News for Thursday 062019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish School Board members took little time yesterday witling down the list of potential Superintendent candidates to three. All three had experience within the school district. The finalists are Kimberly Bennett, the district's executive assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and a former principal at Tioga High School; Deborah Heitman, middle school director for Caldwell Parish School District and former principal at Rosenthal Montessori Elementary School in Alexandria; and Jeff Powell, chief academic officer for Iberville Parish Schools and former Rapides director of middle schools and magnet programs. A public forum to be held Monday at the district's Instructional Resource Center on Beauregard St. here in Alexandria. There will be a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the forum at 6 p.m.
Former State Senate President and longtime physician Dr. Donald Hines died Tuesday after a long illness. Hines represented central Louisiana in the Legislature for 15 years. A public memorial service for Hines will be held this evening at 6p at the Hass Auditorium in his hometown of Bunkie. The funeral is at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Bunkie. Dr. Hines was 85.
A DOTD worker was killed Wednesday in Simsboro when an 18 wheeler collided with a DOTD truck on LA Highway 563. The worker was standing behind the truck replacing road signs. 50-year old Johnny Cole of West Monroe was pronounced dead on the scene.
Jefferson Parish authorities have identified 22-year old Sean Barrette as the suspect who randomly selected four victims to murder in Metairie and New Orleans in the last few weeks. Two of the four victims are Hispanic males and they all appear to be random at this point in the investigation. A cell phone found at the scene of one of the murders linked the suspect to the murders. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff says the suspect has a history of mental issues and is not cooperating with authorities at this time.
Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s not concerned about losing votes over his decision to sign a series of abortion restrictions during the legislative session. Edwards says his support for the fetal heartbeat abortion ban that would functionally ban abortion six weeks after pregnancy should not have come as a surprise, given his past support for pro-life policy. Edwards is now one of the Democratic party’s highest positioned pro-life members. Polling suggests that a potential pro-choice progressive candidate could get some traction if they were to run for Governor to the left of Edwards.
A report presented Wednesday to the Louisiana Board of Regents spells out why LSU and other schools are supposed to limit the number of students admitted even though they failed to meet academic standards. "For the past two decades the Board of Regents has conducted studies on performance with similar findings: there is a direct relationship between student preparation and student performance. Students who meet the academic criteria before admission outperformed those who did not "based on every performance measure examined in the study, which was done by the staff of the regents. The report is the latest volley in a months-long dispute between the board and others and LSU President F. King Alexander over how many students should be allowed to enter LSU if they failed to meet grade point, ACT or other standards.
Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine was found floating 50 miles off the Louisiana coast by a work boat that hauled it back into Port of Iberia and turned the contraband over to authorities. Iberia Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Major Wendall Raborn says they aren’t certain how the package got left stranded on the high seas, but it could have come from an aerial drop from the cartels that just didn’t find it’s mark.
The Department of Ag will enforce regulations, next October after passage of a truth in labeling bill, and violators of the law receive a $500 fine per day, per violation. Senator Frances Thompson author of the bill says the goal of the law is not to put anyone out of business; it was just to make things clearer. The things Senator Thompson thought you may be confused about was whether or not Almond Milk came from a cow or whether or not Cauliflower rice was rice or Cauliflower. Also a source of confusion according to Senator Thompson was the term Soy burger, from a cow??
An alleged Walmart thief dragged a cop through a parking lot and led Slidell Police on a high-speed chase then ended when the suspect wrecked his car in Mississippi.
Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzeneau says 51-year-old Robert Myers of Picayune, Mississippi fled from Walmart Loss Prevention officers and was later cornered in his car by Slidell authorities…Myers is facing Third Offense Felony Theft, Flight from an Officer, Battery of an Officer, Assault of an Officer, and more.
An Amite High School athlete is dead following a Tuesday football practice. The Amite Police Department received a call about an emergency at the school around 9 pm. Upon arrival, other first responders were on the scene performing CPR to 15-year-old Terrance Allen. Police say the team had just finished practice and that Allen was joking in the locker room before falling to the ground. First responders were able to get a pulse as the teen was taken to a medical facility, but he died prior to arrival.
The NBA Draft kicks off at 6pm this evening and the new look Pelicans are sporting the 1st and fourth picks, and looking to rebuild after trading former cornerstone superstar Anthony Davis. It’s a stone cold lock that New Orleans will grab Duke legend Zion Williamson with the first pick. Hear the draft tonight starting at 7 on 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 061919
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Five Louisiana nursing homes are in hot water after a report by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare services shows poor conditions and subpar treatment of patients. Louisiana Department of Health spokesperson Bob Johannessen says it’s the first time the feds have made the annual report public, and its important information for families.
Here in Louisiana Tioga Community Care Center, St. Helena Parish Nursing Home, Lake Charles Care center, South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, and Belle Maison Nursing Home in Hammond were on the list. The list identified over 400 problem facilities nationwide.
After an investigation that lasted several months, Two women were arrested at the Queen Spa on Mac Arthur Drive in Alexandria. The charges range from prostitution and money laundering to pandering. Alexandria and Pineville PD and the US Marshal’s Task Force were involved in the investigation.
Louisiana continues to be ranked 49th in overall child well-being. KIDS COUNT manager at Agenda for Children Teresa Falgoust says one of the main reasons the state does so poorly is the face the state ranks 50th in childhood poverty, with 307-thousand children living in poverty, roughly 28% of the state’s child population. The state has dropped in ranking for education from 47th to 48th. Falgoust says another troubling trend is the number of children getting ready to enter high school not doing well in math. In 2009, 80% of eighth graders were not proficient in math. That number increased to 81% in 2017.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the 30-billion dollar budget that lawmakers approved in the recently completed legislative session. Edwards says the spending plan that goes into effect July 1st contains the first teacher pay raise in a decade. The budget also increases funding for pre-K education.
Calcasieu Parish authorities report a Westlake pastor stands accused of raping an 11-year-old girl multiple times over a two-year period. 45 year old John Michael Ward was arrested Monday on 10 counts of first-degree rape, 40 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, and two counts of pornography involving a juvenile.
Four people are behind bars, with three charged with human trafficking and the fourth being charged with carnal knowledge after an investigation by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. The investigation began in March when a tip was called into authorities alerting them to the location of 14 year old girl previously reported as a runaway. Upon arrival at a motel, the girl was located in a room along with one of the suspects. The victim says she had been forced into sex trafficking since January.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking for the public to help count how many bats live in the Bayou State, so they can find out if a bat-based disease is spreading. LDWF State Wildlife Veterinarian Jim LaCour says over 80 percent of the state is private property, which can make it tough to track bat populations, so if you got some bats on your land, they ask you contact their office. LaCour says the white nose syndrome has ravaged bat populations in other states, but has not yet been detected in Louisiana.
From the “Not the sharpest knife in the draw” department, a Haughton man was arrested after allegedly stealing items from his neighbor’s garage, including a live streaming surveillance camera he didn’t turn off. Bossier Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis says the footage made it easy to catch the thief, and the incident is a good example of how effective a simple surveillance camera can be.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is accepting permit applications from retailers who want to sell C-B-D products. A-T-C Commissioner Juana Lombard says C-B-D can only be added to food if approved by the F-D-A and C-B-D can’t be marketed as a dietary supplement and the labeling cannot make medical claims.
ESPN reports the Saints are ready to make wide receiver Michael Thomas the highest paid receiver in the NFL and a deal could be done before the start of training camp. The 26-year-old out of Ohio State has become one of the best receivers in the league and last year led the NFL with 125 catches for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Pelicans have committed to Alvin Gentry as their head coach for the next two seasons by picking up his option for the 2020-21 season. New Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffen has been a big supporter of Gentry’s and the two worked together previously in Phoenix.
A big question heading into Thursday night’s NBA draft is whether the Pels will trade the number four pick that they acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers. ESPN’s Jonahtan Givony says the Celtics, Bulls and Timberwolves have expressed interest in the number four pick so they can select Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.
LSU Hall of Famer Ebert Van Buren has passed away at the age of 94 at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans home in Monroe. Van Buren never played high school football, but former coach Bernie Moore saw him play on the Metairie playgrounds and made him a fullback and linebacker. Van Buren helped LSU land a berth in the 1949 Sugar bowl. His brother is the late Steve Van Buren, who is a member of both the LSU and NFL Halls of Fame.
News for Tuesday 061819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards has requested a federal fisheries disaster declaration for Louisiana. Edwards says diverting Mississippi River water into Lake Ponchartrain has resulted in troubling mortality rates among oysters, declining fish catches and financial damage to the livelihoods of those in the fishing industry. The Bonnet Carre Spillway has been operated twice this year because of high levels on the Mississippi River.
An Opelousas man is dead following a shooting at his home. Police say 49-year-old Stanley Boxie died of multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed in his driveway at 3am Monday morning. The investigation is ongoing and there are no suspects at this time.
The former warden of the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport, Nate Cain was sentenced Monday to 38-months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of federal wire fraud. His ex-wife, Tonia Bandy, received an eight month sentence. Prosecutors say the duo made fraudulent purchases with public dollars.
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Montgomery man and a Verda woman following a narcotics investigation. 46 year old Ryan Johnson was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana. 41 year old Misty Brocato was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony probation violation.
Louisiana officials are optimistic that 2016 flood victims who did not get RESTORE grant money due to receiving SBA loans will see a check in the near future. State Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes says the state is getting final guidelines approved by HUD. After that happens, they will contact remaining flood victims. This action should end the “duplication of benefits” loophole.
