LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette says the Tigers are in a wait-and-see mode when it comes to where Saturday’s game against South Carolina will be played. Massive flooding in the Columbia, South Carolina, area may result in the relocation of the game and Tiger Stadium is one option under consideration.
Bonnette says the logistical issues are greater, if the game is played at a neutral site.
"The problem with going to some of those neutral sites is now you're moving two teams instead of just one team. If we were able to go there, obviously South Carolina would stay put, we go to them. If they come here to play us, we stay put and them come here."
The comments were made on WWL Radio in New Orleans. Bonnette expects a final decision on Wednesday and he says it’s not impossible for LSU to have Tiger Stadium ready for a game on Saturday.
"If we're asked to host this game in the next 24 hours, it's something that we can certainly do."
Bonnette says if LSU is asked to host the game on Saturday, they will make it like a regularly scheduled home game as much as possible and that means tickets would be available to season ticket holders first.
"That's the wonderful thing about the internet and email. We'll able to communicate with a lot of people in a short amount of time if a decision is made."
Officials at the University of South Carolina say it's possible that the LSU/USC game will not be played in Columbia this weekend and a move to Baton Rouge is not out of the question. The area has been dealing with catastrophic flooding and record rainfall.
USC AD Ray Tanner says they are not 100% sure that the game will be held at Williams Brice.
"We will continue to monitor the infrastructure that is necessary to have a football game," said Tanner. "And we'll consider, hopefully within the next 24-36 hours, whether or not we will play here."
Tanner says as of right now they have every intention of keeping the game as scheduled, but conversations are underway about holding it in another city.
"More than one is being talked about at this point and certainly a game at LSU is not out of the realm of possibility," said Tanner.
The South Carolina-LSU game is currently scheduled for 11am Saturday in Columbia.
All classes at USC have been cancelled this week. 14 deaths are so far blamed on weather related incidents in the Carolinas and though the rain has stopped, authorities say the flooding is far from over.
Tanner says the stadium was spared, but there are other concerns.
"The highways, the stadium water situation and other pressure with first responders," said Tanner. "Plus all the highway patrolmen and police that we use from various counties."
The SEC confirms the first priority is to play the game in Columbia but they are exploring other location options.
Louisiana State Police says a Mississippi woman was killed in a fatal wreck during the overnight hours on I-55 in Hammond. Trooper Dustin Dwight says the victim,53-year-old Donna James was not buckled up and heading the wrong way.
“Unfortunately we had a lady get on the interstate heading the wrong direction and simultaneously she was hit head on.”
Dwight says the driver of the other vehicle is 23-year-old Kaden Ezell of Mississippi, who was taken to the hospital for moderate injuries. He says currently impairment isn’t believed to be a factor in the crash but they’re trying to figure out why the fatal victim was going the wrong way.
“The crash remains under investigation, we haven’t been able to isolate or pin point exactly why.”
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office has arrested the Principal and a coach at Beau Chene High School following a disciplinary incident involving a juvenile student. Lt. Clay Higgins says their investigation began when the mother of the student contacted detectives.
"She brought the young man into the school and presented allegations of excessive disciplinary action, I guess would be the way to term it, coming from a coach and a principal."
Principal Anthony James is charged with simple battery and basketball coach Lorenso Williams is charged with cruelty to a juvenile. Higgins says the two men maintain they were attempting discipline and control of the student, but the student had a different story.
"St. Landry Parish juvenile detectives investigated and there was, technically, probable cause for arrest. The arrests were made without incident, both men turned themselves in willingly and both have since been released."
Higgins says this is now a matter for the courts to decide.
"You have a principal and a coach that, within their aspect of things, they were trying to discipline and control a student. But from the student's perspective and from his parents' perspective, it went beyond that."
The Louisiana Congressional Delegation has sent a letter to the US Department of Homeland Security asking for a delay in the state's compliance to the REAL ID act. Louisiana is one of four states who are not in compliance with the new federal identification standards.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany says the state needs more time to comply.
"State Police asked us if we would work with them to get the Department of Homeland Security to provide a delay on this implementation to give us more time to deal with it."
