News for Tuesday 110315
By Dave Graichen
Here in Rapides Parish clean up continues after severe weather ripped through the area over the weekend. Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Tommy Carnline says there was a confirmed tornado that touched down in Elmer knocking down powerlines and damaging several homes. He says thankfully nobody was injured but there is plenty of cleaning up to do. There were also reported tornadoes Saturday out of Livingston and Tangipahoa Parish.
22 year old Christopher James Blakeney of Pineville is in hot water after leading police in both Rapides and Grant parishes on two chases in as many days. Blakeney faces a laundry list of charges, including attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Three others also face charges in connection to the incidents.
According to a recent survey by JMC Analytics on the Louisiana governor’s race, Democrat John Bel Edwards is leading Republican David Vitter by 20 percentage points. The WVLA poll shows Edwards ahead of the US Senator 52 percent to 32 percent. The two will face off in a statewide debate on Monday November 16th.
The Voice of the LSU Tigers will miss the first game of his broadcasting career this weekend as No. 4 LSU takes on No. 7 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Jim Hawthorne, who has called every LSU game since 1984, underwent surgery last week and several sources are reporting he could miss the rest of the season. He’s retiring after this year. A spokesman for LSU says Hawthorne’s status the remainder of the season has not been determined.
State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donleon is issuing some reminders to the public, now that the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period is underway. He says during enrollment, which runs November 1st through January 31st, 2016, families that do not receive healthcare through their employers can sign up through the online Health Insurance Marketplace.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s office says Louisiana is ranked as having the 4th best business climate in the nation by Site Selection, which is 2 spots down from the prior year. They say it is the sixth consecutive Top 10 ranking for Louisiana in the annual Site Selection report and reinforces the state’s reputation as a top location for business investment and job creation.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office says an 81-year-old homeowner perished in a residential blaze over the weekend in Claiborne Parish. They say firefighters found the home completely engulfed in flames upon arrival and later the body of Mary Bryant of Homer was located. The investigation into how Bryant died and how the fire started is ongoing.
46 year old Terry Adams Jr. of Tioga has been indicted by A Rapides Parish grand jury has on 50 counts of pornography with juveniles. Adams was originally charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with 100 counts of pornography with juveniles when arrested in September.
The grand jury decided to indict Adams on 50 counts.
The 2015 Louisiana Tax Amnesty program will run November 16th to December 15th. Jared Coniglio (ca-nig-lee-oh), deputy secretary with the Department of Revenue, says this gives people the opportunity to bring their delinquent taxes up to date with lessened interest charges and penalties for 30 days. Coniglio says, in the past two amnesty periods, they collected more than their goals of $150 million in 2013 and $104 million in 2014.
November has just begun and many retailers are already beating the Christmas shopping season drum. Many stores are already setting up Christmas displays and advertising Christmas specials. Dan Rice, LSU Marketing Professor, says it appears stores are starting the Christmas season earlier and earlier each year. Rice says many companies are not just going to have “Black Friday” deals for the holidays. He says some are giving holiday deals that are good for a longer period of time, up to several weeks in some instances.
Another statewide race headed into the November 21st runoff is between incumbent Republican Buddy Caldwell and fellow GOP challenger Jeff Landry for the office of Attorney General. Landry, a former Congressman and Tea Party favorite, says Caldwell is in for a difficult fight because the AG’s office is currently filled with cronyism, nepotism and corruption.
Caldwell has held the position since 2008. He says Landry has never tried a case and is unqualified to be the state’s lawyer.
Only 14 Louisiana House seats remain to be decided in the Nov. 21 runoff election, after another seat was settled when a candidate dropped out of the race. Chad Brown, a Democrat from Plaquemine, won a vacant House seat when his opponent, James Barker of Plaquemine, withdrew from the race.
The University of New Orleans Presidential Search Committee will hold a public forum Nov. 9 to collect input about the characteristics people hope to see in the school’s next president. The forum will begin at 11 a.m. in the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center on the UNO campus. The committee is looking for a successor to President Peter Fos.
LSU is ranked No. 4 in this week’s AP Top 25 and USA Today’s Coaches Top 25. The Tigers received five first place votes in the AP Poll and one in the Coaches Poll. Alabama remained No. 7 in both polls, setting up a top ten matchup in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The LSU and Alabama SEC battle is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m.