Former Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who resigned last May amid a lawsuit alleging he repeatedly sexually harassed a woman who worked in his office, is trying to get his money back as part of that case. Though the lawsuit was settled late last year, Schedler is seeking reimbursement for his costs. The state ultimately paid north of $180,000 on the case, including, attorney’s fees, and the woman who alleged the harassment received $167,500, including over $18,000 that Schedler paid personally.
In a lawsuit Schedler filed against the state in February, he argues the state did not provide him as an individual with a defense in the original case, as it was required to by law.
State Police say an impaired driver is to blame for a wreck that sent three victims flying off the elevated Westbank Expressway in Harvey. All three people died after a fall of about 100 feet. Trooper Monroe Dillon says the three victims were working on a disabled vehicle in the roadway. Dillon says they arrested 40-year-old Todd Williams of New Orleans and he’s facing numerous charges including three counts of vehicular homicide.
A 15-year-old is dead and two other minors are in critical condition after they were ejected from an SUV in a rollover crash south of Ponchatoula on I-55 Sunday night. None of the children involved appear to have been buckled up.
The executive director of the Louisiana State Troopers Association was arrested on Father's Day, accused of firing one shot toward his daughter's boyfriend in the parking lot of his office in Baton Rouge. David Young, the association's executive director, was booked into jail Sunday night. The Louisiana State Troopers Association is an organization that acts as a union and advocates on behalf of state troopers.
Congressman Ralph Abraham grabbed 180 votes and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone grabbed 94 votes at Saturday’s Southwest Louisiana Republican’s “Iowa Governor’s race (I-oh-way) straw poll”. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Abraham has to be feeling good about the results, and it appears the Congressman is solidifying his frontrunner status. The 25 dollar a head event was hosted by the Calcasieu Republican Party Executive Committee and the Republican Women of Southwest Louisiana.
Progressive and Louisiana Farm Bureau are dropping their auto insurance rates on the heels of the state’s largest insurer, State Farm, also lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the three insurers combined account for just over 50 percent of all Louisiana auto policies.
Sports On Air Tody..
Houston Astros @ Cincinnati 5:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 061719
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Senator Bill Cassidy says the feds have finally relented and will allow those who suffered damage in the 2016 floods, but received SBA loans, access to Louisiana RESTORE grant money. Cassidy says if you make below 120 percent of the area-median-income, you will be immediately eligible for RESTORE, once the state writes some final rules. No word as to how long that might take.
State Police report a man from Winnfield was killed in a single vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on Highway 471 at French Cemetery Road. 36 year old Rufus Green was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by a 17 year old. Troopers say the driver lost control and ran off the right side of the roadway, causing the truck to overturn. The driver and other 4 injured passengers were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries The driver was cited for careless operation and no driver’s license.
The City of Alexandria has received a report indicating individuals approached a homeowner and identified themselves as Alexandria Water Department employees. They asked to enter the home in order to collect water samples. They were not employees.. The City of Alexandria reminds residents that any time city employees need to come to a person’s home or office they will always be wearing proper city-issued uniforms, will have city-issued ID badges with photo ID and workers should arrive in a city-marked vehicle. If someone approaches a residence and says they are a city employee but does not have the proper credentials and is not in a city-marked vehicle, please contact police immediately."
Tensions are rising in the Mideast once again as the US alleges Iran is responsible for several recent attacks against oil tankers in the vital oil shipping lane of the Strait of Hormuz.LSU Center for Energy Studies Director Dr. David Dismukes says the political instability will likely lead to a rise in fuel costs for Americans. Iran and the US have traded threats ever since President Trump canceled an agreement, to ease sanctions on the nation in exchange for international monitoring of it’s nuclear abilities.
Some Louisiana drivers will see their car insurance rates drop starting later this summer. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced last week that he has approved a 2.2% rate decrease for private passenger automobile policies through Progressive Security Insurance. Donelon says more than 175,000 of the company's policyholders will see the lower rate when they renew their policies, starting in September.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been released from jail after posting bond Friday, at the jail he used to run. Strain was indicted and arrested this on sex crime charges. Strain made few comments to the press as he left jail but stated he’ll have plenty to say in court.
Investigation Discovery ran a four-hour special over the weekend on the unsolved murders of eight women in the Jennings area between 2005 and 2009. A decade later the deaths remain unsolved. ID Executive Producer Liz Massie says they hope their in-depth look can change that. Not all of the deaths have been ruled murders, and no one was ever charged in the cases.
A corrections officer at the state penitentiary at Angola is facing one count of malfeasance. Prison officials report Christopher Allen of Woodville, Mississippi is a facing charge after investigators say he seized contraband from one prisoner and gave it to another. The contraband included money and cellphones. Allen had worked for the department since 2009 and has resigned following his arrest.
Over 260 dolphins have been stranded since February 1st in the Gulf and Mexico prompting NOAA to declare Unusual Mortality Event. Of the mammals they have been able to perform necropsies on 23-percent have shown skin lesions consistent with fresh water. There are concerns the recent openings of the Bonne Carre Spillway has increased the amount of fresh water and pollutants into the Gulf.
Disgruntled Pelicans star Anthony Davis gets his wish and is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for young guns Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, along with the 4th pick in this year’s draft and a bevy of future 1st round selections. Locked On Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says it’s not the deal many fans wanted, but it’s likely the best they could get.
New ULM athletic director Scott McDonald is not using the lack of money as an excuse for not having success. The latest USA Today report says ULM’s athletic budget ranks last among the 130 FBS schools. McDonald, who was interim AD for nine months before getting the job full-time, says he understands the challenges.
News for Friday 061419
Compiled By Dave Graichen
56 year old Justin Walters of Colfax pleaded not guilty Thursday to rape, kidnapping and abuse charges in a case in which law enforcement officials believe there may be more victims who have not stepped forward. Walters entered his plea in the 35th Judicial District Court in Colfax. A pretrial conference was set for Nov. 14. His trial was set for Dec. 16.
The Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for 39- year old Oshay Booker in connection with the murder of the former Mayor of Winnfield. Police say Ronald “Cloud Goff was killed Tuesday night in a shooting on Spillway Road. The suspect is the stepson of the former mayor. Police say the suspect fled the scene in a forest green Honda Pilot and is considered armed and dangerous.
Bond has been set at $1.3 million for a former Lake Charles teacher who was accused last month of raping a 10-year-old student. The Calcasieu parish sheriff’s office says
after further investigation, 34 year old Deidre Smith was re-arrested Thursday for additional incidents with the victim. Smith is now facing 9 counts of first-degree rape and other sexually related charges.
31 year old Brian Middleton has been arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office for the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with drugs, felony probation violation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The GPSO said that hundreds of empty THC oil packages were found in the house. It appears Middleton was filling vaping devices with the THC oil and packaging them for sale.
Dads should expect to hit the mother lode this weekend. According to the National Retail Association, Americans are expected to spend more than ever on Father’s Day gifts this year. Sons and daughters are predicted to spend an average of $139 on gifts this year, an increase of 70-percent since 2009.
A high ranking NCAA official tells CBS Sports that at least six schools will be informed this summer about allegations of Level One violations. The accusations are based on the recently completed federal investigation into college basketball corruption. There were two trials and LSU’s Will Wade’s name surfaced in both of them. Tiger Rag Magazine Assistant Editor Tyler Nunez says it remains to be seen if LSU will receive a notice. LSU can fire Wade on cause if the NCAA alleges the men’s basketball program committed Level One violations and that also means athletics director Scott Woodward would get an automatic two-year contract extension.
A U-S House Committee has approved a bipartisan proposal to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five years. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says he’s concern the bill does not address the N-F-I-P’s long-term debt and because of how the legislation is structured, there’s a chance it can raise rates. There are about 500-thousand flood insurance policies in Louisiana.
A Trust for America’s Health report shows a dramatic spike in deaths due to drug abuse and suicide over the last twenty years, particularly among young people. CEO John Auerbach says in 2017 Louisiana had 2,000 deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide, a seven percent increase over 2016. He says those rates are some of the worst in the nation.
The state says Louisiana’s Medicaid program will spend about 400-million dollars less than expected this fiscal year, because of the tens of the thousands Medicaid recipients that were dropped from the program, because a computer check of their income found they were not eligible. Most of the 400-million is federal money and any state dollars saved has been spent elsewhere in the budget.
Louisiana judges will receive a pay raise this year and potentially a 12.5% salary hike over the next several years – under a new measure signed into law by the governor that is also expected to boost pay for sheriffs and other local officials. The measure, which was overwhelmingly backed in both chambers, gives judges a 2.5% pay raise July 1. The judiciary will pay the $1.8 million cost out of its existing surplus of roughly $50 million.
Governor Edwards awards 25 million for a road project in Monroe after a controversy erupted over the legislature not including northeast Louisiana in a signed 700-million-dollar road project plan. Monroe Representative Jay Morris says when the plan to use BP oil money to fund projects was announced in the legislature, politicians from every corner of the state wanted a piece of the action.
Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier is seeking the death penalty for Jason Reeves, who was convicted in 2004 of abducting a four-year-old girl, raping her and brutally killing her. The kidnapping occurred 18 years ago and DeRosier says it’s been a long time coming, but he’s now seeking an execution date of August 19th. Four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen was taken from her family in Moss Bluff on November 1st, 2001.
A Louisiana man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the physical and psychological abuse of a young autistic woman. Jody Lambert's sentencing was the latest in court cases involving the woman who was kept in a cage, beaten, shot with a BB gun and forced to eat the cremation ashes of her dead mother before the abuse was discovered. Those cases have been playing out in state court in Tangipahoa Parish, where the abuse occurred, and in federal court in New Orleans.
