News for Friday 121418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain.. High 54
Businesses and schools across the nation were evacuated yesterday because of bomb threats, that appear now to have been hoaxes. Here in Louisiana, State Police are aware of several threats in multiple cities. The threats were sent via email, requesting money being paid to senders via bitcoin, some with the emails having the subject line “Think Twice.” Here in Alexandria First Federal Bank on North Blvd and Red River Bank off of Jackson Street Extension received the threats.
It’s a dead heat. Congressman Ralph Abraham says a new poll he funded shows he’s the Republican to beat Democrat John Bel Edwards in next year’s governor’s race. President of the Remington Research Group Titus Bond says they surveyed nearly 17-hundred likely voters this week and both Abraham and Edwards received 44-percent. Edwards’ campaign says the poll is a desperate plea for credibility.
For the 13th time since 1990, Louisiana has been ranked 50th in America’s health rankings. Thirty-five different areas of health are factored in to determine the overall ranking. Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says among the areas of concern, child poverty, where Louisiana ranks last.
A report out of Loyola says Louisiana has the second highest rate of food insecurity in the country, a result of the state’s substantial poverty, and proliferation of food deserts where residents don’t have access to, or can afford healthy food. The report calls for the state to increase incentives for grocery stores to operate in under-served communities, including refrigeration tax breaks for small grocers to allow them to bring in healthier food.
The secretary of state’s office diverted more than $90 thousand dollars from computer upgrades to pay its portion of a sexual misconduct settlement involving former Secretary of State Tom Schedler. A spokesperson for the current Secretary of State says none of the funds were obtained by making cuts to anything having to do with cybersecurity.
Former Congressman Charles Boustany says the trade war with China is failing, and Louisiana is beginning to pay the price to the tune of over 100 million dollars in costs to Bayou State businesses and consumers this year, nearly 20 million in October alone. Boustany says the trade war is a hurricane, and we’re starting to feel the first bands of bad economic weather…
The Chackbay man who shot his neighbor a year ago over a property line dispute has been convicted of 2nd Degree Murder. 61-year-old Keith Trosclair told police it was in self-defense, but But authorities say they had reason to doubt that version of events after reports from two witnesses that Trosclair was moving towards the victim while firing, and forensic evidence that indicated the neighbor, did not pose an immediate threat when Trosclair opened fire. 2nd Degree Murder carries a mandatory life sentence.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain is reportedly under investigation for allegedly molesting several juveniles. Strain is also the target of a federal probe into public corruption involving his former work release program that he once supervised. The ex-Abita Springs police chief served as sheriff of St. Tammany from 1996 to 2015.
News for Thursday 121318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
90% Chance of showers and t-storms High 67
The Bayou State can expect heavy rainfall as a storm system whipped up in Texas and Oklahoma moves into the state today. Paired with a cold front, one to two inches of rain is likely to land across Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says in some areas of Louisiana the rain could be even more intense and flooding is possible. The good news.. The weekend looks great!
Authorities in Natchitoches report four people were shot, one fatally, in the city Tuesday night. Natchitoches PD responded to the shooting and found one victim had suffered a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three had been taken to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in a private vehicle. Two had been shot in the abdomen, while the third had been shot in the back of the neck. The shootings remain under investigation.
Louisiana Department of Health is conducting a special one-day, multi-location flu shot promotion, throughout Louisiana from 2 until 6:30 this afternoon. LDH Immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says a similar event was conducted in January of this year during the middle of a rough flu season that saw more than 1600 deaths in Louisiana. Shots will be little to no cost and recipients are encouraged to bring an insurance card if they have it. Here in Rapides Parish the shots will be available at the Parish Health unit on Coliseum Blvd.
A 21 year old Grant Parish man was arrested yesterday after he was pulled over for the second time in as many days. The GPSO says Michael Reed Jr was stopped Tuesday with a license plate that didn’t belong to the vehicle he was driving. Yesterday a deputy attempted to stop him again, this time there was no plate on the vehicle, but this time he took off and a short time later hit a tree. He also attempted to dispose of a glass smoking pipe and some meth. Reed was arrested and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
Congress is set to vote this month on a criminal justice reform bill that would give judges more leeway in sentencing non-violent offenders, and would increase funding for rehabilitation programs for prisoners. The bill is backed by President Trump, but Senator John Kennedy and other Republicans say they’re concerned the legislation would lead to more prisoners getting out of jail who could potentially be violent individuals. Kennedy says there’s a number of incidents in Louisiana where a prisoner was released early under the new guidelines, and went on to commit a crime.
Over 98-thousand dollars was allegedly stolen from the Office of Motor Vehicles by three employees between March and June of 2017. That’s according to a new Legislative Auditor’s report that surveyed the OMV’s appropriation of funds. Auditor Daryl Purpera says the OMV has been receptive to changes since the release of the report. He notes it can be challenging for that department to prevent these kinds of crimes given how small most OMV outposts can be. All three were fired after the audit revealed the missing funds.
Louisiana has three of the top 30 cities most in need of charity donations this holiday season according to WalletHub.com. New Orleans came in at 10, Shreveport was next highest in the state at 21, and Baton Rouge came in at 26. WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzales says the report took into account child poverty, unemployment, homelessness, high school drop outs, economic security, health, and safety ratings.
Authorities are looking for two men facing hate crime charges for terrorizing a black woman at the West Monroe Walmart. Investigators have identified the two as 22 year old Dylan Reynolds and 24 year old Michael Walters. The woman was leaving the store as the men began yelling at her and calling her racial slurs. One of the men is accused of chasing after her car on foot as she fled the scene.
Former Port Allen police officers are accusing Police Chief Esdron Brown of forcing his religion upon his officers via mandatory religious meetings and using God’s will as a reasoning for promotions. Legal analyst Tim Meche says those that lost their positions could potentially be entitled to compensation.
Google’s annual Year in Search was released and shows what Louisianans want to look at online. The “Year in Search” lists are Google’s annual look at the trillions of searches performed throughout the year. Google Technology Expert Molly Vandenburg says the number one search in the Bayou State was a little surprising. The top list was for the “World Cup”. Next was everything LSU.
The Saints have released wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall never appeared in a game with the Black and Gold after he was signed last month. To take Marshall’s place, tight end Erik Swoope signed with the Saints. Swoope was just released by the Colts.
LSU has begun bowl practices for their New Year’s Day matchup with Central Florida. Coach Ed Orgeron says they will continue to work on getting the offense to score more touchdowns and it starts with doing more with their quarterback…
LSU safety Grant Delpit has become only the ninth unanimous All-American in school history. Delpit was one of four Tigers who made the F-B-S Coaches All-America Teams
ESPN ranks LSU’s seven overtime loss to Texas A-and-M as the best college football game of the year.
News for Wednesday 121218
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 64.
Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 55.
Thursday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 68. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
This Morning's News...
The RPSO reports eleven Alexandria residents have been arrested after a months-long investigation spurred by heroin and fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the parish. A release announcing the arrests states a "fairly organized" group was selling heroin all over Alexandria, but was "primarily centered" around the Third Street area near Broadway Avenue. As the investigation is ongoing, more arrests are "imminent.
The Grant Parish DA’s officer reports 55 year old Ricky Murphy will go to prison for more than nine years after being convicted in October for a Thanksgiving 2017 assault.
Murphy was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years at hard labor on each count of aggravated assault with a firearm and five years at hard labor on each count of attempted aggravated assault. The sentences will be served concurrently.
It appears the Red River Charter Academy will open in 2019 in Avoyelles Parish for students in sixth through eighth grades. Seven members of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in favor of the academy’s application Tuesday during a committee meeting. A procedural vote at today’s board meeting will take place, but the results are expected to be the same.
A Sabine Parish teacher has been arrested for allegedly molesting a female student at the school in which he worked. 50 year old James Jones, a teacher at Pleasant Hill High School, surrendered to authorities after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was issued after an investigation by Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives found that he allegedly had sexual relations with a 13-year-old female student on five different occasions.
A female trainer at Opelousas high school has been arrested and charged with having sex with a student. Opelousas police report 28 year old Laura Huval of Crowley has been arrested and charged with felony prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student. Huval had been working for a company in Lafayette that provides trainers to schools and had been assigned to Opelousas High. Opelousas Police Chief Donald Thompson said another employee of the company reported the conduct.
Jim Bernhard, former president of the Shaw Group, says his private equity firm is willing to finance the cost of a new bridge over the Mississippi, and estimates the project would take about seven years to complete. Bernhard says the numbers look good for financiers investing in the project. But before the billion dollar project could be initiated, Bernhard says access roads and additional infrastructure leading up to the structure will need to be approved. He estimates waiting another five years on the project could inflate its cost by another 200 million dollars.
An 11-month-old child is dead following an infection from untreated burns. Emergency services received a call of an unresponsive child on Sunday in DeRidder, and found the child with burns covering the lower portion of the body. Police Chief John Gott says the injuries were sustained when the mother’s boyfriend gave the child a bath. Gott says the mother and her boyfriend had attempted to home remedy the child’s burns but it clearly didn’t work. While it is unknown why neither adult got the child proper care, authorities believe it was out of fear of legal ramifications.
