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Marrero man wanted for allegedly trying to hit JPSO officer

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 01:58 AM PST

Marrero – The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is trying to track down a man accused of trying to hit an officer with his car in Harvey.

Investigators say Bill Rumfield was driving near Post Drive and Woodmere Boulevard around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies say his grey Acura TL matched the description of a car used in an earlier theft.

When a deputy tried stopping the car, Rumfield allegedly tried to hit him, forcing the officer to fire at the car.

Rumfield managed to get away.

He will face aggravated assault charges when he is arrested.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Saying goodbye to beloved fruit & veggie man, Mr. Okra

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 06:25 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS-- A second line for 75-year old, Arthur "Mr. Okra" Robinson took place this afternoon following his walk-through funeral at Marigny Opeara House.

The second line went from Marigny Opera House to BJ's Loung on Burgundy Street.   The second line was led by Kinfolk Brass Band and Darryl "Dancing Man" Young.

Mr. Okra was known for delivering fruits and vegetables to customers with his trademark truck equipped with a PA system to announce what fruits and veggies he was selling.   He had been selling vegetables on the streets of New Orleans since he was 15.

Today family and friends remembered him.

"Mr. Okra was a wonderful guy.  I knew him since I was a little boy,"  David Moore said.

"He was a very lovable man," Linda King said.

"I used to love when he'd called out 'bikini squash' instead of zucchini squash.  I loved that about him, Phyliss King, his niece said.

Many of his his family and friends came out to the funeral and second line dressed with hats made out of fruits and veggies.  Others sang the names of fruits and veggies, just like Mr. Okra would.

Mr. Okra's daughter, Sergio Robinson will carry on his legacy and continue to sell produce out of his truck.

She said, "My daddy taught me how to run that truck and how to take care of business.  I'm going to miss him.  I'm really going to miss him."

Watch his daughter give this lovely tribute to her dad here:

Mr. Okra has 9 children, 23 grand-children, and 11 great-grandchildren.

 

 

Michelle Obama set to release ‘Becoming’ memoir in November

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 04:08 PM PST

Former first lady Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, “Becoming,” will be released on Nov. 13, the book’s publisher announced Sunday.

The publisher, Penguin Random House, said in a statement that the book is “an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations — and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

Upon its release, Obama will embark on an international tour to promote the book, which will be printed in 24 languages and sell for $32.50 in the United States, the company said.

According to the statement, Obama’s book “invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous addresses.”

In a Sunday tweet, Obama said writing the book was a “deeply personal experience.” The publisher said the book promises to be “warm, wise and revelatory.”

At the time of its release, Obama plans to donate one million copies of the book in the Obama family’s name to a Washington-based nonprofit that is dedicated to “promoting equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials and other essentials to children in need in the U.S. and Canada.”

The memoir will be the former first lady’s second book. In 2012, she published “American Grown,” a book that documents the White House kitchen garden and promotes healthy living. Former President Barack Obama also is penning a memoir to be published by Penguin Random House, which is expected to come out sometime this year.

Parkland survivor says thanks to online conspiracy theorists

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 03:54 PM PST

Watch Video

Florida high school shooting survivor David Hogg wants to say thank you to all the conspiracy theorists and detractors he believes have helped amplify his real message.

Hogg, 17, said the people attacking him online as a “crisis actor” who’s been “coached” on anti-gun talking points are really just “great advertisers.”

“These people that have been attacking me on social media, they’ve been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people. People have continued to cover us in the media. They’ve done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them,” Hogg told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday.

Hogg is one of the outspoken students from Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who has been talking about the need for gun control after a gunman killed 17 students and teachers there and wounded more.

He has become the subject of smear campaigns and demonstrably false conspiracy theories that say either he has been “coached” by his father, a former FBI agent; or he is a “pawn” for anti-gun campaigners; or he is not a victim but a “crisis actor,” paid to travel to disaster sites to argue against stricter gun laws.

