News for Monday 112017
By Dave Graichen
Republican John Schroder was easily elected as Louisiana’s new State Treasurer
Rigolette Sch. Dist. No. 11 approved 2 Continuations.
Fire Protection Dist. No. 19 -- 25 Mills tax passed
In the City of Alexandria an 11.51 Mills Continuation was approved by voters..
Voters said no to a Fifth Ward Sch. Dist. No. 51 and in Road District No. 5A . ballot item.
In Grant Parish both tax propositions on the ballot passed.
In the New Orleans Mayor’s race, LaToya Cantrell easily defeated Desiree Charbonnet to become that city’s first Female Mayor..
Now that Republican John Schroder has been elected as Louisiana’s new State Treasurer, he says he wants to improve the way the state handles finances in a struggling economy. Schroder hopes to work with the state legislature and Governor Edwards to balance the budget and spend responsibly.
New data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows Louisiana’s unemployment rate for October was 4.8-percent, the lowest it’s been since June of 2008. The Louisiana Workforce says this is the sixth consecutive month the rate has declined. Professional and business services gained 49-hundred jobs for the month
U-S Senate Finance committee has approved tax reform bill that includes an amendment by Louisiana Senator Billy Cassidy that allows flood victims to make tax-free withdrawals from their retirement plans to recover and rebuild. And it also allows income tax deductions for personal casualty losses exceeding 500-dollars. The measure now heads to the Senate floor.
An officer involved shooting in West Monroe has left one dead. The incident happened at around 6 p.m. Friday night near Interstate 20 and Thomas Road. The shooting made the fourth fatal police shooting in Louisiana in a week. Witnesses in the area report hearing about 20 gunshots and around 15 police officers at the scene. The name of the deceased and the officer have not yet been released. It is not believed the officer was injured.
A student from Haughton High School in Bossier Parish has been arrested after allegedly making threats that he would bring a gun to school and use it. Kynan Hayes has been charged with terrorizing and booked at the Bossier Maximum facility. A school resource officer never found any weapons, but Hayes allegedly told his friends that he would let them know what day not to come to school.
The governor’s office announces they are working with a non-profit group called Education Super Highway to bring faster internet services to some 164-thousand students in rural school districts. Education Policy Advisor for the Governor, Donald Songy, says they are identifying which schools need additional help. Songy says much of the cost for faster internet service can be paid for through grant money.
You will see savings this year on Thanksgiving dinner. An American Farm Bureau Marketbasket survey estimates it will cost $43.27 on average in Louisiana. That’s about $3 less than last year. Farm Bureau Federation News Director Neil Melancon says a large inventory of turkeys are helping to drive prices down…
High school students who are in good standing with the FFA are eligible to receive a 500-dollar scholarship to attend a community college in Louisiana. Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan says they hope this will help convince more students to continue their education past high school. He says this is the first time they have entered into a partnership with an organization to provide scholarships, but it is generating a lot of excitement.
The Saints won their eighth straight yesterday in dramatic fashion, rallying back from a 15-point deficit late in the 4th quarter to beat the Washington Redskins 34-31 in overtime. The Saints are 8-2 heading into next Sunday’s game at the LA Rams. New Orleans is tied with Minnesota for the 2nd best record in the NFC.
LSU has a chance to finish the regular season with nine wins, after beating Tennessee 30-10 in Knoxville. Because windy and rainy conditions, the Tigers had to rely on its ground game on Saturday night. Darrell Williams rushed for two touchdowns and Derius Guice had 97 yards and a score. The second half was played in a cold rain.
News for Friday 111717
By Dave Graichen
Pineville PD yesterday captured the third suspect in the attempted robbery of a Wardville convenience store on November 5th. 23-year-old Devon Thomas was found in Wardville on Thursday by officers who were conducting an unrelated investigation. Thomas, who had been described as possibly armed and dangerous, was taken into custody without incident.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is expecting a voter turnout of 13 percent statewide for Saturday’s election which features the race for state treasurer and the New Orleans mayoral runoff between LaToya Cantrell and Denise Charbonnet. Schedler says if it wasn’t for this race, it would be a slow day at the polls.
The election for the New Orleans mayoral race is tomorrow and polls show Democratic councilwoman LaToya Cantrell beating fellow Democrat and former judge Desiree Charbonnet by a landslide. Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says this will be the first time a female has been mayor of New Orleans and this big race with two Democratic candidates is likely to help out Democrat Derrick Edwards’ campaign for State Treasurer against Republican John Schroder.
The U.S. House approved a tax reform bill, which Republicans say will lower tax rates at all income levels and lower the corporate tax rate. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says this legislation will also make it easier for everyday Americans to do their own taxes. The Senate still must vote on its own version of a tax reform plan and if that passes then it must be settled in a conference committee.
Natchitoches unveiled its newly renovated riverfront yesterday. Mayor Lee Posey says they’ve added a new festival stage, amphitheater seating and a new Santa Claus house. He says restrooms and handicap ramps have also been added along the Cane River. Saturday the Festival of Lights begins its run over the next seven weekends.
Tickets are on sale now for WrestleMania 34, which takes place April 18th at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The last time WWE’s flagship show came to The Big Easy was in 2014, bringing in over 75,000 fans and generating $142 million dollars in economic impact. This is the quickest that WrestleMania has ever returned to a previous host city ever.
The Louisiana National Guard says over 300 of their soldiers and airmen have returned from a deployment to Puerto Rico to help the island nation recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Guard says the soldiers cleared roads and helped electric companies restore power.
It took less than a month, but Layoffs have been announced by CenturyLink after their acquisition of Level 3 Communications. 35 workers in Monroe and 165 companywide are being let go. Spokesperson Annmarie Sartor says the layoffs come in the IT department. She says 27-hundred still work in Louisiana for CenturyLink.
Nicholls State has named Jay Clune as the university’s 6th president. Clune is currently the interim graduate dean for the University of West Florida. The Houma native is a Nicholls graduate and he will take over after the first of 2018. Clune says he wants students coming to Nicholls to learn in a modern environment…
The state is launching a Louisiana Cultural Shopping Trail to provide visitors an opportunity to discover unique retail stores as they travel through the Bayou State. Chairman of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission Steve Windham says L-A-shopping-trail-dot-com will highlight great antique or boutique shops, along with stores that feature hand-crafted goods. Windham says the Louisiana Cultural Shopping Trail gives specialized businesses off the beaten path a chance to showcase the state’s vibrant culture to visitors who are traveling our highways
Baton Rouge Police have made an arrest in the 2014 killing of West St. John High School coach Juan Joseph. Sgt. Don Coppola says they originally booked another man for the murder, but those charges were later dropped after the DA’s office said the shooter was misidentified. Coppola says now Jamarcus Goodman is charged with second degree murder. Copolla says Goodman was living in Texas and had faced other charges there, but is now in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail.
A grand jury Thursday issued a first degree murder indictment of Darren Bridges who is charged with murdering New Orleans Police Officer Marcus McNeil on October 13. It’s being reported that District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says his office is pursuing the death penalty for Bridges.
The steady increase in gas prices is continuing. AAA says there is still strong fall demand for gasoline and it’s chipping away at inventory. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is now $2.34, up almost 10 cents over the past month.
The forecast calls for rain and temperatures falling into the 50s on Saturday in Knoxville for the LSU-Tennessee game. But the Tigers should have success running the football as the Volunteers rank last in the SEC in rushing defense.
News for Thursday 111517
By Dave Graichen
It’s now official. After being named as acting Principal of Holy Savior Menard High School back in August, Veteran school administrator Dwayne Lemoine now has the job on a permanent basis. Lemoine brings 34 years of education experience to the school, including eight years as superintendent of Avoyelles Parish Schools and eight years as principal at Pineville High School.
5th district Congressman Ralph Abraham, the state's only member of the House Armed Services Committee, says the house version of the National Defense Authorization Act is a Homerun for the state. Under the bill, Barksdale's B-52s will get a modern makeover, Fort Polk will be protected from the base closure list and Belle Chasse's F-15 fighters will stand guard over the Gulf Coast. The House approved a conference committee's version of the Act this week and the Senate is expected to quickly follow. The President says he will sign the bill.