The battle is over.. the Toronto Raptors are the NBA Champs. Last night Toronto defeated Golden State 110 to 110 to take the series 4 games to 2.
On the air tonight….
The Houston Astros begin a weekend series at home tonight against Toronto hear the entire series this weekend on 94.7 ESPN. Tonight’s airtime 6:35p
The NFL announced Thursday that it will be up to the replay official initiate reviews of potential pass interference calls in the final two minutes of each half and overtime. There was talk of shifting that responsibility to the coaches, but the coaches balked at that idea saying it could impact their timeout strategy.
The Saints concluded their three-day mandatory camp Thursday. Quarterback Drew Brees returned for the final two days after missing some time, because he and his wife are involved in a trial against a San Diego jeweler who allegedly defrauded them of millions of dollars. Brees says it was stressful to be away, because he knows the responsibility he has to the team.
News for Thursday 061319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Grant Parish grand jury has indicted 56 year old Justin Grant Walters of Colfax on multiple charges, including three counts each of rape and second-degree kidnapping. According to Grant Sheriff Steven McCain, Walters used his skills as a registered nurse to hold women against their will and beat and rape them. McCain says he believes there are more victims out there and he is asking them to come forward.
Rapides Parish School Board members met in a special board meeting yesterday to review all eight applications for superintendent of schools. One of the 8 candidates, Dr. Corwin Robinson apparently did not meet the qualifications for the position and was disqualified. The board will conduct first-round interviews with the remaining seven candidates on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
If all goes according to plans a November trial will be held for a Pineville man accused of killing his girlfriend, during a domestic violence incident back in a 2017. 61 year old Douglas Ponthieux will face a jury trial on Nov. 4. He's accused in the death of 56-year-old Connie Ducote Patterson, who was found unresponsive at a Shreveport Highway home on March 2, 2017.
The 21-year-old man accused of setting fire to three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish now faces federal hate crime charges. U-S Attorney David Joseph says attacks against a group because of their religious briefs will not be tolerated. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects the feds will be the first to prosecute Holden Matthews. Matthews is currently being held in jail without bond.
The American Gaming Association’s annual report showcasing 2018 casino revenue indicates Louisiana remained flat at just over two-and-a-half billion dollars, generating just over 600-million in total tax revenue for the state. The Baton Rouge market saw a steep 17.4% gaming revenue drop last year, likely due to the city-wide ban on smoking in bars and casinos put into place in May of 2018.
The Shreveport city council votes 6-1 to abolish a 2007 ordinance banning people from wearing pants below their waistlines. ACLU Louisiana Legal Director Katie Schwartzmann says the law was racially motivated and a violation of first amendment rights. Police data shows the ordinance resulted in the arrest of 699 black men and 12 white men, although it is unclear if anyone was arrested for the violation alone. Schwartzmann says the law could lead to a police interaction that might not end well.
Friday marks the two year anniversary of when Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise welcomed U-S Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner who was also shot, but she’s credited with stopping the shooter. Scalise says the Capitol Police were the epitome of what’s great about law enforcement…
The House Judiciary Committee passes legislation permanently authorizing healthcare funds for 9/11 first responders who suffer health effects from the attack. Congressman Mike Johnson sits on the panel and says while the first responders fund has been well managed; it was time to guarantee their benefits long term.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office says two people are dead after an airplane crashed on the levee of the Atchafalaya River. The F-A-A is now leading the investigation. No other details are known. The crash happened near the St. Martin Parish line.
Louisiana’s sole Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond has been named co-chair for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Richmond says Biden is committed to doing the opposite of President Trump, and former Governor Jindal, by investing in the people through education and healthcare. There’s upwards of 20 Democrats running for the nomination.
A national study involving the Pennington Biomedical Research Center debunks the thought that taking vitamin D significantly lowers the chances of a person with pre-diabetes developing type 2 diabetes. Assistant LSU professor and local site investigator Daniel Hsia (Shaw) says there was a thought that vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties would have an effect on diabetes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The study looked at 2,423 people in 22 centers across the nation and did find one potentially interesting avenue for future research. It’s estimated that 575,000 Louisianans have diabetes, and 1.3 million are at high risk of developing the disease.
The Pelican Institute says their study reveals the Medicaid expansion led tens of thousands of Louisianans who qualified for Medicaid to drop their private insurance. Pelican Vice President for Government Affairs Renee Amar says about 450,000 people enrolled under the expansion, at an average cost to the state of 6,286 dollars a year, and many previously had insurance. But Louisiana Department of Health Policy Director Jeanie Donovan says a commissioned study by LSU shows the private insurance market barely budged after the expansion, debunking Pelican’s claim. Donovan countered saying the clear majority of those who enrolled under the expansion are working, but low wage individuals who could not afford monthly premiums.
On air today… NBA Finals!
Toronto @ Golden State G6 Toronto Leads 3-2 7p 94.7 ESPN
After missing Tuesday’s minicamp practice Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was back on the practice field Yesterday. Brees has been in San Diego as he and his wife are involved in a lawsuit against a California jeweler claiming they were sold 15-million dollars’ worth of diamonds, but an appraiser says they paid roughly seven million dollars more than what the collection is worth.
The Anthony Davis trade talks are reportedly heating up as ESPN reports the Lakers and Celtics are talking with the Pelicans. L-A is apparently willing to give up the fourth overall pick as part of their package. Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated that if the Celtics traded for the six-time All-Star, there’s a strong possibility he’ll only play one season in Boston. A-D is reportedly only interested in signing a long term deal with the Knicks or Lakers.
ULM has decided to remove the interim tag from Scott McDonald’s title and the former baseball player at the school will become the Warhawks permanent athletics director. McDonald has served as the interim A-D for the last nine months. In a statement, McDonald says they are fully committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience at ULM and they’ll continue to achieve great things in the classroom and community, while also pursuing championships.
In college baseball news, LSU Catcher Brock Mathis and relief pitcher Will Ripoll are looking to transfer.
News for Wednesday 061219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Last night the Pineville city council voted to put a renewal of an "ad valorem" tax on the ballot this November that funds public safety. It's a 10 mill renewal for services like fire and police. The money would raise nearly one million dollars annually to help pay for employee salaries and equipment among other things. Mayor Clarence Fields said the money is the bare minimum of what Pineville actually needs
Governor Edwards signed legislation yesterday that will bring ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft statewide. The DOTD is in the process of establishing the rules to the issuance of permits for the statewide framework for rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says he expects the process to be done by the end of the year.
With the legislative session in the books, the state’s political focus shifts to the governor’s race and the October 12th primary. It’s been a quiet race so far, with little ad spending from Governor Edwards and his two Republican opponents, but political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says expect that to change, and soon. A run-off would be necessary if none of the three candidates earn more than 50 percent of the vote.
PTSD has been added to the list of covered injuries for public sector first responders, giving them the ability to get worker’s comp coverage for the illness. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti wrote the law that was signed by Governor Edwards, and says previous policy made a nightmare situation for many first responders suffering from PTSD even worse. The National Alliance for Mental Health estimates 3.5 percent of US adults suffer from PTSD.
After successfully thwarting a raise in the state’s minimum wage, the National Federation of Independent Business says their hoping for a new governor in the fall, but in the meantime small business optimism is up according to their latest survey. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says business owners in Louisiana are feeling better now that the 2019 legislative session is in the rearview mirror.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been booked on rape and incest charges. Late last year allegations became public that Strain may have been involved in sex crimes. The accusations came out of a federal investigation into a work-release program run by the St. Tammany Sheriff’s office.
The Louisiana Watershed Initiative is hosting an Interstate Summit on watershed management with representatives from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas in an effort to mitigate flood risks. State Office of Community executive director Pat Forbes says the event in Bossier City is the first of its kind in Louisiana. Forbes says towns and parishes already work together in combatting flood risks, now it’s time to further the efforts by working with other states. Congress has allocated $1.2 billion in federal dollars as a result of the 2016 flooding that are helping to avoid future disasters.
ESPN reports the Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan have agreed on a three-year, 52-million dollar contract extension. Jordan has two more years on his current deal, so this would keep him with the Black and Gold through the 2023 season. ESPN also reports Jordan would receive 42-million dollars in guaranteed earnings. Jordan will turn 30 years-old in a month and he’s coming off a season in which he recorded a dozen sacks.
Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffin said today there is no urgency to trade Anthony Davis before the June 20th NBA draft. If the Pels unload Davis before the draft, it could result in more draft picks for New Orleans. Meanwhile, Griffin plans to meet soon with Zion Williamson and his family. The Pels are expected to take the former Duke star with the number one pick.
On the air today…
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 061119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A cold front will bring the Bayou State cooler temperatures and lower humidity for the next few days. Davyon Hill with the National Weather Service in Shreveport says says the heat and humidity will return Friday afternoon, so get outside the next few days and enjoy this brief return to spring like weather…
State Police report a Sunday night single vehicle crash killed a woman from Alexandria
The crash, which occurred on Interstate 49, north of LA Hwy 174, claimed the life of 52 year old Delissa Horn. Authorities believe it was a tire failure that led to the crash. Horn was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
The battle to deter hazing on college campuses continues with a bill on the way to the Governor’s desk authored by Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry. It revises the state’s current anti-hazing laws based on the recommendations of law enforcement, and requires organizations to report hazing much sooner in the process.
The Louisiana Democratic Presidential Primary has been pushed back a month to April 4th, 2020, making this cycle’s Louisiana primary the latest in two decades. Some are concerned the change could leave the state voting after a primary winner has all but been decided.
