News for Wednesday 073119
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Clean up gets underway today after a severe thunderstorm that dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time Tuesday morning caused widespread street flooding as well as scattered power outages. Several neighborhoods, including Martin Park and Charles Park, were impacted by rising waters as motorists were stranded and homes and businesses sustained damage. According to the National Weather Service's Lake Charles office, the area got between 4 and 6 inches of rain Tuesday, with isolated spots getting between 6 and 8 inches, and possibly more.
A 62-year old Coushatta man is facing several molestation charges of a juvenile. The Red River Parish Sheriff’s office received a complaint earlier this month from a victim and obtained forensic evidence to support the claim. Steven Pierce Weir (Ware) was a basketball coach and teacher at Riverdale Academy. The victim told police them the abuse began when he was a student in 2006 and continue after his graduation in 2012. Weir is in jail awaiting bond.
GOP governor’s race candidate Eddie Rispone is set to start spending five million-plus dollars on an ad buy that Rispone campaign communications director Anthony Ramirez says will let the voters know exactly who the Baton Rouge business magnate is. Ramirez says expect to see the candidate’s message on everything from nightly news to Monday Night Football.
House Republican Chairman Lance Harris says he’s seeing a lot of support for Congressman Ralph Abraham for Governor in his Alexandria based district. After the Alexandria Republican’s attempt in the last session to roll back a 2018 sales tax failed, he got a call from the Congressman, who vowed, if elected, that he would get that effort over the finish line.
For years the Louisiana Treasury Department has returned unclaimed money to folks, and now they’re looking to do the same thing for lost military medals. Louisiana has an above-average rate of military service, and Treasurer John Schroder says the proposal flew through the Legislature unanimously. The law would allow the Department to collect lost medals and military paperwork from depositories and return them to the owner, or next of kin.
Senator Bill Cassidy releases a paid leave proposal for new parents. Cassidy says with the plan, new parents would be allowed to take $5,000 advance on the child tax credit, reducing the $2,000 annual benefit to $1,500 for ten years after the birth or adoption of a child. Cassidy says the proposal presents great benefits to families. The bill has bi-partisan support.
48-year-old James William Eaton of West Monroe is in jail after posing online as a woman and luring another man to drive from California to Ouachita Parish thinking he was marrying that woman. It is unclear how long the relationship had been going on.
The St. John Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double homicide. Sheriff Mike Tregre says the victims are cousins, 18 and 20-years old and they were found in a vehicle on West Airline Highway in Reserve, and says violence like this involving young men is far too common. They’re currently hunting for suspects.
Louisiana Tech is investing in building new residence halls and parking by fall of 2021 as the student body continues to expand year to year. Louisiana Tech assistant VP for student advancement Dickie Crawford says 600 new beds will be created, along with a thousand new parking spaces in and around the campus. The new halls will mean Harper, Mitchell, and Cottingham halls will be discontinued by 2021. Crawford says the old halls aren’t unsafe or falling apart, but they are outdated and with interest in the Ruston institution growing, they’re pushing to show a more modern face.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber releases their 2019 legislative and gubernatorial election platform that calls for a major focus on making south Louisiana competitive for business growth with reinvestment in infrastructure. BRAC Senior VP of Economic Competitiveness Liz Smith says they’d like to see a special session called in 2020.
Smith says the platform lays out a plan to pay for infrastructure needs via a gas tax.
The Louisiana Select Association has been formed within the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. The L-S-A is made up of private schools. Catholic High of Baton Rouge athletics director J-P Kelly says finding a host site for their championship games is a top priority…
The Saints made some roster moves yesterday, dropping running back veteran Buck Allen and defensive back Chris Campbell, while picking up former Washington running back Robert Kelly and practice squad player Travin Dural. Kelly had a great start to his career, running for over 700 yards his rookie year and appeared to be set to take on a featured roll for the teams before falling out of favor and eventually off of the roster. Dural was originally signed to the practice squad out of LSU in 2017, but spent the 2018 season on IR.
LSU football is off to a strong start for their recruiting… in the 2021 season. Four-star defensive end of out Texas Landyn Watson tweeted that he’s planning on joining the Purple and Gold. Watson is a junior at Hutto High, and is already clocking in at 6’3 240 pounds as the no. 11 defensive end of the class according to 247 Sports, and the number 33 overall prospect.
LSU’s basketball team has picked up former Southeastern Louisiana University guard Parker Edwards, a former St. Pauls of Covington star to fill a roster spot left open by Will Reese, who is leaving the program to focus on an internship. Edwards is best known for putting on a show against the Tigers last season in the opener against SLU, dropping 25 points on 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Coach Will Wade says he’ll be a great addition.
Wade is also calling for LSU to find the rest of the funds needed to complete a 15 million dollar renovation of the basketball facility after seeing the new, 28 million dollar football operations center.