News for Friday 112219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Vernon Parish authorities are reporting a Hineston woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 121 at Hwy 489 Late Tuesday afternoon. 73 year old Myra Turner was traveling west on Hwy 489 when she failed to stop at the stop sign. As a result, she collided with a southbound vehicle on Hwy 121. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology tests are pending.
The State Fire Marshall’s office is investigating the cause of a Wednesday night mobile home fire that claimed the life of an elderly Natchitoches parish man. The report says the man and his son were inside the trailer at the time of the fire. The son managed to escape but was injured. Officials have not released the name of the man killed.
The cyberattack on state computer servers will keep Louisiana O-M-V offices closed for the rest of the week. Governor John Bel Edwards announced today the Office of Motor Vehicles will reopen on Monday. The ransomware attack on Monday impacted 132 servers in state government and the Office of Motor Vehicles has struggled to get its computer system to work properly. Over the summer, several public school systems suffered a similar cyberattack and Edwards says more of them are coming, so the state will need to be prepared.
Louisiana has the seventh-highest rate of distracted driving incidents in the nation according to a report by QuoteWizard. 5,037 drivers died in what was deemed distracted driving incidents in Louisiana between 2013 and 2017. New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington State topped the list. Mississippi was the least distracted state.
Crowley Police now have a person of interest in a string of church vandalism incidents after another church was targeted this week, the sixth such incident since July. Chief Jimmy Broussard says the feds have been contacted and information has been passed to them. Hate crime charges could apply.
La Tech has unveiled plans for new baseball, softball and soccer stadiums. They were destroyed last April by a tornado. Athletics Director Tommy McClelland says the new baseball stadium will remain in the same place, while softball and soccer will relocate next to the track stadium. FEMA reimbursement, insurance, state dollars and private donors will pay for the new facilities. Construction will take several months.
LSU’s return on investment ranks number one among SEC public universities according to a new report from Georgetown University. The report compares earnings versus average student debt. LSU President F. King Alexander says the earnings-to-debt ratio return is almost 300 percent, adding few undergrads leave LSU with saddled with debt.
Governor Edwards addresses some of the issues that will be the benchmarks of his second term. Following a reinvestment in higher education and the locking in a pay raise for public school teachers in his first term, Edwards says his focus on education and infrastructure will continue. Edwards says he will entertain the idea of rolling back the .45 percent state sales tax, but it is dependent on what the revenue estimating conference shows for a particular year and what economists show for the outlook.
Period Equity is hosting a protest against the state’s sales taxing of feminine products today at Tulane and they want attendees to bring receipts of their latest tampon or pad purchase along with them. LIFT Louisiana is helping organize the event, and Legal Advisory Board Member Laura Fine says the demand is for feminine products to be exempted from the sales tax in the same way that other necessities are. The organizers are also demanding diapers be removed from the state sales tax as well.
The St. John Parish Sheriff’s office is offering 3,500 dollars for information leading to an arrest of anyone involved in an August shooting ambush of an autistic man in Reserve. Authorities believe vehicle drove up behind 57-year-old man and opened fire.