News for Wednesday 100715
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana National Guard will be conducting an active shooter, anti-terrorism exercise at Camp Beauregard today. Multiple agencies are joining in the exercise, including Louisiana State Police, Rapides Sheriff’s Office, Pineville Police Department, and Acadian Ambulance. The annual exercise is designed to help deter terrorist incidents, employ countermeasures and mitigate the effects of a terrorist incident.
The Louisiana Congressional Delegation has sent a letter to the US Department of Homeland Security asking for a delay in the state’s compliance to the REAL ID act. Louisiana is one of four states who are not in compliance with the new federal identification standards. Without a REAL ID, Louisiana residents would need a second form of identification, such as a US Passport, to enter federal buildings or pass through airport security. The state legislature passed a bill in 2014 allowing REAL IDs to be issued in Louisiana, but it was vetoed by Governor Jindal.
In a blog on his presidential campaign website, Governor Bobby Jindal says the father of the shooter that killed nine people at an Oregon community college owes us an apology. Jindal says the gunman’s dad is calling for gun control, but Jindal criticizes Ian Mercer for not being more involved in his son’s life.
More than 35,000 of Louisiana's rank-and-file classified employees received their favorable evaluations, but they're not getting their pay raises. Officials at most state government agencies say they don't have the money and would have to lay off employees to grant the 4 percent salary increases. The pay bumps were scheduled to take place Oct. 1, but a majority of the executive branch agencies, along with most colleges and universities, sought and received state Civil Service permission to withhold the extra money.
Officials at the University of South Carolina say it’s possible that the LSU/USC game will not be played in Columbia this weekend and a move to Baton Rouge is not out of the question. The area has been dealing with catastrophic flooding. LSU Sports Information director Michael Bonnette says they are in a wait and see mode.
The state Department of Transportation begins taking public input today on the proposed I-49 Lafayette Connector project. The proposed 5.5 mile stretch of highway would start at I-10 and run through Lafayette. This is a critical piece of roadway needed to connect I-49 to New Orleans. DOTD spokesperson Diedra Druilhet says this is part of their $3 billion “Geaux South” program which will convert approximately 160 miles of the US 90 corridor to I-49 South. The connector would run through downtown Lafayette and continue to Lafayette Regional Airport at a cost of $850 million to construct..
The Attorney General’s Office says a third person has been arrested in connection with a Louisiana based national financial fraud scheme which resulted in the theft of more than $5 million dollars. They say 26-year-old Jessica Clements Batiste faces racketeering charges for her role in helping her then husband carry out the credit repair scam that defrauded hundreds of individuals and banks.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested the Principal and a coach at Beau Chene High School following a disciplinary incident involving a juvenile student. Lt. Clay Higgins says
Principal Anthony James is charged with simple battery and basketball coach Lorenso Williams is charged with cruelty to a juvenile. Higgins says the two men maintain they were attempting discipline and control of the student, but the student had a different story. He says the investigation found probable cause existed for arrest and the two men turned themselves in willingly. They have since been released. Higgins says this is now a matter for the courts to decide.
Louisiana’s very own Bayou Rum is now partnering with the New York-based Stoli Group to nationally distribute their liquor made from sugarcane. Co-founder and President of Louisiana Spirits, the producer of Bayou Rum, Trey Litel says this is really big for their company based in Lacassine because the partnership will help the company expand throughout the country and eventually internationally. The partnership with Stoli Group will begin in January of next year.
McDonald’s is now selling breakfast items 24 hours a day. Officials with the fast-food chain say they came to this decision after listening to customer requests. LSU Marketing Professor Dan Rice says they’re hoping to bring in customers who normally don’t eat lunch or dinner at McDonalds. Rice says the downside, people who usually buy burgers and more expensive items, might be tempted to purchase cheaper breakfast foods.
ULM football team will attend the memorial service this morning of quarterback Daniel Fitzwater who died on Saturday at the age of 20. Warhawks Football Coach Todd Berry says Fitzwater was a great young man and teammate. Berry says an autopsy later this week will determine Fitzwater’s death. He says at this point it appears to be natural causes.