News for Friday 090916
By Dave Graichen
State police report a two vehicle crash shortly after noon yesterday claimed the life of a Rapides Parish man, 61 year old Kenneth Keele. Troopers say Keel disregarded a flagman’s attempt to have him stop and in failing to do so he struck a Mini Excavator Keele was wearing his seat belt, but was pronounced dead. The driver of the excavator was not injured. Routine toxicology tests are pending.
President Barack Obama informed Governor John Bel Edwards yesterday the federal government will increase its cost-share for flood relief efforts in Louisiana from 75-percent to 90-percent, to cover repairs to public roads and infrastructure and first responder expenses. This means state and local governments will be responsible for the reaming 10-percent. 5th district congressman Ralph Abraham says he would like to see the President extend that increase to the Central & North Louisiana floods earlier this year.
Governor John Bel Edwards is in Washington DC through Friday. The governor is requesting additional federal assistance to help flood victims who face major repairs to their homes; many of them do not have flood insurance.
Tomorrow is the statistical peak of the hurricane season and State Climatologist Barry Keim says on September 10th, sea surface temperatures in the breeding grounds for tropical storms are at the maximum. He says so far this season we’ve had eight named storms, which puts us on track for 16 this season. Keim says up to this point, Louisiana has been pretty lucky in terms of named storms, however a tropical wave brought south Louisiana record flooding last month.
The mayors of Walker, Central and Denham Springs will testify before Congress today in Washington DC on the federal response to the historic flooding. Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry says he will voice concerns that many residents who suffered flood damage may have to either tear down their home or raise their house under FEMA guidelines. Landry says if a home has been flooded multiple times, it does make sense for FEMA to require the home to be elevated, but not in this situation. He says homeowners could potentially spend 100-thousand dollars to lift a home that’s only been flooded once.
The Board of Regents placed four Louisiana universities on a fiscal watch list for being in poor financial standing. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says they established this test to show legislators that these universities are struggling. He says there has been a lot of concern about the future of the LSU Health Center in Shreveport with many people worried it’s on “life support.” Rallo says these schools are facing financial challenges because of a decline in state funding and lower enrollment.
After two devastating floods, Louisiana strawberry famers are struggling. Co-owner of Johndales Farm in Ponchatoula, Heather Robertson, says because strawberries are a specialty crop, there’s not much financial assistance, and a lot of producers will not grow strawberries again. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says Tangipahoa parish is the center of strawberry production, and it was hit by both floods.
The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement saying 28-year-old Raul Delatoba was wrongfully charged with a hate crime for violating the Blue Lives Matter law after he used sexist and racial slurs against officers. Executive Director of the Louisiana ACLU, Marjorie Esman, is glad police realized they can’t chare someone for offensive comments, but he never should have been charged with a hate crime in the first place.
A 15-year-old girl riding in a tailgate was killed and her 12-year-old sister was seriously injured in a head-on collision in Assumption Parish last night. It occurred as they were helping their mother place garbage bins on the side of the road and the vehicle they were in was facing the wrong way. Trooper Jesse LaGrange says the crash occurred at night, so it’s possible the driver of the other vehicle didn’t see the truck with the kids on it. Impairment has been ruled out.
The Department of Transportation announces upgrades to their 511 travel information system. Rodney Mallett with DOTD says motorists can now get personalized traffic updates by creating an account at 511LA.org and the system can alert of any traffic disruptions.
A man in New Orleans has told police that after a minor traffic accident, another driver followed him and then beat him over the head with a baseball bat. The driver accused in the beating on Sunday works as a behavioral interventionist at a local high school. Police on Monday arrested 41-year-old Wilbert Gray on a charge of aggravated battery. His bond was set at $10,000.
After a humbling loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay, LSU returns to Tiger Stadium tomorrow night to host Jacksonville State. Fullback JD Moore says the Tigers learned from their mistakes and they are ready to show what kind of team they can be
LSU Coach Les Miles is not saying whether running back Leonard Fournette has been practicing this week after taking a hit to his lower leg towards the end of the Wisconsin game. Miles did say on Monday that Fournette suffered a contusion.
ULM can match last year’s win total if they can pull off an upset against the 14th ranked Sooners on Saturday night in Norman, Oklahoma. ULM beat Southern last week, while Oklahoma fell to Houston.
High School Football action tonight as Calvary Baptist is at Peabody on KSYL 970 am, Buckeye is at Menard 96.9 KZMZ and it’sTioga at Pineville Q93.