News for Wednesday 050819
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Von Jennings has resigned as the city of Alexandria's director of community services following a social media controversy over the weekend. A screenshot of a Facebook post attributed to Jennings began circulating last weekend. In it, she appears to call someone racist and uses an expletive in response to a meme and a bad review of the Alexandria Red River Festival. The city issued a release Tuesday afternoon announcing the resignation and went on to say the offensive post in no way represents the views of the city administration.
It didn’t take long. The man suspected of robbing the Capitol One Bank location on Jackson Street yesterday, shortly before noon, was arrested at a Mac Arthur Drive Motel less than 2 hours after the robbery. Authorities were able to talk Joshua Perry out of the room without incident, inside police reported finding evidence from the robbery.
The trial for a Pineville woman, accused with her brother in the deaths of three people, has been pushed back to March of next year. Ebony Nicole Sonnier's has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal conspiracy. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office has filed notice that it intends to seek the death penalty for Sonnier, who is 32. She and her brother, 30-year-old Matthew Sonnier, are accused in the deaths of Jeremy Norris, Kendrick Horn and Latisha White. The three died in October of 2017.
Here in CenLA, Law enforcement officials believe there are women out there who were held captive by a man identified as 56-year-old Justin Walters of Colfax. Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain says Walters is behind bars, accused of physically restraining three women, beating them for days and raping at least one of the victims. McCain says the suspect used social media to start a relationship with his victims. Anyone with information should call the GPSO.
One day after the Senate rejected legislation to abolish the death penalty; the House Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would allow the state to keep it a secret on where they purchase lethal drugs to carry out an execution. Louisiana has not carried out an execution since 2010 and a major stumbling block is the state’s inability to acquire the drugs needed to perform a lethal injection, because pharmaceutical companies do not want to be associated with it. It passed on an 8-2 vote. It now faces more discussion on the House floor. It’s also been approved by House Criminal Justice.
A House committee advances legislation that would move regulatory power of the state’s medical marijuana program out of the Ag Department and into the Department of Health. Making the product available to the public has faced repeated delays and grower GB Sciences President John Davis is tired of the wait. GB Sciences is partnered with the LSU AgCenter to grow part of the state’s medical marijuana crop. Strain defended his department against accusations they have been responsible for the frequent delays.
A Council for a Strong America report says the state needs to do more in making sure parents are able to find child care. CEO of the Committee of 100 Michael Olivier says the infant and child care crisis is costing the state $1.1 billion each year and that’s lost earnings and productivity. 5,000 kids are currently on a state waiting list for funding to pay for child care education.
Last week it was the Vice President, next week, Tuesday to be exact; President Trump is scheduled to visit the state to highlight job growth in the energy sector. The President will visit a 10 billion dollar liquefied natural gas export facility in Cameron Parish.
A bill that would up the amount of time a minor has to work before getting a break from five hours to eight hours has stalled in the House after a heated argument on the lower chamber floor. Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle says the legislation would endanger teen’s education, and it’s unfair to push them to work seven and a half hours straight while paying them 7.25 an hour. Bill writer, Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews countered saying teenagers have not proven their worth yet.
Governor Edwards has deemed May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. With the weather more favorable for hitting the road on two wheels, State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says motorcycles are more present on the roadways, and LSP is offering a refresher course for riders. So far in 2019, 20 people have died and nearly 300 have been injured in motorcycle accidents on state’s roads.
The LSU men’s basketball program is planning to visit Spain in August. The NCAA allows schools to take one foreign trip every four years and LSU’s last out of country trip was in 2015 to Australia.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward appeared on 94.7 ESPN’s After Further Review with Matt Mascona yesterday and was asked about basketball coach Will Wade. Woodward says Wade has their support and backing and it will be that way until it’s not. He added that they hope Wade is LSU’s coach for a long time, but things change and minds change.
Preliminary estimates show the devastating EF-3 tornado that ripped through Ruston likely destroyed Louisiana Tech’s softball, baseball, and soccer fields. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says the estimates aren’t final, but they do not expect at this time that the facilities are useable. Two people were killed in the deadly incident last month.
On the air..
Wednesday May 8th
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 050719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Fired Rapides Sheriff's lieutenant, Stacy Bender, agreed to a plea deal Monday to one count of malfeasance in office, almost three years after he was arrested and fired from the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. The 51 year old Bender was sentenced to three years in prison at hard labor, which was suspended. He also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. Bender was originally arrested on six counts of malfeasance in office, two counts of solicitation for prostitution, inciting prostitution, obstruction of justice and two counts of unlawful use of criminal records.
Law enforcement officials from Grant and Rapides parishes held a press conference yesterday to discuss the unusual case of Justin Grant Walters. The Colfax man is in custody in Grant Parish, accused of kidnapping, rape and other crimes, but authorities believe more victims might be out there and they are asking them to come forward. Walters, who is 56, is in the Grant Parish Detention Center on a $900,000 bond, facing charges that could bring him life in prison.
The Louisiana Department of Health is emphasizing the importance of immunizations in the wake of the nationwide measles outbreak. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says while there have not been any reported cases in the state so far, over 760 cases have been reported in other states. Kanter says of those national measles cases, over 72% were unvaccinated.
House Republicans have pushed forward a 30-billion dollar budget proposal for next fiscal year that contains a 12-hundred pay raise for teachers, but it doesn’t include an additional 39-million dollars for public schools. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says school districts are receiving a lot of money, while teachers are underpaid. The full House is set to vote on the budget Thursday.
Bossier Parish teachers could conduct a strike, a walk out or sick out this school year, because voters overwhelmingly rejected a tax proposal to fund teacher pay raises. 74-percent of the voters opposed the teacher salary hike proposal over the weekend.
A bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected soared through the Senate 31-5, and is headed to the House. Bill author Shreveport Senator John Milkovich says there is scientific evidence that life exists at the moment of conception, which why he hopes to continue pushing for abortion restrictions such as this one. Governor Edwards has indicated that he would sign the legislation into law if it were to reach his desk.
The constitutional amendment aimed at ending capital punishment in Louisiana met its demise on the Senate floor following a 13-25 vote. Louisiana has the highest homicide rate in the nation and the bill’s author Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor says death row is not working as a deterrent. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the amendment, and says in order for death to be an option, the government must be infallible in its decision on who is executed. Morrell says the death sentence in Louisiana has a history of inaccuracy with multiple exonerations over the years.
The Superdome is hoping to complete a 450 million dollar renovation, but questions abound about whom is going to pay for it, and that sparked an animated discussion in Senate Finance yesterday. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel says there’s better ways to spend a few hundred million dollars. The Saints have agreed to pay for a third of the cost of the renovation.
Monday marked new LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s first day on the job. Woodward has posted a letter to the LSU family on the school’s athletics website. In that published statement, Woodward says he believes in LSU and he believes the school will win championships under his leadership.
Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell announce a funding deal that will provide the city with 67.5 million dollars up front to fix streets and the drainage system. Edwards says the agreement also calls for 26-million dollars in annual recurring funding. The announcement of the deal comes after a 114-year-old water main busted, flooding roads and closing schools over the weekend.
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri has already announced that freshman right-hander Cole Henry will not pitch in the upcoming SEC series against Arkansas. Henry has missed the last two weekends, because of soreness in his elbow. LSU heads into tonight’s home game against La Tech with a 30-18 record.
On air today….
Tuesday May 7th
LSU Baseball vs LA Tech 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 050619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just after saying last week it would be ready, word is now medical marijuana will not be available to eligible patients by the mid-May deadline. The LSU AgCenter says the first batch of therapeutic cannabis should be ready by the end of this month, but the ag department will still need to test it. So now it looks like sometime in June.
Governor Edwards is seeking 39 million dollars in new K-12 education funding, but House Republicans say the money is not there to do it. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says another battle is shaping up between the governor and the House. House Republican leaders say if they increase funding for public education, they’ll have to cut the budget somewhere else.
The House will hear a bill today that would allow minors to work eight hours without a break instead of the current five. The House Labor Committee has already unanimously approved the measure. Author of the bill, Shreveport Representative Raymond Crews says the current law discourages employers from hiring minors as the mandatory break can disrupt a fluid shift. The law also issues employers a 500 dollar fine for violating the break requirement. Julie Cherry with the Louisiana AFL-CIO is concerned the bill could lead to minors not receiving breaks at all…
Legislation that would require Louisiana businesses to provide employees with paid leave to deal with family or medical issues cleared its first legislative hurdle by getting out of the Senate Labor committee, but the proposal faces strong opposition. No big surprise her, the National Federation of Independent Business objects to the measure. The measure needs to go before Senate Finance because a small payroll tax paid by employers and employees is needed to create a fund that can provide for the paid leave.
Vice President Mike Pence visited St. Landry Parish on Friday to thank the parishioners of three African American churches for how they’ve handled the burning down of their places of worship by a suspected arsonist. Over two-million dollars have been raised to rebuild the churches.
U-S Senator John Kennedy is teaming up with Attorney General Jeff Landry to lead the Louisiana Committee for a Conservative Majority, a political action committee. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Kennedy brings his fundraising talents to an organization aimed at electing more conservative Republicans to the legislature. All 144 seats in the state legislature are up re-election this fall.
New Orleans’ historic newspaper, The Times Picayune has been purchased by their Baton Rouge based rival, The Advocate. Manship School Professor Len Apcar, a 40 years veteran journalist who’s worked at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, says the merger will increase the quality of reporting in the Crescent City. Employees of the Picayune and it’s online service, Nola.com, have been given 60 days’ notice that they will be fired. However, they can apply to work for the Advocate.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the NCAA has launched an investigation into the Arizona men’s basketball program, which just like LSU has been tied to the FBI’s college basketball corruption case. One of their former assistant coaches pleaded guilty in January to accepting 20-thousand dollars in bribes to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins.
Through the month of May, Louisiana residents can download the LA Wallet app and activate their license for free in an effort to get more people to use the service. OMV field administrator Paige Paxton says law enforcement will accept digital license as a valid I-D, but you should hang on to your physical I-D as well, especially if you plan to travel out of state. Louisiana is the first state to allow the use of a smartphone app as a picture ID.
The U.S. Coast Guard begins a week long public hearing today regarding the October 2018 barge wreck that resulted in damage to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. Legal analyst Tim Meche says anytime there is a major incident on a major waterway, there is an investigation followed up by a public hearing. In the wreck, a crane carried on a barge collided with the bridge, resulting in the closure of the bridge for repairs until it was fully reopened in January. Meche says if the final report finds that individuals are implicated as culprits in the cause, they may be liable civilly or even criminally.
40 year old Clayton Florane of Bogalusa was arrested Sunday morning when he was caught driving a Natchitoches Regional Medical Center ambulance In Gonzales. An officer with the Gonzales PD stopped the ambulance around 9 a.m. Sunday when he saw it had extensive damage to the front bumper, a broken windshield, and the driver was in civilian clothes. Florane got out and admitted he'd stolen the vehicle from the hospital because he needed a ride home. Natchitoches police told Gonzales authorities the ambulance was stolen from the hospital at approximately 5:30 a.m.
Motown Records legend Diana Ross, who performed in front of thousands of fans Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, says while fans at the Festival were wonderful, she was treated rudely an Louis Armstrong New Orleans International.
In a Tweet Sunday morning, Ross says she felt "violated" by what she described as an overly intimate and aggressive pat-down by a female TSA agent at an airport security checkpoint. Her tweet says It was not what was done but how.
News for Friday 050319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Northwestern University is in mourning today after word of two students dying yesterday in separate, unrelated incidents. The students were 46 year old Samuel Taylor of Natchitoches and 23 year old Michael Robichaux of Pineville. University Police Chief Craig Vercher said foul play is not suspected in either incident. According to Vercher, the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of death of the students.
Former Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard's appeal that sought to terminate an arbitration agreement between the two parties has been denied. Both sides had argued during arbitration whether Aguillard was an "at-will" employee or whether he had an employment contract specifying a term of five years.
Rapides Parish School Board members will be asked to accept Superintendent Nason Authement's resignation at their meeting next Tuesday. Another motion, submitted by board President Wilton Barrios, seeks to "discuss and take action" on searching for a replacement for Authement, who ends his term after six years. His tenure began on June 1, 2013. He came in with a plan focused on eliminating some jobs at the district's central office and restructuring low-performing schools.
Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Lafayette this afternoon and will visit Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of the three churches recently torched in St. Landry Parish. Pence will meet with community and church leaders.
The Baton Rouge Advocate has purchased New Orleans’ longest running major paper, The 182 year old Times Picayune and it’s website NOLA.com The Advocate will publish a seven-day, home-delivered newspaper in New Orleans using the brands and features of both publications. The new paper will debut in June. The two papers’ websites will be combined under the nola.com brand around the same time.
