News for Monday 020116
By Dave Graichen
A 19 year old Natchitoches Parish man, 18-year-old Dylan Kyle Poche, is dead after being stabbed Saturday night at Sibley Lake boat launch in the Oak Grove community near Natchitoches. Authorities say a suspect is in custody and are asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information is asked to call the Natchitoches parish sheriff’s department.
Governor John Bel Edwards argues against those who say he is breaking a campaign promise by proposing to raise taxes to address Louisiana’s massive budget shortfall. Edwards says the proposals he’s made are different than talked about during the election, because the facts are different. He also says these proposals are not what he wanted, but necessary. State Treasurer John Kennedy has said there is no need to raise taxes to balance the budget, but Edwards says Kennedy is trying to boost his US Senate campaign.
The presidential race kicks up a notch today with the Iowa Caucus, the first electoral event in the 2016 presidential race. Many candidates who have won the Iowa Caucus, went on to win their party’s nomination. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley thinks it will be a tight race in the Republican caucus between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Eight of the last 10 Republican presidential nominees placed first or second in the Iowa Caucus. Louisiana’s presidential primary is March 5th. On the Democratic side, Stockley says Hillary Clinton is in an unexpected dogfight with Bernie Sanders. Stockley predicts Clinton will pull out a close victory in Iowa.
Former Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub is back in state government. Governor John Bel Edwards has appointed Ieyoub as the state’s Commissioner of Conservation. He’s in charge of conserving and regulating oil, gas and lignite resources in the state. Ieyoub served as A-G from 1992 to 2004.
The LSU Board of Supervisors is changing the rules so they can build a statue of former LSU star Pete Maravich. Since “Pistol Pete” never graduated college, the school can’t move forward to put a life-size statue next to the building that’s named after him. LSU board member Stephen Perry says it’s time to do what they should have done a long time ago. Maravich still holds the NCAA record for most points scored in college basketball.
A Montegut man has stepped up and claimed a $1 million Powerball prize just days before the winning ticket was set to expire. 53-year-old Laine Aucoin’s winning ticket matched all five white ball numbers in the August 5, 2015 drawing. After federal and state taxes were withheld, Aucoin took home $700,000. That winning ticket would have expired yesterday tomorrow.
The Mardi Gras parade season has arrived and law enforcement is putting more officers on the roads as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director, Lt. Col John Leblanc, says law enforcement increases its presence on the roads during the times of the year when fatal crashes are most prevalent.
Last year, there were were nearly 600 fatal and injury crashes and 10 fatalities during the Mardi Gras holiday, and more than half of those deaths involved alcohol.
Major changes are coming to the LHSAA after member principals voted to expand the select–nonselect championships to basketball, baseball and softball, starting with the 2016-17 school year. 40-percent of the schools are opposed to this move. But LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine says a majority of the association is pleased with what happened. Friday’s vote will create 12 champions in basketball, baseball and softball, seven on the nonselect side and five on the select side. Where these additional championship games will be played, still has to be sorted out.
The deadline to enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act was yesterday. Healthcare-dot-gov CEO Kevin Counihan says over 200,000 Louisianians have already signed up for coverage through the federal insurance marketplace. He says financial assistance through healthcare-dot-gov can really help in making insurance more affordable. Counihan says if you don’t have health insurance in 2016, you could face a penalty of up to 695-dollars.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Own Your Own Health Challenge is underway. The challenge, which runs until April 25th, is designed to help Louisianans become more active and create a healthier lifestyle. Director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Rudy Macklin Macklin says the challenge allows you to create teams or work individually to compete against other people in a weight loss challenge with the chance to win a prize. He says the second component helps participants learn what questions to ask when visiting the doctor. To register visit o-y-o-h-l-a-dot-com.
February is American Heart Month and health experts are promoting initiatives in an attempt to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the US. Professor at Tulane University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Keith Ferdinand, says heart disease is the number one killer of Louisiana residents and many of the deaths could be prevented through healthy living habits. Ferdinand says African American men experience the highest risk for heart disease and hypertension.
A 12-year-old boy is under his arrest for his role in the death of an elderly nun. It’s reported that an incident occurred in October where 87-year-old Sister Rosario O’Connell was helping the child with his homework, when he became enraged and slammed her into a wall which caused brain damage that could have killed her. O’Connell died last week.