News for Wednesday 041713
By Dave Graichen
State Sen. Rick Gallot sid yesterday Residents of the City of Pineville should be allowed to decide whether they want restaurants to serve alcohol. The Senate Judiciary B Committee agreed Tuesday and unanimously sent SB116 sponsored by Gallot, to the full Senate for a vote. The Pineville City Council voted unanimously on April 9 to pursue an election. Residents defeated a 1981 proposal to open the sale of alcoholic beverages but that included more than restaurants. If Gallott’s bill passes the full Senate it would go to the House for consideration. It is not expected to receive much opposition in the Legislature.
The Alexandria City Council gave the go ahead to Mayor Jacques Roy on Tuesday to execute agreements with vendors and bands participating in the upcoming AlexRiverFête. The event, scheduled for May 9-11, is actually a combination of several existing events — including Louisiana Dragon Boat Races, Dinner on the Bricks and ArtWalk — with some live entertainment as well. City officials hope it will grow into the signature event for the city.
Central Louisiana officials believe they made a good impression in front of U-S Army decision makers, who were here to gather information about Fort Polk. The Army is considering whether to reduce or increase the number of troops at the military base. Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Randolph says the Army officials took an impressive tour of Ft. Polk. Randolph says political and community leaders also addressed the department of the Army officials at a church in Leesville. A decision on Fort Polk's future could come as early as May.
Gas prices have dropped another penny overnight. The American Automobile Association says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $3.34 which is also six cents less than it was last month.
The House Committee on Criminal Justice will spend much of today hearing proposed gun bills. Committee Chairman Joe Lopinto, of Metairie, says twelve bills providing for gun ownership or gun carrying are scheduled for his group. But the bottom line, Lopinto says the committee isn't likely to support stricter gun ownership legislation.
The Louisiana Senate approved a resolution Tuesday afternoon requiring deals for private operation of LSU hospitals to receive the blessing of its budget panel. The Senate approved, without discussion, a resolution bestowing the authority on the Senate Finance Committee. The resolution’s passage came as the LSU Board of Supervisors prepared to vote Today on cooperative endeavor agreements involving LSU hospitals in New Orleans and Lafayette.
The full House has approved legislation that will lower the monthly fee all home and business phone customers pay for communications services for the deaf and speech impaired. The same bill places a small fee to cent monthly fee on every cell phone account as well. Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith says it will raise about a million bucks yearly to pay for special technology to allow hearing and speech impaired people to use phones to communicate. The bill passed by a unanimous vote.
The US Marshal's Office says Acadiana's Most Wanted Man, Wade Lohse, was arrested in Philadelphia at approximately 1:10pm central time today. They say the man who walked out of his vehicular homicide trial in March was spotted walking out of a bar. He will face a judge there then be extradited back to Lafayette.
Shreveport's Elio Motors clears a legal hurdle in marketing its low-cost, high mileage three-wheeled car. A House committee today approved a bill that would exempt drivers of the three-wheeler from the state's mandatory helmet law. Elio's car has a full cabin, with roll cage and air bags.
A House committee has advanced a bill that will require pickup truck drivers to have any pets in the truck bed secured in kennels or cages while on busy Interstate highways. Kenner Rep. Tom Wilmott sponsors the legislation aimed at reducing the number of animals killed when they're thrown from the backs of moving vehicles. That
bill now goes to the House floor for debate.
Police in Slidell say a man who auditioned for the X-Factor in New Orleans on Sunday, stole a car at a gas station Monday because he said he needed to get back home to Florida. They say 20-year-old Orrion Wilson led police on a high-speed chase before being apprehended. He faces many charges.
A Monroe lawmaker Tuesday temporarily shelved his proposal to ban the state’s social services department from trying to collect child support from people who haven’t been proven to be parents through a paternity test.
State Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, said he’d continue to discuss the idea with the Department of Children and Family Services, which raised concerns about House Bill 459. He agreed to defer his proposal in the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee for at least a week while the two sides talk. But it’s unclear if they can reach a compromise. State Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier said Hunter’s proposal would put Louisiana in direct conflict with federal law and could jeopardize the state’s ability to receive more than $200 million in federal social services money annually.
The L-S-U baseball team is back in action tonight, seeking their second straight win, as they host Grambling State. Airtime 6pm on 970 KSYL..
The New Orleans Hornets finish out their season tonight in Dallas. Airtime 7p on Alexandria’s ESPN 1410.