News for Tuesday 071216
By Dave Graichen
A 15 month old child that went missing early Monday Morning here in Rapides Parish was located a short time later in a briar patch across the street from the Tioga home. Lt. Tommy Carnline with RPSO says the parents last saw the child around 3am asleep, and it’s unknown at this time how the 15 month old got out of the house. The child had numerous insect bites and was suffering from exposure to the elements. The investigation continues.
Close to 100 people, from all walks of life, showed up at the Rapides Parish Court House late yesterday afternoon for a prayer vigil aimed at healing the community. One of the organizers of the event the Rev. Sherri Jackson, said she didn't want a protest, but wanted a place where people could gather to begin to heal after all of the incidents of last week. The event according to many who attended, did just that.
Word yesterday afternoon that former Rapides Parish DA Edwin Ware III has passed away. Ware, who was DA from 1967 to 1984 passed Sunday. Funeral Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in First Presbyterian Church of Alexandria. Ware was 88.
Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore has recused himself and his office from the investigation of Alton Sterling because he has connections with the parents an officer involved in the shooting. A report says Blane Salamoni’s mother was the Violent Crime and Crime Scene Commander and Salamoni’s father has commanded the department’s special operations unit during most of Moore’s time in office. Moore says he wants to give protesters justice.
The initial police report has been released in the death of Alton Sterling. According to a search warrant, officers saw the butt of Sterling’s gun in his front pocket and saw him reaching for it before shots were fired. Sterling refused orders from the two officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, and was being tased when they noticed the gun in his pocket. The report says Sterling was reaching for his gun and was then shot by Salamoni to stop the threat.
The ACLU of Louisiana believe BRPD used excessive and illegal force this weekend on protesters marching for justice after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling. Many arrests were made from people obstructing roadways. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says treating peaceful protesters as though they are going to start a riot does not help relations that are already strained. EBR DA Hillar Moore says they are going to investigate every arrest case.
A man accused of fatally shooting a state police trooper last summer has been granted a change of venue for his case. Kevin Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of officer Steven Vincent and state judge Guy Bradberry says the jury will be selected from Bossier Parish and transported to Calcasieu Parish for the trial.
A transportation task force created by Governor John Bel Edwards holds its first meeting today. The panel will make various recommendations that could lead to major changes for Louisiana’s roadways. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says the task force holds its first meeting as the state faces a nearly 13-billion dollar backlog in transportation projects. The recommendations from this task force will be brought to the legislature in 2017.
Hammond Police continue to investigate a double homicide that claimed the lives of a 65-year-old woman and her 39-year-old nephew. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for anyone with information on these killings. Cops responded to the scene around 1am Sunday.
Louisiana is ranked the third safest state for older drivers. That’s according to a report from Caring.com and Chief Caring Expert Dayna Steele 11-percent of people killed in car crashes in Louisiana are 65 and older and that age group makes up 14-percent of the population. She hopes this study sparks conversations and action with family members and loved ones who might not need to be driving anymore.
A bill by Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham has won the approval of the US House that seeks to defund a 2015 executive order from President Obama that could drive up the costs of building in Louisiana. Abraham says the President’s order would also make flood insurance more expensive for Louisiana residents. Abraham says the order scraps the base flood commonly used to determine flood risk and replaces it with a new one that takes into account future flooding from climate change. Though the bill passed the house, Abraham says he does expect the Senate to approve the bill.
With a historic budget crisis, torrential flooding in March, three legislative sessions, and now massive protests in the Capital City, Governor John Bel Edwards has certainly had a lot to deal with since taking office. ULM political science professor Dr. John Sutherlin says there likely hasn’t been another governor in office who’s had so much on his plate during the first few months of his term. Sutherlin says Edwards has done a fairly good job of managing situations that he did not create, and it’s unlikely that he will get a break anytime soon. He says it still remains to be seen how the governor will handle situations that he can control and what will come of all the work on the budget.