Today is the Great American Smoke out, the day tobacco users are encouraged to quit smoking, chewing tobacco or using other tobacco related products. Lance Barbour with the American Cancer Society says Louisiana ranks among the highest in the country for the number of smokers and smoking related illness.
It is one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in the country and the numbers now back it up. The state Department of Transportation reports there were 2,423 crashes on Interstate 10 between Lafayette and the Baton Rouge Mississippi River Bridge over a three year period, from January 1st of 2014 to the end of 2016. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says of those crashes, 19 were fatal and 20 people died. Wilson says the majority of these wrecks are a result of tailgating or distracted driving. Numbers from DOTD show 55-percent of these accidents happened when a car rear-ended another, 22-percent happened when a car ran off the interstate.
The U.S. House has legislation to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program, but it does not have the full support of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation. Representative Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish says the measure doesn’t help with rising premiums and he’s concerned. Abraham hopes the Senate passes a better bill.
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s successfully added an amendment to the Senate’s tax reform legislation that would provide 200-million dollars in tax relief for thousands of Louisiana residents who were impacted by last year’s August flood. The legislation still needs approval from the entire Senate and House.
There is a new North Louisiana Crime Lab operating in Shreveport, serving 29 north Louisiana parishes. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says the state of the art 86-thousand-square foot North Louisiana Forensic Sciences Center should help them solve D-N-A cases much faster. The planning started over 12 years ago with construction beginning in 2013 at a cost of 26-million-dollars. Prator says the new lab will also partner with the LSU Medical School in Shreveport.
Governor Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain continue their listening tour with farmers today with stops in Ferriday and Slaughter. The tour started earlier this week as the two elected officials held meetings in Mooringsport and Bastrop to hear about concerns within the agriculture industry. Edwards says producers are worried that state budget cuts are impacting agriculture research at LSU and Southern. Edwards says soybean farmers are also pushing for funding so the Red River can be dredged in northwest Louisiana to help with shipping costs. The tour will end tomorrow with stops in Ville Platte and Arnaudville
65-year-old Wilbert Jones became a free man today after serving over 45 years in jail in connection with a 1971 rape and kidnapping of a Baton Rouge nurse. State District Judge Richard Anderson threw his conviction out, because he determined the case against Jones was weak and the prosecution withheld evidence. The Innocence Project worked for 15 years to free Jones.
The busy holiday travel season starts next week and the Transportation Security Administration is asking passengers to make sure they don’t pack guns in their carry-on travel bags. T-S-A spokesperson Sari Koshetz says so far this year, six guns have been confiscated at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport and 52 from Louis Armstrong in New Orleans.
State officials are gradually introducing 23 juvenile whooping cranes from Wisconsin, Maryland and Canada to the wild in Louisiana as part of the state’s effort to grow the population of the rare, endangered birds. State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Sara Zimorski says 12 of the birds were brought to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on the southwest Louisiana coast where three cranes recently hatched…
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine says Mike Seven, the school’s live mascot that arrived on campus in August, has added 100 pounds of weight during his first three months in Baton Rouge. The 14-month old Tiger now weighs about 270 pounds and the Bengal-Siberian mix is expected to keep growing until he’s about four or five years old.
News for Wednesday 111517
By Dave Graichen
With the announcement of DXC Technology opening a digital transformation center, over two-thousand direct jobs will be created in New Orleans over the next seven to eight years. Demographer Greg Rigamer says Louisiana provided $120 million in incentives to attract the company’s attention.
A man who spent nearly a half century in jail will be freed after his conviction is over turned. 65-year-old Wilbert Jones is expected to be released today. State District Court Judge Richard Anderson threw out his conviction after it was discovered authorities withheld “highly favorable” evidence that would have exonerated Jones in connection with a 1971 rape.
A Grambling State student that was arrested last month after a double homicide has been indicted on two counts for first degree murder. 19-year-old Jaylin Wayne allegedly fatally shot 23-year-old Earl Andrews, a senior at Grambling, and 23-year-old Monquairious Caldwell. The Lincoln Parish DA says they may seek the death penalty pending the final police report.
Gas prices keep inching up along with demand. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.31, according to AAA.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will lead a full scale nuclear disaster prevention drill called Operation Great River in which a dozen federal, state and local authorities will participate. The exercise will happen today along the Mississippi River near the Port of Baton Rouge. GOHSEP Spokesperson Mike Steele says it’s a first of a kind drill in Louisiana.
Have you ever thought Louisiana as a golf destination? Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser wants to make it so. He is helping to reenergize the Audubon Golf Trail. 15 courses statewide are included. He says this will be a valuable tool to gets visitors to vacation here and see what other attractions Louisiana has to offer.
The newest numbers from the Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of this year rank Monroe and Shreveport in the top for the most affordable cities to live in the Bayou State. President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership Scott Martinez says the consumer’s dollar goes farther in these markets.
State Police are investigating an officer involved shooting in which they say a Baton Rouge cop shot and killed a man during a struggle when escorting a state child welfare case worker. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says, despite rumors circling social media, the man who was killed was not handcuffed when he was shot.
A Baton Rouge attorney has been arrested for the second time in as many months on child pornography charges. 36-year-old Victor Loraso of Covington is charged with 20 different counts involving possession and distribution sexual abuse images or videos of minors. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. He was released last month on a 150-thousand-dollar bond.
The LaFourche Parish Council is issuing a proclamation marking the 130th anniversary of the Thibodaux Massacre. The incident occurred on November 23, 1887. It was one of the bloodiest incidents of violence in American history. White mobs shot black men and women after a strike was called by sugar cane workers in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. Next Thursday, there will be a moment of silence in Thibodaux to mark the anniversary of the slaughter.
News for Tuesday 111417
By Dave Graichen
The state police report a suspect in an Alexandria kidnapping and rape was caught Monday in Grant Parish after a chase. 40-year-old Edward Williams would not stop for law enforcement on La. Highway 8 yesterday and after a short chase, he jumped from the car and ran. State Police Troopers were able to quickly take him into custody. Shortly thereafter, Alexandria authorities took custody of Williams. He is now facing multiple charges.
Governor John Bel Edwards says Virginia-based DXC Technology will open a New Orleans office that will employ two-thousand people. Officials are calling it the single largest jobs announcement in the city’s modern history. An exact location for the facility has yet to be decided, but it will be downtown. Average salaries of for those working there will be 63-thousand dollars.
LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva says the elimination of tax break in the GOP tax reform bills could be disastrous for big-time collegiate athletics. LSU and many other schools require donations to purchase tickets to athletic events and Alleva is concerned those donations will go away, if fans can no longer claim 80-percent of the donation as a tax deduction. Alleva says LSU receives about 50-million dollars from this revenue stream.
U.S. Senator John Kennedy has written an op-ed piece to the Washington Examiner entitled “Please stop having children you aren’t willing to raise.” In the piece, Kennedy implores parents that if they are drug users or if the child would be born to a fatherless house, to think twice about bringing lives into the world. Kennedy says too many parents are failing their children these days in Louisiana. He says thousands of children are in the state’ foster care system and those who fail to find a good foster care home end up struggling in life.
Today, the Governor will begin traveling with Ag Commissioner Mike Strain on a listening tour with farmers across Louisiana to hear their concerns. Today’s stops will be in Mooringsport and Bastrop. Later this week they will be in Arnaudville, Ferriday, Slaughter and Ville Platte.
The latest poll on the New Orleans Mayors race is out. LaToya Cantrell continues to hang on to a double-digit lead over Desiree Charbonnet, according to UNO pollster Ed Chervenak, 46 percent to 35 percent, with 19 percent still undecided.
Expectations of a bumper pecan crop in Louisiana this year have been lowered due to unfavorable weather, but that shouldn’t affect your pies for the holidays. That’s according to LSU AgCenter Associate Professor Charlie Graham, who says pecans are still in greater supply than last year.
Reports indicate a Louisiana man was arrested trying to cross into North Korea. The man was detained by South Korean forces before he could cross the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. The 58-year-old is identified as “A”. The Washington Post says he was trying to enter North Korea for “political purposes.”