A Farm Bill is in conference committee with votes expected on a final version in Congress later this week. The bill houses the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or food stamps, along with farming policy for the next several years. Congressman Ralph Abraham says he’s disappointed the bill leaves out SNAP work requirements, but overall it’s a good bill. The bill has the support of Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy and Congressman Steve Scalise. Senator John Kennedy says he won’t vote for it due to its lack of work requirements.
The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health has received a $23.1 million State Opioid Response grant. Assistant Secretary at the Louisiana Department of Health in the Office of Behavioral Health Karen Stubbs says the grant will fund a multitude of programs to the benefit of those suffering from opioid use disorder. Stubbs says the next step is increasing access to treatment through community outreach.
According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund workers and their families in Louisiana are spending the largest share of their income on health care compared to the rest of America. Vice President for Healthcare Coverage and Access at the Commonwealth Fund Sara Collins says what an employer has to pay on the overall premium is lower than the national average, but the issue stems from what an employee has to pay.
The man wanted for the shooting of a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy over the weekend was captured this morning in New Orleans. There had been a manhunt for 38 year old Tynonne Louis since Sunday. Lopinto credits the help of Crime Stoppers for getting the tip that lead to the arrest.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has received 12 juvenile whooping cranes at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge as they attempt to reestablish a flourishing population to the Bayou State. The state’s population of the bird at one point was as high as 10,000, but dropped to just one in the 1950s.
LSU All-American linebacker Devin White remains undecided on whether he’ll skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. White, who won the Butkus Award which goes to the nation’s best linebacker, says he still has some unfinished business. White could be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft, if he decides to enter.
News for Tuesday 121118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A robbery at the Silver Dollar Pawn Shop back in September, in which a number of guns were stolen, has led to the offering of a $10,000 reward. Half of the reward is being put up by the ATF's New Orleans Field Division, while the other half comes from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is a trade association for the firearms industry. The $10,000 would go to whomever provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary. Anonymous tips can be sent to the ATF through its mobile app, ReportIt, available for Android and iPhones, or by visiting www.reportit.com.
The Alexandria Police Department reports in the last seven days, six guns were stolen in the area from car burglaries and only one of the cars was locked. APD reminds residents not to leave guns or valuables in your vehicles. If for any reason you must, put it in the trunk and be sure your vehicle is locked.
It appears a deadly fire early Sunday morning in the Campti area was not set and appears to be the result of something in the home. The fire killed a 71 year old grandmother, Lucy Telsee and her 6 year old granddaughter Rosia Mae Telsee. After escaping the blaze, the grandmother reentered the burning home in an attempt to rescue the child. She apparently found the child, but both were unable to escape the fire. Fire officials found the two in the wreckage of the home. 4 people survived the fire..
A Monday afternoon fire caused extensive damage to a home in the 3000 block of Herbert Street in Alexandria. The fire has been ruled as accidental after investigators determined that a space heater was being used too close to combustibles. There were six people were living in the house but fire officials say there were no injuries.
The current revenue forecast for state government will stay in place after Speaker Taylor Barras votes down an increase today in the Revenue Estimating Conference. The committee has indicated they hope the Speaker will change his mind by early next year, and that a new meeting will be called that can get the unanimous approval necessary. Barras says he likely would support a forecast increase, but later down the road.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeals of Louisiana challenging lower courts’ decisions to prevent the Bayou State from excluding Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid contractor. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented. The newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was among the justices voting not to hear the case.
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline continues it’s descent as it currently sits at $2.10 per gallon. It’s just over a 30 cent drop from this time last month, and the lowest price since last December. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says it is a welcomed trend with the holidays. Redman says late last week, some oil producing countries have agreed to cut back on production by about a million barrels a day. Redman expects that may impact prices next spring.
Louisiana has the second highest credit card burden in the United States according to a survey conducted by creditcards.com. The credit analysts found came to the conclusion by comparing the average credit card debt to the median income in each state. Industry Analyst at creditcards.com Ted Rossman says compared to other states Louisiana’s credit card debt is right in the middle but the burden stems from earnings differences.
Governor John Bel Edwards is gearing up his 2019 campaign with a focus on his record of bipartisanship, including his cordial relationship with the President. While national Democrats are solidifying their pre-presidential primary base by challenging the President, Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says that likely isn’t pleasing the Democrat’s base, but Edwards’ situation is unique being elected in the Deep South. A recent poll found 55 percent approval for the President in Louisiana.
A new social media platform called First Responders Emergency Media outlet, or FREMO, has been unveiled by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. Nungesser says the website will serve as an outlet of expression for first responders who experience things on the job that might leave them a bit shaken. Many first responders may not want to seek help as they feel they run the risk of being labeled as having some sort of problem. Nungesser says this website will be a secure, confidential platform.
The man who lost a challenge for the Melville Chief of Police in St. Landry Parish, and allegedly punched an officer at a parade for the winner, has bonded out of jail. Cleven Clark denies that he assaulted the officer, and says police were harassing his family by running the parade in front of his house after the election, but Chief Anthony Moreau says it’s an unfortunate incident, but that he won’t tolerate anyone putting their hands on his officers.
Two Louisiana schools have been named “National ESEA Distinguished Schools” for outstanding academic performance. L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish was recognized in the category of “Exceptional Student Performance Schools.” Eastside Elementary School in Livingston Parish was recognized in the category of “Closing the Achievement Gap.”
News for Monday 121018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Fire officials are drying to determine the cause of a deadly fire yesterday morning just north of Campti in Natchitoches Parish. The NPSO has confirmed two fatalities, also four injuries. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office is also involved in the investigation.
Pineville voters approved all five propositions on the ballot relating to the city’s alcohol regulations, four of which expanded allowable alcohol sales. Previously, only restaurants were able to sell alcohol in Pineville. That option was again approved Saturday, along with propositions that will allow stores to sell packaged alcohol and businesses like bars to serve alcohol. All five propositions received at least 62 percent of the vote in elections that saw turnout of about 22 percent.
Louisiana voters decide to keep Republican Kyle Ardoin as Secretary of State. Ardoin defeated Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup in Saturday’s special election. Ardoin received 59-percent of the vote in a low voter turnout election. The 51-year-old Ville Platte native has served as interim Secretary of State since Tom Schedler resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal.
Shreveport has a new mayor. 33-year-old West Point graduate, Adrian Perkins, easily defeated Mayor Ollie Tyler, who was seeking a second term. Perkins received 64-percent of the vote. Perkins is a war veteran and attorney with no previous political experience. His promise of a better Shreveport led to a landslide victory over the incumbent…
US Representative and now candidate for governor, Republican Ralph Abraham, says Governor John Bel Edwards has been relentless in his effort to raise taxes. But Eric Holl, spokesperson for the 2019 Democratic Coordinator Campaign team, says Abraham’s proposal for over a billion dollars in across the board cuts would have devastated the state. Abraham also says Louisiana is heading in the wrong direction. But Holl disagrees, based on what’s happen during the first three years of the Edwards administration.
A useful app you may want to download to your smart device is available now, and the developer behind the app is an LSU grad from Walker, Louisiana. The app is called Find a Spot and it links you with a friend to find the best possible geographical meetup place in the middle of your two locations. App developer Derrick Denicola says the idea came to him while sitting in traffic. Denicola says it took about seven years to produce the app after first coming up with the idea. The 2007 LSU grad says it’s simple to use, even his parents can figure it out, which was his goal.
St. Tammany Parish has been awarded a $25 million BUILD grant to widen I-12. The widening is needed due to unsafe conditions and bottlenecks along a 3.8 mile stretch and comes after four fatalities over Memorial Day weekend this year. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister calls the quick turnaround on locking in the money to move forward with construction a huge success.
For the first time in franchise history, the Saints are back-to-back division champions. New Orleans clinched the NFC South crown on Sunday with a come from behind 28-14 win over Tampa Bay. New Orleans trailed 14-3 in the third quarter, but scored 25 unanswered points to avenge an earlier loss to the Buccaneers.
News for Friday 120718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
There’s rain moving in across the state today that could total anywhere from 2 to 5 inches. The heaviest amounts are expected in the northwest portion of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says once this front moves through, the state should see cool air move in next week.
5th district Congressman Ralph Abraham made it official yesterday that he is joining the race for Governor. Abraham, a conservative Republican, says he’s been concerned about the direction the state is moving since Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards took over in 2015, the same year he was elected to Congress. He joins Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone as the only two Republicans to have officially joined the race. However, Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says be on the lookout for a few more candidates to rise to the challenge. Governor Edwards responded to the announcement by releasing a statement saying he welcomes the debate.
5 different propositions dealing with Pineville's regulations on selling alcohol will be on the local ballot Saturday, along with five tax propositions. Currently, only restaurants are able to sell alcohol in Pineville, but that could change, depending on Saturday's election. The propositions range from no alcohol sales of any kind in the city to expanding alcohol sales into other types of businesses, such as retail stores and bars.
Congress punted yet again on overhauling the National Flood Insurance Program, extending the program for two more weeks as part of a broader stop-gap funding deal. The NFIP has lurched along for more than a year on a series of short-term extensions as lawmakers have deadlocked and then put off overhauling the federally run program, which underwrites most flood coverage in the U.S.
Former President of the Shaw Group Jim Bernhard says he is ready to back the loan, if need be, to build a new bridge across the Mississippi River. Bernhard says his company is willing to underwrite the bonds for the project. Bernhard says there is much infrastructure work that needs to be done prior to the bridge being built.