The REAL ID act sets standards for state drivers' licences to be acceptable for entry into federal buildings and institutions or for air travel. He says without this extension, Louisiana residents face a real headache beginning next week.
"Folks who want to enter federal buildings will need a different form of ID that's compliant, such as a US Passport. And then potentially, later on next year, to fly, the same scenario. They would need something that meets federal standards."
Boustany says the state legislature passed a bill in 2014 allowing REAL IDs to be issued in Louisiana, but it was vetoed by Governor Jindal. He's hopeful they receive a response before the deadline of October 11th.
"The last thing we want is to create some kind of hardship for the folks back home as they try to access federal facilities."
Louisiana volunteers are joining the Red Cross response in South Carolina as the palmetto state deals with severe flooding. Spokeswoman Nancy Malone says they'll be helping families stay safe and dry by opening shelters and bringing in meals.
"We have 15 volunteers who are prepared to go. They are trained and ready and some of them are very well experienced in dealing with disasters including some who helped with the Red River flooding," said Malone.
Malone says another big part of the volunteers' job is to provide emotional support to people going through this disaster.
She says people in other areas know that Louisiana is all too familiar with what this feels like.
"People are so comforted when they hear about a Red Cross volunteer from Louisiana," said Malone. "Residents know that we've been through it and it comes from experience in that we can guide them along in their recovery."
Malone says flooding in the Carolinas has destroyed homes, forced evacuations and left thousands without water or power.
She says not everyone can dedicate time to volunteer on the ground, but anyone can make a donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by this disaster.
FROM RED CROSS: Help people affected by disasters like floods in South Carolina and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to our local American Red Cross chapter.
A Louisiana based company announces plans to build an 11-billion dollar facility in Cameron Parish that will export liquefied natural gas. Former Governor and now chairman of G2, LNG, Buddy Roemer, says it's the fourth largest investment project in the state's history, creating thousands of construction jobs.
"3,500 in the construction team....and we'll open in about four years," Roemer said.
Roemer says the project still needs approval from federal agencies. The company hopes to break ground in two years. He says once completed, the plant will have 250 permanent workers and it will export liquefied natural gas across the globe.
The Thibodaux Police Department says five people are under arrest after a toddler and 17 dogs had to be removed from a home that was in deplorable conditions. Spokesman David Melancon says they got a report that one of the dogs was loose and trying to attack people.
He says animal control initially responded.
"The same animal that tried to attack the resident, also tried to attack the animal control officer," said Melancon. "So we ended up going to the home to make contact with the owner and that's when we discovered the conditions."
The suspects, including the parents of the child, range in age from 17 to 73 and face various counts of animal cruelty and child desertion charges.
Melancon says when the officers got out of their car to make contact with the homeowner during the dog attack investigation, they immediately smelled urine and feces.
"They said even the outside of the house was chaotic with stuff everywhere," said Melancon. "Once they made it into the home they said it just progressively got worse."
The 17 dogs were brought to the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter. The Department of Child and Family Services has the child.
Melancon says the floors of the home were caked with feces, the smell of urine was overpowering and there was molding food spread throughout the house.
"Animals were locked in rooms with people, but it got worse when they found that the toddler had been living in those conditions as well," said Melancon.
A new NBC/Marist poll on the presidential race in Iowa shows Governor Bobby Jindal now has 6-percent of the vote. That's a two-percent increase from their previous poll.
Radio Iowa News Director Kay Henderson says Jindal's campaign efforts may be getting some traction.
"Jindal has invested a lot of time and effort here, more than any other candidate, and I think that is what's being reflected in this poll."
Jindal's 6-percent has him tied for fifth place, along with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, among Republican presidential hopefuls. Donald Trump leads the poll with 24-percent, followed by Ben Carson with 19-percent. Henderson says there are visible signs that the governor is gaining support.
"On Sunday, as I was driving in Des Moines, I actually saw my very first 'Jindal '16' bumper sticker on a car parked outside of a Catholic church."
