News for Wednesday 070313
By Dave Graichen
The news came as a bit of a shock to many yesterday, Rapides schools Superintendent Nason Authement underwent triple-bypass surgery yesterday after being taken to the hospital Monday by his wife. Authement , an avid exerciser, had been experiencing chest pains. Doctors say the surgery went well and the Superintendent is recovering nicely. It’s not know at this time how long Authement will be out of the office. An executive assistant superintendent is taking over Authement’s responsibilities in the interim.
The Downtown Alexandria Revitalization Effort of d.a.r.e. was introduced to the public Tuesday. The newly formed nonprofit held its coming out party in the space above Sentry Drug. The group, headed up by Tobias Wilhelm, hopes to become a clearinghouse on downtown properties.
The Louisiana State Police will hold a training academy for new troopers for the first time in 5 years. In 2009 there were over 11 hundred troopers statewide; now there are just 960.
Speaking of more troopers, you can expect to see them throughout the fourth of July holiday weekend. Officials say extra man power has been funded by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission who say aggressive drivers, impaired drivers and those not properly restrained will be targeted.
State Police say they've investigated four motorcycle fatal crashes in less than a week across south Louisiana. Trooper Nick Manale says this is a popular time of the year
for motorcyclists to highway and the public needs to be vigilant while driving.
He says man reason fatal motorcycle crashes occur because a motorist fails to see a bike and react in time.
Authorities in Grant Parish report an investigation into the vandalism of some farm equipment near Colfax resulted in the apprehension of four children, ages 8 to 12. One piece of equipment that was destroyed was valued at $275,000. A spokesperson for the Grant parish sheriff’s office say, investigators had the suspects in custody within two hours.
The State Fire Marshal's Office and the Department of Ag and Forestry held a memorial yesterday afternoon to honor the 19 firefights who perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. Fire Marshal Butch Browning says these 19 firefighters represent the largest single incident losses to life since 9/11 when 343 New York
City Firefighters died. Browning says we owe a great deal to those who selflessly put themselves in harm's way every day to protect us.
According to the American Automobile Association, fewer people plan to travel this 4th of July Holiday than last year at this time. AAA Spokesman Don Redman says about 40-million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday, which is down slightly from last year. Redman says 84% of those traveling over the next few days will be driving.
Because of the blasts at two plants in Ascension Parish, that killed three and sent near 100 to the hospital last month, they remain closed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has six months to complete an investigation into both explosion sites. One worker from each blast remains in the hospital being
treated for injuries.
Thibodaux police arrest a homeless man who allegedly raped a child on two separate occasions. Police spokesman David Melancon says 49-year-old Brian Stickel is accused of assaulting the child in the woods and once inside the child's home. Stickel faces two counts of aggravated rape. Until his arrest, Stickel was friendly with the boy's family.
A 12-year-old Sabine Parish boy faces criminal charges after he reportedly poured a pot of boiling water on a 6-month old stray puppy. The dog suffered serious burns and runs the risk of infection. The boy, who says he did it to keep the dog out of the
family's garbage cans, is charged with cruelty to animals, and could face up to six months behind bars. Meanwhile a number of people have offered to adopt the female Labrador pup, nicknamed "Amazing Grace".
Slidell Police say a 16-year-old faces attempted murder charges for hacking off another man's earlobe with a machete. The teen reportedly told officers he tried to kill the man, but missed. The victim is recovering in a Slidell hospital. The teen recently came to the area from Los Angeles and is believed to be member of the
vicious MS13 street gang.
State Wildlife & Fisheries have closed an area off East Grand Terre Island, along the Louisiana coast, to commercial fishing, due to large tar mats that turned up, and were cleaned up last week. Secretary Bob Barham says it's residual mess from the 2010 BP oil spill. He says seafood in that area will be tested again, to assure it is safe to eat, before the area is reopened.