AROUND THE STATE: Louisiana news briefs

Staff Report
The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Python escapes in Baton Rouge

The Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge was temporarily closed due to a 12-foot albino Burmese python escaping its enclosure July 6 at the Blue Zoo Aquarium. 

The St. George Fire Department was called in the morning to assist in finding Cara the Python.

The two-day search ended the morning of July 8 as Cara was located in ceiling ducts of the mall.

Harvey girls wins national spelling bee

A 14-year-old girl from Harvey won the Scripps National Spelling Bee held July 8.

Zaila Avant-garde won the competition with the word "Murraya," which is a word for a type of tree. Along with a trophy, she won $50,000.

The title makes her the first winner from Louisiana in the history of the competition, and the second African-American to win.

She also holds three world records for dribbling multiple basketballs simultaneously. 

LSU's president offered her a full scholarship over the weekend.

Fake eyelashes seized at airport

Thousands of fake eyelashes were seized from a DHL shipping terminal at the New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, according to U.S. Customs.

Officers held a July 6 shipment of “synthetic eyelash sample” for further examination.

The shipment, en route to a beauty supply shop in New Orleans, included four boxes of fake eyelashes, totaling 3,000 pairs of eyelashes.

Eyelids are delicate, and an allergic reaction, irritation, or other injury in the eye area can occur, U.S. Customs said in a statement.

Police officer killed in Doyline

While responding to a call for service July 9, police officer William "Billy" Collins Jr. was shot in killed.

The fatal shooting occurred in Doyline, a small community east of Shreveport.

Louisiana State Police are investigating.

Rapper remixes hit to promote vaccination

New Orleans-based rapper Juvenile has remixed his huge hit song as a way of promoting the COVID-19 vaccine.

He released "Vax That Thang Up," featuring artists Mannie Fresh and Mia X.

A music video produced for the promotion features Juvenile showing off a vaccination card. He told Rolling Stone that he was hoping to have a positive influence on his community through the collaboration.