News for Thursday 032416
By Dave Graichen
Former Angola Warden Burl Cain spoke briefly Wednesday morning about the investigation into allegations that he was a corrupt prison leader during his 20 year tenure. The investigation eventually cleared him, as the Inspector General said there was no evidence to support these accusations. Cain stepped down at the start of the year and said he’s enjoying retirement and ready for this matter to be over. Cain says he’s proud of the things Angola accomplished in his 20 years and hopes the investigation doesn’t tarnish his legacy.
A proposal that called for the end of school uniforms in public schools died in the House Education committee. Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater brought the legislation up for debate as part of a fourth-grade school project.
Hunters may soon have the option to wear blaze pink, instead of the traditional orange that outdoorsmen are required to wear. The proposal received the okay from the House Natural Resources Committee. Bogalusa Representative Malinda White hopes her legislation will encourage more women to hunt. The bill heads to the House floor.
The state Department of revenue says Louisiana taxpayers affected by recent storms and flooding will receive filing extensions for returns on various taxes with due dates between March 8 and July 15, 2016.
Legislation seeking to end the public-versus-private school split impacting the LHSAA scored a victory in the House education committee. The panel approved the measure on a 7-5 vote.
Three years ago, member principals of the LHSAA voted to split the playoffs in football and the split will be expanded to other sports next school year. There were several members of the committee who opposed the bill. But, Despite objections, the bill heads to the House floor for more discussion.
International Paper has donated $500-thousand to the Red Cross in response to the recent flooding in Louisiana. Red Cross spokesperson Nancy Malone says they are incredibly grateful for the company’s generosity. She says the Red Cross is continuing to work with families in need as they move into recovery. Malone says their health services workers are helping people with lost medications, eyeglasses, medical equipment and minor first aid needs. She says the estimated damage is between four and seven million dollars, but it could easily surpass that. International Paper has 9 facilities in Louisiana, employing 2-thousand people throughout the state.
Saints Coach Sean Payton says the team has given him a new five year contract extension. ESPN reports Payton’s new deal worth more than $45 million dollars. Payton has guided the Saints to five playoff appearances, but they are coming off back-to-back losing seasons.
An LSU survey finds Louisiana residents are becoming more skeptical of Common Core. Dr. Michael Henderson, director of LSU’s public policy lab, says support for the academic standards in English and Math fell from 39-percent to 34-percent over the past year. Henderson says this is likely due to political tension surrounding the issue. The survey also asked about standardized tests and Henderson says nearly half of the respondents say there is too much emphasis on testing in public schools.
An incident terrified a group of children at the Boys & Girls Club in Lafayette when a 15-year-old allegedly shot another teen several times during a basketball game. Lafayette Police say the suspect was booked on Attempted 1st Degree Murder Charges and Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile in a Gun Free Zone. The 17-year-old victim is in critical condition. The investigation remains ongoing.
The State Department of Health and Hospitals advises residents of Donaldsonville not to drink the water until further notice, because the system has been treating its drinking water with elevated levels of chlorine dioxide. But, a recent test showed levels four to five times the EPA standard for the chemical. State Health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says exposure to chlorine dioxide can cause serious health effects to the nervous systems of infants, young children and to the fetuses of pregnant women. The water system serves about 10-thousand customers. The “do not drink” alert will remain in effect until further notice.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva says they are not making a change in basketball coach next season. Speculation about coach Johnny Jones’ future surfaced after the Tigers brutal 71-38 beating in the SEC Conference Tournament to Texas A&M. But it appears as though Jones will be returning next season.
A 64-year-old man from Independence died when he crashed into a garbage truck in Tangipahoa Parish, according to State Police. They say Edward Stewart slammed into the back of the stopped truck and died at the scene, while seriously injuring a worker who was collecting garbage at the time of the collision.
Ponchatoula-based Elmer’s Chocolate says they’ve had another successful year producing the popular Gold Brick Eggs and Heavenly Hash Easter candies. Elmer’s CEO Rob Nelson says the company produces about 12 million Gold Brick Eggs each year.
The 13th ranked LSU baseball team begins a three-game series tonight against second ranked Texas A&M. The Aggies are 19-and-2 and they have the highest team batting average in the SEC. Coach Paul Mainieri is eager to see how his club performs. Junior left-hander Jared Poche will get the start on the hill for the Tigers.