News for Friday 092118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana finished the fiscal year that ended June 30th with a budget surplus of approximately 300-million dollars. Edwards says the state’s economy is performing better than what the Revenue Estimating Conference predicted. Critics of the Edwards administration say the surplus shows the legislature didn’t need to renew millions of dollars in temporary sales taxes earlier this year. But Edwards says ending now two years with a surplus is a good thing. The state constitution limits how state surplus dollars can be spent, but construction is one of those areas.
Hanna Barker, the mother of a baby who died after being found in a fire is scheduled to be in a Natchitoches Parish courtroom today for multiple motions, including one to set bond. The 22 year old Barker was arrested by the Natchitoches Police Department on July 25 on charges of being a principal to first-degree murder and criminal conspiracy.
The Pineville PD reports two Pineville residents have been charged with child desertion and other offenses for allegedly using drugs and having an unsafe environment for three young children. 37 year old Timothy Nugent and 38 year old April Bohannon were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Bond was set at $7,000 each.
The Public Service Commission launches an investigation into the spending habits of rural energy coops. Commissioner Foster Campbell highlighted what he says were completely unnecessary educational and lobbying trips to places like Las Vegas and Washington DC, where he says costs for expensive meals and hotels would end up back on customer bills. Co-op officials say the trips are a necessity in order to stay current with the technology. Louisiana’s co-ops for the most part have the lowest utility rates in the state.
New Orleans-based Via Link, which provides crisis intervention for many Louisiana residents who call the National Suicide Hotline, is on the verge of closing, as it can no longer rely on private donations to cover the costs of the service. Via Link CEO LaVondra Dobbs says the program receives some grant money but really needs closer to $350,000 to cover its annual operating costs. Dobbs says if Via Link goes away, the calls will then go to a backup center, where callers can spend around 45 minutes on hold before talking to a specialist.
Over the summer, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued its 10 millionth patent. But where are those patents being issued? Over the past five years, Louisiana was issued the fifth lowest number of patents per capita compared to other states. Content Strategist at Digital Third Coast Roxy Fata says the metrics shown by a recent study indicate the Bayou State is one of the least innovative states in the nation.
Fata says there is no shortage of Southeastern states at the bottom of the list with Arkansas just behind Louisiana and Mississippi coming in dead last.
A court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the LHSAA suspension of now Hahnville quarterback Andrew Robison until an appeals hearing, that would make the senior eligible to play tonight, but there’s still an open question as to whether or not his coach will play him. Robison Family Lawyer David Moyer says the whole process so far has been unfair. Robison, and Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio were suspended after the LHSAA alleged the quarterback was illegally recruited by Hahnville from his old school, Vandebilt Catholic. Saltaformaggio received a four game ban, while Robison was barred from playing at all for his new school.
A Denham Springs woman has been charged with D-W-I after she drove into a Baton Rouge Police cruiser. B-R-P-D Sergeant Don Coppola says after doctors checked on Jones injuries, she was then sent to the East Baton Rouge jail for booking on charges of D-W-I, careless operation and vehicular negligent injuring. Coppola says the police unit suffered severe damage as a result of the wreck.
The Gueydan Duck Festival has kicked off, bringing sportsmen from around the world to the small town known as the Duck Capital of America. The town, south of Lafayette, has been putting on the festival for 41 years. Festival President Jerrod Broussard says it’s
a family friendly event with food, music, and all kinds of other entertainment
After seeing losses in 2017, movie theatres are experiencing their best summer in two decades. It’s quite the feat considering the popularity of at home video on demand services such as Netflix. North American ticket sales will close out the summer season with more than a 14% increase. Entertainment columnist for the New Orleans Advocate Keith Spera says the weather might play a factor, with people wanting to get out of the heat.
Louisiana Tech will make the bus ride down to Baton Rouge tomorrow for their game against 6th ranked LSU. Bulldogs Senior linebacker Dae’Von Washington of Alexandria says they are gearing up for a physical game. LSU has won 15 straight over the Bulldogs. Tech’s lone win during the series came in 1904 when the Bulldogs won six to nothing. The game is sold out..
A matchup to watch in Sunday’s Saints-Falcons game is Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones versus New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The second year defensive back knows he has his work cut out for him. Saints defensive end Cam Jordan says if Lattimore and the Saints secondary can do their job, they hope to get pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
News for Thursday 092018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Corporal Alan Stokes of the Alexandria Police Department, who filed a police report back in May alleging that he was publicly intimidated by Mayor Jacques Roy during a phone call related to the selection of the city's next police chief, has been terminated. Roy and police Chief Jerrod King addressed the matter on Wednesday at a weekly briefing. Chief King saying some things that happened were unacceptable. The Chief went on to say he didn’t care who it involved, whether it was the mayor or a citizen.
The APD reports an Alexandria man died early Wednesday morning in a two vehicle crash on Interstate 49 near the Airbase Road exit. Authorities have yet to ID the driver of the vehicle other than to say he was a 37-year-old man. The other driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Sad news yesterday when we were informed of the passing of Billy Allgood, a man who was a coach, athletic director, and teacher at Louisiana College for close to 4 decades. His accomplishments at LC range from 327 career basketball victories to personally building the baseball facility that deservedly bears his name. Billy Allgood was 87.
LSU announced yesterday afternoon there are less than 100 tickets available for the LSU football team’s 6 p.m. home game Saturday against Louisiana Tech at Tiger Stadium. LSU did not post a sellout in 2017 among its six home games in Tiger Stadium, but LSU football still ranked high among the nation’s attendance leaders.
Capacity at Tiger Stadium is 102,321. To put that in perspective, that’s 4 and a half times the population of Grant Parish. The last sellout at tiger stadium was against Alabama in 2016.
Governor John Bel Edwards says his priority for the next legislative session is to get more money for public education and to secure a 1,000 dollar teacher pay raise. Edwards says it’s more than just teachers who deserve a raise, it’s support workers, bus drivers and more. This comes as teacher strikes in red states across the nation have found success in both securing pay raises and public school funding increases. Edwards says it’s the first step towards addressing the decade-long teacher pay freeze.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is sounding the alarm over a new report they conducted that shows more than one-third of Louisiana law enforcement departments do not have policies that address racial profiling. Deputy Legal Director Lisa Graybill says it’s a troubling discovery that likely is leading to mistreatment of minorities by some police departments. But she says it’s not necessarily being done out of malice. Graybill notes that after surveying law enforcement statewide, they discovered that many offices just weren’t familiar with what those policies were, and how they help lead to fair policing.
Prosecutors have added criminal charges of possession of child pornography against former LSU wide receiver Drake Davis, who was arrested Sunday for a second time this past month, after an ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic battery. East Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore says the new charges were added after investigators found two videos on Davis’s cell phone that were determined to be child pornography. Davis has submitted his resignation from LSU and is no longer enrolled at the university.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says so far this year they’ve only seen a two-percent average increase in auto insurance rates. Last year for 2017, auto insurance rates rose on average nearly nine percent. Donelon says drivers should ask their insurance provider about any discounts available.
The LSU AgCenter has been awarded a five million dollar, five-year grant from the CDC that will fund an ongoing program to improve health in rural Louisiana and expand it to more parishes. The grant will support an initiative called Healthy Access, Behaviors, and Communities, or Healthy ABCs. AgCenter Nutrition Specialist Denise Holston says the program has been active for about three years and overall the feedback on the program so far has been positive.
A new survey from OfficeTeam says 56 percent of U.S. workers’ typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less. Recruiting Manager at Robert Half Finance and Accounting Carrie Lewis says the current break standards may have a negative effect on employees. The survey shows that 29 percent of employees don’t stop working on their breaks.
News for Wednesday 091918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just under 400 people on hand last night for the Alexandria Mayoral debate. The event was sponsored by The Young Professionals Group of Cenla, The Central Louisiana Chamber and Cenla Broadcasting. If you were not able to attend or listen on the radio, a podcast is available on the front page of the KSYL website at KSYL.Com..
A former Bookkeeper at the Rapides Parish DA’s office, Margaruette Beard, pleaded guilty yesterday to theft greater than $25,000, injuring public records, and malfeasance in office. Beard was sentenced to 5 years at hard labor on each count to be served concurrent with the federal sentence she received. Beard worked in the DA’s office for 27 years, until the discovery that money was missing from the office in October 2015.
Authorities in Livingston Parish report a 2-year-old boy has died after he managed to grab a gun from a counter in his home. Sheriff Jason Ard says the child is believed to have climbed up on a stool to reach the gun. He says the gun went off and the child was hit in the face. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The civil case involving the Alton Sterling shooting has uncovered a communication sent one year before Sterling’s shooting death by Officer Blane Salamoni where one his superiors questioned the former Baton Rouge cop’s sanity. Sterling Family Attorney Chris Stewart says his clients are pushing for a quick resolution to the civil case, and warns they’re ready to make life uncomfortable for city officials if they refuse a settlement. Blane Salamoni was cleared of criminal charges.
Some of Louisiana’s 100-person contingent of first responders in South Carolina are coming home, while the others will continue rescue operations for the next week as waters continue to rise as a result of Florence. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says South Carolina is not out of the woods yet when it comes to more flooding, which is why their search and rescue teams will stay there for another week.
A big groundbreaking ceremony for a new medical school on the ULM campus took place Tuesday. ULM has entered a land lease agreement with Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, which will construct a building at Heritage Park and the Grove. The university says no state funds will be used on the project.
Louisiana has the second highest rate of male on female murder in the United States according to a report from the Violence Policy Center. It’s a continuing trend as the state has found itself in the top five since 2016. Legislative Director Kristen Rand says 1,800 women were murdered in the US by men last year, with 93 percent of all murders of women by men being done by someone the victim knew beforehand.
LSU place-kicker Cole Tracy is reaching folk hero status after kicking the game winning field goal versus Auburn. Cole is a graduate transfer from Assumption College in Massachusetts. Now, that school is seeing donations from LSU fans in Cole’s honor. Assumption College Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Tim Stanton, says the donations started coming after LSU’s win over Miami. If enough funds are raised, Stanton says they’ll renamed their football field for Tracy.
Drag Queen Story Time will go on as planned on October sixth at the Lafayette Public Library despite some calls for the event’s cancellation. The library board met last night and took no action on postponing or cancelling the event, but they heard public comment. There were more people who spoke in opposition to a group of UL Lafayette students dressing in drag and reading to children.