The loosening of regulations based on rules written following the 2010 BP oil spill may make the Gulf of Mexico more attractive to those looking to establish offshore rigs. Tulane Energy Institute Professor Eric Smith describes the rules set following the oil spoil as overly harsh and now that they’ve been loosened, it opens the Gulf of Mexico to being more competitive with other deep water drilling sites around the world.
One year after the state legislature restored voting rights for some convicted felons, there’s an effort to allow some convicts to be eligible for jury duty. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says his legislation would allow convicted felons to be called for jury duty once they are off parole or probation for five years. The House Criminal Justice Committee sent the proposal to the full House after a 9-6 vote.
The Harrah’s Casino 30 year license extension effort rolled through the House and is on it’s way back to the Senate, where it died last year. In return for a substantial extension, House Speaker Taylor Barras’ bill asks for Harrah’s to invest 325 million dollars to upgrade the facility, including building a new hotel. This year’s version pays the state 130 million dollars more over the length of the deal than last years.
The House health committee approves legislation that would allow medical marijuana patients to receive the drug through an inhaler, instead of a liquid or pill. Members of the House Health and Welfare committee heard moving testimony from veterans. An 11-year combat veteran from Belle Chasse says he’s using medical marijuana to treat P-T-S-D.
A construction firm has been selected to manage the first phase of what would, if approved, ultimately be a 450-million dollar Superdome renovation. The first phase of construction will cost about 100 million dollars, and Superdome Commission spokesperson Mike Hoss says it focuses on making the dome easier to traverse, and bringing the food up to New Orleans standards. The plan is for all four phases of renovation to be completed before the 2024 Superbowl in New Orleans.
Ecologists are sounding the alarm about a huge increase in the number of dead dolphins being found off the coast of Mississippi, and are pinning the blame partly on the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in March. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies President Dr. Mody Solangi says it’s not just the Spillway at fault. In previous decades, the spillway’s opening wasn’t as devastating, but the Mississippi River has grown so polluted that dumping that water into the gulf is disastrous. There have also been reports of Oyster beds being destroyed.
The Cenikor Foundation, a drug rehab with a Baton Rouge facility, has been hit with lawsuits alleging the organization funneled patients to work at local chemical plants and the LSU student union without paying them, less than a week after an investigative report was published with similar findings. According to an attorney representing one of the former patients, the rehab sent patients to do things like put up scaffolding at petrochemical plants and make king cakes at local bakeries, all without pay.
Louisiana Tech raised 1.23 million dollars for it’s inaugural Giving Day fundraiser. Nearly 2,000 donors contributed to the fund, a record for Tech fundraisers, which averages out to a little over 615 dollars a donor. A tornado ravaged the campus last week.
LSU pitcher Zach Hess has agreed to head to the bullpen as a reliever after two years of trying to mold himself into a starting pitcher. The junior admitted in a recent interview that he’s better when he can give his all on every pitch, instead of having to stretch his stamina out across 8 or so innings.
12th ranked LSU baseball takes on Ole Miss at Alex Box for a three game series this weekend, but Freshman right-hander Cole Henry is still not available to pitch because of a sore elbow.
Louisiana Tech will be playing it’s final home series against Western Kentucky at Warhawk Field at Louisiana-Monroe’s campus. The Bulldog’s home field is still in tatters after being heavily damaged by a Tornado that tore through the campus last week..
On the air…
Friday May 3rd
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Saturday May 4th
Houston Astros @ LA Angels 5:30p
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Sunday May 5th
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 1:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros @ Minnesota 2:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 050219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
With votes were being received through written ballots and via email, Rapides Parish School District employees and retirees have rejected a proposal to leave the Office of Group Benefits. The last public meeting on the matter was to be held in Tioga last night, but was cancelled. Liz Domite, the district's chief financial officer, said enough no votes already had been received that there was no way the proposal would pass.
Today is the “National Day Of Prayer and as people have for the past 25 years many will gather today at Pineville City Hall for an informal time of prayer for the nation, state, and city. The non-denominational Prayer Gathering will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 and all are invited to attend.
A WWL-TV report says Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has State Police troopers drive him everywhere he goes, but he still receives 84-hundred dollars in annual salary to drive a personal vehicle to work. The report also claims that his staffers were getting paid by taxpayers while work on his re-election campaign. Nungesser is up for re-election this year, but no major challengers have surfaced. Nungesser says he rides with troopers only part of the time.
In one of the more bizarre stories A Lake Charles Charter Academy teacher has been arrested after allegations were lodged against her for sexual misconduct with a student. 34 year old Deidre Smith of Sulphur was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship, including intercourse, with one of her 10-year-old students. Smith was arrested and is facing charges of first-degree rape and felony indecent behavior with a juvenile.
On a narrow vote, the House Criminal Justice Committee approves a bill that expands the state’s stand your ground law to protect an individual who may have to use deadly force in churches. In Louisiana, people can bring a concealed weapon into a house of worship if the person or group in charge of the facility authorizes them to do so. The measure heads to the House floor.
Patients may finally be access liquid medical marijuana during the last week in May, while lawmakers on a House committee approved a bill that might allow them to inhale the medicine in the future. Officials with the LSU Ag Center and its partner GB Sciences said Wednesday they believe they're on track to deliver cannabis to the state's nine authorized pharmacies May 27.
A bill that would have required producers of “almond milk” to label their product something other than milk has had an amendment added that would only allow the law to go into effect if similar regulations are approved at the federal level. There were concerns that having different names for the same products across state lines would create confusions.
A bill that would conceal the identities of companies that sell lethal injection drugs and equipment to Louisiana clears committee and is headed to the House floor. Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops representative Rob Tasman says the state owes it to the tax payers to be open and honest when dealing with a subject as sensitive as killing someone. Bill sponsor, Hammond Representative Nicky Muscarello, agreed that the bill does promote government contracting secrecy, but says companies won’t sell the state the legally required lethal injection drugs without a guarantee of secrecy. The state has not carried out an execution since 2010.
Thousands of Louisianans with developmental disabilities will now be able to stay at home with their families after the Department of Health revamped a decades-old assistance waiting list. Assistant Secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities Julie Hagan says they’ve adopted a “tiered system” that prioritizes those in immediate need of help, rather than those who will need help in the future. The full wait list was 12,000 people long but included thousands who may not need help for several years.
A new report from the National Education Association, the union representing over 3 million members across the country, indicates the average teacher salary in Louisiana is $50,000, which is 11% less than the average salary in the state a decade ago when adjusted for inflation. Union President Lily Garcia says the salary trajectory is making many potential teachers choose other occupations. The report indicates the state’s average teacher salary ranks 39th compared to other states and is 4.5% less than the national average.
Governor Edwards, along with gubernatorial challengers Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge Businessman Eddie Rispone spoke before attendees at the “Oil and Natural Gas Industry Day” event in Baton Rouge. Each gave their case as to why voters should select them to lead the state. Edwards says while there is still work to be done, the state is in a better position than what it was when he took office. Abraham says if he is elected, he’d make more efforts to make Louisiana more business-friendly for the oil and natural gas industry. Rispone touted his experience as a businessman instead of being a career politician as the reason he has the ability to lead Louisiana.
Louisiana Tech has launched the school’s inaugural Giving Day. President of the Student Advancement team Maddie Patton says that donor can select if they want their money going toward the general school fund helping students attend Louisiana Tech through scholarships or toward fixing the damage from last week’s EF-3 tornado that impacted the Ruston area. To donate, visit LouisianaTechGivingDay.org.
The USA Today Network is reporting that Vice President Mike Pence will visit St. Landry Parish Friday to meet with faith leaders of the three churches that burned down in an alleged case of racially motivated arson. 21-year-old Holden Matthews has been arrested in connection to the crimes, and two million dollars has been raised on a GoFundMe page for the recovery efforts.
LSU baseball Coach Paul Mainieri said Wednesday that Cole Henry’s sore elbow will not allow him to pitch this weekend against Ole Miss. Even though Henry will not pitch, Mainieri has decided to move Zack Hess back to the bullpen. Mainieri wants Hess to let it loose when he comes out of the pen.
News for Wednesday 050119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Felicia Marie Nicole Smith, one of two Natchitoches Parish women accused in the burning death of a 6-month-old boy in July of last year, was granted a hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to proceed in her case after a judge cited the delay in appointing a public defender for her. Smith and Hanna Nicole Barker both face first-degree murder charges in the death of Levi Cole Ellerbe, who was Barker's son. The cases are being tried separately.
The Alexandria City Council last night voted 4 to 3 for a resolution of support for house bill 422, which would repeal the state's ban on local control of economic policies, specifically the minimum wage. The council chamber was filled with supporters of the resolution. The bill is currently in a House Chamber and Tuesday’s resolution won't change anything, but simply show support for the bill.
A Senate committee has approved legislation that would prohibit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. If Louisiana’s abortion ban proposal is signed by the governor, it would not take effect until the federal courts determine if a similar law in Mississippi is constitutional. The measure advances to the Senate floor after a five to two vote in a judiciary committee, and does not include an exception if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.
A constitutional amendment to abolish the death penalty in Louisiana passed a Senate committee on 4-2 vote. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says if prosecutors seek the death penalty, the state has infinite resources to defend that decision compared to a person who is handed the sentence, and noted that outside groups have had to exonerate death row inmates who the state had failed to defend. Two DAs spoke in opposition.
A measure to legalize sports wagering in the state has survived a full Senate vote and is heading to the House. Bill sponsor, Metairie Senator Danny Martiny, says there’s already an active sports betting black market, and while the law may increase the overall amount of gaming in the state, it will contribute funding to early childhood education.
A Shreveport Democrat railed against vaccinations on the Senate floor during discussion of a bill that would allow adults to opt into a statewide immunization database. Senator John Milkovich checked off a list of reasons why he believes vaccinations may not be trustworthy, and could be poisonous to children. Republican US Senator Bill Cassidy, a doctor, spoke out against the claims, calling the research that linked vaccinations and autism “fake news” that’s responsible for the resurgence of measles nationwide.
It may just be a feel good piece of legislation, but the Louisiana House passes a bill that says banks with gun control policies cannot refuse to do business with companies involved in the manufacturing and selling of guns and ammunition. The House approved the measure on a 66-27 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate for more discussion.
Governor Edwards is confident tornado ravaged Ruston and Louisiana Tech will receive federal disaster recovery funds once damage assessments are complete, and an application for aid has been filed. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reportedly has already identified at least 1,200 damaged structures, and Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness spokesperson Mike Steele says they’re hoping to get started on the assessment process soon, but some areas still need to be checked for safety before the crews go out.
A former St. Landry Parish priest was sentenced to seven years in prison today and received three years probation. Michael Guidry pleaded guilty in March to giving a 16-year-old boy alcohol and then sexually molesting him. Guidry was a longtime leader of St. Peter Church in Morrow.
LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron says the team’s number one ranked 2020 recruiting class is evidence the team’s brand has gone national. 247Sports.com recruiting analyst Shea Dixon says the most remarkable part of the class is that 11 of the 14 commitments are from out of state. Alabama is close on LSU’s heels with the number two class. Elsewhere in the SEC you’ve got Florida at 5, Georgia at 11, Mississippi State at 13, and Auburn at 18, South Carolina at 25, and A&M at 26.
News for Tuesday 043019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report a Pineville man died Monday afternoon after he road an ATV into the path of a car on Highway 28 east. 23 year old Stephen Wade Bennett Jr. was ejected from the ATV. Troopers say he was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.
Homestead exemption kept its reputation as the third rail of Louisiana politics after a House committee here killed a bill to allow local voters to raise taxes on homeowners in individual parishes. House Bill 12 by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, is a constitutional amendment would have allowed individual parish governments to let locals decide whether to lower the current homestead exemption of $75,000. Members voted 9-3 against the bill, killing it for this year.
The House unanimously passed a statewide framework for ridesharing in the state Monday. HB 575 now moves to the Senate where it’s track record has not been good. For the past two years, similar bills have passed the House, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.
The House Transportation Committee overwhelming supports legislation that would prohibit hand held cell phone use while driving. A similar bill in Louisiana died in the Senate last year. Supporters of the proposed handheld cell phone ban say statistics show that talking or texting on the phone is contributing to more and more accidents.
The measure now moves to the full House for more debate.
A bill that would partially roll back changes to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program advanced to the House floor on a 8 to 7 vote. The change would take the ability to grant the often substantial local property tax breaks out of larger, local level boards, and place them in the hands of a three person, Parish level board.
Some residents are still without power from Thursday’s EF-3 tornado that struck Ruston, killing two and causing widespread damage. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker says they have 88% of the electrical grid back up, but they will not hit 100% for a while.
Lincoln Parish public schools and Louisiana Tech University re-opened Monday.
A proposed constitutional amendment to exempt diapers and feminine products from the state sales tax cleared the Senate Finance Committee, and is heading to the Senate floor, with debate focusing in on diapers. Baton Rouge Diaper Bank Danielle Satawa says poor families often struggle to afford diapers, and end up needing to lift them from local groceries. The proposal would need a two thirds vote in both houses, followed by voter approval on the October ballot before becoming law.
