News for Thursday 060916
By Dave Graichen
Baton Rouge Police arrest a Zachary man after he left his eight month old daughter in a hot vehicle for approximately two hours. Authorities say 31-year-old Marvin Mercer arrived at work and then realized a couple of hours later that his daughter was still in the vehicle. The infant was pronounced dead at a local hospital and Mercer has been charged with negligent homicide. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is urging parents to take steps not to forget their young children in the backseat of a vehicle during these hot summer months.
The state department of health and hospitals announces 197-thousand adults have been enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program. About 187-thousand of those were automatically signed up because they were receiving state health services from the state. The rest have signed up online, by phone or in person.
The LHSAA has voted to keep the expanded select/non-select school championship split, during a special meeting Wednesday. This means there will once again be nine championships in football, five non-select and four select. And 12 each in boys and girls basketball.
The City of Pineville has announced Fireworks are coming back to Lake Buhlow over the 4th of July weekend. It will be the first display since 2011 when construction of the Curtis Coleman bridge put the event on hold. The Fireworks show and concert will be held Sunday night July 3rd.
Central Louisiana residents are always willing to support a good cause and this weekend was no exception. The 29th annual Children's Miracle Network telethon took place over the weekend and the final tally is now in. Theresa Slater, the executive director of the Cabrini Foundation and the hospital's Children's Miracle Network, reported yesterday the weekend event raised $426,806. All of which will stay in Central Louisiana to improve children's health care.
Two days into the second special session, several of Governor Joh Bel Edwards tax proposals have hit a wall. LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says proposals that would have raised income taxes on middle and upper class income earners received a frosty reception from the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee killed a proposal to reduce tax credits for corporations. All revenue generating bills must start in the House Ways and Means Committee and Alford says based on early action, he doesn’t see the legislature raising the $600 million needed to close the budget gap.
Governor John Bel Edwards and members of the legislature are supportive of changes to the Common Core academic standards suggested by a 26-member review panel. BESE President Jim Garvey says the panel was made up of people recommended by local school boards.
Twenty-one percent of the English and math standards were changed by the panel. Garvey says that may not sound like much, but it’s about the same amount of changes that were made when they switched to Common Core initially. Garvey says the changes will give teachers the freedom to teach these standards how they want.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is looking for new field agents, and they are taking applications for up to 23 cadets. LDWF spokesman Adam Einck says the academy is starting in September. Applicants can apply online through the Department of Civil Service website. Einck says if you like law enforcement and the outdoors, this is a perfect job for you:
Starting August 1st, signs will be required to be posted 500 feet ahead of intersections that have red light cameras, because of a bill signed into law by the governor. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says it’s a great day for the citizens of Louisiana. Carter says red light cameras should be about public safety, not collecting fines. The measure was approved with bipartisan support from both chambers.
As a result of legislation approved state lawmakers and signed by the governor, patients have direct access to physical therapists without having to see a doctor first, but the Louisiana Orthopedic Association says this new law could be costly for patients. LOA spokesperson Barbara Carey says if patients want insurance to cover their P-T treatment, they need to see a doctor first. She says pain can be due to a number of conditions.
Make room on your smartphone because you may be downloading a new app soon: A digital version of your driver’s license. Tuesday, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 481 allowing the Office of Motor Vehicles to issue drivers licenses on smartphones.
Residents would still have to go through the same process as getting a regular ID and the digital license would also be accepted by officers during a traffic stop. However, the digital license would not be accepted when buying things like beer, cigarettes or lottery tickets.
According to 24/7 Wall Street, nearly half of Louisiana residents drink soda or other sugary drinks daily. Louisiana ranks second in the nation for the number of people who drink sugary drinks every day, only behind Mississippi. As you may suspect, the obesity rate in Louisiana is over 7% higher than the national average.