News for Tuesday 032619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole has denied an effort by the former mayor of Ball, Roy Hebron, to get a recommendation from the board to be pardoned by Governor John Bel Edwards. That decision came Monday morning from a panel of four members; the fifth member recused himself because he knew Hebron. In the end, there were two "yes" votes and two "no" votes.
It appears a house fire in Alexandria that occurred Sunday night on Schnack Street has been ruled as arson by the Alexandria Fire Department. KALB TV5 reports an investigator at the scene told them the blaze, which started a little before 10pm at an abandoned home, was human-caused. No arrests have been made, and there were no injuries reported.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office received a complaint earlier this month from a victim who discovered that multiple bank accounts and credit cards had been opened in their name without their knowledge or authorization. 33 year old Roman Simmons was identified as a suspect. Upon receiving a warrant for Simmons for one count of identity theft, they also obtained a search warrant for his residence. While there, investigators found evidence identifying 37 additional victims and 164 additional acts of identity theft. Simmons is in the Parish Lockup.
The man charged in connection to the death of a newborn who was thrown in the trash has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Carl Hall was originally charged with first-degree murder for the incident that happened in February 2018. Hall was sentenced to five years in jail. The child’s mother also pleaded guilty to negligent homicide last week.
Budget hearings start next Monday and most state leaders appear to be on-board the push to give teachers a raise, including Republican House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry who has proposed a budget that includes a one grand raise for teachers and 500 bucks for support staff. Henry says it’s in due to popular demand.
The raises would cover workers in K-12 education. Governor Edwards has made the raise the centerpiece of his legislative agenda, and while that looks increasingly likely to pass, his request for 39 million in additional education funding could be in for a rocky ride.
The statewide average for a price of regular gasoline is $2.38, which is 26-cents higher than a month ago, but is about what we were paying at this time last year. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says expect the price to rise another 30 cents over the next couple of months.
The US Justice Department says they’ve reviewed the Mueller report, and say it’s conclusion is that there was no collusion between President Trump and the Russian government in the 2016 election. The investigation resulted in 34 other indictments, but Minority Whip Steve Scalise Scalise says the core accusation of Russian collusion was nothing but a bad faith effort by Democrats to impeach the President. But Democratic political consultant Mary Patricia-Wray says President Trump still faces a series of other inquiries into his finances, including an investigation by the District Attorney of Southern New York into potential tax evasion. The consultant says the Mueller Report shouldn’t excuse the President’s other misdeeds.
Louisiana Republican Party chairman Louis Gervich says he’s making it clear that there will be no negative campaigning between Republicans in this year’s governor’s race. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says four years ago the race was thrown by Republicans, after they let their primary candidates shred front-runner David Vitter like pulled pork. This reminder was in response to an Advocate article that said some “sniping” had begun between Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham. Pinsonat says since both have strong followings, the party really can’t risk alienating either by playing favorites.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says there are no plans to pursue charges against Louisiana Democratic Party chairwoman and state senator Karen Carter Peterson for illegally entering a Baton Rouge casino. Peterson has admitted to a gambling problem and voluntarily put her name on a list of people banned from Louisiana casinos.
Pediatricians across the state and the American Heart Association call for regulations to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks by kids. Dr. John Maa with the American Heart Association says for the first time, pediatricians are calling for a tax on sugary drinks, among other measures. Data shows that for children and teens, 17% of their calories come from added sugars. Nearly half of those are coming from drinks alone, with children consuming an average of 30 gallons of sugary drinks annually.
The LSU baseball team has fallen a few spots in the national rankings as a result of losing two of three to Georgia, who is ranked in the top 10 in major polls. LSU won by one run on Friday night and the Tigers lost by two runs in the next two games.
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