For the first time, the Bonnet Carre Spillway could be opened twice in one calendar year. Only weeks after the spillway closed, the National Weather Service predicted the Mississippi River will reach 16.9 feet at the Carrollton gage in New Orleans on May 11th, just shy of the 17-foot mark which normally corresponds with an opening. The spillway in St. Charles Parish is designed to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain to prevent flooding downriver in New Orleans and some of its suburbs.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade’s name surfaced in a federal courtroom in New York Monday where an NCAA corruption trial is ongoing. A recording was played in which a former Arizona assistant coach said he discussed with Wade a 300-thousand dollar recruiting offer in order to get Reid to sign with LSU. Reid played a vital role this past season in helping LSU win an SEC regular season title. There has yet to be any corroborating evidence in court connecting Wade to this potential deal.
The Louisiana Department of Health is warning Louisianans to be on the lookout for the penny sized “kissing bug”, whose bite can carry the rare, but nasty Chagas disease. The Triatomine bugs are known to break into poorly maintained houses, and feast on unsuspecting sleepers. The state has only seen 13 confirmed cases within our borders since cases first began being recognized. Chagas symptoms can take weeks to appear, and can feel very much like the flu initially. Tonzel says after that, it could be quite some time before the long term effects are felt, but they could ultimately be fatal.
A Hepatitis A outbreak results in the first death reported from the virus in the state. The highly contagious liver infection primarily spreads through close contact. According to the state’s department of health, infections usually resolve themselves without treatment, illness, and deaths. However, the current national outbreak has been higher than usual due to older age and underlying health conditions. The virus is preventable with vaccines.
On the Air……
Tuesday April 30th
Houston Astros @ Minnesota 6:05p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 042619
Compiled By Dave Graichen
State police report the death of a Deville Woman yesterday La. Highway 107 in a 3 vehicle accident. Authorities say 29 year old Joseph Hood of Greenbrier, Tennessee failed to stop for driver in front of him who was attempting to make a left hand turn onto La. Highway 1196. 29-year-old Chloe Bordelon was waiting for northbound traffic to pass before she could turn, when Hood struck her from behind. Bordelon died at the scene, Hood sustained minor injuries.
In a good piece of Police Work, the APD was able to bring a standoff with a disturbed man to a peaceful conclusion yesterday afternoon on Webster Street.. Police were called to the home shortly after 11 in the morning. Crisis negotiators arrived on the scene and spent the next few hours attempting to communicate with the suspect, who was undergoing a mental health crisis. Around 2:30 p.m., a tactical team entered the house. The suspect was taken into custody. Police do not anticipate charging the man with any crime.
The RPSO reports the arrest of 37 Justin Gillespie after a report of a disturbance on England Drive in Alexandria Wednesday. The victims, who were treated at a local hospital for their injuries, claim Gillespie beat and raped them. Gillespie was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center for one count each first-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping, domestic abuse battery strangulation, criminal damage and two counts of domestic abuse battery. Gillespie is currently being detained at the detention center in lieu of posting bond.
A deadly EF-3 tornado sliced through Ruston early yesterday morning claiming the lives of a mother and son and reeking damage throughout the town. At Louisiana Tech President Les Guice says thankfully the tornado skirted the edge of the core academic buildings, but the residential halls weren’t so lucky. The pictures from the campus are startling, with trees ripped up by the roots, and debris littering the grounds.
Governor Edwards was on-hand to survey the devastation in Ruston in the wake of that freak EF-3.Edwards says pictures from the ground just don’t do the damage justice, and for a state used to floods and hurricanes, it’s unusual to see such a precise path of destruction. Edwards has declared a state of emergency while officials get a full handle on the scope of the damage that cut across several northern parishes.
A bill to legalize the growing and processing of Industrial hemp is on it’s way to the full House after unanimously passing in the House Agriculture Committee.
Following a 5-1 vote, a constitutional amendment that aims to raise the minimum wage in Louisiana to $9 an hour on July 1, 2020, is headed to the Senate floor, where the effort died last year. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says a bump in the minimum wage would show that the state is serious about helping its working poor. Governor John Bel Edwards has sought an increase in the minimum wage since taking office in 2016. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is in opposition.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is welcoming other AG’s from around the nation to an event in Lafayette this week that address their roles following a disaster. The event is not only addressing natural disasters, but is discussing an AG’s role following events such as active shooter situations.
A New Orleans Senator’s bill to rename the I-10 the “Who Dat Nation Highway” has it’s ambitions significantly reduced after lawmakers discover the stretch of road has already been dedicated to veterans. Wesley Bishop amended the bill to call for three plates saying “Welcome to the Who Dat Nation” to be placed underneath some existing road signs. The plates would be paid for by private donors. Bishop says before filing the legislation, he was not aware that the entirety of the I-10 from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California, had already been dedicated to something a bit more prominent than a football team.
The LSU Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the contracts of two major figures in the school’s athletics. The first is that of the new Athletic Director Scott Woodward. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says Woodward’s six-year contract is valued at $8 million, with a starting annual salary of $1.1 million and seeing it bumped to $1.5 in years five and six. Basketball coach Will Wade’s contract is also being amended as part of his reinstatement. Wade has agreed to waive his quarter million dollar performance bonuses earned in the most recent season. Also, Moran says if the NCAA finds that Wade has committed a level one or level two violations, LSU can send Wade packing.
The owner of Cajun Cannabis has been arrested on felony drug charges after his new store was raided Wednesday night. Cajun Cannabis began selling CBD oil this past weekend and during a traffic stop last night the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office arrested Travis DeYoung after CBD oil, gummies and mints were found in his vehicle. Louisiana officials have said CBD is illegal.
A Mississippi police officer who was indicted in Louisiana on charges that he used excessive force while working in the Bayou State has resigned from his job with Moss Point, Mississippi Police. 44-year-old Robert Hammac had been working at the Magnolia State police department for several months, and the police chief there says they were not aware of the ongoing investigation into his behavior as a Lake Charles officer.
The Louisiana Tech baseball and softball stadiums and the school’s soccer complex sustained significant damage from a powerful tornado that roared through Ruston early this morning. Louisiana Tech President Les Guice says the facilities are unusable. No one on campus was severely injured and Guice says locals are helping in the cleanup effort, including legendary Bulldog basketball player, the mailman himself, Karl Malone. The softball team hosts Western Kentucky this weekend, but they can’t play in their stadium. School officials say the games could be moved to Ruston or Cedar Creek High School.
The Saints will finally get a chance to draft tonight after they traded their first-round pick last year for defensive end Marcus Davenport. The Saints only have one pick in the first four rounds and six overall, with two in the sixth and two in the seventh.
On The Air… Friday April 26th
NFL Draft Day Two 5p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Alabama 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Thursday 042519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The House Health and Welfare committee approves legislation to increase the legal age to smoke from 18 to 21-years-old. The measure also raises the legal age to vape to 21-years-old. That brought opposition from individuals, as you may suspect, who own vaping stores. Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley says he couldn’t support the legislation, because he didn’t think it was right to prohibit an 18-to-21-year-old from smoking even though they can fight for our country. But the measure passed on a 10-2 vote.
A bill that removes professional wrestling from the State Boxing and Wrestling Commission’s overview is headed to the House after clearing the House Commerce Committee on a 14-2 vote. Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says regulation is not necessary for an event that is more theatrical than sport. The WWE hosted their super bowl, called WrestleMania, in New Orleans twice in the past four years.
Governor John Bel Edwards wants three debates with his Republican challengers Ralph Abraham, and Eddie Rispone between September 2nd and the October 12th election. Rispone’s campaign spokesperson Anthony Ramirez agreed that three debates was an appropriate number. But Abraham responded on Twitter that there should be debates in each of the state’s six congressional districts.
The House Agriculture Committee will hear a bill today that would legalize, and regulate the growth of industrial hemp in Louisiana. The product was OK’d by the USDA, but Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s still off limits here. The plant is featured in 50,000 different products and can be turned into hypoallergenic fabrics, concrete, has nutritional value, and more. Hemp is considered pest resistant, and can mature in 8-12 weeks, and proponents argue it is far less water needy, and has a mechanism that detoxifies soil. But it’s often confused for its cousin plant, pot. Strain says if legalized, they’ll be picking out seeds that won’t do anything if you smoke them.
Trivia…. The first few drafts of the Declaration of Independence were thought to be written on hemp paper, which was commonly grown and used in colonial North America. It was also used in American paratroopers parachute webbing in WW2.
The LSU AgCenter will begin studying to effects of cannabis based compounds on epileptic seizures, using the common zebrafish as a lab rat. The funding for the research comes courtesy of a yearly 500,000 dollar cannabis research grant from the AgCenter’s medicinal pot partner GB Sciences to help further cannabis related research. Now that testing is legal, Green says scientists are looking forward to seeing what the plant has to offer.
The House approves legislation aimed at addressing the factors that result in the state’s high auto insurance rates. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill lowers the jury threshold from 50-thousand to five-thousand dollars, which Talbot says would lead to more cases settled out of court and lower costs for insurance companies. But many lawmakers are skeptical. Additional debate on the bill will take place in the Senate.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission will host a meeting tomorrow in Baton Rouge with telephone companies to talk about an influx in “robo-calls.” Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he and the rest of Louisiana are tired of the phone calls. Campbell says the calls are a violation of Louisiana’s ‘Do Not Call’ law that prevents telemarketers from calling numbers that have signed up on a do not call registry. He says because these callers are breaking the law he wants them to receive severe fines. Which may be a difficult to enforce since many of the calls come from outside the country.
54-year-old Jessie Guillory of Lake Charles, who allegedly attacked a nurse at a Baton Rouge hospital has been booked for manslaughter after the nurse he allegedly attacked died from her injuries. Baton Rouge Police say their investigation has determined the victim, Lynne Truxillo, was trying to help a fellow nurse who was pinned to the wall by Guillory. Witnesses say Guillory slammed Truxillo’s head into a desk; she died as a result of a blood clot.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s contract is reportedly six years long and his annual pay will start at one-point-one million dollars and grow over the course of the deal. He’ll make a million and a half in the final two years of the contract. The LSU alum is also set to receive a 250-thousand dollar signing bonus. The LSU Board of Supervisors will have to approve the deal at their next meeting.
Multiple media outlets are reporting the Saints will pick up defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins fifth-year option. Rankins had a career-high eight sacks and 12 tackles for a loss last season, but tore his Achilles tendon in the playoff win over Philadelphia. He’s expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform list, but the team must believe he’ll make a full recovery from that injury.
Tonight at 7PM it’s the NFL Draft and Two former Tigers are expected to go in the first round. One of those is one of the most beloved players in LSU history, linebacker Devin White. In his three years, White was showered with All-American selections and national honors. NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier says he enters as one of the best middle linebacker prospects in draft history. Complete live coverage can he heard on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
Tiger Rag dot com reports Marlon Taylor becomes the sixth LSU underclassman to declare for the NBA draft. The six-foot-six junior averaged seven points and four rebounds a game last season. He will have the option to return next season.
News for Wednesday 042419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Legislation that would prohibit food manufacturers from labeling a package and naming it cauliflower rice, if it doesn’t contain rice receives unanimous approval from the Senate. Delhi Senator Francis Thompson’s proposed law would also protect other ag products like Milk and meat, so no more tofu burgers or Almond or Coconut Milk. Food manufacturers in violation of this proposed law would be fined 500-dollars and it would take effect in October 2020.The measure is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Health committee.
Legislation to reinstate sales tax holidays is heading to the Senate after the proposal received overwhelming support in the House. Legislators inadvertently suspended sales tax holidays for seven years when they approved a tax deal last June. If the Senate gives it’s approval the three separate sales tax holidays would be for back to school shopping, hurricane preparedness and hunting supplies.
An effort to legalize sports betting at the state’s 15 licensed riverboat casinos, four racetracks and New Orleans land-based casino received approval from a Senate committee Yesterday. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says this legislation could raise up to 60-million dollars a year for the state and voting against this bill will not keep addicts from betting. The measure heads to the Senate floor for more discussion.
The House Health and Welfare Committee is expected to vote on a bill that would raise the age to purchase or possess tobacco from 18 to 21 years old. The sponsor of the bill, West Monroe representative Frank Hoffman, says raising the age could prevent potential young smokers from ever picking up a pack of cigarettes. The bill would also prevent those under 21 from buying vaping products.
State Police is discussing how they can provide better protection for the governor’s mansion after an intruder was able to get inside John Bel Edwards home and fall asleep on the couch. Security expert Joshua Nicholson says this will force State Police to look at their protocols. The intruder was arrested after he allegedly assaulted two officers in the mansion.