Sixth ranked LSU is a 20 point favorite this Saturday night against Louisiana Tech. The Tigers have performed well when they are the underdogs, but they’ll be the favorite for at least the next couple of weeks. Coach Ed Orgeron says the key to staying successful is to stay humble.
Looking ahead to next season, the SEC schedule came out today. The Tigers will kick off league play on September 21st at Vanderbilt. LSU will also visit Mississippi State on October 19th, host Auburn the next week and then it’s Alabama on November 9th, followed by Ole Miss the next week. There’s also two bye weeks, September 28th and November 2nd, before Bama.
News for Tuesday 091818
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Just a reminder tonight it’s the YPG mayoral debate.. it starts at 6:30 at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.. Tonight’s debate will also be broadcast live on KSYL 970AM & 104.9FM.
The RPSO reports 31 year old Kayla Giles, the woman accused with shooting and killing her estranged husband in a Walmart parking lot on September 8th, is now facing new charges unrelated to that shooting. Giles was, according to the APD, re-arrested on Monday for a warrant for domestic abuse battery from an incident reported on August 8 and a separate warrant for theft $5,000-$25,000 from an incident reported on September 5. Giles is currently being held on $1,000,000 in the Rapides Parish jail.
State Police say a 2 year old is dead and other children sustained injuries after their father drunkenly flew through an intersection in Donaldsonville over the weekend and got t-boned. 27-year-old John Henderson of Baton Rouge, the driver, has been arrested as a result. State Police Spokesperson Sgt. Jaded Sandifer says neither of the adults put restraints on the 2-year-old who died.
The United Cajun Navy is wrapping up operations in the Carolinas after spending nearly a week saving people from treacherous flood waters. 23 deaths have been attributed to the storm so far. United Cajun Navy founder Todd Terrell says not everyone is coming home yet, as they hope to continue assisting areas with limited resources, while cleaning up the command center they built to coordinate rescues. There are also over 100 Louisiana emergency personnel deployed to the Carolinas and they are assisting with rescues, clearing roadways and cooking for first responders.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has returned to the Bayou State following a ten day trip to China as part of a Louisiana tourism mission in an attempt to lure more visitors from Asia. The trip included a stop at the 12th annual China-US Tourism Leadership Summit. Nungesser says he believes the “Lights Camera Louisiana” film trail, which shows where many movies and TV shows were produced in the state, will be a huge draw for Chinese tourists.
In a narrow vote, the State Board of Medical Examiners voted to lift a cap that was established in 2016 that would allow physicians to have up to 100 medical marijuana patients. Only 48 doctors have applied to dispense the medical marijuana when it comes available later this year and the small number caused concerns the cap would hurt the program.
This is the last week of summer, but it feels like the middle of the summer with heat index values over 100-degrees. State Climatologist Barry Keim says we are still a couple of weeks away from that first significant cold front that brings a touch of fall to Louisiana. But, there is some good news.. starting today we’ll get a break in the high humidity for a few days.
The St. Landry Parish Veterans Memorial announced Monday that Wilson Robertson, who was named in March as Acadiana’s oldest World War II veteran, has died. Robertson passed away on Wednesday at his home in Melville. He was 102. Robertson enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 25, 1941, serving until March 1945. For his service to the country, Robertson received the Bronze Star Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, 1st Award, WW II Honorable Service Lapel Button and the Louisiana Medal of Honor.
Louisiana will receive $1.8 million annually over five years after receiving a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The funding will be used to establish a comprehensive Louisiana School Mental Health Support Program within thirty-four schools throughout Louisiana. Louisiana Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says it’ll help provide special training to school personnel.
A Donaldsonville man is facing battery and hate crime charges after an altercation at a Gonzales store that was allegedly sparked when he told a Latino family to “go back to Mexico.” Authorities say 60-year-old Robert Ray approached a 19-year-old girl at the store, made the comments, and then shoved her and her father. That was his second big mistake. The man Mr. Ray began to fight with was actually a Texas born marine, who stepped in after his Louisiana born daughter was allegedly shoved. Ray is facing one hate crime charge along with two counts of simple battery and criminal damage to property.
State police have arrested a former LSP cadet following an investigation that revealed he was involved in an attempt at blackmail against a former US Army coworker. LSP spokesperson Sgt. Jared Sandifer says 26 year old Jimmy Kassis was let go from the state police in June upon hearing of the investigation from the US Army.
LSU has ended its relationship with wide receiver Drake Davis. Tiger Rag Magazine reports Davis has been kicked off the team after he was arrested a second time on battery charges against a female. Davis remains in jail as he was denied bond.
Sixth ranked LSU is the talk of college football with its two victories over top 10 ranked teams. Coach Ed Orgeron says they still have several tough games left to play this season and they have to get better if they want to win those contests. LSU is nearly a three touchdown favorite to beat Louisiana Tech this Saturday.
On air tonight..
Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners 6:35p 94.7 ESPN / 1410 KDBS
News for Monday 091718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It’s your chance to hear all three candidates for mayor of the city of Alexandria. It’s the YPG of Cenla Mayoral Debate tomorrow night at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts center. The event, which is free and open to the public starts at 6:30 and will run until 8 o’clock. Can’t make it.. then be sure to listen to the debate on KSYL 970AM and 104.9FM. The mayoral debate is sponsored by the YPG of Cenla and the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce.
The United Cajun Navy is currently in North Carolina as the area is experiencing massive flooding from Hurricane Florence. Founder of the group, Todd Terrell, says those that want to help can make donations via the United Cajun Navy’s Facebook page. He says the team is facing many challenges with the elements in the Carolinas.
A team with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal has been staging in Florence, South Carolina in response to the hurricane by the same name. With just under 100 people on the team, they are assisting the South Carolina State Fire Marshal with calls coming in as a result of the storm. Louisiana agency Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the group is packed for a stay of 5 to 7 days.
Louisiana Treasury Secretary John Schroder estimates the state will have an over 300 million dollar budget surplus from last year after revenues out performed expectations. There are tight constitutional limits on just how this cash can get spent, which means it can’t be dropped straight into the state general fund for this. The Edwards administration says any estimates before the audit is finished are premature.
Suspended LSU wide receiver Drake Davis was again arrested Sunday and accused of beating his former girlfriend, the second time in a month that he has been accused of abusing the same woman. He was previously arrested Aug. 17 and released on bail.
His first arrest centered on four incidents of abuse that included punching and grabbing the victim by her throat on multiple occasions . the 21 year old Davis was booked into jail Sunday on additional counts of battery of a dating partner and violation of protective orders.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a Winnsboro man had roadkill in the cooler of his restaurant and then took it home to butcher it. L-D-W-F’s Adam Einck says a deputy saw the fawn in a cooler at a restaurant called the Garden Hen. He says the man heard law enforcement were on the case and apparently tried to hide the evidence…
A Baton Rouge man has been arrested in a two-vehicle crash in Donaldsonville that killed a toddler and injured several other people Saturday evening, according to Louisiana State Police. 27 year old John Henderson was arrested and accused of driving under the influence, vehicular homicide and other related counts.
A former cast member of the History Channel reality show "Swamp People" died in a car crash in Iberville Parish early Saturday morning, according to his family on social media and the Louisiana State Police. 35 year old Randy Edwards of Donaldsonville, died after crashing his car into a utility pole around 3 a.m. Impairment is suspected in the crash. Edwards was featured on the first six seasons of Swamp People with his father, Junior, and his mother, Theresa.
The Department of Economic Development is launching a new mentorship program that will pair business veterans with upstart entrepreneurs to help get the rookies off the bench and onto the field. Secretary Don Pierson says the program has received a lot of interest from experienced businesspeople, who are looking to pass on some vital knowledge. You can find more information, or apply for the program at opportunitylouisiana.com/mentorprotege.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office hosted a sniper training course this past week, welcoming law enforcement from the area. Cpl. Justin Dunn says the officers were instructed on safety and the importance of the role of being a sniper. Dunn says he believes the officers taking the course have picked up quite a bit over the last week.
LSU is a top-10 team after its 22-21 win at Auburn on Saturday. And it's nearly a top-five team. Cashing in on its second top-10 win of the season, the Tigers rank No. 6 in both the USA Today Coaches and AP polls released Sunday. LSU jumped seven spots in the Coaches poll and jumped six spots in the AP poll. Alabama is the consensus No. 1 in both polls.
Thanks to four missed kicks by Cleveland’s Zane Gonzales the Saints were able to rally to beat the Cleveland Browns 21-18. New Orleans trailed 12-3 in the 4th quarter, but Quarterback Drew Brees finally got it going with two touchdown passes to Michael Thomas. Will Lutz’s 44-yard field goal with 21-seconds left was the game winner. But Coach Sean Payton is not happy with how his team is playing.
News for Friday 091418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
After complaints from nearby residents the RPSO reports the arrests of 4 Tioga residents. A search warrant was served on Stokes Road Sept. 5 by agents of the department's Metro Division. Four people were present, and agents found "and seized suspected methamphetamine, packaging materials, scales and other narcotic-related paraphernalia. All four were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
Southwest Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins introduces legislation that would mandate random drug tests for U-S House and Senate members. If there’s a failed test, the Ethics Committee can take further action. Higgins says you wouldn’t want emergency personnel to be intoxicated on the job, you sure wouldn’t want legislators to be under the influence either.
Entergy Louisiana is sending a team of 200 employees and contractors to the East Coast. Hurricane Florence is expected to pack a mighty punch that could cause some extensive power outages. Entergy Louisiana Spokesperson Lee Sabatini says in addition to line workers, they are sending over people for various duties in the cleanup effort.
Nine former softball players have filed complaints with the Office of Civil Rights for Title Nine violations alleging that while attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette they were deprived of appropriate trainers, training facilities, equipment, and supplies when compared to the resources provided to male athletes. Attorney Allison Jones says the players also faced retaliation for bringing up the claims. The University strongly denies the allegations.
Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi would all get a significantly larger share of Federal offshore energy revenue from the Gulf of Mexico under a bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves of Baton Rouge that was approved by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Thursday. The legislation amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 to increase to 50 percent the share of revenue paid by oil, gas and other energy companies that would go to Louisiana and other states from certain lease areas. The bill also removes a $500 million a year cap on how much money can be shared with states each year. The amendment has a long way to go since it must still be approved by the full House and the Senate.
