News for Thursday 062614
By Dave Graichen
U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman threw a curveball Wednesday at the lawyers arguing both sides of a case over gay marriage in Louisiana, deciding he will rule not only on whether same-sex marriages performed in other states should be recognized in Louisiana, but also on whether gay and lesbian couples should be able to wed in the state. The case before Feldman includes six couples, all of whom argue that Louisiana should recognize marriages performed elsewhere. The judge has not indicated when he will rule.
Judge Dee Drell saying yesterday Attorney Craig Davidson, can proceed in state court on the issue of whether there is a lien through which Davidson could collect a $1.3 million judgment against the city of Alexandria. The Baton Rouge attorney claims he is owed attorney fees from the city for services rendered in it’s lawsuit against Cleco. That contract with the city was later ruled void. Although Judge Drell was doubtful about whether the lien can “survive the demise” of an unenforceable contract, he said that matter could be heard in state court. A hearing is set for Friday before 9th District Judge Harry Randow on the lien issue.
Two alleged pimps were arrested in Alexandria last week during an FBI nationwide prostitution sting targeting commercial child sex trafficking. 35 year old Peter Metoyer of Alexandria and 40 year old Gregory Harris of Lafayette were charged with promoting prostitution and drug charges. Both remain in jail. Five adult prostitutes were issued citations and later were released in Alexandria.
Governor Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that would allow the state to take casino winnings from someone who owes debts like child support and taxes. The Department of Children and Family Services can already confiscate casino and lottery winnings for child support payments, but this law would take money for ANY debt owed to the state.
Louisiana State Police say they have made two more arrests in the case of the Vermillion Parish Sheriff's deputy who was shot and killed on Monday. Spokesman Steven Hammons says 51 year-old deputy and father of 2 Allen Barres was murdered while he was mowing his lawn. The first two men arrested are charged with first-degree murder, and the suspects arrested just today are charged with accessory after the fact. involving first degree murder.
Tuition won’t be rising at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Southern’s Law Center or Southern University at Shreveport this fall, but that’s because those schools didn’t meet the student success goals required to hike costs. Universities and community colleges that meet their yearly goals can increase tuition by up to 10 percent. Those who don’t can’t, and they lose 15 percent of their overall state funding. Last year, all of the colleges and universities met the performance targets. The three Southern University System colleges were the only three that failed to pass muster this year.
Summer is here, school is out and families are heading to the beach, where the motto is “come on in, the water’s fine.” Well, most of the time, anyway. The Natural Resource Defense Council’s 24th annual beach water quality report ranks Louisiana among the states with some of the highest percentage of water samples that exceed federal recommendations for beach swim advisories.
Louisiana was joined at the bottom of this list by Ohio, Alaska, Mississippi and Maine.
A Jefferson Parish man is free after spending 17 years in a state prison for a crime he did not commit. Nathan Brown was convicted in 1997 in the attempted aggravated rape of a woman who was returning to her Metairie apartment late at night. Innocence Project Attorney Vanessa Potkin says D-N-A evidence exonerated the 40-year-old father of two. Potkin says Brown consistently maintained his innocence since he was first arrested and also took the stand in his own defense. Brown was finally released from prison Tuesday he's ready for life as a free man
Researchers predict the annual low-oxygen "dead zone" that forms off the coast of Louisiana every summer will be average size this summer, which means roughly the size of the state of Connecticut. Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Nancy Rabalais,
they anticipate the "dead zone" will cover between 46-hundred and 58-hundred square miles this year. A goal has been set to reduce the annual size of the "dead zone" to less than 1,930
A lawsuit has reportedly been filed to strike down the law allowing Tony the Tiger to remain in his enclosure at a truck stop in Grosse Tete. Former state Representative Warren Triche Jr. and two other Louisiana residents are suing the state, Tiger Truck Stop, and its owner, Michael Sandlin, saying the law is unconstitutional.