News for Wednesday 030619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria has been named the bishop-elect for the Diocese of Memphis. The appointment of Bishop David Prescott Talley was announced on Tuesday in Rome by Pope Francis. Talley will remain in Alexandria until his installation in Memphis in early April. A replacement has yet to be named.
When disaster strikes, the Cajun Navy is there to help. The Cajun Navy 2016 has responded to the devastation left from tornadoes in south Alabama that killed at least 23. Vice President of Cajun Navy 2016 Billy Bringear says they’ve got boots on the ground with chainsaws rescuing survivors from the mangled homes. Cajun Navy 2016 responders from Baton Rouge are in Lee County, which saw the heaviest impact from the tornado outbreak.
Many are wondering if Medical Marijuana will ever be available to patients here in Louisiana.. AG Commissioner Mike Strain said the LSU AgCenter is breaking the law by moving its medical marijuana crop into the primary growing facility in a regulatory feud that's now headed to court. The LSU AgCenter and its private partner GB Sciences said a letter from Strain's medical marijuana program director granted permission for the move, but Strain said the permission is contingent on the AgCenter signing a proposed contract. Strain said he won't seek to seize the plants before the matter can be addressed in an administrative hearing.
Sen. John Kennedy and Rep. Ralph Abraham have filed legislation with the intent of combating fraud in government assistance programs. The Income Verification Act applies to Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and food stamps. Abraham says the idea is to verify recipients’ eligibility for the programs. In November, a report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office revealed that 82 out of 100 Medicaid recipients in a random sample did not financially qualify for the program. Abraham says the act would see programs verifying eligibility with federal data, instead of state data.
The town of St. Martinville will be the host of a public reading of the Bible from cover to cover starting today. The Bible Marathon runs today through Sunday in the town’s square Father Michael Champagne says the event was inspired by a similar event once done by the Pope. The event drew thousands last year, both locals and people passing through the area. During the four days of continuous reading, 300 lectors will read in 20 minute increments. Champagne says the event is intended to re-ignite a love for scripture and says the atmosphere is very festive.
There will be an effort in the upcoming legislative session to raise the age from 18 to 21-years-old to legally purchase or possess tobacco and vaping products. West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman says six states and over 400 cities have risen the tobacco age to 21 and the goal is to produce better health outcomes. Hoffman’s proposed legislation will be House Bill 38 in the legislative session that begins next month. He says raising the age would mean a loss of tax dollars from a decline in purchases of tobacco products, but it will have a long term benefit.
Tax season is in full swing and that can mean tax refunds are on the way too. IRS Spokesperson Raphael Tulino says anyone curious about their return status, can check online, rather than calling the IRS. Taxpayers can expect their refund within 21 days after filing, but if three weeks pass, Tulino says feel free to call the federal agency.
Governor John Bel Edwards was in Atlanta Tuesday for an economic development announcement involving Louisiana. Switzerland-based helicopter maker Kopter announced that it plans to assemble helicopters at a facility owned by the Lafayette Regional Airport. State officials say Kopter will hire 120 workers with an average annual salary of $55,000 plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will create an additional 157 indirect jobs. The company will begin hiring later this year with the first completed helicopters to be delivered in 2021.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s office is investigating the death of 17-year-old inmate, Charles Williams, at the parish jail. Authorities say at this time, no signs of foul play are suspected. Officials say Williams recently went to the hospital for treatment of an allergic reaction. He was being held on four counts of attempted second-degree murder.