Just a reminder, You can listen to our Morning Report any time after 6:30a on your KSYL Cellphone App (Under Podcasts) or by clicking on the Link Below..
The KSYL Morning Report..
News for Wednesday 080118
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's Office announced yesterday two candidates have been disqualified from running for Rapides Parish School Board. John Allen, the current board representative for District F, was ordered by a judge to withdraw or be disqualified after the Louisiana Board of Ethics filed a petition objecting to his candidacy. Another candidate, Chris Svebek, was disqualified Tuesday after the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office found he was running for a seat outside of the district in which he lives. According to the Secretary of State's Office, qualifying will not be reopened for Allen's seat before the Nov. 6 election. After his term expires, the seat can be left vacant or the board can appoint someone until another election is held in March of next year.
Could the 4th time be the charm? The TownTalk is reporting The Parc England Hotel and Bistro on the Bayou restaurant are up for auction again. The lease for the hotel and shuttered restaurant at England Airpark is scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder on Aug. 16 through Bonnette Auctions. It's the fourth time in 15 months the properties have been put up for auction.
A Pineville man has pleaded no contest to an amended charge in the 2016 crash that killed 16-year-old Chloe James of Ball. 25year old Micah Baden entered the plea to negligent homicide on Tuesday in 9th Judicial District Court. His sentencing was set for Sept. 5.
Today marks the third month of the 2018 hurricane season. Three storms have been named so far and State Climatologist Barry Keim predicts an increase in storms towards the end of this month. While the real heart of hurricane season occurs in September, Keim warns this is no time to let your guard down.
Louisiana residents can go to Mississippi to place bets on sporting events starting today. The initial casinos to offer sports betting are Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Gold Strike in Tunica. Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association, Larry Gregory, says the state is thrilled about the opportunities sports betting brings. Gregory expects to see a spike in tourism from the addition of sports betting.
More than 430 new laws go into effect today as a result of the spring legislative regular session. One of those bills that captivated Louisianans was the Max Gruver Act, which stiffened penalties and made it a felony to orchestrate hazing events that leads to injuries or deaths. And Louisianans looking to get hitched quick have some good news. The state’s waiting period for marriages has been bumped down from 72 to 24 hours. Carencro Representative Julie Emerson says the shorter waiting period should still keep overenthusiastic couples on a bender from tying the knot after a few shots.
Northwest Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson is throwing his hat in the ring to be the next Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee. It’s not a position for the faint of heart. The Committee Chairman is responsible for identifying policy objectives, and then wrangling support to get those ideas off the white board and onto a bill. Johnson says he’s got the background to both build consensus, and champion conservative values. The election for RSC chairman will take place in mid-November.
No one in the town of Palmetto in St. Landry Parish is interested in becoming the town’s police chief. The top cop and only police officer in Palmetto, David Krull, is moving and no one qualified to run to replace him. Alderman Guyton Budden says they might ask the state if they can appoint someone to be the police chief, because none of the current residents of Palmetto are interested…
About 10-thousand Louisiana homeowners who experienced flood damage in 2016 and have received some assistance through the state’s recovery program are now eligible for 100-percent reimbursement as a result of a policy change approved by the federal government. The governor’s communications director Shauna Sanford says checks will be mailed out this week and it will mean an additional 110-million dollars in flood recovery grant money.
ULM football returns to the practice fields today and the program appears to have forward momentum going into their third season with head coach Matt Viator at the helm. Improving a defense that gave up a lot of points last season is certainly has the coach’s attention. Viator says he’s hopeful his squad can stay healthier than last year.
On The Air Today..
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 2:35p 94.7 ESPN
Just a reminder, You can listen to our Morning Report any time after 6:30a on your KSYL Cellphone App (Under Podcasts) or by clicking on the Link Below..
The KSYL Morning Report..
News for Tuesday 073118
Compiled By Dave Graichen
With students getting closer to the end of their summer breaks, the personal-finance website WalletHub Monday released its report on 2018's States with the Best & Worst School Systems and as you may suspect, Louisiana did not do well.. With one being the best, Louisiana scored;
51st – Math Test Scores
48th – Reading Test Scores
39th – Median ACT Score
37th – % of Licensed/Certified Public K–12 Teachers
46th – Dropout Rate
46th – Bullying Incidence Rate
For the full report, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-best-schools/5335/
Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and RoyOMartin President and CEO Roy O. Martin III announced the company will invest $8 million at its Chopin plywood and solid wood plant to install a new dry kiln designed to increase timber production. With the new investment, the company will create 14 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of more than $46,800, plus benefits. The company will retain 680 existing jobs at the site, and Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 40 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 50 new jobs in the region.
It’s an interesting idea.. the APD has set up some spots in the parking of the Bolton Avenue Police station to allow residents to safely perform a child transfer from parent to parent under a child custody agreement or even to complete an online purchase under the watchful eye of a police officer. According to Chief Jerrod King "It provides that extra level of comfort and that extra level of security for them. Special signe make the spots in the Lot.
A Louisiana Legislative Auditor report finds the Rapides Parish Police Jury found that more than $4,500 was misappropriated by a former Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office employee. The incident happened in August of 2017 when the Rapides Parish Police Jury’s internal auditing system found $4,512 was misappropriated. The report stated that restitution by the employee has been made. However, according to the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, the matter was never sent to a grand jury by the DA’s Office, as it should have been.
The Legislative Auditor has a new report claiming the state health department and the Attorney General’s Office misappropriated money intended to fight Medicaid fraud. Auditor Daryl Purpera says they initiated the investigation at the request of LDH and the AG’s office, which’ve since put the money back in the program. Purpera says auditors also found 475-thousand dollars in salaries for fraud detection were used for other purposes and the report showed the state blew 642- thousand dollars in 2012 on software not compatible with their systems.
Advocates are ramping up the campaign to convince voters to vote yes to the unanimous jury verdict constitutional amendment on this fall’s ballot. The amendment requires over 50 percent of voters in the fall to back it, and would undo the Jim Crow era legislation that sets up Louisiana as a legal outlier in the American justice system.
The law was passed during the post-civil war reconstruction era, where critics say the objective was to deprive African Americans of the ability to have a jury of their peers. 48 other states, along with the federal justice system require unanimous juries.
A mass shooting in New Orleans left three dead over the weekend. Now, investigators are looking for answers from the public and they are increasing the reward money for information in the case. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison says the money is now up to $25,000.
Jonesboro Representative Jack McFarland says it was not the legislature’s intention to halt three different sales tax holidays when legislators agreed in the last special session to a tax deal to fully fund state government. McFarland says he wouldn’t be surprised if there was legislation next year to bring them back. As it stands now, the sales tax holidays have been suspended until 2025.
Union Parish authorities say a Bastrop man drowned in Lake D’Arbonne attempting to retrieve his pontoon boat that had blown off its trailer during a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon. Authorities say 65-year-old Roddy Watt was found about 100 yards from the launching area.
According to the latest LDWF bald eagle nest survey, the population continues to flourish in the state. Once a rare sight, spotting bald eagles in Louisiana is now commonplace, as the population in the 1970s was devastated by use of the now-banned pesticide, DDT. LDWF Nongame Bird Biologist Michael Seymour says DDT, when broken down in the environment, affected the ability of many birds to produce calcium which caused thin egg shells.
Three flood damaged Louisiana State Parks are soon to back in business. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announced the official reopening of cabins at Lake Bistineau, Lake Fausse Point, and Tickfaw State Parks. Assistant Secretary and Director of Louisiana State Parks Gene Reynolds say these cabins provide guests the access of Louisiana’s most impressive views. You can now start making reservations for stays beginning Monday, October 22nd. For more information visit LaStateParks.com.
A Farmerville woman is dead after falling out of a truck and striking the pavement. According to the Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates, on Saturday night, 22-year-old Bridget Tucker was pronounced dead at the scene after falling from the vehicle’s window while it traveled around 35-40 miles per hour. Gates says the driver of the vehicle was arrested. Gates says alcohol was involved with the incident.
The Louisiana Department of Education have announced the most recent recipients of the titles of Teacher and Principal of the Year. The Principle of the Year honor goes to Dr. Eric Davis of Wossman High School in the City of Monroe School District.
Spencer Kiper of Elm Grove Middle School in Bossier City picked up the award for Teacher of the Year. Kiper, a STEM teacher, says the surprise of the recognition serves as further motivation for his job.
On the air tonight….
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 8:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 073018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The State Police are investigating the shooting death of a Mississippi man and the injuring of a Ball Police officer on Saturday. Investigators report it all started when a Ball police officer pulled over a vehicle being driven 32 year old Michael Neil on Highway 165 for a traffic violation. After the officer made contact with Neal, a pursuit ensued. The pursuit ended on Anderson Street in Pineville, where Neal was shot. Neal was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was later pronounced. The officer was also transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was last reported in stable condition.
State Police report an early Saturday morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Pineville. According to police, the crash occurred around 1 a.m on Interstate 49 near the Meeker/Turkey Creek Exit, when a vehicle being driven by 51 Blas Sandoval left the highway and overturned. Sandoval, who was not wearing a seatbelt was ejected from the vehicle. Sandoval was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology tests are pending and the crash remains under investigation.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has uncovered what they believe is a dogfighting operation, following a lengthy investigation. The initial tips from the public began to surface in April, but Capt. Tommy Carnline says it wasn’t until recently that the agency received the intel they needed to make the discovery. Carnline says the agency discovered seventeen pit bulls on the property in the Wardville community. Police have arrested Sherman Lane Nash, Jr. but they say more arrests could be forthcoming.
Three people have been killed and several others injured following a shooting in New Orleans. City police spokesman Aaron Looney says in a statement the shooting happened Saturday night on Claiborne Avenue, about 3 miles from the French Quarter. No suspects are in custody.
Medicare for All may have been a fringe position just two years ago, but an analysis of Louisiana’s 2018 Democratic congressional candidates shows nearly unanimous support for the policy. Support from the candidates for Medicare for All comes in two flavors: allowing people to buy into the program, or blanket coverage from birth, with nine of the eleven candidates backing at least one of the two versions.
A Morning Consult poll shows Governor John Bel Edwards’ approval rating slipped under 50 percent during the brutal legislative sessions between April and June. Edwards’ has generally maintained one of the highest approval ratings for a Democratic governor, but ULM Political Science Professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says with the legislative session in the rear view mirror and the government fully funded for the year, Stockley says don’t be surprised to see those numbers rebound in the coming months.