The 2019 Legislative Session marks the first increase in base funding for higher education in a decade. Lawmakers appropriated an additional 47-million dollars to help with mandated costs for universities and colleges. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says this time lawmakers were attentive to their issues…
On the heels of Governor Edwards’ signature of abortion restrictions, a poll is out showing 42 percent of Democratic voters would like another Democrat to challenge the incumbent in the gubernatorial race. Only 43 percent of Democrats say they would not like to see another Democrat, Among Democrats under 35-years-old, 64 percent support having another Dem option in the race. 60 percent of Democrats opposed his signing of the restrictions. We Ask America, who ran the poll, is reportedly a Republican friendly polling firm.
Governor Edwards signs legislation allowing eyewitness identification experts the right to testify in criminal trials. Innocence Project New Orleans Staff Attorney Kia Hayes says this policy brings the state in line with most other states and could cut down on the instances of false identifications. Hayes says 28 people that they know of, have been convicted on a case of mistaken identity.
LSU scientists estimate the 2019 Dead Zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be the second largest since measurements began in 1985. The dead zone is a low oxygen area in the Gulf that threatens living resources, like fish, shrimp and crabs. Agricultural practices in the Midwest created the dead zone some 50 years ago.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is urging everyone in southwest Louisiana to participate in a hurricane evacuation study conducted by LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Institute Director Brant Mitchell says the survey is looking for information to better assist in evacuation operations.
We go to game 6 in the NBA finals. That after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Toronto Raptors last night 106 to 105. Toronto still leads the series 3 games to 2. Game six takes place Thursday.. Airtime 7p on 94.7 ESPN
ESPN reports that the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, is open to a multi-team trade in order to get the biggest return possible for trading All-Star Anthony Davis. It’s reported the Lakers, Clippers, Nets and Knicks have all asked about A-D who is entering the final year of his contract.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans continue to add to their front office by hiring former UCONN and WNBA star Swin Cash. The 39-year-old Cash won three WNBA titles and two national championships with UCONN. According to ESPN, Cash will scout, help with player development and perform other roles.
The Saints have reportedly signed cornerback Kayvon Webster. The former third round pick in 2013 has played for the Broncos, Rams and Texans, but injuries have prevented him from playing more than 11 games in a season.
Minicamp begins today for the Saints and all three practices are open to the public, weather permitting. The practices are from noon until 1:20 in the afternoon.
On the air today….
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 061019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It started with an argument early Sunday morning and ended, according to authorities with a Bunkie woman shooting her boyfriend in the throat. The APSO says the unidentified man is in intensive care. Police arrested 27 year old Brittney Franklin on a charge of attempted second degree murder. She was booked into the Avoyelles Parish Jail.
Authorities in Evangeline Parish report two inmates who escaped from the GEO Facility in Pine Prairie on Sunday morning have been recaptured. The two men were captured in Oakdale at a convenience store and have been returned to the facility. Both will face simple escape and possibly other charges.
A proposal to abolish the death penalty failed to pass this year, but proponents are more optimistic about its chances going forward, citing the progress it made this year. New Iberia Representative Terry Landy says his bill got further this year than ever before, proof that legislative opinion may be shifting. Landry adds the incoming generation of lawmakers, set to replace a third of the legislature that is term limited, may be more progressive in their views of this issue. The death penalty ban failed to pass, but so too did an effort to make it easier to get the drugs needed to carry out the death penalty.
Governor Edwards signs legislation to extend foster care to age. The voluntary program would allow the Department of Children and Family Services to assist in the transition to adulthood. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says for those that elect to stay in foster care, they can receive various forms of aid from the state.
Previously, the law ended support at 18, which meant some of those in the foster care program were not able to finish high school. Walters says the change will increase the likelihood of better outcomes.
Legislation barring kids under the age of 16 from getting married awaits Governor Edwards. Kids aged 16 and 17 will need judicial approval and parental consent before getting married. An amendment to allow anyone under 16 to get married, but with judicial approval was defeated.
CBD sales were legalized in the same legislation that allows industrial hemp production, and the ATC is now accepting applications from retailers interested in selling the products. ATC Commissioner Juana Lombard says retailers will need to apply as they would for an alcohol license, but no need for a newspaper posting. Retailers will receive a temporary permit, which will last through January. A permanent license can be obtained by working with the Department of Health on labeling requirements. Lombard says the kinds of CBD products available once retailers begin selling will be limited by what is FDA approved.
LSU’s baseball season is over, as Florida State advanced to the College World Series, 5-4, on Sunday night. Florida State (41-21) will face either Arkansas or Ole Miss in its opening game of the CWS later this week.
News for Friday 060719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
We note the passing of another Louisiana Icon with word yesterday that Dr John had died of a heart attack. Malcolm John Rebennack Jr assumed the persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s, in his autobiography. "Under a Hoodoo Moon" it was revealed Rebennack, in his younger years, was gangsta to a degree that would likely shock Lil Wayne. But over the course of a remarkable life and career, he evolved into another New Orleans Legend. Dr. John was 77.
The opening of the Morganza Spillway has been pushed back again, this time with no new date set. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyett says the river levels are coming in a little lower than originally projected. Boyett says it is possible the opening will still have to take place depending on weather conditions to the north. Officials are monitoring the levels on at the Red River Landing, which is north of the spillway, to make sure the river level does not surpass the 62-foot mark. The postponement is good news for farmers whose crops would have been lost
Many legislators were off to a late start Thursday as south Louisiana was swamped today with a severe weather system creating localized flooding and even tornadoes. State climatologist Barry Keim says the system dumped dangerous amounts of water on some communities…
37-year-old William Johnson died during the heavy rain event in Baton Rouge when his car flooded. Keim says the severe amount of rainfall was more than initially predicted, but this whole weather system has been unusual from the start. A possible tornado also flipped over cars at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Lori Steele says teams are surveying the wind damage from what is believed to be a tornado outbreak in various areas of the parish.
Before the close of business yesterday, the Louisiana House unanimously approved the $30 billion state operating budget for next year, which aligned with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ agenda for $1,000 teacher and $500 support staff pay raises and a contested $39 million block grant for public school districts. The Legislature’s budget deal also included boosts to higher education spending and early childhood education after years of standstill funding and cuts to these agencies and programs. It was the first significant statewide pay raise for teachers in a decade. The budget will take effect on July 1, 2019.
Governor Edwards celebrated the end of the first legislative season of his tenure and says the passage of most of his legislative agenda points the state in the right direction.
Edwards says the over 300-million-dollar surplus the state ran last year made for smoother sailing when crafting a budget, as opposed to previous years’ fiscal chaos…
Opponents say the surplus is evidence that the Legislature did not need to pass a .45 percent sales tax renewal last year.
The 2019 Legislative session is in the books. House Republican Chairman Lance Harris feels overall it’s been a great session. Harris says among the most positive pieces of legislation was the controversial fetal heartbeat abortion ban, which has already been signed into law by Governor Edwards. But he bemoaned the fact that once again, legislation targeting the state’s sky high auto insurance rates crashed and burned…
Governor Edwards signs industrial hemp legalization into law, potentially clearing a path for the first crop in Louisiana to be planted early next year. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says if everything goes according to plan, Louisiana will join dozens of other states for the next planting season. The feds are expected to release their requirements for hemp regulation later this year.
Louisiana will shuffle election dates in 2020, moving the presidential primary from March to April because of Easter-related scheduling conflicts. Lawmakers made the adjustment in an elections bill sent to the governor. Under the change, Louisiana's presidential and municipal primary will be held April 4 next year, rather than its originally scheduled March 7 date. After 2020, the primary will revert back to the first Saturday in March.
Some huge names will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Natchitoches. Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning, former LSU football Coach Les Miles and former La Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan will also be enshrined.
The induction ceremonies can be seen live on C-S-T on Saturday night.
LSU and Florida State will meet tomorrow in a best of three Super Regional Series. The winner will advance to the College World Series. The Seminoles shocked college baseball observers by easily winning the Athens Regional. Airtime 1:30 tomorrow afternoon on KSYL 970AM /104.9FM
News for Thursday 060619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The unsettled weather pattern continues across the state today with widespread coverage of thunderstorms, especially across the southern portions of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a storm system over the Gulf is a contributing factor to the current conditions. Keim says the Storm Prediction Center has Louisiana in the marginal category for tornados, hail, and high winds with this system today and tomorrow. The wet weather is expected to continue through Sunday, with possibly a brief break on Saturday.
Today is the final day of the 2019 legislative session. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says between a funding increase and a pay raise, K-12 education and teachers are clear winners this year, along with those who backed them. Labor issues once again found little support again. Governor Edwards pushed for a minimum wage increase from the current 7.25 an hour to nine dollars an hour. That was shot down early in the session. While most issues have been settled, it remains up in the air as to whether or not the Governor will sign a 700-million-dollar road project bill that uses BP oil spill settlement money. Pinsonat says politically it’s a double-edged sword.
The Legislature approves a constitutional amendment that would allow voters on the 2020 Presidential ballot to decide if the state does not protect the right to an abortion. The amendment would not protect that right in cases of rape or incest. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says it’s necessary to prevent a rogue judge from protecting the right to an abortion in Louisiana. This comes on the heel of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban that was signed into law by Governor Edwards. The law would not take effect unless Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
Legislation allowing those with a medical marijuana prescription access to an inhalable form of the treatment is headed to the Governor’s desk. Bill sponsor Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the pill or oil-based forms of the treatment sometimes aren’t fast acting enough to respond to an urgent situation, such as an episode of PTSD.
A Fort Polk soldier, Specialist Logan Kyle of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to the October 2018 murder of his wife and unborn son. Kyle was sentenced to life behind bars.
An investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Probation and Parole led to the arrest of four people in the Springhill community. Sasha Delaney of Pineville, Tony “T.C.” Carter of Winnfield, Julius Layfield of Pollock and Matthew Dodge of Dry Prong have all been charged with a long list of drug charges.
The Saint Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was announced Wednesday with Reggie Bush, Marcus Colston, and former Governor Kathleen Blanco receiving the distinction at a ceremony this October. Blanco was instrumental in getting the Saints back to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina by pushing for repairs to the storm damages of the Superdome. Blanco, who is currently battling cancer, was on hand for the announcement and describes the induction as a huge honor.
The Louisiana Senate voted 37-0 Wednesday to tighten hazing laws since incidents keep occurring on college campuses even though lawmakers took several steps to crack down on the problems last year. The bill approved by the Senate would penalize universities and student organizations that fail to immediately report hazing incidents to law enforcement, and it would allow campus police to investigate off-campus hazing incidents. The Legislature elevated hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony last year.
A Taco Bell in Slidell ran out of both soft and crunchy taco shells on Monday. One patron felt the snafu was an egregious violation and warranted a call to Slidell Police. Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzaneau says initially the department thought it was a joke. Authorities have posted their account of the story on social media, which has since gone viral with over 2,000 shares. Seuzaneau says others have chimed in on Taco Bell’s inventory woes.
Dates and times are set for the Saints four preseason games. New Orleans will host Minnesota on August 9th at 7 PM, visit the Chargers on August 18th for a 3 PM kick-off. Take on the Jets in New York at 6:30 on August 24th and then host Miami in the preseason finale on August 29th at 7.
News for Wednesday 060519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A flash flood watch is in effect for southwest Louisiana, central Louisiana, and Acadiana as the state is expected to see steady rains over the next several days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a trough has formed along the coast, and is expected to bring rains across the entire state. Keim says after two weeks of some incredibly dry weather, our fortunes are expected to change starting today. Some areas of the state could see 2 to 4 inches of rain.
Also, A tropical disturbance is working its way up the Mexican Gulf Coast , and there’s a 40 percent chance the disturbance could develop into Tropical Storm Barry. If you’re worried the deluge could exacerbate the ongoing flood risk on the Mississippi River, Keim says don’t worry about it, because the water we’re about to get won’t be getting into that waterway. Keim adds the water putting south Louisiana levees at risk is flowing in from the north.
Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a near-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2019, which is only a slight increase from the initial forecast issued in early April. The research team calls for 13 named storms this season. Researcher Jhordanne Jones says conditions in the Pacific could impact the Atlantic season.
Jones says what causes the season to be average is the uncertainty of the Pacific to continue to warm up.
KALB TV reports Roger Boggs, the former CEO of Revolution Aluminum (formerly American Specialty Alloys), who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, has been declared "indigent" by the 9th Judicial District Public Defender's Office. Boggs is charged with bank fraud for allegedly defrauding Red River Bank, and most recently, a charge of issuing worthless checks over $25,000.
President Trump approves the state’s request for federal assistance to help rebuild public property and infrastructure from the EF-3 tornado that hit Ruston in April. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker says over five-hundred structures were damaged in Ruston and about one-hundred of them were totaled. He says the other issue they are dealing with his fraudulent contractors. Walker says most of their expenses are from repairing the city’s electrical grid and fiber system, plus debris removal.
A bill that would direct 700 million dollars in BP oil spill settlement money to road projects gains final passage. Houma Representative Tanner Magee says the money will find its way to every corner of the state, and target projects with the greatest economic impacts. Magee says when federal matching dollars are accounted for, the total investment could top a billion dollars. One of the roads that will benefit locally is Sugarhouse Road in Alexandria. That project has been stalled for years.
Legislation to ban the handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel is dead for the session. This is the second year Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval has pursued the measure. Huval says the bill has built momentum, but met its fate when Senator Regina Barrow changed her vote, now moving to defer the bill, which had no objection. Huval says he will continue with the efforts next year.
An attempt to pull a bill out of House Appropriations that would have paved the way for sports betting legalization failed in the House on a 41 to 48 vote, but it’s not the end of the line for the increasingly controversial topic. The House will take up a vote on a combined fantasy sports/sports betting bill today. If that legislation fails to get the votes, it will head into a conference committee with a looming 6pm Thursday deadline for the session approaching.
The state legislature has given final approval to a bill that will create a new crime of harassment of a school or recreation athletic contest official. If someone is found guilty of threatening or injuring an official, he or she could receive up to 90 days in jail, along with mandatory counseling and community service work.
Senator John Kennedy says he’s got legislation that would address the raw deals smaller news media outlets are getting from social media giants who use their content. Kennedy wants to empower small media outlets by temporarily suspending antitrust laws for them. He says this would allow them to collectively negotiate for more profit sharing from companies that use their content.
Final legislative approval came on Monday for a measure to give a pay raise of $1000 to teachers, $500 to school support workers, and $39 million in block grant funding for school districts. President of the Louisiana Association of Educators Debbie Meaux says while it is a modest amount, teachers are ecstatic that lawmakers recognize the importance of the raise. The legislative instrument results in a $140 million increase to annual school spending.
LSU’s Super Regional Series against Florida State will begin Saturday at 2 PM at Alex Box Stadium. Game Two will be at 5 o’ clock on Sunday and if the third game is needed, it will be played on Monday night at 7:30.
The Pelicans are reportedly listening to trade offers for disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis. Newly hired Pelicans executive David Griffin reportedly met with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, last week to see if the six-time All-Star had a change of heart and wanted to stay in New Orleans. But there have been reports that Davis is still seeking a trade, even though the Pels own the top overall pick in the draft.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not at Tuesday’s session of organized team activities because he was reportedly in San Diego dealing with a lawsuit. Court records indicate that Brees and his wife are suing a San Diego-based jeweler. It gave backup Teddy Bridgewater a chance to run the first team offense.
LSU teammates Zack Hess and Todd Peterson were both taken in 7th round of MLB Draft Monday night.
The Independence Bowl is reportedly losing its tie-in with the SEC. Starting in 2020 the annual football game in Shreveport will have teams from the ACC and PAC-12 play in the bowl game. In 2020, 2022 and 2024 the SEC will have teams playing in the Las Vegas Bowl and the Gasprilla Bowl in Tampa.
On air tonight..
Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs with Toronto @ Golden State airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 060419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities in Natchitoches are investigating the suspicious death of a pregnant woman in Clarence. Detectives with the NPSO have identified the deceased as 22 year old Elonzeya Teal of Campti. Teal was pronounced dead at the scene. The body is being sent for an autopsy to determine the manner of death. Late last night, the NPSO announced the arrest of 25 year old Christopher Houston Jr. of Campti in connection with the death of his wife and unborn child.
A three-year fight in the Louisiana Legislature over creation of statewide regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft has ended with the proposal's passage. The measure by Houma Republican Rep. Tanner Magee is aimed at expanding the services to more areas, particularly smaller, rural communities. A 98-0 House vote Monday sent the legislation to Governor John Bel Edwards for his signature.
The House votes unanimously to give K-12 teachers a 1,000 dollar pay raise, support personnel a 500 dollar pay raise, and approves 39 million dollars in new public-school funding. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson says the state is long overdue for an increase in education spending. The pay raises plus additional funding will cost the state an extra 140 million dollars a year and will be permanent, rather than a one year stipend.
The state Senate breathed new life into the effort to legalize sports betting by allowing a hitchhiker amendment, then approving Monday the newly revamped legislation. Senators voted 24-13 for fantasy sports regulation, House Bill 459, which picked up a last-minute rider on the Senate floor: the sports betting legalization language from a measure sidelined last week. The amended legislation now returns to the Louisiana House for consideration of the changes.
The Senate amends a proposal to let medical marijuana patients use cannabis inhalers that results in the measure’s favorable passage. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the bill, saying providing a remedy for debilitating issues when other drugs fail to help is the fair thing to do. Winnfield Senator Gerald Long was on the opposing end of the measure, insisting that medical marijuana was paving a pathway to a slippery slope toward recreational marijuana. Following the 31-7 favorable vote, the bill is heading back to the House.
The legislative battle over whether Louisiana should have a minimum age to get married continues. Legislators are pushing to set the minimum age at 17. An amendment was introduced that would preserve the lack of minimum age, but would require 16 and 17-year-olds have parental consent for marriage and judicial review for younger individuals.
Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry says she’s for sending the bill to a conference committee prior to advancing the measure any further.
The Senate passes legislation legalizing industrial hemp production and CBD oil, but the upper chamber packed it with new amendments, so the proposal still needs House approval. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says farmers are itching to grow hemp, as the prices for rice, cotton, and soybeans are currently low.
The Corps of Engineers says they’re delaying the opening of the Morganza Spillway to Sunday, the second time the structure’s much talked about opening has been pushed back. Corps spokesperson Ricky Boyett says it’s due to recent reports that the river’s high-water mark will be arriving three days later than previously thought. Just outside the State Capitol building you can see the water pushing up close to the top of the levee system. Boyett says the river level in Baton Rouge has been up and down but is projected to stay within safe levels through the end of the week.
Authorities in Hammond report a 13-year-old boy is accused of stabbing a woman to death in Hammond early Sunday. 30 year old Ceirra Miller died from stab wounds to her neck and head. Investigators identified the suspect as a boy who "was in Miller's care for the evening." Authorities did not release the juvenile's identity.
A Baton Rouge teenager was arrested Monday after authorities said he shot his father multiple times, causing injuries that will likely prove fatal. The father remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his head and torso. 17 year old Anthony Templet is accused of retrieving two handguns from his father's bedroom and then firing multiple shots during an argument. He confessed to the shooting in an interview with detectives.
