News for Thursday
Compiled by Dave Graichen
59 year old William Ellington of Alexandria has been arrested on a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The alleged victim, according to police, is only 9 years old. At the time the department announced his initial arrest earlier Tuesday, it said another case was under investigation as well. Ellington remains in the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
AAA projects over 1/3 of the nation’s population will be on the move during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Spokesperson Don Redman says for as long as AAA has looked at holiday travel numbers, they’ve never seen anything like this. Redman says it’s important that travelers practice patience and give themselves a little extra time to get where they need to go. There is some good news; Redman says travelers can expect gas prices along the Gulf Coast to be relatively low.
According to the US Census Bureau, Louisiana is among nine states that has seen a loss of population, with a decrease by nearly 11,000 in the time between July 2017 and July 2018. Demographer Greg Rigamer says it’s not a good sign and a reflection upon the state’s economy. Since 2010, Louisiana’s population has only increased by 115,000, compared to Texas who has seen an increase of 3.5 million and Florida with 2.5 million.
Louisiana’s two US Senators are on opposite sides of a criminal justice reform bill approved by the Senate on an 87-12 vote. Bill Cassidy says the legislation helps non-violent and low risk parolees re-enter society, get a job and stay out of trouble. But John Kennedy says the, just passed, First Step Act is a violation of American public safety.
Bossier City will see 80 jobs, and Baton Rouge 160 as the result of two new Young Williams customer service call centers. The contract to process calls for the Department of Children and Family Services will run for five years. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says it’s a prominent company, with a good background.
The state GOP is calling for a return to closed primaries that only let party members vote for party candidates. Currently voters are free to vote for whomever in the primary, and the top two candidate’s progress to the general election. The call was made by GOP State Chairman Louis Gurvuich, who says the “Jungle Primary” creates issues for Republicans when they have large fields of candidates.
Louisiana's nursing homes are among the nation’s worst. The state ranked 50th in patient quality of care in a recent AARP report. Elderly citizens widely prefer staying in their homes with help as long as possible, studies show. And advocates for changing the system say that making institutionalization a last resort would save the state money. But when legislation was introduced this year to address that imbalance, three prominent former lawmakers helped torpedo it before it could progress. Former House Speaker Jim Tucker urged the House Appropriations Committee to kill the proposal. Joe McPherson, the former chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, told his onetime colleagues the reform was impractical. And Sherri Buffington, the committee’s former vice chairwoman, watched from the audience. Each of them is deeply connected to the nursing home industry, which has strongly opposed the changes. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, here Louisiana, more than a third of ex-lawmakers continue to try to influence their old colleagues and in many cases they are successful.
While many internet transactions are already seeing sales taxes collected for the state, as of January 1, all purchases from out of state internet retailers will be subject to a flat 8.45 percent tax. Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson says the idea behind the tax is to have level playing field between internet retailers and brick and mortar . Of the 8.45 percent sales tax rate collected, 4 percent of that will go to local government.
There are people living in a Mandeville neighborhood hoping their neighbor takes down the five inflatable dragons up in her front yard. It started with two dragons, both of them wearing a Santa Claus hat. But the homeowner, Diana Rowland, says she received an anonymous note saying her neighbors were wondering if she was involved in a demonic cult. So Rowland decided to add three more dragons because of her judgy-mcfudgyface neighbor.
A vivint-source-dot-com report finds that Louisiana has one of the highest rates for holiday thefts in the nation. PR Specialist Hilary Bird says over the past five years, Louisiana had an average of 68 thefts per 10-thousand residents during the holiday season. Larceny is the most common crime, which is pickpocketing or breaking into someone’s car.
The nation’s number one prospect according to Rivals-dot-com is officially an LSU Tiger on the first day of college football’s early signing period. Derek Stingley Jr. signed his national letter of intent in front of classmates at Dunham High School. Based on who signed with LSU today and who might possibly sign in February, the Tigers could land a top 5 recruiting class. Stingley says he chose LSU, because it will benefit him after his playing days are over.
LSU signed 19 players on the first day of college football’s early signing period as they work towards securing a top five recruiting class.