News for Wednesday 091615
By Dave Graichen
An annual study released yesterday by The Violence Policy Center says Louisiana ranks number 4 in the nation in the rate of women who are murdered by men. The report indicates our state has ranked among the top 10 states in this category for a fifth year in a row. The study shows that nationwide, 94-percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and the most common weapon used was a gun.
Higher education here in central Louisiana seems to be attracting more students. Louisiana State University of Alexandria says this fall they’ve reached the highest enrollment in school history, with 3,104 students. They say it’s a nearly 15 percent increase over fall last year and a 39% jump from 2013.
The second Republican presidential candidate debate is tonight on CNN and once again Governor Bobby Jindal finds himself on the outside looking in. Low poll numbers are keeping Jindal out of the prime time debate, but he will appear in the undercard debate beginning at 5PM. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says this is a real blow to Jindal. He says only political junkies will be paying attention to the undercard debate which makes it difficult for Jindal to jump out of the group.
Republican lawmakers appeared before a Congressional hearing in New Orleans to criticize the Obama administration’s intent to toughen standards for offshore drilling. GOP Senator Bill Cassidy says federal policies leave over 63 million acres in the Gulf unavailable for oil and gas production. He says it’s time for America to be energy independent and it’s vital for the federal government to ease regulations so that oil and gas production in the Gulf can continue to grow…
Republican gubernatorial candidate David Vitter keeps trying to avoid questions about his cloudy past, but they keep coming. During a forum Monday night in which just he and Republican Jay Dardenne were present, each were asked if they’ve ever violated any state laws. Dardenne responded no, and Vitter called the question a “gotcha” inquiry which was specifically targeted at him. Vitter says he’s already addressed his past and said he doesn’t appreciate questions planted on behalf of opponents. The forum was hosted by the Alliance for Good Government.
A Plaquemines Parish mother has admitted in court that she used a large amount of hand sanitizer to kill her 17-month old son, who was a Down Syndrome child. Erika Wigstorm entered a plea of guilty to Manslaughter and was sentenced to 40 years without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. The child died in January of 2014.
State Police Col. Mike Edmonson believes your Louisiana driver’s license will be a sufficient enough ID to board a plane in Louisiana after January 1st, even though there are concerns travelers may need another form of picture ID because the state is not in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Edmonson says there is no current indication from the federal government that a regular license isn’t enough. Heath Allen, executive director of Lake Charles regional Airport, told a Lake Charles TV station that Louisiana travelers will be required to have a passport or another form of federal identification in 2016. But Edmonson says that’s not the case right now.
In southwest Louisiana, the Sulphur Police and Fire Department are applying “In God We Trust” decals to their vehicles. Local business leaders are funding the stickers, but there are some who are not happy about this. Police Chief Lewis Coats says he’s trying to bring some positive into a negative world. Coats says the officers are eager to display the “In God We Trust” stickers.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s office has announced that his top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, is resigning as Commissioner of Administration to work in the private sector. They say Stafford Palmieri will replace Nichols as the head of the DOA starting October 15th. The release indicates Nichols is taking a position with Ochsner Health System as Vice President for Government and Corporate Affairs.
An artist out of Leesville, Louisiana created a Christmas ornament to help fundraise for the family of the fallen State Trooper Steven Vincent. Owner of JillyBean Studios, Jill Leonard, says she’s raised more than 26-thousand dollars so far.. She says it’s been difficult keeping up with the huge number of orders she’s receiving. Leonard says the ornament costs 12 dollars and 60 percent of the proceeds go to the wife of Steven Vincent.