News for Friday 091214
By Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish School Board President Janet Dixon announced Thursday that she won’t run for re-election this November. Dixon said her and her husband, state Rep. Herbert Dixon might be moving out of District D, the area she represents on the School Board. Dixon went on to say ,While she won’t be far away, the fact remains that if she does not meet the residency requirements to serve the citizens of the district, she must do what is right and relinquish that responsibility to someone who will. Dixon put here support behind Willard “Bubba” McCall as the race moves forward.
A 46-year-old Oberlin man faces life in prison after being found guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the stabbing death of his estranged wife. Joseph Eric Vercher was accused of killing 34-year-old Rachel Denise Lambert Vercher last year. A jury deliberated for 35 minutes Wednesday before finding him guilty. The jury rejected defense claims that Vercher should be convicted of manslaughter because the crime was committed in the “heat of passion” after a night of arguing and drinking. Vercher, who showed no emotion after the verdict was read, asked Judge Joel Davis to impose sentence immediately. He received an additional 10 years for obstruction of justice for removing items from the crime scene and tossing the two knives used in the slaying.
Republican US Senate candidate Bill Cassidy says he will now debate at least two times against Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu. The Cassidy campaign says Landrieu is pushing three other debates, which Cassidy has declined to participate, because they are highly scripted and don’t require voter interaction. Cassidy, Landrieu, and Tea Party favorite Rob Maness will face off on LBP on October 14th in Shreveport and on Raycom Stations October 29th in Baton Rouge.
There are 14 constitutional amendments on the November fourth ballot and the Public Affairs Research Council has released a guide to help voters understand the potential impact of each proposition. PAR President Robert Scott says the guide provides an objective review of all 14 amendments. The first two amendments deal with health care funding. Scott says amendment one would protect the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund, while amendment two sets up an amendment that will help hospitals pay for uninsured and those on Medicaid. Scott anticipates there will also be a lot of talk about amendment five, which will eliminate the mandatory retirement age of judges. The guide can be found at parlouisiana.org
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says to be on the look-out for a phone scam, where callers are claiming to be an IRS official, stating that the citizen owes money, threatening that they will be arrested or lose their license if they don’t make debit card payments or wiring the money. If you get such a call, the best thing to do is tell the caller you will contact the IRS yourself, and hang up.
The LSU Board of Supervisors will meet today and they are expected to extend Athletic Director Joe Alleva’s contract through 2019. Alleva’s base pay will reportedly remain at $725,000 a year plus incentives. Assistant Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says Alleva has done well in helping to generate funds for new facilities and the expansion of Tiger Stadium.
A new poll shows Democratic former Governor Edwin Edwards making the runoff in the 6th District Congressional race, but that same survey shows Edwards finishing second in four different runoff scenarios. But pollster Darrell Glascock says you shouldn’t count out Edwards, just yet. He says Edwards has significant numbers as respondents second choice. Edwards garnered 32-percent of the vote in The Glascock Group poll, which would seem to guarantee him a runoff spot. However, the former governor has trouble breaking 45-percent of the vote in any hypothetical runoff. Glascock says when it comes to runoff elections, traditionally half of voters don’t return to the polls. He says that could play in the favor of Edwards.
In a nationally televised interview, Stephanie Hayden Ford, the daughter and co-star of Will Hayden on the now-cancelled “Sons of Guns” television show, says her father inappropriately touched her when she was 12-years-old. Ford told the “Dr. Phil” show that her father allegedly came to her room drunk one evening, sat her in his lap and began touching her and kissing on her chest. Hayden remains in the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail in lieu of bail. Ford said that she had basically repressed the memory until her little sister told her grandfather about alleged inappropriate behavior on the part of Hayden. Ford says she’s telling her story now because her sister needs her.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday the state may apply for a federal pre-kindergarten grant of up to $15 million if it is not linked to any Common Core requirements. Louisiana is overhauling its early childhood education system as a result of a bill pushed by Jindal in 2012. In his letter, the governor said that the Preschool Development Grants published in the Federal Register last month “could offer an opportunity for Louisiana to expand access for parents who choose to send their children to early childhood programs.
The ULM Warhawks head to Baton Rouge on Saturday as heavy underdogs. The 10th ranked Bayou Bengals are favorite to win by 31 points in the recently expanded Tiger Stadium. ULM Coach Todd Berry says his senior class has played in front of a lot of big crowds, so he expects them to be able to focus on the task at hand on Saturday night. This will be the third meeting between the two teams. They last played in 2010 and the Tigers won 51 to 0.
The Saints head to Cleveland where they’ll look to avoid an 0-and-2 start to the 2014 NFL season. New Orleans is favorite to win.
The Baltimore Ravens took to the field last night for the first time since Ray Rice was banned from the NFL, and came away with a 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Louisiana tech beat North Texas last night 42 to 21