The Haynesville is producing more natural gas than at any time since 2012. The shale seemed to be on it’s way out after cratering several years ago, but since 2016 has seen extraction levels rise. The shale produced 6.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day in June, good for 8.5 percent of all US production. The shale occupies a portion of north west Louisiana.
Seven escaped inmates are back in custody after Wednesday’s breach at Madison Parish Detention Center in Tallulah. LaSalle Corrections Development Executive Kevin Sumrall says it doesn’t not appear to be a premeditated prison break and were able to escape through a wired fence, with no apparent planned goal in mind..
Federal workplace safety investigators and pipe manufacturer Stupp Corporation are investigating the death of a 29-year-old man killed in an industrial accident Thursday in Baker. The Stupp Corporation officials promised in a statement Thursday that their internal investigation into the death of Stephen Deggs will be thorough and they will cooperate with local authorities and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Medical personnel transported Deggs, who was a production employee at Stupp, to a hospital. East Baton Rouge Coroner Beau Clark confirmed Deggs died in the hospital. Clark said the official cause of the death has not yet been determined.
Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope's legal problems mounted Thursday as a grand jury handed down another criminal indictment on seven felony counts of malfeasance in office. That’s on top of the seven felonies that Pope is scheduled to be tried on in less than two weeks. The latest charges accuse Pope of unlawfully taking Marshal’s Office funds on seven occasions this year, from January to July. The total amount Pope is accused of taking exceeds $13,000.
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington is joining a nationwide collective of sheriffs who are raising money for a campaign to build awareness about the need for a border wall with Mexico. The group, backed by the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, has set a 100,000 dollar goal. Whittington says he’s joined, despite being over 500 miles away from the border. He says it’s a move that’s getting a good deal of support from the Bossier community.
The Supreme Court is taking up the appeal of a St. Tammany man who says US Wildlife and Fisheries is illegally blocking him from developing his property on the Mississippi border. The site has been designated a critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. But the property owner’s lawyer, Mark Miller, says it’s a government overreach because the frogs don’t actually live there. Wildlife and Fisheries estimates only 100 of the frogs are still alive and are currently confined to a small area near Pearl River.
But Center for Biological Diversity lead lawyer Collette Adkins says the frogs may not yet be living in that area, but for them to have a chance in the future, the land must be kept available.
The annual Tiger Bowl kicks off Saturday as LSU travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on Auburn. Both teams come into the match-up undefeated but LSU has an uphill battle as this game tends to be dominated by the home team. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says LSU’s offensive line struggled against Southeastern last week and that won’t fly playing the war eagles…Airtime 12:30p tomorrow on 96.9 KZMZ & 104.9 KSYL
The Saints are big favorites at home again this Sunday as they take on the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland has not won a road game since October 2015. A loss for New Orleans and it will be difficult for them to repeat an 0-2 start and still make the playoffs. Gregg Williams who was the defensive coordinator for the Saints Super Bowl season, is now the heading up the Browns defense.
ULM will bring a 2-0 record to College Station this Saturday where’ they’ll face Texas A-and-M who is coming off a two-point loss to the number two team in the country, the Clemson Tigers. The Warhawks are feeling good about themselves after a road win at Southern Miss. ULM Coach Matt Viator says it was good to see the defense make a big stop at the end of that game. These two teams last met in 2014 and the Aggies only won by five points.
Hahnville Quarterback Andrew Robison remains ineligible for the season after his appeal was denied by the LHSAA executive committee today. Robison transferred from Vanderbilt Catholic to Hahnville, but was ruled ineligible prior to the season as the association cited “undue influence” recruiting rule.
News for Thursday 091318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
An Alexandria man, Charles Hampton Jr., changed his mind after two witnesses testified Wednesday in his attempted second-degree murder trial. Hampton was facing that charge and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with a September 2016 incident at a Masonic Drive convenience store during which a woman was pistol whipped. Instead, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery and firearm possession by a felon, both felonies. Hampton received 10 years at hard labor for the battery charge and 20 years at hard labor for the firearm possession charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.
There’s several ways cigarettes can mess up your life, one of them is getting caught stealing them. 23-year-old Andrew Corley of Pineville has been arrested and charged with breaking into Pit Stop Convenience store on Edgewood Dr. by throwing s large stone through the stores window after hours and making off with cigarettes. A surveillance video led Pineville PD to Corley’s home.
50 year old Steven Gardner of Pineville has been arrested in connection with a criminal sexual conduct case. Gardner was arrested by RPSO deputies Tuesday and charged with sexual battery and three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. Gardner is a registered sex offender.
A broad area of low pressure is located over the central Gulf of Mexico. Although the shower activity is still disorganized, upper-level winds are forecast to become more conducive for development, and it is likely that a tropical depression will form today or tonight, before the system reaches the western Gulf coast. The Hurricane Center says heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected across portions of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana late this week.
As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast with the potential to cause catastrophic damage, the Baton Rouge branch of the Cajun Navy sent an estimated 100 volunteers to South Carolina equipped with boats and emergency supplies. United Cajun Navy volunteers are planning to set up shop in Columbia, South Carolina.
We’re fat and getting fatter.. A new report says Louisiana has the sixth highest adult obesity rate in the nation as 36-percent of the adult population is obese, up 23-percent in 2000 and 12-percent in 1990. Louisiana is ranked eighth in obesity for the age group between 10 and 17.
A LaFourche Parish Council member was arrested after violating a protective order filed against him by another councilman for the second time in four months. 51-year-old James Bourgeois Sr. had been ordered to stay clear of Jerry LaFont after a fist fight broke out at a council meeting back in April. Lafourche Parish Sheriffs Spokesperson Brennan Matherne says its politics.
Louisiana receives a seven- million dollar grant to build a new veterans cemetery in Jennings that’s set to break ground November 1st. Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland says currently, southwest Louisiana families have to drive at least 80 miles to the nearest veterans cemetery.
About 35,000 people, so far, have signed a petition asking LSU to release Mike the Tiger and permanently stop having a live tiger mascot. Care2, a California-based social media operation with 40 million members, is sponsoring the effort that began two weeks ago.
Standing in Kenner’s Veterans Park, city Mayor Ben Zahn rescinded his controversial anti-Nike policy Wednesday, four days after it erupted on social media and thrust Kenner into a national spotlight. Zahn said it was his passion for the United States and for veterans that led him to issue the policy, which forbade all booster clubs connected to the city’s parks and playgrounds from purchasing any Nike products. He acted after the company launched an ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the practice of many NFL players kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality and social injustice.
Amazon is set to start shipping seven foot tall Christmas trees come November, in a bid to take over yet another market. A North Carolina Frasier will run customers about 115 bucks, a hefty markup, and will be shipped to your house within ten days of being cut down, but Allen parish Christmas Tree seller Gray Anderson says that takes the fun out of getting a real tree. Anderson says instead of sending your money to Seattle based Amazon, spend it in your own community.
The Governor’s Task Force on DWI recently met to discuss a number of ways to eliminate impaired driving throughout the state. It was the first such meeting since the task force was reinstated by Gov. John Bel Edwards through an executive order in February. Lisa Freeman, Director of Louisiana Highway Safety, says they are tackling drivers on the road while under the influence of drugs. Freeman adds that an important tool to combat the dangers of drug influence is education, not only of drives, buy law enforcement.
Eleven law enforcement officers from various parishes are taking part in a new sniper school hosted by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. The forty hour course is for designated marksmen involved in situations involving active shooters, hostages and barricades. They will also receive training in shooting moving targets, sniper deployment, maintaining data books, and range estimation.
A former longtime heavy equipment operator for a Gonzales-based company claims a noose was placed around his neck in a mocking manner twice in 2015 and 2016 so his supervisor could take pictures and share them with co-workers. In a new federal lawsuit, Horlis Clark Jr., who is black, says the noose incidents were meant to evoke a lynching and were part of what the suit described as continuing racial harassment and discriminatory behavior at Auger Services Inc.
Direct flights to Austin and Orlando begin Thursday from Baton Rouge’s Metro airport through airliner Via Air, in a first for the regional location. Baton Rouge Metro Airport Spokesperson Jim Caldwell says Via Air has a great reputation, and offers competitive pricing. Orlando flights are on Mondays and Thursdays, and Austin flights are on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.
12th ranked LSU is listed as a 10.5 point underdog in their Top 25 matchup Saturday against the 7th ranked Auburn Tigers. LSU is looking for its first win at Auburn since 2012.
Saints Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday that wide receiver Cameron Meredith was inactive for the season opener because he still needs more reps in practice. New Orleans signed the free agent pass catcher after he missed the 2017 season with an ACL. Payton says Meredith is healthy and they are just trying to get him up to speed.
The Baltimore Ravens have put former Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon on injured reserve. Dixon scored a touchdown in Baltimore’s season opening win over the Bills, but also hurt his knee. The Ravens can bring Dixon back after Week 8 of the regular season.
Baseball America ranks this year’s recruiting class at LSU as the best in the nation. It’s the fourth time the Tigers have received the number one designation since 2007. The 16-member class contains seven players that have been chosen in the Major League Baseball draft. Vanderbilt finished second in the ranking, Florida fifth and Texas A-and-M is seventh.
ULM will take its 2-0 record to College Station on Saturday to take on Texas A&M. The Aggies nearly upset second ranked Clemson last weekend and Warhawks Coach Matt Viator is impressed with what Coach Jimbo Fisher has done during his first season in Aggie land. The Warhawks are coming off a big road win at Southern Miss.
News for Wednesday 091218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
About 90 Bayou State first responders are on their way to the Carolinas to assist in what’s likely to be a significant natural disaster as Category Four Hurricane Florence is set to smash into the East Coast. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the crew, comprised of fire departments across the state, will be based out of Columbia, South Carolina. The latest report indicates the storm may strengthen to category five before landfall.
Hurricane season is at its peak as a tropical depression has potential to form today in the Gulf of Mexico. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the area of disturbed weather in the southern part of the gulf is gradually becoming more organized. Keim says the storm is most likely headed to the Houston area but it’s too early for the Bayou State to take a sigh of relief, since it track is less than certain. Keim says there are two other storms in the Atlantic moving this way, but he says neither storm aren’t expected to have a huge impact.
Optimism among small business owners is at an all-time high. That’s according to the National Federation of Independent Business, who has been surveying its members for 45-year. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says improved federal economic policy has business owners looking to expand and hire. Starns says it’s expected to get even better for small businesses next year when the remainder if the federal tax reform plan kick in.
