News for Monday 011215
By Dave Graichen
A spokeswoman for the Jindal Administration says a 200 to 300 million dollar cut in funding to higher ed is being considered for the fiscal year budget that starts July 1st. The UL-System says they are confident the legislature would never allow such a cut in funding to happen.
A Ville Platte man arrested in the death of his grandmother in November has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. The Evangeline Parish District Attorney’s Office said the trial for Christopher Goodley has been set for June 8. Goodley pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
If convicted, Goodley would face a mandatory life sentence.
5th District newly elected Congressman Ralph Abraham joined the many Republicans in the US-House on Friday by voting to approve the TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL pipeline project. The President has promised to veto such a bill if it hits his desk. 6th District Congressman Garret Graves says having the actual Keystone Pipeline legislation in front of President Obama may cause The White house to reconsider vetoing it, considering the amount of support. The Senate has enough votes to pass an identical bill and will take a test vote today
BP can’t get out of having to dish out federal penalties for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 based on a ruling by an appeals court Friday. The oil giant was trying to blame another company’s failed equipment. A trial is set for later this month to determine Clean Water Act penalties.
The Transportation Funding Task Force meets today at the Capitol where they’ll finalize recommendations on improving the way the state funds highway improvements. There is currently a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge needs in the state. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman, Robert Adley of Benton, says they’ll work to protect the transportation trust fund from being used for the general operation of the state. With this being Governor Jindal’s final year in office, it is not expected that we’ll see major changes to how the state funds roadway projects. But Adley is hopeful. the task force will get behind his plan to ensure the state spends $70 million for roadway preservation.
There’s a growing concern in northwest Louisiana over a plan to burn 15-million pounds of M6 propellant in steel trays at Camp Minden. Minden Mayor Tommy Davis says they’re worried about possible health effects. The explosive propellant once belonged to Explo Systems, who went bankrupt which is why it’s in bunkers at Camp Minden. It’s deteriorating so there is a worry it could explode if not disposed of soon. The US E-P-A supports opening burning as the disposal method. Davis says Louisiana’s Congressional delegation is putting the pressure on the agency to prove that the open tray burn is safe.
Shaquille O’Neal was in Lafayette Friday at the Courthouse to be sworn in as a deputy city marshal. The Clerk of Court said it was the coolest swearing in he’s ever done.
The latest fund raising totals from Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle shows he is a serious candidate for governor. Angelle announced that his campaign has raised over $1.5 million since he announced his candidacy on October 2nd. Angelle is one of three Republicans seeking the governorship, along with Senator David Vitter and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
Sad story out of Madison Parish. A grandmother in Tallulah died Friday afternoon trying to keep one of her grandsons from shooting another according to authorities. Cops say the woman apparently died of a heart attack when trying to defuse the dispute between cousins. One teen shot the other they say and he’s in custody while the other is in the hospital.
According to a recent study out of Yale University, cold weather can in fact make you sick. Dr. Fred Lopez is an Infectious Diseases specialist at the LSU New Orleans School of Medicine. He says they are finding validity to the fact that the lower the temperature outside, the more likely a cold virus is going to thrive. Lopez says the most common virus which causes a cold replicates and makes more copies of itself at cooler temperatures. The nasal cavity is where the flu virus will most often enter the body and when that area is cooler then the bug is allowed to grow more effectively. Lopez says staying out of the cold does actually help.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne announces plans for a major motion picture set to be filmed exclusively in Louisiana about the Battle of New Orleans. The movie will be called, “Andrew Jackson – The Battle For New Orleans.” Dardenne says the project will be based off the book by Ron Drez “The War of 1812: Conflict and Deception” and will begin filming here soon.
Lynne Marino, the highly outspoken mother of serial killer victim Pam Kinamore, discloses that she has pancreatic cancer and hopes to see Derrick Todd Lee executed before she dies. Lee got the death penalty for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace in 2004 and his case has since been tied up in several appeals. Marino says it’s time for Lee to go. Lee wants a new trial which has been rejected by a Baton Rouge state judge and now heads to the Louisiana Supreme Court -then- if those justices feel the same the case would go to a drawn out post-conviction relief stage.