KSYL Local News Archives for 2013-11

News For Wednesday 11/27/13


News for Wednesday 112713

By Dave Graichen

 

Today is  one of the busiest days on the roads  and  state police and other local  law  enforcement  agencies  around the state will  be  stepping  up  checkpoints for the Holidays. The  Louisiana

Highway Safety Commission says the increased patrols will be looking out for suspected impaired  drivers, those who aren't buckled up and speeders.

 

The state has unveiled its new "I'm Cajun...and Proud" specialty license  plates. The plates feature a fleur-de-lis on the left side with a  crawfish playing an accordion, and the words, "I'm Cajun...And Proud." The cost to motorists, an extra $15.00, with $11.50 of  that going to the Council for the Development of French In Louisiana (CODOFIL),  the help train teachers for French immersion education. Another program allows motorists to  have the same slogan on their individual driver’s license.

 

A man has reportedly come forward and said  he was abused by a woman who was arrested last week amid allegations she  molested one of her students 10 years ago. 25 year old Phillip LeBourgeois  says  he was sexually  abused by his teacher at Catholic High-New Iberia when  he

was 15. 48  year  old  Paula  Latiolais  was  booked Friday into the IBeria Parish Jail and released on $35,000 bail.

 

Bond  has been set for seven men accused of setting fire to the historic LeBeau  Plantation  in  St. Bernard Parish early Friday completely destroying it. The suspected  leader  in the incident, 31 year old Dusten Davenport, had the highest bond set -- $450,000. The Judge also set bonds of at least $75,000 for the other six.

 

Following a 3-month investigation, a total of 26 establishments that sell alcohol in the Acadian region  have  been cited with violations for selling adult beverages to underage drinkers.  The State Office

of  Alcohol and Tobacco Control says they will be cracking  down  on other problem areas in the state as well. They says  now might be a good time for bar and club owners to talk to their employees about the rules.

 

State Police are seeking a man and woman from Lafayette in an investigation into child sex trafficking. 22 year old Darneesha  Martin and 19 year old Alcoby LaSalle are wanted on counts of trafficking children for sexual purposes and promoting prostitution. State Police say the investigation is ongoing.

 

Caddo  Parish  deputies report one person killed at a brand new I-49 interchange at US  Highway 71. A traffic light had just been  installed there.  An  SUV  stopped  for  the  light,  but  was

rear-ended  by  a  Ford  pickup.  No one in the pickup was hurt, but three passengers in the Jeep SUV were taken to a hospital, where one passed away. The crash is under investigation.

 

The  Louisiana  Department  of  Wildlife  and Fisheries  is  warning residents of FAKE black panther sighting photos  that  are  circling social  media.  They say when these incidents are investigated  they almost always turn  out  to  be house cats, bobcats, otters, dogs or feral hogs.

 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's office says a 13 year-old is facing attempted  2nd  degree  murder  charges for allegedly  stabbing  his mother's fiancé.  They say the man  was  trying  to  discipline  the

teen,  and  the  young  suspect  grabbed  a  large kitchen knife and stabbed  the  victim in the back.  The fiancé was  taken  to  a  New Orleans hospital.

 

An  elderly  woman  in  West  Baton Rouge parish was killed when her mobile home went up in flames yesterday  morning.  Authorities  believe a space  heater  to  close  to  the bed caused the blaze.

 

 

News For Tuesday 11/26/13


News For Tuesday 112613

by Dave Graichen

 

An ironic tragedy in Rapides Parish, as a local fireman died Sunday, when his own house caught  fire.  State  Fire Marshal Butch Browning says Dustin Bordelon was likely asleep when the fire started, but it appears something was left on the stove and  that  caused the blaze. Bordelon died at a nearby hospital. Browning says its  a tragic time for the Bordelon family and for all the firefighters, who've  lost a comrade. Browning  says  it  appears there were no working smoke detectors in Bordelon's home.

 

Gas prices have jumped 14-cents in the past week, according to  gasbuddy.com. They have the statewide average for a gallon of regular  gasoline at around $3.15.  Gasbuddy's senior petroleum analyst Patrick  DeHaan says several refineries along the gulf coast had unexpected  maintenance issues and that's led to a higher price at the pump. But DeHaan says this sudden jump in gas prices shouldn't last long. Prices should begin to drop next week.

 

Louisiana is seeing the beginnings  of  a construction boom that may last through 2016 and beyond. Figures from  the  Associated  General Contractors  of  America  shows  Louisiana  had  an 8.3% increase in construction  jobs over the past 12 months; the 3rd-highest  in  the nation.  LSU economist  Dr.  Loren  Scott  says  the  boom  is  just beginning. He says low natural gas costs are driving  a  boom  in  expansion of chemical  plants  -  mostly  across the southern parishes and  river

regions that should last into 2017 or 2018.

 

Related news: Sasol officials announced Monday that Technip, of Paris France, has been awarded  the  front-end engineering design contract for the company's gas-to-liquids  complex  near  Lake  Charles. Once complete,  Sasol's  GTL  complex  is  expected to produce more  than 96,000 barrels of diesel fuels and chemicals each day.

 

The state Bond Commission has approved a funding plan to build the final  segments of I-49 North, and begin work on upgrading US 90 into a new  I-49 South. State Treasurer John Kennedy says the plan is to sell up to  $100-million in bonds, by using money in the state's unclaimed property  fund. Kennedy says the unclaimed property dollars will be used as collateral  for the bond sales, which will begin almost immediately. He says the  plan calls for $80-million to be invested in completing I-49 North, and  $20-million as an initial investment in I-49 South, between Lafayette  and New Orleans

 

The Louisiana Department of Revenue says the tax amnesty period that ended on Friday  reached  the goal of collecting 200-million dollars in unpaid taxes. Revenue Secretary  Tim Barfield says they are still processing all of the paperwork from  those  taxpayers,  so  a final number is not known.

 

A  report  from  the Legislative Auditor's office suggests the state has done a poor job  of overseeing the Women Infants & Children food benefits program. The  report  says the Office of Public Health, who administers WIC, didn't verify grocery  prices  charged  through the program, overpaid for food, didn't follow regulations governing  the program and more. WIC costs taxpayers $126-million a year.

 

Police in New Orleans seek a hit & run driver that knocked  a  woman and  a  toddler  off  the  I-10 High Rise Bridge over the Industrial Canal. 29-year-old Danielle  Rhone  and  her  2-year-old nephew were passengers in a sedan that broke down on the bridge  Sunday. A chain reaction  crash  hit  them,  tossing  them over the bridge  railing. Police seek a white Chevy Suburban with damage on the passenger side and a Ford pickup truck, both of which fled the scene.

 

A  Legislative Auditor's report shows the  state  hasn't  sought  to collect  thousands of unpaid tolls for crossing the Highway 1 bridge on the way  to  Grand  Isle.  An  audit  released  today said nearly

300,000  images  taken  of license plates for people who  apparently didn't pay the toll on La.  Highway  1 in Leeville remained unbilled when the last fiscal year ended, June 30.

 

Louisiana  Lottery  officials  say  one  ticket,  sold in Kenner, in Jefferson  Parish,  won  the  $475-thousand  jackpot  in  Saturday's Louisiana  Lotto  drawing.  The  Lotto  jackpot  will  reset  to   a

quarter-million  bucks  for  Wednesday night's drawing. There was no Powerball winner Saturday night.  That  jackpot  will be $60-million for Wednesday.

 

Another argument against riding in pickup truck beds. An 18-year-old man  was  killed  over the weekend, when he was tossed from a moving pickup, as it turned from a side road onto U.S. 61 near Gonzales, in Ascension Parish. State  Police  say Eric Martin was thrown out into oncoming  traffic and hit by another  pickup  truck.  They  say  the driver was unable to avoid him.

 

 

 

News For Monday 11/25/13


News for Monday 112513

By Dave Graichen

 

The RPSO reports 24 year old Dustin Bordelon died in an early Sunday morning fire at an Airbase Road home. Bordelon was taken to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was  pronounced dead. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

 

A  recent  poll  on the 2015 governor's race in Louisiana shows  GOP U.S. Senator David  Vitter  is  the  favorite.  Southern  Media  and Opinion Research surveyed 600 voters; running a five candidate trial heat.  Vitter  took  a  leading  30%.  Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Vitter's edge is due to his popularity with Republican voters.Vitter has not announced a run for governor two  years from now, but speculation to that effect is abundant. The only announced  Democrat for  that  race,  state  Rep.  John  Bel  Edwards,  took  only 8% in Pinsonat's poll.

 

State Police will have extra manpower on the roads this week in an  effort to reduce injury and fatal crashes. It's also part of the  Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, which begins today. Sgt. Nick

Manale says troopers will focus on seat belt use and Louisiana law  requires all occupants in a vehicle must be buckled up.

