's redesign and that vendors are being selected for the project.

Considering both manufacturing time and the installation process, the rebuild will take a few months to complete.

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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No bill during Edwards' tenure becomes law without signature

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Across 10 legislative sessions, Gov. John Bel Edwards has an unusual distinction: He's never let a single bill become law without his signature.

The Democratic governor has taken action, either through signature or veto, on every bill that's crossed his desk since taking office in 2016. That's according to data from the Louisiana News Bureau, a nonpartisan bill-tracking service.

There have been lots of bills to review. Edwards has called seven special sessions on finances, on top of three scheduled regular sessions.

Edwards' immediate predecessor, Republican Bobby Jindal, let 168 pieces of legislation take effect without his signature, all during his first two years in office, 2008 and 2009.

Among other governors, Democrat Kathleen Blanco let one bill become law without her signature, and Republican Mike Foster allowed 47.

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National rig count down by 4 to 1,044; West Virginia loses 3

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by four this week to 1,044.

At this time a year ago there were 954 active rigs.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 859 rigs drilled for oil this week and 183 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained two rigs and Louisiana and Pennsylvania each increased by one.

West Virginia lost three rigs, Colorado and New Mexico each decreased by two and Alaska and North Dakota each lost one.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May 2016 at 404.

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Saints dance squad to have its first male dancer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have added a man to their dance squad for the first time, only months after the Los Angeles Rams made a similar move.

The Advocate reports that Jesse Hernandez learned Friday that he's made the 34-person squad called the Saintsations.

The 25-year-old Hernandez is a dance teacher from Maurice, Louisiana.

Hernandez's addition to the Saintsations comes after a fired member of the dance squad accused the Saints of discrimination against women in a complaint filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Men have participated in more traditional NFL cheer squads in the past, including with the Saints. But until lately, modern NFL dance squads were comprised only of women.

In March, the Los Angeles Rams announced they had named two men to their dance squad.

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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Louisiana to hunters: Deer urine lures might spread disease

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana wildlife officials are cautioning hunters that deer urine lures might carry malformed proteins that can spread a fatal brain infection called chronic wasting disease.

A Department of Wildlife and Fisheries news release Friday noted that seven states have banned such lures, which are used to attract deer.

Agency veterinarian Jim LaCour says there's no fast, cost-effective urine test for the malformed proteins called prions.

Prions can be found in an infected deer's saliva, feces, urine, blood and antler velvet, and can be shed during the year or two before symptoms show.

The lures are made by collecting captive animals' urine through grates. The agency says that allows mixing with saliva and feces, which typically hold more prions than urine.

The agency's statement says no state or federal agency regulates urine production and sale.

So far, the disease hasn't shown up in Louisiana.

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Identical twin brothers wed identical sisters

GRASS LAKE, Mich. (AP) — Two sets of 24-year-old identical twins had their first date together, became engaged at the same time and tied the knot in Michigan last weekend.

Identical twins Krissie and Kassie Bevier married Zack and Nick Lewan in Grass Lake on Aug. 3 and 4, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.

Kassie Bevier and Nick Lewan met first at Grand Valley State University four years ago in a psychology class. The professor had asked if there were any twins in class, and Kassie and Nick both raised their hands.

They invited their twins on their first date to church one Sunday morning, and Krissie and Zack started dating shortly after.

The couples plan to move in together into a two-bedroom apartment in Fenton.

The couples said they click so well because they were brought up with the same family values.

"We just flow together and it makes sense," Krissie Bevier said. "There is a special twin bond, and having someone who understands that is huge."

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Louisiana gambling regulator: 3 casinos want to move onshore

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's chief gambling regulator says three of the state's 15 riverboat casinos have indicated interest in moving their properties onshore, under a law passed earlier this year.

Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, said Monday the rules allowing riverboats to move onto land will be ready by year's end.

The Advocate reports that Jones told the Press Club of Baton Rouge he wants riverboat casinos seeking to move onshore to make capital improvements aimed at bolstering economic development.

Lawmakers agreed to allow riverboat casinos to conduct gambling activities within 1,200 feet on land from their licensed berth.

Jones says the Belle of Baton Rouge casino and Treasure Chest in Kenner are interested in moving onshore. He wouldn't name the third riverboat because its plans aren't public.

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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LSU completes high-rated basketball signing class with Hyatt

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade says he has completed the Tigers' roster for the upcoming season with the addition of 6-foot-7 forward Aundre Hyatt.

The 215-pound Hyatt is from White Plains, New York, but spent the past academic year at the Miller School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Shooting nearly 47 percent, Hyatt averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds for a squad that won a state title.

Hyatt's addition rounds out one of the nation's top-rated recruiting classes, highlighted by the signings of 6-10 forward Naz Reid, 6-7 forward Emmitt Williams, 6-4 guard Ja'vonte Smart and 6-7 forward Darius Days.

They join a squad led by sophomore point guard Tremont Waters, who was the Tigers' leading scorer last season with 15.9 points per game, and shooting guard Skylar Mays, who averaged 11.3 points per game last season.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25