News for Monday 060616
By Dave Graichen
The APD reports the death of a Pineville man whose body was found early Saturday morning lying on a street is being investigated as a homicide. The body of 43-year-old Donnie Harvey was found around 5am in the 1300 block of Shirland Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death has not been determined, pending autopsy and other forensic testing.
Standing water in the road led to a single vehicle crash that took the life of an 8 year old Avoyelles Parish girl Saturday afternoon. The State Police report 8-year-old Isabella Ducote died when the vehicle she was a passenger in left the roadway and struck a fence. The driver of the vehicle, 40 year old Carmen Moreau, received moderate injuries in the crash.
State lawmakers have approved a 26-billion dollar budget for next fiscal year that does not fully fund the TOPS scholarship program and hospitals that provide care for the poor and uninsured. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says the spending plan is not perfect, but they can address gaps in the budget in a special session that begins tonight. Because of a 600-million dollar revenue shortfall, the budget also contains cuts to public schools, universities, prisons and child welfare programs. Henry says under this plan TOPS would be funded at 48-percent. The senate approved the budget on a 35-2 vote, but the vote was much closer in the House, 63 “yeas” and 38 “nays”
The regular session must conclude by 6pm tonight. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says Governor John Bel Edwards had a hard time getting key pieces of his legislative package through the legislature, like the bills for equal pay for men and women and increasing the minimum wage. Dubos says there were some victories for the governor. He says the budget lawmakers will pass is close to the one he first proposed. Also, a bill that increases the age to 18 for which a person can be tried as an adult received final legislative passage.
Voters could soon decide if universities should have the authority to set their own tuition as a result of a proposed constitutional amendment that is nearing final legislative passage. Right now, the legislature has to approve a tuition hike if it goes above a certain percentage. Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo says the proposed change to the constitution gives institutions the power to lower and increase tuition depending on the market.
Legislation that would require pet stores to keep records of breeders’ names, addresses, and licensing information heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The Louisiana SPCA says these regulations will help ensure pet stores are held to certain standards. She says pet stores will be required to keep the records of their dogs and cats for at least two years.
The number of Louisiana homes at risk for storm surge damage has increased since last year, according to CoreLogic. Senior hazard risk scientist for CoreLogic, Tom Jeffery says that has a lot to do with new homes being built along the coast. According to CoreLogic, last year there were just over 760-thousand hones at risk in Louisiana, and that number has grown to over 800-thousand. Almost 7 million homes along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are at risk of potential storm surge damage this year.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating three suspected murders that occurred within 24 hours in the rural town of Natalbany. Sheriff Daniel Edwards says they are asking anyone with any information to come forward, as police are offering a reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
22-year-old Ernest Felton, the first shooter arrested in the deadly shooting of two Southern students, has had his charge upgraded to second degree murder. Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L’Jean Mckneely says Felton was originally charged with attempted second-degree murder. Mckneely says police are looking for the brother of the other shooter involved, 25-year-old Brandon Henderson.
A bill to ban hotels, convention centers and trade shows from blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots is heading to the governor’s desk. Ville Platte Senator Eric LeFleur says his bill saves people from having to pay for daily access to a company’s WiFi. He says disabling personal hotspots when people pay cellular data plan fees is unfair.
A Winnsboro Police officer has been killed in a car crash on Louisiana over the weekend while heading to assist another officer who was pursuing a drunk driver. Sgt. Derrick Mingo had been with the department for five years.
A New Orleans police officer suffered a massive brain injury after being struck by a drunken driver early Sunday morning. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said the officer was inside her police vehicle on the side of the road with the emergency lights on when she was hit. He identified the officer as Natasha Hunter, a 12-year veteran of the police force. Hunter was taken to the hospital where she remains in critical condition in an unresponsive state.
Draymond Green had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while MVP Stephen Curry scored 18 points despite foul trouble, and Golden State thoroughly overwhelmed the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-77 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
LSU starting pitcher Alex Lange struck out 10 hitters to help lead the Tigers to a 4-2 win over Rice. The victory puts the Bayou Bengals into the championship round of the Baton Rouge regional. Lange threw eight plus innings and only gave up two runs. Not an even rain delay could slow down Lange. The game was halted for about an hour in the 6th inning, but Lange returned to put a couple more zeros on the scoreboard. (LSU will play the winner of today’s game between Southeastern Louisiana and Rice at 7 PM.