News for Monday 082916
By Dave Graichen
Two people are dead and dozens are injured after a party bus driven by an illegal resident smashed into a fire truck and other vehicles on I-10 in St. John the Baptist Parish near LaPlace. State Police Trooper Melissa Matey says the bus hit a fire truck that responded to an earlier single vehicle wreck. Matey says one of the fatal victims was District Chief Spencer Chauvin with the St. John the Baptist Fire Department. The bus also hit two other vehicles during the crash. A passenger in of those vehicles was also killed. Matey says the driver of the bus did not have a driver’s license and faces criminal charges…
The Governor’s Office will announce today where flood victims can go to register for the Shelter At Home program. Julie Baxter Payer says this program seeks to get people back into their own homes as soon as possible. Payer says people whose homes had less than two feet of water in them will be eligible, but applications will be assessed on a case by case basis. She says the program awards up to $15-thousand for basic home repairs. Payer says this program can be used in conjunction with FEMA assistance, flood insurance, and SBA loans.
Today is the 11 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and some who lost their homes in Katrina are once again dealing with another flood. Trauma psychologist with LSU Health New Orleans Dr. Jennifer Hughes worked at shelter in Baton Rouge earlier this month and spoke with several people, who moved to Baton Rouge and Lafayette after Katrina and they are once again re-living another disaster.
After Hurricane Katrina there was a huge population shift from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, will we see this trend again after the Great Flood of 2016? Demographer Greg Rigamer expects flood victims to try and rebuild where they lived prior to the flood. Livingston Parish was the hardest hit by the flood with close to 90-percent of the homes in the parish suffered flood damage. Rigamer says the recovery of Livingston will depend largely on what kind of government assistance flood victims can receive.
Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge has been transformed from a shelter for flood victims into a multi-agency disaster warehouse. Mike Steele with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness says people should call ahead if they are making large donations to make sure that someone is there to help unload.
If you had uninsured property that was destroyed by floodwaters this year, you’re entitled to a refund of the state sales tax on those items. State Treasurer John Kennedy says it might not sound like much but people need everything they can get right now. The refunds also apply to residents in Cenla who were flooded earlier this year. To learn more, visit latreasury.com and click on Sales Tax Disaster Relief.
The Louisiana Department of Health has confirmed three more Zika cases in Louisiana. That brings total number of travel associated Zika cases to 26. There have been no known cases of local transmission in Louisiana.
The Great Flood of 2016 greatly affected the agriculture business in Louisiana. Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain says he expects total losses to be anywhere from 150 to 200 million dollars if the rain stops now. He says some lucky farmers have crop insurance but not all crops or parishes allow insurance. Strain says farming is a 13 billion dollar industry in Louisiana.
Former Saints Safety Darren Sharper has filed a federal court notice stating he will appeal his conviction. Early this month, Sharper was sentenced to 18 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to the raping and drugging 9 women in four states. It’s unclear what Sharper’s legal team will do next.
There’s one more week left in the preseason and there’s still a lot to work on for the Saints. The team fell to 0-3 in exhibition action with a 27-14 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday. The Saints have one more preseason game and that’s Thursday night at home against Baltimore.
Game week arrives for the 5th ranked LSU Tigers as they are set to face Wisconsin in Green Bay at historic Lambeau Field. It’s the first time the legendary venue will host a college football game featuring two Division One teams.