News for Wednesday 102815
By Dave Graichen
Officials from the city of Alexandria and the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will discuss plans today for an upcoming Christmas festival. Last week, the Alexandria City Council voted to support the festival and to authorize Mayor Jacques Roy to spend up to $100,000 for planning. City officials said contributions from the private sector are expected to reduce the city’s expenditure considerably. The festival is tentatively set for Dec. 3-5.
Drive-through flu shots available at the Rapides Parish Health Unit on Coliseum Blvd. this Friday from 8a to 3p. Participants should bring insurance information, including Medicare/ Medicaid cards. Those without insurance may be asked to pay a maximum $10 fee.
Louisiana public school students ranged from 43rd to 49th nationally in reading and math in the latest installment of the nation’s report card, which was released late Tuesday night. The results show that fourth-graders were ranked 43rd nationally in reading, an improvement over 47th in 2013 and 50th in 2009. Fourth-graders finished 45th in the nation in math, an improvement over 49th two years ago. Eighth-graders were 48th in reading, the same as 2013, and 49th in math, down a spot from 48th two years ago.
The US Guard says they are investigating a report of a debris field off the coast of Mississippi in connection with a missing aircraft which is believed to have a Louisiana man on board. They say there were three people on the plane which has not been on radar since 12:30 Monday. The Coast Guard was notified Monday night and several agencies are assisting in the search. The flight reportedly first picked up a man in Ruston.
The presidential GOP hopefuls will participate in a debate hosted by CNBC tonight and again Governor Bobby Jindal will not be on the main stage. Instead, Jindal and three others will participate in an undercard debate at 5 PM. Jindal’s campaign argued he should be included in the main debate, because recent poll numbers from Iowa, the first primary state, showed he was gaining support. The governor even threatened to skip the CNBC debate, but after thinking about it, Jindal will attend. In the national polls, Jindal is not performing well.
A teen from Hammond has been arrested for allegedly posting a cartoon on online Monday night which contained a threatening to area schools. Cops say the image depicted a character with a gun saying if would be best if you don’t go to school in Hammond the next day. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards says there was no credibility to the threat and the teen is charged with terrorizing.
The Louisiana governor’s November 21st runoff has already started getting nasty just a few days after the primary. Republican David Vitter is tying Democrat John Bel Edwards to President Obama’s policies and Edwards is running spots calling Vitter dishonest. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says not only will the two candidates be throwing barbs at each other with commercials, so will outside groups, which could make it tough on TV viewers. He says the negativity is in full swing.
The Department of Children and Family Services is starting a statewide campaign to recruit more, desperately needed foster parents. Secretary Suzy Sonnier says fostering is a temporary situation with a permanent impact. Sonnier says there is a critical need for foster homes, with over 300 children entering the system every month. She says with the shortage of homes available, in many cases, siblings are separated from each other. Currently there are about 48-hundred children in foster care in the state.
According to a report by InsuranceQuotes.com, even though Louisiana has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, we have the largest savings for bundling home and auto insurance. The numbers indicate drivers here are padding their wallets with an extra $548 on average when car and homeowner’s insurance is from the same company. The national bundling savings is $295.00
Slidell police say they are trying to determine who killed a family dog by placing a bag around its head. The deceased canine was found inside a home and it appears someone broke into the residence to kill the dog. Authorities say the homeowner recently received social media threats from an individual and had his property vandalized prior to the dog’s death.
The heavy rainfall and strong winds we saw this past weekend has created some headaches for sugarcane farmers as they harvest their crop. LSU Ag Center sugarcane specialist, Kenneth Gravois, says the wet harvesting conditions make it more difficult and costly for the farmers and also slick roads cause problems as the crops head to the mills.
The Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued emergency suspensions of five strip clubs on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter after they discovered prostitution and drug activity. They say the action follows a month-long investigation called Operation Trick or Treat. State Police assisted in the investigation and uncovered prostitution, drugs, and lewd and improper acts at the strip clubs. They say at least 7 other businesses are facing charges.