A center dedicated to coastal restoration and preservation could be in the cards for Nicholls State University as the school prepares to expand it’s engineering curriculum. School President Dr. Jay Clune says the facility will resemble the LSU Center for River Studies, famed for it’s huge model of the Mississippi River and it’s flow patterns. Clune says the facility will be a hub for wetlands protection research. Louisiana has lost 1,800 square miles of land to coastal erosion since 1932.
New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson spoke publicly for the first time about her struggles with gambling addiction Tuesday at a committee hearing on the legalization of sports betting. Peterson says she’s dealt with the disease for years, but had managed to keep it a secret. The Crescent City Democrat was the lone dissenting vote in Tuesday’s 3-1 committee approval of the legislation.
Breaux bridge Representative Mike Huval has legislation that would allow information about whether or not a driver was buckled up to be used in determining damages in trials related to car wrecks. Currently that information is not allowed to be entered into the record.
At a noon press conference yesterday Baton Rouge native Scott Woodward says it’s an incredible opportunity to take over as LSU’s athletics director. The LSU alum said at his introductory press conference that LSU will win SEC and NCAA championships and do so with integrity.
LSU baseball last night, the tigers took care of Lamar at the Box.. Final score 5 to 3. The tigers begin a three game series in Alabama Friday.
The Houston Astros needed a win last night and that’s just what they got.. a 10 to 4 victory over the twins.. they’ll continue that series tonight.. 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
On air today Wednesday April 24th
Houston Astros vs Minnesota 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 042319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The APD Reports a woman shot a man and then apparently turned the gun on herself. The shooting took place in a Mobile home shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon just off of Sterkx Road. . Police say when they arrived at the scene they found the unidentified woman dead and the man with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash yesterday afternoon that claimed the life of 53 year old Ted Gaspard. State police say the vehicle, in which Gaspard was a passenger, was hit head on by an oncoming vehicle that crossed the center line of LA highway one. Three other occupants of the vehicle received moderate injuries.
Members of the community and Catholic Church packed St. Frances Xavier Cathedral yesterday to say goodbye and celebrate the life of Alexandria's 11th Bishop, Ronald Herzog. Bishop Herzog served Alexandria from 2005 to 2017. He passed away on April 12 after a brief illness.
Louisiana extends it’s streak of over the year job gains to 13 consecutive months. The state’s Workforce Commission Director Ava Dejoie says since March of 2018, the education/healthcare sector has led the way with an additional 7,400 jobs. But nearly all of the year to year job gains were powered by hiring in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. North Louisiana is still struggling, with Shreveport in particular down 1,700 jobs over the last year. Houma continues to see it’s economy slip, as it lost 2,100 job from last year in a city of roughly 34,000. Dejoie says she’s hopeful that rising oil prices can stem the losses.
A Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a proposal to allow voters to legalize sports betting at casinos and race tracks in their parishes today. Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills opposes the legislation, and says any revenue generated would be offset by the social damage caused by increased gambling. But bill sponsor, Metairie Senator Danny Martiny, says there’s already an active sports betting black market. Martiny is pushing to direct any revenue generated directly from sports betting activities into early childhood education.
Law enforcement agencies participate this week in the “Buckle Up in Your Truck” campaign, an effort to get more drivers and passengers in pickup trucks to wear seat belts. Deputy Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Dortha Cummins says 89-percent of drivers and passengers in passenger vehicles follow the state’s seat belt laws, but the percentage drops to 81-percent for pickup truck drivers and passengers.
A House committee approves legislation to create a Team Gleason specialty license plate in honor of former Saints star and now ALS advocate Steve Gleason. The House Transportation Committee gave the Team Gleason specialty license plate unanimous approval and New Orleans Representative Walt Leger says if it becomes law, it can also help in the fight against A-L-S.
LSU fans are upset with national sports reporter Darren Rovell after he said on Twitter that you should not put up a billboard celebrating second place. A billboard is up in Baton Rouge congratulating the LSU gymnastics team for finishing as runner ups at the national championships. Rovell did not back down from that tweet when he appeared on “Off the Bench” Monday morning on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN. LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette tweeted back to Rovell that the billboard helps promote the LSU brand.
New LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward is set to be introduced today at noon. The former LSU graduate has served as the Athletic Director for Texas A&M for the past four years with the sports program winning nine SEC titles.
The state hopes to get more students involved in the Ag industry by letting eligible two-year college grads transfer directly to LSU’s College of Ag and start as a junior. Louisiana Community and Technical College President Monty Sullivan says 2+2 is an economic program that gets kids out of college in four years with a lower debt load and bright prospects for a high paying job in a vital field. Students need to have a 2.5 GPA, and an associate degree in certain fields of study.
A constitutional amendment to exempt diapers and feminine products from the state sales tax cleared it’s first committee, and is on it’s way to Senate Finance, where it has previously died. The proposal comes with a 10 million dollar price tag, and is being introduced by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell.
Two people died early Sunday when their vehicle hit a deer while traveling on Highway 821 in Lincoln Parish. State Police say after the Chevy Tahoe hit the deer, the vehicle struck several trees.
The 14th LSU baseball team looks to win a midweek game for the first time since April 3rd when they host Lamar tonight. After tonight’s home game, LSU visits Alabama starting Thursday for a three game weekend series.
On Air Today..
Brooklyn @ Philadelphia 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
Oklahoma City @ Portland (Follows) 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Lamar 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Monday 042219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
LSU basketball coach Will Wade will not have to testify in a college hoops bribery trial set to begin next week in New York. Wade and Arizona coach Sean Miller were subpoenaed to testify, but judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that their testimonies would be irrelevant to the bribery charges the two defendants are facing.
Three people are behind bars for allegedly planting fake bombs at two northwest Louisiana schools to distract authorities while they robbed nearby banks. The two schools impacted were Lakeview High School in Natchitoches Parish and Castor High School in Bienville Parish. 41-year-old Paul Nash of Jonesboro, 47-year-old Lacentrusa Mayweather, and 42-year-old Tabitha Gray of Ball have been booked into the Bienville Parish Prison.
Legislation is being brought that would conceal the identities of companies that sell lethal injection drugs or equipment to the state. The state has not performed an execution since 2010, and advocates say a big part of that is because drug companies fear retaliation from anti-death penalty consumers. Governor Edwards says he would sign the legislation if it were to make it to his desk.
A Senate Committee is set to hear a proposal today that would exempt feminine hygiene products and diapers from the state sales tax. Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says the proposal would cost the state 10-million dollars in revenues, but that’s not a lot of money in a 30-billion dollar budget.
A Senate Bill up consideration in the legislative session would allowing every junior and senior public high school students to take two college courses free of charge starting next school year. It’s an effort that has the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says while Louisiana does offer dual enrollment, there isn’t universal access. The state Board of Regents is looking into ways to keep the students from having to foot the bill on dual enrollment classes
Hurricane Michael that impacted the Florida Panhandle in October has been upgraded by NOAA as a rare Category 5 hurricane at the time of landfall. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the last Category 5 storm that made landfall on US soil was Hurricane Andrew when it hit Florida and then crossed the Gulf and struck the Bayou State.
The 2019 Louisiana Survey shows a majority of Louisiana residents oppose gun restrictions as 57-percent oppose banning the sale of assault weapons and 61-percent oppose banning high capacity ammunition magazines. LSU Public Policy Research Lab director Doctor Michael Henderson says they asked respondents about three different proposals to restrict firearms and only one received majority support. Henderson says 69-percent of those polled say a law should be put in place to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns.
Kathleen Blanco’s family wants the public to know the former governor is not as close to death as reports indicated last week when it was announced she was in hospice care. Advocate Reporter Tyler Bridges spoke with Blanco’s husband, Raymond Blanco, and he says his wife is still active despite her terminal cancer. Bridges says Blanco can no longer walk, but is getting around with the help of an electric wheelchair. Bridges says no one knows how many days the former governor has left, but she’s trying to live them to the fullest.
East Baton Rouge residents will not have to worry about serving jury duty until at least June after a case out of Shreveport found young adults were not being summoned for jury duty. The jury service computer glitch means jury trials will have to be delayed. E-B-R District Attorney Hillar Moore says it’s obviously a setback.
After losing the series opener 16-9, the LSU Tigers roared back over the next two games to beat Florida 13-1 in Game two and then 11-2 in the rubber game on Saturday. Eric Walker was the winning pitcher in the series finale and had plenty of run support, as the Tigers scored nine runs over the first three innings.
On air today…
Monday April 22nd
Houston Astros vs Minnesota 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 041819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Another round of bad weather is moving through the state today. There’s an enhanced risk for severe weather in the forecast for East Carroll Parish all the way down to the Cameron Parish and all parishes east of that stretch. State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect strong thunderstorms and several inches of rain. The good news is Keim expects the front to clear the state by tomorrow morning. Once the front is out of the way, expect cool and dry weather starting Friday and continuing through the Easter weekend.
LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva has officially announced he’s stepping down. The university says he’ll be transitioning into a new role as special assistant to the president for donor relations, but will continue to serve as A-D until a new athletics director is named. Alleva has been the school’s A-D since 2008 and his contract is set to expire next year. Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward is reportedly set to take over as LSU’s new AD. Woodward has been in charge of Aggies athletics since 2016.
Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is under hospice care. Blanco, who served as governor from 2004 to 2008 was first diagnosed with an eye cancer in 2011, but the cancer returned in 2017 and spread to her liver. Last December, she said there’s no escape from her cancer. Franklin Representative Sam Jones spoke on the House floor yesterday to recognize the governor’s fight for her life. Blanco served in elected offices for two dozen years.
A proposal to ban the creation of most new freestanding emergency rooms in Louisiana has won support from state senators. Backers of the proposal said the ERs threaten the survival of Louisiana's fragile rural hospitals. Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills, a St. Martin Parish Republican, said stand-alone emergency departments cherry-pick services that generate the most money. Senators voted 36-1 for Mills' bill. The House received the measure Wednesday, where a committee will next debate it.
Over 1.2 million dollars has been raised for the burned St. Landry Parish churches on a GoFundMe page that’s seen a surge in donations since a fire tore through the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Seventh District Missionary Baptist Church President Freddie Jack says the effort is much appreciated, and the congregations are taking the tragedy in stride while they figure out how to get back into their old homes.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says if an admitting privileges law set to be heard at the US Supreme Court were to take effect, two of the state’s three abortion clinics would close. President Nancy Northup says the regulation requiring clinics and providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital would dramatically reduce access to the procedure. The only remaining clinic would be a facility in Baton Rouge.
A bill is being introduced that would guarantee all Louisianans 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave, along with legal protections against being fired while out. Berni Consulting partner Caitlin Berni says it would allow you to draw from a fund managed by Workforce Commission, and paid into by you and your employer every paycheck. The bill includes parental leave, leave to take care of a close relative who has fallen ill, and long term medical leave for events like chemo therapy in cancer patients.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported yesterday Attorney General Jeff Landry took a Citigroup campaign contribution despite objecting to Louisiana doing business with the banking giant because of its gun policies. Landry led the 2018 effort to keep Citigroup and Bank of America from participating in a $600 million road financing plan. But campaign filings released Tuesday show Landry accepted $2,500 from Citigroup on March 6 for his re-election bid. Landry campaign adviser Brent Littlefield says Landry appreciates the support from anyone that "wishes to support his conservative advocacy."
An $810 million alleged Ponzi scheme run through a California solar power company has ensnared Hancock Whitney Corp., resulting in a multimillion-dollar hit to the bank's first-quarter profits. DC Solar, a maker of mobile solar power generators based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection in February after federal investigators raided the company's offices. The alleged fraud also hit several other banks and insurance companies across the U.S., including insurance giant Progressive Corp., which said it could lose tens of millions of dollars due to its investment.
Every year, more and more pet rabbits are been turned over to the Louisiana SPCA following the Easter holiday from owners with buyer’s remorse. While rabbits can be great companion animals, Louisiana SPCA spokesperson Rebecca Melanson says many people do not realize the commitment of rabbit ownership. The average rabbit lifespan is 10-12 years.
LSU is set to begin a three-game series tonight against Florida and there’s good news on the injury front. Coach Paul Mainieri says he’s shocked by it, but he’s been told Zack Hess, Zach Watson and Chris Reid could return from injury and play in this series. Airtime 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
David Griffin was introduced Wednesday as the new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations. During the press conference, Griffin said that head coach Alvin Gentry will return next season and he believes there’s a chance Anthony Davis could also return, despite his demand for a trade during the regular season.
News for Wednesday 041719
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Attorney General's Office has officially stepped into the Kayla Giles case.
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office sought and received approval to have itself recused from the first-degree murder case because DA Phillip Terrell represented the father of the victim, Thomas Coutee Jr., back in 1990 during divorce proceedings. Giles is accused of shooting Coutee on Sept. 8 of last year in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot as the estranged couple met for a child swap on their daughter's second birthday.
