News for Monday 083115
By Dave Graichen
The 2015 Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday is set for this Friday through Sunday, Sept. 4-6. The sales tax holiday applies to individual consumer purchases of a wide range of hunting gear. Unlike the other tax free holidays where you have to pay local taxes, guns, ammunition and other hunting supplies will be exempt from state and local sales taxes on those days.
As we enter the month of September, it’s usually the busiest month of the year for the hurricane season. State Climatologist Barry Keim says sea surface temperatures tend to peak during this month and we typically see an average of three to four named storms in the north-Atlantic and about two to three become hurricanes. So far this season we’ve had five named storms, 10 to 12 is the average number.
Former President George W Bush touted education successes in New Orleans as he visited the Crescent City for the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Bush says because of the proliferation of charter schools, test scores and graduation rates are up in the Big Easy.
Bush delivered the speech at Warren Easton High School. He also spoke there on the first anniversary of Katrina.
According to BankRate.com, Louisiana is the worst state for drivers. The website’s research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn says they ranked all 50 states according to the amount of fatal crashes, car thefts, commute times, gas prices, and insurance premiums.
An anonymous tip has led authorities to the largest cocaine seizure in the history of Plaquemines Parish. Sheriff’s Office Commander Eric Becnel says they seized more than 200 pounds of pure cocaine, with an estimated street value of 18 million dollars.
With some financial help from the Federal Communications Commission, Monroe-based CenturyLink has announced plans to bring high-speed internet to more than 24-thousand rural households and businesses in Louisiana. The company says construction is expected to begin early next year.
LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron says he’s been successfully treated for prostate cancer. Cameron says he had a procedure and received news a couple of weeks ago that he was cancer free. The 54-year-old says he’s ready to roll for the regular season.
A new Louisiana State Police cadet class starts their first full day of training today in Baton Rouge. Sgt. Nick Manale says over the next 16 weeks, they will cover everything from classroom instruction to hands on scenario based training. Manale says even though they’ve added over 100 troopers since 2014, they are still hoping to have another cadet class soon, after this current one wraps up.
In the end, it was a game marred by mistakes and penalties The Texans Beat the Saints in Exhibition Sunday 27-13
News For Friday 082815
By Dave Graichen
The St. Landry Parish town of Sunset is mourning the loss of Police Officer Henry Nelson. Thirty-five year-old Harrison Lee Riley is accused of shooting and killing Nelson Wednesday while responding to a domestic disturbance. Riley faces charges of first degree murder of a police officer, first degree murder and attempted first degree murder. In a bizarre twist, it is now reported the shooter was the cousin of the dead police officer.
Visitation is today for fallen State Police Trooper Steven Vincent, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week. Due to tremendous support, the location of the visitation has been moved to the Lake Charles Civic Center Rosa Heart Theater. The funeral service will take place Saturday at noon at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Lake Charles.
Former President George W. Bush visits New Orleans today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Many people are reflecting back to 10 years ago when Hurricane Katrina descended on the Gulf Coast and caused catastrophic widespread damage. Families throughout the New Orleans area were displaced and people all over the state were opening their doors to evacuees. Our Governor during that time, Kathleen Blanco, says the unbelievable recovery in the last decade shows the resiliency and determination of Louisianians. The immediate response efforts to the disaster by federal, state and local governments is widely criticized. Blanco says following Katrina and Rita she instructed her staff to rewrite the disaster response. She believes Louisiana now leads the nation in knowing what to do before, during and after storms.
The director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says the state is in a better position to respond to a Hurricane Katrina like event. GOHSEP director Kevin Davis says one of the biggest advancements is a better relationship between the state and FEMA. Where to shelter evacuees was a huge issue during Katrina. Davis says since then they have identified enough shelter to house individuals here in Louisiana, if there’s a need to evacuate the New Orleans area.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture says its new mobile pet shelter is ready for use. Commissioner Mike Strain says the tractor trailer can be used to evacuate up 55 domesticated animals in the event of an emergency. Those animals will then be transported to one of the state’s Jumbo pet shelters. Strain says 40-thousand of the 80-thousand dollars needed to complete the project was donated by veterinary foundations.
Pamela Causey-Fregia was allowed to change her plea Thursday to not guilty by reason of insanity, but a judge wants more information before appointing a sanity commission in her case. The 32 year old Oakdale woman is charged with first degree murder and first degree feticide in the death of 22 year old Victoria Perez of Lecompte back in 2011.
Most of the public boat ramps on the Red River have reopened after repairs and cleaning from flooding, according to the Red River Waterway Commission. The open ramps include those in Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides and Avoyelles parishes. The Alexandria Levee Park ramp remains closed because it was one with heavier damage, according to the commission. Crews are working at the ramp, and it is projected to reopen soon.
Gas prices dropped two pennies from the day before. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.22. That’s almost a dime less from the same time last week.
Thursday Morning’s low temperature of 60 degrees was a record low for Aug. 27 in Alexandria.
It marked the second day in a row of a record low temperature, with Wednesday's low of 57 setting a record for Aug. 26. Today was no record breaker. That record of 56 was set back in 1896. Forecasters say we can expect to see a slow warmup over the next few days.
The Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office and Capital Area Human Services are teaming up to raise awareness about the growing heroin and synthetic marijuana problem in the area. Coroner Dr. Beau Clark says his office has already seen 24 heroin overdose deaths so far this year. He says at this rate, East Baton Rouge Parish could surpass the record of 35 heroin overdose deaths recorded in 2013.
After losing its NBC billing and seeing its viewership plummet to an all-time low, the organization that puts on Miss USA lost $75,000 Thursday that Visit Baton Rouge had initially offered to lure the pageant back to the Capital City. Miss USA has now lost around $100,000 in incentive payments between Visit Baton Rouge and the state’s Office of Tourism both cutting back their promised incentive payments to the pageant. Controversial comments from Miss USA/Miss Universe owner Donald Trump caused several celebrity hosts, judges, performers and sponsors to cut ties with the organization just days before the pageant was set to broadcast live in July from Baton Rouge.
News for Thursday 082715
By Dave Graichen
Another Louisiana policeman has been shot dead in the line of duty. Sunset Police officer Henry Nelson was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says the suspect, Harrison Lee Wiley Junior of Arnaudville, fatally shot Nelson in the front yard of the home and then stabbed three women he was arguing with. The other fatal victim has been identified as 40-year-old Shameka Johnson, who is a sister Grand Coteau Mayor Shaterral Johnson. Wiley is in police custody, but not before he barricaded himself inside a nearby convenience store. Guirdoz says they believe Wiley was on some sort of illegal narcotic, but they are not sure what….
The accused cop-killer in Lake Charles who shot a State Trooper this week has now been charged with another murder. Kevin Daigle reportedly shot and killed 54 year-old Blake Brewer of Moss Bluff, who was sharing a residence with him. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Deputies believe the same gun was used for the killing of Trooper Steven Vincent.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office reports a Houston man was killed early Wednesday at the RoyOMartin plywood plant in Chopin. No details are available at this time as to how the death occurred. The Man, who was ID’d as 50 year old Scott Randall Whitehead, was taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, where he was pronounced dead.
The All-Stars team defeated a team from The Town Talk in the Corporate Quiz Bowl finals Tuesday night at the Hearn Stage in downtown Alexandria. The All-Stars were Joshua Zona, Megan Valentine, David Britt and Dr. David Holcombe. Representing The Town Talk were Jim Smilie, Melissa Gregory, Shelly Leger and Richard Sharkey. In the semifinals, the All-Stars defeated the Cenla Broadcasting team while The Town Talk defeated a team from Louisiana State University of Alexandria. The Quiz Bowl competition is a fundraiser and a precursor to the Regions’ Alexandria Bowl, which will feature high school quiz bowl teams competing Sept. 26 at LSUA.
Complaints from neighbors about heroin sales in Alexandria led Rapides Parish Sheriff’s metro agents to a convicted felon with bags of the drug and a gun. When a warrant Tuesday at a Webster Street home, agents found the suspect, 27-year-old Mario County inside with five bags of suspected heroin and a gun. County was arrested and was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish is deviating from the state’s party in endorsing incumbent Buddy Caldwell in the Attorney General’s race. The Republican Party of Louisiana threw their support behind former congressman Jeff Landry. EBR GOP Chairman Woody Jenkins says Caldwell has done a great job… He says besides opposing Obamacare and the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf- Caldwell’s litigation skills are a real plus.
A new poll by Triumph Campaigns shows Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards neck and neck in this year’s governor’s race. The telephone survey of over 2,000 respondents shows Vitter leading with 31-percent of the vote followed by Edwards with 30-percent. Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle come in with 14-percent and 13-percent respectively. The survey, which has a margin of error of 2.1-percent, also shows11-percent of respondents are undecided.
Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana will merge together to form a single utilitly company. The consolidation received approval from the Public Service Commission. Entergy Louisiana president Phillip May says the merger will lead to customer savings and make the company financially stronger, so it can improve how it delivers energy.
Louisiana State Police say a high-speed chase that began in Carencro ended in Duson with one trooper injured and four State Police units damaged. The suspect-who appeared to be very intoxicated-is facing numerous charges.
President Barack Obama visits New Orleans today and he’ll visit areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. Between the Obama and Bush administrations, a reported 71 billion dollars in federal money was allocated to assist recovery efforts in the region. U-N-O Political Science professor Ed Chervanek says while the federal money helped, the recovery didn’t accelerate until Mayor Mitch Landrieu got into office. Chervanek says the federal government did supply billions of dollars to the recovery but is also responsible for the damage to New Orleans because of an inadequate flood control system. Former President GW Bush will visit the city tomorrow..
The Louisiana National Guard, which played a huge role during Hurricane Katrina, has dedicated an exhibit to the destructive storm at their Jackson Barracks museum in New Orleans. Captain Heather Englehart says one of the biggest parts of the exhibit is a Huey helicopter used to save thousands trapped on rooftops. She says about 32 thousand troops were flown in to help with the rescue efforts.
Two people are dead and six are wounded following four separate shootings that occurred in New Orleans within one evening, authorities say. The shootings happened Tuesday.
A barge manufacturing plant in the Port Allen area plans to close this fall, eliminating more than 280 jobs. Trinity Marine Products Inc., informed state labor officials of the plans to begin shutting down Oct. 23. They expect to complete the shutdown and layoffs of 283 workers by Nov. 30. The Louisiana Workforce Commission said it received a letter Wednesday informing them of the planned plant closure.
A former New Orleans police officer convicted for burning the body of a man shot to death by another officer after Hurricane Katrina will learn in November whether he will get a reduction in his 17-year sentence. Gregory McRae must be re-sentenced because one of the charges on which he was convicted was tossed out in July by a federal appeals court. Two convictions were upheld. McRae burned a car containing the body of Henry Glover.
LSU coach Les Miles has finally named a starter at the quarterback position. It will be sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris who gets the lead over junior Anthony Jennings.
News for Friday 082115
By Dave Graichen
Hurricane Danny in the Atlantic continues to move on west-northwest track towards the Windward Islands. The storm currently doesn’t pose a threat to land, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says we need to keep an eye on it. Keim says the forecast model has Danny becoming a Cat 2 storm within the next couple of days.
Hurricane Danny was located about 985 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean as of 5 a.m. EDT Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to 85 mph with higher gusts.
Some slight strengthening is possible before Danny begins weakening this weekend.
Danny will track west-northwest, reaching the Leeward Islands Monday.
A weakened Danny may bring drought-relieving rainfall to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands early next week.
The RPSO reports a Pineville man already facing three counts of molestation of a juvenile has been charged with more offenses. 40 year old Jason Hazmuka Jr. had been arrested on Tuesday after a complaint was lodged against him on Sunday. But the sheriff’s office says more evidence was discovered that implicated Hazmuka in other crimes related to the criminal sexual conduct. This time He was charged with three counts of sexual battery and aggravated crime against nature.
If you use Campbell Creek Road in the Lena area, the Rapides Parish Highway Department says it has been closed for repair until further notice. No clues were given as to how long that may be..
State GOP executive director Jason Dore says “opposition research” is why his name appears on a list of accounts that used the Ashley Madison cheating website. Dore says his law firm routinely searches online databases to provide clients with reports. Dore’s name is one of 639 on a Baton Rouge list of individuals that purportedly used Ashley Madison. The names have been released as part of website hack.
The state department of health and hospitals says there have been 20 people diagnosed with the West Nile virus in Louisiana this year. State health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says so far no deaths associated with West Nile this year.
A Covington Fire Department official says three students from Covington High School were taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon suffering from suspected drug overdoses. The Fire Department was called to the school after a report of an unresponsive student at lunch. Another student was also found unresponsive and a third reportedly told officials they had all taken the banned synthetic drug Mojo. At last report, the conditions of the three teens was unknown.
An Oakdale woman accused of killing, burning, and burying a pregnant woman and her unborn baby wants to change her plea. Pamela Causey-Fregia wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2011 death of Victoria Perez and her unborn child. Officials believe Causey-Fregia killed the pregnant Perez with the intent of taking her baby and raising it as her own.
The Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve arrested a man who is accused of keeping his 17-year-old girlfriend captive in a filthy home also occupied by his 7-year-old child.
27-year-old Terry Landry is charged with domestic abuse battery, false imprisonment and criminal neglect.
The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a teenager who confessed to stabbing his aunt to death because the devil made him. Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle says the teen committed the horrible act while his aunt, Yolanda Hunter, was sleeping and she died later at a hospital. The teen is charged with second degree murder.
The eyes of the world will be on New Orleans over the next week as major television networks will air Hurricane Katrina specials in recognition of the 10 year anniversary. Fox News and ESPN will show features this weekend and ABC has a one hour show Sunday night. President Obama will visit the city on Thursday, while former President George W Bush will be in the Big Easy on August 28th and former President Bill Clinton will visit on the actual anniversary, August 29th.
The Baton Rouge Police Department arrests a man they say exposed himself to a woman jogging the LSU lakes claiming he had to do it 100 times to get into a fraternity. BRPD Corporal Don Coppola says 32-year-old Charles Jeremy Harrison of Denham Springs is charged with a count of obscenity. Coppola says cops identified Harrison from other police reports and the victim was also able to identify the man from a photographic line-up.
Activists are now offering more reward money for information leading to an arrest in the case of a cat cut in half and left on display on a Covington golf course. They say anyone who comes forward with information about who did this to the cat will get a $1700 reward. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has formed an animal abuse task force to try and solve the crime.
News for Thursday 082015
By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center predicts that Tropical Storm Danny will become the first hurricane of the 2015 season. Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart says Danny has sustained winds of 50 miles per hour with higher gusts, but says the storm is expected to strengthen. Even though they expect hurricane status on Friday, they don’t expect it will stay a hurricane for long. Predictions are it will downgrade to Tropical Storm status by Monday.
Speaking of hurricanes, The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is coming up August 29th, and President Barack Obama will join with New Orleans Mitch Landrieu on the 27th in the Crescent City to remember the victims, and honor the rebuilding of the city.
The Grant Parish sheriff’s office reports two Colfax men have been arrested and charged with hunting alligators out of season and without a license. 38 year old Samuel Daniels and 43 year old Patrick Daniels were cited by agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Agents found 12 gator heads and two freezers full of gator meat.
A panel created by the legislature to conduct a thorough review of the Common Core education standards and recommend changes, met for the first time Wednesday in Baton Rouge. The committee has received 29-thousand online comments regarding Common Core, many of those suggested keeping the English and math standards as they are now. Yesterday’s hearing was the first of six.
In a recent study by WalletHub, Louisiana is the 7th worst state for women’s equality. The study looks at how women rank in terms of equity around economic issues, health issues, education and political representation. The study also ranks Louisiana 49th in the pay gap between men and women.
Only five companies placed bids on 33 tracts in the western Gulf of Mexico during a federal oil lease sale in New Orleans. It’s the smallest lease sale in the Gulf off Texas since the federal government began regional sales in 1983. Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs says this is an indicator of how cautious companies are being. The last lease sale in the same region of the Gulf brought in over $100 million dollars compared to Wednesday’s $23 million dollars.
Planned Parenthood and its supporters will hold a rally this afternoon in front of the governor’s mansion to protest Governor Bobby Jindal’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood. Jindal ordered for the canceling of the Medicaid contract that the state has with the organization. Planned Parenthood’s Raegan Carter says the governor’s decision will make it harder for over 5-thousand low income Louisianans to receive high quality affordable healthcare.
Opelousas Senator and Lt. Governor candidate Elbert Guillory says the use of the “N-word” in his television commercial is for educational purposes. The TV ad, which only ran in New Orleans, has former President Lyndon B Johnson saying the N-word after signing the Civil Rights Act. Guillory says many people believe the former Democratic President was a hero…
Guillory is a black republican and the ad is an attempt to persuade blacks not to automatically vote for democrats.
Republican US Senator David Vitter is set to hit the television airwaves with the first commercial of his gubernatorial campaign. The spot will begin airing today statewide. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says this move is a sign that Vitter is ready to campaign. Republican Scott Angelle has been running ads this summer but we’ve heard little so far from Republican Jay Dardenne and Democrat John Bel Edwards as far as advertising goes.
Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert announced the firing today of veteran A-T-C agent Brette Tingle. Tingle was fired for racist and sexual text messages on his state issued phone. This news comes on the heels of Hebert’s state issued vehicle being stolen and the thief attempted to light the SUV on fire. Hebert says it will be up to investigators to determine if the incident is connected to Tingle.
