News for Wednesday 090716
By Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards announces three new expansion projects for schools in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System that will provide more training and improve employment opportunities for thousands. The announcement was made in here in Alexandria where a 50,000 square ft. facility will be built. New training centers are also going up at Baton Rouge Community College and Delgado Community College in New Orleans. The new facilities will provide training in various areas like welding, automotive technology, construction, manufacturing, and information technology.
The RPSO is investigating the death of a Cheneyville man as a homicide after he was found lying in La. Highway 181 at its intersection with I 49 Monday night. Deputies originally thought it was a case of hit and run. But, Doctors determined that the man's injuries were not sustained from a vehicle due to lack of injuries anywhere else on his body. The victim, 49-year-old James Roger Guinn, died yesterday. An autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of Guinn's death.
The Legislative Auditor’s Office releases a report that highlights ways to reduce Louisiana’s incarceration rate, which is the highest in the world. Director of performance audits Karen LeBlanc says one of the things they’d like to see is nonviolent offenders with more probation and less jail time. LeBlanc says the state can save money by providing alternatives for people arrested on drug charges, like diversion and specialty courts. But Executive Director of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Office, Pete Adams, says they would rather see solutions that didn’t cost anything upfront.
WAFB reports the wife of fallen Baton Rouge police officer Matthew Gerald is pregnant. Dechia Gerald told WAFB reporters she believes she conceived five days before her husband was killed in the ambush on Baton Rouge officers.
The state Office of Motor Vehicles is now offering customers the ability to cancel the license plate on their vehicle without having to visit an OMV office. Spokeswoman Staci Hoyt says right now most of the license plates being brought in for cancellation are for vehicles that were damaged in the flood. Customers can visit the OMV website and enter the VIN, plate number and zip code of the registered owner of the vehicle to cancel the plate.
Louisiana Economic Development is offering a contractor accreditation scholarship to small businesses with the state’s technical schools and community colleges. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says LED is offering the course to help new companies become a licensed contractor in Louisiana, especially with the rising need after the historic flooding. Pierson says many flood victims are hiring contractors to fix their homes and want to ensure they have an accredited business doing construction.
We may not see the presidential candidates much in the Bayou State before Election Day, according to UL-Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross. He says Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton in Louisiana substantially, so the candidates will focus their attention on the so-called battleground states. Cross says Louisiana should be an easy win for Trump, because Clinton is not popular among voters in the predominantly red state. He says although the Bayou State does have a large number of minority voters, it likely won’t be enough for a Clinton win.
The Coast Guard and other agencies are responding to an oil spill off the coast of Bay Long, near Grand Isle. Petty Officer Lexie Preston says they are currently conducting cleanup operations from the 53 hundred gallon spill. She says they are still investigating the spill.
A new animal disaster relief shelter has opened in Amite. Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson says this new center is the base of operations for all the surrounding parishes. He says they’re trying to help reunite pets and livestock with their owners. Dorson says at this site, they have 50 dogs and 20 cats in separate areas with air conditioning.
A Jefferson Parish school bus carrying 34 children crashed into a canal along West Metaire Avenue yesterday afternoon around. The students evacuated out of the back door of the bus and one suffered a minor injury.
Students at Eden Park Elementary in Baton Rouge had a welcome surprise when New Orleans Saints Punter Thomas Morstead and First Lady Donna Edwards showed up to deliver 500 backpacks filled with school supplies following the historic flood. The delivery came on the students’ first day back in the classroom since the flood.
The LSU Tigers have fallen 16 spots in the coaches poll which came out Yesterday. The Bayou Bengals went from sixth to 22nd as a result of their season opening loss to Wisconsin. Coach Les Miles said during an afternoon presser that Brandon Harris remains the Tigers starting quarterback and the team can still achieve its goals of winning a championship. The Tigers host Jacksonville State on Saturday.
Ragin Cajuns Coach Mark Hudspeth says the decision to fire defensive coordinator Melvin Smith gave him indigestion and heartburn, but it was a move that needed to be made after the team gave up 584 yards in a 45-10 loss to Boise State. Hudspeth says there was no reason to wait any longer to make a move.