News for Monday 092214
By Dave Graichen
Autumn begins today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says fall officially begins tonight at 9:29PM. Keim forecasts normal temperatures across the state for the next three months. Above average rainfall is predicted for Louisiana over the next three months due to expected El Nino conditions forming over the Gulf of Mexico. Keim says, as we get into the fall season, fronts will start coming through and temperatures will begin to fall across the state.
August was another record breaking month in terms of employment in Louisiana. The Louisiana Workforce Commission released new job numbers Friday and non-farm employment grew by 30-thousand over the last 12 months and a record one-point-nine million people were employed in August. L-W-C sportsperson Tom Guarisco says the construction sector led the way by hiring 95-hundred workers. Guarisco says they anticipate setting more employment records in the coming months.
Two-thirds of the contracts Gov. Bobby Jindal used to privatize the operation of Louisiana’s charity hospitals are being renegotiated. Federal authorities, who are providing most of the dollars the private companies receive, are troubled with the way the finances are organized in the agreements worth more than $1 billion. Taken out of the agreements , per federal directive, are the guaranteed higher-level reimbursements for the care of the poor and uninsured. That’s making executives with the private groups running the public hospitals a little nervous. Six of the cooperative endeavor agreements that privatized nine of the LSU hospitals are being redrafted. They involve public hospitals in Lafayette, New Orleans, Bogalusa, Lake Charles, Shreveport and Monroe. Contracts at three other hospitals are not involved.
Starting today a brand new license plate will be available to Louisiana drivers boasting, “I’m Creole, and Proud.” Lafayette Representative Vincent Pierre says he lead the effort to make this happen because he wanted to give more exposure to the Creole culture. The plates cost $30 plus fees. Pierre says the funds that are generated from the Creole plate will go to the French Immersion Program.
The Louisiana Inspector General has issued a set of recommendations for state agencies to stop wasting airline tickets. Stephen Street’s office found that between 2011 and 2013, over half a million dollars in non-refundable airline tickets were purchased by state entities, but never used. Street says his office is mandated to find and eliminate waste and this is a classic example of waste.
A man from Donaldsonville who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in in 1995 for a crash that killed a ten-week old child avoids prison. Stanley White got a two-year prison sentence 19 years ago, but was never given a report date. White, who has since been a model citizen since then, was re-sentenced again and White’s sentence this time was two years of home incarceration. White was 19 at the time of the accident. It’s unknown why he never received a date to report to prison.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in gathering information about a murder that happened last week. Deputies found the remains of a 66-year-old woman identified as Marjorie Taylor that day and an autopsy revealed she had been killed. Crimestoppers in St. Landry is offering $2,500 for anyone with information on this incident.
Louisiana’s obesity rate is dropping for the first time in 30 years according to an annual study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. LeAnne Redman is an obesity researcher at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. We’re now No.6 instead of the pervious #1. But the study shows that Louisiana’s adult obesity rate is still 33.1% so Redman says we need to keep having healthy conversations so our numbers continue to improve.
Following their 40-day initiative, The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is now on the fast track to install more than 400 credit card stations statewide with the goal to improve convenience for fee payments. In the past, OMV customers had to pay with cash or schedule return visits to complete the transaction. They will continue their online services as well. Many residents have been complaining lately of :60 to :90 minute waits after recent personnel cuts at the DMV.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is advising voters to study up on their November fourth ballot, because they’ve had a record number of candidates who have withdrawn from their respective races since qualifying. Schedler says 110 candidates have dropped out of their race and the printed ballot may not reflect the change in the number of candidates. Schedler says you can always go to GeauxVote-dot-com to keep yourself updated.
With it now being 4 years since the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, several agencies continue to look at ways we can restore Louisiana’s struggling coast. Dr. Keith Ouchley is the Director of the Nature Conservancy in Louisiana. He says, for one, we really need to work on oyster reefs around the coast. He says they are implementing on-the-ground restoration projects that protect shorelines from erosion, filter water, provide habitat for fish and create jobs.
Saints defeat Vikings Sunday for their first win of season. The final 20 to 9
Northwestern State scored 20 4th quarter points to come from behind and upset their longtime rival Louisiana Tech 30 to 27. Chris Moore’s 47-yard field goal with no time left was the game winner. It was Northwestern’s first win over an FBS opponent since 2005 and the Demons first win over the Bulldogs since 1979.
For the first time since 1991, Mississippi State beat LSU in Baton Rouge as the Bulldogs held on for a 34-29 victory on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
More than a goal of free-flowing cars in all directions, some fans who attended LSU’s first three home football games said after Saturday’s SEC opener they would settle for consistency in post-game traffic plans.
They want to know where, when and how to get from one place to another without running into unexpected road blocks and dead ends. But through three home games thus far this season, confusion among drivers has been common. Officials posted an updated traffic and parking map online prior to the first game of the season. But since then, some changes have been made, rendering the map at least partially inaccurate.
The Cajun Nationals Car Show is set for next weekend, Sept. 27-28, in England Airpark. Proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Central Louisiana. The spectator entry fee for the event is $10 a day, with $5 off with the donation of five nonperishable food items. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free.