News for Monday 031918
By Dave Graichen
It is official, The Alexandria Downtown Post Office will cease operations at the end of May. The branch is located inside the federal courthouse on Murray Street. A spokesperson from the U.S. Postal Service says they have no plans to open another Post Office downtown. Instead, customers will be diverted to the main office, located on Odom St.
A report from America’s Health Ranking says the rates of maternal mortality and teen suicide have risen over the last two years in Louisiana, but the good news those numbers are expected to improve due to a big drop in the uninsured rate among women. United Health care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Peters says we are one of the worst states when it comes to taking care of expecting mothers. The uninsured rate for women 18-40 was down 34 percent. Peters attributes this to the Medicaid expansion in 2016.
A bill that would prevent businesses from requiring employees to sign agreements blocking them from going to court over sexual harassment claims passed the House Labor Committee. The proposal by Representative Robert Johnson is part of a nationwide effort, Johnson says victims stand a better chance to reach a favorable conclusion if they seek litigation for sexual harassment claims instead of potentially more company friendly options. He says when human dignity is on the line, a judge needs to be called.
Only 46 percent of LSU Health New Orleans graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year chose to remain in Louisiana. That is down from 49 percent staying in state last year and 64-percent in 2012. Dr. Steve Nelson says it’s a trend that could cost Louisiana some great doctors. National studies find a high number of physicians set up their permanent practices in areas where they complete their residency program. Nelson says a decline of 18 percent in the last five years is a concern and it’s up to the legislature to provide a stable source of funding for higher ed…
Louisiana is two million dollars short on its funding for voucher students this year. The money is appropriated every June, and covers the cost of state students to attend charter and private schools, instead of public schools. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says if the legislature doesn’t come up with another two-million dollars to fill the shortfall for this academic year, schools that are educating voucher students would be on the hook to pay for their educational expenses.
Despite talk of budget cuts to public colleges and TOPS, a record 23-thousand students have applied for entry at LSU for the academic year that starts in August. The school’s chief enrollment officer, Jose Aviles, says they hope for an incoming freshman class of 58-hundred, but TOPS funding is a factor.
Rodney Arbuckle has retired as sheriff of DeSoto Parish. Arbuckle says he’s looking forward to being around his granddaughters and spending time outdoors. Arbuckle has served as sheriff for 17 years. Chief Deputy Jayson Richardson has been appointed as the new sheriff.
Details of Tom Benson’s last will are coming out. According to the Advocate newspaper, Benson made it clear in 2015 that his daughter or grandchildren would never receive another penny from him. Mr. Benson has also left all of his property to a trust and he also made it clear that he wanted his wife, Gayle, to run both the Pelicans and the Saints. Visitation for Benson will take place Wednesday from 10 AM to 7 PM and Thursday 8 AM through 1 Pm at Notre Dame Seminary. A private funeral will take place Friday March 23rd, from noon until 1 PM at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of Victor White against Iberia Sheriff Louis Ackal and a deputy. White was fatally shot when handcuffed inside a patrol car in 2014. The coroner ruled it a suicide, White’s family disagreed. Terms of the settlement are not known.
A federal appeals court rules construction can resume on the Bayou Bridge pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin. Environmental groups were successful in getting a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction. Rising water in the swamp could lead to another work stoppage.
LSU faces Utah tonight in the second round of the NIT. The Utes are 20-11 on the season and Tigers Coach Will Wade says they are very good on the defensive end of the floor. LSU has lost seven straight road games. Wade says his young team is still trying to learn to win away from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Here the game this evening on KSYL 970 AM & 100.3 HD3 FM
The LSUA Generals advanced into the FAB Four over the weekend in the NAIA tournament with decisive victories over Peru State College Friday and Georgetown College on Saturday. Tonight the Generals will face 4th Ranked William Penn University. Airtime 7:45 on 94.7 ESPN.
LSU freshman right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard gave up his first two runs of the season in the first inning, but that was it, as Hilliard pitched a six solid innings to help the Fighting Tigers beat Missouri 7-5 in the rubber match of the three-game series. Coach Paul Mainieri says it’s nice to take the series, but they have to play better to win on the road at Vanderbilt next weekend…