75 year old Former Governor Kathleen Blanco, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, told a Council for A Better Louisiana luncheon Wednesday that her cancer has spread to other parts of her body and that while she remains optimistic, she understands there’s “no escape. Blanco said that she is at peace with the disease and that she realizes the monster is not far down the road.”
After spending $750 million to construct an oil pipeline that’s scheduled to open at the end of the month, the builders must spend another $450 to settle claims it didn’t properly seize a swath of undeveloped land in St. Martin Parish. In a ruling released Thursday, state judge Keith Comeaux said those building the Bayou Bridge Pipeline had a right to seize the land under eminent domain, but he refused to forgive their trespassing against three property owners. He ordered the pipeline’s owners to pay them $150 each. The judge then said the company was clear to seize the land.
It’s the tenth year of the George Rodrigue Foundation art scholarship contest is seeking submissions. Spokesperson Christine Dunaway says it’s been an important program for art students in it’s over decade of existence. The school with the top number of submissions will win a 1,000 dollar art kit.
The security website SafeWise has put together it’s list of the twenty safest cities in the state for 2018. Safety and Security analyst for the site Rebecca Edwards says Louisiana has struggled to keep it’s statewide crime rate down as the average number of violent crimes per 1000 citizens was 8.6, nearly double the national average. Edwards says among the safest cities are De Ridder, Harahan, Scott, and topping the list was the St. Mary Parish city of Patterson.
Advanced cancer patients are a lot better off receiving palliative care, where treating symptoms is the focus, than traditional treatments, according to a new study by Tulane. Graduate student Laura Perry says the research, led by Tulane Assistant Professor Michael Hoerger, could inspire a new norm for patients with severe prognoses .2,092 patients were observed, and 56 percent of those who received palliative treatment survived past a year, compared to 42 percent who got typical treatments.
A win Sunday over Tampa Bay and the Saints clinch a second consecutive NFC South title. The Bucs beat New Orleans in the season opener and Quarterback Drew Brees says Tampa Bay’s defense has been playing well lately. Last time out the Saints had their 10-game winning streak snapped with a Thursday night loss in Dallas. Brees says it’s a defeat they can learn from.
News for Thursday 120618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Pineville PD report a multi-vehicle accident occurred on HWY 165 in the Kingsville area yesterday afternoon involving a Rapides Parish school bus, an 18-wheeler and a van. According to Pineville Police, no children were inside of the school bus at the time of the crash. Police report there was one person in the van who had to be extricated. The condition of the person is unknown. The bus driver and the driver of the 18-wheeler have non-threatening injuries.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Deputies say a man wanted for shooting his father in the hip, fatally shot himself during a standoff with authorities near Chopin Wednesday morning. Deputies began a manhunt for Joseph Dauzat Tuesday night after he reportedly shot his dad.
An appellate court decision Wednesday will move an armed robbery trial back to the 9th Judicial District Court division now presided over by new Judge Chris Hazel. Defense attorney Chad Guillot had filed an emergency writ to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal Monday after Judge Greg Beard denied a motion that sought to move the trial of Anthony Strong back to Hazel's Division B. Jury selection had started on Tuesday but, after the 3rd Circuit's decision to consider Guillot's writ, that was put on hold.
Due to the less than pleasant weather forecasted for the weekend, several towns have decided to reschedule their Christmas parades… The City of Pineville’s parade has been moved from this Saturday to next Monday evening at 7, Town of Ball moved their parade to Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m., while the town of Boyce moved theirs to Sunday the 16th at 3p.
It didn’t take long for a candidate to come forward to fill the District 26 State House seat vacated by Alexandria’s new mayor Jeff Hall. Rapides Parish School Board Member Sandra Franklin announced on Wednesday she will run for the seat as a Democrat.. Another candidate believed to be running is Alexandria City Councilman Ed Larvadain. Though not officially announced, he’s holding a press conference on Friday.. In the District 27 seat vacated by Chris Hazel, Pineville attorney Mike Johnson announced, back in June, he will run as a Republican.
With the holiday season in effect, the state has seen an uptick in flu cases. This news comes after a horrible flu season last year, with triple the number of hospitalizations and deaths than normal. Flu Bug expert for Louisiana Department of Health Frank Welch says getting the flu shot doesn’t guarantee someone won’t get the flu, but if they do get the flu after getting the flu shot, it won’t be so severe.
A Report from Hunger Free America says Louisiana has the third highest rate of food insecure children in the nation. About 25 percent of kids in the state live in households where their parents do not make enough money, and CEO Joel Berg says that doesn’t mean the state is of third world status, but it does mean many families are having to make tough choices between absolute necessities despite living in such a wealthy country.
The Avondale Scout Reservation in East Feliciana Parish has been closed after two boy scouts were hospitalized with histoplasmosis. It’s a flu-like illness that comes from soil contaminated with bat or bird droppings. State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says histoplasmois is a fungus and you can sick after breathing in the spores from the fungus. At least 15 campers were reportedly exposed to histoplasmosis. Ratard says symptoms can develop three to 17 days after exposure, but usually infected individuals recover quickly…
Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has provided a gift to some 400 WalMart shoppers in New Orleans. Mrs Benson paid off nearly 100-thousand dollars in gifts that were on layaway for the holiday season, which came as a complete shock to those consumers who learned of the nice gesture. The Saints owner will be looking for more holiday cheer this weekend as the Black and Gold try to get even with the Bucs this Sunday.
A $25 million dollar bond has been set for a Ponchatoula man accused of possession of child pornography. The FBI New Orleans Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes State Police, arrested 59-year-old Edd Scafidel Jr. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says authorities received the information on the suspect last month.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva told Alexandria’s 94.6 ESPN yesterday that despite the great year for the Tigers, it’s not time to talk about a contract extension for Coach Ed Orgeron. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says it’s Alleva’s style to wait after the final game is played. Orgeron is currently getting paid 3.5 million dollars a year.
McNeese State has apparently found a new head football coach. Nothing official from the school but there’s a report the Cowboys have hired South Florida offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. Gilbert is also a former offensive coordinator at Texas and played high school football in the Lone Star state.
The Monroe News-Star reports Grambling State and its athletics director Paul Bryant have decided to go their separate ways. Bryant will leave the school at the end of the month and President Rick Gallot says the vice president for student affairs, David Ponton, will take over as A-D at the first of the year. Gallot says Bryant wanted to explore other opportunities.
The high school state football championships kick-off today at the Superdome, as nine teams will be crowned champions before the prep classic concludes on Saturday night.
News for Wednesday 120518
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Today is a national day of mourning in honor of the passing of George HW Bush, the 41st President who served from 89-93. Bush only served one term after losing his re-election bid to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 92, in what turned out to be a heated race. Through all that though, the two presidents remained close personal friends, a friendship that lasted until the passing of Bush last week. President Bush helmed the country through a monumental shift in world power, including the dismantling of the Berlin wall and the final days of the former Soviet Union.
The Alexandria Fire Department is investigating an early morning blaze Tuesday involving three homes in the 200 block of 12th Street. Officials say the fire started at one home and spread to two more. Five people were able to escape the blaze.
An Alexandria man accused of rape and sexual battery will be examined by a sanity commission after his attorney contended he doesn't understand the charges against him. 19 year old Jalen Carter was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury in September on two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of oral sexual battery, charges he pled not guilty to. Police say the victims were both under the age of 13.
We need more companies like this in Central Louisiana.. Monday night RoyOMartin presented the Alan Parish Police jury with check for $3.25 million Dollars. This coming after the ten-year tax exemption given to the Martco plant comes to an end. RoyOMartin thank Allen Parish and specific communities that have spent the past ten years helping make Martco the success that is today. Due to this tax exemption, RoyOMartin was able to invest $234 million to build the plant, providing 174 direct jobs, 105 of which are held by Allen Parish residents, along with over 600 indirect jobs.
St. Landry Parish Sheriffs have arrested a substitute teacher for allegedly having sex with two students off campus. 38-year-old Tara Richard is facing four counts of Felony Carnal Knowledge, and one count of Oral Sexual Battery in connection with what authorities say were her actions involving a 15 and 16 year old who attended a local school. Richard has allegedly admitted to having sex with the two over the summer.
The 2019 Governor’s race took a turn that blindsided many when Senator John Kennedy announced he would not be challenging Governor Edwards. Republicans are in a scramble to find a candidate with less than a year until the election. Political consultant Roy Fletcher says there’s a reason why the GOP didn’t have a Plan B candidate. It was pretty much a given that Kennedy would run. While several names have been discussed including Congressman Ralph Abraham, Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, and Senator Sharon Hewitt of Slidell, Fletcher says they all face a similar obstacle, lack of name recognition.
Governor John Bel Edwards hopes U.S. Senator John Kennedy’s decision to stay out of the 2019 governor’s race and remain in DC will give the Senator a new-found focus on his federal responsibilities, instead of using his time to verbally spar with state leaders.
Kennedy released a statement yesterday saying many of the state’s issues were related to a “top down institution.” and said he’s confident another Republican will defeat Edwards.
