News for Thursday 121417
By Dave Graichen
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office is trying to figure out how two bodies ended up in Lake Dubbuisson near Ville Platte. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says they are working with Alexandria Police, because they believe 30-year-old Anthony Michael Murray of Rapides Parish kidnapped 21-year-old Lia Ali Kazan in a motel parking lot.
Autopsies on the bodies will be conducted today.
Governor John Bel Edwards was a surprise visitor at yesterday’s House Republican delegation retreat in New Orleans. Edwards says he spoke to legislators about the looming fiscal cliff as the state is facing a one-point-one billion dollar budget deficit. The governor says the state can make up that revenue by removing dozens of sales tax exemptions. Edwards says it’s his goal not to raise taxes, but some republican legislators say eliminating tax breaks is a tax increase.
Col. Mike Edmonson is under public scrutiny for how he spent taxpayer money during his time as the leader of state police. The legislative auditor has released a preliminary report that shows Edmonson may have received special taxpayer funded treatment for housing, food and chauffer service for his wife.
Louisiana once again ranks 49th out of 50 states in a health ranking report. America’s Health Rankings Annual Report analyzes 35 health guidelines. CEO of United Health Care of Louisiana Joe Ochipinti says the Bayou State ranks near the bottom because a quarter of it’s residents smoke and that in turn raises other health related problems.
Ochipinti says education and healthy lifestyles are the key to lowering sickness and death rates.
A “Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools” gives Louisiana schools a “D”, down from a “B” grade just two years ago. Minden State Representative Gene Reynolds authored a 2016 law that requires financial literacy to be taught in high schools, but it appears some schools are only teaching personal finance as another existing course of study.
A white man accused in two racially motivated murders in Baton Rouge pleaded not guilty yesterday to all charges against him. Kenneth James Gleason allegedly fatally shot two black men in September and also fired shots into a home that was occupied by a black family. A trial date has not been set. Prosecutors can seek the death penalty in this case.
The Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve arrested and fired one of their deputies after he allegedly wrecked his patrol car while driving intoxicated early yesterday morning. Commander Lonny Cavalier says authorities responded to calls of a vehicle in a ditch and it turned out to be 22-year-old Deputy Joseph Edward Repp of Pierre Part. Cavalier says Repp blew a .09 on the breath test, which is just above the legal limit.
The headquarters for the state Department of Transportation in Baton Rouge were vandalized Tuesday night. Windows on the east side of the building received damage from the gunshots. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says steps have been taken to ensure the building is secure and it is monitored by the Department of Public Safety.
A Tulane researcher has received a 414-thousand-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to study why males have more impulse control issues than females. Director of the Tulane University Brain Institute Jill Daniel says if are able to determine why males are more vulnerable to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and addiction, it will lead to better treatment. Daniel says they know impulsive behavior issues start when a person is a child and continue into adulthood.
A Boutte man is thanking his beloved pup, Rusty, for saving him from a house fire. Calvin Baldwin says he fell asleep on his couch after a long day of watching the high school football championship games in New Orleans when he was woken by Rusty pawing at his hands. Baldwin saw smoke near the bathroom and was able to get out of the house with the dog. It’s believed the fire was started by an electrical spark.
The who man serves as LSU’s General Manager for the football program, Austin Thomas, is leaving for the same job at Tennessee. Thomas is a Tennessee native and has been a critical part of LSU’s recruiting efforts. He was with LSU for four and a half years.
A Kentucky state lawmaker facing sexual assault allegations has apparently killed himself. Officials say Republican Dan Johnson shot himself on the side of a road outside Louisville. A woman told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting that Johnson sexually assaulted her in 2013. Police did not file any charges against Johnson. The report was published on Monday. Johnson denied it the following day.