A lawsuit filed by New Orleans-area parents against a catholic school because of its hair policy prohibiting braids has been dismissed. Christ the King School has rescinded that policy and Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says the plaintiffs got what they wanted and it would have been difficult to get much more. The case garnered national attention thanks to a viral video showing a girl wearing braids and crying because she was sent home from school.
Jefferson Parish Medical Societies along with Smoking Cessation Trust CEO Mike Rodgers are behind the effort. Rodger says raising the legal age will roadblock smokers at a crucial age. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals estimates 7,200 people die every year in Louisiana from complications linked to smoking. Louisiana has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the nation.
Two groups are now forecasting that the end of oil is coming. The Carbon Tracker Initiative says demand for fossil fuels will peak around 2023, while Norwegian risk-management company DNV also predicts oil demand will max out in five years’ time. But LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says he thinks it is wishful thinking. Scott cites the emerging economies in China and India will continue to contribute to the continued demand.
A Slidell high school teacher is out of a job after making a racially charged comment on Facebook. Valerie Scogin made a post saying, in reference to African Americans that if they “want not to be stereotyped, tell people of color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype.” Along with another commentary about Africans selling other Africans into slavery. The school district responded after the dismissal saying the incident did not reflect the districts values.
A member of the jury that convicted a Baton Rouge man last month in the 2003 rape of a teenager claims two white jurors made racially charged remarks about the defendant, who is black. An attorney for 43 year old Sedrick Hills is now asking for a new trial. Marion Lathan, who was Juror 167, also alleges in a notarized affidavit that a group of white male jurors bullied and intimidated the other jurors. Hills was found guilty Aug. 17 by an East Baton Rouge Parish jury that consisted of eight whites and four blacks.
News for Tuesday 091118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
As massive Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall along the East Coast later this week as a deadly category 4 or even 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center has again ratcheted up the chances that a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea will form into at least a depression when it moves into the Gulf of Mexico later this week. The NHC says the disturbance, located near western Cuba, is "showing some signs of organization" and by Thursday or Friday, a depression might form in the Gulf. The Hurricane Center says "Interests" across "the coast of Texas and Louisiana should monitor the progress of this system.
The APD reports the victim of Saturday's fatal shooting in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot, here in Alexandria, had claimed in court records that his wife, alleged shooter Kayla Jean Giles, had been abusive. 30 year old Thomas Coutee Jr. died at the scene despite efforts to save him. The two were going through a divorce and custody arrangements for a child they shared. Giles faces second-degree murder charges. Coutee was a well-liked welding instructor at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College.
The APD reports 61 year old Leroy Kyles was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly stabbed a neighbor during an argument. The incident happened Saturday night in the 1700 block of Hill Street. Kyles was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center, charged with attempted second-degree murder. The victim was hospitalized for treatment.
Perhaps the second time will be the charm. Voters in the northwest part of Rapides Parish will get the chance to choose whether they want to pay a property tax to fund drainage efforts in their neighborhoods. It's the second time this year that election will be held. The tax passed in April, but a glitch that did not allow all eligible voters to cast votes resulted in the election being voided. The Police Jury voted Monday to approve the election in Gravity Drainage District No. 2 on Dec. 8.
Governor John Bel Edwards has plans to recommend a raise of at least a grand for public school teachers, the first substantial raise in about a decade. The plan would also see cafeteria workers and other personnel get a pay best of $500 annually. The governor’s education policy advisor Donald Songy says the state can afford it, thanks to a strengthening economy… Response from teachers unions has been mixed, with one of the state’s two major organizations saying 1,000 just isn’t enough considering Bayou teachers a 1,850 dollars below the regional average.
A section of Bayou Bridge Pipeline construction has been put on hold after another legal setback. This time the pipeline was paused after parent company ETP agreed to cease construction on private property in St. Martinville after the land’s owner alleged the company was building there illegally. The pipeline is currently more than 85 percent complete and was on track to finish construction by October, at which point it would begin sending crude oil from Lake Charles to St. James Parish.
It was a tough Monday morning for several motorists in Livingston Parish as several vehicles traveling along I-12 had to pull over because of a flat tire. State Police Trooper Bryan Lee says the roadway was littered with nails. Lee says they are not sure if some purposely scattered the nails along the interstate or if they simply fell off a truck..
An aspiring rapper and father was killed in a Sunday night shooting at a mobile home park in Baton Rouge, one of two people struck by gunfire in a confrontation that police believe escalated from an earlier altercation. 26 year old Jeremiah Hall and an unidentified 25-year-old man were both transported to a hospital after the shooting. Hall later died of his injuries. Police say the other man is expected to survive.
Two games into the season and LSU is already ranked dead last in the SEC in total offense, averaging just 316 yards a game. The Tigers are second to last in pass offense.
The Saints are eager to put behind Sunday’s bad performance in the upset loss to Tampa Bay behind them. The Saints host Cleveland this Sunday. The Browns are into an 18-game winless streak.
News for Monday 091018
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities have arrested and charged a woman with shooting her husband in the parking lot of the Hwy 28 west Walmart Saturday morning, in front of her three children. 31 year old Kayla Coutee was at the store meeting her husband to exchange custody of the children. 30 year old Thomas Coutee was pronounced dead at the scene. The three children, none whom were injured, were later turned over to members of the family. Kayla Coutee was arrested and charged with Second Degree Murder.
A crash involving two vehicles has killed two, including a Montgomery, LA police officer. Troopers responded to the crash Friday night around 6:30 p.m. on Hwy 71, in Montgomery. The crash involved a police vehicle driven by 24 year old Kirt R. Ricks III and a Ford pickup, driven by 65-year-old Gary W. Pinder. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
An Alexandria gym trainer who was arrested for placing cameras in a women’s restroom has been released on $95,000 bond. Police were able to trace the electronic devices found at the Southbank Crossfit Gym to 29 year old Shane Carruth, who was charged with 95 counts of video voyeurism, eight of which were of victims under 17 years of age. No court dates have been set in the case at this time.
Authorities in Avoyelles parish have arrested and charged 32 year old Brandon Whiddon of Vick after he reportedly threw his 2 day old son into a trash can at a 5th ward convenience store. Witnesses, who intervened, say Whiddon pinned the mother of the child to a pole by the throat when she attempted to rescue the child.
After several statements and a video of the incident provided by the stores security cameras, Whiddon was arrested for attempted first degree murder and second degree battery. The newborn was transported to Avoyelles Hospital where he was checked and is currently in a healthy condition.
Today marks the statistical peak and the midpoint of the Atlantic hurricane season and there are three named storms forecasters are watching. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this is directly linked to the sea surface temps in the storm breeding grounds in the Atlantic basin. Keim says the higher temps feed into the storms and that is why right now we are seeing lots of activity, including Hurricane Florence, which could hit North Carolina later this week.
The nightmare begins again for a Desoto Parish family. Louisiana’s Supreme Court has overturned the conviction and death sentence of a man who prosecutors say lured a 12 year old boy to his death by sending text messages in which he pretended to be a teenage girl. The high court says Brian Horn’s rights were violated when his lawyer conceded at the 2014 trial that Horn killed Justin Bloxom. The case will now go back for a new trial.
The Louisiana Department of Health reports 47 women died from pregnancy-related causes in a six-year span starting in 2011, one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the nation. L-D-H Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee says those numbers do reflect the previous administration, and they’re hoping for better results from the Medicaid expansion that substantially increased insurance coverage levels statewide.
After four days of hearings, Lousiaina Senator John Kennedy says will vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the newest member of the US Supreme Court. Democrats are upset the White House has yet to release documents from Kavanaugh’s time as a top White House aide to President George W Bush. But Kennedy says committee chairman and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley already released 450-thousand pages of documents about Judge Kavanaugh. Democrats argue the pages were released the day before the hearings began and did not allow enough time to read them over.
In a related story.. An announcement from Senator John Kennedy on his intentions to run for governor next year may be coming soon. According to senior campaign staffers, Kennedy has met with advisors and gave the OK for media consultant Fred Davis, who has worked with the governor in the past, to begin work on the 2019 cycle. When asked, Kennedy didn’t deny that talks have happened.
Southeastern Louisiana University students graduate with less debt than any other university in Louisiana, that according to a report from LendEDU. The Lions didn’t just top the state, they pulled in at 46th lowest debt load in the nation. The average Louisiana student’s debt clocks in at 26,800 dollars, but South Easters President John Crain says his university’s average is thousands of dollars lower.
The hard alcohol ban at fraternities was put into place as a result of the hazing death of Maxwell Gruver last September. LSU Dean of Students Mari Fuentes-Martin says it will take a lot of effort to undo the boozing cultures in frats, where even mentorship interactions involve liquor.
The culture wars hit Kenner over the weekend, with a bang heard ’round the social media world. A memo from Mayor Ben Zahn banning booster clubs at Kenner recreational facilities from buying Nike products, apparently in response to new Nike ads featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick, produced a quick backlash, with some officials and public figures taking to social media to denounce the move.
There are concerns about LSU’s offensive line heading into Saturday’s SEC opener against Auburn. For the second straight week, the Tigers had trouble protecting quarterback Joe Burrow, who was sacked twice and completed just 10 passes in a 31-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Head Coach Ed Orgeron says they got a lot of work to do…
ULM is 2-0 on the season thanks to a great defensive effort on Saturday in Hattiesburg that resulted in a 21-20 win over Southern Miss. The Warhawk defense produced five sacks and four turnovers.
Louisiana tech is off to a 2-0 start as they defeated Southern Saturday night 54 to 17. Their next opponent may not be quite so easy to beat. They take on LSU at Death Valley a week from this Saturday.
For the fifth straight season, the Saints lose their season opener as Tampa Bay came into the Mercedes Benz Superdome and shocked New Orleans 48-40. Bucs journeymen quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career passing day with 417 passing yards and four touchdowns, he also rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown. The Saints came into the game as a 9.5 point favorite. Coach Sean Payton agreed with everyone else, the defense played poorly…
News for Friday 090718
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday kicks off today, but the savings won’t be as substantial as in years past. That’s due to the legislature’s decision to end state sales tax holidays in the final budget compromise from the special session. But local sales tax exemptions are still in effect. Local Sales Tax Board Executive Director Roger Bergeron says that’s because it the legislature may have just forgotten. Early estimates show local school boards and governments may lose 500,000 dollars in tax revenue due to the local sales tax exemption being maintained.
