News for Monday 061515
By Dave Graichen
Some scary moments at Mudfest near Colfax early Sunday morning shortly after 1am when Water from the Red River breeched a private levee flooding the area. Deputies from the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office, agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Army National Guard all responded to evacuate people from a small island of land still above the water. According to the state police, by 10 a.m., 113 people had been removed with the help of boats and helicopters. Several vehicles were lost to the flood waters including a cruiser from the sheriff’s department.
The LSU Tigers played their worst game of the season in a 10-3 loss to TCU on Sunday in the College World Series. The Bayou Bengals committed four errors, two of them by starting pitcher Jared Poche, who misfired on two throws to first base in the fourth inning that started the rout for TCU. The loss sends LSU into an elimination game on Tuesday afternoon.
With the legislative session now complete Governor Bobby Jindal said over the weekend he’s glad for what he’s been able to accomplish in the legislature with a balanced budget. The governor does say that he is disappointed that he was unable to repeal the state’s income tax.
Higher education is appreciative lawmakers found enough funding to prevent deep budget cuts to public universities and colleges. But Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says long-term funding for colleges is still not guaranteed. Rallo says even though higher ed avoided significant cuts this year, the amount of state funding going to colleges and universities has decreased substantially during Governor Jindal’s second term in office.
After the death of a 22-month old child in the care of two unlicensed day care workers, the state department of education is now posting a list of unlicensed day care centers on its website. Education Superintendent John White says he will also recommend to BESE to increase funding so that low-income families can afford licensed day care centers. You can find the list at www-dot-louisianabelieves-dot-com under “early childhood”.
It now appears that one of the Louisiana Guardsmen killed in a training mission helicopter crash off the coast of Florida, will be allowed to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Secretary of the Army John McHugh says he approved the exception to the burial of 26 year-old Thomas Florich, who was originally denied because he was officially listed as inactive.
The state legislature passed a measure capping the amount of the state’s film tax credit program at 180-million dollars, but some believe the bill is unconstitutional. Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association President Will French says the legislation doesn’t address the issuing of film tax credits, but the redemption of those credits. He says the problem comes when one film tax credit is honored and another is not. French says it’s unconstitutional for the state to treat tax payers differently and by denying a tax credit that was honored for someone else.
After assessing the Red River flooding in the Shreveport area, US Senator Bill Cassidy says he’ll look into why NOAA’s earlier crest predictions were off. Cassidy says the federal agency’s prediction of a 34-feet crest resulted in an unpleasant surprise when the eventual crest came in at 37-feet. Cassidy says he’ll also push for federal assistance once the request for help is formally made the state level.