She feels the Jindal campaign is hoping for the kind of miracle that propelled Mike Huckabee to victory in Iowa in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012. Henderson says it will be interesting to see if Jindal's "boots on the ground" campaign strategy will succeed.
"Time will tell whether the personal investment of time that Jindal has made heretofore in Iowa will pay off."
The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for a vehicle of interest in connection with the triple shooting in LaPlace that claimed the life of one man and injured two others. Sheriff Mike Tregre says 23-year-old Travis Gregoire died and and another 23-year-old man is recovering at a hospital.
He says the third shooting victim is an 18-year-old female.
"She is currently being treated at University Hospital and her situation is critical," said Tregre.
Tregre says they are still interviewing people to try to determine suspects or motive in the deadly shooting.
He says their crime cameras captured an image of a vehicle described as a white four door extended cab truck.
"Investigators believe that this is the vehicle used in the commission of this crime," said Tregre.
Tregre says they want to find the truck, its owner and any other possible occupants of the vehicle when the shooting took place.
They aren't releasing how many people could be involved, but Tregre says it appears as though the victims had just arrived in a vehicle of their own.
"They were exiting the vehicle that they drove up in, and that's when this white pickup truck drove up and opened fire," said Tregre.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Citizens with information about this incident that call Crimestoppers do not have to testify in court and may qualify for a cash reward. Citizens can also submit tips on the Sheriff’s Office website at http://stjohnsheriff.org/submitatip.php.
Minden Congressman John Fleming has thrown his support behind Metairie Representative Steve Scalise in his bid to become House Majority Leader. Fleming says electing Scalise would be good for the country and good for Louisiana.
LaPolitics-dot-com Publisher Jeremy Alford says there were questions whether Fleming would support Scalise's bid to move up in the House leadership.
"John Fleming is part of the ultra-conservative faction of the House, the Freedom Caucus. This is a group of lawmakers who have really been pushing for new faces in the leadership, more conservative leadership."
Scalise, the current House Majority Whip, looks to move into the number two leadership position in the US House. Alford says the timing of Fleming's endorsement is interesting since Scalise stated last week that he had enough votes secured to win the election.
"Then we see Fleming come out, after the weekend on Monday, saying that he supports Steve Scalise. Whether he gave Scalise that support before or after he had the votes to win is something I don't know right now."
The election to select the new House Majority Leader is scheduled for Thursday. Fleming is the last state Congressman to support Scalise's effort. Alford says this is a big plus for Scalise.
"But it seems like now the entire Louisiana Delegation is onboard. Scalise can say he has a solid group behind him."
Louisiana's landmark $6.8 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster has been finalized. This clears the way for the state to begin receiving billions of dollars for coastal restoration and economic recovery.
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says it's time to bring this situation to a close.
"I think when you look at it within the realm of either we could fight BP in court for decades or we could take this deal, I think this is the right deal for the state."
This is part of an overall $20 billion settlement with BP among five Gulf Coast states. $5 billion is earmarked for natural resources damages in the state. Graves, former state head of coastal protection, says this will have a significant impact on Louisiana's coast.
"Put us on a pathway to actually beginning to have a net increase in land as opposed to just losing every year."
$1 billion of the settlement will be used for economic damages. Graves says Congress needs to look as changing laws so the federal government has more leverage in cases like this.
"This is something that we should have been able to have settled before now. But I think way too much power and authority is given, in this case, to the entities that are actually spilling the oil."
A new statewide poll on Louisiana's governor's race shows Democrat John Bel Edwards has jumped out to a 9-point lead over Republican David Vitter. The JMC Analytics survey finds Edwards on top with 28-percent of the vote followed by Vitter's 19-percent.
Pollster John Couvillon says Edwards is catching a wave right now.
"He's run a very non-partisan campaign that's emphasizing his conservative stances on certain social issues, so almost nobody knows that he's a Democrat, between the ads and the fact that he hasn't mentioned he's a Democrat."
He believes Edwards is benefiting from the three Republican candidates attacking each other in this race. The poll of 500 likely voters shows that 55-percent said that prostitution allegations from Vitter's past will impact their vote this month. Couvillon says it appears Vitter's campaign is rubbing voters the wrong way.
