News for Thursday 110316
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria Officials held a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce details surrounding this year’s Alex Winter Fete. This year the city is adding attractions and going bigger with some of the most successful aspects of last year's festival. Mayor Roy says, the skating rink at Fulton Mini Park will be larger, There will be more Christmas lights, the snow globe for people to take pictures inside will be larger and the fireworks Dec. 2 more impressive.. Returning this year live music, food and shopping vendors. This year's Winter Fête will be Dec. 1-3.
The Town Talk reports The Rapides Parish School Board will consider selling a portion of the land where the J.S. Slocum Learning Center is currently located, months after the Environmental Protection Agency found contaminated soil on the property. The report was brought up at Tuesday’s meeting when the district proposed exploring an offer from the former Colfax Creosote company to purchase an unspecified amount of the land on Crepe Myrtle Street in Pineville. The full story can be found in today’s Town Talk.
Much like the first, the second US Senate debate got heated as candidates had sharp jabs for their opponents. The squabbling started Democratic candidate Caroline Fayard. Who was quick to comment on Republican David Duke’s presence at the debate. John Kennedy fired at Duke, calling him a convicted liar and a convicted felon. The only candidate who didn’t make any jabs at an opponent was Republican Charles Boustany. The Congressman kept his cool throughout the debate, except for a moment in a rebuttal with Fleming about Obamacare.
State lawmakers have received suggestions from Louisiana’s Tax Task Force on how to improve the state’s tax codes. Task Force Chairman Dr. Jim Richardson says they’re recommending lawmakers eliminate some excess deductions and credits, simplify the income and sales taxes, and broaden the tax base. Legislators will consider the suggestions in the 2017 fiscal session, and Richardson says it’s unclear how receptive they will be.
Louisiana once again scores poorly on the report card from the March of Dimes due to the high prevalence of pre-term births in the state. Amy Zapata with the Louisiana Department of Health hopes the expansion of the Medicaid program will help provide care to at risk low-income expecting mothers. The March of Dimes report says 12% of babies born in Louisiana are pre-mature.
Small business uncertainty is at an all-time high less than a week before the election, according to the National Federation for Independent Business. The October Uncertainty Index rose from 86 to 88, which exceeded last August’s record-breaking index. NFIB state director Dawn Starns says this high level of uncertainty makes it hard for small business owners to plan for the future.
The first college football rankings are out, and Alabama is number one and LSU is 13 with a 5-and-2 record. The Tigers and the Tide face off this Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
A woman who was being held hostage in her home is now safe, thanks to a little help from her son. East Feliciana Sheriff Jeff Travis says 27-year-old Donald Guy was found hiding in a closet of the woman’s home, after her 11-year-old son brought a note to school asking for help.
Travis says the child’s mother was being held against her will, along with the mother and grandmother of the suspect.
State Police announce they’ve been able to reach a resolution in a murder case that is 27-years-old. They say in 1989, Gerald Daigle was found stabbed to death in an apparent robbery at his place of business in Houma. Forensic technology that was not available at that time was used to identify a man who was executed in Texas as the murderer. Bryan Wolfe was convicted of Capital Murder in Beaumont for the killing of a woman during a robbery in 1992. He lived in Houma when Daigle was murdered.
A former guard at Angola faces up to 10 years in prison after he plead guilty in federal court to covering up the beating of an inmate, who was handcuffed and shackled in solitary confinement. Court documents say Scott Kennedy was one of three guards involved in the 2004 incident.
A former deputy testified in the federal trial of Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal that the sheriff told them it was ok to beat whoever you wanted. Ackal faces civil rights charges as part of an investigation that alleges inmate abuse and cover-ups dating back several years ago. Ackal’s attorney says these deputies are trying to win favor with the prosecution as they seek lighter sentences in their cases.
Verizon Wireless and Governor John Bel Edwards are touting the efforts of the company following the south Louisiana flood. Market President Krista Bourne says they invest in their networks so they’re ready for moments like this. She says they’ve put $17 million into the network in Louisiana, which paid off as Verizon customers did not lose service during the disaster. Verizon is donating $75-thousand to the Salvation Army for flood recovery efforts in south Louisiana.