Jim Bernhard rumors are swirling again as LaPolitics.com reports the former Shaw Group CEO is considering a run for the governor’s mansion in 2019. Bernhard now operates energy investment firm Bernhard Capital Partners. LaPolitics Publisher Jeremy Alford says Bernhard has the capital on hand to make it a competitive race.
According to a new Gallup survey that polled just over a thousand adults, most Americans see vapor cigarettes as better than traditional cigarettes, while marijuana was seen as the safest smoking product of all. Government agencies are chiming in, with the FDA still a bit hazy about its stance on vaping, while the CDC says more than 10% of high school students vape. Tobacco treatment specialist, Angel Lopez, says among the experts, vaping’s health risks are debatable. Lopez says vaping introduces new chemicals, ones not present in traditional cigarettes.
A woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing money from the Louisiana law firm she once worked for has been sentenced to a year and 10 months in prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Lake Charles said in a Friday news release that Pamela Ann Fayko, 54, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee Drell. Prosecutors said Fayko was a bookkeeper and office manager for a Lake Charles law firm from 2008 until 2016. She had access to the company credit card and checkbook. In February, she pleaded guilty to using both in the theft of more than $332,000. In addition to 22 months in prison, Fayko faces three years of supervised release and will have to make restitution.
For the last decade, more than one million Entergy customers throughout the state have been paying charges to cover the cost of repairs to damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says those charges are dropping off, and Louisiana customers will see an average monthly reduction of $5.44.
On Air Tonight…
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 8:35p 94.7 ESPN.
The Texas Rangers took Three Games from the Astros over the weekend.
Just a reminder, You can listen to our Morning Report any time after 6:30a on your KSYL Cellphone App (Under Podcasts) or by clicking on the Link Below..
The KSYL Morning Report..
News for Friday 072718
Compiled By Dave Graichen
A federal judge’s ruling allows for the removal of a confederate monument in front of the Caddo Parish courthouse. Judge Robert James dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Daughters of the Confederacy, who said the parish couldn’t remove the monument because it sat on private property. Caddo Parish Commissioner Steven Jackson says placing the monument in front of a courthouse was highly inappropriate because of the effect it could have had on the proceedings taking place inside court of law.
Louisiana has hit a rough patch for weather this summer, but the state’s had a much needed heat reprieve these last few days after a brutal weekend, but forecasts say that’s about to change. State Climatologist Barry Keim says humidity levels are set to spike coming up soon. Portions of the state are also suffering from a drought.
The US House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act which provides the largest pay raise for troops in nine years. Congressman Ralph Abraham says the pay raises doesn’t just help soldiers, but communities that house military bases too.
The legislation also contains 295-million dollars to update B-52 bombers, which frequently take off at Barksdale Air force Base. There’s also 12-million dollars for a new entrance to Barksdale, so a nuclear weapons storage facility can be built there.
The preparation is underway for the next voice of the Saints as Zach Strief transitions from the playing field to the press box. Strief, who has no previous broadcasting experience, spent a more than a decade as an offensive tackle with the black and gold. Strief says he looks forward to working with Deuce McAllister on commentary and says his hope is that this is something truly special to be shared with the Who Dat Nation.
Two Rookie New Orleans Police Officers who were fired from their jobs after allegedly severely beating a regular at a mid-city bar in New Orleans could be facing some stiff charges as a result of the incident. Spencer Sutton and John Galman were initially booked on one count of simple battery in relation to the act, where they allegedly harassed George Gomez about his citizenship, accusing him of being a “fake American”. Gomez says he is American, and has served in the Louisiana National Guard. NOPD says those charged could be upgraded.
After initial reports began to surface on the case of a body being discovered with the hands and feet bound together with rope in a bayou on Sunday, the death seemed suspicious. However, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office representative .Lt. Brennan Matherne says it appears self-inflicted with a lack of evidence that ties anyone else to his death because he did not appear to be robbed.
The physical and psychological abuse of an autistic woman held captive for a year in Tangipahoa Parish included forcing her to eat both dog feces and her mother's ashes, attempted sex trafficking and numerous beatings, that according to charges issued Thursday against five Amite residents in federal court in New Orleans. When officers found the 22-year-old woman, identified in the court documents only as D.P., in June 2016 she was malnourished, covered in insect bites and living in a 6-by-8-foot chicken-wire cage outside a Rushing Lane home.
The Louisiana state trooper who opened fire on a teenager in Baton Rouge this month had been wearing a "defective" body camera that did not record the shooting, that according to a release from trooper's on Thursday. The attorney, Floyd Falcon, contends that body-camera footage would help to exonerate Trooper Kasha Domingue.
The Attorney insists Domingue had "reported it as not working" to her supervisors.
The New Orleans Saints violated federal labor law by failing to pay overtime wages to the former personal assistant of late owner Tom Benson, according to an NFL arbitrator who this week ordered the team to cough up nearly $400,000. The arbitrator ordered the Saints to pay $100,000 in overtime to the ex-aide, Rodney Henry, as well as a fee of about $105,000 that Henry's contract guaranteed him if he was dismissed by someone other than Benson. Arbitrator Harold Henderson also tacked on nearly $190,000 to cover Henry’s attorneys’ fees during a legal battle that began three years ago when Henry was fired.
Fifty years ago, there wasn’t a single brown pelican to be found in the pelican state. The demise of the population can be traced back to the use of the pesticide DDT. But the population of the bird has since rebounded with more than 100,000 throughout Louisiana. LDWF Nongame Bird Biologist Michael Seymour says the rejuvenation effort began in the late 1960s and he credits the successful repopulation of the species in major part to the Endangered Species Act.
In Beauregard Parish officials began performing homestead audits this week to weed out unqualified exemptions. On Monday, DeRidder City Council members voted unanimously to enter a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Sheriff’s Office, Police Jury, town of Merryville and the School Board to execute a homestead exemption mapping system. The initiative will seek to identify properties erroneously designated as exempt and to facilitate the collection of property taxes.
The Saints began training camp today with Super Bowl aspirations. Last year, New Orleans struggled on punt returns. Coach Sean Payton says that will be a point of emphasis, plus there are new kick-off rules to learn.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has a new look as he’s wearing a helmet designed to reduce concussions. Brees says the helmet he wore last year is not up to NFL standards. The veteran Q-B says the change is no big deal.
High school sports officials from around Louisiana are getting ready to meet up in the Big Easy, in what is estimated to be the largest event of its type in the state’s history. LHSAA Director of Officials Lee Sanders says Officiate Louisiana’s goal is to add more sports officials to their rankings, adding they are looking for younger talent as the average age of officials has been on the rise the last two decades.
On the air…
The Houston Astros begin a three game series against the Texas Rangers tonight. Airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 072618
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities have now arrested the mother of the 6-month-old Natchitoches baby who died from severe burns. 22-year-old Hannah Baker has been charged with Principle to 1st Degree Murder for her role in the tragic death. Baker claimed she was maced during a home invasion that saw her child taken from her, but Fire Marshal Butch Browning says that likely was a lie. Browning says they suspect this was a preconceived crime that Baker participated in, thus the charge of Principle to First Degree Murder. And it may not be over yet, as the Fire Marshal says they are still actively pursuing leads that could lead to more people behind bars.
Parents of a fourteen year old boy forced to live in a shed have been arrested. The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office made the arrest of Larry and Antoinette Lewis and are now being held on bonds of $7,500 and $25,000 respectively. Detectives arrived at the home and spoke with the juvenile and found out he had not bathed or eaten in days.
Cool Planet announced Wednesday they are begining construction of their production facility here in Alexandria. The plant, located at the Central Louisiana Regional Port, will produce Cool Terra, Cool Planet's signature product, which the company says increases yield and quality of a wide range of crops when mixed with soil. The facility, which will serve as Cool Planet's manufacturing hub, is expected to begin production in the summer of next year.
Louisiana Economic Development’s FastStart program has been ranked the nation’s number one state workforce training program for a record ninth consecutive year by Business Facilities. LED Secretary Don Pierson says this isn’t possible without the huge pool of talent that makes up the program. The program works with growing companies to tailor recruiting and training to arm employees with the skills to launch a business with full force.
The grandchildren of a bedridden Baton Rouge grandmother have been arrested after the elderly woman was found dead in their home. Baton Rouge Police Spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean Mckneely says EMS was called to the home for medical purposes but upon seeing her condition pronounced her dead at the hospital.
Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc is speaking out against Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s accusations that the Edwards Administration is stonewalling efforts to continue executions in Louisiana. Executions have stopped since the legislatively approved drugs ceased production in 2010. LeBlanc says before releasing a letter to the media, Landry had been dead silent to him on the issue.
The Tax Foundation says their estimates show the average Louisianan will receive a 1,300 dollar tax break resulting from the tax reform passed in Congress last year. But a national poll showed most Americans haven’t seen a bigger paycheck yet. Tax Foundation Director of Special Projects Nicole Kaeding says if so, talk to your employer about adjusting for the new rates.
The new play-by-play announcer for New Orleans Saints games will be Zach Strief (Streef). Strief retired from playing for the Saints last year. A news release says that the twelve year offensive tackle is joining his ex-teammate, Deuce McAllister, in the broadcast booth.
Saints fans are getting to get their first glimpse of the team’s practices this weekend. Training camp officially opened yesterday and practice begins today. This weekend, fans are invited to check out practices. The festivities start at 7:30 Saturday morning with a fan fest.
News for Wednesday 072518
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Former bookkeeper for the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office, Margaurette Beard, was sentenced yesterday to 37 months in federal prison for stealing more than $1.6 million from the office. She pleaded guilty in late March to one count of misuse of federal funds. The 68 year old Beard will report to a prison on Sept. 19. Charges against her in the 9th Judicial District Court are still pending, as is a civil lawsuit.
State police report an Alexandria woman was killed yesterday shortly before noon in Beauregard Parish when vehicle she was driving crossed the center line of the highway and hit an 18 wheeler head on. 66 year old Brenda Bordelon, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene due to the severity of the crash.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s office reports 33 year old Damarcus Scales, one of two people charged with the death man outside the Bolton Avenue Community Center, has rearrested after Corrections Officers found him in possession of a “Shank” during a routine inspection of his cell at DC3. Scales, who is no stranger to legal issues, now faces a new charge of introducing contraband into a correctional facility.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis says Louisiana’s Gross Domestic Product grew for the first quarter of this year at a rate of two-point-three percent, which is faster than 35 other states. In a statement, Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s a sign Louisiana’s economy is steadily improving and his administration continues to work towards bringing record economic development deals.
