News for Wednesday 092414
By Dave Graichen
There’s a new president of Northwestern State University, and his name is James Henderson, who is the current Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. The unanimous decision from the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System came down today. Henderson has been serving as BPCC since 2009. His first day on the job at Northwestern State is January 1st.
A special state grand jury has indicted Governor Jindal’s former state health secretary Bruce Greenstein on nine counts of perjury. The alleged untruths happened during sworn testimony before a state Senate confirmation hearing and at a grand jury investigation. The indictment is related to Greenstein’s association in the award of a state government contract of nearly $200 million. Greenstein’s lawyer says he will plead not guilty.
A new state funded feasibility study found that tolls starting at 18 cents a mile could pay for up to 50 percent of the $3 billion dollars it would take to complete I-49 South from Lafayette to New Orleans. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says a toll proposal shouldn’t focus on the entire stretch but on areas where upgrades are still needed. He says the route would help facilitate one of the most productive areas of energy in our country.
Gas-buddy-dot-com says gas prices this fall will be the lowest they’ve been since 2010. Gas-Buddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Gregg Laskoski, says the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.11. He says an increase in domestic production of gasoline has pushed prices below three-dollars a gallon at many service stations in Louisiana.
One day after a Lafayette Parish judge declared Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the state AG has announced plans to challenge that decision before the state Supreme Court. Buddy Caldwell's Office will ask the high court to overturn Judge Edward Rubin's ruling, that was handed down Monday in the same-sex adoption case of Angela Costanza and her partner, Chasity Brewer. The judge’s decision affects only the 15th Judicial District, which also includes Acadia and Vermilion parishes. Rubin said Constanza may adopt her partner's son and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate. The couple's lawsuit said the state should recognize their marriage, which took place in California.
Today marks the nine year anniversary of Hurricane Rita making landfall on Sabine Pass. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says southwest Louisiana learned a lot as a result of Rita and has done quite well rebuilding. Morrish says most of the infrastructure of the area damaged by Hurricane Rita has been rebuilt and is functioning well. But he says there is still an issue of people moving back to Cameron Parish. He says many would like to move back to Cameron Parish, but due to high insurance costs, they cannot afford to.
In WalletHub’s list of Most and Least Happy States in America, Louisiana ranks 39th in terms of happiness. The report looked at 26 factors and the Bayou State ranked near or at the bottom in terms of obesity, volunteerism, divorce rate, and participation in sports. The report says Utah is the happiest state in America and West Virginia the least happy.
In Money magazine’s 2014 Best Places to Live rankings, Bossier City ranks seventh among the best places to find a new job. The magazine’s rankings are based on a community’s unemployment rate, past job growth, and projected job growth. Money says tourism and gaming are dominant employers.
The state’s highest Democratic elected official has declined to endorse former Governor Edwin Edwards in his bid for the 6th Congressional District seat. Senator Mary Landrieu said she thinks the 86-year-old has been very energetic and would get a good vote. But she says she’s running her campaign and Edwards is running his. Landrieu was asked if her comments meant she supported Edwards and she didn’t say yes or no.