News for Tuesday 051314
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria Police detectives are conducting a homicide investigation into the death of a 33-year-old Alexandria woman. The victim has been identified as Pamela Carnahan. Rapides Parish school officials had become concerned Friday when the mother of a child was not at the bus stop to pick up the child as she usually was.. They contacted relatives who checked the victim’s apartment at 4015 Lakeside Drive and located the body. Police have determined the death was a homicide, but the cause of death has not been released.
5th Congressional District Congressman Vance McAllister spoke yesterday at a Chamber of Commerce event here in Alexandria. The congressman, who was joined by his wife, Kelly, and one of their five children, 3-year-old daughter Eva, began his speech by apologizing for kissing a married staffer. McAllister also told the media that it's never been a secret that he was disliked by the GOP. McAllister says he plans to finish his term, but will not run for re-election. However, the congressman said later he’s leaving his “options open.”
The state Senate rejected legislation Monday night that sought to raise the eligibility requirements for TOPS, Louisiana’s merit-based college tuition program. After a two-hour debate on the Senate floor, Senate Bill 520 was voted down after it was amended to convert TOPS scholarships to a student loan, forgiven if students keep their eligibility during their first year of college. Several senators spoke out against the proposal, noting the outcome would be that fewer students would qualify.
For a second time in as many weeks, the Jindal administration could be facing problems with its Medicaid financing plans. The latest issue came to light Monday after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fired a warning shot about the way states are pulling in federal dollars for health care programs. CMS outlined what states shouldn’t be doing and threatened to demand the repayment of dollars where warranted. In a nutshell, Louisiana did many of the things warned against by CMS, possibly foreshadowing another pricey unpinning of the state’s financial structures for health care programs. The state already is grappling with a rejection of hospital privatization plans that could put taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.
The state’s top school board, showing rare harmony, approved revisions in its $3.6 billion spending plan for public schools after its initial proposal was killed by the Louisiana Senate Education Committee. The vote was 9-1. The changes, including revisions designed to avoid automatic school aid hikes in future years, won support from several influential school groups, including the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.
Bossier City Police have identified the two women found dead Sunday morning. 24-year old Jacqueline Darlenen Beadle and 26-year old Karyl Ann Cox were found shot to death in their home. Beadle's mother found the bodies after going to the home having not heard from Jacqueline since Friday. The investigation is on-going.
The Beau Chene High School student killed in an automobile accident Monday morning in St. Landry Parish has been identified. 17-year old Nonchalant Guillory allegedly lost control of her vehicle in a curve and hit the side of a school bus driven by 56-year old Lawrence Robert. Guillory was unrestrained and succumbed to her injuries in a local hospital. Robert, who sustained minor injuries, was the only occupant of the school bus at the time of the crash.
An Angola inmate is a free man after spending 34 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Attorney Caroline Milne (MIL-nee) of the Innocence Project New Orleans says when Reginald Adams was found guilty in the murder of Cathy Ulfers, detectives and prosecutors intentionally withheld evidence that showed Adams was innocent.
A bill that increases the penalty for throwing cigarette butts out of car windows has received final legislative approval. The measure is by Marrero Representative Patrick Connick. It increases first
offense fines from $250 to $300 and keeps the community service penalties in place. The bill now awaits Governor Bobby Jindal's signature.
Legislation by New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno banning anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds has gotten final legislative approval. Currently, minors ages 14 to 18 can use tanning beds with written permission from a parent. The bill received unanimous approval from the House and now heads to the Governor's desk.
A Senate bill that would allow motorists to have any Louisiana university's logo put on their driver’s license passed in the House Transportation Committee. New Iberia Senator Fred Mills passed legislation last year that allowed the phrase, "I'm a Cajun" to be put on driver’s license which was the idea behind this bill. That same committee also agreed with a bill that would extend
driver’s license renewal from four years to six years. Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor says the renewal fee over 12 years would remain the same, you would just have an extra two years before your drivers license expired. Both bills now head to the House floor.
State Troopers say it's a bad idea to show up at a police station drunk. But that's what one man allegedly did Saturday. Spokesman Jared Sandifer says 31-year-old Patrick Ruffner of Gonzales drove to Troop A to fill out a hit and run accident report, but a trooper who pulled in at the same time spoke with the man and noticed alcohol on his breath. Ruffner was then taken into the Troop and charges with 1st offense DWI and suspended license.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva spoke at the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday to discuss a number of ways they hope to improve the fan experience at Tiger Stadium. He says a top focus will be on traffic and working with city and parish leaders to invest in making it easier to get off campus as quickly as possible after games. Alleva says studies have shown LSU games have a huge economic impact on Baton Rouge and surrounding areas and it's critical to keep making improvements so that fans will want to come back.