Two children die in W. Monroe house fire

WEST MONROE — A house fire in West Monroe has claimed the lives of two children.

Ouachita Parish Fire Department investigator Curt Meachum said the children, ages 16 months and 3 years, were believed to be in the room where the fire started Monday afternoon.

Meachum says their father also was in the home and suffered some burns. He was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

Meachum said the home did not have a working smoke alarm.

The cause of the fire is not known.

The names of the victims have not been released.Lake Charles councilagrees to sell building

LAKE CHARLES — The City Council has approved the sale of an abandoned parking garage along the lakefront.

City officials intend to sell the structure to developer Mardi Gras Boardwalk. The company would have to renovate the structure.

An appraisal of the garage is pending, but the development company has offered $165,000 for the building.

Sulphur calls for bids to update signals

SULPHUR — The city will soon advertise for bids to update signals at two main intersections as part of a long-term plan to improve traffic flow.

The City Council approved authorization for the ads to begin Feb. 21 to change signals at the intersections of Huntington and Cypress streets and Darbonne and Ruth streets.

Public works director John Bruce said the changes will include a left-turn signal at Huntington and Cypress streets intersection and motion detectors at both intersections.

LSU-S online officialnamed trainer of year

SHREVEPORT — Tulin Melancon has been named 2012 professional trainer of the year by the north Louisiana chapter of the American Society of Training and Development.

Melancon is director of online learning and faculty development at LSU-Shreveport.

Nicholls State setsgumbo cook-off

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University is looking for chefs to compete in a gumbo cook-off.

Nicholls State’s “Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off” is set for March 16.

The university says the Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off will include both a gumbo competition and a public tasting. Cooking teams will be able to compete in two categories: seafood gumbo and gumbo containing beef, turkey, chicken or pork.

The prizes for the winners: cypress gumbo paddles and roux spoons.

The deadline to register for the cook-off is Feb. 25.