News for Friday 080516
By Dave Graichen
Authorities in Grant Parish are investigating the death of a Montgomery woman whose body was found lying in a ditch Thursday. Sheriff Steve McCain says 37 year old Amanda Thompson was found alongside Whispering Pines Road by a passing motorist. McCain says an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
A Texas man was arrested early Thursday morning after a routine traffic stop in Woodworth. Police say they found 39 pounds of Marijuana , 1,038 doses of suspected Ecstasy and seven suspected hydrocodone tablets. The officer also found more than $1,100 in cash in the vehicles trunk. The driver of the vehicle and a passenger were booked into the Rapides parish detention center.
The ADP reports an Alexandria man has become the third person to be charged in a string of residential burglaries in the city. 20 year old Austin Byrd was arrested on Wednesday and booked him into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. That after an investigation linked Byrd to the burglaries.
The state department of education says there was a five-percent increase in the number of students who achieved “mastery” scores on standardized tests that were taken this past spring. But education superintendent John White says there’s still a wide gap between the percentage of black and white students who are achieving the Mastery level. White says the test scores also show more work needs to be done to get students ready for college.
The Colorado State Hurricane Forecast team predicts we’ll see 10 named storms and four hurricanes for the remainder of the hurricane season. Doctor Phil Klotzbach says there is a 29-percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall on the Gulf Coast. Klotzbach says expect tropical storm activity to pick up in the next couple of weeks.
The body of a pilot and a helicopter that crashed in the Atchafalaya Basin were found this Thursday morning by search crews. The identity of the pilot has not been released, but t is believed he was the only person on board,. The wreckage was found in Iberia Parish and the chopper is owned by Texas-based Gulf Coast Helicopters Incorporated.
The new school year is getting underway, as some kids are already back in the classroom and others will be soon. Dr. Frank Welch with the state Department of Health says parents can get their children vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office or family doctor or at a parish health unit.
Welch says vaccinating children protects them and others from getting dangerous and potentially life threatening diseases, like measles, flu, mumps, whooping cough and pneumonia. He says despite contrary reports, vaccines are safe and help keep others safe.
Today and tomorrow it’s the state’s annual sales tax holiday. Instead of a five-percent sales tax, customers will pay 3-percent on most purchases. In years past, the state sales tax was completely exempted, but the legislature changed it, because of budget difficulties. Many stores will be offering specials of their own as well.. And a correction to a story we had yesterday. The 2nd amendment tax holiday in September will also be limited to 2% reduction in state sales tax.
Public school students will learn more about money and finances in school this year, thanks to a bill by Minden Representative Gene Reynolds. He says students used to be required to learn financial literacy in school, but teachers have gotten away from it in the past few years. He says this new law seeks to change that. Reynolds says the law does not establish a class just for financial literacy but allows teachers to incorporate it into their lessons.
Authorities are working to ID the remains of a woman who was burned. Chief Deputy Mike Haley, with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s office, says 41-year-old Joey Mixon has been charged with murder in the woman’s brutal death. Haley says they know Mixon knew the victim and got into an argument with her, but there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. Officials believe the victim is from St. Tammany Parish.
Governor John Bel Edwards announced today the state plans on investing more than 20-million dollars to address the congestion that takes place every day at the Washington Street exit on I-10 in Baton Rouge. The governor says it’s the only area in the country where the interstate goes down to one lane.
Medicaid will now cover mosquito repellant for pregnant women in an effort to fight against the Zika virus. The program allows doctors to prescribe mosquito repellant for women who are on Medicaid, and the pregnancy approved repellants are covered. The Department of Health urges women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to always use mosquito repellant, because Zika can cause a baby to be born with serious birth defects.
A former assistant administrator for the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans Home is facing charges amid allegations he was stealing from an infirm resident. 51-year-old Thomas Shoemaker is charged with exploitation of the infirmed and theft of the assets of an aged person or disabled person. The victim suffered from several ailments including dementia. Shoemaker is accused of, among other things, using the victims ATM card without permission.
Chefs from around the country will compete in New Orleans tomorrow for the title of King of American Seafood. Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Karen Profita, says the 13th annual Great American Seafood Cook-off will take place in front of a live audience at the Ernest Morial Convention Center at 11:30. She says eleven chefs will work up their best seafood dish.
The Saints have brought in several veteran players in the hopes of improving a defense that’s been one of the worst in the NFL the last two seasons. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley signed a one-year contract for three million dollars in the offseason and he’s expected to help defend the run and eat up space in the middle of the field. Coach Sean Payton expects Fairley to have a big role on this team.
LSU’s defense will use fall camp to learn a new defense that’s being installed by first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Last year, the Tigers were guilty of several blown coverages that allowed to big plays from their opponents. LSU is ranked sixth in the preseason coaches’ poll.