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News in Brief- November 21, 2018

News in Brief- November 21, 2018

New streetcar riding 'krewe' to herald Carnival season

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A new "krewe" plans to help kick off New Orleans' annual Carnival season on Jan. 6.

A group known as the Phunny Phorty Phellows has long heralded the arrival of the season by donning costumes and taking a ride on the St. Charles Avenue street car. New Orleans news outlets report that, now, another streetcar full of revelers plans to follow them.

A spokesman says the group — the Funky Uptown Krewe — hopes to encourage more people to come out for the start of the season. One attraction is a chance to literally catch some music: the group will toss CDs featuring local bands.

Carnival season begins on Jan. 6 and continues until Mardi Gras — or Fat Tuesday — which falls next year on March 5.


Man's confessions solve 4 long-unsolved slayings in 2 states

DALLAS (AP) — Investigators in two states say they've been able to close four unsolved murder cases because of confessions by a man being held in Texas who says he killed as many as 90 people over four decades.

Investigators in Louisiana and Georgia said Samuel Little's confessions have enabled them to solve slayings. Little, 79, is being held on a murder charge in West Texas. Little already was serving a life sentence in California when he was interviewed by a Texas investigator that resulted in the confessions.

Little provided details on two killings in Houma, Louisiana, "that only the murderer would have known," according to an internal Louisiana State Police memo obtained by The Associated Press.

Dorothy Richard, 59, was found dead in 1982, and the body of Daisy McGuire, 40, was discovered in 1996. Both had been strangled.

The memo says Little has confessed to other killings in Louisiana and those claims are being investigated.


Fifteen rescued from boat Sunday near Grand Isle

GRAND ISLE, LA - Fifteen people were rescued from a boat Sunday near Grand Isle after reports the vessel was taking on water.

The liftboat -- a vessel capable of elevating itself on legs to create a stable platform, often used in offshore oil extraction or construction -- reported problems at 3:16 a.m., the Coast Guard in New Orleans said in a news release.

The master of the liftboat reported it was tilting at 45 degrees and had no power, leaving it unable to right itself. A steel tank filled with soap then fell overboard while the boat was still taking on water, which caused a hazard to navigation, officials said.

A good Samaritan vessel rescued six people, and Coast Guard members rescued the remaining nine. The boat has about 13,900 gallons of diesel on board, and officials said there have been no reports that any of it was discharged.

Members of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Houma had plans to attend to the boat. Officials said the incident remains under investigation.


Federal agents seize fake Saints' jerseys, other products


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Homeland Security Department says it has seized more than six thousand counterfeit items in the New Orleans area, including fake Saints jerseys. Times-Picayune reported that Homeland Security officials told reporters in New Orleans on Thursday about counterfeit items that also included pirated DVDs and music, counterfeit purses and phony Viagra.

The items had a retail value of $800,000.

Department officials said the items were taken during a monthlong investigation of stores and flea markets.

Two people have been arrested but have not yet been charged.

Officials warn counterfeit contact lenses and makeup could contain lead and heavy metals. They say some of the fake toys could be fire hazards.

Officials stressed the importance of buying from reliable merchants.

Information from: The Times-Picayune,