News for Thursday 011416
By Dave Graichen
Two Calcasieu residents have been arrested after authorities discovered a “sparkler bomb” and drugs in their home. After receiving numerous tips and complaints about meth in the Calcasieu area, agents were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence and served it on Tuesday when the suspects were at home. The RPSO arrested and charged 57 year old Leslie Dubois and 54 year old Janet Dubois. Both were later released on $15,750 bond each.
President Barack Obama speaks this morning at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge where he is expected to talk about health care, jobs and early childhood education. The President will address the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana and the importance of covering working individuals who typically wouldn’t qualify. The visit is part of the President’s annual trip to various cities after he gives the State of the Union Address. This is the 10th time he has visited the Bayou State since becoming President.
There’s expected opposition to Governor John Bel Edwards decision to expand Medicaid access in Louisiana. But the Louisiana AARP applauds the executive order. State Director Denise Bottcher believes Medicaid expansion will go a long way to make Louisiana a healthier state. She believes this will give residents peace of mind that if they get sick they’ll get the health care they deserve without going bankrupt. Dawn Starns, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says they are disappointed in the governor’s decision. She feels there are bigger problems facing the state that should be handled first.
The chair of the Senate Labor Committee says he’s not going to support any measure that would increase the state’s minimum wage. Governor John Bel Edwards reportedly wants to increase the minimum pay in Louisiana by $1 to $8.25 an hour. But Columbia Senator Neil Riser feels $7.25 an hour gives employees a fair starting point. Any bill that would raise Louisiana’s minimum wage would likely come through Riser’s committee.
After taking an aerial tour of from Vidalia to Morgan City, Governor John Bel Edwards is confident the rising Mississippi River will be contained within the state’s levee system. Edwards made stops in Vidalia, Morgan City, and Krotz Springs Wednesday. He says he’s confident the worst case scenario regarding Mississippi River flooding has been avoided.
He praised the work of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana National Guard in keeping the flood threat at bay.
Here we go again.. Louisiana is the worst state in the country according to a report by Politico Magazine. The findings come from factors like education, health, crime and employment. Deputy Editor Margaret Slattery says Louisiana was second to last in 2015. New Hampshire was ranked as the best state by Politico. Slattery says Louisiana often ranks low on lists like this. She says they’re measuring how each state ranks in areas like wealth, health, income equality, and employment to determine which is the best to live in.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to elected Metairie lawyer, Jim Garvey as its new president. There are eight new members on BESE’s 11-member panel. Former BESE President Chas Roemer decided not to seek re-election to the panel.
Senate President John Alario has announced committee assignments and appointments for the start of the 2016-2020 Louisiana Senate. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur will chair the Senate Finance Committee, Revenue & Fiscal Affairs will be led by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell. Parks Senator Fred Mills will chair Senate Health & Welfare and Senator Page Cortez of Lafayette will oversee Senate Transportation. Senator Blade Morrish will chair Senate Education.
Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who was in Louisiana this week, has receieved the endorsement of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. In a video endorsement, Robertson says qualifications for a president include someone who is godly and would kill a duck and put him in a gumbo.
A Denham Springs gas station clerk is under arrest for allegedly selling a dangerous synthetic drug at the store, which caused two high school students to overdose. The owner faces 228 counts of possession with intent to distribute. Denham Springs Police Det. Glenn Lemoine says undercovers went in and bought the drug and later executed a search warrant.
Lemoine says the drug is a liquid known as “Juicy” and it’s ingested through a vaporizer.
A 15-year-old student who allegedly called in a bomb threat to Plaquemine High School has been arrested by the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and booked on two counts of terrorizing. They say a 911 call came in on Tuesday saying a bomb had been placed at the school and classes were cancelled as a precaution. The same thing happened in December and with the help of the FBI, they were able to track the calls to the juvenile who was booked Wednesday.
The Lafayette Police Department has released a copy of Lafayette theater shooter John Russell Houser’s hand written journal. The diary was found in Houser’s Motel 6 room where he was staying before the shooting. Houser killed 2 and injured 9 in the July 2015 shooting, before turning the gun on himself. In the journal, Houser thanks accused South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof.