News for Monday 022519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Two state house seats were decided over the weekend and in the end it was no race at all. In District 26, Alexandria City Councilman Ed Larvadain III defeated Rapides Parish School Board member Sandra Franklin. He did that by pulling down 61% of the vote. Larvadain takes the seat that was held by Jeff Hall, who was elected last year as Alexandria's new mayor. In the District 27 race, Mike Johnson defeated Richard Kretzsinger with an amazing 92% of the vote. Johnson will take the seat formerly held by Chris Hazel.
State police report 73 year old Wayne Pray of Dodson in a Saturday afternoon crash on Bayou Rapides Rd. according to the police report, Pray was a passenger in a pickup truck that was struck head on by another pickup driven by 26 year old Alex Ekermeyer. Pray was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of both trucks, who according to the State Police were not wearing seatbelts, sustained moderate injuries.
37-thousand people enrolled in Medicaid have been told they no longer qualify for the taxpayer funded health care coverage, because they make too much money. Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says a new computer system does a more thorough job of checking to make sure a Medicaid recipient qualifies for the program. If you received one of these notifications and can’t prove you can’t prove you still meet the income qualifications, your Medicaid coverage will end by March 31st.
The Edwards administration has recommended a 30-million dollar budget plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. It includes pay raises for public school teachers, fully funds TOPS and provides more money for juvenile justice. But funding is uncertain, since House Republican leadership has yet to go along with a recommendation to raise the state’s income forecast.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may open the Bonnet Carrie Spillway in St. Charles Parish on Wednesday to relieve pressure on the levees along the lower Mississippi River. New Orleans district Corps Spokesperson Ricky Boyett says high water levels have arrived earlier than expected, because of rainfall flowing down from the Midwest.
If the spillway is opened, it would be the third time in four years, despite only being activated 13 times since 1931.
A 36-year-old New Orleans nurse was shot dead on Bourbon Street in the early Sunday morning hours. Julie Couvillion was an innocent bystander who was struck by bullets originating from an altercation at Willie’s Chicken Shack. NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson says the shooting began when a security guard attempted to remove an uncooperative patron who was selling drugs.
LSU announces several administrators who were put on leave last week, pending the outcome of an investigation into what they knew about the hazing allegations at Delta Kappa Epsilon, have been cleared of any wrongdoing. LSU says an investigation determined they, did not try to sweep under the rug, accusations of hazing that were allegedly taking place inside the DKE frat house.
Federal and state officials signed an agreement to allow construction on a $760 million flood protection project estimated to benefit over 60,000 people in St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes. Congressman Garret Graves says it took 45 years for the state to gain the funding and construction on 18.5 miles of earthen levees should begin later this year. The levees will protect against storm surge that impacted the river parishes during Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
In case you missed it.. Six men were inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in Winnfield on Saturday. They are former Secretary of State Paul Hardy, former first gentleman Raymond Blanco, the husband of former governor Kathleen Blanco, the C-E-O of Acadian Ambulance Service Richard Zuschlag, former state representative Ron Gomez, Fourth circuit court of appeals judge Edwin Lombard and Marion Edwards, who is the late brother to former governor Edwin Edwards.
Somebody missed out on a chance to claim a one million dollar Powerball prize. A ticket worth that amount from an August 26th drawing expired Thursday, with no one claiming the prize. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says the money will go into an unclaimed prize fund. The ticket was sold in New Orleans.
A New Orleans Senator has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming session that would exempt feminine products and diapers from the state sales tax. Currently food, residential utilities, and prescription drugs are exempted, and Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says diapers and feminine products are no less mandatory to everyday life for a majority of the population.
With four more regular season games left, 13th ranked LSU is in a three-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference after the Tigers thrilling 82-80 overtime win over 5th ranked Tennessee on Saturday.
LSU baseball remains undefeated after a three game sweep of Bryant over the weekend at the box.
The New Orleans Pelicans, who have been struggling as of late, put the hurt on the LA Lakers Saturday night at the nest. The final 128 to 115. Tonight, the Pels play host to the 76ers. Airtime 6:30 on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.