News for Wednesday 100814
By Dave Graichen
A new independent poll conducted on the 5th District Congressional race shows Democratic Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo with a slight lead in a very tight field. The poll was conducted by Cygnal (signal) and surveyed just over 500 voters in the district. Pollster Brent Buchanan says Mayo polled 19-percent of the vote, followed by Republican incumbent Vance McAllister with 17-percent, Zach Dasher with 13-percent, and Dr. Ralph Abraham with 11-percent. But Buchanan says there is still a lot up for grabs. Over 20-percent of the voters polled said they were undecided at this point. Buchanan says, with less than a month to go, this election is still way too close to call.
An Alexandria man was arrested Monday after he was found drunk at the D.G. Hunter Power Electrical Plant. 47 year old Donald Ray Clifton Sr. was charged with unauthorized entry of critical infrastructure and disturbing the peace by intoxication. Clifton was allegedly hiding from officers after attempting to steal copper from a recycling bin. This is the 26th time Clifton has been booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
According to analysis done by The Wesleyan Media Project, the US Senate race in Louisiana is the most negative campaign in the country. The Wall Street Journal found that 0% of the ads run by Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu and Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy, over a two week period, were positive. Erica Franklin Fowler is the co-director on the Wesleyan Media Project, she says campaigns across the country this year are more negative than they were in 2012 or 2010, but she says in Louisiana BOTH Landrieu and Cassidy have opted against puppies and families in their commercials.
The state says the number of Louisiana students scoring 3 or higher on Advanced Placement exam, and thereby earning college credit, has increased 24.6 percent in 2014. The state education department also says more students are taking AP classes: Louisiana is now ranked 38th for the percentage of high school juniors and seniors taking an AP test. In 2012, we were last in the nation.
Gay and lesbian couples are getting legally married in the Southeast for the first time, crossing a threshold in a conservative region long opposed to same-sex marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to turn away appeals from a handful of states means marriage bans are unconstitutional in Virginia and similar bans in West Virginia and North and South Carolina should fall as soon. But as with other civil rights battles, plenty of southern conservatives seem determined to fight to the bitter end. The state’s attorney general in west Virginia says they will fight it in the courts.
Average weekly wages of $997 in the Houma-Thibodaux area topped the state’s first-quarter chart, according to numbers released by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. New Orleans-area wages averaged $950 per week, just ahead of the $887 recorded for the Lafayette area. The Baton Rouge area’s average wage of $881 was the fourth-highest in the state. Other weekly wage numbers released by the LWC were for areas surrounding Lake Charles, $830; Shreveport, $737; Alexandria, $679; and Monroe, $660.
Louisiana’s economic development department launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday to attract former state residents to growing numbers of new jobs in this state. The campaign, dubbed “Come Home, Louisiana,” is tied to a free state website, LouisianaJobConnection.com. That website is designed to match the skills of job seekers with the best available jobs of Louisiana employers.
Since the LJC website became available to people searching for jobs on Aug. 18, more than 12,000 job seekers have placed the details of their experience and training on it. State economic development officials said more than 950 Louisiana employers have posted available jobs on the same website.
LSU Alumni Association President and CEO Cliff Vannoy says two separate audits that were ordered following a sex scandal involving the group’s former leader have found no wrongdoing or misused money. The independent reports are expected to formally be released this week. Former association head Charlie Roberts resigned in August after an ex-employee claimed in a lawsuit that Roberts gave her a marketing job at the Alumni Association so she would continue a sexual relationship with him and then paid her monthly hush money after she resigned.
The State Department of Health and Hospitals says a case of rabies has been confirmed in a dog in the West Monroe area. Last month a cat in Washington Parish also tested positive for rabies and so was a dog in Lafayette Parish in January according to DHH. State Veterinarian Dr. Gary Balsamo says the state is reminding residents that, by law, anyone who owns a dog, cat or ferret over three months old must have their animal vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian. Balsamo says, unfortunately, some people seem to be downplaying the seriousness of vaccinating for rabies.
Hydrocodone based drugs like Lortabs are now a lot harder to get after they were moved into a more restrictive category by the federal government. Under the new rules, doctors will only be able to prescribe a 30-day supply with no automatic refills. LSU Health’s Emergency Medicine Chairman, Dr. Tom Arnold, says they are trying to get control of abuse of these drugs. He says you also now won’t be able to call in hydrocodone-based prescriptions.
The New Orleans Police Department says they found 3 bodies early yesterday morning in the Bywater after what they believe is a double murder-suicide. An investigation has thus far determined that a 55-year-old man shot and killed his 60-year-old sister and 58-year-old brother before killing himself. Detectives are not releasing the identities of those involved at this time
It looks like this year’s most popular movies and television show characters will be knocking on your doors looking for Candy October 31. Spirit Halloween is one of the season’s largest retailers in North America and spokeswoman Lisa Barr says you can’t expect to see plenty of Disney’s “Frozen” characters. Barr says also in their top 10 costume trends for the coming season are the usual Superheroes including Batman, Captain America, Spiderman and Transformers. She says DIY is a big trend this year with themes around Burlesque, Punk and Leopard. Barr says there is a huge demand for costumes featuring characters from HBO’s Game of Thrones and of course zombies..
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are looking for the killer of a black bear in Concordia Parish. Spokesman Adam Einck says this animal was part of their Black Bear Restoration Program and its movements were being tracked with a radio collar. He says the bear was normally tracked in the Turnbull Island area. LDWF is offering a reward of up to $7,000 for information on this case.
Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Louisiana Concealed Carry Class on Saturday and Sunday. The class is for those age 21 or older who want to obtain a Louisiana concealed handgun permit. The course will be from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday in South Hall on the NSU campus and Sunday at the Natchitoches Shooting Range. The cost is $110. For more information, call (318) 357-5682