News for Wednesday 011415
By Dave Graichen
As expected, Chuck Fowler was elected Tuesday to once again lead the Alexandria City Council. This will be Fowlers 3rd go around as president. Lee Rubin was elected to the vice-presidents position.
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into the death of Mrs. Bobbie Chevallier of Pollock. Chevallier was found unconscious in the back yard of her home suffering from bite wounds to the lower half of her body the day before Thanksgiving last year. She died from her injuries several days later. It was originally believed Chevallier was the victim of a stray dog attack. But, a just completed autopsy determined that Mrs. Chevallier was unconscious before the encounter with the dogs. A number of dogs belonging to a next door neighbor and a stray dog believed to have been involved in this incident were seized following the investigation and have been euthanized. No additional attacks or incidents have been reported since this incident.
The Grant Parish sheriff’s department has arrested an Atlanta man on charges that he allegedly abused his wife in front of their children. Deputies report the office had received a report about a domestic disturbance in which shots had been fired. Deputies went to the scene and found that 41 year old Walter Box Jr. He had allegedly had beaten his wife and had fired a shotgun over her head. Box also allegedly destroyed his wife’s cellphone and had threatened to kill her if she left. Box was arrested and was booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
It’s a bad flu season and the numbers prove it. Doctor Frank Welch, medical director for the state’s immunization program, says nearly 400-thousand people have come down with the flu so far this flu season and influenza has hospitalized up to four-thousand people. Even though the flu vaccine is not a direct match with the flu strain going around, Welch still advises getting an influenza shot.
State Treasurer John Kennedy is getting the word out that they’ve collected through audits 31-million dollars in unclaimed property from life insurance companies. Kennedy says the money belongs to thousands of beneficiaries that never received their money. To see if you’re owed money go to la-treasury-dot-com.
Fifth District congressman Ralph Abraham has been appointed to serve on the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture.
Abraham was also assigned to the Subcommittee on Nutrition on House Agriculture. Abraham said his position on the committees puts him in direct position to supervise the implementation of the new Farm Bill. Last week Abraham landed a subcommittee chairmanship on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
State Police is requesting a 30% increase for many of its troopers. Col Mike Edmonson says the money is coming from a special fund approved in last year’s legislative session which collects fines from drivers with expired auto insurance and puts them in an account for LSP salaries. If lawmakers approve the money shift, starting pay with benefits for troopers would go from about $35,600 a year to $46,600 a year. This will be the first raise for rank-and-file troopers since 2002.
State Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, said Tuesday he plans to run for the Louisiana District 35 Senate seat this fall. Fannin, chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, is term limited in the state House. The District 35 seat is currently held by state Sen. Bob Kostelka of Monroe, but he is also term limited. Republican Stewart Cathey Jr., a small business owner and veteran, said Tuesday he will also run for the seat.
A 21-year-old mother has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the death of her three-year-old and four-year-old, who died in a house fire in Bastrop yesterday. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they’ve learned that 21-year-old Ciarria Johnson left her children unattended for hours as she was having her hair styled. Browning says they believe the fire started from a gas heater in the living room, they also suspect a space heater was in close proximity to flammable materials.
Senator David Vitter has announced he has 4 million dollars for his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign with 3.5 million dollars cash on hand. Vitter’s office says that 88 percent of campaign contributions are from over 25 hundred in-state donors. Vitter announced his candidacy last January.
A Monroe stand-off Tuesday morning at an assisted living complex ended tragically, as the resident courtesy officer died after he was allegedly shot by a resident . Seventy-six year-old Alton Sutter died at a local hospital.
A researcher at the L-S-U Health Sciences Center in Shreveport hopes sea moss found below the surface of the Pacific Ocean could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Doctor Steven Alexander and his team have tested a drug derived from sea moss and it has a positive effect on mice who suffer from human Alzheimer’s disease. Alexander says they are seeking FDA approval to begin clinical trials on humans.
Two local events Thursday will mark the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The Alexandria VA Medical Center will hold a ceremony Thursday at 2 p.m. The “Color of Unity” program will be held in the center’s auditorium and is open to the public. The guest speaker will be Vonda Williams, social worker coordinator for the Mental Health Intensive Case Management Program at the Alexandria VA. Peabody Magnet High School Jazz Band will perform. Also Thursday, the Rapides Parish Library will screen King’s famous 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech at the main library, 411 Washington St. in downtown Alexandria, at 5:30 p.m.
Also, Alexandria artist Morris Taft Thomas will speak about King and his work. Refreshments will be served after the film at the family friendly event.
The Downtown Alexandria Merchants Association will host the first Third Thursday on Third event this Thursday along Third Street in downtown Alexandria from 6 to 9 p.m. Ten businesses on or adjacent to Third Street will be offering specials or providing entertainment.
Get information on the group’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/darealexandria
LSU has confirmed reports that Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele is will be the next defensive coordinator at LSU. Prior to coaching at Alabama, Steele served three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Clemson, helping Clemson win the A-C-C in 2011. He’s also the former head coach at Baylor and coached linebackers for the Carolina Panthers in the 1990s.