News for Tuesday 081319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The brutal heatwave continues across the state, with conditions now getting so bad that the National Weather Service has issued its first excessive heat warning of the year for the northern half of the state. Meteorologist Gary Chatelain says heat indices will climb over 110-degrees or more today here in Cenla.
The Catholic Diocese of Alexandria has announced that Father August Thompson, a local retired priest, died Sunday at the age of 93. Fr. Thompson served as pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Mansura, rector of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and pastor of St. James Memorial Church in Alexandria. Arrangements for Fr. Thompson’s wake and funeral Mass are pending.
It’s been a year and a half since 20 year old Akeeley Blade of Alexandria, was found guilty by a Rapides Parish jury of the first-degree murder of 55 year old Michael Butler of Lecompte at a Motel 6 in Alexandria. Three other defendants in the case have already been sentenced for their roles. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. On Monday August 26th Blade will be sentenced.
If you were up early this morning you may have noticed an unusual amount of shooting stars. Actually what you saw was the annual Perseid meteor shower. The brilliant display comes courtesy of the Comet Swift-Tuttle’s yearly voyage around the sun. LSU Astronomy Professor Brad Schaefer says every year around August 12th the Earth’s orbit intersects with the trail of sand grains the comet leaves behind as it travels through the solar system. Schaefer says Arabic records indicate the shower could be at least 800 years old.
A new online service allows residents to securely view, download, and print official copies of immunization records on-demand for free. Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Dr. Alexander Billioux says it adds convenience for those who may need records for school or recreational activities. Billioux says the signup and verification process is relatively quick, taking about five minutes to complete. The website can be found at LA.MyIR.net.
A man convicted of raping and murdering a four-year-old child in 2001 has had his death sentence put on hold by a federal judge, just a week before his scheduled execution date. Jason Reeves’s attorneys filed a federal appeal that could extend the case another few years Calcasieu Parish DA John DeRosier says it’s a ploy to hold out until the Legislature outlaws the death penalty. Reeves kidnapped, raped, and then stabbed four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen to death in November of 2001.
An arrest has been made in connection with a Sunday shooting at a Vernon Parish club.
Monday, Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of 25-year-old Andrez Jones of Fort Polk in connection with shots fire call at a local club early Sunday. VPSO says the shooting happened at a club located in the area of Billy Goat Hill. Several people were injured, but not seriously.
An LSU study shows over the last six decades rain events have gotten more intense and drop more rain in a shorter period of time, causing increased risk of flash flood events. LSU Assistant Professor of Research Dr. Vincent Brown was on the research team and the research is pretty clear about why this is: Gulf sea surface temperatures have been rising over the decades. Brown says the higher the humidity, the more water available in the air for storm systems to utilize, thus increasing the chance of an intense downpour.
Along with Texas and Oklahoma, Louisiana is one of only three states where drivers can buy gas for under $2 a gallon. The statewide average for a gallon of gasoline has dipped 8 cents over the last week to $2.24. GasBuddy.com spokesperson Patrick Dehaan says the escalating trade tensions between the US and China can take credit for the decline.
Louisiana sees a 59 percent decrease in the number of wildfires when comparing 2018 to 2008. Arson cases are also down 82 percent, going from 893 in 2008 to 160 in 2018. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain credits a cooperative effort between his department and the Fire Marshal for putting pyromaniacs behind bars. Strain says those arrests were linked back to 5,240 acres of burned timberland.
The Pelicans will tip off the 2019-2020 regular season in Toronto where they’ll face the defending NBA champion Raptors on October 22nd. The home opener will be on Friday October 25th against the Dallas Mavericks. T-N-T will televise the season opener, while E-S-P-N will broadcast the home opener nationally. The Pels can be heard all season on 94.5 ESPN and on T-N-T, ESPN and A-B-C a record 20 times.
Governor John Bel Edwards visited Saints training camp today in Metairie and discussed the 450-million dollar plan to renovate the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Edwards says the massive renovation would also result in a new long-term lease agreement between the state and the NFL franchise. Edwards says artist renderings could be made public later this week and the renovations would start after the football season.
Game one of the Houston Astros series in Chicago against the white sox was rained out last night.. Tonight they will try again to play.. airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.