News for Friday 030218
By Dave Graichen
A manhunt has been ongoing in south Natchitoches Parish for Rapides Prison escapee Brandon Clark. Authorities say the 39-year-old white male stole a 2018 Ford F-250 and led State Police and Rapides deputies on pursuit into Natchitoches Parish, where he ditched the vehicle and fled in the woods near the Marco -Lena areas.
The Reverend Billy Graham will be laid to rest today in North Carolina. There is a Louisiana connection. The 99-year-old evangelist will be buried in a coffin made by prisoners at Angola. Former inmate David Bacon says Graham was so impressed with the caskets they made for those who died while in prison, he ordered one on the spot.
Bacon says his life wouldn’t be what it is today, had he not had the opportunity to meet Graham while he was at Angola. Graham’s wife Ruth, who died in 2007, is also buried in one of the Angola caskets.
The House is set to try again today on passing tax proposals that will go towards closing a one-billion dollar budget deficit. A sales tax bill that would generate 300-million dollars annually was soundly defeated on Wednesday, but House Speaker Taylor Barras says that measure is still a critical part of addressing the fiscal cliff. Lawmakers are running out of time as the special session to pass revenue generating measures must end Wednesday night.
Partisan politics are complicating state budget talks while the one billion dollar shortfall gets closer. Chairman of the House Republican Legislative Caucus, Lance Harris, blames Governor Edwards for poor negotiating tactics. But, Republican Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge says GOP legislators simply are not willing to work with a Democratic governor.
House Speaker Taylor Barras says the House will reconvene Friday to consider tax bills. He says there is some progress, but there is still plenty of work to do and stressed that the clock is ticking. The special session is nearly through it’s second week and it must end no later than next Wednesday.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents are offering a 55-hundred-dollar reward for information about who killed two black bears last month in St. Mary Parish in the Atchafalaya Basin. Spokesman Adam Einck says the bears were about a half mile apart. There’s no evidence as to why they were killed
A state Department of Children and Family Services report finds there has been a 77-percent increase in the amount of juvenile human trafficking victims aged 12 or less. Juveniles account for over 52-percent of the 681 identified victims in 2017. Author of the report Walter Fahr says once a victim is identified, they ask qualified organizations to help provide services they need…
Gus Mijalis (Muh-Jail-Us), a Shreveport businessman and noted close friend of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, has died. Mijalis family owned the Farmers Seafood Company which opened in 1918. Former Governor Edwin Edwards remembers Mijalis in an adversarial position when they first met. But things quickly changed and they became fast friends. A memorial service is scheduled for Monday and the former governor says he will attend.
A judge who halted the construction of the Bayou Bridge oil pipeline says her decision was designed to prevent further irreparable harm to wetlands. U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick issued a temporary injunction after environmentalists, including the Louisiana Bucket Brigade expressed concerns about it’s effect on the economy and wildlife. The line would pass through the Atchafalaya Basin between Lake Charles and St. James.
Four months of construction work will begin Saturday on the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet says 8.5 million dollar project will initially close the inside eastbound lane so crews can replace expansion joints on the nearly 60-year-old structure. Motorists are advised to use I-210 as a detour while work takes place.
We will find out Sunday if two movies filmed in Louisiana will win an Oscar. Mudbound was filmed in New Orleans and rural St. James Parish, while Logan was filmed in several locations including Amite, Ferriday, Hammond and New Orleans. Mary J. Blige, who recently received the key to the city of Baton Rouge, is nominated for best supporting actress and original song for “Mighty River” for the movie Mudbound.
U.S. News & World Report has released it’s "Best States" rankings and again, Louisiana did not fare well. The yearly ranking "draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens," in a variety of categories like health care, education, and the state's economy. In all, Louisiana received 47th in health care, 49th in education, 44th in economy, 50th in opportunity, 44th in infrastructure, 48th in crime & corrections, 48th in fiscal stability, and 42nd in quality of life.
The LSU lady tigers are in the SEC tournament this weekend. They’ll face Texas A&M this afternoon starting at 2pm. You can hear the game on KSYL 970am & 100.3 HD3fm.
LSU baseball will play three different teams at Alex Box Stadium this weekend, starting tonight when they host Toledo out of the Mid-American Conference. Tomorrow, the Tigers play Sacred Heart and Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. The entire series can be heard on KSYL 970 and 100.3 HD3