Hogg said the only thing that these conspiracy theorists have exposed is how “disgusting they are,” he said.

“The fact that they’re calling out me, as a witness of this horrifying incident, that I’m a crisis actor? … I feel for those people, honestly,” he said.

“They’ve lost faith in America. But we certainly haven’t. And that’s ok, because we’re going to outlive them,” he added.

Governor orders investigation into response to Florida shooting

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 03:50 PM PST

Watch Video

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday ordered an investigation into the response to the deadly shooting two weeks ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “for there to be full accountability.”

Scott directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to “immediately investigate the law enforcement response,” according to a statement, amid growing criticism of how the Broward County Sheriff’s Office handled the shooting in Parkland on February 14.

In a statement, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said his department “will fully cooperate” with the probe, “as we believe in full transparency and accountability.”

Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran and dozens of lawmakers have called on Scott to suspend Israel for “incompetence and dereliction of duty.” Scott didn’t say in his statement that he would suspend Israel, but said he will continue to review the matter. The governor said he has spoken to Corcoran regularly since the shooting, “and like me he wants the families to have answers and for there to be full accountability.”

“That’s what the victims and their families deserve,” the governor said in the statement.

Earlier Sunday, Israel said he will not step down. Florida state representative Bill Hager wrote a letter to Scott the day before, asking the governor to remove Israel from his post for his deputies’ “incomprehensible inaction” during the massacre.

An investigation “by Sheriff Israel will do nothing to bring back the 17 victims,” that confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz killed, Hager wrote.

Related: These are the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting

“The Sheriff was or should have been aware of the threat Cruz presented to his community and chose to ignore it,” Hager wrote, referring to a long history of warnings and tips to the sheriff’s office over the past decade, including ones suggesting Cruz had fire arms and was planning a school shooting.

In his letter, Hager, a Republican, cited Florida statute 112.52, which he says gives Scott “removal authority for neglect of duty and incompetence.”

Israel dismissed Hager’s accusations, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Of course I won’t resign.”

“It was a shameful letter. It was politically-motivated. I never met that man. He doesn’t know anything about me. And the letter was full of misinformation,” Israel said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Hager’s call for Israel’s removal came after the armed school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Deputy Scot Peterson, resigned Thursday following his suspension amid accusations he did nothing to stop the massacre.

Read the transcript of the interview with Sheriff Israel

Israel says Peterson never went into building where the shooter was firing at students, instead taking a position outside.

In a letter of response to the governor, Israel said he was proud of the work that many of his deputies and other agencies did the day of the shooting and that he was appalled by Hager’s “need to engage in disingenuous political grandstanding, perhaps in the hope he will garner some headlines, at the expense of the truth.”

He also said that Hager’s letter “was riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip, and falsehoods.”

Hager was among 73 Republican lawmakers who, along with Corcoran, asked the governor to suspend Israel.

Deputy suspended

Israel made the decision to suspend Peterson — who was armed and in uniform at the time of the shooting — after interviewing the deputy and reviewing footage and witness statements, he said.

“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position,” Israel said of the video. “And he never went in.”

Israel told reporters Peterson should have “[w]ent in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Instead, the deputy waited outside for about four minutes.

During that time, Israel said, Peterson got on his radio and took a position where he could see the western entry of the building.

Other deputies may have also been outside school

Israel says his department is also looking into reports that at least three other Broward Sheriff’s deputies didn’t enter the school building during shooting.

Sources tell CNN the Coral Springs officers arrived at the scene and were surprised to find the three deputies behind their vehicles with their pistols drawn. None of them had gone into the school.

Israel says his department will investigate the Coral Springs officers’ claims, but insists that “during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period. And that was our former deputy Scot Peterson.”

Israel says his department’s investigation so far indicates the Coral Springs officers didn’t arrive until about four minutes after Cruz had left the campus.

