LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – Two little girls, who apparently couldn’t sleep, got out of the bed they shared less than a half-hour before a tractor-trailer plowed through their bedroom.

Cori Morgan, 7, and her sister, Shadia, 3, had left their bedroom for the living room just before the 4:30 a.m. crash, said Cerrisa Moore, whose mother owns the house.

The girls’ parents, Cody Batiste and Sally Morgan, both are deaf. “When it happened, I just thought it was the rain,” Batiste said through sign language interpreter Phyllis St. Cyr. “There was a big noise, and I was puzzled,” Batiste said. “Cori looked around and said the bedroom was all messed up.”

St. Cyr, who knows the family, had stopped by when she saw Morgan picking up children’s clothes from the ground where the bedroom had been.

Willie Edwards, a trucker for Edwards Transport of Houston, was cited for reckless driving, said Cpl. Mark Francis of the Lafayette Police Department.

Before hitting the house, Edwards hit a light pole and a traffic control box.

He was treated for minor injuries.



MONROE, La. (AP) – Middle school students here might be learning something about a school of fish, thanks to an underground pond under their school building.

The water can be seen through outdoor grates. “When we first moved over here you could see fish,” Principal Debbie Blue said. “I promise you.”

Blue says she learned of the situation about eight years ago, when Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School had just been renovated. A planned elevator couldn’t be installed because of the water under the foundation, contractors said.

On rainy days, like Monday, water comes through the school’s main entrance and must be constantly mopped up, she said.

“There needs to be a way to pump water out from under the building,” she said. As it is, she said, it’s not just unsafe but unhealthy because of the many mosquitoes and other bugs that breed in the underground pond.

“Or, we’ll take a new building – wouldn’t that be nice?”

The school has more than 700 students in grades 6-8.



NOVATO, Calif. (AP) – A man charged with computer theft apparently couldn’t restrain himself – prosecutors say he stole computers from the courthouse during his trial.

“It just amazed me that someone could be in the middle of a jury trial for a burglary involving computers and immediately get involved in another burglary at the Civic Center,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Jerry Niess.

Jon Houston Eipp, 39, of Novato pleaded guilty Monday in three separate cases involving 10 different charges, including burglary, theft, drug possession, attempted auto theft and more.

He faces nearly five years in prison when he is sentenced next month.

In an interview Monday night at the county jail, Eipp said he stole the computers “for personal reasons.”

“I needed help, and I didn’t know how to ask for help,” he said. “And I guess, in my crazy way, that was my way of asking for help. Help with my drug problems, help with my sanity.”

AP-ES-09-20-06 0413EDT


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