News for Thursday 061115
By Dave Graichen
After remaining high but steady for more than a week, the Red River should continue to rise more than 3 feet within a few days as it heads for its crest of about 38 feet late on Sunday. The river has been around 32 to 32.5 feet lately, and the date on which it was expected to crest has been pushed back several times because water from farther north has been slower to arrive than anticipated. But that's changing, and officials say some Rapides Parish residents may begin to notice water in places it hasn't been before.
A bill to make an expanded port in Alexandria a reality sailed through the Legislature Wednesday. House Bill 830 increases the territorial limits of the newly named Central Louisiana Regional Port to all of Rapides Parish. The port’s current footprint holds little potential for expansion, with only about two additional acres available. By moving to an expanded model, the port can offer services to industry that wants to locate along the Red River anywhere in Rapides Parish.
Lawmakers have until 6 PM Thursday to approve a budget for next fiscal year and pass revenue generating bills that would stave off large cuts to higher education and health care. The SAVE tax credit could be used to offset tax increases and satisfy Jindal’s demand for a revenue neutral budget. But House members call the legislation a gimmick. Jeremy Alford of la-politics-dot-com, no one at the State Capitol knows how this session will wind up…
Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign the three bill compromise passed by the legislature related to Common Core. Going forward, four panels-mostly made up of teachers-will review the curriculum. The Council for a Better Louisiana supports Common Core-and their president Barry Erwin is pleased with the compromise. A key component of the legislation is that the next governor will have the ability to reject any proposed changes to Common Core.
Another bill heading to the governor’s desk is one that doubles the fine for littering. A first-offense for simple littering will go up from 75 to 150-dollars and subsequent offenses will increase from 500 to one-thousand dollars. The additional revenue will go towards the retirement system of the law enforcement agency that writes the litter ticket.
Some new Gross Domestic Product numbers from the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reveal Louisiana’s economy is lagging behind the national average for growth. The national rate is 2.2 percent; while Louisiana’s is 1.9 percent. The state’s mining sector – which includes oil and natural gas- shrank, which helped to contribute to the lower numbers.
New Orleans Police say a man is dead after his truck crashed through a fifth or sixth level barracade and window of a parking garage, then fell to the street below. Authorities say it was nothing short of a miracle that nobody else was hurt.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office suspect strong winds associated with a Tuesday storm was a factor in a freak accident that killed a teenager from Opelousas. A large oak tree blew over on top of her car as she was backing out of the driveway, killing 17 year-old Gabrielle Lajack at the scene.
A day after the session ends, Governor Bobby Jindal will reportedly be traveling to attend a prayer rally this weekend in South Carolina. The Charleston reports Jindal is going to participate in their version of “The Response” on Saturday — similar to the prayer rally held at LSU in January.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s office says 4 people described as gangsters have been arrested in the brutal murder of a 15-year-old boy last year. Sheriff Jeff Wiley says 18-year-old Tyrell Williams, 21-year-old Marcus Ester and two juveniles are charged with 1st degree murder in the death of Brandon Augusta. He believes all 5 were under the influence of synthetic marijuana when a fight took place
The LSU baseball team leaves for Omaha today and the fans won’t be far behind as preparations begin for the Tigers 17th College World Series appearance. LSU will play TCU on Sunday at 2pm. There are four SEC teams going to the CWS this year all bringing huge fan bases.