News for Thursday 121114
By Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s detectives are searching for two suspects who robbed a Dollar General Store Tuesday night in Tioga, leaving one employee slightly injured.
Deputies responded to the call at 10:20 p.m. Witnesses said two armed suspects in hoodies and wearing masks took an undetermined amount of cash before running from the store. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers or the sheriff’s department.
Governor Jindal visited southwest Louisiana today to announce that Venture Global plans to build a four-billion dollar plus liquefied natural gas company at Calcasieu Pass in Cameron Parish. 15-hundred workers will be needed to construct the facility and once completed, the project will result in 100 new long-term jobs. The company says they chose Louisiana because of a property tax exemption and tax rebate that the state provides for businesses that create jobs.
The United Health Foundation released its 25th annual America’s Health Rankings and once again Louisiana is 48th in the nation. Dr. Catherine Palmier, Chief Medical Officer for the Foundation’s East Region, says we have an extremely high incidence of low birth weight babies. She says other factors keeping our rank near the bottom in the nation is the high rate of obesity at 33% of the population, physical inactivity which is 30% and smoking which at 23%.
A report released Wednesday show a large majority of TOPS money is going to white students. The Board of Regents numbers show 79 percent of recipients are white, and 58 percent are women, and come mostly from household making $70 thousand to $99 thousand dollars annually.
Angola warden Burl Cain says he’s thinking about running for governor. Cain says the thought of running for governor first came up a year ago, when he performed well in a poll on the 2015 governor’s race. The warden says now there’s road signs encouraging him to run. Cain says he’ll think and pray about it, but he’s not sure when he’ll make a final decision.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, who is a democrat, announced he’s running for Lieutenent Governor yesterday. Holden says he’s not worried that Louisiana is a solid red state. Opelousas senator Elbert Guillory, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and Jefferson Parish President John Young are also lt governor candidates.
Yet another house fire, and yet another death in the state; this one yesterday morning in Roseland. Once fire fighters got inside, they found the body of sixty year-old Woodrow H. Ford Jr. in a recliner. The State Fire Marshal’s Office reports the home had no working smoke detectors
State education officials announce Louisiana has been awarded a federal grant of up to $32 million over four years to provide new and improved pre-k classes for over 10,000 children. State Education Superintendent John White says the grant is a tremendous step forward for the state. He says this grant will help address the demand issues for availability in the state’s early childhood education system. Louisiana is one of 13 states to receive this grant.
With a check on gas prices, they keep dropping as the price of crude tumbles. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.46 down a penny from last night and over a dime less than this time last week.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters Wednesday that should would not run for public office again. When asked if she would run for governor or for senator again, the Louisiana Democrat responded, “Oh Lord, no.” But she would not give a definite a no to running again. Politico has reported the opinions of several headhunters, veteran lobbyists and consultants saying that Landrieu’s status as a protector of the oil and gas industry and as a senior member, for years, then as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would make her a top recruit for the big money DC lobbying firms.
A national report issued Wednesday said Louisiana deserves a “C” for how it trains teachers, which is also the average grade nationally. The eighth annual study was released by The National Council on Teacher Quality, which calls itself a nonpartisan research and policy group. The state was faulted for what reviewers called a failure to properly prepare teachers for college and career-readiness standards, including the use of informational texts. The report also said Louisiana is lax in what it requires prospective teachers to know about subject areas, and fails to require them to pass a content exam in four core subject areas to ensure that elementary teachers have mastered material they are licensed to teach.