News for Tuesday 101315
By Dave Graichen
England Authority officials are seeking to have Free Trade Zone status expanded to all of Rapides, Avoyelles and Grant parishes. That could benefit companies that do business internationally, including Revolution Aluminum LLC, which will locate a $2.4 billion aluminum alloy plant at the former International Paper site near Pineville. Jon Grafton, executive director of the England Authority, has asked the Rapides Parish Police Jury to endorse the expansion of Free Trade Zone No. 261 to all three parishes. Approval will also be sought from the police juries in Avoyelles and Grant parishes. The full story in today’s Towntalk.
The State Department of Education has released the Common Core test results from the spring and Superintendent John White says the results are not surprising. The numbers indicate just 22-40 percent of Louisiana students show “mastery” in skills it says are needed.
He says detailed information from the tests will be released in November. BESE will vote today on whether or not Louisiana will adopt the same skill scoring levels as other states, called cut scores.
Legendary Chef Paul Prudhomme was laid to rest Monday in New Orleans. Members of the restaurant business, family and friends all got together at St. Louis Cathedral Monday for the funeral. After the mass, a procession and second line marched from Jackson Square to Prudhomme’s K-Paul’s restaurant. Grave side services were closed to the public.
According to a recent survey, less than half, or to be exact 31%, of African American voters in Louisiana were in favor of removing Confederate monuments. The Clarus Research Group poll was conducted for news organizations. Pollster Ron Faucheux says he expected a larger number of black voters to be in favor of taking the statues down. A sad note to the report, he says voters are more certain about the Confederate monuments issue than they are about the governor’s race.
The Times-Picayune and NOLA.dot com endores Republican David Vitter for governor. NOLA’s editorial staff says Vitter is committed, a resolute chief executive that has a desire to govern and lead on many fronts. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says this is a big deal for Vitter’s campaign, who is facing attacks from the three other candidates and supporting groups. Pinsonat says newspaper endorsements don’t guarantee victory on election day, but it’s definitely a boost.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating the case of a burned vehicle which was discovered in the woods that had human remains inside. Positive identification of the person is pending DNA analysis. The vehicle was badly burned, but cops were able to determine it was a silver Mitsubishi. No arrests have been made in connection with this incident at this time.
With this fall Louisiana air comes the pollen and allergies. LSU Health Sciences Center Professor, Dr. Sanjay Kamboj (KAM-boje), says they are seeing an increase in the number of patients coming in for allergy related illnesses. He says warm temperatures and high humidity levels help increase pollen production.
State Police has issued an update in the case of the missing 6-year-old AMBER Alert Texas child who could be in Louisiana. The little girl, Lexi Johnson, and her alleged abductor, 40-year-old Harvey York Jr of Zwolle, Louisiana, were last seen on Sunday in Houston, Texas. Investigators say the vehicle used by York to drive to Louisiana was located in Sabine Parish. York and the abducted child have NOT been found.
The community in Ascension Parish remains in shock today over the stabbing death of an 18-year-old senior from St. Amant High School, allegedly at the hands of a 16-year-old from Baton Rouge. They say Todd Toups Jr. was visiting a friend in Gonzales, whom he planned to take to the homecoming dance Saturday night, when an argument ensued between he a juvenile male suspect which led to the stabbing. Toups later succumbed to his injuries and the 16-year-old is charged with second degree murder.
State Police is investigating an officer involved shooting in Lake Charles which claimed the life of a male suspect. Sgt. James Anderson says the Lake Charles Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance at a residence early Sunday morning. Anderson says officers saw the suspect, 44-year-old Kevin Lau, standing in the doorway of the house with a gun. Anderson says officers fatally shot Lau after repeatedly asking the man to drop his weapon and after he pointed it at the cops.
The US Supreme Court will hear arguments today from the lawyers of an Angola inmate who is serving a life sentence for murdering a sheriff’s deputy as a teenager in 1963. In 2012, the US Supreme Court banned automatic life sentences for teens. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Louisiana prisoner Henry Montgomery wants the Supreme Court to make that ruling retroactive, so he has a chance at parole. When Montgomery was 17-years-old, he shot Deputy Charles Hurt to death while playing hooky from school.
The four candidates running for Lt. Governor discussed how they would improve the film industry in the state at a forum hosted by the Baton Rouge Press Club. Republican Billy Nungesser says when many people see movies filmed in Louisiana, they’re drawn to visit so we need to make changes to the current film tax credit incentive program to keep filmmakers coming to the state. Republican John Young says before this most recent legislative session, Louisiana was number one in the world for film production. Democrat Kip Holden says it’s time to close the loopholes in the film tax credit incentive program that could lead to fraud and wasteful spending. Republican Elbert Guillory says we shot ourselves in the foot when we made the changes to the film tax credits and we need to cap each movie rather than capping the entire industry
The UL-Lafayette football program is being accused of a major rules violation by the NCAA. The allegations are connected to an academic eligibility issue regarding the ACT scores of several recruits over the past few years. The alleged wrongdoing seems to be centered around former assistant coach David Saunders. UL Lafayette has decided to vacate its victories from the 2011 season.
As LSU prepares to take on fellow top 10 holder Florida on Saturday in Tiger Stadium, we learned today that starting Gator QB Will Grier has been suspended indefinitely. Apparently he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance found in an over the counter supplement he got at GNC. The news comes ahead of a highly anticipated top 10 match-up between NO. 6 LSU and NO. 8 Florida.
The game this Saturday night in Tiger Stadium between No. 6 LSU and No. 8 Florida is one of the most anticipated matchups of the week. Cameron Papp with StubHub says this is the best selling LSU game of the season on their online ticket marketplace. The game in Death Valley kicks off at 6pm and will be televised on ESPN.