News for Thursday 091814
By Dave Graichen
The US-House has passed three bills by Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany designed to address any controversial practices by the IRS on individuals and groups by the IRS, and to bring more transparency. Boustany adds that Americans want higher ethics from the IRS. The bills still need to be approved by the Senate.
Louisiana’s highway conditions plummeted to 40th in the nation and pavements on urban interstates are better than only two other states, according to a report released Thursday. The state also ranks 44th in its highway fatality rate, 41st in the condition of rural interstate pavements and 39th in the number of deficient bridges. The findings are included in the 21st Annual Highway Report by the Reason Foundation, which calls itself a libertarian think tank.
The NFL’s image is suffering because of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case and now Vikings star Adrian Peterson is facing child abuse charges. Saints Quarterback Drew Brees says unfortunately the perception is NFL players beat their wives and children but that’s only a handful of cases in a league that has 17-hundred players. Brees is considered one of the faces of the NFL. He says the Rice and Peterson cases provide examples for other players that there are consequences for poor decisions away from the field.
The Louisiana Film Entertainment Association announces a plan to commission a study on the economic impact of Louisiana’s film tax credit incentive program. The study is estimated to cost $150,000. LFEA President Will French hopes the results of this study will show what the program actually costs the state. He says the state’s analysis doesn’t take into account tourism dollars the film industry brings in, among other factors.
The state legislative auditor’s office announced yesterday, a report legislators ordered up to help evaluate how goes the privatization of the government-run health insurance program is full of errors and inconsistencies. State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert disagrees, saying the report “fully complies” with the law legislators adopted requiring the “transparency” report that includes the data lawmakers can use to analyze the performance of the private managed-care networks hired by the state to handle Medicaid services through what is called the Bayou Health program. But Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said the report “has comments and numbers you cannot rely on.” Plus, the report has math errors and makes unsubstantiated claims.
The US House voted to give President Obama authority to train and arm Syrian rebels in the effort to defeat ISIL forces in the Middle East. The authorization passed on a 273-156 vote that crossed party lines. Republican Minden Congressman John Fleming is the only member of the Louisiana delegation to vote against the authorization. Fleming says he feels we are going down the wrong path in dealing with the militant group. Fleming feels this is a situation that US troops need to handle. He says if it is necessary to go in there after ISIL, then we need to acknowledge the truth: it will require boots on the ground.
Louisianians are liking the price they’re seeing at the pump these days. According to gasbuddy-dot-com, the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is just $3.13. The lowest prices are seen in southeast Louisiana with some stations reporting regular gas as low as $2.83 per gallon.
The DA in DeSoto Parish is expected to dismiss criminal charges against the Yogi and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary in Frierson this morning. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was trying to secure a court order to physically remove 9 exotic cats at the location citing safety concerns. But Yogie and Friends Executive Director Jenny Senier says they have tried extremely hard to comply spending over $10,000 on improvements to the facility since July. DA Richard Johnson is quoted as saying they “don’t have a dog in the fight” between wildlife officials and the cat sanctuary.
The Shreveport Police Department says a man is in jail today after allegedly hitting a 5-year-old about 25 time with a belt causing the child to be hospitalized. 23-year-old Frank Butler is charged with a single count of second degree cruelty to a juvenile. Corporal Marcus Hines says there are ways to legally discipline your child, but this isn’t one of them. The child is expected to recover.
The St. James Parish Council, in a 7-1 vote, denied Wolverine Terminals’s request for approval to build a $30 million crude oil terminal and blending operation along La. 44 in Paulina. The council upheld the Planning Commission’s recommendation in July to deny the permit request based on concerns from residents about building an industrial facility in a residential area.