News for Thursday 072116
By Dave Graichen
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana lawmakers are already considering possible legislation for the coming year in response to the deadly shooting of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers Sunday. Speaking on his monthly call-in radio show Wednesday, Edwards didn't elaborate on what proposals legislators might be putting together, but he said that the 2017 legislative session will partly focus on criminal justice reform and he's not opposed to efforts to outline how officer-involved shootings are handled in Louisiana. The program also featured State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs reports their health records show the man responsible for the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge had a number contacts with the V-A from 2008 to 2013. It’s been reported Gavin Long told people close to him that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disoder. The V-A says Long’s US Marine Corps’ service included overseas deployment.
A memorial service is set for next Thursday to remember and honor the three law enforcement officers who lost their lives in a shootout with a gunman in Baton Rouge. Governor John Bel Edwards says the service will take place a 2:00 p.m. at Healing Place Church in the Capital City.
13 candidates in the US Senate race officially signed up to run on the first day of qualifying yesterday. They include Republicans Congressmen Charles Boustany and John Fleming, State Treasurer John Kennedy and Joseph Cao. Democrats Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell threw their hats in the ring, as well as former ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert.
Fifth District U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham was the first in line for qualifying here yesterday morning, pulling into the Secretary of State's office 30 minutes before it opened at 8 a.m.
Nobody had qualified to run against Abraham by the end of the first day. Qualifying continues today and Friday.
The Jonesville Town Council asked its police chief to resign on Tuesday after a profanity-filled social media post that he made after the fatal shootings of three officers in Baton Rouge. Council members asked Chief Skylar Doré to resign after he posted an expletive- filled rant directed at President Barack Obama. Doré apologized at the meeting, saying he knew some Baton Rouge officers. The vote to ask for the chief’s resignation was unanimous.
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man accused of making threats against police officers on social media. Sheriff Greg Champagne says following the deadly rampage against officers in Baton Rouge a man by the name of Victor Pablo indicated he planned a similar ambush. Champagne says the suspect is being charged with terrorizing and threatening a public official, which carries up to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Senate President John Alario says state senator Troy Brown has been suspended from all of his committee assignments after he’s been charged for a second time of domestic abuse. Alario says Brown will remain suspended until the matter is resolved. Brown was arrested on Monday after he allegedly bit his wife’s arm at their Ascension Parish home.
If you’re planning to install solar panels on your home, residents from this point will not be getting tax credits from the state. The Louisiana Department of Revenue says the solar energy tax incentive program is tapped out. But President of Solar Alternatives Jeff Cantin says there are still federal tax dollars available. He says this means around 2-thousand families will not get the state credit now.
Rumors are swirling the LHSAA executive committee is seeking to buyout or terminate the contract of executive director Eddie Bonine. LHSAA President Vic Bonnafee has called a special meeting of the LHSAA executive committee for Monday. Bonine is expected to discuss a report he presented to the NFHS convention last month, where he described high school sports in Louisiana as a “dumpster fire” because of the growing split of public and private schools.
Lafayette police officers will soon be equipped with modern crowd-control gear to replace decades-old equipment that spent much of its life aging on the shelf. The move to upgrade equipment to protect police officers comes in the wake of recent protests and unrest that have led to police officer killings in Baton Rouge, Dallas and elsewhere. The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Mayor-President Joel Robideaux's emergency request for $120,000 to provide full-body gear for all officers within the Lafayette Police Department.
With Bobby Jindal out of office and Senator David Vitter leaving politics soon, it begs the question as to who is the face of the Republican Party in Louisiana. ULM political science professor Dr. John Sutherlin says the winner of this fall’s US Senate election could be the next Republican leader. Some may point to Steve Scalise as the republican leader in the state. But Sutherlin says the US Representative and House Majority Whip is the third-ranking Republican in the Congress, but he’s not well known out of the New Orleans area. Sutherlin says party leadership typically comes from the Governor’s office and having a democrat in the Governor’s mansion complicates the situation.