Tobias Williams will spend the rest of his life behind bars in connection with the 2016 death of Fort Polk Captain Jonathan Ellis. On Tuesday, Williams was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and forty years for obstruction of justice for his role in the shooting death of Cpt. Ellis. Last month a jury unanimously found Williams guilty of both charges. The shooter, Wanda Gordon is serving 40 years for manslaughter after taking a guilty plea last year.
A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by State Rep. Valarie Hodges who represents East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes, would make it a crime to threaten to kill or injure a judge or law enforcement officer. Those who violate the bill, if passed, could be fined up to $15,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to 15 years, or both. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
A constitutional amendment is on it’s way to the House floor that would let Louisiana voters decided whether or not the state constitution protects abortion rights. The law would not outright ban abortion, and thus is unlikely to be challenged in federal court, but it may create a legal framework to outlaw the procedure if the US Supreme Court ever undid Roe vs. Wade.
Lawmakers are seeking to bring back sales tax holidays. They were accidentally suspended for seven years when legislators crafted new tax laws last June. Monroe Representative Jay Morris’ measure would benefit consumers by reinstating a tax holiday for back to school shopping, hurricane preparedness and hunting supplies
The school supply sales tax weekend would occur in August, hurricane preparedness would be in May and the second amendment sales tax weekend would take place in September.
If you have ever been confused as to whether or not Almond Milk or coconut milk came from a cow, the Senate Ag Committee approved and expanded a bill that would require “truth in labeling” for food products like Almond “milk”, “riced” cauliflower, and “sugar” substitutes. Louisiana rice industry representative Scott Franklin says the “substitute” industry is well aware that they are misleading the public, and they’d have trouble selling their product if it was labeled properly. Our lesson for today, let’s look up the word “Substitute”.
The House Transportation committee slammed the breaks on a resolution pushed by Jonesboro Rep. Jack McFarland aimed at reducing the number of billboards on Louisiana roadways. Louisiana’s trucking industry backed the effort, because McFarland says ads for crash attorneys are impacting the cost of doing business for truckers. Supporters also say the number of billboards are distracting and take away from Louisiana’s scenery. The legislation was killed on a 14-to-3 vote.
Legislation has advanced to the House floor that seeks to lower auto insurance rates. Louisiana reportedly has the second-highest average auto insurance rates in the nation and River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill would lower the state’s threshold for requiring a civil trial to $5,000 from the current $50,000, take away the ability to sue an insurance company directly and extend the time limit to file a suit from one year to two.
Bossier City has been selected as a top retirement destination according to Where to Retire Magazine. The city was highlighted in a feature called “8 Veteran-Friendly Cities” in an upcoming issue. Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso says the area offers a great part of Louisiana for people to live in and at a low cost.
The 2019 Louisiana Survey shows 70 percent of Louisianans support the criminal justice reforms championed by Governor Edwards and passed by a bi-partisan Legislature in 2016. The reforms were aimed at reducing the prison population by reducing sentences and providing non-prison alternatives for non-violent offenders.
A wreck that claimed the life of four-year-old Katie Grantham in November 2017 has inspired legislation to run toxicology tests on drivers at fault for vehicle collisions that cause serious injury. The child’s mother, Morgan Grantham, spoke to a Senate Committee Tuesday and says the driver was not drug tested. Currently a drug test is only mandated if someone dies at the scene of a crash. Grantham’s daughter died in the days that followed.
Fundraising efforts are beginning to spread to help the three historically black churches that were torched in St. Landry Parish get back on their feet. A GoFundMe has raised 50,000 dollars of a 1.8 million dollar goal, Iberia Bank has promised to match donations up to 50,000 dollars along with an initial 6,000 dollar donation, and former Saints tight end Ben Watson has hit the trail to assist in fundraising efforts.
The NFL will release its regular season schedule for 2019 tonight at 7 Pm. We already know who the Black and Gold will play next season, we just don’t know the dates and times. The Saints are set to play a home and home series against their NFC South Rivals and they’ll also host the Cardinals, 49ers, Texans, Colts and Cowboys. New Orleans will travel to Chicago, Tennessee, Seattle, Jacksonville and Los Angeles in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game.
Two Louisiana Tech football games have been moved to Friday. Tech’s Conference USA home opener against F-I-U will now take place on Friday September 20th and the Bulldogs visit to Marshall will be played on November 15th instead.
The Pelicans will introduce their new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin today during a press conference set for 12:45.
And Former Pelicans Center DeMarcus Cousins could miss the rest of the season after an M-R-I has revealed he tore his left quad in the Warriors loss to the Clippers last season.
On the air….
Wednesday April 17th
Houston Astros @ Oakland 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 041619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A St. Landry parish judge has denied bond for 21-year-old Holden Matthews, who is accused of burning down three historically black churches. Matthews had his first court appearance today since he was arrested on Wednesday night of last week and was charged with three counts of arson. Prosecutors have also added three hate crime charges. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects this case will be prosecuted federally…
Saturday’s severe weather is responsible for two deaths in Ouachita Parish. Deputies say a 13-year-old drowned in a drainage canal that filled up with water during a flash flood. Patsy Meeks of Calhoun also died. Her body was found in a submerged vehicle on a rural road. Forecasters are saying another round of severe weather could hit the state Wednesday night.
The crawfish supply remains limited this season and experts cannot pin down an exact cause. A theory is the white spot virus, which is a fatal disease for mudbugs. LSU Ag Center Aquaculture Specialist Greg Lutz says white spot has become a bigger problem since it was first discovered in Louisiana ponds about 10 years ago. Lutz reiterated that the virus does not affect humans, or even fish, it’s restricted solely to crustaceans.
A federal appeals court rules a judge was right when he cleared the way to remove a Confederate monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals turned back claims from the United Daughters of the Confederacy who said it has a private property interest and says officials have violated rights to free speech and equal protection.
A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Rep. Samuel, who represents Bossier and Caddo Parishes, would make it a crime to drive aggressively.
House Bill 6 would define the crime of aggressive driving if a person commits three or more offences from a list of 12. Everything from exceeding the speed limit to failing to observe yield signs. Any person convicted of the offense shall either be fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. In addition, the court shall require the offender to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program.
When is milk really milk?? The Senate Agriculture Committee is considering legislation that would strictly define what can and cannot be labeled as “milk”. This comes in response to the rising popularity of products like almond, coconut, and soy “milk”.
Despite it’s creamy white liquid appearance, Strain says milk substitutes do not include many of the vital health benefits that come from the real deal. If the bill passes retailers would be given a grace period in which to change the labeling.
Louisiana will be one of several states to participate in a Civil Rights trail. Nine meetings will be held throughout the state in an effort to get input from citizens. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser anticipates that some of the crucial landmarks to the era may be gone, but would be recognized with a plaque. Alabama and Mississippi are also participating in the trail, with Alabama already making a big investment in marketing their state. Nungesser says the state has been working with a Civil Rights team to find a home for a museum to be a big part of the attraction in Louisiana.
The newspaper the Advocate that covers Acadiana, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans has been award a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of Louisiana’s law that allowed non-unanimous jury verdict for felony cases. Advocate President Judi Terzotis says the staff put in tremendous amounts of effort to achieve the award. Louisiana was one of only two states that allowed non-unanimous guilty verdicts. Terzotis says the newspaper had a team dedicated to covering the story for eight months and knew their reporting was making an impact when it landed the constitutional amendment in the hands of voters.
The Baton Rouge PD is investigating the death of a nurse who died days after being physically attacked by a mental health patient at Baton Rouge General Mid City. During the attack, the nurse tore a muscle in her leg and had an injury to her head. She went to the emergency room later that night, but was sent home. The nurse returned to the hospital six days later to be seen in the emergency room and was admitted to the ICU, where she died Thursday, April 11. Investigators are now trying to determine if the nurse’s death was a result of the attack.
Single-day tickets for Bayou Country Superfest will go on sale today. The fest is returning to LSU's Tiger Stadium on Memorial Day weekend, which is May 25 and 26. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are among the headliners.
Former Kenner gymnastics coach Jonathan West was sentenced Monday to 65 years in prison after admitting he sexually exploited 13 boys. The 27 year old West pleaded guilty in 24th Judicial District Court to 24 counts including indecent behavior with a juvenile, sexual battery and computer solicitation of a minor. The victims were between the ages of 8 and 15.
On Air Today…
LSU Baseball vs UL-Lafayette 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros @ Oakland 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 041519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held next Monday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria for Bishop Emeritus Ronald Herzog passed away on Friday at the age of 77 after a brief illness.. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans will be the Principal Celebrant. The diocese will remain under the administration of Archbishop Gregory Aymond until a new bishop is appointed.
Powerful storms swept across the South Saturday & Sunday unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Three children, including one in Louisiana, were among the dead. Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department said Sunday that two people died in floodwaters Saturday.
The RPSO reports the arrest Friday of 71 year old Joseph Fountain of Pineville for 100 counts of first-degree rape. RPSO said the crimes began in the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Fountain is in the Rapides Parish Detention Center on a $500,000 bond, which could increase once bond is set for the additional charges.
US Senator John Kennedy says President Trump is getting involved in the duplication of benefits dispute that’s impacted about 62-hundred 2016 flood victims who are unable to get federal recovery grant dollars, because they received an SBA loan. Kennedy says he spoke with the President during a lunch meeting and says if the President doesn’t give him the answer he’s looking for, legal action is the next step.
Lawmakers will once again consider repealing Louisiana’s death penalty. The effort is being backed by the ACLU of Louisiana and LA Repeal. Shareef Cousin spent three years on death row in Louisiana for a crime that occurred in the 90s before having his name cleared. Cousin says he is just one of many who has been released from death row and says even all these years later, his time in prison still haunts him. President of the ACLU of Louisiana Alanah Odoms Hebert believes the support for the repeal is becoming stronger.
The feds have awarded the Ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge a 3.1 million dollar grant to get shipping containers off the roads and back onto the river. Congressman Garret Graves says as the global market shifts to the use of 40-foot containers, ports that do not have the capability to process the steel boxes will fall behind their competitors. Graves says we’re seeing more 40-foot steel containers in shipping, and our ports just aren’t built to process enough of them, which means many of them end up on trucks cluttering the highways.
LSU President F. King Alexander says if sports betting is legalized in Louisiana, then LSU should get a cut of the revenue since a lot of the gambling will be on the Purple and Gold. But Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says he’s committed to ensuring any revenue generated goes towards early childhood education subsidies for working and middle class families. He says giving a cut to LSU because of their athletics opens up a nasty can of worms.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico. A Coast Guard news statement issued Sunday saying 22 Cubans started traveling on a wooden boat from Cuba to Mexico before losing power and drifting three days. A Cuban-Mexican man took them aboard his sports fishing boat, but then its engines malfunctioned and the group drifted three more days. In addition to launching its own effort to find the disabled fishing boat, the Coast Guard alerted the Carnival Fantasy. The cruise ship took the 23 people aboard within hours, about 130 nautical miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The statement said two of the people rescued had minor medical issues and were treated by medical staff on the cruise ship.
D.C. lawmakers are tangling over the Violence Against Women Act as it heads to the Senate after clearing the House 263 to 158, on a mostly party line vote. Congressman Garret Graves says he voted against the legislation because it included over 200 pages of proposals that were not vetted before the bill was voted on. The NRA called for “No” votes on the bill because it would lower the threshold for banning gun ownership to those with misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking, among other concerns. Current law only applies to felonies.
When electric scooter companies Bird and Lime placed their electric scooters in Lafayette, there were no ordinances in place to govern their use on the city’s streets. So Lafayette Senator Page Cortez has introduced a bill that provides regulations. Under the bill, the scooters would be able to be operated on roads which have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries’ service has listed the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s (BROO-dus) whale as endangered. NOAA estimates there are less than 100 Bryde’s whales in the Gulf but Marine Mammal Biologist Laura Engleby says the latest survey shows the population could be less than half of that…
After a suspension lasting more than a month, LSU basketball coach Will Wade has been reinstated. The school's decision was announced Sunday afternoon, along with a statement from Wade that he was "humbled and grateful" to return to his coaching job.
Wade met with university officials on Friday for the first face-to-face meeting since being suspended on March 8 after Wade declined to meet with university officials about comments he reportedly made in a FBI wiretapped phone call with federally convicted sports agent Christian Dawkins.
After winning their first game Friday Night of the weekend 3 game series at Missouri, the LSU Tiger Baseball Team Lost both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games. The Tigers were missing two regular starters. LSU’s leading hitter, Zach Watson, missed his second straight game with a groin injury, and starting third baseman Chris Reid didn’t play because of a hamstring injury.
News for Friday 041219
Compiled By Dave Graichen
A forgotten gas can appears to be the link that led investigators to the alleged St. Landry Church arsonist. Court documents show the can was left behind at one of the arsons, and was eventually traced by to an Opelousas Walmart, where it was sold to a 21-year-old Holden Matthews, the son of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s deputy, just hours before the first fire. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says a motive has not been determined. The first church to burn down was the St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre on March 26. Two more churches were torched in early April in Opelousas.
