News for Monday 093013
By Dave Graichen
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office says the pastor of a local church was shot and killed while he was preaching Friday night. Spokeswoman Kim Myers says 53-year-old Woodrow Karey of Lake Charles walked into the church, shot Pastor Ronald Harris then left. He was arrested a short time later. Myers says they are still working to establish motive.
State Police say a LaSalle Parish Sheriff's deputy has been arrested for battery and forcible rape. Trooper Scott Moreau says 52-year-old Deputy Clarence Breland Jr., of Jena, is accused of the crimes. He says the sheriff's office asked LSP to investigate. The LaSalle Parish Sheriff's office says Breland is currently suspended but he will likely be fired.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office lost one of their deputies in a tragic fatal accident Friday night. Authorities report 24-year-old deputy Dustin Hamilton of Central was headed home after work, when another vehicle slammed into the driver’s side of his car. The other driver sustained serious injuries in the crash. Hamilton was pronounced dead on the scene.
The FBI says a man wanted in Tennessee for raping and kidnapping a teenage girl has been captured in Marksville. FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig says an alert Avoyelles Parish deputy spotted 42-year-old fugitive Charles Parrish and the 15-year-old girl he'd allegedly abducted. The girl was seen leaving the hotel room and returning without Parrish nearby, so it's unknown if she was traveling with him willingly, or was under duress.
The Louisiana Democratic Party says the new national public school student testing standards known as Common Core are a "train wreck", and the state should back away from it. Governor Jindal says there are aspects of Common Core that concern him, but he sees the value in a national testing standard. The state adopted the Common Core standards 3 years ago, as a way to
assure that Louisiana kids get an education that will help them compete with kids in other states for the jobs of tomorrow. The governor says he'll leave Common Core up to Education Superintendent John White and the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education to decide...though he is concerned about federal intrusion into Louisiana education.
Some state employees will be getting pay raises, despite several years of state budget troubles. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says about 1100 people in her department, and about 300 at Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness will get salary bumps. she says the money comes from successful efforts at streamlining government. This MAY upset state workers in other departments that are NOT set to get raises. Nichols says each agency is free to similarly streamline
operations costs, and do as her office has done. The average increase will be 4%.
Two 3-and-0 teams battle it out tonight in the Mercedes Benz Superdome as the New Orleans Saints host the Miami Dolphins.
LSU will have to regroup this week after a tough 44-41 loss to Georgia. The defense gave up nearly 500 yards of total offense and couldn't come up with a key stop late in the game. On a positive note, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had a career day with 372 passing yards and three touchdowns.
News for Friday 092713
By Dave Graichen
A new study shows Louisiana ranks ninth in the country in the rate of women murdered by men. The Violence Policy Center released the report to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. V-P-C Legislative director Kristen Rand says 90-percent of the females who are murdered by men, know their attacker and 66-percent of the victims were fatally shot. Rand also urges women to reach out to their local domestic violence center if they are in an abusive relationship that has the potential of spiraling out of control.
Federal health officials say Louisianans will find more choices and perhaps cheaper health insurance, if they look into the federal health- care marketplace that opens October 1st. Marjorie Petty is Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She says
average premiums in Louisiana are pretty low. Petty says there are subsidies and possible tax credits to offset premium costs for households at 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level. She says a young person, making less than $30k a year, can get coverage for as little as $74 a month. Petty says you can browse 40 health plans online at "HealthCare.gov".
Two former members of the Monroe City Council will serve prison time and probation for taking bribes. 61-year-old Robert "Red' Stevens and 55-year-old Arthur Gilmore Jr. were found guilty last May of taking cash bribes from undercover FBI agents during a racketeering sting in 2008 and 2009. Gilmore received a 24 months sentence; Stevens 20 months.
The LSU Board of Supervisors has been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in penalties to the two newspapers that sued them over not turning over the presidential search records. The decision announced yesterday by Judge Janice Clark is estimated to cost LSU nearly $80,000. That's
on top of the $63,000 contempt of court fine.
The governor was on hand yesterday for the ground breaking of the new $55 million dollar IBM Technology Center in downtown Baton Rouge. The facility is expected to be open in mid-2015 and would create 800 new direct jobs.
the Thibodaux Police Department is investigating a double homicide that was discovered late Wednesday. Spokesman David Melancon says the bodies of 19-year-old Tre Scott and 26-year-old Jordy Williams, both of Thibodaux, were discovered inside a vehicle. He says it appeared the two had been gunned down in the car...
A steel-making plant under construction in St. James Parish is delaying its opening, after a storage dome at the site collapsed yesterday. No one was hurt in the accident, and no hazardous materials were released. Nucor Steel says the plant was set to start
up in a few weeks. Now, they say it will more than likely be around the end of the year. Nucor says they must investigate the failure and assess damage.
The next crime fighting tool to hit Louisiana involves police officers wearing cameras on their uniforms. New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says their police cars already have
cameras, but the body cameras will just be something else they have to help catch the bad guys.New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates in the country.
Bossier City Police say two women are under arrest for allegedly stealing pregnancy tests from Wal-Mart. They say 20-year-old Madison Turpin and 30-year-old Josephine Momoh of Dallas were each arrested for theft of goods. Apparently they each took the tests in the bathroom at the store then put them in the trash. The results are not known.
An offensive shootout is expected on Saturday when sixth ranked LSU visits ninth ranked Georgia. Both of these teams are averaging 40 points or more a game. Tigers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron says they will take what the Georgia defense gives them on Saturday. `
News For Wednesday 092513
By Dave Graichen
State police say a woman from Many was killed in Sabine Parish Tuesday morning around 4:15am. They say Tammy Sanders lost control and exited the roadway causing her vehicle to collide with a culvert and overturn. Sanders was not wearing her seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's office is looking for an escaped trustee who walked off a work detail. 38-year-old Clynt Williams of Pineville is 6 foot, 2 inches and has multiple tattoos. Anyone with
information is urged to contact authorities.
It's a sad day for the Tiger Nation at the news of legendary LSU football coach Paul Dietzel's passing early Tuesday morning. The man who coached the Bayou Bengals to its first national championship in 1958 is gone at the age of 89.
The Monroe Regional Airport was temporarily shut down yesterday after a threatening note was found on an American Eagle flight. FBI spokesperson Mary Beth Romig says a bomb note was found in the lavatory of the commuter plane that left Dallas and landed in Monroe. She says no suspects have been identified.
According to PayScale.com, Louisiana Tech is the top college in the state in starting salaries for graduates. The report indicates Louisiana Tech grads with a bachelor's degree and with two years’ work experience earn an average of $49,400 per year. LSU was the second in the state with a post graduate average salary of $47,300 and Tulane was third with $43,100. Louisiana Tech also ranks number one in the state for overall return on investment that graduates get as a result of their education.
A 4-year-old boy was allegedly left on a school bus all day, Monday. Church Point Elementary in Acadia Parish has pulled the bus driver from the route, pending an investigation. The child appears to be in good health, he told his mother he cried when he couldn't get off the bus and then fell asleep.
Governor Bobby Jindal and Shell announced Tuesday that Ascension Parish has been selected as the location for a potential gas to liquids facility. The company would spend $12.5 billion and create 740 direct jobs with an expected average annual salary of $100,000 plus benefits.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is pleased with the decline in the number of Citizen policyholders. He says there are 105,000 property owners who have coverage through the state-run insurer of last resort which is the lowest since Hurricane Katrina. He says 18 new private insurance companies have come to Louisiana since Katrina which has helped.
41 year old Denise McCoy Manger and her 19 and 23-year-old daughters, Tori and Tawny, have turned themselves into authorities accused of stealing from the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society Animal Shelter. Denise the director of the shelter is alleged to have gotten prescriptions made for her family's use and with her daughters stole roughly $22,000.
Officials in Livingston Parish say a 15-year-old boy is under arrest on one count of terrorizing for having a pellet gun, knife and hatchet with him as he rode his bike near Live Oak Middle and
Elementary schools. Both schools were placed on lockdown. The teen was booked into the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center.
