News for Friday 110912
By Dave Graichen
A Rapides Parish teen was killed Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a car. State Police say 15-year-old, Jacob Simpson, was riding his bike in the middle of the inside left lane of Hwy 165 near C. Walters Road when 19-year-old driver Lacey Jordon collided with him. He was not wearing a helmet at the time. The crash investigation continues.
A 15-year-old Shreveport boy is recovering from serious injuries sustained when he was hit, while riding his bike, by a Shreveport police car. Another teen was also hit in the Tuesday night incident, but was not seriously hurt. The matter is under investigation.
The Winnsboro woman who set herself on fire last month then told police that men in hoods attacked her has had her condition upgraded from critical to serious. That's the word from the LSU Hospital in Shreveport, where 20-year-old Sharmika Moffitt is being treated. Police believe Moffitt wrote a racial slur and "KKK" on her own car, then set herself on fire. She's recovering from severe burns.
Louisiana motorists continue to get big breaks at the pump. The current statewide average for a gallon of gas is now $3.29. The American Automobile Association says this is 28 cents less than we were paying last month and the colder it gets, the more the price will fall.
The search committee charged with finding a new president for the University of Louisiana will interview its only finalist today. Sandy Woodley is scheduled to meet with the committee in Baton Rouge. Woodley is currently is the vice chancellor for strategic initiatives for the University of Texas system. In that role, she oversees the offices of strategic management, institutional studies and policy analysis. The University of Louisiana System has more than 92,000 students in nine universities, including Northwestern State in Natchitoches. The system also includes Louisiana Tech in Ruston, which is seeking a president. The Tech search committee will meet at noon today to choose finalists. Nine people have applied so far.
A proposed 80 mile per hour passenger train to run between Shreveport Bossier and Dallas Fort-Worth, is being shopped to the states of Louisiana and Texas by Amtrack. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne calls the project doable but still wants to see what comes out of a feasibility study due in March of 2013.
A federal prosecutor in New Orleans is demoted for making online comments on a newspaper website. U-S Attorney Jim Letten said today that Jan Mann is no longer serving as First Assistant U-S Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division. Legal Analyst Chick Foret says Letten's announcement confirms the allegation Mann was posting internet comments. South Louisiana landfill owner Fred Heebe, who is under investigation by federal agencies, accused Mann of posting anonymous and sometimes biting internet comments about the cases she was investigating and filed a defamation lawsuit against her. Mann will remain an assistant U-S Attorney, but Foret says further action could be taken against her.
A military parade will roll through historic New Orleans tomorrow as part of the state's bicentennial celebration. The parade will feature representatives from every branch of the military. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says it’s the biggest military parade in the state in 100 years. The previous military parade of this size was in 1912, during the state's centennial observance. Before the parade a wreath will be laid
at the Veterans Memorial Square in Metairie and Dardenne says a special piece of World War Two history will be presented to the museum, a world war two set of dog tags from the beaches of Normandy in France. The bicentennial parade will begin at 3 P-M in the French Quarter.
An organization out of Monroe is pushing for legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana in Louisiana. Similar referendums were passed in Colorado and Washington State after Tuesday's election. Donnie Griffith is the founder of Legalize Louisiana. He says there are many benefits to legalizing marijuana in Louisiana. Griffith says instead of having drug cartels supplying marijuana to users in Louisiana, we could grow our own and tax it. He says now that pot has been legalized in other states, his group hopes to present harder evidence to Louisiana lawmakers showing them there is no harm brought on by the crop.
The state department of health and hospitals says it's close to finalizing cooperative endeavor agreements that would keep a mental hospital open in Mandeville. DHH Deputy Secretary Kathy Kliebert says Meridian Behavioral Health is a private company, interested in taking over in-patient services on the Southeast Louisiana hospital campus. The 60-year-old facility was facing closure as a result of budget cuts.
Two influential members of Louisiana's Congressional delegation have differing views of how to avoid the country's coming "fiscal cliff". Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu says it would seem that raising taxes is
inevitable. But Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, of Metairie, says the federal government shouldn't make taxpayers foot the bill for its own over spending and mismanagement. Numerous tax cuts expire at the end of the year, as automatic spending cuts take effect.
Calling her "sinister and despicable" a Baton Rouge Judge sentenced 25-year-old Charlotte Staggs to 40 years in prison for abusing and neglecting her 20-month-old stepson. In 1009, the boy was brought to
a hospital in ER for swallowing nail polish remover. Doctors observed he was also severely malnourished and dehydrated with numbers scrapes and bruises all over his body.
Ninth ranked LSU faces its fifth straight ranked opponent on Saturday night when they host Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are ranked 22nd, but they've lost their last two. Also, LSU has dominated this series over the last two decades, winning 12 straight over the Bulldogs.
The undefeated Atlanta Falcons will be in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sunday to battle the Saints. The Dirty Birds are a perfect 8-and-0