The Trump Administration on Tuesday announced up to $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers hurt by the president’s trade war. Ag commissioner Mike Strain says the hand up is much needed in the ag industry. Strain says the burden put on farmers by financial shortfalls can be overwhelming. US Senator John Kennedy weighed in on the situation, saying he wonders what will be done for manufacturers for automobiles and petrochemicals.
More jobs are coming to Iberville Parish as Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shintech Louisiana LLC have announced a $1.49 Billion expansion. The project is expected to create 120 new direct jobs with an average salary of more than $81k, plus benefits, and 590 indirect jobs in Iberville Parish and surrounding parishes. The company works in chemical production and has been in the bayou state since 1999.
The exchange on capital punishment between Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry continues to escalate. The last execution in Louisiana took place in 2010 when the drugs for a lethal injection were last available. The governor’s office has pointed out that Landry hasn’t offered a single bill dealing with capital punishment since he took office in 2016.
US Senator John Kennedy got a chance to sit down and talk with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The conversation stuck mostly to personal topics, as Kennedy says he’s impressed so far with the nominee’s temperament. Kennedy says its crucial the Senate get it right, because the nomination is for life.
In a move that blindsided many, following repeatedly denying he would run, the interim Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin, made a last minute announcement of his inclusion into the special election for the Secretary of State’s office on the final day on qualifying. Ardoin claims he never purposely misled anyone about his intentions with the November special election.
The New Orleans Police Department arrested two of its own officers and began the process of firing them after an off-duty fight with a civilian early Tuesday near a Mid-City bar. The two rookies who graduated from the police training academy in December and had not yet completed a required probationary period were booked on counts of simple battery in connection with an incident that sent a third man to the hospital. Investigators collected video evidence and witness statements which "clearly" established that the officers were the aggressors in an altercation.
Jefferson Parish officials report a man leaped onto the hood of a woman’s car during a domestic dispute, jumped off and then fatally shot her through the windshield near the entrance to an upscale west bank subdivision Tuesday. Authorities didn’t immediately identify the woman or her alleged attacker, who was arrested at the scene. But they said the couple was either married or dating and that the woman was from New Orleans.
Eight people are under arrest in relation to a dismembered male body discovered in the woods outside of Walker. Authorities have identified the remains as 26-year-old Michael Neufeld of Donaldsonville. He was last seen by family members on July 2nd. Sheriff Jason Ard says they are still trying to establish an exact motive.
The Saints open their first day of training camp tomorrow at 8:50AM, which will be on the field. A total of ten practices will be open to the public, with the first of those being this Saturday.
On air tonight….
Houston Astros @ Colorado Rockies 7:05p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 072418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The National Weather Service says the high temperature in Shreveport Sunday was 108-degrees, which is a record for Shreveport for any day in July. State Climatologist Barry Keim says we’ll see temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s for the remainder of the week, but you will notice a difference in the humidity starting today. Keim says you can thank a change in the wind as it will come out of the north, instead of off the Gulf of Mexico.
A Natchitoches woman has been charged in the burning death of a six-month old child, who was set on fire last week after being kidnapped during an apparent home invasion. 25-year-old Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith has been charged with one count of first-degree murder for the death of Levi Cole Ellerbe. Authorities say she is not the child’s mother and the investigation continues.
Five people have been arrested for insurance fraud related to an alleged staged crash in Evangeline Parish in 2015. Authorities say the crash was staged to facilitate a fraudulent insurance claim for property and bodily harm. State Police Spokesperson Master Trooper Brooks David the lengthy investigation revealed that all of the participants knew each other, and that the action was premeditated.
He says he is not guilty. That was the plea Monday by Roger Dale Boggs, the man accused of bank fraud. Boggs had promised to build a $1.5 billion plant in Pineville that was to bring in more businesses and around 1,000 jobs. But none of that materialized, and creditors eventually began legal proceedings against him. A pretrial conference in the case was set for Nov. 8
The drugs are in the console… That’s what a Dry Prong man told a Grant Parish Sheriff deputy after he ran his vehicle into a ditch. 47-year-old Robert Averitt initially told the Deputy he had just ran out of beer. As you may suspect, the deputy was not amused. Averitt has been charged with DWI, possession of crystal meth, resisting an officer and criminal damage to property..
State police are investigating a Sunday evening crash that killed two Zwolle men. Both 64 year old Gary Carheel and his passenger, 41-year-old Herman Green, died at the scene of the crash on La. Highway 191. Speed was a factor in the crash. Troopers say both men were wearing seatbelts.
An inmate considered dangerous, who walked away from the Rapides Parish Detention Center in downtown Alexandria on Saturday afternoon, has been recaptured. Authorities say Demoine Ashley was captured by deputies with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Violent Offender Task Force.
The LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s office is investigating how 69-year-old Terry Angelle ended up bound in rope and floating in Bayou LaFourche on Sunday. Lt. Brennan Matherne says at this point his death has been classified as suspicious. Matherne says they believe Angelle was in the bayou for several days.
The state’s sales tax holidays have been suspended until 2025 as a result of legislation approved in the last special session. For instance, we usually have a sales tax holiday for back to school shopping during the first weekend in August, but that’s not happening this year. The Tax Foundation’s Nicole Kaeding says sales tax holidays usually don’t produce cost savings for consumers, because retailers in many cases increase prices on those items.
Southeast Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is set to seek his 6th term in office as representative of Louisiana’s 1st district. He’s regarded as one of the most influential members of Congress, and is the Republican Majority Whip. But, he will have a lot of company in running for that seat. That as 5 people qualified to run against him in November.
Governor John Bel Edwards sent an open letter to President Donald Trump imploring the Commander in Chief to consider the effects a trade war with China will have on the economy. Edwards cited a report from Forbes that says Louisiana is most at risk for damage from the tariffs. Edwards says it’s not a hostile letter, but a reminder about the dangers of a trade war. Last week Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on all 505-billion dollars in Chinese imports.
18-year-old La. Tech student Mason Andrews is on his way to becoming the youngest pilot to ever circumnavigate the globe. The young man left Monroe airport on Sunday for the trip which should take 30 to 40 days. Aviation Department Head Jordan Lyons says it’ll be a taxing trip that will push Andrews physical tolerance. Andrews is taking a path with over 14 stops that will lead him over the Atlantic to Paris, then down through the South pacific, and up to Alaska until he pilots his way back home.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery at the Capital One bank branch on Coursey Boulevard about 8:30 a.m. Monday Morning. Deputies believe one man was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, a camouflage backpack and a mask, and the other man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black backpack. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in catching the men.
A missing person in Ascension Parish has turned up dead in Livingston Parish, his dismembered remains were discovered Sunday in Denham Springs. It’s believed the man may have been dead for close to a month. So far, 8 people have been arrested and charged, in what Sheriff Jason Ard with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is calling a very bizarre case..
The Tiger Truck Stop owner at the I-10 Grosse Tete exit has two new animals to replace the 17-year-old tiger that died in October as a result of kidney failure. Mike Sandlin says state law prohibits him from getting another tiger, so he now has a camel and a coati (Khu-wha-tee), which is a type of raccoon, for visitors to see. Sandlin says it’s still his hope to have another Tiger at the truck stop, but state law prohibits residents from owning large and exotic cats. So he’s hoping to acquire enough animals to create a petting zoo. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has opposed the tiger exhibit at the gas station for many years.
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri announced today the Tigers will open the 2019 season by hosting ULM on February 15th as part of a military appreciation weekend at Alex Box Stadium. Mainieri says the Tigers will also play Army and the Air Force that weekend. But Tulane is not on the schedule for 2019. Mainieri says it’s his hope LSU and Tulane will play each other every season in the Wally Pontiff Junior Classic in Metairie starting with the 2020 season.
Sports on the air tonight….
Houston Astros @ Colorado Rockies 7:05p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 072318
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Much to the surprise of many, at the end of qualifying Friday, only three people signed up to run for Alexandria mayor. State Rep. Jeff Hall and local attorneys Catherine Davidson and Kay Michiels (Mih-Gelz). All three are democrats. Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Randolph announced Friday afternoon that she would not run, despite receiving encouragement to do.
On the city council, Democrat Harry Silver in District 4 was automatically re-elected when no one qualified to challenge him. This will be Silver's fourth term on the council.
In District 2, council President Roosevelt Johnson is being challenged by Gerber Porter. Both are Democrats.
In the at-large seat on the council, Jim Villard is being challenged by Democrat Quin Slaughter. Villard has served two terms on the council.
The primary election is Nov. 6.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, at last check, is searching for an inmate who escaped from DC1 in downtown Alexandria. 40 year old Demoine Ashley, who was assigned to a laundry detail, slipped away Saturday. Ashley is currently being held on aggravated kidnapping, domestic abuse strangulation, aggravated battery, illegal use of a weapon and convicted felon in possession of a firearm from an arrest in March. Anyone with info on Ashley’s whereabouts is asked to contact authorities..
It was a site to see as hundreds of people gathered Saturday at the Rapides Coliseum to say goodbye to a Central Louisiana Rodeo legend Sonny Lewis. Lewis was a stock contractor and producer for more than 50 years. Through the DeWitt and Lewis Rodeo Company he was involved in events all over the state, including the Angola Rodeo.
Lewis was also named the Rodeo Cowboy Association's producer of the year for 18 years in a row. Sonny Lewis was killed and a car crash last week. He was 86.
An APD officer has been charged after he was involved in a single vehicle crash. State Police report 41 year old Russell Beauregard, of Alexandria, suffered moderate injuries after wrecking his pickup on River Road early Thursday morning. Beauregard suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital, where he was charged by Troopers with DWI, no seat belt, and careless operation.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the state hit an employment record in June, as 2,036,316 people are employed. Every metro area in Louisiana reported a gain in jobs over the year, except Lafayette, which lost 700 jobs since June 2017. But LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie says Lafayette added 200 over the last month alone.
Nine people have signed up for the Secretary of State’s race, including interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who had said for months he would not seek the position. The Baton Rouge Republican said he changed his mind ten minutes before qualifying ended on Friday afternoon. There are four other major candidates in the race . Former republican state legislator A.G. Crowe and Democrat Renee Fonentot Free, who works in the A-G’s office, plus Representatives Rick Edmonds and Julie Stokes.
A congressional candidate was arrested shortly after he qualified to run agaisnt US Representative Ralph Abraham in Louisiana’s 5th district. Billy Burkette of Pride was taken away in handcuffs as there was a warrant out for his arrest for impersonating a law enforcement officer. Burkette told reporters at the Secretary of State’s office in Baton Rouge that he’s the chief of police and chairman of the Louisiana Band of Choctaw Indians. In all, 3 people have qualified to run against Abraham.
