News for Friday 020918
By Dave Graichen
Many Mardi Gras revelers will keep one eye on the parades and one eye on the skies as threatening weather may put a damper on their celebrations The National Weather Service says rain, heavy at times, is predicted for southeast Louisiana. Here in Cenla, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain Saturday and an 80% chance on Sunday..
Here in Cenla we will keep our fingers crossed in the hopes mother nature cooperates. This afternoon it’s the 2018 Hixson Classic Cars and College Cheerleaders Parade. It rolls in downtown Alexandria staring at 4:30 p.m. and will travel down Murray street to, Fifth, then to Jackson, Third and St. James.
Saturday The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association Children's Parade starts at 10 a.m. and follows the same downtown route as the Cars and Cheerleaders Parade.
Mardi Gras at the Alexandria Zoo is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday, The 25th annual Alexandria Mardi Gras Association Krewes Parade starts at 2 p.m.
There will be an expanded presence of state police troopers in New Orleans as Mardi Gras ramps up for the final weekend. They have committed 165 troopers to working the French Quarter and the metro area. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says they will perform a variety of assignments. Last year, State Police and New Orleans Police confiscated dozens of firearms along parade routes.
A Tioga man who had been facing 50 counts of pornography with juveniles pleaded guilty to one reduced charge on Monday and avoided jail time. Terry Lee Adams Jr. pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obscenity and the 49 other charges were dropped. Adams was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $495 in a plea deal.
A 27-year-old Mansura man was arrested for distribution of child pornography on Wednesday. Dustin Novo is being held at the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center on a 100,000 dollar bond. State Police spokesperson Scott Moreau says deputies were tipped off about a month ago. A warrant for Novo’s residence was served, and after a search of the premises, he was arrested and charged.
House Republicans are looking at renewing at least some or all of the temporary one cent sales tax as a way to address a looming one billion dollar shortfall. But the governor says he will not support any plan that maintains the current sales tax rate, which is currently five-cents.
Today is the deadline for Governor John Bel Edwards to call a February special session to address the looming one billion dollar budget hole resulting in the expiration of sales taxes. The governor said he would not call the session without an agreement in principle on a fiscal cliff deal, but LAPoltics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says the governor is being pushed to call the session. Because it’s a revenue issue, the fiscal cliff can only be addressed in a special session.
The Humane Society of Louisiana has a facebook page where you can adopt horses that appear in Mardi Gras parades this week. H-S-L Director Jeff Dorson says 19 horses are up for adoption this year after 17 horses were adopted last year, keeping them from heading to a slaughter house. The facebook page is New Orleans Mardi Gras Horses Available for Adoption.
Governor Edwards will be in Washington D-C on Lundi Gras for a White House event to discuss President Trump’s plans to improve infrastructure. Edwards, along with Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, will participate in a roundtable with federal, state and local leaders.
Mandeville Representative Paul Hollis has filed legislation that would make it easier for voters to recall their elected officials. Currently, 33 percent of registered voters in districts with more than 100,000 voters must sign the recall petition before a special election is triggered. Hollis says his bill would cut that number down to 20 percent. If adopted, Hollis says it’ll still take a serious effort to unseat an official. Hollis had a similar bill that failed in the legislature last year.
Drax Biomass is relocating its headquarters from Atlanta to Monroe, in what Governor John Bel Edwards is hailing as another big win for Louisiana’s economy. Drax already operates two wood pellet manufacturing facilities and a shipping operation in the state. Monroe Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Nicholson says that means 150 good paying jobs are on the way.