News for Wednesday 041719
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Attorney General's Office has officially stepped into the Kayla Giles case.
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office sought and received approval to have itself recused from the first-degree murder case because DA Phillip Terrell represented the father of the victim, Thomas Coutee Jr., back in 1990 during divorce proceedings. Giles is accused of shooting Coutee on Sept. 8 of last year in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot as the estranged couple met for a child swap on their daughter's second birthday.
Tobias Williams will spend the rest of his life behind bars in connection with the 2016 death of Fort Polk Captain Jonathan Ellis. On Tuesday, Williams was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and forty years for obstruction of justice for his role in the shooting death of Cpt. Ellis. Last month a jury unanimously found Williams guilty of both charges. The shooter, Wanda Gordon is serving 40 years for manslaughter after taking a guilty plea last year.
A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by State Rep. Valarie Hodges who represents East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes, would make it a crime to threaten to kill or injure a judge or law enforcement officer. Those who violate the bill, if passed, could be fined up to $15,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to 15 years, or both. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
A constitutional amendment is on it’s way to the House floor that would let Louisiana voters decided whether or not the state constitution protects abortion rights. The law would not outright ban abortion, and thus is unlikely to be challenged in federal court, but it may create a legal framework to outlaw the procedure if the US Supreme Court ever undid Roe vs. Wade.
Lawmakers are seeking to bring back sales tax holidays. They were accidentally suspended for seven years when legislators crafted new tax laws last June. Monroe Representative Jay Morris’ measure would benefit consumers by reinstating a tax holiday for back to school shopping, hurricane preparedness and hunting supplies
The school supply sales tax weekend would occur in August, hurricane preparedness would be in May and the second amendment sales tax weekend would take place in September.
If you have ever been confused as to whether or not Almond Milk or coconut milk came from a cow, the Senate Ag Committee approved and expanded a bill that would require “truth in labeling” for food products like Almond “milk”, “riced” cauliflower, and “sugar” substitutes. Louisiana rice industry representative Scott Franklin says the “substitute” industry is well aware that they are misleading the public, and they’d have trouble selling their product if it was labeled properly. Our lesson for today, let’s look up the word “Substitute”.
The House Transportation committee slammed the breaks on a resolution pushed by Jonesboro Rep. Jack McFarland aimed at reducing the number of billboards on Louisiana roadways. Louisiana’s trucking industry backed the effort, because McFarland says ads for crash attorneys are impacting the cost of doing business for truckers. Supporters also say the number of billboards are distracting and take away from Louisiana’s scenery. The legislation was killed on a 14-to-3 vote.
Legislation has advanced to the House floor that seeks to lower auto insurance rates. Louisiana reportedly has the second-highest average auto insurance rates in the nation and River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill would lower the state’s threshold for requiring a civil trial to $5,000 from the current $50,000, take away the ability to sue an insurance company directly and extend the time limit to file a suit from one year to two.
Bossier City has been selected as a top retirement destination according to Where to Retire Magazine. The city was highlighted in a feature called “8 Veteran-Friendly Cities” in an upcoming issue. Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso says the area offers a great part of Louisiana for people to live in and at a low cost.
The 2019 Louisiana Survey shows 70 percent of Louisianans support the criminal justice reforms championed by Governor Edwards and passed by a bi-partisan Legislature in 2016. The reforms were aimed at reducing the prison population by reducing sentences and providing non-prison alternatives for non-violent offenders.
A wreck that claimed the life of four-year-old Katie Grantham in November 2017 has inspired legislation to run toxicology tests on drivers at fault for vehicle collisions that cause serious injury. The child’s mother, Morgan Grantham, spoke to a Senate Committee Tuesday and says the driver was not drug tested. Currently a drug test is only mandated if someone dies at the scene of a crash. Grantham’s daughter died in the days that followed.
Fundraising efforts are beginning to spread to help the three historically black churches that were torched in St. Landry Parish get back on their feet. A GoFundMe has raised 50,000 dollars of a 1.8 million dollar goal, Iberia Bank has promised to match donations up to 50,000 dollars along with an initial 6,000 dollar donation, and former Saints tight end Ben Watson has hit the trail to assist in fundraising efforts.
The NFL will release its regular season schedule for 2019 tonight at 7 Pm. We already know who the Black and Gold will play next season, we just don’t know the dates and times. The Saints are set to play a home and home series against their NFC South Rivals and they’ll also host the Cardinals, 49ers, Texans, Colts and Cowboys. New Orleans will travel to Chicago, Tennessee, Seattle, Jacksonville and Los Angeles in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game.
Two Louisiana Tech football games have been moved to Friday. Tech’s Conference USA home opener against F-I-U will now take place on Friday September 20th and the Bulldogs visit to Marshall will be played on November 15th instead.
The Pelicans will introduce their new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin today during a press conference set for 12:45.
And Former Pelicans Center DeMarcus Cousins could miss the rest of the season after an M-R-I has revealed he tore his left quad in the Warriors loss to the Clippers last season.
On the air….
Wednesday April 17th
Houston Astros @ Oakland 8:30p 94.7 ESPN