LSU starting safety Jalen Mills reportedly miss four to six weeks after suffering an ankle injury during practice yesterday. Tiger Rag Editor Cody Worsham says Rickey Jefferson will likely replace Mills in the starting line-up and the injury will also give a couple of freshmen more playing time. Worsham says the injury Mills could force him to miss the SEC opener at Mississippi State on September 12th
The Saints have another joint practice with the Patriots today and then the two teams will travel to New Orleans for a preseason game on Saturday night. Quarterback Drew Brees says the workouts are spirited and it brings out the best in
News for Wednesday 081915
By Dave Graichen
Pineville’s first black city councilman and a longtime educator in Rapides Parish, Lemon Coleman, passed away Monday. Coleman served on the Pineville City Council for 24 years, including serving as mayor pro tem. In 1974, Coleman became the first black member of the Pineville council, elected from a district that was overwhelmingly white. Lemon Coleman will be missed.. he was 80 year old.
Tropical Storm Danny has formed way out in the Atlantic Ocean. The models show the storm strengthening into a Category Two hurricane by the weekend as it moves closer to the Caribbean. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Danny is so far away, it’s hard to say if it will impact the US or the Gulf. But, it does Bare watching. Danny is more than 15-hundred miles east of the windward islands.
The RPSO reports a Vick man who allegedly fired shots from a truck while in Deville was captured Monday in Texas. 47 year old Ricky Darnell McGraw was apprehended by Rapides detectives and members of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Violent Offender Task Force at a home near Hemphill, Texas. McGraw was charged with illegal use of a weapon, aggravated flight from an officer, reckless operation, driving under suspension, two counts of aggravated criminal damage to property, two counts of public intimidation and the contempt of court warrant.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Danny in the Atlantic as it moves toward the Caribbean. Director Kevin Davis says the storm is expected to reach hurricane strength later this week. Davis says it’s important for people to take notice now. Davis says on its current track, the storm could possibly enter the Gulf of Mexico. He says we will know more as the week progresses. Davis says this would be a good opportunity to make sure you have a plan in place in case a hurricane threatens.
According to a study by WalletHub, Lafayette is the 9th least educated city out of 150 of the largest US metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). In the 2015 Most & Least Educated Cities report, the Hub City is in the bottom 10 at No. 142. New Orleans MSA ranking was 106 out of 150, Baton Rouge was 108 and Shreveport-Bossier was 127.
The Department of Health and Hospitals says they’ve found a brain eating amoeba in a water system in Terrebonne Parish. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says this is the third water system in the state to test positive for the amoeba this summer and one reason is because they are using a better test. He says officials are taking steps to increase the chlorine level in the system so Houma area residents may notice a difference in the taste but the water is safe to drink.
The first of six public hearings on whether or not changes should be made to Common Core takes place today in Baton Rouge. It’s the first meeting of the Standards Review Committee, which was created by lawmakers in the last legislative session. Future public meetings will take place in each of the state’s six congressional districts over the next several months.
Republican Jay Dardenne is taking advantage of technology in his race for Governor. The campaign says there’s an app for that — it’s called Jay Dardenne for Governor and it’s available on Apple and Android devices. Dardenne says the app awards points for actions supporters take to grow the campaign. Dardenne says they will also use the app to remind people when deadlines to register to vote approach.
Two different high school students at two different South Louisiana high schools have been arrested for bringing loaded guns to to their schools. A Plaquemine High School student was charged after information provided by a football player located his gun. The other was Tuesday morning at McKinley High in Baton Rouge where 17 year-old Owen Galo was arrested for a loaded 38 caliber gun in his book bag.
The Jindal Administration announces Louisiana was given a grade of A in Thumbtack.com’s 2015 report card on small business friendliness. The report ranks Louisiana No. 4 in the nation for its supportive small business environment. The survey asked nearly 18,000 small business owners in the US to rate their state across a broad range of policy factors. Louisiana has ranked among the Top 5 states in the Thumbtack.com survey for three of the past four years.
The Saints begin two days of joint practices with the New England Patriots at their training camp facility in West Virginia. The two teams will also play each other in preseason game on Saturday night in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Coach Sean Payton says with training camp winding down soon, going up against another team comes at a good time…
News for Tuesday 081815
By Dave Graichen
Pineville minister Joshua Jay Dara, pastor of Zion Hill Church, has announced he will run as a republican for the Louisiana Senate District 29 seat being vacated by veteran legislator Sen. Rick Gallot. Gallot, a Democrat who served in the House and Senate, said earlier this summer he won’t seek re-election. Alexandria Attorney Jay Luneau, a democrat, announced last his plans last week to run for the District 29 seat as well.
The APD has arrested 26 year old John Bynog of Alexandria on charges of setting fire to a home last Wednesday while three people were inside. All escaped the flames without injury, but fire officials say the back of the home was damaged. Bynog was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center over the weekend.
A former Rayne part time police officer is in jail on charges of multiple sex crimes against children. Acadia Parish Sheriff’s office spokesperson Maxine Trahan says investigators received a complaint against Troy Bryant Menard earlier this month and immediately launched an investigation. Trahan says Menard was fired from the force as soon as charges were brought.
State Treasurer John Kennedy says the Jindal administration should not decide the fate about the shuttered charity hospital in New Orleans. Kennedy says the historic building constructed in the 1930s, is an important asset to the state, and a decision on the hospital’s future should be made by the next governor and legislature. The Division of Administration says they have received proposals from five groups who may be interested in redeveloping the former hospital building but a timeline on the future use of the building hasn’t been established. The old charity hospital has be closed since it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.
Louisiana Tech is mourning the death of track and field student-athlete Noah Riche. The 22-year-old, who was a javelin thrower, was killed in an automobile accident in Arkansas after working at a Christian children’s camp at Camp Ozark. The Madisonville native was also an engineering major at Tech.
It’s the announcement ice cream lovers have been waiting for. Blue Bell announced Monday they will begin delivery to select markets on Monday August 31st. The five-phase process will begin on a limited basis in parts of Alabama first, before moving to other areas. No dates yet for phase 4 to include South Louisiana, or phase five to cover North Louisiana.
Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert says his state issued vehicle was stolen from his Baton Rouge home and the thief attempted to set it on fire. Hebert says this isn’t the first time A-T-C has been targeted. He says six of their vehicles were shot up outside of headquarters about two years ago and he also learned of comments threatening to shoot him and bomb his office. Hebert says Alcohol and Tobacco Control has issued over 800 citations this year so that could be a factor in what motivated these attacks.
Louisiana chef Jay Ducote was not the big winner Sunday night on this season’s Food Network Star, but he remains optimistic about the future. The title went to former NFL player Eddie Jackson. Ducote found out along with everyone else that he is the runner-up on the show. He says his first reaction was disappointment. But, it appears because of his strong performance, Ducote might get his own show on the network anyway.
A candidate for State House-who wanted to be listed on the ballot as both a Democrat and Republican-has had his lawsuit against the Terrebonne Registrar of Voters thrown out by a state district judge. The Registrar had listed Houma attorney Damon Baldone’s party affiliation as “other,” but he said his dual-listing was his statement to voters to work with both parties
Baldone says he will appeal the decision.
After a denial of a request by a federal appellate court to re-hear the case of some death row inmates at Angola to get air-conditioning, attorneys may ask for the Supreme Court to step in. A Baton Rouge federal judge first ruled that prison officials should consider other methods- besides air conditioning- to keep heat indexes on death at or below 88 degrees.On a regular basis temps exceed 100.
State Police announce the arrest of a Houston man for allegedly using counterfeit money at a Lake Charles casino. Sgt. James Anderson says they were contacted by the casino about someone trying to buy into a table game using phony money. The man is charged with 49 counts of monetary instrument abuse and faces up to ten years in prison.
If the season started today, Brandon Harris would likely be the starting quarterback for the LSU Tigers. Harris is getting a majority of the reps with the first team over last year’s starter Anthony Jennings. But Jennings says he hasn’t played his best football yet. Jennings missed a good portion of the offseason workouts, because he was arrested for allegedly breaking into another person’s apartment. The criminal charge was dropped. Jennings says he spent the summer working out on his own.
News for Monday 081715
By Dave Graichen
State Police report an Alexandria man died Saturday night after he lost control of the motorcycle he was operating on interstate 10. 62 year old Donald Stanfield was traveling east The accident happened shortly after 9pm just west of U.S. Highway 165. Police said preliminary investigation revealed Stanfield was traveling in the exit lane for U.S. 165 when, for unknown reasons, he failed to negotiate a right turn onto the exit ramp. The motorcycle traveled off of the roadway into a sign causing Stanfield to be ejected. Stanfield was pronounced dead at the scene.
State Police say a young girl was killed in Grant Parish after being involved in a high speed collision. Master Trooper Scott Moreau says, 26-year-old Kristopher Silk of Pollock, was speeding when he crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler going in the same direction on Hwy 165. 7-year-old Adrein Silk was pronounced dead. Moreau says the driver, Kristopher Silk received minor injuries. Moreau says they’re unsure if Silk was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the accident but routine toxicology tests and charges are pending.
