News for Tuesday 090914
By Dave Graichen
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that a 40-year-old Pineville man is dead after a confrontation with officers from the Pineville Police Department. RPSO Lt. Tommy Carnline says Pineville Police received a 9-1-1 call Monday morning claiming a man had threatened another person with a weapon. When officers arrived at the scene they were confronted by a man swinging a large sword. Carnline says the suspect then charged toward one of the officers. He says the officer fired and hit the subject to stop his advance. Carnline says the officer immediately called for medical assistance, but the subject, Christopher Shane Leblanc, was unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.
A jury in Alexandria Monday took just over an hour to convict Thomas Sanders in the 2010 kidnapping and slaying of a 12-year-old girl. Sanders was convicted of both counts — kidnapping resulting in death and using a firearm in a violent crime that resulted in death — in the killing of Lexis Roberts, whose remains were discovered in Catahoula Parish woods in October 2010. Sanders confessed to killing Lexis and her mother, Suellen Roberts, to multiple law enforcement officers. Monday’s verdict that could result in a death sentence.
According to a new Violence Policy Center report, Louisiana ranks fourth in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men. The report applies to 2012, the most recent year data is available. The United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Kim Sport says this year’s report is particularly concerning. Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men was 1.92 per 100,000 in 2012. Sport says the actual number in the state is higher because this report only covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender. The state legislature recently passed legislation to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Sport feels confident these firearms restrictions will make a difference.
According to a report released by the state legislative auditor’s office yesterday, Louisiana state agencies are paying above-market rates to rent office space from New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, and on top of that, the state is paying $625,000 for space it isn’t using. The state auditor reviewed the lease, which was negotiated by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration in 2009 as part of a package of incentives that replaced a previous state deal with the NFL team. Agencies moved into the building in February 2011, and the lease runs through December 2025. The audit says the state pays annual rent of about $7.5 million and another $625,000 for vacant space.
Yet another audit says the Pineville City Court did not comply with the Louisiana Unclaimed Property Act for checks dating back at least a dozen years. A court official says logistical problems in dealing with a large number of checks for small amounts of money, combined with a manpower shortage, led to the problem. The Pineville City Court has hired a firm to assist it in complying with the law. And has also asked the state to provide assistance. Phillip Terrell, former Pineville City Court judge says, at stake is a small amount of money, probably several thousand dollars.
The Louisiana Democratic Party has officially endorsed former governor Edwin Edwards in his quest to become Louisiana’s next sixth district Congressman. LSU political science professor Robert Hogan says the endorsement legitimizes Edwards campaign. 13 candidates have qualified for the sixth congressional district race. Edwards is one of three democrats on the ballot and has the most name recognition.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who is planning on running for governor in 2015, lays out what he thinks should be the priorities of Bobby Jindal’s successor. Dardenne says there would be a much more transparent administration than what we’ve seen in that office since 2008. Specifically Dardenne said he felt the privatization of LSU hospitals was a good idea, but he felt the implementation needed work. He also didn’t dismiss the idea of Medicaid expansion but said it was something that should be looked at and considered. Dardenne says the next Governor needs to listen and make decisions for the right reasons.
5th District Congressman Vance McAllister apparently does not have the support of the “Duck Dynasty” family as he seeks re-election this fall. Phil Robertson reportedly took some jabs at McAllister at a couple of events over the weekend. LaPolitics-dot-com’s publisher Jeremy Alford says Robertson’s first jab came at a Lake Charles fundraiser for his nephew, Zach Dasher, who is challenging McAllister. He says Robertson continued his criticism of McAllister the following night at a speaking engagement in Bossier City. Alford says Phil Robertson never technically endorsed McAllister, although his son Willie did appear in a commercial for McAllister last year. He says there is no question that the Robertsons and McAllister are on two different sides of the fence.
A Slidell police officer remains in critical condition after he was possibly driving drunk in a crash that killed his passenger. State Police Trooper Greg Marchand says the single vehicle wreck occurred early Sunday morning and 31-year-old John Cole, who was not working at the time, was at the wheel. A 31-year-old passenger in Cole’s vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. Marchand says impairment is suspected on Cole’s part as bottles of alcohol were found in the vehicle. He says a blood sample from Cole was collected for a toxicological analysis.
After two games, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings is ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in passing efficiency. Jennings has thrown for 427 yards and five touchdowns and Coach Les Miles likes how the sophomore is managing the game. The Tigers host ULM this Saturday night.
The Saints will look to rebound from a tough season opening loss to Atlanta when they visit Cleveland this Sunday. New Orleans Coach Sean Payton says it’s important the players do not allow this loss to linger. The Saints defense allowed 568 total yards to the Falcons, the second most in Black and Gold history.