Five men and one woman have signed up to challenge Acadiana Congressman Clay Higgins on the November sixth ballot. Higgins, who lives in Port Barre, is seeking a second term as the House Representative for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional district.
Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garrett Graves faces three challengers in the November midterm election. Graves is seeking a third term in the 6th district, after previously working in state government.
Louisiana is ranked among the five most vulnerable states in a report regarding weak voting security released by Democrats on the U. S. House Administration Committee. The study says paperless voting machines are dangerous, but Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says the Democrats’ claims don’t hold water…The report says the state lacks post-election audits. The Secretary of State’s office is seeking funding to replace their 10,000 paperless voting machines. But Ardoin says Louisiana’s current election system is safe.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is mourning the death of one of its cadets. LDWF spokesperson Adam Einck says 38-year-old Immanuel Washington of Youngsville collapsed following a 2.5 mile run as part of physical training. The former Youngsville Police officer leaves behind a wife and two small children.
Former Louisiana Congressman John Fleming is set to get a new job within the Trump administration. The 67-year-old is a deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, he’s now waiting for Senate confirmation to be an assistant secretary overseeing the Economic Development Administration.
LSU is picked to finish fifth in the SEC West, according to journalists who attended the SEC Football Media Days. Alabama is once again the favorite in the West followed by Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A-and-M. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says fifth place is even lower than he projected. It’s the lowest LSU has been picked since the 1990s. Moran says LSU’s difficult schedule is contributing the low expectations.
News for Friday 072018
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A heat advisory is in effect through Monday as temps are expected to reach the century mark or slightly higher each day. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mario Valverde in Shreveport says being too active in this kind of heat could lead to some serious health issues, even death. Best advice, avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and drink plenty of fluids.
The building the housed for many years the Owl Fine Foods Store on Chester Street In Alexandria has been sold, thus avoiding demolition. Plans are to renovate the facility and put a specialty shop there. It could be several months before the building’s new life begins.
Authorities in Natchitoches are knee deep in the investigation of an apparent home invasion that led to the kidnapping and death of a 6 month old infant. The body of Levi Cole Ellerbe will be laid to rest today. Rumors swirled around Natchitoches about what really happened that night, but police were not releasing any additional information on the investigation at this time.
Today is the deadline for 2016 Louisiana flood victims to fill out a survey in order to be eligible for federal assistance to repair their homes. The survey can be found at restore.la.gov. again, today is the deadline.
North Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham has been named to the conference committee that will try to resolve differences in the Senate and House’s Farm Bill. The Farm Bill sets agriculture policy for the next five years, and also sets the regulations for SNAP. Abraham says he’s looking for big changes to the food stamp program. Part of those changes would be a work requirement. Abraham is optimistic a new Farm Bill can be sent to the President in a couple of months. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.
Practitioners who use the hair-removal technique known as “eyebrow threading” no longer need to undergo hundreds of hours of expensive training to work in Louisiana. Institute for Justice Attorney Renee Flaherty says after a two-year legal battle, the state’s Cosmetology Board has a new policy. Flaherty says the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Cosmetology on behalf of two eyebrow threaders in order to change the previous mandate for 750 hours of training,
Louisiana’s Republican Congressional Delegation is lashing out against US Senate Democrats who blocked a House resolution from Congressman Clay Higgins that endorses the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE. Higgins says the movement to abolish ICE endangers national security. ICE has become a controversial agency in recent months, as the agency that has been tasked with carrying out the Trump Administration’s immigration policies such as family separations and detainment of asylum seekers. Immigrant activist say the agency is being used to terrorize immigrant communities.
A 66-year-old man has been arrested in Shreveport after authorities say they discovered that his wife had not moved from their couch in months, leaving her malnourished and suffering from substantial, life threatening injuries. The man was arrested and charged with Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities for what police say was his neglect of his wife.
The state department of corrections says two Angola inmates serving a life sentence were found dead in their cells Thursday morning. It’s believed they died from a drug overdose. Corrections officers are conducting a shakedown of all cells as they try to determine how the prisoners got a hold of the drugs.
Dog Feces, Rodents, Flies… just some of the reasons the Louisiana Department of Health has given for the closure of a Shreveport fish market. Regional Medical Director Administrator at LDH, Dr. Martha Whyte says the decision to shut down the Dupont Fish Market comes after months of working with the business. No one has reported any illnesses stemming from the fish market’s short comings. But Whyte said the agency was working in an effort to prevent that from happening.
Sports On the air today….
Houston Astros @ LA Angels 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 071918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The National Weather Service has issues a heat advisory for the northern half of the state including Central Louisiana. Friday, Saturday and Sunday temps are expected to top out at or slightly above 100. That, coupled with high humidity, could push the heat index as high as 110 each day. Forecasters say the heat will stay with us right into next week.
A six-month-old baby is dead after a kidnapping that ended with authorities finding the child covered in severe burns. Tuesday night Natchitoches Police responded to a call from a mother who said her child had been stolen after a home invasion. Captain Christopher Payne says the mother was blindsided. An hour after police responded to the initial call, Payne says they got a second call from someone reporting that a barn had caught fire about three miles north of the home. That’s where the child was found covered with burns. Payne says no arrests have been made in the case as of yet.
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s office says a tip about an illegal tattoo parlor in the Prospect community uncovered more than that. Deputies serving a search warrant found the illegal operation but also crystal meth and a firearm. Two people were arrested and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
State police report a four-vehicle wreck killed an Alexandria man Tuesday afternoon on LA Highway 28 East near the border of LaSalle and Rapides parishes. An 18 wheeler being driven by a West Monroe man crossed the center line and struck a vehicle being driven by 86 year old William Lewis. Lewis who was not wearing a seatbelt died at the scene. The driver of the 18 wheeler, 30 year old Londell Smith Jr has been charged with negligent.
In the first day of qualifying for the fall elections only the three previously announced candidates made it official. More interesting, at least at this point is the Mayor’s race in the Town of Ball, where former mayor Roy Hebron threw his hat in the ring. There is still some question as to whether or not he can legally run.. Qualifying ends on Friday.
The Secretary of State’s race is officially on as qualifying is underway. Democrat Renee Fontenot Free, the director of the Public Protection Division in the state A-G-’s office, and Republican former state legislator A.G. Crowe joined the race yesterday, the first day of qualifying.
Attorneys for Louisiana College announced yesterday the college will file an objection to a July 12 decision in the U.S. District Court to deny the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a former coaching prospect, Joshua Bonadona, that alleged racial discrimination. Bonadona has alleged that he didn't get the job at LC because the college's president, Rick Brewer, allegedly said Bonadona had "Jewish blood." In a press release issued Wednesday, LC's attorneys said the allegations are unwarranted and vehemently denied. Brewer said the ruling "reflects a technical legal question that has no bearing whatsoever with the veracity of the allegations in the suit."
Bayou Bridge protesters attempted to break into a Baton Rouge radio studio where Governor John Bel Edwards was being interviewed to demand an audience with Governor Edwards. The Protesters wanted to question Edwards over his decisions regarding the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and the community of St. James’ fear that the project would strand citizens in the event of chemical accident. The protesters are part of the No Bayou Bridge movement that opposes the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline that runs from Lake Charles to St. James Parish. Opponents say the pipeline infringes on native territory, and is a danger to water sources.
The Louisiana Health Department announces six people have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus. It’s the first human cases of 2018. Assistant State Health Officer, Doctor Parham Jaberi, says the three cases of Neuroinvasive Disease, the sever form of the virus, were found in DeSoto, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa Parishes. Jaberi, says the public should take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 80-percent of people who get West Nile are unaware they have the virus, as they are asymptomatic.
Congressman Ralph Abraham has been named a member of the conference committee that will craft the final version of the Farm Bill. The version of the Farm Bill being considered will set agriculture policy for the next five years. The House passed its version of the Farm Bill on June 21, with the Senate passing their version a week later. The current Farm Bill is set to expire at the end of September.
In a letter from Attorney General Jeff Landry to Governor John Bel Edwards, Landry blamed the governor for the lack of executions in the state since 2010, saying victims’ families suffer in legal limbo while waiting for justice to be carried out. Edwards saying the Landry had not attempted to contact him or his office and letter was out of the blue. The governor insists the reason behind the delay of executions comes down to the lack of availability of drugs to carry out lethal injections. The AG’s office has suggested following the example of other states by expanding the execution method options.
The CDC advises customers to throw out any crab products from Venezuela. Health officials say a dangerous bacteria has been found in fresh crab meat from the South American Country, causing two people from Louisiana to get very sick.
The first black head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette wasn’t fired in 2001 because of the color of his skin, a Baton Rouge judge ruled Wednesday following the third trial in the long-running case. Jerry Baldwin was terminated after the third year of his four-year contract with a record of six wins and 27 losses but was paid for the final year of the contract. UL-Lafayette has said Baldwin was fired because of his poor overall record, a decline in football attendance and revenue and flagging community support for the struggling football program that he inherited in 1999 from coach Nelson Stokley.
Can a black person get a fair trial in a courthouse with a confederate statue in front of it? Attorney Niles Haymer says he doesn’t believe so. Haymer has a black client currently facing a gun charge, but has requested a change of venue from the East Feliciana courthouse. He says his client is intimidated by a thirty-foot soldier at the entrance of the building.
Sports On The Air Today…
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs 5p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 071818
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Qualifying for the November election begins today. It will give voters a final roster of candidates for Congressional seats, and the special election to replace Tom Schedler as Secretary of State. The race for the Mayor’s seat in Alexandria will also be on the line. So far three candidates, state Rep. Jeff Hall, local attorney Catherine Davidson and a former member of Mayor Jacques Roy's administration Kay Michiels have announced their intentions to run for mayor.
You most likely noticed a heavy haze the past few days. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Forecaster Patrick Zahn says its dust from over 5,000 miles away in the Sahara desert. Zahn says it could make it a bit more difficult to breathe these next few days for people who suffer from asthma.
Governor John Bel Edwards has announced 23 new projects aimed at coastal recreation throughout the state. The $60 million being used to fund the projects comes from a settlement stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says the projects will be beneficial to those with or without a boat.
Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garret Graves says he’s not exactly happy some of the comments made by President Trump in Finland. Graves saying it was a poor choice of words on the President’s part. Trump has since reversed his initial statement, saying he has full confidence in the findings of US intel concerning Russian meddling in US elections.
Two years ago yesterday in Baton Rouge, a lone gunman opened fire on law enforcement in an ambush that would kill three officers and injured three others. East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says it goes down as one of the worst days in Louisiana’s history. Corporal Nick Tullier continues his difficult recovery at a Houston hospital, however he cannot walk, talk, or move his limbs without assistance.
