News for Thursday 061313
By Dave Graichen
Real personal income grew 2.1 percent in Louisiana in 2011, slightly behind the national average of 2.7 percent. According to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, real personal income in Louisiana was $167.2 billion in 2011, compared with $163.7 billion in 2010. The U.S. total rose from almost $11.1 trillion to nearly $11.4 trillion.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is under pressure from the faith community to veto legislation that would set up a legal framework in Louisiana for surrogate births. Among the 433 bills that made it to the governor’s desk in the recent legislative session, the Louisiana Family Forum and the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops targeted just one: Senate Bill 162. (The groups want the governor to stop the legislation from becoming state law. Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills say “It threatens the integrity of the traditional family. On the opposite end of the spectrum is state Sen. Gary Smith, D-Norco, who filed SB162 after he and his wife, Katherine, turned to surrogates in Nevada and California to carry their biological children. They used surrogates because of medical problems, and they did not want to grapple with legal complications that could arise in Louisiana.) Jindal must make a decision within the next few weeks. He can sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.
Kenner Police say they responded to a report of a vehicle driving recklessly on I-10 early yesterday morning and discovered a 10-year-old behind the wheel. Sgt. Brian McGregor says the child's grandmother, 54-year-old Brenda Byrd, her friend, 48-year-old Shelia Joiner and the child's brother were passengers in the SUV. He says the adults informed the officer they needed the child to drive because they were both too drunk to do so. McGregor says both Byrd and Joiner were arrested.
The latest approach to addressing the homeless population in Baton Rouge is to offer them a bus ticket out of the city. The Metro Council approved the mayor’s mid-year budget allocation Wednesday, which among many other funds, included $5,000 for one-way bus tickets for homeless people. Initially, the homeless relocation program was referred to in budget documents as “Clean Sweep,” but it was subsequently renamed “HOPE,” which stands for Homeless Outreach Prevention Efforts.
An Army veteran on Wednesday pleaded guilty in federal court to second-degree murder in the 2010 slaying of a soldier at Fort Polk. 28 year old Marcus Carey also pleaded guilty to attempted murder in an attack on a second soldier at the base. The judge set sentencing for Sept. 19.
According to a new study by the American Automobile Association, using voice commands to text while driving is MORE distracting than talking on your cell phone. Triple-A spokesman Don Redman says the study found that speech to text systems require greater concentration than talking on the phone. He says reaction times are slower and brain function is compromised.
The L-S-U baseball team leaves this morning for Omaha, the site of the College World Series. The Tigers play their first round game against U-C-L-A on Sunday night. Head Coach Paul Mainieri says the team has been scrimmaging to keep from getting rusty, but the eight-day break between games has helped the Tigers get back to full-strength. The LSU Tigers have won 57 games this season and Mainieri says if they play like they did since February, they'll have the opportunity to stay alive a long time during the 12-day tournament.
The LHSAA releases its football championship schedule and for the first time ever there will be nine title games, instead of five, because the association voted to separate public schools from private schools for the postseason. The prep classic will begin Thursday December 12th and last until Saturday 14th in the Mercedes Benz Suuperdome.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office has charged two women in the death of a 23-month-old boy. The Two are charged with first degree murder. Authorities say the child was taken to the hospital June 6th, while in the care of the couple, with life-threatening injuries and died Saturday as the result of blunt force trauma to the head.
State Police say a motorcyclist was killed in Concordia Parish Tuesday. They say 33-year-old David Welch of Vidalia lost control of his bike, ran off the road and overturned several times. He was not wearing his helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The AARP Louisiana says thousands of commuters will be impacted and the regional economy could suffer because of the decision to end the L-A Swift bus service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The AARP's Jason Tutor says they surveyed over 300 L-A Swift riders and found out 51% of the riders use the service to get to work. It's estimated over 12-thousand riders use L-A Swift every month. The service is set to end June 30th, unless the state can find another 750-thousand dollars to attract federal matching dollars, so the transportation service can continue.
State Police is asking for the public's help as they investigate the theft of an ATM from the Hammond Office of Motor Vehicles. Trooper Nick Manale says early Tuesday morning someone drove a vehicle into the front glass wall of the OMV and stole the ATM.