If you want to know if the flu bug has invaded your neighborhood, a new phone app called Sickweather has been designed with you in mind. Founder and CEO Graham Dodge says they use the public’s help to track when there’s an outbreak of various illnesses from the common cold to the flu. Dodge says the app will alert you when you are entering an area where there’s been a large of number of verified illnesses reported. The app is currently available on Google Play and the Apple store for free.
For the third time this year, LSU linebacker Devin White has been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. The sophomore from Springhill, Louisiana had 14 tackles in the Tigers 33-10 win over Arkansas.
News for Monday 111317
By Dave Graichen
A pilot was killed when a small plane crashed in Rapides Parish, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The single-engine private airplane was found in thick brush between Lake Buhlow and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Further details, including the name of the pilot or where he was going, have not been released. The FAA is investigating the crash.
There’s an estimated 600-thousand Louisiana adults who lack a high school diploma. Now, a program called WorkReady U is attempting to grow Louisiana’s workforce by helping to educate the 600-thousand Louisiana’s adults who do not have a high school diploma. Jason Beard is the senior manager for a nonprofit group called Educational Testing Service, which offers adults looking to better their education a chance at passing the High School Equivalency Test. More information can be found online at yesyoucan.la
It appears the state AG didn’t have his fact straight after all. The state Department of Health announces new data shows there are fewer opioids being prescribed since Medicaid expansion began in July 2016. This comes amid recent claims by Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry that the better access to healthcare is fueling the opioid crisis. But, the state Board of Pharmacy says there was a 2 percent reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions from the year before Medicaid expansion to the year after.
Four Baton Rouge police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of possible payroll fraud. A source told WAFB TV that they include two sergeants. The information comes on the heels of similar allegations involving the Louisiana State Police concerning three troopers.
This week, two years from now, voters will cast their ballots for Louisiana’s next governor. Current Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is planning to run again. Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry could challenge Edwards and tensions between the two continue to escalate. He says expect GOP leaders to keep attacking the governor on various issues. Pinsonat says there’s been word that along with Landry, Congressmen Garret Graves and Steve Scalise as well as U.S. Senator John Kennedy are taking a look at the governor’s seat.
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, supports the Senate’s GOP tax plan which was unveiled on Thursday. Cassidy says the proposed legislation would help families and help businesses grow by cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code. He says a family of four would see a tax cut of over 14-hundred-dollars…
A new phone app called OnPoint can help you keep an eye on politicians at nearly every level of government. Vote-Smart-dot-org National Director Walker McKusick says they have culled information on over 40-thousand politicians, including those in Louisiana. McKusick credits their non-partisanship donations in helping them to present the true facts behind every politician in Louisiana…
Two elderly people were killed after a logging truck struck their vehicle in Beauregard Parish Thursday. State Police Sgt. James Anderson says 86-year-old Elaine Picard and passenger 82-year-old William Picard were at a stop sign, when they pulled out onto Highway 112 east of DeRidder, directly into the path of a logging truck.
Complete domination. That’s the best way you can describe the Saints 47-10 beat down of the Bills in Buffalo yesterday. New Orleans had 482 yards of total offense to Buffalo’s 198 and the Saints had the ball for over 41 minutes in the game. It was the team’s seventh straight victory. The Saints rushed for 298 yards and set a franchise record by scoring six rushing touchdowns.
The LSU football team scored four touchdowns in the 2nd half on Saturday to beat Arkansas 33-10. LSU is now 7-3, 4-2 in the SEC and this Saturday they’ll visit a Tennessee team that was crushed by Missouri 50-17. The Vols are 0-6 in the league.
News for Friday 111017
By Dave Graichen
A Rapides Parish Jury found a 17 year old mother, Donasty Cohen, guilty of manslaughter in the death of her 27 day old son nearly a year ago. Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 4, giving time for the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation ordered by 9th Judicial District Court after the verdict.
The Rapides Parish Police Jury and the company in charge of managing the Rapides Parish Coliseum are hoping a grant from the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority will allow for the purchase of some equipment that they say is needed to attract larger events to the venue. The Jury approved the $200,000 grant application at a special meeting Thursday. The money would be used to purchase a stage, chairs for the floor of the arena, speakers, spotlights, wireless intercom and a forklift.
Young people in Louisiana are smoking at a rate of 12-percent, which is lower than the national average of 16-percent, according to a report by Truth Initiative. President and CEO Robin Koval says when teenagers are given the facts and allowed to make their own decisions, they are more likely to positively respond. The down side of the report shows a different story when it comes to adult smoking. Over 22-percent, of adult smoke in the state, that compared to 15 in the rest of the country.
Tomorrow is the last day to early vote for the November 18th election and early voting locations are closed today in observance of Veteran’s Day. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says in the last days of early voting, the number of residents who cast a ballot exceeded his original expectation of around 10-percent. Aside from the statewide State Treasurer’s election, the New Orleans mayoral race is also on the ballot. Voters here in Alexandria will be asked whether to renew a 24-year-old property tax that funds "critical" capital projects, such as roads and drainage.
The five members of the Capitol Police Department at the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot, have been awarded the medal of honor. Scalise says the excellent training undergone by members of this department prepared them and gave them the skills to save the lives of so many that day.
Authorities are refuting a WBRZ-TV report that a 13-year-old child was raped by an inmate in a bathroom during last month’s Angola Rodeo. Officials say the State Police Crime Lab through DNA testing determined no sexual contact occurred between the minor and prisoner. West Feliciana Sheriff Austin Daniel says an investigation started when it was observed a 13-year and an inmate walked out of a bathroom together. Daniel says they are not sure why the two were in bathroom together, but there is no evidence that sexual contact occurred.
University system presidents met at the governor’s mansion Thursday afternoon to discuss steps to eliminate hazing and alcohol abuse among sanctioned groups on campus. LSU System President F King Alexander says it’s not their intention to get rid of Greek organizations, because they do a lot of good work in the community.
The Kenner Police Department says a habitual offender that was released early from jail due to the state’s new criminal justice reform, committed an armed robbery 5 days after he was let out. Chief Michael Glaser says Tyrone White is well known in that neighborhood, and cops had already been alerted that he was lurking again pulling on car door handles to see if they were unlocked. Glaser says this 24-year-old man should never have been let out of jail…
A Denham Springs woman turned herself into police today after being suspected of texting before a fatal crash on I-12 that killed a 5-month-old baby. Denham Springs Police issued an arrest warrant for 23-year-old Jessica Cowart. Cowart is charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring and reckless operation. She is free on a 51-thousand-dollar-bond.
Gas prices keep rising as demand remains high. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.29, up five cents from the prior week.
According to the Louisiana Lottery, no one has claimed the $50,000 Powerball prize from the drawing on June 14. The winning ticket was purchased at Super 1 Foods on Northeast Evangeline Thruway in Carencro. The winner has until Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. to claim the prize.
Have you ever wondered who is responsible for painting LSU’s Eye of the Tiger in Death Valley? Well it’s LSU graduate Hunter Sexton who is the Sports Turf Manager for Tiger Stadium. He says being the guy who paints the intimidating eye in the middle of the field is the coolest job ever. Sexton says he’s been painting fields since he was a kid, and to be able to work full time for LSU is a huge honor.
The Saints seek their seventh straight victory this Sunday when they visit Buffalo. When the schedule came out, many Saints fans probably thought the Bills would have a losing record at this point of the year. But Buffalo is 5-3 and New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees says they are a perfect 4-0 at home.
News for Thursday 110917
By Dave Graichen
If you’re dumb enough to make repeated crank calls to 911, don’t get caught in the act. A Pollock man did just that. 21-year-old Arthur Veal was in the process of making another crank call to 911 when a Grant Parish deputy tracked him down. The GPSO says in addition to catching Veal, they found Multiple Bags Of Marijuana in the home he was calling from. But the story doesn’t end there. As Veal was being booked into jail, officials found crystal meth hidden in his underwear .We don’t have enough time to report how many things he has been charged with.
