News for Tuesday 071718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
In a surprise announcement late yesterday afternoon Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy announced he would not seek a fourth term as mayor. In a press release, Roy said "We leave our city measurably better, and I hope the next mayor does, too”. Roy has been mayor since 2006. Qualifying for the November mayoral election starts tomorrow.
The summer in Louisiana means high temps. State climatologist Barry Keim says get ready for the seasonal peak. We can expect temps in the low 90s to mid to upper 90 during the work week, which are typical for this time of year. But he warns the humidity levels will be above average, bringing heat indices to dangerous levels. Remember, hydration in critical in this heat, even if you are not out in the sun.
Two adults and one juvenile are dead after a fire engulfed a trailer in Campti over the weekend. Investigators are still unsure exactly how the fire erupted and claimed the family’s lives. State Fire Marshal Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the fire occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning. At this point in the investigation, Rodrigue says they aren’t sure why the family did not respond to the inferno but says early reports indicate they may not have been awake to react to it.
The RPSO reports The Federal Bureau of Investigation has initiated a probe into the it’s Office over the March arrests of five corrections officers for an excessive force complaint from an inmate. KALB TV is reporting that within the past few weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division based out of Washington, DC and the FBI based out of Alexandria got involved with the case and opened a probe into the office. It’s also confirmed through multiple sources that the FBI seized multiple computers, phones and documents from the office. Channel 5 says they have also been told that the FBI's probe could extend beyond the incident involving the inmate.
Due to the renewal of a partial penny state sales tax rate and a tax rate drop in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana no longer holds the dubious distinction of the highest sales tax rate when combining state level and the average local sales tax rate. An economist for the Tax Foundation, Scott Drenkard, says that title now belongs to Tennessee. In 2015, The Tax Foundation wrote a book on its recommendation of the tax situation in Louisiana. Among the suggestions is expanding the sales tax to cover services. That has yet to happen.
A new approach by the Louisiana Department of Health in providing home and community services will end the waiting list for thousands of citizens with developmental disabilities. Deputy Secretary of LDH, Mark Thomas, explains that the new plan will also effectively end the 25-year-old Request for Service registry waiting list. Thomas says the new method sees those in the most urgent of need, some who have been waiting years, will see services very quickly. There are currently 16,000 residents on that waiting list in Louisiana.
Three Louisiana State Police troopers disciplined last year for taking a lavish "side trip" to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon while driving to a law enforcement conference in California offered their first public remarks on the controversy during their appeal Monday before the State Police Commission. The troopers told the commission they had been scapegoated for a scandal that embarrassed the State Police and prompted the retirement last year of Mike Edmonson, the agency's longest-serving superintendent. After a full day of testimony action was deferred on the appeal. It’s expected it will be next month, at the earliest, before any decision is announced.
The US Department of Labor has ordered El Paso Mexican restaurant to pay close to $655,000 in back wages to 567 employees, including 58 here in Alexandria. In addition to the Alexandria location, the company operates a number of restaurants in Louisiana and Florida. The department found that the chain violated the minimum wage requirements at 23 of those locations.
A Winfield woman is facing 18 counts of theft by fraud, after she apparently tried to pass of a fraudulent raffle. The RPSO posted a picture of the woman on Facebook Friday evening and she was identified within minutes as 30 year old Nettie Adams. Adams was already under lock and key in Winfield on fraud charges and is being held on a $10,000 bond. Authorities in Rapides parish will be waiting to arrest her when she gets released.
29 people have been arrested since March in St. Tammany Parish in a parish wide crackdown on the crystal meth that has been flowing into the rural portions of the region. The arrests have targeted smaller distributors, and have resulted in the seizure of guns, drugs, and money, and St Tammany Parish Sherriff Randy Smith says they do not suspect that the dealers who’ve been busted are part of a largescale, organized criminal effort to take over distribution in the parish.
The eyes of the college football world are on Georgia this week for SEC Media Days. LSU coaches and stars took the mike yesterday to talk shop. Head Coach Ed Orgeron is on the hottest seat in the SEC after a tumultuous season that ended with the departure of expensive OC Matt Canada. Orgeron says it’s for the best though, praising new coordinator and former tight ends coach Steve Ensimnger. Orgeron also told reporters he’s looking to have the never-ending quarterback question solved by the time the regular season starts.
Sports on air today….
The MLB All Star Game 6p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 071618
By Dave Graichen
The investigation continues into an early Friday morning crash that claimed the life of 19 year old Hayden Graham of Colfax. State police Graham, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation is underway Saturday into a fire in Campti that killed three people. Investigators found the bodies of a woman, man and child in the rubble of a fire in the 1800 block of Clark Road in the Natchitoches Parish town. The names of the victims and the circumstances surrounding the fire have yet to be released.
Two more Audubon Zoo animals have died, bringing the total number of animals killed to eight after a jaguar escaped his habitat on Saturday The jaguar was captured and returned to its night house after being sedated by a vet team. No people were hurt and the zoo was reopened Sunday.
The New Orleans PD reports an eight-year-old boy drowned in Lake Pontchartrain Saturday afternoon. Police said the boy had been swimming with his family off of a boat anchored when he removed a life jacket he was wearing and went under water. The boy was discovered unconscious a short time later.
Friday, members of the Restore Louisiana Task Force unanimously approved the resolution proposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to expand the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program’s tiered grant reimbursement structure from 50 percent to 100 percent for all eligible homeowners.
With midterm elections rapidly approaching, there’s buzz a rising level of enthusiasm from Democratic voters could lead to a “Blue Wave” that washes dozens of new Democrats into office, potentially shifting power in DC. JMC Analystic’s analyst John Couvillion says while Democrats may make some major gains nationally, locally he doesn’t see any Republican congressional candidates falling.
The Louisiana Housing Corporation Board of Directors approved $6.1 million for LHC’s soft second mortgage assistance initiative, which is slated to launch August 2018 in select parishes. Executive Director of LHC, Keith Cunningham, says with the program being a home owner may be more affordable than you think. The purpose of the initiative is to bridge the affordability gap between the price of the home and the maximum amount a homebuyer can borrow with a first mortgage loan. Cunningham says the program can help with other costs associated with initiating the process as well.
It’s an ailment that is causing a serious threat to the deer population, and from January through June of this year, a feeding ban was enacted in northeast Louisiana in order to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, spreading into the state. Now, Congressman Ralph Abraham is backing legislation for more in depth studies of the disease. Abraham says there is a financial benefit for the state in ensuring a healthy deer population.
This week at a public meeting New Orleans dove deep into questions about the effects of short term rentals, like Air BnB, on the local housing market. Jane Place Program Manager Breonne DeDecker says the long term damage of short term rentals could cripple New Orleans’ economy, as the working class that tourism is reliant upon are increasingly being forced to leave. Air BnB released a statement saying they worked closely with the City for two years to develop and implement rules for short-term rentals and hope to work closely with the city as the current rule making process moves forward.
US Senator John Kennedy has filed a resolution that could lead to a congressional denouncement of the movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Calls to Abolish ICE have mounted in recent months in the wake of the White House’s No Tolerance immigration policies, such as family separations. US Congressman Clay Higgins has filed a similar resolution in the House.
Governor John Bel Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain are taking a trip out to the farm. They will be meeting with local sugarcane farmers July 19th to discuss tariffs among other issues. Strain says they’re there to congratulate the farmers for their great work and to help understand what the state can do better to ensure another historic harvest…
Teams are headed to Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame to kick off SEC media days on July 16th. Coach O is in undoubtedly in the hot seat following last year’s shaky season but ESPN.com writer Chris Lowe says mystique also surrounds new Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the immediate impact he’ll provide. Lowe says expectations are high after leaving Florida State a champion. Lowe says the quarterback battle for LSU is far from over, and there should be no surprise if it isn’t settled by the regular season.
Sports on air today..
2018 Home Run Derby 7pm 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 071318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Jeff Hall, District 26 state representative, announced his candidacy for Alexandria Mayor yesterday. But, this isn’t his first go, around. Hall previously ran for the position in 2014, finishing second to current Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy in what then, was a five-candidate race. In his press conference Hall said he is deeply concerned with public safety issues in Alexandria. He noted his campaign platform is one of economic prosperity, public safety and bringing leadership back to city hall. Qualifying for the Alexandria Mayor's race is next week with the election scheduled for November the 6th.
Caught in the act of having sex in the stairwell of the Rapides parish courthouse has led to the arrest of an Alexandria jail trustee and a 19 year old Pineville woman. Arrested was 20-year-old Miguel Glorioso, who was arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and Jamie Lee Coutee. She was released on $1,500 bond. Glorioso also lost his trustee status and has been removed from duties at the Courthouse.
The Alexandria Fire Department held an unveiling yesterday of the new Fire Station Number 2 on Jones Street. The new facility has been in the works since 2008 as part of a department plan. The new facility along with a new state of the art fire truck is just down the street from the old fire station.
If you are searching for a place to retire, Bankrate says you may not want to be looking at the Bayou State. Their survey determined Louisiana was the fourth worst retirement destination in the country, joined by surprise picks California and New York in the bottom 5. Bankrate analyst Taylor Tepper says there are several reasons why Louisiana is at the bottom of the list. The overall health of it’s seniors, the quality, or lack thereof, of it’s nursing homes and a lack of activities for seniors. South Dakota is rated the number one place to retire..
In the Central Neighborhood in East Baton Rouge, a resident had an unexpected house guest. 74 year old Garland Maxwell called police and barricaded himself inside his home after he discovered a black bear napping in a tree in his back yard shortly before 11 Wednesday night. Maria Davidson, the large carnivore program manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries drove in from Lafayette. Her team monitored the animal all night and after sun-up "darted" the animal twice with an anesthetic to put it to sleep. The bear was transported to North Louisiana where it will be released.
Improvements to federal fisheries policy, an issue pushed by that Congressman Garret Graves, has advanced to the U.S. Senate as the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. Graves says the latest research implemented into the legislation provides more longevity to fishing in the state. The bill also addresses the concerns created by the influx of imported fish.
The White House announced it is considering 200 billion dollars in new Chinese tariffs, potentially raising the import cost on a broad range of goods by 10 percent. Senior Director at National Retail Federation Bethany Aronhalt says Tires, dog leashes, handbags, belts, shoe laces, and more are on the list, but it’s home improvement items in particular that could lead to price increases in places you weren’t expecting.
Animal activists are shocked as n Opelousas man will avoid jail time and will not be required to pay any fines after pleading guilty to Felony Cruelty to an Animal. Jermaine Doucet was accused of torturing an award winning race horse. The horse was found in June of 2017, in severe pain and malnourished. Vets on scene determined the horse needed to be put down immediately. Humane Society of Louisiana Executive Director Jeff Dorson says after two Bastrop men recently avoided jail time for slitting a dog’s throat on Snapchat, he’s concerned about a growing trend of under sentencing animal abusers in Louisiana.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is in the clear of allegations of bribery, accusations that have been lingering over his administration for the better part of two years. State District Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. ruled in the favor of Matassa saying prosecutors failed to prove the parish president offer cash and a job to A. Wayne Lawson in exchange for him dropping out of a 2016 city council race.
The LHSAA’s recent punishment handed down to McKinley High in Baton Rouge for recent violations comes with quite the price tag, a fine just shy of $50K. The ruling also saw the suspension of a coach and a ban on the school participating in post season competition for all sports for the next two school years. School officials are saying the school may have to resort to donations from alumni and fundraising to pay the fine.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Detroit Tigers 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 071218
By Dave Graichen
A Rapides Parish jury on Wednesday found 35 year old Nicole Johns Chandler guilty of manslaughter in the death of her 59-year-old cellmate. Chandler will be sentenced on Aug. 6. Chandler had been facing a second-degree murder charge in the July 29, 2017, incident that took place inside a holding cell at the downtown Alexandria jail.
56 year old Fredrick Kevin Harris pleaded no contest Wednesday to the negligent homicide of 70-year-old veteran, Charles Johnson, at the Alexandria VA Medical Center's psychiatric ward on March 13, 2013. Harris was set to be tried by Judge Harry Randow today, but an apparent plea deal was worked out. Harris received a year’s probation and was fined $1,000. He will have a chance to expunge his record, at a later date.
Former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, who’s under federal investigation, has been subpoenaed to testify at a hearing his week involving troopers who are appealing demotions and reprimands they received for taking a tax payer funded adventure to Vegas. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says even if the troopers can prove that Edmondson signed off on the excursion, it might not be enough to reverse the disciplinary action taken against them. The troopers claim to have text messages saved that show Edmonson was aware and permitting of the trip throughout the duration that they were gone.
The State Police trooper who shot and injured a passenger during a traffic stop early Tuesday had fired her taser during another traffic stop in the same area just hours earlier. Affidavits show that Trooper Kasha Domingue had stopped one driver who was operating a vehicle without a license plate and pulled over the other because he had made an illegal U-turn. She fired service weapons during both encounters after people in the vehicles tried to flee.
With the race for the governor’s mansion just fifteen months away, allies of Governor John Bel Edwards are discussing the variables of the campaign trail, laying out their pitch for voters. During an appearance on a Baton Rouge Talkshow, chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, Stephen Handwerk, says he believes things look favorable for the governor.
The Department of Education has released an application that will allow public school teachers to enroll in college courses at the state’s expense. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says with only 7 seats available for each of the next three semesters space is limited. Dunn says equipping teachers in STEM courses is paramount as new skills obtained by teachers will immediately trickle down to the students, and offering the classes could lead to better teacher retention rates as well..
A Shreveport man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of Bigamy. 40-year-old Jeffery Brooks had already been convicted of sex crimes in November against two teenage girls when investigators discovered he has also married to two different women.
The family of a murdered New Orleans teenager chose a unique manner to honor his memory by displaying his body as he lived: playing video games and surrounded by snacks. The images of the teen’s wake are spreading across the internet.
It’s commonplace in European countries. But, not here.. but that could be changing. The City Council in Sulphur on Monday unanimously authorized Mayor Mike Danahay to enter into a joint services agreement with other parish entities to fund a feasibility study on bicycle-sharing programs. Also involved in the study are the city of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.
A Tulane geologist has been selected to join scientists from around the world who are traveling to Antarctica to research the history of glaciers at the bottom of the globe. Tulane Assistant professor Dr. Brent Goehring says this could give us a peek into potential sea rise levels in the future. The 25 million dollar research collaboration will send 101 experts to complete eight large-scale projects. Goehring says the prep for the trip is rigorous, including wilderness and survival training but the process will be rewarding.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 071118
Compiled By Dave Graichen
A 75 year old Boyce resident now has a nice stack of cash after claiming a lottery ticket matching all five numbers with the Powerball’s June 23rd drawing. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says this serves as a reminder that luck could be in anyone’s favor with the drawings. 75-year-old Glenn Feazell won one million dollars, and after taxes, he takes home a cool $710K.
34 year old Michael Walker of Colfax has been charged simple burglary, criminal trespassing and felony probation violation, that after a Burglary investigation in the Bagdad Community. Walker was booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
Two Grant Parish Teens have been arrested after a routine traffic stop led to detectives finding drugs and a glass smoking pipe inside a milkshake. Arrested were 18 year old Dustin Mitchell of Colfax and 17 year old Sophie Bashel of Dry Prong. Both were charged with possession of crystal meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstruction of justice. Mitchell also was charged with a probation violation.
Governor John Bel Edwards is asking the Restore Flood task force to expand the 2016 flood recovery grant program to expand grant reimbursement eligibility to 100 percent, up from the current 50 percent. The change means an additional $110 million could be dispersed to thousands of Louisianans. The deadline for filling out a survey that qualifies Louisianans effected by the flooding for reimbursement is set for July 20th, after which point if you haven’t submitted, you won’t be able to be reimbursed by the state for any damage suffered.
This year’s LEAP Test results are in, and average scores are up one percent over the 2016-2017 school year. The percentage of students in the 3rd through 8th grade who scored mastery level or above is 34 percent; however that number was only 21 percent for African American students. Superintendent of Education John White says closing that gap needs to be a major focus going forward.
Louisiana’s Republicans US Senators are impressed with President Donald Trump’s nomination for the US Supreme Court. DC-based federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is widely considered a consistently conservative jurist. Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s been impressed with the Kavanaugh’s track record on past decisions, and compared his approach to the President’s first nominee, conservative US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Senator John Kennedy says Kavanaugh has a good resume and a positive judicial history, but he’s holding his final judgment until he gets a chance to question the nominee in Congress.
According to Politico, Kavanaugh has ruled and dissented against labor unions and workers’ rights in employment disputes, against regulatory agencies policies, and called the Net Neutrality “Unlawful”.
Louisiana US Senator Bill Cassidy will chair a hearing on paid family leave after meeting with Ivanka Trump, who’s been pushing the idea in DC. The United State is one of only eight countries worldwide, and the only developed nation on earth not to have guaranteed leave for newly minted parents. Cassidy says he’s open to the idea, but wants to know if the US has enough money to pay for it first.
30-year-old Robert Kimble from Pointe Coupee Parish has been ordered to pay over 10-thousand dollars in civil restitution for killing a black bear in Concordia Parish last November. General Counsel with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Yolanda Martin says Kimble admitted to shooting the bear.
The State Police Bureau of Investigations is looking into Tuesday morning’s police shooting in Baton Rouge involving a State Trooper and a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a traffic stop. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says the officer at the scene suffered a minor injury, while the non-compliant passenger was sent to a local hospital with a gunshot wound.
The Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with a video that was spread via Snapchat and various other social media outlets. The graphic video shows a dog being executed with the sound of two gunshots and someone laughing. Sheriff Mike Tubbs says they are currently investigating people involved.
Lafayette Regional Airport will soon have seasonal service to two more cities, Orlando and Denver, with the addition of Frontier Airlines. The flight prices start at just $39 and Airport Director Steve Picou says the action starts up this fall.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday took the first step to dividing itself into separate bodies, one for the city and another for the parish. The council voted 5-3 to introduce an ordinance that would place a charter amendment on the Dec. 8 ballot for voters to decide the question.
Sports on air today….
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 071018
By Dave Graichen
Judge Harry Randow said no yesterday to two motions to continue the trial of a former Alexandria VA Medical Center employee accused in the 2013 death of a patient. 56 year old Fredrick Harris faces trial this week on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of 70-year-old Charles Lee Johnson, who was a psychiatric patient at the VA. The trial is expected to begin today.
Jury selection is expected to start today as well for a Pineville woman facing a second degree murder charge in the death of a fellow Rapides Parish jail inmate. 35 year old Nicole Chandler is charged in connection with the death of 59-year-old Rachel Smith, who was found unresponsive in a cell of the Rapides Parish Detention Center in July of last year.
Tonia Brandy the business manager at the Avoyelles Parish Correctional Center and the ex-wife of the former warden, Nate Cain, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court on Monday. As a result, 17 counts of wire fraud were dismissed. Cain and her former husband are both accused of making many unauthorized purchases with a state credit card and with using state money to purchase lumber and plumbing supplies to build an unauthorized house on the prison grounds.
Amazon.com has applied for a permit to build a 21,000 square-foot distribution center for small packages in Baton Rouge. Officials with Louisiana Economic Development , who say they were not involved in any negotiations to bring the facility to the capitol, said to the best of their knowledge, this will be the first Amazon-branded distribution center in Louisiana.
A 10-year-old Baton Rouge Police Union contract will remain in effect for a few more months while representatives for the city and the officers await the results of a study looking at the Police Department's salary and benefits. The document outlines the basic conditions of employment, including wages and hours, but also discusses how the Baton Rouge Police Department handles allegations of wrongdoing against officers and disciplines them. Both sides expect pay and benefits to be the centerpiece of contract negotiations, whenever they occur.
Prison reform appears to be working in Louisiana. The state will save 12.2 million dollars as a result of the criminal justice reforms of 2016, that from a new report issued by the Department of Corrections. 70 percent of those savings will be reinvested into programs that will help inmates at parish prisons, increased the number of parole staff, new reception centers, and more. The state has seen a noticeable drop in the number of inmates in the system since 2016.
A recent Politico article has reignited the intrigue around former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plans for the 2020 presidential race. The Crescent City Politician did not confirm his interest in the race, but the comments he made may indicate an interest in the Democratic primary. UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervanek says this has gained the attention, and interest of national establishment Democrats who are looking to unseat Donald Trump.
A former local state trooper who pleaded guilty in state district court last week to two felony counts of malfeasance in office took to Facebook over the weekend and said he was indeed guilty of doing something that he said “hundreds, if not thousands of troopers” have also done. Rogers was arrested on one count of malfeasance in office and 74 counts of injuring public records. He admitted he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts.
The body of a contract worker at a Louisiana refinery has been recovered days after a fatal fall. A Phillips 66 says a HydroChemPSC employee fell into the 15-foot-deep water basin of the refinery's primary cooling tower on Wednesday night. After a shutdown of the facility, the unidentified worker's remains were recovered and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner.
Got some suppressed aggression issues you need to alleviate? A new businesses in Lafayette Parish might just be right in your wheelhouse. It’s called All The Rage, and customers can destroy old computers, dishes, and almost anything else your heart desires. In fact, Owner Kevin Richard says if traditional relationship counseling isn’t quite your thing, he says All the Rage has you covered.
Louisiana has surpassed Tennessee to become the number one state in the nation for the number of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The news comes following the most recent report by the National College Access Network, which also indicates the state now leads the nation with the most completion growth since last year.
About 20 children between the ages of three and seven years old were stranded on a tour boat on the Vermilion River Monday. Weather conditions forced the vessel to get stuck on a sandbar. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office marine unit assisted in making sure the campers got back to land safely.
If you love political cartoons, you’ll need to check out the new exhibit at the Old State Capitol Museum called “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons.” Director of State Museums, Mary Durusau says the exhibit will feature original editorial cartoons from the nation’s best newspapers throughout the first half of the 20th century. The exhibit will run until September 29th.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 070918
By Dave Graichen
It has been 2 years since Governor Jon Bell Edwards signed into law a bill that expanded the state’s Medicaid health care program. Figures released by the state show in the two years since the expansion, more than 400 women enrolled have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are receiving treatment. Nearly 8,000 adults have had precancerous colon polyps removed, and another 330 are being treated for newly diagnosed colon cancer. Also since expansion, More than 57,000 people are receiving mental health treatment, and more than 21,000 people have received substance abuse treatment. Though the program cost the state $9 billion a year, state health officials point out a good chunk of that money comes from the feds..
Just a few years ago, Louisiana trailed much of the nation in the number of high school seniors seeking college aid. Now the state ranks No. 1 in student applications for federal dollars, ending a long-standing complaint that students were leaving $50 million or more of potential college aid on the table every year. More than three out of four public and private high school seniors, 76.5 percent, have completed the form, called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Louisiana ranks second in the South for strongest economic development results for 2017 according to Southern Business & Development magazine. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says last year they announced DXC Technology is coming to New Orleans, plus an 800-million dollar LNG production and export facility in Lafourche Parish. Then There’s Lake Charles. That SW Louisiana city was titled Small Market of the Year for the eighth year in a row as they continue to secure capital investment projects.
49 year old Roger Dale Boggs, the CEO of a company who promised to build a $1.5 billion plant in was arrested on a fugitive warrant after a court appearance Friday.
Boggs was supposed to have been arraigned on a felony bank fraud charge, but asked for a continuance after showing up in court without an attorney. The Judge continued the arraignment until July 23, but warned Boggs that he would be arraigned on that date. Once the haring was over, Boggs was arrested on a Louisiana fugitive warrant from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office. He is wanted on a charge of unauthorized use of a movable, but no details were released.
Billions in Chinese tariffs went into effect Friday, and Louisiana industries are bracing for what could be a rocky ride.. Port of New Orleans VP Robert Landry says the Chinese tariffs on steel will have ripple effects throughout all economies that rely on Mississippi river shipping. Landry says right off the bat, he expects hours to be cut back at the port for the men who load and transfer goods from international shipping barges.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson also expressed concern about the tariff’s impact on the state’s economy. He highlighted the damage that could be inflicted on Louisiana’s agriculture industry that ships massive qualities of goods overseas.
Qualifying for next year’s governor’s race is 13 months away, so when we see Republicans who plan to challenge Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards announcing their candidacy soon? Political analyst Clancy Dubos says US Senator John Kennedy, Congressman Ralph Abraham, Attorney General Jeff Landry and state senator Sharon Hewitt have been mentioned as possible candidates. Dubos doesn’t foresee any announcements until next year.
The LA Wallet app that allows Louisianans to access a digital copy of their driver’s license, is available now on your Iphone or Android app store. The app was developed by a Louisiana company, Envoc. The app is a useable substitute for any state based license checks, like traffic stops, and in the near future could be valid for ID checks in bars, other states, and at the airport. In the event someone totally clears you out, taking your wallet and phone, Fabre says you can still access your license on other devices.
LA Wallet comes with a $5.99 activation fee.
The man who performed the first heart transplant in the Gulf South has passed away in New Orleans. Doctor John Ochsner conducted over 12-thousand surgeries during a 57 year career. He passed away at the age of 91. Doctor Ochsner’s father, Alton Ochsner, helped found the Ochsner health care system. Doctor John Ochsner stopped performing surgeries at 75, but was still involved with the clinic on a daily basis.
And in Louisiana sports news, the Pelicans are reportedly bringing back point guard Ian Clark. He’s signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract. Clark was one of the team’s top guards off the bench last season as he averaged seven points and two assists in 74 games. His role grew on the team after DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles tendon in January.
On air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 070618
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria has lost one of it’s favorite sons with the announced passing of Brent Caplan. Caplan was a well-known businessman who ran his family's longtime Alexandria clothing business. But, he will be remembered by many as a great father, husband and friend and for the many civic organizations he was involved with. Caplan passed Wednesday after battling brain cancer for nearly a year. Services will be held this weekend here in Alexandria. Brent Caplan was 54.
Can you imagine being a child who spent the night at a friend’s only to come home the next day to find your family has moved, leaving you behind? That’s exactly what happened to a Leesville boy. The VPSO is asking for the public's help in finding 44-year-old Gail Bernard Odom. She is wanted on a warrant for criminal neglect child desertion. Authorities believe Odom may be here in Rapides or possibly in Avoyelles Parish. Authorities report the boy is being take care of by the parents of a friend.
It appears now no charges will be filed against a Hineston who hit and killed a Leesville man in late May on highway 171. Louisiana State Police on Thursday issued a release after what it called a "very thorough and comprehensive investigation" into the May 29 crash that killed 31-year-old Sherell Lewis Jr. It said the investigation found that 18 year old Matthew Martin was not to blame for the accident. For many it was comments made on social media after the crash, where he used a racial slur to refer to Lewis and seemed more concerned about the damage to his truck than what happened to Lewis, who died on his birthday.
It’s been three months since four-year-old Junior Phillips was reported missing from his home in Claiborne Parish. Despite an extensive search, the child has not been found. The child’s parents have seen legal troubles with arrests since the disappearance, but Sheriff Ken Bailey is not sure if there is a connection between their legal woes and the missing child. The FBI has offered a ten-thousand reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the child.
The Louisiana Revenue Department is estimating that they’ll be ready to start collecting sales taxes on all items purchased online by the start of next year. A recent Supreme Court decision has paved the way for collection of sales taxes from stores without a physical presence in states they ship too. Secretary Kimberly Robinson says a recent report says that’ll be a good chuck of change in state coffers. Many major online sellers, such as Amazon, already collect state sales tax for online purchases, but Robinson says right now they’re not getting 100 percent compliance form many of the smaller online outlets.
It took a couple of tries but Southern University Thursday became the second higher education institution to raise fees in the last week. The Southern Board of Supervisors approved Thursday increasing fees by 5 percent for students on the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport campuses and at the university’s law school. LSU’s governing board last week also approved a similar 5 percent fee hike.
A former State Police trooper pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony counts of malfeasance in office, admitting he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts. Jimmy Allen Rogers was sentenced to three years probation and paid more than $2,500 in restitution in the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles.
Rogers was charged following a statewide investigation of a controversial traffic-ticket program intended to raise money for district attorneys, public defenders and other law enforcement agencies.
A Lake Charles man found suffering from gunshot wounds in a wrecked car has died from his injuries. State Police report several people at the scene trying to render aid to the driver, 21 year old Dorian Colston who in addition to crashing his vehicle, had been shot several times. Authorities believe Colston was shot while he was in his car and drove a short distance before crashing into a tree.
A recent escape from Swanson Center for Youth by Monroe marks at least the fifth excape so far this year for the juvenile detention facility. While attention can be turned to staffing issues, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Juvenile Justice, Dr. James Bueche says dated facility infrastructure such as doors and fences are partially to blame.
Bueche does say staffing is a big portion of the problem in dealing with the offenders and the agency continues to pursue additional funding. While the agency hopes the most recent jailbreak is the last, Bueche says it is hard to guarantee that it will be.
A federal appeals court judge with New Orleans roots is among President Donald Trump's top three choices to fill the seat on the Supreme Court bench left vacant by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the only woman among the three people said to be finalists. Barrett was born in New Orleans in 1972 and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Barrett has lived away from New Orleans since graduating.
The Comite River Diversion Canal project has been fully funded, one of several projects that’s received cash in a three billion dollar funding package from the feds. Comite will be completed in an estimated three to four years. Other projects funded include 760 million to the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project, 15 million to Grand Isle, and 15 million in other coastal restoration projects.
A juvenile was arrested after crashing a stolen truck through a home in Lafayette Thursday around noon. The driver fled a traffic stop and immediately crashed through the house, causing major damage. Two people in the home at the time of the crash escaped injuries.
Suspected members of the infamous Felony Lane Gang were arrested Tuesday as part of a routine traffic stop, where officers discovered nearly 12,500 dollars, 22 credit cards, 5 checkbooks, 40 grams of pot, 11 drivers licenses from across the country and even 14 wigs. The suspects were arrested on Veterans Boulevard in Jefferson Parish
An Arnaudville teen has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder following an early Wednesday morning police pursuit. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Major Ginny Higgins says it appears that the suspect intentionally aimed his vehicle at deputies when the crash occurred, injuring the officers involved.
Despite being given a five year sentence for injuring 32 people when he drunkenly plowing his truck into a crowd at a New Orleans Mardi Gras, 26 year old Neilson Rizzuto who was sentenced in January will be free later this month. With the 2017 prison reform law allowing the release of well-behaved inmates after serving 35% of their sentence for non-violent offenses,
Sports on the air today..
Houston Astros vs Chicago White Sox 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 070518
By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center is watching two areas of tropical weather in the Atlantic Ocean, one of which it now gives a "high" chance of developing into more organized system over the next two to five days.
Studies have shown Louisiana saw an increase of 14.7% in drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016. The Opioid Crisis Solutions Summit recently formulated several recommendations for curbing the impact of the epidemic. President of the Healthcare Leadership Council, Mary Grealy says one of the main focal points is making sure those handling opioids are equipped with the proper knowledge of the drug’s effects and alternatives.
A Forbes report shows Louisiana is the state most at risk of being economically crippled by the escalating trade wars initiated by the Trump Administration. The study shows nearly 21 percent of the state’s GDP comes from exports, with five percent coming from Mexico and China specifically.
Next time you get carded, you could have the option of pulling out your smartphone instead of your billfold. Commissioner at the Office of Motor Vehicles, Karen St. Germain, says with the new LA Wallet app, users can display photo ID from a mobile device and it’s quite easy to get on your phone. St. Germain says the safety of the app has been tested with top of the line security measures and that the app is available now.
The app itself is free to download, but the ability to use it as an ID will set you back six bucks and the digital license is good until the expiration of the physical ID card.
US Senator John Kennedy says the Legislative Auditor’s report detailing the Department of Health’s failure to collect important payment information from companies it works with in Medicaid is an example of the state’s poor spending habits. But LDH is pushing back, Undersecretary Jeff Reynolds says that information would not have changed how much the state spent, and they plan on quickly implementing practices that will insure the data is collected properly. Kennedy says a message needs to be sent that this kind of negligence from LDH leadership will not go unpunished.
A 40-year-old man is accused of "brutally" abusing his 15-year-old son in Calcasieu Parish, where he and his girlfriend would handcuff and hog-tie the teen and force him to wear shock collars for up to 12 hours at a time. Thomas Wininger and Desirae Tomcanin were arrested Wednesday. Police report the teen ran away when his handcuffs were removed so he could use the bathroom. Police were called when the boy arrived at a neighbor's home with injuries on his face and belt marks on his back.