Bullying is a widespread issue, and in a recent study by WalletHub, Louisiana has ranked the number one state for bullying problems. The website compared 47 states and DC across 20 key metrics. Among the study results, Louisiana ranked number one in several categories, including high school students involved in fights, cyber bullying, and suicide attempts.
LSU fans can expect a new layer of security when attending games at Tiger Stadium as select gates will now be equipped with metal detectors. LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette says the experience will be similar to going through screenings at an airport or NFL games. Bonnette says this is a pilot program leading up to an SEC mandate that all events have metal detectors by 2020.
Two of the students involved in the alleged hazing death of Max Gruver have pleaded no contest, and a third has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in a move that narrows the scope of the trial. Pleading no contest will prevent the charges from being brought up in the pending civil case where the Gruver family sued LSU, the Fraternity, the defendants, and others for 25 million dollars.
A grand jury indicted a 21-year-old Lafayette man Thursday on reckless operation in the death of Baton Rouge councilman Buddy Amoroso, who was fatally struck by an SUV while bicycling on a rural, two-lane road in late June. Alexander, the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe that hit and killed Amoroso, was arrested after the June 30 crash. A man biking with Amoroso, Tom Clement, was also injured.
Mandeville synagogue hit by vandals with anti-Semitic phrases & swastikas. Mandeville police are investigating the vandalism of the synagogue as a potential hate crime.
Detectives have confirmed through regional law enforcement agencies that there have been no similar incidents at other area synagogues across the state.
Current Lafayette federal bankruptcy Judge Robert Summerhays was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a lifetime federal district court judgeship on Thursday.
The 52 year old Summerhays was nominated by President Donald Trump to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, which includes Lafayette and Acadiana , earlier this year. The 42-parish Western District also includes federal courthouses in Alexandria, Lake Charles, Shreveport and Monroe.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says their enforcement agents issued 39 citations to 29 subjects over the Labor Day weekend for alleged dove baiting. L-D-W-F spokesperson Adam Einck says Citations were issued to hunters in six Parishes. Einck says it’s illegal to scatter salt, grain or other feed on a field to attract migratory game birds. Citations were issued to hunters in Franklin, Rapides, St. Helena, West Feliciana, Avoyelles and Evangeline Parishes.
The Saints are getting closer to their season opener on Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Coach Sean Payton said Thursday that starting left guard Andrus Peat is day-t-to-day as he’s dealing with a quadriceps injury. Peat was seen participating yesterday during the portion of practice open to the media. But backup guard and tackle Jermon Bushrod was absent.
The Saints go into Sunday’s season opener against Tampa Bay with just two running backs, Alvin Kamara and the recently signed Mike Gillislee. Mark Ingram begins serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against performance enhancing drugs.
LSU should have success moving the football this Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana. The Lions allowed 554 yards in a loss to ULM last week. Meanwhile, the Tigers defense will face a quarterback in Chason Virgil who threw for 358 yards against the Warhawks. The transfer from Fresno State also threw four touchdown passes.
LSU and Southeastern Louisiana meet on the football field for the first time since 1949 when the two schools face off in Tiger Stadium at 6 PM on Saturday. Both teams are led by Louisiana natives, Ed Orgeron for LSU and S-L-U’s Frank Scelfo is a native of Abbeville and has known Orgeron since high school.
News for Thursday 090618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Tropical Storm Gordon had little effect on Louisiana. The storm made landfall Tuesday night near the Alabama-Mississippi line. State Climatologist Barry Keim says portions of the state will still see much-needed rainfall. Keim says this is no time to think hurricane season is over.
A woman accused of killing a man by running him over in a truck took a deal Wednesday, pleading guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter. 27 year old Shalynne Johnson also pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstruction of justice. She will be sentenced on Sept. 11.
A Pineville man who allegedly broke into a Bayou Marie Road home, back on august 23rd, remains behind bars. The suspect, 40-year-old Edward White reportedly stole a gun and five pet dogs. White was easy to find though, since he was already in the Parish lock on an unrelated charge. Police say the dogs were returned to their owner. However, the handgun is still missing.
In an Alexandria courtroom yesterday the fate of 26 year old Micah Baden of Pineville was decided. Baden was sentenced to five years in jail, with three years suspended for the May 2016 car crash that killed his passenger, 16-year-old Chloe James. Baden was facing vehicular homicide and several drug related charges. Baden will have to report to the Rapides Parish Jail by October 1.
A conference committee began discussions on a new Farm Bill yesterday on Capitol Hill, with Republicans pushing for major reforms to food stamp eligibility. Congressman Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish is on the committee and he supports a work or educational requirement for an able bodied adult to be eligible for SNAP. Abraham says employers are desperate for labor, and this is a good step towards pushing the unemployed into the workforce.
There’s been some controversy about LSU’s decision to adopt holistic review when considering applications from new students. The review process would factor in more than just a high school senior’s ACT and GPA, and incorporate other elements for consideration. Board of Regents member Richard Lipsey, not speaking for the board, says the move would hurt both LSU and regional colleges. But LSU Vice President of Enrollment Jose Aviles says that’s just not the case. Aviles says they utilized the method during the last enrollment period and saw higher ACT scores despite adding 1,000 students. LSU requires a 22 ACT and a 3.0 GPA for attendance.
With two months left until the November election to crown a new Secretary of State, you may have noticed a lack of marketing materials from candidates on the ballot. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the reason why is, compared to other positions, candidates for the gig don’t see many donations. One of the main reason is that few people know what the job entails. Pinsonat adds that voters can expect to see the campaigns having more visibility as they start spending the money they do have just before the election.
A Baton Rouge man who’d been accused of attempted murder of a police officer during a traffic stop last month has had his charges dropped by the DA. The officer says while retreating, 21-year-old Raheem Howard fired at him, but the DA says there’s just not enough evidence to back that up. Howard’s lawyer, Ron Haley, says it’s a troubling incident that needs further investigation.
An OMV employee has been arrested after allegedly overcharging customers and then pocketing the money. 25-year-old Dequsha Jackson of Sunshine was charged after a Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles supervisor reported possible fraudulent charges to police. Jackson was charged with Felony Theft, Injuring Public Records, and Computer Fraud…
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019 has been announced, with two of the state’s most favored sons headlining the class. Peyton Manning will be enshrined next to his father Archie after one of the most dominant stretches at quarterback in NFL history. Co-headlining the event with Peyton Manning is former LSU head coach Les Miles. The Mad Hatter took over as LSU’s 32nd head coach in 2005 and led the Tigers to one National and two SEC Championships, as well as five AP Top 10 finishes before his dismissal in 2016. They will be inducted next June.
In a surprising move, the Saints have reportedly waived former Louisiana Tech running back and Zachary native Boston Scott. Scott was on the 53-man roster after cut down day on Saturday after averaging over four yards a carry, while also showing pass catching and kick returning skills. But the re-signing of Michael Ola resulted in Scott’s departure.
The Saints are getting closer to their season opener against on Sunday against Tampa Bay. New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees says you have to plan for Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Buccaneers were just 5-11 last season and won just one game on the road last year. But Brees says it’s never easy to play Tampa Bay.
LSU’s passing game remains a work in progress despite the team’s 33-17 win over Miami last weekend. There were dropped passes, poor protection and even quarterback Joe Burrow admits he made some mistakes. The Tigers will can work more on the passing game this Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana.
LSU’s impressive win over Miami and big move up the rankings has resulted in an increase in sales for LSU merchandise. Owner of the Purple and Gold Sports Shop, Pat Randazza, says winning on the football field always brings in more foot traffic. He says Sundays win was no exception.
The Triple-A baseball team, the New Orleans Babycakes, are reportedly moving to Witchita, Kansas after the 2019 season.
ULM looks to improve to 2-0 on the season when they visit Southern Miss on Saturday. The Warhawks beat Southeastern Louisiana 34-31 last Thursday as ULM had 554 total yards. But Coach Matt Viator says there’s room for improvement. ULM lost to Southern Miss 28-17 last season.
News for Wednesday 090518
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Eyes across the Bayou State continue to monitor the impact of Gordon. The storm made landfall last night along the Alabama Mississippi border. The storm’s track is expected to bring it over Hattiesburg and Jacksonville. It will then slightly touch the North East corner of Louisiana before heading to points north. Though we’ll likely see a showers here in Cenla, the threats will be minimal. National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Carpenter says the storm should slow down or stall over the northern part of the state. That could bring much larger amounts of rain and possible flooding to those areas.
LSU is relaxing a generation-old policy of automatically rejecting applicants who score too low on the standardized entrance exams like the ACT. Instead, the state’s flagship university will be placing more emphasis on recommendation letters, personal essays and activities outside academia. LSU is joining a national “holistic admissions” wave that diminishes the importance of tests like the ACT and SAT. A group headed by a member of the Board of Regents blasted LSU President F. King Alexander on Tuesday. Most board members say they heard of the change in Policy first time in a Baton Rouge Advocate story on Sunday.
Senator John Kennedy had a front row seat to the Judiciary Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanagh that got a bit rowdy between the protesters and Democrats on the committee who excoriated their colleagues for refusing to release what they say are key documents about the judge. Kennedy waded in, saying the judicial selection process wasn’t the place for these kinds of fights.
A contractor accused of ripping off customers across five parishes after the 2016 flood receives a four-year prison sentence and is forced to repay 84-thousand dollars to 11 Livingston Parish victims. 41-year-old Matthew Morris was indicted on 51 counts, but ended up pleading guilty to only one. Authorities say Morris would sign contracts with victims of the 2016 flood, and then either not finish, or never even begin work. After the clients would cease payments, Morris would place leans on their properties.
In a common legal move, Christ the King Parish School and the Archdiocese of New Orleans have removed a lawsuit over the school’s hair policy to the federal courts, where a hearing is set for Sept. 18. The legal maneuver means that U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman will rule on the request for an injunction from the mothers of two sixth-grade girls who say they were booted from class over their hair extensions. The mothers allege that the hair policy was discriminatory because it blocked two African-American girls from class.
As Louisiana’s deal with Bell Helicopter for a Lafayette manufacturing facility was falling apart over the past month, state officials offered up a last-ditch proposal to keep the deal alive. At a meeting on July 25, and in phone conversations in August, Louisiana Economic Development proposed restructuring the agreement, “substantially” reducing the incentives the company would get. The state economic development department is in litigation with Bell and is seeking to claw back at least $16.8 million for Bell’s alleged violation of an agreement for a once-promising economic development project, and for falling well short of its goal of 95 workers.