State lawmakers have learned next year’s fiscal budget shortfall is projected at 713 million dollars. Director of the Louisiana Budget Project Jan Moller says this is a sign that the new governor will be faced will big fiscal problems next year. Lawmakers also raised concerns at the joint legislative budget meeting that the current budget might need to be cut due to low oil prices.
The Jindal administration had said that they would use the “Heritage Act” to prevent the removal of four confederate monuments in New Orleans. But there’s just one problem with that, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports there’s no such thing as the “Heritage Act” on the state’s books. It’s expected the New Orleans City Council will consider removing the monuments after the city’s landmark’s commission voted that the statues should be taken down.
Three of the four major gubernatorial candidates support Governor Bobby Jindal’s decision to end Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood. This decision came after controversial secretly taped videos showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling aborted fetus parts for medical research. Democrat John Bel Edwards is the only candidate who doesn’t agree with the governor. He says a decision to defund Planned Parenthood should be based on the result of the investigation into the videos. He thinks Jindal failed to plan for the impact of his choice.
The Obama Administration has approved limited crude oil trading with Mexico. President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Don Briggs says this is good for the industry because it helps with the balance of trade after the banning of crude oil exports since the 70’s. Briggs says there is no reason for the US to be excluded from trade and it’s time to be involved in the open and free market. He says this would have a tremendous impact on oil and gas companies in the country.
Louisiana State Police say a Lottie man died after being involved in a head on collision with Acadian Ambulance. 61-year-old Brett Bergeron was driving south on LA 411 in Livonia when, for unknown reasons, his truck crossed the center line into north bound traffic and struck the ambulance head-on. The ambulance driver sustained minor injuries. Bergeron was wearing a seatbelt during the accident but suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says the crime scene authorities have been searching for human remains under the I-10 Bridge this week. He says no body has been found but they have evidence 35-year-old Gammion McCloud, of Arizona, killed someone and threw them over the bridge. McCloud was arrested in Oregon on unrelated charges and will soon be extradited back to Calcasieu and charged with aggravated rape, aggravated incest and second degree battery.
The extreme rainfall and heavy storms earlier in the summer that caused the Red River flooding resulted in almost 7 million dollars in damage to agriculture in Northwest Louisiana. Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter economist, says this is just a preliminary estimate and expects the numbers to be even higher.
News for Friday 081415
By Dave Graichen
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Dept arrested an Alexandria man Wednesday during a drug raid on Brown’s Bend Road. Metro Agents reportedly found three guns, about 40 bags of suspected meth and MSM, “a common cutting or diluting compound,” as well as marijuana, Xanax pills, digital scales and more bags for packaging. 25 year old Michael Dauzart was taken into custody after the struggle.
The Pineville Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing woman. 39 year old Sarah Kelsey was last seen in the Pineville area on Aug. 4. Anyone with information on her is asked to call the Pineville PD or the Sheriff’s Department.
The Jindal Administration has added tracking devices to state vehicles as a way to monitor employee driving habits. Jan Cassidy, assistant commissioner for procurement, believes the GPS will make state workers more responsible drivers. The program is expected to save the state $30 million over the next five years in fuel, maintenance, and insurance cost reductions.
There’s been a lot of discussion across the state this summer about confederate monuments. There was a lengthy hearing about that subject in New Orleans Tuursday and the city’s Historic District Landmarks Commission voted to remove four confederate monuments from where they currently stand. The proposal still needs city council approval.
According to a survey conducted by LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab a few weeks ago, less than one third of Louisiana voters are paying attention to the governor’s race. Research Director Mike Henderson says the number is actually 29 percent. The highest favorable AND unfavorable marks went to Republican Senator David Vitter.
A survey from the LSU Public Policy Research Lab finds Louisiana residents are becoming more disgruntled over the direction the state is heading. Researcher Michael Henderson says in January 45% of the respondents said the state is moving in the wrong direction, they asked that question again this summer and now the percentage is up to 59. He says it’s hard to tell if this will result in a higher voter turnout for the governor’s election.
A large portion of southwest Louisiana has been designated as having severe drought conditions by the US Drought Monitor. The area of severe drought covers Calcasieu, Lafayette and into Iberia, St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes. Donovan Landreneau, with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, says after a wet spring it’s been a dry and hot summer. Portions of Caddo and DeSoto parishes also have severe drought conditions. Landreneau says rain chances do go up at the start of next week, but it will be another few weeks before we see any real relief.
In response to the recent Geismar murder of Monica Johnson allegedly at the hands of her estranged husband, some have advocated that abused women get guns. The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence says it’s not a great idea, since only 7 percent of women used a gun successfully in self-defense, and 9 out of 10 are in prison for killing their partner.
The US Department of Health and Hospitals is warning Louisiana that ending Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood may be a violation of federal law. Governor Bobby Jindal announced plans this month to cut off payments to the organization citing released videos which apparently show Planned Parenthood officials describing the sale of fetus tissue. The Federal government says this could possibly break federal regulations.
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines announces it will soon be adding daily non-stop flights between New Orleans and Las Vegas. The company says when the new route starts on November 13th, the plane is scheduled to leave The Big Easy at 7am and departures from Vegas will be 9:50pm our time.
A new Louisiana governor will be sworn in early January, and a construction company confirms that Governor Bobby Jindal and his family will be moving to University Club in Baton Rouge by early December. They say construction is underway on a vacant lot near a golf course overlooking the lake with woods behind it. The house will also be near the home of LSU President F. King Alexander.
A study from Tulane raises concerns about adverse side effects when taking statins, which is known to lower cholesterol and help patients with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Eckhard Alt, director of cardiovascular research for Tulane, says he’s found how statins could lead to memory loss, muscle problems and an increased risk for diabetes.
LSU Coach Les Miles says quarterback Brandon Harris continues to take snaps with the first team as the Tigers get ready for the 2015 season. Miles continues to say both Harris and Anthony Jennings are getting better. But don’t expect him to make a big announcement on who will be the starter against McNeese State.
The N.O. Saints Lost Their preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens last night. The Final. 30-27
News For Thursday 081315
By Dave Graichen
We’ve heard of Feral Hogs being a major nuisance, But, Feral Horses. The
Army reports nearly 700 feral horses are roaming Ft. Polk. Officials say the animals case major disruptions during training exercises on the base. The officials who are trying to find a way to deal horses are holding a meeting Today to hear input from residents and animal rights groups, among others.
State Police say they are looking for a driver from Pineville they believe is at fault in a fatal hit and run crash in St. Mary Parish. Trooper Dustin Dwight says a motorcyclist was hit by 31-year-old Mark Montie Jr who pulled his truck out in front of him. He says the motorcyclist, identified as 22-year-old Jerome Rudolph Jr. of Patterson, was pronounced dead on scene.
He says Montie stopped at the scene, then fled on foot and is still on the run.
A new poll from CNN shows that Governor Bobby Jindal is not gaining ground on the republican presidential front runners in Iowa. Jindal only received support from two percent of the 544 republican likely caucus goers who were surveyed following last week’s debate on Fox News. Donald Trump led the pack at 22-percent.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says Louisiana’s insurance market is stronger and more competitive today than it was before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Donelon says one indicator is the number of insurance companies active in Louisiana. There are currently more than before the storms. Donelon credits the creation of a mandatory statewide building code and the legislature passed incentives encouraging homeowners to strengthen their properties against storms in helping the insurance market recover..
A Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s deputy is being called a hero today after rescuing three people who were sleeping inside a burning home in Lacassine. Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Chris Ivey says Deputy Josh Bienvenu used his quick thinking after driving by the burning house at around 3:40 Tuesday morning while on duty. Ivey says when Deputy Bienvenu arrived on the scene, the front of the residence was completely engulfed in flames up to the roof. He says Bienvenu was able to enter the home and locate three occupants sleeping.
The Louisiana Lottery Corporation announces revenue is up for the 5th consecutive year and they are contributing over $167 million to the State Treasury for 2015. The LA Lottery says it ended its fiscal year with $453.8 million in revenue, up about $3.3 million from the previous year.
Following some criticism of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu of Republican gubernatorial candidate and Senator David Vitter; saying he has not delivered enough federal assistance in the city’s high murder rate, today, Vitter fired back. He said the murder rate is mostly the responsibility of local leadership, and that the mayor should “focus on murders; not monuments.” Landrieu says our state needs a governor who will unite citizens and focus on solutions to move us forward and not more Washington rhetoric.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves the Child Care Assistance Program that will help more low income families receive federal assistance so they can send their kids to daycare. At one time there were about 40-thousand children enrolled, now there are only 15-thousand. State Superintendent of Education John White says this is very much needed.
