News for Friday 091914
By Dave Graichen
The investigation into a fatal officer involved shooting in Pineville has determined that shooting to be justified. Rapides Parish Sheriff’s spokesman, Lt. Tommy Carnline, says Pineville Police Officer Vince Deville responded to a call and was confronted with the suspect, Christopher Leblanc, brandishing a large sword. Carnline says witnesses said they heard the officer order the suspect to drop his weapon “repeatedly and loudly”. Leblanc refused to comply and charged the officer, who fired his weapon and struck the suspect several times. Leblanc was pronounced dead at the scene. Carnline says the officer responded to a tense, uncertain, rapidly evolving situation and performed in accordance with his training and the law.
According to new census data, Louisiana women make about two thirds of what men in The Bayou State are paid. Tulane Business Professor Dr. Mark Rosa believes women in Louisiana, even if they have a high paying degree, are more inclined to stay home and not work in favor of raising their family. The figures show that Louisiana’s gender pay gap is the largest in the nation.
A former principal has submitted an ethics violation against Rapides Parish School Board President Janet Dixon. Fred Moore, who retired as principal of Julius Patrick Elementary School in Alexandria in 2013, on Wednesday sent a letter to the State Ethics board. Moore claims Dixon violated a provision of Louisiana's Code of Governmental Ethics by going to work for the consulting firm that helped the district in its search for a superintendent in 2012. "McPherson & Jacobson LLC, of which Mrs. Dixon is now an employee, conducted operations and activities regulated by the Rapides Parish School Board and that firm has or had substantial economic interest substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of her official duties. No comment yet from Dixon.
Four years ago today workers were able to cap the BP well that created the largest environmental disaster in the history of North America. Executive Director for The Coastal Protection Restoration Authority, Kyle Graham, says, four years later, most of the oil has been removed from the coastal beaches and marshes in Louisiana. Graham says they anticipate to see oil on Louisiana’s coast for decades. He says it’s still too early to tell what the long-term effects the oil-spill will have on the ecosystem along the state’s coast.
A new poll conducted by Fox News shows Republican US-Senate candidate Bill Cassidy with a substantial lead over the incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu in a head-to-head matchup. The survey shows Cassidy with 51% of the vote and Landrieu with 38% in a potential runoff scenario. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley questions the validity of this poll. The poll interviewed just over 600 likely Louisiana voters between September 14th-16th. Stockley says it’s possible that Landrieu has lost some support, but he’s skeptical that she’s all the way down to just 38% support. He says so many other polls on this race show Landrieu in the mid to upper 40s.
Officials in Lafourche Parish are alerting residents that a North Larose resident was found deceased last week and the Department of Health and Hospitals confirmed he had the West Nile Virus. This marks the 5th death from the disease in Louisiana this year.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office says a United States Postal worker is under arrest for allegedly stealing marijuana from packages he was supposed to be delivering. CPSO spokesman Bobby Herring says they got an anonymous tip that 31-year-old Russell Leon Ellis of Shreveport was stealing the mail he thought contained pot. Herring says they were able to obtain a search warrant for the suspect’s home and there they found an additional 618 grams of suspected marijuana with a street value of $6100, 25 weapons and $15,000 in cash. He says the suspect was targeting packages being sent from states that have legalized marijuana.
For two days, members of the Louisiana Board of Regents met with an unknown number of people interested in becoming the state’s next higher education commissioner. After finishing up the last of the so-called “informal conversations” Thursday, the board quickly named three finalists for the job: West Liberty University President Robin Capehart, Community College of Rhode Island President Raymond Di Pasquale and Joseph Rallo, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Texas Tech University System. A potential fourth finalist, who has not been identified, has been given until 5 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether he wants to continue in the process. The finalists will go through a second round of interviews Oct. 7-8, and a new commissioner will be named Oct. 9.
A Washington woman is being questioned about a shooting of her parents. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says they got the call of shots fired at the residence yesterday, then found 27 year-old Jamie Fontenot on the porch holding a firearm. Her 59 year-old father is in critical condition, while her 58 year-old mother was treated and released.
A Dry Prong man has been arrested after armed himself and raided the house of a person he mistakenly believed had stolen his car. 39 year old Adam Kertz had reported his stolen vehicle to the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office, but didn't wait for an investigation to be completed. Kertz was charged with home invasion and for an outstanding warrant. 34-year-old Robert Burgess Jr. who assisted Burgess force his way into the home has been charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. Meanwhile, Grant Parish Deputies arrested 33 year old Jonathan Perry and charged him with stealing the vehicle.
In Jonesville, the Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of seven adults on several charges; all of them in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of one teenage victim. Several of those arrested have already confessed, and Sheriff James Kelly says he expects more arrests to be made.
The largest crowd to ever watch a football game in Tiger Stadium is expected Saturday when the Tigers face SEC West foe Mississippi State. The game is nearly sold-out in, which means 100-thousand tickets have been sold and LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette says this will put to test their contralow plan after the game. LSU is also encouraging fans to arrive early for the game Saturday to avoid expected traffic back ups.
Louisiana Tech has its home opener on Saturday night as they face in-state rival Northwestern State. The Bulldogs should be feeling good about themselves are winning two consecutive games on the road against the Ragin Cajuns and North Texas. But Tech coach Skip Holtz says it’s too early to be patting themselves on the back.