Louisiana has seen an uptick in productions around the state for television shows and motion pictures. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, Chris Stelly credits a 2017 reform in the state’s incentive program for the boom. Currently, five television shows being filmed in communities around the state. Stelly estimates that the economic impact is in the billions, but says a true metric is being studied right now with more official results available in early 2019.
The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans says the jaguar that got loose on Sunday and killed nine other animals most likely bit through a stainless steel cable barrier near the roof of his enclosure. Zoo Director Kyle Burks says the big cat then pushed through an eight-by-ten inch hole in the roof and got out. Burks says the jaguar will not be euthanized and they are not sure how long he was out of his enclosure.
The Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington received a 42 million dollar grant to keep the lights on and the medical research on schedule. The grant, from the National Institute of Health, is aimed at maintaining the facility’s infrastructure and day to day operation. The center employs over 300 people in a variety of functions.
Despite seeing its losses more than double over the last fiscal year, GB Sciences is pushing forward with phase two of its medical marijuana growing operation in Baton Rouge and has landed another $3.8 million in funding from its Louisiana investor group. GB Sciences filed its annual financial results in late June for the fiscal year ending March 31, posting a net loss of $22.9 million for the year, and an accumulated deficit of $58 million since inception. GB executive John Davis, who is heading up the Louisiana operation, said the recent losses will “absolutely” not affect its partnership with LSU.
News for Tuesday 071718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
In a surprise announcement late yesterday afternoon Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy announced he would not seek a fourth term as mayor. In a press release, Roy said "We leave our city measurably better, and I hope the next mayor does, too”. Roy has been mayor since 2006. Qualifying for the November mayoral election starts tomorrow.
The summer in Louisiana means high temps. State climatologist Barry Keim says get ready for the seasonal peak. We can expect temps in the low 90s to mid to upper 90 during the work week, which are typical for this time of year. But he warns the humidity levels will be above average, bringing heat indices to dangerous levels. Remember, hydration in critical in this heat, even if you are not out in the sun.
Two adults and one juvenile are dead after a fire engulfed a trailer in Campti over the weekend. Investigators are still unsure exactly how the fire erupted and claimed the family’s lives. State Fire Marshal Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the fire occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning. At this point in the investigation, Rodrigue says they aren’t sure why the family did not respond to the inferno but says early reports indicate they may not have been awake to react to it.
The RPSO reports The Federal Bureau of Investigation has initiated a probe into the it’s Office over the March arrests of five corrections officers for an excessive force complaint from an inmate. KALB TV is reporting that within the past few weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division based out of Washington, DC and the FBI based out of Alexandria got involved with the case and opened a probe into the office. It’s also confirmed through multiple sources that the FBI seized multiple computers, phones and documents from the office. Channel 5 says they have also been told that the FBI's probe could extend beyond the incident involving the inmate.
Due to the renewal of a partial penny state sales tax rate and a tax rate drop in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana no longer holds the dubious distinction of the highest sales tax rate when combining state level and the average local sales tax rate. An economist for the Tax Foundation, Scott Drenkard, says that title now belongs to Tennessee. In 2015, The Tax Foundation wrote a book on its recommendation of the tax situation in Louisiana. Among the suggestions is expanding the sales tax to cover services. That has yet to happen.
A new approach by the Louisiana Department of Health in providing home and community services will end the waiting list for thousands of citizens with developmental disabilities. Deputy Secretary of LDH, Mark Thomas, explains that the new plan will also effectively end the 25-year-old Request for Service registry waiting list. Thomas says the new method sees those in the most urgent of need, some who have been waiting years, will see services very quickly. There are currently 16,000 residents on that waiting list in Louisiana.
Three Louisiana State Police troopers disciplined last year for taking a lavish "side trip" to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon while driving to a law enforcement conference in California offered their first public remarks on the controversy during their appeal Monday before the State Police Commission. The troopers told the commission they had been scapegoated for a scandal that embarrassed the State Police and prompted the retirement last year of Mike Edmonson, the agency's longest-serving superintendent. After a full day of testimony action was deferred on the appeal. It’s expected it will be next month, at the earliest, before any decision is announced.
The US Department of Labor has ordered El Paso Mexican restaurant to pay close to $655,000 in back wages to 567 employees, including 58 here in Alexandria. In addition to the Alexandria location, the company operates a number of restaurants in Louisiana and Florida. The department found that the chain violated the minimum wage requirements at 23 of those locations.
A Winfield woman is facing 18 counts of theft by fraud, after she apparently tried to pass of a fraudulent raffle. The RPSO posted a picture of the woman on Facebook Friday evening and she was identified within minutes as 30 year old Nettie Adams. Adams was already under lock and key in Winfield on fraud charges and is being held on a $10,000 bond. Authorities in Rapides parish will be waiting to arrest her when she gets released.
29 people have been arrested since March in St. Tammany Parish in a parish wide crackdown on the crystal meth that has been flowing into the rural portions of the region. The arrests have targeted smaller distributors, and have resulted in the seizure of guns, drugs, and money, and St Tammany Parish Sherriff Randy Smith says they do not suspect that the dealers who’ve been busted are part of a largescale, organized criminal effort to take over distribution in the parish.
The eyes of the college football world are on Georgia this week for SEC Media Days. LSU coaches and stars took the mike yesterday to talk shop. Head Coach Ed Orgeron is on the hottest seat in the SEC after a tumultuous season that ended with the departure of expensive OC Matt Canada. Orgeron says it’s for the best though, praising new coordinator and former tight ends coach Steve Ensimnger. Orgeron also told reporters he’s looking to have the never-ending quarterback question solved by the time the regular season starts.
Sports on air today….
The MLB All Star Game 6p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 071618
By Dave Graichen
The investigation continues into an early Friday morning crash that claimed the life of 19 year old Hayden Graham of Colfax. State police Graham, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation is underway Saturday into a fire in Campti that killed three people. Investigators found the bodies of a woman, man and child in the rubble of a fire in the 1800 block of Clark Road in the Natchitoches Parish town. The names of the victims and the circumstances surrounding the fire have yet to be released.
Two more Audubon Zoo animals have died, bringing the total number of animals killed to eight after a jaguar escaped his habitat on Saturday The jaguar was captured and returned to its night house after being sedated by a vet team. No people were hurt and the zoo was reopened Sunday.
The New Orleans PD reports an eight-year-old boy drowned in Lake Pontchartrain Saturday afternoon. Police said the boy had been swimming with his family off of a boat anchored when he removed a life jacket he was wearing and went under water. The boy was discovered unconscious a short time later.
Friday, members of the Restore Louisiana Task Force unanimously approved the resolution proposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to expand the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program’s tiered grant reimbursement structure from 50 percent to 100 percent for all eligible homeowners.
With midterm elections rapidly approaching, there’s buzz a rising level of enthusiasm from Democratic voters could lead to a “Blue Wave” that washes dozens of new Democrats into office, potentially shifting power in DC. JMC Analystic’s analyst John Couvillion says while Democrats may make some major gains nationally, locally he doesn’t see any Republican congressional candidates falling.
The Louisiana Housing Corporation Board of Directors approved $6.1 million for LHC’s soft second mortgage assistance initiative, which is slated to launch August 2018 in select parishes. Executive Director of LHC, Keith Cunningham, says with the program being a home owner may be more affordable than you think. The purpose of the initiative is to bridge the affordability gap between the price of the home and the maximum amount a homebuyer can borrow with a first mortgage loan. Cunningham says the program can help with other costs associated with initiating the process as well.
It’s an ailment that is causing a serious threat to the deer population, and from January through June of this year, a feeding ban was enacted in northeast Louisiana in order to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, spreading into the state. Now, Congressman Ralph Abraham is backing legislation for more in depth studies of the disease. Abraham says there is a financial benefit for the state in ensuring a healthy deer population.
This week at a public meeting New Orleans dove deep into questions about the effects of short term rentals, like Air BnB, on the local housing market. Jane Place Program Manager Breonne DeDecker says the long term damage of short term rentals could cripple New Orleans’ economy, as the working class that tourism is reliant upon are increasingly being forced to leave. Air BnB released a statement saying they worked closely with the City for two years to develop and implement rules for short-term rentals and hope to work closely with the city as the current rule making process moves forward.
US Senator John Kennedy has filed a resolution that could lead to a congressional denouncement of the movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Calls to Abolish ICE have mounted in recent months in the wake of the White House’s No Tolerance immigration policies, such as family separations. US Congressman Clay Higgins has filed a similar resolution in the House.
Governor John Bel Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain are taking a trip out to the farm. They will be meeting with local sugarcane farmers July 19th to discuss tariffs among other issues. Strain says they’re there to congratulate the farmers for their great work and to help understand what the state can do better to ensure another historic harvest…
Teams are headed to Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame to kick off SEC media days on July 16th. Coach O is in undoubtedly in the hot seat following last year’s shaky season but ESPN.com writer Chris Lowe says mystique also surrounds new Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the immediate impact he’ll provide. Lowe says expectations are high after leaving Florida State a champion. Lowe says the quarterback battle for LSU is far from over, and there should be no surprise if it isn’t settled by the regular season.
Sports on air today..
2018 Home Run Derby 7pm 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 071318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Jeff Hall, District 26 state representative, announced his candidacy for Alexandria Mayor yesterday. But, this isn’t his first go, around. Hall previously ran for the position in 2014, finishing second to current Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy in what then, was a five-candidate race. In his press conference Hall said he is deeply concerned with public safety issues in Alexandria. He noted his campaign platform is one of economic prosperity, public safety and bringing leadership back to city hall. Qualifying for the Alexandria Mayor's race is next week with the election scheduled for November the 6th.
Caught in the act of having sex in the stairwell of the Rapides parish courthouse has led to the arrest of an Alexandria jail trustee and a 19 year old Pineville woman. Arrested was 20-year-old Miguel Glorioso, who was arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and Jamie Lee Coutee. She was released on $1,500 bond. Glorioso also lost his trustee status and has been removed from duties at the Courthouse.
The Alexandria Fire Department held an unveiling yesterday of the new Fire Station Number 2 on Jones Street. The new facility has been in the works since 2008 as part of a department plan. The new facility along with a new state of the art fire truck is just down the street from the old fire station.
If you are searching for a place to retire, Bankrate says you may not want to be looking at the Bayou State. Their survey determined Louisiana was the fourth worst retirement destination in the country, joined by surprise picks California and New York in the bottom 5. Bankrate analyst Taylor Tepper says there are several reasons why Louisiana is at the bottom of the list. The overall health of it’s seniors, the quality, or lack thereof, of it’s nursing homes and a lack of activities for seniors. South Dakota is rated the number one place to retire..
