News for Monday June 8th, 2020
Compiled By Dave Graichen
As of Sunday, Coronavirus in Louisiana: 42,816 cases | 2,825 dead | 575 in hospital | 31,728 recovered.
Another fatal shooting in Alexandria over the weekend. Officers were called to 400 block of 16th Street. A little before 4:30 Saturday afternoon. The preliminary investigation by detectives and the Crime Scene Unit indicates two people had a verbal argument.
Each produced a handgun, with the suspect firing one time striking the victim. Names of those involved have yet to be released. The case remains under investigation. Police are asking anyone with any information to contact the APD.
It is the second earliest named storm to make landfall in Louisiana history. Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall late yesterday afternoon near Grand Isle with maximum sustained winds at 50 miles per hour. State Climatologist Barry Keim says sea surface temperatures were warm enough to produce a hurricane, but dry air from the west helped create a lopsided tropical storm that didn’t produce a huge impact in Louisiana.
Tort reform supporters say they’ll use the special session to fix an unpopular aspect of a bill approved in the regular session that aimed to lower auto insurance rates. River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot says the bill has some unfortunate wording that would allow people who suffered minor injuries to collect huge settlements. That one issue appears to have been a potential reason the legislation passed without a veto-proof majority. Talbot says even with that error the bill still had near two-thirds support in both chambers. Governor Edwards has said he has concerns with the legislation and Democrats have criticized the bill saying it would not lower premiums as supporters claim it would.
It’s the first day on the new job for Louisiana’s new Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley who will oversee public schools following the departure of John White. The 39-year-old grew up in Sabine Parish and says as a young kid he wanted to be an educator and this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Brumley most recently was at the helm of the Jefferson Parish school system since 2018. Before that, he was the superintendent for the DeSoto Parish Schools. Brumley will be paid $285,000 annually.
Disaster food stamp assistance is not expected for Cristobal, but the Department of Children and Family Services is asking the public to pre-register for what is known as DSNAP assistance for this hurricane season. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says D-SNAP helps people who have lost food as a result of a disaster. Walters says low to moderate-income households who are currently not on food stamps will qualify for DSNAP if they’ve lost income or suffered damages from a significant weather event.
Public defenders say the COVID shutdown hammered their budgets and are requesting 28 million dollars in state funds to fill the gaps and address a staffing shortage.
Meghan Garvey says she works with one defender who is currently managing 400 misdemeanor cases and another with about 170 felony cases. The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers warns people could be released from jail if they don’t have enough lawyers to represent them in criminal cases. State Lawmakers largely agreed with the need for the additional funding but raised concerns about where the money could be found given the state’s finances.
Acadia Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrest a 21-year-old man for the stabbing deaths of two elderly relatives found dead in their home two weeks ago. Sheriff K.P. Gibson says Detrick Guillory faces two first degree murder charges for the deaths of John and Lois Guillory, both 71, of Richard. Gibson says his agency does not have a history of interactions with the suspect and the reason behind the slayings is unclear. The investigation continues as the case is being put together.
The summertime low-oxygen “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to cover at least 6,700 square miles along the Louisiana and eastern Texas coasts at the end of July, according to a federal forecast based on estimates developed by five research teams studying the effects of fertilizer and other nutrients on Gulf waters. The high-end estimate would cover an area larger than the state of New Hampshire.