News for Wednesday 030216
By Dave Graichen
Not much action at the State Capitol Tuesday as House members put off for yet again votes on bills that would increase taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. A senate committee has also decided to wait until Thursday to approve its version of a budget cutting plan. Lawmakers have until March ninth to agree on a plan to close a 940-million dollar deficit for this fiscal year.
The second former Marksville officer who is accused in the fatal shooting of a six-year-old boy could be released on bond today. The attorney for 31-year-old Derrick Stafford says the paperwork is ready to be filed for Stafford to gain his release on a one-million dollar property bond. The other officer involved in the shooting, Norris Greenhouse Junior, was released on a one million dollar bond in November.
Spraying to control the mosquito population has begun in Alexandria. The spraying and other measures are an attempt to keep the mosquito population down to help prevent the spread of diseases they can transmit to humans, pets, horses and birds. The city is asking residents to do all they can to eliminate standing water, the breeding grounds for the insects.
A new report from Bankrate-dot-com says Louisiana is the 5th worst state for retirement. Claes (Claus) Bell, a senior analyst at Bankrate, says they examined several key factors to determine the quality of life in retirement, including cost of living, taxes, and residents’ overall well-being.
Bell says the crime rate is an important factor because elderly people are typically targets for crime. But Bell says the news isn’t all bad. He says retirees who live on an fixed income may find Louisiana a good state to spend their golden years. Bankrate ranked Wyoming as the best state for retirement and New York as the worst.
According to a new study from WalletHub, Louisiana is the worst state for women. Jill Gonzales from Wallet Hub says they looked at over 15 metrics including median earnings for female workers, women’s preventative healthcare, the female uninsured rate and the female homicide rate. Gonzales says Louisiana has one of the highest high school dropout rates for women at just over 4%. She says the ranking for women’s equality in the workplace is also very low. Louisiana ranks near the bottom in terms of women living in poverty. Gonzales says only New Mexico and Mississippi have higher poverty rates for women.
Gas prices are starting to rise as refineries conduct maintenance in preparation for the busy driving season this summer. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says the statewide average has increased over three cents since last week and this price increase is typical for this time of year. Redman says refineries are also slowing production in response to abundant supplies, but he says gas prices shouldn’t get too high. Currently the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Louisiana is $1.58.
A Financial Aid Working Group met yesterday to create a plan to ensure public high school students comply with a new policy requiring them to apply for assistance to go to college. Department of Education’s Assistant Superintendent Ken Bradford says only 44% of students are applying for any kind of financial aid. He says the group is also discussing how schools can be more helpful in getting financial aid for students.
A study from State Farm finds Louisiana comes in at number 11 for states in paid wind claims. Company spokesperson Roszell Gadson says in 2015, State Farm paid 33-hundred wind and tornado claims on structures around the state. Texas ranked number one with more than 11-thousand paid State Farm wind and tornado claims.
A Baton Rouge man has been arrested after an unrelated DNA test links him to a 1996 rape case. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola says 20 years ago, a 17-year-old girl was walking down the street and asked now 59-year-old Jerry Williams for a ride, where he then took her to his house and raped her. He says during the initial investigation, detectives had trouble re-contacting the victim so the case went unsolved.