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News in Brief- September 2, 2018

News in Brief- September 2, 2018

Police: Synthetic marijuana leaving many users unconscious

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Police in southwest Louisiana are warning residents that dozens of people have been quickly knocked out by ingesting synthetic marijuana.

The Lake Charles Police Department says it has handled 30 incidents in the past few days, and Acadian Ambulance reports taking about 45 people to hospitals since Friday. A police department statement Tuesday says the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office also has dealt with similar calls.

Police say a drug task force is trying to understand what is making the chemical so dangerous.

Synthetic marijuana has been illegal in Louisiana since 2010, but can be found under names such as K2 and Spice. Police say new brands called Bubblegum and Gumbo have surfaced and may be those causing the health problems.


Official resigns amid debate over 'Drag Queen Story Time'

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — An official in Louisiana has resigned amid controversy over a public library's plan to host fraternity brothers who are going to read to young children while dressed as drag queens.

News outlets report Lafayette Library Board of Control President Joseph Gordon-Wiltz submitted his resignation Monday amid debate over the "Drag Queen Story Time" on Oct. 6.

The announcement of the resignation comes after Mayor-President Joel Robideaux indicated he may look to cancel the event. Gordon-Wiltz is Robideaux's appointee to the board and has said he didn't see eye to eye with Robideaux on the event.

Similar events have been held in Atlanta and New York. In July, The Association for Library Service to Children promoted such events on its blog, calling those who've done it "library pioneers."


La. Education Dept.: Disadvantaged students progressing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Economically disadvantaged students, African-American students, students with disabilities and those who are learning the English language — all four groups showed strong progress in academic achievement this year, according to information released Wednesday by Louisiana's Department of Education.

But the department says progress among those "historically disadvantaged" groups will have to be accelerated to close achievement gaps with their peers.

The data on student progress demonstrates how students in grades four through 12 are progressing toward fully mastering key concepts and skills in English language arts (ELA) and math.

The department said systems in Ascension and Lafourche parishes are among the top performing in student progress. In both school systems, more than half of all students, including those who are economically disadvantaged or those with disabilities, demonstrated top growth on English and math assessments.