“At this point, we have no reason to believe anyone acted incorrectly or correctly. That’s what an investigation is. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own set of facts,” Israel says. “At this point, one deputy was remiss…and he’s now no longer with this agency.”

A report on what Coral Springs officers observed is expected next week. Sources caution that surveillance video is currently being reviewed and official accounts could ultimately differ from recollections of officers on the scene.

Sgt. Carla Kmiotek, public information officer for the Coral Springs Police Department, would not comment on the reports. “The Coral Springs Police Department will speak on behalf of our officers and their response in that incident,” she said. ” We will not speak on behalf of Broward Sheriff’s deputies and their response to the incident.”

“Our police department has continued to work alongside the Broward Sheriff’s Office to assist in any investigation pertaining to this incident,” the department said later in a statement. “The Coral Springs Police Department has a tremendous working relationship with the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and while we are being transparent through this investigation, everyone should respect the process.”

‘School shooter in the making’: Missed opportunities

Israel is also under fire for what appear to be several missed opportunities to intervene before Cruz opened fire.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says it received 23 calls related to Cruz or his brother in the past decade.

Two deputies have been placed on restricted duty pending an internal investigation on how they addressed the warnings, Israel says. Two calls in particular are under review: one from February 5, 2016, and another from November 30 of last year.

In the 2016 call, officers received information from a neighbor’s son that Cruz planned to “shoot up” an unknown school. There was a picture of a “juvenile with guns” on Instagram, according to police records.

In that case, a deputy responded and determined Cruz had knives and a BB gun. The information was forwarded to a school resource officer, police records show.

In the report three months before the shooting, a caller warned that Cruz was collecting guns and knives and wanted to join the Army. The person who called in that November 2017 tip said Cruz was suicidal and could be a “school shooter in the making,” according to police records.

The report said that officers at the time did not write a report on the tip. Cruz was no longer living at the listed Parkland address and lived in Lake Worth, Florida, according to police records. The deputy referred the caller to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Israel acknowledges there “needed to be a report” on the call, “And that’s what we’re looking into. That a report needed to be completed, it needed to be forwarded to our Homeland Security or violent crimes unit and they would’ve followed up on it.”

When asked about the 23 calls regarding Cruz, Israel tells CNN, “On sixteen of those cases, our deputies did everything right.”

“I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency,” Israel says.

Cruz was distraught over mother’s death

Weeks after Cruz’s mother died in November, he reportedly called 911 to describe a tumultuous encounter with a family that had recently taken him in.

In a call obtained by CNN affiliate WPTV, the caller, identified by the West Palm Beach station as Cruz, talks about a blowup. The man, whose voice is unsteady, says he doesn’t know where he is calling from because he is new to the area.

The call was placed shortly after Cruz and his younger brother moved in with the Deschamps family in Palm Beach County.

On November 28, Rocxanne Deschamps, who took them in, called 911 saying that Cruz was distraught and violent after losing a photo of his mother, according to the Palm Beach County deputy’s report and dispatcher notes. She told authorities that Cruz was confronted by her son, Rock, and ran from the home, saying he “was going to get his gun and come back,” records show.

Cruz placed a 911 call after he left, WPTV reported.

“The thing is, I lost my mother a couple days ago, so, like, I’m dealing with a bunch of things right now,” Cruz said, according to the TV station.

Cruz lived with the Deschamps family briefly, then moved out.

Students to return to school

Stoneman Douglas students will get their first chance to return to the school Sunday afternoon for an open house.

It’s a chance for them to visit the campus-turned-crime scene before the scheduled resumption of classes on Wednesday.

At the open house, students and teachers will be able to talk with administrators about what’s being done to improve security, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie says.

They will also receive new schedules, Runcie says, noting school officials are “getting creative” to rearrange classrooms since the building where the shooting occurred will remain closed.

Runcie says school officials will be as accommodating as possible and take measures like adding counselors and service dogs in classrooms. Stress reduction exercises like massage and yoga will also be available.

