News for Wednesday 032917
By Dave Graichen
Another round of severe weather is approaching the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the risk of tornadoes, hail and damaging winds will move from the northeastern part of this state this afternoon, down into southeast Louisiana on Thursday. Keim says we are very likely to see severe weather in all parts of the state. But he says the biggest risk is in the northern parishes of Louisiana for today.
The state Department of Ag is urging the public to be vigilant as there has been an increase in the number of skimming devices located on gas pumps throughout the state. In the past month, Authorities have confiscated at least 15 of the credit card readers in Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, St. Landry, St. Tammany, Washington and right here in Rapides parish.
Legislation has been filed for the upcoming session that would up the cigarette tax by 22-cents to $1.30 a pack. West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman says this would generate more money and create a healthier Louisiana. He expects positive results because there has been success with similar measures in the past. The money generated from the increase would go into the general fund.
How bad is drinking water in Louisiana? Apparently pretty bad. A state audit finds 41-percent of local water systems have expenses that exceed revenue. State health officer Doctor Jimmy Guidry says if you don’t keep up with an aging system, the repair costs continue to rise. The EPA finds Louisiana water systems would need to spend 5.3 billion dollars on drinking water infrastructure over the next 20 years.
Louisiana has the 10th highest black homicide victimization rate in the nation, according to the Violence Policy Center. VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann says these findings demonstrate that black Louisiana residents are disproportionately impacted by homicide. He says their latest state data goes back to 2014 and there were 332 black homicide victims, resulting in a rate of about 22 per 100,000. About 84 percent of the victims were male, and the average age for the victims was 31
Seven former Iberia Parish Sheriff’s deputies have been sentenced to prison after being convinced of beating inmates in the parish jail. The men face sentences from six months to four years behind bars. Sheriff Louis Ackal was acquitted last year even though many of his former deputies testified against him stating he ran a corrupt department.
Shreveport Representative Thomas Carmody has filed legislation that would prevent state and local governments from taking down military monuments and that would include the statues of Confederate generals. Carmody says he represents many military veterans and since Louisiana has always been known for its support of the armed forces, he wants to demonstrate that commitment through this bill. It’s unclear how much support in the legislature Carmody has for this legislation.
A plan that would provide all school districts in the state with high speed internet has been thrown out. Executive Director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, Scott Richard, says the Board of Regents didn’t give districts much information or time to commit to a plan. He says everyone wants to have high speed internet access but many were hesitant due to funding uncertainties.
The Louisiana State Police Retirement System released figures Monday which indicate former LSP Col Mike Edmonson could get an over $128,000 annual pension for life if approved by the board. Edmonson retired last week amid criticism over the way he was handling the department .
The Pelicans welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the nest tonight. Airtime 6:30 on ESPN1410 & 93.1 HD3.
A tough night last night in the Box as the LSU Tigers fell yet again to Tulane the final 7-6. The Tigers return to action against Texas A&M Thursday night.