After an alleged confrontation with a student player on Friday, a Natchitoches Central High School football coach John Daughtery was charged with simple battery. The Natchitoches PD reports they received a complaint around 6 p.m. Monday about an incident that happened on Friday at Turpin Stadium. The 17-year-old alleges that Daughtery grabbed his helmet, eventually pulling it off and then began to pull him into a locker room by his jersey. Daughtery has a court date in December.
Three state police troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave amid allegations of claiming overtime on hours they never actually worked. State Police Major Doug Cain says the investigation started after surveillance video was uncovered by a New Orleans television station.
An Arson fire in Many destroyed the ARC of Sabine building, which benefits the developmentally disabled. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they have a person in custody. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Brett Shoemaker and he’s a former client of ARC. No injuries were reported.
Early voting for the November 18th election comes to a close on Saturday and the candidates for State Treasurer continue to get their message out to voters. Republican candidate John Schroder is a former lawmaker from Covington, a veteran and a business owner. He says he’s ready to take on the job and separate himself from any loyalties to do what is the best for our state. Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards has a Master’s degree in accounting and is an attorney in the New Orleans area. Edwards says he will bring accountability and transparency to the office of the State Treasurer. He says this race is not about party affiliation.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly attacking a woman who tried to help him as he was lying in a ditch near Oak Grove. West Carroll Parish Sheriff Jerry Philley says the victim saw Christian Turnbow on the side of the road as she was driving her kids to school. He says police arrived after one of her children called 911 to report the attack. The victim suffered minor injuries.
The state department of corrections is not saying much about a Baton Rouge television station’s report that claims a 13-year-old boy was raped by an inmate during the last weekend of the Angola Prison rodeo. A D-O-C spokesperson says an investigation is underway into an alleged incident that may have occurred and details will be released at the appropriate time.
Two people were injured and dozens were evacuated yesterday off of a Shell platform about 115 miles off the Louisiana coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Petty Officer Lexie Preston says a 54-year-old male suffered from flash burns and a concussion and a 29-year-old male suffered a sprained wrist and a concussion. Preston says the fire has been reduced to a small flame and a light sheen is reported north of the platform. The incident occurred early Wednesday morning.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office says a Covington woman is under arrest amid allegations she lied about an NFL referee physically abusing her. Lt. Brennan Matherne says 49-year-old Sandra Brooks told cops in June that her live in boyfriend, 57-year-old Carl Johnson Sr. of Thibodaux, was hitting her. He says no evidence of wrongdoing by Johnson was found and ultimately he was exonerated in the investigation and Brooks is one now facing the charges.
Authorities have arrested a 14-year-old after he allegedly brought a handgun and rifle ammunition to Rayville High School. Rayville Police Chief Willie Robinson says the rifle rounds were in the teen’s backpack and a gun belonging to him was found in another student’s vehicle. Robinson says the teen told detectives he forgot to take the ammo out of his bag after he went hunting.
More than half of LSU’s 27 fraternities are in some kind of trouble for violating policy both before and after the death of LSU pledge Max Gruver. The punishments range from suspensions, being kicked off campus, on probation or letter of reprimand. The latest is an LSU letter sent to Alpha Gamma Rho saying they must stop all charter events because of an incident, “not in compliance with university policies.”
A state law approved seven years ago allows persons to possess guns inside a place of worship, under strict conditions. The person must be approved by the church leader, the congregation is made aware and persons must receive specialized training. One of those courses is coming up later this month in Livingston Parish. Sheriff Jason Ard says there is increased interest since the Texas church shooting.
Washington Parish authorities arrest the owner of a 2006 Porsche after he allegedly came up with a scheme to burn his water damaged vehicle in an effort to collect insurance money. Chief Deputy Mike Haley says 49-year-old Gary Joseph Leblanc of Robert was arrested following a six week investigation.
Multiple sources are reporting that former LSU coach Les Miles is interested in the coaching job at Oregon State. The Beavers are 1-8 under interim coach Cory Hall after Gary Andersen and the school opted to part ways following a loss to Southern California earlier this season.
News for Wednesday 110817
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White released the annual school performance scores for the 2016-2017 year yesterday. White says the scores have remained steady for the third consecutive year. White says unfortunately, 272 schools statewide received D of F grades for three straight years or saw high school graduation rates less than 67-percent. Here in Rapides Parish, The School System received another "B" grade. The number of schools given an "A" based on their scores is down to five from seven last year.
The investigation continues into a Sunday night armed robbery and shooting at a Wardville convenience store. The operator of Lee Rays on Bayou Marie Rd. told police three armed men entered the store and ordered everyone to the back of the store. The clerk told police he armed himself and fired at the men, hitting two of them. One was hit in the abdomen, he remains in the hospital in critical condition, the other in the arm. Police say arrests are still pending.
Recent record breaking heat in some areas of the state will give way today to much cooler temperatures as a cold front moves in. State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect a gray dreary day. After the front moves through, Keim says to expect much colder air descending on Louisiana providing, us with fall like weekend.
Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy has introduced the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act, aimed at preventing terrorists from using vehicles to attack Americans. Cassidy says as technology improves, newer vehicles can become weapons in the hands of terrorists. Cassidy says this bill would give Congress information law enforcement needs to help expand their role to more technical issue.
A man identified as the legislative aid to Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop was found dead Tuesday in Central. East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Casey Hicks says they believe 31-year-old Larry Warino Jr. took his own life after fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says two men who fell from a helicopter have died. The men were from California and were working on electrical lines in Sulphur. The safety harness they were using rubbed against the power lines, causing the harness to snap and the men fell some 100 feet to their death.
Emerge Louisiana is a new group that will train female Democrats on how to run a successful campaign for political office. Executive Director Melanie Oubre says any interested females can apply for the training program through November 18th and 20 to 25 women will be selected. Oubre says after graduating, the women will be provided with a network of support locally and nationally.
LSUA opens its Basketball season tonight at The Fort as they play host to Xavier of Louisiana. You can hear that game tonight beginning at 7 on Magic 100.9
News for Tuesday 110717
By Dave Graichen
The state’s education department developed a website to help parents decide the best K-12 public school for their child. The website, Louisiana-schools-dot-com (louisianaschools.com), launches today. Director of Family and Education Communications Annie Morrison says families can find information about all traditional public schools in the state, along with facts on charter, magnet and scholarship schools. Again that website, louisianaschools.com
The Energy Information Administration says October gasoline consumption was the highest in month-to-month numbers since 2006, which is why there has been a slight increase in prices at the pump. Triple A fuel analyst Don Redman believes the warm fall has led to more people driving increasing demand for gasoline. Redman says Louisiana prices are the sixth lowest in the nation with drivers paying an average of $2.26 a gallon, but still about 20 cents more a gallon than last year.
The state Department of Education releases the 2016-2017 annual school performance scores today and this is the last time schools with be graded on a curve. President for the Council for a Better Louisiana Barry Erwin says it’s time to go back to the system where grades really give a true reflection of the school’s performance. Erwin says after getting rid of a curve, we do sometimes see a dip in school performance with more receiving D’s and F’s. He expects it might take a year or two but schools will eventually score better as the bar is raised.
The first two days of early voting for the November 18 election shows numbers remain dismal with just under 26-thousand voters participating. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says even though they are getting the word out to encourage voters, not many have taken the advice. Early voting remains open until Saturday with the exception of Friday for the observance of Veteran’s Day.
Reactions are coming in the aftermath of the largest church mass shooting in Texas history this past weekend near San Antonio which killed 26. Seven years ago, former Shreveport area State Representative Henry Burns authored a bill which allows guns in places of worship, with church leadership approval. When asked if there are any additional steps that churches need to take to ensure the safety of attendees, Burns says installing metal detectors may be an extreme but necessary step.
Some 60 dogs and cats rescued from Hurricane Maria and relocated to Louisiana are looking for their new forever home. Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans is currently sheltering the animals. They were surrendered after many lost their homes. Director Michelle Ingram says some animals are having a hard time adjusting to their new circumstances at their shelter. She says foster families are needed to help these animals.