Today marks the 2 years since the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Officer Blane Salamoni. Since then legislation has been passed to try to address the gap in trust between some Louisiana communities and law enforcement. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says they’ve had some initial success with programs aimed at increasing training for cops on how to interact with communities they serve. He says while the new, diverse group of cadets entering the force is showing great promise, he’s concerned by the attitudes of veteran officers who’ve resisted the changes.
It is now official. A member of the state house of representatives is now preparing to run for another elected position. Republican District 66 Representative Rick Edmonds, has announced his candidacy for Secretary of State in the fall election. Edmonds says security of state elections is one of his top priorities. Edmonds says he views the handling of new voting machines as a vital piece of the job once in office.
Sports On The Air Today…
The Houston Astros begin a 4 game, at home, series against the Chicago White Sox game one tonight at 6:35p on 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 070318
By Dave Graichen
Bad news for Fourth of July revelers, it’s going to rain. Thunderstorms that have the potential to produce heavy rainfall is in the forecast through Independence Day. State Climatologist Barry Keim says while the rain might be coming at an inconvenient time for the holidays, it’s sorely needed for much of the state that is getting dangerously close to drought conditions. Another upside: lower temperatures throughout the rest of the week.
If you are looking for some Fireworks the 4th of July you have many choices, weather permitting. Tonight, it the 14th annual Fireworks over Buhlow Independence Day celebration. The event is free and gates to Buhlow Lake will open at 4:30 p.m. with musical entertainment scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to start around 9:45 p.m
Tomorrow, it’s Rock the Red. A free event that will take place at the downtown amphitheater. Activities start at 7 p.m. with fireworks over the Red River starting at 10.
The City of Natchitoches will present fireworks over the Cane River at 9 p.m
In Pollock, the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration will take place at LaCroix Park on Highway 8. Refreshments and drinks will be provided. The fireworks are set to launch at dark.
The annual Avoyelles Arts and Music Festival opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow in downtown Marksville, with fireworks at 8 p.m.
Moody’s investor Service has raised Louisiana’s credit outlook from negative to stable, in a sign that Wall Street may be gaining more confidence in the Bayou State economy. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says this was one of the many reason the Edwards administration pushed for a stable final budget deal.After a sustained period on the negative watch list, Dardenne says the Moody’s decision is a validation of the governor’s financial policy.
Colorado State forecasters are downgrading their expectations for this year’s hurricane season, now saying we’re looking at a below average season for tropical activity. Colorado State University Research Scientist Phillip Klotzbach says they’re now projecting 10 more named storms, four hurricanes, and one major hurricane before the end of the season. He says conditions have changed over the last month. But Klotzbach says that doesn’t mean the gulf coast should get complacent. He warns that just because fewer named storms are predicted, doesn’t mean that one mega storm won’t cruise in and cause havoc.
AAA estimates this Fourth of July holiday will see a record-breaking 47 million Americans travel 50 miles or more. This is a five percent increase over last year and AAA Spokesperson Don Redman says the growing economy is propelling families to travel. AAA says the statewide average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.57, which is the highest in four years for Independence Day.
An early morning jailbreak marks at least the fifth of the year from the Swanson Center for Youth. Investigators say two teenage inmates escaped from the state juvenile prison in Monroe. The duo stole a state vehicle and drove it more than 40 miles south to the town of Olla, where they were captured after an hours-long manhunt.
Governor Edwards has released a video message asking Louisiana residents to look before they lock their vehicle in an effort to avoid leaving children unattended in hot vehicles. Edwards says over the last 20 years in Louisiana, there were 27 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths. Edwards says in this summer heat, the temperature inside your parked vehicle can quickly climb to over 110 degrees.
The 11th Annual National Suit Drive is underway through the end of July. The Louisiana Department of Corrections has once again partnered with Men’s Wearhouse to collect suits for offenders released from jail. CEO of Refined by Fire Ministries, Elaine Ellerbe, says when a recently released inmate receives a suit, they then have the appropriate clothing to go on a job interview.
State Police is reminding motorists about the three foot rule when passing bicycles following a fatal wreck on Saturday in St. Francisville that killed avid bicyclist and East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says Alexander was booked into the West Feliciana Parish Jail on several charges, including negligent homicide. Amoroso was pronounced dead at the scene, while fellow bicyclist 71-year-old Thomas Clement of St. Gabriel sustained serious injuries.
Sports On Air Today…
Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 070218
By Dave Graichen
The APD reports that all four suspects wanted for the burglary of a gun store on Jackson Street early Friday morning are in custody. Dontaevious Zone turned himself in on Friday night and Aveion Hall was located and taken into custody on Saturday morning. The other two suspects, Derrick Charles and Tyrique Bennett, we already in police custody. All four are facing burglary charges, and APD says more charges may be coming due to other incidents.
US Congressman Clay Higgins is introducing legislation that would require imported seafood be held to the same safety standards as American seafood. The Importated Seafood Safety Standards Act would increase inspections to 20 percent of all food imported, up from roughly ten percent now, demand that food meet FDA standards, and require that first set of shipments from any new overseas company have 100 percent of its cargo inspected. The Republican Congressman says the bill faces opposition from major international seafood suppliers.
Louisiana State University is again raising student fees at its main campus by 5 percent.
The price hike approved Friday drew worries the consistent, annual increases could price some students out of school. Campus leaders say the $282 per-semester fee hike for full-time students and the $14 million raised by it is needed for pay raises and other expenses. They say they're trying to keep pace with peer institutions and make up for nearly a decade of state financing cuts.
State leaders have had a week now to stew about the results of the special session that ended with a 4.45 percent compromise sales tax that fully funds most state programs. With the fiscal cliff in the rear view mirror, attentions now turn to the upcoming Governor’s race next year. GOP House Charmain Lance Harris says the results of the session make it clear the state needs a conservative governor. But Democrats are touting the results. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says the Democratic coalition’s ability to preserve healthcare, higher ed, and TOPS sends a strong message about the party’s values heading into the governor’s race, as well as their success in solving the budget crisis created by the last administration.
Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says he expects US Senator, and former State Treasury Secretary, John Kennedy to be Governor John Bel Edwards’ main opponent for the governor’s mansion. He says having Kennedy spearhead a conservative push in Louisiana next year will likely boost the profile of the 22 House Republicans who refused the final tax bill.
With much of the recent attention on funding Louisiana’s budget, the state is making upgrades to the way residents can keep a better eye on how tax dollars are spent as they roll out the Louisiana Checkbook. The website mirrors efforts in other state’s like Ohio to improve transparency. Policy Director at the Division of Administration, Jaques Berry, says he hopes the push for more openness in government spending will catch on.
Those headed to the beach need to be aware of a menace plaguing Gulf waters. Gulf coast beaches, especially those in Florida are dealing with microscopic baby jellyfish known as sea lice. Audubon Aquarium Curator James Arnold, says those with particularly sensitive skin should be on the lookout for purple flags…
A Baton Rouge police has been placed on administrative leave after he struck and killed a pedestrian Saturday night while on duty. A Police spokesman says the investigation is ongoing and that speed does not appear to be a factor in the accident.
60-year-old Elie Dupre has been ordered to pay $2,500 after his 15-year-old son killed a black bear in 2015. The son didn’t escape punishment either after being given 100 hours of community service and having his hunting license suspended for a year. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Spokesperson Adam Einck says the two were aware of their actions…
The NBA free agency period started Sunday at 12:01AM, and after one of the best years in franchise history, the Pelicans have a lot of big decisions to make. Locked On Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says bringing back the same crew likely will not be enough to push the team past Houston, Golden State, or a potential LeBron led Lakers team. New blood is needed to keep pace in the Western Conference arms race.
The Houston Astros have the day off today after a tough weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astro’s lost three of the 4 games in the series. Tomorrow, the Astros begin two game series in Arlington to play the Rangers..
News for Friday 062918
By Dave Graichen
Eleven bayou legends will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches this weekend. CEO and President of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, Ronnie Rantz, says it’s a strong year, with two wide receivers who were Super Bowl champions, Reggie Wayne of New Orleans and Brandon Stokley of Lafayette. Russ Springer began his career at LSU then spent 18 years pitching in the Major League and is also being inducted. Louie Cook, another inductee, served eight seasons as an offensive coordinator for the Ragin’ Cajuns and 32 years as a head coach for three different high school football teams. We can’t forget former KSYL Alum Lyn Rollins. He will receive the distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism. The ceremony is set to begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Natchitoches.
Republicans are taking stock of a contentious series of special sessions that took three attempts this year to come to a resolution. The final deal was a 4.45 percent sales tax, set to start July 1st, that received support from a majority of House Republicans. Despite support from the leadership, not every Republican supported sales tax plan. 24 House members and 6 Senators, mostly conservative Republicans, rejected the final compromise deal that was cut.
Pineville attorney Mike Johnson has announced he will be a candidate for the House District 27 seat when it becomes available. The seat is currently held by Chris Hazel who is a candidate to replace retired Judge Tom Yeager on the Ninth Judicial Division Court. That election will be held in November. If Hazel wins that race, Johnson says he will then run to fill the open House seat in a special election, most likely in January of next year.
After an invite from US Senator Bill Cassidy, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will be taking a trip to the Bayou State to assess infrastructure needs, including ports. With five of the top 20 ports in the country in Louisiana, Cassidy believes having Chao take a first-hand look at the problem will expedite the process of getting old and new projects approved.
After an invite from US Senator Bill Cassidy, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will be taking a trip to the Bayou State to assess infrastructure needs, including ports. With five of the top 20 ports in the country in Louisiana, Cassidy believes having Chao take a first-hand look at the problem will expedite the process of getting old and new projects approved.
A former Louisiana Senator is now throwing his name in the hat for another elected position. Pearl River Republican A.G. Crowe has announced his candidacy for Secretary of State in the November election. The office has faced challenges with the previous administration being plagued with a sexual harassment controversy. Crowe says he’s taken preventative measures to combat that type of activity during his time as a legislature.
Louisiana is no longer leading the nation for incarcerations. That distinction is now locked up by Oklahoma. Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the latest research that showed the numbers indicating prison populations are going down in the state. The governor goes on to say, 7% more of the prison beds are filled with violent criminals. Reducing incarceration rates was a marked as a priority for the governor during his campaign. Edwards says there is satisfaction with the direction of the change, but there is still more progress to be made.
A child was returned to his family after an Amber Alert was issued for 9-month-old Liam Allen who was abducted Wednesday night after 43-year-old Terry Doehling stole a vehicle the child was sleeping in. Doehling drove the vehicle from Jeanerette to New Orleans allegedly unaware that the child was in the vehicle. Louisiana State Police Spokesperson Trooper Melissa Matey credits the Amber Alert system for the successful child rescue.
A conservation coalition led by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is filing a lawsuit to protect the Louisiana Black Bear. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted black bears from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in March of 2016, but PEER General Counsel Paula Dinerstein says the decision was premature. Dinerstein says the black bear’s habitat is at risk now that federal restrictions have been lifted.
News for Thursday 062818
By Dave Graichen
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled the firing of a city of Alexandria employee who used a racial slur against a co-worker was justified. Dustin Bonial, who told the civil service board that he had used the slur against the co-worker several times, had argued that his 2017 firing was too severe in relation to the offense.
RPSO Deputies yesterday arrested a Lafayette man wanted on child pornography.
65 year old Durice Richard Jr was wanted by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation on 30 counts of possession of sexual abuse images/videos of children younger than 13 and other related charges.
30-year-old Kirk Dauzat of Hessmer has been arrested and now faces charges of Stalking and posting pictures of his victim on social media. RPSO detectives spoke to the alleged victim, earlier this month, that victim reported that Dauzat was the person responsible for the stalking. Dauzat was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention and was later was released on a $3,000 bond.
Donald Gene Parker III A former teacher who took a plea deal last year in a child pornography case now faces charges for allegedly not complying with it.
Parker was arrested Tuesday by the Woodworth Police Department on charges of failure to maintain sex offender identification and failure to register his vehicle with the sex offender registry. No bond has been set on the new charges.
The latest KIDS COUNT Data Book ranked Louisiana 49th in overall child well-being, despite improvements since 2010 in nine of the 16 measures tracked in the annual report. KIDS COUNT manager at Agenda for Children Teresa Falgoust says the child poverty rate is on the rise.
A Legislative Auditor’s report says some companies that are paid by the state to help run Medicaid are not providing the Department of Health with information on what they are charging for their services. Managed Care Organizations, or MCOs, are required to give LDH detailed information that’s used to set the rates they are in turn paid. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says it’s not just MCO’s at fault, LDH has been lax about requiring the information. He says this may allow for people abusing Medicaid to get away with fraud, because the proper checks and balances are not being enforced.
Senator John Kennedy has sponsored an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill that would require SNAP program recipients to show a photo ID during a transaction. Kennedy highlighted one incident in New York in which someone committed food stamp fraud for over 5 years, getting thousands in benefits. Opponents argue implantation would make it more difficult for legal food stamp users to utilize their card, due to the expenses associated with obtaining a photo ID.
A 17-year-old suspect is in custody in Morehouse Parish following arson allegations. Marquarious Williams fled to McKinney, Texas in 2017 after the incident at Bastrop high where he allegedly set a fire in a bathroom after school hours. Williams currently awaits prosecution.
The LSU board of supervisors has selected twelve innovations to support with grant money. The funds are the result royalties from the licensing of earlier inventions and innovations from the university. CEO of the LSU Research and Technology Foundation, Arthur Cooper, explains how the selection process takes place. Among the innovations that obtained funding included oyster flavoring, as well as biodegradable Mardi Gras beads.
A research team at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center has been awarded a five year, $4.5 million grant. It comes from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, to evaluate two treatments for childhood obesity. Dr. Amanda Staiano says they are accessing families via pediatricians. Staiano says they are working with families not only in Louisiana, but Missouri and New York. The research is expected to have a wide distribution of results.
A recent commission meeting involving the LDWF to discuss red snapper season has produced the estimated amount of red snapper landed this season. Finfish program manager for the agency, Jason Adriance says the state has already taken in more than a third of its federal allowance. Red Snapper season runs through July 8th.
On The Air….
Houston Astros vs Toronto Bluejays 5:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 062718
By Dave Graichen
Surveillance video from the scene of a robbery at a Tioga Church has led to the arrest of a 28 year old Alexandria man. The RPSO reports Cory Miles was arrested at his home where detectives found several of the stolen items. Miles was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center where he , at last report, remains. His bond is set at $3,000.00
State Police arrest a 23-year-old Jonesville man for a fatal hit and run that killed a 14-year-old girl taking out the garbage. Troopers say Earl Hancock lost control on Taylor Road in Catahoula Parish and hit Cadance Parker and then fled the scene. Hancock was apprehended a short time later and authorities believe he was under the influence when the wreck happened.
In Grant Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested the Managers of two Convenience stores, and an employee, after receiving complaints of alcohol being sold to minors. The Managers of The Rock In Colfax and A convenience store in the Bagdad Community were charged with multiple counts of selling to minors. Plus, the manager of the Rock will be facing a long list of drug charges.
The state’s fiscal cliff is officially gone as the Revenue Estimating Conference recognized 500-million dollars in revenue that will be used to shield TOPS, public colleges and most state agencies from cuts after July 1st. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne led the meeting, one day after the governor signed a new sales tax bill into law…
Most state agencies survived the special session without a cut, but the Department of Corrections was not so lucky. Construction and repair projects were put off once again, leading to concerns from department officials that the facilities used to house inmates could be running low on time. Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says they got hit pretty hard at the last second.
LeBlanc says the state has not provided funding for new facilities in over ten years, which he says is bound to catch up with Louisiana sooner than later.
Since 2016, the state legislature has battled huge budget deficits, but the Edwards’ administration now says we can look forward to financial stability over the next seven years. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the legislature’s decision to renew a portion of an expiring one-cent sales tax will give the state a stable revenue source.
Many Republicans are concerned the state budget will keep growing because of the governor’s decision to expand the Medicaid program in 2016, but Dardenne says by having more people insured will result in better health outcomes, therefore reducing the overall cost of healthcare.
Lieutenant governors from around the nation are converging in New Orleans for a three day summit. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will welcome the annual 2018 meeting of the National Governors Association with opening remarks.
Following the discovery of 20-year-old girl dead in her home in Fordoche, her ex-boyfriend is now in custody. Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres says 21 year old Eric Duhon Junior has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Madeline Falgout.
Bishop Michael Duca is leaving the Diocese of Shreveport to become the Bishop for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Duca says he’s surprised by the appointment made by the Vatican, but looking forward to the opportunity. Duca has been the bishop of Shreveport for the last ten years.
The man who struck and killed a Sterlington police officer, David Elahi with his car in 2016 was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. 46-year-old Tracy Govan was found guilty of vehicular homicide and vehicular negligent injury in February. Govan’s Attorney, Louis Scott, says it’s a gross over sentencing of his client, considering the sentences handed out for similar crimes.
Tangipahoa Parish Sherriff Danial Edwards is now reporting that two people who were found on the interstate Monday with gunshot wounds are in stable condition, but still critical. 35-year-old Sylvia Foxx and 44-year-old Shane Jones, both of Milwaukee were involved in what witnesses say was a murder-suicide attempt. Foxx was found with a gunshot wound to the head, Jones with a gunshot wound to the face. Jones, if he survives, could face charges of attempted second degree murder.
Over three decades ago The Bossier Educational Excellence Fund was started with just $500,000 from the yearly state tax revenue of Louisiana Downs. Now, that fund has grown to over $50 million, and the man that’s credited with its start, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell estimates the fund continues to grow by about 2-3 million annually.
Texas Southern will introduce former LSU coach and player Johnny Jones as its new men’s basketball coach tomorrow. The DeRidder native spent last season as an associate head coach at Nevada, helping the Wolfpack reach the Sweet 16.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees comes in at number eight in the NFL Network’s annual list of the top 100 players. It’s the first time Brees has been ranked in the top ten since the 2014 season. He set an NFL record last season with a 72-percent passing percentage.
LSU-Eunice’s Zach Hester has been named the national junior college division two player of the year. The right-hander from Texas was 13-and-1 with a 2.34 ERA with 133 strikeouts as he helped LSU-E win a national title.
On the air….
Houston Astros vs Toronto Blue Jays 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 062618
By Dave Graichen
Summer is back with a vengeance as State Climatologist Barry Keim tells us we can expect higher than normal temperatures through the week due to a high pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico which will see higher humidity levels and reduced cloud cover.
A Rapides Parish Sheriff's corrections officer was arrested on Sunday after an inmate made sexual misconduct allegations against him. 32 year old Jonathan Deville was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on charges of sexual battery and malfeasance in office. Deville later was released on his own recognizance. The complaint was received through the Prison Rape Elimination Act hotline on Sunday. Deville was terminated by the Sheriff’s department.
It was announced yesterday that Gray Television, the owner of KALB-TV5 and Raycom Media have entered into an agreement to combine their companies in a transaction that will create the single largest owner of top-rated local television stations and digital assets in the country. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The parties expect to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2018.
After two years and seven special sessions, the state now has a path forward on revenue that as of now provides enough money to fully fund most state services at their current levels. Most of the tax plan has a seven-year sunset, setting up another round of budget battles in 2025, unless a permanent tax reform plan can be enacted. There’s growing interest in a constitutional convention to facilitate that reform, but Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says many opponents are worried about just who would run the convention.
The legislature has appropriated four-million dollars to begin operating a new juvenile justice facility in Bunkie. Once fully funded at 12 million dollars, the site will host 72 beds, and emphasizes rehabilitation methods to deal with young offenders. Office of Juvenile Justice Deputy Secretary Dr. James Bueche (Bush) says he trusts that, if the new facility gets fully funded, they’ll be able to show the same positive results that have been produced in other states.
Even with the sales tax plan that will see the state sales tax rate go from 5 percent to 4.45 percent coming up July 1st, economist from the Tax Foundation, Scott Drenkard, says residents still pay the most expensive sales tax rate in the nation. However, even though the sales tax rate is as high as it is in the state, Drenkard says Louisiana does have more desirable tax rates in other areas, such as property taxes and income taxes.
Higher education is celebrating the passage of the budget and tax plan that saves universities and TOPS from further budget cuts. Without the passage of the 4.45 percent sales tax, TOPS was on the block for a 30 percent cut, with higher ed looking at tens of millions in reduced funding. Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Reed says a mobilization of students helped push the bill over the finish line.
Following a stop at a gas station in Grand Coteau this weekend, someone is now $2 million richer. The St. Landry Parish convenience store has produced other big lottery winners in recent months and word has spread. The 1 Stop store owner says more people are showing up at his business with high hopes.
A man and woman are in critical condition after being found shot on the side of I-55 in the Amite area. First responders were dispatched for a welfare check and found the two wounded by a vehicle on I-55 North. The man was airlifted to the hospital and the woman was taken by ambulance. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.
The Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a 20-year-old woman. Investigators say the door of the home belonging to Madeline Falgout was kicked in and she was found unresponsive inside her home at yesterday morning. No arrests have been made.
On the air….
Houston Astros vs Toronto Blue Jays 6:35p 94.7
News for Monday 062518
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Legislature wrapped up its special session ahead of schedule on Sunday night. The thirds special session of the year ended with the passage of a sales tax proposal and final spending plan for the budget that begins July 1st. The state sales tax rate will go from 5 percent to 4.45 percent on July 1 through 2025. The nearly $480 million generated annually in the process of keeping a portion of the sales tax hike will go to fund TOPS scholarships, college and university funding, social services, public safety and other state programs that had not been funded.
A budget deal is on its way to the governor’s desk that fully funds higher ed, healthcare, and TOPS, and sets the state’s sales tax to 4.45 percent. The bill raises 466 million dollars and is set to expire in 2025. Mandeville Senator and Republican Jack Donahue, the bill’s cosponsor, says it’s the compromise the legislature needed to get a deal out the door. The budget uses 46 million dollars in one time BP money, removes some tax exemptions, expands the Earned Income Tax Credit, and includes cuts to the Department of Corrections.
Governor John Bel Edwards celebrated the passage of the budget bill at the end of a grueling start to the year that saw four total sessions needed to solve the state’s impending fiscal cliff that’s been at the center of state politics since short term taxes were passed two years ago. Edwards congratulated lawmakers on keeping healthcare and education off the chopping block. Edwards, who is gearing up for what is expected to be a tough reelection battle in 2019, says the budget may not score anyone political points, but it does give the state stable finances for the next 7 years.
President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is in Lafayette today to host a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Josh Guillory, who is seeking to unseat GOP Representative Clay Higgins this fall. Meanwhile, President Trump endorsed Higgins. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it’s a bizarre set of circumstance. Giuliani is likely supporting Guillory, because his girlfriend, Jennifer LeBlanc, is the campaign finance chair for Guillory’s campaign. But Pinsonat says Giuliani should have thought twice before participating in this fundraiser…
US Senator John Kennedy says he’s attached an amendment to an appropriations bill that will end the practice of federal employees flying first class on the taxpayers dime, unless there’s a legitimate medical or security reason. In a report released last March, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt allegedly spent 105-thousand dollars on first class flights in his first year on the job.
A group of Republican US Senators will head to Russia this week, including Louisiana’s John Kennedy. Kennedy says he wants to establish some rapport with high-ranking government officials and he hopes one of those meetings will include Russian President Valdimir Putin. Kennedy says he intends to discuss the allegations of election interference in the US and other countries through the use of social media, a claim he says Russian denies.
A US Supreme Court ruling gives states the authority to receive sales tax revenues on purchases made by consumers with a business that has no physical presence in that state. However, Tax Foundation spokesperson John Buhl says Louisiana’s sales tax laws are too complex for them to take advantage of this ruling. Even if Louisiana lines itself up to collect, creating the logistics to do so will not be a quick task
A Shreveport police Corporal Marcus Hines is on administrative leave after he accidentally fired his department-issued gun while teach two summer interns about gun safety. No one was injured in the incident.
A Hammond Police officer suffered a gunshot wound to the foot while attempting to load his shotgun into his patrol car. Police Chief James Stewart says the officer dropped the weapon and it went off.
Two teenagers are now facing negligent homicide charges for their role in the death of 18-year-old Delicia Ceasor of Jonesville. Ceasor died in a car crash in Catahoula Parish on March 22nd. State Police Troopers have determined a 17-year-old driver and another driver, 19-year-old Victor Barber were drag racing and traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour when the crash happened.
Miss Heart of Pilot Holli' Conway was named Miss Louisiana 2018 on Saturday night in Monroe. She will represent the state for the coming year and go on to compete for the title of Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
There is more good news for LSU on the football recruiting front, as the Tigers received a verbal commitment from four-star quarterback Peter Parrish. He is ranked as the 11th best dual-threat QB in the 2019 recruiting class.
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Houston Astros vs Toronto Blue Jays 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 062218
By Dave Graichen
A U-S Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday gives states the authority to collect sales taxes on online purchases. Previously, Louisiana and other states couldn’t collect taxes on items bought from a warehouse or store that didn’t have a physical presence in their state. Global Tax Consultant Jason DeCuir says today’s ruling changes those rules.
DeCuir says Louisiana will collect more tax revenue, but it may take months and possibly legislation passed on the state level to get it done.
We were expecting a big day of votes on the House floor regarding sales tax bills that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used to soften proposed cuts to higher ed, TOPS and public safety programs. But the online sales tax ruling by the Supreme Court has postponed those votes.
The House yesterday failed to approve a proposal to renew a half cent of an expiring one cent sales tax as a way to generate revenue to avoid cuts to state services. The measure received sixty votes, but it needs seventy in order to receive passage and head to the Senate. The legislation can be brought up for reconsideration. And it can be amended to lower the amount that is renewed. But time is ticking as the special session is set to end Wednesday.
President Donald Trump has endorsed U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins in his re-election bid, a day after a report about Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's connection to Higgins' opponent's campaign. The endorsement comes one day after a detailed report from Politico about the reaction among some Republicans who were surprised that vocal Trump surrogate Giuliani had endorsed a challenger, rather than the Republican incumbent.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Thursday Louisiana’s personal income grew by 3.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, lagging behind the rate of growth in both the U.S. and Southeast region. The growth in Louisiana ranked 43rd in the U.S. In all, the state added around $1.8 billion in earnings over the period.
Although average gas prices in Louisiana are lower this week than they were last, the current average is still forty-nine cents higher than this time last year. AAA Fuel Analyst Don Redmond says soon those prices may be on the rise again.
The Mighty Lions of Lafayette High School are working out in their new weight room today, thanks to a generous donation by former NBA superstar Shaquille O’ Neal who helped fund the project that cost a little more than $40,000. O’Neal’s donation was part of South Louisiana Giving Day.
Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham calls the passage of the Farm Bill in the US House a great days for America’s farmers. Abraham, who is the only member of Louisiana’s delegation on the agriculture committee, says it help farmers recover from natural disasters. Abraham says the legislation heading to the Senate also requires able-body adults to either work or participate in a job training program for 20 hours per week in order remain eligible for food stamps.
LSU’s live mascot, Mike the Tiger, has gone viral after a video was posted of him slowly stalking several guests visiting his habitat. The guests had their backs to Mike which prompted him to approach the glass enclosure before pouncing against it. LSU Veterinary school spokesperson Ginger Guttner asks Mike’s visitors to not turn their backs to him. Guttner says even though Mike is still a playful juvenile, he is also a predatory animal and they are concerned Mike could break his teeth if he hits the glass to hard.
On Air Today…..
Houston Astros vs Kansas City Royals 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 062118
By Dave Graichen
A vote on the House floor is expected today on three different sales tax bills that raise different amounts of money and they renew up to a half-cent of an expiring one-cent sales tax. Governor John Bel Edwards remains optimistic one of those bills will reach his desk, if not significant cuts will occur. The fiscal cliff arrives on July 1st and this third special session must conclude Wednesday. It will take 70 votes on the House floor today for these sales tax bills to advance to the Senate.
US Representative Ralph Abraham of Richland Parish has cosponsored legislation to expand I-14 into Central Louisiana and Mississippi. I-14 currently ends a few miles west of Temple, Texas. Abraham says the legislation is waiting for a hearing in a House committee and it has the support of congressmen from Texas and Mississippi.
Students held a rally outside the State Capitol on Wednesday evening to demand that legislators provide adequate state aid for colleges and universities. The gathering took place on the third day of a 10-day special session aimed at solving Louisiana's latest budget crisis, this one a $648 million shortfall. Many of the students wore t-shirts with the names of schools they could have attended, or might attend, if the Legislature fails to resolve money problems.
The separation of families coming into the United States illegally is causing a firestorm of controversy across the nation. President Trump has signed an executive order to allow children to stay with parents attempting to cross the border unlawfully. US Representative Ralph Abraham says he supports President Trump’s efforts. Abraham says he co-sponsored the Goodlatte-McCaul Bill. While he believes it could solve many of the border issues, he feels that there may not be enough support to pass the bill.
State utility regulators Wednesday allowed a northwest Louisiana electric company to purchase part of the nation’s largest wind-power project. The $4.5 billion “Wind Catcher” project in the Oklahoma panhandle began construction last December and is expected to start generating electricity in 2020. The PSC allowed Shreveport-based SWEPCO, to increase customers’ monthly bills to pay for a portion of the wind farm’s power.
59-year-old Gerald Manning is a free man today after spending 41 years in prison for the 1977 murder of Vonda Harris. Manning was just 17 years old at the time of the homicide and his attorney Kristen Wenstrom says recent DNA testing has exonerated him of the murder that even the victim’s family doesn’t think he committed. Manning plans to live with his mother in Monroe.
After many years as the nation’s leading jailer, Louisiana has ceded that title to Oklahoma. The Sooner State now incarcerates 719 people per 100,000 residents, compared with 712 per 100,000 residents in Louisiana. Both states remain solidly above all others in prisoners per capita. Mississippi, Arizona and Arkansas rounded out the top five incarcerating states as of 2016, according to federal Bureau of Justice figures.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has paid more than a half-million dollars to settle claims that a longtime deacon and teacher repeatedly raped an altar boy at Holy Rosary School in New Orleans more than three decades ago. The settlement, paid this month, brought a swift conclusion to a lawsuit filed earlier this year that accused the archdiocese of allowing a "sexual predator" to work among children in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and doing "nothing to intervene and prevent such misconduct from occurring."
A State Police trooper has been arrested on allegations that he raped a 16-year-old girl in New Orleans. Thirty-six-year-old Lander Journee was booked on third-degree rape and posted a 25-thousand dollar bond. He’s been placed on administrative leave.
A 34 year old Baton Rough father of four died at the hospital Tuesday from gunshot injuries that police say were the result of an argument over a dice game that took a violent turn. A warrant has been issued for a 22 year old man in connection with the shooting.
RPSO Detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a suspect in a church burglary. On June 16, a suspect burglarized the Church of God located off of Alabama Drive in Pineville. Multiple electronic items were taken. The suspect in the surveillance images is described as a black male, approximately 5’7” tall, with multiple tattoos. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities. You can find the video images on the KALB TV5 website.
A Florida man has been convicted of attempted manslaughter in the stabbing of his passenger on I-49 last summer. On Wednesday, opening arguments wrapped and the first witnesses were called in the trial of Edwin Paul Frinks, Jr., who was arrested last July and indicted on a charge of attempted second degree murder. He will be sentenced July 23.
Five star cornerback and the nation’s number one recruit according to Rivals-dot-com, Derek Stingley Junior of Baton Rouge, announced today he plans on signing with LSU in in December. Instead of holding a press conference, with hats of different schools in front of him, the Dunham High football star announced his decision with a video message on Twitter.
On The Ait Today….
NBA Draft 6p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 062018
By Dave Graichen
The APD announced yesterday they are looking for 25 year old Korri Thornton in connection with a homicide on Henry Street earlier this month. The victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was a 20 year-old man who has not been identified by the department. Korri Thornton is believed to be armed and dangerous.
A House committee heard testimony yesterday on tax bills during the first full day of the latest special session, but took no votes. Most of the legislative action took place in the House Appropriations Committee where state health officials defended their spending, while higher ed and department of corrections discussed what budget cuts would mean to them.
