News for Thursday 071615
By Dave Graichen
Governor Bobby Jindal is now asking the Inspector General to get involved in an investigation into allegations that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts from aborted fetuses. Jindal has made a request to I-G Stephen Street’s office to investigate whether Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which is currently building an abortion clinic in New Orleans, is involved in the illegal harvesting and trafficking of human body parts.
A group of pro-life Louisiana lawmakers announce plans to craft “Abortion Pill Reversal” legislation for the 2016 session. West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman says the proposal would likely require clinics to make patients aware of the reversal pill. Hoffman says if a woman goes into a clinic and takes the abortion pill, she should be aware that a reversal exists should she change her mind.
A federal jury in Lafayette on Tuesday deliberated about 40 minutes before finding 60 year old Bradley Smith of Ville Platte, guilty of two counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of receiving child pornography. Evidence admitted at trial revealed that law enforcement officials detected Smith using an Internet file sharing program to download child pornography. A forensic examination of his computer turned up a total of 40 movies and 1,100 images of child pornography. Some of the material including very young children. Smith faces up to 30 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Sept. 24.
Gas prices are slowly falling in Louisiana as the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.53. That’s according to the American Automobile Association. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says this is about a nickel cheaper than last month.
The President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has concerns that the Iran nuclear deal will negatively impact oil producers in Louisiana and the United States. Don Briggs says the agreement will allow Iran to export crude oil into an already flooded market. He says with crude oil prices currently in the mid-$50 a barrel range, the addition of Iran’s oil to the marketplace will continue to suppress prices, perhaps for the next two years.
According to financial reports filed Wednesday by federal regulators, Governor Bobby Jindal raised about $579,000 in his first week as a Republican presidential candidate. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says this is not a very strong first step for the governor.
He says $579,000 puts Jindal near the bottom of the Republican field. However, the Washington Examiner reports that Jindal also has almost $9 million in his corner thanks to supportive outside groups like the Believe Again Super PAC and America Next.
An internal investigation finds that Department of Children and Family Services staff members did not violate criminal laws in the case of a 15-year-old Baton Rouge boy found in poor living conditions and weighing only 47 pounds. Family members and lawmakers criticized the state agency for not doing enough to help the special needs child. One of the recommendations in the report calls for legislation that creates a felony offense when a third party misrepresents facts to a DCFS employee during a child protection investigation.
The Steve Gleason Act is heading to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The legislation is named after former Saints player Steve Gleason, who has A-L-S. The measure will make speech generating devices more accessible to people who battle this disease that impacts the brain’s ability to control muscle movement. Gleason pushed this legislation after he learned that Medicare funding for these type of devices was significantly scaled back.
Louisiana Tech announces a record for donations made to LTAC, which is the organization that helps fund the school’s athletic programs. The school says during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, 1.1 million dollars was donated to LTAC and the athletic department received another 1.5 million dollars in unrestricted donations. Previous donations have helped Tech build a 22 million dollar athletic complex, that will open in August.
State Police announce the arrest of nine people for filing fraudulent insurance claims and keeping the money received. Sgt. James Anderson says the Kemper Home Service Group contacted them concerned that some of their employees in the Lake Charles area were filing false claims. A majority of the fake claims were for lightning damage losses to electrical appliances. The fraudulent claims totaled over $55,000. Anderson says the nine arrested face various charges.
It’s the first expansion for Zatarain’s in almost 50 years, and it’s a big one in Gretna, with almost 200 employees on hand to celebrate the completion of construction that has tripled the size of the facility. The 80 thousand square foot growth will have 10 new manufacturing lines by the end of next year.
The New Orleans Police Department says a man with a gun who was allegedly trying to rob a customer at a gas station had the tables turned onto him and was shot by the customer. Cops say the gunman wanted to rob the business and a customer but was stopped when he took a bullet by the customer. The robbery suspect was taken to a hospital and authorities say he will be booked upon release.