News for Tuesday 030816
By Dave Graichen
Grant Parish authorities report a 2 year old girl was killed Saturday when she was run over by a car. Sheriff Steven McCain said the death of the child appears to have been "just a horrific accident," and that no charges are expected to be filed against the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle who ran over her.
Make sure you have your umbrella handy the rest of the week, as several inches of rain is expected to fall across the Bayou State over the next several days. State climatologist Barry Keim says flash flooding is possible. National Weather Service in Shreveport, says northwestern Louisiana may see up to 10 inches of rain. Keim says the storm will get ramped up tomorrow and into Thursday and advises people to be prepared. He says this storm will hit Louisiana in waves. The Rapides Parish police Jury and the city of Alexandria will have sandbags available if need be.
Lawmakers worked deep into the night on coming together on a plan to prevent big cuts to health care and colleges. The House approved a bill that reduces tax cuts businesses receive for utility costs and their equipment purchases. The bill is expected to generate about 20-million dollars for this year’s budget and 110-million for next year’s. At six o’ clock last night, Governor John Bel Edwards sent a “48-hour warning notice” reminding lawmakers of what could happen if the legislature fails to approve other revenue generating bills.
With only two days left in the special legislative session, Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo is concerned about the possibility of universities cancelling classes and professors receiving furlough notices. Rallo says the talk of more budget cuts is already having an impact, as professors are leaving Louisiana universities, and prospective educators are deciding not to come to the state. As it stands now TOPS is facing an 80-percent reduction in funding next fiscal year, which means that the number of eligible students in Louisiana would drop from 45-thousand to 9-thousand for the fall semester, and the minimum ACT score required for the scholarship could be raised from a 20 to a 27. He says budget concerns are also affecting enrollment numbers at LSU.
Saying the state did not disclose evidence that could have helped his case, the Louisiana Supreme Court overturns a 2002 murder conviction of a death row inmate. Michael Wearry was found guilty of the murder of a 16-year-old pizza delivery driver in Baton Rouge in 1998, but the justices Monday said prosecutors should have turned over information casting doubt on the credibility of a person that testified against him.
New Orleans native Peyton Manning announced his retirement Monday after 18 seasons in the NFL and two Super Bowl championships. Manning holds over 20 NFL records.
The Mississippi River is rising in South Louisiana again which will lead to twice a week checks of the levees. Ricky Boyett with the Army Corps of Engineers, says they are preparing for the water to rise even more. Boyett says the heavy rains this week should not affect the water levels too much. In January, high water led to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway for about three weeks.
The famous Acadiana Billy’s Boudin & Cracklins establishment in Scott has been ordered by the US Department of Labor to pay back wages to employees who were never paid for overtime, according to officials. They found the food spot used cash payments and duplicate books to avoid having to pay its workers overtime. As a result of the investigation, the enterprise is paying $112,724 in back wages.