News for Friday 020516
By Dave Graichen
A six-year-old girl was killed early yesterday in a three-bedroom mobile home fire in Deville. Her 12-year-old sister was also seriously injured in the blaze that started while the family was sleeping. Investigators believe a space heater may have caused the fatal fire. Also, there were no working smoke alarms in the home.
The RPSO reports one person is dead after an attempt to serve a warrant in a domestic violence case led to a chase and a crash on U.S. Highway 165 south of town. Deputies went to serve a warrant shortly after noon yesterday on Shannon Road in Alexandria. But the suspect got into a vehicle and fled, leading deputies on a chase on U.S. 165 toward Woodworth and then back again toward Alexandria. The suspect, whose name has not been released, then headed south again on U.S. 165 and crashed into another vehicle. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
First it was the Alexandria Ryans location late last year and now it the Pineville Ryans. Ovation Brands announced "Seventy-four restaurants throughout the United States were permanently close on yesterday. Employees of the closed stores will be able to relocate to other markets with open restaurants.
New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, who once ran for Lt. Governor, is the first Democrat to get in Louisiana’s US Senate race. Fayard joins a crowded field of republican candidates. It’s also been rumored that Democrat and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell will also get in the race.
We are expecting Governor John Bel Edwards will issue the call for a special legislative session very soon, possibly today. Jeremy Alford, with la-politics-dot-com, says the call outlines which tax measures the governor will ask legislators to vote on, to help close a 750-million dollar budget deficit for this fiscal year. A three-and-a-half week special session is expected to start on February 14th. Alford says republicans in the legislature are pushing the governor to include in the call, opportunities where significant budget cuts can be made. Republican legislators have expressed interest in making cuts that go beyond what Governor Edwards has suggested. But Alford says many lawmakers also realize that higher taxes are inevitable.
Governor John Bel Edwards announces he’s dropping the lawsuit filed by the Jindal Administration to end Common Core. Edwards says, since the process to develop and implement Louisiana’s own education standards is nearing completion, the case, which is pending on appeal before the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, uses money, time, and resources that do not benefit students. He says his administration will not continue to waste taxpayer money on lawyers and lawsuits.
The Republican Party of Louisiana has launched their “Red to the Roots” campaign. The initiative is an effort to identify, engage, and register new conservative voters across Louisiana. Executive Director Jason Dore (DOOR-ay) says the $2 million dollar campaign will put permanent boots on the ground in Louisiana with a primary focus of registering conservative voters.
The state department of transportation is trying to determine what other safety measures are needed at a railroad crossing in Iberia Parish that saw five people die in a train-versus-vehicle crash last December. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says their study involves observing traffic volumes, the speed of vehicles crossing the tracks and additional reports. Mallett says gates were installed at the crossing over ten years ago and there’s also a sign warning drivers not to stop on the tracks.
Three Louisiana regions, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport-Bossier, are in the Top 10 of the best places to live and work as a moviemaker. Executive Director of Louisiana’s Film Office Chris Stelly says there are many films and show projects going on right now in the state.
He says the moviemaker.com ranking proves the film industry in Louisiana is alive and well.
The plea deal entered by former Saints star Darren Sharper in New Orleans to charges he drugged and raped women, is imploding according to a legal filing. Sharper pleaded guilty last year and agreed to a nine-year federal prison sentence in a so called “global deal.” Legal Analyst Tim Meche says it looks like the judge isn’t committing to the prison terms. He says this is bad for Sharper who has already admitted to being a serial rapist. The joint motion by Sharper’s attorneys and the US Attorney asked the judge to postpone a March 7th trial date.
The two men accused in the kidnapping and murder of a Baton Rouge couple have been indicted on two counts each of first degree murder. District Attorney Hillar Moore says the death penalty is now on the table. 42-year-old Ernesto Alonso and 48-year-old Frank Garcia allegedly robbed 71-year-old Denis Duplantier and his 70-year-old white Suzy, before taking them from their home and killing them in October of last year, according to authorities