News for Thursday February 6th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
KALB reports the attorney for Kayla Giles has notified the State of Louisiana that he plans to pursue a Stand Your Ground defense. Giles is the woman indicted for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice for the Sept. 2018 shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot. The shooting happened in the midst of a custody exchange. The case is being prosecuted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
The City of Pineville had a break in a water main at the corner of Bragg Street and Bayou Maria early Wednesday morning. Crews worked throughout the night to restore service to some 700 residents. With water restored, there is a boil advisory in effect until further notice. Residents are instructed to boil their water for at least a minute before using.
Impeachment comes to an end as the Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump in a nearly party-line 52-48 not guilty vote on both articles of impeachment. Both Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voting against removal. Kennedy gave the reasoning for his acquittal vote, attacking House Democrats impeachment proceedings as a partisan exercise. The only Republican to vote in favor of removal was Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
Governor John Bel Edwards warns local government officials of the headaches that can be created by not being ready to withstand a cyberattack. Edwards says recent cyberattacks across the state are likely to happen again in other areas. Ransomware attacks have been the issue faced in the most recent attacks. The hackers will hold data ransom until a ransom is paid with cryptocurrencies. Edwards urges officials to take precautionary steps to avoid an attack by backing up data and protecting it behind a firewall.
Five LSU students who were living off-campus are confirmed to have a case of the mumps, a contagious disease that spreads through saliva or other respiratory droplets. Doctor Frank Welch says they are trying to determine if there’s a connection between the students because they did not live in the same apartment.
Some Louisiana conservatives are rethinking capital punishment by announcing the formation of a new group known as Louisiana Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. The organization’s national manager Hannah Cox says a recent study indicates the death penalty cost the state’s taxpayers nearly $16 million more annually than life without parole. Louisiana becomes the thirteenth state to join the national organization.
Governor John Bel Edwards approves the deployment of 23 State Fire Marshal deputies and personnel to Puerto Rico to assist in the recovery from recent earthquakes. The Urban Search and Rescue specialist will survey and access about 12,000 damaged buildings on the two-week mission.
Global technology firm CGI will conduct a career fair next week in Lafayette to fill professional positions for the company’s Louisiana operations. The event will take place on Tuesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park. CGI says they are seeking both entry level and experienced IT professionals to fill up to 160 positions in Louisiana.
The Census will be taken this year and then it will be up to the state legislature to draw up new political maps. Lake Charles Republican Stephen Dwight was just named chair of the House Governmental Affairs Committee and he lays out the timeline for when reapportionment discussions will begin. Dwight will join with Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt, who chairs Senate House and Governmental Affairs, in the effort. He says they’ll tour the state after the Census is conducted. A Census is taken every ten years.
LSU freshman linebacker Donte Starks has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. Head coach Ed Orgeron made the announcement in a statement issued over the past weekend. LSU officials later confirmed the suspension was handed down a day after Starks was arrested in Marerro by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputies reported Starks was booked on illegally possessing a concealed handgun and attempting to run from deputies. Starks’ suspension is the first major disciplinary action of the offseason following LSU’s College Football Playoff National Championship win on Jan. 13.
A survey reveals that one in three Louisiana pet owners struggle financially to care for their animals. The survey by Innovet Pet found that nearly a quarter of those surveyed admit they have a difficult time caring for their pets. Elizabeth Sprang, Director of Southern Animal Foundation, a nonprofit vet clinic in New Orleans, says medical costs continue to increase for pet owners.
As vaping rates soar LSU assistant professor of Comparative Biomedical Sciences Alexandra Noel is looking into how vaping impcats the lungs of people who were previously non-smokers. She hopes her research can help inform public policy on the issue as more and more kids take up vaping without having ever touched a cigarette.
LSU football signed three more players to its 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday. 24-7 sports ranks the Tigers incoming group of players as the fourth-best in the nation.
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