KSYL Local News Archives for 2013-09

News For Monday 09/30/13


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%.

 

Sports..

 

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 09/27/13


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.

 

Sports..

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 09/25/13


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 09/24/13


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

impaired arrests.

 

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 09/23/13


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.

 

Sports..

 

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 9/20/13


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 09/19/13


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 09/18/13


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 09/18/13


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 09/16/13


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

retention.

 

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.

 

Sports..

 

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 09/13/13


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 09/12/13


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 09/11/13


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 09/10/13


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

ongoing.

 

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.

 

 

Sports

 

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 09/09/13


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 09/06/13


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 09/05/13


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 09/03/13


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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