News for Wednesday 022614
By Dave Graichen
A Pineville man crashed his puck up into the back of a stopped Rapides Parish school bus yesterday morning on highway 28 east. That accident led to the injury of the bus driver and eight students. The good news is, none of the injuries were severe. Pineville PD have not released any details of the crash other than to say 31 year old Anthony Phillips has been charged with possession of a stolen firearm, and charges of reckless operation of a vehicle.
A utility bill paying scam has hit customers of another Louisiana power company. Some Cleco customers are reporting some phone calls from individuals who identify themselves from Cleco, demanding payment for an unpaid balance on their utility bill. Spokesperson Shirley Turner reminds everyone serviced by Cleco they never call customers demanding payment over the phone.
There's been a toddler tragedy in Minden as a three-year old was struck and killed by a truck Monday. Minden Police say that the man's truck had very large tires, and they speculate because the truck was riding a bit higher, the driver was not able to see the child who had wondered out into the neighborhood street. Authorities say that the investigation is on-going.
A Bossier City lawmaker is filing legislation for the 2014 session that would ban any type of cell phone use when traveling through a school zone. Representative Jeff Thompson says studies show one out of six drivers in a school zone drive distracted and cell phone use was the number one reason. House Bill No. 370 would make it illegal to engage in a call, access email, send a text or read or post to social media at any time when in a school zone. All items on that list, with the exception of talking on the phone are already against the law in Louisiana.
A second person has been arrested as a result of an alleged dog fighting operation that was broken up last week in Breaux Bridge. St. Martin Parish Sheriff spokesperson Ginny Higgins says 33-year-old Antonio Boyd is facing 47-counts of cruelty to animals and his bond has been set at 140-thousand dollars. The other man arrested was 25-year-old Jason Haskett of Natchitoches. Higgins says the two men staged illegal dog fights in the back yard of a residence located on Breaux Bridge Senior High School Road. She says during the raid, deputies found dozens of pit bulls, most of them were on chains.
An advocacy group for the recognition and equal rights for same sex couples who want to get married, launches a one million dollar campaign across southern states. "Freedom To Marry" founder and president Evan Wolfson says they want to get southerners talking about the issue.
The US House is getting close to voting on legislation that would prevent large flood insurance premiums for property owners. Baton Rouge Congressman Bill Cassidy says the bill would repeal provisions of a 2012 flood insurance reform law that calls for much higher flood insurance rates for thousands of Louisiana homeowners. Cassidy believes the US House will vote tomorrow on this flood insurance reform legislation. He says it contains several key provisions that builds upon a bill already passed in the Senate. The Baton Rouge republican says one of those provisions caps annual rate increases at 15-percent.
Danos, a manufacturer of offshore equipment and piping, will build a $23.2 million, 100-employee plant at the Port of Iberia. President and Chief Executive Officer Hank Danos, along with Gov. Bobby Jindal, made the announcement after the signing of a 40-acre lease near New Iberia with the port’s board of commissioners. Construction on the 172,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter and will require 200 construction workers. The 100 permanent plant jobs will have annual salaries that average $65,000 for a total annual payroll of $6.5 million.
A Baton Rouge man who pleaded guilty in November to threatening to murder former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, of New Orleans, as well as members of Letten’s family, was sentenced Tuesday to 41 months in federal prison plus three more years under supervision after he’s released. 57 year old Gerald P. Estrade of Baton Rouge will be transferred to a federal prison in the next few weeks to serve his sentence.
A federal judge received assurances Tuesday that three insurance companies won’t immediately stop accepting premium payments from a program that helps HIV and AIDS patients cover health care costs. After receiving the pledge that no payments would be rejected before April 1, U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson lifted the temporary restraining order he had issued only hours earlier prohibiting the dropped coverage. Jackson plans a March 10 hearing on whether to issue a long-term injunction that would bar the companies from refusing to accept payments from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, which helps more than 2,400 low- and moderate-income Louisianians pay for health coverage.
The giant sinkhole in Assumption parish has a new bubbling site on about 30 feet from Highway 69. Officials says the bubbles seen in water of Grand Bayou is the result of natural gas escaping from underground. Assumption parish Emergency Preparedness Director John Boudreaux says this new bubbling site does NOT mean another sink hole will form. Since the sinkhole appeared in August of 2012, it has grown over 20 times its original size.
Southwest Louisiana authorities now believe that a man who was found shot dead inside his home, accidently shot himself in his lower back. Fifty year old Kenneth Morrow Senior's body was found in January. It was a homicide investigation but Jennings Police Chief Todd (D-AL-BORE) D'Albor says ballistics and forensics show the deceased shot himself. Officials think the gun fired when Morrow reached for it in his rear pocket or waistband.
The myth of knowing if a crawfish was dead before it was cooked by the straightness of it's tail has been debunked .LSU Ag researcher Ray McClain says if a crawfish dies before it's cooked in a boiling pot of water, it may curl it's tail during the cooking process. He says research indicates uncooked mudbugs that are both alive or dead can come out of the pot with a straight tail. McClain also says putting crawfish in salt water before you boil them has no benefit based on his research.
Renovations to the Cajun Dome in Lafayette may cost a bit more than first projected. The Cajun Dome commission members got an 18 point nine million figure quoted to them at their meeting on Monday. At that price the renovated Cajun Dome would be cost two-point-nine million more than it's original 16 million dollar price tag.