News for Friday 060515
By Dave Graichen
Pilot error is the investigation ruling from the crash of a Black Hawk Helicopter off the coast of Florida in March that killed 11, including 4 from the Louisiana National Guard. Colonel Pete Schneider says the pilots failed to transition from visual to instrument flight in heavy fog. He says 30 percent of all aviation crashes are due to spatial disorientation.
The Red River is still rising in North Louisiana, and is now expected to crest at 35.5 feet Saturday in Shreveport. That’s five and a half feet above flood stage, and the National Weather Service says the waters are beginning to affect some areas of Shreveport right now. Sandbags will be distributed today and over the weekend in Grant parish. But, the good news in Cenla is, although we are still looking at some flooding of low lying areas, water in many area streams and rivers is going down. The red should still crest on Monday in Cenla.
Willie Larkin was selected as the next Grambling State University president Thursday by the University of Louisiana System Board. UL System President Sandra Woodley said the system has searched for GSU’s next president for almost a year. She believes they’ve found the right person for the job.
The senate and now the house has approved legislation that paves way for people who suffer from cancer, glaucoma and a severe form of cerebral palsy to receive medical marijuana legally in Louisiana. The bill passed on a vote of 70-29 in the House. The bill establishes where medical marijuana will be dispensed and where it will be grown and who will handle the production of the medicine. The legislation heads back to the Senate for final approval and then to the governor, who has indicated he’ll sign it.
Officials with the “Hollywood South” movie industry are apprehensive about changes made by the Senate Finance Committee to a bill that reforms the film tax credit program. The committee lowered the cap for film tax credits from $200 million to $180 million. Louisiana film industry consultant, Sherri McConnell, says this causes concern about projects already in the pipeline, as well as the future growth of the industry. She says this is not promising legislation for the film industry on many levels.
There’s a week left in the legislative session and there’s great uncertainty over whether the legislature can pass a budget that will NOT be vetoed by Governor Bobby Jindal. Jeremy Alford, with la-politics-dot-com, says the legislature is struggling with putting together a spending plan that’s revenue neutral, which the governor has requested. He says if Jindal does veto the budget, we could see an override veto session.
A woman from Lafayette is under arrest for 2nd degree murder, after a man discovered a dead baby’s body in a box from a storage unit he purchased. Lafayette Police say fifty-seven year-old Rebecca Landry confessed to the crime, saying the infant died in 2001. Landry is being booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail.
Legislation that would put spending restrictions on the TOPS scholarship program is headed to Governor Bobby Jindal’s desk. The Governor’s office is not saying whether or not the measure will get the veto pen although they have expressed objection to major changes to the TOPS scholarship program in the past.
Tickets to the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood shows in New Orleans go on sale this morning at 10am. The couple will be performing in Louisiana for the first time in 18 years on Friday July 10th and Saturday July 11th at the Smoothie King Center. General manager Alan Freeman says they expect tickets to go fast. The tickets, including fees, are $74.98 each and all seats are sold best available.
An accident near Forest Hill Thursday sent two people to the hospital with moderate injuries. The accident happened on highway 112 at Whaley Police report a passenger in one vehicle and the driver of the other were hospitalized.