News for Tuesday 082019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Two Oakdale men have been arrested in a cold-case homicide, accused in the kidnapping, rape and homicide of an 18-year-old woman whose remains were found in in the Gardner area in November 1980. The identity of the victim, Donna Brazzell, remained a mystery until July, when the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office got information about her identity that was confirmed through DNA testing. That happened five years after the sheriff's office also received other information that led detectives to identify 64 year old Leo Laird and 54 year old Gary Haymon as suspects. After Brazzell was identified, warrants were obtained for Laird and Haymon on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and aggravated kidnapping in the 39-year-old case. Detectives state their investigation is still ongoing and additional charges may be filed.
Two of the three candidates running for the Alexandria City Council District 1 seat were disqualified on Monday. One candidate, Reddex Washington for failure to file taxes from 2015 to 2017. The second was Charles Gilmore. Rapides Parish Judge Monique Rauls ruled that Gilmore's 13th St. home wasn't actually in District 1. Washington says he will appeal the judge’s decision. Charles Gilmore says he will not appeal.
Funeral arrangements are set for former Governor Kathleen Blanco who died from cancer at age 76. The public memorials and services will begin Thursday in Baton Rouge. An interfaith service will take place at 10 AM at St. Joseph Cathedral and then the former governor will lie in state at the state capitol that afternoon. A public visitation is set for Friday in Lafayette and the funeral will also take place in Lafayette on Saturday morning at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral. Governor Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until her private burial on Saturday.
Popular charter fisherman Theophile (Toe-fill) Bourgeois died Sunday when his plane crashed off the coast of St. Bernard Parish. Two others were on the seaplane and they were rescued by the U-S Coast Guard. The condition of the other two victims is not known.
And funeral services for WVUE Fox 8 New Orleans TV anchor Nancy Parker are Friday. Parker was shooting a story in a stunt plane when the crash happened in a field near the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Nance Parker is survived by her husband and three children. Parker was 53.
Congressman Ralph Abraham pledges that if he is elected Governor any new tax increases passed in the Legislature will be offset with equal or greater tax reductions in other areas. The candidate made the pledge yesterday after after being asked if he would pledge to reject new taxes on any front.
The Pelican Institute is hosting a public forum at the Old State Capitol today aimed at getting a framework in place for a potential future state constitutional convention. CEO Daniel Erspamer says interest is growing in reforming the state constitution, and more politicians come on board to the idea every year. The only problem is folks don’t exactly know what that would entail. Louisiana’s constitution is thousands of pages long and reportedly the 3rd largest in the nation.
Caddo Parish Sheriff deputies arrested a DeSoto Parish man for a rape that allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s. Detective Larry Pierce says a 34-year-old woman told investigators last month that she was forced to perform sex acts upon Glenn Miller Senior on multiple occasions over two decades ago. He says Detective Chris Ardoin found enough evidence to charge Miller with two counts of First Degree Rape. Miller is being held on a 500-thousand dollar bond.
The two losing bidders for Louisiana’s new round of multi-billion dollar Medicaid contracts have filed protests of the state’s decision, claiming the bid process was tainted and that officials were biased against them. Louisiana Healthcare Connections and Aetna, two of Louisiana’s five existing Medicaid managed care organizations, or MCOs, filed lengthy protests of the bidding process Monday. The new contracts, set to go into effect Jan. 1, are worth billions of dollars and involve managing care for 1.7 million patients in Louisiana as part of the state’s privatized Medicaid program.
The Department of Defense announced Monday the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Specialist Clayton James Horne, 23, of Atlanta, Louisiana died August 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a result of wounds sustained by a noncombat related incident. The incident is currently under investigation, according to the defense officials.
LSU’s Pennington Biomedical secures $16.4 million in funding to research how optimized nutrition can help soldiers maintain their physical and mental performance. Researcher Dr. Jennifer Rood says previous studies showed how weight loss from military activity affects the mind and body, but a testosterone injection made an impact.
Rood says the new study will result in participants living in a setting comparable to being in the military and researchers will throw in an extra factor not previously accounted for, sleep deprivation. Rood says participants in the study will be paid $7,500 for twenty days.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office arrest a 29-year-old man for allegedly using his cell phone to record a 12-year-old take a bath. Detective Larry Pierce says Christopher Ashby of Mooringsport cracked the door open, so he could record the girl while she was nude.
LSU is ranked sixth in the A-P preseason poll which was released Monday. Tiger Rag Magazine Editor James Moran says the ranking matches the hype that surrounds this team. Moran says it remains to be seen if LSU can live up to its ranking, but based on what you see on paper, the Tigers should be one of the best teams in the country.
The Saints coaches have been evaluating the tape from yesterday’s 19-17 victory over the Chargers in preseason action. The first half did not go well as New Orleans fell behind 17-3, but third string Q-b Taysom Hill led the Black and Gold on a big second half comeback. But second-string quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s performance was forgettable as he completed just five passes for 40 yards and there was an interception. Coach Sean Payton says Bridgewater was sick and he didn’t get much help. The third preseason game of the year is Saturday at the New York Jets.