News for Friday 081216
By Dave Graichen
Grass cutters made a gruesome discovery Thursday morning when they discovered a body on the levee near industrial park road. The APD says the unidentified body was that of a man. But, that is the only information available right now. The remains were turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner's Office for an autopsy and other testing.
A flash flood watch is in effect for over 40 Louisiana parishes through Saturday. The National Weather Service says flooding will be a concern on rivers and in low lying areas and areas with poor drainage. Rain totals are expected to reach up to 10 inches in some areas.
NOAA released an updated Atlantic hurricane outlook and predicts this still will be the strongest since 2012. Lead Seasonal hurricane forecaster Dr. Gerry Bell says there is a lot of activity ahead for this season. He says it’s time to prepare since we’re entering peak hurricane season. He says we’re now expecting a 70-percent change of 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 8 of those are expected to become hurricanes and 2 to 4 of those are expected to become major hurricanes.
Enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program is exceeding the goals set by the Louisiana Department of Health extremely fast. LDH Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee says they’re at about 73% of the aim to get 375,000 people enrolled by next June. She hopes this will lead to better health outcomes in Louisiana. Gee says people can still enroll at healthy.la.gov.
Flames could be seen for miles Thursday morning coming from the Motiva Oil Refinery in St. James Parish. It is not known yet what caused the fire, but forecasters say there was lightning in the area at the time. Jywanna Octave with the St. James OEP says it was a scary situation, but all workers were able to safely evacuate.
State Police report an Olla man has been charged after investigators determined he had been racing with another driver who was killed in a 2 vehicle crash back in June. 24 year old Dannen Poole was charged with hit and run and drag racing on a public road in connection with the crash that killed 28 year old Joshua Proffer of Olla. Poole was booked into the LaSalle Parish Correctional Center.
A new study from WalletHub finds that Louisiana is the third worst state for underprivileged children. Jill Gonzales with WalletHub says Louisiana ranks 31st for the number of maltreated children, and 49th for the number of children living in poverty. According to the report, Louisiana ranks 47th for infant mortality. Gonzales says the state also came in 48th for the number of children in single parent homes.
Louisiana ranks in the top ten lowest gas prices in the country, according to AAA. Spokesperson Don Redman says we are seeing a slight uptick in gas prices because of what AAA expects to be record high demand. Redman says refineries have done a good job keeping up with the demand, which contributes to the lower prices. But he says we’ve also seen cheaper than average crude oil, and that also keeps prices down at the pump. He expects gas prices to stay below average into September and October.
An officer involved shooting in Plaquemine left one suspect critically wounded. Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi says the suspect approached the deputies, and when he got close to them, he pulled out a gun. Stassi says the suspect was critically wounded and transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge. He says none of the deputies were injured.
The Department of Children and Family Services is launching an initiative to improve foster care. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says moving foster kids from one home to another can be traumatizing to that child. She hopes the new Quality Parenting Initiative will help DCFS reduce the number of placement changes and keep more siblings together.