As we say goodbye to the summer driving season, we say goodbye to high gas prices. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular stands at $3.27 down 13 cents from a month ago.
Police in Lake Charles arrest two people for kidnapping and human trafficking and help return the victim to her family. Deputy Police Chief Mark Kraus says the 19-year-old woman traveled from Huntsville, Alabama to Beaumont, Texas with the suspects willingly. Once there, she was told she was a prisoner. She was given a trac phone and forced to comply with putting up websites offering her for prostitution in Beaumont and Lake Charles. Kraus says the girl snuck a call to her mother, who alerted Lake Charles Police triggering an investigation.
News for Tuesday 092413
By Dave Graichen
Police say several fights broke out at Opelousas High school yesterday leaving two students injured and 18 in custody. They believe the jabbing began on social media between two rival gangs who apparently began throwing clothes over students walking in the halls and beating them.
Alexandria officials are warning residents to beware of a scheme in which people claiming to represent the city's utility department call and demand payment for their bills or face disconnection. Some customers have reported getting the calls. The city reminds all customers that it will not call customers asking them to make a credit card payment or wire money for bill payment.
More good news at the pump. The price at the pump fell a couple of pennies over the weekend. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $3.28. that's down 12 cents from a month ago.
The new health care marketplace, or exchange, that's part of Obamacare launches October 1st, and Insurance Commissioner Jin Donelon says there is "no way at all" that people have been given enough information on how it works to navigate the system. Donelon says the new health law is "mind-boggling" in its complexity.
A state lawmaker urges Governor Jindal to stop the state from using a set of national education & testing standards called Common Core. Jefferson Parish Rep. Cameron Henry says Common Core is a "tool of federal coercion" and it was never approved by the Legislature. He says parents in his district have a lot of questions about it. Opponents of Common Core plan a rally at the state Department of Education in Baton Rouge this Saturday. They claim the standard is riddled with flaws. However, Superintendent of Education John White says the new rules will help make
students more competitive with their peers nationwide.
Prison officials say two inmates tried to unsuccessfully escape from Angola Sunday. Warden Burl Cain says 49-year-old Melvin Johnson is a convicted rapist from Orleans Parish and 24-year-old Aaron Francois is a murderer from Lafayette Parish. He says the two scaled the perimeter fence of the facility and only got about a half a mile away before they were caught.
A 16 year old boy is under arrest for allegedly raping a 5 year old girl in Washington. Police in the St. Landry Parish town received a complaint from the girl’s mother who named the suspect who admitted to having sex with the child. The teen is booked with aggravated rape.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's office is investigating a double homicide that occurred over the weekend in the Larose area. Spokesman Brennan Matherne says upon arrival they discovered the bodies of 41-year-old Nikki Landry and 54-year-old Harry Lefort each of Cutoff. He says they had both been shot to death and were suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Matherne says they are unsure of motive at this time.
A new report from the federal government says marijuana use has tripled in the last ten years for those who are 55-to-64 years old. Doctor Cathi Fontenot, associate professor of clinical medicine at
the LSU Health Sciences Center, reviewed the study from the U-S Department of Health and says this age group is likely not trying the drug for the first time. Fontenot advises against using marijuana because it slows response time and could cause health issues when paired with tobacco products.
LSU running back Jeremy Hill has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Hill rushed for a career-high 184 yards and three touchdowns in leading LSU past Auburn 35-21 Saturday night.
State Police say a Union Parish woman was booked Sunday night with her eighth DUI. They say 52-year-old Susan Sullivan of Bernice was also charged with possession of controlled and dangerous
substances, careless operation, no seat belt and no driver's license. The suspect has a long criminal past with theft and battery incidents on her record in addition to the 7 previous driving while
BP has renewed its request for a federal judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast residents and businesses following a scathing report on alleged misconduct within the court-supervised program. In a court filing Monday, BP attorneys said the report issued earlier this month by former FBI Director Louis Freeh shows the settlement program is plagued by problems that need to be fixed. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier already has rejected two previous requests by BP to suspend settlement payments, but both rulings preceded Freeh’s Sept. 6 report.
If you've been watching A&E at all over the past couple of days, you may have gotten a quick preview of The Governor's Wife – the reality show starring Edwin Edwards, his young wife Trina and their families. Filming wrapped up earlier this month and the show is set to premiere on October 27th at 10pm.
Drinking beer is a favorite pastime in Louisiana and now it's a tourist attraction. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says his office has created the Louisiana Craft Brewery Trail. Dardenne says you can go to Louisiana- Brew-Trail-dot-com and get information on breweries in this state that offer tours to see how they make their beer. Louisiana-Brew-Trail-dot-com has information on each brewery that's on
the trail and it gives suggestions on where you can eat after you take a tour. Dardenne says the trail currently has seven breweries and all of them are easy to get to from Interstates 10 and 12...
News for Monday 092313
By Dave Graichen
Today marks the first full day of Fall, and the weatherman says we should be returning to normal Autumn temperatures and rainfall amounts. State Climatologist Barry Kein says that's only a long-term forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, but still welcome news. If the CPC is correct, we should see more frequent periods of rain, and high temperatures ranging into the 70's or 80's through the Fall months.
A tax amnesty period begins today for delinquent Louisiana taxpayers. Now through November 22nd any Louisiana taxpayer who owes the state money can come forward and pay their overdue taxes without facing a penalty. Louisiana Department of Revenue spokesperson Doug Baker says they hope this tax amnesty program generates 200-million dollars to help balance the state budget. He says the department of revenue estimates there are 443-thousand Louisiana residents and businesses who are overdue on their taxes.
The state Department of Health & Hospitals confirms five new human cases of West Nile in Louisiana. Of those, three have the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease, which can lead to death. This year's total cases number 39. Last year 160 got the virus from mosquito bites.
Louisiana has hit an all-time high for the number of people who are working in the state. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission 1.9 million people were employed in August exceeding the previous high set right before Hurricane Katrina. LWC Executive Director Curt Eyesink says also in August, Louisiana set a record for private sector jobs at 1.6 million. The sectors which added the most jobs over the year were trade, transportation & utilities, leisure & hospitality and
construction. Government employment which includes federal, state and local is down 5100 jobs over the year.
New data from the US Census Bureau shows Louisiana's poverty rate has remained the same since 2000. Twenty-percent of Louisiana residents live in poverty and that was the percentage in 2000. Demographer Greg Rigamer says despite the state's efforts to bring more jobs to Louisiana, a
segment of our population has trouble making a living wage. The latest batch of Census numbers also show Louisiana's median household income rose four-percent from 2000 to 2012, while other states in the south, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee had large declines. But Louisiana's median household income of nearly 43-thousand dollars in 2012, is still significantly behind most of the US.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is spreading the word about child abuse to schools across the state. Spokesman Trey Williams says they are going to schools to train leaders how to report suspected abuse and what to look for. Williams says if a teacher or administrator suspects a child may be in danger, DCFS will come in and investigate to make that determination then take the appropriate action.
Governor Jindal has begun running new ads across the state that slam the federal Justice Department for challenging his private school vouchers program. In the ads, Jindal says the U.S. Government is out of control. The Governor paid for the ads with excess campaign money. In the spot, he says the "know-it-alls in Washington think they know better than Louisiana parents." The Justice Department argues that vouchers can impede federal desegregation efforts.
LSU is 4-and-0 as they prepare for its top ten match-up with Georgia this Saturday.
The Saints are 3-and-0 after a convincing 31-7 win over Arizona on Sunday. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
With most of the top teams merely tuning up, there is little movement in The Associated Press college football poll this week. Alabama remains No. 1 and the first 14 teams in the rankings held their positions from last week. LSU remained at No. 6 in the poll.
News for Friday 092013
By Dave Graichen
Much needed rain is expected to fall across the state today and tomorrow as the result of an approaching cold front State Climatologist Barry Keim says this weather system has the potential of producing 2-to-3 inches of rain. Keim says this will be the first of several cold fronts that will move
across the state over the next few weeks. Sunday is the first day of fall and Keim says it may actually feel like it, once this front passes.
This Saturday's LSU-Auburn game in Tiger Stadium is sold-out. It's the first sell-out of the season. In fact last Saturday's home game against Kent State drew less than 90-thousand fans for the first time since 2005. Coach Les Miles said earlier this week that he's looking forward to turning on the electricity in Tiger Stadium this Saturday.
Latest numbers from the US Census Bureau say Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate for 2012 at 20-percent. Only Mississippi and New Mexico were higher. But Louisiana is one of the few states that had an increase in median household income, when comparing 2012 to 200. Louisiana's median income rose four percent during that time.
State Police say a Bunkie man is behind bars after being busted robbing a residence in St. Landry Parish then getting into a wreck with his five year old child in the car. They say 32-year-old Jace
Deshotel traveled off the road and into a ditch when fleeing the scene. The child sustained minor injuries. Desohtel is booked with felony theft and child endangerment.
Another poll shows Governor Jindal is a long shot to receive the republican presidential nomination in 2016. Public Policy Polling conducted a survey in New Hampshire, the fisrt state to take hold of
a national primary election, and only 3-percent of the respondents picked Jindal out of a field of potential GOP candidates.
A federal judge in New Orleans accepts a plea agreement that will result in a 200-thousand dollar fine against Haliburton for destroying key evidence following the B-P spill. Halliburton was
B-P's cement contractor for the rig that exploded in April of 2010.
The 11th annual Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival, a free event open to the public and held on the riverbank in the historic downtown, kicks off today. Natchitoches tourism spokeswoman Farrah Reyna (Rain-ah) says this is a festival centered around food, music, fun and of course the
almighty meat pie.
The father of one of the victims in the triple murder of a New Orleans police dispatcher and her two adult children has been arrested. 41-year-old Shawn Peterson who had a record of domestic
violence has been charged with three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Christine George and her daughter Trisa and son Leonard.
The state fire marshal’s office reports, the 19-year-old man arrested yesterday in a rash of suspicious fires in several neighborhoods along La. 10 admitted to setting six fires and as many as a dozen more in the New Roads area. Nicholas Powell was booked on four counts of simple arson and one count of aggravated arson. Authorities plan to charge Powell today with seven additional counts of simple arson for fires dating as far back as 2010 in the New Roads area.
Opelousas Police say one of two horses that were racing each other down a main thoroughfare slammed into a minivan. Police spokesperson, Sergeant Jody White, says the accident happened during the middle of day on Wednesday afternoon. nWhite says the two young adult horse riders fled the scene on their horses, even though one of the horses was severely injured. He says these two face several charges and anyone with information is urged to contact law enforcement.
LSU says its enrolled one of its biggest freshman classes in history. School officials say 5,501 first-year students were admitted this year which is the third largest ever.
Louisiana Tech says first-time freshman enrollment for the fall quarter is up nearly 20-percent over last year. Louisiana Tech is also attracting an academically stronger student as the average incoming freshman ACT score is 24.7.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham is excited to report the famous Louisiana black bear could soon be removed from the threatened species list. He says they know the numbers are increasing and LDWF is hoping to have the black bear de-listed with federal wildlife officials by April 2014. In 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt made the black bear famous by saving
a cub during a presidential hunting trip which is how the teddy bear got its name. Barham says LDWF has been working hard to build the black bear population in Louisiana and they believe their efforts have been paying off.
News For Thursday 091913
By Dave Graichen
The State Fire Marshall's office has issued a burn ban for many areas in north west and western Louisiana. Extremely dry conditions continue in those areas and the burn ban is expected to be in place at least another 30 days. The ban extends all the way through central Louisiana, including Grant, Rapides and Avoyelles parishes.
Pointe Coupee Parish is not under a burn ban but for some reason, 7 houses have caught on fire in New Roads over the past 48 hours. Most of the fires were in vacant homes. Some were lived in but occupants were able to escape. Fire officials are unsure the cause of the fires and are trying to get to the bottom of it.
Teen birth rates are on the decline in Louisiana. According to preliminary state data, Louisiana had 64-hundred teen births in 2012, a rate of 43 per one-thousand families. That's about a
20-percent decline from 2006. Michelle Aletto, with the state bureau of Family Health says there are two possible reasons for the decline, prevention and education programs seem to be working as young females are waiting longer to engage in sexual activity. There's also an increase in the availability of contraceptives.
Governor Jindal was in Washington D-C yesterday to speak against the Justice Department's lawsuit that attempts to prevent the state from giving out school vouchers in parishes that have desegregation orders. Jindal claims the Obama administration is more interested in helping teacher union than students who attend failing schools.
It appears there was one big Powerball winner last night. The winning ticket bought at a Murphy USA gas station on Augusta Road in Lexington, South Carolina. The final prize $399 million dollars. Or a cash payout of $223 million.
Ouachita Parish Officials say a school resource officer has been booked with indecent behavior with a juvenile. Sheriff Jay Russell says Michael Sidden was fired yesterday and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center on the indecent behavior charge, malfeasance and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
State Police and local lawmen and cellular service providers have a message for motorists about texting or using social media while driving: It Can Wait. Today is designated "Drive 4 Pledges Day"; and State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson says they're asking us all to pledge to never read or send text while behind the wheel. Edmonson says the It Can Wait campaign is intended to convince drivers
to put their phone down, and only use it for voice conversations while driving.
Efforts to rid the St. Bernard Parish water system of a deadly amoeba linked to the death of a 4-year-old boy continue. The amoeba was found in four locations in the parish's water system. The state's safe drinking water administrator Jake Causey says they are running chlorine through the system and that should last for another 3 weeks. How this rare and fatal amoeba got into the St. Bernard Parish water system is still a mystery. But Causey says they are examining the possibility that Hurricane Katrina had something to do with it. Causey says because of a huge loss in population water became stagnant in the pipes.
Kenneth Polite Junior is the new US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The U-S Senate unanimously approved the appointment. The eastern district has not had a full-time leader since Jim Letten resigned last October.
Yet another Shreveport firefighter has been arrested. 34-year-old Traotis Robinson is accused of entering his estranged wife's home without permission, and attacking her. He's charged with domestic abuse battery. He's been booked into the Shreveport jail, and placed on administrative leave by the Fire Department. He is the 7th firefighter to be arrested in two months. 5 others were booked after an investigation was launched into allegations they abused two disabled men.
Nucor Steel says it's massive plant in Convent, in St. James Parish, should go into production within the next 5 weeks. This is the first part of a multi-phase complex. The $750-million project is in its
final testing and expects to produce millions of tons of steel yearly.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says the case of the 3 year old who hung himself to death in a partially opened car window is closed. They say family, friends and neighbors all say the child was
known for climbing in and out of cars and an investigation determined the boy tried to get into this car when he slipped, fell and couldn't free himself.
A New Orleans cop has been suspended after a video circulated online showing him doing nothing while two women next to him engage in a vicious fight. On the video he can be seen allowing the fight to go on without intervening. Officer Cortez Hankton is suspended now without pay, pending review.
If you like soda in a bottle and enjoy Louisiana flavors you'll be happy to hear a new soft drink called, "Swamp Pop" is now available. Co-creator John Peterson says he and his best friend Collin Cormier
wanted to make a drink that would bring them back to their days growing up in south Louisiana. Peterson says their four soft drinks are made only with Louisiana grown cane sugar. He says they've launched with four sodas to start, Noble Cane Cola, Satsuma fizz, Praline Cream Soda and Jean Lafitte Ginger Ale. hint of cucumber. You can find a list of stores that sell the Louisiana soda on their website: http://drinkswamppop.com.
News For Wednesday 091813
By Dave Graichen
Today is the last day to register to vote if you want to vote in the October 19th election. Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who oversees elections, says October 19th will see elections in 49 parishes; many of them voting for a new U.S. Representative for the sprawling District 5. Schedler says it's an important election, and if you want to sure you can cast a vote in it, register before the end of the day.
