News for Wednesday 091714
By Dave Graichen
One person died and another was injured Tuesday afternoon when they apparently came in contact with a power line while working in a field off La. Highway 1200 in Boyce. Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Deputies found one person unresponsive and another injured near a piece of farm equipment. They also found that a nearby power line still was active. First responders arrived to treat the surviving victim, who later was taken to a hospital. The other victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The names of the victims have not been released.
The Rapides Parish School Board has voted unanimously to revert back to the 2013-14 grading policy after hearing public comments for more than an hour at a special meeting Tuesday night. Students in Rapides Parish will again be graded on a numerical scale of percentages rather than letter grades only. Board members said the change had "unintended consequences," but was created in good faith to help all students of the district.
The Towntalk reports At least three members of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees resigned Tuesday in the wake of the Rev. Tommy French being re-elected chairman of the body that oversees the private Baptist school. French, was elected to a second one-year term as chairman, leaving him in charge of the school's search for a new president and in a leadership position as LC responds to issues raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools when the accrediting agency placed LC on probation this past December.
The Department of Health and Hospitals confirm that two children are being treated at a Baton Rouge hospital for Enterovirus D68. Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Takiesha Davis, says this is a very common of strain of virus in the US that typically flares up in the fall. She says DHH advises parents to be particularly mindful of children. Most people recover without treatment, but Enterovirus D68 appears to aggravate breathing problems in children who have asthma.
Louisiana remains the country’s prison capital by a long shot, but a federal report released Tuesday shows the number of people imprisoned in the state has dipped slightly. The report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicates Louisiana’s prison population fell by 2.2 percent to below 40,000 last year after peaking in 2012. The drop, while noticeable, did not change the fact the Louisiana imprisons more people per capita, by far, than any other state.
The state Board of Regents releases a report showing students at colleges are more vulnerable when it comes to sexual assault because there is no statewide policy in place for handling such allegations. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says Louisiana needs to establish a benchmark that all colleges must meet when it comes to the way sexual assault claims are handled. Morrell says alleged college student victims need to all feel comfortable reporting any potential sexual assault.
According to a new report with data compiled from the US census, Louisiana has the most single people in the nation. The Martin Prosperity Institute study found 55.7% of adults here are not married. Demographer Greg Rigamer says this could be because after Katrina and the BP Oil spill, Louisiana got a big boost in job opportunities. Rigamer says there has also been a significant increase in the number of people here between the ages of 20 and 29. New Orleans topped the list as the metro area in the US with the highest number of single people at 58%.
Governor Bobby Jindal is not concerned about poll numbers that show him receiving little support when compared to other potential presidential candidates. Jindal received only three percent in a recent CNN poll of New Hampshire republican voters that listed ten other candidates. Jindal says he doesn’t look at polls. Jindal made the comments in Washington DC after unveiling a US energy policy that was developed from his nonprofit group called America Next. The governor says he is thinking about running for President and a decision will be made after the November election. But he says his decision will have nothing to do with polls or fundraising
According to officials, two students from Central High in Baton Rouge had to be removed from class Monday after having a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana they smoked at school. Superintendent Michael Faulk says the students, aged 17 and 18, were rushed to the emergency room for treatment, then an investigation began. Faulk says according to school policy each student will be automatically expelled.
Louisiana schools are still seeing a higher number of teachers retiring compared to what they saw prior to 2010. Nearly three-thousand K-through-12 teachers retired during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Scott Richard, director of the Louisiana School Board Association, blames it on the turmoil that’s going on in public education. He says if there wasn’t so much uncertainty with Common Core and changes to how teachers are evaluated, many recently retired teachers would still be teaching.
State Judge Janice Clark has ruled that the last-minute retirement boost lawmakers gave to State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson and another trooper is unconstitutional. Clark said the Louisiana Legislature did not properly pass the measure. Edmonson and the other trooper had both said they had no intention of accepting the increased benefit. No one defended the law in court.
The Tallulah Police Department says a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself after finding a loaded handgun in his home. Spokeswoman Yvonne Lewis says the mother left the home for about 3 to five minutes to get the kids something to drink at a nearby store and when she returned the child had already found the gun and shot himself.
The Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Loreauville man in connection to a shooting in Abbeville over the weekend. Seven people sustained non-life threatening injuries during the incident. 20-year-old Bryson Provost is charged with seven counts of attempted first degree murder. Authorities say more arrests are possible
Two women testified Tuesday that former Lafayette policeman Jackie Hagan Jr. touched them in sexually criminal ways when they encountered the on-duty officer in 2011 and that they were at first scared to report him to the police department. Hagan, who took the stand in his defense on the trial’s second day, testified he fought off the advances of the 40-year-old woman in November 2011 before succumbing to temptation and kissing her outside her home. Hagan said he’d doesn’t remember meeting the other woman, who testified the officer violated her with a probing hands pat-down near her Jefferson Street home in August of that year. Hagan, who is 36, faces up to 10 years in prison at hard labor if all six jurors say he’s guilty of sexual battery.
About 3,800 Louisiana residents who bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act will have their coverage canceled Sept. 30 because they didn’t clear up their citizenship and immigration status by Sept. 5, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In August, CMS notified about 6,900 people in Louisiana that they needed to confirm their eligibility or lose the health coverage. They were among roughly 310,000 people nationwide who got letters requesting their citizenship and immigration documents. Many of those people received multiple requests for the information, according to CMS.