In the Central Neighborhood in East Baton Rouge, a resident had an unexpected house guest. 74 year old Garland Maxwell called police and barricaded himself inside his home after he discovered a black bear napping in a tree in his back yard shortly before 11 Wednesday night. Maria Davidson, the large carnivore program manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries drove in from Lafayette. Her team monitored the animal all night and after sun-up "darted" the animal twice with an anesthetic to put it to sleep. The bear was transported to North Louisiana where it will be released.
Improvements to federal fisheries policy, an issue pushed by that Congressman Garret Graves, has advanced to the U.S. Senate as the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. Graves says the latest research implemented into the legislation provides more longevity to fishing in the state. The bill also addresses the concerns created by the influx of imported fish.
The White House announced it is considering 200 billion dollars in new Chinese tariffs, potentially raising the import cost on a broad range of goods by 10 percent. Senior Director at National Retail Federation Bethany Aronhalt says Tires, dog leashes, handbags, belts, shoe laces, and more are on the list, but it’s home improvement items in particular that could lead to price increases in places you weren’t expecting.
Animal activists are shocked as n Opelousas man will avoid jail time and will not be required to pay any fines after pleading guilty to Felony Cruelty to an Animal. Jermaine Doucet was accused of torturing an award winning race horse. The horse was found in June of 2017, in severe pain and malnourished. Vets on scene determined the horse needed to be put down immediately. Humane Society of Louisiana Executive Director Jeff Dorson says after two Bastrop men recently avoided jail time for slitting a dog’s throat on Snapchat, he’s concerned about a growing trend of under sentencing animal abusers in Louisiana.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is in the clear of allegations of bribery, accusations that have been lingering over his administration for the better part of two years. State District Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. ruled in the favor of Matassa saying prosecutors failed to prove the parish president offer cash and a job to A. Wayne Lawson in exchange for him dropping out of a 2016 city council race.
The LHSAA’s recent punishment handed down to McKinley High in Baton Rouge for recent violations comes with quite the price tag, a fine just shy of $50K. The ruling also saw the suspension of a coach and a ban on the school participating in post season competition for all sports for the next two school years. School officials are saying the school may have to resort to donations from alumni and fundraising to pay the fine.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Detroit Tigers 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 071218
By Dave Graichen
A Rapides Parish jury on Wednesday found 35 year old Nicole Johns Chandler guilty of manslaughter in the death of her 59-year-old cellmate. Chandler will be sentenced on Aug. 6. Chandler had been facing a second-degree murder charge in the July 29, 2017, incident that took place inside a holding cell at the downtown Alexandria jail.
56 year old Fredrick Kevin Harris pleaded no contest Wednesday to the negligent homicide of 70-year-old veteran, Charles Johnson, at the Alexandria VA Medical Center's psychiatric ward on March 13, 2013. Harris was set to be tried by Judge Harry Randow today, but an apparent plea deal was worked out. Harris received a year’s probation and was fined $1,000. He will have a chance to expunge his record, at a later date.
Former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, who’s under federal investigation, has been subpoenaed to testify at a hearing his week involving troopers who are appealing demotions and reprimands they received for taking a tax payer funded adventure to Vegas. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says even if the troopers can prove that Edmondson signed off on the excursion, it might not be enough to reverse the disciplinary action taken against them. The troopers claim to have text messages saved that show Edmonson was aware and permitting of the trip throughout the duration that they were gone.
The State Police trooper who shot and injured a passenger during a traffic stop early Tuesday had fired her taser during another traffic stop in the same area just hours earlier. Affidavits show that Trooper Kasha Domingue had stopped one driver who was operating a vehicle without a license plate and pulled over the other because he had made an illegal U-turn. She fired service weapons during both encounters after people in the vehicles tried to flee.
With the race for the governor’s mansion just fifteen months away, allies of Governor John Bel Edwards are discussing the variables of the campaign trail, laying out their pitch for voters. During an appearance on a Baton Rouge Talkshow, chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, Stephen Handwerk, says he believes things look favorable for the governor.
The Department of Education has released an application that will allow public school teachers to enroll in college courses at the state’s expense. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says with only 7 seats available for each of the next three semesters space is limited. Dunn says equipping teachers in STEM courses is paramount as new skills obtained by teachers will immediately trickle down to the students, and offering the classes could lead to better teacher retention rates as well..
A Shreveport man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of Bigamy. 40-year-old Jeffery Brooks had already been convicted of sex crimes in November against two teenage girls when investigators discovered he has also married to two different women.
The family of a murdered New Orleans teenager chose a unique manner to honor his memory by displaying his body as he lived: playing video games and surrounded by snacks. The images of the teen’s wake are spreading across the internet.
It’s commonplace in European countries. But, not here.. but that could be changing. The City Council in Sulphur on Monday unanimously authorized Mayor Mike Danahay to enter into a joint services agreement with other parish entities to fund a feasibility study on bicycle-sharing programs. Also involved in the study are the city of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.
A Tulane geologist has been selected to join scientists from around the world who are traveling to Antarctica to research the history of glaciers at the bottom of the globe. Tulane Assistant professor Dr. Brent Goehring says this could give us a peek into potential sea rise levels in the future. The 25 million dollar research collaboration will send 101 experts to complete eight large-scale projects. Goehring says the prep for the trip is rigorous, including wilderness and survival training but the process will be rewarding.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 12:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 071118
Compiled By Dave Graichen
A 75 year old Boyce resident now has a nice stack of cash after claiming a lottery ticket matching all five numbers with the Powerball’s June 23rd drawing. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says this serves as a reminder that luck could be in anyone’s favor with the drawings. 75-year-old Glenn Feazell won one million dollars, and after taxes, he takes home a cool $710K.
34 year old Michael Walker of Colfax has been charged simple burglary, criminal trespassing and felony probation violation, that after a Burglary investigation in the Bagdad Community. Walker was booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
Two Grant Parish Teens have been arrested after a routine traffic stop led to detectives finding drugs and a glass smoking pipe inside a milkshake. Arrested were 18 year old Dustin Mitchell of Colfax and 17 year old Sophie Bashel of Dry Prong. Both were charged with possession of crystal meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstruction of justice. Mitchell also was charged with a probation violation.
Governor John Bel Edwards is asking the Restore Flood task force to expand the 2016 flood recovery grant program to expand grant reimbursement eligibility to 100 percent, up from the current 50 percent. The change means an additional $110 million could be dispersed to thousands of Louisianans. The deadline for filling out a survey that qualifies Louisianans effected by the flooding for reimbursement is set for July 20th, after which point if you haven’t submitted, you won’t be able to be reimbursed by the state for any damage suffered.
This year’s LEAP Test results are in, and average scores are up one percent over the 2016-2017 school year. The percentage of students in the 3rd through 8th grade who scored mastery level or above is 34 percent; however that number was only 21 percent for African American students. Superintendent of Education John White says closing that gap needs to be a major focus going forward.
Louisiana’s Republicans US Senators are impressed with President Donald Trump’s nomination for the US Supreme Court. DC-based federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is widely considered a consistently conservative jurist. Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s been impressed with the Kavanaugh’s track record on past decisions, and compared his approach to the President’s first nominee, conservative US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Senator John Kennedy says Kavanaugh has a good resume and a positive judicial history, but he’s holding his final judgment until he gets a chance to question the nominee in Congress.
According to Politico, Kavanaugh has ruled and dissented against labor unions and workers’ rights in employment disputes, against regulatory agencies policies, and called the Net Neutrality “Unlawful”.
Louisiana US Senator Bill Cassidy will chair a hearing on paid family leave after meeting with Ivanka Trump, who’s been pushing the idea in DC. The United State is one of only eight countries worldwide, and the only developed nation on earth not to have guaranteed leave for newly minted parents. Cassidy says he’s open to the idea, but wants to know if the US has enough money to pay for it first.
30-year-old Robert Kimble from Pointe Coupee Parish has been ordered to pay over 10-thousand dollars in civil restitution for killing a black bear in Concordia Parish last November. General Counsel with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Yolanda Martin says Kimble admitted to shooting the bear.
The State Police Bureau of Investigations is looking into Tuesday morning’s police shooting in Baton Rouge involving a State Trooper and a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a traffic stop. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says the officer at the scene suffered a minor injury, while the non-compliant passenger was sent to a local hospital with a gunshot wound.
The Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with a video that was spread via Snapchat and various other social media outlets. The graphic video shows a dog being executed with the sound of two gunshots and someone laughing. Sheriff Mike Tubbs says they are currently investigating people involved.
Lafayette Regional Airport will soon have seasonal service to two more cities, Orlando and Denver, with the addition of Frontier Airlines. The flight prices start at just $39 and Airport Director Steve Picou says the action starts up this fall.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday took the first step to dividing itself into separate bodies, one for the city and another for the parish. The council voted 5-3 to introduce an ordinance that would place a charter amendment on the Dec. 8 ballot for voters to decide the question.
Sports on air today….
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 071018
By Dave Graichen
Judge Harry Randow said no yesterday to two motions to continue the trial of a former Alexandria VA Medical Center employee accused in the 2013 death of a patient. 56 year old Fredrick Harris faces trial this week on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of 70-year-old Charles Lee Johnson, who was a psychiatric patient at the VA. The trial is expected to begin today.
Jury selection is expected to start today as well for a Pineville woman facing a second degree murder charge in the death of a fellow Rapides Parish jail inmate. 35 year old Nicole Chandler is charged in connection with the death of 59-year-old Rachel Smith, who was found unresponsive in a cell of the Rapides Parish Detention Center in July of last year.
Tonia Brandy the business manager at the Avoyelles Parish Correctional Center and the ex-wife of the former warden, Nate Cain, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court on Monday. As a result, 17 counts of wire fraud were dismissed. Cain and her former husband are both accused of making many unauthorized purchases with a state credit card and with using state money to purchase lumber and plumbing supplies to build an unauthorized house on the prison grounds.
Amazon.com has applied for a permit to build a 21,000 square-foot distribution center for small packages in Baton Rouge. Officials with Louisiana Economic Development , who say they were not involved in any negotiations to bring the facility to the capitol, said to the best of their knowledge, this will be the first Amazon-branded distribution center in Louisiana.
