News for Thursday 012815
40% of households in Louisiana are considered in poverty and struggle to afford day-to-day needs, according to a new report by the Louisiana Association of United Ways. President and CEO Sarah Berthelot says these more than 695,000 homes in the state are nicknamed ALICE. ALICE refers to a group of families and individuals who work low-paying jobs and have little or no savings. Berthelot says ALICE families play a critical role in keeping Louisiana’s economic engine running, but they aren’t always sure that they can put food on their own tables. She says the scale of the struggle is alarming.
4-day dog show opens today in Alexandria. The sixth annual Mardi Gras Cluster Dog Show that begins today and runs through Sunday in the Alexandria Riverfront Center.
Judging will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free
A constitutional amendment which bans those with felony convictions from running for state office has been declared invalid by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Derrick Shepherd, a Democrat from Marrero who pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2008, tried to run for a spot in the Louisiana House last fall, but he was stopped because the state doesn’t allow convicted felons to run for office. The Supreme court ruled Wednesday citizens voted on something different than what was enacted by the Legislature.
A Monroe man convicted of two counts of attempted first degree murder on Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, in Ouachita Parish. 29-year-old Luke Jarrod Hust was found guilty December 3rd for shooting LDWF Sgt. Scott Bullitt and shooting at another agent. LDWF officials say they are thankful Hust got the stiffest penalty of life behind bars so he won’t have the chance to commit another violent crime.
Governor John Bel Edwards describes the proposed one cent sales tax increase as a bridge to get the state to a new, more stable tax structure. He says voters will have an opportunity in the future to repeal the tax hike in favor of a new income tax structure. Edwards believes the $750 million dollar budget deficit is so bad that new revenue is necessary to fix it. A special session to address the matter begins February 14th.
The Department of Health and Hospitals submitted two plans to the Division of Administration Wednesday that outline how $131 million in cuts would be spread across the Medicaid program to address the current budget shortfall. They say both options would have a catastrophic impact to those being served and rely on Medicaid, insurance companies who administer the Bayou Health Plan, and hospitals and other providers.
Republican Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness officially announces his bid for Louisiana’s soon to be vacant US Senate seat. Maness placed third in 2014′s US Senate primary election behind incumbent Mary Landrieu and eventual winner Bill Cassidy. He says he joined the field to answer a call by the people of the state. . Maness is a 32-year veteran of the Air Force who has never held political office. He joins four other Republicans who are seeking Senator David Vitter’s seat.
Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s taking over the appeal of a ruling that blocked Louisiana’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. The case is left over from the Jindal administration. Landry says, as AG, he has the Constitutional authority to defend all legal issues in state government. He says it’s in the best interest of taxpayers to protect the integrity of our Medicaid program by pursuing this appeal.
The contained burn chamber that will be used to dispose of 16 million pounds of M6 propellant at Camp Minden is scheduled to arrive at the Part of Natchitoches on February 6th. Col. Pete Schneider with the National Guard says the 400,000 pound container is on the Mississippi River now, but when it heads to Camp Minden it will be loaded onto a vehicle. The burn chamber was constructed in Oklahoma and the only other chamber like it is in Denmark.
New Orleans firefighters had a tough time Yesterday morning battling a major six-alarm blaze that had smoke covering downtown and caused the closure of the famous Canal Street between the CBD and the French Quarter. It started at one building then spread to another. Officials say there were no reports of injuries.
A Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputy has been fired and arrested for allegedly using excessive force on a female inmate. Authorities say video evidence shows 35-year-old Deputy Karleen Leglue was escorting a handcuffed detainee when she grabbed the inmate and forced her head against a concrete wall.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has tapped former state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham to direct Louisiana’s state parks and historic sites. State parks are facing issues like layoffs, pool closures, and deferred maintenance, while some historic sites are closed with no plans to reopen.
A 5-year-old child who sustained life threatening injuries in a West Monroe fire Sunday, has died. The State Fire Marshal’s Office says Prince Halley Owojori passed yesterday morning. His father and mother and 7 month old brother remain on life support but they are not expected to survive. Investigators believe faulty electrical wiring in the attic of their home started the deadly blaze.
The man accused of shooting a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy while serving a warrant during a federal task force has been officially charged. Jarvis Hardy is booked with attempted murder and attempted murder and assault of a federal officer. Deputy Steven Arnold was shot five times and remains in critical condition.