Authorities say a 32-year-old Anacoco man is facing seven counts of attempted second-degree murder after setting fire to a trailer following a domestic dispute.Major Marvin Hilton with the Vernon Parish Sheriff's office said James Aubery Moses was arrested early Sunday morning.
"A domestic disturbance is how it originated, the individual then made threats and later set a fire beneath the mobile home the residents were staying in"
Witnesses stated Moses and his spouse had an altercation earlier and that Moses had threatened the residents inside the home,later returning and setting fire to the trailer. Hilton says thankfully seven occupants inside the residence, which included three children were not injured in the fire.
Moses was also charged with criminal trespassing and aggravated arson.
Governor Jindal finished in 10th place in a 2016 republican presidential straw poll taken at the conclusion of the Conservative Political Action Committee conference. Jindal received 2-percent of the vote.
Political analyst Clancy Dubos says when it comes to the 2016 republican presidential primary, Jindal has not been able to put himself among a group first tier candidates like U-S Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
He says 2016 might not be the right time for Jindal to make a run at the White House.
"The good news for Governor Jindal is that he's still very young. He's going to be around for a long time. He might be planting seeds for a future run, when the others have played themselves out."
Jindal has been very critical of President Obama. Last Thursday at the CPAC conference, he called Obama the worst President of his lifetime. Dubos says if Jindal is seeking to gain the republican presidential primary in 2016, he should keep the attacks against the President coming.
One of the bills to be taken up in the session that begins today seeks to make a Bible at the Louisiana State Museum the official state book. House Bill 503 is by Shreveport Representative Thomas Carmody. Louisiana American Civil Liberties Executive Director Marjorie Esman says this is an attempt to embody discrimination into state law.
"And if the purpose of this bill is to say that Louisiana is not a welcoming place for anybody who doesn't have these narrow religious views, then it would accomplish that goal," Esman says.
The bill states the official state book of Louisiana would be the Holy Bible published by Johannes Prevel which is the oldest edition in the state.
Louisiana Family Forum Executive Gene Mills likes this legislation.
"It's the number one best seller of all time," Mills says. "They do call it a Good Book and in this case it happens to be oldest version of The Bible and the oldest book in the state of Louisiana. This is a vintage piece of history and heritage that is uniquely Louisiana's."
But Esman says that doesn't mean it should be written into law that this book becomes the official state book.
"There are probably books in the Louisiana State Museum that contain views that don't reflect our values," Esman said. "So that's pretext. This is a statement of religious discrimination."
Esman says Louisiana doesn't need a state book to begin with, much less one that points to a single religion. She also says the bill is a violation of the separation of church and state.
But Mills says that would not hold up in court.
"Each year we designate any number of things from trees, to birds, to fruits as state designations and I don't see how they think this brings some undo religious influence by recognizing the Bible in its historical capacity," Mills said.
The 2014 Legislative session kicks off today and so far it's shaping up to be a very interesting few months. Council for A Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says on the education side of things, one of the major hot button issues will be the idea of changing the Common Core standards.
"Common Core has become a huge controversy in our state in a relatively recent amount of time and there are a number of bills that have been introduced to change it or get rid of it," Erin said.
Erwin also says he thinks that, like last year, there will be another fight between lawmakers and Governor Jindal over the budget. He says debate about reducing sentences for first time pot possession offenders will also be a big issue.
Erwin says in general you can expect to hear a lot of discussion about marijuana this session.
"Medical marijuana is really on the margin of that issue, but there will also be some efforts to look at criminal penalties for just small possession marijuana and those types of things," said Erwin. "Those issues possibly have more traction this time than we've seen in the past."
Erwin says you can expect the usual issues like abortion, medicaid expansion and gun control to be brought up but he doesn't think there will be much change on those fronts. Jindal doesn't seem to have a very aggressive agenda this year, but Erwin agrees with the Governor's main priorities in higher education and the workforce.
"The truth is with what's going on with industrial expansion in our state, workforce has to be a priority," Erwin said.
One politician wants to improve education for prisoners and save taxpayer money. Closing the Phelps Correctional Center in Calcasiu parish in 2012 was supposed to save the state 2.6 million dollars a year. But State Treasurer John Kennedy says taxpayers are not getting any value from an empty prison and he has an idea to change that. "Re-open Phelps and put a charter school in it for inmates...
"...so they can get their G.E.D., they can learn a vocation like welding or mechanics. And they also get values training. They learn how to work for living and how to follow rules."
Kennedy wants to reopen Phelps as a charter school for inmates which would bring jobs to the DeQuincy area. Kennedy notes a 2013 Rand Corporation study of 58 prison education programs which says every dollar spent on prison education saves four dollars in prison costs.
Kennedy says educating inmates increases the odds of them finding work after they are released instead of going back to crime. He says it's been done in other states with good results.
"So, a lot of the inmates that are getting out are able to find a job and don't commit any crimes and don't come back and it's worked in San Francisco, it's worked in Georgia, it's worked in Texas and it can work in Louisiana."
Kennedy is urging the Department of Corrections to re-open the Phelps Correctional Center as an inmate charter school.
Another widening project is underway on I-12 in Livingston Parish. Construction has started on a plan to expand the interstate from 4 to 6 lanes from the Walker exit to a half a mile west of Satsuma. Louisiana Department of Transportation Rodney Mallett says once completed, I-12 motorists will have a smoother commute.
"It's going to be a huge benefit for that area, for your daily travelers, the trucking industry and folks passing through."
DOTD estimates 49-thousand drivers use this corridor to travel between home and work each day. Mallett says construction is expected to take one year complete, but lane closures will only occur at night.
Mallett says this is the fourth I-12 widening project in the Baton Rouge area since 2009. The previous three projects cost a total of 168-million dollars. He says the current construction job will cost 26-point-5-million dollars.
Half of the money comes from the federal government.
Louisiana led 2013 for the most feature films produced in the nation. That is according to Film LA. Inc, which looked at how many movies California lost to other states. Patrick Mulhearn, the executive director of Celtic Media Center in Baton Rouge, says it's a great accomplishment for Hollywood South.
"Any time you see Louisiana ranked number one in something positive you've got to be proud and when ever your competitor is the one who is telling you you're number one, you've got to believe them. That is exciting new for us," Mulhearn says.
Some major films to come out of Louisiana last year were 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club and both movies won Academy Awards. Los Angeles, for years, has led the country in film production, followed by New York. Mulhearn says it appears the state's film tax incentive program paid off.
"It's a testament to Louisiana's resolve to stick to this incentive program for the past decade. But we can't rest on our laurels. We've still got a long way to go and it's a competitive world," Mulhearn says.
Mulhearn says producers want to film here because it is more cost effective due to the tax credits Louisiana gives as well as all the culture the state has to offer to crew members. He says a study by the Louisiana Economic Development says 15,000 jobs depend on the state's movie industry.
"With the incentives and the fact that we have a track record and really good, seasoned experienced crews and talent. It makes all the difference in the world," Mulhearn says.