News for Thursday 051018
By Dave Graichen
The state will send out letters today to 37-thousand elderly and disabled people, warning them the Medicaid programs which pay for their care could be eliminated on July 1st. The state has a 648-million dollar revenue shortfall for next fiscal year and the House approved budget reduces funding for several health care services. Gov Edwards says he’ll be holding a press conference today to address the pending cuts. Republicans say the letters are going out too soon, because there’s still time to find the funding by July 1st.
The house committee on administration of criminal justice advanced a bill Tuesday creating the crime of coercing abortion. The new crime would carry a sentence of up to five years and a five thousand dollar fine if someone threatened violence toward a woman who did not get an abortion. The measure now goes to the full house.
Two medical marijuana bills passed the Senate with amendments and are headed to the House. One bill would add additional categories, such as PTSD to the already existing list diseases medical marijuana is eligible to treat, and the other would allow the treatment to be given to autism patients.
The days of seeing a smiling face when you place your food order is slowly coming to an end. It’s being called the “Experience Of The Future”. McDonald's locations across the state are, or will soon be, installing Self Order Kiosks that allows customers to order their food on a touchscreen. It’s planned that by 2020 all McDonalds nationwide with have the devices up and online. Here in Cenla, the McDonalds on Highway 28 east is installing their units this week. Company officials say the Kiosks are not being put in place to replace employees, Just to enhance the customer experience..
Western Global Airlines will invest three million dollars in a new facility in Shreveport, which could lead to 170 direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates that an additional 308 new jobs will be created by the facility run by the Florida based company. Secretary Don Pierson says they’ll take over the former Continental Express Jet hangar.
A study for the Louisiana Chemical Association shows the industry is responsible for nearly 80-billion dollars in annual sales and is the number one provider of jobs in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector. The Louisiana Chemical Association says it can remain a cornerstone of the state’s economy if it continues to have state support. That support in the form of the Industrial Tax Exemption. Governor Edwards has taken steps to tighten the tax exemption program, so it leads to more job creation. He’s also given local governments more say in who should receive it.
Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard is re-opening the case in the disappearance of Barbara Blount. The then 58 year old went missing in the middle of the day on May 2nd, 2008 and has never been seen again. Back then a dozen or so volunteers combed the woods surrounding her house in Holden, Ard says it’s time to stir the pot again. Ard says it’s possible someone lured Blount out of her home and dumped her body somewhere else.
A Thibodaux man was arrested and released on bail Tuesday after allegedly battering one woman, and running another over. 20-year-old Kip LeBlanc was charged with Aggravated Second Degree Battery and Domestic Abuse Battery. A Lafourche Sheriffs Spokesperson says it started with an argument, and turned brutally violent.