"The tenor of Senator Vitter's campaign has been very heavy on attacking. So, when you combine that with the prostitution allegations, it does not create a very positive feeling towards Senator Vitter."
This is the first survey on the governor's race to show significant separation between Edwards and Vitter. Republicans Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne polled at 8-percent and 7-percent respectively. Couvillon says it's probably time for them to shift their focus from Vitter to Edwards.
"John Bel is pulling 11-percent of registered Republicans. He's doing very well among white independents, as well. Those are the voters Angelle and Dardenne have to have if they want to have a prayer of making the runoff."
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's appeal to his conviction on fraud charges is heard in a federal courtroom today. Nagin was convicted on 20 counts last year and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says Nagin is arguing that the jury was incorrectly instructed on laws regarding honest services fraud.
"The judge didn't explain the law well enough to the jury to properly evaluate the evidence."
He says, on appeal, the best argument any defendant has is that there was a flaw in the jury instructions. Ciolino says Nagin claims that the city would have awarded the contracts in question regardless of whether or not he received any kind of payment from the contractors.
"As a result, there was no, what's known as, quid pro quo, no giving of something of value in exchange for the contracts. Mr. Nagin argues the contracts would have been awarded anyway."
He says Nagin's appeal only covers nine of his 20 convictions. Ciolino says, although Nagin is taking his best shot, it's difficult in any criminal case to prevail on appeal.
"Generally, deference is given to the trial judge on most matters. Although, with regard to jury instructions, those do get a fresh new look on appeal unlike most other errors."
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees connected with CJ Spiller on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage in overtime to give New Orleans a 26-20 win over the banged up Dallas Cowboys.
It was Brees 400th career touchdown pass and it gave New Orleans its first win of the season.
Brees played the whole game on Sunday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, after missing last week because of a bruised shoulder. Brees threw mostly short to intermediate passes, but he was effective. The crafty veteran was 33-of-41 for 359 yards and two touchdowns.
The game was sent into overtime after the Saints defense gave up a Brandon Weeden touchdown pass on 4th down with 1:51 left to go.
Brees marched the Saints back down the field to set up a 30-yard field goal for Zach Hocker. But the rookie's kick hit the left upright.
Hocker did hit a 51-yard and 29-yard field goal. And he also subbed in for punter Thomas Morstead, who injured his groin. Hocker's one punt went 43 yards.
The Saints defense played well. Dallas only converted 3-of-12 of 3rd down opportunities. Rookie linebacker Stephone Anthony had 7 tackles and one sack. Hau'oli Kikaha was in on 8 tackles and one sack.
New changes are in place for the Powerball multi-state lottery game which will make it more difficult for players to win the grand prize, but more money could be won in other ways. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says the matrix changes will increase the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 and 292 million.
“This is going to help the game provide those big eye popping jackpots that our players really love.”
To produce the added player benefits, ten numbers will be added to the field of white-ball numbers for a total of 69 and nine Powerball numbers will be removed for a total of 26. Chopin says this allows them to increase the prize for matching four white balls plus a red Powerball number from $10,000 to $50,000.
“So when you add all those extra white ball numbers in there you’re lessening those odds of winning that jackpot prize but because we removed some red Powerball numbers now you’re increasing the odds to win other prize levels.”
Chopin says for players who add the one-dollar power play option, they can now multiply their nonjackpot prize up to ten times.
“Let’s say that you just matched the Powerball in that particular game, that prize would normally be four bucks for matching just the Powerball but you played Power Play, if it was a 10x, now your four dollar prize becomes 40 bucks.”
LSU running back Leonard Fournette became the first back in SEC history on Saturday night to rush for over 200 yards in three consecutive games. Fournette had 233 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan. The Heisman candidate finished 17 yards shy of tying the school record for most rushing yards in a game.
Fournette's longest TD run was for 75 yards. It came on the first play from scrimmage in the 2nd half. He also had touchdown runs of 3 and 11 yards.
The Tigers needed a big night from Fournette, because the passing game was not very good. Quarterback Brandon Harris was 4-of-15 for 80 yards and an interception.
