News for Tuesday June 9th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state is reporting nearly 34,000 of the 43,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Louisiana have recovered. Along with those figures the Department of Health also announced 6 new COVID deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities up to 2,831, along with 234 new positive cases.
The Louisiana Department of Health is reminding the public to catch up on the routine vaccinations that may have gone by the wayside due to the shelter in place order and closure of many medical offices. State immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says skipping vaccines can have disastrous consequences in the future. State and federal data show a sharp drop in vaccine orders from January through April.
The APD says he has 47 year old Eric Grimble of Alexandria has a history of video voyeurism and he was arrested late last week on the same charge, after police received a complaint of a man using his cellphone in an attempt to look up the skirts of women. Grimble was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on one count of video voyeurism. He was released on $10,000 bond.
The second week of the special session will see lawmakers dig into the nuts and bolts of the budget and start the debate on economic relief bills for businesses. The special session started last Monday and LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford is surprised by the slow start despite the mountain of work ahead for legislators. The special session is set to end June 30th.
Governor Edwards says Louisiana should consider police reforms in next year’s legislative session. Cities and states across the country are taking up changes to policing policy in the wake of George Floyd protests. Edwards says reforms to the way police interact with their community are needed, and overdue. Proposals to redirect tax dollars away from law enforcement and into education, mental health, and other social services are being considered in some areas. Edwards says he doesn’t agree with that “Defund the Police” movement.
As protestors nationwide demand changes in policing policy, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome says the city’s police union has been an obstruction to reform within the department. Broome says they need greater flexibility to identify and remove bad cops from the department, and the union makes that difficult to do.
A new LSU study polling 757 Louisiana residents indicates 42 percent of respondents know some who has tested positive for the COVID-19, with 23 percent knowing someone who has died from it. LSU Public Policy Lab director Michael Henderson says Louisiana’s black population has seen a disparity in the way it is impacted by the virus and the survey shows it. Forty percent of black residents know someone who has died from complications of COVID-19, compared to 17 percent of white residents
ULM is investigating racially insensitive social media posts that were allegedly made by two of their faculty members. According to the Monroe News Star assistant nursing professor, Mary Holmes referred to former President Barack Obama as a monkey and biology instructor Dennis Bell used a racial slur on his Facebook page. ULM says it condemns the stunningly bigoted and racist language in social media posts by select faculty members.
The 16th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Monday that it has declined to prosecute an Iberia Parish man in connection with the homicide of Howard Poche in 2016. Roy Verret faced a charge of first-degree murder in the 2016 slaying of 75 year old Howard Poche, 75, who was reported missing on Christmas and was found dead three days later, stuffed inside a garbage can on his back porch. According to a release from the DA's office, the move to drop the prosecution comes as a result of being notified of a probability that two samples may have been inadvertently switched during the DNA extraction process on two critical items of evidence.
LSU football begins offseason workouts today as the national champs can lift weights and perform conditioning drills on campus for the first time since spring practice was halted in March. LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffit says about 85-percent of the players stayed in great shape. He says over the next two weeks they’ll do three days a week of hard training and two days of functional training on specific muscle groups,
The NFL has sent a memo to every team describing what needs to be done in order to open practice facilities completely to players. A couple of interesting notes, any meeting with more than 20 people must be conducted virtually and locker rooms need to be modified so that each locker is six feet apart.
Basketball star Shaquille O’ Neal said he told the Saints players not to allow the media to divide them based on Drew Brees’ national anthem comments. Shaq who spoke to the Saints during a virtual meeting last Thursday told Peter King that media divided the Lakers in the early 2000s and it led to a break up between O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Major League Baseball Owners proposed a 76-game season to the players today, but the proposal includes a 75-percent prorated salary for players. Players are seeking to be paid fully for the games they play in.