Votes are expected today in the House Ways and Means Committee on different sales tax bills. Jackson Representative Kenny Havard’s proposal would renew a half-cent of an expiring one-cent sales tax and generate 507-million dollars in revenues, which would be enough money to prevent cuts to college campuses, TOPS and public safety programs. Some Republicans prefer to renew less than a half of a penny, but Havard says it doesn’t make sense to raise taxes and also cut the budget at the same time…
LSU Student Government will host a rally at the State Capitol this afternoon to call for full funding of TOPS and higher education. If lawmakers do not act before the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, then students will face a 30% cut to TOPS and a $21 million dollar reduction in funding for LSU. LSU Student Government President Stewart Lockett says their message for lawmakers is simple and that is to stabilize higher education and TOPS. All public university systems are looped into this rally and the turnout is expected to be high.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a complaint with the state’s ethics board accusing a handful of district attorneys of violating the state ethic’s laws. The Center claims D-As are hiring off-duty police officers to write traffic tickets and then treathen motorists with prosecution, unless they pay hundreds of dollars to the D-A’s office to dismiss the tickets. So far the claims are just an allegation.
The escalating trade war with China is not good for Louisiana’s Agriculture Industry. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says Louisiana has done a lot of work to open up China to rice, beef and poultry exports. President Trump initially proposed tariffs on 50-billion dollars in Chinese imports, because of an estimated 375-billion dollar trade deficit with China. And now the Trump administration is looking at imposing tariffs on another 200-billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods as the trade war worsens..
There are over two thousand nursing programs throughout the United States, but only one can be ranked number one. That distinction belongs to Louisiana Tech University’s Division of Nursing. Chair of the program, Dr. Donna Hood, credits the latest accolade to the determination of both the faculty and students. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing ranks programs based on the rate at which graduates pass the licensing exam, which is 100-percent at Tech.
The 2018 crawfish season is coming to a close after getting off to a slow start, because of a cold January. David Savoy with the Louisiana Crawfish Famers Association says For those that may have noticed smaller than normal mudbugs this year, it was because the harvesting began a little early in the developmental process of the crawfish.
One of the top high school prospects in the country will decide today whether he’ll attend LSU, Florida or Texas. Cornerback Derek Stingley Junior of Dunham High School in Baton Rouge was recently ranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s top recruit for the Class of 2019. His father, Derek Stingley Senior, calls his son a freakish athlete with a will to win.
A Louisiana winter wonderland in June? That’s the scene in Downtown Lafayette as a holiday-themed independent film is in production in the area. Production for the movie, entitled The Christmas Cupid, is spending a total of four months in the state, including twelve days in Lafayette. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment Chris Stelly says filming in the area presents a great opportunity for the community.
On air today….
Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 061918
By Dave Graichen
The third special session of the year is underway, and Governor John Bel Edwards addressed both chambers saying it’s time to break free of the partisan gridlock as the state approaches the fiscal cliff on June 30th. While the governor did express understanding with the frustration within the chambers, he relayed that the citizens are even more so. Edwards says he believes that a solution can be reached in the allotted 10 days for the session.
Alexandria Police yesterday found the body of a man, in the 600 block of Harold Glen Road, who had been shot multiple times. Later in the day they found a burnt out car, that apparently is linked to the victim, at a different location. The name of the 40-year-old victim has not been released by police.
State police report 56 year old Britt Holden of Boyce died early Monday morning when he apparently walked into the path of a garbage truck on Highway 28 west near Cooper Road. The accident happen just before 5am. The driver of the truck told troopers he swerved to avoid Holden, but was unable to avoid hitting him.
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office has filed a court petition against the Rapides Parish Police Jury and its treasurer Bruce Kelly after the police jury voted last week to slash the DA's budget by $700,000. The petition claims that cutting the budget by such a large amount will result in irreparable harm to the office and cause an immediate funding crisis.
The criminal case against former Avoyelles prison warden Nate Cain and his ex-wife will move forward after a federal judge denied their request to suppress evidence key to their indictments for improper purchases on the Avoyelles prison's dime. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell of the Western District of Louisiana ruled last week that the now-estranged couple did not have standing to contest the Office of the Inspector General's 2016 search of their former home, which will allow the case to progress toward trial.
By 2045, nearly 41,000 homes in Louisiana could be at risk of chronic disruptive flooding caused by sea level rise, according to a report released Sunday by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report says nearly 99,000 people could be affected by floods that would happen 26 times a year or more. The value of the homes affected by the flooding is pegged at nearly $4.3 billion, contributing $36 million in property taxes.
Legislators are back in Baton Rouge for a third special session called to address the fiscal cliff which arrives July 1st. Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack says LABI supports a partial renewal of an expiring one-cent sales tax, even though businesses will pay 48-percent of what could be a 400 to 500-million dollar tax increase…
State Police arrested a Denham Springs couple after they were found in Calcasieu Parish transporting 25 undocumented immigrants. State Police Sergeant James Anderson says Stephanie and Nicholas Harris were booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center. Anderson says this appears to be a case of human trafficking.
Five protesters were arrested in New Orleans Monday as US Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the National Sheriff’s Association Convention in New Orleans. During his speech, Sessions said the United States will NOT encourage people to bring their children to the country illegally by giving them immunity in the process.
A north Louisiana glass plant that received millions in tax incentives as part of a Jindal-era economic development deal to retain its workforce is planning to lay off up to 227 employees, cutting the facility’s capacity roughly in half. The company, the Ardagh Group, cites a growing plastics market that is cutting into many of the food product lines made at its facility in Simsboro, near Ruston, where it makes glass jars and bottles for brands including Tabasco, Smucker’s, Tito’s Vodka, and Seagram. Plant manager Chris DeCerbo said the firm is working to find new business to stave off the cuts, but added it would take “providence” to prevent the layoffs.
Last week’s announcement of the 2.3 million dollar return through the Unclaimed Property Program to a north Louisiana resident has more people interested in the program. State Treasurer John Schroder says the recent claim has more Louisiana residents wondering if they have money in the state’s unclaimed property fund. It’s easy to find out.. Visit La-Treasury-dot-com to see if you are owed money.
New research has found that opioids can increase the risk of bone fracture and also make it harder for bones to heal. Doctor Bob Zura from LSU Health New Orleans says it’s not just the heaviest users that are at risk. Zura says Tyenol maybe a better choice for treating pain associated with bone fractures, instead of opioids.
Three children at an outdoor party were struck by a fallen tree Sunday afternoon in Opelousas. All three kids were taken to the hospital. One child was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge is listed in critical condition.
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Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 061818
By Dave Graichen
The city of Alexandria announced just after 10 Saturday night that the citywide boil advisory had been lifted by the state after samples collected on Friday cleared. However, traveling throughout the city Friday evening and Saturday you would never have known the advisory was in effect. This reporter visited three restaurants over the weekend, one Friday night and two on Saturday, where it was business as usual. Iced Tea and Fountain beverages, all of which used unboiled city water, continued to be served to patrons, without warning.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the number of people employed in the Bayou State has increased by 44-thousand over the last year. There were just over two-million people working in Louisiana in May, the second highest total in recorded history. Professional and business services added seven thousand jobs over the year.
The third special session of the year kicks off today, with some legislators expected to go to battle for the last time this year over the state’s persistent budget issues under the specter of deep cuts to TOPS and other state services. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says passing the half penny sales tax renewal will be the focus, because it fully funds the government.
If the legislature manages to pass a revenue bill, it will likely be a short term deal lasting at most 6 years. That means half a decade from now, the whole process will likely start again. Dardenne says he’s disappointed that it came down to another sales tax, instead of permanent structural tax reform.
The Governor signed the legislative budget that fully funds healthcare, but unless more revenue is generated would require 648 million in cuts to other sectors. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says after a hard fought battle to get the bipartisan budget, suggestions by Appropriation Chairman Cameron Henry would see that money be shuffled out of healthcare and state worker.
Louisiana could feel the pinch as President Donald Trump issued a new round of tariffs today on China, worth 40 to 55 billion dollars in new penalties, and the Chinese responded with a threat of 50 billion in retaliatory tariffs. The escalating trade dispute could damage the Bayou State economy that relies on shipping, but US Congressman Steve Scalise says the People’s Republic needs to be pushed to trade fairly. Scalise says despite some of the tough talk, the Trump administration is not looking for a dire escalation of the ongoing trade dispute.
Louisiana officials back an effort to impose a five to ten cent inspection fee on all imported seafood coming, in an effort to push back against lower quality, cheaper imported shrimp that’s hurting Louisiana shrimpers. During an appearance on Talk Louisiana, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says foreign seafood doesn’t meet our safety standards.
The US Senate approves legislation to honor former Saints standout and ALS advocate Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal which is the highest honor a citizen can receive from Congress. Senator Bill Cassidy was one of the bill’s sponsors.
The legislation now heads to the House seeking approval.
June 15th marked the beginning of open enrollment for the state’s Medicaid program known as Healthy Louisiana. Enrollment Services Manager Rebecca Harris says during this time window the over 1.5 million Louisiana residents on Medicaid have the opportunity to explore the five different coverage plans. Open enrollment ends July 31st.
Two high schoolers from Lake Charles want to bring delivery services to stadiums so that hot dog comes right to you in the stands. The idea from Malik Ellis and Alex Brown of LaGrange High School won the SEED Center Business Pitch Competition this year.
The potential app is called “Runner Eats” and would function similarly to Waitr.
On the air today..
Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 061518
By Dave Graichen
A report from the Governor’s Rural Water Infrastructure Committee show seven of the 10 most distressed water systems in the state are here in Central Louisiana. The committee is tasked with helping at-risk water systems to address their issues before they reach a crisis point. One of its first priorities was developing a list of the state's water systems most in need of immediate action. On the list, the Hammock Water System here in Rapides Parish, plus water systems in LaSalle, Natchitoches, Catahoula and Concordia Parishes.
Medical marijuana, you doctor will have to prescribe the medicine to you. Or will he? The state department of revenue would like to change the word “Prescribe” to “Recommend”. That one word difference will allow the state to tax your prescription. The Louisiana Department of Revenue confirmed in a statement this week that the prescription drug exemption on the state sales tax does not apply to medical marijuana sales. The sales tax applies at the point of sale to consumers, who will buy the drug from nine initial licensed marijuana pharmacies in regions throughout the state.
A 75-year-old priest has confessed to sexual misconduct with a minor. According to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, Father Steven Michael Guidry has surrendered to authorities. The sheriff says the priest was forthcoming with information about the incident.
Heading into next week’s special session many agencies across the state are facing budget cuts. District attorneys are not exempt from these cutbacks, and it looks like they could be quite steep to the tune of 82 percent if additional funding is not found. Executive Director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association Pete Adams says the financial slash will be overwhelming. Adams says this is an issue that needs to be taken very seriously as it is a matter of public safety.
Despite a budget that calls for deep cuts to higher ed, The Louisiana Community and Technical College System will not be raising tuition or fees for the 2018, 2019 school years, continuing a two year trend of keeping costs stable for students. LCTCS President Monty Sullivan says the state cannot continue to place the cost of education on the backs of students.
Former Jindal Administration staffers are calling on the House to pass the half cent sales tax renewal that would fully fund state government, Former Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater says both Jindal and Edwards’ administrations failed to get the legislature to bite on long term tax reform that would end the cycle of fiscal cliffs.
Parents who are interested in saving up for their kids K through 12 education now have the option of a state backed, interest accruing, and federal tax free savings account as a result of a new law signed by Governor Edwards. The program is called START K12.
Under the program parents are only allowed to withdraw 10,000 dollars per year, per child, from the account, which should cover the costs of many private schools.
Two Arkansas men who plead guilty to aggravated animal cruelty charges for slitting a dog’s throat and posting the video on Snapchat avoid jail time in Morehouse Parish. Judge Carl Sharp gave Boots Stanley and Steven Sadler a suspended three-year prison sentence. Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana Jeff Dorson can’t believe they are not going to jail.
In a case that tested the limits of Louisiana's "stand your ground" laws, a Walker man found guilty of attempted manslaughter in the 2015 shooting of a home invader was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison. 27 year old Aaron Neames had been found guilty in the shooting case in May. He was sentenced on Thursday by 21st Judicial District Judge Bob Morrison.
A Bush man who was gifted a giant alligator snapping turtle for some home cooking got more than he bargained for, a human finger deep inside the reptile. St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Spokesperson Scott Lee says cadaver sniffing dogs are on the case, but it’s certainly possible the creature could’ve just grabbed a snack from an unlucky angler.
The Houston Astros, high on an 8 game winning streak, begin a three game series tonight in Kansas City. Airtime 6:40p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 061415
By Dave Graichen
The final act of this year’s special session trilogy is less than a week away, with the administration and many legislators scrambling to find some extra cash for programs like TOPS, which is facing a 30 percent cut. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says LDH has 110 million dollars in funded vacant positions, which are jobs that have money allocated, but are not currently filled. The Representative says it would take roughly 90 million dollars to fund the remainder of TOPS. Henry says the legislature could also consider taking away state workers’ pay raises to fill part of the budget gap. The session starts Monday.
It’s a disciplinary action that has been around for years, but now a study involving Tulane University researchers finds that about three out of four pediatricians are saying spankings are no longer recommended. Tulane associate professor Catherine Taylor says it’s important to remember that even though spankings are no longer recommended, discipline in a child’s life is still crucial. Taylor recommends consulting with your pediatrician for advice and to see what the best disciplinary actions are for your child.
The feds are pumping 40 million dollars into the state’s Childcare Assistance Program, that helps working and middle class parents pay for child care services. That means 4,000 more families will get help finding a safe environment for their pre-kindergarten age children while they’re at work. The program has had to cut back dramatically in the last decade, as the state cut off all funds for Childcare Assistance after years of budget cuts. Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Melanie Bronfin says those cuts kicked 25 thousand families out of the program.
Today is the one year anniversary of the shooting of US Representative Steve Scalise. Scalise was hit in the hip by assault rifle fire in a politically motivated shooting that targeted Republican legislators at a congressional baseball game in Alexandria Virginia. Scalise says his recovery was a tough journey, but he made it through with help from his family.
A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been found in Terrebonne Parish. The Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District issued a notification saying they have taken steps to kill the organism in the water system. Officials says they will test the water in two weeks to make sure its eradicated
A Shreveport craft beer’s popularity has exceeded the expectations of the brewery behind the beverage. 318 Golden Ale, named for the area code where you can find the beer, was released in March. Great Raft Brewing’s tasting room manager Bob Thames says although you can find other beers from the brewery widely distributed, the idea behind 318 Golden Ale is to have a beer solely for North Louisiana. Initially, the brewery expected to sell the equivalent of 4500 cases in the first 90 days. However, the ended up selling closer to 7000.
A bid to repair the Lake Prien Bridge on I-210 in Lake Charles has been submitted that claims the work can be done in a surprisingly short time, only 365 days. The 44.5 million dollar repair will address the 54 year old bridge that is vital to transport in the area. Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says their own estimations pegged the time at 17 months at best. Wilson says the bridge is rapidly deteriorating and needs to be addressed soon, before the situation gets worse and the whole thing needs to be shut down.
Two big new rule changes from the NCAA. Starting October 15, college athletes will have the freedom to transfer to any university they want without fear of being blocked from their current school or any others. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says the transfer rule will give players more freedom. Moran says these aren’t professional athletes and it was wrong for schools to control where they could get an education and play ball
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Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 2p 94.7 ESPN
The Astros have won their last 7 games including last night’s 13 to 5 win over the A’s
News for Wednesday 061318
By Dave Graichen
Some very good police work averted what could have been a very dangerous situation yesterday afternoon, as a Texas homicide suspect was captured in without incident. U.S. marshals had alerted the Alexandria Police Department earlier Tuesday afternoon that Daryl Kelly was in the Home Towne Studios at 1000 MacArthur Drive. Police evacuated the building and closed down Mac Arthur Drive for close to 2 hours. Kelly, once seeing his options, surrendered to police.
The Rapides Parish Police Jury voted unanimously Monday to cut $700,000 from the District Attorney's Office, a move that will likely lead to more legal action. Jurors approved the motion that had come from its finance committee a week ago.
It was a traffic nightmare.. Flooding rains closed both lanes of I-110 in Baton Rouge Tuesday evening as a line of slow-moving storms inundated the area during rush hour. Some areas of the highway had water several feet deep.
Negotiations have begun this week in advance of next week’s special session, with parties involved hoping to get a deal in place before Monday to avoid another dramatic last second finish to what will be the last session of the fiscal year. Senate President John Alario says after two special sessions, he’s convinced more and more legislators are leaning towards a deal that would fully fund state services.
Unless the Legislature approves additional revenue, TOPS will suffer a 30 percent reduction, a cost that will be passed right back to students and their families. Higher ed is also on the block for a substantial reduction, and Taylor Foundation Executive Director Dr. James Caillier says even if the state approves the funds, we’re already losing some of our highest performers who are tired of the uncertainty. That 30 percent reduction would result in the average LSU student with TOPS graduating nearly 14,000 dollars more in debt than they would have if the scholarship program was fully funded. Caillier says many working class students just could not bear that kind of increased cost.
US Senator John Kennedy is calling on Governor John Bel Edwards to step down due to his handling of the state’s fiscal cliff. Kennedy sites the legislature’s inability to find a long term solution to the budget crisis come down to a lack of leadership from Edwards. The Republican called for the Lt. Governor to take over the state. Edwards’ Spokesperson Richard Carbo says “Sen. Kennedy’s absurdity knows no limits, and Gov. Edwards isn’t going to be distracted by childish comments or letters from our junior senator.”
During an event hosted by Washington news organization POLITICO, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise quickly answered no when asked if he plans to run for governor next year. The Jefferson Parish Republican is a candidate to replace the retiring Paul Ryan as U-S House Speaker.
The old Holsum Bread bakery in Baton Rouge, which shut down almost three decades ago, could get new life as a housing manufacturing facility. Ready Shield Solutions plans to open an assembly plant at the site. Preliminary documents filed with the Louisiana Economic Development department show the facility will involve a $60 million investment and will generate 300 new jobs.
The eyes of the world are on the recent meeting between President Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. US Congressman Ralph Abraham says he’s thankful that relations with North Korea are at a point where talking is a possibility.
The congressman says he’s got faith in President Trump’s ability to strike up an effective deal with Kim Jong Un.
Small business optimism has reached its highest level in 34 years. That’s according to the National Federation of Independent Business. NFIB state director Dawn Starns they are now hoping for tax reform in Louisiana as lawmakers consider what to do with the state sales tax, which is currently at 5%.
Rudy Guiliani is visiting Cajun country to raise money for US Congressman Clay Higgins primary challenger, Josh Guillory. The former New York City Mayor, and adviser to the President, will be attending a fundraiser for Guillory on June 25th in Lafayette at the Petroleum Club. Guillory is considered to be a more moderate republican, who may lean towards a message that resembles the districts former Representative, Charles Bustany.
Two Acadiana men are under arrest in connection to the murder of a St. Martinville teenager. Twenty-five-year-old Brandon Boutte of St. Martinville was charged with Obstruction of Justice and Second Degree Murder in the death of 19-year-old Simone Robin. St. Martin Parish Sherriff’s Spokesperson Major Ginny Higgins says Robin’s trailer was set on fire Saturday, and her body was found later that day on a levee in St. Landry.
Starting in September, travelers through Baton Rouge Metro Airport can expect more destination options with the addition of Via Airlines. The airline, which has been in business for over a decade, will now provide direct service to Austin, Texas and Orlando, Florida. Airport spokesperson Jim Caldwell says service will fly on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, as they expect a high demand for business travel to the capital city of the lone star state.
WWL-TV in New Orleans captured video of a cement truck in New Orleans getting stuck in a sinkhole in the French Quarter. Problem is, that cement truck was apparently on the scene to fix the sink hole. Another truck was called in to pull the truck out of the hole. City officials say no one was injured.
Saints running back Mark Ingram talked to the media about his recent absence at OTAs, amidst rumors that he’s unhappy heading into the year without a new contract. The Saints will be without the pro bowl runner who went for over 1100 yards on the ground last year for the first four games due to a PED suspension, but Ingram has faith that the young guns can carry the Black and Gold In his absence. Ingram says the rumors that he was planning a hold out to protest his contract that runs out this year, are false.
On Air Tonight..
Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 061218
By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center tells us they are monitoring a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea that has low chance of tropical formation this week. The weather system is approaching the Gulf of Mexico, but at the moment seems like a bigger concern for Mexico than the United States.
Sister Virginia Lee Vanderlick, who was the principal at Our Lady of Prompt Succor School for 30 years, died Sunday in San Antonio. A memorial mass followed by a reception and lunch will be held at 11 a.m. a week from this Thursday, June 21 at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Alexandria. Sister Virginia Lee became principal at OLPS in 1972. She stepped down in 2002 and continued to teach religion classes until she retired in 2013 for health reasons. Our thoughts and prayers are with her many family members here in Cenla.. Sister Virginia Lee Vanderlick was 90 years old.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services warns that unless more funding is approved in the special session, that the food stamps program will be shut down. Walters says 64 percent of people who receive SNAP benefits are either children, disabled, or the elderly, with another 27 percent being the working poor who a earn paycheck that’s not enough to feed their families. The department is currently set for 34 million dollars in cuts.
We’ve all heard the story of a distant rich relative passing and leaving someone a fortune.. That just happened here in Louisiana. A North family got a huge surprise when the state’s Treasury Department informed them that they were owed 2.3 million dollars as part of the Unclaimed Property Program that returns uncollected money from estates to the next of kin.
A crash leaves a Eunice man is dead after fleeing from police at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour on State Highway 383. Shortly after 7 Monday Morning, a Kinder police officer observed a Ford Mustang commit a traffic violation. The driver, 26 year old Aaron Charlot, chose not to stop and later lost control of his vehicle.
More details are emerging from a Denham Springs incident that left two people dead this weekend. The initial call that came in was for a home invasion, but it is now believed that this was not a random act. Investigators with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office have now identified the victim at 36 year old Beaux Bailey. The second death is the suspect in the case, 37 year old Ted Bourn of Tupelo, Mississippi. Police say both died as the result of gunfire exchanged between the two men.
More tech jobs are coming to Louisiana with the recent announcement that Accruent, a company that focuses on real estate digital integration, will be coming to New Orleans. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the tech center is expected to bring in 350 jobs into the Big Easy. Accruent is already hiring and they plan to be fully staffed by 2020.
A new state law allows Louisiana public school teachers up to 30 days of paid leave for the adoption process. Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds sponsored a package of bills promoting adoption after seeing families tackle the hurdles of the process during his campaign and says he wanted to see the burden put on families eased by the new legislation. The change also applies to school social workers and school psychologists.
The first entrants into the race for the Secretary of State’s office are trickling in, in the wake of a poll that showed nearly a third of Louisianans are undecided on who they will be voting for come November. Attorney General’s Director of the Public Protection Division, and Democrat, Renee Fontenot Free says her years of public service make her the ideal candidate. She’ll be running to replace Tom Schedler, who stepped down after being accused of sexually harassing and stalking his secretary for nearly a decade.
It’s an ailment that is causing a serious threat to the deer population, and since January, a feeding ban was enacted in northeast Louisiana in order to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, spreading into Louisiana says state wildlife veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour. But now, in the parishes of East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas, LDWF has lifted the feeding ban after initial testing of deer in the area did not detect the disease. Dr. LaCour explains the preemptive measure’s purpose. The state of Mississippi also conducted testing in the area where the deer was found, and is still awaiting results.
The fiscal cliff debate is revealing a wide range of opinions from within Louisiana’s Republican Party, ranging from moderates who support the governor’s call for a half cent sales tax renewal, to anti-tax conservatives who favor budget cuts to plug the 648 million dollar shortfall. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot, who supported a third penny but not a half, says the state needs to tighten its belt. The difference between a half penny and a third penny sales tax on a 100 dollar purchase is 17 cents.
News for Monday 061118
By Dave Graichen
The third special session of 2018 will begin a week from today and must end June 27th. Governor John Bel Edwards is still looking for a fix to the fiscal cliff. The governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Carbo says after the legislature failed to replace a large portion of the 1.4 billion dollars in temporary taxes that expire June 30th, they had no choice but to give it one more shot.
The Louisiana Department of Corrections warns unless additional tax revenue is raised by June 30th, thousands of inmates will be released. Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says his department is facing a nearly 63-million dollar reduction in state funding.
For the first time since its inception in 2001, the state may have to reduce enrollment to its taxpayer funded pre-k program. State Superintendent of Education John White says state budget cuts are the reason for the reduction, but he hopes legislators will raise the necessary revenue to fully fund this program. Based on the current budget for next fiscal year, pre-k would see a 10-to-20-percent cut.
Louisiana has seen a 29 percent increase in the suicide rate since 1999. That’s according to a CDC report that revealed national suicide rates have skyrocketed over the last two decades. Louisiana Department of Health Suicide Prevention Coordinator Danita Leblanc says the state needs to beef up suicide detection efforts, increase the amount of mental health education, and expand mental health services, but that’s tough to do under a budget crunch.
Two people died after a home invasion early Sunday morning in the Denham Springs area, but details on what happened remain scarce. Sheriff Jason Ard said he could confirm two fatalities but had not yet released their identities as of Sunday evening. He also said nothing about whether the intruder or intruders were among those killed.
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says they’re one step closer to a massive reform of the way the feds handle flooding and hurricane protection projects. The 2018 Water Resources and Development Act would allow local governments to take over funds for the execution of protection projects from the Corps of Engineers. Graves says passing this bill would speed up construction of some desperately needed hurricane protection and coastal restoration plans.
There are nearly 800 crashes annually along a notorious stretch of Interstate 10 just west of the Mississippi River. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet says the DOTD has taken multiple measures to ensure the safety along this stretch of highway with additional signage, cable barriers and ruble strips. Mallett says it also comes down to the responsibility of drivers to make a difference. Mallet says that 77 percent of the 800 accidents are from people not paying attention.
Public school students can have a bulletproof backpack next school year as a result of a new state law. Republican Senator Mike Walsworth, who sponsored the bill, says it could protect students in the event of an active shooter on campus. But, if you are interested in obtaining one, you may need to act now to have one in time for the next school year. Some schools require students to carry mesh fabric backpacks? But Walsworth says even with a mesh backpack, you can purchase a kevlar plate to provide protection.
News for Friday 060818
By Dave Graichen
A statewide poll from JMC Analytics shows despite a 42 percent national approval rating for President Donald Trump, Louisianans are still on board, as 56 percent of those surveyed approve of his administration. Pollster John Couvillion says “never Trump Republicans” never caught on in the Bayou State. The poll also indicates the president has strong support amongst white Democrats and independents.
That same statewide poll shows an indecisive early start to the Secretary of State’s race. The special election will be held in fall as a result of a sexual harassment scandal that toppled the former Secretary Tom Schedler. It looks like most folks have no clue who many of the possible candidates are at this point, and Couvillion says that likely means it’ll take a big name to break the race open.
Governor Edwards used his veto pen to take out 40 projects contained in the state’s three-point-six billion dollar construction spending plan. Most of the projects are in parishes represented by Republicans, who have voted against his tax plans. This comes just a day after Edwards vetoed a gas station bill that would have benefitted GOP House Chairman Lance Harris’ personal businesses.
A Shreveport woman is facing felony charges after her three dogs were found dead in her car. Bossier City Police Spokesperson Mark Natale says that 47 year old Nancy Western was at Willis Knighton Medical Center, when she left her two Labrador retrievers and cocker spaniel in the vehicle. Animal Control assisted law enforcement with the situation and conducted a temperature test on the windows, and even after the vehicle had been opened, was still over 100 degrees.
A teen driver has been charged with careless operation after a crash that killed a jogger early Thursday in Sabine Parish. Louisiana State Police say 46 year old Matthew Haggard died at the scene of the crash, which happened just before 7 in the morning. A 17-year-old male was driving a pickup truck westbound on La. Highway 6 when he lost control, running off the road, hitting Haggard.
Once again, the Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" must be measured in the size of a U.S. state. LSU scientists predict this summer's iteration will exceed the size of Connecticut, about 6,620 square miles. After the record-setting dead zone last year, 2018 is expected to return to about average size..
Nicholls State is launching a new program, called CROWN, aimed at helping young black men stay at college, and finish their degree. After reviewing information from last year, the university discovered that only 53 percent of African American men returned after their freshman year. CROWN administrator Dr. Sean Chadwell says young black men are often the first members of their family to go to college.
The US Department of Justice has teamed up with several state agencies to help ensure people with serious mental illnesses have the opportunity to live in a community setting. The agreement follows a review by the DOJ in December of 2016 that claimed the state was unnecessarily relying on nursing homes to serve people with serious mental illnesses. The Department of Health has begun it’s assessments of the more than 2,500 mentally ill people currently residing in nursing homes.
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News for Thursday 060718
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor says it was Billing Software that was not updated properly that led to Pinecrest Supports and Services Center in Pineville failing to collect nearly $50,000 in Medicaid funds between May 2016 and February 2018. The audit also uncovered two employees who were over paid by close to $5,000. The misappropriation was found through in-house investigations. However, management failed to notify the legislative auditor. Both employees have since resigned.
The Governor says a bill sponsored by House GOP leader Lance Harris that would allow independent gas stations to sue larger gas station companies over unfair pricing would have led to higher prices at the pump. But, some are saying the Governor’s veto of the bill was political retribution. Harris owns a chain of gas stations in the Alexandria area and could have benefited from the bill. Harris dismissed suggestions it was improper for him to push a proposal in which he, as an independent gas station owner, had a financial interest. Edwards and Harris have clashed over legislation and policy since the governor’s term started.
A group of anti-tax, pro cut Republicans in the House, named the “Caucus of No” by the Governor are standing their ground, defending their move to block any move to renew a portion of an expiring sales taxes that hits June 30th. Jackson Representative Kenny Havard says that group has refused to work with other legislators to find a real, long term solution to the state’s perpetual budget woes. The Moderate Republican says most of the state is willing to raise some revenue if it means preserving programs like TOPS, funding universities, and keeping state agencies open.
But Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, one of the House members refusing the revenue measures, stands by his, and his colleagues, decision to prevent any portion of the one point four billion in expiring taxes to be renewed. He says the Governor’s decision to expand Medicaid was irresponsible and Medicaid needs some cuts to reign in the cost. Louisiana, one of the unhealthiest states in the country, was one of 33 states to expand Medicaid.
Can you imagine working hard at a job for 10 years and never getting one pay raise.. Public school teachers in Monroe will receive a two-percent pay raise next school year, it will be their first increase in ten years. Superintendent Brent Vidrine hopes the increase will boost morale.
How about a good news story.. Rep. Steve Scalise, who has vowed to someday return to his starting post at second base got his wish yesterday and even fielded some balls at his old position. It was the first time the Louisiana congressman took to the field with his Republican colleagues since a gunman fired on them during a practice last June in a Virginia suburb not far from the U.S. Capitol. Scalise, the House majority whip, was shot in the hip that morning and nearly died. It has been a long road to recovery..
In a letter sent to Governor Edwards, US Senator John Kennedy expressed his concern over what he called an “inexcusable waste of taxpayer funds at the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission” based on a legislative audit. Kennedy says the bulk of the problems appeared to have occurred under the leadership of Katara Williams, who has since been moved to a position with Southern University. Not only did Kennedy send his letter of concern to the governor, but he also sent a copy to President Donald Trump.
The State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries seeks to get more people outdoors with a free fishing weekend. So Saturday and Sunday residents and visitors can fish Louisiana waters without an otherwise required fishing license. LDWF Spokesperson Rene LeBreton says they hope to attract new anglers. LeBreton says a quick visit to the LDWF website http://www.wlf.la.gov has lots of information for those who may not know where to get started…
Low wage workers with kids will be getting a 40 to 50 dollar boost on their 2019 tax returns as the legislature approved an expansion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s all but guaranteed to be signed by the Governor. Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says the extra cash will go right into the pockets of thousands of Louisiana families.
Entergy and most utility companies recommend you set thermostat to 78 degrees for maximum savings on your electric bill. For most people…. That’s not going to happen…. Most folks surveyed said they didn’t have a problem leaving the temperature at 78 while they were at work, but nearly everyone said when their home, the plan on being comfortable. Entergy says each degree below 78 will add approximately 3-percent to the cost of your electric bill.
