News for Thursday 061319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Grant Parish grand jury has indicted 56 year old Justin Grant Walters of Colfax on multiple charges, including three counts each of rape and second-degree kidnapping. According to Grant Sheriff Steven McCain, Walters used his skills as a registered nurse to hold women against their will and beat and rape them. McCain says he believes there are more victims out there and he is asking them to come forward.
Rapides Parish School Board members met in a special board meeting yesterday to review all eight applications for superintendent of schools. One of the 8 candidates, Dr. Corwin Robinson apparently did not meet the qualifications for the position and was disqualified. The board will conduct first-round interviews with the remaining seven candidates on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
If all goes according to plans a November trial will be held for a Pineville man accused of killing his girlfriend, during a domestic violence incident back in a 2017. 61 year old Douglas Ponthieux will face a jury trial on Nov. 4. He's accused in the death of 56-year-old Connie Ducote Patterson, who was found unresponsive at a Shreveport Highway home on March 2, 2017.
The 21-year-old man accused of setting fire to three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish now faces federal hate crime charges. U-S Attorney David Joseph says attacks against a group because of their religious briefs will not be tolerated. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects the feds will be the first to prosecute Holden Matthews. Matthews is currently being held in jail without bond.
The American Gaming Association’s annual report showcasing 2018 casino revenue indicates Louisiana remained flat at just over two-and-a-half billion dollars, generating just over 600-million in total tax revenue for the state. The Baton Rouge market saw a steep 17.4% gaming revenue drop last year, likely due to the city-wide ban on smoking in bars and casinos put into place in May of 2018.
The Shreveport city council votes 6-1 to abolish a 2007 ordinance banning people from wearing pants below their waistlines. ACLU Louisiana Legal Director Katie Schwartzmann says the law was racially motivated and a violation of first amendment rights. Police data shows the ordinance resulted in the arrest of 699 black men and 12 white men, although it is unclear if anyone was arrested for the violation alone. Schwartzmann says the law could lead to a police interaction that might not end well.
Friday marks the two year anniversary of when Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise welcomed U-S Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner who was also shot, but she’s credited with stopping the shooter. Scalise says the Capitol Police were the epitome of what’s great about law enforcement…
The House Judiciary Committee passes legislation permanently authorizing healthcare funds for 9/11 first responders who suffer health effects from the attack. Congressman Mike Johnson sits on the panel and says while the first responders fund has been well managed; it was time to guarantee their benefits long term.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office says two people are dead after an airplane crashed on the levee of the Atchafalaya River. The F-A-A is now leading the investigation. No other details are known. The crash happened near the St. Martin Parish line.
Louisiana’s sole Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond has been named co-chair for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Richmond says Biden is committed to doing the opposite of President Trump, and former Governor Jindal, by investing in the people through education and healthcare. There’s upwards of 20 Democrats running for the nomination.
A national study involving the Pennington Biomedical Research Center debunks the thought that taking vitamin D significantly lowers the chances of a person with pre-diabetes developing type 2 diabetes. Assistant LSU professor and local site investigator Daniel Hsia (Shaw) says there was a thought that vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties would have an effect on diabetes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The study looked at 2,423 people in 22 centers across the nation and did find one potentially interesting avenue for future research. It’s estimated that 575,000 Louisianans have diabetes, and 1.3 million are at high risk of developing the disease.
The Pelican Institute says their study reveals the Medicaid expansion led tens of thousands of Louisianans who qualified for Medicaid to drop their private insurance. Pelican Vice President for Government Affairs Renee Amar says about 450,000 people enrolled under the expansion, at an average cost to the state of 6,286 dollars a year, and many previously had insurance. But Louisiana Department of Health Policy Director Jeanie Donovan says a commissioned study by LSU shows the private insurance market barely budged after the expansion, debunking Pelican’s claim. Donovan countered saying the clear majority of those who enrolled under the expansion are working, but low wage individuals who could not afford monthly premiums.
On air today… NBA Finals!
Toronto @ Golden State G6 Toronto Leads 3-2 7p 94.7 ESPN
After missing Tuesday’s minicamp practice Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was back on the practice field Yesterday. Brees has been in San Diego as he and his wife are involved in a lawsuit against a California jeweler claiming they were sold 15-million dollars’ worth of diamonds, but an appraiser says they paid roughly seven million dollars more than what the collection is worth.
The Anthony Davis trade talks are reportedly heating up as ESPN reports the Lakers and Celtics are talking with the Pelicans. L-A is apparently willing to give up the fourth overall pick as part of their package. Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated that if the Celtics traded for the six-time All-Star, there’s a strong possibility he’ll only play one season in Boston. A-D is reportedly only interested in signing a long term deal with the Knicks or Lakers.
ULM has decided to remove the interim tag from Scott McDonald’s title and the former baseball player at the school will become the Warhawks permanent athletics director. McDonald has served as the interim A-D for the last nine months. In a statement, McDonald says they are fully committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience at ULM and they’ll continue to achieve great things in the classroom and community, while also pursuing championships.
In college baseball news, LSU Catcher Brock Mathis and relief pitcher Will Ripoll are looking to transfer.