A 19-year-old Tibodaux woman who was shot last week has died. Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre says Shantell Pollard was shot on October 31st. When police arrived, they found Pollard in the passenger side of an SUV bleeding from a head wound and was unresponsive. She was in critical condition after she was transferred to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. Police say the investigation is continuing.
LSU Football Head Coach Ed Orgeron says quarterback Danny Etling will remain the Tigers starting quarterback. Orgeron says despite some missed opportunities in the passing game against Alabama, Etling is the better option over freshman Myles Brennan to achieve a 10-win season. LSU will play Arkansas this Saturday after losing to Alabama by two touchdowns last weekend.
Louisiana Tech now has a new Tech XXII mascot after Tech XXI retired last fall. Vice President for Student Advancement Jim King says they are excited to finally introduce the beloved bulldog to students. King says Tech is well taken care of by the university’s pre-vet club and has been adopted by a local Ruston family.
News for Monday 110617
By Dave Graichen
State Police report an early morning single vehicle crash, Saturday Morning,
Took the life of 53 year old Carl LaBorde of Marksville. LaBorde’s vehicle was northbound on LA Hwy 115 when he lost control, exited the right side of the roadway and collided with a concrete culvert. Laborde, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Early voting for the November 18 election is under way. Secretary of State Tom Schedler is expecting a low turnout, around 10 percent. There is a statewide treasurer’s race, the New Orleans mayoral race and a handful of local ballot items in about half of the state’s parishes. Early voting continues through Saturday.
The senate approved a 23 month contract extension Friday for the state’s Medicaid managed-care companies unanimously, but House members voted against it, blocking the Governor’s efforts to help extend high-dollar contracts for managed-care companies beyond January. House Appropriations Committee chairman Cameron Henry expects more meetings next month to find savings in the proposed 15.4-billion-dollar deal.
A 67-year-old grandmother is dead in Plaquemine after her grandson allegedly shot her by mistake. Police say 19-year-old Blaise Horton reported he was holding a gun in a house when Kathleen Fulton was killed. Police Chief Kenny Payne says the bullet grazed a dog and struck Fulton in the back. He says Horton’s sister was in the home at the time and evidence at the scene matches up with the story Horton and the sister told officers.
Officers say a three-year-old toddler has died as the result of an alleged accidental shooting in St. Martin Parish. Police have arrested the child’s 28 year old uncle. He has been charged with Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm and Obstruction of Justice.
A Mandeville man has been arrested after allegedly blocking off the exit of a subdivision and holding two teens at gunpoint after they toilet papered his house. Police Chief Gerald Sticker says homeowner Craig Scott unjustifiably took matters into his own hands.
Especially now that it’s getting darker earlier, State Farm wants to remind people to watch out for deer while driving. Louisiana ranks 41st in the country for the most deer collisions. State Farm Spokesperson Kip Diggs says it’s now mating season deer and they’re on the move. He says dusk to dawn are the highest risk times to see deer out on the roadways.
We turned back our clocks for Standard time Sunday morning.. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds residents now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarm. He says first generation fire alarms need to have the batteries replaced every 12 months, and it also might be time for an upgrade. Many of the new Smoke detectors can run 10 years between battery changes.
So what do CPAs say the GOP tax plan will do for us and our pocketbooks? Among the changes, the plan eliminates the ability to deduct state income tax, which is between two and six percent in Louisiana. Brandon Legarde with the Society of Louisiana CPA’s says one of the reasons the GOP is happy with tax reform is the change afforded to businesses in trying to urge corporations to come back to the U.S. Legarde says his office is still trying to determine how all the tax breaks will benefit businesses and if they will be able to get around some of the new laws…
For the first time since 2005, two state police cadet classes will run simultaneously. Aspiring troopers have reported for the 97th cadet class with 49 individuals. The 96th class has entered their 11th week of training. Sgt. Jared Sandifer says both classes are going through an intense training program. After graduation, troopers will participate in a 10-14 week field training program before beginning their new careers.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and 10 Louisiana chefs are in New York City to prepare the Bayou State’s world-class food and give the Big Apple a taste of what we have to offer. Nungesser says they hope to woo people with our culture and encourage them to take their next vacation to Louisiana. This trip is a marketing and communications effort in part of the Louisiana Culinary Campaign.
The Saints won their sixth straight on Sunday as they dominated Tampa Bay 30-10. A blocked punt that went for a touchdown in the 1st quarter gave New Orleans a 9-0 lead and they never looked back.
LSU outgained Alabama on Saturday night but still lost to the Crimson Tide 24-10 in Tuscaloosa. Tigers Head Coach Ed Orgeron says Alabama’s ability to make the big play was the difference. LSU entered the game as a three touchdown underdog, but lost by two touchdowns.
News for Friday 110317
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO is investigating a shooting that occurred in Sieper yesterday shortly before noon. Upon arrival, deputies located the victim suffering from two gunshot wounds. One deputy responding to the scene located the suspect, identified as 68 year old Jimmy Carl Harper of Sieper, walking down Jesse Perry Rd. Harper was taken into custody without incident. The victim was transported to a local hospital. Harper was placed under arrest for Attempted 2nd Degree Murder.
Early voting begins today for the November 18 election. There is a state treasurer race, New Orleans mayoral contest and local propositions in 32 parishes to be decided. The October 13 election only saw a 14 percent turnout. Secretary of State Tom Schedler predicts an even lower turnout this month.
The House GOP tax reform plan announced Thursday would consolidate the current seven tax brackets into four and would double the standard deduction, giving an average family of four nearly 12-hundred-dollars more income per year. But Jan Moller with the Louisiana Budget Project says the one-and-a-half-trillion-dollar cuts in the package over ten years will affect services many rely on.
A Morning Consult poll finds Governor John Bel Edwards approval rating among voters is 52-percent. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says that’s a solid number for a Democrat in a red state. Hogan says Edwards has done well to stay away from partisan disputes. Edwards is closing in on two years in office.
There are now 14 former LSU Tigers who are World Champions. The latest two are third baseman Alex Bregman and relief pitcher Will Harris, who helped the Astros win their first world series title in franchise history.
Another feud is brewing between Governor John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry. The AG believes his office should handle the lawsuit against opiod manufacturers; not the administration. The state Department of Health claims in a suit that drug firms intentionally flooded Louisiana with highly addictive opioids. Landry says his office is working on its own litigation. The AG won a legal battle this week over the governor’s office on an executive order dealing with discrimination of LGBT state workers.
The head of a veterans advocates group in Slidell will not go to this Sunday’s Saints game to accept an award, because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem. Retired Navy Commander John Wells understands that some players want to protest racial injustice, but doing so during the national anthem is not the time. Wells was set to receive the Peoples Health Champion Award.
Lafayette Police say no charges will be filed against a man who fatally shot another man in a Home Depot parking lot on Evangeline Thruway. Authorities say a violent struggle occurred when an owner of a vehicle saw the now deceased male trying to break into his car. Detectives say during that struggle the vehicle owner shot and killed the subject and they are ruling it a justifiable homicide.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office announces the arrest of a private school teacher who allegedly bit a two-year-old in the face. Investigators say 28-year-old Heather Marcotte admitting to biting the little boy, when she became frustrated with his behavior at Northlake Christian School.
A group committed to the survival of the Louisiana black bear has announced their intent to file suit to place them back on the endangered species list. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility contends they were removed prematurely.
This weekend the Vermilion Parish town of Abbeville will hold their annual Giant Omelet Celebration. The event has been held for 33 years and was created after a group who traveled to France to attend a similar festival. Spokesperson Arlene Collee (Coal-lee) says they will use over 5,000 eggs cooked in a 12-foot skillet with several different ingredients. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday with the omelet preparation to begin at 1pm Sunday.
Also this weekend it’s the Louisiana Pecan Festival in Colfax. The fun starts tonight and runs through Sunday.. With Live entertainment on the stage tonight and throughout the day on Saturday. Also a large fireworks display Saturday night.
Another event this weekend is the Swine Festival in Basile. With food and entertainment through Sunday.
