News for Friday 092614
By Dave Graichen
Cenla has done it again. Word yesterday from the Army Environmental command that Fort Polk received more support comments than any other base in the country. The base, along with others across the country, is facing the possibility of major staff reductions in the latest round of military cutbacks. Residents last month were asked to show their support for the base in the form of letters, petitions and emails and did they ever. 34,619 comments were received by the Army brass. Michael Reese with Fort Polk Progress said he was “awed” by the response, which far exceeds what they were expecting.
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking for help in finding a runaway girl who may be in the Pineville or Pollock areas. Megan Nicole Johnson is 16, has black hair and blue eyes. She stands 5 feet, 4 inches and weighs 140 pounds. She has a heart tattoo on her left hand. She last was seen in the Pineville area on Tuesday, wearing a white-hooded sweatshirt, black T-shirt, blue jeans and black and pink Nike shoes. If anyone has seen or knows where Megan can be found, contact authorities.
Flu season is right around the corner and that means it’s time for your flu shot. Bill Schaffner with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases says everyone older than six months of age should be getting a vaccination because there is no excuse not to do it. Schaffner says you can get flu shots at any doctor’s office, clinic or even pharmacy. He says young adults get hit the hardest when it comes to getting sick because they are the hardest demographic to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100 children lost their lives to the flu last season and 90 percent of them were not vaccinated.
A state judge has suspended his ruling that struck down Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, effectively putting the decision on hold pending an appeal by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Edward Rubin’s ruling earlier this week was not expected to have any immediate impact in other jurisdictions, but his order granting the state’s request to suspend the ruling makes clear that no same sex marriage licenses will be issued in Lafayette Parish until the legal issue is resolved.
Governor Bobby Jindal is spending yet another weekend visiting key presidential campaign states. Jindal is still considering a presidential bid in 2016, although recent poll numbers do not have the governor performing well against other contenders. Jindal is in New Hampshire today, Saturday, Jindal returns to Iowa to make an appearance at an Iowa State University tailgate for Republican Senator Bill Dix and give a speech to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition. The governor has said he will not announce a possible presidential bid until after the November elections.
With the report of the resignation of US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, the Louisiana delegation is reacting to the news. And not everyone was complementary of his job performance, as South Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany said Holder set a – quote – “bad precedent for the future attorney generals and undermined the trust of the American people in their government.” Also, In a prepared statement released yesterday, senator David Vitter said that he couldn’t think of any AG in history who has attacked Louisiana more than Holder.
Louisiana State Police is reporting another officer involved shooting, this time in Beauregard Parish where a man was killed after allegedly tried to run over authorities during a pursuit. Sgt. James Anderson says officers responded to a disturbance in Dry Creek. Anderson says they were trying to apprehend the subject, who was in a vehicle. He says the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Jacob Navarre, tried to run over the deputies who shot and killed the him. Navarre was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tackling a volatile topic, a state panel Thursday began considering ways to revamp the way Louisiana evaluates its public school teachers. The group, which advises the state’s top school board, is required by a law passed earlier this year to review the state’s teacher evaluation law and to make recommendations to the Legislature, possibly as early as November.
Louisiana State Police found over 14 pounds of cocaine and more than a pound of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 12 in Tangipahoa Parish on Thursday morning. They say the cocaine alone was worth millions.
The LSU Police Department says a man is under arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in an RV on campus following a tailgate party. Spokesman Captain Corey LaLonde says the victim told officers the sexual battery occurred at night while she was sleeping in the RV. 47-year-old Daniel Sanchez of Gonzales is charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against the Abbeville Police Department claiming they are violating the First Amendment with their social media policy. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says the rule basically states that employees can’t post anything on social media which casts the city in a negative light. The rub is, what constitutes a negative light? The Abbeville Police Department is not commenting on the suit.
New Orleans Senator JP Morrell leads a new study commission trying to determine how much Louisiana agencies spend on the death penalty. Morrell, a Democrat, says the idea came to mind when the current combination of drugs used for lethal injection became unavailable and seeing what happened in other states. Views differ widely on the topic. Morrell says prosecutors will say the cost of executing someone is negligible, while defense attorneys say it cost millions of dollars.
Northwestern State University officials got initial approval from the Board of Regents Thursday to develop a solution that would allow people with associate degrees in resource management to work toward a bachelor’s degree while keeping their current jobs. NSU has been working with the Regents staff for almost a year to develop an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Management program designed to meet that need. Courses will be offered online in eight- and 16-week formats, whichever works best for students, the university says in its submitted plan. Since the university already offers the courses, no additional faculty or space would be needed.