News for Tuesday 021919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It’s one of those weeks you don’t want to be caught without your umbrella as the state is bracing for the impact of rain throughout the week. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the rain is the result of a front that is stalled along the coast. Keim says much of Louisiana could see three to five inches of rain over the next five of six days. Keim notes there is a slight to marginal risk for severe weather, especially tonight and into tomorrow morning that includes severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornados.
KALB TV reports; A motion date is set for March 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria for a federal lawsuit filed by a former football coaching prospect who claims he was denied a job at Louisiana College due to his "Jewish blood." Louisiana College and President Dr. Rick Brewer, who is also named in the lawsuit, have denied the claims made by Joshua Bonadona.
While the state hasn’t seen a case this year, the Louisiana Department of Health is urging doctors to be on the lookout for measles following an upswing of cases of the disease across the country. Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, says cases have been spotted in areas as close as Houston and Georgia. Kanter says measles is one of the more contagious diseases out there and it can be spread just by breathing in the same room as someone who is infected. The CDC says the main cause of the outbreak is parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated.
There’s less than 72 hours until a one million dollar lottery ticket bought at the Ideal Mart in New Orleans expires, becoming one of the highest jackpots to ever have not been claimed in Louisiana. Lotto spokesperson Dustin Annison says if you have the winning ticket from the August 25th drawing, high tail it to the capital city. Lotto players have a 180-day deadline to claim their prizes if they hold a winning ticket.
An aide to Congressman Clay Higgins has been charged with pandering. Lafayette Parish Sheriff deputies say 47-year-old Jerod Prunty was one of eight arrested as part of an investigation looking into human sex trafficking and prostitution at massage parlors.
The legislative session is now on the horizon, and every year there are calls for the Louisiana film tax credit to be revoked and the 180 million to be deposited back into the general fund. Louisiana Entertainment’s Chris Stelly hopes the legislature maintains the program, which he says supports thousands of jobs that pay 60-65 thousand on average…
The latest Governor’s race campaign finance numbers show Governor Edwards has eight-point-four million dollars in his bank account, while Eddie Rispone has five-point-five million and Ralph Abraham only has 350-thousand through the 2018 fundraising period. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says Edwards is in a good position heading into the October 12th election…
State GOP operative Scott Wilfong says he’s aware of efforts to find a more competitive candidate to take on the governor in the fall primary. Incumbent Governor and Democrat John Bel Edwards is currently lapping his two Republican opponents in fundraising and statewide name recognition, but that may not be the case for long.
Wilfong says while the GOP field may grow more crowded, he hopes low performing candidates will drop out by qualifying in August, leaving the state GOP with one standard bearer to back.
A 14-year-old has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his mother and a dog at a home in Vivian Sunday night. Caddo Sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says after the incident, the teenager stormed out of the house. Chadwick says the boy fled on a four-wheeler, but was captured a short time later.
A 75-year old Bossier woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her husband. Sunday morning Bossier police were called a residence where they found 71-year old, Robert Walker unresponsive with a puncture wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife Betty Walker was arrested and has been charged with second degree murder. Bond is set at $250-thousand.
Louisiana-based food delivery service Waiter announces its creating 200 new jobs in downtown Lafayette with new offices. Waiter CEO Chris Meaux says the company he founded in Lake Charles continues to grow as they’ve are now servicing 624 cities and 85-hundred restaurants, which resulted in gross food sales of 279-million dollars. Waiter is now a publicly traded company and will release a full earnings report next month.
A well-known New Orleans Radio show host is recovering after he was injured in a hit-and-run in downtown New Orleans last week. According to WWL and New Orleans police, "Scoot" was walking across Canal Street when he was struck and knocked unconscious by a speeding motorcycle. While the injuries were serious, Scoot is expected to make a full recovery.
LSU basketball moved up six spots today in the latest A-P Top 25 poll to number 13. No other team in the country made a larger leap. 2009 was the last time the Tigers were ranked in the Top 15. The Bayou Bengals have two home games this week, Wednesday against Florida and then Saturday they’ll host fifth ranked Tennessee. The Vols were previously ranked number one, but were knocked down from the top spot after losing to Kentucky on Saturday.
LSU football now has the nation's top-ranked recruiting class of 2020, according to 247Sports. A Monday evening defensive line commitment pushed the Tigers over the edge from No. 2. Four-star Alec Bryant, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound Texas native who is the nation's No. 9 weak-side defensive end according to 247Sports, announced his commitment to LSU on Twitter.
News for Monday 021819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says Louisiana flood control and prevention project funding will not be effected by the President’s declaration of a national emergency. The declaration allows funds to be redirected from military construction projects towards building up the southern border wall. Graves says they convinced the White House to take money from other projects. 3.6 billion of the reported eight billion dollars the President is seeking to pool for the wall will come from construction projects.
But, Graves says progress on projects like the Comite River Diversion and other vital flood protection efforts will proceed as usual despite the national emergency.
President Trump is taking up Senator Bill Cassidy’s plan to fund additional border wall construction using money seized from drug and cartel busts at the border. This comes as a national emergency has been declared to raise additional money for wall construction. Cassidy says his legislation is good public policy. The President is seeking to raise 8 billion dollars for the wall, and 600 million of that reportedly comes from the Treasury’s Forfeiture Fund, which is made up of seized funds from illicit activities. Cassidy says his solution to the ongoing border wall funding battle is a long term fix that is self-funding…
FBI and IRS investigators had enough information to convince a federal grand jury that a Baton Rouge accountant allegedly stole almost 2 million dollars from the New Orleans firefighters pension fund. The Advocate newspaper reports that Wayne Triche of American Pension Consultants, now faces a 38 count indictment. The federal grand jury indictment states that Triche used the money for gambling, credit card debts, various living expenses and home improvements. If convicted Triche could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' plan to boost teacher pay to the regional average is facing headwinds before the legislative debate even begins on April 8. Governors in at least eight other states that Louisiana is compared have proposed raising pay for their own teachers this year, that according to the Southern Regional Education Board, which sets the average. Those plans include raises of $3,000 in Georgia, $1,000 in Arkansas and $1,200 in Oklahoma. In addition, six rival states raised teacher pay last year while Louisiana remained bogged down in a budget crisis that sparked seven special sessions.
The Ethics Board has reversed a November decision to bar a Baton Rouge woman who was running for office from using campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses. There was a public outcry over the decision, due to the board previously allowing men to do it.
The recent high profile hazing case that that resulted in the arrest of 9 LSU students from incidents in the Fall of 2018 has many wondering what it will take to end the hazing culture on college campuses. Founder of HazingPrevention.org Tracy Maxwell says it is important to remember the elimination of hazing will take time. Maxwell says the swift action taken to address the situation is a step in the right direction.
Ouchita (WASH-IT-AW) Correction Center officials inspecting letters discovered synthetic marijuana had been sprayed on a page they think was intended to reach inmates. Among the seven people arrested was 25 year old Andriana Massey who faces charges of taking contraband to a penal institution and criminal conspiracy.
The Monroe News Star reports that correction officials reviewed a February 7th phone call conversation Massey had with 27 year old inmate Michael Warren. Another Ouchita Corrections inmate, Ashton Finely also called Massey to request a letter be sent to him.
After three and a half days in the courtroom, a jury has found a 19 year old man not guilty of murder in the stabbing death of a St. Amant High School Student. Jacob Westbrook was 16 at the time when he got into altercation that would leave 18-year old Todd TJ Toups Jr. dead. Westbook’s attorney says the jury agreed that Westbrook acted in self-defense.
Drivers in the Shreveport-Bossier City area can expect intermittent lane closures for both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Texas Street Bridge starting Wednesday. OTD spokesperson Erin Buchanan says the bridge which is part of US 80 was built in the 1930s and is in need of rehabilitation. Buchanan warns drivers to expect delays in their commute for at least the next year as the project continues.
There was a shooting death in New Orleans Saturday morning about 4:30 am beneath the Interstate 10 bridge near the Central Business District. The Advocate newspaper reported another man was killed by gunfire earlier in February at the same intersection. Also Two teen age boys were shot Friday night on the porch of home on Louisiana Avenue Parkway. Both injuries were non-life threatening.
An ATM technician was arrested by Louisiana State Police after allegedly stealing over $41,000 from ATMs across eight parishes. NOLA.com reports that 32 year old Christian Washington of Harvey, was placed under arrest and faces charges in parishes including Jefferson, Orleans, Washington, St. Tammany, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa and Lafourche parishes. Washington’s job was to service those ATMs.
Three people were shot at a rap party that was under law enforcement supervision early Saturday morning in Ascension Parish. About 250 people were at a dance studio in Donaldsonville for the party when a fight broke out about 1 a.m. Shortly after the fight started and deputies rushed in to break it up, multiple shots "coming from all directions" rang out and people began to flee the scene. The Sheriff’s office says no one received life threatening injuries.
The New Orleans Pelicans made a dramatic cut to their roster… the team’s General Manager Dell Demps. Bourbon Street Shots writer Jesse Brooks says Demps was on borrowed time after the Anthony Davis demanded to be traded off the team a few weeks ago. Owner Gayle Benson released a statement saying “I would like to assure our fans that I am prepared to provide any, and all, resources required to compete for championships.”
The LSU Tiger Baseball Team is off to a good start after finishing it’s opening weekend undefeated. Up next, Tuesday night the Tigers meet Southeastern LA 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The three main sports of LSU are seeing a really great year. Football finished last season ranked in the top ten and recently scored the 5th ranked recruiting class, while basketball is seeing a promising season and things are looking promising on the diamond, as baseball started their season with top ranking. Tiger Rag Associate Editor Tyler Nunez says it’s a rare occurrence for the planets to align for so much athletic success. Nunez says the credit for such success is definitely spread all throughout the athletic department.
