News for Wednesday 122017
By Dave Graichen
The U-S House and Senate approves a one-point-five trillion dollar tax package that supporters say will provide tax relief for working families, but opponents say only the rich will see tax breaks. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana says on average, families will see over two-thousand dollars more in their paychecks every year that will benefit them directly. The day was not without hiccups as several small provisions in the tax bill were found by the Senate parliamentarian to violate the budget rules that Republicans must follow to pass their bill through a process that shields it from a Democratic filibuster. As a result, the House will need to vote again on the tax bill, probably today, since both chambers must approve identical legislation.
State police report a 15-year-old girl died Monday night after losing control of the truck she was driving. Troopers say the accident happened shortly after 9pm on U.S. Highway 71 near Campti in Natchitoches Parish. Kristyn Hoffpauir, from the village of Atlanta in Winn Parish, died at the scene of the crash. A passenger in the vehicle received serious injuries and was transported to Rapides Regional.
A federal civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of DeJuan Guillory’s family claims an Evangeline Parish sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the then 27 year old Guillory on July 6 as Guillory tried to crawl away, posing no threat to the deputy. An Evangeline Parish grand jury on Dec. 13 declined to indict Lafleur in the shooting, which followed a fight between Guillory and Lafleur during a 4 a.m. traffic stop where Guillory and his girlfriend, Dequince Brown, had been riding an all-terrain vehicle. Brown, who jumped on Lafleur around the time the gun went off, is now charged with attempted murder of a police officer.
The future of two major safety-net hospitals in north Louisiana is close to being secured. Ochsner Health Systems signed a non-binding agreement to take control of the facilities from BRF. The hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe are set to enter into a public-private partnership between LSU and Ochsner, after years of criticism over BRF’s practices. State Officials say a contract could take a few months to complete.
According to an ULM economic impact study released, commercial use of the Ouachita River produces billions in revenue and several thousand jobs in North Louisiana. Ouachita River Valley Association President Randy Denmon says they will be able to use this study to ask the federal government to keep the river open and navigable.
A university of Kansas study says Uber customers are increasingly choosing the ride service for trips to the emergency room, over an ambulance. Chief of Emergency Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans, Dr. Keith Van Meter says sometimes people feel their illness is not that significant and just need an Uber driver to get them to the hospital, but that could be a mistake.
According to Trust for America’s Health, Louisiana achieved only four out of ten indicators for public health preparedness. The criteria is based on weather related events, flu vaccination rate, paid sick leave and other benchmarks. CEO John Auerbach says Louisiana’s flu vaccine rate is the seventh lowest in the nation.
Governor Edwards revealed his plan to help cover a one-billion-dollar deficit. It includes taxing services such as cable TV, but also reducing the state sales tax from five to four percent. Alexandria Representative Lance Harris says the House Republican delegation is still discussing the best options to address the fiscal cliff. Edwards plans on calling a special session in February to consider his tax proposals.
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director James Waskom says they plan to work towards having the state officially partner with the Cajun Navy for future disasters. Waskom says it would be beneficial for GOHSEP to know who these people are, and where they are being dispatched to during an emergency.
A River Ridge vet has been arrested after allegedly shooting her neighbor’s dog. 35-year-old Kelly Folse says she killed the dog due to excessive barking and was aggressive. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the dog died a day after being shot. Authorities say they didn’t find evidence the dog was aggressive. Folse is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and possession of narcotics.
Louisiana Tech can finish with a winning record for the 2017 season if it can beat SMU in the Frisco Bowl. It’s been an up and down season for the Bulldogs, who fell short of playing for the Conference USA title. But Bulldogs Coach Skip Holtz says finishing 2017 with a three-game winning streak would be great. You can hear the game this evening starting at 5:30 on ESPN 1410 & 93.1 HD3
LSU is expected to sign nearly 20 players over the next three days as part of the college football new early signing period. In the past recruits had to wait until February to sign, now they can do so in December.