News for Friday 060719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
We note the passing of another Louisiana Icon with word yesterday that Dr John had died of a heart attack. Malcolm John Rebennack Jr assumed the persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s, in his autobiography. "Under a Hoodoo Moon" it was revealed Rebennack, in his younger years, was gangsta to a degree that would likely shock Lil Wayne. But over the course of a remarkable life and career, he evolved into another New Orleans Legend. Dr. John was 77.
The opening of the Morganza Spillway has been pushed back again, this time with no new date set. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyett says the river levels are coming in a little lower than originally projected. Boyett says it is possible the opening will still have to take place depending on weather conditions to the north. Officials are monitoring the levels on at the Red River Landing, which is north of the spillway, to make sure the river level does not surpass the 62-foot mark. The postponement is good news for farmers whose crops would have been lost
Many legislators were off to a late start Thursday as south Louisiana was swamped today with a severe weather system creating localized flooding and even tornadoes. State climatologist Barry Keim says the system dumped dangerous amounts of water on some communities…
37-year-old William Johnson died during the heavy rain event in Baton Rouge when his car flooded. Keim says the severe amount of rainfall was more than initially predicted, but this whole weather system has been unusual from the start. A possible tornado also flipped over cars at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Lori Steele says teams are surveying the wind damage from what is believed to be a tornado outbreak in various areas of the parish.
Before the close of business yesterday, the Louisiana House unanimously approved the $30 billion state operating budget for next year, which aligned with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ agenda for $1,000 teacher and $500 support staff pay raises and a contested $39 million block grant for public school districts. The Legislature’s budget deal also included boosts to higher education spending and early childhood education after years of standstill funding and cuts to these agencies and programs. It was the first significant statewide pay raise for teachers in a decade. The budget will take effect on July 1, 2019.
Governor Edwards celebrated the end of the first legislative season of his tenure and says the passage of most of his legislative agenda points the state in the right direction.
Edwards says the over 300-million-dollar surplus the state ran last year made for smoother sailing when crafting a budget, as opposed to previous years’ fiscal chaos…
Opponents say the surplus is evidence that the Legislature did not need to pass a .45 percent sales tax renewal last year.
The 2019 Legislative session is in the books. House Republican Chairman Lance Harris feels overall it’s been a great session. Harris says among the most positive pieces of legislation was the controversial fetal heartbeat abortion ban, which has already been signed into law by Governor Edwards. But he bemoaned the fact that once again, legislation targeting the state’s sky high auto insurance rates crashed and burned…
Governor Edwards signs industrial hemp legalization into law, potentially clearing a path for the first crop in Louisiana to be planted early next year. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says if everything goes according to plan, Louisiana will join dozens of other states for the next planting season. The feds are expected to release their requirements for hemp regulation later this year.
Louisiana will shuffle election dates in 2020, moving the presidential primary from March to April because of Easter-related scheduling conflicts. Lawmakers made the adjustment in an elections bill sent to the governor. Under the change, Louisiana's presidential and municipal primary will be held April 4 next year, rather than its originally scheduled March 7 date. After 2020, the primary will revert back to the first Saturday in March.
Some huge names will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Natchitoches. Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning, former LSU football Coach Les Miles and former La Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan will also be enshrined.
The induction ceremonies can be seen live on C-S-T on Saturday night.
LSU and Florida State will meet tomorrow in a best of three Super Regional Series. The winner will advance to the College World Series. The Seminoles shocked college baseball observers by easily winning the Athens Regional. Airtime 1:30 tomorrow afternoon on KSYL 970AM /104.9FM