News for Tuesday 071018
By Dave Graichen
Judge Harry Randow said no yesterday to two motions to continue the trial of a former Alexandria VA Medical Center employee accused in the 2013 death of a patient. 56 year old Fredrick Harris faces trial this week on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of 70-year-old Charles Lee Johnson, who was a psychiatric patient at the VA. The trial is expected to begin today.
Jury selection is expected to start today as well for a Pineville woman facing a second degree murder charge in the death of a fellow Rapides Parish jail inmate. 35 year old Nicole Chandler is charged in connection with the death of 59-year-old Rachel Smith, who was found unresponsive in a cell of the Rapides Parish Detention Center in July of last year.
Tonia Brandy the business manager at the Avoyelles Parish Correctional Center and the ex-wife of the former warden, Nate Cain, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court on Monday. As a result, 17 counts of wire fraud were dismissed. Cain and her former husband are both accused of making many unauthorized purchases with a state credit card and with using state money to purchase lumber and plumbing supplies to build an unauthorized house on the prison grounds.
Amazon.com has applied for a permit to build a 21,000 square-foot distribution center for small packages in Baton Rouge. Officials with Louisiana Economic Development , who say they were not involved in any negotiations to bring the facility to the capitol, said to the best of their knowledge, this will be the first Amazon-branded distribution center in Louisiana.
A 10-year-old Baton Rouge Police Union contract will remain in effect for a few more months while representatives for the city and the officers await the results of a study looking at the Police Department's salary and benefits. The document outlines the basic conditions of employment, including wages and hours, but also discusses how the Baton Rouge Police Department handles allegations of wrongdoing against officers and disciplines them. Both sides expect pay and benefits to be the centerpiece of contract negotiations, whenever they occur.
Prison reform appears to be working in Louisiana. The state will save 12.2 million dollars as a result of the criminal justice reforms of 2016, that from a new report issued by the Department of Corrections. 70 percent of those savings will be reinvested into programs that will help inmates at parish prisons, increased the number of parole staff, new reception centers, and more. The state has seen a noticeable drop in the number of inmates in the system since 2016.
A recent Politico article has reignited the intrigue around former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plans for the 2020 presidential race. The Crescent City Politician did not confirm his interest in the race, but the comments he made may indicate an interest in the Democratic primary. UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervanek says this has gained the attention, and interest of national establishment Democrats who are looking to unseat Donald Trump.
A former local state trooper who pleaded guilty in state district court last week to two felony counts of malfeasance in office took to Facebook over the weekend and said he was indeed guilty of doing something that he said “hundreds, if not thousands of troopers” have also done. Rogers was arrested on one count of malfeasance in office and 74 counts of injuring public records. He admitted he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts.
The body of a contract worker at a Louisiana refinery has been recovered days after a fatal fall. A Phillips 66 says a HydroChemPSC employee fell into the 15-foot-deep water basin of the refinery's primary cooling tower on Wednesday night. After a shutdown of the facility, the unidentified worker's remains were recovered and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner.
Got some suppressed aggression issues you need to alleviate? A new businesses in Lafayette Parish might just be right in your wheelhouse. It’s called All The Rage, and customers can destroy old computers, dishes, and almost anything else your heart desires. In fact, Owner Kevin Richard says if traditional relationship counseling isn’t quite your thing, he says All the Rage has you covered.
Louisiana has surpassed Tennessee to become the number one state in the nation for the number of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The news comes following the most recent report by the National College Access Network, which also indicates the state now leads the nation with the most completion growth since last year.
About 20 children between the ages of three and seven years old were stranded on a tour boat on the Vermilion River Monday. Weather conditions forced the vessel to get stuck on a sandbar. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office marine unit assisted in making sure the campers got back to land safely.
If you love political cartoons, you’ll need to check out the new exhibit at the Old State Capitol Museum called “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons.” Director of State Museums, Mary Durusau says the exhibit will feature original editorial cartoons from the nation’s best newspapers throughout the first half of the 20th century. The exhibit will run until September 29th.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN