News for Tuesday 072115
By Dave Graichen
According to a report from the Annie E Casey Foundation, more children in Louisiana are living in poverty than during the Great Recession. The 2015 Kids Count Data Book shows 28% of children here are living in disadvantaged families, up from 25% in 2008. Anthony Recasner, CEO of Agenda for Children, says the same report indicates the percentage of children without health insurance is going down and the percentage of high school kids graduating on time is going up. But Recasner says Louisiana ranks 48th overall for child well-being.
We’re seeing gas prices at the pump continue to fall in Louisiana. Gregg Laskosi with GasBuddy.com says this is great news for consumers right now because the statewide average is now $2.48 per gallon for regular gasoline, a 4 cent drop since last week. Laskosi says we’re already seeing stations in the state with prices as low as $2.14. He expects prices per gallon in September to be under two dollars and drop even more throughout the winter months.
US Senator David Vitter announces he has raised $1.3 million in the second quarter and has more than $5 million in cash on hand for his gubernatorial campaign. The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a political action committee supporting Vitter, also announces they have more than $4 million available. The other gubernatorial candidates have yet to announce their second quarter fundraising totals.
A new survey of likely Iowa caucus goers shows Governor Bobby Jindal is gaining momentum. The Monmouth University poll gives Jindal a 59 percent favorable rating, 5th highest among Republican presidential candidates and 4 percent of the respondents said they would support Jindal if the presidential caucus was held today. Radio Iowa News Director Kay Henderson says many people are responding warmly to Jindal on his “Believe Again Tour.” Just yesterday a Fox News poll showed the governor with less than 1% of the vote.
LSU’s Athletic Department announces they’ve transferred ten million dollars over to the main campus, which will be used on academic and research initiatives. That’s about three million dollars more than what university leaders were expecting. Going forward, the athletic department has agreed to give the university at least seven-point two million dollars every year.
A letter written by Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is asking President Obama and the Louisiana Congressional delegation to include Monroe and the Louisiana Delta in the ConnectHome program-which provided free or low-cost high-speed internet to low income families. Campbell says–per capita–the Monroe area has the poorest people living in the US.
State Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle responsible for hitting a teenager on the side of the road in Albany. The 14-year-old was last reported to be in critical condition. Trooper Bryan Lee says the suspect vehicle was trying to pass another one when it struck the teen in Livingston Parish. State Police is asking the public for assistance in locating the pickup truck.
The Shreveport Police Department says a 10-year-old boy who is believed to have accidentally shot himself last week has died. Corporal Marcus Hines says the child gained access to the gun in his home on July 17th. Hines says the matter is under investigation but at this point it appears the incident is a tragic accident.
A former teacher and basketball coach from Elton High School in Jefferson Davis Parish was sentenced to 7 years in prison today with credit for time served. 36-year-old Justin Fruge pleaded guilty to one count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in March following his January arrest. Fruge was facing numerous charges of sexual misconduct, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge after parents of the victims requested the charges be reduced so the juveniles wouldn’t have to testify.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu travels to the Vatican with other mayors, governors, and UN Representatives to meet with Pope Francis to discuss global issues. Topics will range from climate change, human trafficking, and sustainable development. Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says this is part of the Pope’s effort to engage and motivate political and community leaders around the world. The mayor’s office says Landrieu will offer remarks about the challenges New Orleans has faced and how the city has become a model for resilience and sustainability.