An Opelousas man is under arrest after allegedly setting a series of fires targeted at harassing his ex-girlfriend. 35-year-old Austin Ceasar was slapped with a series of Arson related charges after authorities found evidence that connected him to three fires dating back to March 9th. State Fire Marshal Spokesperson Ashley Rodriquez says a neighbor caught him committing the first arson.
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NBA Finals The Golden State Warriors have a 3 game advantage now over the Cleveland Cavaliers after last night’s 110 to 102 victory. They could walk away with the title tomorrow night when they face off in game 4. Hear it 7p on 94.7 ESPN!
News for Wednesday 060618
By Dave Graichen
The second special session of 2018 ended without a sales tax bill passing that would replace 648-million dollars in expiring sales taxes. A Senate backed tax bill that renewed half of the expiring penny sales tax to fund higher ed, healthcare, and TOPS was six votes short of passage. Louisiana Budget Project director Jan Moller says if the revenue can’t be raised in an expected third special session, 500 million dollars of cuts will be distributed across state government.
A budget approved by lawmakers in the final hour of the second special session would reduce higher education funding by 96-million dollars and TOPS would be funded at 70-percent. President of the University of Louisiana System Dr. Jim Henderson says the idea of cuts to higher ed and TOPS is disappointing. A sales tax bill that would have prevented cuts to higher ed and TOPS failed in the final moments of the second special session. Dr. Henderson says going back on the promise of a fully funded TOPS scholarship is a message that the state should not want to convey to the students.
With the second extra legislative session of this year ending in a partisan gridlock, and a third coming up, State Representative Malinda White of Bogalusa says she’s taking action by donating her pay from an expected third special session to a worthy cause in District 75. A third special session would cost at least 50-thousand dollars a day. By failing once again to pass a solution to fund the budget, White says that her constituents are aggravated with the costs and delays caused by the extra sessions. The donation she is making is estimated to be about $1500.
In a state struggling to raise revenue, this may be a win win.. A Louisiana parish has issued 8,000 tickets for uninsured cars and trucks after installing license plate readers last year. Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington said the $200 citations were mailed to vehicle owners who drove by the cameras and were found to be uninsured. One of the reasons Louisiana his the highest auto insurance rates in the country is because of the high number of uninsured motorists.
The reward has trippled for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in last week’s fatal shooting of 29-year-old Cameron Mack and his four-year-old daughter Cali in LaPlace The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s office has announced a 15-thousand dollar reward. They’ve been searching for the gunman, who fatally shot the two as they were walking up the stairs to their home.
A town councilman in LaFourche Parish has been charged with his third D-U-I. State Police arrested 39-year-old Wayne Bourgeois of Lockport after he allegedly side-swiped another vehicle. Bourgeois says he regrets the incident and he’ll appear in court July 6th.
Googling “how common is barium poisoning “on your phone might not be a good idea if you plan on poisoning someone. That information is in the warrant for 50-year-old Meshell Hale of Slaughter ,who was arrested and charged with second degree murder in the 2015 poisoning death of a Damian Skipper. A new autopsy revealed the presence of barium.
Livingston Parish deputies were informed about a domestic dispute and dispatched to a Denham Springs home around 1 am Tuesday morning. Sheriff’s office spokesperson Lori Steel, says the results were a deadly tragedy witnessed by several children. Officials are saying it appears the suspect stabbed the victim multiple times with a knife, as well as attacked another individual with his bare hands. Steel says thankfully, none of the children who witnessed the crime were injured. The suspect, Christopher Glen, is currently being held in the Livingston Parish Detention Center and more charges are pending.
The only LSU player selected during day two of the Major League Baseball Draft is sophomore left-hander Nick Bush who was drafted in the eight round by the Colorado Rockies. Bush boasted an ERA of 3.40 in 47.2 innings this past season.
No LSU baseball players were selected in the first seven rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft, which is good news for Coach Paul Mainieri. Zack Hess, Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis are draft eligible and if they were selected high enough and received a big enough signing bonus, they may decide to end their college career and play professional baseball.
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News for Tuesday 060518
By Dave Graichen
The special session crashed and burned last night as lawmakers failed once again this year to agree on a budget and tax plan that solves the fiscal cliff and funds the government next year. The key moment of the night was the House’s 64-40 rejection of a Senate backed tax plan. That Senate backed plan would have raised 507 million dollars by renewing half of the expiring penny sales tax, and fully funding TOPS, higher ed, and healthcare. The bill received opposition from key Republican leaders House GOP Chairman Lance Harris, and Speaker Taylor Barras who questioned some of the tax’s legitimacy. Governor John Bel Edwards says he was embarrassed by the lack of cooperation in the legislature. Edwards says the body’s failure means another session will have to be called, costing taxpayers 50,000 dollars a day, in part to pay per deims to legislators for their return trip to the capitol.
More Louisiana residents will have the ability to treat ailments with medical marijuana. Despite some early objections, the bill gathered surprising bipartisan support in what was an otherwise contentious regular session. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill which was authored by Baton Rouge Democrat Rep. Ted James. It adds glaucoma, PTSD, Parkinson’s and other ailments to list of illnesses eligible for medical marijuana.
Three people are accused of a widespread livestock theft ring with quite the price tag. State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the husband and wife, Rickey and Wanda Thompson of Pitkin, along with their son Justin Thompson, are accused of the thefts that occurred from August to October of 2017. Ricky and Wanda Thompson have turned themselves in to the Allen Parish Jail, however Justin Thompson has yet to surrender to authorities.
The Secretary of State’s office has been warning the public that Louisiana has aging voting machines that could fall apart, and now we have a price tag for replacing them, 60 million dollars. The feds have offered to chip in with nearly 6 million to get the process started. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says it’s not going to happen overnight. But, thousands of machines will have to be repaired or replaced Soon!
With the expansion of medical marijuana, The Baton Rouge Democrat anticipates a bill in 2019 to potentially green light recreational use. He says he’s already heard from some of his colleagues across the isle that the legislation would get serious consideration from some Republican lawmakers who are interested in the fiscal benefits.
About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and now, a new study has found that many breast cancer patients can skip chemo. Dr. Lucio Miele (MEE-LAH) of LSU Health New Orleans says The report, which is being considered a landmark study, is the largest ever done of breast cancer treatment, and comes as the focus turns to cases where chemo’s value increasingly is in doubt. There are some that are hesitant to put their full faith into the study’s results after years of campaigns advocating for chemotherapy. Dr. Miele says it is time to trust the research. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
The pastor of St. Peter Church in St. Landry Parish has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor in an alleged incident that occurred several years ago. Michael Guidry has been a priest for nearly 50 years, while running St. Peter for the last nine. The Catholic Church was been hit with claims of widespread, and covered up cases of sexual abuse of minors over the last decade, specifically cases involving priests who’ve been moved to other diocese after allegations surfaced. Lafayette Bishop Doug Deshotel says Guidry’s past record is clean.
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News for Monday 060418
By Dave Graichen
The Senate passed a budget, and a tax bill to pay for it, that fully funds TOPS, higher ed, and healthcare. The tax bill raises 508 million dollars by renewing half of the expiring penny sales tax, and eliminating some business tax deductions. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur says it’s a compromise that he hopes everyone can be content with. Governor John Bel Edwards praised the legislation, saying “Louisiana has moved one step closer to avoiding catastrophic cuts.”
The Louisiana House and Senate leaders are expected to spend much of the day today attempting to hash out differences in the Political Analyst Pinsonat says several GOP lawmakers have already said they will not vote for the Senate version. If the two chambers cannot agree on a budget and tax plan by 12PM Monday night, yet another special session will be called.
Governor Edwards signed River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot’s nursing home camera bill, as it breezed through the legislature. The law allows families to place remotely accessible cameras in their loved ones nursing home rooms for monitoring. The legislation was inspired by a nursing home incident where a family suspected that the staff was physically abusing their relative.
Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation allowing riverboat casinos to move up to 12-hundred feet onto land from their current berth space. Executive Director of the Louisiana Casino Association Wade Duty says riverboat casinos will not come ashore immediately, as there’s some regulatory work to do and operators have to design and come up with financing. Lake Charles Senator Ronnie Johns, says the Shreveport-Bossier City market will benefit the most, because they face tough competition from Oklahoma, where Indian tribes are building huge casinos. Duty says this is the first major change in Louisiana since casino gambling was legalized in 1991
Louisiana authorities are looking for 50-year-old Meshell Hale of Slaughter, who is accused of poisoning a man for a 10-thousand dollar life insurance payment. Originally, officials though 50-year-old Damian Skipper died from a heart attack in 2015. His body was exhumed and his death has now been reclassified as a homicide. Authorities also believe Hale poisoned her real husband Arthur Noflin. His body was found in the back of a burned out a truck in New Orleans in 2016
Hurricane season has officially begun. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness spokesperson Mike Steele encourages residents to visit getagameplan.org to get an idea of what kind of items you need in a supply kit.
State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents captured a big Louisiana black bear in the back yard of a home in Winnfield. Sheriff Cranford Jordan says it’s the first bear that he can remember in Winnfield and it had residents a little nervous. The bear was tranquilized and tagged and will be released into a wildlife area.
A scathing audit has been released that alleges the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission allowed an excessive amount of overtime pay and travel expenses, misused state and federal dollars and failed to track employee leave. Katara Williams was the executive director at that time and new Commission Director Lisa Freeman says the audit will be used as a blueprint to overhaul the agency.
Health New Orleans School of Public Health founding dean Dr. Elizabeth Fontham, says there’s been an alarming new trend. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
The American Cancer Society recommends the average adult undergo regular screening with any of the six testing options, with the hope more screenings would save lives. A colonoscopy is recommended once every ten years. Unless you have a family history of cancer.. Then, more often.
Entergy Louisiana is planning on purchasing solar power generated by a solar farm that’s set to be the largest such facility in the state. The facility by Eagle Solar Group will be based in West Baton Rouge Parish, and should be up and running by 2020. Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May says it’s a huge project and a 20 year agreement. The purchasing plan is estimated to save customers 29 million dollars over the life of the contract.
After a second lopsided victory Sunday against LSU, the No. 3 national seed Oregon State Beavers are headed to a super-regional matchup against No. 14 national seed Minnesota next weekend in Corvallis.
The NBA Finals are at 2 to nothing in favor of The Golden State Warriors as ther defeated Cleveland 122 to 103.. Game three is Wednesday night.
News for Friday 060118
By Dave Graichen
It was an amazing joint law enforcement effort. Yesterday afternoon Dintivia Alexis, one of four suspects involved in an armed robbery incident in Monroe, was captured near the intersection of Hwy 8 and US 71, near Colfax. Alexis had been on the run since Tuesday morning, and was the last of the four suspects to be captured.
It is the end of an era in Central Louisiana, the Sears department store in the Alexandria mall will close in early September. Sears Holdings on Thursday announced plans to close 63 non-profitable Kmart and Sears stores, including the Alexandria location in September. Last month, plans were announced to close the Sears stores in Lafayette and Lake Charles. Along with yesterday’s announcement, were the plans to close a Kmart Store in Lake Charles.
The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season officially starts today despite the fact that the Gulf Coast has already seen its first named storm of the year. NOAA projects 10 to 16 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes, and 1 to 4 major hurricanes. State Climatologist Barry Keim says that’s not too far off base for an average year.
Governor John Bel Edwards holds a bill signing today for Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith’s legislation that restores voting rights to individuals who have served time on felony offenses, and have been out of prison for five years, but are still on parole or probation. Edwards says giving people back their rights reinvests them in their communities. Edwards says many convicted felons deserve a second shot at life.
Its estimated voting rights will be restored for 70,000 Louisianans.
The Governor also put into law the “Max Gruver Act” which tightens and strengthens Louisiana’s anti-hazing laws, making partic8ipating in a hazing event that leads to a death punishable by up to five years in prison.
An anti-bestiality law has been signed by Governor Edwards despite initial pushback by supporters of Louisiana’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law. Louisiana Director of the Humane Society of the United States, Julia Breaux Melancon, was surprised by the early objections, but the new law will strengthen prohibitions on bestiality and animal cruelty.
The governor is signing legislation by New Iberia Senator Fred Mills that’s aimed at pushing down drug prices by requiring prescription benefit plans (that prescription card in your wallet) inform consumers when they get rebates from drug manufactures. Mills says before, your drug plan could hide those rebates, and pocket money that should have been going back to you. Similar legislation has passed that would require benefit plans provide that information to the state, so the state can negotiate lower Medicaid prices.
An icon in the Louisiana culinary industry has passed away. Ella Brennan, the long-term proprietor of Commander’s Palace has died at the age of 92. Brennan also helped launch the careers of celebrity chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Brennan got her start in the restaurant business in the 1970s at the namesake restaurant Brennan’s, on Royal Street in the New Orleans French Quarter.
The FDA has told several companies to stop claiming that their sunscreen pills will protect consumers from the suns. Co-founder at Audubon Dermatology in New Orleans, Dr. Deirdre Hooper, says there is no dietary supplement that can prevent the sun’s harmful U-V rays. The FDA and Dr. Hooper emphasize the only way to protect yourself from sun exposure is to apply sunscreen…
A major road closure is expected for the Mississippi River Bridge in Port Allen/Baton Rouge, starting Friday night at 7pm and ending noon Sunday. The eastbound lane will be shut down for some repair work. It’s the second weekend for the repairs. DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says if you’ve got road plans that lead you through BR this weekend, plan accordingly.
The Golden State Warriors took an early lead in the N-B-A finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, With a 124 / 114 win. Game two of the series will be played Sunday Night.
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News for Thursday 053118
By Dave Graichen
Authorities are seeking tips in the fatal double shooting of a 29-year-old man and his four-year daughter in LaPlace. St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre says Cameron and Cali Mack were gunned down Tuesday night by an unknown shooter.
The victims were heading up the stairs to their home when they were shot.
The official announcement was made yesterday; Jerrod King is the new chief of police for the Alexandria Police Department. King is a 20-year veteran of APD and currently holds a role training cadets in the police academy. In making the announcement Mayor Jacques Roy also gave recognition to Lieutenant Patrick VanDyke, who Roy announced will eventually transition into a commissioner position, overseeing Public Safety.
The Alexandria City council has voted down a request that would have led to an investigation of Mayor Jacques Roy, for the alleged intimidation of Alexandria police officer. The request for the investigation was in the form of a motion that was authored by Councilman Ed Larvadain. An investigation by the Louisiana State Police came to the conclusion that no cause could be found to charge Roy with public intimidation.
19-year-old Kelvin Monte and 17-year-old Jon’Torras Bryant have been charged with aggravated kidnapping of a child and negligent homicide for their roles in the death of an 11-year-old Bryla Bell who crashed after a pursuit by law enforcement. St. Landry Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says Bell’s mother knew her daughter snuck out of the home to be with the young men. The suspects jumped out of the vehicle in Opelousas and Bryla took the wheel and eventually crashed and died.
To the uneducated eye, one would think that Alexandria / Pineville has more than enough places to hold meetings and conventions. But, the England Authority Board of Commissioners apparently thinks otherwise. The commission voted 5-4 last week to advertise for bids on the multi-million dollar project, over objections that it will compete with private-sector events centers and that the money could be better spent on economic development projects. The current design estimate is for a 13,850-square-foot building with a price tag of between $3.5 million and $3.7 million.
GOP House Chairman Lance Harris’s tax bill underwent huge changes in a Senate committee. The legislation would now renew one third of the expiring penny sales, but eliminate hundreds of millions in tax deductions that plug the full 648 million dollar budget gap. Harris says his original version that included 283 million in budget cuts was take it or leave it, and the committee decided to leave it. The committee amendments completely eliminate business tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery, farm equipment, and business utilities completely.
The Governor signed a series of bills that passed through the legislature and ended up on his desk, that cover a wide range from abortion, to fantasy sports. One of the issues the governor signed off on was Senator Neil Riser’s legislation that removes a training mandate that was passed in 2010, requiring anyone who brings a weapon into a church, mosque, synagogues or other religious building to take an additional eight hours of weapons training before entering the premises.
The governor also signed a 15 week abortion ban that closely mirrors an effort in Mississippi that is under a federal court challenge. The legislation flew through the legislature, and marks a notable separation between Edwards and the national Democratic Party. The legislation would only go into effect only if Mississippi’s ban survives a court challenge.
The governor has also put his signature on a bill that would require public schools to display the motto “In God We Trust” in their buildings and the legislation requires the teaching of that motto to the students.
Online fantasy sports gaming will be on the ballot for parish approval in November after grabbing the governor’s signature. The legislation by River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot breezed through the legislature this year after past attempts stalled out. Talbot says it just took some time to educate lawmakers about why fantasy sports is not the same as sports betting.
US Senator Bill Cassidy says just because last year’s Obamacare repeal failed, doesn’t mean he’s going to stop chasing healthcare reform. The Senator has released a plan he says will help expand access and drive down prices. Cassidy says the first step is enforcing price transparency for medical care providers. The proposal also includes plans to allow insurers to tie prescription costs to international prices, seeks a reduction of hospital monopolies, and calls for an increase to subsidies to young people’s health insurance, as well as allowing employers to not provide health insurance to employees.
On Air Tonight….
NBA Finals Game 1 Cleveland @ Golden State 7p 94.7 ESPN
Corvallis, Oregon, is nearly 2500 miles away from Baton Rouge, but you can still expect a good contingent of LSU Fans in attendance for this weekend’s NCAA Regional at Oregon State. Sean Fredenburg with the LSU Alumni Association Portland Chapter says the Fighting Tigers do not play often in the Pacific Northwest but when they do there’s a lot of Purple and Gold… LSU will face San Diego State to begin the tournament on Friday at 3 P.M.
LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri has named sophomore left-hander Nick Bush as his starting pitcher for the regional opener against San Diego State. Mainieri says he also considered Zack Hess, but decided to go with Bush, because he didn’t throw as many pitches as Hess did last Saturday.
News for Wednesday 053018
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO confirm that have been successfully captured two of four men who they’ve been searching for since around 9 yesterday morning. According to RPSO, the incident started as a speeding traffic stop in Georgetown, but the suspects would not stop the vehicle. The pursuit continued into Rapides Parish and eventually the Rigolette Bayou area. The search continues for the remaining two men at large.
Channel 5 reports, Patrick Murry, the suspect involved in the Sherwin-Williams barricade situation earlier this month, is facing more charges. Murry was charged Friday with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of firearm possession by a felon, and one count of resisting an officer with force or violence. He remains in the Rapides Parish jail.
State Police Report a Vernon Parish man was killed Tuesday after being struck by a pickup on US Hwy. 171 north of Pickering.31 year old Sherell Lewis Jr of Leesville had stopped his vehicle on the southbound shoulder of Hwy 171 in an attempt to remove debris in the roadway, that's when a pickup driven by 18 year Matthew Martin of Hineston struck him. Lewis was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A jury trial has been set for November 26 for former Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lieutenant, Stacy Bender. Bender was indicted on charges of filing false public records, abuse of office and malfeasance in office after being arrested in July 2016 by Louisiana State Police. The State Police investigation revealed that he allegedly had an ongoing sexual relationship with a prostitute. Investigators believe that Bender was on-duty at the time. He has pleaded "not guilty" to all charges.
After several days of inaction, The Appropriations Committee passed four budget bills to the House floor for consideration. The proposed spending plan from Representative Cameron Henry would fund TOPS at 80 percent, and cut higher education by 26 million dollars.
Governor Edwards weekend veto of a bill will give local governments the ability to require real estate developers set aside a certain portion of their units for affordable housing, to combat ballooning rent prices. Senator Dany Martiny, the bill’s sponsor, argued that cities should not be allowed to dictate what developers build, and that rent prices should be left up to the market.
In a video message, Destrehan-based televangelist Jesse Duplantis is asking for 54-million dollars in private donations so that he can purchase a new jet, to replace his current 12-year-old aircraft. Duplantis says he’s looking at the Dassault Falcon Seven-X, because of it fuel capacity. With it he says he can preach the Gospel all over the world. Duplantis says he was also told by God to specifically purchase a brand new Falcon Seven-X.
After four people died in a fiery wreck on Interstate 12 over Memorial Day Weekend, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister sent a letter to Governor Edwards asking him to expedite progress on widening the interstate lanes. She says right now, it’s a dangerous situation with the crush of traffic moving through such a tight corridor. With budget concerns dominating state news, there’s concerns that Louisiana just doesn’t have enough money to fix all the roads that need to be addressed.
In Southwest Louisiana, authorities arrest 31-year-old Wayne Barras of Lake Charles on attempted rape charges after he allegedly tried to assault two unsuspecting women. In both cases, the victims’ screams, alerted neighbors, who came to their aid. Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon says Barras is behind bars on a 900-thousand dollar bond.
Louisiana is kicking off its 6th Annual Teacher Leader Summit in New Orleans today. The conference is expected to be attended by 7,000 teachers from districts across the state. This year’s conference will have a focus on how to improve outcomes for students who are struggling the most.
Gas prices have only increased by a few cents over the last week and AAA’s current projection calls for gasoline prices in Louisiana to hover around $2.80 a gallon for the summer
On the Air Today..
Houston Astros @ NY Yankees 5p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 052918
By Dave Graichen
GOP House Caucus Chairman Lance Harris’s tax bill that raises 360 million dollars of the 648 million dollar budget shortfall passed the House after a weekend of deliberations that got the legislation 76 votes, 6 more than it needed to make it to Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs.
The bill renews a third of the expiring penny sales tax, and eliminates some sales tax breaks. Harris says that would require 126 million dollars in budget cuts, but Governor Edwards administration says the cuts would be much closer to 300 million. The Governor’s office says Edwards has not decided whether or not he would veto the any budget that included those cuts if it made it to his desk.
While the Senate will now face the tax bill that’s on its way to the upper chamber, The Governor’s office is raising concerns that with a June 4th deadline for the special session rapidly approaching, that no budget bill has yet been filed. Republicans have blamed this on Edwards’ budget veto in the regular session, but the governor says there’s no reason why that is preventing the legislature from bringing a budget again in the special session.
In response Republican Representative Cameron Henry attempted an override of the Governor’s veto of House Bill One from the regular session. After a contentious debate, the move failed 52-48. A veto reconsideration can be brought up only one more time.
An eleven-year-old girl was killed in a police chase in Opelousas on Sunday morning and authorities are looking for two men she was with prior to her death. The family of Bryla Bell say she snuck out of the home and got into a truck with two people inside. When Opelousas Police approached the vehicle, two men jumped out and the girl took the wheel of the vehicle and which eventually struck an embankment and she died.
If your home was damaged in the 2016 floods, there’s a July 20th deadline to complete a survey that starts the process for aid through the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. Housing Assistance Centers in Lafayette, Hammond, Monroe and Baton Rouge are open during regular business hours to help individuals complete the survey.
State Police Report a Holden man was killed Sunday when he lost control of an all-terrain vehicle. Authorities say the man was ejected from the ATV and landed in a roadway where he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. 28 year old Brandon Swindle was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Manning Passing Academy will host its first ever clinic and camp for girls. The Manning family has been running the premier football camp for high school boys for over two decades. Camp organizer Jeff Hawkins says the camp is open to girls between 8th and 12th grade and all women, June 25th and June 26th on the Nicholls State campus.
LSU and Northwestern State are in the same NCAA Baseball regional, the Corvallis Regional and the Demons will face number three national seed Oregon State, while the Tigers will take on San Diego State at 3 PM central time Friday. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says the Tigers beat some of the best teams in the country in the SEC which should make them very confident going forward.
It will be the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Championship series starting this Thursday. That after Golden State took Game seven of the western division finals yesterday from Houston. 102 / 92. In the Eastern division, The Boston Celtics fell to Cleveland Sunday in their 7th game of the series.
News for Friday 052518
By Dave Graichen
The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fatality that occurred Thursday morning at the Proctor and Gamble Plant in Pineville. Officials say an explosion involving a fork truck claimed the life of the driver and injured 6 other people. The man killed in the accident has been identified as 56 year old Allen Kendrick of Jena. It's the first fatal accident in the plant's 49-year history.
There’s now a 70-percent chance over the next 24 to 48 hours we can see our first tropical system of the year. Invest 90L, the low-pressure system in the west Caribbean, is starting to get a narrower prediction track, and more confidence that it will grow into a tropical depression or storm. State Climatologist Barry Keim says nasty weather could start to pop up nearby as early as Saturday, but Keim says they expect the system to really hit starting next week.
NOAA says their forecast for the upcoming hurricane season calls for a near-normal or above normal hurricane season and that means anywhere between 10 and 16 named storms. The federal government’s lead forecaster, Doctor Gerry Bell, says the severity of Atlantic hurricane seasons have been increasing since 1995.
Amidst increased Memorial Day weekend travel, Louisiana Troopers are partnering with Mississippi Highway Patrol in a new highway safety initiative called “Line to Line.” Trooper Dustin Dwight says more troopers on the road will hopefully reduce the number of crashes and help respond time. Trooper Dwight says the goal of the program is to keep motorists safe during increased travel times.
House GOP Caucus Chairman Lance Harris’s tax bill passed House Ways and Means and is on it’s way to the floor. The proposal would retain one third of the expiring penny sales tax, as well as a few other sales tax breaks, and cut government spending by 126 million dollars. Harris’s legislation would raise 366 million dollars in revenue.
Harris says the proposal does not fill the 648 million dollar budget gap that has brought legislators into the second special session of the year. The Alexandria Republican says it’s time to start cutting government spending.
House Republicans voted down the administration’s favored plan, New Iberia representative Terry Landry’s tax bill, would have raised 543 million dollars. The special session ends June 4th.
The state Board of Regents has approved a license for a new medical school on the ULM campus. President Nick Bruno says its great news for northeast Louisiana and the entire state, because there’s a projected 19-percent shortfall in the number of physicians needed in the coming years.
An America’s Health Rankings has Louisiana ranked dead last in the nation for the quality of senior’s health. The report detailed the particularly perilous situation that many of Louisiana’s rural seniors find themselves in, relative to urban based elderly. Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says after identifying two major problem areas, social isolation and obesity, she hopes the report can spur people into action. In the six years the report has been released, Louisiana has never ranked higher than 47th.
Red Snapper season is now underway, with a two fish bag limit and 16 inch catch minimum in place for anglers looking to head out on the waters. This season should be even more convenient than past years, as federal waters have been ceded to the state. The season will run seven days a week until 743,000 pounds are harvested.
In LSU Baseball, The Tigers beat South Carolina last night to advance in the SEC tournament. They will play next this evening around 6p, the looser of the Arkansas / Florida game, which will take place earlier in the day.
The Boston Celtics could wrap up the NBA eastern Conference finals tonight with a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gametime 6 pm on 94.7 ESPN
Last Night, it was the Houston Rockets coming alive and taking a 3 game to 2 advantage in the NBA West Finals. That series could be decided tomorrow night.
News for Thursday 052418
By Dave Graichen
The House Ways and Means committee held its first hearing of the special session and it became more of a gripe session. Republicans on the panel criticized the Edwards administration for vetoing a budget in the regular session, and expressed concerns about raising revenues, instead of finding savings. Democrats are also frustrated.
The state is facing a 648 million dollar shortfall that could lead to mass reductions in healthcare services, higher education funding, and TOPS.
As a way to generate revenue, the Edwards administration is also proposing the elimination of certain tax breaks enjoyed by specific industries and businesses.
Reports indicate that a consensus may be growing on plugging a portion of the budget shortfall by renewing half of the one penny sales tax that is set to expire. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the Edwards administration is not asking for an overall increase in taxes, because renewing just some of the expiring revenue would still be a tax cut relative to last year…
A Marshall Project report shows Louisiana saw its largest drop in prison population in a decade between 2016 and 2017. State Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says the good news is, a declining incarceration rate has not led to an increased crime rate in Louisiana. LeBlanc says it’s a testament to recent criminal justice reforms.
A big win for the Big Easy as the city has been awarded the 2024 Super Bowl. New Orleans officials say the last Super Bowl, in 2013, had a 480 million dollar economic impact, and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero confirmed that the city and state had to provide an economic incentive package to seal the deal.
Despite higher gas prices, AAA estimates nearly 42-million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That’s a five-percent increase from last year and the highest number of travelers in more than a dozen years. AAA Spokesman Don Redman says about 37-million travelers will hit the road…
LSU’s only Heisman winner, running back Billy Cannon, was laid to rest Wednesday, surrounded by friends, family, and fans. Several people spoke and gave their best memories of one of the greatest athletes in Bayou State history. Angola Warden Darrel Vannoy says after news got out that Cannon had died, the inmates took up a collection for his casket.
The state will hold a sales tax holiday this Saturday and Sunday for storm supplies to help folks get a jump start on their hurricane preparedness. State taxes will be reduced from the usual 5 percent to 3 percent. Department of Revenue Spokesman Byron Henderson says it’s a great opportunity to pick up some essentials.
On the air today..
IN LSU Baseball, the Tigers lost the 2ns round of the SEC to Florida 3 to 4. This afternoon, the Tigers meet 24th ranked South Carolina Airtime 1:30. KSYL 970 AM /100.3 HD3 FM
NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5 Golden State @ Houston 7p 94.7 ESPN Series tied at 2
The Boston Celtics Stomped the Cleveland Cavaliers last night 96 to 83 In game 5 of the eastern conference series. The Celtics could win the division Tomorrow night.
News for Wednesday 052318
By Dave Graichen
The Pineville PD has released the name of the man who shot at one of their police officers Monday as 25-year-old resident Cedric Prevot of Alexandria. Prevot was pulled over on Hunter Street Monday before noon. Pineville PD say he then fired at the officer multiple times, without striking him, before leading police on a short chase. The chase ended when Prevot took his own life. No other information has been released due to the fact it is an ongoing investigation.
I-49 was closed for several hours yesterday after an 18 wheeler tanker truck overturned on the interstate near Cheneyville close to 3 in the morning. State Police, D.E.Q. and Hazmat were on the scene as the trucks load was offloaded to another tanker. Authorities say the driver of the 18 wheeler had moderate injuries and was sent to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Authorities in Avoyelles Parish are on the lookout for three black males who were allegedly involved in a Monday night shooting on MLK drive in Marksville. A fifteen-year-old was hit during the gunfire and was brought to the hospital for treatment. The suspects, at last check, are still at large.
For the second time this year, the Monroe Police Department lost an officer while on duty. Twenty-six-year-old Ayrian Williams died Monday night in a car crash while responding to a call. Williams joined Monroe P-D last November after graduating from LSU and then serving as a Southern University Police officer. She was a native of New Orleans.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and CGI executive Dave Henderson announced the company will launch a significant expansion of its Lafayette IT Center of Excellence and create 400 new direct jobs, with CGI employment rising to 800 over the coming years. The jobs will be at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park, and at a second Lafayette Parish site to be determined. Statewide, CGI’s employment will reach 900.
Another special legislative session is underway and lawmakers can now replace one-point-four-billion dollars in sales taxes that are set to expire June 30th. Those expiring sales taxes are at the heart of the impending fiscal cliff that threatens to wreck healthcare and higher ed. The session is set to run until June 4th. Another session could be called to give lawmakers time to fill the 648 million dollar budget gap.
The special session comes to an end June 4th, but there are already concerns whether two weeks is enough time to pass a budget and revenue raising measures in two weeks.
If you are heading to beach this Memorial Day weekend, you might want to keep an eye on the Gulf as forecasters are predicting a tropical weather system could impact the Gulf coast this weekend, anywhere from Louisiana to Florida. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean. Forecasters give the system a medium chance of developing into at least a tropical storm when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico later this week.
Vacation once held the luxury of being offline, but more workers are admitting they cannot stop checking into the office. A recent study by staffing firm Accountemps reports that 56-percent of vacationing workers check in with the office. Spokesperson Carrie Lewis says vacations are vital for successful employees, but disconnecting can be more stressful. There are different recipes for everyone, so Lewis advises we set our own limits.
A pilot study from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center has shown there are noticeable, positive drop in blood pressure and blood sugar when restricting your eating to early in the day. The study had participants restrict eating to 6 hours a day, starting in the morning. The study however did not focus on how fasting effected individuals weight loss.
In LSU Baseball, The Tigers posted an 8-5 win over Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The tigers advanced to play Florida at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. Airtime 4p on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3
On the air today..
