News for Friday 090514
By Dave Graichen
Four of the 10 candidates in the 5th Congressional District race took part in a forum last night in Pineville. Incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, Zach Dasher, Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo all answered questions from the media and from the public for more than an hour. In the DA’s race, Chris Roy Jr. and Phillip Terrell answered questions from the public. Rep. Chris Hazel who lives in Pineville was a no show. All three Division G judge candidates were on hand as were the five candidates for Pineville city marshal.
Three Alexandria residents were arrested Thursday and charged in connection with an armed robbery of the South Circle Pawn shop earlier in the day. Two men, both in their late 20 were arrested by the RPSO. They are both being held in the Rapides Parish Dention Center. A 19 year old female was taken into custody by Shreveport police and is being held there until she can be returned to Rapides Parish. All three face charges of armed robbery and criminal conspiracy.
The 2014 Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday begins today and runs through Sunday. Byron Henderson with the Louisiana Department of Revenue says this is the third sales tax holiday that happens here every year and it’s exclusively for hunters. Henderson says a wide range of hunting gear is exempt from local and state sales taxes this weekend. Henderson says items that fall under the sales tax holiday include firearms, ammunition, archery supplies and apparel such as safety gear or camouflage clothing you’d use for hunting. He says you can find out more at revenue.louisiana.gov/second amendment.
A federal judge in New Orleans says BP’s reckless conduct is what caused millions of gallons of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling states BP is 67 percent to blame for the spill, while rig owner Transocean take 30 percent, and contractor Halliburton takes 3 percent. Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute, Eric Smith, says the fine is based on the number of barrels of oil spilled. He says the oil giant will appeal this ruling.
The Tigers play Sam Houston State for their first home game of the season and there are some new traffic patterns for fans to follow. Tiger Athletic Foundation has made large investments to create more parking for fans. Sports information director Michael Bonnette says additional parking lots have opened allowing for more than 2,300 new parking spaces. Bonnette says the stadium has been enhanced with new HD video and LED message boards. He says fans at the game will have a better experience by being able to watch replays and have the same perks as watching the game on their home tvs.
At the helm for nearly 47 years, Dr. Norman C. Francis has decided to step down as president of Xavier University of Louisiana. At a news conference Thursday in New Orleans, Francis, the nation’s longest serving university president, said it was time to pass the torch on to new leadership and he’s doing so with confidence that Xavier is “better prepared to continue its educational and spiritual mission.” Francis’ last day will be June 30th of next year.
Funeral Services will be held tomorrow for Samuel Dunbar, A well-known Alexandria businessman who passed away passed away on Sunday. His funeral will be held Saturday, September 6, Services will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria. Visitation will be held in the church parish hall beginning at 10 a.m. Samuel Dunbar was 82.
Louisiana State Police announce the arrest of 21 sex offenders in Calcasieu Parish busted for using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sgt. James Anderson says “Operation Off Limits” included cooperation with several other law enforcement agencies. State law prohibits registered sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving minors from accessing social networking sites.
According to new a study compiled by Forbes Magazine, the Houma-Thibodaux area ranks No. 8 among America’s fastest-growing small cities. Story contributor Joel Kotkin says of the top 10 fastest growing small cities, five are energy driven boom towns with high wage employment. He says they looked at factors like job growth, income growth and population growth.
Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to be in New Orleans tomorrow. He will be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Senator Mary Landrieu. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says this should be a nice boost for the Landrieu campaign. Landrieu is currently in a tight Senate race with Republicans Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness. The former president is one of the Democratic party’s most successful fundraisers.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal still hasn’t received additional details from the federal government on the nearly 1,300 unaccompanied immigrant children living with sponsors in Louisiana. The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement released figures this week that show 533 of them are living in Jefferson Parish, while Orleans and East Baton Rouge parishes have received 237 and 173, respectively. Sponsors in Lafayette Parish have taken in 51. That answers one of Jindal’s questions, outlined in a letter to the federal government last month. But the Governor’s Office still wants to know more about the sponsors the children are living with, the timeline for determining their ultimate status and whether the federal government is going to pay anything toward their education and health care costs here.
Those diets are apparently paying off. Louisiana used to be ranked at number 1 in the nation for the most obese adults. Now, the percentage has dropped from 34.7 percent to 33.1 percent, which moves Louisiana to number 6 on the report released from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Foundation.
Yesterday, a man who was upset about being fired from Wal-Mart in Sulphur was arrested for ramming his vehicle into the store. Sulphur Police say the unidentified man allegedly drove around the parking lot, crashed into the front door, and then ran inside to make verbal threats against several employees. A handful of people had minor injuries.
Former LSU track star and Olympian Lolo Jones will compete on season 19 of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”. And Jones is not the only Louisianian taking part. “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson will compete this season as well.
According to the LSU AgCenter, even though demand for food and fiber is growing faster than ever, the agriculture workforce and the number of Ag science teachers is shrinking. Mike Burnett is the executive associate dean with the College of Agriculture at LSU. He says these shortages have been happening for quite some time. Burnett says there are about 230 Ag teachers in 185 Louisiana schools, but many are nearing retirement age. He says surrounding states, like Texas and Mississippi have been actively recruiting Ag teachers from Louisiana.