News for Friday 092118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana finished the fiscal year that ended June 30th with a budget surplus of approximately 300-million dollars. Edwards says the state’s economy is performing better than what the Revenue Estimating Conference predicted. Critics of the Edwards administration say the surplus shows the legislature didn’t need to renew millions of dollars in temporary sales taxes earlier this year. But Edwards says ending now two years with a surplus is a good thing. The state constitution limits how state surplus dollars can be spent, but construction is one of those areas.
Hanna Barker, the mother of a baby who died after being found in a fire is scheduled to be in a Natchitoches Parish courtroom today for multiple motions, including one to set bond. The 22 year old Barker was arrested by the Natchitoches Police Department on July 25 on charges of being a principal to first-degree murder and criminal conspiracy.
The Pineville PD reports two Pineville residents have been charged with child desertion and other offenses for allegedly using drugs and having an unsafe environment for three young children. 37 year old Timothy Nugent and 38 year old April Bohannon were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Bond was set at $7,000 each.
The Public Service Commission launches an investigation into the spending habits of rural energy coops. Commissioner Foster Campbell highlighted what he says were completely unnecessary educational and lobbying trips to places like Las Vegas and Washington DC, where he says costs for expensive meals and hotels would end up back on customer bills. Co-op officials say the trips are a necessity in order to stay current with the technology. Louisiana’s co-ops for the most part have the lowest utility rates in the state.
New Orleans-based Via Link, which provides crisis intervention for many Louisiana residents who call the National Suicide Hotline, is on the verge of closing, as it can no longer rely on private donations to cover the costs of the service. Via Link CEO LaVondra Dobbs says the program receives some grant money but really needs closer to $350,000 to cover its annual operating costs. Dobbs says if Via Link goes away, the calls will then go to a backup center, where callers can spend around 45 minutes on hold before talking to a specialist.
Over the summer, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued its 10 millionth patent. But where are those patents being issued? Over the past five years, Louisiana was issued the fifth lowest number of patents per capita compared to other states. Content Strategist at Digital Third Coast Roxy Fata says the metrics shown by a recent study indicate the Bayou State is one of the least innovative states in the nation.
Fata says there is no shortage of Southeastern states at the bottom of the list with Arkansas just behind Louisiana and Mississippi coming in dead last.
A court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the LHSAA suspension of now Hahnville quarterback Andrew Robison until an appeals hearing, that would make the senior eligible to play tonight, but there’s still an open question as to whether or not his coach will play him. Robison Family Lawyer David Moyer says the whole process so far has been unfair. Robison, and Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio were suspended after the LHSAA alleged the quarterback was illegally recruited by Hahnville from his old school, Vandebilt Catholic. Saltaformaggio received a four game ban, while Robison was barred from playing at all for his new school.
A Denham Springs woman has been charged with D-W-I after she drove into a Baton Rouge Police cruiser. B-R-P-D Sergeant Don Coppola says after doctors checked on Jones injuries, she was then sent to the East Baton Rouge jail for booking on charges of D-W-I, careless operation and vehicular negligent injuring. Coppola says the police unit suffered severe damage as a result of the wreck.
The Gueydan Duck Festival has kicked off, bringing sportsmen from around the world to the small town known as the Duck Capital of America. The town, south of Lafayette, has been putting on the festival for 41 years. Festival President Jerrod Broussard says it’s
a family friendly event with food, music, and all kinds of other entertainment
After seeing losses in 2017, movie theatres are experiencing their best summer in two decades. It’s quite the feat considering the popularity of at home video on demand services such as Netflix. North American ticket sales will close out the summer season with more than a 14% increase. Entertainment columnist for the New Orleans Advocate Keith Spera says the weather might play a factor, with people wanting to get out of the heat.
Louisiana Tech will make the bus ride down to Baton Rouge tomorrow for their game against 6th ranked LSU. Bulldogs Senior linebacker Dae’Von Washington of Alexandria says they are gearing up for a physical game. LSU has won 15 straight over the Bulldogs. Tech’s lone win during the series came in 1904 when the Bulldogs won six to nothing. The game is sold out..
A matchup to watch in Sunday’s Saints-Falcons game is Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones versus New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The second year defensive back knows he has his work cut out for him. Saints defensive end Cam Jordan says if Lattimore and the Saints secondary can do their job, they hope to get pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.