A Grant Parish Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a report of a woman walking in the middle of the road trying to flag down passing vehicles near Dry Prong. When the Deputy arrived, she noticed that the woman was extremely impaired. During her investigation, she discovered drugs on the woman. 32 year old Brandie Hatfield of Dry Prong, was arrested for Possession of C.D.S. II, Possession of C.D.S. I, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication.
State Police report a Scott man was killed early yesterday morning on I-49, just south of the Avoyelles/Rapides Parish line. 60 year old John Domingue was killed when his pickup left the highway and collided with an embankment. Troopers say he may have lost control because the left front tire possibly failed. Domingue was ejected during the crash and was pronounced dead.
State Sen. Sharon Hewitt made it official yesterday by saying she won't run for governor, instead she has deciding to seek reelection to the Senate. Hewitt's decision to stay out of the governor's race likely sets the field with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham and wealthy Republican Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.
The owners of Fred's discount stores announced yesterday plans to close159 stores nationwide by the end of May. The Fred’s store in Pineville was one of the stores facing closure. However, the Tioga store will remain open.
Republican state lawmakers grilled the Department of Health about irregularities in the Medicaid expansion population, but it appears the policy is popular as 73 percent of Louisianans support the expansion according to the fourth installment of the 2019 Louisiana Survey. The survey also found 74 percent of Louisianans support protections for pre-existing conditions in health insurance.
The Revenue Estimating Conference’s updated revenue forecast gives lawmakers 110 million dollars extra to spend for this fiscal year, and 119 million dollars more for the next fiscal year. Everyone at the Capitol appears ready to back a 1,000 dollar teacher pay raise, and 500 dollar support personnel pay raise, which could eat up most of these surplus funds. The forecast showed a 308 million dollar budget surplus from the fiscal year ending on June 30th.
At a forum in Baton Rouge on Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Candidate Congressman Ralph Abraham both made their case as to why they deserve to be in the Governor’s mansion. Edwards cited that voters know that the state is in a better position today than it was when he took office following the 2015 election.
Abraham brushed off the claims of Edwards by saying he’s grown government and increased taxes to achieve the surplus but isn’t seeing much else that has been done with the extra tax money.
Walmart says they will spend 73-million dollars this year remodeling 15 of their stores in Louisiana. Company spokesperson Anne Hatfield says grocery store pick up will also be expanded. Shreveport, Natchitoches, Minden, Leesville, Winnsboro, Thibodaux and Mansura are also among the stores seeing the upgrades.
A trial in the a fatal march hit and run of a Zachary Firefighter sparked an unusual incident as a state judge slammed a “disgraceful” defense lawyer in court and issued a warrant for him. Lead attorney Martin Regan says the outburst and warrant was an outrageous response to an ongoing legal dispute in the trial. District Judge Beau Higginbotham says the outburst was promoted by the “disgraceful” handling of the case, and what he said was defense co-counsel Harry Ward ineffective and unprepared representation.
Suspended LSU basketball coach Will Wade will finally meet with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva today. Alleva has been waiting for a month for Wade to discuss with him the purported FBI wiretap that has the LSU coach discussing what he calls a strong offer made to a recruit. Word was yesterday Wade may not be called to testify in the upcoming trial.
The 8th ranked LSU baseball team begins a three game SEC series matchup with Missouri tonight. The Tigers will look to bounce back from Tuesday’s upset loss to Southern. Airtime this evening at 5:30. Saturday’s game starts at 4 and Sunday’s at 11am. Hear all three games on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm.
Freshman Guard Javonte Smart’s name came up in that wiretap conversation and Thursday the Baton Rouge product announced he’s entering the NBA draft. Smart becomes the fourth member of the 2018-19 SEC Championship team to declare for the draft. He averaged 11 points a game this past season.
A Florida television station reports former LSU and current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was arrested for driving on a suspended license. His license was reportedly suspended because of an unpaid traffic ticket.
Louisiana Tech has cancelled Saturday’s spring game, because severe weather is in the forecast for the Ruston area. Coach Skip Holtz says he hates that the university made this decision, but unfortunately the weather forecast for Saturday is not cooperating.
La Tech begins a huge series at Florida Atlantic tonight. The Owls are in first place in Conference USA with a 11-and-1 record. Tech is 8-and-4 and they’ve lost just one league game since they were swept by Southern Miss in the opening weekend of conference play.
On the air today…
Houston Astros @ Seattle 8:35p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Missouri 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros @ Seattle 7:35p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Missouri 4p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros @ Seattle 2:35p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Missouri 11a KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Thursday 041119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A 28-year-old Opelousas man is accused of stabbing his mother to death. St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux says Cody James Arceneaux and his mother were involved in an argument when the mother grabbed a knife. When deputies arrived they found Arceneaux curled up on the floor with a bloody towel in his hands.
A Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputy suffered minor injuries in a crash late Tuesday night after a high speed chase through Alexandria and Pineville. Two suspects were later caught and arrested.
Rodney Bailey Jr. was sentenced yesterday, in a Leesville Courtroom, to 80 years in prison in connection with the May 2016 death of 2 year old Willow Rain Renteria-Molina of Hornbeck. Judge Tony Bennett gave Bailey the maximum sentences of 40 years for one count of obstruction of justice and another 40 years for second-degree cruelty of a juvenile. The 36-year-old had been babysitting the toddler when she was reported missing. Bailey initially told police he had taken Willow to the Office of Child Services and said she was 'in a better place' before asking for an attorney. The child’s body was found a short time later.
An early Wednesday morning fire in Alexandria on Masonic Street is under investigation. The blaze, at the old Mike’s Auto Sales, broke out shortly after 4 yesterday morning. Firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control.
After failing for five months to recognizing additional revenues, the four member Revenue Estimating Conference adopted an income forecast that will give lawmakers an additional 110-million dollars in this year’s budget to spend and another 119-million dollars in next year’s budget. The Yes Vote By House Speaker Taylor Barras broke the gridlock, The Speaker had previously blocked attempts to raise the forecast earlier this year because he was concerned the state may not collect as much money as projected. The House Speaker relented on Wednesday after hearing revenue projections from two different economists…
House Republican lawmakers grilled state health officials about the growing Medicaid budget yesterday and whether the state is doing enough to prevent waste or misspending. Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says mistakes will be made with a large government program, but they are trying to control spending and pointed to the recent removal of 30-thousand people from Medicaid, because they made too much money to be on the program. It was revealed during the hearing that 16-hundred people making at least 100-thousand dollars a year were covered by Medicaid.
Democrat Charlie Greer of Natchitoches Parish is running for Agriculture Commissioner against incumbent Mike Strain, touting his 20 year career in the Ag Department, and time in law enforcement. Greer says if elected, he would push hard for the regulated production of industrial hemp, and hemp adjacent products to revitalize the state’s lagging Ag industry. Greer also ran in 2015 and received 30 percent of the vote.
Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham is touting over 100 endorsements from elected officials in 26 parishes in his run to unseat Governor Edwards in fall. The list features five district attorneys, two state reps, and a number of mayors, sheriffs, and others. Abraham is one of two Republicans, the other being Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, hoping to eliminate the Gulf Coast’s only Democratic governor.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation is observing Work Zone Awareness Week. The week is meant to bring attention to the need for drivers to be extra careful when traveling through work zones. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says in the most recent numbers, eleven people were killed in 2017 in Louisiana, while about 800 were killed on the national level. Mallett adds in most cases, the deaths were preventable.
In addition to the deaths, many others were injured on the job.
LSU President F. King Alexander is touting the performance of the 2018 freshman class, a portion of who were admitted under the new “holistic admissions” policy where some applicants are admitted despite not meeting the GPA or ACT requirements.
King says opening up the admissions process has not sacrificed performance or achievement. The average GPA was the same as 2017, at 2.8. The freshman class brought in 5,812 freshman, topping a record set in 2012.
A study prepared for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development recommends that two riverboat casinos in Bossier City relocate. The study found if the two casinos moved, both revenue and taxes paid to the state would increase. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says with increased competition from Oklahoma, the findings are not surprising. The study recommended that Boomtown Bossier City move to the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain while Diamond Jacks should relocate to northeast Louisiana.
Over a thousand students packed the lawn for UL Systems Yesterday to call attention to the needs of the 92,000 students studying at one of nine system colleges. U-L System President Jim Henderson celebrated the fact that this year’s event was certainly more upbeat than last year’s.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the three children from Avoyelles Parish that were ejected from their church van in a fiery crash on Florida Highway in January were wearing seat belts. The Center for Auto Safety says while seatbelts remain an indispensable safety tool, they are not infallible.
The Senate has gone home for the week and won’t be back until Monday.
Louisiana Tech’s winning streak is up to eight games after an 11 to 3 victory over UL-Lafayette Wednesday night.
Four-star cornerback Lorando Johnson from Texas has committed to LSU’s 2020 recruiting class. 24-7 sports ranks Johnson as the 11th best cornerback prospect in the country.
A huge offseason begins now for the Pelicans as the team wrapped up the regular season wednesday night with a 112 to 103 loss to Golden State.
Louisiana Tech’s DaQuan Bracey has declared for the NBA draft. Bracey led the Bulldogs in scoring and assists last season.
News for Wednesday 041019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A prank call to 911 results in a juvenile being charged with terrorism. Multiple agencies responded to Buckeye Junior High in Deville in reference to a possible gunshot victim at the school. Within minutes, authorities arrived to the campus and following a search of the area, found no one injured. Through an investigation, sufficient evidence was found to establish a suspect.
An Alexandria man is facing charges after he attacked a police officer yesterday afternoon. Police say 27 year old Demarcus Davis was reported to be standing in intersection of Shannon Road and Carl Street yelling obscenities at passing vehicles, when the officer arrived to investigate. The police officer is being treated for minor injuries, Davis, is being evaluated at a local hospital.
The statewide average price for gasoline is up 26-cents from a month ago. According to Gas-Buddy-dot-com the statewide average stands at $2.48 per gallon, which is six cents more than a year ago. GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan says oil prices are also rising, up 21-dollars a barrel from Christmas. He says expect gas prices to keep rising for another six weeks. DeHaan says if you want to save a few pennies on gasoline, try filling up on Tuesday. He says they’ve found that’s the best day to buy gas. The worst day to buy gasoline is Friday.
Lawmakers are in the early days of the session, nailing down an early working budget, and for the first time it looks like there won’t be a massive budget deficit for leaders to tackle. Governor John Bel Edwards celebrated the change of pace. Now that budget woes have faded into the background, the Governor is pivoting to an old campaign promise, raising the minimum wage. He got some good news on that front today, as The latest release from the 2019 Louisiana Survey shows 81% of respondents support raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, and 59% back a raise to 15 an hour, from the current rate of $7.25. Edwards is backing a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum to 9 dollars an hour.
The latest installment of the Louisiana Survey shows there is strong support for teacher pay raises among residents, with 88% backing the pay bump. Giving educators a pay raise is the governor’s top legislative priority. Director of LSU’s Public Policy Research Center Dr. Mike Henderson says the legislature will likely fall in line with public opinion.
More than 90% of Democrats and Independents support the pay hike, as do 80% of Republicans.
The Department of Children and Family Services says they need a 13 million dollar funding increase over last year to meet their budget needs, or the food stamps program could be shut down. The House budget being worked on currently does not include any funding increase for DCFS.
It’s University of Louisiana System day at the State Capitol, and over a thousand students will pack the lawn to call attention to the needs of the 92,000 students studying at one of nine system colleges. U-L System President Jim Henderson says this year’s event is certainly more upbeat than last year’s. The system is comprised of Southeastern, Northwestern, ULM, UL Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Grambling, McNeese, Nicholls, and UNO.
Legislation in the House is bringing attention to law enforcement profiling of motorcycle riders. Many Representative Frank Howard says bikers in various organizations have said it has become an issue. Howard is sponsoring a bill that would add a 30 minute motorcyclist profiling awareness session to the training academy. Howard says despite the dedication that many motorcyclists have to their community, they are often on the receiving end of profiling from police.
Governor Edwards campaign reports it raised 2.5 million dollars in the 1st quarter of 2019, giving the reelection effort a total of 10.2 million dollars cash on hand, and today one of his rivals, Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, reported he’s now got 10.4 million on hand, but it’s not clear how much of that was fundraising, and how much was another injection of personal funds into the campaign coffers. Political analyst Clancy DuBos says it’s still early to be concerned about the GOP’s early fundraising issues.
A young child has been found dead in a drainage ditch in Morehouse Parish. According to authorities, the child is an eleven-year-old, who was last seen by family members on Saturday. Police believe the child was a victim of the flash flooding that occurred in the area over the weekend. The investigation is ongoing.
In a sign a new football season is not far off, the Saints announced their preseason schedule. New Orleans will host Minnesota and then the Black and Gold will head on the road, visiting the Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Jets in Weeks two and three. The Saints will host Miami in the preseason finale. The regular season schedule is expected to be released later this month.
