News for Thursday 042519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The House Health and Welfare committee approves legislation to increase the legal age to smoke from 18 to 21-years-old. The measure also raises the legal age to vape to 21-years-old. That brought opposition from individuals, as you may suspect, who own vaping stores. Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley says he couldn’t support the legislation, because he didn’t think it was right to prohibit an 18-to-21-year-old from smoking even though they can fight for our country. But the measure passed on a 10-2 vote.
A bill that removes professional wrestling from the State Boxing and Wrestling Commission’s overview is headed to the House after clearing the House Commerce Committee on a 14-2 vote. Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says regulation is not necessary for an event that is more theatrical than sport. The WWE hosted their super bowl, called WrestleMania, in New Orleans twice in the past four years.
Governor John Bel Edwards wants three debates with his Republican challengers Ralph Abraham, and Eddie Rispone between September 2nd and the October 12th election. Rispone’s campaign spokesperson Anthony Ramirez agreed that three debates was an appropriate number. But Abraham responded on Twitter that there should be debates in each of the state’s six congressional districts.
The House Agriculture Committee will hear a bill today that would legalize, and regulate the growth of industrial hemp in Louisiana. The product was OK’d by the USDA, but Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s still off limits here. The plant is featured in 50,000 different products and can be turned into hypoallergenic fabrics, concrete, has nutritional value, and more. Hemp is considered pest resistant, and can mature in 8-12 weeks, and proponents argue it is far less water needy, and has a mechanism that detoxifies soil. But it’s often confused for its cousin plant, pot. Strain says if legalized, they’ll be picking out seeds that won’t do anything if you smoke them.
Trivia…. The first few drafts of the Declaration of Independence were thought to be written on hemp paper, which was commonly grown and used in colonial North America. It was also used in American paratroopers parachute webbing in WW2.
The LSU AgCenter will begin studying to effects of cannabis based compounds on epileptic seizures, using the common zebrafish as a lab rat. The funding for the research comes courtesy of a yearly 500,000 dollar cannabis research grant from the AgCenter’s medicinal pot partner GB Sciences to help further cannabis related research. Now that testing is legal, Green says scientists are looking forward to seeing what the plant has to offer.
The House approves legislation aimed at addressing the factors that result in the state’s high auto insurance rates. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill lowers the jury threshold from 50-thousand to five-thousand dollars, which Talbot says would lead to more cases settled out of court and lower costs for insurance companies. But many lawmakers are skeptical. Additional debate on the bill will take place in the Senate.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission will host a meeting tomorrow in Baton Rouge with telephone companies to talk about an influx in “robo-calls.” Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he and the rest of Louisiana are tired of the phone calls. Campbell says the calls are a violation of Louisiana’s ‘Do Not Call’ law that prevents telemarketers from calling numbers that have signed up on a do not call registry. He says because these callers are breaking the law he wants them to receive severe fines. Which may be a difficult to enforce since many of the calls come from outside the country.
54-year-old Jessie Guillory of Lake Charles, who allegedly attacked a nurse at a Baton Rouge hospital has been booked for manslaughter after the nurse he allegedly attacked died from her injuries. Baton Rouge Police say their investigation has determined the victim, Lynne Truxillo, was trying to help a fellow nurse who was pinned to the wall by Guillory. Witnesses say Guillory slammed Truxillo’s head into a desk; she died as a result of a blood clot.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s contract is reportedly six years long and his annual pay will start at one-point-one million dollars and grow over the course of the deal. He’ll make a million and a half in the final two years of the contract. The LSU alum is also set to receive a 250-thousand dollar signing bonus. The LSU Board of Supervisors will have to approve the deal at their next meeting.
Multiple media outlets are reporting the Saints will pick up defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins fifth-year option. Rankins had a career-high eight sacks and 12 tackles for a loss last season, but tore his Achilles tendon in the playoff win over Philadelphia. He’s expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform list, but the team must believe he’ll make a full recovery from that injury.
Tonight at 7PM it’s the NFL Draft and Two former Tigers are expected to go in the first round. One of those is one of the most beloved players in LSU history, linebacker Devin White. In his three years, White was showered with All-American selections and national honors. NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier says he enters as one of the best middle linebacker prospects in draft history. Complete live coverage can he heard on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
Tiger Rag dot com reports Marlon Taylor becomes the sixth LSU underclassman to declare for the NBA draft. The six-foot-six junior averaged seven points and four rebounds a game last season. He will have the option to return next season.