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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Vicksburg Post


Louisiana House backs Mississippi high court use of ‘rainy day’ fund won’t halt 2 executions BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s “rainy day” fund will be used to help plug a $319 million deficit and rebalance the state’s budget with only six weeks left in the fiscal year, after the state House gave the proposal final legislative passage Monday. The legislation by Senate President Joel Chaisson, D-Destrehan, authorizes the use of as much as $198 million from the Budget Stabilization Fund — the maximum allowed under the trust fund’s rules. The House backed use of the rainy day fund in a 91-2 vote Monday. The Senate OK’d the measure unanimously last week.

House backs reworking of recovery spending BATON ROUGE — Over the objections of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, the


BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Louisiana House unanimously backed a pair of bills Monday that would rework recovery spending tied to hurricanes Katrina and Rita and give lawmakers more oversight of the decisionmaking. Both bills target $3 billion in federal block grant recovery aid that remains unspent.

Sentencing set in extortion case MONROE — Mike Thompson, the former director of the Poverty Point Reservoir District, will be sentenced June 16. Thompson was found guilty Jan. 20 of extorting state resources. A jury deliberated for nearly four hours before convicting Thompson.

JACKSON (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected motions filed by two death row inmates seeking to halt their executions. Paul Everette Woodward is to be executed Wednesday. Gerald James Holland is to be put to death Thursday. Defense attorneys for both inmates had filed papers with the court seeking to halt the execution. Justices issued orders Monday either denying or dismissing the motions. Woodward, 62, was sentenced to death for the 1986 rape and shooting death of Rhonda

Paul Everette Woodward

Gerald James Holland

Crane, 24, of Escatawpa. Holland, of Adams County, was sentenced to death for raping and killing Krystal King, 15, in 1987. At 72, Holland is the oldest death-row inmate in the state.

Ex-Rep. Jefferson’s sister dies NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brenda Jefferson, former Louisiana U.S. Rep. William Jefferson’s sister and the first member of the family to plead guilty in a federal corruption case, died Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

She was 54. Jefferson was scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said prosecutors were notified of her death Monday, but she wouldn’t comment further.

Theft, racketeering trial for ex-Monroe official reset MONROE (AP) — Patrick Onyemechara, the city of Monroe’s former director of Revenue and Taxation, will go to trial Nov. 29. A Ouachita Parish grand jury indicted Onyemechara in October on 30 counts of felony theft and one count of racketeering. He is being held in Ouachita Correctional Center. Bail is $2.7 million. Charles Kincade, Onyemechara’s defense attorney, had asked earlier that the case be rescheduled to prepare it

A Ouachita Parish grand jury indicted Onyemechara in October on 30 counts of felony theft and one count of racketeering. He is being held in Ouachita Correctional Center. Bail is $2.7 million. for trial. Kincade filed a motion on behalf of Onyemechara’s other defense attorney, former state Sen. Charles D. Jones, to withdraw Jones as counsel in the case. Jones will resume a federal criminal trial against him next week in Shreveport.

Onyemechara rejected a plea bargain offered by the district attorney’s Office in February. The agreement would have allowed the former tax director to plea to one count of racketeering, which carries a maximum jail term of 50 years or a fine up to $1 million, or

plead to five counts of felony theft. Each felony theft count carries up to 10 years in prison or a fine up to $3,000 or both. Kincade said Onyemechara has not changed his mind on rejecting the plea agreement. Onyemechara is accused of cashing checks from cash drawers at the Revenue and Taxation Department office, including one for $12,029 that was a tax rebate from the state of Louisiana to the city of Monroe.


May 18, 2010