News for Thursday 092415
By Dave Graichen
In an unexpected move Vivian Brossett has withdrew from the House District 25 race. In doing so Rep. Lance Harris has been re-elected to his seat. Harris says he plans to stay just as active in meeting with constituents as he would if he were still facing an Oct. 24 election.
A 2 vehicle crash yesterday afternoon claimed the life of a Pitkin man. The crash, that occurred on la hwy 10 involved a ford escape and an 18 wheeler. The car driven by 79 year old Bobby Bunting Sr failed to yield and pulled into the path of the truck. Bunting was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the 18 wheeler received only minor injuries. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration is reportedly telling legislative leaders that Louisiana finished the fiscal year that ended on June 30th with a deficit. It’s not known how large the deficit is and we are expecting more details next month. The four gubernatorial candidates have said they would call a special session in January to deal with the state’s budget problems.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Rita and many remember the destruction it caused only a month after Katrina. Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany recalls the immense flooding and tornadoes that slammed into southwest Louisiana. He says the only fortunate thing that came out of this tragic event was there were no lives lost. He says the recovery proves that after a natural disaster, the people of south Louisiana come back better than before.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is confident that he can play this Sunday against Carolina Panthers. Brees says he’ll put in extra time this week to rehab is bruised shoulder, so he can play against the Panthers. Brees also remains optimistic that the Saints can turn their season around despite two losses to start the year.
Louisiana Tech says its student enrollment is at an all-time high. Over 12-thousand students are enrolled in the fall quarter, a 10 percent increase from last year. Tech spokesman Dave Guerin says a big key to the record enrollment is that 81-percent of first-time, full-time freshman in 2014 are back this year. The school reported earlier this year that its graduation rate is the second highest among all public Louisiana universities.
We’re one month away from Louisiana’s October 24th primary election. For a while, the governor’s race has been lackluster, at best. However, UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says it appears the governor’s race is finally starting to heat up.
Cross says we’re at the point in the campaign where issues and negative politics take hold. He says with all four major gubernatorial candidates running television ads and taking shots at each other, it finally feels like election season.
Governor Bobby Jindal continues to poll in the single digits in Iowa. Public Policy Polling surveyed nearly 500 Republican primary voters last weekend and four-percent said they would like to see Jindal receive the GOP nomination for President. Polling analyst Jim Williams says Jindal’s four-percent standing puts him in the top ten in Iowa. Public Policy Polling continues to see Donald Trump leading the state with 24-percent, Ben Carson is at 17-percent and 13-percent are for Carly Fiorina. He says a positive sign for Jindal is that his favorability rating is 59-percent.
A record number of students have graduated from the state’s technical and community colleges in the 2014-2015 year. Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Dr. Monty Sullivan says they’ve graduated over 21-thousand students, who have entered the workforce or moved on to universities to pursue bachelor’s degrees.
Sullivan says 70 percent of graduates go directly into high demand jobs.
Louisiana Tech reports the highest enrollment it’s ever had for the 125-year history of the school. The headcount is at 12,414 students for the fall quarter, a 10-percent increase over last year. The previous record was just under 12-thousand in 2003. University spokesperson Dave Guerin says they are also seeing an increase in other key areas as well. The school reported earlier this year that’s graduation rate went up four-percent to 54-percent, the second highest among all public universities. Guerin says a big key to the record enrollment is that 81-percent of first-time, full-time freshman in 2014 are back at Tech this year
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office says a 14-year-old student from Boyet Junior high is under arrest on felony battery charges after allegedly shoving a 67-year-old teacher to the ground. They say the altercation apparently started during a disagreement over an assignment and afterwards the juvenile left campus. Deputies found him a few blocks from the school and he was sent to jail.
Two members of actress and beauty queen Ali Landry of Breaux Bridge have reportedly been murdered after being kidnapped earlier this month in Mexico. The online publication Latin Times says Landry’s husband’s father and brother were being held for ransom and the money was delivered, but the pair was never released. Landry is married to director Alejandro Monteverde.
State Police say a DOTD vehicle and a Trooper patrol car were badly damaged when a suspected drunk driver drove through a barricade as cops were working another crash in Gonzales. They say the Trooper vehicle had its lights activated while DOTD was clearing the accident and that’s when 36-year-old Rickey Denny Jr. drove through the scene crashing into both unoccupied vehicles. Nobody was injured. Cops say Denny’s BAC registered nearly three times the legal limit.