 

State  Treasurer John Kennedy says Louisiana's new  Office  of  Debt Recovery  will  begin  going  after  unpaid  ethics violation fines, totally nearly $2-million. He says some of these  have  gone  unpaid for   years.  Kennedy  says  unpaid  fines  from  individual  public officials   total  over  $1.6-million,  PACS  owe  $70-thousand  and lobbyists owe  $18-thousand.  He says the state's new Office of Debt Recovery, which is under the Department  of  Revenue was created for just this sort of purpose. The  ODR  will  be  up  and running after the first of the New Year. It'll have sweeping powers to go after unpaid debts to the state, by seizing bank assets, some  personal  properties  and even suspending licenses until the amounts are paid.

 

A federal judge in New Orleans  has  given state and federal lawyers two months to come up with modifications  to  a  longstanding  court order  to  make sure that the state's private school voucher program doesn't lead  to segregation of schools. The state contends that the vouchers have no effect on desegregation and no federal interference is needed.

 

An appeals court in Monroe has upheld the  110  year  sentence  of a local  man  for a 2010 domestic violence case. The court stated that even though the  sentence  given  Allen  Robinson was extreme it was warranted given the gruesome nature of his crime. Robinson was found guilty  of  kidnapping  and  battery  for deliberately  burning  his girlfriend with a clothes iron multiple  times. Because he was ruled to be an habitual offender, Robinson was given  the maximum sentence possible.

 

Police in Bastrop arrest  a  local  woman  for  robbing  a branch of Richland State Bank in Bastrop Wednesday. 45-year-old Katrina Gamble allegedly indicated she had a gun, demanded cash and made  off  with an undisclosed amount. Officers say she tried to disguise herself as a man. She's being held pending $75-thousand bond.

 

A  bit of Louisiana history was lost lastweek. An  early morning fire Friday gutted the historic LeBeau Plantation in  St. Bernard  Parish.  The  landmark in Old Arabi was built in the 1850's and was one of the largest in the New Orleans area. The building was vacant with no electrical service at the time, so arson is not being ruled out. An investigation is underway.

 

A  judge   in   Lafourche  Parish  has  ruled  the  man  accused  of dismembering his  disabled  son more than two years ago IS competent to stand trial. The ruling clears  the way for Jeremiah Wright to be tried for the murder of little Jori  Lirette  in  2011.  Wright  was arraigned  Friday  morning  and  has  reportedly pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His next status hearing  is  scheduled  for late

January. No trial date has been set.

 

State Troopers report a Winnsboro man was killed Friday in a crash on I-20  in  Richland  Parish.  LSP says 58-year-old Lorenzo  Navarro's pickup was westbound on 20, when  it  crossed  the grassy median and crashed  headlong  into  a big rig. He was pronounced  dead  at  the scene. The truck driver was not seriously hurt.

 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation is working with Texas  officials to replace the Sabine River Bridge on U.S. 84, in DoSoto  Parish. Construction is set to begin in January, and it will cost $20 million. The bridge currently has two lanes  but the construction will create two separate bridges.   Construction will take over two years to complete.

 

Police  in  Kenner  arrest a 19-year-old for robbing his neighbor at gunpoint. The victim  says  his  assailant wore a mask and pointed a shotgun at him; making off with his cellphone and wallet. Trouble is he watched the robber run into a house just yards away. Police found the mask in the house, the gun in  the  back yard. Johnny Washington was  taken into custody a short time later  ad  charged  with  armed robbery.

 

 Expect to spend a bit more again this year to prepare the traditional  Thanksgiving feast. A recent survey by the LSU AgCenter shows the cost  of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will average $48.50 this year; up from  $44.35 last year. Economist Jeanette Tucker says the "star of the show"  is the biggest reason for the increased cost. Tucker says turkey production is down this year, and birds cost about

 23-cents a pound more than in 2012. 

 

Sports..

 

LSU is coming off its best effort of the season, as they head into the  regular season finale. The Bayou Bengals thumped Te

News For Friday 11/22/13


News for Friday 112213

By Dave Graichen

 

State Superintendent  of  Education John White recommends a delay in how students, teachers and  schools  will be judged under the Common Core standards. White says with the state  shifting  from  LEAP to a new  state-administered  test  called  PARCC  and  a move to improve technology in classrooms, they've decided to give schools  two years of additional learning time. White's  proposal will be considered by the Board of Elementary  and Secretary  next  month.  There's  been increasing criticism over the state's  use  of Common Core and how  it  will  impact  a  student's ability to learn.

 

 A state teachers union is pleased with Education Superintendent John  White's decision to delay full implementation of controversial "Common  Core" education standards. Louisiana Association of Educators President  Deborah Meaux (MO) says they were concerned about the fast pace with which the new system was being rolled into place.

 

Yesterday   in  Washington  D.C.,  US Representative Vance McAllister was sworn into office. The Republican  from  Ouachita Parish is enjoying his  first  trip  to  our  nation's  capitol as  Louisiana's  newest congressman  representing  the 5th district. McAllister says one of his first  orders of business will be to come home and answer concerns of constituents  who  have  been  without a congressman for nearly two months.

 

A new statewide poll shows Senator Mary Landrieu's job approval rating  has fallen 10-percentage points this year. Southern Media and Opinion  Research pollster Bernie Pinsonat says the falling approval numbers are  likely tied to the roll out of Obamacare. Forty-six-percent of the respondents to the Pinsonat poll say Landrieu  is doing a good job, that's down from 56-percent from a similar survey

conducted in the spring. The poll conducted a three-way trial heat between Landrieu and GOP challengers Congressman Bill Cassidy and Rob Manness. Landrieu received  44-percent of the vote, Cassidy 34-percent and Maness 10-percent. The  rest were undecided.

 

A new poll from Southern Media and  Opinion  Research shows Governor Bobby  Jindal's  approval  ratings are up slightly  from  a  similar survey last spring. The governor's  ratings moved up from 38 percent to 42 percent in this newest survey.

 

Officials  in  DeSoto  and Sabine parishes announce 31 arrests  have been made in a sweep  up  of  suspected  drug dealers. They say these suspects had been identified as alleged street  and  mid-level drug dealers through a 6 month undercover operation.

 

The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's office says a West Monroe man is under arrest after he allegedly destroyed family property with a bulldozer while he was drunk and high on meth. They say 31 year old Noah White drove a bulldozer over  an  abandoned  family home's driveway, fence and porch. He blew a .034 and admitted to  using  a  quarter gram of meth according to the arrest report. He faces numerous charges.

 

A 71 year old Lake Charles  man  has  been  sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole after pleading guilty in  August  to  indecent behavior  with  a  juvenile.  Prosecutors  say David Tarver had been molesting a girl since she was 11 years old.

 

The  East  Baton  Rouge  Parish  Sheriff's office has identified the suspect  who  allegedly opened fire  on  officers  serving  warrants Wednesday morning  then  shot and killed himself. They say 22 year old Jessie Gordon of Denham Springs was wanted on numerous outstanding warrants relating to drugs  and burglary from several different agencies. The officers involved in  the shootout received only minor injuries. The suspect was pronounced  dead  on  the  scene  from  a self-inflicted

gunshot wound.

 

The State Department of Health & Hospitals says it has  completed  a huge backlog of health inspections of retail food outlets across the state,  and  has  taken  steps to assure no new backlog emerges. DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert says  an  overhaul of their food inspection system has yielded a 60% increase in timely health inspections.

 

Today  a grand jury decided not indict a man from Acadia Parish  who is accused  of  defacing  the  9-11 monument in downtown Lafayette. They decided there was no evidence  that  indicated a crime had been committed by 35 year-old Salvador Perez of  Rayne.  That may change, however if more evidence is presented.

 

An outdoor fall festival at a north Baton Rouge charter school spun out of control Thursday morning after a large fight broke out, prompting worried parents to rush to the school to collect their children.

The Career Academy high school locked down after 15 to 20 students began fighting, a fracas involving boys and girls that the school’s principal described as “a lot of hair pulling and punching.” Authorities say no one was seriously injured.

 

LSU is trying to bring back certain songs played by the band during  football games that had been previously shelved because some fans  were signing inappropriate lyrics. LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva  says the "Tradition Matters" campaign is about the return of songs  like "Neck" and "Tiger Rag".  Alleva says they want the band to be able to play all of their songs  and they need a commitment from the students to refrain from using  profanity.

 

Louisiana Tech has two games left on its regular season schedule and  they have to win both of them in order to play in a bowl game. The  Bulldogs host Tulsa tomorrow night and Coach Skip Holtz would like to  have the opportunity to be a part of post-season play. The Bulldogs are 4-and-6 overall, while Tulsa is two and eight.

 

In the 16 times the Sean Payton-era Saints have met the Atlanta Falcons, the games have almost always been close, and New Orleans almost always has won. Nothing changed when the teams met at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night and the Saints beat Atlanta 17-13. Because of that, the Saints (9-2) have positioned themselves about as well as they could hope as they prepare to travel to Seattle on Dec. 2 and fight for postseason home-field advantage against the Seahawks (10-1), the NFC front-runner.