A 10-year-old Baton Rouge Police Union contract will remain in effect for a few more months while representatives for the city and the officers await the results of a study looking at the Police Department's salary and benefits. The document outlines the basic conditions of employment, including wages and hours, but also discusses how the Baton Rouge Police Department handles allegations of wrongdoing against officers and disciplines them. Both sides expect pay and benefits to be the centerpiece of contract negotiations, whenever they occur.
Prison reform appears to be working in Louisiana. The state will save 12.2 million dollars as a result of the criminal justice reforms of 2016, that from a new report issued by the Department of Corrections. 70 percent of those savings will be reinvested into programs that will help inmates at parish prisons, increased the number of parole staff, new reception centers, and more. The state has seen a noticeable drop in the number of inmates in the system since 2016.
A recent Politico article has reignited the intrigue around former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plans for the 2020 presidential race. The Crescent City Politician did not confirm his interest in the race, but the comments he made may indicate an interest in the Democratic primary. UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervanek says this has gained the attention, and interest of national establishment Democrats who are looking to unseat Donald Trump.
A former local state trooper who pleaded guilty in state district court last week to two felony counts of malfeasance in office took to Facebook over the weekend and said he was indeed guilty of doing something that he said “hundreds, if not thousands of troopers” have also done. Rogers was arrested on one count of malfeasance in office and 74 counts of injuring public records. He admitted he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts.
The body of a contract worker at a Louisiana refinery has been recovered days after a fatal fall. A Phillips 66 says a HydroChemPSC employee fell into the 15-foot-deep water basin of the refinery's primary cooling tower on Wednesday night. After a shutdown of the facility, the unidentified worker's remains were recovered and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner.
Got some suppressed aggression issues you need to alleviate? A new businesses in Lafayette Parish might just be right in your wheelhouse. It’s called All The Rage, and customers can destroy old computers, dishes, and almost anything else your heart desires. In fact, Owner Kevin Richard says if traditional relationship counseling isn’t quite your thing, he says All the Rage has you covered.
Louisiana has surpassed Tennessee to become the number one state in the nation for the number of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The news comes following the most recent report by the National College Access Network, which also indicates the state now leads the nation with the most completion growth since last year.
About 20 children between the ages of three and seven years old were stranded on a tour boat on the Vermilion River Monday. Weather conditions forced the vessel to get stuck on a sandbar. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office marine unit assisted in making sure the campers got back to land safely.
If you love political cartoons, you’ll need to check out the new exhibit at the Old State Capitol Museum called “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons.” Director of State Museums, Mary Durusau says the exhibit will feature original editorial cartoons from the nation’s best newspapers throughout the first half of the 20th century. The exhibit will run until September 29th.
Sports on air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 070918
By Dave Graichen
It has been 2 years since Governor Jon Bell Edwards signed into law a bill that expanded the state’s Medicaid health care program. Figures released by the state show in the two years since the expansion, more than 400 women enrolled have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are receiving treatment. Nearly 8,000 adults have had precancerous colon polyps removed, and another 330 are being treated for newly diagnosed colon cancer. Also since expansion, More than 57,000 people are receiving mental health treatment, and more than 21,000 people have received substance abuse treatment. Though the program cost the state $9 billion a year, state health officials point out a good chunk of that money comes from the feds..
Just a few years ago, Louisiana trailed much of the nation in the number of high school seniors seeking college aid. Now the state ranks No. 1 in student applications for federal dollars, ending a long-standing complaint that students were leaving $50 million or more of potential college aid on the table every year. More than three out of four public and private high school seniors, 76.5 percent, have completed the form, called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Louisiana ranks second in the South for strongest economic development results for 2017 according to Southern Business & Development magazine. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says last year they announced DXC Technology is coming to New Orleans, plus an 800-million dollar LNG production and export facility in Lafourche Parish. Then There’s Lake Charles. That SW Louisiana city was titled Small Market of the Year for the eighth year in a row as they continue to secure capital investment projects.
49 year old Roger Dale Boggs, the CEO of a company who promised to build a $1.5 billion plant in was arrested on a fugitive warrant after a court appearance Friday.
Boggs was supposed to have been arraigned on a felony bank fraud charge, but asked for a continuance after showing up in court without an attorney. The Judge continued the arraignment until July 23, but warned Boggs that he would be arraigned on that date. Once the haring was over, Boggs was arrested on a Louisiana fugitive warrant from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office. He is wanted on a charge of unauthorized use of a movable, but no details were released.
Billions in Chinese tariffs went into effect Friday, and Louisiana industries are bracing for what could be a rocky ride.. Port of New Orleans VP Robert Landry says the Chinese tariffs on steel will have ripple effects throughout all economies that rely on Mississippi river shipping. Landry says right off the bat, he expects hours to be cut back at the port for the men who load and transfer goods from international shipping barges.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson also expressed concern about the tariff’s impact on the state’s economy. He highlighted the damage that could be inflicted on Louisiana’s agriculture industry that ships massive qualities of goods overseas.
Qualifying for next year’s governor’s race is 13 months away, so when we see Republicans who plan to challenge Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards announcing their candidacy soon? Political analyst Clancy Dubos says US Senator John Kennedy, Congressman Ralph Abraham, Attorney General Jeff Landry and state senator Sharon Hewitt have been mentioned as possible candidates. Dubos doesn’t foresee any announcements until next year.
The LA Wallet app that allows Louisianans to access a digital copy of their driver’s license, is available now on your Iphone or Android app store. The app was developed by a Louisiana company, Envoc. The app is a useable substitute for any state based license checks, like traffic stops, and in the near future could be valid for ID checks in bars, other states, and at the airport. In the event someone totally clears you out, taking your wallet and phone, Fabre says you can still access your license on other devices.
LA Wallet comes with a $5.99 activation fee.
The man who performed the first heart transplant in the Gulf South has passed away in New Orleans. Doctor John Ochsner conducted over 12-thousand surgeries during a 57 year career. He passed away at the age of 91. Doctor Ochsner’s father, Alton Ochsner, helped found the Ochsner health care system. Doctor John Ochsner stopped performing surgeries at 75, but was still involved with the clinic on a daily basis.
And in Louisiana sports news, the Pelicans are reportedly bringing back point guard Ian Clark. He’s signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract. Clark was one of the team’s top guards off the bench last season as he averaged seven points and two assists in 74 games. His role grew on the team after DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles tendon in January.
On air today..
Houston Astros vs Oakland A’s 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 070618
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria has lost one of it’s favorite sons with the announced passing of Brent Caplan. Caplan was a well-known businessman who ran his family's longtime Alexandria clothing business. But, he will be remembered by many as a great father, husband and friend and for the many civic organizations he was involved with. Caplan passed Wednesday after battling brain cancer for nearly a year. Services will be held this weekend here in Alexandria. Brent Caplan was 54.
Can you imagine being a child who spent the night at a friend’s only to come home the next day to find your family has moved, leaving you behind? That’s exactly what happened to a Leesville boy. The VPSO is asking for the public's help in finding 44-year-old Gail Bernard Odom. She is wanted on a warrant for criminal neglect child desertion. Authorities believe Odom may be here in Rapides or possibly in Avoyelles Parish. Authorities report the boy is being take care of by the parents of a friend.
It appears now no charges will be filed against a Hineston who hit and killed a Leesville man in late May on highway 171. Louisiana State Police on Thursday issued a release after what it called a "very thorough and comprehensive investigation" into the May 29 crash that killed 31-year-old Sherell Lewis Jr. It said the investigation found that 18 year old Matthew Martin was not to blame for the accident. For many it was comments made on social media after the crash, where he used a racial slur to refer to Lewis and seemed more concerned about the damage to his truck than what happened to Lewis, who died on his birthday.
It’s been three months since four-year-old Junior Phillips was reported missing from his home in Claiborne Parish. Despite an extensive search, the child has not been found. The child’s parents have seen legal troubles with arrests since the disappearance, but Sheriff Ken Bailey is not sure if there is a connection between their legal woes and the missing child. The FBI has offered a ten-thousand reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the child.
The Louisiana Revenue Department is estimating that they’ll be ready to start collecting sales taxes on all items purchased online by the start of next year. A recent Supreme Court decision has paved the way for collection of sales taxes from stores without a physical presence in states they ship too. Secretary Kimberly Robinson says a recent report says that’ll be a good chuck of change in state coffers. Many major online sellers, such as Amazon, already collect state sales tax for online purchases, but Robinson says right now they’re not getting 100 percent compliance form many of the smaller online outlets.
It took a couple of tries but Southern University Thursday became the second higher education institution to raise fees in the last week. The Southern Board of Supervisors approved Thursday increasing fees by 5 percent for students on the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport campuses and at the university’s law school. LSU’s governing board last week also approved a similar 5 percent fee hike.
A former State Police trooper pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony counts of malfeasance in office, admitting he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts. Jimmy Allen Rogers was sentenced to three years probation and paid more than $2,500 in restitution in the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles.
Rogers was charged following a statewide investigation of a controversial traffic-ticket program intended to raise money for district attorneys, public defenders and other law enforcement agencies.
A Lake Charles man found suffering from gunshot wounds in a wrecked car has died from his injuries. State Police report several people at the scene trying to render aid to the driver, 21 year old Dorian Colston who in addition to crashing his vehicle, had been shot several times. Authorities believe Colston was shot while he was in his car and drove a short distance before crashing into a tree.
A recent escape from Swanson Center for Youth by Monroe marks at least the fifth excape so far this year for the juvenile detention facility. While attention can be turned to staffing issues, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Juvenile Justice, Dr. James Bueche says dated facility infrastructure such as doors and fences are partially to blame.
Bueche does say staffing is a big portion of the problem in dealing with the offenders and the agency continues to pursue additional funding. While the agency hopes the most recent jailbreak is the last, Bueche says it is hard to guarantee that it will be.
A federal appeals court judge with New Orleans roots is among President Donald Trump's top three choices to fill the seat on the Supreme Court bench left vacant by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the only woman among the three people said to be finalists. Barrett was born in New Orleans in 1972 and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Barrett has lived away from New Orleans since graduating.
The Comite River Diversion Canal project has been fully funded, one of several projects that’s received cash in a three billion dollar funding package from the feds. Comite will be completed in an estimated three to four years. Other projects funded include 760 million to the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project, 15 million to Grand Isle, and 15 million in other coastal restoration projects.
A juvenile was arrested after crashing a stolen truck through a home in Lafayette Thursday around noon. The driver fled a traffic stop and immediately crashed through the house, causing major damage. Two people in the home at the time of the crash escaped injuries.
