News for Friday 061215
By Dave Graichen
The Red River has crested in the Shreveport area and now it’s moving toward Alexandria. Jonathan Brazzell, with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, says residents can expect waters to continue to rise for the next few days. Brazzell says the Red is predicted to crest at 38 feet late Sunday night or early Monday morning and that crest could last a day or so before it begins receding. Brazzell the biggest issue facing residents is backwater flooding and he estimates that about 100 homes are at risk of flooding in the Alexandria area.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has damage assessment teams in northwest Louisiana, gathering information on the amount of damage from the Red River flooding. GOHSEP deputy director Mark Riley says the data is needed in a request for a federal disaster declaration. More than 300 homes were affected in the Shreveport area.
The 2015 Legislative Session is in the books and an agreement was reached on next year’s $24 billion dollar budget that would prevent deep cuts to higher education and health care. One of the ways the House and Senate came together to balance the budget was to agree to a 50 cent increase on the state’s cigarette tax. Tax breaks were also minimized as were business subsidies.
Lawmakers approved the SAVE tax credit, which is needed to prevent Governor Bobby Jindal from vetoing revenue generating bills. Amite Representative John Bel Edwards called the legislation a gimmick and only proposed to help Jindal’s presidential ambitions. The vote was 30-9 in support in the Senate, and 59-43 in the House. The measure essentially paves the way for next fiscal year’s $24 billion dollar budget to be signed by Governor Jindal.
The US House votes to repeal a law requiring country of origin labels on beef, pork, and poultry. Richland Parish Congressman Ralph Abraham says it’s projected that Louisiana could face $1.3 billion dollars in new tariffs on exports if Congress doesn’t pass the legislation, and he says lawmakers in Washington are left with very few choices. The World Trade Organization has ruled that the required labels discriminate against Mexican and Canadian meat imports. Abraham says the regulatory burden put on both countries is leading to them to impose retaliatory tariffs on Louisiana and the US. The measure now heads to the US Senate.
The State House rejected a resolution yesterday that asked Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to drop his appeal of a federal judge’s order to release the last of the Angola three. Albert Woodfox has been in solitary for over 40 years for killing a prison guard, but his last two convictions were overturned. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith says it’s time to drop this. Her fellow lawmakers did not agree.. The resolution failed 65-18
The Central Louisiana Technical Community College's acting chancellor will take on that role permanently after a unanimous selection by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors on Wednesday. Jimmy Sawtelle has served as acting chancellor since early December 2014.
A major story line for this College World Series will be whether we’ll see an increase in home runs in Omaha this year. Last time there were only three long balls. This season college baseball is using a flat-seam ball, but Coach Paul Mainieri still doesn’t expect to see many home runs in the spacious TD Ameritrade Park. LSU is searching for its seventh national championship and first since 2009. Mainieri says the team is ready for a long stay in Omaha