News for Friday 021519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A 13 year old student at Grant Parish High has been arrested after making threats on social media. Grant Parish Superintendent Sheila Jackson said there was no immediate harm to anyone on campus. She said the administration did exactly what they were supposed to do, and the GPSO was contacted immediately.
It’s being done all across the country and now the Alexandria Police Department would also like to enlist the public’s help in solving and preventing crime. Police Chief Jared King says the APD wants to create a phone contact list of city residents who have home surveillance cameras on their property. King stresses they're not asking for access to their camera feed, or to come into your homes to look at your cameras. They want to have a list of phone numbers to call in case a crime happens in that person's neighborhood. Home security cameras have proven to be a useful tool it catching criminals.
LSU is confirming that nine members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity have been arrested on Hazing charges, and four of them are facing battery charges related to reports that pledges were doused in gas, urinated on, and beat. The activities are alleged to have taken place during the fall of 2018. The hazing charges are misdemeanors despite the passage of tougher anti-hazing laws last year.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell says President Trump will declare a State of Emergency to obtain the funds necessary to build his sought after addition to the southern border wall. Much of that money would reportedly come from Army Corps and/or FEMA disaster prevention and relief projects, a keen concern for hurricane prone Louisiana. Senator John Kennedy says he’s aware that’s a possibility, but he says he will not vote against it. Kennedy says he expects the battle to shift to the courts.
41 year old Shannon Martin of Pitkin was killed yesterday morning in a single vehicle crash, when according to State Police he lost control of his truck and crashed. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pointe Coupee authorities are trying to determine who shot into a home in the town of Glynn killing a young woman sleeping on the couch. Sheriff Bud Torres says says the only other person in the home was the victim’s boyfriend. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Aerial Edwards. Police are saying she was pregnant.
After a year-long investigation, State Police have arrested fifteen suspects in connection with a Mardi Gras 2018 incident known as a ride out where participants would stop up highways and ride recklessly. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says the investigation is very complex as many participants come from out of state. Matey says ride outs of this nature have taken place in other cities across the country, but is hopeful this investigation will keep another one from happening during this year’s Mardi Gras.
Yet another Acadiana school has been closed due to an infestation of bats that are making their yearly migration from Mexico to their more northern breeding grounds. Franklin Junior High in St. Mary Parish is closed until Monday classes after officials discovered bats hanging out in the halls and flying around in the gym. Experts have been called in for a non-lethal solution.
The Ethics Board will reconsider its decision to bar candidates from using campaign funds to pay for childcare today. The decision has received quite a bit of public flack, including from Governor Edwards. UL-Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards’ opposition will be hard for the board, seven of whom are appointed by the governor, to ignore. In November a female Baton Rouge candidate requested authorization, and was denied as the board overruled a 2000 decision that allowed a man to use campaign funds for childcare. Cross says the optics of the decision make it look like the board is trying to prevent moms from running for office.
A nine-year-old boy is dead and his 18-year-old cousin has been arrested in an incident that Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says was a negligent, but accidental discharge of a firearm. Kamone Thomas has been charged with Obstruction of Justice, and Possession of Marijuana, and Negligent Homicide. Lopinto says Thomas admitted guilt and said it was an accident that began with some horseplay.
After a 2 year stint in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Bayou Country Superfest returns to Tiger Stadium for its tenth anniversary over Memorial Day weekend. Festival Producer Quint Davis says this year’s lineup for the 2-day festival is the best yet, and is expected to draw fans from across North America. Tickets go on sale next Thursday.
LSU basketball remains in second place in the SEC after Tennessee stayed undefeated in league play with an 85-73 win over South Carolina Wednesday night. The 10-and-1 Tigers meet the 1-and-10 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, while Tennessee visits Kentucky. Airtime 4:30p on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri announced his starting pitchers for this weekend’s opening series. Zach Hess will start tonight against ULM, freshman Landon Marceaux will pitch on Saturday against Army and freshman Jaden Hill will start on Sunday against Air Force. You can hear both tonight’s and Sunday’s games on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
News for Thursday 021419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A horrific scene on Mac Arthur drive yesterday morning. The APD reports around 6:15 an unidentified woman was struck by a pickup truck and killed while trying to cross the roadway by the Jackson Street exit. The woman who appeared to be homeless was carrying a suitcase, the clothes inside were scattered along the highway. The investigation into the crash continues. No word yet as to whether or not charges will be filed against the driver of the truck.
A fatal accident at the Jena Choctaw Pines Casino Friday night claimed the life of 67 year old Barbra Ratcliff. The Grant Parish Sheriff’s office reports a vehicle driven by an 87 year old woman struck Ratcliff under the casino’s canopy. Ratcliff was transported to a local hospital when she later died. Sheriff Steve McCain called the incident a tragic accident, and at this time the Sheriff’s Office is not charging the driver.
The RPSO reports the arrest of a Pineville woman on a long list of drug related charges. 35 year old Shantae Armstead allegedly was hiding bags of drugs in several locations where parish work crews were scheduled to pick up trash. After surveillance and Armstead’s arrest, investigators received a warrant to search her home. There they found assorted drugs and paraphernalia.
Beginning this fall, Louisiana will become only the second state in the US with military veteran centers on every college campus. Chancellor of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Monty Sullivan says the resource centers are put in place to help vets in transitioning into the campus lifestyle. Sullivan says the number of veterans enrolled in colleges across the state has significantly increased in recent years. Sullivan says the centers will be staffed with someone dedicated to working with them. It also helps veterans interact with other veterans on campus.
A border wall deal has been reached in Congress that would provide 1.37 of the 5.7 billion dollars the President has demanded to construct additional physical barriers along the Mexican border. Senator John Kennedy says he hasn’t been shown the bill yet, but he’s been told by colleagues that when combined with other funds, the final tab is a bit higher. Kennedy says he’s not sure whether he will ultimately vote for the deal, but two billion dollars isn’t a bad start to southern border wall expansion efforts.
A shootout between a homeowner and an intruder in an Ascension Parish neighborhood left the intruder dead and the home owner injured early Wednesday morning. The homeowner killed the intruder but received a gunshot wound in the process. The homeowner, a 60 year old man, underwent surgery yesterday morning. Hospital officials say he is expected to survive.
It’s been nearly a year since legislation was passed that would allow riverboat casinos to expand on land within 1,200 feet of their river mooring, and so far no ground has been broken on those sought after expansions. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says that was to be expected, and it may be quite some time before any casinos climb up out of the water. The law also changed the restrictions on the total amount of gaming machines and gaming spaces riverboats are allowed to have. Jones says of the 15 river boat casinos in Louisiana, so far he knows of only two who are actively working out their expansion plans.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs are seeking a woman who left a newborn in a field just outside of the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Gauthier Campus building Tuesday night at 8pm. Sherriff Tony Mancuso stressed that any mother who has just had a child and is considering abandoning it can leave the new born at any local police station, fire department, or hospital, and will not be asked any questions, and will not face any charges.
The competition to secure a good spot for Mardi Gras parades can be intense, but one Facebook user says he’s willing to ease that burden… for a price. New Orleans resident Kenneth Sampey posted an offer to hold a 10×10 spot on St. Charles Avenue for Fat Tuesday. The fee for the service? Two grand. Sampey says he made the post out of jest, not expecting it to get the attention that it did.
In Baseball, The Phillies are reportedly close to signing former LSU ace pitcher Aaron Nola to a four-year, 45-million dollar contract extension. The 25-year-old Baton Rouge native went 17-and-6 last season with a 2.37 ERA and finished third in the National League in the Cy Young voting.
Thibodaux Police have arrested a man after a dating site meet up lead to an armed robbery. 25-year-old Kareem Acker of Gretna was apprehended after the victim contacted law enforcement from the meet up going south. Acker claims the victim gave him the money prior to a misunderstanding over the gender identity of the victim.
The Baton Rouge man dubbed as "The Hamburglar" who allegedly robbed three local restaurants since mid-January was arrested Monday. According to a East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Facebook Post, authorities arrested 34 year old Cornelius Kelly and booked him with three counts of simple criminal damage to property and three counts of simple burglary. Kelly gained entry into the establishments by shattering the drive-thru windows, according to the sheriff's office. Once inside, he stole money from registers and safes.
News for Wednesday 021319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton announces his sixth term as sheriff will be his last as he will not pursue re-election. Hilton was elected sheriff in 1992, serving four terms before retiring. Then he came back out of retirement for two more terms. Hilton says he intends to stay retired this time. William Earl says of all the accomplishments he’s achieved in law enforcement, he’d like for his dedication to school safety be the highlight of his legacy.
March food stamps are set to arrive early, and recipients should be checking their mailboxes for benefits on the first and second of the month, whereas SNAP traditionally arrives sometime between the first and 15th. Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says the early delivery is to make up for the significant gap recipients faced due to the last government shutdown.
The IRS is reporting that tax returns are eight percent lower than they were in 2018, and that on average those who do get a return are nabbing about 170 dollars less than last year, before the 1.5 trillion dollar GOP tax reform went into effect. Wegmann Dazet Tax Manager Frank Holzenthal says the numbers indicate on a whole, most folks received a slight tax cut. Several polls run in the first half of last year indicated that a slim majority of Americans did not notice larger paychecks as a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
The National Federation of Independent Business says their Small Businesses Optimism Index has slipped to its lowest levels since just before the 2016 presidential election. State Director Dawn Starns says the shutdown was the primary driver, but another issue tugging at optimism for small business owners was difficulty hiring qualified workers. Starns says 23 percent of members reported that as an issue.