Not many people are giving LSU the chance to beat top ranked Alabama on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers are three touchdown underdogs. Alabama has won six straight games against LSU. 2010 was the last time the Tigers scored more than 20 points in a game against the Crimson Tide.
The Saints look to extend their winning streak to six games on Sunday when they host NFC South rival Tampa Bay at 12:00 in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Bucs are 2-and-5, but New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees expects a tough game.
News for Thursday 110217
By Dave Graichen
Governor Edwards suffered a loss in the courtroom Wednesday as a state appellate court ruled against his executive order that sought to project LGBT state workers from being discriminated against. Edwards released a statement that said, “Discrimination in state government and by state contractors is wrong, makes us weaker and is bad for business and economic development.” He also cites President Trump’s executive order that remains in place and was identical to his order.
Wednesday on the day Louisiana is released 19-hundred non-violent offenders, a state audit finds the Department of Corrections is not able to track offenders or did not have proper methods in place to calculate correct prisoner release dates. Auditor Kristen Jacobs says the DOC tried to plug up the holes in the records system. They spent 3.6-million-dollars a few years ago on a computer data system that was quickly abandoned…
Louisiana earned an ‘F’ grade on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Dr. Martha Whyte with the state Department of Health says the preterm birth rate in Louisiana is 12.6-percent. Caddo Parish has the highest number of premature births in the state with 17 out of every 100 babies born preterm. Whyte says African American women also have more premature babies in the Bayou State. Whyte says changing this failing grade starts with addressing chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. Another startling statistic, 60-percent of births in Louisiana are unplanned.
The 24-billion-dollar acquisition of Level 3 Communications by Monroe based CenturyLink is now complete. CenturyLink Spokesperson Ann Marie Sartor says this merger will allow them to expand in the US, and overseas. Based upon a state contract, CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters must remain in Monroe through 2020.
The open enrollment period began today for those who would like to purchase change or renew their health insurance policies through the Affordable Care Act. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says policyholders can anticipate an 18 and a half percent increase in premiums, because of an uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Visit healthcare.gov to search policies. The enrollment period ends December 15.
When it comes to popularity in Congress, both of Louisiana’s US Senators rank in the middle, according to a new Morning Consult poll. John Kennedy’s approval rating is at 50-percent, while Bill Casssidy’s is at 47-percent. Cassidy is up for re-election in three years…
UL Lafayette has fired its highly successful softball coach, claiming that Michael Lotief created a hostile learning and working environment. Lotief was placed on administrative leave in early October. In a news release, the university says Lotief violated school policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault. Lotief admits he has a loose tongue in competitive situations, but it shouldn’t result in his firing. Lotief has not made a decision on whether he’ll sue the university
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services reports a record number of children were adopted form the state’s foster care system in a one year period ending September 30. 764 children were adopted up from the record of 735 the previous year.
News for Wednesday 110117
By Dave Graichen
An estimated 19-hundred prisoners will be released today as part of the state’s criminal justice reform legislation enacted this year. The Edwards Administration says this will lower the highest incarceration rate in the country and produce better outcomes for non-violent offenders. Nonviolent offenders will be allowed to be released after serving 35 percent of their sentence under the new law, but according to Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc they will be still be monitored.
The suspect in last week’s double murder at Grambling State University, Jaylin Wayne, says he’s not guilty and has hired a defense team. Attorney Ronald Haley says there was yet another suspected shooting on campus this past weekend, and they feel more light should be shed on a bigger problem at Grambling, gun violence. Wayne faces first-degree murder charges.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry wants to take control of a lawsuit filed by Governor Edwards suing opioid manufacturers. Landry also wants to hire former Mississippi AG Mike Moore who successfully sued tobacco manufacturers in the 1990s. Landry is asking the court to allow him to supersede the state Department of Health’s lawsuit against more than a dozen pharmaceutical firms. He wants to include allegations of the increased cost to the criminal justice system and the loss of workforce productivity.
The FCC has approved Monroe headquartered CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications, paving the way to close the deal. The company says this is great news and means everything is now in place to complete the transaction, which they anticipate will be effective tomorrow. CenturyLink and Level 3 believe the merger will allow CenturyLink to compete with AT&T and Verizon Communications in the business communications market.
Baton Rouge Police are investigating a crash off Airline Highway, which left two people dead including a toddler. Sgt. Don Coppola says witnesses told detectives they saw the driver of a 2009 Mustang driving erratically and crossing over the median multiple times before hitting an 18-wheeler head on.
The hurricane season ends on November 30, but a named storm has never struck Louisiana in November in 167 years of record keeping. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the state came close to breaking that streak in 2009 when Tropical Storm Ida churned in the Gulf…
LSU takes on the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium and ticket sales are on fire. Cameron Papp with Stub Hub says ticket prices range from 90 dollars to over 500 dollars for a seat to see the highly anticipated match up. He says this is the highest selling Alabama home game this season so far. Papp says there is still plenty of time left for fans to purchase tickets.
Ascension Sheriff deputies arrested two Prairieville men for allegedly stopping a school bus. Lt. Colonel Ward Webb says 58-year-old Clifton Hamby and 60-year-old Kerry LaSaicherre (Les-sha-share) were angry with the bus driver for speeding on the road they lived on. Webb says the men should have called police instead. Webb says one of the men was armed, but he never threatened the bus driver with the gun.
Caldwell Parish juvenile is in custody after allegedly destroying a building that belonged to St. Paul Baptist church in nearby Richland Parish. Sheriff Gary Gilley says the suspect also damaged several vehicles at Caldwell Parish High School and stole an Entergy truck before setting fire to the structure.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff deputies arrested a woman for allegedly pepper spraying people at a Chuck E. Cheese in Metairie. Lt. Jason Rivarde says 24-year-old Katarian Marshall was angry and started indiscriminately spraying pepper spray, hitting five adults and two kids. Marshall is charged with disturbing the peace by fighting.
News for Tuesday 103117
By Dave Graichen
Halloween is today and with that comes trick or treating. State Trooper Jesse LaGrange says it’s vital that drivers easily see children who are out and about. He says make sure they are easily seen in darker shaded costumes. LaGrange says drivers need to be aware of the extra foot traffic in neighborhoods and drive with caution. Other tips include children knowing their address and phone number in case they get lost, trick or treating in well-lit neighborhoods and having parents inspect all candy before eating after returning home. Trick or treating is from 5 to 8 this evening in Alexandria & Pineville.
Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Laura Edwards were in Puerto Rico yesterday along with leaders of the Louisiana National Guard and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to observe and give support to the island nation as it recovers from Hurricane Maria. Shortly after the storm, Louisiana launched a donation drive for Puerto Rico. The governor’s spokesperson Shauna Sanford says the state has sent approximately 100 pallets worth of essential items from diapers to non-perishable formula to help in the recovery efforts
An audit released by the state legislative auditor’s office accuses three former cashiers at Grambling State of improperly adding over 164-thousand dollars to spending accounts for 35 students, including two of the former cashiers. That adds up to over $4,600 per student. No word yet is charges will be brought against the cashier. Grambling is no longer giving cashiers the ability to manually allocate dollars to the spending cards.
The big game of the year has arrived as LSU visits top ranked Alabama this Saturday. The Bayou Bengals are looking for their first win over the Crimson Tide since 2011. Bama is a three touchdown favorite. On another LSU note, the school announced the time for the Arkansas game on November 11th will be 11am in Tiger Stadium.
LSU might be a big underdog headed into a date with top-ranked Alabama in Bryant–Denny Stadium Saturday, but that would never stop Tiger fans from traveling to watch it unfold. Barrett Elder with Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports says LSU/Alabama games are invariably exciting. Alabama has won six straight against LSU, but Elder says both sides consistently put up a challenge which is a blast for fans to take in.
The State Department of Health is warning those who frequent indoor shooting ranges about toxic exposure to lead. There are at least 50 shooting ranges in Louisiana, a third of those are indoor. Dr. David Holcombe with Office of Public Health says there are no regulations in place to control dangerous exposure levels. Over the past 40 years, the CDC says 36 studies show higher toxic lead levels among those who use gun ranges regularly. Health effects from lead can permanently damage vital organs and in children, damage the nervous system, slow growth and creates learning and behavior problems.