“All that matters is hearts and minds,” Runcie says.

School officials will also work with students who don’t want to return to Stoneman Douglas and arrange for them to transfer schools.

Inaugural Chinese New Year festival kicks off in Fat City

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 02:55 PM PST

METAIRIE-- The Chinese New Year officially began Friday, February 16th,  but Fat City was the scene of a four-hour block party to celebrate on Sunday.

"We have traditional Chinese food here, music, dance, and performances that are indicative of our culture," said Yina Chang, a member from Xavier University who helped put the event on. "There are several Chinese programs here in local schools and we want people to know that."

The Chinese Lunar Calendar designates each year with a zodiac animal. 2018 is the Year of the Dog, a symbol of love, loyalty, friendship and honesty.

The Metairie Business Development District, along with the Xavier University's Confucious Institute and Fat City Friends are hosting an inaugural Chinese New Year Block Party Celebration, and they hope to make it an annual festival.

‘Black Panther’ roars past $700 million worldwide in week two

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 02:44 PM PST

“Black Panther” is still wearing the box office crown in its second weekend.

The Disney and Marvel Studios film was the number one film in the U.S. for the second weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $108 million at the box office.

“Black Panther” becomes only the fourth film ever to cross $100 million in its second weekend, joining “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Avengers.” It is the second highest second weekend for a film behind only “Force Awakens.”

“Black Panther” has also crossed the $700 million mark globally in just two weekends of release and will cross $400 million domestically on Sunday, its 10th day of release. The film has yet to open in China or Japan.

After its second weekend domestically, the film, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, is already the fifth highest grossing Marvel Studios film and will likely pass “Captain America: Civil War” and “Iron Man 3” to take the number three spot in the coming days.

Overall, “Black Panther” showed strong staying power losing only 47% of its domestic audience from its record-breaking opening weekend. That’s less of a drop than other films in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe like “Captain America: Civil War” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which saw its second weekend totals drop closer to 60%, according to comScore.

Last weekend, the film, which is Marvel’s first to be directed by an African-American director, opened to $201.8 million in North America, breaking multiple records. It became the largest opening for an African-American director by sizable margin.

The record opening and a strong second weekend stands as a watershed moment for Hollywood. With “Black Panther” shattering expectations and records, the film’s success could impact change in Hollywood by encouraging more diverse casts, crews, and stories.

The film currently holds a near perfect 97% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it one of the best-reviewed superhero films ever.

UNO drops tournament finale

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 02:17 PM PST

New Orleans -- In the final game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic, Iowa defeated UNO 8-2 on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Privateers starter, Brayson Smith struggled from the get-go and didn't make it out of the first inning after hitting a batter, walking two and giving-up a 2 RBI double. He faced had only 6 batters when Eric Orze, Saturday's closer, came-in to finish-out the first and get out of the jam with runners on the corners. Orze didn't have much better luck, giving-up 3 runs on 4 hits and walking 4. Overall a rough day for the Privateers' pitching-staff who gave-up 12 hits and walked 11-- including 2 hit by pitch.

At the plate it was a struggle too, as the Privateers only managed 3 hits. Owen Magee accounted for 2 of those-- including a single in the first and another base hit in the 6th. He was 2-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch. The other Privateers hit was an RBI single from Cody Ducote, who drove-in UNO's only 2 runs of the game in the bottom of the third. Iowa's starter, Cole McDonald went 7 innings, giving-up the 3 hits and 2 runs and striking-out 4.  Of the 24 at bats in that stretch, he had 14 ground-outs.

Iowa took a 4-0 lead into the third, when the Privateers cut the deficit in half. From there though, the Hawkeyes added one more run in the 4th and 5th innings, and closed-out the scoring with 2 final runs in the 9th.

UNO (4-4) finished the weekend with two wins and a loss, as did the Hawkeyes (5-1). The Privateers now prepare to host Southern Miss on Tuesday before their 3-game weekend series against Arkansas State. Their next 5 games and 7 of their next 9 are at home at Maestri Field.