Houston Astros vs San Francisco 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
SEC Baseball Tournament (If LSU Wins Tuesday)
LSU vs Florida 4p KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3
The NBA Finals are back at square one as both series are tied at 2 game each. Last night the Houston Rockets beet The Golden State Warriors 95 to 92. Tonight, It’s the
NBA Eastern Confrence Finals Game 5 Cleveland @ Boston 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 052218
By Dave Graichen
No identity has been released yet by Pineville PD on a person who shot multiple times at one of their officers Monday morning. The man then led the officer on a short chase. It all ended when the suspect apparently killed himself. The officer had pulled the vehicle over on Hunter Street shortly before noon. It was then the suspect fired at the officer multiple times, but the officer was not struck.
Pineville PD report that woman lost control of her SUV after she hit the back of a pickup truck yesterday morning on Highway 165. Police say she was thrown from the vehicle while her child passenger sustained minor injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Their condition is unknown at this time.
The special session kicks off today, giving legislators two weeks to come to an agreement on how to handle a 648 million dollar budget shortfall that threatens to potentially devastate healthcare and higher education. A special session in February failed, and legislative attempts to craft a budget with 648 million in cuts were vetoed.
The budget gap, known as the “fiscal cliff” is the result of sales taxes that are set to expire July 1st.
A New Miss USA was crowned last night in Shreveport. She is Miss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers. Miss North Carolina and Miss Nevada rounded out the top 3.
The National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical disturbance that’s expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico this week. Forecasters only give the system a 20-percent chance of developing into a depression over the next five days. Danielle Manning in the National Weather Service office in Slidell says it’s still hard to figure out the track with this low pressure.
Louisiana educators are considering a statewide walk-out according to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Fifty three percent of educators said low teacher salaries was their top concern in a survey released by the group today. The survey of just over 3 thousand, 8 hundred federation members was not scientific, however, within the survey 61 percent support a statewide strike.
US Representative Clay Higgins’ bill that would require the US to collect information on how many school resource officers are in place in schools passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. The bill is one of two pieces of legislation aimed at improving school safety, the other being an attempt to establish national standards and best practices for responding to school shootings.
Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval’s distracted driving bill found a surprising amount of success, but ultimately failed to cross the finish line. The bill would bar drivers from touching their phone while on the road. Huval says the surprising momentum the legislation gained indicates a growing interest in safer roads.
Huval said he intends to reintroduce the bill next year.
New Orleans is the only city that has been invited to bid for the 2024 Super Bowl, potentially setting the stage for the Big Easy’s 11th time hosting the big game. Saints Owner Gayle Benson will pitch NFL executives on hosting Super Bowl 58 on Wednesday. Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero says unlike past years, there’s no competing bids. New Orleans’s last Super Bowl was in 2013, where the power went out and the Ravens won.
Iberia Bank, the largest financial company based in Louisiana, is shuttering 22 branch locations this year in the state, and 296 locations across the Southeast. Iberia recently acquired Gibraltar Bank and Trust for 223 million dollars, leading to further closures and the laying off of 124 Gibraltar employees.
Overnight facilities at two Louisiana State Parks are reopening after they were damaged by the 2016 floods. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announced that portions of the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near St. Martinville opened Monday and newly renovated cabins at Chemin-A-Haut (Sha mana hall ) State Park near Bastrop will open Friday. Along with park restorations, Nungesser says his office is focusing on partnerships to improve the parks and bring back lost revenue from the floods.
Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry reiterated they would like to see All-Star DeMarcus Cousins return to the team. Cousins is an unrestricted free agent and said last week he’s open to signing with New Orleans after July 1st, but hasn’t heard from the Pelicans front office in a while. Gentry spoke with reporters at the Saints Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic.
The LSU baseball team’s season could be on the line today versus Mississippi State in a single-elimination game at the SEC Tournament. The Tigers are on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament and a loss to a Bulldogs could burst their bubble. Coach Paul Mainieri will start left-hander Nick Bush on the mound. Airtime 4p KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3
Tonight it’s the NBA Western Conference Finals Game 4 Houston & Golden State. The Warriors lead the series 2 games to 1. Airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN
Last night in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals It Was Cleveland over Boston 111 to 102 that series now tied at 2. They’ll play again tomorrow night.
News for Monday 052118
By Dave Graichen
Latest job numbers show that more Louisiana residents are employed than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, just over two-million people were employed last month, an increase of 47-thousand from the previous April. Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Ava Dejoie, says certain sectors of Louisiana’s economy continue to do well. The state’s unemployment rate fell nearly one-percent from April of 2017 to April 2018. Monroe was the only metro area to report a loss in jobs over the last month.
The regular session ended Friday evening with a special session set to start tomorrow. One notable piece of legislation to pass, is a bill that allows riverboats to expand on land. The “Hail Mary” of the session, New Orleans Senator JP Morrell’s unanimous juries constitutional amendment, found surprising success and is on its way to the November ballot. Wage related bills, such as equal pay for women, pay secrecy, and a minimum wage hike all failed to pass the legislature.
Shortly after the end of regular session Friday night, Governor John Bel Edwards announced he’s vetoed the budget approved by lawmakers, because of the cuts across state government in funding. So lawmakers will return for a special session tomorrow. They’ll be asked to raise at least 648-million dollars in revenue to make up for the loss in one-point-four billion dollars in temporary taxes that expire on June 30th.
As the regular legislative session ended Friday, Lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would extend the state’s operating license for Harrah’s New Orleans casino. Legislators were concerned over whether the state was getting a fair deal. A bill to restrict cell phone use while driving also failed to legislative approval.
Today is the funeral service for former First Lady Elaine Edwards, the onetime US Senator, actress, seamstress, and wife of Edwin Edwards. Elaine married Edwin in 1949, remaining married for 40 years, and three terms of her husband’s governorship.
The latest school shooting, this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas, has reignited the conversation around gun regulations. In response to the Parkland massacre, several bills were introduced in Louisiana that targeted firearms, but all were struck down. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter introduced three gun control bills. He says despite a lack of support in the capital this year, he’ll be reintroducing them next year.
The Miss USA finals are tonight in Shreveport. It’s an event that not only brings glamour to northwest Louisiana, but the pageant is also expected to produce a five-million-dollar economic impact. Fox Television will broadcast the pageant at 7 PM. It’s expected it will be seen in 60 countries.
The on-line restaurant delivery service Waitr, which is based in Lake Charles, has been sold to a Texas Billionaire, Tilman Fertitta, in a deal worth 308 million dollars. Waitr was founded in 2015 and has grown to 30 metro areas from Texas to South Carolina. Chris Meaux the company’s founder will continue as chairman of the board of directors. Meaux says the added infusion of cash will help the company grow.
The founder of the Cajun Navy 2016, Jon Bridgers of Walker, has been arrested on contractor fraud accusations. His lawyer Philip House says Bridgers insists it’s a contractual dispute wrought with miscommunication with a homeowner, who is rebuilding following the August flood of 2016…
Summertime is the most active season for door-to-door sales, and State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds everyone to be wary of home security sales fraud. The Better Business Bureau Southwest reports home security installation and sales ranks among one of the most problematic and reported industries in the country. Browning says report any suspicious sales activity.
LSU has confirmed one of the true giants of the LSU universe has passed away. Billy Cannon, the only LSU player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, died peacefully at his family home on Sunday morning at the age of 80.
Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has announced he’s LSU bound. Burrow who visited the campus recently made his decision on Friday and he’ll compete with three other quarterbacks to be the starter this fall.
On air today..
NBA Eastern Confrence Finals Game 4 Boston @ Cleveland 6:30p 94.7 ESPN Boston leads the series 2 games to 1
News for Friday 051818
By Dave Graichen
The new Love’s Travel Stop near Boyce is now officially open. The store is located off Interstate 49 at Rapides Station Road. It includes more than 10,000 square feet and an Arby's restaurant and will employ approximately 50 people. The store will be open 24 hours a day and will offer food and other convenience store options, as well as amenities geared toward professional truck drivers.
State Police report 24 year old Timmy Boone of Elmer was killed early Thursday morning when he lost control of his truck on Twin Bridges Road. Troopers say Boone ran off the road hitting several trees. Boone was not wearing a seat belt. He died at the scene.
An annual audit of the Alexandria city marshal's office found former Marshal Terence Grines allegedly paid himself a supplement to buy clothing and took more than $1,000 from office funds. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office is reviewing the audit's findings. Grines resigned as marshal last year after his arrest following a multi-jurisdictional investigation that revealed he was selling opiates.
Authorities in Ferriday report a woman who was assaulted at a car wash last week has died from her injuries. The May 9 attack of Teresa Poole was captured on security video. That video led to the arrest of a suspect, who has been charged.
The House approved Senate changes to the budget, that fully funds healthcare, but slashes higher ed, funding for state agencies, and cuts TOPS by 30 percent. the Democratic Caucus opposed the passage of the budget, calling the cuts included immoral. They argued the legislature should wait until the special session, where revenue could be raised to fill the 648 million dollar budget gap.
Three anti-hazing bills are on their way to the governor’s desk following last fall’s death of LSU freshman Max Gruver. The house voted 88 to 1 in favor of final passage of house bill 78 otherwise known as the Max Gruver Act. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore testified in favor of the measure to give the current laws more teeth. Moore says a companion bill to force mandatory education for university fraternities and sororities should help stop dangerous hazing.
If you are traveling east on Interstate 10 this weekend and crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, be prepared for some roadwork and some long delays. The Department of Transportation will close the eastbound inside lane at seven o’clock tonight until noon on Sunday. The westbound inside lane will also be closed for part of the weekend. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says the 50 year old plus bridge is in dire need of replacing some on-ramp concrete.
A new jet airplane interior modification plant is coming to Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles. Citadel Completions announced the company will make a nearly 180-million dollar investment in a plant that will customize Jet airplanes of any size. The average salary will be around 80 thousand dollars a year. Citadel is already hiring as they plan to employ 250 workers.
The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services kicked off a new Foster Parent Recruitment Campaign as part of Foster Care Month, an annual push to increase awareness of the importance of the foster care system. Child Welfare Manager Christy Tate says 7,868 children were a part of DCFS’s foster care program last year, with only 2,250 certified foster homes available. Tate says they need more eligible families to participate.
On Air Today..
Houston Astros vs Cleveland Indians 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Auburn 6:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
News for Thursday 051718
By Dave Graichen
Agents with the LDWF report the recovery of a body Wednesday found floating in Bayou Pierre near the border of Natchitoches-Red River parishes. Officials hope an autopsy will identify the body and determine the cause of death. It is believed to be the body of a female.
State education officials say since 2012, there has been a 15-percent increase in the number of high school graduates entering college each fall. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says high school programs geared toward college credits have helped the numbers grow. A record 23,500 public high school students from the Class of 2017 enrolled in college last fall.
Two republican legislators admit they were involved in a fist fight early Thursday morning at a downtown Baton Rouge bar. Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop and Houma Senator Norby Chabert apologized to their colleagues. Chabert is reportedly upset with Bishop for blocking his legislation in the House Natural Resources Committee. Chabert told the USA Today Network that he loves Stuart like a brother and sometimes brothers fight.
The House has gutted a Senate bill that would have allowed teachers to participate in student-initiated prayers during school hours. Shreveport Representative Alan Seabugh says the legislation by Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti would have prompt lawsuits. The bill heads back to the Senate.
Heading to the governor’s desk is legislation that would allow students to bring bulletproof backpacks into public schools. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith voted against the legislation, because of concerns that students in poorer areas would be unable to afford the same protection allowed to students in more affluent school systems. Bulletproofing a backpack can cost anywhere from 50 to 400-dollars.
A recent US Supreme Court decision allows gambling to happen in all 50 states. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones anticipates one day state legislators will pass legislation, so that it can be regulated in Louisiana. Jones believes believes legalizing sports betting in Louisiana will cut back on the black market that exists around sports wagers.
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes announced she’s running for Secretary of State. Stokes was also a candidate in last year’s State Treasurer’s Race, but backed out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Governor John Bel Edwards held his monthly talk show yesterday, where he touched on a series of legislative topics. Edwards took the opportunity to reiterate his support for the 15 week abortion ban, a rarity for a prominent Democratic official. The Governor praised efforts in the Legislature to improve a bill to renew Harrah’s contract, after the initial version came under heavy fire from statewide political officials. Governor Edwards’ signature will not be needed on a constitutional amendment requiring unanimous verdicts in felony trials, as the decision for final passage will be left up to the voters in November. Edwards says he hopes the people will put the item into law.
The Senate agreed to a bill that would renew Harrah’s contract with the state for twenty more years, contribute 20 million dollars a year to state coffers, build a 350 million dollar hotel, and provide a lump sum payment of tens of millions upfront. New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson says if Harrah’s agrees, it’d be a huge investment in the state.
LSU baseball wraps up the regular season with a three game series that starts tonight against Auburn. The Tigers are 14-13 in the SEC and it’s believed LSU has to finish with at least a .500 record in league play in order to receive an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. But LSU is 3-and-13 away from home this season. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3.
The NBA Western Conference Final is tied at 1 all since Houston Defeated Golden State last night 127 to 106 Game three of that series will be Sunday evening.
Boston has a 2 to 0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final. They play next Saturday Night.
News for Wednesday 051618
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO reports a suspect who was being perused in a car reported taken without the owner’s permission committed suicide Tuesday. The unidentified suspect would not stop for deputies, and a chase began. It continued onto La. Highway 112, then to La. Highway 121 where spike strips were put down. Deputies say upon approaching the vehicle, a single shot was heard. It was then Deputies found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound . An investigation is ongoing.
The Governor’s administration and GOP legislators continue to exchange barbs over the decision to mail program cancellation warnings to 37,000 Medicaid patients. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne pushed back, arguing that the feds require Medicaid recipients to be informed of program cancellations ahead of time. Dardenne says with a real threat from House lawmakers to cut these programs, it would have been wrong to wait any longer. A special session that could replace the expiring revenue at the heart of these budget cuts is set to be called next Tuesday.
The Senate approved a 28-billion dollar spending plan for next fiscal year that Governor John Bel Edwards has no plans of endorsing, because it reduces money for public colleges, eliminates the food stamp program, and allocates fewer dollars for child welfare and TOPS. It’s hoped the hole in the budget can be filled later this month in a special legislative session.
Public School teachers are digging into their own purses and wallets when it comes to paying for school supplies for their students. A new survey released says teachers are spending about 250 dollars a year on notebooks, pens, and other supplies without reimbursement. The study also found that teachers in high-poverty schools were more likely to spend personal money on school supplies. Teachers who spend their own money for supplies are able to take a $250 federal tax deduction.
A recent 5-cent rise in gas prices puts the state average at $2.59 a gallon. AAA fuel analyst, Don Redman, says multiple factors are all conspiring against the consumer. Redman says recent withdrawal from the Iran deal has negatively affected the market. Redman says in addition to increased sanctions, increased energy demands will affect national and global prices. Redman has some good news though, he does not project that Louisiana will reach 3-dollars a gallon during the summer.
The House passed a 15 week abortion ban bill with amendments on a 78-9 vote, clearing one of the last hurdles before it arrives on the Governor’s desk for his likely approval. The Senate has already approved one version of the legislation. Denham Springs Representative Valerie Hodges says the legislation’s enactment is contingent on the results of a legal challenge to a similar bill in Mississippi. The bill heads back to the Senate.
A bill that would allow riverboat casinos to come up out of the water passed is heading to the governor’s desk. The legislation would “modernize” riverboat casino regulations, allowing them to expand onto land near where they are berthed, and it changes the rules on gambling space. The vote was 54-41
It was called the “Hail Mary” bill when Senator J.P. Morrell filed it in March, but unanimous jury verdicts are a public vote from becoming reality in Louisiana. The mood shifted rapidly once the legislation was taken up, gathering major support from liberal groups, and neutral opinions from D-As. Louisiana is just one of two states that do not require unanimous verdicts. Voters will get to decide in November.
One of Angola’s most restrictive housing units, Camp J, has been closed due to the facilities crumbling infrastructure. The cells at Camp J were used to house inmates in solitary for 23 hours a day. Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc says the camp was no longer safe for use. Camp J housed 400 inmates at its peak.
On The Air…
Last night in the NBA eastern finals the Boston Celtics Beat The Cleveland Cavs 107 / 94 to take a 2 game lead in the series. Game three is Saturday evening..
NBA Western Conference Finals Game 2 Golden State @ Houston 7p 94.7 ESPN. Golden State won game one of the series.
LSU defeated Northwestern State, 9-5 last night, in the final home regular season game of the season!
News for Tuesday 051518
By Dave Graichen
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards' first wife, Elaine Edwards, has died. She was married to Edwards during all three of his terms as governor. Edwin Edwards' biographer, Leo Honeycutt, confirms that Elaine Edwards died of respiratory problems Monday morning at the home of daughter Victoria Edwards in Denham Springs. He says she had been in failing health for the last couple of years. Elaine Edwards is survived by their four children. She was 89.
A House bill that allows some convicted felons while serving probation and parole to get their voting privileges back cleared the Senate and Governmental Affairs committee Monday. The bill restores voting rights five years after he or she is released from prison.
Governor John Bel Edwards has called for a special session to begin on May 22nd. The current regular session is set to end on Friday and then legislators will return to Baton Rouge a few days later for a special session to address the fiscal cliff. Because of expiring sales taxes, legislators are unable to fully fund health care, public colleges and TOPS. Edwards is hoping the legislature adopts his revenue plan that would keep a portion of an expiring penny sales tax, while eliminating sales tax exemptions for certain industries. The special session must conclude June 4th.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that states outside of Nevada are now allowed to permit sports gambling. Neighboring states such as Arkansas and Mississippi approved legislation that would allow the gaming to take place, but Louisiana denied legislation that would have put the issue up for voters this fall. Its estimated that the new, unrestricted, sports gaming industry will be worth 7.1 billion dollars a year.
A constitutional amendment requiring a unanimous jury conviction for all criminal trials passed the House to applause on an 82-15 vote. The amendment would bring the state in line with 48 other state’s conviction requirements. The item heads to the ballot, and will need 50 percent plus one vote of the popular vote to go into effect.
A bill that would renew the state’s contract with Harrah’s New Orleans Casino passed a Senate Committee on a 4-3 vote. The legislation, which was heavily amended, is a 20 year contract with a ten year renewal option. Caesar’s Entertainment, who owns Harrah’s, sent their regional president Dan Real to argue for the contract renewal. Real argued that the tens of millions of dollars the casino has agreed to pay to the state, and large number of employees they employ would be irreplaceable.
Louisiana’s deadline for filing your state taxes is today. Those who do not file in time will be subject to a 5% of tax due penalty for each 30 days of delinquency. As of May 12, 2018, LDR has distributed 1,145,124 state individual income tax refunds.
The Webster Parish School District has settled a lawsuit with the ACLU that alleged that they created a coercive environment that subjected students to school sponsored Christian religious activities. ACLU Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton says they received complaints from a Webster Parish student’s family that the activities had been ongoing for some time. The school has argued that the religious ceremonies were student initiated and led.
A gas leak in St. Mary Parish sent residents and officials scrambling Monday morning. The leak forced the closures of two schools, amidst a frantic effort by firefighters, police and ambulance personnel to evacuate everyone from the area. Initial investigations indicate the incident occurred in the Baldwin area after a tractor hit a natural gas valve. Officials have given the all clear to return.
Authorities say a Sorrento man was killed when his Dad wrecked a boat they were in Saturday night on the Amite River. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says 53-year-old Patrick White was operating a 20-foot aluminum vessel when it slammed into a river wall. The impact killed 27-year-old Caleb White. Patrick White has is facing numerous charges, including vehicular homicide.
On Air …
Last night it was the Golden State Warriors over The Houston Rockets 119 /106 in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals..
Tonight, we move east.. NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 Cleveland is at Boston. The Celtics took the first game of the series.. Tonight’s coverage begins at 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Northwestern 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
News for Monday 051418
By Dave Graichen
Senate Finance approved a budget that cuts nearly 25 percent in funding from most state agencies, but restores much of the funding to healthcare, specifically public-private partnership hospitals, that was lacking in a House backed spending plan. Chairman Eric Lafluer says the committee is well aware that the state cannot operate at these funding levels, and the budget is just a showcase of how impossible 648 million dollars of cuts would be.
There are indications from both the Governor and legislative leaders that this will be the final week of the regular session. The chambers have 120 hours to come to a resolution on gaming issues, unanimous juries, a 15 week abortion ban, and possibly a budget.
Louisiana residents who want to engage in fantasy sports playing is one signature away from it. The Senate cleared a bill that gives voters in each parish the right to decide if they wish to move forward on fantasy sports playing.
A constitutional amendment requiring unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials is scheduled for a vote in the House today. Louisiana is one of two states that does not require unanimous jury decisions. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Louisiana’s outlier verdict system influences DAs to charge suspects with crimes that have longer sentences, just to have a better chance at conviction. The amendment would have to survive a popular vote before being put into law.
Governor John Bel Edwards endorsed a state-wide anti-cancer initiative called “Taking aim at Cancer in Louisiana.” The goal is to improve early detection, improving patient care and treatment, an ultimately improve patient out-comes. The United Health Foundation has provided 500-thousand in grant money to the Louisiana Cancer Research Center to develop a strategy to improve care.
Students Graduating from LSU Friday were treated to a commencement speech by Alumnus U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise. Scalise spoke for about 45 minutes in front of 4000 graduating students. He spoke extensively about his journey following a nearly fatal shooting on a baseball diamond in Washington D.C. and the support he received from the University during his recovery. He says he will forever be indebted to those who helped him during his rehabilitation. Scalise is also scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the LSU law school graduation in June.
A Senate Committee will review a controversial bill that would renew Harrah’s Casino’s contract for another 30 years. The bill has received opposition from statewide leaders like Senator John Kennedy who say Louisiana should hold out for a better deal, and legislators concerned about a provision that would cut the capital out of future negotiations. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says he doesn’t see the bill passing in its current form, unless Harrahs is willing to put up more on its end of the bargain.
Tonight, It's game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals with The Golden State Warriors @ The Houston Rockets. Game time 7p 94.7 ESPN
Yesterday in game one of the of the Eastern Conference Finals, it was The Boston Celtics in charge as they defeated The Cleveland Cavaliers 108 to 83. Game two of that series tomorrow night.
Saints Coach Sean Payton says as of right now, they do not plan on signing a veteran running back with Mark Ingram set to miss the first four games because of violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. But Payton says they will not close the door on possibly bringing back future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson.. Payton says they have guys on their roster that can fill the void of Ingram’s absence.
LSU got a much needed 7-3 victory on Sunday to keep hope alive they can make the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are now 14-13 in the SEC heading into the final SEC series at Auburn. The coach says a series victory against Auburn should be enough to receive an at-large bid.
News for Friday 051118
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards punched back against lawmakers who criticized his decision to mail nursing home eviction warnings resulting from a potential Medicaid cut, and who are stalling on approving the 648 million dollars in revenue needed to fund healthcare and TOPS. Edwards says he supports renewing a portion of the expiring penny sales tax to close the budget gap.
Two Louisianans have put together a petition that’s gathered nearly 13,000 signatures asking to state not to remove the 37,000 Medicaid recipients from the program in light of letters sent out warning that budget cuts could eliminate their programs. One of the petition’s creators, social worker Andrea Centofanti says the letters are a blow to people who already have a lot to deal with. Centofanti says even the potential for a loss of coverage reflects very poorly on the state.
Louisiana’s four-year high school graduation rate has reached an all-time high of 78-percent. The rate has increased 11-percent over the last decade, but Superintendent of Education John White warns the percentage could drop next year, because of tougher academic requirements. The national high school graduation rate was 84-percent for the class of 2016.
52 percent of the high school class of 2017 qualified for TOPS this year, a nearly 1,000 student increase over the class of 2016. Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White says TOPS needs to be maintained, even with its large price tag.
It will be easier to recall an elected official in Louisiana, if the Governor signs a bill into law that has cleared the legislature. A 31-1 senate vote sent HB 54 by Mandeville Representative Paul Hollis to the governor’s desk. The bill lowers the threshold on how many signatures are needed to have a recall election held. A similar bill failed to get legislative approval last year.
A bill strengthening laws against animal sexual abuse or bestiality passed the House unanimously and heads back to the Senate for final passage. Conservative Christian groups oppose it, because they say it could undermine Louisiana’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law.
The Movie “Class Rank”, which was shot here in Cenla, opens nationwide at select theatres across the country, including the Grand here in Alexandria, this weekend. Scenes were shot at Bolton High School and other locations in the area. The movie will also be available On Demand and by Digital Download beginning today.
An off-duty Slidell police officer, Dennis Neyland, aided the release of a kidnapped 83-year-old woman in Downtown Baton Rouge on Wednesday afternoon. Baton Rouge Police spokesperson, Sergeant L’Jean McKneely that after the victim was forced to withdraw 800 dollars in cash from the ATM, Neyland saw the woman was in distress and ended up fighting off the suspect, 42-year-old Tamikia Raymond, who was arrested on the spot.
Louisiana public schools could soon be required to display “In God We Trust” in their building as a result of legislation that’s close to final legislative passage. The bill would also require schools to teach students about the slogan. It would go into effect with the 2019-2020 school year.
The push to trigger a constitutional convention is picking up steam, as this year’s version of the bill gained a majority vote in the House, but not the two thirds needed for passage. The convention is aimed at rewriting the rules on Louisiana’s finances.
The National Retail Federation anticipates an increase in spending for Mother’s Day. Spending is expected to reach $23 billion in 2018, a 61% increase since 2009. People between the ages 35-44 are projected to spend the most, averaging $224
Heart wrenching testimony was presented in favor of a bill that would make it illegal to touch your phone while driving. The bill passed the Senate Transportation committee.
The LSU Tigers have a chance to build on their late season push to make the NCAA Tournament. After taking two of three from the best team in the SEC West, Arkansas, the Tigers host the worst team, Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 6-and-18 in league play, but Coach Paul Mainieri says Bama is more than capable.
On air tonight..
Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Alabama 7:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
News for Thursday 051018
By Dave Graichen
The state will send out letters today to 37-thousand elderly and disabled people, warning them the Medicaid programs which pay for their care could be eliminated on July 1st. The state has a 648-million dollar revenue shortfall for next fiscal year and the House approved budget reduces funding for several health care services. Gov Edwards says he’ll be holding a press conference today to address the pending cuts. Republicans say the letters are going out too soon, because there’s still time to find the funding by July 1st.
The house committee on administration of criminal justice advanced a bill Tuesday creating the crime of coercing abortion. The new crime would carry a sentence of up to five years and a five thousand dollar fine if someone threatened violence toward a woman who did not get an abortion. The measure now goes to the full house.
Two medical marijuana bills passed the Senate with amendments and are headed to the House. One bill would add additional categories, such as PTSD to the already existing list diseases medical marijuana is eligible to treat, and the other would allow the treatment to be given to autism patients.
The days of seeing a smiling face when you place your food order is slowly coming to an end. It’s being called the “Experience Of The Future”. McDonald's locations across the state are, or will soon be, installing Self Order Kiosks that allows customers to order their food on a touchscreen. It’s planned that by 2020 all McDonalds nationwide with have the devices up and online. Here in Cenla, the McDonalds on Highway 28 east is installing their units this week. Company officials say the Kiosks are not being put in place to replace employees, Just to enhance the customer experience..
Western Global Airlines will invest three million dollars in a new facility in Shreveport, which could lead to 170 direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates that an additional 308 new jobs will be created by the facility run by the Florida based company. Secretary Don Pierson says they’ll take over the former Continental Express Jet hangar.
A study for the Louisiana Chemical Association shows the industry is responsible for nearly 80-billion dollars in annual sales and is the number one provider of jobs in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector. The Louisiana Chemical Association says it can remain a cornerstone of the state’s economy if it continues to have state support. That support in the form of the Industrial Tax Exemption. Governor Edwards has taken steps to tighten the tax exemption program, so it leads to more job creation. He’s also given local governments more say in who should receive it.
Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard is re-opening the case in the disappearance of Barbara Blount. The then 58 year old went missing in the middle of the day on May 2nd, 2008 and has never been seen again. Back then a dozen or so volunteers combed the woods surrounding her house in Holden, Ard says it’s time to stir the pot again. Ard says it’s possible someone lured Blount out of her home and dumped her body somewhere else.
A Thibodaux man was arrested and released on bail Tuesday after allegedly battering one woman, and running another over. 20-year-old Kip LeBlanc was charged with Aggravated Second Degree Battery and Domestic Abuse Battery. A Lafourche Sheriffs Spokesperson says it started with an argument, and turned brutally violent.
News for Wednesday 050918
By Dave Graichen
The APD has Identified a suspect fled from U.S. marshals who were trying to take him into custody late Monday afternoon in Alexandria, triggering an almost five-hour standoff when the suspect barricaded himself inside a business. Authorities say 34-year-old Patrick Murry of Alexandria, who was wanted by Louisiana State Probation and Parole for a violation stemming from an aggravated assault charge.
In the market for a Hotel and convention center.. One of Alexandria's more recognizable hotels will be auctioned later this month as part of bankruptcy proceedings. The Baymont Inn and Suites and Convention Center will be up for bids on May 17 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The minimum bid is $1.04 million. The current owners are a group of local doctors.
State Police report 63 year old John Brady of Alexandria died yesterday morning in East Baton Rouge parish when he collided with an unmarked Baton Rouge PD vehicle. The initial investigation indicated Brady crosses the center lane of the highway, striking the police vehicle. Neither Brady nor the police officer were wearing seatbelts. The officer survived the crash with moderate injuries.
State Farm auto insurance customers will see a three percent decrease in their rates this summer, despite soaring numbers of distracted driving accidents that helped the nation set a record number of road deaths. That number works out to about 43 dollars a customer a year. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says it could be a sign that insurance rates will be on their way down for the next few years. Donelon says the savings are not really the result of federal tax reform, but a better than expected series of results for insurance companies.
A Senate-approved bill to allow teachers to pray with students during the school day is close to final passage after clearing the House Education Committee. The legislation would require that all students present have a signed form from their parents before the teachers can participate in the student initiated prayer.
Those looking to get hitched quick are in luck, a bill is on its way to the governor’s desk for signature that would reduce the wait time for marriages from 72 to 24 hours, but under current law a judge or justice of the peace can waive the waiting period. The legislation by Carencro Representative Julie Emerson would go into effect August 1st if signed.
Oil prices in the U.S. have climbed over the 70 dollar mark for the first time since 2014. But Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, says numerous lawsuits filed by local governments in south Louisiana seeking money for coastal restoration has had a chilling effect on the industry. Briggs says it’s not all bad as non-direct jobs are on the increase since the prices began going up.
If you were hoping to make a little money on the side as a Lyft or Uber, it wont happen this year. A bill setting up statewide rules and expanding service to rural parishes for Uber and Lyft has died in a Senate committee for a second straight year. Lyft Public Policy Manager Jonathan Buckner tried to reassure lawmakers that the service is safe, and offers multiple ways to ensure a trustworthy ride around town. But Metairie Senator Danny Martiny objected to the legislation because it sets up different rules for Uber and Lyft than taxi cab operators.
It’s high times in New Orleans this week as the annual MJBiz conference kicks off today. 70 experts and 275 companies will be represented in the marijuana industry conference that’s in it’s 7th year. Cassandra Farrington is the CEO of Marijuana biznews daily which reports on the cannabis industry. Louisiana is expected to begin offering medical marijuana to patients later this year. The state has licensed nine dispensaries and LSU and Southern universities are in charge of growing medicinal cannabis that will be given to patients in an oil or pill. Farrington says they will discuss Louisiana’s role in the marijuana industry.
Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and the New Orleans area are under ozone warnings due to unseasonably warm weather that could temporarily lead to more polluted air. DEQ Environmental Sciences Manager Vivian Aucoin says those with respiratory problems, whether chronic or acute should try to stay indoors for the duration of warning, as the outside air could be harder to breathe.
Jerry Stovall’s number 21 jersey will be retired this fall as the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame committee unanimously approved the move. Stovall joins two other LSU legends as members of the retired jersey club, Billy Cannon and Tommy Casanova. Stovall was a unanimous All-American in 1962 and was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals where he would play for 9 years. At LSU, he was known as “Mr. Everything,” playing halfback, defensive back, kick returner and also handled punting duties.
Tangipahoa Parish authorities arrest a 25-year-old Hammond man, who is accused of killing a five-year-old child in a hit and run. Deputies say Davonta Abron’s vehicle struck a child at an intersection in Hammond and then fled the scene. He was taken into custody early Tuesday morning.
