AROUND THE STATE: Louisiana news briefs

Staff Report
The Louisiana State Capitol.

WWII veteran honored

Johnnie Jones, a 101-year-old World War II veteran from Baton Rouge was honored as he received his Purple Heart medal during a ceremony at the Old State Capitol.

Jones became the first Black warrant officer in the U.S. Army after he joined in 1943.

He served as a warrant officer in the 494th Port Battalion, 6th Engineer Special Brigade, and took part in the third wave of Operation Overload when he was injured on Omaha Beach.

After returning home, Jones was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement.

Woman pleads guilty to embezzling

A Mississippi woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $600,000 from two Louisiana employers.

Christy Bartholomew, 39, of Hattiesburg, pleaded to wire fraud, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Prosecutors said she worked as a controller for a business in Slidell and as an office manager for a company in Kenner.

Prosecutors said she used several schemes, including use of a company credit card.

Baton Rouge gas prices lowest in nation

The lowest average gas price in the country was in Baton Rouge at $2.63 per gallon.

The average U.S. price of regular gas rose two cents over the last two weeks to $3.15 per gallon.

Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area at $4.33 per gallon.

Baton Rouge tabbed for Biden crime plan

President Joe Biden released a plan to combat violent crime in 15 American cities and counties, one of which being Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana capital city was the second-to-smallest on the national list.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul went to Washington, D.C. last week to attend the White House press conference.

New Orleans jazz festival set for October

The 2021 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is scheduled for Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17.

After taking the year off due to the pandemic, the musical acts on the slate include Lizzo, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Stevie Nicks, Demi Lovato, Melissa Etheridge, Ludacris, the Beach Boysand the Isley Brothers.

The festival usually runs the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.