15 percent of companies said taxes were their biggest concern.
River levels for the Mississippi are very high right now and they are forecast to continue to rise. President of the 5th Louisiana Levee District Reynold Minsky says if there is any overtopping of the levee system, it’d likely take place in Tensas Parish. A lot will depend on the weather upriver over the next few weeks.
LSU Ag Center Aquaculture Specialist Greg Lutz has some good news crawfish fanatics: this year’s crop is lookin pretty good. Despite some topsy-turvy weather lately, he says all the conditions are ripe for a solid, but not record setting year for size and supply.
LaFourche Parish deputies have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old, who was struck by a bullet that entered his mother’s home in Lockport on Sunday. Lt. Brennan Matherne says 17-year-old Jyairus Folse fired several shots into the home and one them struck Alton Adams of Bayou Blue in the back. Matherne says they still don’t exact reason why Folse shot at the home.
Allegiant Air will begin non-stop service between Shreveport and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in Florida on May 17th. Shreveport Regional Airport Authority spokesperson Mark Crawford says fares start at 49-dollars each way and flights will operate on Mondays and Fridays. The seasonal service is scheduled to run through Monday, September 2nd. Allegiant has flown out of the Shreveport Regional Airport for the last 13 years.
The LSU Tigers had a good night last night as they defeated the UK Wildcate 73 to 71. Up next, the Tigers travel to Georgia for a match up Saturday..
The Pelicans added another one to the loss column last night as the fell to the Orlando Magic. The final 88 to 118. The Pels meet the Thunder Thursday night..
News for Tuesday 021219
Compiles by Dave Graichen
A plea deal for a man, accused of vehicular homicide back in a 2016 for a crash that killed an 18-month-old boy, was rejected on Monday. Keaton Spurlin allegedly hit the rear of the van on Dec. 28, 2016, on Vandenberg Drive, near Bayou Rapides Road, as the family was returning home from church. Six members of the Dixon family were injured in the crash. An 18-month-old boy, who was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, died the following day. Ad hoc Judge Harry Randow explained to the parents the child that the plea deal was not acceptable. A pretrial conference was set for March 20, and a trial date for May 6.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire in Alexandria Early Sunday morning that claimed the life of man and injured 3 others. The Alexandria Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 2800 block of Culpepper Road around 2 in the morning Sunday. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the investigation continues.
A Monday morning fire caused extensive damage to a vacant house on the 1900 block of Levin Street. No one was reported inside the home. The house next door, which is occupied, suffered structural damage from the same fire. No one was inside at the time.
An investigation is under way in Red River Parish after two teenagers are believed to have killed themselves within days of each other. The Red River Parish Sheriff's Office said a 17-year-old died Thursday night, followed by a 13-year-old on Saturday night. They were both at the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta.
Divers with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a man in Catahoula Lake Sunday. 26 year old Ryan Reed of Lafayette had fallen from a boat into the lake. Divers discovered his body at approximately 9:30 in the morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the body was turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office.
Negotiators in Congress said they have reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another partial government shutdown. The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening. Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday.
Louisiana has ordered a wood pellet plant near Bastrop to install air pollution controls following a challenge by environmental groups. Environmental Integrity Project attorney Keri Powell says when the Drax Morehouse Biomass Plant opened in 2015, it drastically underestimated it’s pollution output and had been exceeding it’s allowed emissions by four times to 1000 tons annually. Powell says the toxins can cause a range of health issues.
Louisiana took home some gold at Sunday night’s Grammys as Lafayette native Lauren Daigle won for best contemporary Christian Music Performance for her song, “You Say” and also won best contemporary Christian music album, “Look Up Child.” New Orleans native PJ Morton tied with Leon Bridges for best traditional R-and-B performance for his song “How Deep is Your Love.” Buddy Guy won for best traditional blues album.
The race for the governor’s mansion is now just eight months away, with incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards currently set to face off in a jungle primary against Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Alto Congressman Ralph Abraham. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the race has been quiet so far, but is set to blast off soon. Candidates have already begun their social media campaigns, with all three candidates sporting an active Facebook campaign page and accompanying paid ads on the site.
Following the popularity of The Chute at Tiger Stadium, LSU baseball fans can now look forward to The Yard. The Yard is composed of two areas around Alex Box Stadium where fans can purchase and consume beer and wine during games so long as they are at least 21 and have purchased a wristband for the area. Putting the area outside of the stadium along with the restricted entry keeps the school in compliance with SEC regulations.
The Department of Environmental Quality has an online, interactive map on it’s website that lets anglers see the fish consumption and swimming advisories for rivers, lakes, and bayous in Louisiana. DEQ Scientist Al Hindrichs says it’s an intuitive tool, and gives a comprehensive look at the advisories for 58 bodies of water statewide. Two of the advisories warn against both swimming and fishing and two other warn only against swimming, but the majority are warnings about contaminants in the fish.
A 19-year-old south Louisiana man was fatally shot last night when a bullet entered his mother’s home in Lockport. LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s office spokesperson Brennan Matherne says six people were inside the trailer at the time of the shooting, but they are not sure who, if anyone, inside the home was the intended target.
Student Loan Hero ranks Baton Rouge and New Orleans in the top 10 for most likely cities for people to be more than 90 days late on student loan payments, as more than 20-percent of borrowers have been delinquent. According to the report, Louisiana students graduated with 27,210 dollars of student debt on average, a little less than the national average.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $20.7 billion for Valentine’s Day. Fewer Americans are spending money on Valentine’s Day compared to other years, but NRF spokesperson Katherine Cullen says those that are making purchases are spending enough money to make it a record-breaking year.
Cullen says people are budgeting to spend on average $162 this year, with men being the big spenders.
19th ranked LSU faces its biggest test of the season tonight when they face 5th ranked Kentucky in Lexington at 6 PM. Both teams are tied for second in the SEC with 9-and-1 conference records.
News for Friday 020819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria, the fourth Catholic diocese in Louisiana to release names of clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing minors was, according to many, the least open among them in disclosing the work histories of those clerics, but perhaps the most forthcoming about the abuse allegations themselves. The Diocese this week named 27 clergy members that it deemed credibly accused of sexual abuse, bringing the state's total count of clerics outed in such announcements to 135. Diocesan officials say their decision to exclude any information about the parishes where the former clerics served was meant to protect the flocks who worship in those parishes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped a law that threatened to shutter Louisiana abortion clinics from taking effect this week, but the fight over whether abortion providers should be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is likely far from over. In a brief late-night, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the admitting privileges law be put on hold pending a "timely filing" of a petition for the high court to act on the law itself. It would immediately expire if that doesn't happen. If a timely petition is filed, then the stay remains in effect until the high court rules on the law.
The Rapides Parish School Board has put on hold a decision on whether to hire an outside company to manage its social media. On the agenda at last Tuesday’s Board Meeting was an item that would have contracted with a private company to provide "social media management services" for about $1,700 per month. The board decided instead to pass a substitute motion to determine whether such services are even needed. If at a later time the board decides it is, they will look at a justifiable cost for the services and at that time request proposals from vendors.
Here’s a switch.. State Farm, Louisiana's largest auto insurer, will cut auto insurance rates starting in April by an average of 3.2 percent for its roughly 1 million Louisiana policyholders. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced the rate decrease Thursday. It represents the third rate decrease by State Farm in the past nine months, totaling a drop of 7.7 percent. The change, which will vary by policy, will go into effect April 1, and be applied to policies as they are renewed by customers.
The man accused of killing five people in suburban Baton Rouge last month was indicted on first-degree murder charges by a grand jury in Livingston Parish on Thursday. The three-count indictment was the first set of formal charges filed against 21-year-old Dakota Theriot. The first-degree murder charges open up the possibility that Theriot could face the death penalty, although prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek to execute him.
Congressman Garret Graves legislation that would revive the National Scenic Byways program flew through the House with little opposition, potentially reopening a program that would protect and promote two iconic wilderness trails in Louisiana. Graves says reopening the program will help drum up more interest in Louisiana for nature tourists.
Louisiana hosts two scenic byways, the Creole Nature Trail that winds through the wetlands of the southwest, and the Great River Road that accompanies the Mississippi River. Graves says by reopening the program, they’ll have the opportunity to hopefully get additional areas of the state designated and protected.
Senator John Kennedy says to avoid another government shutdown, he thinks President Trump will declare a national emergency if negotiations fail to provide adequate funding for additional physical wall at the southern border by the February 15th funding deadline. Presidential allies have stated declaring a national emergency would allow the president to use disaster relief and military construction funds to begin constructing a wall. However, it would most certainly end up in the courts.
While illuminated by a portrait of his smiling family, law enforcement officers remembered the late Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Shane Totty as a motor man, family man and man of honor, someone driven by compassion and a warrior’s spirit. The 31 year old police officer died last Friday when the police motorcycle he was riding during a funeral procession collided with a truck.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrest an Opelousas man for igniting a fire inside his family’s home. Investigators say 26 year old Amad Redding was the sole occupant of the home at the time of the blaze and was injured in the incident. Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says Redding had been making threats as recently as the week leading up to the fire of burning the home down. Rodrigues says not only was the family’s home damaged, but a business next to the home, resulting in multiple charges for Redding.
A rideshare driver for Lyft has been arrest and accused of kidnapping and raping an intoxicated passenger in Jefferson Parish. Authorities say 30 year old Yousef Hamed picked up the victim from a bar and instead of taking her to her home; he then took her to his home in Harvey and raped the woman.
A wanted criminal from Arkansas is now behind bars in Caddo Parish after allegedly threatening to beat a man with a bat, shooting a moving car, crashing into that car, and later leading a high speed chase after the law finally caught up to him. Sherriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says 33-year-old James Shultz day began by attacking his neighbor, and then leading police on a high-speed chase that involved wrecking not one, but two cars.