The season is over for the New Orleans Pelicans as they lost the deciding game last night to Golden State 113 to 104
Saints running back Mark Ingram has been suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for PEDs, leaving a gaping hole in a Black and Gold offense. Ingram will miss crucial early season divisional matchups against Tampa and Atlanta, returning in time for the Washington game.
Some afternoon and evening baseball today..
This afternoon at 2 it’s the Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 94.7 ESPN
And this evening it’s LSU vs McNeese 7:00p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
News for Tuesday 050818
By Dave Graichen
Authorities say the U.S. Marshals were attempting to serve a warrant to a suspect, late yesterday afternoon, when gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and police. Authorities say at that point the suspect then barricaded himself in the Sherwin-Williams store. The APD closed Mac Arthur drive between Elliot and Jackson streets for several hours. The incident ended peacefully around 10pm when the suspect turned himself in. There’s still no official word on who the suspect is or on the warrant marshals were trying to serve.
The parents of a baby who was found in a trash bin back in February are now facing murder charges. The Alexandria Police Department was notified on Friday that the child had died after being on life support since the incident. The parents, 30-year-old Thelma Kirkland and 31-year-old Carl Hall, were arrested in the Rapides Parish Detention Center, where they both have remained since their arrests on Feb. 23
The Senate Finance Committee heard testimony Monday from disability advocates who are raising the alarm over the House passed budget that would place deep cuts in healthcare starting July 1st, including the slashing of programs for the disabled. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFluer says the cuts would eliminate services for over 45 thousand developmentally disabled patients. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve a budget later this week, but approving additional funding will have to wait until a special session.
The Louisiana Department of Health will begin mailing eviction notices to 37,000 mostly elderly residents of nursing homes who may lose Medicaid coverage under a House passed budget. The House backed spending plan slashes hundreds of millions in healthcare spending. LDH Deputy Secretary Michelle Alletto says anyone who receives the letter needs to act fast and apply for other programs.
Louisiana is now on a six year run of record breaking tourism numbers as the state saw 500,000 more visitors in 2017 than it saw in 2016, for a total of 46.7 million visitors. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says a lot of these great results come down to a big push to bring in more folks from outside the U-S. Tourism also brought in 1.8 billion dollars in local and state tax revenue in 2017, a 4.5 percent increase over 2016.
Army officials are now acknowledging they've investigated reports of child-on-child sexual assaults at Fort Polk. The disclosure comes amid an Associated Press report. New documents released to AP show Army criminal investigators opened at least four cases at the western Louisiana base, concluding three were true.
78.5 million dollars in unclaimed property has been deposited to its rightful owners this year by the Louisiana Treasury Department. The success is the result of the department’s effort to upload 100,000 new names to the database that finds the heirs to property and other assets held by the state. Treasurer John Schroder says the big publicity push is paying dividends. Louisiana ranks 32nd in the nation for unclaimed property returns. Schroder hopes next year they can rank higher.
We are 15 months away from qualifying for the 2019 Louisiana Governor’s race. Speculation is that Republican U.S. Senator John Kennedy will challenge Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. Pollster John Couvillon says another potential candidate is Republican U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish. Couvillon says Abraham’s biggest weakness is that he’s from north Louisiana. Couvillon says the big challenge for Governor Edwards is that there are 41,600 fewer Democrats registered to vote now compared to when he was elected.
A two vehicle crash near Sorrento on Interstate 10 killed two children Sunday night. State Police say the driver of the vehicle who struck the victim’s car was arrested and charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring and reckless operations. All passengers involved in the crash were not restrained.
Starting this week, chain restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters and vending machines are required to display calories counts for the food they sell. Many fast food chains began displaying the caloric information years ago, but LSU Health Sciences Center Doctor Henry Nuss says the jury is out on whether it will have an impact on dietary patterns.
A Shreveport officer has been placed on paid leave after a profanity laced video emerged of Gary Thomas screaming at a male after responding to a noise complaint.
Thomas was arrested in 2017 for domestic violence against his wife, which led to his firing. He was later reinstated by the municipal fire and police civil service board.
Lafayette Police announce the arrest of four juveniles on charges of terrorizing and Disturbing the Peace for an alleged “Flash Mob” style disturbance. Authorities say these individuals caused a large crowd of festival goers to suddenly run in fear from the downtown area on April 28th. Police credit additional crime cameras for helping them identify the juveniles involved.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has an interesting idea to fix up the French Quarter: turn it into a state park. Under the plan, the Vieux Carre would be designated state park land, which would allow lawmakers to allocate additional resources to clean its streets, and increase security. Nungesser says the escalating crime problem in New Orleans is dampening enthusiasm for visiting one of Louisiana’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s a problem that goes back decades.
Down now three games to one, the New Orleans Pelicans are back in Oakland tonight to play Golden State. It’s a late game with airtime starting at 9p tonight on 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 050718
By Dave Graichen
An unusual seismic event shook the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning when a 4.6 magnitude earthquake occurred about 120 miles southeast of Grand Isle. The strongest vibrations reported in Slidell, Walker and Baker.
Friday, Judge Harry Randow sentenced 50 year old Terrance Grines to three years in prison at hard labor, but suspended two years. The former Alexandria City Marshall was also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and a $2,500 Fine. Prior to being sentenced, Grines apologizing, saying he neglected to deal with his demons.
LaToya Cantrell takes over New Orleans today after 8 years of Mitch Landrieu holding the reigns. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos Cantrell takes over a city with big issues to tackle, but a more stable budget and economy than it had eight years ago, but arrives in office with a potential major scandal in the making. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is investigating the former city council member for potential misuse of a city credit card. DuBos says it’s an investigation that casts a pall not just over her, but many city officials.
The regular session must end in a month, but the belief at the capitol is it will end in mid-May, so lawmakers can pass tax bills to address a 648-million dollar shortfall. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says legislation that has nothing to do with the budget is close to final legislative passage, so the regular session could end in a couple of weeks. The House passed a spending plan that would enact deep spending cuts in healthcare, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals. Pinsonat says it remains to be seen if the Senate will act on the proposed budget or just wait for an anticipated special session.
The state posted the slowest gross domestic product growth in the nation in 2017 at minus-point-two-percent. It’s the second straight year Louisiana had a decline in the real G-D-P, but Louisiana’s Gross Domestic Product Growth for the fourth quarter of 2017 was two-point-two-percent, which could be a positive sign. LSU Economist Doctor Loren Scott credits the industrial expansion boom that’s ongoing in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge.
Louisiana has been given full control of Red Snapper waters from the feds for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist Harry Blanchet says Blanchet says part of the reason the state has been given authority over both waters is that early projections indicate that anglers won’t have a lot of success fishing in the federal waters this season. This year’s season will kick off Friday, May 25th, with a total allocation of 743,000 pounds allowed to be harvested
A study is out revealing overwhelmingly that most workers and managers believe that what you wear to work has a big impact on your chances of getting that big promotion. 80 percent of managers and 86 percent of workers feel that clothing affects your promotion chances. OfficeTeam District President Brandi Britton says the old adage “dressed for success” is still true. Another finding in the report was that while people still believe dressing up helps you move up, the definition of what “dressing up” is has loosened in recent years. Britton says that’s because employers are scrambling to find high quality workers.
College football attendance has dropped four straight years nationwide, but LSU officials says they’ve only seen a one percent drop in non-renewals for season tickets this year. Despite not having a 10-win season since 2013, Tiger fans are not giving up their season tickets. Tiger Athletics Foundation President Rick Perry says if anything, tickets are becoming even more sought after.
The Pelicans are one game away from elimination from the NBA playoffs after Kevin Durant scored 38 points in Golden State’s 118-92 win over New Orleans to take a commanding 3-1 lead. Golden State can close out the series on their home floor on Tuesday night.
With LSU’s NCAA Baseball tournament chances on the bubble, the Tigers fought hard this past weekend and picked up a huge series victory over 4th ranked Arkansas. LSU closed out the series on Sunday with a 7-5 win.
After losing their weekend series the Houston Astros are looking for a fresh start tonight in Oakland as the begin a three game series against the A’s. Airtime 8:30 on 94.7 ESPN..
News for Friday 050418
By Dave Graichen
A bill barring drivers from touching their cellphones while on the road is on its way to the Senate after narrowly escaping the house. . The anti-distracted driving legislation was inspired by the uptick in distracted driving road deaths in recent years. The bill passed with 53 votes.
The “Adoption Option” bill that would require abortion clinics to provide information about the adoption process to women seeking abortions is nearing final passage. The legislation would also mandate the creation of a state website with information about adoption. The bill has received little opposition in the legislature.
Students who had the GPA, but were a few points shy of qualifying for TOPS in high school could get another shot at the scholarship under a bill that is almost to the governor’s desk. The legislation would allow students who scored 17, 18, or 19 on the ACT, but have a 3.2 GPA after two years in college to collect TOPS for their last two years.
The top aide to Secretary of State Tom Schedler denies knowing about sexual harassment allegations against his boss until a lawsuit detailing the accusations was made public. Kyle Ardoin says the accuser never came to him with any problems. Ardoin is set to take over the office when Schedler’s resignation takes effect Tuesday.
Louisiana now meets the highest standard of air quality according to EPA standards. Governor John Bel Edwards says the success is the result of notable increases in air quality in the Baton Rouge area parishes. DEQ Environmental Scientist Vivian Aucoin says its great news for quality of life in the Bayou State.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is set to end his second term Monday after 8 years in charge of the Crescent City. Landrieu guided the city through a tumultuous post Katrina recovery period, but political analyst Clancy DuBos says nationally he’ll be most remembered for his part in the removal of the confederate . Mayor-Elect Latoya Cantrell will replace Landrieu.
The mother of a Claiborne Parish boy who disappeared a month ago has been arrested on charges unrelated to the child’s disappearance. Shelia Phillips is being held in jail while search teams continue to comb the area around her house where she says her 4-year-old son disappeared. Shelia was arrested on a drug charge. Her husband, Demarcus Gilbert, was arrested for stealing scrap metal two weeks ago.
The State Fire Marshal’s office believes a cell phone is responsible for a fire that injured a one-year-old child in Jeanerette. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says a 14-year-old resident told detectives he was sleeping in a room with his little sister, when he awoke to use the bathroom, he smelled smoke and saw the mattress on fire. Detectives learned it was an I Phone 6 that caught fire.
The Department of Corrections says Angola guards thwarted an attempt by an inmate who tried to escape. Authorities say the inmate who was serving a life sentence for aggravated rape, ran away from the farm line, shots were fired, but he was eventually tackled by officers.
Jeff Davis Parish authorities say they arrested nine people who were protesting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline . Deputies say the protesters were mingling around heavy equipment, causing a safety hazard for themselves and the construction workers. They were cited for trespassing.
The LSU baseball team can turn its season around, if they can take this weekend’s series versus fourth ranked Arkansas. Coach Paul Mainieri’s team is in a slump, while the Razorbacks are one of the top teams in a loaded SEC. But, on the plus side, The Tigers have won 12 of their last 13 SEC regular-season series versus Arkansas. Tonight’s game starts tonight at 7:30 on KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
The Pelicans take on the Warriors at home for game three of the series tonight, looking to grab their first win in this series. They’ve lost their first two games by an average of 14 points, after beating the Golden State in their last regular season matchup. Airtime tonight at 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 050318
By Dave Graichen
You’ve waited long enough, Alex River Fete’ officially begins this evening.. Alexandria's signature festival promises a festive mix of music, food, culture and other activities, sandwiched around the annual Louisiana Dragon Boat Races on Saturday.. The festival takes place in downtown Alexandria through Sunday.
Grant parish authorities report the recovery of a stolen trailer and two ATV’s. All three had been reported stolen from the Prospect community. The GPSO found the items at Mud Fest. A teen and a minor have been charged.
Charges are pending after an Oklahoma man riding a bicycle was killed early Wednesday when he was hit by a pickup truck in Winn Parish. The State Police report the crash happened shortly before 7am on U.S. Highway 167, north of Dodson. It’s believed the bicyclist was well on the shoulder of the road when he was hit. He died at the scene.
We could be looking at the possibility of doing away with “Daylight Savings Time” here in Louisiana. Rep. Mark Wright of Covington presented a proposal to the House Commerce Committee this week that would create a task force to study the impacts of Daylight Saving Time. That proposal was passed favorably to the House floor. Wright and the proposal's author, Rep. Julie Stokes, feel the change in hours is unhealthy and can even lead to injury.
A bill that would allow students to wear bulletproof backpacks in public schools is set for final passage after clearing the House Education Committee. The legislation, inspired by the Parkland, Florida Shooting, received unanimous support. West Monroe Republican Mike Walsworth says something needs to be done about the lack of safety for school children.
The House Criminal Justice Committee approved Senator John Milkovich’s 15 week abortion ban bill 9-8, after it passed with little opposition in the Senate. The bill mirrors an effort in Mississippi that’s been halted in federal court, but pro-choice activists note that there are differences. They say Louisiana’s law imposes stiff criminal penalties for providers, and does not allow exceptions for fetal abnormalities. The law would not go into effect unless a federal appeals court rules favorable on the challenge to Mississippi’s 15 week abortion ban.
Two bills that would expand access to medical marijuana are close to being put into law after moving through the full House, and now being passed by a Senate committee. One bill would allow some children with autism, if prescribed, access to the treatment. The other bill would add other new conditions to the ten already in place, including PTSD, to the list of those who can be prescribed the oil or pill based treatment.
The Senate has approved legislation that puts policies in place for state government to follow in sexual harassment cases. The measure heads back to the House to see if they agree on Senate changes.
A Senate bill that would allow riverboat casinos to move onto land was approved by a House committee Wednesday despite objections by the Louisiana Family Forum, who say the legislation is expansion of gaming, because it would allow these floating casinos to have more machines. Despite the opposition, The measure is heading to the House for final passage.
A concealed carry on campus bill passed the House. The bill allows school visitors with a concealed carry permit to possess a firearm while on campus, but does not allow school officials or students with a permit to carry. Campuses include K through 12, and universities.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office has arrested a 50-year-old man on bigamy charges. Spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks says Chaffie Brown had a wife in Baton Rouge and in LaPlace, who he married in 1993. Hicks says Brown married another woman in 2013. Property tax records indicate Brown owned a home in St. John and in East Baton Rouge.
Could the LSU baseball team not make the NCAA Tournament this year? D-1 Baseball-dot-com’s latest projection for the Field of 64 does not include the Tigers who have a record of 26-19, 10-11 in the SEC. D-1 Baseball-dot-com writer Kendall Rogers says LSU’s dismal 3-and-12 road record also does not help their case. LSU begins an eight-game homestand on Friday starting with a three game series against Arkansas.
Baseball at lunchtime.. it’s Houston Astros playing host to the New York Yankees today at 12:35p on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Wednesday 050218
By Dave Graichen
Secretary of State Tom Schedler notified the governor yesterday that he will resign, effective May 8th. Schedler is facing a lawsuit from an employee, who claims the statewide elected official sexually harassed her for a number of years. In a letter to John Bel Edwards, Schedler decries a “tabloid approach to an incredibly serious allegation”. In March, Schedler described the lawsuit as “unfair. Once Schedler’s resignation is effective, First Assistant Kyle Ardoin will run the department until a special election is held this fall.
A single-vehicle wreck in Grant Parish claimed the life of a Pollock man Tuesday morning. Louisiana State Police report 37 year old Chad Maxwell lost control of his pickup truck on highway 123 just north of Dry Prong, drove off the left side of the road, and crashed into a tree. Authorities say Maxwell, who was not wearing a seatbelt dead at the scene.
The RPSO reports four people, two adults and two juveniles, have been charged in two separate burglaries at Fred's Grocery in Tioga, back on April 6 and 21. Deputies report surveillance cameras recorded the suspects in masks. 19-year-old Seth and 17-year-old Damion Johnston were charged with three counts of simple burglary.
The RPSO reports it was social media that led to the arrests of two people in connection with two burglaries were reported on April 15 at a Dollar General store and Holloway Outdoors. Arrested were 23-year-old Haily Box and 33-year-old Benjamin Neal Aycock, both of Pineville. Both were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
A House backed bill that would remove the requirement that florists be licensed was shot down in a Senate committee six to one. The bill was part of the governor’s licensing reform legislative agenda. Floral wholesaler Audrey Lemoine says removing license requirements would flood the marketplace with cut rate work from retailers. Louisiana is the only state in the nation requiring florists to be licensed. Supporters say the licensing requirement keeps some from earning a living as a florist.
U.S. Senator John Kennedy is asking the state legislature to hold off on voting a bill that extends Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s contract with the state for 30 years. Kennedy says media reports that Harrah’s is considering selling the property so the state could unwittingly increase Harrah’s selling price by extending the contract. Kennedy sought the delay after a published report that indicated Harrah’s allegedly signed an agreement with another entity to purchase the casino, hotel and parking garage
Legislation to give voters an opportunity in November to decide if fantasy sports gambling should be legal in their parish is one step away from final passage. A Senate committee approved River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot’s proposal on a six to one vote. Online fantasy sports gambling is legal in 19 states.
The US House passed a bill that would allow Louisiana residents impacted by the 2016 floods to become eligible for grant money, even if they received low interest loans to help with their recovery. Baton Rouge US Representative Garret Graves, the bill’s sponsor, says this opens up recovery money to thousands. The bill received near unanimous support in the House. Now they wait to see if the Senate approves.
The Sabine Parish Coroner’s office says 35-year-old Jessie Clavier of Many was crushed by a six-thousand pound aluminum boat. Clavier was performing maintenance on the boat while it was hoisted in the air by a trackhoe when the boat fell on him.
The former Baton Rouge police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling now faces a battery charge for allegedly slapping a handcuffed man during another arrest a month before the shooting of Sterling. Attorney John McLindon believes the battery charge is a ploy to embarrass his client, Blane Salamoni. Salamoni has been fired from the force for his conduct during the Sterling shooting. He is appealing his dismissal.
The Golden State Warriors are now up two games in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. The Pelicans Lost last night 121 to 116. The good news is Game three of the series is Friday night in New Orleans
It’s baseball tonight as the Houston Astros play host to the New York Yankees Airtime 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 050118
By Dave Graichen
University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette has notified 770 employees that they could be laid off, and the facility shut down under proposed spending plans that slashes state funding for public-private partnership hospitals. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says they aren’t the only jobs at risk. Dardenne says the public-private system was created after Charity Hospitals were dismantled under the Jindal Administration, and focus on covering the underinsured. Dardenne says legislators need to find a budget solution sooner rather than later, as the indecision is stressing out the industry.
House GOP Chairman Lance Harris is defending the House budget despite its cuts, saying it’s just the first step in a long process that he expects will involve a special session starting on May 18th to fill the 648 million dollar funding gap. The GOP has resisted replacing the expiring revue that will hit July 1st, and as a result he says the legislature will likely not increase income taxes to replace expiring sales taxes. Harris says he sees two options for funding those healthcare priorities: keeping a piece of the expiring one cent sales tax, and eliminating sales tax deductions for certain industries in an anticipated special session.
A Rapides Parish State Trooper and 3 others have been arrested on various charges as part of a six month investigation into payroll fraud. The four men allegedly claimed bogus hours and wrote fraudulent tickets as part of highway safety program funded by district attorneys.
Baton Rouge Police is searching for an LSU cop who is wanted on a charge of second-degree battery after he allegedly hit a woman and then held her captive for several hours. B-R-P-D Sergeant Don Coppola says the victim survived the assault, but there was extensive injuries to her face.. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Samuel Ellis the Third.
Australian-based Syrah (See ra) Resources has selected Vidalia in Concordia Parish as its preferred site for a 25-million dollar graphite facility. The plant will make materials for batteries in electric vehicles and other products. Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft says the project means 25 new jobs for his town. Syrah Resources expects to start hiring later this year.
Over 900 farmers and ranchers are receiving grants averaging 9900 dollars for disaster recovery efforts resulting from the 2016 floods. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s long overdue. Strain says the grants will fill a reimbursement gap for farmers who’ve suffered damages that were uninsured.
Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson is working with Texas authorities to find out if there’s a connection to a severed head found near Calcasieu Lake and another severed head found near Houston. Johnson also wonders if a female body found in 2016 in Cameron is connected as well. Investigators are still trying to determine the identities of the severed heads.
It’s game 2 of the second round of the NBA playoffs tonight as the New Orleans Pelican Visit the Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans is down one game in the series. After tonight, the game moves to New Orleans for games 3 and 4. Tonight’s broadcast begins at 9p on 94.7 ESPN..
The Houston Astros began a three game homestand last night against the NY Yankees by taking game one 2 to 1. They’ll play again tonight.
Its final exams week for the LSU Tigers and Coach Paul Mainieri says his team can use a break from the baseball diamond. The Tigers Begin a three game home stand Friday night against Arkansas..
News for Monday 043018
By Dave Graichen
After narrow race during Saturday's Spring Municipal Election, Jerome Hopewell came out on top as Alexandria's new City Marshal. The final count came down to just 137 votes between Hopewell and Interim City Marshal Ricky Rachal.
Bunkie has a new police chief. Challenger Scotty Ferguson defeated incumbent Bobby Corner with 63 percent of the vote.
State Police report a single vehicle crash early Sunday morning claimed the life of a Deville man. Troopers say the crash happened around 4 in the morning on highway 8 neal LA 492 when 18 year old Benjamin Williford lost control of his vehicle and let the highway striking some trees. Williford, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene. His only passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, received minor injuries. Routine toxicology tests are pending.
A Senate-approved bill that would double, and in some cases, increased tenfold the fines associated with soliciting prostitutes passed a House committee nine to six. The bill would not change the current penalty of up to six months in jail for soliciting. Sponsor Franklinton Senator Beth Mizel says it attacks human trafficking at its root. The bill moves to the House for final passage.
There’s only two months left in the fiscal year, and doubts are growing as to whether a spending plan for next budget year can be approved in the current regular session. A 648-million dollar budget gap is forcing lawmakers to consider deep cuts in state spending. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says we’re approaching uncharted waters. Lawmakers are constitutionally barred from raising revenue in this regular session to plug the budget gap, and Alford says that means the safe money is on a special session starting up next month, where revenue issues can be considered.
The House passed budget includes massive cuts to healthcare, which administrators warn would lead to the end of public-private partnership hospitals
A longtime employee of the Secretary of State’s office says she received unwanted sexually charged emails, gifts and advances by the man leading the agency Tom Schedler, for at least a decade. Dawn Ross gave to the Louisiana Radio Network an internview that detailed harassment accusations including claims that she was banished from the office. Ross also said that the Secretary of State even went as far as moving into a townhome located in the same complex where she lived. Schedler has previously said he will not resign, but this will be his last term as Louisiana’s Secretary of State.
The Advocate newspaper reports that a man will shot to death early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge. 23 year old Ricard Alberto Agular was gunned down at between 3:30 and 4 am on Jade avenue. It was reported that the victim was outside an apartment when two men wearing hooded sweatshirts approached him and demanded money.
The Louisiana Red Cross is joining a national push to install smoke detectors in homes around the country. “Sound the Alarm” has Red Cross volunteers visiting homes to install alarms. Greater New York Regional CEO Josh Lockwood says many homes still lack a working smoke detector. Lockwood volunteers will give crucial fire safety tips.
The Saints 2018 draft has a Louisiana flair to it this year as the Black and Gold selected two local products, running back Boston Scott in the sixth round and offensive lineman Will Clapp in the seventh round. Clapp is the first former Tiger drafted by New Orleans since defensive tackle Al Woods in 2010. Scott is a former Louisiana Tech running back, who walked on at the Ruston school after a stellar prep career at Zachary High School.
The Pelicans are down one game to nothing in their best of seven Western Conference playoff series with Golden State after a 123-101 loss in Oakland on Saturday night. Head Coach Alvin Gentry says despite getting blown out on Saturday, there’s no panic in the Pelicans’ locker room. Game Two is tomorrow night at 9:30.
News for Friday 042718
By Dave Graichen
Concealed carry permit holders could bring a gun into a school or university building under legislation heading to the House floor. The controversial measure cleared the House Criminal Justice Committee on a narrow 9-8 vote. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says education groups might oppose this legislation, but responsible gun owners would applaud the passage of this bill…
A domestic violence firearms bill cleared a House panel that further restricts possession of a gun by someone who is under a protective order. Currently it’s prohibited for an abuser to have a weapon, this bill prohibits among other things carrying a concealed weapon. The Senate approved measure now moves to the full House.
The Louisiana Senate has backed a proposal that opens the door to school employees praying with their students during the class day. Senate Bill 512 by Sen. Ryan Gatti, a Bossier City Republican, would allow teachers and other workers to pray with students during the workday, if parents of every student in attendance submit a signed request and if the prayer is student-initiated. Current Louisiana law already allows school employees to attend and participate in student-led prayer events if they occur before or after their work day. The vote sent the measure to the House for consideration.
Emails obtained by the Baton Rouge Advocate show Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler used his state email account for years to send sexually suggestive messages to a subordinate, including one exchange in which he told the woman he was attempting to "undress" her with his mind. The state emails offer the first glimpse of Schedler's on-the-clock exchanges with Dawn Ross, a longtime employee who recently sued him for sexual harassment, claiming the secretary of state sent her love letters and then retaliated when she rebuffed his repeated advances. The 68 year old Schedler has claimed he had a "consensual sexual relationship" with Ross.
Aaron Neville confirmed the passing yesterday of Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville. Charles was the second oldest of the four brothers who, for three decades, formed the core of the Neville Brothers. His passing at 79 was the result of pancreatic cancer.
The Louisiana House Education Committee on Thursday approved a proposal that provides students at two-year vocational and technical colleges with a path for transferring to four-year universities. Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, proposed creating the “TOPS-Tech 2Plus2 Award” to help a small number of students who did not qualify for TOPS in high school but performed well in community college. The bill has already passed the Senate and now goes to the full House.
Louisiana now ranks second in the nation with the highest hit and run rate of fatal crashes per capita, according to a new survey from the AAA foundation. The national study concluded there is a hit and run fatality every minute in the nation. Don Redman with AAA says the report found most victims of fatal hit and run crashes are pedestrians and bicyclists and the lack of sidewalks on rural roads is a factor for Louisiana’s high fatal hit and run rate
A Senate Committee approved a bill that would allow families to put video cameras in the nursing home rooms of loved ones. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau expressed some concerns about the hacking vulnerability of live streamed cameras, but says ultimately the legislation is a win win for both residents, and nursing home owners.
A woman was arrested for allegedly stealing a horse, and selling it for 1,000 dollars cash on the internet. 27-year-old Sarah Broussard of Scott was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail. The horse was being housed in Lafayette Parish, while its owner lived elsewhere. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the owner had no clue the horse had been swiped.
The Girl Scouts are seeking funding for a project that would prevent a lake in Tangipahoa from spilling into the Tangipahoa River. Girl Scouts East spokesperson Mary-Patricia Wray says if they don’t get the funding, it could lead to an ecological disaster. The Girl Scouts hope to be included in a House bill that currently has a Boy Scouts project, but does not yet include an application for a girl scouts project.
A Senate-approved bill to allow foster kids to stay in the system until they turn 21, or graduate high school, which ever happens first, cleared a House committee. Currently, foster kids are forced out of the foster care program when they turn 18, regardless of their high school degree progress. Louisiana Budget Project Coordinator Dylan Waguespack says hundreds of kids are affected every year.
The nation faces a truck driver shortage, and that could hurt your pocketbook. The American Trucking Association says they expect to see a 106,000 driver shortage by 2022. Louisiana Motor Transport Association Executive Director Chance McNeely says it’s resulting in longer delivery times and higher prices for consumers. The industry is facing a unique problem in that as the economy expands, more shipping is needed, but McNeely says the number of drivers appears to be dropping, just as demand has begun increasing.
Congratulations to the city of Natchitoches.. the Southeast Tourism Society announced yesterday that the Natchitoches Christmas was the festival of the year.
NFL Draft Day 2 5pm 94.7 ESPN
LSU will attempt to pick up the pieces of their weekend series tonight after an 11 to 2 loss last night to Ole Miss. Game two is tonight 7p on KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
Saturday Night.. Pelicans @ Golden State 9p 94.7 ESPN (NBA Playoff Round 2)
News for Thursday 042618
By Dave Graichen
Come to find out Albert Micklus, the suspect in a weekend home imvasion, was indeed armed and dangerous. The RPSO says Micklus had a loaded AR-15 when a Rapides Parish Sheriff K-9 found him hiding in a bunk bed of a Hoyt Road homeowner's travel trailer. Deputies took the 29-year-old Boyce man into custody around 5 p.m. Tuesday. He faced additional charges Wednesday in the case.
In this case, he wasn’t really dangerous, just stupid.. Kevin Warden, an inmate at detention center 3 walked away from the facility yesterday but was captured a short time later. The RPSO reports warden was assisting deputies pulling items out of outside freezers when he took off. Warden will be charged with simple escape as well as possible other charges.
The House Criminal Justice Committee approves a constitutional amendment that calls for all 12 members of a criminal jury to agree on the guilt or innocence of an accused person. Current law only requires 10. The bill’s author, New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell, cited 180 year old documents to make his point why convictions in felony should be unanimous. Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states without Unanimous jury requirements.
A man wanted in Ouachita Parish shot and killed himself Tuesday night after being stopped by a Georgetown Police Department officer. According to a release from the department, Officer Scott Nugent stopped the man around 11 p.m. on U.S. Highway 165. Nugent discovered that the man was wanted on a warrant in Ouachita Parish. When Nugent told the man of the warrant he sped off and drove into LaSalle Parish. The Olla Police Department set up a road block near Hardtner Medical Center. The man fired two shots from his car, then shot himself. He died at the scene. None of the officers fired their weapons. No one else was injured. The man’s name has yet to be released.
A Senate-approved bestiality bill that’s been grabbing headlines passed unanimously through a House committee. The bill would update bestiality laws, and codify them as only applying to acts between man and animal. Some opponents argue the bill is an attempt to protect homosexual behavior.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler told a Senate committee his office is looking at improving its anti-harassment policies. Schedler, who was accused of sexually harassing an employee in a recent lawsuit, was forced to discuss his agency’s policies during harsh questioning. Lawmakers are working on anti-harassment legislation in this session.
The state legislature decided they would protect residents from Tangipahoa from themselves and decided not to give residents there the opportunity to vote on whether they want a riverboat casino in their parish. DiamondJacks Casino and Resort in Bossier City is interested in moving its license to a site near Hammond But religious leaders object. The Senate and a House committee have killed bills that would call for a local option referendum..
The House Education Committee passed a proposal that would require schools provide a 30 minute recess break to students. Currently schools must have 30 minutes of physical activity, which is covered in many districts by PE class. Houma Representative and sponsor Beryl Amedee says recess is crucial to a child’s educational development.
But the legislation received opposition from the Louisiana Association of Principles, who raised concerns that it would cut back on classroom time. Executive Director Debra Schum says schools would struggle to accomplish this under current class time requirements.
Festival season is kicking off in Louisiana. This weekend may be the busiest, with huge celebrations in New Orleans and Lafayette. In New Orleans it’s Jazz Fest and in Lafayette it’s Festival International De Louisiana. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says thousands of tourists will be in the state and he hopes their visit will lead to more tourism
Baton Rouge police say a two-year accidentally shot his eight-year-old brorther inside a vehicle. Detectives say the boys’ father left the loaded handgun unattended when he got out of the car. The child was shot in the arm, but the injury is not considered life-threatening.
Smoothie King is moving its corporate headquarters from New Orleans to Dallas. It means the loss of 60 jobs for the Crescent City. Greater New Orleans Inc C-E-O Michael Hecht says the city has had its share of economic wins lately, but this is a bit of a blow. The Smoothie King Center, home of the Pelicans, will retain its name.
legislation that would allow a family to install a surveillance camera inside a nursing home room so it can keep tabs on their loved one is moving closer to final passage. The House approved member received backing from the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday . Senators say they will work on tightening the language of the bill.
State Police has arrested a Morehouse Parish Deputy for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with an inmate at the detention center in Bastrop. 50-year-old Terry Davis is facing a charge of malfeasance in office.