State Police say I-10 eastbound near Grosse Tete was closed for several hours yesterday after a fatal crash involving four 18-wheelers. Trooper Bryan Lee says one of the big rigs didn’t stop for upcoming traffic and smashed into three other 18 wheelers.
Two out of state residents were killed in the 18-wheeler that slammed into the other three.
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is doing “very well” after being hospitalized overnight Sunday. Spokesman Greg Bensel said the 90-year-old was observed at Ochsner Hospital after experiencing brief weakness following the Saints 20-12 win over Chicago at the Superdome.
News for Monday 103017
By Dave Graichen
State police are investigating a late Saturday night crash that claimed the life of a Pineville man. Troopers say 66 year old Otis Walker lost control of his pickup on Louisiana highway 454 and collided with a utility pole. Walker, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A survey from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission finds Louisianans are buckling up but drivers and passengers in pickup trucks are not doing so as often. Executive Director Dr. Katara Williams says the seat belt usage rate has consistently increased annually in the Bayou State since 2009. However, Alexandria and Baton Rouge drivers and passengers had the lowest rates when it comes to wearing seat belts at nearly 83-percent and 85-percent.
Prison reform measures go into effect Wednesday when some 14-hundred non-violent offenders will be released as a result of changes to the state’s sentencing laws. It’s an effort led by Governor John Bel Edwards to lower the state’s incarceration rate which is considered the highest in the world. State Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says most of these prisoners set free this week were nearing their release. Lowering the incarceration rate is estimated to save the state 262-million-dollars over ten years, most of the savings will go towards rehabilitation programs.
A federal judge agrees with Alton Sterling protesters in a class action lawsuit against Baton Rouge law enforcement agencies. A hearing was held Friday morning involving about 80 protesters who were arrested last year. The ACLU of Louisiana filed a similar lawsuit but one that did not seek damages. Executive Director Marjorie Esman applauds the ruling. The plaintiffs will receive a combined total of about $136,000, which amounts to individual payments ranging from $500-$1000.
The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office says they arrested a suspect in Grambling State University’s deadly shooting. Jaylin Wayne of St Louis Missouri is in custody for the shooting that allegedly killed another student and his friend early Wednesday morning. Wayne turned himself in Thursday night after he learned he was wanted for 1st degree murder. The Shooting Occurred during an altercation outside some dorm rooms.
Halloween is a time for celebration, but State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds the public some costumes and decorations are highly flammable. Browning says costumes should have a fire retardant coating, so they don’t easily burn. He also says nearly half of all home fires during Halloween are a result of decorations too close to a heat source.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are over 10-thousand fires in American each year in the days leading up to and following Halloween.
Changes have been made to Mega Millions. It will result in larger multi-state jackpot prizes, but the price of a ticket has increased from one to two dollars. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says the higher ticket price will mean the starting jackpot starts at 40 million, instead of 15 million dollars. Chopin says the odds of winning of the jackpot will increase, but other enhancements to the game will lead to more winners for the smaller prizes. Chopin says the first drawing for the revised Mega Millions game is tomorrow night.
Police in Gonzales arrested four men Sunday morning accused of stealing the ATM machine from a Gonzales convenience store after ramming a truck into the storefront.
At least one of the suspects has been linked to a similar convenience store burglary case in the same area earlier this year. All four men are from Houston, Texas.
Whether we like it or not, flooding is a disaster that happens in Louisiana. An LSU AgCenter building science instructor has found an effective way to repair flooded homes at a quicker pace. Bill Robinson calls it wet-proofing by using glass faced drywall. He says it’s easy to dry out these walls if they get damaged. There are some downsides. The first question that comes up is the cost. There is about a 25 percent increase in construction costs, but Robinson says the long term benefits are worth it.
Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was taken to Ochsner Hospital following Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears for precautionary reasons. The 90 year old Benson was feeling a little weak and worn out after the game before being taken to the hospital. He had a busy weekend after attending the Saints' Hall of Fame event, the Pelicans and Cavaliers game, and then Sunday's game against the Bears. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Benson was "heading to get checked out and then home for rest.
LSU moved up three spots to No. 20 in the Amway coaches poll released Sunday and four spots to No. 19 in the AP top 25. The Tigers were off this week and travel to play top-ranked Alabama) on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Coach Ed Orgeron's Tigers carry with them a three-game winning streak. The Crimson Tide has won 29 consecutive regular season games and owns a six-game win streak against LSU.
The Saints are on a five game winning streak after beating the Chicago Bears 20-12. New Orleans did a lot of things well, the defense gave up just one touchdown, quarterback Drew Brees threw for 299 yards. The Saints are now 5-2 and host 2-5 Tampa Bay this Sunday.
News for Friday 102717
By Dave Graichen
Authorities say the man who murdered a woman whose body was found in Pineville last week, is also the person that allegedly killed two people, Kendrick Horn and Jeremy Norris, who’s burnt bodies were found in a ditch on Old Boyce Highway that same morning. Rapides Sheriff William Hilton says Matthew Sonnier now faces three counts of first-degree murder. Hilton says they also arrested Sonnier’s sister, Ebony Sonnier and she’s facing charges that could result in the death penalty for the murder of Horn and Norris. Pineville Police have upgraded the murder charge of Matthew Sonnier to first-degree murder and now his sister is also facing the same charge for the stabbing death of Latish White.
President Trump’s declaration against the opioid crisis today helps the state choose how they will use future federal funds to fight a problem that increased by 12 percent in 2015 alone. Governor Edwards has sued opioid manufactures and Trump has said he would like to do the same, calling it a national crisis. The declaration will help mobilize additional federal resources for states.
Another fraternity on LSU’s campus has been shut down. The Board of Directors for Lambda Chi (like sky) Alpha voted earlier this week to close the house at LSU, because it was unsafe and didn’t promote a healthy environment. The fraternity was put on probation in May of 2016, because of alleged hazing incidents.
A 191 million dollar Powerball jackpot ticket was sold last night at a gas station in Eunice. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says the last time the Bayou State saw a jackpot winner was in May of 2013. She says in 2008, a player won the second largest jackpot of 97 million dollars. She says if the winner chooses the cash option, they’ll receive $119 million.
Good news for Louisiana’s tourism industry. Nearly 25 percent of the new jobs in the state were related to tourism. Over six-thousand new travel related jobs were created in the last 12 months, based on data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser says not only is the industry creating jobs, but it’s bringing in a large portion of the state’s tax revenue…
The Lafayette Fire Department says a two-year-old died in a morning house fire yesterday. Officials say they attempted to rescue the toddler, but the flames were too intense. Two adults and an infant were able to escape. Investigators believe the deadly blaze started in the living room.
The Board of Regents is requesting 192 million dollars more in state funding for public colleges in 2018. The money would go straight to the four college systems as they suffered budget cuts for years. It’s unlikely the request will be granted by lawmakers or Governor Edwards because the legislature is still looking at how to stop from falling off a 1 billion dollar fiscal cliff.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe now has a Doppler weather radar, helping to bridge a gap in identifying severe storms in northeast Louisiana. ULM received a 3-million-dollar grant through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to acquire a radar to assist weather forecasters.
The State Fair of Louisiana kicks off today in Shreveport. Live entertainment includes performances by The Hollow Decks, Pokey Bear, Lenny Cooper, Frank Foster and more. Find out more at statefairoflouisiana.com.
Louisiana is set to get nearly $2 million from a settlement with General Motors. 49 states settled with GM over allegations the automaker concealed safety issues connected to ignition switch related defects.
The World Series resumes tonight in Texas as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros face off in game three. The series is tied at one game apiece. The survivors and victims of Hurricane Harvey will be honored before tonight's game. Hear the game starting at 6 on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3
News for Thursday 102617
By Dave Graichen
Legendary New Orleans singer, songwriter, and pianist Fats Domino passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Domino was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was a great influence for many Louisiana performers. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis was a long-time friend of Domino and says the global star never forgot his roots, which was reflected in his music. Domino had 30 top 40 hits including 23 gold singles. There is no word on any pending funeral arrangements.
