News for Tuesday 012615
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards inherited fresh pay raises for employees at four departments that were granted by former Governor Bobby Jindal “at the 11th hour,” even though the state faces a $750 million dollar deficit. LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford, who first reported the news, says these pay raises add up to at least $19 million for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.
Natchitoches Parish Officials report one man has died and a woman was critically in what may have been an attempted murder suicide. A neighbor contacted the Sheriff’s office Monday morning and shortly later deputies found the couple in the master bedroom of the home, both suffering from gunshot wounds. The 23 year old man was pronounced dead at the scene, while the 30 year old woman was in critical condition. According to authorities there were no signs of forced entry into the residence and a handgun was found at the scene.
Bad electrical work in the attic of a West Monroe duplex is what investigators believe started a fire that left a family of 4 all on life support. The parents, including a pregnant mother, were in their mid 20s and had a 5-year-old and a 7 month old, all are in critical condition. Brant Thompson with the State fire Marshal’s office said the home had no working smoke alarms.
The investigation into the fire is ongoing.
LSU says if they take a 65-million dollar budget cut, it will mean the laying off of faculty and raising student fees. President and Chancellor F. King Alexander said they were told to prepare scenarios for a 32% budget cut to its statewide operations, and the reductions would be devastating. If the legislature doesn’t intervene in the upcoming legislative session on other ways to fill the budget hole, higher ed was told the state would have to cut $131 million from the state’s colleges and universities.
People who were sentenced to life for crimes they committed as juveniles now must be given the chance at parole. The US Supreme court ruled on a case out of Baton Rouge today. Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says Henry Montgomery, convicted at 17 in 1963, will now get his case back in Louisiana and likely before a parole board hearing.
The Army Corps of Engineers have begun closing the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The process started today, will end in February when the final pins are put back in place. The spillway was opened January 10th to help divert water out of the swollen Mississippi River and into Lake Pontchartain.
Former New Roads Mayor Tommy Nelson Jr.’s 10year prison stint stemming from his convictions in an FBI sting will stand after a federal appellate court found no problems with the judge’s sentence. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Friday.
The sting also netted the convictions of ex-St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace, former White Castle Mayor Maurice Brown, ex-Port Allen Mayor Derek Lewis and other area municipal officials
A LaPlace man who allegedly failed to render aid to his 90-year-old grandmother as she laid on the floor is charged with negligent homicide in her death. The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office says 33-year-old Neil Oberoi admitted he saw his grandmother on the floor Friday evening and she was calling for help, but he ignored her pleas. Several hours later he called 911 to report his grandmother was not waking up, and she was pronounced dead on arrival. Oberoi is also booked with cruelty to the infirmed.
The Barksdale Air Force Base airman fatally stabbed during a fight at a Bossier City night club is identified as 34-year-old Technical Sergeant Zechariah Casagranda. Bossier City PD spokesman Mark Natale says 21-year-old Benjamin William Shaw of Killeen, Texas is charged with second degree murder.
Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says Louisiana will no longer use an online booking portal that state employees were required to use under the Jindal administration. Dardenne said, as Lt. Governor, he opposed the use of HotelPlanner.com because it was an out of state booking company and didn’t produce budget savings. Dardenne says state workers should be able to choose an option that is the least expensive and most convenient.
The wife of the late New Orleans chef Paul Pruhomme has donated about 600 personal cookbooks to a museum in The Big Easy which is dedicated to southern cuisine. The Southern Food & Beverage Museum says the donation also includes Pruhomme’s wine and food documents and books on food science.
LSU got first place in a competition to see which college could gather the most recycled trash during a home football game in the 2015 season. In the GameDay Recycling challenge, LSU led the nation with 86,400 pounds total recycling. Campus Sustainability manager Sarah Temple says taking part in this challenge builds on the goal of reaching 50% recycling rate a month.
A Haughton woman has been arrested for abusing her 72-year-old wheel chair bound mother. Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Spokesperson, Lt. Bill Davis, says 43-year-old Belinda Roberts was a caregiver for her mother and abused her in various ways because her mother refused to give Belinda her prescription medicine. Davis says Roberts is charged with cruelty to the infirmed, domestic abuse battery with strangulation, aggravated battery, robbery, and possession of drugs.
The LSU men’s basketball team finishes off the month of January with two home games, starting with tonight’s match-up against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers are 5-2 in the SEC, while Georgia is 4-3. After tonight’s game, LSU will host number one ranked Oklahoma on Saturday in the PMAC.