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News in Brief- March 13, 2019

News in Brief- March 13, 2019

LSU AgCenter gets $1M for research on wetlands roseau cane

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana researchers are getting $1 million for research on a plant that helps hold wetlands in place.

The money will let scientists study roseau cane and threats that include rising water and an insect called the roseau cane scale, according to the LSU AgCenter.

By understanding how stresses affect the cane, researchers hope to develop restoration plans tailored to specific regions in the delta, LSU AgCenter entomologist Rodrigo Diaz said in a news release.

Tall wetland grass is a critical anchor in Louisiana's eroding coastal marshes and along the birdfoot delta at the Mississippi River's mouth.

Roseau cane is normally one of the most erosion-resistant marsh plants on Louisiana's coast, thriving in fresh and salty water. But it has been dying off, leaving open water.

Diaz and other AgCenter researchers have found that roseau cane health varies around the delta. They think one reason could be that some varieties are resistant to the cane scale, which was first found in the state in 2016.

Tests of those varieties are needed to tell the best time of year for planting, which plant species or varieties establish and grow best under a variety of conditions, and how big plants should be to have a good chance of surviving at a reasonable cost.

The money is in the federal appropriations bill passed in February.


Suspect in Louisiana shooting death arrested in Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — A suspect in a 2018 Louisiana killing has been arrested in Mississippi.

News outlets in both states say 23-year-old Kevon Southall of Houma was arrested early Monday during a traffic stop by police in Hattiesburg.

Police pulled over a car that was reported for being used without authorization. They recovered two firearms from the vehicle.

Southall was booked into Forrest County Jail as a fugitive from another jurisdiction. He also was charged with possession of a weapon by a felon.

Southall is one of five suspects in a shooting that wounded one man and killed 20-year-old Alex Morena of Galliano in October. The other four suspects were arrested.

Southall faces Louisiana charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. It's unclear if he has an attorney who could comment.


Saints agree to 2-year extension with LB Craig Robinson

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have agreed with linebacker Craig Robinson on a two-year contract extension.

The seven-year NFL veteran, whose deal was announced Monday, has played both defense and special teams since signing with the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2016. Robertson has been a team captain the past two years.

He has started 27 games for the Saints, recording 218 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions. He made 10 tackles and a sack in 16 games last season, but some of his biggest plays came on special teams.

Robertson recovered a blocked punt against Atlanta and also made stops on a fake field goal and a fake punt play in 2018.

The former North Texas player was originally signed to the Cleveland Browns' practice squad near the end of the 2011 season.

The Saints didn't release contract terms.

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