9News Early Edition from Matt Williams: February 1, 2012

From the desk of Matt Williams: Coming up this morning

It's a big day for college football, but will it be a big day for LSU & SU? It's National Signing Day, a day for kids to sign and fans to dream. We'll take you live and talk about some of the last minute recruits. If you're waking up to hit classes at Southern University this morning, just a couple more days until your weekend. That's because the institute has done away with Friday classes. Is it working how officials had hoped? The roads are wet, so be extra careful driving around today. Don't forget to check out our DOTD Traffic Watch cameras before heading out. Join us for 9NTM & The Early Edition beginning at 4:30 a.m.


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National Signing Day

The day has arrived when high school football players sign on the dotted line declaring which college they will attend to continue playing the sport they love. More

Starting today, you may have to pay an extra 10 percent collection fee if you have not paid your property taxes. If you paid them on time, don't worry. More

Accused murderer Trucko Stampley was removed from the courtroom after yelling and using obscene language while a witness was testifying Tuesday morning. More

Police are investigating identity thefts involving at least 187 Baton Rouge high school students. The suspect is a 17-year-old student from the school. More

This is the first semester Southern University has used a four-day class week. Some are seeing the positives of the switch, while others have pointed out some negatives. More

Homicide detectives are investigating a shooting that left two young men dead early Tuesday morning. They were found lying dead in a roadway. More


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has ruled the company that supplied cement for the ill-fated well that blew in the Gulf of Mexico may not have to pay many of the pollution claims because it was shielded in a contract with well-owner BP. But, the judge said Halliburton is not exempt from paying punitive damages and civil penalties that arise from the April 20, 2010, blowout off the Louisiana coast. More

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The wife of a former New Orleans police officer who pleaded guilty to helping cover up deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina has been charged with submitting a fraudulent claim for money from BP's oil spill compensation fund. Federal prosecutors say she received $22,600. More

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Justice has sued St. Bernard Parish, accusing it of a multi-year campaign to limit rental housing for African-Americans after Hurricane Katrina. The lawsuit involves ordinances and zoning regulations enacted under previous administrations. More

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal program that provided temporary housing assistance to nearly 20,000 families displaced by two 2008 hurricanes has come to an end. Officials said 3,500 households affected by hurricanes Ike and Gustav were still enrolled when it ended Tuesday. More

BATON ROUGE, LA (AP) - LSU coach Les Miles is anticipating a strong recruiting class as national signing day arrives. The class is expected to include good prospects at offensive line and linebacker. New Tulane coach Curtis Johnson is looking forward to Wednesday to welcome his first group of players. More

UNDATED (AP) - During college football's signing day Wednesday, coaches and fans will agonize over those 25 or so guys pledging to each school, but it's never clear how much of an impact they will have. An analysis by The Associated Press of the 123 recruits who signed with Florida, USC, Tennessee, LSU and Texas in 2007 shows that less than half were still on the teams' rosters as seniors. More

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Hornets are back home on Wednesday night as they look to stop a two-game losing streak against the Phoenix Suns. The Hornets are coming off a 105-95 road loss to the Miami Heat that dropped them to just 4-17 on the season. More

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


TAMPA, FL (AP) - Mitt Romney takes all in Florida. Romney's win in the state's GOP primary gives him 50 more delegates to the Republican National Convention, for a total of 87. With most of Florida's precincts reporting, Romney has 46 percent of the vote. Gingrich comes in second with 32 percent. More

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is about to detail a homeowner-friendly plan it hopes will ease a major drag on the economy. It would allow all homeowners to refinance at lower interest rates even if they owe more than their homes are worth. The major hurdle in Congress is that the program would be paid for by a fee on large banks. More

OLYMPIA, WA (AP) - The legalization of same-sex marriage is expected to take a critical step today in Washington state. The vote today is in the state Senate and the measure has narrow support with several undecideds. If it passes the state Senate, it's expected to have an easier time in the House. The governor supports the bill. More

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Los Angeles elementary school teacher accused of blindfolding and gagging students is due in court this morning. Mark Berndt is accused of committing lewd acts on 23 boys and girls between 2008 and 2010. Authorities didn't know what was going on until a film processor found photos of the children that Berndt had taken. More

SEQUIM, Wash. (AP) - The Coast Guard is investigating why a 40-foot boat exploded in a marina on Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. The blast Tuesday evening broke windows, damaged boats 75 yards away and briefly trapped a man in the boat. Two people nearby rescued the man, who has burns and broken bones. More

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Divers will search the wreck of a freighter that sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast for its eight missing crewmen. The ship was sailing to a Turkish port from Russian when it sank in stormy waters Tuesday. Three crew members were rescued. More

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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