News for Wednesday 092315
By Dave Graichen
Today is the deadline to register to vote for the upcoming gubernatorial election. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the easiest way to register or make changes to your registration is to go online at Geaux Vote dot com. Schedler says we have more than 600 statewide elections coming up and hopes more people will get involved, as we only have a few weeks left.
Alexandria residents could be seeing a change in their utility bills in the not too distant future. Members of the Utility Committee meet yesterday to discuss the matter. The Mayor saying it appears the recommendation will be to actually lower the electricity rates. That’s good news and something you don’t see very often. On the down side, other utilities such as gas, water and wastewater, could see their rates go up. The matter is expected to get a comprehensive hearing from the council before any changes are made.
Today marks the first day of fall and hopefully that means we’ll start to feel cooler temperatures in Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says we can expect normal temperatures for the next three months and we’ll also be getting some relief to the dry conditions across the state with higher than average rainfall. Keim says Louisiana will be cooling down shortly with the arrival of cold fronts.
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control found in a state-by-state analysis that Louisiana had the fourth highest adult obesity rate in the nation in 2014. The numbers show that the obesity rate here is at almost 35%, up from 23 percent in 2000. Arkansas has the highest adult obesity rate at 36 percent, while Colorado has the lowest at 21 percent.
The Council for a Better Louisiana has released its 2015 Election Agenda. Its recommendations on roads, education, and health care for the next governor and legislature. CABL President Barry Erwin hopes the next governor looks at raising the gas tax in an effort to increase investment in highway infrastructure. CABL’s agenda also supports Medicaid expansion and a cap on TOPS.
The Jefferson Parish Republican Executive Committee has decided to endorse Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser for Lt. Governor over their own Jefferson Parish President John Young. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says this is a big win for Nungesser. He says it clearly shows that Young has issues with his fellow Republicans in his home parish. The group also endorses Republican David Vitter for governor but Dubos says it was only by one vote in a runoff with Jay Dardenne.
The four main candidates for governor were asked about the possibility of raising the minimum wage during a forum in Baton Rouge. Republican David Vitter was absent, but fellow GOP candidate Jay Dardenne doesn’t think increasing the minimum pay is the answer. Republican Scott Angelle agrees. Democrat John Bel Edwards supports raising the wages of the state’s lowest paid workers.
A state judge has thrown out a 1997 constitutional amendment that prohibits convicted felons from running for public office in Louisiana until 15 years after their prison sentence is completed. The case involves former state senator Derrick Shepherd, who spent 37 months in prison and is seeking a state House seat this fall. Judge Wilson Fields agreed with Shepherd’s attorneys who said the language on the ballot in 1997 did not match-up with what the legislature passed. This same constitutional amendment kept former Governor Edwin Edwards from qualifying for this year’s governor’s race.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says a Lake Charles man is under arrest for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and raping her. They say 37-year-old Joshua Duplechin broke a bedroom window of the residence then once inside, threatened the victim and raped her. He is charged with home invasion and second-degree rape with a $250,000 bond.
The Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case of a 1 year old child who was discovered wandering Holly Beach alone, while her parents were jogging naked 4 miles away. Sheriff Ron Johnson says child protection services was called to assist in this case and the two parents, 32-year-old Cody Bourgeois and 35-year-old Monique Bourgeois are charged with child desertion and obscenity. Johnson says he’s not sure why the parents left the baby and started running with no clothes on but they believe drugs are involved.