A man who was allegedly threatening some of his family members in Downsville has been shot by Union Parish sheriff’s deputies. State Police Troop F Spokesman Michael Reichardt says deputies were called out to the disturbance around 10:30 pm Tuesday night. He says the man pointed his weapon at cops which is when they fired and struck him. The unnamed suspect is in serious condition in a Shreveport hospital.
In some campaign news, Republican Scott Angelle announces that the former Miss USA and Breaux Bridge native Ali Landry is endorsing the Public Service Commissioner for governor.
The State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has cut the ribbon on a new 3 million dollar oyster hatchery in Grand Isle that will more than double production of the larvae used to seed oyster grounds. Statewide Oyster Program Manager Patrick Banks says they’ve seen major decreases in oysters since the BP oil spill and this will be an important component to boosting the oyster population.
Louisiana shrimpers continue to show their anger over a lack of federal regulations that is flooding the market with cheap imported shrimp and damaging the industry in the US. The Louisiana Shrimp Association led a protest in New Orleans outside the venue where the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is holding meetings this week. President Clint Guidry says the future of the shrimp industry hangs in the balance.
Tonight the Saints will face the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason opener. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says the coaches are looking for a cleanly played game that doesn’t feature a lot of mental mistakes or penalties, especially with your first unit. You can hear that game tonight on 96.9 KZMZ.
News for Wednesday 081215
By Dave Graichen
The Alexandria City Council announced the 2015 millage rates for the city yesterday. The total millage of the three ad valorem taxes was set at 24.18, which is up slightly from last year's total of 24.08. The rates apply to the assessed value of property subject to ad valorem taxation within the city. In the case of city taxes, homestead exemption does not apply.
State Police say a 1-year-old, who was riding in the lap of a front seat passenger, was ejected from the vehicle and died from her injuries in a crash that took place in Morehouse Parish on Monday afternoon. Authorities say 23-year-old Shatora Hall of Bastrop was driving and there were five other people in the car at the time. Hall has been charged with reckless operation and a no child restraint violation.
A Lecompte man will serve 25 years in prison at hard labor after pleading no contest Monday to a lesser charge of forcible rape. 56 year old Kenneth Benoit had been facing five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of forcible rape, two counts of aggravated incest, second-degree battery and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. After Benoit agreed to the deal, one of the aggravated rape charges was reduced to forcible rape and the remaining charges were dropped by the prosecution.
Slidell Police are calling it a miracle that a 50-year-old motorcyclist survived a crash with an 18-wheeler. Police believe the driver of the semi was intoxicated and literally ran over the motorcycle which stopped, waiting to make a turn. The bike was dragged underneath the truck and the victim tossed off his motorcycle. That’s what saved his life. The truck driver was arrested and faces several charges.
A Lafayette man has been sentenced to ten years in prison by a US District Judge for claiming there was a bomb on the campus of UL-Lafayette a year ago. Thirty-one year old Devin Haywood called in the threats in order to rob a bank. The campus was totally evacuated including all classes for over 5 thousand students.
The State Fire Marshall reports a 52-year-old DeRidder man died early Tuesday in a fire at his home. The body of Paul Ashworth was found on his bedroom floor next to his bed. Investigators were informed by family members of the victim that Ashworth was a heavy smoker who habitually smoked while in bed.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley is reminding women about the importance of learning how to safely handle a weapon if you feel your life is in danger. The message comes on the heels of the death of a woman in Geismar who was beaten to death with a baseball bat allegedly by her estranged husband. The victim had a restraining order against the man. Wiley added the reminder sounds extreme but extreme violence requires extra protection efforts.
Baton Rouge Police say the father of a months old infant who died Saturday from blunt force trauma is booked on a count of murder. Detectives updated the count against 28-year-old John Hope from second degree cruelty to a juvenile to first degree murder in the death of his daughter. East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner ruled the baby’s death a homicide.
A state panel continues to look at the cost of the death penalty in Louisiana. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says the purpose of the Capital Punishment Fiscal Impact Commission is to determine whether the public believes that enforcing the death penalty is worth the cost. Morrell says some say it could cost tens of millions of dollars to execute a single person, especially when you factor in the cost of the numerous appeals that are associated with the process. He says the commission report is due to the legislature during the next legislative session.
Southerners are in luck, a new study claims eating spicy foods can add more time to your life. The study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science found people consuming spicy foods six to seven times a week lived longer than those eating spicy foods just once a week.
According to the United Way of Acadiana, about $250,000 has been raised for the 11 victims of last month’s Lafayette theater shooting. President and CEO Margaret Trahan says most of the money was raised by businesses and retailers who have sold t-shirts, yard signs and jewelry.
A 54-year-old man from East Feliciana Parish charged with a hate crime, now faces a felony cruelty charge for allegedly pulling at the pants of a 12-year-old boy and using a racial slur. The incident was caught on video inside a gas station last month. According to authorities, the victim’s pants were sagging.
The Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announce that they issued over 800 citations to Louisiana establishments for selling alcohol and tobacco to minors as a result of their 2015 Summer Crackdown operation. ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert says nearly 5,500 compliance checks resulted in 821 citations statewide. Of the citations issued, 460 were issued for alcohol sales to a minor and 361 for tobacco sales.
No practice today for the Saints. That’s because they are getting ready for tomorrow night’s preaseason game at Baltimore. It’s the first of four exhibition games and Coach Sean Payton is glad they have four preseason games before it starts for real
News for Tuesday 081115
By Dave Graichen
Monday was one for the record books. It was the hottest Aug. 10 in the recorded history of Alexandria. The high temperature on Monday was 105 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. That is one degree higher than the previous Aug. 10 record high of 104 degrees, set in 1924.
Due to extremely dry conditions, The Rapides Parish Police Jury has voted to immediately enact a burn ban in the parish. Private burning in Rapides Parish will only be allowed through permission by a resident's local fire department.. But, Rapides is not alone. Other parishes with bans include Allen, LaSalle, Natchitoches and Winn, Caldwell, Jackson, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union and West Carroll. The bans will remain until further notice.
A Pineville man is being held without bond after he allegedly held an adult and a child against their will at a Ruth Street home for three days. Pineville officers went to 102 Ruth St. on Friday at 9 in the evening for a disturbance call. The two victims had tried to escape, which led to a physical altercation in the yard twhich was seen by neighbors. Eventually, police arrested Ralph 25 year old Joseph Gorum and booked him into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
Craig Smith has announced he is seeking a second term as the District C representative on the Rapides Parish Police Jury. Smith is currently vice president of the Police Jury. A lifelong resident of Deville, Smith is a 1979 graduate of Buckeye High School.
In a recent survey by pollster Verne Kennedy, Republican Scott Angelle has moved ahead of fellow GOP candidate David Vitter in the race for governor. The numbers show Angelle with 25 percent and Vitter with 22 percent. The poll also shows John Bell Edwards at 20-percent and Republican Jay Dardenne at 12-percent with 21-percent undecided.
The largest public company headquartered in Louisiana, CenturyLink, says its estimating the elimination of 1000 jobs company-wide. Spokeswoman Annmarie Sarter says it’s unclear how the layoffs will impact the company’s corporate headquarters in Monroe. CenturyLink committed to create 800 new jobs by next summer and Sarter says they remain on target with that deal.
The State Department of Education says they’ve collected nearly 30,000 comments on its online portal from people about possible changes to Common Core in Louisiana. The comments came from 723 people. That averages out to 49 comments per person. Regina Sanford, the chairperson of the standards review committee, says the first public hearing on possible Common Core revisions is set for August 19th. Another interesting twist to the 30,000 comments, only 23% came from parents.
In an online study conducted by Only in Your State, the Calcasieu Parish town of DeQuincy was named the safest place to live in Louisiana. DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan says he is happy that his town of nearly 3,200 residents is a place with no violent crimes. The study took statistics from the FBI crime reports in 2013 to rank the top 11 safest places to live in Louisiana. Blanchard, Golden Meadow, Berwick and Haughton round out the top .
It’s much cheaper for teens to stay on their parent’s car insurance, rather than going out on their own. According to InsuranceQuotes.com, it costs 26 percent more for young adults to get their own car insurance policy in Louisiana than staying on their parent’s. Senior analyst Laura Adams says this number is eight percent higher than the national average.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have declared a section of land under the east side of the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, a crime scene. Investigators began working the scene yesterday as part of an ongoing investigation. An earth mover and dump truck were on the scene, but few other details are available at this time.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s office arrests a man they believe beat his estranged wife to death with a baseball bat. They’ve charged 38-year-old David Johnson with first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, violation of a protective order and aggravated burglary. Cops believe the suspect broke into 45-year-old Monica Johnson’s house and bludgeoned her till she died in the back yard and also beat another person who was trying to help her.