The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Pelicans have decided not to take the Los Angeles Lakers trade offer for forward Anthony Davis, who will remain on the team at least until the summer after requesting a trade last week. The Pels did ship off Nicola Mirotic to the Bucks for Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson. New Orleans is now faced with the question of what to do with their star big man, start him, or sit him for the rest of the year to insure he is not injured.
News for Thursday 020719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Last month, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge released a long list of Priests who were found to have credible accusations of sexual abuse against minors. Yesterday, the Alexandria Diocese made good on it’s promise, after a lengthy investigation, to release it’s list of offending clergy. The list consisted of 27 local priests, some living, some not. In the letter, Bishop David Talley calls the accusations an "evil chapter in the life of our diocese”. The Diocesan Permanent Review Board reviewed 535 files of clergy who have served in the diocese since its establishment in 1853. Both clergy and lay people were part of the investigative team.
The APD reports a shooting in the city Tuesday night. Investigators say a man was riding in a car near intersection of 6th and John Thomas Streets and was shot by an unknown gunman who fired multiple rounds into the vehicle. The man, who was shot in the head, was sent to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. His condition is unknown at this time.
The attorney for Kayla Giles, the woman accused of shooting and killing her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in September in the parking lot of Walmart on Coliseum Boulevard, is asking a newly assigned judge to reconsider motions previously ruled on by Judge Mary Doggett. Judge Doggett recused herself from the case last month due to the fact that her nephew by marriage represented Coutee, Jr. in his divorce proceedings. Attorney Paul Carmouche wants Judge Greg Beard, who is now assigned to the case, to reset motions for a bill of particulars, preliminary examination, bond reduction, and to quash the indictment. Judge Doggett had previously ruled on those motions, and effectively denied them.
After an investigation that started back in Mid-January, the RPSO has arrested and booked 18 year old Chandler Johnson of Pineville. Johnson has been charged with1st degree rape. After booking, he was released on $250,000 bond.
State Police reported yesterday that there have been over 600 wrecks in construction zones on I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge since the beginning of construction in May of 2017. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet says a large share of the responsibility for the high number of accidents falls onto drivers who are speeding and/or driving distracted. Mallet says in a little more than a year’s time, in the stretch of I-10 between I-49 and Breaux Bridge saw about 470 crashes.
President Donald Trump delivered his State of the union address Tuesday Night, touching on a series of issues including the border wall debate, the economy, healthcare, and foreign policy issues like his late February meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Senator Bill Cassidy, who applauded the speech, says the President is willing to work with the Democratic opposition in the House to find a border security compromise, but it must include funding for an additional physical wall.
Mardi Gras Beads, nightmare for New Orleans and other cities due to the fact that many end up in the sewer system. Science has found a solution.. Biodegradable Mardi Gras beads are under development following a grant received from the LSU board of supervisors last summer. The beads are going to be produced using oils from algae, but they won’t be ready for his carnival season. A major issue now is the cost. Currently they cost about $13 a strand to make.. That price is expected to come down.
A now former Vermilion Parish deputy is out of a job and behind bars after an investigation by the special victims unit of state police. State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says the investigation of 42-year-old Bryan Kibodeaux of Abbeville began in late January from a tip given to law enforcement. Sandifer says Kibodeaux was arrested following the execution of a search warrant of his home and is now facing multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of a child.
Entergy is bringing advanced meters to the company’s customers. The roll out for homes and businesses starts this month in New Orleans. Entergy VP of grid modernization Lauren Kenney says among the biggest benefits for customers is to be able to track energy usage via online tools, as opposed to waiting for the bill to come in at the end of the month.
LSU ends the recruiting season with the fifth ranked class in the nation according to 24/7Sports. It’s a group headlined by arguably the best player in the nation, five star Baton Rouge cornerback Derek Stingley. Also picked up, five star Destrehan running back John Emery, and five star Texas linebacker Marcel Brooks. Head coach Ed Orgeron says it’s the kind of class LSU fans demand. Alabama nabbed the other 2 top ten players in the Bayou State.
It’s NBA trade deadline day and the clock is ticking down on any potential mega deal for superstar Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, who submitted a trade request last week and said he would not resign with New Orleans after his contract expires in 2020. Locked on Pelicans host Jake Madison says the Lakers are still the primary threat to pluck The Brow by the deadline. If Davis is not traded by the 2pm deadline today, then the team will be forced to decide whether to play him the rest of the year, or shut him down until the season ends.
News for Wednesday 020619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It started as a robbery in Natchitoches. That led to a car chase and gunfire that ended in Alexandria early Tuesday morning. 53 year old Carmello Casciari of Lena told police he was robbed at an unknown location in Natchitoches Parish, he then got into his truck and pursued a jeep filled with people who he said robbed him. He and his wife then followed the jeep to Alexandria, where gunfire was exchanged between the two vehicles near Airbase Rd. Casciari's truck went off-road on Highway 1 and into a ditch. RPSO officers perused the jeep, which was reported stolen. After the driver refused to stop, four males and one female got out of the jeep and ran away. Detectives are still investigating the incident.
If you haven’t gotten it yet, the Department of Health says it’s time to go get your flu shot as 6 percent of recent hospital visits were reportedly for flu like symptoms. LDH flu bug expert Dr. Frank Welch says the main strain going around is a very serious strain known as H1N1. Welch adds while there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of catching the flu, the best protection is to get the flu shot.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning residents in south Louisiana about canine distemper, which is a rabies-like disease that veterinarians are seeing in raccoons and other animals. Complaints have been reported from Lafayette to the Florida parishes. L-D-W-F says the disease is spread among susceptible animals through contact with body fluids or droppings from an infected animal.
Filing your taxes will be a bit different from recent years with 2018 being the first year of the Trump administration’s implementation of a new tax plan. CPA Carrie Grinnell says the taxpayers will notice the standard deduction is higher, but the forecast is that a majority of taxpayers may see that offset by the lack of itemized deductions. Grinnell says she’s heard from the IRS that tax refunds should be processed and distributed just as timely as it was in past years despite the recent government shutdown, but, another shutdown looming.
There’s been a rash of measles outbreaks across the country, and Louisiana Department of Health Immunization Director Frank Welch says it’s a great reminder to make sure you and your children are vaccinated against the virus. Welch says before mass vaccinations, measles was a serious threat to young children, and could leave them permanently disabled or worse. Welch says the vaccination is highly effective, and recommends children get two, the first when they turn one, and the second when they turn four.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards has announced the establishment of Operation Angel, a program where individuals suffering from addictions can turn to local law enforcement for help in getting to rehab. For those that might be paranoid that it could be a trap, Edwards says part of the program is working with the permission of the DA’s office, and those in need of help need not fear legal ramifications. Other parishes are looking at starting similar programs.
The jaguar that escaped his cage at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and killed nine other animals last summer is back on display after a half-year hiatus. Vice president of the Zoo Joel Hamilton says after the tragic breakout, they redesigned the exhibit to make it safer, and more appealing, and that Valerio is an important part of the zoos mission to educate the public about the rapidly disappearing population of wild jaguars and other large felines. Valerio was born in San Diego in 2015, and moved to New Orleans in 2017.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine gets 11 and a half million dollars in funding to launch the Center for Lung Biology and Disease. LSU Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Gus Kousoulas says the state is swamped with lung disease issues, and further research into the biology of how the body reacts to initial infections and fights them off will be crucial to addressing those problems.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, and since it appears the Pelicans are not interested in moving forward with any of the Lakers trade proposals for Anthony Davis, Los Angeles has reportedly put on hold its efforts to acquire A-D. There have been reports the Pelicans are seeking six to eight picks, contract relief, and young talent for their All-Star big man and may prefer to wait until the summer to see what other deals are out there. Boston, who has a treasure chest of attractive assets, is reportedly set to make an offer after the season.
LSU has the 6th ranked recruiting class according to 247Sports heading into National Signing Day today. 247Sports analyst Billy Embody says at the top of the list is the battle for one of the best defensive tackles in the nation, Ishmael Sopsher from Amite in the perpetual recruiting battleground of Tangipahoa Parish. Sopsher isn’t the only Amite star the Purple and Gold are racing to lock up. Four star prospect, cornerback/wide receiver Devonta Lee is also reportedly leaning towards Baton Rouge.
News for Tuesday 020519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The US Supreme Court will take up a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says a ruling in favor of the law could signal a major shift in the court’s treatment of abortion related issues. Supporters of the law say it’s a necessary requirement for a healthcare facility, and opponents argue it’s an onerous burden that will shut down clinics. The law has been put on hold until at least Thursday while the court considers an appeal from Louisiana abortion providers.
The President will speak to the country tonight for his annual State of the Union address. It comes just after a contentious government shutdown centered on his demands for funding for additional physical border wall, a demand that ultimately was not met. The speech will be made in the House of Representatives, a chamber that flipped to the Democrats in the midterm elections. You can hear the president’s address this evening starting at 8 on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM.
Who Dats turned off the Super Bowl in record numbers as boycott parties raged across New Orleans. The Nielsen rating for the New Orleans market was a 26.1. National ratings cratered during this year’s 13-3 snoozer that featured a widely panned half time performance and only six points through three quarters. The 44.9 national rating was the lowest in a decade. Nielsen estimates about 165,000 households had the game on last night in the New Orleans market.
Another government shutdown is looming in a couple of weeks, if funding is not secured for a Southern border wall. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy filed legislation that would take money seized from drug cartels and us it to pay for a southern border wall. Cassidy says the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund averages 842-million dollars annually and his proposal is to issue bonds in order to make billions of dollars for immediate improvements to border security…Cassidy thinks his idea could find bipartisan support.
