BATON ROUGE -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are patrolling the fishing closure zones in the oil spill area daily by water and air to ensure that all seafood brought to market is safe to consume.
To guard against the possibility of oil tainted seafood being brought to shore, LDWF and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) has issued recreational and commercial fishing closures in areas of the gulf where oil is believed to have spread.
“We are trying to keep as many areas open to fishing as possible, but as the oil spreads further towards the coast we have no choice but to issue a fishing closure for those areas,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We want the consumers of Louisiana seafood to be confident that the seafood they consume is safe and delicious as always.”
While LDWF continues to work closely with the Department of Health and Hospitals to execute closures, it is important to note that LDWF maintains the authority to close any and all areas that are deemed necessary by the secretary of the department. LDWF Enforcement Agents have the authority to enforce closures in state waters regardless of where the directive comes from.
The Enforcement Division has deployed forward command centers to Hopedale, Venice and Grand Isle to patrol the fishing closure areas. From these locations, agents launch boats for daily missions specific to the closed fishing zones. The Enforcement Division also flies over the oil spill area to monitor and report any signs of fishing activity in these closed areas.
If an agent discovers fishing activity in the closed area, they will inspect the catch and return all fish to the water. If fishermen are found to be in obvious violation of the current fishing closure areas, agents will issue a citation to all parties involved.
LDWF will also be inspecting trip tickets, which are used by the department to track seafood sales and where the seafood was caught. Every wholesale/retail seafood, fresh product and crab shredder license holder must fill out trip tickets along with a monthly report to LDWF. (Abbeville Meridional)
VILLE PLATTE - An Evangeline Parish Grand Jury indicted five people in three cases Tuesday, May 11, which were presented before noon to 13th Judicial District Judge John Larry Vidrine.
In the first case, two Ville Platte residents were indicted on charges of oral sexual battery. District Attorney Trent Brignac said true bills were issued against Leonard Glynn Thomas, 31, and Sonya Renee Thompson, 19, in a case involving a 12-year-old girl in November of 2008, who was asked to perform oral sexual battery on an adult male.
Thomas was indicted on two counts of oral sexual battery. If convicted of the crime, he could face a sentence of not less than 25 years no more than 99 years.
Thompson was indicted on one count of oral sexual battery, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. If convicted on the oral sexual battery, she could face a sentence of not less than 25 years no more than 99 years and up to 25 years on the two counts of indecent behavior because of the victim’s age at the time of the incident.
Assistant District Attorney Shelley Deville represented the state in this matter by presenting it to the grand jury.
In the second case, a home invasion, which allegedly occurred in December 2008, was brought before the grand jury by Assistant District Attorney Nicole Gil. True bills were returned against Charles Edward Grace, 34, Ville Platte, and Steveninski Frank, 18, Ville Platte, for one count of aggravated burglary, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count armed robbery, one count criminal damage to property over $500 and one count of an unidentifiable firearm against both men. If convicted, the aggravated burglary charge carries a sentence of not more than 30 years; aggravated kidnapping is punishable by life; armed robbery is up to 99 years; criminal damage to property carries up to two years; and the firearm charge carries a sentence of up to five years.
The third case, presented by Assistant District Attorney Timmy Fontenot, involved a forcible rape charge from March 2009. The grand jury returned a true bill for forcible rape against Carlos Elmarko Leday, 36, of Ville Platte. The case involves a complaint of a woman who asked the man to wear protection but he refused. If convicted, the man faces a sentence of up to 40 years.(Ville Platte Gazette)
EUNICE - St. Anthony Catholic Church parishoners await word on their new pastor after Bishop Micael Jarrell announced the appointment of their current pastor to a Lafayette church this week.
Reverend Gilbert Dutel, pastor of Saint Anthony Church in Eunice, will be appointed to the Office of Pastor of Saint Edmond Parish in Lafayette for a term of six years.
The appointment will be effective June 22.
No announcement has yet been made on his replacement.
Father Dutel officially took post as pastor of St. Anthony Church on June 24, 2009.
The Rev. Dutel came to Eunice after pastoring 12 years at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Scott.
Dutel, a native of Lafayette, is the youngest of three sons of the late Gilbert and Gertrude Dutel.
Dutel is a 1962 graduate of Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette.
He attended the University of Southern Louisiana for two years before graduating Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans in 1966.
In 1970 he graduated from the Catholic University of Washington, D.C. with a Masters Degree in Theology.(Eunice News)