News for Thursday 012116
By Dave Graichen
The second former Marksville officer accused in the death of a 6-year-old boy and injuring of his father, is reportedly expected to bond out of prison by week’s end. Apparently the family of 32-year-old Derrick Stafford put up the $1 million dollar property bond, but a paperwork issue is holding things up. Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr, who has already bonded out, are accused of shooting and killing 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and the wounding of his father.
Rain and the possibility of severe weather is expected today across Louisiana as a cold front moves across the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the threat of severe weather is statewide. He says there’s probably no area that’s of any greater risk than any other…
The good news is, the front should move out of the state by Friday. Keim says the front will leave us with a nice weekend ahead, but it will be chilly…
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office reports the human remains found earlier this month near Mansura have been identified as a man reported missing since September. 35 year old Ray Lachney was reported missing by his family in September, but last was reported seen by friends on July 3 of last year. Lachney's stepfather found his remains near Mansura on Jan. 3 while family and friends were searching for him. An investigation is continuing.
Governor John Bel Edwards has offered several options to the state legislature to address the state’s budget crisis. House Majority Leader, Republican Lance Harris of Alexandria, says Republicans will work on their own plan to deal with the fiscal mess in the coming weeks. He says with regards to raising the sales tax by a cent, everything needs to be on the table and it’s too early to form an opinion on the issue. Harris says he appreciates the governor being so candid about the budget numbers.
Governor Edwards met with education leaders Wednesday from around Louisiana to discuss how the budget matters would impact colleges and universities. The administration says they are looking to get input from higher ed leaders about the changes he’s proposed and future steps which could help soften a potentially devastating blow from more midyear budget cuts.
Senate President John Alario says lawmakers are still evaluating the governor’s proposals for fixing Louisiana’s massive budget shortfall. An increase to the state’s sales is one suggestion that’s been put forward by John Bel Edwards. Alario appreciates that the governor has given lawmakers some options. Alario says it’s wait and see to determine if there is enough support of the governor’s proposed tax hikes, which will take a 2/3 vote. He says lawmakers must do their due diligence to see exactly where the state stands.
The current, sharp drop in the price of oil is having an adverse effect on the state’s budget. The price of crude closed at $26.55 a barrel Wednesday, the lowest level since 2003. Louisiana Budget Project Director Jan Moeller says diminishing mineral revenues are doing a real number on the budget. Moeller says not only are shrinking mineral revenues hurting the budget, oil field layoffs are as well. Noble Drilling has announced a layoff of 100 to 120 employees due to the anticipated shutdown of a rig offshore.
National Oilwell Varco, a manufacturer and parts supplier to the oil and gas industry, is shutting down its facility in Houma, Louisiana, and that will put 80 employees out of work.
The declines are also lowering the price at the pump. GasBuddy.com says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $1.66, with some areas in south Louisiana below $1.40.
An app developed in Lake Charles that provides delivery from local restaurants to customers is starting to launch in areas throughout the state. It’s called, “Waitr” (W-A-I-T-R), and for a $5 delivery fee, you can order what you want from participating restaurants who normally don’t bring food to your door. It’s available in Baton Rouge as of this week and later this year is targeted for New Orleans, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.
A 16-year-old boy walking along train tracks in Slidell Wednesday morning apparently didn’t hear an oncoming train that struck and killed him because he was wearing headphones. Slidell police say James Pulsifer was hit by a Norfolk freight train, and the conductor tried to stop and sounded the horn, to no avail.
Some legal experts feel New Orleans Police were too quick to arrest the grandmother whose gun allegedly went off from under her pillow and killed her 3-year-old grandson during the night. NOPD says 43-year-old Deonca Kennedy , who was in a state of shock, did not cooperate with investigators and was charged with negligent homicide and second degree cruelty to a juvenile. Legal analyst Tim Meche says, in New Orleans, having a loaded gun in your home and under your pillow is not uncommon. The investigation is ongoing.
A man continues to recover from a bullet wound after he accidentally shot himself while he was raking leaves. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office says they responded and located 52-year-old Ricky Bolton of Mora suffering from a gunshot wound to his thigh. He told deputies that while he was raking leaves, a .22 Magnum revolver in his pocket discharged and hit him in the upper thigh. He was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A bill filed for the upcoming regular session would prohibit the use of drones from conducting surveillance of correctional facilities and public and private schools. Lake Charles Representative Stephen Dwight proposed the legislation after the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff requested a law to stop the use of drones from flying over his jail. Dwight says the Sheriff wants to ensure inmates cannot plot with friends or family on the outside to escape or smuggle in contraband.
The late West Monroe football coach Don Shows along with baseball star Todd Walker highlight the seven member class that will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame this year. Shows is fourth on Louisiana’s all-time wins list and won eight state titles at West Monroe. Walker was a three-sport star at Airline High School, but baseball was is his main sport and he ended up playing 12 years in the Big Leagues.