Cuban tree frogs have moved into New Orleans, and are now threatening to muscle out the locals according to the US Geological Survey. The frogs are invasive, and are suspected to have hopped a ride to the Crescent City on palm trees imported from Florida. Ecologist Brad Glorioso says it’s a threat to the state amphibian, the green tree frog. Plus avoid touching the frogs. The Cuban frogs, which can grow as large as your fist, have a built in protection system. When touched, it causes a burning sensation in the touchee..
The first round of the NFL drafts begins this evening.. Hear live coverage beginning at 6pm on 94.7 ESPN
The LSU Tigers begin a three game series this evening @ Ole Miss. Catch all three games on KSYL beginning with tonight’s game airtime 7:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3
News for Wednesday 042518
By Dave Graichen
The search is over.. after eluding authorities since Sunday, 29 year old Albert Micklus was captured Tuesday afternoon on Hoyt Road in the Cotile Lake area. The search started when authorities say Micklus broke into a Boyce home Sunday morning, shot the homeowner and kidnapped a woman. The woman was found later in the day unharmed. The homeowner was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Authorities believe Micklus may have had some help. Rapides Sheriff Detectives on Monday arrested his mother, 54-year-old Dolores Micklus, and booked her into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
This week marks the halfway point of the regular legislative session and it’s unclear whether the Senate will take up the House approved budget that is disliked by the Edwards administration because of its deep cuts to health care services. The governor is calling for a special session and to pass tax bills to close a 648-million dollar deficit.
The state senate has approved legislation that would prohibit abortions 15 weeks after conception. It passed on a 31-3 vote and now moves to the House for its consideration. Mississippi also passed a 15-week abortion ban, but a federal judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing that new law.
The switch to make Louisiana juries come to unanimous decisions will face a tough test in the House Criminal Justice committee today. Currently only 10 out of twelve jurors have to agree if someone is guilty of a crime. A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to make all felony convictions unanimous.
The House approved Max Gruver Act moved a step closer to becoming law today when it passed out of a Senate panel. The proposal strengthens the criminal penalties for hazing. It’s named after the LSU student, who died last fall in a suspected hazing incident involving large amounts of alcohol. Currently, hazing is just a misdemeanor crime.
The state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill pushed by Louisiana’s riverboat casino industry to allow its 15 floating casinos to operate land side and have more slot machines. SB316 now goes to a state House committee for a hearing. The legislation would permit the boats to operate within 1,200 feet of their designated berth site and would replace the longtime cap of 30,000 square feet of gambling space with a limit of 2,365 gambling positions.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Stuart Kyle Duncan to a lifetime New Orleans-based seat on the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, overcoming objections from Democrats and liberal groups.
The narrow 50-47 vote broke down almost entirely along party lines. The 46 year old Duncan has been a lightning rod for criticism from liberal groups since President Donald Trump tapped him for the job. A Baton Rouge native and LSU law school graduate, Duncan has built a national reputation fighting a host of social-conservative legal battles and argued a number of prominent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A proposal to strengthen the state law against bestiality is facing unexpected opposition from conservative lawmakers who see it as an underhanded move to strike the state's unconstitutional ban on sodomy. Republican Senator Ryan Gatti says the bill was written because the far left wants to undermine other laws that protect family and traditional values that the people of Louisiana hold dear. Gatti was one of 10 Senators who voted against the bill.
Festival International begins today in Lafayette, a five-day music festival that features music groups from over 20 countries. The festival attracts 300-thousand people every year and has an estimated economic impact of 49-million dollars. Marketing director Carly Viator says there’s no other festival in Louisiana you can attend for free and hear music from across the globe. The festival, which is the largest of it kind in the country, continues through Sunday.
LSU announces House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will deliver the keynote address at LSU’s commencement on May 11th. The Louisiana Congressman will also deliver the commencement speech for the LSU Law Center on June 1st. Scalise is an LSU alumnus.
A Senate-approved resolution made it out of the House Transportation committee that will study whether LSU should start classes after 10 AM to ease the morning traffic congestion in Baton Rouge. State Representative Steve Carter says it’s a concept local downtown businesses have discussed as well.
LSU Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron said today on a Shreveport radio station that they’ll probably play two quarterbacks next season. Coach O says they will name a starter by the end of fall camp. The three QBs vying for an opportunity to start didn’t separate themselves during Spring practice.
In baseball, The LSU tigers shutout Lamar last night 8 to nothing. Up next a three game series at Ole’ Miss. That starts tomorrow.
In the mood for some lunchtime Baseball.. this afternoon the Houston Astros @ LA Angels. The Astros are trying to save some face in this series. The have lost two of the three games. airtime 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 042418
By Dave Graichen
You may have heard the helicopters flying overhead last night. It’s all part of the ongoing search for a Boyce man suspected of shooting a homeowner and kidnapping a female early Sunday. The RPSO considers Albert Micklus armed and dangerous and asks anyone with information to contact their office..
Five fired Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputies will be arraigned on May 16. The five were terminated after a complaint was filed by an inmate complaining of excessive force. At their arraignments, the defendants will enter pleas to the charges against them. Future court dates might be set at that time.
A proposal to increase fees for hunting and fishing licenses failed to get the necessary 70 votes yesterday to pass the House. The legislation would raise an additional six-point-eight million dollars a year for Wildlife and Fisheries, who says the increase is necessary to help sustain the department for years to come. The vote on the bill was 54-27. It needs 70 votes to pass, because it’s a fee increase. The measure can be brought up again.
The Senate Finance Committee has begun discussions regarding the House approved budget that calls for a 20-percent cut in TOPS and it will result in deep cuts to health care services. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne asked the panel not to pass this budget and wait to approve a spending proposal when revenues can be raised in a special session…
A measure that could free up several hundred million dollars in state spending that is set by law and cannot be adjusted in the annual budget progress narrowly cleared its first hurdle Monday. In a 6-4 vote, the Senate Finance committee approved a slightly watered-down version of a bill that would reclassify the funds in the Treasury. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
US Senator John Kennedy is asking Louisiana officials to cancel state contracts with Citigroup and Bank of America after the banks announced that they would enforce restrictions on companies that sell firearms. Kennedy says the restrictions are a form of political discrimination. Governor John Bel Edwards responded to Kennedy’s divestment request saying: “The only contract with a direct cost to the state was signed by Kennedy himself during his tenure as state treasurer. This contract is with Bank of America.” As such, the governor called for “less posturing on the issue.”
Governor John Bel Edwards and Formosa Petrochemical Corporation announced an agreement to build a 9.4 billion dollar facility in St. James Parish. Once the ten year project is completed, officials say it will generate 1,200 full time jobs with an average pay of 84,500 dollars a year. 8,000 construction jobs are expected to be created while the facility is built.
Huge economic development news as Formosa selects a site in St. James Parish near the Sunshine Bridge to build a nine-point-four billion dollar chemical manufacturing complex. State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the 24-hundred acre site is branded as the Sunshine Project and it would create 12-hundred jobs.
Pierson says construction should begin next year.
Starting Today, The Louisiana Department of Health will offer free S-T-D testing and treatment at parish health units around the state. Assistant State Health Office Doctor Parham Jaberi says go to L-D-H’s website to find out when the parish health unit in your area is participating. Testing here in Rapides parish will be this Wednesday at the parish health unit on Coliseum Blvd.
A 15-year-old boy was found dead by deputies in a mobile home Sunday in Paradis (Par A Dees), and his mother is in critical condition. The child’s father is the suspected killer. Deputies found the boy, and his mother, both with multiple gunshot wounds. A spokesman with the St. Charles Parish Sherriff’s office says the boy’s father, Ed Veillon Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
Despite getting swept at South Carolina, LSU remains a game back of the division lead in the SEC West. The Tigers are 9-9 in league play, while the Rebels and Razorbacks are 10-8. LSU is at Ole Miss this weekend.
Tonight it’s LSU tiger Baseball as they play host to Lamar 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
Tonight, it the Houston Astros @ LA Angels 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 042318
By Dave Graichen
The search continues for 29 year old Albert Mickulas who the RPSO reports allegedly broke into a residence early Sunday morning, shot the home owner and kidnapped the female that was with the victim. The victim was transported and treated at a local hospital for superficial injuries. He has since been released from the hospital. The Kidnapping victim was discovered unharmed early Sunday evening.
Louisiana had three months run of good jobs numbers with unemployment down to 4.4 percent. According to March employment figures, 46-thousand people have joined the workforce over the last 12 months. Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie (DAZE-WW-AH) says that puts us number one in the nation for adding new jobs.
A House floor vote is scheduled today on a proposal to raise the cost of a basic resident hunting and fishing license by a few dollars. Wildlife and Fisheries officials say the increase is needed to offset a 65-million dollar loss in state funding since 2009. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the proposal is having a difficult time passing, because it needs 70 votes from the 105-member House
A bill that would allow riverboat casinos to expand onto land is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate today, after being pulled from consideration last week. The bill would remove restrictions for Louisiana’s 15 floating gambling halls. Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty says more profitable casinos means more revenue for the state. Duty says Louisiana is the only state that requires casinos be seaworthy, and that’s holding back the local industry.
The chairman of Senate Finance has no desire to approve the budget the House passed last Thursday. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur says he can’t support a spending plan that would kick 46-thousand elderly and disabled people from nursing homes. But Republicans on the panel have a different view. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says the legislature should pass a budget, so they have a better idea on where the budget gaps exist.
Legislation that lets public school teachers pray with students cleared the Senate Education committee. The bill would further existing law that allows school employees to volunteer to supervise voluntary student-initiated, student-led prayer. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti introduced the law that he says will make it easier for the kids to do what they want to. The measure moves to the Senate floor.
U.-S. Senator John Kennedy says he’s asked the Trump administration to give full consideration to the inclusion of Chinese crawfish and shrimp in additional tariffs.
He added that a higher tariff on Chinese crawfish and shrimp would help our seafood industry, which has a 2.4 billion dollar impact on Louisiana’s economy. Earlier this month, President Trump asked the U.-S. Trade Representative to consider whether 100-billion dollars in additional tariffs would be appropriate.
While the Federal tax deadline passed last week, the Louisiana individual income tax deadline is May 15th. The Louisiana Department of Revenue has already issued over 400,000 individual income tax rebates to those who have sent in their returns. Filing state taxes electronically is faster with refunds typically being sent out within 60 days. Those filing paper forms should get their refund within 98 days.
A probation officer was fired and arrested on Friday for sexual battery. 28 year old, Sirrena Martin of St. Gabriel was reportedly having sex with an inmate. According to the Department of Corrections, Martin was turned in by another corrections officer. Martin faces counts of sexual battery, malfeasance in office and introducing contraband into a penal institution.
The volunteer firefighter who stands accused of setting a house fire that killed his wife and her service dog has had his charges upgraded to First Degree Murder, along with his existing charges of Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, and Aggravated Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities. Police say Richland Parish volunteer Kenneth Fulford set his house alight, to “end his ailing wife’s suffering” last Monday.
A new supplement wrapped up testing at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and claims it can help improve gut health that is lacking in most modern diets. New Orleans Native Dr. Mark Heiman says there’s a lot of research showing Americans are lacking the proper bacteria in their stomachs.Heiman says between processed foods and low carb diets, people are losing out on nutrients are that crucial to helping your body stay healthy, slim, and regular.
A 41-year-old Slidell woman faces up to ten years in prison after she was found guilty of using another woman’s I-D to get a job as a human resources manager, a job that paid her six figures. Diversified Food and Seasonings knew something wasn’t right when Cindy White wasn’t able to do the jobs she claimed to do on her resume, which she stole from LinkedIN and got the rest of the victim’s identity from another website.
Four former LSU students pleaded not guilty in the Maxwell Gruber hazing case. 20 year old Matthew Naquin faces negligent homicide charges, Sean-Paul Gott, Patrick Forde, & Ryan Isto were charged with hazing. Naquin faces up to five years while the other three are facing 30 days. All four were indicted last month by an east Baton Rouge parish grand jury for the alcohol related death of Maxwell Gruber in September. District Court Judge Beau Higginbotham has set a September trial date.
After the Spring Game, it remains unclear who will be the Tigers starting quarterback when LSU faces Miami in the season opener. Head Coach Ed Orgeron says Justin McMillan had the best performance out of the three candidates on Saturday. Orgeron says the offense as a whole has to execute better.
The Pelicans took care of Portland in four games and its on to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Tough weekend in LSU baseball.. South Carolina swept the weekend series against the tigers. LSU dropped to 24-17 overall and 9-9 in conference play.
The Tigers are in third place in the SEC Western Division, but just one game behind division leaders Ole Miss and Arkansas (both 10-8).
News for Friday 042018
By Dave Graichen
Authorities say more arrests are expected after the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office charged 10 people in burglaries and thefts in the Bordelonville and Moreauville areas.
All in all seven adults and three juveniles were charged. The APS says the arrests cleared 14 property crime cases in the parish. The burglaries and thefts from homes and vehicles began around January.
The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command investigating the killing of an 18-year-old soldier at Fort Polk. A Lake Charles newspaper now reports the gunshot wound that claimed his life was not self-inflicted. Private Jacob Malcolm of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was fatally shot on April 12 in a residence at the base. Malcolm enlisted in Feb. 2017 and was serving as an infantry rifleman.
The House narrowly passed a budget that would fund TOPS at 80% and maintain higher ed funding, but would implement deep cuts in healthcare funding, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals that care for the poor. The proposed spending plan goes to the Senate Finance Committee who will meet Sunday. It’s possible the Senate may not even vote on a budget, and wait on a special session.
House GOP Chairman Lance Harris says the budget is the best they could do with the funds they have available.
Governor John Bel Edwards says the proposed state budget that was approved by the House is a non-starter, and if it reaches his desk, he’s not signing it. The budget maintains higher ed, and funds TOPS at 80 percent, but includes steep cuts to healthcare that could shutter public-private hospitals that care for the poor. Edwards says it’s a budget unworthy of the people of Louisiana. Edwards says there’s only one way forward now under the state’s constitution: and that’s returning to a special session where additional revenue can be generated to replace the 648 million dollars that are missing from the current budget. Reports indicate lawmakers are planning on returning for a special session in mid-May.
The Senate Education committee rejected a House approved measure that attempted to end what is known as lunch shaming. State Representative Patricia Smith’s legislation would prohibit public schools from penalizing students or embarrassing them if their parents have failed to pay for school lunches.
The state House approves legislation supporters say will help the Cajun Navy and other volunteer groups have a greater impact during a disaster. The legislation gives the Cajun Navy access to state equipment and training. The measure heads to the Senate for its consideration.
The State Fire Marshal has arrested a Richland Parish volunteer firefighter in connection with a mobile home fire that injured his medically disabled wife. Kenneth Fulford was booked into parish prison on multiple offenses. State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says it’s unfortunate one of their own was charged.
The victim’s service dog was killed.
Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre is in a new PSA addressing dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Property Casualty Insurance Vice President of State Government Relations Joe Woods worked with Favre to bring the PSA to life. He says his organization is pushing to increase penalties for drivers who use their phone while driving. Distracted driving was responsible for over 700 Louisiana deaths in 2016.
A ceremony is being held today for a Korean War Veteran from Ferriday whose remains are being returned home after 68 years. 19-year-old Sergeant Lester Walker was deployed to Korea with an anti-air craft weapons battalion.
A seven year old policy barring inmates from talking to the media about their cases has been lifted by the Louisiana Department of Corrections after a challenge from the ACLU. ACLU Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton says the gag order was a gross violation of inmates civil rights. The suit was brought on behalf of Darold Hines, an Angola Inmate, who was denied the right to speak to LSU reporters who were investigating his case. Hamilton says just because they are prisoners, doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.
The LSU baseball team begins a three-game series tonight at South Carolina. The road has not been friendly to the Bayou Bengals as they are 2-8 away from Alex Box Stadium. LSU will start Zack Hess on the mound. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3
The Pelicans could walk away with their first round of the NBA Playoffs. That after their 119 to 102 win over the Trailblazers last night.. Just one more game and they are on to round 2. That chance will come tomorrow afternoon at 4.
Same scenario for the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. Golden state leading that series 3 to nothing. The Raptors go in to tonight’s game with a 2 to nothing advantage as does the Boston Celtics over the Bucks.
It’s one all as Round one of the NBA playoffs continue tonight with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers Airtime 5:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 041918
By Dave Graichen
Deneise Means the manager of the Pitt Grill on Mac Arthur Drive announced yesterday they hope to have the restaurant back open this evening or Friday at the latest. Cleanup and rebuilding is underway to the restaurant, that after a car crashed in the building Tuesday Night. Means says she is thankful that no one, not even the driver who hit the building, was injured. But, Means herself had a very close call. She had just left her office moments before that car struck the building destroying her office..
Medical marijuana licenses for Monroe, Shreveport and Alexandria were awarded by the Louisiana Pharmacy Board Wednesday. The board also awarded a license for the southeastern Louisiana region Wednesday. Five licenses were awarded Tuesday.
Here in Alexandria The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy, at 403 Bolton Ave, will be will be local dispensary.
The full House will consider a budget today that funds TOPS, but includes deep cuts in healthcare and higher education. The budget has come under fire from leading Democrats, including Governor John Bel Edwards who says the cuts are a massive blow to crucial state services. But GOP House Delegation Chairman Lance Harris says the budget has one success, and that’s fully funding TOPS. Harris says the budget being discussed is not final, and a great tool for identifying where to start in a future special session.
The state’s legislative auditor has completed a sexual harassment survey of thousands of state workers and concluded that the state should do a better job of educating its workers on the issue. Auditor Daryl Purpera says without a standard procedure the issue may continue. Senators are working on legislation that would put in place anti-harassment training and policies. The audit also found that 77-percent of state employees never reported harassment they felt they experienced.
The full House has approved legislation that gives residents a chance to vote on whether fantasy sports betting should be legal. Currently, fantasy sports websites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel do not allow Louisiana residents to play their contests. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his legislation legalizes it in parishes, if it’s approved by a majority of residents in November. The measure still needs Senate approval.
On a 97-1 vote, the House passed legislation that would permit companies like Uber to operate across the state, without needing to make local agreements. The bill, by Speaker Taylor Barras, would bring Louisiana in line with the vast majority of other state’s rideshare regulations. Barras says it’s a big benefit with a small price tag.
The bill moves onto the Senate.
The state education board approved a plan to include opioid abuse prevention education in Louisiana public school curriculum. Press Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Education Sydni Dunn says the program will be tailored to younger audiences, and is aimed at explaining the dangers of opioid abuse. Dunn says the education will be folded into existing substance abuse programs already in place at public schools.
Entergy customers should see a reduction in their electric bill starting in May and by the fall season, Entergy says average customers should save six bucks a month.
The savings are due to a trillion dollar federal tax cut, plus upgrades to Entergy’s infrastructure. Customers should see another drop of about two dollars a month after Katrina/Rita costs fall off their electric bills in October.
The Pelicans are rolling back into New Orleans up 2-0 in their first round playoff series against the Trailblazers. Game three tips off tonight at 8pm with a potential series clinching game four on Saturday at 4pm. Airtime tonight 7:30p on 94.7 ESPN
After stomping the Seattle Mariners yesterday 7 to 1 the Houston Astros will attempt to do it again today.. air time 2:05 on 94.7 ESPN
The Tulane baseball team scored three runs in the ninth inning to complete another comeback win last night against LSU.
News for Wednesday 041818
By Dave Graichen
A mess at the Pitt on Mac Arthur Drive last night as a car plowed into the front of the restaurant. Witnesses say the driver of the car struck another vehicle before hitting the restaurant. The driver then fled the scene of the crash but was captured a short time later by the APD.
The IRS is giving all taxpayers an extra day to file after its website went down on deadline day. The agency announced that individuals and businesses with a filing or payment that was due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday. It said no additional paperwork is needed to get the extension. The agency’s website for making payments and gaining access to other key services crashed amid the filing flood. The website appeared to be back to normal late Tuesday.
Efforts to change the state’s gun laws died in the House Criminal Justice Committee. A proposal to ban bump stocks, which was used by the Las Vegas gunman, was shot down by the panel. A measure to enact a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a gun was also voted down and so was a measure to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
The leaders at LSU’s medical schools urged legislators on the Senate Finance committee not to pass a proposed budget they say would devastate healthcare in Louisiana. LSU Health New Orleans Chancellor Larry Hollier says a budget moving to the House Floor would result in a mass exodus of medical professionals and would cut funding for the five statewide residency programs by 43 percent. Hollier pleaded with legislators to go into a special session, so they can pass tax bills to fund a more responsible budget.
A Senate committee approves legislation that would prohibit abortions in Louisiana after 15 weeks from conception, but there are concerns the legislation could bring upon unintended consequences. Kaplan Senator Jonathan Perry urged the bill’s author to work on the language of the bill with an attorney, before bringing it up to the Senate floor. During discussion, an attorney said if “Roe versus Wade” is overturned, this legislation could actually weaken Louisiana’s pro-life laws.
Legislators expressed concern Tuesday with a potentially unfair application process the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy is conducting to determine which locations throughout the state are granted permits to distribute medical marijuana. The Pharmacy Board already has held hearings and was busy Tuesday awarding the first five regional licenses Tuesday for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles. Licensing continues today for Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria and the north shore. The Governor-approved group is composed of 16 people from eight districts, and one public member.
It doesn’t look like sports betting will be legal in Louisiana anytime soon. A measure that would have allowed voters in parishes with riverboat and land-based casinos to decide whether sports bets should legally be taken in their parish, was rejected on a six-to-three vote in Senate Finance. Opponents are concerned about expanding gambling.
A bill allowing judges to inform juries about whether or not a victim in a car crash was wearing a seat belt died in a Senate Committee. The bill was promoted as potentially leading to smaller settlements in some cases, which would drive insurance rates down.
But the bill received opposition from Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti, who says the bill punishes victims with lower settlements in crashes that weren’t their fault. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, who supported the bill, could not guarantee that insurance rates would go down as a result of the bill.
A bill to ban drivers from using their phone with their hands while on the road failed to pass the House floor after an, at times, contentious debate. The legislation by Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval was inspired by the traffic deaths of a constituent’s child. Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says the bill was unnecessary nanny state legislation.
The National Weather Service confirmed 20 tornadoes touched down in Louisiana between Friday and Saturday. The severe weather hit 13 parishes, and generated an EF-1 Tornado that was responsible for the death of a Bossier Parish infant.
The campaign for St. Landry Parish Congressman Clay Higgins reports the freshman U-S Representative has raised 218-thousand dollars in campaign finance dollars during the first quarter of the year and has 211-thousand dollars on hand. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Higgins will need to raise a lot more. Republican attorney Josh Guillory and Democrat Phillip Conner, a physician from Lake Charles, are two candidates raising money to challenge Higgins this fall.
Tonight, it’s LSU Baseball as the Tigers travel to Tulane . Tonight’s game begins a stretch of seven of the next eight games on the road. You can hear the game tonight starting at 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
The New Orleans Pelicans are now up two games to nothing in the NBA playoffs.. They beat the Portland Trailblazers last night 111 to 102 in Portland. The Pels head home to the Smoothie King Center for game three tomorrow night.
Tonight the NBA playoffs continue as the Indiana Pacers visit Cleveland Cavaliers airtime 5:30p on 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 041718
By Dave Graichen
The National Weather Service confirms three tornadoes touched down in Acadiana Saturday morning. Parishes affected included Lafayette, St. Landry and St. Mary Parish, with the strongest tornado touching down north of Carencro. Debris cleanup is also ongoing in the northern parts of Bossier Parish, with most of the damage occurring just north of I-20 near Red Chute. Also, a two-year-old was killed in Haughton when a tree fell on her mobile home.
The House Appropriations Committee approves a budget that would fully fund TOPS, while making cuts to education & healthcare.. Governor John Bel Edwards was quick to express his opposition to the proposed spending plan. Edwards says TOPS should be fully funded, but so should public colleges, health care for seniors and the disabled and public-private hospitals. He says this budget document is not worth the paper it’s printed on and it’s another reason why a special session is needed to replace expiring revenue.
The budget will be discussed by the full House on Thursday.
The full House takes up a bill on today that would prohibit you from holding a cell phone while driving. Jennifer Smith, the C-E-O of Stop-distractions-dot-org is pushing for this legislation. 15 other states and Washington D.C. currently have a similar law. Opponents to the bill, claim they need access to their phones at all times while driving. Many note the map feature is something they use on a regular basis while behind the wheel.
Louisiana has some of the highest insurance rates in the country. Experts say one reason why is large settlements that are paid out in civil cases. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt has a bill that will be heard in Senate Committee on Tuesday afternoon that would give judges the authority to let juries know if a crash victim was not buckled up.
Hewitt says it’s less likely a crash victim will receive a large settlement if it’s known their injuries could have been reduced if they were buckled up.
Louisiana Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is back in the hospital for a series of planned surgeries on the gunshot wound he suffered during last summer’s shooting attack. He’s expected to remain hospitalized for several days and his doctors say he’s already eager to return to work.
U-S Army officials announce an investigation is underway into a fatal shooting that happened at a residence at Fort Polk. Private Jacob Malcolm of West Virginia was pronounced dead on Thursday night by the Vernon Parish coroner. He was only 18 years old. The U-S Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the circumstances of his death.
A report from the Reilly Center at LSU’s Manship School says Louisianans have a pretty favorable view of their local media. 78 percent of those polled said they trust their local media’s information a lot, or some. Public Policy Research Lab Director Mike Henderson says local media also got high marks in getting the facts right. Henderson says maintain trust between the media and public is critical for preserving our system of governance.
In an effort to improve traffic flow in Baton Rouge, a House committee passed a bill that requires 18-wheelers to stay in the right lane from 4 to 7 PM every weekday while traveling on the interstate in East Baton Rouge. The measure heads to the House floor for more discussion.
The Pelicans can take a commanding two games to none series lead tonight when New Orleans faces Portland in Game 2 of their best of seven playoff series. Head Coach Alvin Gentry says it was great to win Saturday, but the immediate goal is to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. Here the game tonight 9pm on 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 041618
By Dave Graichen
A 2-year-old girl in Haughton was killed Saturday morning when severe storms caused a tree to fall on her family's RV. The girl was sleeping at the time. Four adults, as well as a 15-month old child were also in the RV at the time; none were hurt.
Tax day has arrived and a survey from offers.com finds most Louisianans wait until the very end to file. Some 53 percent wait until the day before or the final day to file. Offers-dot-com’s Carson Yarbrough says most people don’t want to pay their taxes and some say they would go to extreme measures to avoid doing so. According to the I-R-S, the average person who qualifies for a refund will get over 31-hundred-dollars.
An LSU Public Policy Research Lab survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ major policy issues – criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion. Of those surveyed, 61-percent say they support the sweeping changes made last year. 69-percent of the respondents approve of Medicaid expansion, which took effect in June of 2016. Some 430-thousand Louisiana residents enrolled in the government funded health insurance. Henderson says since the approval ratings are high on these two major policy changes, it could help the governor get re-elected…
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a budget today for next fiscal year that will contain 648-million dollars in cuts from the current fiscal year. When the budget process started, lawmakers had a nearly billion dollar budget deficit, but an increase in tax collections has led to a much smaller fiscal cliff. Governor Edwards is pushing the legislature to end the regular session early, so a special session can begin in May to approve tax bills that can lead to more revenue and reduce the budget gap.
The House Judiciary Committee failed to advance a bill that would have created an oversight committee for the state’s 41 district attorneys. The bill is done for this session.
Did you know that switchblade knives are illegal in Louisiana? The state legislature is taking steps to get that ban off the books. It’s been against the law to own or posses a switchblade knife, except for law enforcement officers, since the 1950s. A bill to repeal the ban was approved unanimously by the House today and heads to the Senate for more discussion.
The police officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling during a struggle has appealed his firing. Attorney John McLindon filed the appeal of a local civil service board on behalf of Blane Salamoni who shot Sterling nearly two years ago. McLindon says Salamoni wants to clear his name. If the termination is thrown out, Salamoni could become a police officer in another jurisdiction.
State officials have talked about spending billions of dollars on redirecting sediment carried by the Mississippi River to rebuild the state’s vanishing coast. However, a study out of Tulane says the diversions will produce new land, but not fast enough. Lead author of the report Elizabeth Chamberlain says their findings doesn’t mean river diversions shouldn’t be utilized at all, but it’s important the river diversions are positioned in areas that have the greatest land building potential.
The No. 19 LSU baseball team trailed Tennessee 7-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, but the Tigers rallied to score six runs, highlighted by a three-run walk off homer by freshman designated hitter Daniel Cabrera, to secure the series sweep, 9-7, Sunday evening in Alex Box Stadium.
It was a tough weekend at home for the Houston Astros, as they lost 2 of three to the Texas Rangers. The Astros kick off a three game series on the road in Seattle against the Supersonics tonight 8:35 on 94.7 ESPN.
Round One Game one of the NBA Playoffs Saturday night the Pelicans got past the Portland Trailblazers 97 to 95. Game two is tomorrow night in Portland.
News for Friday 041318
By Dave Graichen
The northern half of the state is under a slight to enhanced risk of severe weather today and the risk for severe storms shifts to southeast Louisiana for tomorrow. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a strong cold front will once again bring us chilly air for the weekend and along with that the possibility of large hail, strong winds and twisters. He says flash flooding is also a concern.
Early voting for April 28 elections starts Saturday. Here in Rapides Parish drainage, fire protection, schools and a runoff for Alexandria city marshal are among the items on the ballot.
The revenue shortfall the state is facing has declined from 994-million-dollars to 648-million-dollars, as a result of the state collecting more income taxes due to the federal tax overhaul. House Speaker Taylor Barras says the extra money would likely go for higher education and the TOPS program. But, Governor Edwards is proposing using the additional 346-million-dollars for several programs including 25-million-dollars to fully restore the higher education budget, 50-million-dollars going towards TOPS, 20-million for Sheriff Departments to house inmates and another 20-million for the D.O.C. Remaining funds would go to health care programs, senior citizen programs and other state projects.
The proposed Federal Farm bill contains work requirements for able-bodied 18 to 59-year-olds who receive SNAP benefits. A beneficiary would have to work or be enrolled in a work training program at least 20 hours a week. Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham says the requirement will filter out persons who choose to take advantage of the welfare system. Exemptions would be given to caretakers with children under six-years-old, pregnant women and those mentally or physically disabled.
The House Health and Welfare committee heard hours of testimony on a statewide smoking ban that would include casino’s and bars. The bill by Opelousas Democrat Dustin Miller was voluntarily yanked, so he can work on the language of the measure. If passed it would virtually ban smoking in just about every public building in the state. Miller says he will bring the bill with the revised language back in two weeks.
A stand-off in the Caddo Heights neighborhood resulted in the death of a woman and the injury of a Shreveport police officer Thursday Morning. According to media reports, a shooting suspect, 36 year old Jonathan Robinson is in custody. The officer was shot in the arm and his injury was not life threatening.
For the second time in the last five months, a family from Acadiana has claimed a Powerball jackpot prize. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says an attorney came in this week to claim a 56-million dollar prize that was won by a Lafayette family and last fall they had a winner from Eunice.
The largest free outdoor festival in Louisiana, the 47th Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is expected to draw up to 300-thousand people this weekend. There will be food, music and rides for everyone to enjoy. Spokesperson Donald Lanier says since there is no cover charge, it has led to a very successful outdoor festival year after year. So if you are bored and don’t know what to do, Lanier invites everyone to Ponchatoula for a full weekend of fun
Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, chronic pain, severe muscle spasms and P-T-S-D would be able to receive a prescription for medical marijuana under legislation that was approved by the full House. The bill is sponsored by Baton Rouge Representative Ted James. In 2016, the state legislature set up the framework for the legal dispensing of medical marijuana and 10 different conditions would be eligible for a prescription. James bill will add to that list and he hopes it will result in more people using medical pot, instead of pain killers.
