News for Wednesday 122315
By Dave Graichen
Much of the state could experience severe weather today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this warm-humid air mass that’s over the state could produce flash flooding, damaging winds, hail and tornadoes. Keim says higher rainfall totals are anticipated in southeast Louisiana, while the threat of severe weather extends across the entire state. Rain chances will remain high through Christmas Day, but today provides the highest risk for severe storms.
The office of Governor-elect John Bel Edwards says nearly 11,000 invitations have been sent out for the swearing in ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol on January 11th. But you don’t need an invite to attend. Edwards will officially become our Governor at 12 noon, and the public is encouraged to attend the ceremony which begins that day at 11:30.
For the first time on record, the American Automobile Association projects that over 100 million holiday travelers will hit the road this year. That’s nearly one in three Americans traveling 50 miles or more for the holidays. AAA spokesman Don Redman says lower gas prices, an improved economy, and holidays falling on the weekend make it much easier for people to travel this holiday season.
Prices at the pump continue to fall. GasBuddy.com reports that the current statewide average for a gallon of regular in Louisiana stands at $1.78.
State Police say a shooting involving deputies from the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office has left one man dead. The deceased man is identified as 32-year-old Michael Noel of Breaux Bridge. Family members told media that deputies were called to the home because Noel was having a breakdown. All authorities will confirm at this point is that St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s deputies were involved, at least one shot was fired, and one person is dead.
A 19-year-old was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds on the side of the road in Jennings. Deputy Chief Danny Semmes says Trey Gant died at a hospital after he was located around 11:30 Monday night. He says they are searching for 29-year-old Thomas Segura, but he’s not considered a suspect just yet. The investigation is ongoing.
The state fire marshal’s office reports a camper trailer fire early Saturday morning in Pineville has claimed the lives of two people after a man died Monday night in a local hospital. 56year-old Kenneth Ashworth, who initially survived the blaze, passed away Monday evening. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
New Census numbers show Louisiana added nearly 22-thousand residents to its population from July 1st 2014 to July of this year. Demographer Elliot Stonecipher says the slight increase is due to more births compared to deaths and an increase in citizens from foreign countries.
Stonecipher says Louisiana finished with a net loss of 74-hundred residents, when you look at migration totals within the United States. Meaning, the bayou state lost more of its residents to other states than they took in. He says that problem could get worse, if oil prices remain low
Two men have been accused of timber theft after some landowners discovered that their timber had been cut without their permission. 65 year old Allen Fife of Tullos, and 46 year old Delaine Yocum, 46, of Winnfield, were arrested on Tuesday after a joint investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Office.
Both were booked into the LaSalle Parish Jail and were charged with one count of timber theft.
If you’re one of the many Louisianians who ran to the grocery store this week to get your Blue Bell Ice Cream fix, experts say the product is likely safer than it’s ever been. Blue Bell products were linked to several listeria deaths in the spring, forcing the company to pull the treats from the shelves. LSU Health New Orleans Infectious Diseases Professor Dr. Fred Lopez says the FDA has implemented new regulations -and- Blue Bell has added an additional step to their process to ensure safety
There are many in Louisiana not happy about these unseasonably warm temperatures this Christmas, but experts say retailers who rely on winter clothing sales are really struggling. Many stores are welcoming last minute shoppers with major discounts.
A man who allegedly stole someone’s iPhone 6 was caught when Lafayette cops tracked him through a selfie he’d taken with the device. Investigators say a 26-year-old male victim reported he was robbed of his property at gunpoint, but later noticed activity on the phone through his home computer when he discovered and uploaded the selfie. Lafayette police made contact with the suspect, 27-year-old Leroy Hebert, through a dating website. He was arrested a charged with armed robbery.
The Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office says a 3-year-old boy drowned in the early morning hours Tuesday in a canal near his home near Crowville. The child reportedly wandered away from his home during the night and his parents didn’t notice he was missing until about 4am. The case is under investigation.
Governor Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya say they’ve collected almost 300 pounds of food for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank they’ve asked guests to bring during the Christmas season. They encourage anyone who can to donate to Louisiana’s food banks.
A 17-year-old who suffered an apparent accidental gunshot wound to the head has been pronounced clinically deceased, according to the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office. They say a 911 report came in over the weekend with a caller stating Dronald Washington was playing with a .38 caliber revolver when it went off. They say this is an ongoing investigation as questions surrounding the incident remain unanswered.