News For Tuesday 031814
By Dave Graichen
At the age of 86, former Governor Edwin Edwards has announced he will run for Congress. Edwards will seek the seat currently held by Bill Cassidy, who is running for U-S Senate. Because he's a recent convicted felon, he's not allowed to run governor, but Edwards says there's nothing in the constitution that says he can't run for Congress. There's already a crowded field of candidates for the sixth district congressional race. But Edwards says he's confident he'll end up in a runoff with one of the republican candidates. And he says age should not be a factor in this race.
The Louisiana Republican party wasted no time in responding to Edwin Edwards Congressional announcement. Jason Dore, LAGOP executive director says while Edwards may be a well-known figure, he is well known for all the wrong reasons.
Word yesterday that A body found Friday in LaSalle Parish near the Rapides Parish line has been identified as that of a 56-year-old Pineville woman, who was reported missing on Thursday. The LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office is treating the death of Mary Worley as a homicide. While the official cause of death has not been determined, deputies did report a gunshot wound to the back of her head. Officials believe the death was an isolated incident.
The Rapides Parish Police Jury directed counsel Monday to file litigation against the former design firm on the Rapides Coliseum renovation project. The jury terminated its contract with Barron Heinberg & Brocato in August after the firm reported it could not complete the project within the $23 million budget. More than $600,000 had been spent on the project already. The litigation seeks to recoup some of that money.
The Grant Parish sheriff’s office reports a Montgomery man is in the Grant Parish Detention Center, accused of holding a mother and five children against their will in a Monday standoff that lasted several hours. After the standoff, 35 year old Russell Hoffpauir II was arrested. Deputies say they found an assault rifle with hundreds of rounds of armor-piercing bullets, a shotgun, a pistol, a tactical vest filled with ammunition, a large knife, a GPS and other tactical equipment. Hoffpauir’s bond was set at $250,000.
New numbers released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Louisiana has the lowest unemployment rate in the Sothern region. This is great news for both our state and local economies says Curt Eysink with the Louisiana Workforce Commission the lower unemployment numbers can be attributed to a number of factors but is due in large part to the tremendous growth in the private sector. Private employers in Louisiana added 25,300 jobs in the 12-months ended January 2014 and states private sector has grown over-the-year every month since October 2010.
Out of 700 hundred thousand 2013 Louisiana state income tax returns filed so far, some eight thousand people have received pre-paid debit cards or checks. All refunds were supposed to distributed via direct deposits into bank accounts. The Department of Revenue says they have fixed the problem, and they are offering to cancel pre-paid cards.
State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain went before the House Appropriations Committee Monday urging lawmakers to provide him more money than what the governor proposed in next fiscal year's budget. Strain says he needs another three-point-nine million dollars, so the department can battle a dangerous citrus infection and avoid lay-offs within his agency.
A senate committee will hear legislation today that would ban the selling of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18. Ruston senator Rick Gallot says he filed the bill because research discovered the negative effects these products have on children. Gallot says e-cigarettes are a great alternative for adults trying to quit smoking, but not for children, because they do contain nicotine, which is addictive.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana says they've settled its lawsuit with the Sabine Parish school district involving a Buddhist sixth grader who claimed he was the subject of harassment due to religious beliefs. LA-ACLU executive director Marjorie Esman says the school board recognized they were in violation of the law, so they decided to settle the case. The
district has also agreed to train their teachers on what the law says in regards to religious freedom in public schools. Esman says the child's family was also awarded $4,000 to cover the costs of transporting the student to another school out of town.
The Mega Millions jackpot for today is 400 million dollars. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says this pot of gold has been running since January 3rd. Chopin says even though the odds are low, Mega Millions has a ton of of different prize levels. She says in the last drawing, two people won 5-thousand dollars and one player won the Megaplier and got 15-hundred dollars.
An 18 year old from Schriever is lucky to be alive after he was shot in the head Saturday night while riding his dirt bike. Major Malcom Wolfe with the Terrebonne Sheriff's office says the area where the
teen was shot is an area commonly used for target practice. While the shooting appears to be accidental, charges are possible for the shooter..
The Pointe Coupee Sheriff's office has arrested a couple in connection with the death of their three year old son. Jason Lutz and Ashley Cogar have been charged with the second degree murder of Joseph Lutz. Autopsy results have confirmed the child died as a result of malnutrition. Officials say when the boy was found dead in January, he weighed less than he did when he was born.
A new swine virus that is sweeping across the nation could mean consumers will pay more for ribs, chops, hams and other pork products this summer. Some experts forecast price increases as much as 15 percent, but Dr. Tim Page with the LSU AG Center says that may be a a conservative estimate. The PEDv virus is highly contagious and fatal to swine. The disease is new here in the US, but it has affected Europe for a number of years. Fortunately however, Page says the virus poses no threat to humans or other animals.
Former LSU, McNeese State and Miami Dolphins running back Cecil “The Diesel” Collins dodged more prison time Monday and was instead put on probation for an extra three years for violating his probation in a pair of 1998 Baton Rouge cases. Collins, who was released from a Florida prison in May after serving more than 13 years for a 1999 burglary in Miami, faced the possibility Monday of going back to prison, this time in Louisiana, for up to five additional years. State District Judge Mike Caldwell, who put Collins on probation for four years in 1999 after giving him a suspended five-year prison term, warned Collins that he’ll be given no more chances.