AROUND THE STATE: Carnival season kicks off in Louisiana

Staff Report
King cakes were blessed by Father Chad Partain of St. Frances Cabrini Church in Alexandria on Jan. 2 as the Mardi Gras season began.

Louisiana residents ushered in the 2022 Carnival season with hopes of the celebration rolling on despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Last year's slate of parades and events were mostly canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Mardi Gras, which will be March 1 this year, will go on in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced.

TikTok challenge suspected in burn incident

A Shreveport man suffered third-degree burns after attempting to do a TikTok challenge.

After Shreveport Fire Department received a call, firefighters located an individual who suffered third-degree burns on most of his body.

"According to the investigators the individual was attempting to do a social media challenge and had a mishap with the fire," said Clarence Reese, Shreveport Fire Department Chief Assistant.

Man sentenced to 15 years

A Louisiana man who pleaded guilty last year in an estimated $58 million investment fraud scheme was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport.

David DeBerardinis, 60, had pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in August.

Prosecutors said he claimed to be part of a fuel industry trading operation.

Two children die in fire

According to the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, two children died in a fire Jan. 5 in Opelousas.

Firefighters reported a man attempted to rescue the two boys, but was unable to reach them.

“This is an incredibly sad case that we wish had a very different outcome,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning stated. “We encourage all families to take at least two things from this tragedy. The first is to get a smoke alarm for your home. The second is to have a practiced escape plan for your family, especially if you have children. Everyone should know two ways out of every room in your home and have a safe meeting place outside of the home to gather at to confirm everyone is out and unharmed.”