News for Friday 080219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State agriculture regulators have cleared Louisiana's first batch of medical marijuana for release to pharmacies, ending months of delays getting the product cleared for patients. John Davis, the head GB Sciences Louisiana, said medical marijuana will be released to pharmacies on Tuesday and that's when the first patients can get access to the drug. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry said Thursday evening it completed testing of a random sample of the marijuana tincture, which was produced by LSU and its contractor, GB Sciences.
Congressman Ralph Abraham picks up another endorsement from a Republican lawmaker in his bid to defeat Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards this fall with Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says for now the endorsements help to offset Eddie Rispone’s large advantage in campaign dollars. Governor Edwards is in the front-runner in the polls heading into the October 12th primary.
Over 200 new laws took effect yesterday, including an effort to prevent the harassment of refs in amateur and high school sports. Metairie Representative Cameron Henry’s law would allow officers to remove, and possibly arrest people who threaten physical violence against those amateur refs. Henry says he brought the legislation on request from his local playground, which was tired of dealing with raging parents…
Another new law expands a judge’s abilities to order chemical castrations. Marrero Representative Patrick Connick’s bill would allow judges to sentence those who commit sexual battery to chemical castration. He says previously that wasn’t an option.
A new child safety seat law is in place. And medication abortions can now only take place at the state’s three licensed abortions clinics, no longer in a gynecologist’s office.
A 5- year-old boy from Ville Platte is now recovering after he was shot in the leg late Wednesday night. The alleged drive-by shooting happened when he was riding in the car with his dad, sister and step-mother. Ville Platte has seen some major cutbacks in it’s Police Department leading to the elimination of 11 positions, almost half the police force. A 17-year-old has been identified as a suspect in this shooting.
Baton Rouge police announce that Blane Salamoni, the officer who fired six shots into the body of Alton Sterling, will never work as a B-R-P-D officer as part of a settlement reached. The department has learned that Salamoni had an arrest record that he did not disclose to police when he applied to be an officer. That should have prevented him from being hired. The shooting of Sterling led to days of protest and civil unrest. Police Chief Murphy Paul says the healing process continues. Salamoni will be allowed to voluntarily resign retroactive to March 2018, instead of being fired.
A new report from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network evaluates Louisiana’s effort to fight the disease. In 2007, a law was put into place requiring all indoor workplaces to be smoke-free, with the exception of bars and casinos. ACS-CAN spokesperson Lance Barbour says the state has fallen short to combat second-hand smoke. Among the areas of concern, access to care, quality of life, and prevention.
Barbour says the findings in the report indicate that Louisiana could combat smoking by raising the state’s cigarette tax.
Beginning in fall all Louisiana public schools will have to display “In God We Trust” and educate students about the origin of the national motto. The law was written by Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow, who says the motto must at minimum be displayed on a paper sheet. The law also allows teachers to freely choose to display the motto in their classroom. The law requires that the history of the motto be added to the mandatory curriculum in public schools. Barrow says it’s meant to teach students about the “patriotic history” of the USA. That will be taught alongside instruction on proper flag etiquette.
The 6,952 square mile “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi isn’t quite as big as NOAA predicted this year due to the disturbance of Hurricane Barry. The nearly 7,000 square mile Zone was still good for the 8th largest on record.
Four juveniles were arrested Thursday on felony criminal damage and other counts on allegations they took school buses on an evening joy ride at Donaldsonville High School, smashed a brick building and damaged three buses. No injuries were reported and the building sustained moderate damage to the exterior.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday Louisiana will likely have another $300 million budget surplus when the state closes the books on the fiscal year. That's 10 percent more than the original estimates. This latest surplus is for Fiscal Year 2019, which ended on June 30.
LSU hits the practice field today for the start of preseason camp. Coach Ed Orgeron plans to be heavily involved in the development of the defensive line, especially with D-Line coach Dennis Johnson in a wheelchair after severely injuring both of his knees while playing basketball. Orgeron says for LSU to accomplish its goals this season, they have to play better on the offensive and defensive lines.
Can’t Guard Mike is back in Black and Gold after a short holdout led to him becoming the highest paid receiver in NFL history. The 26-year-old grabbed a five year, 100-million-dollar contract to set the new record. After breaking the record for most receptions through a player’s first three years, he’s confident he’s worth every penny.
Thomas caught 83 percent of the passes sent his way over his first three years.