A Baton Rouge woman told Grant Parish Sheriff's deputies she was selling drugs to get Christmas money after she allegedly dropped a bag of meth inside a business. The GPSO reports 34 year old Claire Brewton admitted there was meth in the bag and that it was hers. Brewton was booked into the parish jail.
Good news for LSU fans looking to attend the Fiesta Bowl: tickets will likely be available through the school for at least the next week for the game against undefeated UCF in Glendale, Arizona. LSU Ticket Manager Brian Broussard says it’s an attractive vacation spot, and he hopes it will draw in Purple and Gold from around the country.
The FCC is encouraging TV viewers who use an antenna to watch television to rescan their TV as many stations are moving frequencies in an effort to free up airwaves for high speed internet and mobile broadband. Chair of the FCC Incentive Auction Task Force Jean Kiddoo (ki’doo) says if you subscribe to TV, through Cable or Satellite, you don’t have to worry about the changes. The changes will have an effect in Lafayette, Monroe, Alexandria, and Lake Charles. Some stations have already made the switch, so you may be missing them, if a rescan hasn’t been performed recently.
Four West Baton Rouge sheriff deputies are charged with malfeasance after an investigation into multiple inmate escapes. Major Dale Simoneaux says during their probe they learned a 23 year old deputy had sex with an inmate, while another deputy took a bribe to look the other way. Simoneaux says they discovered one trustee escaped while taking out the trash and another escaped by simply scaling the fence at the end of the night.
A state judge sets a January 28th date on where he’ll decide whether Matthew Naquin should turn over his personal passcode to his cell phone. The former LSU student is accused of negligent homicide in the 2017 alcohol-related hazing death Max Gruver.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is mourning the loss of one of it’s explosive ordinance detection K-9 officers. The 10 year old black lab, named Barry, had been with the agency since 2012. Barry came to the State Fire Marshal from the US Marine Corp where he served two tours of duty overseas. Barry died following surgical complications to remove a large mass in his stomach.
Former Seahawk and Saints cornerback Brandon Browner was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday on an attempted murder charge. Browner plead no contest after prosecutors say he threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend last July when he attempted to smothered her with a carpet.
News for Tuesday 120418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Canadian air is back in Louisiana this morning, causing temperatures to plummet after an unusually warm streak of weather to start off the month of December. State Climatologist Barry Keim says north Louisiana is suffering near freezing temperatures, while the south sits around the 40s. And it gets even colder tomorrow.
Jeff Hall was sworn in as the new mayor of Alexandria yesterday. Hall replaces Jacques Roy, who opted not to run for re-election after 12 years. Hall is a graduate of Grambling State University and worked at Cleco for 32 years as a Senior V-P and then served as an accountant for the City of Alexandria.
Also yesterday, Chris Hazel was sworn in a Judge. Hazel was a longtime state representative, as well as a former Marine and assistant district attorney. He won the election for 9th Judicial District Court, Division B last month. He took the position opened by Retired Judge Tom Yeager, who actually came to swear Hazel in.
Senator John Kennedy says after much consideration, he will not be running for governor, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Governor John Bel Edwards in the 2019 contest. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says it’s a shock announcement considering his not-so-subtle public interest in the position. Other names are being discussed for the ballot, including State Treasurer John Schroder who says the announcement took him by surprise. 5th Dist. Congressman Ralph Abraham says he will make a decision soon on whether or not he’ll run.
Governor John Bel Edwards responded to Senator Kennedy’s decision yesterday by saying Kennedy’s flirtation with running for governor was to put the spotlight on himself. Edwards says he now hopes Kennedy and the entire Congressional delegation can work with him to get things done for the hard working families in Louisiana.
Hanna Nicole Barker, the mother accused in the burning death of her 6-month-old boy in Natchitoches, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday after her probation on 2016 drug charges was revoked. Barker also was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder, after her indictment by a Natchitoches Parish grand jury. She pleaded not guilty, and her trial date was set for Jan. 13, 2020.
The St. Landry Sheriff’s office says a local doctor is in critical condition after he was shot during a home invasion early Monday morning. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz his detectives are hoping to interview Doctor John Vallain to find out what happened.
A pretrial scheduled for Monday for Roger Boggs, the CEO of Revolution Aluminum who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, has been continued until February 20. Boggs was indicted on a bank fraud charge back in April. A charge he pled not guilty to.
After law enforcement made the discovery of more than a dozen horses that all appeared to be emaciated on her property in Lockport, the Lafourche Humane Society President, Pamela George and fellow property owner John Gautreaux, have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty. George and Gautreaux, have been booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on a $2000 bond each.
The Louisiana Department of Health has released six recommendations of an expert panel on steps to fight the opioid epidemic, much of which Assistant State Health Officer for LDH Dr. Joseph Kanter says is common sense. Kanter says the state has a long way to go in expanding access to effective treatment and the use of other means of treating chronic pain. Kanter says behind every one of the recommendations are a series of measurable items that can be used to gauge the state’s progress.
Pollster Bernie Pinsonat has this Saturday’s Secretary of State’s election at 43-40 for Republican Kyle Ardoin of Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup, with 17 percent still undecided. The close numbers may be a bit surprising for a race most assume Ardoin will win handily, but Pinsonat says a lot of it has to do with voters who are still up in the air. He expects the numbers to start tipping notably in Ardoin’s favor as we get closer to voting day, and the Interim Secretary of State’s substantial cash advantage increases.
LSU star cornerback Greedy Williams will not play in the Tigers bowl game against UCF as he’s declared for the NFL draft. Williams is considered to be a top five pick and Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says not playing in a bowl game, is a growing trend for future first round picks. Linebacker Devin White announced Monday he will play in LSU’s bowl game.
News for Monday 120318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Senator John Kennedy says he will not run for governor, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Governor John Bel Edwards in the 2019 contest. Kennedy says after much consideration, he’s decided he can get the most done for Louisiana, and the country, in the Senate.
Jeffery Hall will be sworn in as Alexandria’s next mayor today. The Inaugural Ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Randolph Riverfront Center where Hall will be introduced by his wife Patricia. Around noon, Hall will provide an acceptance address to the community. Following the ceremony, an Inaugural Reception will be held for invited guests.
One of the last things outgoing Mayor Jacques Roy did Friday was signed off on the confirmation of Alexandria Police Chief Jerrod King. The document signed by the mayor stated that King had successfully completed a standard probation process.
It was announced Friday night that the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush had died. It was in New Orleans that his road to the White House became official when he accepted the nomination at the GOP National Convention at the Superdome in 1988. Bush was applauded for his efforts in establishing the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund, which he formed with Former President Bill Clinton that donated millions to local schools, libraries, and non-profits. Bush was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, who passed away earlier this year. George H.W. Bush was 94 years old.
New CDC data indicates drug overdose deaths rose 12% in Louisiana from 2016 to 2017. Overdose deaths have contributed to the life expectancy rate declining for three straight year in the United States, a pattern not seen in 100 years. President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health John Auerbach says this marks the first time that more than 1,000 people died in a single year from overdoses in Louisiana.
A federal judge has ordered $34.8 million in restitution from the owner of Explo Systems, a military contractor hired to demilitarize artillery charges at Camp Minden in Webster Parish, in a case stemming from a huge munitions blast in 2012 due to illegal dumping of the materials. In addition to the restitution, five people are heading to the clink with sentences between 2-5 years. US Attorney David Joseph says he’s happy with the outcome.
A 23-year-old North Shreveport woman was seriously injured from a gunshot wound she received in the back. Her two-year-old child is believed to have accidentally discharged the unsecured weapon. The investigation is ongoing.
Shreveport Police are looking for one or more people who fired gunshots at a five-year-old boy and a man and a woman who arrived at a location to sell a puppy. Authorities say the child was shot once, while the adults were shot multiple times. The gunshot wounds to the three individuals are not considered life threatening. A motive for the shooting has not been established. The puppy was not hit by gunfire.
A Koch brother’s backed conservative advocacy group has begun airing anti-gas tax ads on social media and at gas station video screens across the state ahead of next year’s legislative session that may include a push to raise the tax to pay for road projects. Americans for Prosperity State Director John Kay says gas taxes hurt everyday Louisianans most. Last year infrastructure advocates attempted to pass a 17 cent gas tax that would have raised half a billion dollars a year.
A Fort Polk interior designer and military spouse had the honor last week of joining 150 volunteers for the annual Christmas decoration of the White House. Amy Hirata was one of the seven thousand people who sent in an application to take part in the activities.
At least two Boy Scout campers who returned from a recent trip with fevers, chills and a cough have been hospitalized for exposure to a rare and unusual disease linked to bird and bat droppings found in the soil, spurring involvement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. St. Francisville resident Emiley Bonano has been battling histoplasmosis since she traveled to Camp Avondale with her little brother’s Boy Scout troop in early November. Reports say other scouts have reported similar symptoms. However, CDC and Louisiana Health officials will not say how many.
For the first time in the 125-year history of LSU Football, the Tigers will play in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on New Year’s Day and they’ll face UCF, who has won 25 in a row. Coach Ed Orgeron says his team deserved to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl game. U-C-F beat Auburn in last year’s Peach Bowl.
Louisiana Tech will face former Western Athletic Conference foe Hawaii in the Hawaii bowl on Saturday night, December 22nd. The Bulldogs will play in a bowl game for a fifth consecutive season. Coach Skip Holtz says playing a bowl game in Hawaii is an unique experience and he’s glad his team has this opportunity.
