News for Monday 070615
By Dave Graichen
Even before officially joining the presidential race, Gov. Bobby, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate Jindal spent far less time in Louisiana than his predecessors. Since announcing June 24 that he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Jindal has been in Louisiana only one day. The governor’s office says He’ll be governing Louisiana by cellphone. So far this year, he has spent four days out of every 10 somewhere other than in Louisiana, which is about the same rate he was gone in 2014.
Gubernatorial candidate Democrat Amite Representative John Bel Edwards begins his first statewide tour today. He’ll be in Amite this afternoon, New Orleans this evening, covers Acadiana tomorrow then continues to hit every corner of the state through Sunday, July 12th. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards needs to get his name out there. The planned tour includes 25 cities across Louisiana as well as impromptu stops across the state.
There will be as many as 7 of 8 BESE board members who will be on the ballot for an upcoming fall election, and the president has yet to decide whether or not he will run. Chas Roemer has been a strong supporter of Common Core, and his decision will loom large for the curriculum’s acceptance in the future. The BESE Board has endorsed the testing in the past, but that could change with those 8 seats up for grabs in the October 24th election.
As the new school year is quickly approaching, The Department of Health and Hospitals is reminding parents to get their children vaccinated as required by law. DHH Immunization Medical Director Dr. Frank Welch says now is the perfect time to prevent diseases like measles, mumps, the flu and whooping cough. Welch says getting updated shots is so important because it protects not only your children from missing school but the community, as well. He says children first entering school need proof they’ve had vaccinations for polio, mumps and measles, hepatitis, chickenpox and diphtheria. When entering middle school, students are required to have the meningitis vaccine and Tdap, once again.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it will use the announced BP settlement money to ensure Louisiana will remain Sportsman’s Paradise for years to come. The agreement means the state will receive at least $6.8 billion for damages associated with the 2010 oil spill. LDWF Secretary Robert Barham says details of the complex settlement will be worked through over the next 60 days.
If you’re planning to take a dip in the water over the summer, DHH is reminding everyone to avoid salt or brackish water – if you have an open wound. The reason is a flesh-eating bacteria. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says there are about 5 to 15 Louisiana cases every year, so if you happen to notice an infected area of your skin after a swim, seek medical attention right away.
A bill which gives protection to victims of domestic violence has been signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal. The bill by Baton Rouge Senator Sharon Weston Broome will help with safe housing for victims, and give landlords the power to evict any abusers.
Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law a bill which will now double the fines for littering in Louisiana. Keep Louisiana Beautiful Executive Director Susan Russell says they support anything that increases the enforcement effort. The new law increases first offense littering from $75 to $150.
As the European Union works to reduce carbon emissions by moving from coal-fired power plants to renewable fuel sources, countries are increasingly looking to the United States’ southern forests for part of the answer. Wood pellet mills are sprouting up across the South, including one in Bastrop, turning trees into fuel that is then shipped overseas. The production of wood pellets, which are then transported from transit centers like the one that recently started operation in Port Allen, rose from 2.8 million tons in 2008 to 19.9 million tons in 2013, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It’s expected that number could get as high as 25.9 million tons by 2020.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler announces a major overhaul of the state’s geauxBIZ-dot-com website. The website was launched in 2009 as a way for people to easily find information necessary to start and maintain a business. Schedler says this upgrade to the site means doing business in Louisiana just got easier. The new website allows business owners to complete the legal steps necessary to start a business in one visit to the site. Schedler says this is all about improving the business climate in the state.