News for Friday 072916
By Dave Graichen
Hundreds gathered at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge to celebrate the lives and mourn the loss of Officer Matthew Gerald, Deputy Brad Garafola, and Cpl. Montrell Jackson. State and federal leaders spoke at the vigil saying the greatest moments often come after the darkest times. Governor John Bel Edwards says we have to uproot hate and violence and replace it with peace and love. Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the importance of community policing and addressed the struggle of doing so when law enforcement budgets get slashed year after year. The wives of the three fallen officers also spoke during the vigil ceremony.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch meets today with the U.S. Attorney in Baton Rouge and other US Justice Department officials for a roundtable discussion. Lynch is also scheduled to have a meeting with law enforcement first responders.
State police report a Natchitoches woman was killed in a Wednesday afternoon accident on I-49. 33 year old Ayesha Davis was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in had a tire blowout, causing the vehicle to overturn several times. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle, 25 year old Samuel Darden of New Llano, received moderate injuries. Troopers say both were not wearing seatbelts.
Bossier City Rep. Mike Johnson is hoping voters will support a proposed constitutional amendment on Nov. 8 that establishes a property tax exemption for the family members of a fallen first responder. He says with all the tragedies occurring in recent months, passing an amendment like this is the least we could do.
Another person has been arrested on felony charges accused of making threatening statements online, this time also towards US Senate candidate David Duke. State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says 22-year-old Anthony Moore said in a YouTube video that, “If David Duke becomes senator for Louisiana, bro, I am killing this man.” He says Moore, while being questioned, making the post. Sandifer says Moore also indicated in the videos that he was going to kill over the Alton Sterling shooting.
Louisiana’s film industry has taken a hit since lawmakers put a cap on the state’s film tax incentive program last year, but business agent for a New Orleans film workers union, Cory Parker, says things are looking up. He says some smaller productions are coming to the Bayou State again. Parker is optimistic that next year, legislators can pass legislation that will make the film tax credit program stronger and eliminate some of the concerns film makers.
Researchers at the LSU AgCenter have determined that mosquito pesticides do not pose a serious health risk to honeybees. Entomologist Kristen Healy says they performed a series of tests with various pesticides, and they kept coming to the same conclusion. The AgCenter received a grant from the EPA to research the effects of pesticides on honeybees, because there have been significant annual losses in the bee population the last few years.
Who Dat Nation is wondering if the Saints and its superstar quarterback Drew Brees will agree to a contract extension before the regular season starts, but Brees says it’s not on the top of his mind. Brees is entering the final year of a five-year, 100-million dollar contract. The veteran hopes he and the team can reach a new deal. But, Brees says he’s ending contract talks once the regular season starts, if he doesn’t have a new deal in place. The 37-year-old also believes he can play past the age of 40.
Lake Charles Police say a 4-month-old who died earlier this month had a .047 blood alcohol level in his system. Authorities have arrested the child’s mother, 25-year-old Danielle Morris and the search is on for the father, 40-year-old Larry Champ. The parents are facing second-degree murder charges.