News for Wednesday 080614
By Dave Graichen
Nicholas Wright has announced his candidacy for mayor of Alexandria. According to a press release announcing his candidacy, Wright is an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq. Wright, who will turn 28 years old at the end of this month, is the fifth announced candidate in the race, including incumbent Jacques Roy.
Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu agrees to participate in four televised debates before the November fourth election. The first one will be in New Orleans October second. No word if Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will participate, while Tea Party candidate Rob Maness says he’ll be at the first three for sure.
Top officials with Cleco are expected to appear today at the Public Service Commission meeting to answer questions regarding a possible sale of the utility company. Commissioner Eric Skrmetta says if a company wants to come and invest in a company in Louisiana that’s not a problem, but the PSC needs to make sure rate payers and employees are not affected. He says they’ve heard there are several parties interested in acquiring the company. Cleco is a public utility and they can do whatever they want, according to Skrmetta, but whatever it is has to be approved by the PSC.
According to a new poll, US Representative Vance McAllister’s challengers are within single digits in the race for the 5th congressional seat. The survey, conducted by the Glascock group out of Pineville, shows McAllister at 27 percent, with democrat and Monroe Mayor Jaime Mayo at 21 percent and Republican Ralph Abraham at 18 percent. ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley says the race is wide open.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden criticizes Governor Jindal’s trip to the US-Mexico border. After the trip, the governor blamed the Obama administration for not doing more to keep illegal immigrants out of the US. Holden, who plans to run for Lieutenant Governor, says Jindal should worry about Louisiana’s issues. Holden made his comments on Baton Rouge Talkshow.
Saints Owner Tom Benson left practice in an ambulance yesterday after reportedly having trouble breathing because of the high altitude. He was taken to a local hospital to receive oxygen. Team officials say the 87-year-old is fine.
The Louisiana Department of Education has released the “High School Student Planning Guidebook: A Path to Prosperity for Every Student”. It’s a comprehensive guide for parents and school personnel, detailing pathways to opportunities for students after high school. Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Content, Ken Bradford says in the past three years, college opportunities have expanded for students in Louisiana, as well as opportunities to achieve meaningful career credentials through the Jump Start initiative and the related Course Choice program. The guide can be found at louisianabelieves.com
The Plaquemine Parish Sheriff’s office says they are investigating an industrial incident at Daybrook Fisheries in which two men got trapped in some equipment. Spokesman Commander Eric Becnel says each man had damage to their legs. Both men remain hospitalized in stable condition.
A Rayne woman has been sentenced for 8 years without parole for deaths of 4 of her children in a home fire, while she was out “clubbing” in 2012. Shequela McDade was charged with four counts of negligent homicide for each child, all under the age of eight.
Crape myrtles in Louisiana are under attack from a new invasive species. Crape myrtle barkscales, the invasive bug, are infesting trees across north Louisiana, and feeding off of the popular summer flowering tree. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings says the bug first arrived from overseas. The bugs don’t pose an imminent threat to the life of the trees, but given time, could severely weaken their flowering output and vibrancy.
Saints training camp continues in West Virginia and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan likes what the defense has accomplished so far. Ryan admits the run defense did not perform well in Saturday’s scrimmage. He says since then, they have put some good practices behind them. As the team heads into Friday’s first preseason game at St. Louis, Ryan wants to see continued improvement in his defense. He says they have a lot to work on, but the coaching staff needs to make sure the Saints “D” plays up to its potential.