News for Tuesday 100119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
So far early voting turnout for the primary is nearly double that of the 2015 election, and state officials say it could indicate higher than average interest in this year’s election. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says the early results are incredibly promising as people packed polling stations Saturday. If turnout does hit the mid-40s Ardoin says they’ll still have plenty enough Blue Dog stickers, having printed 3.2 million.
A recent study shows that Louisiana ranks 9th in the U-S with one of the most underfunded transportation infrastructures. That equates to more problems for drivers on the road like potholes, but most alarmingly, structurally unsound bridges. Louisiana Good Road Transportation Association President Ken Perret says the state’s 20-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax is the state’s primary means of funding road project and it’s one of the lowest in the country. Perret fears the $14 billion backlog of needed road projects will remain underfunded until there’s a disaster.
The Advocate reports the spokesman for Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry resigned Monday after being arrested last week on domestic violence charges involving his pregnant girlfriend. The paper reports that Jacques Ambers is accused of strangling his pregnant girlfriend and dragging her by her neck. He was booked into jail Thursday.
25 years after the first riverboat set anchor in Baton Rouge the market is now struggling as revenues are cratering. Baton Rouge peaked in the fiscal year ending June 2017 at $308.8 million and has slumped the last two years. Revenue has fallen to nearly one-fourth to $235.6 million for June 2019. Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board Ronnie Jones says new smoking bans have had a big hit. In New Orleans market, Jones says casinos saw a 20 percent drop in business after the smoking ban was implemented.
365 workers are out of a job in LaPlace after the unexpected closure of Bayou Steel in St. John the Baptist Parish. Local officials say they have not been given a reason for the closure yet, but the Governor’s office is indicating it may be tariff related as the company imports scrap recycled metals. The state says they’re working quickly to get the workers back into a job. The company has been a major employer in the area for many years.
On Monday the Federal Aviation Administration announced it will award $157 million in airport infrastructure grants to airports across the U.S. 34 airports from 19 states and the US Virgin Islands will receive funding to complete various infrastructure projects. Four Louisiana airports are among those to receive funding. Beauregard Regional Airport in DeRidder, Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Leesville Airport and Shreveport Regional Airport.
The office of the Attorney General announces the Broussard Police Department is the home of the newest prescription drug drop box. Special projects coordinator at the AG’s office Monica Taylor says the boxes are having a huge impact on the number of drugs being taken out of circulation. Taylor describes the boxes similar to a mailbox where items drop in, but they don’t come out.
A dog trainer is under arrest after allegedly faking the death of his client’s 25,000-dollar duck hunting Labrador. 44-year-old Lester Langley of Monroe had been tasked with training a local family’s pet during the hunting offseason when authorities say out of the blue he called the family and told them their dog had died. After the initial call Langley refused to respond to future calls or house visits. The family called authorities who showed up with a warrant. Authorities say Langley has refused to say what actually happened to the canine, but authorities suspect he sold the pup on one of his out of state trips. They hope to find out where the dog went.
The Pelicans begin training camp today as the Zion Williamson is ready to take off in New Orleans. The first overall pick says he’s excited and also feels at home in the Big Easy, thanks to love he’s only received from the state and the veteran leadership on the team. Williamson is already considered one of the best players in the NBA.
The saints are now 2-and-0 without quarterback Drew Brees as the Black and Gold defeated Dallas 12-10 Sunday night, handing the Cowboys their first loss of the season. It was a dominant performance by the defense. The Saints will now get ready to host the Bucaneers.
The fifth ranked LSU football team is gearing up to host Utah State this Saturday. The Aggies are led by quarterback Jordan Love who has thrown for over 6,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career. Coach Ed Orgeron is hopeful a couple of defensive starters will return for Saturday’s game. He says pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson is questionable, while defensive end Rashard Lawrence and linebacker Michael Divinity will try to practice this wee. Defensive end Glen Logan is out.
Ragin Cajuns linebacker Jacques Boudreaux has been named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week. The senior from New Orleans is the first Cajun to earn the defensive honor since 2014. Boudreaux had a career-high 12 tackles in U-L Lafayette’s 37-34 win over Georgia Southern. The Cajuns next game is Wednesday October 9th at home against Appalachian State.
In the Southland, Southeastern Louisiana is one of two teams in the league that is 2-0 in conference play. The Lions handed Northwestern State another loss last Saturday in Natchitoches as S-L-U thumped the Demons 44-27. Chason Virgil threw for 344 yards in the game. Southeastern is at McNeese this Saturday. The Cowboys are coming off a 28-17 loss to Sam Houston State.
Also Good news about the LSU-Florida game on October 12th, the SEC has announced the conference home opener will kick off at 7 PM on October 12th.