News for Monday 011116
By Dave Graichen
Today is inauguration day and Governor-elect John Bel Edwards will start out today with his family at St. Joseph’s cathedral in Baton Rouge before the ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Richard Carbo, Edwards’ communication director, says the voice of LSU, Jim Hawthorne, will be the master of ceremonies of the inauguration. Carbo says the swearing in will happen right at noon and then Governor Edwards will make his inauguration address on the steps of the Capitol. Carbo believes Edwards will be optimistic about the days ahead for Louisiana in his inauguration speech. He says the governor-elect is going to urge both democrats and republicans to be engaged in the process and contribute ideas to help the state.
So what can we expect from Democrat John Bel Edwards once he is sworn in as governor? Political analyst Clancy Dubos says Edwards plans to immediately expand Medicaid and he is going to call a special session to deal with all the fiscal issues in the state. Dubos says right after the special session ends, Edwards will jump right into a regular session to deal with issues not regarding the budget. He believes the democratic governor will have a fairly easy time with the Senate, but the challenge will be in the House. Dubos says most people of Louisiana want to see more state funding for higher education, healthcare and highways. But he says that will be hard to do, as the state’s budget is in bad shape
The US Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway Sunday morning to alleviate the flood threat of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. This is the 11th time the spillway has been opened since its completion in 1931. The Bonnet Carre diverts Mississippi River waters to Lake Pontchartrain and into the Gulf to protect New Orleans. While the Morganza Spillway protects Baton Rouge in much the same way. The Morganza could be opened as early as Wednesday. But, Corp officials say an issue with opening the Morganza is the impact to the Louisiana black bear population living in the floodway. He says, because of this, a slow opening is planned.
28 year old Lacey Fontenot of Pineville was killed Saturday night in a two vehicle accident just north of Turkey Creek. State police say Fontenot’s vehicle crossed the centerline of highway 165 and struck, head on, a vehicle driven by 29 year old Nickolas Fontenot of Ville Platte. Both drivers were not wearing seatbelts. Nickolas Fontenot received serious injuries, while Lacey Fontenot was pronounced dead at the scene.
A water boil advisory has been issued in the area around Richard Avenue in Alexandria. Water pressure was lost during repairs to an 8-inch water main in the 5600 block of Richard Avenue, and the water in the area might have been compromised. The boil advisory, which will remain in effect until otherwise noted, is for residences and businesses in the area bound by Richard Avenue, Lisa Street, Jeff Davis Drive and Blanche Drive.
The Powerball lottery jackpot continues to grow to an estimated record $1.3 billion by the next drawing pm Wednesday after nobody matched the winning numbers on Saturday.
President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Baton Rouge as president this Thursday, two days after his State of the Union address. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says it’s not uncommon for the president to hit the road after the State of the Union. Hogan believes Mr. Obama will likely praise Democrats for working to get John Bel Edwards elected governor and highlight Edwards’ support of Medicaid expansion.
An Ascension Parish man who was linked by DNA to a murder that took place over 25 years ago, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and second-degree kidnapping charges. 50-year-old Kenneth Lavigne of St. Amant admitted Friday to taking a 38-year-old woman from her home in 1990, and sexually assaulting her before killing her. The case remained cold until officials matched DNA from the victim to Lavigne.
Tulane has now joined four other state colleges in implementing a hoverboard ban on campus. LSU, Nicholls State, Southeastern and UL-Lafayette have also prohibited the self-balancing, 2 wheeled motorized scooters amid reports that they have blow up while charging and cause serious injuries to inexperienced owners.
An LSU professor was arrested and booked on 98 charges including public payroll fraud, theft, forgery and malfeasance in office for allegedly faking travel vouchers in order to obtain funds. 45-year-old Todd Shupe of Baton Rouge is accused of collecting reimbursements by forging multiple students’ signatures in an amount totaling $16,478. Shupe worked at the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center at the LSU AgCenter. He posted $98,000 bond.
What started as a culinary experiment last year has taken on a life of its own as the boudin king cake is quickly becoming one of the most popular pastries to get your hands on during carnival season. Bob Carriker is a UL-Lafayette professor, and he used his food blogging sites, boudinlink.com and kingcaker.com, to introduce his invention to Louisiana. It took off. The boudin king cake uses bread that is savory, stuffed with boudin, topped with Steen’s cane syrup then sprinkled with cracklings. Carriker says people have started calling it the most Cajun food ever.
There’s still three and a half weeks left before national signing day and LSU is in position to reel in the number one football recruiting class. The Tigers have 20 verbal commitments and according to 24-7 sports, LSU has the top ranked class.