News for Friday 033117
By Dave Graichen
The RPSO has reported a second break-in at Tioga High School and Tioga Junior High. Both schools received extensive damage, as glass cases, mirrors and equipment were destroyed. The Sheriff’s office has released photos of two suspects via social media and are offering a reward of 85-hundred dollars for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.
Three death row inmates have filed a suit after spending decades in solitary confinement at Angola. All three plaintiffs have spent more than 25 years in solitary, and Attorney Betsy Ginsberg says living in isolation for this long takes a serious toll on the inmates’ physical and mental health. The Department of Corrections has not issued a comment on the suit.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed on an April 19 sentencing date for the New Orleans man convicted of killing former Saints star Will Smith last year. Smith was shot to death during a confrontation after a traffic crash. Cardell Hayes claimed self-defense, but a jury convicted him of manslaughter in Smith’s death and attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith’s wife.
According to the Louisiana Survey, more Louisianans are optimistic about the future of the state for the first time since 2012. Director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab Michael Henderson says 40-percent of the respondents say they are confident state government can effectively address the state’s important problems, which is a 6 percent increase over last year.
A measure for the upcoming legislative session has been filed that would require TOPS recipients to pay back half of their scholarship if they leave the state after graduating. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau authored the measure and says students would have to follow through with a contractual agreement. Luneau says this would be like paying back an interest free student loan.
Louisiana has the worst financial literacy in the nation, according to the personal finance website WalletHub. Analyst Jill Gonzales says the median credit score in the state is 654, which is on the verge of bad. She says only 28 percent of residents are setting aside money for their children’s education, and less half have a rainy day fund…
Louisiana drivers are the second worst in the nation for cell phone usage while driving, according to a report from Life360. Co-founder Alex Haro says a feature in their family location app allows users to see how their family drives using the sensors on their phone. He says Louisianans use their phones an average of 2.4 times every time they get behind the wheel.
A measure has been filed for the legislative session that would give convicted felons, who are on parole and have been out of jail for at least five years, the right to vote. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith says many of these individuals have been out of jail for over 20 years. Currently, anyone convicted of a felony cannot vote in Louisiana because the law considers anyone on parole imprisoned. The Democrat from Baton Rouge offered similar legislation last year and it was killed on the House floor.
The Governor has released his comprehensive criminal justice legislative package that lawmakers will debate in the regular session that begins April 10. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says in an effort to lower the state’s massive prison population they’ll seek to expand alternatives to incarceration. Louisiana is known as the incarceration capital of the world, and Governor Edwards says that comes a significant price tag.
The George Rodrigue Blue Dog “I Voted” sticker is considered a collector’s item according to a survey by eBay. The auction site said the prize voters got for casting a ballot last year in Louisiana is on sale for about $5 to $50. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said the Blue Dog stickers were so popular that people from all over the country were calling his office asking if they could get one. But he says they only went to folks around the state who took part in elections.
Authorities say a 15-year-old high school student who posted threats on social media that led to the closure of Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans has been arrested. Police say the teen posted a photo on Snapchat that said “Don’t come to school tomorrow and there were several weapons in the picture.