News for Wednesday January 8th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
37 year old Daniel Aikens of Alexandria has been arrested as the joint investigation into last week's explosion off MacArthur Drive continues. Aikens, who has a criminal history in both Grant and Rapides parishes, was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center shortly after noon on Tuesday as a federal prisoner. Aikens has an unrelated court date in Colfax Thursday.
They came, they protested and in less than 10 minutes, it was all over.. A large crowd showed up at last night’s Alexandria City Council meeting to show their support for the city’s police chief, Jarred King, who was placed on administrative leave last Friday. Several people were also in the meeting to show their concern over a shortage of police officers in the city. The council refused to address both issue and the meeting was brought to a close less than 10 minutes after it had started.
State police report a Monday night crash on LA Hwy 1205 near LA Hwy 28 East claimed the life of a Pineville man, 48 year old Danny Obrien. Troopers say Obrien lost control of the vehicle he was driving, causing it to leave the roadway and overturn. Obrien, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Those wanting to be at the Superdome Monday night to cheer on the LSU Tigers in the CFP National Championship game will need to shell out some serious coin. Stubhub spokesperson Adam Budelli says even the cheapest priced ticket to get into the game is currently $840. Budelli says compared to other years, this game is on pace to be one of the biggest selling National Championship games On StubHub. Tickets have been purchased in Canada, the UK, and Australia and from over 20 different states domestically. Roughly 4000 tickets are currently up for grabs on Stubhub.
Walk On’s restaurants will be showcased on national television with the season premiere of Undercover Boss on CBS tonight. Co-Founder Brandon Landry and investor Drew Brees will be disguised to work with the staff at some of the locations throughout the chain. The episode was filmed last June and Landry says Brees was only available for one day of production at the location near the Superdome, but Brees got plenty of work done that day. Landry says they are holding watch parties at all 33 locations with food and drink specials, as well as giveaways.
There’s some confusion as to whether or not retailers can sell tobacco products to 18 year olds in Louisiana after a federal law raised the age to 21. Louisiana ATC Commissioner Juana Lombard says it’s legal under state law, but you could be busted by the feds for doing so, and she hopes we can get a more clarity from the FDA so retailers can know their rights. The lack of FDA guidance also leaves questions about potential exemptions for military members or others unclear.
Members of a state task force are pushing for more dual enrollment options for Louisiana high school students. The Advocate reports that these classes are expected to be one of Governor Edwards' priorities for the 2020 legislative session. Members of the task force say Louisiana high school students who are eligible for dual enrollment "should have access to at least four classes for college credit without charge." The group compiled a report explaining and framing the different options.
The computers at the Office of Motor Vehicles and State Police are down for a second day Tuesday. A state police spokesman said this wasn't another attack but was planned. Back in November, state computers were attacked by hackers attempting to employ ransomware. The attack was repelled, but in the process the computers in the Office of Motor Vehicles had to be reimaged and were down for some time, even after the rest of the state's offices were back up and running.
Louisiana's Medicaid program started the new year under a cloud of uncertainty, amid a continued dispute over multibillion-dollar contracts to provide health services to 1.5 million state residents. Lucrative deals with five private companies that manage care for most Medicaid patients, accounting for roughly one-quarter of the state's annual operating budget, were slated to expire at the end of December. Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration chose four companies to do the managed care work, with the deals planned to begin in January. But two losing bidders that currently hold managed care contracts are protesting that decision, and the legal process stopped the new contract awards from taking effect. In response, the Edwards administration signed emergency contracts to keep the existing five companies in place for up to another year, to avoid the disruption of health care access to nearly one-third of Louisiana's population.
Before the kickoff for the College Football Playoff National Championship, musician, Lafayette native and LSU Grad Lauren Daigle will perform. Back in November, Daigle announced that she would be singing the national anthem at the CFP National Championship game in New Orleans. That was before LSU had nabbed a spot in the game. The LSU Tigers will take on Clemson next Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The National Transportation Safety Board issues its preliminary report on the recent Lafayette plane crash that claimed five lives and injured four others. There are no rulings, explanations or theories within the report that pointed to the cause of the plane crash. A final report is not expected for at least another year. Only one of the six passengers survived.
Ricky Lincoln Sr. and Jr., a father-son duo out of Terrytown, were arrested for allegedly robbing and murdering an 82-year-old Gretna man outside the bar he worked at New Years Eve. Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the two were taken into custody and are now at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
If you drive through the small town of Jennings right now, you might feel as if you’re in an episode of the Twilight Zone because the town is split on which Tiger to pull for Monday. Seeing as the Clemson Tigers stand out running back Travis Etienne hails from the Jefferson Davis Parish town it’s understandable why some, like Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn, are conflicted. Etienne graduated from Jennings High School in 2017 and will play for his second college football national championship on Monday. Guinn says they are extremely happy for the ACC Player of Year.
It was a great season for Saints linebacker DeMario Davis who was selected as a first-team All-Pro performer following a 111 tackle season, with four sacks, one interception and eleven tackles for losses. Davis says having the season come to an abrupt end is not a good feeling, but there will be a 2020 season.
Who will be on the Saints 2020 roster is a big question mark. And the biggest question mark among fans is quarterback Drew Brees, who can be an unrestricted free agent in March. Coach Sean Payton said he believes Brees wants to keep playing.
Fresh off a win in last night’s Lending Tree Bowl in Mobile, Ragin Cajuns Coach Billy Napier’s name has surfaced as a candidate for a Power Five Job Opening. Baylor has lost head coach Matt Rhule to the Carolina Panthers and 24-7 reports Napier is a serious candidate for the Baylor opening. But the university tells the Daily Advertiser they believe Coach Napier is staying.