 

 

News For Thursday 11/21/13


News for Thursday 112113

By Dave Graichen

 

Louisiana's newest Congressman, Republican Vance McAllister, is in  Washington D.C. this week for his first time ever and will be sworn  in today. The political newcomer was voted to represent the 5th

Congressional District in The Bayou State. McAllister says his  first trip to our Nation’s Capital has been humbling.  McAllister says as soon as he's sworn in he's going to be briefed  on the bills of the day and immediately start voting. The  Monroe businessman thanks voters from the bottom of his heart and  says he plans to be a strong voice for the 5th congressional district in Washington.

 

Alexandria television stations KALB and NALB will have new owners in a few months. That announcement was made official yesterday.  The NBC and ABC stations were owned by Hoak Media. They will soon be under the ownership of Gray Television. KALB’s sister station in Monroe KNOE, was also part of the deal.  

 

Bossier  Parish  Sheriff Julian Whittington says burnt human remains found in Webster Parish  are those of 46-year-old Annie Bond, who was reported missing last Thursday.  Her  estranged husband, 53-year-old Robbie  Bond,  has been charged in her murder.  Whittington  says  a forensic  expert   at   LSU   was   able   to   make   the  positive identification. Robbie Bond was found Friday in Gautier, Mississippi and  he  is  in the hospital recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

Baton Rouge continues to receive low marks for its lack of gay-friendly policies when compared with other major cities across the country. In the Human Rights Campaign’s second annual Municipal Equality Index, the city received seven points out of 100,  getting dinged for its lack of discrimination protections and services targeted toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. New Orleans received 91 points on the index, and Shreveport scored 16.

 

Rapides Regional Medical Center expects to have two clinics operating within a few weeks as part of the effort to replace services currently provided by Huey P. Long Medical Center. One clinic will be located at 105 North Third St. in Alexandria and will be open by Dec. 2. The other will be on the current Huey P. Long campus off Main Street in Pineville and will be open by the second week of January. As part of the agreement, Cabrini will operate one clinic. Emergency department and inpatient services will be shared by the hospitals.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a Monterrey man has turned himself in and confessed to killing a Black Bear in Concordia  Parish.  Twenty-three  year-old Duell Moreland was booked for his alleged role in the killing of the bear. If found guilty, he faces up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

 

State officials are looking for someone to take 19-million pounds of explosive  materials  off  their hands. The explosives are currently housed at a Louisiana National  Guard  base  in  Webster Parish. The military  propellant  was once owned by Explo Systems,  but  they've gone bankrupt. Bossier  City  Representative  Jeff Thompson says the EPA  is  involved  in  trying  to  move this material  out  of  Camp Minden. The  explosives  caused  a  blast to occur in October of Last year and that led to the evacuation of residents from the nearby town  of  Doyline.

 

The American Automobile Association anticipates gas prices will keep going up ahead of the  Thanksgiving  travel week, but should go down again in December. The statewide average  for  a  gallon  of regular jumped two cents last night to $3.03.

 

Police say a 32 year  old Opelousas man is behind bars for allegedly raping  a 4 year old girl.  Investigators  believe  Johnathon  Meche assaulted  the  child  several  times  over an undisclosed period of time. The suspect is charged with aggravated  rape  and bond has not been set.

 

Louisiana will receive $238 million as a result of settlements reached in lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that overcharged the state’s Medicaid program. The final settlements reached earlier this week ended three years of litigation against more than 100 companies and their subsidiaries that fraudulently raised drug prices paid by the state through the government health insurance program for the poor.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announces  the  St. Bernard  Parish  water  system  has  reached  the necessary level of chlorine  in  the  drinking  water to fight off a rare  brain-eating amoeba that killed a 4 year old  boy in August. It was also found in the DeSoto Parish Water System. Safe  drinking  water  administrator Jake Cause says  they are working with water systems throughout the state to make sure everyone is in compliance.

 

A 41 year old man from Vernon Parish has been sentenced to six years in  federal  prison  for  possession of child  pornography.  Francis Buckner of New Llano pleaded  guilty in July to possessing 36 videos and 144 images of child pornography  obtained through a porn-sharing

download program.

 

The 8-and-2 Saints visit the 2-and-8 Atlanta Falcons tonight on Thursday  night football. These two teams met in the season opener and New Orleans  won 23-17 as the Black and Gold kept Atlanta out of the end zone in the  final few seconds of the game.

 

 

News For Wednesday 11/20/13


News for Wednesday 112013

By Dave Graichen

 

The  Bossier  Parish  Sheriff's  office  says  they feel the charred remains found in Webster Parish Monday afternoon  are  that  of  the missing  Bossier  City Woman, Annie Bond. Her husband Robert Bond is charged with her murder.  Lt.  Bill  Davis  says  the  badly charged remains were found in a wooded area north of Minden. Davis says the official search for Annie Bond's won't be  called off

until they have positive identification.

 

Despite some reports early Tuesday that the U.S. Justice Department was  dropping its challenge of Louisiana's school voucher program, a federal  judge says the case is still on and arguments begin this week. Education  Superintendent John White says  federal officials are making numerous unreasonable data  requests of the state Department of Education, about the racial makeup  of each individual student in every school, regardless of whether that  parish is under a federal desegregation order or not.  White says, as of today, neither side has petitioned the court to  dismiss or leave the case.

 

The East Baton Rouge Parish  Sheriff's office says the body that was found in a Bayou near Tiger Bend  on Saturday has been identified as a  woman from Livingston Parish. The  EBR  coroner's  report  issued today  says  the  cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The woman has been  identified  as 21 year old Lindsay Ellixson. The investigation into her death is ongoing.

 

Ah, the time have changed, The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office  says a man who'd been working off  shore  for  a  few  days,  came home and  allegedly  found  his estranged wife with another man.. cooking meth. They say 32-year-old Kelly Williams was there with 43 year old Stephen  Hamilton  who was found in the shower.

 

Former St. Landry Parish School Board member John Miller was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months of home confinement and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for soliciting a bribe from a candidate for school superintendent. Miller and fellow board member Quincy Richard Sr. were indicted last year in an investigation launched when superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere went to federal authorities.

Miller pleaded guilty. Richard was convicted at trial in August.

 

A police officer  in  Welsh  is  currently  under  investigation for shooting  a  suspect  who  allegedly pulled out a handgun  during  a traffic stop.  According to police Chief Marcus Crochet the shooting

took place late yesterday.   The  victim is reportedly recovering in the hospital. His name has yet to be released.  The investigation continues.

 

A Lafayette City Court Judge is proposing changes to the state's DWI laws.  Judge Douglas Saloom says it's time to catch up to new causes for impairment including marijuana and other drugs. Those are issues that could end up next year before the Louisiana Legislature.

 

A teacher and a secretary Fenton Elementary School in  Jennings  are being  investigated because of allegations on inappropriate behavior involving  two  employees  and several older students at a home over the summer.  The investigation has Been turned over to the Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney's  Office.  The  two  employees,  who remain unidentified were placed on administrative leave.

 

Edmund  Reggie,  a  former  judge  from  Crowley  who also served as executive  counsel  to  former  Governor  Edwin Edwards,  died  this morning at his home in Lafayette. Reggie was  also a close friend to the  Kennedy  family  and  co-chaired John F Kennedy's  presidential campaign efforts in Louisiana in 1960. He was 87.

News For Tuesday 11/19/13


News for Tuesday 111913

By Dave Graichen

 

Now this is a win win.. PaperWorks Industries announced yesterday the company will relocate its carton-finishing operations from New York to Alexandria, creating 43 new direct jobs. PaperWorks will lease 116,000 square feet of manufacturing space at the McKesson Building on South MacArthur Drive and will provide paperboard carton components to Procter & Gamble, for the company's dry laundry powder division. The company’s  $1.6 million renovation of the South Mac Arthur Drive facility should be completed in February of next year. 

 

After  being  elected as Louisiana's new 5th  District  Congressman, Vance McAllister  says  he'll  go to Washington DC this week for the first time in his life. McAllister  says  he  has  never been to the

nation's Capital, even as a tourist. Sunday, McAllister, who is in the process of pulling his Congressional staff together, hired Adam Terry, a Harrisonburg native and Louisiana Tech University graduate, as his chief of staff. Terry had held the same job with Rodney Alexander

 

State Police  say  a man from Pollock was killed in a single vehicle crash early Monday morning.  They  say  21 year old David Langley lost control of his pickup around 1:20 am on  La Hwy 8 in Rapides Parish, left the roadway and crashed into a tree.  Landley wasn't buckled up and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 20-year-old female passenger survived the crash which remains under investigation.

