News for Thursday 040419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana is in for some nasty weather today statewide, but the central and northern part of the state could see some particularly heavy precipitation and strong winds. There is also the possibility of severe weather with this system. National Weather Service forecaster Matt Hemmingway says it’s the classic warm air meets cool air situation.
The State Fire Marshal and ATF are investigating three church fires in the span of a week, two in St. Landry Parish, the other in Vivian in north Louisiana. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the first fire was a significant one and occurred in the early morning hours of March 26th at the St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Port Barre. The second fire happened over the weekend in the Shreveport area. The third occurred early Tuesday morning. Both churches destroyed in St. Landry Parish were historically black Baptist churches. Investigators say it’s too early to say if there is a connection between any of the fires.
The Louisiana Department of Health announces 30-thousand individuals have been removed from the Medicaid program, because they make too much money. Johannessen says 40-thousand Medicaid enrollees were informed in February they could lose their insurance coverage, unless they could show that they still met the program’s income requirements. Johanessen says those who lost their taxpayer funded health insurance are working adults, who have experienced a rise in income, who may have recently joined the workforce, or got a small pay bump that put them just outside the qualifying level.
State Treasurer John Schroder is criticizing Governor John Bel Edwards for growing government on a faster pace than private incomes, saying Louisiana is on course for financial disaster. The comments come ahead of the start of the Legislative Session next week. Schroder says he is tired of hearing about how great everything is. In an interview with USA Today Network, Governor Edwards dismissed Schroder’s claims as political posturing.
Motorists traveling on I-10 near Baton Rouge received a surprise yesterday morning when a small plane landed next to the interstate. The plane reportedly took off from Baton Rouge Regional Airport and it was supposed to land at Louisiana Regional near Donaldsonville. But State Police says during the short flight the Piper Cherokee began to experience engine failure and was forced to land.
In response to those who have called for toll roads instead of a proposed increase to the gas tax, The Louisiana Good Roads Association says the state should steer clear of toll roads as a way to raise more funds to build highway projects. President Kenneth Perret says because of the low traffic volume statewide, tolls in Louisiana only have their place in very specific situations, like high traffic bridges. Perret says He says unlike in Florida and Texas, Louisiana’s issues are not because of abnormally high traffic volume, but because of old roads.
For those that have the desire to help others following natural disasters, Cajun Navy Relief will host the second annual Search and Rescue Games Saturday in Westlake. The event will feature hands-on training including mock rescues, dispatch simulation, and boater response in an effort to train volunteers for real scenarios. Cajun Navy Relief President Shawn Boudreaux says this time of year is the organizations offseason, so it’s a great time to recruit those interested in disaster relief.
Governor Edwards issued a statement yesterday on the passing of Shreveport music icon Maggie Warwick saying “Maggie lived life with everything she had. There are many great names associated with Louisiana’s musical heritage and Maggie Warwick’s name is certainly in that number.” Warwick passed away March 29th from pneumonia.
A report shows one in five Louisiana shoppers have either had their groceries delivered or done some curb side pickup through online ordering at their local grocery. Offers.com editor Kristen McGrath says most services come with a fee and a one to two hour wait time, but it’s definitely got it’s perks. The survey showed the top concern about online ordering was that folks can’t inspect the produce, and that it might be spoiled.