News for Thursday 101515
By Dave Graichen
The 2016-17 Louisiana Economic Outlook report shows the state’s economy will continue to feel the effects of low oil prices, but industrial booms in certain areas will create major job growth. Economist and co-author of the report Dr. Loren Scott says the biggest gains will be seen from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles. Meanwhile Scott says growth in the northern part of the state will remain mostly stagnant over the next couple of years with just a small amount of job losses predicted. He says areas in the oil patch around Houma and the Acadiana region will continue to struggle.
Even though it’s mid-October it will feel like summer again today as high temperatures will be in the 90s across much of Louisiana. Shreveport broke a 134 year-old record when temps reached the mid-90s yesterday. Brandi Hughes, with the National Weather Service, says dry conditions are helping to produce summer like weather. Hughes says it will feel more like fall this weekend as a cold front will knock high temperatures back down to the 70s for much of the state.
Two men died when a twin-engine Cessna crashed at the Hammond airport Wednesday afternoon. The Tangipahoa Parish coroner has confirmed that both of the crash victims are men, but his office has yet to determine their ages or identifications. The small plane had just taken off about 3:45 p.m., probably rising no higher than 200 feet, when it “nose-dived” into the ground and burst into flames.. Authorities say the two men were the only people aboard the plane and no one on the ground was injured.
The head of LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab says were seeing a lot more negative commercials for this governor’s race compared to 2003, which was the last competitive race for governor we had in Louisiana. Michael Henderson says we can expect to see more negative ads as we approach election day and head into a runoff. The four main candidates for governor will be involved in a televised debate tonight.
Meanwhile a new WAFB-TV/Raycom Media poll shows Democrat John Bel Edwards is leading the race with 24% support, Vitter is in second place at 21% and Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle trail with 8% and 7% respectively. However, of the 602 respondents, a whopping 37% percent say they remain undecided on who to vote for governor next Saturday.
An Ascension Parish judge has decided that a 16-year-old accused of murder should be tried as an adult. Authorities say Jacob Westbrook stabbed 18-year-old Todd Toups, who went to a trailer home to give a girl a ride to the St. Amant homecoming dance.
State Ag & Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says they are investigating the cause of wildfires through 6 parishes in north Louisiana which destroyed thousands of acres of land. He says one of the fires was caused by a lightning strike, another caused by a person burning a tree stump, while the others were deliberately set. Strain warns people who commit arson, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Authorities say an LSU student is under arrest on terrorizing charges after allegedly screaming into a CB radio statements about guns and shootings on the top of the student union parking garage. LSU police say they found 21-year-old Richard Aaron Bee of Mandeville wearing camouflage when he was taken into custody. Bail had not been set as of Wednesday.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office says a local comedian has been arrested on counts including identity theft. They say 42-year-old Jennifer Kober, originally from Lake Charles but now living in California, is accused of using a family member’s debit card without permission and stealing her identify to obtain utility services for her current residence. Kober bonded out of jail and promised on her Facebook page that she’d tell the full “hilarious” story at a show next week in Lake Charles.
The Saints look to turn their season around tonight when they host the Atlanta Falcons. The Dirty Birds are undefeated, while New Orleans is 1-4 and rank last in the NFL in total defense.
Louisiana Tech will face on Mississippi State on Saturday. Tech has won three in a row, but head coach Skip Holtz wants to see his defense stop giving up big plays. Holtz says Mississippi State is playing well on offense and defense, but they may excel the most on special teams.