News for Monday 031218
By Dave Graichen
The first violent weather of the spring rolled through Cenla Sunday morning. Strong winds and heavy rain was responsible for the downing of trees and for the destruction of a home in Fifth Ward in Avoyelles parish. The family, in that home, was inside when it began to disintegrate. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.
The Alexandria Police Department has arrested two people for the murder of Joseph Roy on Bolton Avenue last Thursday. 33 year old Demarcus Scales and 32 year old LaToshia Thomas were arrested without incident on Saturday. Both will be charged with second degree murder. The victim, Joseph Roy, was the father of four.
Early voting began Saturday for the March 24th election. You can early vote from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. all this week. In Rapides, you can vote at the Rapides Parish Courthouse downtown, or in Pineville at Kees Park. Early voting ends this Saturday.
The regular session kicks off today, and Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping the legislature gets more accomplished than the special session that ended without a clear solution to the fiscal cliff. The special session was notable for its stark partisan divides, which Edwards says were the worst he’s seen in a decade. Legislators are not allowed to address revenue issues in this regular session, so the fiscal cliff will have to wait for another special session to be called afterwards.
The regular session begins today less than a week after the special session crashed and burned. Fiscal cliff negotiations will be put on hold while a slew of other issues take center stage. There are several gun control bills filed. But Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin doesn’t see any of the measures to restrict who can purchase an assault rifle passing. 18 states raised their minimum wage this year, and a few major companies are following suite. Erwin says while the national landscape is tilting in favor of higher wages, he doesn’t see it happening in Louisiana.
Governor John Bel Edwards released his legislative agenda aimed at improving the well-being of children and seniors. One of the bills included is West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman’s proposal to reduce the requirements necessary for public school teachers to obtain tenure. Hoffman says the current requirements are unfair to educators.
The removal of four Jim Crow-era monuments in New Orleans took center stage in the national media again Sunday night as "60 Minutes" used the drama surrounding the effort to take down the statues here last year as a springboard into debates over Confederate icons in other cities. There was really nothing new in the report. The interview was largely a condensed history of the four monuments’ removal for a national audience, most of which would be familiar to anyone who followed the efforts locally.
With the onset of spring comes seasonal allergies and this year could be a very long season. For those who suffer from hay fever, it spells many weeks of sniffing, sneezing, watery eyes and post nasal drainage. Physician Dr. Peter Boggs says the allergy season started early due to record breaking warmth in February. But there is still a lot of pollen to go around.
Four people are under arrest in connection with the deaths of a cow and three calves near the levee in St. Landry Parish. All four were charged with simple criminal damage to property and aggravated cruelty to animals.
A Bossier City pastor was arrested on drug charges after deputies found Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at his house. Andy Harris was the senior pastor of The Church of the Cross in Haughton, and was charged with possession. Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis says Harris was being questioned about a separate investigation when the subject came up.
Authorities in St. Tammany parish report a 5-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool in the backyard of his grandmother's home in Covington on Saturday afternoon. When the grandmother realized the child was missing she was not immediately alarmed because the child commonly liked to play hide and seek. The boy's mother arrived at the home a short time later, and they began searching for the child. They found him floating in an above-ground pool in the backyard.
Spring football is underway at LSU and so is the competition to be the Tigers starting quarterback in the fall. Head Coach Ed Orgeron says soon to be junior Justin McMillan made a good first impression on Sunday, the first practice of spring. The LSU coaching staff is also looking for a featured running back to emerge in the spring. Orgeron says since there’s no Leonard Fournette or Derius Guice on the roster, they will be an offense that depends more on its passing game.
LSU thundered its way to a series win Sunday, thrashing Hawaii 14-1 and setting a new season high with 17 hits at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers started out the three game series on a sour not losing to Hawaii 4 to 2, but came back Saturday with a 5 to one win. The 11 & 6 Tigers play host Wednesday night to South Alabama..
After winning 10 in a row, the Pelicans have now lost two straight. Utah came into the Smoothie King Center yesterday and beat the Pels 116 to 99. During the 10 game win streak, New Orleans was averaging about 125 points a game, but in the last two, they’ve failed to score 100.