Florida sheriff says he won’t resign amid questions about school shooting response

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 12:14 PM PST

Watch Video

County Sheriff Scott Israel says he’s not stepping down amid criticism of his department’s response to the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Israel’s declaration comes after a Florida state representative called on Gov. Rick Scott to remove Israel from his post for his deputies’ “incomprehensible inaction” during the massacre.

An investigation “by Sheriff Israel will do nothing to bring back the 17 victims,” Bill Hager said in a letter to the governor, referring to the students and teachers confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz, killed.

Related: These are the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting

“The Sheriff was or should have been aware of the threat Cruz presented to his community and chose to ignore it,” Hager claims.

He’s referring to a long history of warnings and tips to the sheriff’s office over the past decade, including ones suggesting Cruz had fire arms and was planning a school shooting.

In his letter, Hager, a Republican, cites Florida statute 112.52, which he says gives Scott “removal authority for neglect of duty and incompetence.”

Israel dismissed Hager’s accusations, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Of course I won’t resign.”

“It was a shameful letter. It was politically-motivated. I never met that man. He doesn’t know anything about me. And the letter was full of misinformation,” Israel said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Hager’s call for Israel’s removal came after the armed school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Deputy Scot Peterson, resigned Thursday following his suspension amid accusations he did nothing to stop the massacre.

Israel says Peterson never went into building where the shooter was firing at students, instead taking a position outside.

In a letter of response to the governor, Israel said he was proud of the work that many of his deputies and other agencies did the day of the shooting and that he was appalled by Hager’s “need to engage in disingenuous political grandstanding, perhaps in the hope he will garner some headlines, at the expense of the truth.”

He also said that Hager’s letter “was riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip, and falsehoods.”

Deputy suspended

Israel made the decision to suspend Peterson — who was armed and in uniform at the time of the shooting — after interviewing the deputy and reviewing footage and witness statements, he said.

“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position,” Israel said of the video. “And he never went in.”

Israel told reporters Peterson should have “[w]ent in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Instead, the deputy waited outside for about four minutes.

During that time, Israel said, Peterson got on his radio and took a position where he could see the western entry of the building.

Other deputies may have also been outside school

Israel says his department is also looking into reports that at least three other Broward Sheriff’s deputies didn’t enter the school building during shooting.

Sources tell CNN the Coral Springs officers arrived at the scene and were surprised to find the three deputies behind their vehicles with their pistols drawn. None of them had gone into the school.

Israel says his department will investigate the Coral Springs officers’ claims, but insists that “during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period. And that was our former deputy Scot Peterson.”

Israel says his department’s investigation so far indicates the Coral Springs officers didn’t arrive until about four minutes after Cruz had left the campus.

“At this point, we have no reason to believe anyone acted incorrectly or correctly. That’s what an investigation is. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own set of facts,” Israel says. “At this point, one deputy was remiss…and he’s now no longer with this agency.”

A report on what Coral Springs officers observed is expected next week. Sources caution that surveillance video is currently being reviewed and official accounts could ultimately differ from recollections of officers on the scene.

Sgt. Carla Kmiotek, public information officer for the Coral Springs Police Department, would not comment on the reports. “The Coral Springs Police Department will speak on behalf of our officers and their response in that incident,” she said. ” We will not speak on behalf of Broward Sheriff’s deputies and their response to the incident.”

“Our police department has continued to work alongside the Broward Sheriff’s Office to assist in any investigation pertaining to this incident,” the department said later in a statement. “The Coral Springs Police Department has a tremendous working relationship with the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and while we are being transparent through this investigation, everyone should respect the process.”

‘School shooter in the making’: Missed opportunities

Israel is also under fire for what appear to be several missed opportunities to intervene before Cruz opened fire.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says it received 23 calls related to Cruz or his brother in the past decade.

