News for Thursday 010214
By Dave Graichen
The LSU Tigers return home today as champs of the Outback Bowl. The Bayou Bengals defeated Iowa 21-14 in Tampa Bay behind a strong defense and hard running by sophomore Jeremy Hill. The Baton Rouge native rushed for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns...
Henley Oscar Pharis had three chances to enter the world on a memorable day.He could have been a Christmas baby. He was meant to be born on his dad’s birthday. But, in the end, he showed up in the wee hours of the morning on New Year’s Day at Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, making him the first baby born in Alexandria in 2014. Henley, born to Laura and Adam Pharis of Flatwoods, weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces and is named after Adam’s grandfather, Oscar Henley.
Another Republican says he'll enter the 2014 U.S. Senate race; seeking Mary Landrieu's job. Covington state Representative Paul Hollis says he has decided to run against Landrieu's re-election bid. He feels Senator Mary Landrieu has lost touch with what her constituents in Louisiana want of their senator. He joins GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy and political newcomer Rob
Maness in the race. Hollis was elected to the state legislature in 2012.
Louisiana lost some prominent people in 2013. In February, Louisiana lost Paul Mcillhenny at the age of of 68. Mcillhenny was the CEO of the Mcllheny Company, which makes Tabasco products. The first woman elected to Congress in Louisiana, former US Representative Lindy Boggs, passed away on July 27th at the age of 97. We also lost LSU legend Paul Dietzel who coached the Tigers to their
first national championship in 1958. The man who presided over former Governor Edwards corruption trial, Judge Frank Polozola, passed away in February. And famed Cajun artist George Rodrigue, who painted the beloved Blue Dog, passed away in December
Louisiana's population grew by 23-thousand from July 2012 to July 2013 according to the latest U-S Census Bureau report. Demographer Elliot Stonecipher says it's good to see an increase in Louisiana's population, but several states are growing faster and our population is not increasing at the same level as it was following the 2005 hurricanes Stonecipher says for Louisiana to meet the growth that's seen in several other southern states, it needs to get more people to move into the
Pelican state. He says based on all of the governor's economic development announcements that should happen soon.
The Governor's Office says 2013 was a record year for producing jobs in the state. Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret says Louisiana announced dozens of company expansions or relocations last year that will result in about 27-thousand new jobs and $26-billion in new capital investments. Moret says the state's economic growth has been noticed by others. He says the trade journal Site Selection ranks Louisiana sixth in the country in its business climate report and Business Facilities ranks the Bayou State fourth for Best Business Climate in America. He says even more development announcements are coming in 2014.
2013 did not go as planned for Governor Bobby Jindal. He started the year pushing a proposal to eliminate income taxes by raising sales taxes. The idea did not get the support of the state legislature and Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it ended any hope for tax reform. Jindal's approval numbers were also low in 2013. A poll conducted by Pinsonat in the spring showed that only 38-percent of the registered voters approved of the governor's job performance. His poll numbers showed a slight improvement in the fall. Pinsonat says in 2014, look for Jindal to make moves that will set him up to run for President in 2016...
Looking ahead to the year in Louisiana politics, one analyst says the 2014 US Senate race will be the year's story to watch. U-L Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley says a number of senators are retiring, and that will bring focus on our senior senator's chances of winning another term. Stockley says Landrieu's re-election, or failure to win another term will not only affect the Democrat's control of the U.S. Senate, but also that party's influence here in Louisiana. she is the only statewide elected Democrat. She currently has three announced GOP challengers; Bill Cassidy, newcomer Rob Maness and state Rep. Paul Hollis.
Entergy is warning its Louisiana customers to be wary of an ongoing scam that seeks access to your personal account info, and your money. Spokesman Will Johnson says the scammers have been making the calls for several months, posing as employees of Entergy. They tell customers their bill is overdue and try to collect an immediate electronic payment - often asking for personal account information. He says if you think you're getting a scam call, hang up and call your local police or sheriff. By the way customers of other utility companies than Entergy are also being targeted.
Police in Jennings suspect foul play in the death of man whose body was found by a motorist, lying in the road, New Year’s Eve. The man has not been identified. Officers say he is white, around 6 feet tall, with reddish beard and moustache and three tattoos; one of them the Batman symbol on his shoulder blade. They seek the public's help with his identity.
Shreveport Police are investigating a shooting just before lunchtime Wednesday. Authorities report even though the victim was shot multiple times in the upper body, he was able to identify the man who shot him. Police are holding that identification pending further investigation. The nature of the victim's injuries are also pending.
Construction is expected to begin today on Sabine River Bridge on US 84, which connects Shelby County, Texas and DeSoto Parish Louisiana. State Department of Transportation spokesperson Rodney Mallett says workers will build a pair of one way two-lane bridges to replace the current single structure. Work to replace the bridge is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. The project will cost 20-million dollars. Mallett says motorists will still be able to U-S 84 in this area, despite the construction.
Effective today, smoking is banned in ALL public buildings in Ouachita Parish - INCLUDING bars and bingo halls. The ordinance was passed by the parish and the cities of Monroe and West Monroe.