A phoned-in bomb threat led to the evacuation of the Kmart store in Pineville Tuesday afternoon.
Pineville Police officers searched the store but found nothing suspicious. A male caller phone in the threat to the store manager about 1:30 in the afternoon.
A new report that measured economic growth in U.S. cities for 2012 found that New Orleans was one of the country’s 10 biggest gainers, Baton Rouge increased more than the national average and Lafayette had one of the biggest drops in the country. The report, released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis measured the gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced in a metropolitan area, during 2012. Four of the eight Louisiana metros in the survey saw their GDP go up in 2012, while the rest reported decreases. The Alexandria metro had a small 0.5 percent drop in GDP
Long-time Union Parish Sheriff Bob Buckley lost his battle with cancer Tuesday at the age of 65. Buckley was diagnosed with rectal cancer earlier this year. Police jury president AJ Smith says it's a
sad day in Union Parish, as Buckley served as sheriff for 24 years.
A state judge has ordered a third competency hearing for the Thibodaux man accused of killing his disabled son in 2011. Judge John LeBlanc was set to make the ruling yesterday but instead scheduled more hearings in November to determine whether or not Jeremiah Wright is fit to stand trial.
The Powerball jackpot for tonight's drawing has once again reached a massive amount. Louisiana Lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Chopin says the estimated prize is up to $400 million with a cash value of $223.6 million. The deadline to purchase a ticket is tonight at 9.
Five former New Orleans cops, who were convicted of unjustified killings on a city bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will get a new trial. A federal judge has ruled that the "truly
bizarre" actions of the prosecutors in the original trial warrant tossing out the officers' convictions. The officers shot and killed two unarmed men and wounded four others on September 4th of 2005,
while the city was in chaos after the hurricane and flood.
A new study from Pew Charitable Trusts shows Louisiana among states that have seen a drop in juvenile incarcerations of 50-percent or more. Office of Juvenile Justice Secretary Dr. Mary Livers (LIE-vers) says it's an indicator that our state is in the forefront of juvenile justice reform. The Pew report says juvenile incarcerations in Louisiana went down by 68-percent from 1997 to 2011. Our state was among the top ten for reducing the number of juveniles in correctional centers.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office says a 35-year-old Bayou Vista man was arrested early this morning after allegedly riding on the top of a woman's car to try to stop her from leaving him. They say Abel Ortiz jumped on the hood as the woman was driving away with her one year old and he actually busted the windshield with a knife.
State Police say a casino cheat, who avoided arrest last month after being caught scamming a Baton Rouge casino, has been busted for doing the same thing at a casino in Connecticut. LSP Sgt. Nick Manale says 54-year-old Bruce Koloshi used infrared ink - that could only be seen with special contact lenses - to mark cards.
The Mayor of DeQuincy says the article that has been circling the internet claiming he's made "twerking" in the town illegal is foolishness that is not true. The satirical article claims the dance
craze had become such a problem in the town, first offenders would face a mandatory 30 days in jail. DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan says they have no intention of banning any dance move in the town.
A Pointe Coupee Parish man caught a 760 pound alligator that was 13- feet-four inches long in West Baton Rouge Parish. Earlier this month, two alligators over 700-pounds were caught in Mississippi. Alligator season started about three weeks ago. A 60-year-old gator that was nearly 13-feet long was also harvested in Red River Parish last week.
News for Tuesday 091713
By Dave Graichen
Gas prices continue their steady decline. The American Automobile Association says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $3.33 which is down seven cents from this time last week.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's office says two men in Carencro are dead in what may be a murder-suicide. Captain Kip Judice says 61-year-old Harold Pope was shot and killed during a fight with his son, 38-year-old Jeremy Pope who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He says they are not looking for a suspect in this case that remains under investigation..
Lake Charles Police say a DeQuincy man is brain-dead, after taking a beating while trying to stop a fight between several people at the bar where he worked. Deputy Police Chief Mark Kraus says 30-year-old Chad Babineaux was punched numerous times while trying the break up the fight. He was found lying unresponsive on the floor of the On The Rocks bar. One suspect, 19-year-old Austin Soileau has been arrested for 2nd degree battery and more charges are expected.
A report by the state Legislative Auditor says the Department of Natural Resources has done an inconsistent job of collecting the millions in oil & gas royalties owed Louisiana by energy companies.
The audit alleges a "lax" system of review that's allowed lots of money to go unpaid. A representative of DNR says the audit ended in late 2012, and steps have already been taken to assure oil & gas companies are paying what they should.
Monday Governor Bobby Jindal broke ground on the first phase of the $975 million Centeler Steel manufacturing project in Shreveport. Last year the European company announced this two-phase project will be built on 330 acres at The Port of Caddo-Bossier and create 675 new direct jobs. The project will create more than 1,000 construction jobs with the first phase expected to be completed in 2 years followed by the opening of a steel production mill within the next four years.
Louisiana residents seeking a health insurance policy for when Obamacare goes into effect on January first can begin shopping for their coverage two weeks from today. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana C-E-O Mike Reitz (Rightz) says health insurance exchanges will open for enrollment on October first. Reitz says Medicare and Medicaid patients are not impacted and many
people who pay for health coverage through their employer will continue to receive their insurance. But he says people who are on a group plan through work are encouraged to see if they can a find a more cost effective alternative through the insurance marketplace
The LSU Board has temporarily reached an agreement with 2 newspapers who are demanding the presidential search records be turned over. Apparently the documents will be given to the judge to comply with her order, however they will stay under seal while LSU appeals the ruling that the information is public record. It could be months before the contents are made public, depending on how higher courts rule.
Law enforcement agencies were investigating bomb threats late Monday afternoon made to several CVS and Walgreen drug stores in Acadiana. No devices were found and the incidents remain under investigation.
A former Louisiana congressman is fighting proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that could be disastrous for the elderly and disabled. Billy Tauzin is now senior counsel for the Partnership for Quality Home Health Care. He says federal authorities plan a 14% cut to the Medicare home health benefit, over a three year span. He says he'll lobby hard to convince Congress to reject the proposed cut.
The 6-year-old boy from west Shreveport, who was reported missing last week has been found in East Texas with his father. 45-year-old Mathew Monie has been charged on an outstanding warrant for interference with the custody of a child. He will soon be extradited
back to Shreveport.
An LSU fraternity has apologized for an offensive banner they hung from their house Saturday that read "Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State" -- referencing the 1970 shootings on the
Kent State campus. A picture of the banner spread in outrage over social media and LSU police asked the fraternity to remove it.
Police in New Orleans say a 5-year-old child was shot when his drunk father began firing at his wife in another room, and the bullets went through the wall. They say the little boy was struck in the leg
and side and is in stable condition at a hospital. The father faces a charge of attempted murder.
School officials in St. Bernard Parish say they've decided to shut off water at all of their schools due to the brain-eating amoeba that was found in its water supply recently. They say they want to be extra careful. Health officials say the risk is mostly with children getting water up their noses.
A fender bender in Caddo Parish led to two DWI arrests; one of them an off-duty Caddo deputy. Lt. Don Gibbs was hit while making a left turn by someone passing him in a no-passing zone. When fellow deputies arrived, they determined both drivers were impaired. Gibbs was charged with 1st ofense DWI. For the other driver, 2nd offense DWI and driving under suspension.
Authorities in Baton Rouge says five local woman, all tax preparers, are charged with tax fraud totaling over $1-million. One allegedly submitted W2's from businesses that didn't exist to get
people refunds they didn't deserve. The others are charged with filing false returns using stolen personal information.
News for Monday 091613
By Dave Graichen
State health officials confirm the presence of a rare brain-eating amoeba in the St. Bernard Parish water supply. Four water sites have tested positive. Earlier this month, a 4-year-old boy visiting a St.
Bernard home died from encephalitis caused by the amoeba. Parish water systems are being flushed with chlorine to kill it.
DHH announced Friday three new cases of West Nile have been confirmed bringing this year's total number of cases to 34. Two of the newest reports of the illness are out of Livingston, Rapides and St. Martin Parishes.