News for Friday 113018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Alex Winter Fete’ officially kicked off last night with the Lighting of the Christmas tree and downtown lights. Mayor Jacques Roy flipped the switch for the last time. The mayor saying it was a bitter sweet experience. Alex River and Winter Fetes were a very successful accomplish of the Roy administration, something the mayor was proud to point out. Winter Fete’ continues tonight and concluding Saturday night, after a full day of activities and entertainment.
Some residents in the Carlyle area of Alexandria are counting their blessings after an 18-wheeler crashed into the back of a home in that neighborhood last night. Police say the truck ran off of I-49. The miracle is, no one was injured. No word yet about any citations for the incident.
State police report a two vehicle crash just before noon yesterday claimed the life of an 86 year old Pitkin man. Troopers say a logging truck had been involved in an accident on LA HWY 399 and was stopped in the highway. James Johnson, upon approaching the truck from behind, failed to stop and hit the back of the truck. Johnson was wearing his seat belt, but was pronounced dead at the scene.
Congress pushed back its deadline to deal with the National Flood Insurance Program by at least a week, passing yet another short-term extension of the program late Thursday. A deadline to avoid a lapse in the federal program, which underwrites most flood insurance coverage in the country and covers a half-million Louisiana homes, had been looming at midnight tonight. The short-term deal is the eighth temporary extension for the program since it first came up for periodic renewal more than a year ago.
Senator John Kennedy is delaying his announcement on whether or not he’ll run for governor until Monday, siting travel issues. The 2019 race is now less than a year away, and only one Republican, Eddie Rispone, has declared against Governor Edwards. ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says the Senator’s repeated delays are beginning to look like non-interest. Stockley says if Kennedy does not declare, he’s hurt the GOP cause in the race by boxing other candidates out of fundraising for the last few months.
A statewide poll of 500 Louisiana chronic voters finds that Republican US Senator John Kennedy leads Democratic incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards 49-to-45-percent in a head-to-head race for governor. The poll indicates only six-percent of voters are undecided with the election just over 10 months away. Pinsonat says Edwards remains a popular governor, 60-percent of respondents approve of his job performance. But Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says the governor is a Democrat in a Red state…
President Donald Trump’s approval is up to a clear majority of voters in Louisiana in a new poll from Bernie Pinsonat. Pinsonat says 2018 has featured a few big signature wins for causes close to the heart of white conservative voters that dominate the state’s electorate. Trump sports a 70 percent approval rating in total from white voters in Louisiana.
The candidates in the Secretary of State’s special election are seeing increases in fundraising ahead of the December 8th run off. Democrat candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup reportedly has $16,400 in her campaign account. Meanwhile, Republican Kyle Ardoin has just under $136 thousand in the bank.
Today marks the final day of the 2018 hurricane season, a season that was initially forecasted to be below average. Even though Louisiana was spared of the impact of any major weather event, other coastal areas in the US were not so lucky. Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast says they under-predicted the slightly above average season.
Senator Bill Cassidy announced yesterday Federal officials will clear the way for Louisiana to dole out recovery grants to flood victims who'd taken out Small Business Administration loans and they would do that without additional action from President Trump. Congress changed federal law in October to allow 2016 Louisiana flood victims who'd taken out the loans to tap grants from the Restore Louisiana program. But checks haven't gone out as Louisiana officials waited on guidance from the Trump administration. Cassidy say we should get that guidance sometime in December.
Tangipahoa Parish authorities say they believe the 3 pound baby boy found in the back of a Tickfaw garbage truck was likely a stillborn. Sheriff Daniel Edwards says they’re searching for the child’s mother, and have honed in on the likely dumping location after determining where the corpse was located relative to other trash in the truck that had been compacted. The child was discovered by a Waste Management worker yesterday while he was loading trash cans into his vehicles compactor.
Good news for the thousands of motorists who use the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. The bridge was closed last month for repairs after a barge hit the structure, but after testing and inspections, it will be partially reopened tomorrow.
It was a tough start to the game last night for Drew Brees. Brees started the game against the Dallas Cowboys with four consecutive incomplete passes, the first time he's done that in his 18-year career. The final score, the Saints lost this one 10 to 13. They’ll play a week from Sunday at the Buccaneers.
The Pelicans at in Miami to play the heat tonight.. game time 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 112918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriffs say they walked in on a fairly horrific scene in Plainview after responding to a call about a natural death, and now three people are under arrest and facing 2nd Degree Murder, Cruelty to the Infirm, and other charges. Captain Tommy Carnline says the deputy arrived after the call, and realized something was terribly wrong at the scene of the 25-year-old special needs woman’s death. Carnline says authorities have called it one of the worst cases of negligence they’ve seen in their entire careers.
Starting Tonight and ending Saturday, downtown will be transformed into "A Magical Winter Wonderland" for Alexandria's popular Christmas festival, Alex Winter Fete’. Festival-goers can enjoy snow, ice skating, shopping, food and holiday-themed activities, plus plenty of food and shopping vendors. The Commencement ceremony and lighting up of downtown, is at 6 this evening.
It was something we don’t see very often, the Alexandria City Council making a unanimous decision. But, that was the case Tuesday when the Council unanimously decided to re-name the Riverfront Center in honor of former mayor Ned Randolph. Randolph served as mayor for 20 years, that after serving the area as a state representative and state senator. Mayor Ned passed away 2 year ago. But, his legacy goes on as his late wife Deborah Randolph continues to serve the area as President of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce.
Governor Edwards is putting out a call to action for Louisiana citizens to start stocking their local food banks for the holidays, as a series of natural disasters have devastated stores just at the time when banks usually can begin stocking up for spring and summer. Edwards says he’s gravely concerned after touring the half empty Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank yesterday. Food Bank of Central Louisiana Executive Director Jayne Wright-Velez says it’s troubling that supply is running low as demand skyrockets. Food banks accept cash and food donations, but say they can use funds to purchase foods at lower prices than you would pay for them at grocery stores.
Some House Republicans are discussing legislation for the next session that would roll back the .45 percent sales tax passed in June because of a rosier than expected revenue forecast for the state. Alexandria Representative Lance Harris did not confirm that such legislation will be brought but says he has heard talk of phasing out last session’s sales tax over a few years. The .45 percent sales tax, that is set to expire in 2025, is estimated to generate 466 million annually.
120 jobs are coming to Minden in Webster Parish as a result of Catamaran Solutions plans to assume operation of a 135,000 square foot industrial fabrication center. The jobs will come with an average salary of 61-thousand dollars a year. Catamaran plans on anticipating its Louisiana workforce to as many as 500 employees statewide over time.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit is investigating the discovery of a deceased infant in the back of a waste management truck. A waste management worker discovered the body as he was performing his regular. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene.
A recent survey found that 1 in 3 Americans suffers from a “festive burnout” due to the holidays being a stressful time. Even though it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, LSU Health New Orleans clinical psychologist Dr. Michelle Moore says for those already dealing with festival burnout, it may be time to reconsider your holiday activities.
Prosecutors are attempting to obtain the cell phone passcode of Matthew Naquin, a former LSU student charged with negligent homicide in the Max Gruver case. But Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says the Fifth Amendment prohibits Naquin from being obligated to give a testimony revealing his cellular passcode
If you’ve purchased a fresh Christmas tree yet this year, you’ve probably noticed they cost a little more than last year. Blake Huval, the owner of Huval’s Tree Hut in Central, says during the Great Recession farmers scaled back on planting new trees, so a decade later the supply is not enough to keep up with demand. Huval says if you’re look to save a few bucks, look for trees that may have a hole or two on one side and have that side face the corner of a room.
WBRZ-TV is reporting Dedrick Lee, who is the son of convicted south Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee, has been charged with negligent homicide, in the fatal shooting death of a 16-year-old. The East Feliciana High School student was killed in a home in Clinton. Dedrick Lee has posted bond and you may remember his dad died in prison.
LSU is number 10 in the latest College Football playoff rankings which puts them in position to play in either the Fiesta or Peach Bowl. Jerry Palm does bowl projections for CBS Sports says LSU could be knocked out of contention for a New Year’s Six Bowl if, Northwestern beats Ohio State in the Big 10 championship or if Pittsburgh upsets Clemson in the ACC title game.
Palm has Louisiana Tech going to the New Orleans Bowl to face the winner of Saturday’s Sun Belt Championship game between the Cajuns and Appalachian State. But there’s another report showing Louisiana Tech heading to the Hawaii Bowl to face old WAC rival Hawaii.
The loser of the Sun Belt Game goes to the Cure Bowl in Orlando.
The Saints defense will face one of the top running backs in the NFL tonight. Ezekiel Elliot leads the NFL with 1,074 rushing yards and averages nearly five yards a carry for the Cowboys. Kick-off is this evening s at 7:20 from AT-and-T Stadium.
Saints Hall of Fame linebacker Rickey Jackson reportedly underwent successful brain surgery. Details on why the surgery was needed have not been released. Jackson was a member of the famed Dome Patrol and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
News for Wednesday 112818
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Pineville High School was evacuated for a short period of time yesterday, after what school officials called an “electrical malfunction” in the Heating and A/C unit in one classroom. Parents were notified and students returned to classes after an short period of time.
