News for Wednesday 093015
By Dave Graichen
Work continues to remove the last of the debris from the demolition of the OK allen bridge over the weekend. Word is the main channel of the river has been cleared to at least 20 feet deep, and it is open to barge and other river traffic. Crews have been working around the clock to accomplish that task..
A Montgomery man has been arrested in Natchitoches Parish and charged with stealing a vehicle and about $30,000 in tools from the town of Montgomery. It’s reported that 53 year old Robert Caskey then drove that truck into Black Lake. Caskey was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, charged with illegal possession of stolen things and a laundry list of other charges.
The RPSO reports 52 year old Justin Walters of Colfax is behind bars after being indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury last week on kidnapping and rape charges. He was arrested Monday at his home by members of a U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force after his indictment on Thursday of last week. He currently is in the Grant Parish Detention Center.
An independent poll on the Louisiana governor’s race reveals that 44-percent of voters view Republican David Vitter unfavorably. The poll was paid for by The Advocate and WWL-TV. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says, during Vitter’s years in public office, it appears the Senator has managed to alienate some voters. The survey also shows that over 40-percent of voters could not give a favorability rating to any of the other three major candidates.
Blueprint Louisiana, which is a group of businessmen and executives, is calling on the next governor to expand Medicaid. Blueprint chairman, Doctor Phillip Rozeman, says the group doesn’t necessarily agree with the Affordable Care Act, but an expansion of Medicaid could save the state 165-million dollars over five years. Rozeman says the group would also like to see an increase in the gasoline tax to pay for better roads.
The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing the Bossier Parish School Board of violating the US Constitution by allowing the Fellowship of Student Athletes to set up prayer boxes at Airline High School in Bossier City. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says this does appear to go against the First Amendment’s Establishment of Religion Clause. The School Board says they plan to address the issue at their next meeting.
The US Marshals office along with Louisiana authorities are looking for a convicted killer who was mistakenly released from prison. He’s 32-year-old Benjuiel Johnson and an error led to him being released on bond. He was serving time at the Dixon Correctional Center and Iberville Parish Sheriff Major Ronnie Hebert says they are not sure where Johnnson may have gone. Johnson was convicted on manslaughter for a fatal shooting in Plaquemine in 2010.
The state Department of Ag and Forestry says two men are accused of animal cruelty for allegedly shooting and killing a calf while four men total are accused of stealing the animal for its meat. The four were arrested after a cattleman found a dead calf on the spillway levee near Gonzales.
The Denham Springs Police Department says a woman was stabbed to death in her front yard yesterday allegedly by her boyfriend. They say 52-year-old Kent Scott and the victim were arguing when the fight moved outside and the suspect stabbed her multiple times. The woman died at an area hospital. Scott is expected to be charged with either first or second degree murder.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the ballots for the October 24th primary have been sent to print, but it’s possible more candidates will be removed before election day. He says they started out with about 1150 races statewide but, due to offices running unopposed, challenges or candidates dropping out, there are now about 575 active races. Schedler says if a candidate is listed on the ballot but is not in the race come voting day, notices will be posted near the booths about the elections which are affected.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says as of this Friday, taxpayers will no longer be able to choose the Louisiana MyRefund Prepaid Debit Card as an option to receive their state return. They say the reason is that JPMorgan chase is ending its line of business for prepaid debit card services.
Southern University has launched a fund to help provide financial assistance for wide receiver Devon Gales, who suffered a neck injury in the loss to Georgia. A link to the fund can be found at gojagsports.com.
The Baton Rouge Police Department says nine siblings have been removed from their home after state authorities found little food and zero beds at the residence. The mother, 27-year-old Leticia Brothers was arrested on charges of child endangerment, cruelty to juveniles and criminal neglect of family. A report indicates investigators found that all nine children slept in one room together on the floor. Bond has not been set for Brothers and she remains in parish prison.
A new airline will soon offer daily non-stop flights between Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans and Shreveport Regional Airport. New Orleans Resident Trey Fayard is the founder of the new airline called Glo, which will also have flights from New Orleans to Little Rock and Memphis. He says he started the airline after experiencing years of wasted time having trouble getting to different locations in the mid-South region. Fayard says their first flights are scheduled to take off November 15th and you tickets are available for purchase now.
According to ESPN, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a successful throwing session Tuesday and it’s said that he will take practice reps today. Number 9 missed the Carolina game due to a rotator cuff injury. A return to practice could mean that Brees will be able to play Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Coming off a win over FIU at Joe Aillet Stadium, the Bulldogs are back at home this Saturday to host U-L Lafayette, a team they beat 48-20 last year. Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel says they look at the Cajuns as a rival and would like to beat them again. Louisiana Tech comes into this game leading Conference USA in total offense, as they are averaging 523 yards a game.