News for Friday 100215
By Dave Graichen
A two vehicle crash yesterday afternoon in Concordia Parish claimed the lives of three people. Two of whom were teenagers from Vidalia. Troopers say the driver of a loaded logging truck, 28 year old Mark Gordon of Jonesville, lost control, crossed the center line and hit a pickup killing three of it’s four passengers. 49 year old Richard Stewart, 17 year old Vera and 15 year old George Stewart. Troopers say none of three were wearing seatbelts. The lone survivor, 51 Year old Sheila Smith, who was wearing a seatbelt, received moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The driver of the logging truck was not injured.
The APD reports a woman was killed late Wednesday night when she was struck by a vehicle. An investigation found that a vehicle traveling south on MacArthur Drive had exited onto Coliseum Boulevard and hit the woman as she tried to cross that exit lane. No charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle. The name of the woman has been withheld pending notification of family members.
In last night’s gubernatorial debate hosted by WDSU-TV in New Orleans, each of the four major candidates took shots at each other on a couple of different subjects. On the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood, Republican David Vitter criticized both Democrat John Bel Edwards and fellow Republican Jay Dardenne. In reference to Edwards, Vitter equates his support of President Obama to support for Planned Parenthood. Vitter supports defunding the organization. Edwards says while he supports the Commander in Chief, he does have issues with many positions taken by the President. On the same topic, Vitter called out Dardenne claiming that the Lt. Governor voted in favor of abortion six times. In response, Dardenne called Vitter a liar. On the topic of Common Core, Republican Scott Angelle took the opportunity slam Vitter’s inconsistency on the issue.
A recent poll of Louisiana voters on the presidential race shows Governor Bobby Jindal receiving only three-percent support from state Republicans. The poll, conducted by Clarus Research, shows Ben Carson leading the Republican field with 23-percent.
State Treasurer John Kennedy announces that audits of life insurance company policies have found $35 million that should have been paid to Louisiana residents. Kennedy says when a life insurance company learns of a policy holders death, they should actively seek out the beneficiaries and heirs of that person. Kennedy says, so far this year, claimants have received $2.6 million from these life insurance policy audits.
Investigators have discovered that the Eunice mother who shot her two children then took her own life, while also setting her home on fire, purchased a hand gun nine days before the double murder suicide. Deputy Chief with the state Fire Marshal’s Office Brant Thompson says the mother, 39-year-old Carla Watford, carefully planned out this murder and legally purchased the .38-caliber hand gun along with 50 rounds of ammunition.
This September will go down as one of the driest for north Louisiana, according to records from the National Weather Service. Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford says Shreveport Regional Airport recorded only 0.07 inches of rain during the entire month, which just surpassed the previous record set in 1994. Hansford says the drought has caused burn bans to be put in place for almost every parish in north Louisiana.
A well known Louisiana tradition kicks off this weekend as the 2015 Angola Prison Rodeo gets underway. The annual event runs every Sunday in October at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Warden Burl Cain says this is an event the entire family can enjoy. He says, in addition to the rodeo, there are arts and crafts, food, and events the kids will enjoy. Tickets are just $15 each and can be purchased online at angolarodeo-dot-com. The event draws more than 70,000 spectators to the prison annually.
Analysts have been telling us that gas prices would drop during the fall, but according to the American Automobile Association the statewide average price for a regular gallon of gasoline has gone up a few pennies over the week to $2.03. Triple-A Fuel Analyst Don Redman says prices are leveling off now that refineries are transitioning into the winter blend of gasoline. Redman still predicts gas prices to drop to about $1.80 per gallon in December.
The Department of Children and Family Services announces changes to the food assistance program to encourage able-bodied recipients without children to move into the workforce. Secretary Suzy Sonnier says now, able-bodied adults without dependents must work at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in a federally-approved job training program to qualify for SNAP benefits. She says there are approximately 62,000 able-bodied SNAP recipients in the state with no dependents.
A man who owns a movie making business in Mandeville is sentenced to six months in jail for cheating the state’s film tax credit program. 38-year-old Daniel Garcia pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Authorities caught Garcia writing $3 million dollars in canceled checks to create fraudulent documents indicating the money was for a movie, so that he could collect $900,000 in film tax credits.
A grand jury has indicted a Lafayette woman on a second degree murder charge in the death of her newborn baby whose body was discovered 14 years later in a storage unit. 57-year-old Rebecca Landry was arrested in June after a renter discovered the corpse after the storage unit was auctioned off. Authorities say Landry claims she was suffering from alcoholism when she gave birth to the baby in secret. When the child died a few days later, she hid the body. If convicted, Landry faces a mandatory life sentence.
The Saints are 0-3 heading into Sunday night’s game with Dallas. But Coach Sean Payton says no one has their head down or is feeling sorry for themselves. The Saints seem optimistic that Quarterback Drew Brees will return to the field this Sunday after missing last week’s loss to Carolina. Payton says Brees and the rest of the team are working hard and hopefully it results in a win against the Cowboys.
The LSU Tigers are big favorites to beat Eastern Michigan on Saturday night. Coach Les Miles says he wants to see a penalty free game after his team was flagged 14 times last weekend.