Two proposed ordinances on the Alexandria City Council agenda that sparked controversy on social media have been removed just hours before they were to be voted on yesterday. The first ordinance would have broadened the definition of retired unclassified employees specifically for health insurance plans. Essentially, the change would have allowed employees, who meet certain criteria and are no longer employed with the city, to stay on the city’s health insurance plan with no employer contributions. That means former employees would have to pay 100 percent of the cost to stay on the health plan. A second item was also removed from the agenda. It was an ordinance that would keep current rules in place for the city’s 457 retirement plan.
Governor Edwards’ plans to fund 43 million dollars in additional projects for the year are on hold after Representative Cameron Henry put a stop to the Revenue Estimating Committee’s plans to improve the state’s revenue forecast at a Committee meeting. Henry says he disagreed with the REC’s projections that the state’s revenue situation has improved. The Edwards’ administration was hoping to use a better forecast to authorize tens of millions in additional spending for Corrections, Sheriffs, and Juvenile Justice, among other items.
Time is running out for Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance will lapse if a sought after six month extension is not passed by Friday. Senator John Kennedy says they’re working towards an extension, but there’s some lawmakers who are trying to kill the program, permanently. Kennedy says the opposition is not partisan, but geographical, comprised of leaders from non-flood-prone states.
Former Congressional candidate and Democrat Justin DeWitt was fired less than two days after his failed attempt to unseat Garret Graves in Louisiana’s 6th District. DeWitt worked as a surveyor for Baton Rouge based SJB Group, which a report says is owned by Republican Wilfred Barry. DeWitt says after receiving a performance raise in July, and a performance bonus in October, the decision came as a shock. The Democrat says he’s approached the DA about criminal charges.
Early voting for the Secretary of State’s election run-off set for December 8th is off to a slow start. JMC Analytics Pollster John Couvillon says the 31,000 early votes in the first two days are likely due to the fact that most folks aren’t even aware that there is an election less than two weeks away. The run-off features Republican Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin and Democratic Minister Gwen Collins-Greenup.
The West Monroe Police Department have arrested a person of interest during the course of a suspicious death investigation. 31-year-old Shomari Clemons facing charges of mutilating, disinterring the human remains of his grandmother. Why? Authorities aren’t saying anything yet.
The Supreme Court sides with a St. Tammany landowner who argued a portion of his land was wrongfully deemed critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, by forcing the lower courts to re-evaluate their previous decision. The landowner’s lawyer, Mark Miller says they’ll get to state their case that making the land livable for the frog would be an undue burden. Wildlife and Fisheries argues that the land, which is just across the border from where the frogs currently reside in Mississippi, will be crucial for the future survival of the species.
Louisiana sees many productions around the state for television shows and motion pictures. Now a recently released film, Green Book, is getting attention for possibly being an Oscar contender.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. The headline says its time to rethink Drew Brees and it also says please stop calling Brees an underdog. Writer Greg Bishop calls Brees one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest, who’s ever lived.
The Pelicans lost their fourth straight last night as they fell to Boston 124 to 107 Monday night. New Orleans hosts Washington tomorrow night. You can hear the game beginning at 6:30 on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron says some unprofessional acts occurred after the seven overtime loss to Texas A-and-M. Coach O spoke with the 94.6 ESPN Radio show Off the Bench. Video shows a credentialed member of the Aggies staff shoving Kragthorpe during what should have been a postgame hand shake. Kragthorpe has Parkinson’s Disease and a pacemaker and Orgeron says that should not have happened.
News for Tuesday 112718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report an Alexandria woman died Monday morning after her car was hit head-on by a box truck, on highway 3170 near LSUA. According to authorities 24 year old Chandler Lewis lost control of the truck, crossed the center line and hit a vehicle being driven by 24 year old Leminee Issac. Issac, who was not wearing a seatbelt was pronounced dead at the scene. Lewis, the driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries. Charges are pending against Lewis.
The man accused of raping an 82-year-old dementia patient last year at an Alexandria hospital has taken a plea that will send him to prison for up to 40 years. 28 year old Juantavies White was due to stand trial this week on a charge of first-degree rape.
An Alexandria man accused in the fatal shooting and armed robbery a man in September 2017 was found unable to stand trial on Monday. 21 year old Braylon Dozier Jr. was declared mentally unfit and a danger to himself and others by Judge Harry Randow. Randow ordered Dozier be sent to the East Louisiana Mental Health System in East Feliciana Parish until further notice. Dozier is accused of murdering Steven Allen, who was delivering pizza at the time he was shot and killed.
A former APD officer was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison. 43 year old Kenneth Thomas, who accused of dealing drugs and having sex while on duty, pled guilty to a reduced charge of abuse of office back in October. Thomas attempted to withdraw his guilty plea prior to sentencing yesterday, but the judge in the case refused. Thomas will serve his term without hard labor and with credit for any time served. He will also be eligible for work release.
When can an oil company seize your land to build a pipeline and who gives them permission. The answers are pretty much anytime they want and without you permission. That leads us to a hearing today, in the case that’s delayed construction on a portion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, after owners of land in St. Martinville say crews were illegally building, clearing trees and digging up land on their 32 acre property for nearly 60 days. The land owners are trying to fight the law that allowed the oil company to enter their property.
Congressman Ralph Abraham says soybean farmers are having issues with accessing the Market Facilitation Program, originally designed to help farmers, because of the recent congestion with crop elevators due to the nations trade war. He says the only step being take right now, is a bill that he’s pushing that alters the payment structure for the MFP. Abraham says many farmers are in danger of facing bankruptcy due to the issue, and he’s willing to do what it takes to get the ball rolling as fast as possible
Reports have pegged Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher’s nephew, Cole Fisher as the assailant who attacked LSU Analyst Steve Kragthorpe after the Aggies 74-72 win over LSU Saturday night. USA Today Reporter Glen Guilbeau says the seven overtime barnburner was the highlight of a night full of controversy, something that likely won’t be forgotten, or forgiven by fans of both teams. Kragthorpe suffers from Parkinsons and says the hit, which landed on his pacemaker, made his heart flutter.
This past Saturday proved to make a huge impact on locally owned shops and restaurants as the movement known as “Small Business Saturday” saw big numbers. National Federation of Independent Business Louisiana spokesperson Dawn Starns says looking at the full shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than two-thirds of small business owners expect sales to be stronger than 2017. Small Business Saturday was first recognized in 2010.
Venezuela will hold onto its U.S.-based Citgo refineries, including one in Lake Charles, settling a lawsuit that threw ownership of the struggling country's prized assets into peril.
Court papers show that Venezuela on Friday began paying off $1.4 billion that a panel said was owed to the Canadian mining firm Crystallex, following a disputed takeover of the company by the late-President Hugo Chavez. Citgo operates a 426,000-barrel-per-day-capacity refinery in Lake Charles, the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S., employing 1,800 company and contract workers. Plus facilities in Corpus Christi and Lemont, Illinois.
A Baton Rouge rapper known as Blvd Quick was found dead early Monday after a shooting at an apartment complex in East Baton Rouge. Police were called to the scene shortly after midnight where they found the body of 25 year old Ashton Wells. Police say this killing marks the 77th homicide in East Baton Rouge Parish for the year, a figure still below last year’s record high number of homicides.
The Saints are on a 10 win streak, looking comfortably like the best team in the NFL behind the most efficient season in Drew Brees’ career, and a surging defense that’s forced 10 interceptions and 12 fumbles. With five games left in the season, the Saints could eclipse the franchise regular season win record of 13. The Saints face a resurgent Cowboys team Thursday night in Dallas. The Cowboys are on a three game win streak and are in the thick of the playoff hunt.
News for Monday 112618
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A two vehicle Saturday night claimed the life of a Leesville man. State police say the accident happened on highway 8 west of Leesville when two vehicles collided head on. The crash claimed the life of a 22 year old male passenger. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Early voting for the December 8th election is now underway. There are 134 candidate runoffs in 47 parishes. John Couvillon of JCM Analytics says the Shreveport mayoral race is one high profile election heading to a run-off, then there is the Secretary of State runoff, plus there are other local races… early voting ends on Saturday.
Thousands of 2016 Louisiana flood victims continue to wait for President Donald Trump to sign a waiver so they can be eligible for disaster aid. Flooded homeowners who took out Small Business Administration disaster loans remain ineligible for grant dollars, because of the federal government’s duplication of benefits policy. Congress approved a law in October to allow Louisiana flood victims who got an S-B-A loan to also be eligible for federal grants through the Restore Louisiana program.
It’s Cyber Monday a chance for consumers to find great deals on the internet. Southeast Louisiana Better Business Bureau spokesperson Cynthia Albert says before you purchase any item on the internet, make sure you know who you are dealing with first, because there are a lot of fake websites out there. She says if you are in a generous mood and plan on donating money, you can check if the charity is legit at give-dot-org…
Senator John Kennedy is expected to announce this week on whether he’ll run for Governor in 2019 against John Bel Edwards. Southeastern Louisiana Professor Dayne Sherman expects Kennedy to get in the race, as even if he loses, he’ll retain his seat. Sherman says Attorney General Jeff Landry’s decision to seek reelection all but sealed the deal on Kennedy’s run.
Christmas tree farms are generally seeing a fair crop this year. And it is looking much better than the last couple of years. That’s according to Gray Anderson of Grant Farms in Alan Parish, who says weather has had an effect on the crop in previous years. Anderson says his farm sells between 2,500 and 3,000 trees each year.
A convicted child rapist, and former Catholic Priest has died in prison while serving out his life sentence. Corrections officials says 82-year-old Robert Lester Melancon died of natural causes. Melancon was convicted in 1996 for raping an altar boy from 1985 to 1991 while he was a priest in Terrebonne Parish.
An LSU Manship School Assistant Professor says his research shows the loss of local media can make towns a lot more partisan. Joshua Darr says the study was a joint effort with researchers from Colorado State and Texas A&M, where they analyzed the rate of voters who turned in ballots supporting candidates from more than one party. Darr says that’s because when local media dies, the often more heavily partisan national outlets fill the gap. Darr says his research reinforced the importance of keeping local news alive and supported, so that local voters can be fully informed about local candidates history and positions on vital local issues, as opposed to just falling back on party line voting.
LSU suffered an absolute heart breaking loss on Saturday to Texas A&M as the Aggies outlasted the Tigers 74-72 in seven overtimes. There were several questionable calls that went Texas A-and-M’s way. LSU will find out its bowl destination on December 2nd.
LSU fell four spots in the AP Top 25 Poll after its 74-72, seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M that had the most total points in FBS history. LSU (9-3) is now even with Washington State at No. 12. The Aggies (8-4) moved from unranked to No. 22 in the poll.
Those who vote in the USA Today Coaches poll apparently weren't all that impressed with LSU in its historic seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M on Saturday. The Tigers fell six spots to No. 14 in the latest version of the poll voted on by a panel of college football coaches. Texas A&M (8-4) moved into the poll at No. 22 after it was unranked last week.
News for Wednesday 112118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana tradition of frying a turkey for Thanksgiving can be disastrous if not done correctly. Thanksgiving often results in a flood of calls to first responders. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says to make sure your frying pot is on grass or concrete, not on a wooden surface. Also, that it is far enough away from anything combustible. Browning says the main reason for a turkey fry turning into a fiery situation is due to the grease overflowing from the frying pot. Also, be sure the bird is dry when you lower him into the water.. bon appetite!
Governor Edwards say minimum wage increase successes in other southern states have galvanized his administration and their allies to push for a pay raise for working class Louisianans again in the next legislative session. Edwards has stuck to his guns on the issue since his 2015 election, where he made raising the minimum a key plank in his platform. While Arkansas jumped to 11 an hour, and Missouri voted in 12 over time, Edwards says he plans to pursue what he calls his modest campaign pledge, more like $8.50 an hour. Lobby groups say they will oppose the increase.
A Mandeville couple has something additional to be thankful for as they were cleaning house preparing for family coming into town and found a winning lottery ticket, just two weeks shy of expiration. The ticket was valued at 1.8 million dollars, as it was the sole jackpot-winning ticket from a June drawing. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson BreAnne Frye says the ticket was found on a nightstand. We should all be so lucky.
The numbers don’t lie.. Louisiana spent almost 35-thousand dollars on attorney fees to settle the sexual harassment suit against former Secretary of State Tom Schedler. That’s in addition to the 149-thousand dollars that went to the alleged victim in the out of court settlement. That brings the total taxpayers pain to $184,000. Schedler also personally paid 18-thousand dollars to the ex-employee.
Chris John is out as president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association after leading the organization for the past 11 years. John has been on the front lines lobbying at the State Capitol for legislation that benefits the state’s energy industry. John said in a statement it was time for him to move on to his next adventure.
A judge has ruled the Vermilion Parish School Board broke the state’s open meeting law when they threw out a teacher who spoke against a 30-thousand dollar raise for Superintendent Jerome Puyua (PEE-oh) during a January board meeting. The incident drew national media attention. The judge also threw out Superintendent Puyau’s 30-thousand raise.
A 105-year prison sentence has been handed down against 56-year-old Douglas Holley, who was convicted of a crime in which he detonated a homemade bomb in an effort to kill a Bossier Parish veterinarian and his wife. Holley worked as a horse farm handyman and prospectors say he was upset they couldn’t save his horse from dying. The bomb did not hurt Bobby Hewlett or his wife.
Two are under arrest in connection to the October 14th shooting death of a Lafayette area boxer, 28-year-old Brandon Broussard. Both suspects are facing Second Degree Murder charges.
On Thanksgiving night, the Saints will go after their 10th straight win when they host the Atlanta Falcons. Running back Mark Ingram says the team is on an amazing run… Kick-off Thursday is at 7:20. Airtime 5p on 96.9 KZMZ
News for Tuesday 112018
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A deal has been announced that would end litigation between the Rapides Parish Police Jury and District Attorney's Office. DA Phillip Terrell says the deal includes a 10 percent salary cut for him and all his assistant district attorneys. However, those cuts do not extend to other staff members in the office. Terrell also said four "high-paid" positions that are currently vacant won't be filled. The deal is part of the DA’s budget request for 2019.
Whether you plan to travel on the roadway, by plane, or on cruise ship, AAA is forecasting the number of travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday to be the highest since 2005. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says the higher number of travelers is likely a sign of confidence in the economy.
Louisiana ATC can now enforce a law barring anyone under the age of 21 from working as an erotic dancer in bars and nightclubs, in a court reversal of a hold on a 2016 anti-trafficking law that Solicitor General Liz Murrill says was justified, and needed.
The Department of Children and Family Services is teaming up with the United Way in an effort to expand workforce training for food stamp recipients in seven southeast Louisiana parishes. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says the money is used to reimburse organizations already doing such training for people on the SNAP rolls. It’s hoped funding will soon be available for the rest of the state.
Authorities are searching for a Baton Rouge man accused of killing his wife and injuring two of her relatives in a stabbing at the family's home Sunday night. 49 year old Michael Vallery, according to police, fled the scene after fatally stabbing his wife. The two female family members were found in the home suffering from apparent stab wounds.
Children who suffer from severe peanut allergies may be in luck, as a new treatment can help mitigate the potentially deadly effects of accidental ingestion. It’s an oral medication that builds up peanut tolerance in allergy sufferers over six months. LSU Health New Orleans ran the experiment on 372 children. Two thirds of the participants who took the treatments saw positive results. One in 50 Americans is estimated to have a peanut allergy.
1,230 new direct and indirect jobs are headed to St. James Parish as Wanhua Chemical selects Convent for the location of its new factory. It’s a 1.25 billion dollar, 250-acre complex that’s set to begin construction next year. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says deep water and quality infrastructure make it a good fit. Wanhua is a Chinese company with a global reach that Peirson says dominates its chemical industry, and already has a facility in Europe.
It’s less than three days from Thanksgiving, and if you’re roasting a bird you’ll want to make sure your guests don’t end up regretting it on black Friday.experts with the LSU AgCenter say the most important thing you can do to keep the family safe is cooking that turkey long enough to blast the bacteria. And while you’re at it, you might want to get a head start on putting that turkey so it has time to defrost. The so called experts are again saying you shouldn’t wash the turkey for fear of cross contamination.. they obviously have never been to a poultry processing plant..
The funeral is set for a police officer in Slidell who died Saturday from injuries suffered in an on-duty motorcycle in September while he was escorting a funeral procession. The services for Officer Jason Seals will be held Wednesday at noon. He was survived by his wife and three young children.
One of the most anticipated NFL games of the season lived up to its immense hype.
The Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs, 54-51, in the highest scoring game in the 49-season history of Monday Night Football.
The New Orleans Pelicans finished off a three-game home stand with a 140-126 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night . It was the third consecutive victory for the Pelicans who were playing their third game in the Smoothie King Center in four nights. Tomorrow night, the Pels are in Philadelphia t take on the 76ers..hear that game starting at 5:30p on 97.4 ESPN.
News for Monday 111918
Compiled By Dave Graichen
For a 13th consecutive month, Louisiana has reported an increase in jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm employment has increased by 19-thousand jobs since October 2017. Alexandria and Houma were two metro areas though that actually saw job losses from September to October.
Wanhua Chemical, which is based in China, announces plans to build a 1.25 billion dollar chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish in the town of Convent. The 250-acre manufacturing site will create 170 new direct jobs.
5th district Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham says he supports a work or educational requirement for an able-bodied adult to be eligible for SNAP written into the Farm Bill. Abraham says the current version of the Senate Farm Bill is seeing hurdles in the lame duck session, as he says Dems want to completely rewrite the bill. Abraham says there is a chance that there may be an agreement reached with the Farm Bill before the lame duck sessions ends.
US Representative Mike Johnson has been named Republican Study Committee Chairman which gives Louisiana more clout in Congress. In a statement Johnson said with the Republican Party becoming the minority party in the House, this committee has a vital responsibility to present practical ideas and effective policy initiatives and vigorously defend and advance core conservative principles.
A young leader is emerging in Avoyelles Parish. 19-year-old Stanley Celestine Junior has been elected to the Avoyelles school board and will begin serving his term in January. The district just received a “C” grade from the state department of education. Over half of Avoyelles Parish schools received either a D or F grade. Celestine says one of the first things he wants to look at is the school system’s discipline policies.