LSU Health New Orleans is joining an international study that’s showing positive results in the search for alternatives to knee replacement for those who suffer chronic pain. They’re the first US based organization to join the study. Associate Professor Vinod Dasa says the CartiHeal system cores out the arthritic regions of the knee, and then begins the process of regrowth. But it’s early on in the process, so the treatment is not yet approved for the full general public. Patients at LSU Health New Orleans who meet the criteria, and are not receiving knee replacements are eligible for the trail.
11th ranked LSU will play the rest of the season without its top pass rusher as Coach Ed Orgeron says K’Lavon Chaisson suffered a knee injury in the win over the Miami Hurricanes. Chaisson plays the “Buck” position in Dave Aranda’s defense. Sophomore Andre Anthony replaced Chaisson after he suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. Sophomore Ray Thornton, JUCO transfer Travez Moore and freshman Jarell Cherry could also see more time on the field.
After beating South Alabama in Mobile, Louisiana Tech hosts Southern in the home opener this Saturday. Bulldogs Coach Skip Holtz likes playing in state schools.
Junior running back Jaqwis Dancy led the Bulldogs to victory last week as he averaged 10 yards a carry and finished with 144 yards and two touchdowns against South Alabama. Holtz says if Dancy stays healthy, he’ll rush for over 1,000 yards this season ,which is remarkable considering he was diagnosed with cancer in 2016…
News for Tuesday 090418
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast later tonight or early tomorrow morning as a category one hurricane. State Climatologist Barry Keim Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Southeast Louisiana Coast and inland areas. The center of the storm is expected to track over north Louisiana on Wednesday. Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Gordon. Edwards 200 National Guard troops will be deployed today.
The fire late Saturday night caused extensive damage to a storage facility at Skip Converse contractors on Jones St. in Pineville. Fire Chief Scott Kessler said the initial call about the fire was received at 9:15 p.m. The last crews left the site around 5 a.m. Sunday. Kessler says it might take up to a week for investigators to get more answers on what started the blaze.
The Pineville PD reports one of their officers has been arrested in Monroe on a battery charge. Sgt. Edric Smith was arrested by University of Louisiana at Monroe police and booked into the Ouachita Parish Correctional Facility on a misdemeanor charge of battery of an umpire. According to the affidavit from the arrest, the 45-year-old sergeant attacked an umpire during a softball game on the late Saturday night. Smith claims the umpire threatened his daughter, who was playing in a game.
An agreement between the state and the federal government has been reached on a plan to borrow 650-million dollars for major roadway projects. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says this particular agreement with the Federal Highway Administration is the first of its kind in Louisiana. The funding will go towards widening Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge, a new interchange on I-10 in Kenner at Loyola Drive and a new road from I-20 directly into Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. Wilson says the state bond commission will have to pick an underwriter at its next meeting later this month. The state will have to pay back the loan over the next 12 years.
On this the day after labor Labor Day, the percentage of unemployed workers is less than last year. Chief Economist for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Dr. Ali Bustamante, (Ah-lee Boost-uh-monty) anticipates the unemployment rate to continue to decline. Bustamante says for those looking for work, the health care industry continues to look for qualified workers. Employers and job seekers can go to La-Works-dot-net and click on the Hire tab , which is a website tool that connects businesses with those looking for a job.
Louisiana’s top banking regulator and 12 others are asking Congress to clear the way for banks to do business with the marijuana industry, which for years has struggled to find financial institutions willing to handle their cash and already has seen one participant back out in Louisiana. Despite state actions, the drug remains illegal under federal law and is classified as a Schedule I narcotic. That fact has deterred most banks from doing business with the industry.
Louisiana recently announced an additional 80-million in federal transportation dollars, but Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says the days of the state getting extra money from the feds for road improvements might stop. Wilson says state resources have become so tight, it will be difficult for Louisiana to put up the matching dollars.
The Louisiana Department of Education has a new grading system to check year to year academic growth progress of students and it’s already beginning to show interesting results. Assistant Superintendent Jessica Baghian (Bahg-e-ON) says it’s not all good news. The state’s achievement gap between the general population and black students continues to grow, adding to the academic performance distance between those two groups that’s existed for decades.
The CDC says there were nearly 2.3 million cases of STDs in America last year, an all-time record for the nation. Louisiana routinely ranks in the top five for highest STD rates. New Orleans and Baton Rouge often feature in yearly top tens for cities with the highest STD rates, but Department of Health Region One Medical Director Dr. Joseph Kanter says they aren’t the only areas with real problems. Chlamydia and syphilis infection rates are high all across the state.
The LA Wallet App has a few new tricks up it’s sleeve. Now Louisiana residents who’ve purchased the app that features a digital copy of your driver’s license will be able to verify whether or not someone is of the legal age from across the room. Envoc President Calvin Fabre says it’s useful for everyone from rideshare customers to real estate agents. But, That’s raised some fears that the new functionality could lead to security breaches and the transmission of private information to people who shouldn’t have it. Fabre says they put layers of security on the service, and consulted privacy advocates like.
News for Friday 083118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Natchitoches Parish grand jury has indicted one woman in the case of a 6-month-old baby who died after being found in a fire. 26 year old Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Levi Ellerbe. Levi's mother, 22-year-old Hanna Nicole Barker, also was arrested in the case.
A Rapides Parish jury has found Demetrice Welch guilty of manslaughter in the May 2017 shooting of Elijah Guidry. Welch was facing a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life prison sentence. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 40 years. He will be sentenced on Oct. 8.
The APD reports a motorcycle officer was injured Thursday on Coliseum Blvd when a vehicle entered the roadway at Skye street and struck his motorcycle. The officer, identified as Cpl. Daigre, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
The England Authority Board of Commissioners approved the construction of a new, $3.6 million community center Wednesday. The board authorized the interim executive director to execute the construction contract with Tudor, Inc. The center will replace the current community center at the corner of Chappie James Avenue and Frank Andrews Boulevard. The board also authorized a budget amendment moving approximately $657,000 into the project.
With Labor Day Weekend we being the swan song to summer. Many travelers are hitting the highways in search of a final road trip of the season. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says Louisiana has seen the statewide average price of a regular gallon of gas has dropped mildly just ahead of the holiday weekend but is still higher than this time in 2017. Redman says the statewide average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.59 a gallon, but compared to the national average, Louisiana travelers are getting a break at the pump.
Tigers fans are invading the Dallas area this weekend ahead of the big opener against number 8 Miami in AT&T stadium just up the road in Arlington. Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau Spokesman Phillip Jones recommends grabbing a hotel in Dallas because there aren’t many right near the stadium. He says if you do, it’s a short drive up to AT&T stadium. The game kicks off Sunday at 630PM.
The deal to transfer control of University Health Hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe from BRF to Oschner has been agreed to and should become effective October 1st. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the new partnership should lead to expanded services, and provide a more fertile training ground for the state’s future doctors.
LSU is looking for fans who want to serve on a council that will provide input and recommendations about the game day experience on the Baton Rouge campus. Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Munson says they are looking for 25 people to sit on the New Tiger Fan Council. He says you don’t have to be a season ticket holder or live in Baton Rouge to be a part of the panel that can help shape the future game day experience at LSU…
Attorney General Jeff Landry is joining 15 other attorneys general and governors from across the nation who are petitioning the US Supreme Court to shoot down workplace protections that would prevent transgender workers from being fired for being transgender. Louisiana Trans Advocates Board Chair Dylan Waguespack says the amicus brief is another anti-LGBT statement from the AG. The brief was inspired by a Court of Appeals decision that supported a Michigan trans woman’s claim that she was unlawfully fired from a funeral home she worked because of her gender identity.
In the past week, Lake Charles area authorities have seen an uptick in synthetic marijuana overdoses, where the users would become unconscious shortly after they ingested it. Acadian Ambulance Medical Director Dr. Chuck Burnell says during a four-day period they transported 45 people to a local hospital that had similar symptoms.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s office has charged 38-year-old Natalie Robinson of Calhoun with a felony count of practicing law without a license. Deputies booked Robinson after they found evidence that showed she allegedly drew up child custody papers and other legal documents for people for a fee.
The oldest chartered harvest festival in the Bayou State kicked off yesterday in St. Mary Parish. Morgan City hosts the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival every year to recognize some of their economic staples. Director of the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Darby Radcliffe says the festival, that began in1936, features a variety of activities like fireworks, a street parade, a children’s village and lots of great food.
Louisiana Tech will begin the 2018 campaign in Mobile on Saturday as they’ll visit South Alabama. The Bulldogs have won a bowl game the last four years, but Coach Skip Holtz says his seniors are hungry for achieving a bigger goal and that’s a Conference USA Championship air time 4:30 on 94.7 ESPN
And what a way to finish the Pre-Season. The Saints Squashed the LA Rams 28 to nothing. Up next the real deal the Buccaneers visit Who Dat Nation on Sunday September 9th.
The Houston Astros play host to the LA Angels. 6:35 tonight on 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 083018
By Dave Graichen
After a two-month investigation led by agents of the Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force, Two residents, 40 year old Desmond Jordan and 33 year old Selena Sanders, were arrested and charged with Possession of CDS I with intent to distribute, possession of CDS II and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jordan, who is on parole for drug-related charges, was also charged with illegal carrying of a weapon with CDS, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Both were booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
RPSO detectives are asking for the public's assistance in a theft investigation from the Hineston area. The theft occurred on August 25 between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m. in the 2400 block of Hwy 121. The stolen items were a black 20 foot tandem axle utility trailer and a zero turn mower. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s office.
This November voters will get to decide whether or not ex-cons will have a five year waiting period before they’ll be allowed to pursue a public office. The constitutional amendment, brought by Metairie Senator Conrad Appel, is the second such effort in the last two years. Appel says it’s a good way to improve the state’s reputation for political corruption. LaPolitcs-dot-com recently reported there are at least three former mayors who have been convicted of felonies seeking their old job. One of those is Roy Hebron In Ball.
ExxonMobil on Wednesday won approval for a multimillion-dollar property tax break on a potential Baton Rouge plant expansion the company said is worth between $500 million and $1 billion.The state Board of Commerce and Industry gave its approval, with the backing of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Economic development officials said the approval was the next step in landing the project in Baton Rouge. Exxon said it will make a final decision later this year on whether to put the project in north Baton Rouge.
