News for Monday 022618
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana College President Rick Brewer has denied claims that he refused to sign off on hiring a football coach because of the man’s Jewish heritage. Brewer says he was not nearly as upset as he was hurt by the allegation. Joshua Bonadona sued LC and Brewer on Wednesday, accusing them of violating his civil rights. The suit claims that Coach Justin Charles told Bonadona that Brewer refused to approve his hiring because of what Brewer called his “Jewish blood.”
Two tax bills that will help the state overcome a looming one billion dollar budget deficit are heading to the House floor. Some Republicans were seeking to make permanent a quarter of a temporary one-cent sales tax. But Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh didn’t like the permanent part, so he changed the legislation so a quarter of the temporary one-cent sales tax stays until mid-2021. The measure also temporarily eliminates some sales tax breaks.
Former prison Avoyelles Prison warden Nate Cain and his ex-wife are asking a federal judge to throw out information key to their indictments for making fraudulent purchases on the Avoyelles prison's dime, arguing that the evidence was illegally obtained. Nate Cain, the eldest son of legendary retired Louisiana jailer Burl Cain, and his ex-wife have asked that evidence obtained from the inspector general's search warrant be suppressed. The Cains' attorney, John McLindon, said the judicial system has not yet expressly ruled on the legality of search warrants filed by the Inspector General. Nate Cain resigned as warden in May 2016 amid multiple investigations and newspaper articles exploring nepotism and possible misconduct, some of a potentially criminal nature.
Long time Louisiana Republican Leader Roger Villere relinquished his role Saturday after 14 years. When he took over as GOP Chair, the only Republican statewide official was the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. Now it has completely flipped the other way. Villere says there’s also been an increase in registered Republican voters…
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator is asking the Caddo Parish School Board, to allow some faculty and administrators to carry guns on campus. Most Caddo Parish schools have a security guard or a resource officer, but he feels it’s not enough. Prator says schools are an open door to criminals with weapons. Teacher union groups oppose Prator’s proposal. President of the Red River United Union, Jackie Lansdale, says teachers are there to educate students and going beyond that to protect students is more than what they signed up for. Prator says school staff that would be allowed to carry guns, must undergo several hours of training to make sure they can handle a weapon in a crisis situation.
Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor is proposing a bill that would fine reckless drivers for creating potentially dangerous wakes while driving through flooded areas. The bill would add a new specification to existing law that would fine drivers up to 500 dollars, with potential for 90 days in jail. Claitor says the legislation was inspired by flood horror stories from his constituents. The bill would also extend these laws to watercraft used during flood situations.
Planned Parenthood wants a federal judge to force Louisiana’s health department to allow its New Orleans clinic to perform abortions. The Associated Press says the lawsuit filed claims the Edwards’ administration, through the Louisiana health department, has put up unconstitutional roadblocks to prevent them from moving forward. The lawsuit challenges as unconstitutional both the delays in approval of the abortion clinic license and a 2016 law pushed by Edwards to block Medicaid financing for entities that perform abortions in Louisiana.
A Baton Rouge Federal judge has closed the valve on construction of the Bayou ridge crude oil pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin. The lawsuit was at the request of environmental groups opposed to the project. U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick issued the order Friday halting all work on the pipeline until quote…”the issue can be tried on its merits.”
Taxes are down 14 percent for utility companies in the wake of the federal tax overhaul, but Louisianans haven’t seen lower rates. The Public Service Commission says they anticipate lower rates as a result, but Commissioner Lambert Boissierre says you could be waiting until summer to see the change. Boissierre says the new tax structure means the PSC will have to redo its previous analysis that it sets every six months to a year for rate changes.
A recent report by the LA Times states that an actor in the popular series Breaking Bad was investigated by New Orleans police last year for sexual assault. Dean Norris was investigated after a woman said he sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors decided not to file charges, a spokesman for the Orleans Parish DA’s office says there wasn’t enough evidence to merit prosecution.
For the second straight Sunday, LSU was blown out at home. Texas trounced the Tigers 11-1 to prevent a three-game sweep by the Tigers. LSU won the first two games of the series by scores 13-4 and 10-5.