Baton Rouge food blogger and radio host Jay Ducote will be competing in the finale of Food Network Star on August 16 to win his own show on the network. Three finalists made their own pilot for a cooking show in last night’s episode where Ducote prepared fried catfish topped with crawfish etoufee as his showcase dish. Ducote says he has enjoyed the experience and the unique opportunities the show has offered him. The pilots for each finalist will be judged and the winner will be announced this Sunday at the end of the episode which begins at 8pm.
LSU has sold out of season football tickets for the 12th straight season as 74,350 season tickets have been purchased for the 2015 home schedule. This ties the school record which was set last year when Tiger Stadium was expanded to seat over 100,000. The Tigers open their 11th season under head coach Les Miles on Saturday, Sept. 5 when LSU welcomes McNeese State to Tiger Stadium.
A South Louisiana man has been sentenced to death by lethal injection during sentencing today in Baton Rouge for the man accused of a double-murder at a Car-Quest store. Lee Turner was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two employees in 2011. Turner got away with $350.
The Monroe Police Department continues the investigation today into the death of a ULM student whose body was discovered inside her apartment over the weekend. Cops are not identifying the woman at this time except to say she is an Asian ULM international student. Investigators say there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment, but the death is being treating as a homicide until it has been determined otherwise.
The New Orleans Saints final practice of the week is today then they’ll fly out Wednesday to Baltimore for Thursday’s preseason game against the Ravens. They started the second week of training camp with a full pads practice at the Greenbrier in West Virginia and worked for a little over two hours. Coach Sean Payton says these first two weeks of training camp are about getting everyone up to speed. So far, he likes what he’s seeing.
LSU went through the first full squad practice of the fall and the battle for the starting quarterback position is far from over. Coach Les Miles said that sophomore Brandon Harris continues to get the first snaps, but if it will be he or Anthony Jennings that will start on September 5th against McNeese has not been decided.
News for Monday 081015
By Dave Graichen
Funeral arrangements have been announced for the Shreveport Police officer from St. Amant (SAN ah maw) who was shot by a cop-killer in the line of duty last week. The Funeral for 29 year-old Thomas LaValley will be today in Gonzales at Holy Rosary Catholic Church at 11am. Over the weekend, Baton Rouge Police and hundreds of citizens lined I-10 to pay their respects when LaValley’s honorary procession passes through.
Now that school is back in session, authorities are urging drivers to be more cautious on the roads. Don Redman with the American Automobile Association says now that summer is over, motorists should be on alert as kids will be walking along roads before and after school. The APD and RPSO says they will be out in force ticketing those who do not observe school speed zones, and those who do not stop when approaching a stopped school bus.
State Climatologist Barry Keim says dangerous high heat levels are expected to continue this week with afternoon highs into triple digits across Louisiana, which could break some records. With those temps coupled with high humidity, Keim says heat indexes in some areas could approach 120 degrees.
Alexandria attorney Jay Luneau plans to announce his intention today to run for District 29 in the Louisiana State Senate. Senate District 29 stretches from Lecompte in Rapides Parish all the way north to the town of Ruston in Lincoln Parish. It also includes sections of Grant, Jackson, Natchitoches, Bienville and Winn Parishes. The incumbent, Senator Rick Gallot, recently announced he would not seek re-election. The election is Saturday, October 24.
State Police suspect that impairment might be a factor in a single-car crash late Friday that killed a 78-year-old Leesville man. Troopers say Kenneth Holt was driving a 1992 Cadillac Deville when he ran off the road in a curve, traveling about 150 feet in a ditch before hitting a large pine tree head-on. Holt was flown to a Lake Charles Hospital, where he died. The only passenger, 27-year-old Frank D. Cooley of Singer, sustained moderate injuries. Neither man was wearing a seat belt.
A Marksville motorcyclist not wearing a helmet died Friday afternoon when he ran head-on into a pickup truck in Avoyelles Parish. The State Police report 45 year old Danny Clark was passing two vehicles on Little River Road when a pickup came from the opposite direction. The driver of the truck saw Clark and drove off the road to try to avoid hitting the motorcycle.
But Clark hit the truck head-on.the driver of the truck was not injured.
First, it was some criticism for starting the school year too early in August for some Louisiana school districts. Now the Centers For Disease Control is pointing to the early start time in the morning for many students. According to a report, about 40 thousand students in middle and high school start their day at an average time of 8:03 am, instead of the CDC’s recommended time of 8:30, to allow kids to get enough sleep. In this report, Louisiana had the earliest average start time at 7:40 in the morning.
According to a recent poll commissioned by a group of Baton Rouge and New Orleans business leaders, the gubernatorial candidate who once had a commanding lead in the race, has slipped. The survey, which reveals various scenarios, has one with Republican Scott Angelle in the lead over US Senator David Vitter. Adding in voting history puts Democrat John Bel Edwards is in first place. As you may suspect, Vitter’s campaign is skeptical of the numbers.
Now that Governor Bobby Jindal has his first presidential debate behind him, how did he do? Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat gives the governor a B+, saying Jindal did not hurt his chances at the Republican nomination and may have even helped his cause, allowing him to continue to target his message to smaller groups of Republican voters…
The State Department of Education launches a new web portal which outlines Louisiana’s career education options. The program Jump Start now has an online site called “All things Jump Start.” at louisianabelieves.com. State Superintendent of Education John White says this will allow high school graduates to enter the workforce with an industry credential.
Under legislation approved in the last session, more information is being distributed to the public about Louisiana’s safe haven law, which allows parents to legally give up a baby until they’re two months old. Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier says she wants people who feel like they’re in a crisis to know this law exists. Sonnier says a mom or dad can give their infant to an individual at a number of safe haven locations. But they cannot leave the baby unattended. She says D-C-F-S has seen more abandonments than people using safe havens and the goal is to keep babies safe and find them loving homes.
A Baton Rouge man faces homicide charge following an incident that sent his 3 month old daughter to the hospital with skull and rib fractures, bruising and a bloody mouth. Twenty-eight year-old John William Hope was originally charged with 2nd degree cruelty to a juvenile. But, the child has since died. The report says Hope told his wife that the baby had fallen off a changing table.
Louisiana First lady took umbrage at criticisms U.S. Sen. David Vitter made Saturday about the State Police protection for the Jindal children. Vitter told state troopers at a forum that what the state spends on protective services for the governor has become inflated. He said he once saw authorities providing a “caravan” to take two of Jindal’s children to school. Mrs. Jindal tweeted in response that Vitter “is free to criticize her husband’s ideas and policy decisions all he wants, but he needs to stay away from their children.”
A New Orleans man has been arrested in connection to a double-homicide in Donaldsonville on January 26th. Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 26 year-old Quinton Jackson in the Crescent City, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 37 year-old Chad Nichols and 29 year-old Benny Booker. Authorites believe the shooting was a drug-related crime.
According to a new poll of ESPN writers, editors and analysts, LSU running back Leonard Fournette is the No. 7 college football player in the country. On a ten point scale, Fournette received a score of 8.63. His coming out party was the 140 yard-2 touchdown performance last year at Florida.
Today marks the first official day of football practice for Louisiana High School Athletic Association schools and temperatures continue to rise. Director of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Terrence Williams says when possible, practice times are adjusted to avoid peak heat hours. The LHSAA has issued an extreme heat warning to remind parents, coaches and student athletes of the dangers of heat related illnesses. Williams says teams are given “best practice guidelines” as steps to take to avoid heat stroke.
News for Friday 080715
By Dave Graichen
The Shreveport Police Department says the man wanted for shooting an officer to death Wednesday night is behind bars. Just after 3pm yesterday, cops located 27-year-old Grover Cannon at a residence after getting several tips that he was there. An intense manhunt was underway by several agencies working together to apprehend the killer of Officer Thomas LaValley. A memorial service for slain Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley will take place this afternoon.
Squeezed into just a few minutes of time Thursday during the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle, Gov. Bobby Jindal hit on familiar themes in the late-afternoon event: his record in cutting the size of state government, his willingness to say the words “radical Islam,” his opposition to expansion of Medicaid and other entitlement programs and his criticism of Republicans in Congress for failing to deliver and his defense of traditional views of marriage.
The Jindal Administration announces Moody’s Investors Service affirms Louisiana will keep its same credit rating for an upcoming bond sale that will be used to finance work on I-49 South. State Treasurer John Kennedy says we remain on negative credit watch which is good news for Louisiana tax payers because Moody’s could have downgraded us. Kennedy says he plans to go to market soon to sell Unclaimed Property bonds that will finance portions of I-49 South. He says he asked Moody not to downgrade Louisiana to give the next governor and Legislature time to fix our state’s serious budget issues. Kennedy said Moody had noticed that Louisiana was budgeting too much nonrecurring money and not doing anything about future liability.
Louisiana’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday happens today and tomorrow. During the holiday, the 4% state sales tax on the first 25 hundred dollars of each item a customer buys will be waived. Department of Revenue spokesperson Kizzy Payton says this is a good opportunity for parents to save as they shop for the new school year. The tax exemption only applies to the state sales tax of 4%. Local sales taxes will still apply to purchases unless the local taxing authority has created its own exemption. Payton says shoppers should keep in mind that not all items and services qualify for the tax holiday. You can go to revenue-dot-louisiana-dot-gov-slash-taxholiday for more information.