 

The Winnsboro woman who set herself on fire  in  October  2012  then claimed  who  have  been  attacked  by  three  men in white hoodies, pleaded  guilty  to  one count of false swearing and  one  of terrorizing. Sharmeka  Moffitt  will  serve four years of supervised probation and pay a $1,000 fine.

 

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's  office  says  a man died after he fell 60 feet from a tree he was cutting when a safety  rope  snapped Sunday morning. They say 51 year old Anthony Wilson of Coushatta was cutting  limbs  on  the  tree  with  his  brother  when the accident occurred. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Visitation will be held this evening in Baton Rouge for former LSU  AD Joe Dean, one of the most influential people in Tiger Athletics  history. Dean died in Baton Rouge Sunday morning at the age of 83.

 

The Internal Revenue Service warns us of con artists posing as groups  collecting for Philippine disaster relief. IRS spokeswoman Dee Harris  Stepter says it's best to make disaster relief donations through well-known charities like the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, but even with them, be

careful of scammers who say they are with these organizations.

 

Yesterday  was  apparently a  national day of protest against  Common  Core  school performance standards,  but  in  Baton Rouge it was more of a fizzle than a bang. Only two local mothers  showed  up at the Department of Education to speak against Common Core. In Pineville, the turnout was a bit better with about 50 people showing up to protest.

 

The  search  continues  for  a Bossier City woman whom investigators believe  was  killed  by  her  husband  last  week.  Bossier  Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Bill Davis says since the suspect was found in southern Mississippi, they have a lot of territory to cover in the search for Annie Bond. Davis says Robert Bond is recovering  from  a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He is charged with second degree murder.

 

After a very welcome dip in prices, retail gasoline is beginning to rise  again in Louisiana. Last week, we had some of the lowest gasoline prices  in the nation, with some outlets selling for as little as $2.59.  Louisiana AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says the statewide average price is now starting to go back up. The statewide average price of regular gas today is $3.01, up from $2.99  last week.

 

Washington Parish Sheriff's deputies say they had  to  shoot a Mount Hermon  man,  who  they  say  was  upset  over  Obamacare. Fifty-six year-old  Johnnie  Ryals  fired  a  gun  in  his  home, forcing  his girlfriend  to  flee.   Later,  he  was shot in the left  ear  by  a sheriff's office sniper after he remained  combative.  Chief  Deputy Mike  Haley believes all of Ryal's anger started with the Affordable Care Act. Ryals was  released  from  the  hospital  and faces numerous charges

including three counts of attempted murder.

 

A Sabine Parish man who fired at officers Saturday remains in critical condition after being shot several times by law enforcement in  Sabine  Parish.  Louisiana  State Trooper  Scott  Moreau says they responded to a complaint of a trespasser on private property who was threatening  home owners with a shotgun.  Moreau says  27  year  old Michael Malmay of Noble was threatening to shoot himself and then he turned the shotgun in the direction of the officers.

 

A Baton Rouge man was arrested Monday in the recent death of his 6-month-old son, accused of a pattern of neglect that included placing the baby in scalding bath water that left him with second- and third-degree burns to more than 80 percent of his body. Curtis King, 23, 11888 Longridge Ave., was booked on counts of second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile in the Nov. 6 death of Aiden King

 

News For Monday 11/18/13


News for Monday 111813

By Dave Graichen

 

Republican Political newcomer Vance McCallister is Louisiana's new  Congressman. McCallister soundly defeated state senator Neil Riser in  the 5th district congressional run-off. McCallister received 60-percent  of the vote. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat  says  Campaign ads ran in the final days of the race that featured Duck  Dynasty television star Willie Robertson, who was a big supporter of  McCallister, helped push him over the top.  Plus, voters also didn't like how it appeared the  race was manipulated so that Riser would replace Rodney Alexander, who  retired from Congress in August.  McCallister is a businessman, who owns oil, gas and pipeline businesses, as well as Subway franchises in the Monroe area.

 

Former LSU athletic director and basketball player Joe Dean died early sunday morning at his home in Baton Rouge. Dean’s cause of death, according to Dean’s son Joe Dean Jr. was heart-related. Dean had an unrelated surgery last week in Baton Rouge. He returned to his home Saturday. A homecare aid found him unresponsive Sunday morning. Joe Dean Sr. led LSU athletics from 1987-2000, overseeing the baseball team’s five national championships and hiring former football coach Nick Saban. A two-time All-Southeastern Conference guard at LSU in 1950-51, Dean was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame last year. Joe Dean Sr. was 83.

 

Saturday afternoon a 27 year old Sabine parish man was shot after he aimed a loaded shotgun at sheriff’s deputies and state police. Authorities were called to a home in Noble after a call to 911 reported a man threatening residents. When deputies arrived at the home off of highway 482, they observed Michael  Malmay  brandishing a shotgun and threatening to shoot himself.  He then pointed the gun at the deputies and was shot. Malmay was transported to the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport where he remains in critical condition

 

State police report a single vehicle accident claimed the life a 20 year old Goldonna woman early Saturday morning. Troopers sat McKenna Sanders lost control of her vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree and utility poll. Sanders was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology tests are pending.  The crash remains under investigation.

 

It's been another record breaking year for Louisiana's movie making  industry. It is expected that this year will surpass last year's  economic impact. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment Chris

Stelly says 2013 is the biggest year on record for the entertainment  industry. Stelly says many big time celebrities are filming in Louisiana. Channing  Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube are here for 22 Jump Street. Eva Longoria  , Jessica Lange, and Will Smith are filming here. At least 15 movies

and TV shows are being filmed in the state.

 

 State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says President Obama's "fix"  for the Affordable Care Act will quite likely not work as intended. The  President announced administrative action to allow those who've had  policies cancelled to keep them another year. But, Donelon says this  last minute maneuver threatens the overall pool of insurance risk.  Already, some insurance companies have said that policies cancelled  cannot so easily be reinstated, especially for the brief one-year period Obama is calling for. Donelon says insurance works best when there is a  larger pool of shared risk, and insurers will not be able to sell  policies of the types cancelled to any new customers.

 

This is the last week for Louisiana taxpayers to take advantage of  the statewide amnesty program known as "A Fresh Start." The state  legislature instituted the two month long amnesty program which

eliminates penalties on back owed taxes and cuts interest charges in  half. LDR Executive Council Jason Decuir says it's been going well.  Decuir says there is still a lot of paperwork to be done which he   expects will go down to the final days of the amnesty program, but  they feel they will get close to or reach the legislature's goal of  collecting $200 million dollars. Lawmakers were counting on the money collected during amnesty to  balance the state's operating budget. Both individuals and  businesses who owe state taxes are eligible for amnesty.

 

 

News For Friday 11/15/13


News for Friday 111513

By Dave Graichen

 

Tomorrow is the runoff election for Louisiana's 5th congressional  district seat. Two republicans, Columbia state Senator Neil Riser and  Monroe businessman Vance McAllister are vying for the job.  Both men want to serve out the remainder of former congressman Rodney  Alexander's term, and have an edge in winning a full term in 2014.  Most political insiders say the race is too close to call. The polls open at 7 Saturday morning and close at 8pm

 

The  Tuition  Taskforce  would like to see the standards  raised  on qualifying  for  the  TOPS scholarship.  Currently,  a  high  school student has to achieve at least a 2.5 GPA and score a 20 on the ACT. But task force member Phillip  Rozeman  says  they would like to see the G-P-A requirement raised to 3.0 and at least  a  23  on the ACT. Rozeman is confident students would meet the higher standards. Rozeman  says  they are pushing for a change to the TOPS scholarship because the program  is  getting too expensive for the state to keep funding.

 

 As millions of Americans face losing their current health insurance,  President Obama acts to delay those cancellations for one year. The  policies would be cancelled because they do not fully comply with the  Affordable Care Act. Senator Mary Landrieu has a bill pending that would assure those who  already have and like their health insurance can keep it, as promised by  the President. She says a promise is a promise, and she'll press forward  with her legislation.

 

A  seven-month-old  and  a  25-year-old  man were shot to death Wednesday  night  as  they  were  riding  in  a vehicle on  the  Crescent  City Connection Bridge in New Orleans. Police  are looking for the gunman who opened fire on the vehicle just past the  toll plaza area on the West Bank entrance of the bridge.

 

What a difference a day makes in Louisiana weather. State  Climatologist Barry Keim says the winds have shifted from being  north-easterly on Thursday, to south-easterly today. He says that  means the air coming in now is from the Gulf of Mexico and not from  Canada.  Keim says high temperatures today are between 15 and 20 degrees  warmer than they were yesterday. He says these warm temperatures are  going to hang around all through the weekend. As a matter of fact, by Sunday we could see temps in the low 80’s.

