News for Tuesday 041619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A St. Landry parish judge has denied bond for 21-year-old Holden Matthews, who is accused of burning down three historically black churches. Matthews had his first court appearance today since he was arrested on Wednesday night of last week and was charged with three counts of arson. Prosecutors have also added three hate crime charges. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects this case will be prosecuted federally…
Saturday’s severe weather is responsible for two deaths in Ouachita Parish. Deputies say a 13-year-old drowned in a drainage canal that filled up with water during a flash flood. Patsy Meeks of Calhoun also died. Her body was found in a submerged vehicle on a rural road. Forecasters are saying another round of severe weather could hit the state Wednesday night.
The crawfish supply remains limited this season and experts cannot pin down an exact cause. A theory is the white spot virus, which is a fatal disease for mudbugs. LSU Ag Center Aquaculture Specialist Greg Lutz says white spot has become a bigger problem since it was first discovered in Louisiana ponds about 10 years ago. Lutz reiterated that the virus does not affect humans, or even fish, it’s restricted solely to crustaceans.
A federal appeals court rules a judge was right when he cleared the way to remove a Confederate monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals turned back claims from the United Daughters of the Confederacy who said it has a private property interest and says officials have violated rights to free speech and equal protection.
A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Rep. Samuel, who represents Bossier and Caddo Parishes, would make it a crime to drive aggressively.
House Bill 6 would define the crime of aggressive driving if a person commits three or more offences from a list of 12. Everything from exceeding the speed limit to failing to observe yield signs. Any person convicted of the offense shall either be fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. In addition, the court shall require the offender to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program.
When is milk really milk?? The Senate Agriculture Committee is considering legislation that would strictly define what can and cannot be labeled as “milk”. This comes in response to the rising popularity of products like almond, coconut, and soy “milk”.
Despite it’s creamy white liquid appearance, Strain says milk substitutes do not include many of the vital health benefits that come from the real deal. If the bill passes retailers would be given a grace period in which to change the labeling.
Louisiana will be one of several states to participate in a Civil Rights trail. Nine meetings will be held throughout the state in an effort to get input from citizens. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser anticipates that some of the crucial landmarks to the era may be gone, but would be recognized with a plaque. Alabama and Mississippi are also participating in the trail, with Alabama already making a big investment in marketing their state. Nungesser says the state has been working with a Civil Rights team to find a home for a museum to be a big part of the attraction in Louisiana.
The newspaper the Advocate that covers Acadiana, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans has been award a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of Louisiana’s law that allowed non-unanimous jury verdict for felony cases. Advocate President Judi Terzotis says the staff put in tremendous amounts of effort to achieve the award. Louisiana was one of only two states that allowed non-unanimous guilty verdicts. Terzotis says the newspaper had a team dedicated to covering the story for eight months and knew their reporting was making an impact when it landed the constitutional amendment in the hands of voters.
The Baton Rouge PD is investigating the death of a nurse who died days after being physically attacked by a mental health patient at Baton Rouge General Mid City. During the attack, the nurse tore a muscle in her leg and had an injury to her head. She went to the emergency room later that night, but was sent home. The nurse returned to the hospital six days later to be seen in the emergency room and was admitted to the ICU, where she died Thursday, April 11. Investigators are now trying to determine if the nurse’s death was a result of the attack.
Single-day tickets for Bayou Country Superfest will go on sale today. The fest is returning to LSU's Tiger Stadium on Memorial Day weekend, which is May 25 and 26. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are among the headliners.
Former Kenner gymnastics coach Jonathan West was sentenced Monday to 65 years in prison after admitting he sexually exploited 13 boys. The 27 year old West pleaded guilty in 24th Judicial District Court to 24 counts including indecent behavior with a juvenile, sexual battery and computer solicitation of a minor. The victims were between the ages of 8 and 15.
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