At a forum Thursday sponsored by AARP Louisiana three gubernatorial candidates say they want to create a cabinet-level department for elderly affairs. Republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardene says the oversight of elderly issues should be merged into the Department of Veteran Affairs; while Republican Scott Angelle and Democrat John Bel Edwards want to create a Department of Elderly Affairs, with a their own cabinet secretary.
The University of Louisiana-Lafayette football team will express their pride in their community on the football field this fall, in the wake of the deadly Lafayette Theatre shooting. Coach Mark Hudspeth says they will be wearing the Lafayette Strong decals on their helmets. The decals show the Acadiana flag inside an outline of the state of Louisiana.
A stronger than expected El Nino has the NOAA Climate Prediction Center revising the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook. Instead of a 70 percent chance of a below-averages season that chance is now 90%. NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, Gerry Bell, says the strong vertical wind shear and lower sea surface temperatures will keep those chances lower.
A federal indictment has been unsealed that accuses Sorrento Councilman Randy Anny and his wife for fraudulently claiming thousands of dollars in recovery money following the Gulf Oil Spill. The charges of conspiracy and wire fraud are based on evidence that the pair asked for $78 hundred dollars to repair a boat and trailer.
The four candidates for governor say they want to take steps to reduce the number of people who live below the federal poverty line because Louisiana’s poverty rate is one of the highest in the country. Republican David Vitter says one way to tackle this issue is by dramatically improving education for the children of Louisiana. Republican Jay Dardenne says education and job opportunities are essential to raise the embarrassing poverty rate in the state. Republican Scott Angelle says in order to rid the state of poverty we need to ramp up our technical and community college programs, strengthen the Louisiana family and increase job creation. Democrat John Bel Edwards says he wants to call on Congress to raise the minimum wage up from $7.25. He says he will also work toward equal pay to reduce the poverty rate in Louisiana.
News for Thursday 080615
By Dave Graichen
Police in Shreveport, Louisiana say an officer has died after being shot while on duty. Corporal Marcus Hines says the officer responded to a call of a suspicious person - armed and threatening people inside a home - when shots rang out last night, striking the officer several times. Corporal Marcus Hines says an intense manhunt is underway for the gunman . more than 70 police units and a helicopter are involved in the search.
Louisiana’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday happens this Friday and Saturday. During the holiday, the 4% state sales tax on the first 25 hundred dollars of each item a customer buys will be waived. Local sales taxes may still apply. There are exceptions. Go to revenue-dot-louisiana-dot-gov-slash-taxholiday for more information.
The Army announced yesterday about 1,000 troops from Fort Polk will be deployed to Afghanistan in late summer or early fall. Soldiers from Fort Polk 3rd Brigade Combat Team are part of about 2,500 troops from the 10th Mountain Division that will deploy in the next few months as part of Iraq and Afghanistan troop rotations.
The Jindal administration will leave to a new governor a decision on the privatization of Medicaid long-term care services for the elderly and developmentally disabled. The administration already has contracted with private managers to handle the medical and behavioral health components of the state’s $8 billion Medicaid program. The long-term care portion would have been the third and final installment of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of the government insurance program for the poor.
Believe it or not, the state of Louisiana is low on the mix of letters and numbers that go on license plates. Stephen Campbell the commissioner of the state Office of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday “At some point you are going to run out of numerical combinations. That point appears to be less than a year away. So state officials have a plan in place to redo the formula. “Our sequence now is letter, letter, letter and number, number, number. Within the next 12 months, state officials anticipate rotating the sequence and changing it to number, number, number and letter, letter, letter. It’s believed that will buy the state 20 years.
Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that left a husband and wife and their dog dead Wednesday morning. Deputies found the bodies of 41 year old Leigh Richardson Bourgeois and 42 year old Jamie John Bourgeois in their home, along with the family dog, after a Thibodaux business where Leigh Bourgeois worked called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The caller said she had not shown up for work and wasn’t answering her phone. Authorities made the gruesome discovery a short time later.
Governor Bobby Jindal is in Cleveland today getting ready to participate in a debate involving the second tier Republican Presidential candidates. Jindal did not poll well enough to get invited to the prime time debate featuring the major candidates on Fox News. But a super PAC supporting Jindal has paid for a commercial to run in Iowa during the prime time debate.
The Louisiana AARP is holding a governor’s forum today in Baton Rouge but US Senator David Vitter is the one major candidate out of the four that will not attend. The State Troopers Association is hosting a forum on Saturday and all four candidates are expected to attend.
The Louisiana Department of Education announces that high school students in the state earned more than 13-hundred more qualifying scores on Advanced Placement exams in 2015 than 2014. Superintendent John White says this is a 20 percent increase in A-P test scores, which are the nation’s most challenging academic assessment given to students across the country. A-P exam scores are transferable to most colleges in the country.
Attention-getting videos are the latest tool for Republican Presidential hopefuls to gain name recognition in the battle for top contention in the party. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul have shot some rather offbeat videos, and now it’s Governor Bobby Jindal’s turn; performing an athletic push-up competition against “the issues,” like Obamacare and taxes. By the way, Jindal was able to do 67 push-ups.
Baton Rouge State Representative Alfred Williams has died. Williams passed away Tuesday night following complications related to a recent knee surgery. Representative Pat Smith of Baton Rouge says Williams will be missed by the House and the people he represented. Williams was 64.
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, along with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, introduced legislation that addresses the issues in the nation’s care and treatment of mental illness. Studies indicate that one in five American adults have a serious form of it, and Cassidy says everyone is impacted in some way. Cassidy had been working on the bill for four years; and introduced it less than two weeks after the Lafayette Theatre shooting.
A Paulina man has been arrested after taking a drive through two fences and ended up on an active runway at Armstrong International Airport in Kenner. Jefferson Parish Deputies they found the abandoned blue Challenger on the runway yesterday afternoon. They did eventually find twenty-three years old Kaleb Clement, and booked him with hit and run driving and DWI.
The LSU Tigers begin fall practice today and head coach Les Miles says quarterback is the one position most unsettled. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris will spend the next month competing to be the starting QB when the Tigers kick-off the season on September fifth against McNeese State. Miles says there’s enough talent around the quarterback position for that person to succeed.
News for Wednesday 080515
By Dave Graichen
Governor Bobby Jindal will not participate in a primetime republican presidential debate on Thursday. The governor failed to poll high enough in five recent national polls to be one of the ten candidates to appear in the Fox News debate. Jindal will have the opportunity to take part in a debate of second tier candidates, which will take place Thursday afternoon in Cleveland. National polls have the governor only getting one to two percent of the vote.
The RPSO reports a DeRidder man sought in both the Grant and Rapides parishes was apprehended Monday night in Pineville after a search that spanned into Texas. Rickey Lee Cooley Jr. was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and was charged with making harassing phone calls, simple assault, felony stalking and being a Louisiana fugitive on the Grant Parish warrants. Cooley is being held on a $150,000 bond.
The Red River Waterway Commission last week started the process of reopening public boat ramps on the Red River in Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides and Avoyelles parishes now that water levels have started to recede. The ramps were closed because of flooding in June and July. Boaters still should use caution when launching into the current and be highly aware of obstacles such as trees and sandbars while navigating the river.
The price of US crude oil has fallen to its lowest price in four months and it is having a negative impact on economies in Louisiana. The current price for a barrel of US crude is just $45 a barrel, down from $61 a barrel on June 10th. LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says the drop in price has caused job loss in communities heavily tied to oil and gas, like Lafayette and Houma.
As oil prices continue to plummet, some of the best paying jobs in the state are lost. He says job losses are spread throughout the oil and gas industry, from supply boats to helicopters to the drilling rigs themselves. He says the number of working rigs has dropped by nearly half of what they were a year ago.
Common Core standards see another school year kicking off this week and next in Louisiana. The department of education has a portal on its website that’s taking public comment on Common Core and a hearing is set for August 19th. The president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, Hollis Milton, would like to see the PARCC test go saying he believes the Aspire exams are a better standardized test for third through eighth graders.
He adds he doesn’t want to see major changes to Common Core.
The Colorado State University forecast team puts out its updated forecast for the 2015 hurricane season and it looks the same as the one released at the start of the season. The report is still predicting eight named storms, much less than an average season. A strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is one reason they cite.
St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on 22 counts which include malfeasance, extortion, obstruction and more. Peralta is accused of using parish employees to help him stalk his ex-wife and other offenses. He is charged with crimes in two other jurisdictions.
