News for Thursday 070215
By Dave Graichen
A Justice of the Peace in Grant Parish has resigned because her religion does not believe same-sex couples should be married. Patricia Gunter took the position in February, knowing she would resign if this came into law. Gunter says she decided to leave because she would no longer be able to perform the duties of the job due to her religious beliefs.
Retired Gen. Russel Honore' said Wednesday he won't run for governor of Louisiana, leaving the field likely set for the fall race. Honore's decision leaves three Republicans, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and U.S. Sen. David Vitter and lone Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards as the only announced candidates for the Oct. 24 race.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the Supreme Court decision which allows same sex couples to be married will be a fairly easy transition on the insurance, since Louisiana changed the law to accommodate groups providing coverage, to offer insurance benefits for domestic partners. The only thing left to adjust is the paperwork.
The Bunkie Record reported Wednesday, An industrial project that was expected to transform the economy of Avoyelles Parish looks to be in serious doubt. Gulf Coast Spinning Company, which was expected to build a cotton spinning plant that would employ more than 300 people at the Bunkie Industrial Park, is now, according to several sources, considering another site. Construction at the industrial park halted several months ago, and according to the report in the Record, the company is planning on moving Phase I of the project to a vacant General Motors plant in Shreveport, with a potential Phase II in Bunkie down the line if the initial phase goes well.
On a positive note, Plastipak Packaging has announced a $9 million expansion that will add 20 jobs to its manufacturing facility in Pineville. The Pineville plant, which was built in 2003 and supplies the nearby Procter & Gamble mill, already employs 205 people. Work will begin this fall and will be completed by March of next year.
The Louisiana Chemical Association filed a lawsuit challenging a measure passed in the last session which would impose a 1 percent sales tax on business utilities and natural gas. HCR 8 is a temporary suspension of a 1 cent sales tax exemption on services expected to hit chemical plants hardest. The measure, which went into effect Wednesday, raises more than 100 million dollars and was enacted to balance the state’s budget.
As many travelers hit the road today, they’ll be seeing the lowest gas prices for the Independence Day holiday in years. Gregg Laskoski with GasBuddy.com says when drivers pull up to the pump, they’ll be paying about 95 cents a gallon less than last year. Laskoski says we’ll see a steady decrease from now until the end of the summer as long as we are without any weather event that could disrupt the pattern. He says the prices are going down because of the decline in the of crude oil.
After getting some backing from Britney Spears mom, Lynne, gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards is offering a rather entertaining incentive for people to contribute $50 to his campaign. By doing that, supporters are entered to win a trip for two to Las Vegas for the Britney Spears concert at Planet Hollywood; including airfare, hotel and backstage passes. The winner will be announced September 8.
A recent CNN presidential poll shows that Governor Bobby Jindal’s popularity has risen since he formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. The survey shows the governor going from one-percent to two-percent, with Jindal ranked 12th out of the 14 announced Republican candidates. Before you get excited, keep in mind the margin of error is + or – 5%.
First, it was a cancellation by NBC, now the Donald Trump fall-out continues following his derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants. Rapper Flo Rida (flow RIDE duh), and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will not be attending the Miss USA Pageant in Baton Rouge July 12th. Macy’s Department Stores have also cut ties with the billionaire, and his menswear clothing line.
Star forward Anthony Davis has verbally agreed to a $145 million dollar contract with the New Orleans Pelicans’ over five years. The deal goes into effect for the 2016-2017 season.