News for Monday 121619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It was a near perfect weekend in Central Louisiana for Two Parades, the Pineville and Alexandria Christmas Parades, and for Alex Winter Fet, which appeared to have record crowds. The Alexandria Zoo also had huge crowds for their Holiday Safari Of Lights.
KALB is reporting the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office may have been the target of another computer hack, similar to the one the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles suffered a few weeks ago. On Sunday, Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton confirmed that his office got a call from the Sheriff's Association in Baton Rouge Friday that three parishes were being targeted: Rapides, Washington and Orleans. The Sheriff said Friday's threat passed, but that they were again notified Sunday by the state's Fusion Center about being hacked and had to shut down all the computers in the Sheriff's Office. He said that state officials are working on the problem from Baton Rouge, but their computer systems could remain down for a few days. In the meantime, Sheriff Hilton said RPSO will continue to operate its booking system and other processes the old fashioned way, through paper forms.
Quarterback Joe Burrow delivered a memorable and tearful Heisman Trophy acceptance speech on Saturday night after he became only second Tiger to win the prestigious award. He started his speech by thanking his offensive line and ended it by thanking Coach Ed Orgeron who showed faith in him. Burrow won the Heisman by a landslide over three other finalists. It’s the largest margin of victory in the 85-year history of the award. He also received the highest percentage of first-place. After his speech, Burrow said it’s a dream come true.
After seven years at the reigns of LSU, University President F. King Alexander is stepping down. Alexander has been selected to be the next president of Oregon State University. Alexander’s last day is December 31st and the institution has named Dean of the LSU Law Center Thomas Galligan as the interim successor. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says the search may be national, but we’re starting to hear some prominent local names as early favorites. Jay Dardenne leads the Division of Administration, and Stephen Moret is the President of the LSU Foundation.
Law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols through New Year’s Day with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission executive director Lisa Freeman says of the 16 people killed on Louisiana roads during last year’s holiday season, 12 deaths were attributed to alcohol-related crashes. Nationally, 285 people were killed over the holidays in drunk driving related crashes in 2018.
China and the US agree to a “phase one” trade deal that will see some tariffs on China canceled, and in exchange the People’s Republic agrees to purchase tens of billions dollars of US agricultural goods. US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue estimates China could purchase around 50 billion dollars of additional ag products as a result.
This comes on the heels of news early last week that House Democrats will back a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Purdue says these two agreements combined are great news for Louisiana Ag.
An impeachment vote on the House floor is imminent following a Judiciary Committee vote on Friday. Northwest Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson says the founding fathers warned against single party impeachments as it would be bitterly divisive, which he says is exactly the case in this situation. Two articles, one focusing on abuse of power related to a phone call where President Trump is accused of holding up federal aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on a political rival and the other on obstruction for refusal to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry, are heading to the floor.
Equipment to stabilize the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans will be arriving next week. Engineers are close to finalizing plans for the stabilization. New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell says the safety of the crews is the number one priority throughout the process of trying to recover the remains of those killed in the October collapse, so stabilization is crucial. Stabilization should be completed near the end of February.
After a tough loss to the 49ers last week, the Saints look to get back on track tonight when they host the 6-and-7 Indianapolis Colts. The Saints are 10-and-3 and in a fight to get the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. Airtime 5p this evening on 96.9 KZMZ.