News for Friday 102315
By Dave Graichen
The Alexandria City council took the first step yesterday in creating a new winter festival in the city. The council approved a resolution of support and introduced an ordinance that would allow Mayor Jacques Roy to enter into partnerships and spend up to $100,000 to put on the festival. It is not a done deal yet, the ordinance still has to be voted on. That will take place in two weeks.
It was a bit of horseplay that went terribly wrong. An 18-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the August 2014 death of a fellow student at Natchitoches Central High School. Timmy Ray Robinson punched Johnquaries Smith, who was a leader for the school’s football team, in the school’s hallway between classes. Smith fell and hit his head on the concrete floor. He died a short time later. Robinson was 16 at the time of the incident, but was tried as an adult. Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years.
According to analysis from the Center for Public Integrity, Louisiana leads the country in political TV advertising this year at 15.8 million dollars. Jeremy Alford, with lapolitics.com, says Republican David Vitter and a Super PAC supporting him has also spent a lot of money on ads. He says much of them target the other two republican candidates. He says the bad news is that negative ads tend to keep people from voting. Election Day is Saturday.
Governor Bobby Jindal has once again been shut out of the main Republican presidential debate, but has been invited to the lower tier debate just before. CNBC will have the top 10 GOP candidates in primetime at 8pm on October 28th. The undercard debate with Jindal takes place at 6pm.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon believes the debt collection notices sent out by the state Office of Motor Vehicles to Louisiana citizens, who allegedly allowed their auto insurance to lapse, is an attempt by the Jindal administration to plug a hole in the state’s budget. The OMV sent 1.2 million notices notifying residents that they are facing fines for allowing their auto insurance to lapse. Many of the cases happened several years ago.
The Office of Motor Vehicles has extended its hours until 8 p.m. to answer all calls regarding the letters drivers are receiving for not paying fines for expired auto insurance.
Shreveport police say they’ve arrested a 17-year-old for making threats of terrorism towards the students at Byrd High School. Authorities say Donovan Mosley posted a video to “Facebook” that the cvilian population at Byrd should be ready when he arrives on campus with a gun. Mosley was arrested at his home and booked on one count of terrorism.
The Department of Education released additional information Thursday regarding the results from the Common Core exams that third through eighth graders took in the spring. Overall, about 15 to 35 percent of Louisiana students received “mastery” scores on the PARCC exams. In Rapides Parish, the highest percentage of students scoring advanced on any of the tests was sixth graders with 9 percent on the social studies section of the LEAP, which also tested science. PARCC tested English and math. Rapides third- and fourth-graders saw high scores in English, with 34 percent of each of the grades scoring high.
The US Department of Ag and Forestry says 45 parishes in Louisiana are in such horrible drought that farmers and ranchers are eligible for disaster aid. Those qualified have eight months to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
Shreveport police were involved in a shooting in front of a casino Thursday morning. Officers responded to calls from citizens about a man waving a knife at people. Shreveport police says officers demanded that the unidentified suspect drop his weapon, but instead he charged at an officer and was shot multiple times. He died a short time later.
The Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s office says a fourth person has died from the October eighth explosion at the Transcontinental Gas pipeline company in Gibson. Three men died at the scene and two were critically injured. The fourth person to die has been identified as 56-year-old Michael Hill of Paris. Tennessee.