News for Tuesday 122419 Christmas Eve Day
Compiled by Dave Graichen
(((This will be the last edition of the news til after the first of the year. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year… Dave)
Two people were injured yesterday when a small plane they were traveling in crashed at the Pineville Airport. Information is still forthcoming, but Pineville Chief of staff, Rich Dupree, confirmed the crash. He also said the injuries suffered were not life threatening.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Chairman Roy O. Martin III of Martco LLC announced the company will invest a combined $25 million to modernize its production facilities here in Louisiana. The facilities, which operate under the trade name RoyOMartin, include an oriented strand board site in Oakdale that will receive a $23 million capital investment, and a plywood manufacturing site in Chopin, which will receive a $2.2 million capital investment.. With the projects, the company will retain 1,031 employees in Louisiana and create 10 new direct jobs.
Troopers are partnering with law enforcement across the state as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. State Trooper Michael (RIKE-HEART) Reichardt says to add a designated driver to your holiday list of things to accomplish.
According to Louisiana State Police 16 people were killed over last year’s holiday season and 12 of those fatalities were alcohol-related.
If you plan on traveling during the holidays remember for the latest road conditions you can visit 511-LA-dot-org or dial 511 from any cell phone in Louisiana.
If you’re traveling to over the river and through the swamp to grandmother’s house you can leave the winter coat at home. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s very un-winter like this Christmas for the Bayou State. For the last week of the decade, temperatures will remain unseasonably mild. Keim says Christmas day temperatures will start in the 50s and reach into the 70s across the state. After Christmas the warming trend will continue, according to Keim the day will begin in the mid-50s and reach into the mid-70s Thursday through Sunday.
A new year appears to be bringing a new crop to Louisiana. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain expects Louisiana to receive federal approval to allow hemp licenses to be issued to Louisiana farmers by the first of January. The commissioner says obtaining one of those licenses is a bit of a lengthy process because of regulation requirements. However, Strain says that so far, it appears Louisiana growers are intrigued by the plant’s possibilities. Strain expects the next session to be held on January 8th or 9th.
The Louisiana Lottery discovered some Lotto and Easy 5 tickets inadvertently include a draw date of Wednesday, December 25, 2019. No drawings take place on Christmas Day, according to Lottery policy. Lotto and Easy 5 tickets generated for a December 25 draw date will be good for the next regularly scheduled drawing of Saturday, December 28.
A centuries old River Parishes Christmas Eve tradition continues tonight as about 190 bonfires will be lit along the Mississippi levees in St. James and St. John parishes. River Parishes Tourism Commission Executive Director Buddy Boe says the festivities run till 10 PM with fireworks shooting off at 6:50 PM and the bonfires being lit at 7 PM. There are a few theories as to where the tradition comes from. Some think it’s a German harvest celebration, others think it may have been started by slaves.
The Louisiana Department of Education won a three-year grant totaling more than $33 million to make preschool more available to low-income children from birth to age 3.
The federal Preschool Development Grant will create at least 600 new openings to let such children attend preschool without any payment from their parents, according to a news release Monday. Programs that provide infant care, meet teacher certification requirements and minimum quality rating scores will get priority.
Ascension parish sheriff deputies raided what they believe was dog fighting activity in Donaldsonville. Four arrests were made and the search is on for others allegedly involved in dog fighting at a residence. Ascension Sheriff Bobby Webre says they received a tip about dog fighting. When deputies arrived, approximately 15 people scattered from the scene with a dog fight in progress.
Louisiana’s Songs for Veterans, a program that helps vets cope with their experiences through songwriting, is gaining nationwide acclaim, and the attention of the National Endowment for the Arts. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says early results show promise as a new form of therapy for struggling vets. The program holds workshops in Alexandria, Shreveport, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge.
The New Orleans Saints regular season will wrap up on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The flue de lis (floor-uh-dee-lee) team still has a chance at snagging the number one seed which will earn them a home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
NFL Analyst Mike Detillier (D-eh-tool-yea) says New Orleans must beat the Panthers and hope a couple of teams lose. The Saints are 13-2 on the road over the last two seasons.
The Saints Michael Thomas is making a case as one of the best wide receivers ever. In Sunday’s 38-28 win over Tennessee, Thomas set the record for most receptions in an NFL season. He’s caught more passes and has more receiving yards than any other player during their first four years in the league.
LSU has faced good offenses this season, but Oklahoma might be the best. The two teams will clash Saturday in Atlanta at the Peach Bowl. The Sooners are second in the nation in total offense and led by Heisman Trophy finalist Jalen Hurts and big-play receiver Ceedee Lamb. LSU went up against Hurts in 2016 and 2017 when he was the starting quarterback at Alabama. The Crimson Tide won both of those games and Hurts was a big factor why.
On air tonight…
SoFi Hawaii Bowl : Hawaii vs BYU 6p 94.7 ESPN / 1410AM