For the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, the Louisiana Lottery has seen an uptick in contributions to the state treasury, transferring over $53.9 million towards K-12 public education in the state. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says that’s nearly a $10 million increase from this time last year. Annison says the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot from autumn had a big impact on the numbers.
Governor John Bel Edwards has released a couple of new digitals ads with the message being the state is better off now compared to how it was when he took office. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it’s an absolute must for Edwards to start campaigning now, before opposing campaigns begin to target him. Pinsonat says the digital ads are just the tip of the iceberg in advertising for the November governor’s race.
The Baton Rouge area saw motorcycle wrecks leave three dead in a span of less than 24 hours, including one on-duty police officer. With those deaths comes an increased focus on motorcycle safety. Motorcycle Awareness Campaign spokesperson Scotty Drake says motorcyclists need motorist to be actively aware and watching for those on two wheels. A separate motorcycle crash claimed the life a Woodworth man over the weekend.
St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies have made the arrest of an Arnaudville woman accused of the theft of flowers and other items from a Cecilia cemetary. Following a complaint, deputies were able to identify and locate 42-year-old Rhonda Lagrange. A search of her home produced silk flowers, floral arrangements, religious statues, vases, and other religious memorabilia.
News for Monday 020419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
An early Sunday motorcycle crash claimed the life of a Woodworth man. State police say 28 year old Aaron Arthur was killed when the motorcycle he was driving left the Highway 3054 and struck some debris. As a result of the collision, Arthur was ejected from the motorcycle and pronounced dead. He was wearing a helmet.
Saturday thousands marched from Pineville to Alexandria while proudly holding signs and wearing shirts in support of life. Pollock Baptist Church Pastor Brian Gunter says he was stunned at the turnout of about around 7,000 participants. Two hundred Central Louisiana church groups were a part of the crowd.
The Catholic Diocese announced late last week that it will soon be releasing the names of priests who were accused of sexual misconduct. The Diocese of Baton Rouge released its list on Thursday of last week. Bishop Talley has established a committee to review all personnel files that date back to its establishment in 1853. Over the past three months, this group has been examining records and looking for any allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor. The Diocese of Alexandria expects to release its list of clergy later this month.
It’s been a long road for medical marijuana in Louisiana, but LSU AgCenter Dean of Agriculture Dr. Bill Richardson says the first batch of medical marijuana grown by GB Sciences and the AgCenter has passed testing. Last week ,reports mentioned the product would be ready available for those with a prescription by summer, but Richardson says he can’t commit to that date just yet. Despite passing, GB Sciences says they are waiting until they have a steady stream of product before they release it to the 10 pharmacies that have been licensed for sale.
Accused murderer Dakota Theriot is back in Louisiana after declining to fight his extradition at a court hearing in Virginia. Theriot is accused of murdering a family he lived within the Walker area, before heading to Gonzales to execute his parents. An Advocate report last week mentioned Theriot had previous mental instability and suffered from hallucinations. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says if that’s true, it could make it less likely that the 21-year-old would be sentenced to death. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Gary Champagne told reporters over the weekend, this case is an extremely horrific example of what we all have known are the shortcomings of our national system of mental healthcare.
A State Police trooper was injured Sunday Morning when A driver speeding at 115 mph on the Bonnet Carre Spillway hit a police vehicle on the side of the road. While conducting traffic enforcement, the trooper clocked a driver traveling 115 mph in a 60-mph zone. Then the trooper saw the vehicle hit the right guardrail and then the left back quarter panel and tire well of the trooper's vehicle. The trooper was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the speeding vehicle, a 23-year-old New Orleans Man, was not injured.
Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent Scott Smith is the target of a federal investigation that he illegally received controlled dangerous substances in a shipment from overseas. While it’s still under investigations, reports say anti-anxiety drugs that had been ordered over the internet were intercepted in the mail. A delivery was arranged by postal inspectors and investigators from homeland security, which led to Smith. Smith, who was hospitalized Thursday after he became extremely upset when federal agents approached him as part of their investigation, is expected to resign as superintendent.
A Shreveport woman who is accused of failing to send her two children to school for almost two years has plead guilty to improper supervision. The 35 year old woman admitted she failed to send her children, ages 13 & 14, to school for the entire 2017-18 school year as well as the current school year until November. She’s been sentenced to 30 days behind bars, but receives credit for time served.
Pelican’s All-Star Forward Anthony Davis says he’s given the New Orleans franchise all that he can and it’s time to move on. Davis did not give a timetable on when he would like to be traded and didn’t provide any preferred destinations. He says if not traded this year, he’ll suit up for the Pels when his injured finger heals. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.
The Atlanta Super Bowl is in the books, and it’s only five years until the big game makes it’s return visit to the big easy. New Orleans has hosted 10 so far, tied with Miami for the most. Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation CEO Jay Cicero says it’s a half decade away but they’re already preparing.
News for Friday 020119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Diocese of Baton Rouge released the names today of 37 clergy members who have been credibly accused of abuse involving children. Bishop Michael Duca says he’s heard some victims share their stories and there are no words to express the depth of their sadness and shame. He imagines today could be a difficult day for victims who never came forward.
State police report a two vehicle crash Wednesday evening claimed the lives of a woman from Robeline and a man from Many. Troopers say a vehicle being driven by 67 year old Joy Rains crossed the center line of Highway 1217 and struck head on a vehicle driven by 48 year old Jackie Hardy. Both drivers, who were not wearing seatbelts, were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in Hardy’s vehicle received serious injuries and was transported to Shreveport.
A new WW2 exhibit is opening in Natchitoches today that highlights the struggles and triumphs of 280,000 Louisiana citizens who contributed to the victory over the Axis Powers through military service nearly eight decades ago. The display, housed in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, is produced by the WW2 Museum in New Orleans. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says it’s a treasure that showcases the lives of Bayou State soldiers, and those on the Homefront who built the engines of war that toppled the Nazis and Japanese.
Louisiana movers and shakers are temporarily migrating north for the winter for this year’s Washington Mardi Gras. The celebration started Thursday and ends Sunday, and features the governor, congressmen, and a host of lobbyists and industry leaders.
The event is hosted by the Louisiana Congressional Delegation.
A major ecological disaster could occur anytime in St. James Parish. State officials say a section of gypsum containment wall, holding back 720 million gallons of acidic and lightly radioactive wastewater, is in danger of failing. The failure would result in releasing the extremely contaminated water into the nearby Blind River, which feeds Lake Maurepas. The 139 acre, 30-40 foot deep lake of waste is the by-product of a Mosaic fertilizer plant. Efforts have been ongoing since the weekend in an effort to sure up the failing wall.
A federal judge has denied a request to have the NFC Championship game replayed, a request stemming from a lawsuit filed by a group of New Orleans Saints fans who sued the NFL after the no-call that sent the Rams to the Super Bowl. The suit stemmed from thoughts that an obscure NFL rule could be invoked to replay the game if the contest had been deemed “unfair”
The loss of excitement in Sunday’s Super Bowl is not just contained to Louisiana. A national poll shows compared to last year, the number of people intrigued with the big game is down quite significantly. Pollster Ron Faucheux says the decline in the interest in the NFL has been going on for quite some time on a number of different measurements and says he believes this year’s drop is tied to the NFC Championship mishap. Half of those polled have zero interest in the game, which is up from 45% last year. In case you are interested in listening. The entire Super Bowl Sunday will be broadcast on 94.7 ESPN beginning at 1pm.
A police chase involving a stolen vehicle that started near Tullos came to a conclusion Wednesday morning in Tioga, according to the LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Office. According to the public information officer with LaSalle Parish, 33 year old John Cameron of Kelly, was traveling upwards of 100 miles per hour from LaSalle Parish, through Grant Parish and eventually Rapides Parish before he was captured in a foot chase. Cameron faces a long list of charges.
The 19th ranked LSU Basketball team just completed its first undefeated January in nearly 40 years and now they’ll look to start February off on the right note when they host Arkansas on Saturday. Airtime 4:30 on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
News for Thursday 013119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since one of the darkest days in the history of Louisiana sports, the NFC Championship loss against the LA Rams now known as the Bayou Burglary. Payton says teams encounter disappoints throughout the season, but as tough as this one is, they’ll get past it.
NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell addressed the controversial NFC Championship no-call yesterday at a press conference, saying he understands the fans’ frustrations, and that it was a “play we want to have called”. But, admitting it was a missed call, Goodell says he’s confident officiating in the NFL is better now than it has ever been.
A Pineville woman accused of voter intimidation of a U.S. Marshal has been found "not guilty" by a Rapides Parish jury. Linda Paul was indicted back in November of 2017 for allegedly intimidating U.S. Marshal Glenn Belgard as he was preparing to vote. However, Paul told the jury she had approached Belgard to discuss her son. Wednesday afternoon the jury agreed with Paul and found her not guilty.
The Pineville Police Department has arrested a Pineville man after a late night domestic violence incident that turned into a standoff between the suspect and police Tuesday night. Dennis is charged with aggravated domestic abuse battery, aggravated assault domestic abuse, aggravated assault with a firearm, 2nd degree kidnapping, domestic abuse strangulation, and resisting an officer.
According to the American Gaming Association, 1-in-6 viewers of the Super Bowl will have money on the game, with 52 percent betting on the Rams, and 48 percent betting on the Patriots. AGA spokesperson Sara Slane says that means there’s plenty of money up for grabs this Sunday. Legislation is likely to be introduced this year to have sports betting legalized in Louisiana. Slane says across the nation, eight out of ten people support the legalization of sports betting in their state.