It wasn't all his fault. There were several dropped passes. Travin Dural dropped one towards the end of the first half that could have resulted in a touchdown. Malachi Dupre also dropped a TD pass.
The interception was the result of a missed blocking assignment by left tackle Jerald Hawkins, who was beat badly on the play. Hawkins' man hit Harris as he was throwing and the ball landed right in the hands of an Eastern Michigan defender.
LSU had three interceptions. Linebacker Deion Jones returned one 26 yards and a touchdown. It was the final score of the game.
Jamal Adams and Kevin Toliver had the other two interceptions. Rickey Jefferson and Kendell Beckwith each had eight total tackles, to lead the Tigers defense.
LSU's next game is Saturday at South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the SEC after losing to Missouri 24-10.
The convicted killer who was accidentally released from prison in East Feliciana Parish has been captured in Atlanta. Middle District of Louisiana US Marshal Kevin Harrison says they spoke with Marshals in Georgia after receiving a tip that 32-year-old Benjuiel Johnson was staying in an Atlanta Motel 6.
“They showed his picture to a few people around the motel and they identified him as being an occupant of one of the rooms and so they were able to go ahead and make the arrest.”
Harrison says they spoke to a number of people in Iberville Parish and developed leads that Johnson had connections in Georgia.
“We developed those leads and followed up on them and fortunately they were able to go ahead and lead to us apprehending him there.”
Harrison says Johnson is awaiting extradition back to Louisiana. He credits the catch to the great efforts of all law enforcement involved.
“The only thing I can really attribute it to is all the law enforcement agencies involved, they were tenacious. Officers of the agencies involved were absolutely just dogged in their determination to apprehend this guy.”
In a recent poll ranking Louisiana's six most recent governors, former four-term Governor Edwin Edwards came in at number one among respondents. 31-percent thought the "Cajun Prince" was the best governor, followed by former two-term Governor Mike Foster with 21-percent.
Edwards feels he earned this honor by serving the people.
"People could reach me. I was on the telephone. I was on my job. I met with members of the legislature. I worked with them. We got things done. That's what government is supposed to do, take care of people."
Edwards says he appreciates this support shown by Louisianians. The poll was conducted by Clarus Research Group on behalf of The Advocate and WWL-TV. Edwards admits his gubernatorial terms were a bit controversial, but says he took care of business, even though some may not have liked the way he did it.
"People were working. Taxes were low. The budget was in balance. Education was funded. People had health care. Things were just better and I'm very glad that I had a small part of doing that."
Current Governor Bobby Jindal ranked third with 14-percent. But when asked who was the worst governor, 42-percent of respondents picked Jindal. Edwards says this didn't come as a surprise to him.
"The fellow abandoned his job. He took his pay and took expensive state troopers and traveled around the world at our expense and did nothing to restore the budget in Louisiana."
In last night's gubernatorial debate hosted by WDSU-TV in New Orleans , each of the four major candidates took shots at each other on a couple of different subjects. On the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood, Republican David Vitter criticized both Democrat John Bel Edwards and fellow Republican Jay Dardenne.
In reference to Edwards, Vitter equates his support of President Obama to support for Planned Parenthood.
"If that is consistent with a pro-life voting record, God help us because then nothing means anything."
Vitter supports defunding the organization. Edwards says while he supports the Commander in Chief, he does have issues with many positions taken by the President.
"I vote my conscience based on an array of issues and I will tell you, while I did vote for the President, I have never voted for David Vitter."
On the same topic, Vitter called out Dardenne claiming that the Lt. Governor voted in favor of abortion six times. In response, Dardenne called Vitter a liar.
"That's absolutely false and it's the kind of misleading things you're going to see from Senator Vitter, who is now getting desperate in this campaign."
On the topic of Common Core, Republican Scott Angelle took the opportunity slam Vitter's inconsistency on the issue.
"Let me take this opportunity to call out 'Senator Pinocchio'. The reality of it all is that he's wrong on education. He was for something, he was against it, he's for it. He has no idea where he will be on Common Core."