News for Friday 092719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The gubernatorial candidates got a chance to ask each other questions at last night’s debate and they did not hold back. Eddie Rispone continued his attack against fellow Republican Ralph Abraham over what he says is disloyalty to President Trump.
The attack is based on comments Abraham made in 2016 after the Access Hollywood tapes were released, where Abraham said Trump should drop out of the race. Abraham said Governor Edwards wasn’t doing his job, attacking him for questionable staff hirings and other sordid allegations. Edwards shot back that Abraham doesn’t show up to Congress for votes. Governor Edwards highlighted Eddie Rispone’s past financial support for Governor Bobby Jindal, saying a Rispone Administration would be Jindal 2.0.
52 year old Vernon Holden will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after he was arrested earlier this year for holding a gun to the head of an APD officer during a stop for a traffic violation. Holden, who was out of jail on probation at the time of the incident, was found guilty by a jury of attempted first degree robbery (20 year sentence), two counts of disarming a police officer (5 years on each count), two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon (15 years on each count), and resisting an officer (6 month sentence). The sentences will run concurrent, but consecutive to the parole violation.
A helicopter crash at Fort Polk Army base in Louisiana Thursday morning has killed one and injured three others. The Army chopper crash happened at the Joint Readiness Training Center according to Army officials. Four crew members were on the chopper and names have not been released until relatives are notified. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Early voting locations open tomorrow morning for the gubernatorial primary. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says location hours are 8:30am until 6pm and early ballots can be cast until October 5th. Election Day falls on October 12th, which is also the day of an SEC matchup at Tiger Stadium, so Ardoin encourages voters to take care of voting early so more attention can be put on football. Early voting typically represents 20-25% of all votes cast.
A Legislative Fiscal Office analysis of the estimated 500-million-dollar state budget surplus credits most of the higher-than-expected revenue to the 2017 federal tax reform. Chief Economist Greg Albrecht says the state’s economy is improving, but it’s not the biggest reason for the huge surplus. Louisiana’s tax code is tied in parts to federal tax levels, which means a federal cut is always partially offset by state tax liability increases. Albrecht says that’s how federal reforms can bolster state coffers. Albrecht says part of the reason revenue exceeded their forecast this year is because the Revenue Estimating Conference is trying to be conservative with their estimates.
The US drought monitor currently lists five percent of the state in severe drought and 13-percent in moderate drought. State Climatologist Barry Keim says hopefully, in the not too distant future, a cold front will bring in more fall-like temps and some much needed rain. However, Keim says there is very little rain in the forecast for the next week.
Census Bureau numbers show Louisiana’s poverty rate dropped from 19.7 percent in 2017 to 18.6 percent last year. That’s dropped Louisiana from the 2nd most impoverished state in the nation to the 3rd. Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says it’s an improvement, but we have a long way to go. Moller says the poverty rate for African American children saw a four-point decline. That decline has resulted in about 22,000 fewer African American children in poverty.
Governor Edwards announces Fibrebond will remain in Minden following indications from the company that it may leave due to the poor condition of bridges in north Louisiana that forced them to take a 247-mile detour to ship products west. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says Fibrebond builds huge structures that can measure 16 by 75 feet and weigh 150,000 pounds, making them ineligible to cross de-rated bridges. Pierson says the details of the agreement will be announced soon.
Pierson says the company is a huge economic driver for the rural Webster Parish.
Claiming, “pit bull dogs are, by the nature and purpose of their breeding alone, innately vicious” the Village of Fenton in Jefferson Davis Parish has passed an ordinance banning pit bulls and several pit bull mixes. This comes in the village of 300 people after a man was bitten. Alderwoman Ollie Clophus told reporters they decided they just didn’t want the dogs in town, he went on to say “you never know what they are going to do. They’re bad.” Statistics nationally show many more people are bitten by people than Pit Bulls every year.
A Ville Platte man has been arrested for setting fire to a storage structure. After being evicted from a storage building, authorities in Evangeline Parish say 32 year old Wayne Meyers came back and set the building on fire. Meyers, in an interview with police, admitted to setting the fire but said he tried unsuccessfully to put it out. Meyers was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on one count of aggravated arson.
It’s not bad enough getting robo calls at home and on your cell phones, now politicians seeking your vote are texting you.. Attorney General Jeff Landry's reelection campaign on Thursday blamed a technical issue for a burst of text messages sent to thousands of cell phones across the state in the late night and early morning hours, causing a backlash from angry voters. Those folks were slated to receive another text, during more normal business hours apologizing for the late-night disturbance.
Louisiana is one of seven states under a federally declared fishing disaster, which makes state anglers and businesses eligible to request assistance from a 165 million dollar Congressionally approved fund. LDWF Biologist Administrator Jason Froeba says the state was included due to the devastating impact of the Bonnet Carre’s prolonged opening resulting from record high Mississippi River levels. The rush of fresh water killed off many of the state’s oyster beds and had a very negative effect on the state’s shrimp crop. Mississippi and Alabama were the only other southern states to receive the declaration.
Suicide by police? Three St. Tammany Parish deputies were involved in a fatal shooting in LaCombe Wednesday night. Authorities say the deputies went to a home to take a man with suicidal tendencies to a hospital when lethal force was used.
Thursday Night Football last night it was Philadelphia Eagles over the Green Bay Packers 34 to 27
Two Super Bowl contenders meet in the Superdome on Sunday night as Cowboys visit the Saints. Dallas is 3-and-0 and Louisiana native and Q-B Dak Prescott has thrown nine touchdown passes. New Orleans linebacker DeMario Davis says Prescott is not an easy quarterback to defend. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will make his second straight start for the injured Drew Brees. Davis says the Saints have Bridgewater’s back.
Louisiana Tech is at Rice Airtime 4:30p 94.7 ESPN
Northwestern State hopes to break into the win column on Saturday night when they host Southeastern Louisiana. The Demons dropped their Southland opener last week in a 48-21 loss to Houston Baptist.
Tonight… Houston Astros @ LA Angles 8:30p 94.7 ESPN