News for Thursday 072315
By Dave Graichen
A plant that has sat idle in Grant Parish will be transformed into a $265 million ammonia plant. A Lithuanian based company is making the investment which will create 85 new direct jobs and generate over 500 construction jobs. The project in Pollock will create 85 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $55,000. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2016 and it’ll take just over two years to complete.
Some scary moments Tuesday in Natchitoches Parish when a private bridge collapsed near Derry. A dump truck loaded with dirt dropped some 20 to 25 feet and landed on it’s roof. The driver of the truck was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The summer heat these days in Louisiana has been brutal. State Climatologist Barry Keim says in Shreveport the last 5 days have had maximum temperatures of 96 degrees or greater, and even 99 on Tuesday. Keim says the cause of these runs of extremely warm weather is a dome of high pressure that’s sitting over the southeastern United States.
Sabine Parish authorities say they are treating the death of an eight month old child as a homicide. Kayla Lewis died Tuesday afternoon and Coroner Ron Rivers says a preliminary autopsy result shows there was blunt force trauma to the child’s face. At this time, no charges have been filed.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, oil and gas jobs in Louisiana continued their decline in June, dropping to the lowest level in almost 10 years. Mining and logging jobs, where many oil and gas jobs are classified, fell by another 300 last month, bringing the total number of jobs lost this year to 6,000. Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute, says these jobs are some of the best jobs in the state. He says the lower price of crude oil is the leading factor.
A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more teenage girls are using the morning after pill. The report indicates about 1 in 5 teens girls have used the morning after pill, when ten years ago it was 1 in 12. Health officials are hopeful the increased use will help reduce Louisiana’s high teen pregnancy rate. However, health officials say the pill should not be used as primary contraception.
Today, Seth Fontenot will be re-sentenced on his manslaughter and aggravated battery conviction in a 2013 shooting that killed 15-year-old Austin Rivault and injured two others. In July, Fontenot was sentenced to 3 years at hard labor with all but 13 months suspended. The state filed a motion for re-sentencing after Judge Ed Rubin handed down his decision. State law prevents a judge from suspending the sentence of someone convicted of a crime of violence. Prosecutors want Judge Rubin to sentence Fontenot to at least 10 years in prison while Fontenot’s attorneys want a lighter sentence of 13 months.
The Tabasco Sauce Factory in Iberia Parish is set to open a new restaurant, museum and expanded tours at their Visitors Center on Avery Island. Vice President of Administration Cecil Hymel says visitors will now be able to see parts of the plant never seen before. Hymel says the new restaurant called “1868″, will open around August 10th and offer a variety of Louisiana foods incorporated with each of the 7 different flavor Tabasco pepper sauces.
Two Alabama men claim they were fired from Turner Industries this week for refusing to remove the Confederate battle flag from their vehicles. Turner, which has corporate headquarters in Baton Rouge, is one of the nation’s largest construction management companies. Phillip Sims told the TV station he doesn’t normally drive to work with the flag on his truck, but he was running late on Monday, and didn’t take the time to remove it. That’s when a supervisor at the Decatur, Ala., plant told him to remove the flag or be fired. He said he refused to remove it, on principle, and was fired. A second employee who asked not to be identified told the station the same thing happened to him. Company officials have refused to comment on the matter.