The Thibodaux man, accused of dismembering his disabled son in 2011, is scheduled before a judge for a status hearing today. Jeremiah Wright has been in a mental institution for several months. Today, Judge John LeBlanc will look at whether Wright is mentally competent to stand trial yet.
Senate Democrats, tired of David Vitter delaying an energy bill, threaten to reopen debate over his past indiscretions. Vitter wants a vote on his bill to require Congress to use Obamacare. Politico reports democrats threaten an amendment that would dredge up Vitter's 1990's prostitution scandal. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says Democrats are thinking about creating a
rule that would yank government benefits from anyone ever involved in a prostitution scandal. In a statement, Vitter said Harry Reid is acting like a "Vegas mafia thug" just to protect the Obamacare exemption and is calling for an ethics investigation.
Lottery officials have announced on the Powerball website that no ticket has matched all Saturday’s numbers drawn for that game’s giant jackpot, which now swells to an estimated $400 million or a $223.6 million cash-option value. The next drawing is Wednesday..
Sunday a new law took effect that requires government appointees who make over $100,000 a year to have a Louisiana's driver's license and vehicle registration here. It's legislation put
together by Representative John Bel Edwards after he says he found out some of Governor Bobby Jindal's administration kept their out-of state licenses and registrations.
A state lawmaker from Shreveport says he is seriously considering entering the 2014 race for U.S. Senate. Republican Representative Alan Seabaugh (SEE-baw) says the country is headed in a bad direction, and he feels a true conservative is needed in the race. If he decides to enter the race, Seabaugh would join already-declared Congressman Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness (May-ness) of Madisonville, as GOP challengers against incumbent democrat Mary Landrieu. Seabaugh says he's been encouraged to get in the race.
Lawmen in Bossier Parish warn the public of a phone-based scam intended to trick you into surrendering control of your computer. Bossier Sheriff's spokesman Bill Davis says the calls appear to be coming in from outside the country. Davis says they convince unsuspecting victims to download a program that allows remote computer access, so they can "fix the problem". Davis says never grant an outside caller access to your computer. He asks anyone who thinks they've been victim of this scam to call law enforcement right away.
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance, the last-resort insurance company run by the state, says it will lower premium rates for commercial customers in coastal areas by an average of about 23%.
Most of the businesses to benefit are in the New Orleans area.
For the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, enrollment at Southern University in Baton Rouge is up. 6,667 students are enrolled this year, compared to 6,611 last year; an increase of 56.
Chancellor James Llorens says that's a slight figure for total enrollment, but represents a big increase in first time students. Llorens says the goal now is to increase the university's rate of
Two former dance school owners in Bossier City, arrested two weeks ago for molestation of a juvenile years ago, now face more charges. During a search of Gregg and Missy Hornbeak's home, investigators reportedly found nude pictures of their victim--taken when she was under 17. They're now also charged with child pornography.
Most of Louisiana is hoping against hope for some measurable rain, to relieve serious drought conditions. Sixteen parishes in northern Louisiana are under burn bans, to avoid risk of wildfires. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the northwest has it worst. He says rainfall there has been negligible.
A Shreveport woman was arrested for swimming naked in the fountain at Bossier City's Horseshoe Casino. Police offered 29-year-old Courtney Cox the chance to get dressed and have a sober friend drive her home, but she reportedly grew belligerent and disorderly, so she was taken in and charged with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness. and before you ask, this Courtney Cox was not the actress.
LSU's offense rolled up 571 yards of total offense in the Tigers 45-13 win over Kent State
Drew Brees was sacked four times, knocked around a bunch more and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Still, the New Orleans quarterback found a way to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers again. Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints a weather-delayed 16-14 victory and their fourth consecutive win over their NFC South rivals on Sunday.
News for Friday 091313
By Dave Graichen
A tropical depression has - as expected - formed in the Bay of Campeche, in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The system is expected to become Tropical Storm Ingrid within the next couple days. At this time, computer models predict the storm affecting Mexico's mainland, and posing no threat to Louisiana.
Three fishermen were rescued by Grant Parish sheriff’s deputies from the Red River on Wednesday after their boat took on water, authorities reported. The rescue, in the Red River near Colfax, came after a boat with the fishermen hit a stump below the water’s surface, puncturing a large hole in the boat.
Gasoline prices are slowly falling. According to the American Automobile Association, the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.38, which is a nickel cheaper than a week ago. Triple A fuel analyst Don Redman says lower prices at the pump coincides with a decline in crude oil prices. Redman also points out we're paying about 30-cents less for gas than this time last year.
Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is angry that funding for a long-sought-after levee project to protect Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes is neglected in the House's version of a water
infrastructure bill. The Senator says it makes no sense to leave this project out. Landrieu says the $10-billion Morganza-to-the-Gulf project needs to be funded and gotten underway as soon as possible. The project would protect nearly 100 miles of Louisiana's coast from rising sea levels and hurricane storm surge.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says it's already time to start thinking about getting your flu shot. State Immunization Director Dr. Frank Welch says, the only thing you can
predict with the flu is that it is unpredictable. He says while peak influenza season typically hits in January in Louisiana, cases are already starting to pop up. Welch says there's good news about flu shots this year: the vaccination is here now and there's plenty of it.
BASF announced Thursday it will spend $42.6 million to build a polyurethanes blending facility at its Geismar plant, a move that will create 22 new direct jobs. The new jobs will have an average annual salary of more than $72,300 a year, plus benefits. The work also will create 145 indirect jobs and an estimated 175 construction jobs, according to the Louisiana economic development department. This is the fourth recent expansion at the BASF plant, which has more than 2,000 direct and contract employees.
Authorities say a frightening situation in which a house collapsed in New Orleans has left five people injured. They say it happened shortly before noon yesterday. The good news is, no one was seriously injured. The reason the collapse has yet to been determined.
A message to young people in Crowley: pull your pants up. The city's saggy pants ordinance goes into effect today, after the parish council adopted it in August. Being busted with your pants around your butt could cost you $200 in fines or even get you 60 days in jail. The ordinance says undergarments must never be visible...so, if the pants are saggy, but the shirt is tucked in...is that OK?
Police say a man from Texas is in the Jeff Parish jail accused of raping a woman from Jennings. They say 26-year-old Joseph Ray Oliver followed a woman home and assaulted her in the bathroom. Apparently Oliver is a convicted sex offender from Harris County Texas.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office says an 8th grader was arrested after an unloaded gun was found in his book-sack at Beechwood Academy. They say the 15-year-old is booked
with illegal carry of a weapon on school property.
Bossier City Police arrest a Texas woman for selling bogus bars of silver to a local business. Police say 23-year-old Monique Reyna, of Corpus Christi, made about $6500 off 500 bars - which the buyer found to be fake. She's scheduled to be extradited from the Corpus Christi area back to Bossier, where she'll be held, pending $100-thousand bond.
News for Thursday 091213
By Dave Graichen
A Sabine Parish grand jury has indicted former Natchitoches cop Robert Barthelemy with home invasion, kidnapping and first degree murder charges for the death of Tony Procell last month. He allegedly killed Procell with a baseball bat. If convicted he could face a death sentence.
U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of “America’s Best Colleges,” and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and Louisiana College in Pineville both made the cut. Louisiana College was ranked in a tie for No. 60 among regional colleges in the South while Northwestern State was ranked in a tie at No. 92 among regional universities in the South. Both colleges rank in Tier 1 schools in their respective categories.
Shreveport police are looking into a murder that occurred Wednesday morning. It appears an adult male was driving an SUV when he was fatally shot and then the victim's vehicle ran into a utility pole. No arrests have been made in this case.
The Department of Revenue is ramping up its 60-day-long Tax Amnesty program. The "Fresh Start Tax Amnesty" runs September 23rd through November 22nd. During that time, delinquent taxpayers can settle their debt to the state - avoiding all penalties and paying only half the interest.
A new legislative financial report shows Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of the LSU-run public hospital network is bringing in a lot less in lease payments for the facilities than anticipated.
The budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 was built on estimates provided to lawmakers by the Jindal administration that anticipated the new hospital managers would lease those facilities and their clinics for more than $140 million. But, the Legislative Fiscal Office says that so far, the leases are only expected to generate about $101 million for the 2013-14 year. That would leave the budget with a $39 million gap that lawmakers have to fill before the fiscal year ends June 30.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany wants answers on why funding for new veterans' clinics in Louisiana is being held up. Boustany says the two VA clinics, one in Lafayette - one in Lake Charles, are being held up by bureaucratic red tape and incompetence in the Congressional Budget Office. Boustany says he has written a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, asking him to help break the log-jam, and get the VA clinics underway. Boustany says it's shameful that veterans in Acadiana and southwest Louisiana have to drive more than 3 hours to get VA care for combat-related conditions.
A New Orleans Police Department dispatcher and her two adult children were shot to death late Wednesday inside of their Gentilly home. Police report A call of a person shot in the came in about 11:05 p.m. When officers arrived they found the 39-year-old dispatcher, her 20-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son shot inside of the home’s garage. The investigation is ongoing.
Lafayette Police arrest a man for defacing the city's 9/11 monument, which features two girders from the Twin Towers in New York. They says 35-year-old Salvador Perez - in the overnight hours – placed two cutout airplanes appearing as though they were crashing into the girders. A cutout of former President Bush holding cash and remote control was placed nearby. Mouton says Perez is
charged with criminal damage to a historic building and with criminal trespassing.
Is the city of Monroe about to go 100% smoke-free? The city council will discuss banning smoking in any bars or bingo halls, where it's currently permitted. The proposed ordinance would require smokers go outside and remain over 15 feet from the building. It was introduced last night. They'll debate in two weeks.
Doug Williams is reportedly out as head football coach at Grambling State University. The News Star reports Williams indicated he was handed a piece of paper in his office by president Frank Pogue indicating he was fired.
LSu head coach Les Miles fired back at Sports Illustrated today. The magazine is doing a multipart piece on alleged NCAA violations at Oklahoma State while Miles led the football program there. According to today's S-I piece, former Oklahoma State players allegedly had their grades fixed and school work was done for them. Miles denies these allegations.
Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson has been found guilty on three counts of malfeasance in office after being accused of misusing the town's money. Prosecutor Lee Hall is pleased with the outcome. He says one of the charges against Thompson related to improperly paying non-eligible employees retirement benefits. Hall says one of the counts stems from allegations Thompson also paid
part time employees full time benefits. He says the larger portion of the 17-day long trial dealt with improper accounting to the legislative auditor.
News for Wednesday 091113
By Dave Graichen
He is now a hurricane. Hurricane Humberto continues to move off to the northwest in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, no threat to the US at this time. Humberto became the first hurricane of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season this morning at 5 a.m. But, even with Humberto, the 2013 hurricane season will go down in the record books for its lack of hurricanes through the first-half of the season. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this is only the fourth time since 1941 in which the first hurricane did not form until after September seventh. In modern history, September 11th is the latest we've gone without having a hurricane.
A low pressure system just east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is given a 20% chance of developing into a named storm within the next two days. The system is expected to drift west over the peninsula, then into the Bay of Campeche
This one doesn’t seem to want to go away. Sports Illustrated released part 1 of its investigative report into NCAA violations and other improprieties that allegedly occurred while Les Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State. The article claims players received money from booster and former assistant coaches who worked under Miles. The S-I article quotes several former players who said they received between two and ten-thousand dollars annually from assistant coaches at O-S-U and boosters.
A Baton Rouge judge orders the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office to confiscate the records from LSU's recently completed presidential search. Four months ago, Judge Janice Clark ordered the LSU Board of Supervisors to turn over the list of candidates for the job, but the board has not complied. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says this gives the strong impression LSU is hiding
something. Two newspapers filed suit in an attempt to get access to the presidential search records.
The police chief of the Union Parish town of Spearsville has been arrested; accused of raping a child between 8 and 10 years old. Union Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Dusty Gates says a family member alerted them to allegations against 64-year-old Chief Steve Bodine. He says after a year-long investigation Bodine was arrested. His bond is set at half-a-million dollars.
Officials in Mississippi are investigating a crash involving an Amtrak City of New Orleans train and an 18-wheeler that happened this Tuesday in Holmes County. They say the train was carrying 152
passengers and 11 crew members at the time and no serious injuries were reported. There is no information on the condition of the driver and the crash remains under investigation.
Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield says the new centralized state Office of Debt Recovery should be completely up and running by early 2014. A law passed this past Spring set up the ODR, to collect all debt owed to various state agencies and offices. Barfield says that adds up to quite a lot. He says a little over $2-billion is owed to Louisiana's many agencies.
The Vermillion Parish Sheriff's office says an Erath man is in jail on manslaughter charges after he allegedly shot and killed another man. Officials aren't releasing and more details on Randall Charles
Lowery who was arrested at 2:15 Tuesday morning.
The Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parush got a bit bigger Monday night. Another section of trees and land fell into the muddy water hole, increasing the sinkhole's overall size to nearly 27 acres.Nearby Highway 70 was not affected by the latest slough-in.
A colonel has been named to lead the Nicholls State Colonels. Former Army Lt. Colonel Dr. Bruce Murphy has been named the new university President at Nicholls. Murphy, who is currently VP of Student Affairs at Air University in Alabama, says he fell for Nicholls State from his first visit.
News for Tuesday 091013
By Dave Graichen
Tropical Storm Humberto is strengthening some as it moves west across the Atlantic, south of the Cape Verde Islands and could eventually become a hurricane. The storm’s maximum sustained winds Monday afternoon are near 45 mph (75 kph). But the U.S. National Hurricane Center says Humberto is expected to strengthen and could become a hurricane on Wednesday.
We’ve all heard of repeat offenders. But, a central Louisiana man has taken that to an all new level. Alexandria police officers stopped a man for driving recklessly Sunday, but the man took off leading officers on a chase instead. 29 year old Charles Mullins was eventually arrested and charged with aggravated flight from an officer, possession of marijuana, reckless operation of a vehicle and second-offense DWI. It should be pointed out, the arrest was Mullins’ 53rd booking into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
A national prison operator, The GEO Group, announced yesterday that they has signed a 5 year contract to build a $20 million, 400-bed transfer center for immigration at England Airpark. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office announced that the facility will bring 150 new jobs to the Alexandria area. The center will house detainees as they await deportation to their native countries. According to the firm's website, it will finance, develop and manage the center, which is expected to be finished by the end of 2014.
Sports Illustrated is set to release an investigative piece which claims NCAA violations and other improprieties occurred while Les Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State. The report claims a former assistance coach at the school paid players -- and also that hostesses with the school's Orange Pride Program had sex with recruits. The S-I report says 85-percent of these allegations took place between 2001 and 2007. Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State from 2001 to 2004.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office says a man is booked with negligent homicide after a shotgun he was sleeping with accidentally went off and the bullet went through the wall and hit and killed a
neighbor. They say 23-year-old Pierre Camese reported he was unaware the bullet had hit anyone. 38-year-old Rene O'Quin of Harvey was found Sunday morning in a pool of blood by his fiancé.
Very sad story out of Ascension Parish. The Sheriff's Office says a 3 year old boy is dead after he got his head caught in a partially opened car window Sunday night. They say the child got outside without the knowledge of adults and after being missing just a few minutes was found hanging by the neck from the window.
A hearing is set for today in an East Feliciana parish courtroom regarding the tragic case of an eight-year-old boy who fatally shot his 87-year-old grandmother. Twentieth Judicial District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla (Duh-quil-uh) says the boy, because of his age, has not and will not face criminal charges. During today's court proceeding, they'll discuss with a judge various options on getting the family help. The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's office says their investigation determined the boy and his grandmother, Marie Smothers, loved each other. The family says the boy was playing with the gun, when it went off. It's been reported the child was visibly shaken after the shooting.