LSU catcher Saul Garza was voted as the Baton Rouge Regional’s co-Most Outstanding Player as he helped the Tigers defeat Southern Miss six to four last night. The Tigers advance to the Super Regionals where they’ll face Florida State.
On The Air Tuesday June 4th
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 060319
Compiled By Dave Graichen
We note the passing over the weekend of a Louisiana Legend. Leah Chase was know by many as the Queen of Creole Cuisine. But, she was also a civil rights pioneer. Leah Chase died Saturday, surrounded by her family. She was 96.
The state Senate approves a 30-billion dollar budget for next fiscal year and the controversy over the fetal heartbeat abortion bill spilled into the debate. New Orleans Senator and chairwoman of the state Democratic Party , Karen Carter Peterson, tried to steer more money towards the state’s foster care system, but it was shot down by her colleagues. If the federal courts uphold a similar law in Mississippi, than abortions would be outlawed in Louisiana once doctors detects the heartbeat of a fetus, usually six weeks into a pregnancy. The House and Senate still have to settle their differences with the spending plan.
Governor Edwards proposal to provide teachers with a one-thousand dollar pay raise and also provide public schools with 39-million dollars in block grant funding received approval from a key committee in the House. The Appropriations Committee okayed the proposal, despite concerns it may cause funding problems in future years. House Republicans rejected a similar proposal earlier this year over concerns the state can’t afford this type of spending.
Teachers may not know what kind of pay raise their getting yet, but judges are celebrating as a 2.5 percent pay raise, with potential for a 2.5 percent raise every year for the next five years. That as a result of bill that has received final legislative passage.
A study by LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott indicated Louisiana judges were 2.5 percent behind the southern regional average in pay. The raise will cost 1.8 million in the first year and could grow to 9.5 million if the State Supreme Court approves raises in each of the next five years.
A bill prohibiting handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel has cleared the House and is being heard in Senate Judiciary Committee C today. From there, it would need final passage on the Senate floor before the session wraps up on Thursday. Last year, a similar effort got hung up, but Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval is confident this year will be different. Current law only calls for no handheld cell phone use while driving in a school zone.
A bill to bring Uber and Lyft ride sharing services to Alexandria and rural areas is close to final legislative passage. The proposal has died in the Senate the last two years, but over the weekend the upper chamber approved the measure 34-to-1. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau (Lou-NO) says this legislation can help reduce drunk driving deaths among college students. The lone Senator to vote against the measure was Kenner Republican Danny Martiny, who questioned why Lyft and Uber would not be regulated by the Public Service Commission, which currently regulates taxi cabs. The bill still needs House approval of changes made by the Senate, but that is expected to happen.
Houma Representative Beryl Amadee withdraws her bill that would extend Stand Your Ground legal protections to houses of worship amid concerns from opponents who say the legislation could extend to interpersonal conflicts, and poorly defines what a “justifiable threat” is in a church.
The House Ag Committee advances a Senate-approved bill that would prohibit Louisiana manufacturers from labeling foods such as of cauliflower rice as rice when it doesn’t contain rice. Opponents of the bill say it will also be a hindrance to manufacturers who specialize in producing plant-based meat imitation products.
The bill moved forward without any objecting votes.
Beer and wine could be available for purchase in the general seating areas in Tiger Stadium this year as the SEC has lifted its stadium wide ban on alcohol sales. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says LSU has been a driving force behind this rule change.
The policy change gives the 14 schools in the SEC the ability to draw up their own alcohol sale policy.
AAA is warning drivers to be extra cautious on the roads this summer as teens off from school pack the roadways. Spokesperson Don Redman says there’s a 17 percent increase in fatal teen crashes during this period relative to other times in the year.
The top three killers of teen drivers are speeding at 28 percent of all fatalities, drunk driving at 17 percent, and distraction at 9 percent. Redman says parents need to set a good example for all three, particularly distraction.
Port Allen based Holy Family Catholic School Principle Michael Comeau was arrested in Washington D.C. Friday morning while in the Capital for a school field trip for allegedly getting highly intoxicated at a strip club, refusing to pay his bill, and then standing drunkenly in the roadway and refusing to move when police arrived on the scene. Comeau is an award winning educator who’s previously received the prestigious Milken award.
Police are investing an arson and vandalism case at a Lake Charles church that occurred May 22nd. The church security camera caught a suspect walking up to the church with a five gallon bucket of some kind of liquid, and filmed them as they attempted to kick in the glass door. After failing to do so, the suspect kicks in a side window, tosses the liquid in, and follows it up by throwing items he lit on fire on the liquid. A vehicle has also been caught on film. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Lake Charles Police.
LSU will play in a Super Regional series for a 14th time in program history as the Fighting Tigers won the Baton Rouge Regional last night with a six to four victory over Southern Miss. LSU will host Florida State in the Super Regionals, which will start on either Friday or Saturday.
News for Friday 053119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
KALB reports A trial for John Scott, 44 of Alexandria, for a March 2018 crash on Broadway Avenue that claimed the lives of 27 year old Darlicia Smith and her 6 year old son M'Kye has been continued until October 21. Scott is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, and a single count each of reckless operation, driving under suspension, running a red light, possession of marijuana, and vehicular negligent injuring. The trial by judge was set for the week of June 10. But, on Thursday the decision was made to continue it to give more time for preparation. A status conference is set for September 9.
A new survey said that Louisiana ranks near the bottom when it comes to finding a job. The survey conducted by wallethub.com claimed that Louisiana ranks 47 in the nation when it comes to finding a job. Louisiana ranked 47 in job opportunities, 39 in employment growth, 47 in unemployment rate, 42 in median annual income, 46 in the average length of the work week, 32 in average commute time, and 47 in job satisfaction.
Louisiana becomes the 5th state to enact a fetal heartbeat abortion ban after Governor Edwards signs the prohibition into law. The law’s implementation is pending a legal challenge to a similar Mississippi law. The deep south’s only Democratic Governor says he’s always been upfront about his pro-life views. Before the governor signed the ban, hundreds of pro-choice demonstrators packed the capitol steps and voiced their opposition to the ban, led in chants by Planned Parenthood organizers…
An effort to reduce the state sales tax from the current 4.45 percent to four-percent over a four-year period died in a Senate Committee. Lawmakers settled on the current rate last year as part of a budget deal to avoid significant cuts. New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson says residents are expecting the state to pay for a variety of things and the tax deal approved last year, helps the government fund those wishes. Proponents argue the state is running a surplus of tax revenue and should give that money back.
A Senate-approved resolution that contains a 1,000-dollar teacher pay raise and an additional 39 million dollars for public education passes through the House Education Committee. The Senate says the state has the money to afford the 39-million-dollar block grant, but House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says that will be confirmed when the proposal moves next to the House Appropriations Committee. The resolution includes a 500 dollar raise for support personnel.
A bill that aims to notify restaurant consumers of the origin of crawfish and shrimp has sailed through the Senate. Bill author Larose Representative Truck Gisclair says the bill will make a restaurant use the same font and letter size on the menu to make it clear if the food didn’t come from the Gulf. Gisclair says initially the Louisiana Restaurant Association was in opposition of the bill, but he believes they’ve reached a happy medium that is a win for both restaurants and consumers.
Tomorrow marks the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicts the season should be near-average. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the latest forecast calls for between two and four major hurricanes, which would be Category 3 or higher, with three being the long term average. While the peak of hurricane season is typically in September, Keim still recommends having a plan and supplies ready now, as Louisiana is not immune to early season storms.
The Morganza Spillway opening has been delayed to Monday, June 6th but concerns are still rising over the effect of the floodway’s opening on the aquaculture of southern bayou parishes. LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Professor Greg Lutz says crawfishermen could be in short term trouble, but the crawfish population should be okay after the flooding.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of one of its deputies who was killed in a one-vehicle wreck on his way to work Thursday morning. Sheriff Sid Geautreaux says 42-year-old Lt. Steven Whitstine was a deputy for eight years.
An Ascension Parish priest accused of stealing about $79,000 from his church has been arrested in Texas. Father Desmond Ohankwere was with the St. Catherine Church in Donaldsonville for about two to three years. Authorities are working on getting him back to Louisiana.
NOLA-dot-com reports Governor John Bel Edwards texted LSU officials about whether basketball player Javonte Smart would play again after reports surfaced that Smart may have received money beyond his athletic scholarship. Edwards’ lawyer says the governor only asked, because a journalist had asked the governor about it.
LSU Freshman right-hander Landon Marceaux will start on the hill for the Tigers when they face Stony Brook tonight in the opening round of the Baton Rouge Regional. Marceaux has been really good in his last three starts, posting an ERA of 1.45 in those three starts.
McNeese and Southern have arrived at their NCAA Baseball Regional Destinations. The Cowboys baseball team arrived in Nashville wearing cowboy hats, boots and Mardi Gras Beads. They’ll face Indiana State tomorrow afternoon. Southern faces Mississippi State at noon on the SEC Network. Jags third baseman Tyler LaPorte was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball today.
LSU’s first two home football games will kick off at 6:30. The Tigers open the season against Georgia Southern on August 31st, two weeks later, Northwestern State visits LSU for another 6:30 kick-off.
The Ragin Cajuns versus Mississippi State football game in the Superdome on August 31st gets an 11 AM kick off. When Louisiana Tech hosts Grambling State on September seventh. That game will be televised by the NFL Network. Tech will be the first Conference USA team to appear on the NFL Network since the announcement of the partnership between the league and network.
