News for Friday 111513
By Dave Graichen
Tomorrow is the runoff election for Louisiana's 5th congressional district seat. Two republicans, Columbia state Senator Neil Riser and Monroe businessman Vance McAllister are vying for the job. Both men want to serve out the remainder of former congressman Rodney Alexander's term, and have an edge in winning a full term in 2014. Most political insiders say the race is too close to call. The polls open at 7 Saturday morning and close at 8pm
The Tuition Taskforce would like to see the standards raised on qualifying for the TOPS scholarship. Currently, a high school student has to achieve at least a 2.5 GPA and score a 20 on the ACT. But task force member Phillip Rozeman says they would like to see the G-P-A requirement raised to 3.0 and at least a 23 on the ACT. Rozeman is confident students would meet the higher standards. Rozeman says they are pushing for a change to the TOPS scholarship because the program is getting too expensive for the state to keep funding.
As millions of Americans face losing their current health insurance, President Obama acts to delay those cancellations for one year. The policies would be cancelled because they do not fully comply with the Affordable Care Act. Senator Mary Landrieu has a bill pending that would assure those who already have and like their health insurance can keep it, as promised by the President. She says a promise is a promise, and she'll press forward with her legislation.
A seven-month-old and a 25-year-old man were shot to death Wednesday night as they were riding in a vehicle on the Crescent City Connection Bridge in New Orleans. Police are looking for the gunman who opened fire on the vehicle just past the toll plaza area on the West Bank entrance of the bridge.
What a difference a day makes in Louisiana weather. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the winds have shifted from being north-easterly on Thursday, to south-easterly today. He says that means the air coming in now is from the Gulf of Mexico and not from Canada. Keim says high temperatures today are between 15 and 20 degrees warmer than they were yesterday. He says these warm temperatures are going to hang around all through the weekend. As a matter of fact, by Sunday we could see temps in the low 80’s.
A woman from Lake Charles was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile in the abuse of her step-son. 31-year-old Jaime Brooks Day is accused of beating and not feeding the 9 year old boy who reportedly weighed just 38 pounds when he was removed from the home in 2010. Day is going to be sentenced December 10th. She faces up to 40 years in prison.
Grambling State University is appealing the $50-thousand fine levied by the Southwestern Athletic Conference for forfeiting the Jackson state game last month. School officials say it's not Grambling's fault the game was missed, it was because the team refused to play. Grambling will also have to play their next three Jackson State games IN Jackson, which also penalizes the university with additional travel costs.
The financial picture for Louisiana's state-run property insurer of last resort is improving, helped by the state's quiet hurricane season. Louisiana Citizens Insurance is doing better says company
officials, but is still $15-million in the red. The forecast shows the imbalance should shrink by the end of the year and the company's balance sheet could be positive by mid-2014.
The Catahoula Parish Sheriff's office has charged a 19-year-old woman from Jonesville with second-degree murder as detectives believe she fatally shot her 21-year-old sister, Tessa Poole. Sheriff James Kelly says deputies are still investigating.
The Monroe Police Department is investigating a pharmacy break-in where a semi-tractor-rig was used to knock a hole in the wall. It is unclear at this time how many suspects are involved or if any medication was taken. The investigation is ongoing.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's office says a man who was driving around a parking lot in Bayou Vista naked faces several charges. They say 31-year-old Nathel Lewis failed to pulled over after a deputy was responding to a complaint of a naked man circling a parking lot. The man was eventually stopped and marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle.