News for Wednesday 101916
By Dave Graichen
A Monroe television station is reporting that the principal and a teacher at Caldwell Parish High School have been suspended and placed on administrative leave. The sheriff’s office has been investigating complaints that students were stripped searched as school officials looked a missing 42 dollars.
Flu season is just around the corner, and the Louisiana Department of Health urges everyone to go out and get their flu shot. Dr. Frank Welch with LDH says despite what some people may think, getting a flu shot will not give someone the flu, and everyone needs to get vaccinated even if they got the shot last year. In years past, people had an option to get protected from flu in the form of a nasal spray, rather than an injection. But Welch says the nasal vaccine is not be available this year. The flu causes 500 deaths and nearly 3,000 hospitalizations every year in Louisiana.
Louisiana Senate candidate Rob Maness said Tuesday he was asked to drop out of the race and throw his support to GOP opponent John Fleming in return for significant funding in a future race. Maness told The Advocate that he met Paul Dickson Monday afternoon. There, Dickson, who identified himself as the person “running the John Fleming PAC” and a decision maker with the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority, offered support to Maness’ future political endeavors. But, Maness says there was a catch. If I didn't do it before last night’s statewide televised debate he’s be finished as a politician. Maness says the unethical threats and power play were shocking even by Louisiana standards.”
With 24 candidates in the US Senate race, it may come as a surprise that many Louisiana voters struggle to name even one. Louisiana Network asked Louisiana residents if they knew any of the two dozen candidates. Some respondents were familiar with one candidate, David Duke, but more for his controversial past than his current campaign. Analysts have said that voters are paying much more attention to what’s happening with presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
A state legislative committee meets today to discuss on lawsuits against oil and gas companies by five coastal parishes, claiming these companies polluted and destroyed their land. House Natural Resources Chairman Stuart Bishop of Lafayette says there has been a lot of talk about these lawsuits and he wanted to have a public discussion. The parishes filing suit are Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Vermilion and Cameron. A state law requires oil and gas companies to maintain and restore land used back to its original condition. Any money gained from a suit would go to restoring over 1,900 square miles of damaged coast.
Shreveport police have identified four suspects, including a seven-year-old girl, who were involved in a break-in at a Judson Elementary School on Monday morning. Detectives say two dozen I Pads were among the items stolen. Authorities have arrested 18-year-old D’Angelo Walker and he’s facing several charges.
Following a judge’s ruling that Attorney General Jeff Landry does not have to sign off on contracts that prevent LGBT discrimination, the Governor’s Office issued a statement saying they are reviewing their legal options. Landry believes the executive order banning discrimination in state offices is overreaching. The Governor’s statement adds the ruling does not impact the executive order.
A Louisiana man is suing over a state law that requires couples seeking marriage licenses to present a birth certificate, which can pose a problem for those born outside the US. 31-year-old Victor Vo of Lafayette has lived in this country since he was 3 months old and became a U.S. citizen when he was eight and recently had his marriage license application rejected by a court clerk. Denham Springs Representative Valarie Hodges wrote the 2015 law in question. She says it’s an effort to prevent marriage fraud.
The state House Judiciary Committee begins two days of meetings today to discuss universal training for police officers, as well as de-escalation tactics. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson says the goal of the hearings is to improve the trust between police and the public, especially African-Americans who feel they’ve been targeted by law enforcement. Jackson says they plan to discuss community partnerships with law enforcement that can enhance respect for law enforcement in the communities they police.
A 14-year-old boy fighting a liver disease was made an honorary Saint yesterday during an appearance on Good Morning America. Jarrius Robertson is a big fan of the Saints and Coach Sean Payton personally invited Jarrius and his Dad to travel with the team to Sunday’s game at Kansas City. Payton said Jarrius’ job would be to take care of social media during the game.
In the race for the 3rd Congressional District, it appears as though, it’s GOP Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle’s race to lose, as he’s raised more than rest of the field combined. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Third Quarter Federal Elections Commission records show Angelle has over $1 million dollars in receipts through the third quarter, followed by little known Gus Rantz with more $620,000. Cross says Clay Higgins, a former police captain with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, is arguably the second best-known candidate in the race.