Louisiana receives a failing grade on the American Lung Association’s Tobacco Control Report Card. One of the biggest reasons, Louisiana’s below average cigarette tax that sits at 1.08 cents a pack. Director of Advocacy Ashley Lyerly says if Louisiana were to double that per pack tax, the state would see a notable drop in the number of smokers.
The average national cigarette tax is 1.79 per pack of 20. The report notes 23 percent of Louisianans smoke, a habit that comes with a 1.89 billion dollar price tag, and over seven thousand deaths a year for the state.
Tulane researchers say current models estimating the level of sea level rise in low lying coastal areas are underestimating how quickly we’re sliding into the sea. Wetland scientist and grad student Molly Keogh says at the moment they believe we’re losing about a half inch of relative sea level every year, but it may be more than that, a problem that could have profound implications. Keogh says the general sea level is on the rise due to the usual suspects related to climate change, but Louisiana and other marshlands are particularly susceptible.
Gueydan High School in Vermilion Parish reopened today following a two-day closure for a bat infestation. The initial bat sightings lead school leaders to believe it was a small problem, but Vermilion Schools Superintendent Jerome Puyau says they learned there were about 600 bats inhabiting the school. Puyau says an expert had to be brought in to identify how the bats got into the area, as well as to execute a protocol for getting the bats out, as these types of bats are endangered.
28-year-old former Rayne High School coach Caitlyn Miceli has been cited for having sex with three of her students. But, because the students were all over the age of 18, the citation is a misdemeanor, Prohibited Sexual Conduct between an educator and student. The law is one that comes into effect when teachers sleep with a student who is of the legal age of consent.
There are reports LSU and head football coach Ed Orgeron are working on a contract extension. Sources say the precise details are still being finalized. Orgeron’s current deal runs through the 2021 season, guaranteeing Coach O $3.5 million yearly. Orgeron’s current base pay makes him the 36th highest paid head coach in college football, putting him in the bottom half of the SEC head coaches.
News for Wednesday 013019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities say they have obtained a confession from 21-year-old Dakota Theriot, the south Louisiana man accused of killing his parents in Ascension Parish and then three others in Livingston Parish during Saturday shooting spree. Theriot was arrested Sunday morning in Virginia in the driveway of his grandmother’s home. He’s currently in the Richmond County, Virginia jail facing an extradition hearing Friday morning. Theriot faces five counts of first-degree murder when he returns to Louisiana.
The Alexandria Police reports an Alexandria man has been charged in the Monday afternoon shooting of a 5-year-old girl. The APD responded to a home in the 2100 block of Alma Street around 4:15 p.m., finding the girl "conscious and alert,". She had been shot in the side. The girl was taken to a local hospital. She remains listed in stable condition. Police say 19-year-old Joshua Vercher was playing with a gun when it accidently went off.
A new poll shows Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards with a significant lead over GOP opponents U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, though few of those surveyed are yet familiar with the governor's challengers. The poll, conducted by LJR Custom Strategies, shows Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Edwards if the election were held today, followed by 17 percent who would vote for Abraham and 4 percent for Rispone.
It’s been four years since the legislature approved legislation to allow Louisiana patients who suffer from certain diseases have access to medical marijuana, but you still can’t get it. Some families are frustrated that the process has been delayed once again, this time with a treatment availability estimated at early summer. Katie Corkern is a mother of a child who suffers from epilepsy and believes medical marijuana could be used to replace some of her child’s current medications, medications that have severe side effects. Last year the Department of Agriculture laid out an extensive process that would need to be followed in order for the plant to be approved. Corkern says the bureaucratic delays are suspicious.
Congressman Clay Higgins has been named the top Republican of the Subcommittee of Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, which is responsible for all aspects of security ops along land, air, and maritime borders. Higgins says although he expects the subcommittee to be one of the more contentious in the 116th Congress, he expects his role to be one to unify both sides of the border security debate.
The Louisiana Department of Education is hosting the 2019 Behavioral Intervention Summit today at the River Center in Baton Rouge. Chief of Staff at the Office of Student Opportunities Lisa French says about 1400 educators and national experts will convene for a full day that will focus on equipping educators with the tools and resources needed to work with the behavior issues of students.
A state commission is advancing a legislative plan to dramatically increase the amount of support for early childhood education. The preliminary funding plan, called LA B to 3, aims to clear the 22,000 children on the wait list for early childhood education financial support, and provide support to 114,000 children three and under. The commission was created during the last legislative session.
A report shows Louisianans are leaving 8.9 million vacation days a year on the table, 27th highest in the nation. Of the 17 days a year Louisianans do take, only eight of them were for travel, so Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says now’s a great time to start planning your “Staycations” for the year.
A judge has denied bail for LSU receiver Drake Davis after his most recent arrest for violating a protective order. Authorities claim Davis contacted his ex-girlfriend, whose ribs he is accused of breaking after an assault that led to his August arrest. After those charges he was placed on under house arrest, and ordered to not make contact with the victim.
New research shows people who sleep less than six hours a night might be at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The study indicates there’s an association between the lack of quality sleep and more plaque buildup in the arteries throughout the body. Chief of Cardiology at LSU Health New Orleans, Doctor Frank Smart, says getting enough sleep, as well as quality sleep, are important factors. He adds that it’s import to exercise and not be inactive while awake.
The LSU basketball team is in College Station. Tonight the Tigers, who have won nine in a row, will face the Aggies, who are coming off a win over Kansas State. Tip off is at 8 PM you can hear the game on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The NBA has slapped a $50,000 fine on Pelican’s forward Anthony Davis following his agent’s public disclosure of his trade request. The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits such disclosures, citing the comments made by agent Rich Paul to ESPN as “an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”
News for Tuesday 012919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just to play it safe, most schools across Central Louisiana are closed today due to the threat of some nasty weather overnight. Public and Catholic schools are closed today in Rapides, Avoyelles & Natchitoches parishes.. Add to the list Public Schools in Grant, Catahoula and Evangeline Parishes. CLTCC Campuses in Alexandria, Ferriday, Huey P. Long, Natchitoches, Rod Brady and Ward H Nash in Avoyelles will be closed.. Louisiana College & LSUA Closed.. Alpine Christian, Grace Christian, Hope Baptist, St. James Episcopal, St. Joe’s in Plaucheville, Trinity High School & University Academy are closed.
Most area daycares are also closed..
Senior meal sites are closed and there will be no senior home-delivered meal deliveries in Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, and Winn Parishes.
Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall said that they "are preparing not to have services for public transportation, the bus system, as well as garbage pickup tomorrow until situations deem that it's clear enough to travel.”
It is absolutely frigid out there right now, and according to the forecast it could stay this way for potentially the next two days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says some parts of the state could be in for below freezing temperatures today, and the rest of the state won’t be too much warmer than that. And you might want to keep that jacket handy for tomorrow’s commute, because while it’s in the low thirties today, it’ll be even worse tomorrow.
The APD reports a 5 year old child was accidently shot inside a home in the 2100 block of Alma Street yesterday afternoon. Initial reports indicated that the shot had been fired outside the home. However, the evidence at the scene has indicated that the gunshot was accidental and that it occurred inside the home. The identity of the child or the child’s condition have not been released..
Five former Washington Parish deputies and 16 inmates were indicted by a grand jury Monday in connection with a rape and beating in the parish jail last year. The former deputies were charged with malfeasance in office. The inmates who were indicted were charged with simple battery for the incident that occurred between Sept. 4 and Sept. 5.
A stage judge orders one of the former LSU students who allegedly played a role in the suspected hazing death of Max Gruver in 2017 to hand over his cellphone’s passcode. Because requiring cell phone passwords is not settled law, Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says convicting Matthew Naquin on the back of evidence obtained from his device is likely to lead to a lengthy series of legal challenges that may not favor the prosecution.
The LSU Board of Supervisors approves a new pricing structure for football and baseball, the first price change since 2014 and 2015 respectively. The new pricing structure is designed to better reflect demand and market value. LSU ticket manager Brian Broussard says in Tiger Stadium, they’ve identified the areas that consumers are willing to take on the bigger price tag. Tradition fund and season ticket holders will be notified of details regarding their individual seat tickets in mid-February. Baseball season tickets will be adjusted beginning in 2020 with only grandstand tickets being increased.
Alzheimer sufferers potentially have some great news out of LSU Health New Orleans: A patient who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy showed a big improvement in their mental and physical faculties. Director of Hyperbaric Medicine Dr. Paul Harch says the patient reported increased quality of life, and a brain scan showed a 38 percent increase in brain metabolism after undergoing the restorative therapy. On the downside,
The report indicated the patient saw a reoccurrence of symptoms two months after the treatment.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has posted an emotional message on Instagram to Who Dat Nation saying he will not let the heart breaking loss in the NFC Championship game create any negativity or resentment. Brees is asking fans to keep their chin up and puff on their chest, because the Who Dat Nation always perseveres.
Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis has reportedly submitted a trade request and informed the team he will not re-sign when his contract expires in the summer of 2020. Davis would pass up a potential 230 million dollar contract. Earlier this year Davis was spotted with Lebron James at a restaurant, where James reportedly pitched Davis on playing in the City of Angels. Pelican Management released a statement saying they will do the trade on their terms and on their time, and that they have asked the league to strictly enforce tampering rules associated with this transaction.
Now that private schools can hold state championship games at sites separate from public schools, it’s up to LHSAA leadership to make it work. The significant change goes into effect for the 2019-20 athletic season. LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine says the details have to be worked out. LHSAA principals voted to give select schools the authority to choose where championship games will be held in the sports of football, basketball, baseball and softball.
