News for Thursday 060619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The unsettled weather pattern continues across the state today with widespread coverage of thunderstorms, especially across the southern portions of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a storm system over the Gulf is a contributing factor to the current conditions. Keim says the Storm Prediction Center has Louisiana in the marginal category for tornados, hail, and high winds with this system today and tomorrow. The wet weather is expected to continue through Sunday, with possibly a brief break on Saturday.
Today is the final day of the 2019 legislative session. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says between a funding increase and a pay raise, K-12 education and teachers are clear winners this year, along with those who backed them. Labor issues once again found little support again. Governor Edwards pushed for a minimum wage increase from the current 7.25 an hour to nine dollars an hour. That was shot down early in the session. While most issues have been settled, it remains up in the air as to whether or not the Governor will sign a 700-million-dollar road project bill that uses BP oil spill settlement money. Pinsonat says politically it’s a double-edged sword.
The Legislature approves a constitutional amendment that would allow voters on the 2020 Presidential ballot to decide if the state does not protect the right to an abortion. The amendment would not protect that right in cases of rape or incest. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says it’s necessary to prevent a rogue judge from protecting the right to an abortion in Louisiana. This comes on the heel of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban that was signed into law by Governor Edwards. The law would not take effect unless Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
Legislation allowing those with a medical marijuana prescription access to an inhalable form of the treatment is headed to the Governor’s desk. Bill sponsor Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the pill or oil-based forms of the treatment sometimes aren’t fast acting enough to respond to an urgent situation, such as an episode of PTSD.
A Fort Polk soldier, Specialist Logan Kyle of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to the October 2018 murder of his wife and unborn son. Kyle was sentenced to life behind bars.
An investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Probation and Parole led to the arrest of four people in the Springhill community. Sasha Delaney of Pineville, Tony “T.C.” Carter of Winnfield, Julius Layfield of Pollock and Matthew Dodge of Dry Prong have all been charged with a long list of drug charges.
The Saint Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was announced Wednesday with Reggie Bush, Marcus Colston, and former Governor Kathleen Blanco receiving the distinction at a ceremony this October. Blanco was instrumental in getting the Saints back to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina by pushing for repairs to the storm damages of the Superdome. Blanco, who is currently battling cancer, was on hand for the announcement and describes the induction as a huge honor.
The Louisiana Senate voted 37-0 Wednesday to tighten hazing laws since incidents keep occurring on college campuses even though lawmakers took several steps to crack down on the problems last year. The bill approved by the Senate would penalize universities and student organizations that fail to immediately report hazing incidents to law enforcement, and it would allow campus police to investigate off-campus hazing incidents. The Legislature elevated hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony last year.
A Taco Bell in Slidell ran out of both soft and crunchy taco shells on Monday. One patron felt the snafu was an egregious violation and warranted a call to Slidell Police. Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzaneau says initially the department thought it was a joke. Authorities have posted their account of the story on social media, which has since gone viral with over 2,000 shares. Seuzaneau says others have chimed in on Taco Bell’s inventory woes.
Dates and times are set for the Saints four preseason games. New Orleans will host Minnesota on August 9th at 7 PM, visit the Chargers on August 18th for a 3 PM kick-off. Take on the Jets in New York at 6:30 on August 24th and then host Miami in the preseason finale on August 29th at 7.