plaquemines parish

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The Coast Guard says a wellhead damaged earlier this week off Plaquemines Parish has been secured.

Ensign Tanner Stiehl says Wild Well Control crews secured the well shortly after a specialized barge arrived Thursday in Lake Grande Ecaille Bay, nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur.

The wellhead owned by Houston-based Swift Energy Co. was damaged Tuesday by one of the company's crewboats. Stiehl says skimmer boats have since collected more than 1,200 gallons of oily water. He says 4,880 feet of boom was set out to contain the spill and keep it out of marshes.

A public hearing on coastal management in Plaquemines Parish will be held Feb. 7.

The parish Coastal Zone Management Department said the public will be able to offer comment on coastal management issues.

The session is planned from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Belle Chasse Library on Louisiana Highway 23.

More information on the hearing and updates to the coastal program are available by contacting project manager Stephen Lundgren at slundgren@evans-graves.com or by phone at 504-836-8190.

A Plaquemines Parish sheriff's deputy has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in his custody.

The Times-Picayune reports that 29-year-old Elijah D. Gary of Port Sulphur was arrested Friday on charges of sexual battery and malfeasance of office for sexual misconduct.

The sheriff's office began the investigation Nov. 20 after a 29-year-old woman told detectives he sexually assaulted her while he was processing her into jail.

He was being on a $50,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Plaquemines Parish sheriff's deputies say a 54-year-old Belle Chasse man has been booked with second-degree murder after he confessed he fatally stabbed his girlfriend during an argument.

Cmdr. Eric Becnel tells The Times-Picayune that the argument erupted on an isolated road Tuesday afternoon where the couple went to have sex earlier during the day.

Becnel said after the stabbing, John Edward Rivers Sr. went to the 44-year-old woman's home, packed his belongings and went to a relative's home in Baton Rouge.

The Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry landing has been closed indefinitely as unsafe. A Plaquemines Parish news release says the Department of Transportation and Development ordered it closed immediately on Wednesday.

The landing was damaged by Hurricane Isaac. The parish has been working on repairs for more than a year to keep it running. It says the landing isn't eligible for Federal Emergency Management Administration aid because a previous administration didn't give any details about repairs that FEMA paid for after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Plaquemines Parish plans to collect Christmas trees after the season to help rebuild wetlands in the coastal parish.

The parish garbage collection company, Solid Waste North and South, will pick them up at curbside after the holidays.

Authorities said all decorations, lights, tinsel, garland and other materials must be removed. Flocked trees cannot be recycled.

A 50-year-old contractor from Mississippi died in Plaquemines Parish after the bulldozer he was working in slipped into a debris covered pond.

Parish officials say the man from Wiggins was pronounced dead at a local hospital Tuesday. WWL-TV reports the accident happened just off La. Highway 23 near Point Celeste.

The victim's name has not been released.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Efforts to pump water out of low-lying areas of Plaquemines Parish continued Saturday and officials said they expected to have state Highway 23 clear enough for cars to pass by Monday.

Plaquemines was among the parishes hit by severe flooding when Hurricane Isaac struck more than a week ago.

Full-size trucks were able to traverse the highway Saturday, according to a parish news release. Cars were escorted in convoys on the nearby Mississippi River levee.

Plaquemines Parish officials have halted the Scarsdale-Belle Chasse ferry on the Mississippi River until Hurricane Isaac passes.

Parish officials also said Marina Road in Myrtle Grove will close at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Plaquemines Parish officials say they have closed the Empire floodgate as Tropical Storm Isaac nears.

Authorities said no boat traffic will be permitted through the gate until further notice.

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