 

A   woman  from  Lake  Charles  was  found   guilty   Wednesday   of second-degree  cruelty  to  a juvenile in the abuse of her step-son. 31-year-old Jaime Brooks Day  is  accused of beating and not feeding the 9 year old boy who reportedly weighed just 38 pounds when he was removed from the home in 2010. Day is going to be sentenced December 10th. She faces up to 40 years in prison.

 

Grambling State University is appealing the $50-thousand fine levied by the Southwestern  Athletic  Conference for forfeiting the Jackson state game last month. School officials  say  it's  not  Grambling's fault the game was missed, it was because the team refused  to play. Grambling  will  also  have  to  play their next three Jackson State games  IN  Jackson,  which  also  penalizes   the   university  with additional travel costs.

 

The financial  picture for Louisiana's state-run property insurer of last resort is improving,  helped  by  the  state's  quiet hurricane season.  Louisiana  Citizens Insurance is doing better says  company

officials, but is still  $15-million  in the red. The forecast shows the imbalance should shrink by the end of the year and the company's balance sheet could be positive by mid-2014.

 

The Catahoula  Parish  Sheriff's  office  has  charged a 19-year-old woman  from  Jonesville  with  second-degree  murder  as  detectives believe  she  fatally  shot  her  21-year-old sister,  Tessa  Poole. Sheriff  James  Kelly  says  deputies  are  still  investigating.

 

The Monroe Police Department is investigating  a  pharmacy  break-in where a semi-tractor-rig was used to knock a hole in the wall. It is unclear  at  this  time  how  many  suspects  are involved or if any medication was taken. The investigation is ongoing.

 

The St. Mary  Parish  Sheriff's  office  says  a man who was driving around  a  parking lot in Bayou Vista naked faces  several  charges. They say 31-year-old  Nathel  Lewis  failed  to  pulled over after a deputy  was  responding  to  a complaint of a naked man  circling  a parking lot. The man was eventually  stopped  and marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle.

 

 

News For Thursday 11/14/13


News for Thursday 111413

By Dave Graichen

 

Federal  data  shows  few Louisianans signed for Obamacare  via  the federal health insurance  marketplace  last  month;  only about 387. Blue  Cross  Blue  Shield Louisiana says over 4000 bought  federally complaint health plans directly from them in October.

 

36 year old James Johnson Jr of Alexandria has been found guilty of second-degree murder  in the death of Jacqueline Bazert. Although there were no eyewitnesses, prosecutors relied on DNA evidence to convict  Johnson.  Bazert’s blood was found on Johnson’s shoes, and Johnson’s DNA was found underneath her fingernails. The coroner’s report indicated Bazert had been stabbed 139 times.

 

A state appeals court on Wednesday overturned the sexual battery conviction of a former Rapides Regional Medical Center nurse accused of performing oral sex on a sedated male patient. A three-judge panel from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that Phillip Wayne Raines did not receive a fair trial when he was convicted in April 2012 because of statements witnesses made during the trial. Statements, that according to the three judge panel, should have led to a mistrial. Raines was sentenced to 30 months at hard labor on June 1, 2012.

 

The State Department of Children and Family Services is out with  Louisiana's 18 "Most Wanted" non-custodial parents who owe almost  $866,000 in past due child support. DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier says  these parents have repeatedly evaded efforts to collect child support  that is critical to their children. Sonnier says all of the parents on the Most Wanted 18 poster owe at  least $20,000. The largest sum owed is over $128,000 by Richard Miller  who was last known to live in Lake Ozark, Missouri. She says you can  view the entire poster online at dcfs.la.gov

 

State Farm has released findings from its annual distracted driving  survey which shows mature adults are catching up to younger drivers  in terms of being on the phone when behind the wheel. Regional State  Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson says the sharp increase in the number of people using their smartphone while driving is troubling.

 

A  south  Louisiana man, who was kidnapped by pirates, while serving as captain  on a offshore supple ship, is back home. The man, who is being identified  as "Tom" was taken captive on October 30th off the Nigerian coast. Tom and another crew  member  from  Florida  were not injured in the

ordeal. It’s reported the two were released after company officials complied with a ransom demand.

 

State Health officials  are making a major push to get Louisiana residents vaccinated against the flu. State Health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says There are plenty of shots to go around and they are very affordable and at many state health centers they are free.

 

The state's tax amnesty program is entering its final week. Those in arrears on state taxes can settle up,  and  pay no penalties and only half the accrued interest...but they must apply  for  the amnesty by November 22nd.

 

The Union Parish Sheriff's office says a 22 year old man from Marion was booked into the Detention  Center  on  illegal  use  of  weapons charges  after  he  allegedly  shot  up  his  father's house when he thought  he  was  seeing ghosts. They say witnesses  reported  Kenji Wheeler said ghosts were coming through the walls and trying to kill him. His bond was set at $25,000.

 

A school bus driver has been  charged with cruelty to a juvenile for allegedly grabbing a young student by the neck and pinning him down. East Baton Rouge Parish Spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks says they received a complaint from the mother saying her child had been attacked by 58 year old Sandra Henderson. Hicks says Henderson was arrested  and  booked  into  parish  prison

after detectives reviewed the surveillance video from the bus. That student was only seven years old.

 

 

 

Sports..

 

Saints  quarterback  Drew   Brees   has   been   named  as  the  NFC Offensive  Player  of the Week. Brees threw for 392 yards  and  four touchdowns in the  victory   over  the  Cowboys.  It's the 16th time Brees has  won  this award since he joined the Saints in 2006.

 

Grambling  State was notified Wednesday  that they will be fined  by  the SWAC for forfeiting  its  football  game  against  Jackson  State on October 16th. The amount of the fine was not made public.

 

 

News For Tuesday 11/12/13


News for Tuesday 111213

By Dave Graichen

 

State Police report an Alexandria  teen  died  in  a  single vehicle crash  on  state  Highway  496  early  Monday morning.  Troopers  say 16-year-old Chase Michiels went off the road and rolled  his  pickup several  times.  He  was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced  dead  at the scene. A male passenger in the truck suffered moderate injuries.

 

The Associated Press has crunched numbers, based on announcements of Governor  Bobby  Jindal's  schedule, and determined the Governor has spent more than two months outside  of  Louisiana  so far this year and we still have a month and a half to go in the year. The report stated that many of the trips had to do with his leadership of the Republican Governors Association.

 

Hundreds of state rank-and-file employees got extra pay last fiscal year even though the general government workforce went through another year of no pay increases. The extra money came from state Civil Service programs that allow state agencies to develop policies to pay more for retaining employees, for employees assuming additional job duties as well as for attaining advanced degrees and training related to their jobs. In all, 1,400 classified employees received about $1.7 million through the flexible pay options during the fiscal year ending June 30, according to a new Civil Service report.

 

The LSU Tigers will open the 2013-14 season and make their first appearance on the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon this morning at 10 a.m. against Massachusetts. The Tigers are coming off an 80-45 win over Xavier of New Orleans in an exhibition last week at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. You can hear the game starting with the pre-game at 9:30 on ESPN 1410 here in Alexandria.

 

Police in Monroe  say  a  10  year-old is under arrest for allegedly bringing a knife to school and  threatening  a  teacher.  A  butcher knife  was  reportedly found in the girls book-sack at Cypress Point Elementary School  and  she now faces assault charges and possession of a weapon on a school campus.

 

Monday, as you know, was Veteran's  Day,  and  there's good news for some of those veterans  deployed  overseas.   Colonel   Mike   Kazmeirzak  of  the Louisiana National Guard says about 400 soldiers  who  are currently in  Agfhanistan  and  Kuwait  will  be  able  to  come home for  the holidays. The bad news, Kazmeirzak  says  that  about  300 National Guard troops  have  been

alerted they may be deployed next year.

 

From The Governor's Wife to re-runs  of Duck Dynasty.  A & E did not run the regularly scheduled episode of  "The  Governor's Wife"  Sunday night they ran "Duck Dynasty" instead.  The star  of the show, Trina Edwards says they have not cancelled the show, but  cannot  give any further  details. Insiders at the network say, ya it has been cancelled. Ratings show there was a big drop-off between the show's first and second episodes.

 

The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is below  three-dollars for the first time since February of 2011. Gasbuddy.com  has the average price around $2.95 and their Senior Petroleum Analyst,  Patrick DeHaan, says the price at the pump should continue to fall.. DeHaan says gas prices have fallen about 20-cents since mid-October and  they should keep dropping as we move closer to the holidays.

 

Jury selection begins today in Lafayette, in the murder trial of 19- year-old Seth Fontenot, who's accused of shooting and killing one person  and wounding two others. Legal analyst Tim Meche says  Fontenot faces one count of 1st-degree murder in the death of 15-year- old Austin Rivault last February. Meche says the defense will argue  Fontenot fired on Rivault and two others, because he thought they were  trying to break into his vehicle. He says that may be tough to prove,  because when the shots were fired they were inside their own pickup. Fontenot's lawyer tried to suppress a confession made during a police interrogation, but was refused.