The Pelicans season is now over after they lost 103 to112 to the Golden State Warriors last night, ending a very disappointing season. For the first off season since 2012 the team is not planning on how to build a winner around All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who demanded a trade earlier in the season. Since that trade demand, the Pelicans fired their general manager, so “Locked On” Pelicans host Jake Madison says the team’s first move will be finding a replacement with a vision for the future.
On the air….
Houston Astros vs New York Yankees 6:05p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 040919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
9th Judicial District Judge Greg Beard yesterday granted a motion to recuse the Parish DA from prosecuting the first-degree murder case of Kayla Jean Giles, based on the DA's representation of the victim's father in a 1990 civil case. Giles is accused of shooting and killing her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee Jr., in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot in September of last year. Back in 1990, Terrell represented Thomas Coutee Sr. in his separation from his wife, Cathy Coutee. The two were the parents of Thomas Coutee Jr. The Prosecution of the case now should fall to the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.
The RPSO responded to a call of a possible gunshot victim in front of Buckeye Junior High in Deville yesterday afternoon. The RPSO and the State Police responded to find the school on lock down. Detectives report contact was made with individuals in the area, but no one could confirm the caller’s allegations of a shooting. After checking with local hospitals, no gunshot victims were reported. Detectives said their investigation is still ongoing.
Governor John Bel Edwards laid out his legislative agenda to lawmakers on the first day of the 2019 legislative session. Edwards spoke for nearly 40 minutes during a joint session of the House and Senate and said his top priority is to give teachers a one-thousand dollar increase in pay. Edwards is also seeking a 500-dollar increase in pay for school support workers and he wants to see more money put into the classroom, increasing the public school education budget for just the second time in the last 10 years.
Back to the legislative session, lawmakers will need to set up the rules for Louisiana residents to participate in online fantasy sports betting. Voters in 47 of the 64 parishes have voted to allow fantasy sports betting in their parish, but River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says the legislation that needs approval must include geo fencing, so that players can’t play fantasy online sports in parishes that voted against it. In Cenla, Rapides, Natchitoches, Concordia and Evangeline parish voters voted to allow sports betting, while Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Vernon and Winn voted against it.
It’s been a dozen years since the last term limit purge in the legislature, and now dozens of lawmakers are taking part in what will likely be their last legislative session, as the class of 2007 is set to hit their 12 year limit. Winnfield Senator Gerald Long was a member of that 2007 class, and says the law was well intentioned, but is having unexpected consequences, that being the loss of institutional knowledge. Since the law passed in 1995, every dozen years the Capitol sees a huge wave of turnover, and Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau says this will be the last year for many of the Legislature’s most influential members.
There was no holding back for Congressman Clay Higgins as he released a video message aimed at those responsible for the recent fires that destroyed three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish. The FBI has recently announced they are joining in on the investigation. Higgins says the punishment will be severe. Higgins filmed the video just steps away from the charred remains of the St. Mary Baptist Church.
The state revenue department says they are collecting more revenue from internet sales tax collections as more remote sellers are voluntarily complying. From October to December, the state received one-point-four million dollars in online sales tax collections, double from the previous quarter.
Two pieces of legislation have been filed aimed at reducing the number of billboards in the state. The sentiment of reducing billboards is backed by Louisiana’s trucking industry because truckers feel demonized by the content of accident lawyers’ roadside ads. Jonesboro Rep. Jack McFarland says the goal of his House resolution isn’t aimed at any particular industry that uses the advertisements. McFarland says the ratio of billboards to roads in Louisiana is too far out of balance.
A Houma man is facing one count of second-degree murder and several other charges for allegedly setting fire to a person’s vehicle and the blaze spread to the victim’s home and upstairs unit of a two-story garage. State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says 37-year-old David Mason has been booked for the March 31st incident.
The Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy has broken ground on a $14.2 million expansion in Shreveport. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the company works in the next generation of radiopharmaceutical treatment for diseases like cancer. The expansion will add 25 new, highly skilled jobs to the area.
A report from the ACLU of Louisiana lays out a blueprint for cutting the state’s prison population by 50 percent. One of the recommendations is changing the multiple offender statute that substantially ramps up penalties for offenders who’ve committed the same crime previously. President Alanah Hebert says multiple offender statues can result in decades of prison time for people accused of low level crimes. Another fix would be eliminating the ability for judges to sentence someone to life without parole. Hebert says Louisiana is one of two states where the mandatory sentence for second degree murder is life without parole.
Virginia was the big winner last night over Texas Tech in the NCAA Championship game. The final 85 to 77.
LSU starting shortstop Josh Smith has been named SEC Player of the Week. Smith was six for 12 at the plate in a series victory over Texas A-and-M. The Baton Rouge product hit a home run in game one of the series to snap a one-one tie in the 8th inning. For the week, Smith hit three home runs and drove in six runs. LSU is at Southern tonight and then they’ll visit Missouri this weekend.
Louisiana Tech baseball is on a roll. The Bulldogs have won seven straight Conference USA games after sweeping U-T-S-A. Tech will visit the Ragin Cajuns tonight and then next weekend, they have a big series against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. The Owls are 11-and-1 in league play.
ULM also had the brooms out this week as the Warhawks swept Georgia State. ULM has a midweek game against Northwestern State. The game has been moved from today to Wednesday, because of the heavy rain that fell over the weekend.
Saints free agent nose tackle Tyeler Davison is reportedly visiting the Atlanta Falcons. Davison started 12 games for the Black and Gold last season and had a couple of sacks and a forced fumble.
The Pelicans conclude the regular season tonight night as they host Golden State. New Orleans hurt its chances at getting a top five pick in the June draft with a win Sunday night over Sacramento.
On The Air…..
Pelicans vs Golden State 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Southern 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Monday 040819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Saturday afternoon single vehicle crash on Highway 115 Just north of Effie claimed the life of a Pineville woman. State police say 34 year old Crystal Wiley lost control of her vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree. Wiley, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The APD is asking for the public’s help in tracking down 28 year old Roderick Turner. Turner is wanted in connection with a shooting on 13th and Magnolia in the city. The APD issued a warrant for Turner on charges of attempted first degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and aggravated assault with a firearm. Turner should be considered armed and dangerous.
Horseshoe Drive, near Jackson Street Extension, will be closed for a week beginning Monday. A sewer main will be relocated while the road is closed. According to the city of Alexandria, the "utility crossing and road closure will be located immediately southeast of the intersection with Jackson Street Extension." The closure is dependent on the weather.
Alexandria Fire crews were called out to another house fire Sunday night. The blaze broke out a home on Jones Avenue near Willow Glen around 9 p.m. Alexandria and Rapides Parish Fire Departments were there to put it out. At this time there's no word on the cause, or if there were any injuries.
The 2019 legislative session gets underway at noon today in Baton Rouge. It was very contentious at the State Capitol last year as lawmakers struggled to pass a budget, because of a huge deficit. This year the budget is in better shape, but political analyst Bernie Pinsonat doesn’t expect the process of approving a new budget will go smoothly.
Legislators can file up to five non-fiscal bills in this session and Pinsonat says legalizing sports betting and a proposal to extend Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s land license for another 30 years will be hotly debated. This session will feature another effort to raise the state’s gasoline tax.
A proposal to raise the gas tax to fund bridge and road repair and expansion is shaping up to be one of the early battlegrounds in the revenue focused legislative session that kicks off today. Louisiana Coalition to Fix Our Roads President Eric Ponti backs the proposal to raise the tax by six cents in the first year, and 18 cents total over 10 years.
Americans for Prosperity State Director John Kay opposed a similar proposal in 2017 that failed to gain momentum, and says anti-tax crusaders will be back to stop this year’s push as well.
One of the focal points of the legislative session is pay raises for teachers and school support staff. House Education Chairman Nancy Landry says it’s a priority that teachers get a pay. Governor Edwards is behind a $1000 pay raise for teachers and a $500 raise for support staff. Edwards also supports an additional 39-million dollars in public school education funding. But Landry is not on board with that proposal. Landry says she’d rather see additional funding for early childhood education to help working families who can’t pay for high quality daycare.
Senator John Kennedy is blasting LSU President King Alexander, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron, and Governor Edwards for a fundraising event on campus where the football coach appeared to endorse Edwards’ reelection effort.Kennedy says the move could set a dangerous precedent and taint LSU football’s image. Edwards spokesman Eric Holl responded, saying “With all the problems facing our country, it’s downright embarrassing that this is what John Kennedy is worried about.”
Louisiana’s supply of Hepatitis C medication is about to drastically increase as the Louisiana Department of Health finalized a first in the nation deal with Asegua Therapeutics for “subscription model” access to the lifesaving treatment. Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee says before the new arrangement, thousands of Hep C sufferers went untreated. The “subscription model” will pay Asegua a flat fee every year for unlimited access to the medication roughly equal to the amount the state previously paid when ordering “a la carte”. Less than 3 percent of Medicaid patients with Hep C were treated last year.
The State Police are investigating a fatal crash involving an on-duty West Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy and a pedestrian early Friday morning. Trooper Taylor Scranttz says the crash is still under investigation and Deputy Alberto Casco was questioned but there are a lot of unanswered questions.. Casco was driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash. The Advocate reports Casco was on his way to pick up inmates and it is unclear how the Deputy was allowed to drive an agency vehicle with a suspended license.
A new report has good news for those of us who love eating oysters, turns out the mollusk can help with anxiety and depression. Oysters are high in vitamin b12 and it can help reduce symptoms, and Professor of Psychiatry at LSU Health New Orleans Michelle Moore says in addition to improving mood, oysters can improve brain power.
Studies have shown a link between long chain omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies and depression. Then there’s of course the other claim to fame for oysters….
Though 36,000 felons had their voting rights restored in March, data from the secretary of state’s office did not show an uptick in the number of felons who registered to vote compared to February. The new law allows felons on probation or parole to register to vote if they have not been incarcerated for at least five years. Voter registration may pick up as the Governor’s race continues.
Tonight the winner take it al in the NCAA championship game as Texas Tech faces Virginia. Texas tech beat Michigan State on Saturday while Virginia beat Auburn. Coverage of tonight’s NCAA Championship game begins at 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.
LSU took two of three from Texas A-and-M to move into a three-way tie for first place in the SEC West. The Tigers took the final game of the series on Saturday night with a nine to three win over the Aggies. Freshman pitcher Cole Henry had another impressive outing as he allowed two runs over eight innings and struck out nine.
Big explosive offensive plays were lacking in LSU’s spring football game on Saturday, but the quarterbacks were sharp throwing short and intermediate passes to a variety of wide receivers. Starting quarterback Joe Burrow was 15 of 25 for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
It was a great weekend for the Houston Astros as they took three from the Oakland A’s. Tonight the Astros start a three game series at home against the new York Yankees.
News for Friday 040519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The body of a missing Pineville woman, Alana Zuccaro, has been found in St. Landry parish near the town of Washington. The Pineville Police Department said she was last seen on March 20 on video leaving a casino with her boyfriend Robert McPhearson. McPhearson was arrested on March 27 by the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office on an unrelated incident. He admitted at that time he was the last to see Zuccaro, but did not provide any further information. But Wednesday McPhearson told police where Zuccaro's body was located and the circumstances surrounding her death, details of which have yet to be released. Zuccaro's funeral is set for April 11 at the Hixson Brothers Funeral Home in Pineville.
Alexandria City Officials announced the arrest of an APD officer yesterday in a case of excessive force. Officer Devn Cates was charged with second degree battery and malfeasance in office in response to the complaint. After investigating the matter and reviewing the evidence, APD detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Officer Cates. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
A house fire last night was apparently started by a lightning strike. The fire on Rue Left Bank was quickly extinguished by the Alexandria Fire Department. There we no reports of any injuries.
State Fire Marshal deputies, with the help of ATF agents, are investigating the circumstances surrounding fires that have destroyed three churches in St. Landry Parish that have occurred since March 26th. Fire Marshal Butch Browning says there is clearly something happening in the community, but stopped short of saying the fires are related. The St. Mary Baptist Church was the first church to burn on the 26th, followed by The Greater Union Baptist Church on Tuesday, and the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Thursday. Investigators have identified suspicious elements in each case.
Forecasters are predicting a below average hurricane season this year, in the first forecast of 2019. Colorado State University expects 13 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes for the season starting June 1st. The cap on severe storms comes courtesy of this year’s El Nino. Tropical Atlantic sea surfaces temperatures are also expected to be slightly below their long-term averages. CSU will update us on the season’s progress again on June 4th.
The Louisiana Survey says 67 percent of Louisiana residents would support raising the gas tax by five cents to pay for road projects and infrastructure repairs. Director of LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab, Dr. Mike Henderson, says it’s a bipartisan public sentiment that reflects the survey’s other revelation that infrastructure is a top two concern for voters.
