News For Wednesday 103013
By Dave Graichen
Bad weather is on its way to Cenla on Thursday and with that in mind. Many Rapides Parish municipalities have had to change their regularly scheduled Halloween events and trick-or-treat times. The city of Pineville’s Fall Festival at Kees Park, which had been scheduled for tomorrow night, will be held tonight. Pineville also changed its citywide trick-or-treating to 5 to 8 this evening instead of Thursday. Others moving their “Trick or Treating” up.. The city of Alexandria is this afternoon from 5:30 to 8:30. The town of Ball, 5 p.m. to 8 tonight. Cheneyville’s Halloween celebration has been changed to 5:30 to 7:30 this evening on the grounds of the Old Town Hall. Festivities will be moved inside in case of rain. Halloween in the Park in Forest Hill is planned for Halloween night, but if necessary, it will be moved to the Forest Hill Academy gymnasium on Blue Lake Road.
Fifth congressional district Republican candidate Vance McAllister has picked up the endorsement of democrat Monroe mayor Jamie Mayo. McAllister is in a November 16th runoff against Republican State Senator Neil Riser. Political experts say Mayo's endorsement could be a game-changer for McAllister's campaign.
When making publicity rounds touting his new reality show, rumors are circling that former Governor Edwin Edwards is considering another run for office. During a speaking engagement at LSU, Edwards says if he felt people would warm up to the idea and he thought he could win, he would likely run again. He says Louisiana needs him. According to state law Edwards would need a Presidential pardon to run for governor in 2015 -- but he could run for US Senate in 2016
without the need of a pardon.
A financial website rates Louisiana the nation's worst state in which to retire. "MoneyRates.com" looked at factors like overall senior population, costs of living, crime and more to compile the list. The ranking also cites Louisiana's climate and the low average life expectancy past 65 as reasons our state tops its Worst Places to Retire list. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne disagrees with the ranking and says it will not change plans to continue marketing Louisiana as a great place to spend one's Golden Years. He says our state has so much to offer.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has filed legislation aimed at sparing homeowners with National Flood Insurance from massive premium hikes. One of the sponsors is Senator Mary Landrieu, who says nearly a half-million policyholders will see unsustainable rate increases under the 2012 Biggert-Waters flood insurance reforms. Senator David Vitter is a co-sponsor too, plus senators from Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, North Dakota, Florida, Massachusetts and New York. Landrieu says the bill seeks to delay Biggert-Waters for several years, while mandating FEMA to complete an impact and affordability study of the proposed premium increases.
A coalition of conservative think tanks recommended Tuesday morning that Louisiana address its nation-leading incarceration rate by repealing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenses. The report concluded rolling back Louisiana’s harsh sentences would allow the state to better focus on ensuring violent criminals are kept behind bars. Laws enacted by the state during the past couple decades led to a doubling of the state’s prison population from 1992 to 2011. ( The report was produced by the Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based research group that says it promotes libertarian principles, in conjunction with the New Orleans-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a self-described study group that promotes free markets and limited government. http://theadvocate.com/home/7440265-125/groups-recommend-louisiana-legislators-rewrite
Whooping cough has set a post-1960s record in Louisiana and things are worse in Texas, where nearly 2,900 cases have been reported, and Arkansas, where numbers are double those of a year ago. Louisiana health officials are asking doctors to keep an eye out for it. Louisiana’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard, says 169 confirmed and likely cases as of mid-October breaks a vaccination-era record of about 160 for all of last year.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking questions about the financial arrangements needed to make privatization of LSU hospitals work. A top state health official said the inquiries are routine, but state Treasurer John Kennedy fears the privatization effort might be improperly laundering federal money. Kennedy said he is concerned the federal government will not accept the way the state is accounting for lease payments under the LSU plan. The payments are being included as part of the calculation that determines how much the federal government pays for reimbursing the hospitals for medical care to patients under Medicaid.
A Bossier City couple is charged with cruelty to juveniles, after two kids were found living in their home with no electricity or running water. Bossier spokesman Mark Natale says the
11-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy had been left home alone for over 15 hours with no food in the house either.
Police in Opelousas report a car that hit a parked boat, tree and a fence was found to have a dead man behind the wheel. The owner of the property where the damage was done called police and told them the driver was still in the car and was not moving. Officers found 35-year-old Daniel Hardy of Opelousas inside the car. It's unsure if he was killed by the crash, which was a high rate of speed, or something else.
Grambling State University says civil rights activist Jesse Jackson plans on visiting the campus in the near future to help close a rift that's developed between students and administrators. School leaders
say Jackson will be able to promote a period of healing. Grambling's football team recently held a boycott that resulted in them forfeiting a game against Jackson State.
A personal injury attorney from LaPlace admits he stole 58-thousand dollars from an elderly client. Kurt Wall, director of the Louisiana Attorney General's office criminal division, says 42-year-old Kerry
Brown represented a senior citizen in an automobile accident, but never informed the client of the 58-thousand dollar settlement.