News for Wednesday 082119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state’s first human cases of West Nile Virus of the year have been reported by the Department of Health. While the West Nile season may be off to a later start than usual, Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter he is hesitant to call it an optimistic trend. Kanter says the virus has three levels of seriousness and cases have been discovered in East Baton Rouge, Washington, Livingston, St. Tammany, and Caddo parishes. The department recommends people mitigate the risk of contracting the virus by wearing more clothes and use bug repellants that contains DEET.
While there turned out to be no threat, it was an intense scene at LSU’s campus yesterday after police received a report of an armed intruder at Coates Hall. Just before 3pm the school sent out an alert telling students in the area to Run, Hide, or Fight. Just before 5pm, another alert was sent, giving the all-clear. Director of Media Relations Ernie Ballard says they believe one possibility was that a plainclothes officer with a gun on his belt was walking around the building just before the call came in, but that has yet to be confirmed as the reason for the call.
A record 8,084 students earned college credit while in high school due to the CLEP in the last school year according to the Louisiana Department of Education. Assistant Superintendent Ken Bradford says it’s an incredibly valuable program that can save students and their families a lot of money. The CLEP tests are graded on a 20 to 80 scale, with 50 being a passing grade. Bradford says for the students who pass, doors can start opening across the country. FYI, The lowest pass rate for any class taken by more than a thousand students was US History II at 29 percent.
The state continues to mourn the death of former Governor Kathleen Blanco who passed away from an Ocular Melanoma that she’d been fighting for eight years. LSU Health New Orleans Retina Specialist Maria Reinoso says it’s a tragic cancer, but a rare one that only impacts a small percentage of the population. Reinoso says people with light-colored eyes, fair skin, and northern European ancestry are more prone to the disease. Reinoso says the best way to stay ahead of any potential eye diseases is yearly dilated eye exams.
Louisiana soybean farmers continue to take a beating as the trade war with China drags on with no apparent long term deal on the horizon. Soybeans were going for 10 bucks a bushel before the trade war began, and have dipped noticeably since then. Kyle McCann assistant to Louisiana Farm Bureau President says that’s a significant problem for the state’s largest crop by acre. Many farmers would be out of business by now if not for the Market Facilitation payments that are covering an estimated 80 percent of lost profits. Another round of the payments are reportedly on the way now to embattled farmers.
Raw chicken is dirty, but a new USDA study indicates washing raw poultry before cooking can be dangerous. Researcher Dr. Mindy Brashears says washing chicken is a common mistake that could lead to foodborne illness from salmonella spread from splashing. Brashears says the CDC estimates each year, millions get sick from foodborne illness, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3000 deaths. Solution, run the water out of the tap at little more than a trickle and avoid splashing the area surrounding the sink. If you do, bleach on a rag or one of those sanitary wipes should be used to wipe down the area.
29-year-old Andrew Caufman of Shreveport faces 35 counts associated with revenge porn for allegedly distributing nude photos of his ex-girlfriend in a school parking lot. Lt. Bill Davis, with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s office says the revenge porn law was enacted in 2015 to address the unlawful and non-consent distribution of images intended to be private.
Two Lafayette Police Officers are recovering from injuries after they were dragged by an allegedly drunk suspect’s vehicle. Corporal Bridgette Dugas says the officers tried to remove a suspect from his vehicle when he threw it in reverse. The 31-year-old driver was arrested.
An investigation is underway into the death of a worker in a salt mine in St. Mary Parish.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Mine and Health Administration now investigating an incident that claimed the life of a Franklin man. According to a spokesman for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, mine worker Shawn Clements was inside a salt mine owned by Compass Minerals when he was electrocuted last Thursday August 15, 2019. Clement's death was ruled as an accident by the Sheriff's office.