Two deputies have been placed on restricted duty pending an internal investigation on how they addressed the warnings, Israel says. Two calls in particular are under review: one from February 5, 2016, and another from November 30 of last year.

In the 2016 call, officers received information from a neighbor’s son that Cruz planned to “shoot up” an unknown school. There was a picture of a “juvenile with guns” on Instagram, according to police records.

In that case, a deputy responded and determined Cruz had knives and a BB gun. The information was forwarded to a school resource officer, police records show.

In the report three months before the shooting, a caller warned that Cruz was collecting guns and knives and wanted to join the Army. The person who called in that November 2017 tip said Cruz was suicidal and could be a “school shooter in the making,” according to police records.

The report said that officers at the time did not write a report on the tip. Cruz was no longer living at the listed Parkland address and lived in Lake Worth, Florida, according to police records. The deputy referred the caller to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Israel acknowledges there “needed to be a report” on the call, “And that’s what we’re looking into. That a report needed to be completed, it needed to be forwarded to our Homeland Security or violent crimes unit and they would’ve followed up on it.”

When asked about the 23 calls regarding Cruz, Israel tells CNN, “On sixteen of those cases, our deputies did everything right.”

“I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency,” Israel says.

Cruz was distraught over mother’s death

Weeks after Cruz’s mother died in November, he reportedly called 911 to describe a tumultuous encounter with a family that had recently taken him in.

In a call obtained by CNN affiliate WPTV, the caller, identified by the West Palm Beach station as Cruz, talks about a blowup. The man, whose voice is unsteady, says he doesn’t know where he is calling from because he is new to the area.

The call was placed shortly after Cruz and his younger brother moved in with the Deschamps family in Palm Beach County.

On November 28, Rocxanne Deschamps, who took them in, called 911 saying that Cruz was distraught and violent after losing a photo of his mother, according to the Palm Beach County deputy’s report and dispatcher notes. She told authorities that Cruz was confronted by her son, Rock, and ran from the home, saying he “was going to get his gun and come back,” records show.

Cruz placed a 911 call after he left, WPTV reported.

“The thing is, I lost my mother a couple days ago, so, like, I’m dealing with a bunch of things right now,” Cruz said, according to the TV station.

Cruz lived with the Deschamps family briefly, then moved out.

Students to return to school

Stoneman Douglas students will get their first chance to return to the school Sunday afternoon for an open house.

It’s a chance for them to visit the campus-turned-crime scene before the scheduled resumption of classes on Wednesday.

At the open house, students and teachers will be able to talk with administrators about what’s being done to improve security, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie says.

They will also receive new schedules, Runcie says, noting school officials are “getting creative” to rearrange classrooms since the building where the shooting occurred will remain closed.

Runcie says school officials will be as accommodating as possible and take measures like adding counselors and service dogs in classrooms. Stress reduction exercises like massage and yoga will also be available.

“All that matters is hearts and minds,” Runcie says.

School officials will also work with students who don’t want to return to Stoneman Douglas and arrange for them to transfer schools.

Paying tribute to the return of the American Bald Eagle in Louisiana

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 10:05 AM PST

MORGAN CITY, La. -- The 13th annual Eagle Expo and more took place this weekend in Morgan City. The Expo pays tribute to the return of the American Bald Eagle in Louisiana.

Highlights included boat tours to view the eagles and to meet fellow birders.

The epicenter for bald eagles is St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes.

Experts estimate about 1000 bald eagles "winter" in Louisiana before heading to southern Canada.

Nineteen majestic bald eagles were sighted on this tour.

There are also more than 300 active nests in Louisiana. And they are bigger than you think.

"They are big because they reuse the nests season after season and they keep adding to it. So some of them are over 6 feet wide and 6 feet deep. Plus, some nests even weigh over a ton! You can see 2 baby eagles here. They are not ready to leave the nest. It'll be a couple of more weeks," says Donna Dittmann with the LSU Museum of Natural Science.

The eagles head north in late April and May.