News for Monday 060115
By Dave Graichen
The City of Alexandria has issued a boil advisory for part of the city bounded by Texas Avenue, Masonic Drive, MacArthur Drive/Highway 71 and Jackson Street between Texas and MacArthur. Some E. coli bacteria were found in the water supply on May 28. Residents in the afflicted area are encouraged until further notice to not drink the water without first boiling it.
Central Louisiana residents opened their hearts over the weekend and pledged over $421,000 during the 28th annual Children’s Miracle Network telethon. The event was broadcast live on channel 31 from the Christus Cabrini Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Governor Bobby Jindal issues an emergency declaration so the state can prepare for potential flooding in northwest and central Louisiana as a result of the rising Red River. Officials say the Red River is expected to crest at 34 feet on June 6th in Bossier and a few days later here in Cenla.
The Red and Calcasieu rivers keep rising The Red River in Alexandria, according to the NWS should reach it’s flood stage of 32 feet today and continue to rise to near 38 feet by June 8.
Meanwhile, the flood stage for the Calcasieu River is 12 feet and it was already at 13.6 feet Sunday and expected to rise to near 14 feet by early Tuesday morning before falling.
Today is the start of the 2015 Hurricane Season and even though forecasters are calling for a below average season, state officials are urging you to get prepared for a storm now. Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness spokesman Mike Steele says their message every year is “Get a Game Plan. A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the website http://www.getagameplan.org
The House Ways and Means Committee hears a Senate-bill today that is needed for the legislature to reach a revenue-neutral budget. The measure is called the SAVE tax credit, and it will provide colleges with a tax credit for raising fees on students. Many democrats oppose the measure as the head of the party, Senator Karen Peterson, says all the bill does is help make it look like they are not raising taxes. Peterson implies that all this proposal does is help the governor’s personal ambitions.
State lawmakers are looking at increasing title fees by 50-dollars when a person purchases a new or used vehicle. Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Adley supports the effort. Adley says the additional revenue will go towards State Police operations, so they can stop taking money away from a fund designed to pay for road and bridge work. Currently, residents pay a title fee of $18.50. Adley says it hasn’t been adjusted since the 1980s and a fee increase can keep State Police from receiving money out of the Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for road repairs
The trial to determine whether Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is competent to make important decisions regarding his franchises begins today in New Orleans. Benson’s heirs are asking that the 87-year-old be declared mentally unfit to manage his affairs. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the court will use reports from doctors who evaluated Benson. Benson previously announced he was going to leave ownership of the teams to his wife instead of his daughter and grandchildren. His lawyer maintains that decision was in the best interest of the sports franchises. Last week a judge ruled that the proceedings will be closed to the public.
The US Army agrees to pick up the tab on the burning of the 15-million pounds of M6 propellant improperly stored at Camp Minden in Webster Parish. The Department of Justice says that will pay the $28 million needed to dispose of the materials. Minden Representative Gene Reynolds says this means the project can finally get up and going.
Former Saints safety Darren Sharper pleads guilty to drug and rape charges Friday in New Orleans federal court. The 39-year-old Sharper pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs with the intent to commit rape. Legal analyst Chick Foret says Sharper’s “global” plea deal with prosecutors in four states looks to be unfolding in his favor. The deal is tied to a 9 year sentence. Sharper is scheduled for sentencing on August 20th.
In response to complaints about Governor Bobby Jindal using his office to send an email calling Senator Rand Paul unsuited to be Commander in Chief, the state Inspector General advised the Governor to use a different method in the future. In the statement, Stephen Street said Jindal could have avoided the complaints by using a private email or non-public website.
The New Orleans Pelicans named 60-year-old coaching veteran Alvin Gentry as their new head coach over the weekend. This will be Gentry’s fifth time as a head coach in the NBA. Gentry will not assume his role as head coach of the Pelicans, until after the NBA Finals. He’ll spend the next couple of weeks trying to help Golden State win a championship.