News For Thursday 091913
By Dave Graichen
The State Fire Marshall's office has issued a burn ban for many areas in north west and western Louisiana. Extremely dry conditions continue in those areas and the burn ban is expected to be in place at least another 30 days. The ban extends all the way through central Louisiana, including Grant, Rapides and Avoyelles parishes.
Pointe Coupee Parish is not under a burn ban but for some reason, 7 houses have caught on fire in New Roads over the past 48 hours. Most of the fires were in vacant homes. Some were lived in but occupants were able to escape. Fire officials are unsure the cause of the fires and are trying to get to the bottom of it.
Teen birth rates are on the decline in Louisiana. According to preliminary state data, Louisiana had 64-hundred teen births in 2012, a rate of 43 per one-thousand families. That's about a
20-percent decline from 2006. Michelle Aletto, with the state bureau of Family Health says there are two possible reasons for the decline, prevention and education programs seem to be working as young females are waiting longer to engage in sexual activity. There's also an increase in the availability of contraceptives.
Governor Jindal was in Washington D-C yesterday to speak against the Justice Department's lawsuit that attempts to prevent the state from giving out school vouchers in parishes that have desegregation orders. Jindal claims the Obama administration is more interested in helping teacher union than students who attend failing schools.
It appears there was one big Powerball winner last night. The winning ticket bought at a Murphy USA gas station on Augusta Road in Lexington, South Carolina. The final prize $399 million dollars. Or a cash payout of $223 million.
Ouachita Parish Officials say a school resource officer has been booked with indecent behavior with a juvenile. Sheriff Jay Russell says Michael Sidden was fired yesterday and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center on the indecent behavior charge, malfeasance and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
State Police and local lawmen and cellular service providers have a message for motorists about texting or using social media while driving: It Can Wait. Today is designated "Drive 4 Pledges Day"; and State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson says they're asking us all to pledge to never read or send text while behind the wheel. Edmonson says the It Can Wait campaign is intended to convince drivers
to put their phone down, and only use it for voice conversations while driving.
Efforts to rid the St. Bernard Parish water system of a deadly amoeba linked to the death of a 4-year-old boy continue. The amoeba was found in four locations in the parish's water system. The state's safe drinking water administrator Jake Causey says they are running chlorine through the system and that should last for another 3 weeks. How this rare and fatal amoeba got into the St. Bernard Parish water system is still a mystery. But Causey says they are examining the possibility that Hurricane Katrina had something to do with it. Causey says because of a huge loss in population water became stagnant in the pipes.
Kenneth Polite Junior is the new US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The U-S Senate unanimously approved the appointment. The eastern district has not had a full-time leader since Jim Letten resigned last October.
Yet another Shreveport firefighter has been arrested. 34-year-old Traotis Robinson is accused of entering his estranged wife's home without permission, and attacking her. He's charged with domestic abuse battery. He's been booked into the Shreveport jail, and placed on administrative leave by the Fire Department. He is the 7th firefighter to be arrested in two months. 5 others were booked after an investigation was launched into allegations they abused two disabled men.
Nucor Steel says it's massive plant in Convent, in St. James Parish, should go into production within the next 5 weeks. This is the first part of a multi-phase complex. The $750-million project is in its
final testing and expects to produce millions of tons of steel yearly.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says the case of the 3 year old who hung himself to death in a partially opened car window is closed. They say family, friends and neighbors all say the child was
known for climbing in and out of cars and an investigation determined the boy tried to get into this car when he slipped, fell and couldn't free himself.
A New Orleans cop has been suspended after a video circulated online showing him doing nothing while two women next to him engage in a vicious fight. On the video he can be seen allowing the fight to go on without intervening. Officer Cortez Hankton is suspended now without pay, pending review.
If you like soda in a bottle and enjoy Louisiana flavors you'll be happy to hear a new soft drink called, "Swamp Pop" is now available. Co-creator John Peterson says he and his best friend Collin Cormier
wanted to make a drink that would bring them back to their days growing up in south Louisiana. Peterson says their four soft drinks are made only with Louisiana grown cane sugar. He says they've launched with four sodas to start, Noble Cane Cola, Satsuma fizz, Praline Cream Soda and Jean Lafitte Ginger Ale. hint of cucumber. You can find a list of stores that sell the Louisiana soda on their website: http://drinkswamppop.com.