Yesterday marked the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall, and official recognitions were… notably sparse, the governor did not hold any events, while New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell attending a wreath laying. While certainly not forgotten, some say they simply do want to be reminded every year.
Following Hurricane Katrina, actor Brad Pitt helped build homes for displaced families in one of the hardest hit areas, the lower ninth ward, as part of the Make it Right Foundation. Thirteen years later, the homeowners are planning to bring a lawsuit against the foundation that sold them the affordable dwellings as they have not withstood the test of time. Attorney Ron Austin says his clients are seeking legal action as the homes were built with substandard materials and quality.
The Mississippi legislature has approved legislation that creates a lottery in the Magnolia state. Chief Legislative economist Greg Albrecht says once Mississippi begins selling lottery tickets, it’s less likely Mississippi residents will buy lottery tickets in Louisiana, which means less money for our state. At least 35-percent of all lottery proceeds are transferred to the state treasury and the state constitution says that money must go to K-through-12 education.
A new eight-million dollar Delta Community College campus will be constructed in Ruston and anchor the city’s planned technology park. Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan says the facility will help produce high-skilled workers for area businesses. Sullivan says construction will begin next year and be completed in 2020.
Forbes has named the city of Kenner as the best place to retire in Louisiana and Lafayette would be the second best place to retire in the state. Among the pros for Kenner, low serious crime rate, while Forbes says Lafayette has good air quality and doctors per capita are near the national average. Overall the state came in near the bottom of the list.
You can lease the historic Bailey Hotel in Bunkie for one-dollar a month for 24 months. But the person who leases the 110-year-old building must have a business plan that includes how they would renovate the property. Real Estate agent Robert Burke says the Bailey is in good condition, but has been closed since the early 2000s. Burke says whoever leases the building, doesn’t have to re-open it as a hotel.
The Bayou State is home to the production of many famous movies and television programs, and the state wants to make it easier for tourists to scope out where those films were shot with a movie trail. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says it’s a big visitor draw for the state. Nungesser says the movie trail will showcase locations from both modern and classic films.
The Republican Judiciary PAC is backing a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot that would require unanimous jury verdicts in all criminal cases. Louisiana is one of only two states in the nation that does not require a unanimous jury verdict for conviction in criminal cases.
LSU is the highest ranked Louisiana university and in the top half of the SEC at fifth, according to Washington Monthly 2018 College Guide and Rankings. The favorable result comes just days following Forbes also recognizing the purple and gold in its top college rankings. LSU President F. King Alexander says he credits the latest accolades to the return on investment students see upon graduation.
The college football season gets underway tonight and there are two games in Louisiana. Tulane hosts Wake Forest and Southeastern Louisiana visits ULM. Northwestern State is also in in action tonight as they begin the season in College Station where they’ll take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
The Saints have made some news as they’ve reportedly traded for Jets Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to serve as a back-up to Drew Brees
The first high school football rankings are out…John Curtis is ranked number one in Five-A, Karr is number one in 4-A, University High is the top team in 3A, Amite (A-meet) is number one in 2A, and the top team in One-A, is West St. John.
News for Friday 082418
By Dave Graichen
The investigation continues into the death of an Alexandria man late Wednesday night. The APD reports 34 year old Willie Carter was an apparent victim of a domestic dispute. A vehicle was found, according to police, with bullet holes, broken glass and blood on Essie Street shortly after 10:15. Police are looking for 27 year Ahmond Mason in connection with the shooting. He is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.
It’s always tougher when it’s one of your own. The APD reports one of their officers was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with DWI 1st offense. A police spokesman says the officer was off-duty and driving a personal vehicle when he was pulled over by Louisiana State Police on Highway 28 West near Walmart. The officer has been placed on administrative leave while the department conducts an internal investigation.
A $6.5 million renovation of Louisiana College's Guinn Auditorium was nearly wrapped up Thursday morning, about an hour before the Baptist school's first weekly chapel service of the semester.LC President Rick Brewer says they are about 95% done with the job. The college made an insurance claim after Guinn and several other buildings on the Pineville campus experienced extensive hail damage several years ago.
An Air Quality Action Day has been issued today, and residents of the Bayou State are encouraged to cut down on their emissions by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Increasing ozone concentrations as the result of higher temps and sunshine will lead to unhealthy air quality during the afternoon hours.
A Shreveport woman recently found out she was granted a divorce even though she was not seeking one, and now her husband, 27-year-old Demario Clark and his new girlfriend, 50 year old Lisa McKinney, are both in jail. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says the woman discovered documents showing divorce paperwork between her and her husband had been filed and granted and the woman’s husband has been arrested as a result of the bogus paperwork.
Two Springhill men are under arrest for possession of a substantial amount of child pornography. 44-year-old Bo Skywalker Roberts is facing two counts of child porn possession, and 54-year-old Joe Palmer is looking at 200 counts of possession, and 40 counts of distribution. State Police Trooper Glenn Younger says cooperative efforts like these often lead to major arrests and the dismantling of child pornography distribution networks.
Vice President Mike Pence was in the Crescent City yesterday, paying a visit to the World War Two Museum and later hosting a fundraising event. Pence’s visit comes at a particularly difficult moment for the administration that’s been rocked by criminal scandals LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says this is a chance for Pence to start building relations, in case he gets an unexpected promotion.
Conflict of interest? You be the judge.. Louisiana is one of only five states without a statewide rideshare policy that would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in any city. Rideshare legislation crashed and burned in the Senate after parliamentary maneuvers by Senate President John Alario. Come to find out, The Advocate reports Alario has a close friend, former legislator Francis Heitmeier, in the cab industry, an industry that is dead set against allowing the competition. The bill had flown through the House with little opposition.
The USA Today network reports Vidalia Representative Andy Anders, considered one of the most liked members of the legislature, has been released from intensive care. Anders remains hospitalized in Monroe after suffering a possible heart attack and he’s also batting a blood infection.
Louisiana’s launching its new ad campaign that’s set to feature “Feed Your Soul” on social media in states around the country, and countries around the world. The campaign includes three videos featuring visitors tearing into po’boys, dancing zydeco, catchin bass, and more. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says it’s aimed at maintaining the state’s record breaking tourism numbers.
Two men have been arrested by LDWF officers after allegedly killing an alligator out of season in St. Martin Parish. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says the suspects could face over 1000 dollars in fines
Five LSU players are on the coaches preseason All-SEC team. Third-team selections are defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence and safety Grant Delpit. Offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield is on the second team and first-team selections are cornerback Greedy Williams and linebacker Devin White.
Saints first round pick Marcus Davenport is back practicing in full pads after missing a good portion of training camp because of a groin injury. The rookie defensive end says he’s knocking a lot of rust off and getting his mind right to play. It remains to be seen if Davenport will play in Saturday’s preseason game versus the Los Angeles Chargers.
The LHSAA has ruled Hahnville quarterback Andrew Robison is ineligible for the upcoming season and the Tigers Head Coach Nick Saltaformaggio has been suspended for the first four games, because of alleged recruiting violations. Robison is a senior, who transferred from Vandebilt Catholic. Several in-state colleges are looking at Robison, who threw for 25-hundred yards and 30 touchdowns last season. The St. Charles Parish School system says they plan to appeal the ruling.
Louisiana College athletic director and men’s basketball coach Reni Mason announced this week the hiring of Michael Prather as assistant men’s basketball coach. Prather, who spent last season as an assistant at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, is no stranger to the American Southwest Conference. He is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University, where he played for the Tigers then spent 10 years as an assistant coach.
Purple and Gold fans can leave the flasks at home cause Death Valley’s got a new option, The Chute, for those looking to toast the Tiger’s in victory or wash down the bitter taste of defeat with a cold brew that’s available to any ticket holding fan. Fans in the shoot can buy and drink beer, as long as they keep it within the area. Advocate Sports Columnist Scott Rabalais says it’s a step forward for fan equality. The bar will serve soft drinks, food, and beer, and is located on the south side of the stadium
News for Thursday 082318
Compiled By Dave Graichen
He was disqualified by a judge after the Louisiana Board of Ethics filed a petition objecting to his candidacy. Now the Rapides Parish school board has voted to call a special election to refill the seat of District 5 Board Member John Allen. Allen was set to automatically be reelected due to the fact no one qualified to run against him. Allen’s term will now come to an end in December and the special election to fill the seat will be held in March.
The Louisiana Nation Guard’s 139th Regional Support Group are back in Louisiana after an extended stay in Iraq. 84 troops, 60 of those from the New Orleans area, and the rest from here in Alexandria, returned from a deployment that began in December. The guard worked at Taji and Al Asad in Iraq, and Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Louisiana Health Department is urging residents to protect themselves from West Nile Virus as the state leads the nation in reported human cases. 53 human cases this year as Louisiana has already doubled the number of cases it had for all of 2017. Also two people have died from West Nile, 31 have developed the more serious neuro-invasive form of the disease.
Three members of the white supremacist Aryan Circle group pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria this week in the death of an Evangeline Parish man. 38 year old David Wayne Williams of Sulphur, a senior leader in the gang, and 43 year old Leland Hamm of Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty Tuesday and Wednesday to being accessories after the fact in the racketeering murder of 51 year old Clifton Hallmark of Turkey Creek. Late last month 47 year old Richard Smith of Little Rock also pleaded guilty.
Louisiana could getting more than $172 million back from the IRS, if this week's federal ruling against a fee tied to the federal Affordable Care Act stands.Louisiana and five other states that rely on managed-care systems for delivering Medicaid had challenged the ACA's Health Insurance Provider Fee, which was charged to providers and then passed onto state taxpayers. The U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Texas ruled late Tuesday that states are entitled to have that money repaid -- about $839 million across all six states. The decision could be appealed, so it's unclear when or if Louisiana could see any money from the decision.
A task force has been set up by the Department of Insurance to address Louisiana’s high auto insurance rates and to make recommendations to lower consumer premiums.
The Task Force is made up of legislators and representatives from insurance companies, the trucking industry and trial lawyers. It was set up by a bill the Legislature passed earlier this year. According to Insure.com, Louisiana has the second-highest auto insurance rates in the country.
Lafayette-Mayor President Joel Robideaux believes the Lafayette public library should cancel an event called Drag Queen Story Time. The library’s newsletter says the October 6th event will be an afternoon of books, songs and activities led by drag queens. Several appeared at last night’s city-parish council meeting to support the event, high school teacher Caleb Powell says it’s very important that children are read to at a young age.
