Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff Hilton’s handpicked successor, Mark Wood, officially entered the race for Rapides Parish sheriff yesterday at a Hotel Bentley gathering. Sheriff Hilton expressing his confidence and belief in the ability of Wood to take his place. Currently, Mark Wood is serving as the head of the criminal patrol division.
State lawmakers heard from supporters of the death penalty Tuesday, one of them being Wayne Guzzardo, whose daughter, was gunned down in a robbery in 1995 and blames Governor Edwards for being excuse-oriented as to why Louisiana can’t execute inmates, while other states saw a total of 22 executions last year. Governor Edwards responded saying the fact of the matter is the state cannot execute someone in Louisiana today because the only legally prescribed manner set forth in state statute is unavailable to us. He says It’s up to lawmakers to change that.
A Denham Springs couple whose home was flooded in 2016 is suing HUD in an effort to access Restore grant money. The couple’s lawyer, J.R. Whaley, says the suit against HUD is for their inaction in correcting the issue, saying many were eligible, yet not qualified for further help due to their use of an SBA loan. Whaley says HUD has offered excuse after excuse for delays in changing their rules as they were ordered to do, with HUD crediting the latest slowdown due to the recent government shutdown. Whaley says the goal is to get HUD to follow the law and has made sure to shape the suit in a manner to not slow things down even further in the court system.
Governor John Bel Edwards spoke to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education yesterday to urge them to include a one-thousand dollar teacher pay raise as part of their public education funding request to the legislature. Edwards says teaching is an underappreciated profession and he wants to change that.
The gubernatorial primary is seven months away. There is still time for another Republican to get in the race and some are saying it could be Congressman Steve Scalise. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says that’s unlikely.
Currently, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is facing two G-O-P challengers, Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.
Community activists are calling on lawmakers to pass a law allowing local governments the right to set their own minimum wages. Nationwide states and cities have been raising their minimum wages, including neighboring Arkansas. A 1999 law bars local municipalities from setting pay and benefit standards, instead leaving that up to the state. Step Up Louisiana member Pamela Bourgeois says with the cost of living rising ever higher, $15 is a reasonable place to start in the Bayou State.
The FBI is hiring and wants to meet those interested in being special agents in New Orleans next Wednesday. They’re looking for those with STEM backgrounds, lawyers, accountants, and even teachers, and New Orleans field office lead agent Eric Rommal says they’re focusing next week on hiring women and people of color. They’re seeking applicants aged 23 to 36, with at least two years of work experience, and a clean background. Starting pay for special agents is more than double the average salary in Louisiana at a whopping 80,000 dollars a year. Rommal says if you’re selected, you’ll be shipped off to Virginia to receive your training.
The LSU AgCenter is getting a grant potentially worth one million dollars to study the vital bayou stalwart roseau cane. The cane helps keep the bayou intact, but is threatened by sea level changes and an infection of roseau scale. Professor Roberto Diaz says they’ll use the money to run a series of tests in isolated greenhouses and out in the field. The cane is credited with sustaining bayous by reducing the action of waves as they crash into the wetlands.
Former Vikings running back Latavius Murray has reportedly agreed to a four year deal with the Saints, likely signaling the end of Black and Gold standout RB Mark Ingram’s tenure in New Orleans. Reports indicated that several teams were pursuing Ingram at a price point that would have been untenable for a team with limited cap space. Murray ran for 578 yards and 6 TDs last year.
LSU Baseball last night was anything but boring.. but, in the end, the tigers lost to the Demons 1 to 3. The tigers will face Texas Southern tonight.. Airtime 6p on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm
The Pelicans were kicked hard by the Bucks last night.. the final 113 to 130. They’ll play next on Friday evening against Portland..
The Houston Astros lost to the Washington Nationals 3 to 5 yesterday as spring training rolls on. They’ll face the Mets today.
Yesterday’s LSU basketball press conference once again saw interim head coach Tony Benford fielding questions on the two individuals of interest in the recent FBI wiretap investigation, the suspended Coach Will Wade and freshman Javonte Smart. Benford says Smart’s status is still up in the air as to if he will be playing in the upcoming SEC tournament.