Baton Rouge has been flooded with gunfire over the last week, with a 20 percent increase in shots fired, and 10 dead from shootings in the last 15 days including a kindergartner who was shot by a 13-year-old. Police Chief Murphy Paul attributes the majority of these shootings to drug related crime. This spike in shootings comes after months of peace.
Repairs to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish are ahead of schedule. The bridge has been closed due to a barge carrying a crane colliding with the structure last month. The detour has inconvenienced the nearly 25,000 drivers who use the bridge daily. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says although they are seeing much progress, he says weather is always a variable that can alter the speed of repairs. State officials hope to have the bridge reopened in January.
A suspected serial killer has confessed to the murder of two Terrebonne Parish women. The murders happened in 1982 and 1996. Houma Police Sgt. Travis Theriot says detectives believe the suspect, 78 year-old Samuel Little, killed dozens of women in several states. Little is currently serving multiple life sentences in a Texas jail. He also confessed to killing 29-year-old Melissa Thomas of Opelousas in 1996.
The American Farm Bureau reports the average cost for Thanksgiving dinner has gone down the past three years. The bureau conducted a survey of grocery stores across 37 states, Louisiana Farm Bureau Representative Avery Davidson says the average price nationwide to feed ten people is $48.90, but the Bayou State is one of the best in regards to cost. Davidson says the turkeys at Louisiana grocery stores are cheaper here than in other parts of the country.
Fifteen people were rescued from a boat near Grand Isle early Sunday morning after reports the vessel was taking on water. The liftboat, a vessel capable of elevating itself on legs to create a stable platform, often used in offshore oil extraction or construction, had 15 people on board when problems were reported at 3:16 a.m. The master of the liftboat reported it was tilting at 45 degrees and had no power, leaving it unable to right itself. A good Samaritan vessel rescued six people, and Coast Guard members rescued the remaining nine.
The Saints are playing unbelievable football. They smoked the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles yesterday 48-7 for their ninth straight win. It’s the third straight game they’ve scored 40 points or more. The Saints have won nine in a row and they have a three-game lead over Carolina for first place in the NFC South.
LSU got its offense back on track versus a weak Rice Owls team as the Bayou Bengals had 552 yards of total offense in a 42-10 win. LSU has one regular season game left and its this Saturday versus Texas A&M. A ten-win season and a berth into a New Year’s Bowl game is on the line for the Tigers. LSU jumped two spots to No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll, which were released Sunday.
It's official: Les Miles has been named new Kansas head football coach. The 65 year old Miles signed a five-year, $2,775,000 per-year contract at Kansas, and he was formally introduced at a 5 p.m. news conference in Lawrence on Sunday.
News for Friday 111618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The price at the pump continues to decline. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.34 in Louisiana today, down nine cents since last week, putting prices just two cents higher than a year ago. Gas Buddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says some gas stations in the state are selling gas below $2 per gallon.
LSU announced Thursday that it had agreed to a settlement with former football coach Les Miles, bringing his final contract with the university to a close and allowing “both parties to move forward." LSU and Miles agreed to a lump-sum settlement that would pay the former Tigers coach $1.5 million of the remaining $6.5 million he was owed through 2023. Miles, who is now 65, lives in Baton Rouge, and reports have recently connected him to the coaching opening at the University of Kansas. It’s unclear if Thursday’s announcement is a sign that Miles is negotiating with Kansas, but the settlement frees up the opportunity for Miles to pursue another job.
Senator John Kennedy says the chances for a passage of any long term flood insurance program renewal in the lame duck session are slim. The program is set to expire November 30th, and in the meantime Kennedy says he’s proposing a six month renewal while a long term fix continues to be hashed out. Unlike most of the problems on Capitol Hill, Kennedy says this one isn’t actually about Democrats and Republicans, it’s more about people who live near water vs. those who don’t, and those who don’t just don’t consider it a priority…
A man convicted of three California murders and suspected in numerous other deaths, including three in Louisiana, now claims he was involved in about 90 killings nationwide spanning nearly four decades, and investigators in Texas already have corroborated about a third of those The Louisiana killings were in Opelousas, Houma and Gray.
78-year-old Samuel Little was booked into jail this week following his indictment in the 1994 death of a Texas woman.
Medicaid has come under fire in the wake of a Legislative Auditor’s report that showed the service may have paid up to 85 million in healthcare costs for people who were not wage eligible for the program at the time they received coverage, and today, Medicaid launched a new verification system that more frequently checks wage eligibility. Louisiana Medicaid Director Jen Steele says this should prevent that in the future.
The online system will also provide instant feedback on applications to join Medicaid.
Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s running for re-election because he sees crime as the biggest issue facing Louisiana in the near future, and AG’s are best situated to tackle it. Landry says Medicaid fraud and abuse is another major issue he’ll tackle if re-elected. No Democrats have jumped into the AG’s race yet.
Food delivery service Waitr is going public on the NASDAQ stock exchange this Friday. The company started in Louisiana in 2013 and has since expanded into over 230 cities in the southeast. CEO Chris Meaux says services like Waitr have opened restaurant owners to the idea of using third party delivery companies. Meaux says restaurants will not only see cost savings, but continued growth of revenue with delivery companies such as Waitr.
Three people are dead after being among four men that were shot Wednesday night in Baton Rouge. The motive and suspects are unknown at this time, but authorities say they believe there were two gunmen. Baton Rouge Police Department spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean Mckneely says the initially while two victims died at the scene, the other two victims had survived. But, a third one died this afternoon.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report highlighting the lack of recorded data published on police activity in Louisiana in reference to traffic stops. S-P-L-C attorney Jamila Johnson says due to a lack of clear punishments for failures to follow the law, it’s difficult to get the compliance that is needed.
LSU will honor 18 seniors on Saturday night as the Fighting Tigers host Rice in the final game in Tiger Stadium this season. Senior tight end Foster Moreau has mixed emotions, as he’s loved his time at LSU, but at the same time he’s looking forward to this game….
The Saints host the Eagles on Sunday and Quarterback Drew Brees could have a chance to throw passes to a new wide receiver. Recently signed Brandon Marshall says he’s ready to contribute and quarterback Drew Brees believes Marshall is a good fit for the offense. The Eagles come in with a record 4-5, but Brees knows it will not be an easy game…
News for Thursday 111518
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Today is recognized as the Great American Smokeout, an observation started by the American Cancer Society in 1975. Spokesperson for Louisiana’s Smoking Cessation Trust Jim Pittman says the observation was started in an effort to get tobacco users to kick the habit in favor of using money spent on smoking toward charity. According to a recent report, about 23% of adults in Louisiana smoke.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has announced the Gross Domestic Product grew in Louisiana for the second quarter of 2018, making it the 12th fastest economic growth in the nation, and third among the 12 states of the southeastern region. LSU economist Loren Scott says the state’s percentage rate of growth just barely outpaces the national average. Scott says the news creates optimism for the state, even in the oil patch, where recent years have not been kind to the industry.
Louisiana’s Attorney General says he’s running for re-election, taking him out as a possible candidate to challenge for the Governor’s mansion next year. Landry says he’s comfortable he can best serve the state by continuing in his current job. When it comes to GOP contenders for the Governors election, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone has announced his entrance into the race, while Sen. John Kennedy says he’ll make his decision by December 1.
Governor Edwards is criticizing a decision by interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to publicly claim the former Mayor of New Roads “illegally cast his ballot” in the midterm election, when the Governor says further review showed Robert Myer was actually eligible to vote. Ardoin says he made that assertion after discovering Myer’s name was never added to the “can’t vote” list after his conviction in January.
A half-inch of snow fell in Monroe Wednesday morning, and the national weather service says its the earliest recorded accumulated snowfall in Monroe’s history.
Congressman Steve Scalise will be House Minority Whip for the 116th Congress after winning in a unanimous vote. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says as the current Majority Whip, it’s a role Scalise is very familiar with. California Congressman Kevin McCarthy is taking the reins of Minority Leader in the House next year. A leadership vote for Speaker has not been held yet by the Democrats, but reports say current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the favorite.
New Orleans was the host city for WWE’s annual Wrestlemania event back in April, and now we know the economic impact. It’s estimated that the over 78-thousand in attendance for the event at the Mercedes Benz Superdome contributed to a $175-million boom for the economy of the New Orleans region.
Governor Edwards was out in California Wednesday for the Rolling Stone/Variety Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, where he was on a panel discussing how Criminal Justice reforms are shaping up in Louisiana, and how successes in Louisiana can be used elsewhere. The summit hopes to use the power of entertainment to spread a pro-reform message across the country.
A 71-year-old Mandeville financial adviser who stole more than $1.1 million from elderly investors has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Ralph Willard Savoie, who previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, also was ordered Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to pay $1.1 million-plus in restitution and forfeit another $1.1 million. Savoie, who also had an office in Baton Rouge, defrauded clients by using their money for personal expenses, to pay off other investors and to invest in a risky real estate venture.
One of the nation’s top high school running backs in the nation has committed to LSU. Destrehan’s John Emery is rated as the second best running back in the country, according to 24-7 sports. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says this is a big win for Coach Ed Orgeron on the recruiting front. Emery committed to Georgia during the summer, but de-committed 12 days later after watching the Tigers upset the Bulldogs in Death Valley.
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