News for Tuesday 072616
By Dave Graichen
The final of the three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers slain in an ambush on cops was laid to rest yesterday. Over two-thousand people turned out for the funeral of BRPD’s Corporal Montrell Jackson who leaves behind a wife and baby boy, Mason. There will be another memorial service for the Baton Rouge officers on Thursday. We’ve learned Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be among the list of the speakers.
A father and his two sons drowned on the Sabine River near Merryville this past weekend. Beauregard Parish Sheriff Rick Mosely says the bodies of the both boys were pulled out of the river Sunday night. Mosely says a strong current pulled the two children under the water while they were swimming and the father died trying to rescue them.
Disabled veterans will see an increase in their compensation beginning next year thanks to a bill by Congressman Ralph Abraham that has just been signed into law. Abraham says the bill will adjust the amount of compensation veterans receive for disability, dependents, and clothing allowance, as well as compensation for surviving spouses. Abraham says the increase is tied to the social security increase, so we won’t know how much more money these vets will get until the end of November.
More students than ever have achieved ACT scores that allow them to go to college, according to State Superintendent John White, who says the state’s composite ACT score has increased nearly a half a point since 2013. He says over 25-thousand students in the Class of 2016 scored an 18 or higher on the ACT. White says he credits this to the 2012 “ACT for All” initiative that allows students to take the exam at no cost, which he says gives more students access to the test. He says they also saw a record number of students qualify for the TOPS scholarship.
The Alexandria Zoo's made a sad announcement over the weekend that their resident male black bear Mike died Friday. The 21-year-old had been receiving medical treatment for more than two years for chronic renal disease and while he seemed to be responding well to his treatment he recently took a turn for the worse. The Zoo said Mike's "decline in health prompted the decision to humanely euthanize him once all therapy options were exhausted.
Mitchell Casmere, the man suspected in the July 1 armed robbery of a Regions Bank branch in Alexandria was captured on Saturday in New Orleans. Authorities report the 55 year old Casmere was arrested by the New Orleans Police Department on the warrants for armed robbery and attempted first-degree murder from the Alexandria Police Department. He currently is being held in the New Orleans Parish Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Alexandria.
According to AAA, nationwide gas prices are at a 12 year low. Spokesperson Don Redman says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular gas is about $1.98. Redman says the price of oil is also down to around $40 a barrel. He says drivers could see prices at the pump go down even more before the end of the summer. Redman says abundant supply has driven prices down. He says refineries have kept up with the supply surprisingly well considering the high demand.
Lawmakers will likely consider a bill to increase the state’s gasoline tax, when they meet for the 2017 fiscal session. That’s according to Representative Kenny Havard, who serves as chair of the House Transportation Committee and sits on the newly-formed Transportation Taskforce. Havard says there are not enough funds to address the $12 billion backlog for transportation maintenance, much less new projects. Louisiana’s 20-cent gas tax ranks 41 in the nation.
After a nearly 4-hour meeting, the LHSAA Executive Committee decided Eddie Bonine will remain the executive director of the organization. Bonine referred to the LHSAA as a “proverbial dumpster fire” in a report to the N-F-H-S, which led to the special meeting that went into executive session. Before the meeting went behind closed doors, Bonine apologized for his dumpster fire comment. He also talked about his frustrations over not being able to come up with a solution to end the public-private playoff split. Bonine says after the airing it out session, he believes the board is fully behind him.
LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye returns to New Iberia today after surviving a fatal wreck in Wisconsin. Delahoussaye was in Wisconsin to participate in the Kohl’s Kicking Camp. He was participant in the camp last week and was scheduled to serve as a camp counselor this week. Delahoussaye’s coach at New Iberia High, Rick Hutson says Delahoussaye has attended that camp since high school and he’s thankful his former player only suffered minor injuries.