The NFL Network will also televise the Louisiana Tech-Southern Miss game on October 19th. That will also be a 2:30 kickoff in Ruston
News for Thursday 053019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Legislation that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected obtained final passage and is headed to the governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. The debate was intense when Baton Rouge Representative Ted James attempted, and failed, to bring an amendment offering exceptions in the case of rape or incest. The measure is not expected to take effect anytime soon. Under the proposal, the restriction of abortions would not be enforceable until a federal appeals court rules on upholding a similar law in Mississippi.
The APD reports K’ci Rue turned himself in on Wednesday, following a shooting on Bacon Street last week that killed one person and wounded four others. Rue was arrested on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, four counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder.
Local authorities have arrested a Pineville man, 58 year old Mark Evans on three counts of possession of Pornography Involving Juveniles Under the Age of Thirteen. Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant at Evans' home. They seized electronic devices that are subject to further forensic examination, which may lead to additional charges. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation.
The State Police announced yesterday that they will be setting up sobriety check points Friday night and early Saturday morning across Rapides parish. State Police Spokesman Scott Moreau says the mission will be to intercept and incarcerate impaired drivers before they can cause injury or death to themselves, their passengers, or members of the public. He says they are asking the public to make the mature decision and to designate a sober driver.
As families hit the road for summer vacations, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists to buckle up as part of their Click It or Ticket Campaign. Sheriff Hilton announced the receipt of a grant through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct additional traffic safety enforcement targeting seatbelt use during this campaign, which runs through June 2nd.
State officials found guilty of sexual harassment could be set to foot much of the bill for their misdeeds if Senate approved legislation gets final approval on the House floor before the end of the session. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says her legislation was inspired by a Legislative Auditor’s report that showed taxpayers have been on the hook for millions of dollars in costs associated with sexual harassment suits.
A bill banning drivers from holding their phone while behind the wheel is headed to the Senate after an at-times heated discussion on the House floor. Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson says the legislation will save money on insurance rates, but more importantly, likely save the lives of Louisiana drivers, particularly teens. Opponents say the proposal is government overreach.
The House and Senate are at odds over whether or not to include a 39-million-dollar funding increase for public schools, on top of a 1,000-1,200 dollar pay raise for teachers. A portion of the 39 million would help keep increased benefit costs from a pay raise from falling back on educators; the rest goes to the schools.
A proposal attempting to make Louisiana the first state in the South to legalize recreational use of marijuana failed in the House Criminal Justice Committee. Kevin Caldwell of Common Sense NOLA says marijuana use is increasing and the state is not getting any benefits from it. Tax revenues from the sale of legal pot would have gone towards public schools, TOPS and better roads. After about a ten-minute discussion on the proposal, the marijuana legalization bill was soundly defeated.
Legislation is heading to the governor’s desk to extend Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans’ license with the state through 2054. Harrah’s will pay millions of dollars more to the state and city for having Louisiana’s only land-based casino license. A similar bill died last year over concerns that the state was not getting a good deal. Prior to this year’s debate, the legislature hired a consultant to study the market value of the casino license.
Louisiana's congressional delegation has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers whose crops are in the path of the Morganza Spillway, which will be opened Sunday and wipe out anything planted in the Atchafalaya River Basin floodway. Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, Louisiana's only member of Congress on an agriculture committee, led the delegation's request. Opening the Morganza Spillway will flood about 25,000 acres of crops and aquaculture.
The Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that places signs on I-10 at the Texas and Mississippi borders declaring that motorists are entering the Home of the Who Dat Nation. New Orleans Senator Wesley Bishop says a metal banner with the message will be added to existing road signs, and they will be funded by fans. Originally, the bill called for I-10 to be renamed the Who Dat Nation Highway, but lawmakers forgot it was already named in honor of veterans.
A barge has arrived that will be sunk in Bayou Chene and will act as a temporary floodgate site to prevent backwater from flooding parts of Assumption, Lower St. Martin, Iberville, St. Mary, and Terrebonne Parishes. The process is being carried out in response to the opening of the Morganza Spillway on Sunday due to rising river levels.
One man has been arrested in Texas and another suspect is still on the lam following a theft of 120-thousand dollars’ worth of wheels and tires from a Slidell car dealership in April. Police said 39 year old Eric Summage was apprehended in Texas and they are still on the lookout for 44 year old Riley Richardson. More arrests are expected in connection with what investigators are considering a professional theft ring along I-10.
ESPN reports Anthony Davis and Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin met Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. The two are expected to keep talking as Griffin is making a case for the All-Star to remain in New Orleans. A-D can be a free agent next summer.
Forward Emmit Williams announces he’s returning to LSU. He’s one of four Tigers who entered their name into the NBA draft, but have decided to come to back LSU.
The LSU-Alabama football game will not be a CBS primetime game this year. Instead the network has decided to televise an SEC night game in September. It’s expected to be the Norte Dame-Georgia game. The SEC Showdown between LSU and Alabama has been shown on CBS at night since 2010. CBS could still televise the big game, but it will kick-off at 2:30, instead of 7 PM.
News for Wednesday 052919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report a 70-year-old Montgomery man lost his life Tuesday when he lost control of the pickup truck on Highway 71 Just south of Montgomery. Teddy Roberts died at the scene of the crash.
A proposal to allow sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks failed in the House Appropriations Committee. Amendments were added to the legislation to get some money for horseman and allow sports betting at video poker establishments, which drew the opposition of the Louisiana Casino Association. There’s still a slim chance the bill could be revived before the session ends next week. If the clock runs out on legalization this year, it could be another two years before another attempt can be made.
Senate Finance has approved a spending plan for next fiscal year that contains a one-thousand dollar teacher pay raise and 39-million dollars in block grant funding for school districts. The House budget proposal calls for a higher pay raise for teachers, but no additional dollars for public schools.
House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill that would ban abortions when a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, generally around the sixth week of pregnancy. The vote was scheduled to take place Tuesday, but was delayed until Today. Similar laws have already passed in other states, where opponents have called it an attack on women.
A fatal blow was delivered to a pro death penalty bill at the State Capitol Tuesday. A proposal to shield the identity of the drug companies that supply lethal drugs for the state to carry out death penalty sentences failed on a 3-2 vote in Senate committee. New Orleans Senator J-P Morrell says the legislation opens the state to lawsuits, if an execution is botched. Proponents of the legislation say the only way to buy the drugs to carry out an execution, is if drug manufacturers know their names would names would not be made public.
The Morganza Spillway is set to open Sunday to relive pressure on Mississippi River levees, but ecologists say it comes at a steep cost for Atchafalaya Basin wildlife.
Atchafalaya Basin Keeper Executive Director Dean Wilson says there’s nothing that can be done to save thousands of at-risk animals. Experts also warn opening the Basin will likely wipe out most of the crawfish and oyster crop in the area as well.
A Senate-approved bill has advanced from a House committee to set a minimum age on marriage to 16, so long as there is not an age gap of four years or greater between the two parties when one is under 18. Current law does not set a minimum age on marriage so long as the marriage receives the approval of the parents of the minors. The bill advances to the House floor for final passage.
A three year old drown in Lake Arthur in Jefferson Davis Parish on Memorial day. Lake Arthur police responded to a call of an unresponsive child found near the beach just before 4 p.m. Monday CPR was started immediately, but no pulse could be detected. coroner pronounced the boy dead later that day. The incident is still under investigation.
An eleven-year-old Baton Rouge boy has been charged with negligent homicide in the weekend fatal shooting of his nine-year old brother. No charges have been filed against the parents in what police call an accidental shooting.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade yesterday spoke with the media for the first time since his 38-day suspension earlier this year stemming from his connection to FBI wiretap records as part of a recruitment corruption investigation. Wade says he regrets the way he handled the accusations whenever they first surfaced that lead to a suspension.
McNeese is in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2003 as the Cowboys will face Indiana State on Friday afternoon in Nashville. The Cowboys received an automatic berth after winning the Southland Tournament.
On the air…
Wednesday May 29th
Houston vs Chicago Cubs 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Thursday May 30th
Golden State @ Toronto G1 7p 94.7 ESPN
Friday May 31st
Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
LSU vs Stonybrook 5:30p KSYL 970 AM / 104.9 FM
News for Tuesday 052819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Information is still sketchy at this time, but the APD reports a, yet to be identified male, was shot in the chest outside of the N&N Food Mart No. 2 at the intersection of Monroe Street and Bolton yesterday afternoon. Police say the injuries in the shooting are "non-life threatening."
The Morganza Spillway in Pointe Coupee Parish will open it’s gates on June 2nd. It would divert Mississippi River water into the Atchafalaya Basin, flooding thousands of acres of farmland. Current forecasts show the river would top the spillway at Red River Landing in Point Coupee Parish on June 5 if the corps doesn't open the spillway. If it were allowed to be overtopped, the spillway would likely fail. This is only the 3rd time in the floodway’s 65 year history that it has been opened.
Today, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will begin sinking a barge in Bayou Chene in southern Assumption to act as temporary flood gate. It’s needed to prevent backwater flooding after the Morganza spillway is opened.
The 2018 high school class sets a record for the number of kids who’ve made the jump to a two-year or four-year college. Roughly 64 percent of all grads will be entering into higher education. Louisiana has seen a 23 percent increase in the number of students entering college from high school since 2012. 29 percent of those who enrolled in a college are set to go to a two year school, versus 71 percent who chose a four year program.
The legislative session will end a week from Thursday and there are numerous bills still trying to get final legislative passage. Fairness for Fantasy Sports spokesperson Ryan Berni says the bill that sets up taxing and regulation of fantasy sports still needs to get through the Senate and there’s a chance it might not pass. Sports betting and statewide regulation for ride sharing services are other pieces of legislation that’s seeking final legislative approval.