Grambling State University President Rick Gallot says they are beefing up security, after a gunman killed two 23-year-old men from Farmerville after an altercation in a dorm room. Gallot says he spoke with Governor John Bel Edwards, who offered Grambling additional resources for the upcoming homecoming weekend. Gallot says this was not a random shooting, as Earl Andrews and Monquiarious Caldwell were targeted. He says students should feel safe on campus.
Jason Alden will perform tonight at Champion’s Square in New Orleans at his first outside concert since the horrific Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead and 546 injured. General Manager of the Superdome and Champion’s Square Alan Freeman says they are looking at the tragedy as a onetime occurrence but safety is still their number one concern. Alden has told fans he will not let the incident in Vegas stop him from performing.
A lawsuit has been filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of William “Liam” Pierce claiming their client was offered a job by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office that was later rescinded when they learned Pierce had HIV. Attorney Scott Schoettes (shotis) says that suit is asking for Pierce to be employed as deputy. The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office says they don’t comment on current litigation.
As part of his campaign to educate the public on the Criminal Justice Reforms going into effect November 1st, Governor John Bel Edwards has released three videos featuring community leaders who were active in passing the legislation. Edwards says he wants to highlight the necessity of criminal justice reform in Louisiana, the reduced cost to taxpayers and the increased safety that will result from this reform for communities across the state.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva believes attendance at games in Tiger Stadium would be improved if they started selling beer. Speaking to the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club, Alleva said they have to do a better job of making the fan experience at LSU games more friendly; and he feels beer would be a good place to start. He says hes continuing to push the SEC to change its alcohol policy.
Tulane University has received a five-year 1.8-million-dollar grant to study a possible link between traumatic stress and alcohol abuse. Researcher Jeff Tasker says humans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to abuse alcohol than the general population and this project will hopefully provide insight into why.
News for Wednesday 102517
By Dave Graichen
A shooting at Grambling State University overnight has left two men dead. Lincoln Parish officials are saying the incident happened during an altercation in a courtyard, the shooter fleeing the scene. KNOE has reported the victims were two 23 year old students from Farmerville.
The Interior Department plans to put nearly 77-million acres in the Gulf of Mexico on sale for energy companies to perform oil and gas development. President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Don Briggs hopes energy companies will take advantage of the largest oil and gas lease sale in U-S history. A lease sale last August drew a lukewarm response from energy producers.
Country music superstar George Strait will headline a scaled down 2018 Bayou Country Superfest. The show will be May 27th inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, and Midland will also perform that Sunday.
The family of a 38-year-old mother of four was left heartbroken and confused Tuesday morning after authorities said she was killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide in a rural area in the southern part of Livingston Parish. The brother and parents of Sherry Toney said they are at a loss for what could have driven 34-year-old Patrick Toney to shoot his wife of seven years and then turn the gun on himself inside their home Monday night. Police and friends say there were no indications of any abuse in the household.
An 18-year-old and 26-year-old man have been arrested in a shooting that wounded two young girls in Natchitoches. Tyrease Evans and Demario Davis are facing charges of attempted first degree murder. Natchitoches Police spokesperson Kelly Parks says multiple subjects were shooting at each other in the area of Reba Street on Sunday afternoon. The two children are expected to fully recover.
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes says her treatment for breast cancer is going well as she goes through 5-months of chemotherapy treatment, which forced her to drop out of the race for State Treasurer. Stokes says she is now in her second round of treatment, which is more intense, but the results so far are positive. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Stokes says this is a great opportunity to share her story about the disease. One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer. Stokes says even if you think it’s nothing, get checked, because she’s fighting for her life right now.
Louisiana has earned an A-Plus in a National Small Business Survey. It’s an improvement from the C-plus grade the state got in 2016. The survey group Thumbtack awarded the grade based on the friendliness of businesses, the ease of hiring new employees and several other factors. Louisiana scored better than neighboring states Arkansas and Mississippi, scoring A and A-minus respectively.
The Union Parish Sheriff’s Office says a man was arrested for allegedly stealing a car with a baby inside. They say the suspect reported he did not know the child was in the vehicle at the time; but upon making the discovery he returned the car. The investigation is ongoing.
Forecasters are continuing to monitor a broad area of low pressure in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center says the disturbance has a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical system over the next five days.
Veterans in southwest Louisiana have a new facility for medical care. The Lake Charles VA Community Outpatient Clinic recently opened a 24-thousand-square-foot office. Director of the Alexandria VA System Pete Dancy says this will expand care for some seven-thousand in the Lake Charles area with 26-hundred vets actively using VA services. The closest outpatient facility prior to the opening was in Jennings.
First year head coach Will Wade is quickly making his mark on the LSU men’s basketball program. In just one season, he’s turned over the roster and is putting together one of the top recruiting classes in the nation for next year. LSU will tip-off its new season on November 10th at home against Alcorn State.
News for Tuesday 102417
By Dave Graichen
Authorities in Marksville report a standoff yesterday led to the suicide death of the suspect 27 year old Kaliven Lyons and the death of a man being held hostage. Marksville PD say the incident started shortly after 7:30 in the morning. Police were able to confirm Lyons, was holding two children and two adults hostage. Lyons left the house, with three of the hostages, walking into a wooded area, shortly after State Police were able to remove one of the children to safety. Police say while in the woods Lyons shot and killed one of the hostages 27 year old Ryan Mayes. Lyons then took the remaining two hostages to a house on Bordelon Street. It was then with state police at the door, Lyons shot and killed himself.
A woman accused of shooting a state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent in Morehouse Parish during a traffic stop in January pleaded guilty to all four counts against her. 31-year-old Amethyst Baird of Monroe pled guilty of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, obstructing justice, and illegal possession of a stolen vehicle and firearm. Baird remains in custody pending her sentencing January 26.
Two children in Natchitoches were injured Sunday after they were hit by bullets. Police say the three and five-year-olds were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The younger child was hit in the foot while the five-year-old sustained a shot in a calf. Several nearby apartments and vehicles were damaged. Suspects from the gunfight have been identified but no arrests have been made.
Louisiana ranks 4th in the nation for state’s with the highest divorce rate, according to a report done by 24/7 Wall Street who used data from the Census Bureau. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at LSU Heath New Orleans Michele Many says it’s not surprising since Louisiana has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. She says the median household income in Louisiana is a little over 45-thousand dollars a year, over 10-thousand dollars lower than the national average.
Gas prices have been on a slow decline over the last three weeks and the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.22. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says a year ago the statewide average was $2.09. He expects gas prices to decline towards that figure as the weeks go by. Nationally the average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 20 days.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the historic 1987 gubernatorial election where Democrat Buddy Roemer was elected governor when fellow Democrat Edwin Edwards conceded after finishing second in the primary. Roemer received 34-percent of the vote in the primary and Edwards garnered 28-percent. Other candidates in the 1987 race for Louisiana Governor were, U.S. Representatives Robert Livingston Jr. and Billy Tauzin along with Secretary of State Jim Brown.
Point Coupee Parish is drying out after recording a foot of rain Sunday. The heavy rainfall caused flooding due to already over saturated waterways and levees. Sheriff Bud Torres says one main bridge on Highway 413 has been shut down indefinitely.
Flood damage is also reported in East Feliciana Parish.
Singer and former child actor Corey Feldman was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license in Richland Parish. Mangham Police Chief Perry Fleming says cops pulled over Feldman on. Feldman was released after paying a fine.
Famed New Orleans Chef John Bash has stepped down from the restaurant company he founded amid a sexual harassment investigation. Besh suddenly became the focus of a scandal following a Times-Picayune report of harassment allegations throughout the Besh Restaurant Group. The group includes 12 acclaimed eateries in and around New Orleans, and Besh has appeared in shows such as Top Chef and Iron Chef.
Tulane University has received a grant to reduce auto emissions from the chemical science company, SACHEM(Say-chem). Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Daniel Shantz (Sean-tz) says this grant will allow researchers to make materials for a diesel truck’s emission system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. He says nitrogen oxide contributes to the production of acid rain.
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