News for Tuesday 032613
By Dave Graichen
A town hall meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. at Pineville City Hall to get citizen input on allowing restaurants to sell alcohol in the city. Mayor Clarence Fields said the meeting is “to make sure people have the right information.” Multiple developers have lobbied the City Council to consider loosening the restrictions on alcohol sales. They say the restaurants and hotels that are shying away from the city would seriously consider coming to Pineville if alcohol was on the table. Again, that town hall meeting is tonight at Pineville city hall.
A 41-year-old Alexandria man is facing an aggravated battery charge after a fight at an Alexandria daquiri shop led to a stabbing Friday. Alexandria police responded to the Frosty Factory on Jackson St. in response to a stabbing in the parking lot. Officers found a 23-year-old victim who had been stabbed in an arm and the chest after an argument over parking. Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Demetrius Green of Alexandria. Green was arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.
The state Legislative Auditor's office says a 5-year study reveals the state's many tax rebates and tax credits have cost Louisiana over $6- billion. Auditor Darryl Purpera says the audit of the years 2006 to 2011 was done to provide citizens and state lawmakers information on the impact the tax breaks have had on state revenues. Purpera says tax credits accounted for the loss of $5.4-billion from state coffers. He says tax rebates account for well over $731-million in revenue losses. Purpera says a healthy portion of the losses are from the state's film & TV tax incentives. The audit didn't look at what if any merits the rebates and credits offered.
A government watchdog group believes Governor Jindal's tax plan should be phased-in so that the state can prevent future budget deficits. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says Jindal's proposal to eliminate income taxes, in exchange for higher sales and tobacco taxes, will be very difficult to begin January 1st, if the legislature passes it this spring. State Treasurer John Kennedy said Monday that Gov. Bobby Jindal should put his tax plan to a vote of the people, instead of vetting it only with legislators.
Much of the state is experiencing below freezing temperatures this morning. Tuesday morning lows dipped into the upper 20s for north Louisiana and temps are in the 30s in south Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a large dome of high pressure from Canada has brought unseasonably cold temperatures to Louisiana. He says cold air will hang around into tomorrow.
The head of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is the latest higher ed leader to say colleges and universities should have more authority to control tuition. Louisiana is the only state that requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise tuition. Joe May supports a bill to allow higher ed management boards to control tuition.
The Bossier Parish Sheriff's office says a softball coach in Haughton is under arrest for having an inappropriate relationship with a player. They say 28-year-old Jessica Banet is charged with prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student.
The former youth minister at St. Thomas More Catholic High in Lafayette has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for having sex with a minor. Prosecutors say 23-year-old Michael Manuel had more than 100 sexual pictures of boys on his phone. He's also been sentenced to 15 years of supervision after he's released.
Officials in Terrebonne Parish are now working to ban saggy pants. The council will consider an ordinance this week and if approved, people who wear pants in public below the waistline exposing skin or underwear could be subject to a ticket.
Father of the Year: The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's office says a 23-year-old man has been cited with careless operation after he picked his daughter up from an Elementary School on a 4-wheeler then peeled out so fast the ATV almost flipped over. School officials say William Jones got angry when he was told he had to wait for the buses to leave first.
A jury in East Baton Rouge Parish finds a local man guilty of the brutal 2008 murders of two people in a public park, and the attempted murder of his own child. EBR Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says there was ample evidence and testimony to convict 31-year-old Dominique Smith. Smith was found guilty of having slashed the throats of the mother of his children and her brother and his then- four-year-old daughter, Paige. The child survived and is now 9 years old she testified against her father in court.
The LSU Tiger Baseball team has moved up in the polls today. They are NO. 2 in the USA today coaches rankings and NO. 4 in the Baseball America pool. The Tigers are now 22-2 heading into a four game road trip that starts tonight night at Tulane.