News for Wednesday 040319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
19 year old Autoria Lachney was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in the Rapides Parish Courthouse to 15 years in prison for her involvement in the attack on a doctor in Tennyson Oaks in April of last year. Judge Chris Hazel sentenced her to 15 years on one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and 15 years for conspiracy to aggravated burglary. The sentences will run concurrently.
CenturyLink will keep it’s corporate headquarters in Monroe through 2025. The company, which employs over 2,200 workers in the state at a payroll of 200 million dollars, announced the agreement with Governor Edwards yesterday. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says keeping CenturyLink in Monroe is vital for the state’s tech economy. CenturyLink is the second largest US communications provider to global enterprise customers.
The feds have agreed to an April 16th deadline on providing an answer on when RESTORE grant money will be available to those who took out SBA loans after the 2016 floods. Congress passed a law last year that allowed those who obtained Small Business Administration loans for the purpose of repairing flood damage to access a federal flood relief grant, known as RESTORE. The problem has been since that approval, the fed have not been able to come up with a way to distribute the money.
Shreveport Senator John Milkovich is bringing a bill to ban abortions in Louisiana after a fetus’s heartbeat becomes detectable. The Democrat says if this bill were to be passed, it could result in most women being unable to have the procedure five to six weeks into their pregnancy. Center for Reproductive Rights Chief Council for State Policy Elisabeth Smith says the law would act as a near total ban on abortions, as many women don’t even know they are pregnant by that point. Several states including neighboring Mississippi have passed similar laws, but they’ve been frozen by the courts.
Researchers from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication release their findings from the 2019 Louisiana Survey. It indicates education and transportation are two of the top concerns, and that public confidence in government to tackle these problems remains low. On the up side, 47% of residents feel the state is heading in the right direction, which is up from 39% last year.
Louisiana House Speaker Taylor Barras is recovering after falling from a ladder while trimming trees at his Acadiana home last weekend. Barras suffered a broken right wrist and fractured right arm and is consulting with his doctor to determine whether surgery will be needed.
The state needs new voting machines and a big election is coming up as we’ll vote on statewide offices and who will represent us at the State Capitol. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says he expects later this year they will re-do the bid process as they attempt to legally find a vendor that can supply the state with new voting machines. Ardoin told the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday that about two-million dollars will be spent to rent voting machines for the fall elections.
A legislative committee is working on a smoke-free plan for the State of Louisiana.
In 2007, Louisiana’s Smoke-Free Air Act went into effect, prohibiting smoking in most public areas, including workplaces, universities, and restaurants, but it did not include bars and gaming facilities. A recent study found the act doesn’t go far enough to protect all of Louisiana’s workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Deputies arrested a Cut Off man accused of stealing thousands from a youth baseball league. 40-year-old Blaine Curole was the president of the league from 2015 until 2017. Lt. Brennan Matherne says when Curole turned over financial records to the league’s board, there were discrepancies. Matherne says the investigation continues and more charges could be coming.
A fatal wreck in 2017 that killed a four-year-old girl is inspiring a Bossier City legislator to change state law law so that even drug tests are required for drivers involved in auto and boating accidents that result in serious injury. The current law only mandates toxicology tests in fatal wrecks.
The Department of Transportation will be holding a public meeting today in Mandeville to discuss widening I-12. This comes after the state received a 25 million dollar grant from the feds. Four people died on the highway on memorial day last year, and Parish President Pat Brister says local residents demanded action.
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