Notices of a coming tax amnesty program will start being mailed out this week, to over 400-thousand Louisiana residents who are behind on their tax debt to the state. Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield says the "Fresh Start" tax amnesty for 2013 runs from September 23rd through November
22nd. The program lets delinquent taxpayers clear up their outstanding debts without any penalties, and with only half the interest they'd otherwise owe on the tax debt. Barfield says over a billion dollars in owed the state in unpaid taxes. He says their goal is to collect $200 Million.
The Abbeville Police Department says an 81-year-old man accidentally ran over and killed his wife while he was backing out of the driveway of his residence yesterday. The man stated he'd got out of his car when he hit a fence and that's when he discovered his 80-year-old wife underneath the car. No signs of alcohol or foul play are suspected at this time but the investigation is still
A Port Barre man, whose vehicle ran out of gas, was struck and killed by a passing car, while he was standing on the side of the road. State Police trooper Stephen Hammons 24-year-old Josh Arnaud was talking with passengers when he was hit and killed instantly early Sunday morning on U-S- 190.
A grand jury in Beauregard Parish indicts a man for an arson fire that killed three people. The February 2011 fire in Dry Creek killed a 40-year-old woman and her daughters - ages 10 and 5. 21-year-old Christopher Bounds was indicted for three first degree murder counts, plus armed robbery, aggravated burglary and aggravated arson. Bounds was the victims' next door neighbor.
Bayou Country Superfest made a big announcement today. While the full lineup for next year's Memorial Day shows in Tiger Stadium will be announced at the end of October, BCS organizers say George Strait will be a performer for a newly added Friday night edition of the festival. Straight will perform May 23rd and the festival's last day will be Sunday May 25th.
The man who rammed the prison gates at Angola Sunday afternoon with his two young children in the car is facing numerous charges. West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel says Floyd Tillman was denied a tour of the prison and became irate and slammed the gate several times before breaking through. He says the children ages 8 months and 2 years were never returned to their mother in Terrebonne Parish and Tillman is not being charged with kidnapping.
State Police say a 17-year-old girl from New Iberia was killed in a crash where she ran a stop sign and was hit by a truck. They say Erin LaSallae made a left turn onto a highway without stopping and her car was hit on the driver's side door by a truck driven by 33-year-old Jared St. Martin of Kaplan. No charges were filed in the incident. Lasalle was pronounced dead at the scene.
LSU's Odell Beckham Junior's big night last Saturday has resulted in him receiving SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Beckham returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown in the victory over UAB. It was the first such return in LSU football history.
News for Monday 090913
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana has its first death this year as a result of the West Nile Virus. The state department of health and hospitals says a person from here in Rapides Parish died from the mosquito-borne disease. D-H-H says the state also saw ten new cases of the disease this week, bringing
this year's total to 31.
The state department of health and hospitals is trying to determine how a child died from a rare brain-eating amoeba while visiting a home in St. Bernard Parish. This is the third person to die from this rare infection since 2011. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says they're flushing their water system with chlorine as a precaution. Guidry says the deadly amoeba usually enters the body through the nose. The child had been playing on a slip and slide..
The LSU Tigers moved up to No. 8 in The Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches’ poll Sunday following Saturday night’s 56-17 rout of UAB. The Tigers (2-0), climbed one spot in the AP poll with 1,075 points. Louisville (2-0) is No. 7, while Georgia (1-1) is No. 9. The Tigers return to action at 6 p.m. Saturday at home against Kent State.
Playing in front of a sell-out crowd of 72,348 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints took out their biggest rival and started the 2013 season with a bang on Sunday. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 26 of 35 passes for 357 yards and two touchdown passes to lead the Saints to a 23-17 victory against the Falcons. Brees became the sixth quarterback with 100 multiple-touchdown pass games.
Two years from today candidates will be able to officially sign up for the 2015 governor's race. LSU Political Science Professor Kirby Goidel says the "X" factor in this looming campaign is republican senator David Vitter. Goidel says if Vitter decides to run, he'll be one of the favorites, if not the favorite. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who is also a republican, has made it known he plans to run. State representative John Bel Edwards of Amite is a democrat, who has already launched a campaign.
The police chief in Kentwood is facing criminal charges in connection with missing evidence. Fifty-nine-year-old Gregory Newtown has been indicted by a Tangipahoa Parish Grand Jury on one
felony count of malfeasance in office and one felony count of unauthorized use of a moveable. Each count carries a prison sentence of up to five years. The Louisiana Attorney General accuses Newton of tampering with two-thousand dollars that had been recovered from a burglary.
Fourteen parishes are now under a burn ban because of drought conditions. All of the parishes under a burn ban are in north Louisiana. The Bossier Parish Fire District says woods and grass
fires are becoming more of a problem.
The former chief of staff for Governor Bobby Jindal is the new president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Stephen Waguespack will succeed Dan Juneau. But there are LABI members who are reportedly concerned about Waguespack's close ties with Jindal and whether the lobbying group will keep its independence from the governor's political influence.
State health officials are trying to determine how a child died from a rare brain-eating amoeba, while playing on a slip-and-slide at a home in Saint Bernard Parish. This makes the third person in the
state to die from this infection since 2011. State health officer, Doctor Jimmy Guidry says the biggest thing you can do to minimize the risk is to make sure water doesn't go up your nose.
Fourteen parishes are now under a burn ban, because of a drought that's spreading across the northern part of our state. Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Sabine, Webster, Red River, Natchitoches, Winn Jackson, Union, Caldwell, Richland, Franklin and West Carroll are all under the ban.
News for Friday 090613
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana's annual second amendment sales tax holiday kicks off today and runs through Sunday. Louisiana Department of Revenue spokesman Byron Henderson says this is a three day sales tax holiday that exempts a specified list of hunting supplies from the 4% state sales tax and local taxes. Henderson says most guns apply, ammunition, accessories designated to be used for hunting, hunting apparel and certain off-road vehicles.
A 22 year old Turkey Creek, was ordered held without bond in the Evangeline Parish Jail after a hearing Wednesday in 13th Judicial District Court in Ville Platte. Authorities say Ayla Marie Lynch admitted she beat to death her 15-month-old daughter, Brooklyne Mann in April. Lynch is charged with first-degree murder. The child died April 14 after being severely beaten and given rubbing alcohol to drink.
The Alexandria/Pineville area’s wireless coverage got another boost Wednesday with AT&T’s announcement that it has launched 4G LTE coverage in the market. Mobile devices on a 4G network, short for fourth generation of mobile communications, operate at much faster speeds than 3G, making downloading and streaming in a variety of applications easier. However, The new speed will do nothing to improve coverage areas. That can only be done by adding new cell towers.
According to a survey of Louisiana voters, 53-percent favor making marijuana legal for adults and regulating its sales. Public Policy Polling conducted the poll and it was paid for by the American Civil
Liberties Union. Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman hopes the poll will convince legislators to reform marijuana sentencing laws.
State Treasurer John Kennedy says 19 so-called non-governmental organizations, who received state money from the legislature haven't accounted for that money, so he's referred them to the state's new central debt collection office. Kennedy says the NGO's have failed or refused to file required financial reports. Some of them are directly affiliated with state lawmakers or members of their families.
The congressional fight to delay increasing flood insurance premiums is mired in the federal budget stalemate. Meanwhile, new insurance “rating guidelines” released this week confirmed the fears of dramatic insurance hikes for many southern Louisiana residents. Although flood maps for many areas are still being finalized and much remains unknown, some changes are beginning to be implemented Oct. 1. Worst-case scenarios show insurance hikes of 2,000 percent from about $600 a year to $15,000 for some “grandfathered” properties losing their subsidies.
As LSU fans descend on Tiger Stadium for the home opener this weekend, they'll notice many changes to the 75 year old structure. Athletic Director Joe Alleva says as the sea of purple and gold comes down the hill Saturday, fans will be facing brand new windows at every corner of Death Valley. Alleva says they've also added more plaques and monuments on the west side of the stadium that honor iconic players and teams in LSU football history. He says construction at the south end of Death Valley in coming right along but should all be complete by next football season.
