News for Thursday 092916
By Dave Graichen
Authorities are still trying to determine what led to Tuesday’s double-murder and suicide that claimed the life of a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy. Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres says West Baton Rouge deputy Donna Leblanc and her 21-year-old daughter were fatally shot by their estranged neighbor 29-year-old Gregory Phillips, who turned the gun on himself.
The body cam video has been released of the police shooting that left a 6-year-old autistic boy dead in Marksville. The graphic video shows deputy city marshal Derrick Stafford open firing into a vehicle, where 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis was sitting in the passenger seat. The video of the shooting that occurred last November was played Wednesday in the courtroom at Stafford’s hearing. The father, Christopher Few, was critically wounded in the shooting. Defense attorneys have said Few rammed his car into the deputy’s vehicle before he fired, but the video does not show that..
New data from the FBI finds Louisiana’s murder rate is once again higher than any other state in the country. The state recorded 10.3 murders per 100-thousand people in 2015, a slight increase from 2014. Louisiana has had the highest murder rate in the country since 1989.
New Orleans has the highest rate in the state, followed by Monroe and Baton Rouge. And the Crescent City ranks 8th in the country for murder rates among major metropolitan areas.
The Natchitoches PD reports A preliminary coroner’s report indicates drowning was the cause of death for a man whose body was found floating in Cane River Lake in Natchitoches on Monday. The report stated “There was no evidence of trauma present, and foul play is not suspected” in the death of 28-year-old Antonio Francisco.
At the first meeting of the Restore Louisiana Task Force yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards told members they have the important job of helping flood victims get back on their feet. The task force will determine how federal flood recovery dollars will be spent. The state could receive billions of dollars and Edwards says it must be used appropriately. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve two-point-six billion dollars for Louisiana’s flood recovery.
Wednesday in Washington DC, the US Senate approved 500-million dollars in flood aid. Most of that money is expected to come to Louisiana. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish anticipates the lower chamber will pass it too. Louisiana’s delegation expects Congress to approve another financial aid package in December.
State Superintendent of Education John White laid out ideas Wednesday on how to improve public schools in the state. It’s part of an effort by Louisiana to comply with a new federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is designed to improve student achievement. White believes it’s important that schools do a better job identifying specific learning needs early on.
Former Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard has filed a lawsuit against the private Baptist college. Aguillard was president of the college for nine years. His rocky presidency ended in 2014 after two attempts to oust him from the leadership position. The suit, seeking civil damages, was filed Tuesday in the 9th Judicial District Court
Around the country there have been many sightings of creepy clowns and the trend has reached Louisiana. Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz says a group of elementary aged students claimed to see clowns in the woods behind their school. He says it turned out to be a hoax after the kids saw stories online, but authorities are taking incidents like this very seriously. Authorities say this might be a joke to some people but they will be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and take action when necessary.
A man has been arrested after walking near an elementary school with an assault rifle. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola says they received numerous calls Tuesday that 25-year-old Carl Willis was walking down the street carrying an AR-15. Coppola says Willis faces one charge of carrying a weapon on school grounds.
A Bossier Parish School Board committee has decided not to let MTV film a TV show at two schools in their system. School Board member Dennis Bamburg is the chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and he says Barcroft Productions wanted to film three students, because they have chosen practice abstinence. Bamburg says the show would have supposedly centered on the students decision to be celibate, but they didn’t believe that’s how it would air on MTV.
LSU interim head Coach Ed Orgeron told reporters Wednesday that defensive lineman Davon Godchaux will be reinstated to the team. Godchaux was arrested Monday morning after authorities say he had a tussle with his girlfriend and a 10-month old child was present. Charges against Godchaux and his girlfriend were dropped. Coach “O” also said running back Leonard Fournette is a game time decision for Saturday night’s contest against Missouri.