News for Monday 090814
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana Health Officials have confirmed two more West Nile Virus deaths in Northwest Louisiana, and another in the Baton Rouge area. The Department of Health and Hospitals says that brings the number of deaths in the state to four so far this year, and 19 additional cases reported this past week, bringing the yearly case total to 80.
A Baton Rouge judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Senator Mary Landrieu’s residency, and whether she can legally run for Senate. The suit, filed by Covington Representative Paul Hollis, says he’ll revisit the issue if Landrieu wins.
Meanwhile, there are new numbers from a Rasmussen poll that shows Landrieu is trailing Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy by 3 percentage points. As for Tea Party candidate Rob Maness, LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says the poll show little support for him.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin begins his prison sentence today. Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his conviction on bribery and money laundering charges. Loyola University Criminal Justice Professor and former Bureau of Prisons official, Robert English says Nagin will report to the Texarkana Federal Correctional Institution to serve his time. The judge in this case recommended Nagin serve his time at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution, but the final decision rests with the Bureau of Prisons. English says the BOP does this to make it easier for the family to come visit the inmate. The Texarkana facility is closer to Nagin’s current home in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.
One year from today candidates will officially be able to qualify for the 2015 Governor’s Race. So far, Republicans Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and US Senator David Vitter have declared candidacy. Other potentials Republicans include State Treasurer John Kennedy and PCS Commissioner Scott Angelle. UL-Lafayette Political Science professor Pearson Cross says Vitter is a solid favorite, however. The only announced democrat so far is state representative John Bel Edwards. Cross says if the Amite lawmaker gets a lot of support, it would put him in the runoff with Vitter.
Supporters of gay marriage in Louisiana have filed an appeal with the US Fifth Circuit of Appeals regarding the ruling last week by federal judge Martin Feldman who upheld Louisiana’s ban on same sex marriages. But Tulane constitutional law professor Keith Werhan says the US Supreme Court will likely rule on this issue, before the federal appeals court in New Orleans has a chance. Werhan says the US Supreme Court is set to begin a new session in October and ruling on same sex marriages will likely come in 2015.
The California Legislature approved a bill that would more than triple the funding for California’s film and TV tax credit program. What impact will this have on “Hollywood South”? Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, Chris Stelly, doesn’t think it will have much impact. The measure would boost funding for California’s film incentives to $330 million a year for five years. California Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign that legislation into law. Stelly says California’s move speaks highly of what Louisiana has done over the last several years.
Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Deputies are calling it a “cartel like” marijuana grow in the Village of Tangipahoa, finding a combination of 250 pounds of processed marijuana, and 320 massive marijuana plants, which according to authorities, looked like Christmas trees. Four arrests were made.
LSU is a top-10 team. The Tigers are No. 9 in the coaches poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press top 25, both released Sunday. LSU, 12th in each poll last week, has its first top-10 ranking since last October – before a loss at Ole Miss. The Tigers followed a comeback victory over Wisconsin in the season opener by beating Sam Houston State 56-0 on Saturday night.
One of the bigger upsets this past weekend in college football happened in Lafayette as Louisiana Tech trounced the Ragin Cajuns 48-20. The Bulldogs had 533 total yards and they were led by quarterback Cody Sokol, who threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns.
Saints defense crumbles and the Falcons were there to take advantage of it . The Falcons, needing only a field goal to win, kicked a 52-yarder by Matt Bryant to defeat the Saints, 37-34, in extra time.