Longtime LSU radio analyst Doug Moreau will take a temporary leave of absence from his role on the radio broadcast of Tiger football games due to health matters. Moreau, who has worked on the broadcast of LSU football games for 35 years, missed last week’s season-opener against TCU and will be absent from the booth for the home-opener on Saturday against UAB. Gordy Rush, who has served as the sideline reporter for the LSU Sports Radio Network for the past two years, will serve as color analyst alongside Jim Hawthorne until Moreau returns.
US Senator David Vitter announced today that he will oppose military action in Syria. He says while horrible, the events in Syria do not pose a direct threat to the United States or our allies. Vitter is a
member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
A giant of Louisiana politics meets a giant of broadcasting, when Edwin W. Edwards and Larry King share a stage this Sunday at LSU. The program is sponsored by the LSU Union Theatre. King, best known for his long- running talk show on CNN and a brilliant radio career, says he's thrilled to get to interview Edwards for the first time ever. Governor Former Governor Edwards says he's ready for Sunday afternoon's event at LSU. He says he equally enthused at the opportunity to chat one-on-one with King.
News for Thursday 090513
By Dave Graichen
A popular website ranks Louisiana as America's most-corrupt state. "BusinessInsider.com" rated states for the number of public corruption convictions per hundred-thousand residents, and found our state topped the list with 9. The majority of corruption cases we see involve government contracts and licenses. North Dakota, South Dakota and Kentucky come right behind Louisiana
on the website's Most Corrupt list.
The Louisiana National Guard won't process requests from same-sex couples seeking benefits, joining Texas in the refusal because of the states' bans on gay marriage. Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the state's adjutant general, issued the directive Wednesday.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's office says they've filed many more charges against a woman accused of committing sex crimes with juveniles. Spokesperson Lt. Tommy Carnline says 31-year-old Dorothy Vanasselberg of Elmer was participating in sex acts on juveniles with another man, 38-year-old Kyle Hauenstein of Phoenix, Arizona. He says during that investigation they discovered more sex crimes had been committed by Vanasselberg with a child she was related to.
Each suspect is being held on more than $2 million dollars bond.
Three Pineville men have been moving daily and sleeping in tents on the trail of a wildfire in California’s Yosemite National Park. Pineville Fire Department Captains and brothers Kenny Kessler and Shane Kessler and Ron Parker, are all medics who have spent about 14 days in California. Two of the men are due back Saturday. They’ve trained for such missions for two years through the U.S. Forest Service.
The Times-Picayune reports An Alexandria man trying to get into the wrong room at a Kenner hotel while drunk was shot in a thigh by the room’s occupant Saturday. 38 year old Lucas Dousay, was returning to his room after drinking a bit much at an LSU party. Only problem was, it wasn’t his room he was trying to get into. After repeatedly trying to force his way inside, police say the man in the room pulled out a pistol, hit Dousay on the head and shot him in the thigh. Dousay was treated for his wound and booked into jail on a charge of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.
The National Hurricane Center is tracking tropical depression #7; currently just south of Puerto Rico. The system is not expected to gain much strength, and forecast models currently do not have it tracking into the U.S. coast.
State Police say a Suphur man who was involved in a single vehicle, walked away from it and was run over and killed by another car as he was walking along I-10. 61-year-old Timothy Johnson was fleeing the scene of an earlier crash he was involved in. according to troopers, Impairment on the part of Johnson is suspected to be a factor. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office.
Another lesson in being careful about what you post on social media. A teenager from Patterson was arrested on drug charges after cops in St. Mary Parish saw a picture of her and some friends smoking pot online. When deputies got to her house they found the drugs and arrested 17-year-old Mikayla Rock and charged her with possession of marijuana.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is among 22 state AG's who've signed onto a lawsuit supporting an NRA petition asking the U.S Supreme Court to lift a decades-old ban on handgun sales to persons under 21. The suit maintains that if a person can serve in the military and perhaps be killed in the line of duty at under 21, that person should be able to purchase a pistol.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff's office says a man who called in to report a robbery at a neighbor's house, was actually the suspect in the crime. They say 24-year-old Heath Bonin of New Iberia sent deputies searching for two burglars he reported seeing robbing the house. An investigation determined that Bonin was the alleged burglar. He was charged with simple burglary and criminal mischief.
The nation's top offensive lineman announced his decision today to play at Alabama, instead of his in-state school LSU. West Monroe offensive tackle Cameron Robinson gave his verbal pledge on national television, as ESPN-U televised his announcement from his high school. Robinson's commitment is non-binding and it doesn't become official until he signs a national letter of intent in February.
The Bossier Parish Sheriff's office says a man and wife that used to own a dance studio in Shreveport each face several charges on allegations they sexually molested a little girl when she was 10 years old. They say the victim, who is now 28, reported 52-year-old Gregg Hornbeak and 50-year-old Melonie Hornbeck of Benton molested her when she was between 10 and 17. They are both in jail on $600,000 bond.
News for Tuesday 090313
By Dave Graichen
The Gillis Long Bridge, also known as the Jackson State Bridge, which connects Alexandria's business district with downtown Pineville, will close for three months starting at 9:00 this morning. State Department of transportation spokesperson Deidra Druilhet says a lot of work will be done on the bridge, including the replacement of the steel grid deck. The Bridge is also used by bicyclists and pedestrians. Druilhet says there will free shuttle service for those individuals who need to get across the river.
A 20-year-old Many man died late Sunday when he was ejected from a pickup involved in a a single-vehicle crash in Sabine Parish, according to Louisiana State Police Troop E. Police said Zachary S. Rhame was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers say 20 year old Christopher Neal of Florien lost control of the truck, causing it to roll and hit two trees. Neal was charged with vehicular homicide, contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, careless operation and no seat belt. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
1-point-9 million people are employed in Louisiana based on the latest job figures from the state's Workforce Commission. Currently, there are 84-hundred more jobs than at this time last year and the number of people employed in Louisiana is expected to grow faster than the national average through 2020. The LWC report shows the private sector has added jobs for the past 35 consecutive months.
The number of West Nile cases has reached 21 in Louisiana. That's according to the Department of Health and Hospitals who says ten of the 21 cases are the more serious form of the disease which can cause brain damage, paralysis or death. State epidemiologist Raoult Ratard urges the public to keep taking the steps to avoid mosquito bites. Last year, Louisiana reported 160 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease. Ratard says its doubtful the state will come close to that number this year.
The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is reaching it's most-active period, yet the tropics have been mostly quiet. State Climatologist Barry Keim attributes that to a prevailing weather system over the central Atlantic Ocean. However he notes September is the most active part of hurricane season. There is a low pressure system east of the central Antilles that has a medium chance of
development. If it intensifies it will be named Gabrielle.
For the second time in a week, a child in New Orleans has been killed as result of gunfire. Police say an 11-year-old girl was shot in the head just after midnight Monday. Another 11-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man were also wounded in the shooting. The victims were shot inside their home. No arrests have been made. Police are also looking for the gunman who killed a one-year-old girl in New Orleans last Thursday.
Baker police are searching for a man who tried to abduct a 15-year-old girl Monday afternoon as she walked home from the library. Police Chief Mike Knaps said the girl was walking home from the library, when a man with a Mohawk haircut drove up in a sport utility vehicle and asked the girl if she needed a ride home. When she said, “No,” he cut her off with the vehicle, jumped out and grabbed her arm to pull her into the vehicle. The teenager yanked her arm free and ran, at which time the man drove away, Knaps said. Knaps described the vehicle as a silver, older model SUV with “Rodeo” written across the back window in big letters; the kidnapper was described as a light-skinned black man. They are asking anyone with info to please contact authorities.
The crazy ant population in Louisiana is getting worse and could soon become out of control. LSU Entomologist Dr. Linda Hooper-Bui (Booey) says the number of crazy ants is growing and they are being reported in more and more places. She says the problem with the reddish-brown ant is that they build large colonies with several queens and are next to impossible to get rid of. The pest's numbers are on the rise currently in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes but they've also been reported in the north and western part of the state as well. The good news is they seldom bite or sting.
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