A Baton Rouge Rouses’ employee, whose act of kindness toward an autistic teen became a viral video, now has a new set of wheels. Jordan Taylor already received six-figures for his college education and is enrolled at Grambling State, so he did not attend the presentation of the car from Neighbors Federal Credit Union. His mother, Teresa Taylor says the act of kindness of her son was a great showcase of his character.
A Katrina Museum is opened to the public Wednesday after a morning ceremony christened the exhibit showcasing the extensive damage many homes suffered after the levees broke in New Orleans. Levees.org Founder Sandy Rosenthal says a new generation of Crescent City kids just don’t know what it was like.
A Thibodaux man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after allegedly throwing his girlfriend’s cat into a bayou, then killing it with a machete. Authorities with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office say 30 year old Cody Toups is now charged with aggravated cruelty to animals in the incident. Toups bond was set at $15,000
There are reports former LSU Quarterback Justin McMillan will transfer to Tulane University. McMillan left the Tigers last week, but the school reportedly would not allow him to transfer to any other SEC school or a team that the Tigers will play this season or next year. New NCAA Transfer rules go into effect in October that will prevent teams from blocking student-athletes from transferring to a particular school.
Louisiana Tech Footbal Coach Skip Holtz says they had their most spirited practice of fall camp Wednesday and his team is ready to play a real game. Tech will wrap up camp on Friday and then get ready to play South Alabama in the season opener on September 1st.
News for Wednesday 082218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
For Cenla Broadcasting
The RPSO reports 79 year old Alvin Spurgeon of Boyce has been arrested and charged with attempted manslaughter after he allegedly shot an unidentified woman, after an altercation, in the Cotile lake area last week. The woman’s injuries were non-life threatening. Spurgeon was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center, where he remains in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s department has arrested 39 year old Joahua Childrey of Ball and charged him with attempted carjacking and a parole violation, for an incident that occurred over the weekend. The victim explained that as they slowed down in an attempt to not hit the individual, the suspect went to the passenger-side door and attempted to get in. The attempt failed because the car doors were locked and the victim was able to drive away.
It’s been almost a year since the IRS began mailing out enforcement letters requiring businesses of a certain size to fill out mandatory information related to their compliance with Obamacare. Economist for BlueCross BlueShield Mike Bertaut says it’s been a big wakeup call to many Louisiana employers who assumed they were small enough to avoid many ACA regulations. He says be sure you are covered, or you may be in for a big and expensive surprise.
Local and parish taxing authorities, whether they like it or not, are going to have to forgive taxes on the sales of guns and hunting equipment for a holiday that the state created then opted out of last month. Suspending Louisiana’s three sales tax holidays, to the surprise of some legislators, was part of a deal that was slammed together to keep state government from careening off the fiscal cliff. Unlike the other two annual sales tax holidays, one for hurricane preparedness, the other for school supplies, wording that requires local participation is written into the 2009 state law that created the Second Amendment holiday. Local governments, school boards and other taxing authorities stand to lose about $500,000 from exempting the sales taxes.
A recent survey shows Louisiana is lagging behind in gender equality, ranking the seventh worst state, specifically as relates to financial issues. Wallet Hub analyst Jill Gonzales says Louisiana does not have many women in elected positions, and believes more females in office could move the needle on the issue. Gonzales says the gender wage gap isn’t just a Louisiana problem as it is an issue across the nation.
The state has terminated an agreement with Bell Helicopter in Lafayette, saying the company failed to live up to manufacturing commitments at a $26.3 million state-funded facility designed for aerospace assembly operations. State officials said that under terms in the agreement allowing termination for cause, the state is entitled to a $16 million payment from Bell Helicopter and expects to separately pursue additional damages.
Suspended LSU guard Ed Ingram was arrested on sexual assault counts involving a minor. The arrest happened earlier this month in Dallas County, Texas, but it’s not clear when the incident occurred. According to the LSU Athletic Department Code of Conduct, any athlete who receives felony charges will be immediately suspended. Ingram has since been released on a bail amount of $40,000.
Senator Bill Cassidy is back from his trip to Central America where he visited with the Guatemalan President and officials from the Mexican government to discuss trade, immigration, and drug trafficking. Cassidy says trade tensions have spread to nearly every major American partner in the wake of an escalating trade war initiated by the Trump administration in the hopes of winning fairer deals for American exports. Mexico, which is Louisiana’s second biggest trade partner, has been hit with tariffs. Cassidy says he’s looking to maintain positive relations while NAFTA negotiations are underway that could end the trade dispute.
A family is protesting a Terrytown Catholic school’s decision to send their African American daughter home on the first day of classes for hair that the school says violates the New Orleans Archdiocese dress code. The incident has drawn national attention after a social media filmed inside Christ the King Middle School. NAACP Baton Rouge President Michael McClanahan is calling for a boycott of the school. The Archdiocese says “The policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school.”
A 17-year-old Breaux Bridge man has been charged with a series of crime after authorities began an investigation into alleged improper behavior with a juvenile on July 23rd. Due to the nature of the crimes, Peter Castille will be charged as an adult in a kidnapping case involving another minor.
A man is charged with his fourth DWI after allegedly driving around gas pumps flaunting a gun in the air. Keithon J. Dixon of Baton Rouge was arrested for his reckless driving and Baton Rouge Police Sergeant Don Coppola says one witness described it as like something out of a movie. Dixon allegedly had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and admitted to drinking a half pint of vodka before the incident.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry has released the 20th edition of the Legislative Scorecard. LABU is honoring legislators they believe showcases a voting record in line with the principles of free enterprise. LABI President Steve Waugespack says over forty legislators in the recent session scored a 90% or higher. Waugespack says the report brings attention to issues they believe were positives to come out of the session.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is touring the bayou state, holding open community conversations with DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters, addressing issues relating to child welfare and poverty. Walters says there are tour stops in several cities in South Louisiana this week, but the road trip doesn’t end there. Walters says with the recent age extension of foster care benefits from 18 to now, 21, she plans on addressing the implementation process.
News for Tuesday 082118
Compiled By Dave Graichen
For Cenla Broadcasting
A two-day criminal enforcement detail led by Louisiana State Police resulted in the arrest of 38 individuals from throughout Central Louisiana. State troopers, working in conjunction with numerous other law enforcement agencies, conducted a criminal enforcement detail Thursday and Friday in Avoyelles, LaSalle, Rapides, and Winn parishes. The objective was "to serve fugitive warrants and apprehend individuals engaged in criminal activity." Along with the 38 individuals arrested, law enforcement officers also seized various illegal drugs, several firearms, and currency.
In Avoyelles parish authorities are looking for 21 year old Justin Molbert of Opelousas. The APSO says Molbert is a suspect involved in a shooting incident that occurred in the Dupont community. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Justin Molbert for two counts of attempted second-degree murder. Molbert is considered armed and dangerous; anyone with information about Molbert’s current whereabouts is asked to call the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
18 year old Tykarius Lanehart accepted a plea deal Monday in the Rapides Parish Courthouse, pleading guilty to the lesser charge of negligent homicide for the July 2017 death of 17 year old Edward Brown. Lanehart was initially charged with second-degree murder by the Alexandria Police Department, a grand jury indicted him on a manslaughter charge, and his plea was for negligent homicide. Judge Greg Beard sentenced Lanehart to serve five years at hard labor for the crime with credit for time served.
After a month on the lamb, 20 year old Preston Cason of Ville Platte is now in the clink, charged with theft and arson. Cason had several outstanding warrants from various parishes, but it was the July 15th theft of a pickup truck, and subsequent torching of the vehicle that put him on the radar of the State Fire Marshal.
A family lawyer says the Twenty-five million dollars being sought by the Gruver family in the case related to his alleged hazing death is there to send a warning to other academic institutions about the need to take hazing seriously. While one of the Gruver family’s attorneys Don Cazayoux says the no amount of money will bring back their loved one, the price tag is more about sending a message to all involved in the incident in hopes that it puts a stop to hazing culture.
Gov. John Bel Edwards praised a report showing that the number of residents who are uninsured has fallen to half of what it was in 2015, according to the 2017 Louisiana Health Insurance Survey. Edwards says Louisiana has not seen the closure of rural hospitals, unlike other states who did not expand Medicaid, which he says adds to the reassurance his decision was a good one.
The number of adults in Louisiana without health insurance has dropped dramatically since the state expanded Medicaid two years ago, a new report has found. The Louisiana Health Insurance Survey released Monday found 11.4 percent of non-elderly adults in the state did not have health insurance in 2017, down from 22.7 percent uninsured in 2015. Under Medicaid expansion, which took effect July 2016 by Gov. John Bel Edwards' executive order, more than 473,900 non-elderly adults have received health care coverage.
A student walking on LSU's campus was hit by a vehicle Monday morning on the university's first day of classes for the fall semester. The pedestrian was injured on AgCenter Lane near the 4H Mini Barn after stepping out into the path of the vehicle The student was transported to a local hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Authorities say speed nor impairment was a factor in the crash.
The Iraqi government has agreed to purchase 15,000 tons of American rice in a deal that should relieve some pressure on Louisiana rice growers who are feeling the burn from an escalating trade war with China, and other nations. The Bayou State is one of the top US rice producers at about 1.35 million tons.
In October the Lafayette Public Library will play host to a few drag queens who will be reading stories to kids about the importance of accepting classmates and their families who may come from non-traditional households. Its Drag Queen Story time, and it’s rolling into town October 6th.
Endangered whooping cranes have successfully hatched five new chicks in southwest Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the five chicks are the most to hatch in one year and marks a major milestone for the whooping crane reintroduction project that’s bringing the native birds back to life in the bayou.
The woman accusing LSU Junior Wide Receiver Drake Davis of months of abuse is changing her statement to authorities. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says this is not an uncommon occurrence with these types of accusations. Davis is suspended indefinitely from the team as a result of his arrest last week. Moore says the victim has not recanted her statement.
The Tiger’s just barely squeaked in under the bar for the AP Top 25 preseason poll, coming in at… 25. They’re the 5th highest ranked SEC team in the poll, coming in behind Bama at 1, Georgia at 3, Auburn at 9, and Mississippi State at 18. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says it’s been a gradual fall from grace for LSU over the past few years. They’re set to play number 8 Miami for the season opener September 2nd
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