 

A new study shows fewer Louisiana teens are driving cars and paying for  car insurance. The data, from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows a  12-percent decline in teens listed on auto collision policies since  2006. Spokesman Russ Rader says the reason is largely connected to the  lagging economy.  Rader says it's a simple case of "no jobs, no cars".

 

 

News For Monday 11/11/13


News for Monday 111113

By Dave Graichen

 

Today is Veterans Day, a day to show our appreciation for the men and  women who've selflessly served in the American military in times of war  and peace.  David LaCerte  is Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He says there were numerous  events held over the weekend, and even more scheduled to take place  today. A complete list of Veterans Day ceremonies can be  found online at cenlabroadcasting.com

 

President Obama and Governor Jindal continue to spar over the Affordable  Care Act, called Obamacare by many. While in New Orleans Friday, the  President called out the Governor for refusing millions in federal money  to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor.  On Fox News, Mr. Jindal reacted, saying no one will "bully" Louisiana  into expanding Medicaid. Jindal has maintained there too many federal  strings attached to the Medicaid money. He says the Affordable Care Act is loaded with problems and has been falsely represented. The Governor went as far as to say the President should "man up" and  admit Obamacare was a mistake.

 

Thankfully  the  woman  who  was  abducted  by her child's father in Lafayette  Wednesday  is  alive. Lafayette Parish  Sheriff's  office spokesman Captain Kip Judice says the man, Scott Thomas, is dead. He says the family of Bethany  Arceneaux  found the two in an abandoned home in Duson Friday and Thomas was stabbing the mother of his child with a knife. Judice says no charges have been filed against the family member who shot and killed Thomas, and says Louisiana  law  states homicide can be justified if you are protecting yourself or another person.

 

Gas prices have slipped once again and the current statewide average for  a  gallon  of  regular is now $3.01 according to  the  American Automobile Association.  AAA  Fuel analyst Don Redman says it's very possible the price will get below $2.90 before the end of the year.

 

President  Barack  Obama  spoke Friday afternoon at the Port of  New Orleans and remarked on ways the economy could be improved. Mr Obama says the reason he decided  to  speak at the port in The Big Easy is because  he'd  like  to see the it updated  and  grow  in  order  to increase exports. He said  one of the things he'd like America to be more focused on is helping more businesses sell more products to the rest of the world. The President said we now export more goods and services than ever before and it's vital to the economy to keep that industry growing.

 

In light of a report last week that showed Louisiana public school students ranking low in math & reading skills, BESE president Chas Roemer says the test results indicate Louisiana needs more rigorous standards. The NAEP exams shows Louisiana public school kids at 48th and 50th place

 for math and reading achievement. Roemer says this indicates that the  Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was correct in adopting  Common Core standards; which require students to do better. Roemer says,  if we want future generations of Louisianans to be able to compete with  other states and other countries, we must continue to set higher  standards.

 

There are two contestants from Louisiana that have advanced on NBC's  The Voice. Both Cole Vosbury of Shreveport and Ray Bodreaux of Carencro  will perform starting tonight as part of the Final Top 12.  Both Vosbury and Bodreaux are being coached by Team Blake Shelton. The  voice airs weekly on Monday night's at 7 and Tuesday night's at 8 on TV5.

 

Sports..

 

The 13th ranked LSU Tigers were no match for top ranked Alabama on  Saturday night and the Crimson Tide scored the final 21 points to beat  the Bayou Bengals 38-17.  The loss drops LSU's record to 7-and-3 overall, 3-and-3 in the SEC.  Alabama now owns three straight wins over the Tigers.

 

 

 

News For Friday 11/08/13


News for Friday 110813

By Dave Graichen

 

An early morning crash yesterday involving  an 18-wheeler and a motorcycle has claimed  the  life  of a Pineville man.   Forty-one  year-old  Kevin Herron  was killed when  his  motorcycle  was  struck  on  Louisiana Highway 107  by  the  truck  driven  by  58 year-old Elton McNeal of Effie. McNeal was charged with failure to  yield.  The crash remains under investigation.

 

The  Lafayette Police Department is looking for a man  they  believe kidnapped  the  mother  of  his  child at a daycare center yesterday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing  29-year-old Scott Thomas shove the victim into his car then drive off  leaving a 2 year old behind. Thomas' car was found Wednesday  night but the  whereabouts of the suspect and victim remain unknown at this time.

 

Public school students in Louisiana again Thursday finished near the bottom nationally in reading and math in the latest update of the nation’s report card. The exam is called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The exam is considered one of the most reliable indicators of student achievement and state-to-state comparisons. The latest results for fourth- and eighth-graders show that Louisiana students were: Tied for 50th in fourth-grade math. 48th in fourth-grade reading.

Tied for 48th in eighth-grade math. Tied for 48th in eighth-grade reading. The results carry extra significance amid arguments about the state’s drive to add rigor to public school courses, which is called Common Core. Backers contend that increasing standards in math, reading and writing will improve student achievement.

 

Early voting for the November 16th elections comes to a close tomorrow  evening, and voter turnout so far has been light. Secretary of State Tom  Schedler says about 3300 people have cast early  ballots each day of the early voting period this time around.

 

The  state  department  of  health  and hospitals is requiring local water systems to maintain higher disinfectant  level.  The emergency rule  is in response to the recent discovery of a deadly  amoeba  in the water  systems in St. Bernard and DeSoto Parishes. DHH Assistant Secretary J-T Lane says increasing the chlorine level should lead to safer water. It's the first  time  Louisiana  has  changed  the required chlorine level in drinking water since 1995.

 

Louisiana ranked No. 9 on the American Medical Association’s annual list of states with the lowest level of competition among health insurers. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana had 57 percent of the market, according to the AMA. UnitedHealthCare had the second-largest share at 19 percent. The other 10 states with the least competitive health insurance markets were Alabama; Hawaii; Michigan; Delaware; Alaska; South Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; and Rhode Island.

 

The Jindal administration announces food stamp recipients could lose their  benefits  if its determined they took advantage of a computer glitch and made purchases  that  exceeded  their  available balance. Department  of Children and Family Services Secretary  Suzy  Sonnier says suspected  violators  will receive a letter explaining that the state will being the process  of  disqualifying that person from the SNAP program. She says first time offenders could lose their benefits for a year.

 

The son of legendary Grambling  football coach Eddie Robinson passed away Wednesday night. Eddie Robinson Jr  died  from complications related to  heart surgery. Funeral arrangements will  be  announced  in  the coming days.

 

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's office says three  additional  arrests have been made in the join homicide investigation into the death  of Willie  Francis.  They say additional details will be released later today. The 23-year-old  Bayou  Vista  man's body was found last week and a 15-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday.

 

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says  a former deputy has been arrested again for felony carnal knowledge of  a  juvenile.  This is the  third  time  24-year-old  Todd Tripp has been arrested in three

months. The first arrest was for  indecent  behavior  with juveniles and  child  porn  amid  allegations  Tripp  was  exchanging sexually explicit pictures with a 15 year old boy. He was arrested  yesterday for allegedly having sexual contact with a 16 year old.

 

Louisiana has now spent 11  million  dollars in response efforts for the giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish.  The  state  expects  to be reimbursed  by  Texas  Brine,  which is the company that operated an underground salt dome cavern that caused the sink hole.

 

 

News For Thursday 11/07/13


News for Thursday 110713

By Dave Graichen

 

Louisiana wakes up to more cool Autumn weather today. State  Climatologist Barry Keim says you'll want a jacket or sweater handy for  the next several mornings, as we start the days with temperatures in the  40's and 50's.  Keim says a cool, dry air mass from the Pacific Northwest has made its  way across the Rocky Mountains and into the Gulf South. He says we can  expect the cool, spell to last a few days at least and nice weather through the weekend.

 

The Jindal administration announced late Wednesday that it is moving to strip food stamps from recipients who took advantage of a technical glitch last month to stock up on free groceries.

The announcement came after U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., pressured state officials to take action by taking away food stamp benefits and forming a task force with local prosecutors to bring criminal charges. Retailers lost money when they allowed food stamp recipients to leave their stores with groceries even though they could not check spending limits. When the transactions were processed later, thousands bounced back because recipients exceeded their food stamp balances. Smartphone images of empty store shelves and bulging grocery carts at Wal-Marts in Springhill and Mansfield made national news.

 

The Many  Police  Department says after reviewing surveillance tapes and interviewing witnesses,  Walmart  has  no evidence of any theft, nor  any other criminal activity during the October  12th  EBT  card glitch.  Thus  they  have  closed  the  investigation  at this time. Additionally  they  say if the department becomes aware of  any  new evidence, then that status  could  change.  But for now, the case is closed.

 

Louisiana State Police plans on training its  first  cadet  class in nearly  five years starting in January 2014. Col Mike Edmonson  says they  have   over  250  candidates  that  are  undergoing  extensive

background checks,  physical  assessments and polygraphs as the next step in the journey for about 50  people  who  will become new state troopers.