News for Monday 012819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
There is the chance for winter weather in Louisiana this week. The National Weather Service says rain on tonight could change to a brief rain and sleet mix before transitioning over to light snow over north and central Louisiana. Right now the prediction is for light snowfall accumulations early Tuesday morning.
Charges of Second degree murder are expected to be filed today against 60 year old Bruce Lachney after he was apparently involved in a brawl Sunday afternoon that claimed the life of an Avoyelles parish man. APSO said the cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma, but an autopsy is pending. The victim's identity is not being released at this time.
Apparently the legal battle over who is Mayor of the town of Ball is not over.. An appellate court last week blocked Roy Hebron, a convicted felon from taking office, due to an amendment that passed on that same November 2018 ballot that barred felons from running for, or holding office for at least five years after their sentence. Hebron’s attorney, Charles Elliot, says they are disappointed in the ruling and he says they plan on further appealing the decision, because the amendment did not take effect until after Hebron won his election with 56 percent of the vote, so he should be allowed to serve his term.
Authorities are working to bring back a south Louisiana man suspected of killing his parents and his girlfriend, plus her father and brother. 21-year-old Dakota Theriot was arrested Sunday at his grandmother’s home in Virginia. Theriot’s killing spree started Saturday at a home just outside of Walker and then he went to his parents’ home in Gonzales. Ascension Sheriff Bobby Webre says some sort of domestic dispute sparked the slayings.
In Oakdale, about 150 federal workers are celebrating the news that the federal government shutdown is ending. Oakdale is home to a federal prison and immigration detention facility. Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul says several families in his town have been struggling. Paul says the town of Oakdale has help in any way they can, including giving federal workers an extension on their utility bill.
Hours before a vote to end the government shutdown, Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy took to the Senate floor demanding answers from the NFL regarding last Sunday’s missed pass interference call. Cassidy wants to know how the league graded the refs that played a role in the worst blown call in the history of sports. Commissioner Roger Goodell will have to address the issue this week when he holds his annual Super Bowl week press conference.
The NFL says it would be too costly to delay the Super Bowl so that the NFC Championship game could be replayed. That’s according to a court filing made by the league in response to a lawsuit that seeks to at least replay a portion of the NFC title game, because of a controversial no-call on a pass interference penalty in the final two minutes of regulation.
The Office of Alcohol and Tobacco has certified the LA Wallet app, a digital version of your driver’s license, for booze and Tobacco purchases. ATC Commissioner Juana Marine Lombard says it’s up to restaurants whether or not they want to accept digital IDs, but business that are interested have been training their staff to be ready to accept the app when customers order a beer. Lombard says they’ve been working closely with the DMV and Envoc, the company that created the app, to make sure it was secure, and could not be manipulated by a particularly crafty under age kid to buy alcohol. She says a fake digital ID would be incredibly hard to pull off. The app, which costs 5.99 to activate, launched in app stores on all major platforms in July of last year.
Lafayette authorities arrested a 17-year-old student at Comeaux High School who had a gun and what officers say was a large amount of ammunition on campus. Lafayette Police say resource officers began their investigation after learning about a potential threat to the school. Cole Ransonet was booked and charged with firearm possession in a firearm free zone.
St. John the Baptist Animal Shelter is home to 150 dogs seized in an animal cruelty bust. Shelter Manger Rachael Sance says if you are interested in adopting one of these canines, the shelter will provide new owners with a crate, food, and medical supplies.
If you’re interested in contact the St. John animal shelter.
Caddo Lake in northwest Louisiana will be featured Monday at 5 PM on National Georgraphic’s documentary series Explorer. The lake has been threatened by an invasive weed known as Giant Salvinia. Caddo Lake Institute Executive Director Laura-Ashley Overdyke says the documentary will take viewers out on a flat boat through those troubled waters, and across the border into Texas where efforts are underway to create a creature that can go toe to toe with the growing menace.
The LSU Tiger Basketball Team has keep their winning streak alive.. now at 9 games the tigers travel to Texas A&M for a matchup Wednesday night..
An end of an era has come for high school athletics. The LHSAA principals voted Friday to give “select” schools the ability to play their championship games at a venue separate from public schools. But Teurlings Catholic Principal Mike Boyer says depending on what the school with the highest seed decides, the title game could still be held at a big venue. The decision also impacts the title games for the sports of basketball, baseball and softball.
Full squad workouts are underway for the highly touted LSU Baseball team. The Tigers are ranked either first or second in every major college baseball preseason poll. Coach Paul Mainieri says junior right-hander Zack Hess will be the leader of their pitching staff. First game will be February 15th.
News for Friday 012519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled that Roy Hebron cannot take the oath of office as Ball's mayor. The court released its opinion Thursday afternoon, affirming a 9th Judicial District Court decision from late December. The judges agreed that, although Hebron was able to qualify for the November race, the passage of a constitutional amendment that requires felons to wait five years before either qualifying or holding public office means he cannot take the office he won with an overwhelming majority.
22 year old Jesse Ducote has received a maximum sentenced of five years behind bars after pleading guilty in November to negligent homicide in the November 2017 accidental shooting of his friend, 19 year old Jake Ducote at a home in Moreauville.
Two competing Senate bills to re-open the government both failed to obtain the 60 votes needed to pass, and now we’re into day 34 of the historically long shutdown. Senator Bill Cassidy says the only way forward is a compromise between the two party leaders. One measure, would have temporarily re-opened the government through February 8th, the other was a long term fix that, was the President’s offer of legal protections for “Dreamers” in return for 5.7 billion to fund additional border wall. Cassidy voted against the first, and for the second bill.
As the historically long government shutdown drags on, and now Food banks are facing a possible hunger crisis in part because of it. Jay Vise, spokesman for Second Harvest Food Bank, who serves hundreds of food pantries across south Louisiana, says they’ve seen an increased demand for help during the shutdown.
Now the latest in the ongoing Saints saga.. Congressman Cedric Richmond says he wants NFL Commish Rodger Goodell to answer questions on the no-call in front of the House of Representatives. No word at to when or even if the commissioner will make an appearance. And, The seven-member New Orleans City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday asking the NFL to investigate why a flag wasn’t thrown for pass interference against the Rams in the final two minutes of regulation in the NFC Championship game. Council members say the blown call cost the city sales tax revenues and since there was also helmet-to-helmet contact, the NFL is failing in its effort to ensure player safety.
The parents of slain LSU basketball player Wayde Sims were seated in the front row of a downtown Baton Rouge courtroom Thursday when a grand jury indicted a Baker man on second-degree murder in their 20-year-old son’s September shooting death. Simpson, who is 20 years old, is accused of shooting Wayde Sims in the head when Sims stepped into a Sept. 28 fistfight to defend a friend outside a fraternity party just off the Southern University campus.
Governor John Bel Edwards has announced plans to spend 350-million dollars on coastal restoration and flood protection projects. Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana spokesperson Jimmy Frederick says nearly 300-million is federal dollars from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. The rest comes from state surplus money. Frederick says the previous administration took away money for designated coastal projects and spent it elsewhere.
St. Francisville fifth grade teacher Stephanie Whetstone got one heck of a surprise yesterday, waking up to find she’d been award with the 25,000 dollar Milken Award for her work in the classrooms of Bains Elementary. Whetstone was recognized for her commitment to making sure students understand not just the STEM curriculum, but why they need those vital math skills. The 25,000 is a no strings attached cash prize.
A Bossier Parish Deputy sustained serious injuries after being hit by a car while directing traffic in a school zone Thursday morning. The incident occurred just before 7am when a vehicle struck 37 year old Daniel Golden, a 10-year veteran. The deputy sustained a broken leg, injuries to his other leg, along with a concussion.
Two are dead following a five-vehicle crash on I-10 in Lafayette, including the daughter of the Lady Cajuns head softball coach. 45 year old Kenneth McNeil of Houston and 24-year-old Geri Glasco of Arnaudville were pronounced dead at the scene. State Police say 67-year-old William Rawlings of Killeen, Texas, was behind the wheel of the of the semi that caused the accident. Charges are pending.
A Calcasieu Parish mother is in jail, charged with negligent homicide in the death of her eight-month-old child. Deputies responded to a home in Sulphur in reference to a baby boy that was not breathing. Sheriff Tony Mancuso says upon arrival, the first deputy on the scene began performing CPR on the child. Mancuso says authorities discovered marijuana, meth, and paraphernalia at the home at the time of the incident. the father of the child was at work when deputies arrived at the home.
The Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish will be shut down from Saturday morning until Monday evening as some major repair work is set to begin on the structure that was struck by a barge back in October. The bridge has been partially open since December. Department of Transportation Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says this will be the last time the bridge is shut off to traffic through the end of scheduled repairs.
LSU won it’s eight straight Wednesday night as the Tigers defeated Georgia 92-82. Sophomore guard Tremont Waters had a season-high 26 points, but Coach Will Wade is not happy his team gave up 82 points. The Tigers, who are 5-0 in the SEC, are at Missouri on Saturday.
LSU is ranked number one in the USA Today college baseball preseason poll. It’s the third poll that’s come out in the last month that has the Tigers ranked number one. The Bayou Bengals begin preseason workouts tomorrow and opening day is February 15th.
News for Thursday 012419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The U-S Senate is expected to vote today on competing proposals to end the longest government shutdown in US history. The GOP proposal funds a border wall and provides temporary protections for some immigrants. Republican Senator John Kennedy says for it to pass, it will take votes from his colleagues across the aisle.
The Democrats bill would reopen the government until February 8th, without border funding. Democratic leaders have said let’s open the government and then discuss funding for border security. Both proposals are not expected to pass and that means federal workers will not receive what should be their second paycheck this month.
