News for Friday 120514
By Dave Graichen
Tomorrow is election day in Louisiana. The ballot is highlighted by the US Senate race between Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. Secretary of State Tom Schedler expects a 40-percent voter turnout for the election.
He says the high early voter turnout was a nice surprise and is hopeful that voters will turn out Saturday. Schedler expects voters to be more active in the 5th and 6th Congressional districts due to those contested seats.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s office says a staff member at Red River Academy in Lecompte is under arrest for allegedly trying to rape a female teenage student. Lt. Tommy Carnline says the local police station requested deputy assistance into a criminal sexual conduct allegation at the residential-type school. Carnline says they were able to obtain enough probable cause to issue arrest warrants for 36-year-old Charles Allen of Cheneyville for 1 count of sexual battery, one count of attempted forcible rape and 1 count of prohibited sexual conduct between educator and student.
Gas prices in Louisiana dropped another two cents overnight. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is now $2.54
With tomorrow’s election looming, everybody wants to know who is going to represent Louisiana in the new Congress next year? ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says the US Senate race is Republican Bill Cassidy’s race to lose. The 5th Congressional District race features Democrat Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo and Republican Dr. Ralph Abraham in the runoff. Stockley says the political climate in Louisiana favors Republicans, especially in the 5th District. Stockley says the 6th Congressional District race could prove to be the most interesting of the night. He says enthusiasm isn’t very high for either candidate, Republican Garret Graves or Democrat Edwin Edwards. Stockley says voter turnout could be the deciding factor here.
In an interview with an LSU journalism student, Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy says he supports over-the-counter sales of birth control. Cassidy says he’s going along with the recommendation made by the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Cassidy says he wants to keep big government out of the birth control business. The clip was filmed for Tiger TV which is produced by LSU journalism student reporters and airs on campus.
Louisiana has petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear an appeal of Louisiana’s ban on gay marriage before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decides the case. Special counsel Kyle Duncan filed the request this week. Tulane Constitutional Law Professor, Keith Werhan, says the state may think that this issue is on the fast track to being decided in the Supreme Court. Federal Judge Martin Feldman upheld Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage earlier this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control there’s a widespread outbreak of the flu in Louisiana. Dr. Frank Welch, with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, says it’s not a designation the state wants, but we appear to be leading the pack. Louisiana is the only state in the Continental US with widespread flu cases.
Louisiana residents who have health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace are advised to seek out cheaper policies during open enrollment. Brian Burton, State Director for the Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana, says there are new choices and more competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace. In Louisiana, consumers can now choose from 6 issuers in the Marketplace. Burton says United Healthcare is a new provider for this year and they’re making a big difference for consumers. Open enrollment closes on February 15.
Louisiana Tech will face Marshall in the Conference USA Championship game on Saturday. It’s the first time the Bulldogs will play in a conference title game. In order to win, the Bulldogs will have to slow down a Thundering Herd offense that’s averaging 47 points a game.
The Saints will look to end a three-game losing streak at home when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Before they started this losing skid in the Dome, they won 20 straight previous games, including playoffs, played in New Orleans.