The latest report from the Louisiana Survey shows many residents are wrong when it comes to how much they pay in taxes. Director of LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab, Dr. Mike Henderson, says 46% of the respondents say the state income tax rates are higher than they were four years ago, and 32% say the rates are higher than last year, but the state income tax rate hasn’t changed in years. Henderson says their survey also found that people thought they paid much more in gasoline taxes than they actually pay.
The regular session begins on Monday and once again there’s legislation that would require private businesses to pay male and female workers the same amount for equal work. Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton is the author of the bill and says the measure is aimed at improving the quality of life of working women. A recent report ranks Louisiana 48th in the nation in pay equality.
State Police have identified 29-year-old Nahshon Brooks as a suspect in the shooting of an Abbevile Police Officer Wednesday night. The officer is in stable condition. Warrants have been issued for attempted first degree murder, carrying a firearm on a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in a firearm free zone. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating him.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reports that LSU and Will Wade are working toward a meeting that could lead to the reinstatement of the suspended head coach. Sources have told S-I that Wade has a new attorney, Stephen Thompson. Thompson also represents Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl and Arizona Coach Sean Miller. Those are two other programs that have been impacted by the F-B-I’s investigation into corruption in college basketball.
A suspected impaired driver has been charged with vehicular homicide after his seven-year daughter was killed in a single vehicle wreck in the Donaldsonville area Wednesday night. State Police says 25-year-old DeVontae Sanders had three unrestrained kids in the car. The ages of the children that survived are three and four-year-olds and they were sent to separate hospitals with critical injuries.
Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider is throwing a party in Holden in celebration of 40 years of the television show. It also marks the actor and recording artist’s 59thbirthday. The event dubbed Bo’s Extravaganza is in its second year. Schneider says there will be plenty to see this weekend at his property in Livingston Parish.
After two tough SEC series on the road, LSU is back home this weekend to host the first place team in the west. Texas A-and-M is 6-2 and 1 on the year. Game one gets underway tonight at 6p on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm.
On Air Today..
LSU Baseball vs Texas A&M 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Pelicans @ Phoenix 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
On Air this Weekend..
The NCAA Final Four Semifinals
Game #1 - 3:30pm - Game #2 – 7:30pm (approx) 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Texas A&M 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
LSU Baseball vs Texas A&M 1p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
Pelicans @ Sacremento 7:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 040419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana is in for some nasty weather today statewide, but the central and northern part of the state could see some particularly heavy precipitation and strong winds. There is also the possibility of severe weather with this system. National Weather Service forecaster Matt Hemmingway says it’s the classic warm air meets cool air situation.
The State Fire Marshal and ATF are investigating three church fires in the span of a week, two in St. Landry Parish, the other in Vivian in north Louisiana. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the first fire was a significant one and occurred in the early morning hours of March 26th at the St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Port Barre. The second fire happened over the weekend in the Shreveport area. The third occurred early Tuesday morning. Both churches destroyed in St. Landry Parish were historically black Baptist churches. Investigators say it’s too early to say if there is a connection between any of the fires.
The Louisiana Department of Health announces 30-thousand individuals have been removed from the Medicaid program, because they make too much money. Johannessen says 40-thousand Medicaid enrollees were informed in February they could lose their insurance coverage, unless they could show that they still met the program’s income requirements. Johanessen says those who lost their taxpayer funded health insurance are working adults, who have experienced a rise in income, who may have recently joined the workforce, or got a small pay bump that put them just outside the qualifying level.
State Treasurer John Schroder is criticizing Governor John Bel Edwards for growing government on a faster pace than private incomes, saying Louisiana is on course for financial disaster. The comments come ahead of the start of the Legislative Session next week. Schroder says he is tired of hearing about how great everything is. In an interview with USA Today Network, Governor Edwards dismissed Schroder’s claims as political posturing.
Motorists traveling on I-10 near Baton Rouge received a surprise yesterday morning when a small plane landed next to the interstate. The plane reportedly took off from Baton Rouge Regional Airport and it was supposed to land at Louisiana Regional near Donaldsonville. But State Police says during the short flight the Piper Cherokee began to experience engine failure and was forced to land.
In response to those who have called for toll roads instead of a proposed increase to the gas tax, The Louisiana Good Roads Association says the state should steer clear of toll roads as a way to raise more funds to build highway projects. President Kenneth Perret says because of the low traffic volume statewide, tolls in Louisiana only have their place in very specific situations, like high traffic bridges. Perret says He says unlike in Florida and Texas, Louisiana’s issues are not because of abnormally high traffic volume, but because of old roads.
For those that have the desire to help others following natural disasters, Cajun Navy Relief will host the second annual Search and Rescue Games Saturday in Westlake. The event will feature hands-on training including mock rescues, dispatch simulation, and boater response in an effort to train volunteers for real scenarios. Cajun Navy Relief President Shawn Boudreaux says this time of year is the organizations offseason, so it’s a great time to recruit those interested in disaster relief.
Governor Edwards issued a statement yesterday on the passing of Shreveport music icon Maggie Warwick saying “Maggie lived life with everything she had. There are many great names associated with Louisiana’s musical heritage and Maggie Warwick’s name is certainly in that number.” Warwick passed away March 29th from pneumonia.
A report shows one in five Louisiana shoppers have either had their groceries delivered or done some curb side pickup through online ordering at their local grocery. Offers.com editor Kristen McGrath says most services come with a fee and a one to two hour wait time, but it’s definitely got it’s perks. The survey showed the top concern about online ordering was that folks can’t inspect the produce, and that it might be spoiled.
News for Wednesday 040319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
19 year old Autoria Lachney was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in the Rapides Parish Courthouse to 15 years in prison for her involvement in the attack on a doctor in Tennyson Oaks in April of last year. Judge Chris Hazel sentenced her to 15 years on one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and 15 years for conspiracy to aggravated burglary. The sentences will run concurrently.
CenturyLink will keep it’s corporate headquarters in Monroe through 2025. The company, which employs over 2,200 workers in the state at a payroll of 200 million dollars, announced the agreement with Governor Edwards yesterday. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says keeping CenturyLink in Monroe is vital for the state’s tech economy. CenturyLink is the second largest US communications provider to global enterprise customers.
The feds have agreed to an April 16th deadline on providing an answer on when RESTORE grant money will be available to those who took out SBA loans after the 2016 floods. Congress passed a law last year that allowed those who obtained Small Business Administration loans for the purpose of repairing flood damage to access a federal flood relief grant, known as RESTORE. The problem has been since that approval, the fed have not been able to come up with a way to distribute the money.
Shreveport Senator John Milkovich is bringing a bill to ban abortions in Louisiana after a fetus’s heartbeat becomes detectable. The Democrat says if this bill were to be passed, it could result in most women being unable to have the procedure five to six weeks into their pregnancy. Center for Reproductive Rights Chief Council for State Policy Elisabeth Smith says the law would act as a near total ban on abortions, as many women don’t even know they are pregnant by that point. Several states including neighboring Mississippi have passed similar laws, but they’ve been frozen by the courts.
Researchers from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication release their findings from the 2019 Louisiana Survey. It indicates education and transportation are two of the top concerns, and that public confidence in government to tackle these problems remains low. On the up side, 47% of residents feel the state is heading in the right direction, which is up from 39% last year.
Louisiana House Speaker Taylor Barras is recovering after falling from a ladder while trimming trees at his Acadiana home last weekend. Barras suffered a broken right wrist and fractured right arm and is consulting with his doctor to determine whether surgery will be needed.
The state needs new voting machines and a big election is coming up as we’ll vote on statewide offices and who will represent us at the State Capitol. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says he expects later this year they will re-do the bid process as they attempt to legally find a vendor that can supply the state with new voting machines. Ardoin told the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday that about two-million dollars will be spent to rent voting machines for the fall elections.
A legislative committee is working on a smoke-free plan for the State of Louisiana.
In 2007, Louisiana’s Smoke-Free Air Act went into effect, prohibiting smoking in most public areas, including workplaces, universities, and restaurants, but it did not include bars and gaming facilities. A recent study found the act doesn’t go far enough to protect all of Louisiana’s workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Deputies arrested a Cut Off man accused of stealing thousands from a youth baseball league. 40-year-old Blaine Curole was the president of the league from 2015 until 2017. Lt. Brennan Matherne says when Curole turned over financial records to the league’s board, there were discrepancies. Matherne says the investigation continues and more charges could be coming.
A fatal wreck in 2017 that killed a four-year-old girl is inspiring a Bossier City legislator to change state law law so that even drug tests are required for drivers involved in auto and boating accidents that result in serious injury. The current law only mandates toxicology tests in fatal wrecks.
The Department of Transportation will be holding a public meeting today in Mandeville to discuss widening I-12. This comes after the state received a 25 million dollar grant from the feds. Four people died on the highway on memorial day last year, and Parish President Pat Brister says local residents demanded action.
On air today….
Pelicans play host to the Charlotte Hornets 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 040219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Word yesterday of the passing on the man known as Louisiana’s Troubadour, Jay Chevalier passed away on Saturday at the age of 83 at his home in Kenner. Jay, who was born in Lecompte, as a young man always dreamed of being an entertainer and entertain he did. Jay was induction into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Songwriter's Hall of Fame and Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. Jay Chevalier will be laid to rest Wednesday in Forest Hill.
A man accused of shooting and killing a Pineville man last year pled guilty yesterday to what was a last-minute deal and a plea of manslaughter in the death of 42 year old Joseph Paul. Damarcus Scales will spend 15 years behind bars on the manslaughter charge and 15 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter has a bill that would eventually pump billions of dollars into the state’s crumbling infrastructure by raising the gas tax by 18 cents a gallon over the next 12 years. Carter says his bill would make sure that every cent raised would go towards fixing bridges, building roads, and other vital needs. The current gas tax is 20 cents a gallon, and if passed the legislation would raise that by six cents in the first year.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry is promoting legislation in the upcoming session that would guarantee healthcare coverage for pre-existing conditions and other patient projections, if the Affordable Care Act is ruled unconstitutional. Governor Edwards says its ironic Landry is taking credit for fixing a problem he helped create by supporting litigation that endangers health care coverage for almost 850-thousand Louisiana residents. But Landry says the lawsuit gives Louisiana an opportunity to create a better health care system…
State Police report a Montgomery woman died Sunday night in a crash on U.S. Highway 71, near Nantachie Lake. Troopers say 65 year old Earlene Fredieu died when she lost control and ran off the road, hit several. Fredieu wasn't wearing a seat belt and was ejected.
A Louisiana Policy Institute for Children report shows the price of childcare in the state is rapidly rising in price, up 35 percent from 2010 to 2016. The study shows childcare costs the average single parents on average 38 percent of their income, and 45 percent of all kids in the state live in single parent households.
The personal finance website WalletHub finds Louisiana is the most stressed out state in the nation WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says Financially, the state ranks second for the median credit score and third for percent of the population living below the poverty line. Gonzales says these factors can have a snowball effect.
Another long time Louisiana sheriff has decided to call it quits.. Terrebone Parish Sherriff Jerry Larpenter has announced he won’t seek his ninth election at the end of his term next June. The career lawman said in a letter he’s wants to spend more time with his family.
A Baton Rouge Representative is proposing a change to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program. The Republican lawmaker wants the Parish President, Sheriff, and School Board President to be the review board for ITEP requests. Rick Edmonds says at the moment, requesting an ITEP means working with a number of local boards.
The new ITEP policy grabbed headlines after a community group pushed the Baton Rouge School Board to deny Exxon an ITEP tax break. Edmonds says he hopes the streamlining will appease both local stakeholders and business investors.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services releases a report that finds the number of reported juvenile trafficking victims rose by 20-percent in 2018. Child welfare manager Christy Tate says Overall in 2018, there were 744 confirmed victims of trafficking, 58-percent were juveniles and as young as five months old. She says the oldest victim of human trafficking was 65-years-old.
Louisiana may soon see high occupancy vehicle lanes instituted across the state. District 13 State Senator Dale Erdey says a study that was given the green light in 2015 showed Louisiana could benefit from the use of HOV lanes, and now the Department of Transportation and Development needs the authority to put them in place. Erdey says the room for the extra lane is already there, but there will be some funding needed for the project.
New Orleans Representative Wesley Bishop is introducing legislation to see the interstate adopt the moniker the “Who Dat Nation Highway.” Bishop says the nearly 275 mile stretch of Interstate 10 that runs through South Louisiana would be rebranded in an effort to pay homage to the fans of the Black and Gold. Bishop says the idea spawned from being upset about how the NFC title game played out and says the Saints fan are the best fan base on the planet.
The Tigers baseball team is riding a high after their bats came back alive in a series win over Mississippi State a few days ago, and now they’re hoping to keep that momentum going in tonight’s game against Grambling. Airtime 6pm KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The Houston Astros took game one of their series last night against the Texas Rangers the final 2 to 1. Tonight they’ll try to do it again air time 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
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