News for Wednesday 042215
By Dave Graichen
The U.S. Department of Justice says it's investigating allegations that people may have been detained unlawfully by police officers and sheriff's deputies in Evangeline Parish in Central Louisiana. The Justice Department said Tuesday it's looking into whether the Ville Platte Police Department and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office have used "investigative holds" to unlawfully detain people. It's against the law for officers to detain people without proper cause.
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is leading the investigation.
It’s week two of the legislative session and so far a House or Senate committee has yet to pass a bill that addresses the state’s huge budget deficit. Jeremy Alford, publisher of la-politics-dot-com, says what makes the $1.6 billion dollar shortfall challenging is Governor Bobby Jindal’s revenue neutrality policy. Alford says, with eight weeks left in the legislative session, no one really knows what to expect.
Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton’s bill that that would provide equal pay for women gets a hearing today in the House Labor Committee. Norton says this bill is necessary since the number of single parent households are on the rise. She says this measure would help these women provide for their families. Some critics of Norton’s legislation say that this measure would duplicate existing federal law. Norton says laws regarding equal pay for women may be on the books, but they are not being enforced and the figures back her up. According to recent Census data, Louisiana women are paid about two-thirds of what men are paid, that’s the largest gender pay gap in the nation.
A bill supported by Governor Bobby Jindal passed out of the House Criminal Justice committee today. The measure by Kenner Representative Julie Stokes would make it illegal to share a sexual picture of a person without their consent. Stokes says this form of harassment has become a common problem among young adults. The measure now heads to the house floor.
An LSU Public Policy Polling survey done for the state’s film industry shows 48% of those polled said they had a positive opinion of the state’s film tax credit program. The poll shows 80% of Louisianians agree it’s good for the economy to have movies made here. Legislators have to yet to even debate the various bills dealing with the state’s film tax credit program in this session.
A teacher from Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge has been arrested and charged with having an alleged sexual relationship with a 15 year-old boy in 2013. East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Detectives arrested 27 year-old Amber Anderson and charged her with Felony Carnal Knowledge Of A Juvenile. The victim told detectives the two of them also exchanged sexually explicit text messages.
There was a two cent jump in the price of gas last night. Today’s statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.26 according to AAA.
The Lafayette Council Chairman is working with local Grammy award winning zydeco musician Chubby Carrier are teaming up in support of an ordinance to ban smoking in bars and clubs. Council chair Kenneth Boudreaux says the goal is to protect musicians and servers from second hand smoke. The New Orleans ban went into effect at midnight this morning.
Blue Bell has recalled all its frozen products on continued threats of a Listeria Bacteria. Authorities now believe there are 10 illnesses linked to the ice cream over the last 5 years. State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoul Ratard says once the CDC put two and two together, the company was informed and Blue Bell took proper action. Health Officials say If you have any Blue Bell products, as hard as it may be, throw it away.
A bicyclist in Ouachita Parish is dead following a crash on Highway 165 just south of Monroe at about 1:30 am Tuesday morning. State Police say that 36 bike rider tried to cross the road and was hit by a car driven by 22 year-old Tommy Coleman. Coleman was cited for speeding, and no license, or plate., but not for the accident.