News for Thursday 080819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A single vehicle crash early yesterday morning claimed the life of a DeRidder woman. Troopers responded to the crash around 4:50 a.m., which occurred on Bass Road, near U.S. Hwy 171. It appears 30 year old Rebecca Iles lost control of the vehicle she was driving, exited the road way and struck a culvert and some trees. Iles was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation continues and routine toxicology tests are pending.
The RPSO has arrested an Elizabeth woman for first degree murder after an 81-year-old man was found dead on Chester West Road in Elizabeth. Deputies say the incident happened around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The victim was identified as Sherwood Emanuel Doyle. Detectives arrested 31 year old Kristina Hoffpauir an alleged acquaintance of Doyle's. Hoffpauir was booked into the parish jail on a $500,000 bond.
It took a federal jury less than 30 minutes yesterday to convict 40 year old Ronald Allen Jr of Fort Polk Guilty of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and sexual abuse of a minor. Allen now faces up to 45 years in prison when sentenced.
Politico names Louisiana one of 14 states where the election system is most at risk of being exploited due to the what they deem as an insufficient paper trail generated by Louisiana voting machines. The report says the state is one of the few left that has completely paperless voting machines, but Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says that’s not entirely accurate, nor a weakness. Louisiana was on track to have new machines in many precincts before the 2020 Presidential election, but a dispute over the bidding process put that date out of reach. Analysts say paper verification of each vote is necessary to combat the possibility of hackers altering election outcomes, but Ardoin says internet hackers aren’t a threat to the system.
Heated debate over car insurance rates and so-called tort reform ended during the legislative session earlier this year without the passage of any measure. Now, the issue is spilling into election season. The Louisiana Committee for a Conservative Majority, a political organization headed by Attorney General Jeff Landry and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, has hit at least three lawmakers — including a Republican — with direct mail attacks that accuse them of preventing lower insurance rates. The bill ultimately was defeated in Senate committee after its backers couldn’t prove the measure could lower car insurance rates.
Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says internationally, they’re working on a new trade deal with Britain, but it’s the trade war with China that has many farmers in Louisiana Hurting. Louisiana accounts for one percent of the soybean production in the US, with 60% of the national export being sent to China. Good news is, climate change is allowing farmers to grow crops farther north than they have in the past.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is touting major numbers when it comes to his handling of tourism. Nungesser says he has two state parks generating revenue after being told some may be facing closure. Tourism has grown during his years in office as well.
Nungesser credits part of that growth to a push for staycations, keeping residents vacationing in a different part of the state they may not be familiar with. So far, Nungesser is running unopposed to maintain the Lt. Governor’s seat.
A Clinical Psychologist at LSU Health New Orleans says the conflicting reports of a shooter at a Walmart in Baton Rouge yesterday may be the result of the psychological impact of recent mass shootings. Authorities say a gun was drawn during an altercation, but despite multiple eyewitness accounts, no shot was ever fired. Michelle Moore says when in fight or flight the nervous system just takes over. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve reviewed the video and did not see any shots fired during the event.
A 255 million dollar flood prevention project in East Baton Rouge Parish is set to break ground next year. Transportation and Drainage Director for the Parish Fred Raiford says they’ve begun testing drainage models now, and they could be breaking ground as early as February of 2020.
A 63-year-old man is dead following a single motorcycle crash Wednesday morning in Lafayette. According to police, the victim struck a pole and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The identity will be released once family members are notified.
The defense for a Greenwell Springs man accused of double murder claims that the suspect’s heavily-tattooed face draws discrimination from potential jurors. 29-year-old William Bottoms faces a mandatory term of life in prison for the 2017 slayings. Legal analyst Franz Borghardt says the facial markings could be claimed as a distraction from the case.
The 2020 SEC schedule has officially dropped for all teams, with LSU set to start the year September 5th against UT San Antonio before taking on Texas September 12th, and finishing out their Texas trio with a contest against Rice September 19th at a neutral site in Houston. The team has a brutal stretch from October 10th-November 7th where they’ll play, Florida, MS State, and Alabama in less than a month. They end the regular season with Auburn November 21st and a major revenge game November 28th against A&M.
After missing five straight practices, today marked the return of Saints rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Butler. Butler didn’t do much outside of the indoor stretching and conditioning followed by individual position drills. It’s still welcomed news as Butler return comes just ahead of Friday night’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Sean Peyton is hopeful Butler can play Friday.
Tickets are now on sale for the Saints Hall of Fame Induction ceremony taking place this October. Those being honored in this year’s induction class are former Saints running back Reggie Bush, former Saints wide receiver Marques Colston and former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Gov. Blanco will be honored with the Fleur de Lis award for her contributions in getting the Superdome repaired following damage sustained from Hurricane Katrina. The event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25 from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Tickets are $75.