A Senate approved bill that would allow a parish by parish vote on the legalization of sports betting will be heard today in the House Appropriations Committee. Currently the bill calls for the activity at racetracks and casinos but video poker interests are hoping to expand that. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny is optimistic and thinks Louisiana could have sports betting in the state’s racetracks, riverboat casinos, and land-based casino in New Orleans by the end of the year. A companion bill to tax the activity proposes a 13 percent tax rate, which Martiny says is about average, and nearly equal to that of Mississippi’s. One percent would be sent to compulsive gambling funds.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shell Chemicals Vice President for Gulf Coast Manufacturing Rhoman Hardy announced the company will advance feasibility plans for a potential $1.2 billion manufacturing expansion at its Shell Geismar facility in Louisiana. At the 841-acre complex in Ascension Parish, Shell Chemical LP would build a world-scale monoethylene glycol plant, pending final engineering, design and investment decisions. A decision to proceed with the project could come from Royal Dutch Shell in 2020.
It was an exceptionally violent Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans, where as of Monday evening, at least five people were killed and 13 shot.
Researchers from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and other institutions will study why some people in rural parishes and counties live longer, more healthier lives. Doctor Stephanie Broyles will lead the Louisiana portion of the study and they’ll look at two parishes, Assumption and Franklin. Broyles says in a couple of years they will recruit about 700 participants from Assumption and Franklin parishes to see why Assumption is more resilient to heart disease and other illnesses compared to Franklin, where there are currently no obvious reasons. The Boston University School of Medicine is coordinating the six-year study and funding comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
LSU will face a familiar foe on Friday night in the opening round of the Baton Rouge Regional. Stony Brook, who upset the Fighting Tigers in the Super Regionals in 2012, returns to B-R to take on LSU once again. Coach Paul Mainieri says the 2012 team had seven players drafted in the first few rounds. He says Stony Brook deserved to beat them seven years ago. But, not this time. Southern Miss and Arizona State are the other two teams in the LSU Regional.
Southern is in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first in 10 years and they will head to Starkville to play Mississippi State on Friday afternoon. The other two teams in the Starkville Regional are Central Michigan and Miami.
On Air Today.. Tuesday May 28th
Houston vs Chicago Cubs 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 050819
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Von Jennings has resigned as the city of Alexandria's director of community services following a social media controversy over the weekend. A screenshot of a Facebook post attributed to Jennings began circulating last weekend. In it, she appears to call someone racist and uses an expletive in response to a meme and a bad review of the Alexandria Red River Festival. The city issued a release Tuesday afternoon announcing the resignation and went on to say the offensive post in no way represents the views of the city administration.
It didn’t take long. The man suspected of robbing the Capitol One Bank location on Jackson Street yesterday, shortly before noon, was arrested at a Mac Arthur Drive Motel less than 2 hours after the robbery. Authorities were able to talk Joshua Perry out of the room without incident, inside police reported finding evidence from the robbery.
The trial for a Pineville woman, accused with her brother in the deaths of three people, has been pushed back to March of next year. Ebony Nicole Sonnier's has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal conspiracy. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office has filed notice that it intends to seek the death penalty for Sonnier, who is 32. She and her brother, 30-year-old Matthew Sonnier, are accused in the deaths of Jeremy Norris, Kendrick Horn and Latisha White. The three died in October of 2017.
Here in CenLA, Law enforcement officials believe there are women out there who were held captive by a man identified as 56-year-old Justin Walters of Colfax. Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain says Walters is behind bars, accused of physically restraining three women, beating them for days and raping at least one of the victims. McCain says the suspect used social media to start a relationship with his victims. Anyone with information should call the GPSO.
One day after the Senate rejected legislation to abolish the death penalty; the House Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would allow the state to keep it a secret on where they purchase lethal drugs to carry out an execution. Louisiana has not carried out an execution since 2010 and a major stumbling block is the state’s inability to acquire the drugs needed to perform a lethal injection, because pharmaceutical companies do not want to be associated with it. It passed on an 8-2 vote. It now faces more discussion on the House floor. It’s also been approved by House Criminal Justice.
A House committee advances legislation that would move regulatory power of the state’s medical marijuana program out of the Ag Department and into the Department of Health. Making the product available to the public has faced repeated delays and grower GB Sciences President John Davis is tired of the wait. GB Sciences is partnered with the LSU AgCenter to grow part of the state’s medical marijuana crop. Strain defended his department against accusations they have been responsible for the frequent delays.
A Council for a Strong America report says the state needs to do more in making sure parents are able to find child care. CEO of the Committee of 100 Michael Olivier says the infant and child care crisis is costing the state $1.1 billion each year and that’s lost earnings and productivity. 5,000 kids are currently on a state waiting list for funding to pay for child care education.
Last week it was the Vice President, next week, Tuesday to be exact; President Trump is scheduled to visit the state to highlight job growth in the energy sector. The President will visit a 10 billion dollar liquefied natural gas export facility in Cameron Parish.
A bill that would up the amount of time a minor has to work before getting a break from five hours to eight hours has stalled in the House after a heated argument on the lower chamber floor. Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle says the legislation would endanger teen’s education, and it’s unfair to push them to work seven and a half hours straight while paying them 7.25 an hour. Bill writer, Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews countered saying teenagers have not proven their worth yet.
Governor Edwards has deemed May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. With the weather more favorable for hitting the road on two wheels, State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says motorcycles are more present on the roadways, and LSP is offering a refresher course for riders. So far in 2019, 20 people have died and nearly 300 have been injured in motorcycle accidents on state’s roads.
The LSU men’s basketball program is planning to visit Spain in August. The NCAA allows schools to take one foreign trip every four years and LSU’s last out of country trip was in 2015 to Australia.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward appeared on 94.7 ESPN’s After Further Review with Matt Mascona yesterday and was asked about basketball coach Will Wade. Woodward says Wade has their support and backing and it will be that way until it’s not. He added that they hope Wade is LSU’s coach for a long time, but things change and minds change.
Preliminary estimates show the devastating EF-3 tornado that ripped through Ruston likely destroyed Louisiana Tech’s softball, baseball, and soccer fields. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says the estimates aren’t final, but they do not expect at this time that the facilities are useable. Two people were killed in the deadly incident last month.
On the air..
Wednesday May 8th
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 050719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Fired Rapides Sheriff's lieutenant, Stacy Bender, agreed to a plea deal Monday to one count of malfeasance in office, almost three years after he was arrested and fired from the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. The 51 year old Bender was sentenced to three years in prison at hard labor, which was suspended. He also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. Bender was originally arrested on six counts of malfeasance in office, two counts of solicitation for prostitution, inciting prostitution, obstruction of justice and two counts of unlawful use of criminal records.
Law enforcement officials from Grant and Rapides parishes held a press conference yesterday to discuss the unusual case of Justin Grant Walters. The Colfax man is in custody in Grant Parish, accused of kidnapping, rape and other crimes, but authorities believe more victims might be out there and they are asking them to come forward. Walters, who is 56, is in the Grant Parish Detention Center on a $900,000 bond, facing charges that could bring him life in prison.
The Louisiana Department of Health is emphasizing the importance of immunizations in the wake of the nationwide measles outbreak. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says while there have not been any reported cases in the state so far, over 760 cases have been reported in other states. Kanter says of those national measles cases, over 72% were unvaccinated.
House Republicans have pushed forward a 30-billion dollar budget proposal for next fiscal year that contains a 12-hundred pay raise for teachers, but it doesn’t include an additional 39-million dollars for public schools. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says school districts are receiving a lot of money, while teachers are underpaid. The full House is set to vote on the budget Thursday.
Bossier Parish teachers could conduct a strike, a walk out or sick out this school year, because voters overwhelmingly rejected a tax proposal to fund teacher pay raises. 74-percent of the voters opposed the teacher salary hike proposal over the weekend.
A bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected soared through the Senate 31-5, and is headed to the House. Bill author Shreveport Senator John Milkovich says there is scientific evidence that life exists at the moment of conception, which why he hopes to continue pushing for abortion restrictions such as this one. Governor Edwards has indicated that he would sign the legislation into law if it were to reach his desk.
The constitutional amendment aimed at ending capital punishment in Louisiana met its demise on the Senate floor following a 13-25 vote. Louisiana has the highest homicide rate in the nation and the bill’s author Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor says death row is not working as a deterrent. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the amendment, and says in order for death to be an option, the government must be infallible in its decision on who is executed. Morrell says the death sentence in Louisiana has a history of inaccuracy with multiple exonerations over the years.
The Superdome is hoping to complete a 450 million dollar renovation, but questions abound about whom is going to pay for it, and that sparked an animated discussion in Senate Finance yesterday. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel says there’s better ways to spend a few hundred million dollars. The Saints have agreed to pay for a third of the cost of the renovation.
Monday marked new LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s first day on the job. Woodward has posted a letter to the LSU family on the school’s athletics website. In that published statement, Woodward says he believes in LSU and he believes the school will win championships under his leadership.
Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell announce a funding deal that will provide the city with 67.5 million dollars up front to fix streets and the drainage system. Edwards says the agreement also calls for 26-million dollars in annual recurring funding. The announcement of the deal comes after a 114-year-old water main busted, flooding roads and closing schools over the weekend.
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri has already announced that freshman right-hander Cole Henry will not pitch in the upcoming SEC series against Arkansas. Henry has missed the last two weekends, because of soreness in his elbow. LSU heads into tonight’s home game against La Tech with a 30-18 record.
On air today….
Tuesday May 7th
LSU Baseball vs LA Tech 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
The Magic 100.9
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