Rape reports rise; jail may shrink further; waterways vanish from official maps

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Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas painted the increase in reported rapes — from 136 in 2012 to 176 last year — as a sign that more women trust the department’s detectives enough to come forward as victims of a crime that often goes unreported.

New maps are redrawn all the time with new features, said Meredith Westington, chief geographer at NOAA’s [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s] Office of Coast Survey, which updates maps. But having such a high number of removals in one place – all along Plaquemines Parish – is unprecedented, she said.

“This is the first I’ve seen it,” Westington said. “I don’t know that anyone has seen these kinds of mass changes before.”

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