Beginning Monday, Louisiana abortion clinics will be required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, that after a Friday ruling from the New Orleans based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Act 620 was held up for years after the Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Texas in 2016. The 5th Circuit in September determined the Louisiana law was different enough to warrant a rehearing.
A traffic stop by Grant Parish Deputies led to the arrest of a Winnfield man for crystal methamphetamine after the drugs were discovered in the driver’s pocket and on the dashboard of the vehicle. 57 year old Huey Barton, was arrested for Possession of C.D.S. II (crystal methamphetamine).
In investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s department into a burglary in the Pollock area let to the arrests of two Pollock women. 41 year old Melissa Brevelle and 32 year old Martha Smith were charged with Burglary, Criminal Trespassing, Illegal Possession of Stolen Things and other charges.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety say Louisiana is in the top seven for best highway safety traffic regulations. The Bayou State was lauded for having nine of the organizations recommended safety laws. President Kathy Chase we still have some room for improvement. Chase notes the state should be doing more to address safety concerns when it comes to younger drivers, and infant passengers. The report notes the annual economic cost of US crashes is 242 billion dollars.
DeRidder insurance industry veteran Tim Temple is running against incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon in this year’s fall election that features a slate of statewide offices, including governor. Both men are Republicans. Temple says he was inspired to run after hearing repeated complaints from Louisianans about one thing in particular, high auto insurance rates. Temple says the key to lower rates is attracting more insurance companies, which would promote competition.
A man accused of killing a Denham Springs couple in late October was formally charged by a Livingston Parish grand jury on Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder. 45 year old Michael Collins faces life in prison if convicted of the crime. Eugene and Patricia Gurley were found beaten to death Oct. 30 in their company building.
Another Saints ticket-holder filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon, claiming the NFL defrauded him and other fans by failing to enforce its own rules. The lawsuit, filed by St. Charles Parish resident Darrell Guillory, is fashioned as a class action on behalf of all ticket-holders for Sunday’s NFC Championship game. It followed a separate lawsuit filed earlier Tuesday by two Saints fans over a botched call that cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.
Three days after his team's season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Saints cornerback P.J. Williams was arrested for drunken driving in New Orleans early Wednesday. Officers on the Crescent City Connection said they clocked Williams driving at 80 miles per hour in a 50-mph zone.
Saints fans continue to mourn over Sunday’s heart breaking loss in the NFC Championship game, but General Manager Mickey Loomis says the franchise is moving forward. Loomis spoke with reporters at the Senior Bowl in Mobile and says he realizes fans are hurting, but he doesn’t buy into the fan theories that the game was fixed against them.
News for Wednesday 012319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Saints Super Bowl hopes isn’t the only thing going cold in the Bayou State this week as more cold air moves into the state today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says with this latest front you’ll need to dress warm for the next few days and arm yourself with an umbrella for today. Keim says by this afternoon the front will have crossed the state and the cold temps will continue to drop throughout the afternoon and into tomorrow as well.
Another damning study just released by WalletHub shows Louisiana as the third least-educated state in the country. Researchers looked at a variety of educational and economic metrics to develop new rankings of the country's most and least educated states. Louisiana came in at No. 48 in terms of total education, followed by West Virginia and Mississippi. The report also pointed out Louisiana ranked fourth-lowest in the nation when it came to the number of residents who graduated high school.
Former Bunkie police chief Bobby Corner pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Avoyelles Parish to charges stemming from his October 2018 arrest. Corner was arrested after an investigation by Louisiana State Police. He was charged, and later indicted, on first-degree injuring of public records, tampering with surveillance systems and two counts of malfeasance in office. In one of those malfeasance charges, Corner is accused of tampering with evidence.
Governor John Bel Edwards officially launched his re-election campaign Tuesday with a video message to voters. The main theme is that he says Louisiana is better now, than when he took office in 2016. Edward, who is facing two announced GOP challengers, expects his opponents and out of state interest groups to spend millions of dollars attacking his record.
According to St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne, a pharmacist was using justifiable force when he shot and killed a man trying to rob his store Monday night in Luling. Deputies say a man wearing a mask ordered the pharmacist and a clerk to hand over drugs and a scuffle ensued. Authorities have identified the deceased as 36 year old Mark Fisher, Jr., of the Madisonville area, and say he was armed at the time of the incident.
Three people are dead, including a two-year-old child after a pickup truck ran off the road into Bayou Lafourche in Golden Meadow. State Police Senior Trooper Jesse LaGrange says it happened shortly after midnight Tuesday on LA 308. Police say the driver of the vehicle over corrected after his truck left the roadway.
An organization is gearing up to push for hemp legalization in Louisiana after the 2018 Farm Bill let states start regulating it. Louisiana Industrial Hemp Alliance Representative Arthur Walker says it’s a lucrative cash crop that is found in a range of products. Currently most has to be imported. Some uninformed lawmakers have expressed concern that allowing hemp would lead kids using recreational marijuana. Industrial hemp is a distant relative to marijuana and lacks the TCP needed to get high from smoking it. At onetime Hemp was the nations #1 export. The Louisiana legislature would have to pass a regulatory bill for hemp growth to be allowed here.
There’s a push at this week’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association annual convention to allow schools in the “select” divisions, generally private schools, the ability to choose their own championship game locations. Teurlings Catholic principal Mike Boyer says ideally, “select” teams could host the championship at the higher seeded team’s home field to save on stadium rental costs. The move was inspired in part by disappointing revenue for high schools in the 2017 state football championships, a year where the cost to rent the Superdome increased significantly.
The St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s office has joined members of the Who Dat Nation in Rulling Sunday’s Burglary on the Bayou as a homicide. Dr. Chuck Preston says the criminal intent was clear in the Saints loss in the NFC Championship. Preston says his message for the perpetrators is that the Who Dat Nation knows what really happened and will be watching because what’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.
A Barksdale Air Force Base airman has been sentenced to 35 years in prison by a military jury for killing his roommate during a deployment to Guam in March. 22-year-old Airman Isaiah Edwards stabbed 20-year-old Airman Bradley Hale in there quarters while on deployment, claiming self-defence, but prosecutors said the attack was unprovoked. Edwards will be eligible for parole after serving a third of his sentence. The victim’s father says he is not satisfied with the sentence.
A New Orleans lawyer is taking the NFL to court over the outcome of the NFC Championship game. Attorney Frank D’Amigo has filed a petition with the court to compel Roger Goodell to explain why he is not invoking a rule in which the commissioner has the sole authority to take appropriate actions and or corrective measures in the event a calamity occurs having a major effect on the result of a game. D’Amigo says the rule is on the books for a reason, and it’s situations like the one presented Sunday that make it perfectly acceptable to invoke the rule.
Governor Edwards has penned a letter to Goodell, expressing his disappointment with the outcome of the game as well. Edwards said while he doubts Goodell will change the outcome of the game, he suggested Goodell and owners should make sure there is some recourse on the field to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The 25th ranked LSU men’s basketball team shoots for its eighth straight victory tonight when they host Georgia. The Tigers are 4-0 in league play, while the Bulldogs are 1-and-4. But Coach Will Wade says his team better not be complacent tonight. Airtime 5:30 on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
After squashing the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night, the New Orleans Pelicans play host tonight to the Detroit Pistons. Hear the game starting at 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Tuesday 012219
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The man who was elected mayor of the Town of Ball last fall, and then disqualified from serving due to his criminal conviction when a new amendment went into effect, is challenging that decision in appellate court. Roy Hebron, who was convicted for FEMA Fraud in 2011, unseated the incumbent. Loyola Law Professor Dane Cioino says even though he ran before the amendment went into effect, the law is very clear. The interesting twist to the story, voters in Ball approved the November amendment barring convicted felons from running for, or holding office for five years after their sentence by an overwhelming margin.
A former 4th District congressman is considering jumping into the race for governor. According to several sources, John Fleming, who currently serves the deputy assistant secretary of health information technology reform, has not yet given a timetable for making a final decision. LSU Shreveport Poli Sci Professor Jeff Sadow says Fleming has been out of Congress for four years. While his current position is viewed as a big deal in Washington, Sadow doesn’t foresee the position as being viewed in the same light to Louisiana voters. Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham are still the only two candidates to have officially entered the race.
Pecan farmers are losing crops due to bad weather, and losing lots of profits too. This year marks the fifth consecutive year growers are seeing weather take its toll on the industry. Ouachita Parish grower Abraham Lincoln Fowler says in years past, the blame has fallen on lack of rain, mistimed rain, but this year, it’s been the abundance of rain that hurt growers.
Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans is helping Saints fan mourn their stolen season with the “no ref” cookie that puts the Saints/Rams head referee’s face on a sugary treat that you can take a bite out of. While grieving the loss yesterday, co-owner David Haydel says they decided to express their frustration with a little creativity in the oven
The Saints are beginning the process of trying to move on from a disappointing finish to the 2018 season. It seemed like New Orleans was destined to play in the franchise’s second Super Bowl only to see those dreams fall apart with an overtime loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship game. Saints owner Gayle Benson says she’s thoroughly disappointed by the no call on the pass interference the NFL says should have been called against the Rams in the final two minutes of regulation.
One of the oldest fraternities in the nation has closed its LSU chapter following an investigation that found students violated the organization's hazing and alcohol policies, a development that comes amid the university's ongoing quest for safer practices within its Greek system.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard III confirmed Friday that Delta Kappa Epsilon recently announced it would end its presence at LSU almost 100 years after the chapter was founded.
LSU's seven-game winning streak came with a reward of its own Monday. The Tigers are back in the AP Top 25, at No. 25 in this week's poll. The Tigers had not been ranked in the poll since Week 3, nine weeks ago.
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