News for Thursday 041819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Another round of bad weather is moving through the state today. There’s an enhanced risk for severe weather in the forecast for East Carroll Parish all the way down to the Cameron Parish and all parishes east of that stretch. State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect strong thunderstorms and several inches of rain. The good news is Keim expects the front to clear the state by tomorrow morning. Once the front is out of the way, expect cool and dry weather starting Friday and continuing through the Easter weekend.
LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva has officially announced he’s stepping down. The university says he’ll be transitioning into a new role as special assistant to the president for donor relations, but will continue to serve as A-D until a new athletics director is named. Alleva has been the school’s A-D since 2008 and his contract is set to expire next year. Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward is reportedly set to take over as LSU’s new AD. Woodward has been in charge of Aggies athletics since 2016.
Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is under hospice care. Blanco, who served as governor from 2004 to 2008 was first diagnosed with an eye cancer in 2011, but the cancer returned in 2017 and spread to her liver. Last December, she said there’s no escape from her cancer. Franklin Representative Sam Jones spoke on the House floor yesterday to recognize the governor’s fight for her life. Blanco served in elected offices for two dozen years.
A proposal to ban the creation of most new freestanding emergency rooms in Louisiana has won support from state senators. Backers of the proposal said the ERs threaten the survival of Louisiana's fragile rural hospitals. Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills, a St. Martin Parish Republican, said stand-alone emergency departments cherry-pick services that generate the most money. Senators voted 36-1 for Mills' bill. The House received the measure Wednesday, where a committee will next debate it.
Over 1.2 million dollars has been raised for the burned St. Landry Parish churches on a GoFundMe page that’s seen a surge in donations since a fire tore through the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Seventh District Missionary Baptist Church President Freddie Jack says the effort is much appreciated, and the congregations are taking the tragedy in stride while they figure out how to get back into their old homes.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says if an admitting privileges law set to be heard at the US Supreme Court were to take effect, two of the state’s three abortion clinics would close. President Nancy Northup says the regulation requiring clinics and providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital would dramatically reduce access to the procedure. The only remaining clinic would be a facility in Baton Rouge.
A bill is being introduced that would guarantee all Louisianans 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave, along with legal protections against being fired while out. Berni Consulting partner Caitlin Berni says it would allow you to draw from a fund managed by Workforce Commission, and paid into by you and your employer every paycheck. The bill includes parental leave, leave to take care of a close relative who has fallen ill, and long term medical leave for events like chemo therapy in cancer patients.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported yesterday Attorney General Jeff Landry took a Citigroup campaign contribution despite objecting to Louisiana doing business with the banking giant because of its gun policies. Landry led the 2018 effort to keep Citigroup and Bank of America from participating in a $600 million road financing plan. But campaign filings released Tuesday show Landry accepted $2,500 from Citigroup on March 6 for his re-election bid. Landry campaign adviser Brent Littlefield says Landry appreciates the support from anyone that "wishes to support his conservative advocacy."
An $810 million alleged Ponzi scheme run through a California solar power company has ensnared Hancock Whitney Corp., resulting in a multimillion-dollar hit to the bank's first-quarter profits. DC Solar, a maker of mobile solar power generators based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection in February after federal investigators raided the company's offices. The alleged fraud also hit several other banks and insurance companies across the U.S., including insurance giant Progressive Corp., which said it could lose tens of millions of dollars due to its investment.
Every year, more and more pet rabbits are been turned over to the Louisiana SPCA following the Easter holiday from owners with buyer’s remorse. While rabbits can be great companion animals, Louisiana SPCA spokesperson Rebecca Melanson says many people do not realize the commitment of rabbit ownership. The average rabbit lifespan is 10-12 years.
LSU is set to begin a three-game series tonight against Florida and there’s good news on the injury front. Coach Paul Mainieri says he’s shocked by it, but he’s been told Zack Hess, Zach Watson and Chris Reid could return from injury and play in this series. Airtime 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
David Griffin was introduced Wednesday as the new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations. During the press conference, Griffin said that head coach Alvin Gentry will return next season and he believes there’s a chance Anthony Davis could also return, despite his demand for a trade during the regular season.