News for Friday 092515
By Dave Graichen
Barring any last minute glitches, the demolition of the old OK Allen bridge will go on as planned Saturday morning. The project engineer said Thursday that everything is on track for the demolition to take place. The new Curtis-Coleman Memorial Bridge, which is next to the O.K. Allen Bridge, will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday to accommodate the demolition and subsequent inspection. Boat traffic in that part of the Red River will be halted before the demolition and for 24 to 36 hours afterward. A British TV crew plans to be in town to film the demolition.
A poll paid for by an anti-David Vitter group shows Democrat John Bel Edwards would beat the GOP US Senator by a 50 to 38 percent margin. In the primary, the poll conducted on behalf of GumboPAC, found Edwards with 28 percent, Vitter 27 percent and Republicans Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne with 15 and 14 percent respectively.
The so called “Super Blood Moon” will coincide with a lunar eclipse on Sunday night in a phenomenon that won’t happen again until the year 2033. L-S-U Professor of Astronomy Brad Schaefer says you can see the closest full moon pass through the Earth’s shadow. You can see this marvel from your backyard at about 8 p.m. and the moon will begin to turn blood red at around 9 p.m. He says the moon will be 14 percent bigger and brighter than usual creating a deep red color. LSUA will hold a lunar eclipse viewing party on Sunday, weather permitting.
People are asked to gather in the Mulder Hall parking lot from 8 to 10 p.m. Those who attend should bring their own lawn chairs.
The Attorney General’s Office says they’ve made a second arrest in an elaborate financial fraud scheme that claimed hundreds of stolen social security numbers and millions of dollars. Assistant AG Kurt Wall says the alleged leader of this scam, 24-year-old Donald Batiste of Baton Rouge, is charged with felony racketeering facing 75 years in prison. 64-year-old Brenda Taylor of Carencro is accused of co-conspiring with Batiste.
Another court has once again upheld the ruling that a former state Senator and convicted felon Derrick Shepherd cannot run for a House seat. A constitutional amendment bars convicted felons from seeking public office for 15 years but Shepherd was trying to argue the wording on a technicality. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the disqualification, but says it cannot rule on the constitutionality of the law.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff is the latest to have her car wrecked by the new security system at the State Capitol. Melissa Mann was driving into the parking lot when the steel poles that restrict the entrance came up and crashed into the front of her SUV. This happened to several legislators in the last session after the bollards were installed in April. A reported 14 total incidents.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating two armed robberies connected to false accounts on the dating website “plenty of fish.com.” Capt. Dawn Foret says they caught 4 people who were involved in using a fake profile to trick people into meeting up then robbing them at gunpoint. Two men were charges with armed robbery. Another was charged with online impersonation.
Efforts continue to raise money to build the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center in Lake Charles. Gray Stream is leading the fundraising efforts. He says research will take place at the museum to help better protect Louisiana from future hurricane damage with the goal of collecting information and distribute it to other experts. Supporters of the project have collected 42-million dollars in pledges and they’re still seeking another 15-million.
The East Baton Parish Coroner says a man who died after cops say he tried to attack them and was tased as a result, had overdosed on drugs. They say the 32-year-old Zachary man had a mixture of methamphetamine and synthetic drugs in his system which is what caused his death in June.
Monroe Police say a man suffered only minor injuries Wednesday after being hit by a train. They say the man was wearing headphones while walking on the railroad track and he couldn’t hear the conductor blowing the horn behind him. The train was able to slow down before striking the man. The man was issued a summons for trespassing on railroad tracks.
With the rising popularity of online fantasy football, many fans in Louisiana want to know why they can’t participate for cash. The Sportsman’s Paradise is one of 5 states which makes it a crime to conduct an online sports fantasy business, where money is wagered in order to win a cash prize. A bill was filed in the last legislative session that would have allowed betting on virtual gaming sites but it was pulled.