 

Louisiana  receives  its  highest  ever  ranking  by  Site Selection magazine for business climate. The bayou state is ranked  sixth, one spot  higher than last year's ranking. Four years ago Louisiana  was

ranked  25th.

 

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's  office  says  a  15  year old girl is under arrest on second degree murder charges in the death of a Bayou Vista man who was found last week. They say once Willie Francis body was identified, they developed the teen as a suspect  and  made  the arrest Tuesday evening. The case remains under investigation.

 

Police  in  Oakdale  say  an 18 year old is under arrest and charged with  the  second  degree  murder   of  his  grandfather.  They  say 64-year-old Norman Johnson died at the house the two shared together Monday night from a gunshot wound to  the  left  side  of his chest. Laken Johnson was arrested and transferred to the Allen Parish jail.

 

West  Monroe  police  arrest a woman for allegedly pepper spraying a woman she worked with at  Wendy's then posting about it on Facebook. 35-year-old Tomeka Gibson was  booked  on aggravated battery charges after the victim reported the incident to  officers then showed them the social media post.

 

The 13 year old boy from Terrytown who was  accused  of  killing his five  year  old  sister  when performing wrestling moves on her  has pleaded guilty to negligent  homicide  in  her  death.  The teen was charged  with manslaughter but reportedly accepted a plea  agreement on the lesser  charge  in Jefferson Parish juvenile court. He is set to be sentenced on December 4th.

 

 

News For Wednesday 11/06/13


News for Wednesday 110613

By Dave Graichen

 

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has filed  a  bill  to  fix The affordable care act, by allowing individuals who like their current health coverage  to keep it.  There are numerous reports of cancellations of policies because they do not meet minimum benefits required under the Affordable Care Act. Insurance  Commissioner Jim Donelon says as many at 80-thousand Louisianans may lose their coverage, but Landrieu says her bill will allow you to keep  your  coverage  as  long  as  you stay current on premium payments. Landrieu says she still supports the plan, but admits it needs some

fixing.

 

It is expected to be announced today that Stakeholders interested in promoting a specific site for the future home of Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s Alexandria campus will have until January 21st of next year to make their final presentations. The new facility is expected to cost upwards of $21.6 million to build. It will replace the current Alexandria campus on South MacArthur Drive.

 

Pineville-based Crest Industries on Tuesday announced plans to build a $15 million galvanizing plant in South Louisiana. The new plant will serve customers in the electric utility and petrochemical industries. It will furnish galvanized protective coatings for utility poles and equipment. The galvanizing plant will bring services in-house that formerly were contracted to outside vendors.

 

Governor Bobby Jindal places second-to-last in a new poll of possible  2016 Republican Primary candidates. The survey, done by North Carolina based Public Policy Polling, shows Mr. Jindal with only 6%.  By comparison, the same poll of Democratic voters shows Hilary Clinton  with 67% voter support. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rand Paul  have just 16% each.

 

Even though this year's LSU/Alabama game is hardly considered the "Game  of the Century", the matchup in Tuscaloosa Saturday is still one of the  hottest tickets in the country. StubHub spokesperson Cameron Papp says  the contest between The Tigers and The Tide is their most popular sporting  event this week in terms of demand. Papp says so far the game is currently the 4th highest selling college  football matchup this season.  Tickets prices for the game are as low as $140 on StubHub, with a high price of $2,000.

 

The IRS is warning Louisianans of a sophisticated telephone scam,  wherein con artists pose as...the IRS. Spokesperson Dee Harris Stepter  says the callers are able to "spoof" caller ID, to make it look as if  the call IS coming from the IRS. She says the scammers try to convince  victims to pay an outstanding tax debt that they do not really owe.  Stepter says don't be fooled by these con artists. She says the IRS will  always notify you of a tax debt by written notification first, before  any phone calls are made.

 

A  man  from  Baton Rouge who is accused of threatening the life and family of former  US  Attorney  Jim  Letten  plead guilty in federal court  Monday  to the charges. Gerald Estrade served  more  than  21 years in prison  for manslaughter in the 1988 death of his daughter. He now faces up to  10  years  in prison and a $250,000 fine for the threats.

 

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's  office  has reportedly asked the FBI to take part in an investigation regarding  a deputy who allegedly beat a handcuffed man during a disturbance at the  sugarcane  festival in September.  The unidentified deputy has been terminated but  now  an investigation is underway into any possible criminal violations that were committed.

 

A tax preparer in Natchitoches pleads guilty to filing false returns and  could  face three years in prison. 38-year-old Lashanda  Harris aided customers  in  filing  returns with bogus information, so they could get bigger refunds. She  collected kickbacks for her help. Her sentencing is January 30th.

 

The Iberville Parish  Sheriff's  office  says  a  man  is  in stable condition  after  allegedly  stabbing  himself  several  times  Tuesday morning  in  the parking lot of their substation in Maringouin where his girlfriend  was  filing  an abuse complaint against him. The man has not been identified but the  sheriff's office says he could face charges when he gets out of the hospital.

 

State  senator  Neil  Riser  of  Columbia is attacking his opponent, Vance McCallister,  in  the  5th District Congressional  run-off.  Riser's campaign released a new television  ad  that  says  McCallister has taken two different positions on the Affordable Care Act.  The  ad claims that McCallister   recently  told  a  Democrat  forum  that  he  embraces Obamacare, but his website says that he'll fight to repeal it.

 

A Mississippi Gulf Coast mother of a 4 month-old  infant  is free on $5,000  bond  after  she  allegedly  attempted  to sell her baby  on Craigslist. Twenty-three year-old Bobbie Jo Stojic  of Bay St. Louis sent a text to a woman in Kenner, originally discussing  the sale of baby  clothing.  When  the discussion went to selling her baby,  the other woman contacted authorities in Mississippi.

 

 

News For Tuesday 11/05/13


News for Tuesday 110513

By Dave Graichen

 

A Legislative Auditor's report  shows  the  Department  of  Health & Hospitals  last year paid out nearly $2-million in Medicaid benefits to persons who  were  actually dead.  DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert wants taxpayers  to  know  this  was  not  a  case  of Medicaid Benefits being paid out fraudulently. She  says  the money was paid out to five Medicaid service providers and was based  upon  federal  Social security data that had not been updated in some time. She says  they  will  take steps to recoup the money.

 

Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway  has given  his endorsement to Vance  McAllister   in  the  race  to fill the fifth  district  congressional seat.  McAllister is in a runoff  with State Senator Neil

Riser   of   Columbia. Holloway called  McAllister   a   "sound conservative."

 

A  republican state lawmaker, who was considering a campaign for U-S Senate  next  year,  has  changed  his  mind  and  instead  endorsed Congressman  Bill Cassidy to go up against Mary Landrieu. Shreveport Representative  Alan  Seabaugh  told  the Louisiana Radio Network in

September   that   he  questioned  whether  Cassidy   was   a   true conservative. Now he  says his opinion is changed after watching how he handled debate during the government shutdown. The Shreveport lawmaker  is  calling  on  other GOP members to unite behind Cassidy.

 

The White House confirms President Barack Obama will be visiting New Orleans on Friday to discuss  the  importance  of increasing exports from the Port of New Orleans to create jobs and  boost  the economy. Governor  Bobby Jindal has reissued his invitation to the  President to visit with  parents  and  students  participating  in the state's scholarship program while he's here and discuss the DOJ's opposition to the vouchers.

 

There's a growing sentiment among lawmakers that they shouldn't be  allowed to hand out Tulane scholarships and LSU Board of Supervisors  should be banned from awarding LSU scholarships. State legislators can  each award one Tulane scholarship a year and in exchange Tulane doesn't have to pay sales tax.  Richard plans to file a bill for the 2014 session that would prohibit  LSU board of supervisors members from giving away scholarships to the  state's flagship university. Some lawmakers have reportedly given their award to relatives of other politicians. Richard says it's time to completely do away with these programs.

 

Senator David Vitter says state leaders haven't done enough to pursue  those who committed food stamp fraud last month, when the food stamp  card system crashed. The October 14th glitch triggered a run of food  cardholders on two Wal-Marts - cleaning out their shelves - when the  cards showed no credit limits. Vitter says there's been no consequence.  Vitter has urged Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the Department of  Children & Family Services to investigate and prosecute those who

defrauded the food benefit card system, by purchasing well beyond what  they knew their card limits were. Vitter says Caldwell and DCFS have  deferred to the US Dept. of Agriculture, which runs the program.

