News for Wednesday 112316
By Dave Graichen
State auditors are trying to find out where $25 million in the Attorney General’s escrow fund has gone. AG Jeff Landry blames his predecessor’s poor record keeping for why his office can’t account for 28 transactions. But Beth Davis with the legislative auditor’s office says the transactions took place over the span of two fiscal years, six months of which were under Landry’s administration. Davis says the fund contains money from court settlements, fines, and other penalties.
The December 2 US Senate candidate debate has been cancelled after the two candidates heading to the runoff couldn’t agree whether or not to hold the televised debate in front of a live audience. Republican John Kennedy reportedly did not want a live audience present, while Democrat Foster Campbell did. It looks like voters won’t get to hear from the candidates again before the December 10 runoff.
The Louisiana State University System announced Tuesday their search was over and that Guiyou Huang has been named the next chancellor of LSU of Alexandria. He steps into the new role Jan. 1. The 54 year old Huang currently is the senior vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty and professor of English at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.
The Thanksgiving 2016 AAA travel projections forecast that 48.7 million Americans will be traveling for the holiday, a nearly 2% increase over last year. AAA Spokesman Don Redman says they haven’t seen numbers this good since Thanksgiving 2007. The Thanksgiving Holiday travel period is defined as today through Sunday.
As Louisiana families prepare to cook their Thanksgiving feasts, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has safety tips for home chefs. Strain cooks should make sure the turkey is fully defrosted before it goes in the oven. But he says it’s important not to wash the turkey before cooking. Splashing water can contaminate the kitchen. Strain says it will take 24 hours for every five pounds of weight for a turkey to safely defrost in the refrigerator. If defrosting in cold water, he says people should change the water every 30 minutes. He says the only way to determine if a turkey is fully cooked is with a meat thermometer.
The White House has urged Congress to award Louisiana with a 3.1 billion dollar disaster assistance package to help Louisiana flood victims. Congress will consider the President’s request after the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. Representative Garret Graves of Baton Rouge says Louisiana’s Congressional delegation continues to lobby federal lawmakers about the need for assistance. Graves says this money is badly needed, because what FEMA has provided so far has been inadequate.
A Monroe couple has donated 90 armored vests to State Police Troop F in Monroe. Bunzy Bryant and his wife Lynn have been friends with the troop for 16 years. Bryant says he considers the troopers family and wants to keep them safe. The high velocity vests even protect against AK-47.
One man is dead and a woman injured after they were hit by an 81-year-old trucker around 1am on I-10 near Henderson. State Police Master Trooper Brooks David says 25-year-old Vineeth Keesara of Lafayette was pushing a disabled U-Haul trailer out of the road when they were struck. Keesara was pronounced dead at the scene.
LSU’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has indefinitely suspended operations amid allegations of sexual assault at an event last weekend. LSU police say a female reported she was sexually assaulted by an unknown male early Saturday morning during the fraternity’s “PIKE’s Peak” event in the back yard of the frat house, and the alleged victim is not an LSU student. No arrests have been reported in the incident.
He was a model officer, or so they thought. The New Orleans Police Department says a 19-year veteran of the force was allegedly a sexual predator for years. Marcellus won an Angel Award for helping underprivileged kids. White faces numerous charges including first degree rape, second degree rap and false imprisonment. His bail has been set for over 2 million dollars.
UL-Lafayette Athletic Director Scott Farmer announced yesterday that he is stepping down from the position he has served for the past 5 years. He will move to a teaching position at the university. Deputy Director of Athletics Dr. Jessica Leger will serve as an interim while the school conducts a national search for a full time AD.
The festivities for the 43rd Annual Bayou Classic are already underway. Grambling State and Southern, who are undefeated in the SWAC , will go head to head this Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Bayou Classic spokesperson Angela Young says today they’ll celebrate in Joe Brown Park in New Orleans. Friday, a Career and College Expo will be held at Hyatt Regency to give students the chance to apply and interview for jobs, before the Greek Show and the Battle of the Bands later that day. Young says tickets are going fast, as they’ve already sold over 40-thousand tickets to the game.