The ACLU of Louisiana has released a report on incarcerating the poor and it indicates there’s a common, unlawful practice of jailing people who don’t have enough money to pay court-ordered fines. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says this practice often sends financially stressed individuals into a downward cycle of incarceration. She says in 1983 the US Supreme Court ruled that judges must hold hearings to determine someone’s ability to pay before assessing a fine.
Researchers have determined the size of the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico is nearly 17-thousand square kilometers, which is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium executive director Nancy Rabalais says the dead zone is bigger than anticipated, because more fresh water and nutrients flowed out of the Mississippi River basin than anticipated. The dead zone is an area of low oxygen in the Gulf, where sea animals are unable to live. She says it’s 28-percent larger than in 2014
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve arrested a man who is accused of raping a store clerk late Monday night. The cashier was in the store by herself and investigators believe 26-year-old James Domingue of Sulphur coaxed her into the back where he beat and raped her. He was located a few hours later and charged with rape, kidnapping, and false imprisonment.
The 42nd Annual Bayou Classic will air on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday November 28th. The game will once again be played in the Mercedes Benz Superdome and kickoff at 4pm. The NBC Sports Group has been the home of The Bayou Classic since 1991.
The LSU football team reports for fall camp today looking to improve on an eight-win season from a year ago. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says quarterback is once again a question mark for the Tigers, but whether it’s Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris, the offense should be better than last year.. Moran believes LSU can win at least ten games this year.
News for Tuesday 080415
By Dave Graichen
Governor Bobby Jindal announces that Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid provider agreement will be cancelled by the Department of Health and Hospitals. The decision comes after controversial secretly taped videos showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about using aborted fetus parts for medical research. Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform abortions in Louisiana, but they do provide health care services for low-income families. Planned Parenthood has not responded to the decision and has 30 days to appeal.
Donovan Dewayne Matthews of Alexandria pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter on Monday in the 2013 death of a 13-month-old child. Matthews was indicted in December 2013 on a charge of second-degree murder. Matthews was sentenced to 20 years at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, but he was given credit for time served.
The Avoyelles parish sheriff’s department reports a Cheneyville woman is facing hundreds of charges after a complaint from her former employer alleged she had mishandled funds. 43 year old Renee White was arrested by Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s deputies and was charged with 164 counts of unauthorized use of an access card, one count of identity theft of $1,000 or more and 99 counts of forgery. It’s alleged that White took more than $39,000 from the business.
Both the Grant and Rapides sheriff offices are searching for a Beauregard Parish man who was last seen Monday in the Bentley area. The Grant Parish Sheriff's Office said Ricky "Rocky" Cooley Jr. is wanted for simple assault, telephone harassment, stalking and criminal damage to property. Anyone with information about Cooley is asked to contact the sheriff’s department.
The Colorado State University hurricane forecast team updates its outlook for the 2015 hurricane season today. C-S-U researchers previously called for a well below-average hurricane season as they predicted eight named storms. State climatologist Barry Keim says a stronger than anticipated El Nino has the tropics quiet. Keim says we are heading into heart of the hurricane season, which runs from mid-August through October. But he says based on atmospheric conditions, it’s likely we will continue to see below-normal activity in the tropics.
The Lafayette Police Department says a 35-year-old man is fighting for his life after being shot several times by three unknown suspects in an apparent home invasion. Corporal Paul Mouton says witnesses report 3 black men kicked in the door of the residence and began demanding money from the occupants. He says the victim is in critical condition and cops are still looking for the alleged robbers.
It was three years ago this week that the massive Bayou Corne sinkhole formed in northern Assumption Parish, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents. Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness Director John Boudreaux says the area is now virtually a ghost town. The sinkhole was created from a collapsed underground salt dome cavern operated by Texas Brine. He says they are still monitoring the bubble spots monthly to ensure the safety of the few residents who have remained in the small community.
Just how secure is your i-phone? Apparently pretty hood. East Baton Rouge Parish DA Hillar Moore says cell phone encryption is making it difficult to solve the murders of 29-year-old Brittney Mills and her son. Mills, who was 8 months pregnant at the time, was shot and killed on April 24th at her apartment. The baby later died at a hospital. Moore says they can’t get into MIlls’ Apple iPhone because they do not know her passcode..
The New Orleans Police Department is drawing up rules that will effectively bar officers from cooperating with any aspect of federal immigration enforcement — a move that’s likely to irk top Louisiana Republicans, who have been sharpening their criticism of so-called “sanctuary” policies in the past few months. The NOPD insists that it already does not target immigrants or assist with deportations. But the new rules are expected to address what immigrants’ rights advocates and some City Council members have described as confusing language in the department’s current written policies.
A study out of Duke University raises concerns that children who are picky eaters may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety. But Dr. Martin Drell, Head of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at LSU New Orleans, says it’s clear kids have different tastes in eating, but it’s a bit of stretch to say that could be a factor for possible disorders. Drell says in many cases, being a “picky eater” is a phase kids will grow out of. He says unfortunately this study could raise unnecessary concerns in overthinking parents.
A new school year begins later this week for many public school students. For those who do not start this week, classes will begin for them next week. The president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, Hollis Milton, says to help students get ready for a new school year, re-adjust their sleep schedule.
News for Monday 080315
By Dave Graichen
In a surprise announcement, State Sen. Rick Gallot said Friday he won’t seek re-election. Gallot, D-Ruston, served three terms in the House before winning his first term in the Senate four years ago. Though he had no announced opposition for the coming Oct. 24 race, Gallot said his young family deserves more of his attention.
Baton Rouge police tried to determine what led to the shooting early Sunday that left three men dead, left lying in a driveway of a home. The shooting happened at about 1 a.m. Baton Rouge police detectives upon arriving found three men lying on the ground, all with gunshot wounds. The three men died at the scene.
Over 260 bills passed in this year’s legislative session became law saturday. One measure makes it illegal to post or share nude images of people on the internet without their consent. Another doubles fines for simple littering from $75 to $150 and up to $1000 for subsequent offenses. Improper disposal of items like furniture and appliances could end up costing offenders $10,000 under the new law.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany will spearhead an effort to re-write the nation’s welfare reform laws. The country’s welfare system hasn’t seen any major changes since 1996 and Boustany has been asked by House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan to lead a rewrite. Boustany says his desire is that welfare recipients find permanent work. Boustany says when welfare was reformed in 1996, steps were taken to make sure recipients to find work. He says the goal this time around is not only employment, but an opportunity to increase earning potential over time for the tens of millions of people who are receiving government assistance.
A national poll of Republican primary voters shows Gov. Bobby Jindal drawing 1 percent support, damaging his already dim chances of appearing in prime time Thursday in the first nationally televised debates of the campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
The NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll, released Sunday, put Jindal and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, in a tie for 12th in the crowded Republican field. Real-estate developer and reality-TV celebrity Donald Trump topped the survey with 19 percent.
GasBuddy is predicting Louisiana’s statewide average for a gasoline will fall below $2 a gallon in October. GasBuddy Analyst Gregg Laskoski says the decline in prices will accelerate after the Labor Day Holiday. Laskoski says February was the last time prices was under two dollars a gallon in Louisiana.
A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Columbia University finds older adults that stop driving are more likely to suffer from depression and nearly 5 times more likely to enter a long term care facility than those who remain behind the wheel. AAA Spokesperson Don Redman says this could lead to the elderly becoming less social and active. Redman says the results of the study are not all that surprising.
Today is the 40th birthday of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Dome officially opened on August 3, 1975 after almost four years of construction. General Manager Alan Freeman says 40 years is a great run, but the facility still has a lot of life left. He says upgrades to the stadium has kept the Superdome a viable venue to host some of the world’s biggest events.
Three suspended LSU football players accused of going into a house without permission have seen their charges dropped. The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office says formal charges will not be pursued against Anthony Jennings, Dwayne Thomas and Maquedius Bain. The D-A’s office says the decision is based on the request of the victim not to file charges and inconsistent and contradictory statements provided. LSU says the players have been reinstated to the team.
A Union Parish jury has convicted former Spearsville Police Chief Steve Bodine on aggravated rape charges. Bodine was arrested in 2013 for allegedly raping a 4-year-old child. Officials say, during the three day trial, witnesses testified that Bodine had raped children ranging in age from 4- to 14-years-old over a 40 year period. Bodine’s conviction carries a manditory life sentence.
Lake Charles Police announce that they have solved an aggravated rape case from October of 1999, where the victim was severely beaten and sexually assaulted while jogging at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Deputy Chief of Police, Mark Kraus, says 45 year-old Austin Mott is a registered sex offender who is currently serving time in Texas for an unrelated sex offense.
He says advances in technology led to authorities getting a DNA match in the case.
Two daycare centers in Louisiana have had their licenses revoked by the state, one in Baton Rouge and the other in Bossier City at Storybook Daycare and Discovery Zone. Education Superintendent John White says Storybook was found to have an improper child/staff ratio and were not conducting employee background checks. He says most Louisiana child care providers do an excellent job caring for kids.
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