 

State lawmakers voiced their concerns to education leaders about the  tougher standards that are being implemented in public schools. The  standards are called Common Core and during a legislative hearing  yesterday, Metairie Representative Cameron Henry told BESE President Chas Roemer, parents are not sold that Common Core is best for their kids. Other lawmakers said the state is not providing enough guidance or  funding to help school districts implement common core. State

Superintendent of Education John White understands the concerns, but  still believes the increased rigor in public schools will result in  students who are more prepared for life after high school graduation.  Representative Henry wasn't satisfied with the answers from White and  Roemer. The republican lawmaker says he'll file legislation that could  lead to big changes to common core.

 

The  Baton  Rouge Police Department says they responded to  an  area hospital Saturday night where a man claimed he was attacked then set on fire allegedly  by 5 teenagers. Investigators say the 37-year-old victim reported the teens stole a small amount of money from him and a lighter before beating  him  unconscious. Apparently the man awoke to find his pants on fire which he was able to put out and get help. The suspects remain at large.

 

The  Houma  Police Department says a 13-year-old boy faces negligent homicide charges  after an ATV he was driving flipped and killed one of  the five occupants. Investigators report the ATV was going at a high rate of speed when it flipped. A 14-year-old  boy was pronounced dead at the

scene.  The owner of the ATV was issued a  summons  for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and allowing a minor to drive.

 

According to the American  Automobile Association says the gas price continues to drop almost every day. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is now $3.05.

 

A Baton Rouge Police officer is recovering from wounds received over the weekend,  when he was attacked from behind, beaten and kicked by three 17-year-olds.  The  off-duty officer was working security at a Chili's restaurant, and was  dealing with a female customer asked to leave  the restaurant for using  loud,  filthy  language...when  the other three jumped him. Security video helped identify the trio, who have all been arrested.

 

Officials with the Greater Baton  Rouge State Fair says they'll look into stiffer security measures, after  a fatal shooting this past weekend. 18-year-old Keithdrick Pier faces 2nd  degree  murder  for the  killing  of 20-year-old Darrius Scott. Officials says next year will  likely  see   metal   detectors  and  restrictions  on  minors unaccompanied by an adult.

 

News For Monday 11/04/13


News for Monday 110413

By Dave Graichen

 

Members of the state House Education Committee will meet today, and pose  questions of education officials about the embattled Common Core State  Standards for student performance. Baton Rouge Rep. Steve Carter chairs  the committee. He says it's an opportunity for lawmakers to get  themselves up-to-date on the controversial topic.  Carter says the purpose is to help state legislators to be better- informed about Common Core when asked by constituents and media. He says  Education Superintendent John White and Board of Elementary & Secondary  Education President Chas Roemer be there to answer questions.

 

Early voting is under way for the 5th district congressional  runoff between state senator Neil Riser and political newcomer Vance  McCallister. Election day is November 16th, this week,  voters can cast early ballots. Political Analyst Elliot Stonecipher says  its too hard to say who will win between Riser and McCallister.  Stonecipher says McCallister has some momentum in this race, because he

is a political newcomer and voters are looking for a fresh face. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat agrees with Stonecipher but he says  Riser should benefit from the backing of Governor Jindal and

former U-S  Representative Rodney Alexander.

 

The March of Dimes gives Louisiana a failing grade again this year in  its annual Premature Births Report Card. Spokesperson Makesha Judson  says the MOD does the annual report to call attention to early birth  rates that often spawn health problems later in life for those  children.  Judson says Louisiana's  premature birth percentage of 15.3% IS coming  down slowly; last year it was 15.6. In 2006 it was over 16%.  She says March of Dimes and the state Department of Health & Hospitals are working together to try to reduce the premature birth rate to under  10% by 2020.

 

The Thibodaux man accused of killing his 7-year-old handicapped son in a  brutal manner returns to court today. Judge John Leblanc has scheduled  three days of hearings to determine if Jeremiah Wright is competent to  stand trial.  Judge Leblanc has ruled before on two different occasions that Wright  was incompetent to stand trial. Wright spent time earlier this year at a  mental hospital in East Feliciana Parish.

 

U.L.-Monroe announces job eliminations and consolidations, as the  university reorganizes to meet the annual state budget. ULM President  Dr. Nick Bruno says five academic colleges will merge into three, and 25  positions will be cut; six by attrition, and 19 via layoffs.  Bruno says the reorganization will mean about $4-million in annual cost  reduction through 2016, then about $2-million yearly going forward. Bruno says state budget cuts for higher education are the reason the  cuts were necessary. He says raising tuitions and fees at ULM has not  helped to avoid the reorganization.

 

 

 

Sports..

 

Saints Quarterback Drew threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns but it  was not enough to avoid an upset loss to the New York Jets. Brees was  also intercepted twice as he was under a lot of pressure in this game.  New Orleans defense also gave up nearly 200 rushing yards. Sean Payton  and the Saints are now 6-and-2 on the season.

 

 

News For Friday 11/01/13


News for Friday 110113

By Dave Graichen

 

Early voting begins Saturday  for  the  Fifth Congressional District Congressional runoff and other local races  that are on the November 16th  ballot.  The  Fifth  Congressional  District   runoff   between Republicans Neil Riser and Vance McAllister will be the main item on the ballot for most of those parishes.

 

A  search  warrant  for drugs at a  Colfax  home  led  Grant  Parish deputies to find illegal  weapons,  crystal  meth and an alligator - frozen  in a deep freeze. Deputies say the alligator  was  illegally

taken out-of-season,  and  the two  men arrested will face weapons, drugs and poaching charges.

 

We are now within a month of the official end of the 2013 Atlantic  Hurricane Season, which turned out to be much less active than forecast  by experts. State Climatologist Barry Keim feels we can pretty much close  the book on the season now. He says, historically speaking, we have  little to fear during November.  Hurricane experts predicted anywhere from 18 to 20 named storms, with up

 to 8 hurricanes. We've had sixteen named storms & only one hurricane.

 

Crime Time. Police in Baton Rouge are seeking the persons who shot a man  several times in a bicycle ride-by  shooting.  The  54-year-old victim  was  walking when a group of young men on bikes opened fire. He was hit several  times,  then struck by a truck when he staggered wounded into the road. he was  pronounced dead at the scene. As yet, police have no suspects and no motive for the violence.

 

A Lafayette man is in guarded  condition  after  he  was  shot  Thursday morning   during   an  armed  robbery.   Lafayette  Police  say  the 55-year-old victim was leaving his home with his children and was in his carport, when two men approached; demanding money. He managed to shove his two kids back inside the home before the assailants opened fire; hitting him once  in  the  stomach. Police are seeking tips on the crime.

 

The Department of Transportation warns motorists it will close eastbound  lanes of I-10 in Jefferson Davis Parish for four days - starting early  Saturday morning. DOTD spokeswoman Diedra Druilhet (droo-YETT) says all  eastbound traffic will be forced off at Exit 44 at Kinder, while workers  repair a section of the overpass. The closure will only affect the eastbound lanes

 

The Louisiana Book Festival returns for its 10th anniversary, tomorrow  in the Capital City. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says nearly 200 authors  and panelists will be in attendance, to celebrate Louisiana's literary  history. Dardenne says the Book Festival will be on the State Capitol grounds,

 inside the Capitol building and connect to the State Library nearby. More info online at http://www.LouisianaBookFestival.org

 

A  traffic  accident  Wednesday afternoon in St. Charles Parish took the life of a three-year-old St. Rose boy. Deputies say a dump truck driver was backing into  a parking place, when the child - riding an electric scooter - rolled  up  underneath the truck's wheels and was killed. No charges against that driver at this time.

 

A  Sulphur man accused of killing  a  baby  by  throwing  the  child against a wall pleads not guilty. 24-year-old Trent Dubroc allegedly acted out of frustration, when he harmed the baby on September 28th. He's  charged  with  2nd degree murder and with a separate charge of video voyeurism in an  unrelated case. He's still in jail, pending a $5-million bond.

 

Shreveport Police  say  they  took  a  13-year-old  into custody for stabbing  a  man  during  an  argument.  The  victim  was the  boy's stepfather; he was stabbed three times in his side. He's  now  in  a local  hospital  with life-threatening injuries. Charges against the boy are pending.

 

A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges the state Department of Natural Resources illegally, and without supporting evidence, granted a coastal use permit to RAM Terminals LLC, to build a coal export facility along the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. Filed in 25th Judicial District Court, the lawsuit asks the court to throw out the approved coastal use permit and direct the DNR to reconsider the decision to grant the permit. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Sierra Club Delta Chapter, the Gulf Restoration Network, Louisiana Environmental Action Network and two people who live near the proposed project.

 

Former Governor Edwin Edwards made news this week as he announced he may run  for  affice  again.   Edwards  floated  that  idea during a speaking  event  at  LSU.  U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross wonders if Edwards  is serious, or just trying to grab some ratings for his new reality TV show on A & E.

 

Sports..

 

 The Saints will fly up to New York on Saturday looking for a road win  against the Jets on Sunday. New Orleans enters the game with a 6-and-1  record, while the Jets are 4-and-4

 

 

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