News for Friday 091616
By Dave Graichen
The APD is investigating three separate shootings in the city late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The shootings left two people hospitalized and two men behind bars.
An arrest has been made in connection with the murders of an elderly couple found in a barn in Avoyelles Parish. Chief Deputy Steven Martel says the grandson of the victims, 28-year-old Michael Mayeaux, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder. He says Mayeaux does have a record but no previous violent crimes. Martel says there is a known motive, but they are not releasing it publicly.
According to the Governor’s Office, construction is underway in 357 homes in the Shelter at Home program. Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor’s Office, Julie Baxter Payer, says 850 homes are in the process of getting work orders and 4 are complete. She says once construction begins, the homeowners can get back in their homes soon after. Payer says more than 2-thousand home inspections are scheduled.
During Thursday’s Senate Small Business Committee meeting, US Senator David Vitter claimed many flood victims are having an extremely hard time cutting through the red tape to get federal aid. He says yesterday’s hearing is an important step to getting more assistance and helping his colleagues understand the level of devastation from this flood. State Representative Clay Schexnayder says lack of communication from FEMA has been a big problem and that has led to some people living in tents or just repairing their homes on their own.
Finally some good news; According to FEMA, last month’s flood will not cause flood insurance to rise above already scheduled annual increases. They said the event does not trigger remapping of flood zones.
The Bond Commission agreed Thursday that Louisiana could borrow up to $400 million dollars from two banks to help keep bills paid. The money must be paid back by August of next year.
Gas prices in Louisiana are back down to the $2 per gallon mark. The cheaper winter blend switch is underway meaning you can expect the price to continue to fall in the coming months.
New census data finds Louisiana has the third highest poverty rate in the country. Demographer Greg Rigamer says Louisiana’s median household income of about $45-thousand is well below the national average, which is over $55-thousand. The national poverty rate is just under 15%, almost 5% lower than the rate in the Pelican State.
The ACLU of Louisiana says they are getting reports of students being punished for sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says they sent a letter to the superintendents of all Louisiana public school districts saying nobody can be forced to stand for the Pledge, salute the flag or anything of that nature.
A teenage student in Baton Rouge is under arrest on attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting someone that was trying to make him go to school. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says 17-year-old D’Vonte Green was allegedly arguing with someone in front of a house, when he took out a gun and began shooting. Green apparently told cops he shot the victim because he didn’t want to go to school. The victim is at a hospital. Green is in jail pending $60,000 bond.
This week is National Tuck Driver Awareness Week. Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says there have been several wrecks involving truck drivers around the state recently. He says the most important thing we can do to make the roads safer for everyone is bring attention to the issue.