News for Thursday 101614
By Dave Graichen
Residents in Ouachita Parish continue to clean up after Monday’s tornado ripped through the area. An EF-2 tornado tore through Monroe and West Monroe. Ouachita Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Neil Brown says the biggest challenges facing residents now are debris and power. Brown says many residents, including himself, may not get power restored to their home until Friday. He says preliminary damage assessment teams will be coming to the area in the next few days. Brown says, as of now, he cannot set a monetary figure to the amount of damage the tornado has caused, but it is significant.
A Baton Rouge student at Northwestern State University has been reported missing.
Laura Larisey was reported missing by her parents. Larisey lives on the university’s main campus in Natchitoches. Anyone with details about her whereabouts is asked to contact campus police or the state police.
In a victory for Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a hotly-debated state law that makes it harder for public school teachers to earn and retain a form of job protection called tenure. The ruling, for the second time, reversed a decision by state District Judge Michael Caldwell, of the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge. Caldwell concluded that the overhaul was illegally approved by the Louisiana Legislature because it jammed too many subjects into a single bill. The court disagreed, and handed the governor a big legal win on one of the most contentious issues of his 2012 public schools overhaul.
According to the latest economic projection numbers for Louisiana by Loren Scott & Jim Richardson, The Bayou State is projected to surpass 2 million overall jobs by 2015. Dr. Scott says we have an industrial boom going on right now that is completely off the charts compared to anything we’ve seen in Louisiana history. Louisiana’s Economic Outlook projects the state to add 34,100 jobs in 2015. Dr. Scott says the Baton Rouge area is expected to be the second fastest growing over the next 2 years with about 19,600 new jobs or a 2.4 percent growth. He says areas north of I-10 will see growth but not nearly what the southern region will. Scott says Lafayette and Houma will also see big gains but the big winner will be Lake Charles.
The big question lingering after Tuesday night’s US Senate race debate is who were the winners and losers? UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross thinks both Senator Mary Landrieu and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness helped themselves during the debate. However, Cross doesn’t think it was a great debate overall for Congressman Bill Cassidy. Cross says Cassidy had a couple of kinks in his performance during the debate. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says
Cassidy didn’t do much to dazzle voters, but he really doesn’t need to at this point.
Hogan doesn’t believe the debate will change any voter’s minds, and Cross agrees.
Latest campaign finance totals in the US Senate race show Republican challenger Bill Cassidy with one million dollars more in cash on hand than Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. Cassidy has four-point-four million, while Landrieu has three-point-four million. Political analyst Clancy Dubos points out Landrieu raised more money than Cassidy in the third quarter. Landrieu raised two-point-seven million dollars in the third quarter, beating out Cassidy by two-hundred thousand dollars. Dubos expects Landrieu to spend more of her campaign funds than her main GOP challenger. The third major candidate in the race, Air Force Colonel Rob Maness, reports he has 388-thousand dollars in his account
A second Dallas hospital worker has tested positive for Ebola. Both workers contracted the virus while providing care to Thomas Duncan, who died from the disease a week ago today. So are Louisiana hospitals prepared to handle an Ebola patient? Louisiana Hospital Association Vice President Ken Alexander believes so, thanks to daily guidance provided by the C-D-C. however, National Nurses United is concerned about the new case, and questions whether nurses have been adequately trained and have the protective gear to take care of Ebola patients. Alexander says what has happened in Texas is providing learning moments for the health care industry
Gas prices are being nice to our wallets these days. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular in Louisiana is $3.03 which is down nearly a dime from this time last week.