News for Monday 100515
By Dave Graichen
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s appeal to his conviction on fraud charges is heard in a federal courtroom in New Orleans today. Nagin was convicted on 20 counts last year and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says Nagin is arguing that the jury was incorrectly instructed on laws regarding honest services fraud. He says Nagin’s appeal only covers nine of his 20 convictions.
In a recent poll ranking Louisiana’s six most recent governors, former four-term Governor Edwin Edwards came in at number one among respondents. 31-percent thought “The Cajun Prince” was the best governor, followed by former two-term Governor Mike Foster with 21-percent. Current Governor Bobby Jindal ranked third with 14-percent. But when asked who was the worst governor, 42-percent of respondents picked Jindal.
The public is about to get a look at details of an $18 billion settlement agreement announced in July to resolve years of legal fighting over damage caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
A statement from the U.S. Justice Department says the agreement involving the federal government, five Gulf states and BP Exploration and Production will be filed today. That will be followed by a 60-day public comment period, the next step toward final court approval.
The settlement would end battles over economic and environmental damage caused by the nearly 134-million-gallon (507-million-liter) spill.
New changes are in place for the Powerball multi-state lottery game which will make it more difficult for players to win the grand prize, but more money could be won in other ways. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says the matrix changes will increase the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 and 292 million. Chopin says for players who add the one-dollar power play option, they can now multiply their nonjackpot prize up to ten times.
About 280-thousand dollars has been raised for the 11 victims and the families of the two women killed in July’s Lafayette theater shooting. CEO of Pixus Digital Printing Todd Landry says the company raised the majority of the money by selling signs, t-shirts, car deals. He says he never dreamed they’d have this kind of impact. Landry says even though it’s been a little over two months since the tragedy, they’re still receiving orders.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that an 84-year-old man appears to have drowned near Black Bayou. They believe Sheffield Royer was cast-netting alone when he went into the water. His family began a search when Royer failed to return home. Deputies later found Royer unresponsive in the water. Authorities believe the drowning to be accidental, but the investigation will continue pending the coroner’s examination.
The convicted killer who was accidentally released for prison on September 22 in East Feliciana Parish has been captured in Atlanta. Middle District of Louisiana US Marshal Kevin Harrison says they talked with Marshals in Georgia after getting a tip that 32-year-old Benjuiel Johnson was staying in a Motel 6 outside of Atlanta. He says developed leads after talking to people in Johnson’s hometown in Iberville Parish and determined he had connections in Georgia.
The Department of Children and Family Services announces changes coming to child support direct payment card clients when it comes to paying and receiving money. D-C-F-S Secretary Suzy Sonnier says Louisiana is in the process of moving towards a new stored value card for child support clients. She says this means all clients using the card need to update their address as soon as possible. Sonnier is strongly encouraging her child support clients to start using direct deposit.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees connected with CJ Spiller on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage in overtime to give New Orleans a 26-20 win over the banged up Dallas Cowboys. It was Brees 400th career touchdown pass and it gave New Orleans its first win of the season.
It wasn’t the blowout people were expecting on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. LSU only led by six points halftime and eventually defeated Eastern Michigan 44-22.
For the second straight year, Louisiana Tech easily defeated UL Lafayette. The Bulldogs scored 22 points in the 2nd quarter and went on to win 43-13.