Former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason is under considering for the Congressional Gold Medal. Gleason is battling A-L-S and has been a leader on efforts to develop and provide technology for those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The 19th ranked LSU Tigers begin an SEC series versus Tennessee tonight at Alex Box Stadium. Zach Hess will start on the mound tonight for LSU and freshman Ma’Khail Hilliard will get the ball on Saturday. Hear all three games this weekend on KSYL 970AM & 100.3 HD3FM tonight’s game starts at 7:30
The Houston Astros begin a three game home stand hosting the Texas Rangers game one of the series is tonight starting at 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
The New Orleans Pelicans begin play in the NBA playoffs tomorrow night against the Portland Trailblazers. It’s a late game starting at 9p on 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 041218
By Dave Graichen
State police report A 71-year-old Winn Parish woman died Wednesday afternoon after she and another man exchanged gunfire with deputies in the Chee Chee Dam area of Winn Parish. Winn Parish Sheriff's deputies had gone to the area to serve a civil arrest warrant on 50 year old Kendall Lemoine. But, When the deputies arrived, the two were "standing outside the residence both armed with guns. Shots were exchanged, resulting in both subjects being shot. Betty Lemoine died at the scene. Kendall Lemoine was taken to an Alexandria Hospital with critical injuries.
State Police report a Ferriday Man Killed in Two-Vehicle Crash Thursday morning on US 65 just south of Clayton, Louisiana. Troopers say an 18 wheeler swerved from the lane of traffic and struck a Pickup on the side of the road, killing that vehocles driver 57 year old Richard McLain. McLain died from injuries sustained in the crash. A passenger in the pick-up, 56-year-old Louis White of Clayton, received moderate injuries. Impairment is not suspected. A routine toxicology sample was taken. This crash remains under investigation.
The Pineville City Council approved a zoning variance Tuesday that clears the way for a new Dollar General store on Louisiana Highway 107. The store, which will be approximately 9,100 square feet, will be located near the intersection with Stilley Road.
The variance was needed because a part of the proposed store property was zoned for residential use only. It will be the fourth Dollar General Store in Pineville.
In Washington, the announcement of House Speaker Paul Ryan decision not to seek re-election has sparked debate over who might be the next Speaker. New Orleans area Congressman Steve Scalise’s name has popped up for consideration. Political analyst Clancy DuBos says if it were up to President Trump, Scalise would have the job. Scalise told the Associated Press that now is not the time for people to talk about what titles they want.
The legislative session is one month into it and lawmakers are nowhere close to passing any meaningful legislation. Political observers say the milk-toast session has had very little highlights so far. Jeremy Alford of LaPolitics.com says the main goal at this point is still to wrap up the regular session early, so they can immediately return in a special session to deal with the budget. But he says there doesn’t seem to be much urgency.
The Revenue Estimating Conference meets this morning to give an update on how big the revenue shortfall is for next fiscal year. Previous estimates put the deficit around a billion dollars, but Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s likely the R-E-C will recognize an additional 300-million dollars in revenues, because the state is collecting more income taxes as result of the federal tax overhaul. Edwards says even if the shortfall is reduced to 700-million dollars, a special session is needed to pass a tax plan to fund critical priorities.
Senator John Kennedy wants to hold Facebook and it’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for any breach in privacy. He is testifying before House Energy and Commerce Committee about a data breach affecting as many as 87-million Facebook users by a data firm with ties to President Trump’s campaign. Kennedy, who apparently believes he is speaking for all Face Book Users, says any trust that users placed in Facebook is no more after this incident. Kennedy also feels Facebook pushes it’s own political agenda.
Speculation continues over who will run against Governor John Bel Edwards as we are 18 months out from the primary. Two Republicans have come to the forefront, U.S. Senator John Kennedy and U.S. Senator Ralph Abraham. Both say they are exploring the idea of running. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says based on what Kennedy has said in the last few months, indicates to him Kennedy will make a run for the Governor’s Mansion. But, if he plans to, he needs to make his intentions known soon. Abraham has also been critical of Edwards and seems poised to start a campaign. But Pinsonat says if Kennedy decides to run, he’ll be the main GOP challenger…
The House Criminal Justice Committee voted down a bill seeking to end the death penalty in Louisiana. Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews says there needs to be severe consequences for first-degree murder and raping children under the age of 13. The vote failed on a 10-8 vote, but a similar bill is still alive in the Senate.
The state Senate unanimously approved legislation requiring public schools to display “In God We Trust” in their buildings. The proposal also calls for educators to teach students about the motto. Schools would be required to have the motto displayed by the 2019-2020 school year. The measure heads to the House next.
The Advocate newspaper reports the state Ethics Board has cleared four State Police troopers who were disciplined for taking a side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon when they drove to a conference in San Diego. The ethics board says it was former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson who told them to make the over night stops.
The House Criminal Justice Committee approves legislation that would allow fantasy sports players in Louisiana to collect money if they win contests hosted by groups like Fan Duel and Draft Kings. Gretna Representative Joseph Marino says each parish will have a chance to decide if they want to authorize fantasy sports wagering. Several religious groups across the state have already come out against the bill. The measure heads to the House floor for more debate.
A Tulane study finds grade school students can benefit from yoga classes to help them manage stress and anxiety. Principal author Alessandra Bazzano (Ba-zon-no) says P.E. time has been reduced at schools nationwide, the study showed that students, no matter what age, need to be allowed other activities that take them out of the classroom…Bazzano says more schools are participating in yoga sessions and their research finds it can improve a child’s well-being and emotional health…
Chicago has decided not to match the Saints offer for wide receiver Cameron Meredith, which means the free-agent will join the Black and Gold on a two-year deal worth 10 million dollars.
It was a heart breaker of a game yesterday as the Astro’s Lost to The Minnesota Twins 9 to 8. The Astros have the day off today before starting a three game series at home Friday against the Texas Rangers..
The Pelicans last night crushed the San Antonio Spurs 122 to 98 in the last regular game of the season. That brings us to game 1 of the NBA playoffs. Saturday Night in Portland against the Trailblazers.
News for Wednesday 041118
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana students performed poorly on the National Assessment of Education Progress exams. The state’s fourth-graders had the worst math scores in the nation and finished 49th in reading. Eighth graders didn’t perform much better, 50th in math and 48th in reading.
Governor John Bel Edwards and state Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee unveiled a report on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion. Edwards says according to the LSU report, Louisiana is saving 317-million dollars in state money and providing medical care to those who can’t afford it… The report says Medicaid expansion through the infusion of one-point-eight billion dollars in federal dollars has created over 19-thousand jobs in the health care sector, resulting in nearly three-point-six-billion-dollars in economic activity.
The number of eligible graduates in Louisiana achieving TOPS reaches an all-time high. More than 19,200 senior high school students qualified for at least one scholarship, up from 18,373 in 2016. But, Superintendent for the Office of Student Opportunities Ken Bradford says there is a problem for TOPS candidates. Bradford says if TOPS funding is cut due to a one-billion-dollar budget shortfall, a lot of high school students hoping for a scholarship may be disappointed. Bradford says many graduating seniors are ready to attend a college or university, the hope is that they can afford it…
The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons for those under age of 21. State law already forbids the sale of assault weapons to 18 year olds and it's already illegal for people younger than 21 to purchase handguns from licensed dealers. Senate Bill 274 would have made illegal the sale of assault weapons to people under the age of 21
A bill to eliminate the death penalty in cases of first degree murder, child rape, and treason has cleared a senate panel. New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell’s legislation would apply to offenses after August 1st. Catholic Bishop Shelton Fabre (FOB) testified in favor of the measure. Capital crimes would receive a life prison sentence under the legislation approved by the Senate committee.
A bill to allow the state’s 15 licensed riverboats casinos to expand their gaming operations on to land and change the rules regarding gaming space has been sitting on the Senate floor for over two weeks, but a vote in the upper chamber could happen today. Senator Troy Carter says many senators are concerned about the numerous pieces of legislation that seek to expand gambling…
A bill to extend foster care benefits in Louisiana from 18 years old to as much as 21 years old in some cases was passed by the Senate Finance Committee. The money committee agreed to the legislation, even though it will cost the state an additional million dollars. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says it’s a tragedy that a foster child gets put on the street once they turn 18. Gatti believes that most 18-year-olds will stay in foster care if benefits are extended to 21. One-million-dollars from the BP settlement would be used to finance the extension. The bill next heads to the Senate floor.
A Senate bill that requires juveniles to wait until they are 18 before getting married cleared committee today. Current law allows kids to get married with their parents consent as early as 12 years old. Ginger Lecompte is with Women United she says 70 percent of child marriages don’t.
Lawmakers are considering making it illegal for drivers to hold a phone as a measure cleared the House Transportation committee. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says the legislation allows you to use a hand free device to talk on the phone, but the measure prohibits the use of holding a phone. The bill heading to the House floor calls for a 125-dollar fine for first offenders and after a third violation your driver’s license could be suspended.
The department of wildlife and fisheries wrapped up a two year investigation resulting in one man and one juvenile being charged with numerous crimes. 25 year old Kaenon Constantin and an un-named juvenile have been charged with violating the endangered act by killing two endangered whooping cranes, hunting from a public road, and obstruction of justice. Constantin faces 65 thousand dollars in fines and up to ten years in jail.
A lawsuit, being brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, claims Louisiana authorities have illegally detained a teenage boy for nearly one year after his arrest on a burglary charge. The suit seeks the 15-year-old boy's immediate release from a juvenile detention center in Monroe. The boy was 13 when he was arrested in 2016.
On air today..
The Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins in game three of their series.. 11:35 om 94.7 ESPN
New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
In LSU Baseball, the Tigers shout out LA 2 to 0. Up next, a three game home stand against Tennessee.
News for Tuesday 041018
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO reports reports criminal scammers are at it again and local citizens are being targeted by phone calls threatening them with arrest and prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. The sheriff’s office says people are being instructed to get a "Green Dot Visa card" to pay the $1,495 fine. Tommy Carnline the public information officer with the Sheriff’s office says remember, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office or any other law enforcement agency will never attempt to collect any monies and instruct anyone to get a "Green Dot Visa Card."
A Ville Platte man who led law enforcement on two chases within days before being captured Monday is being held on multiple charges . 36 year old Samuel Lee was taken into custody after a chase ended in Pine Prairie just before 11:30 Monday morning . Lee had been sought since he led officers from multiple agencies on a chase in a stolen vehicle into Rapides Parish on Sunday morning. Authorities are still looking for Ashley Lamb, who police say fled from the Saturday chase into some woods here in Rapides Parish.
Governor John Bel Edwards is continuing his pledge to end the regular legislative session early, so a special session can begin to take up revenue raising measures that he says are needed to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. But chairman of the House Republican Legislative delegation, Lance Harris, says we’ll have a better idea on how much money the state has available to spend when the Revenue Estimating Conference meets Thursday. Harris says the House Appropriations Committee plans on approving a spending plan for next fiscal year next week.
Emotional testimony is expected in the House Transportation committee today as a bill will be heard, requiring drivers to use only hands free communication devices. Suzanne Salter from will testify in favor. Salter says her daughter was killed in 2014 by a teenage driver who was texting at the time of the fatal crash.. Salter says the doesn’t say you can’t talk on a cell phone while driving, it just can’t be in your hand. Currently state law says you can’t text while you drive.
To listen to the political pundits you would think Louisiana has one of the highest tax rates in the country.. Truth is, it is quite the opposite. A 24-7 Wall Street report shows Louisiana is one of the least taxed places to live in the country. Louisiana taxpayers are tied for fifth in the least amount of taxes paid to local and state governments when compared to other states, Paying just 8-percent of their income to state and local governments.
The full Senate approves a bill to allow children to wear bulletproof backpacks at school. Believe it or not, It’s currently illegal to wear body armor on school property. The author of the bill is West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth who says he filed the bill after a shooting at a Florida school shooting killed 17 people. The measure moves to the House for more discussion.
Gas prices usually rise in the spring time as refineries shut down operations to switch from a winter grade gasoline to a summer grade. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says the price at the pump has increased 11-cents over the last month, but much of that increase occurred in the weeks leading up to Easter weekend. The current statewide average is $2.44 a gallon. Redman says there could be a slight increase in the price when the summer driving season arrives.
The Senate approves a bill that makes it clear bestiality is illegal in Louisiana. There is a law that says people can’t have sex with animals, but it’s unenforceable, because it’s contained in legislation that was ruled unconstitutional in 2003, because it criminalized sex between two males or females. Morrell says its important the state has a way to arrest someone for bestiality. Morrell says the law protects thoes who have to touch animals in private areas, because they are either a doctor or for scientific research.
Legislation that increases penalties for teachers who engage in sexual relationships with students is set for a hearing in a Senate committee today. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says it makes such an offense a felony and it also expands the law to include coaches and team managers and doctors. Gatti says under this law a teacher could face a prison sentence between 5 and 40 years.
A case of measles is confirmed Monday by Louisiana state health officials. A traveler from the United Kingdom was hospitalized over the weekend in New Orleans. Test results for measles came back positive. The virus is known to be highly contagious with symptoms that can include high fever, runny nose, followed by red spots on their skin. The Louisiana Department of Health says the best protection against measles infection is vaccination.
A promising start to the week for the LSU baseball team ended with a thud, as the Tigers dropped the final two games of their road series against Texas A&M to finish the week 2-2. The top-25 rankings took notice of those final two games, as the Tigers dropped across the board. LSU fell two spots in Baseball America's rankings to 19. Four in Perfect Game's to 22 and six in D1 Baseball's to 23. Tonight, the tigers play host to LA Tech. airtime 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
After taking three games from the San Diego Padres over the weekend and the first of a three game series from the Twins last night, the Astros continue their series in Minnesota tonight It’s the Astros and the Twins. Airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.
The New Orleans Pelicans clinched their spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 113-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night . The Pelicans will be heading to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season and improved their record to 47-34 with one game left in the regular season.
News for Monday 040918
By Dave Graichen
State Police report that a single vehicle crash Saturday night claimed the life of a Trout woman. The accident occurred shortly before eleven Saturday night, on highway 8 near Fishville, when 37 year old Misty Clark lost control, left the highway and struck a culvert. Authorities say Clark, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The full Senate could hear arguments today on a bill that would strip local jurisdictions of the ability to mandate real estate developers set aside a certain portion of their housing as lower rent. Metairie Senator Dan Martiny, the bill’s sponsor, says affordable housing initiatives should be voluntary, not mandatory. Martiny says rent prices and housing availability should not be subject to local control.
An LSU survey finds 70-percent of state residents believe women face a lot or some discrimination in society and that’s a seven-percent increase from a year ago. LSU Public Policy Research Lab director, Doctor Michael Henderson, says most Louisiana residents agree gender inequality is a real problem in this state.
Louisiana is receiving a 1.2 billion dollar block grant from the federal government to construct flood protection projects in southeast Louisiana. There’s been a push for this funding after the 2016 August flood caused an estimated 8.7 billion dollars in damage. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says the block grant will go right to the state and skip the red tape. Graves expects the money to be available by summer.
Authorities have charged a juvenile with attempted carjacking after he allegedly tried to steal an unmarked State Police unit in New Orleans last week. Sergeant Jared Sandifer says an on-duty trooper was sitting in the vehicle at the time and fired his weapon at the teen after he tried entering the vehicle. No one was injured..
That wasn’t the case in Baton Rouge Sunday morning when a man attempted to break into a vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot and was shot and killed by someone sitting inside the vehicle who then took off. Surveillance video showed the 18 year old man attempting to break into several vehicles before picking the one that cost him his life. Authorities say they have no suspects yet in the case..
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has yet to detect any cases of chronic wasting disease in Louisiana deer. L-D-W-F Deer Program Manager Jonathan Bordelon says they’ve tested 188 deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes after C-W-D was found in a buck just five miles away from the Louisiana-Mississippi border. Bordelon says C-W-D is a neurodegenerative disease and it causes irreversible brain damage and infected deer can spread the disease even before symptoms develop.
On Air Today..
The New Orleans Pelicans merely held their ground on Saturday night by tallying a crucial 126-120 road win over the Golden State Warriors in Oracle Arena. But with two games remaining, the Pelicans are just a single victory from cinching their first playoff berth since 2015. Tonight the Pels are at LA to play the Clippers.. Airtime 9pm on 94.7 ESPN.
In LSU baseball it was a tough weekend as the Tigers lost the series to Texas A&M. Up next, the Tigers will meet LA Tech tomorrow night. Airtime 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
News for Friday 040618
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO has arrested a Deville man and charged him with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, after he allegedly fired a shot gun at a vehicle carrying his child and the child’s mother. Authorities say no one was injured. 35 year old Dewayne Terrell was arrested after an investigation by detectives and crime scene investigators. He remains in jail on a half million dollars bond.
Colorado State Researchers predict above average activity for the upcoming hurricane season, but nothing like the historic 2017 season that devastated the Gulf. 14 named storms are predicted for this year, below the 17 named storms last year. Dr. Michael Bell says there’s a one in three chance the Gulf Coast gets hit this season.
A bill that would force students who lose TOPS to repay the value of the scholarship passed a house committee on an eight to five vote. The legislation by Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo would charge students who drop out, or lose eligibility while in school. But New Orleans Representative Joseph Bouie says the bill targets working class students who often times lose eligibility after a few years when bills start piling up. The bill heads to House Appropriations.
A bill that expands illnesses that medical marijuana can be prescribed for clears a House Committee. State Representative Ted James bill adds Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, muscle spasms, and intractable pain to the list of illnesses that Doctors will use to determine is a patient is eligible to be prescribe medical marijuana, when it becomes available in Louisiana. A separate bill that would legalizing the use of medical marijuana for children with autism passed on a 71 to 21 vote.
A renewed bid to give colleges and universities limited authority to raise tuition again failed in the Louisiana House. The measure, House Bill 418, fell on a vote of 16-75.
Under current rules, colleges and universities have to win approval from the Legislature to boost tuition. The bill would allow the LSU Board of Supervisors and other governing boards to increase tuition up to 10 percent per year, and not more than 20 percent in four years.
The Cajun Navy Relief will hold their first Search and Rescue Games on Saturday in Henderson Bay in the Atchafalaya basin. The games are being used as a training exercise and how to handle disaster rescue scenarios for dispatchers and onshore dispatchers. Spokesperson Amy Jones says they will be able to train on newer equipment that is vital for search and rescue operations.
Wrestlemania 34 will be held Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. It marks the first time WWE has visited the Crescent City since 2014. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says the last event drew 75,000 fans from 50 states and 36 countries.
Baton Rouge Police officer Howie Lake was back at work Thursday for the first time in nearly two years. He was one of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling. Since that time he was on paid administrative leave and then served a three-day suspension starting on Monday. It’s unclear what his role will be on the force going forward.
The Governor announced yesterday Louisiana will get $1.2 billion in federal flood-control funds. A number of long-stalled U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in the state, including the Comite River Diversion Canal, New Orleans-area flood protection projects or parts of the Morganza to the Gulf levee system, could get funded through the massive federal allocation. Just which projects will be in line for the funds remains unclear. State officials are waiting for details from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency handling the grant, on exactly how the dollars can be spent.
Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter has filed a bill on behalf of the governor’s office that’s designed to prevent hazing on college campuses. Carter says the legislation requires colleges and universities to provide hazing education and prevention during orientation.
Lakeview residents living along Canal Boulevard in New Orleans say their cars are getting hit for speeding tickets by a nearby traffic camera. The only problem? Their cars aren't moving. A WWL-TV report says one resident estimates he's been tagged about 10 times in the last seven years. A still image from the traffic camera in question even shows the man’s car parked outside his home in the latest so-called offense, where the camera picked up his license plate instead of that of the car that was speeding. City officials say the ticket has been dropped and the city's contractor will reinforce and train their technicians in proper vehicle identification techniques.
LSU Tiger Baseball tonight as the tigers are in College Station for game two of a three game series against Texas A&M. Airtime 6:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
The New Orleans Pelicans are on the road tonight @ Phoenix to play the Suns. You can hear that game starting at 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 040518
By Dave Graichen
Two children, ages seven and eight, in Bastrop were killed in a home fire Wednesday morning. The parents were able to escape the blaze and authorities believe the mother sustained injuries trying to rescue her children.
The House Criminal Justice committee shot down a proposal to allow certain teachers or school staff to carry weapons in school. Chalmette Representative Raymond Garofalo says his bill would only allow teachers to possess a gun after extensive training. He says gun free signs on campuses are invitations to kill. Shreveport representative Barbara Norton argues that she would be more concerned for her grand-daughters life, if the bill passes and teachers are allowed to carry guns to schools.
A bill to allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry guns on college campuses also failed to get out of committee Wednesday.
The state Senate has passed a measure that would let voters decide if Louisiana should move to unanimous jury verdicts for a conviction in felony trials. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says unanimous verdicts were a foundational part of the American justice system. Louisiana is one of two states that allows 10 of 12 jursits to agree on a guilty verdict. The measure still needs House approval.
Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter has filed legislation to pave the way for a riverboat casino to come to Monroe. The state has 15-licensed riverboat casinos and for a casino to be located on the Ouachita, the license would have to move from another location in the state. But Hunter wouldn’t say what gaming operator is interested in moving to northeast Louisiana. Ouachita Parish voters would have to okay a casino in Monroe.
The House Governmental Affairs committee approved a bill to make it easier to recall an elected official. Covington Representative Paul Hollis’ measure would lower the required number of signatures from voters in larger cities and parishes to trigger a special election. Hollis says it’s nearly impossible to recall an elected official now. The bill now moves to the House Floor.
Slidell police have charged 24-year-old Zachary Brooks with negligent homicide and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, after his four-year-old son drowned in a pool. Chief Randy Fandal says the home was in a deplorable condition and Brooks was doing drugs at the time of the drowning…
LSU Health New Orleans has released a first of its kind report that allows Louisiana residents to see if people in their local area are more or less prone to cancer. Louisiana Tumor Registry broke the state up into 1,148 sectors, and compared their rate of cancer to the state average. Wana know if your home is in one of those problem areas? Check out the full map and report by googling Louisiana Tumor Registry 2018.
New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno’s bill to allow surveillance cameras inside nursing home patient rooms passed unanimously in the House. Moreno says her legislation will not only give residents and their family peace of mind, but it will protect employees also.The patient’s family would be responsible for cost of installing the video camera.
After a big 10 to 1 win over Nicholls State Tuesday night, LSU will travel to Texas A&M for a three-game series beginning tonight in College Station. Hear all three games on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD2. Tonight’s game starts at 6:30p
The Houston Astros wrapped up a three game series yesterday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles with a 3 to 2 win. Thus sweeping the series.. the Astros have the day off today before beginning a three game home series against San Diego and the Padres on Friday.
The Pelicans Blew Out The Memphis Grizzlies last night in New Orleans.. the final 123 to 95. The birds leave the nest for their next match up tomorrow night against the Phoenix Suns.
News for Wednesday 040418
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana NAACP plans to protest daily at the offices of Attorney General Jeff Landry in an effort to convince the A-G to allow a grand jury to hear the evidence in the Alton Sterling Shooting. State Director Michael McClanahan expects groups to get larger and remain camped out for longer stints. Landry announced a week ago, the officers involved in the shooting of Sterling would not face criminal charges. While at the same time releasing, what many believe to be incriminating video of the officers involved, for the first time.
The personal-finance website Wallethub names Louisiana as the most stressed state in the nation. Spokesperson Jill Gonzales says many in Louisiana swim in credit card debt and pay high interest rates. Then there’s the high percentage of population living below the poverty line, its divorce rate, crime rate and fewest number of psychologists per capita…
A House committee will hear a bill today by Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds that would require the state to provide adoption information to women considering abortion. Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper says women seeking to terminate their pregnancy at abortion clinics would receive this information. Clapper says both pro-life and pro-choice Louisianans should be able to get behind the bill.
A Governing Magazine Report says Louisianan’s saw a 2.9 percent increase in per capita income last year. The report says the big parts of that gain were the state’s 8.3% increase in benefits received due to the Medicaid expansion. However, the inflation rate, or how much less a dollar buys you, rose two percent last year. So in the end, we are less than 1% ahead of the game.
The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana kicked off it’s Smoke Free Louisiana Campaign, as Opelousas Representative Dustin Miller filed legislation to ban smoking in bars and casinos statewide. A smoking ban for restaurants has been in effect since 2007. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide as an estimated 480,000 die nationwide each year from either smoking or breathing second-hand smoke.
A measure heading to the Senate floor would prohibit the sale of assault weapons to those under the age of 21. It passed out of a Senate committee on a four to three vote and New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison was on hand to testify in support…
Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur is not moving forward with legislation that would allow 18 to 20-year-olds purchase alcohol if they’ve been educated on the dangers of drinking too much. State officials say lowering the drinking age puts the state in jeopardy of losing federal funds. LaFleur says his bill is an attempt to curb underage binge drinking.
A bill that would give voters a chance to legalize sports betting at gaming establishments passes out of a Senate committee. The proposed legislation sets up the opportunity to place bets on sporting contests at any facility that currently has gaming, including bars and restaurants with video poker machines.
A bill prohibiting inmates guilty of first or second degree murder from receiving medical furloughs passed out of a Senate committee. Legislation passed last year that allowed convicted murderers the opportunity to get released from prison temporarily for medical reasons. The bill heads to the Senate floor.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Britanny have filed a lawsuit against a San Diego jeweler claiming the business scammed them out of nine-million dollars over a seven year period by grossly over charging them for diamonds. An attorney for the jeweler says his client did nothing wrong. According to the suite, the diamonds were supposed to appreciate in value, but did not.
LSU is hosting it’s pro day today for 25 NFL hopefuls. The former Tigers will start the day off with some measurements, before moving on to weight tests, speed and agility drills, and positional work. LSU Analyst Mike Detillier says it’s a great opportunity for some unheralded talents to show scouts what they’ve got.
After a big 10 to 6 win last night, It’s an early day of baseball today as the Houston Astros finish out a three game home stand against the Baltimore Orioles airtime 12:35 on 94.6 ESPN
Tonight New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Memphis Grizzlies hear the game 94.7 ESPN airtime 8pm
News for Tuesday 040318
By Dave Graichen
A deadly two vehicle crash Late Friday claimed the lives of two people. The APD reports the crash happened on the Broadway Avenue / I 49 overpass. It’s reported the female driver of one of the vehicles was pronounced dead at the scene. A six-year-old who was a passenger in the vehicle died a short time later.. No other information has been released by authorities yet..
Charges are pending in a two-vehicle crash that killed a Ferriday woman Sunday afternoon. State police say 28 year old Michael Higgins of Monterey was eastbound on La. 568 when he lost control and crossed the center line and struck a vehicle being driven by 72 year old Betty Johnson. Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Higgins, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained moderate injuries.
A suspect has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in connection to a weekend shooting in Natchitoches. Police spokesperson Kelly Parks says 21-year-old Jaquarious Ardison of Campti shot Jamel Haskett after an argument at a Shop Right on Saturday night. Haskett was shot multiple times.
A suspect involved in a reported domestic disturbance in New Llano (New Lan-no) was shot dead by a Vernon Parish Sheriff’s deputy on Easter Sunday. Sheriff Sam Craft says 60-year-old Bobby Hinton tried to shoot an unidentified sheriff’s deputy moments after he arrived on the scene.
A gun control bill will be heard in Senate Judiciary C today that would raise the minimum purchasing age for assault weapons to 21. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter, calls himself a gun enthusiast, but says his legislation is one step forward in curbing gun violence. But Louisiana Shooting Association Lobbyist Wade Duty says the bills are flawed, because it’s not so easy to determine what constitutes an assault weapon. He also says it’s not fair that 20-year-olds can serve in the military, but would be barred from purchasing assault weapons.
Louisiana will receive 5.8 million dollars from the federal Election Assistance Commission to purchase thousands of new voting machines as part of a proposed 50 to 60 million dollar plan to overhaul the state’s aging voting equipment. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says we have a looming crisis with our decade old voting booths.
Bids will begin for the new machines May 1st.
Severe weather is expected across much of Louisiana as a strong cold front is expected to move through tonight. State climatologist Barry Keim says the entire state is under a risk of tornadoes. Keim says the next 24 hours will be critical as the cold front enters the state and will drop temperatures by as much as ten degrees in some areas for Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to rebound by the latter part of this week.
A group is rallying for justice in the Alton Sterling case. Several protesters have marched into Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office asking that a special grand jury choose the fate of officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake. After an internal BRPD investigation, Salamoni was fired and Lake was suspended for three days. Videos released by Landry’s office show Salamoni yelling obscenities at Sterling, then shooting him at least six times.
A bill that calls for a statewide referendum to legalize sports betting in Louisiana will be heard in a senate committee today. Metairie Senator Daniel Martiny says the argument against his legislation is that it expands gambling, but it can help generate a stable revenue source for state government. Martiny also has a bill up for discussion that calls for a statewide referendum to legalize internet gambling. The referendum elections on these two bills would be held in November, if they pass the state legislature.
Louisianans for Prison Alternatives is actively lobbying the legislature to not only maintain the 2017 justice reforms passed but to enact even more measures to reduce the prison population by 50-percent over the next 10 years. Colleen Gielskie (gel-skie) is looking to have the three strike and mandatory minimum sentencing laws changed.
Baton Rouge Police investigators have decided against charging a man in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old. Sergeant L’Jean Mckneely says the teenager pointed a gun at a 25-year-old and tried to rob him, as he walked out of a convenience store. The man pulled his gun and fired at the would be robber, killing him. Mckneely says they are turning over their evidence to the District Attorney’s office, leaving open the possibility that the D-A could pursue charges…
LSU Baseball Head Coach Paul Mainieri is not happy about the team’s RPI rating of 81. The Tigers have tumbled down the NCAA’s rating index despite an 18 and 11 record. Mainieri says he’s befuddled by the extraordinarily low rating. LSU is 1-4 on the road so far, one of the worst road records in the SEC. LSU takes on Nicholls tonight.
The Houston Astros continued their winning ways last night as they defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6 to 1. Tonight, game two of that three game series.. airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 040218
By Dave Graichen
A settlement has been reached in the civil lawsuit against two law enforcement officers that have been convicted criminally in the death of a six-year-old autistic boy during a traffic stop in Marksville in 2015. An attorney for the family of Jeremy Mardis says he can’t disclose the terms. Derrick Stafford was sentenced to 40 years, while Norris Greenhouse is serving 7-and-a-half years behind bars.
Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith’s legislation that would prevent schools from taking lunches away from students with unpaid school debts is moving to the House floor. Smith says her legislation would prevent schools from publicly rejecting lunches for students, and stop them from “shaming” kids whose parents are either negligent or unable to afford the meals.
The parents of Maxwell Gruver, who died last year in an alleged hazing incident at LSU, are expected back at the state capitol to show support for a bill that would stiffen criminal penalties for those found guilty of hazing. The “Max Gruver Act” passed through committee without objection and is set to be heard today on the House floor. Gruver’s father Steve says this is the bill will save lives.
Work has begun on a major road and bridge renovation project on Interstate 10 from LA 347, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to LA 77 in Grosse Tete west of Baton Rouge. Construction will run day and night to have the project finished by June 2019. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet says a lot of work needs to be done. The most disruptive periods will occur at night, and some lane closures are expected later in the process.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul has announced that officer Blane Salamoni has been fired, while Howie Lake has been suspended for three days after an internal review into the shooting of Alton Sterling. Paul says Salamoni violated the use of force policy and displayed poor temperament. Graphic body camera video has been released and it shows a violent struggle before Salamoni fired six gun shots into the body of Sterling.
Former LSU football head coach Les Miles is dipping his toes into the Louisiana film industry, looking to take his distinctive character to the silver screen. Patrick Mulhearn a Senior Director at Louisiana Economic Development says the transition from pigskin to productions should be smooth for the Mad Hatter. Miles will appear in a film inspired about the 1986 Challenger explosion called Angry Men.
It’s a sad reality, there are thousands of Louisiana families who have a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Adrienne Mullens, with the Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter, says they estimate there are 232-thousand people in Louisiana who care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Mullens says they are calling on the state legislature to provide assistance for those families who miss hours at work to care for Alzheimer patient.
In LSU Tiger Baseball, the tigers won their weekend series against Mississippi State, taking two of the three games.. Tomorrow night, the Tigers play host to Nichols state.
The Houston Astros took 3 out of 4 over the weekend from the Texas Rangers.. Tonight, the Astros open a three games series at home against the Baltimore Orioles. You can hear the games starting at 6:45 tonight 94.7 ESPN
Lafayette High School is receiving financial assistance from Shaquille O’ Neal to help renovate their weight room. The school is looking to raise 42-thousand dollars and head football coach Rob Pool says Shaq has come forward and has pledged to help attain that goal with a financial contribution. O’ Neal’s donation will come during a South Louisiana Giving Day Event, which is May 10th.
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