News for Friday 012915
By Dave Graichen
Skimming devices, which document credit card numbers, are continuing to pop up on gasoline pumps throughout the state. Department of Ag & Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says their inspectors recently located three in Ascension Parish and two in Baton Rouge. He says since June 2015, a total of 25 skimming devices have been discovered in 12 Louisiana parishes.
Strain says they encourage people to constantly check their bank statements and file a report if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
Ex-state legislator and former Alcohol and Tobacco Commissioner Troy Hebert announces he’s running for the US Senate. When Hebert was elected as a state representative in 1995, he was a democrat, but towards the end of his legislative career he was an Independent. He says this time he plans to run for Senate as an Independent.
Health officials say while the Zika (ZEEKA) virus is a threat, it’s not a cause for alarm in Louisiana, just yet. The relatively new mosquito-borne virus has been linked to birth defects in pregnant women. In Brazil, so are calling it an epidemic. The good news is, as of now, there is no spread of the virus in the United States. However, health officials say that may change as the temps rise this spring and summer.
The alleged child predator who was a popular Monroe television host in the 70s, claims he is not the “Mr. Wonder” that authorities have been looking for. The man identified as Frank Selas was arrested in San Diego for allegedly sexually abusing children during a Louisiana camping trip in 1979. Deputy US Marshal Steve Jurman, based in San Diego, says it’s mind blowing the access to kids this man had since 1985 in California. They are worried there could be victims in San Diego they are asking to come forward.
The LHSAA’s annual convention wraps up today and there are some big votes on the agenda for principals. One proposal would create select- non-select playoffs in basketball, softball and baseball. There’s also a proposal to return the football playoffs back to a five-class system, there’s also a proposal to have metro and rural divisions for the football postseason.
The Louisiana Supreme Court overturns a constitutional amendment that prohibits convicted felons from running for political office. In their ruling, the Court says what residents voted on in 1997 did not match what the legislature did. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the justices put a lot of thought into this opinion. He believes lawmakers will likely bring this issue up to voters again.
Louisianians are starting to get on board with getting insurance through the federal marketplace. There are 198,551 registered now, an increase of about 12,000 from last year’s total. The final deadline for individuals to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan is Sunday.
Another lawsuit has been filed by those wanting to block the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans. This time the preservationists are taking their case to state court, after US District Judge Carl Barbier rejected their challenge Tuesday. The New Orleans City Council in December voted to declare the statues a public nuisance, clearing the way for them to be taken down.
Tulane University and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System researchers say they have created a painkiller that’s just as strong as morphine but non-addictive. Lead Investigator Dr. James Zadina says tests performed on animals lead them to the conclusion that this could be a non-addictive alternative to morphine. Zadina says they used compounds from the brain rather than from the opium plant to create the drug. He says human clinical trials are set to begin within the next couple of years…
Paul Kantner--a founding member of both the Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship--is dead at the age of 74. Kantner died of organ failure and septic shock.