Suspected members of the infamous Felony Lane Gang were arrested Tuesday as part of a routine traffic stop, where officers discovered nearly 12,500 dollars, 22 credit cards, 5 checkbooks, 40 grams of pot, 11 drivers licenses from across the country and even 14 wigs. The suspects were arrested on Veterans Boulevard in Jefferson Parish
An Arnaudville teen has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder following an early Wednesday morning police pursuit. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Major Ginny Higgins says it appears that the suspect intentionally aimed his vehicle at deputies when the crash occurred, injuring the officers involved.
Despite being given a five year sentence for injuring 32 people when he drunkenly plowing his truck into a crowd at a New Orleans Mardi Gras, 26 year old Neilson Rizzuto who was sentenced in January will be free later this month. With the 2017 prison reform law allowing the release of well-behaved inmates after serving 35% of their sentence for non-violent offenses,
Sports on the air today..
Houston Astros vs Chicago White Sox 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 070518
By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center is watching two areas of tropical weather in the Atlantic Ocean, one of which it now gives a "high" chance of developing into more organized system over the next two to five days.
Studies have shown Louisiana saw an increase of 14.7% in drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016. The Opioid Crisis Solutions Summit recently formulated several recommendations for curbing the impact of the epidemic. President of the Healthcare Leadership Council, Mary Grealy says one of the main focal points is making sure those handling opioids are equipped with the proper knowledge of the drug’s effects and alternatives.
A Forbes report shows Louisiana is the state most at risk of being economically crippled by the escalating trade wars initiated by the Trump Administration. The study shows nearly 21 percent of the state’s GDP comes from exports, with five percent coming from Mexico and China specifically.
Next time you get carded, you could have the option of pulling out your smartphone instead of your billfold. Commissioner at the Office of Motor Vehicles, Karen St. Germain, says with the new LA Wallet app, users can display photo ID from a mobile device and it’s quite easy to get on your phone. St. Germain says the safety of the app has been tested with top of the line security measures and that the app is available now.
The app itself is free to download, but the ability to use it as an ID will set you back six bucks and the digital license is good until the expiration of the physical ID card.
US Senator John Kennedy says the Legislative Auditor’s report detailing the Department of Health’s failure to collect important payment information from companies it works with in Medicaid is an example of the state’s poor spending habits. But LDH is pushing back, Undersecretary Jeff Reynolds says that information would not have changed how much the state spent, and they plan on quickly implementing practices that will insure the data is collected properly. Kennedy says a message needs to be sent that this kind of negligence from LDH leadership will not go unpunished.
A 40-year-old man is accused of "brutally" abusing his 15-year-old son in Calcasieu Parish, where he and his girlfriend would handcuff and hog-tie the teen and force him to wear shock collars for up to 12 hours at a time. Thomas Wininger and Desirae Tomcanin were arrested Wednesday. Police report the teen ran away when his handcuffs were removed so he could use the bathroom. Police were called when the boy arrived at a neighbor's home with injuries on his face and belt marks on his back.
Today marks the 2 years since the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Officer Blane Salamoni. Since then legislation has been passed to try to address the gap in trust between some Louisiana communities and law enforcement. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says they’ve had some initial success with programs aimed at increasing training for cops on how to interact with communities they serve. He says while the new, diverse group of cadets entering the force is showing great promise, he’s concerned by the attitudes of veteran officers who’ve resisted the changes.
It is now official. A member of the state house of representatives is now preparing to run for another elected position. Republican District 66 Representative Rick Edmonds, has announced his candidacy for Secretary of State in the fall election. Edmonds says security of state elections is one of his top priorities. Edmonds says he views the handling of new voting machines as a vital piece of the job once in office.
Sports On The Air Today…
The Houston Astros begin a 4 game, at home, series against the Chicago White Sox game one tonight at 6:35p on 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 070318
By Dave Graichen
Bad news for Fourth of July revelers, it’s going to rain. Thunderstorms that have the potential to produce heavy rainfall is in the forecast through Independence Day. State Climatologist Barry Keim says while the rain might be coming at an inconvenient time for the holidays, it’s sorely needed for much of the state that is getting dangerously close to drought conditions. Another upside: lower temperatures throughout the rest of the week.
If you are looking for some Fireworks the 4th of July you have many choices, weather permitting. Tonight, it the 14th annual Fireworks over Buhlow Independence Day celebration. The event is free and gates to Buhlow Lake will open at 4:30 p.m. with musical entertainment scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to start around 9:45 p.m
Tomorrow, it’s Rock the Red. A free event that will take place at the downtown amphitheater. Activities start at 7 p.m. with fireworks over the Red River starting at 10.
The City of Natchitoches will present fireworks over the Cane River at 9 p.m
In Pollock, the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration will take place at LaCroix Park on Highway 8. Refreshments and drinks will be provided. The fireworks are set to launch at dark.
The annual Avoyelles Arts and Music Festival opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow in downtown Marksville, with fireworks at 8 p.m.
Moody’s investor Service has raised Louisiana’s credit outlook from negative to stable, in a sign that Wall Street may be gaining more confidence in the Bayou State economy. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says this was one of the many reason the Edwards administration pushed for a stable final budget deal.After a sustained period on the negative watch list, Dardenne says the Moody’s decision is a validation of the governor’s financial policy.
Colorado State forecasters are downgrading their expectations for this year’s hurricane season, now saying we’re looking at a below average season for tropical activity. Colorado State University Research Scientist Phillip Klotzbach says they’re now projecting 10 more named storms, four hurricanes, and one major hurricane before the end of the season. He says conditions have changed over the last month. But Klotzbach says that doesn’t mean the gulf coast should get complacent. He warns that just because fewer named storms are predicted, doesn’t mean that one mega storm won’t cruise in and cause havoc.
AAA estimates this Fourth of July holiday will see a record-breaking 47 million Americans travel 50 miles or more. This is a five percent increase over last year and AAA Spokesperson Don Redman says the growing economy is propelling families to travel. AAA says the statewide average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.57, which is the highest in four years for Independence Day.
An early morning jailbreak marks at least the fifth of the year from the Swanson Center for Youth. Investigators say two teenage inmates escaped from the state juvenile prison in Monroe. The duo stole a state vehicle and drove it more than 40 miles south to the town of Olla, where they were captured after an hours-long manhunt.
Governor Edwards has released a video message asking Louisiana residents to look before they lock their vehicle in an effort to avoid leaving children unattended in hot vehicles. Edwards says over the last 20 years in Louisiana, there were 27 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths. Edwards says in this summer heat, the temperature inside your parked vehicle can quickly climb to over 110 degrees.
The 11th Annual National Suit Drive is underway through the end of July. The Louisiana Department of Corrections has once again partnered with Men’s Wearhouse to collect suits for offenders released from jail. CEO of Refined by Fire Ministries, Elaine Ellerbe, says when a recently released inmate receives a suit, they then have the appropriate clothing to go on a job interview.
State Police is reminding motorists about the three foot rule when passing bicycles following a fatal wreck on Saturday in St. Francisville that killed avid bicyclist and East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says Alexander was booked into the West Feliciana Parish Jail on several charges, including negligent homicide. Amoroso was pronounced dead at the scene, while fellow bicyclist 71-year-old Thomas Clement of St. Gabriel sustained serious injuries.
Sports On Air Today…
Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 070218
By Dave Graichen
The APD reports that all four suspects wanted for the burglary of a gun store on Jackson Street early Friday morning are in custody. Dontaevious Zone turned himself in on Friday night and Aveion Hall was located and taken into custody on Saturday morning. The other two suspects, Derrick Charles and Tyrique Bennett, we already in police custody. All four are facing burglary charges, and APD says more charges may be coming due to other incidents.
US Congressman Clay Higgins is introducing legislation that would require imported seafood be held to the same safety standards as American seafood. The Importated Seafood Safety Standards Act would increase inspections to 20 percent of all food imported, up from roughly ten percent now, demand that food meet FDA standards, and require that first set of shipments from any new overseas company have 100 percent of its cargo inspected. The Republican Congressman says the bill faces opposition from major international seafood suppliers.
Louisiana State University is again raising student fees at its main campus by 5 percent.
The price hike approved Friday drew worries the consistent, annual increases could price some students out of school. Campus leaders say the $282 per-semester fee hike for full-time students and the $14 million raised by it is needed for pay raises and other expenses. They say they're trying to keep pace with peer institutions and make up for nearly a decade of state financing cuts.
State leaders have had a week now to stew about the results of the special session that ended with a 4.45 percent compromise sales tax that fully funds most state programs. With the fiscal cliff in the rear view mirror, attentions now turn to the upcoming Governor’s race next year. GOP House Charmain Lance Harris says the results of the session make it clear the state needs a conservative governor. But Democrats are touting the results. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says the Democratic coalition’s ability to preserve healthcare, higher ed, and TOPS sends a strong message about the party’s values heading into the governor’s race, as well as their success in solving the budget crisis created by the last administration.
Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says he expects US Senator, and former State Treasury Secretary, John Kennedy to be Governor John Bel Edwards’ main opponent for the governor’s mansion. He says having Kennedy spearhead a conservative push in Louisiana next year will likely boost the profile of the 22 House Republicans who refused the final tax bill.
With much of the recent attention on funding Louisiana’s budget, the state is making upgrades to the way residents can keep a better eye on how tax dollars are spent as they roll out the Louisiana Checkbook. The website mirrors efforts in other state’s like Ohio to improve transparency. Policy Director at the Division of Administration, Jaques Berry, says he hopes the push for more openness in government spending will catch on.
Those headed to the beach need to be aware of a menace plaguing Gulf waters. Gulf coast beaches, especially those in Florida are dealing with microscopic baby jellyfish known as sea lice. Audubon Aquarium Curator James Arnold, says those with particularly sensitive skin should be on the lookout for purple flags…
A Baton Rouge police has been placed on administrative leave after he struck and killed a pedestrian Saturday night while on duty. A Police spokesman says the investigation is ongoing and that speed does not appear to be a factor in the accident.
60-year-old Elie Dupre has been ordered to pay $2,500 after his 15-year-old son killed a black bear in 2015. The son didn’t escape punishment either after being given 100 hours of community service and having his hunting license suspended for a year. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Spokesperson Adam Einck says the two were aware of their actions…
The NBA free agency period started Sunday at 12:01AM, and after one of the best years in franchise history, the Pelicans have a lot of big decisions to make. Locked On Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says bringing back the same crew likely will not be enough to push the team past Houston, Golden State, or a potential LeBron led Lakers team. New blood is needed to keep pace in the Western Conference arms race.
The Houston Astros have the day off today after a tough weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astro’s lost three of the 4 games in the series. Tomorrow, the Astros begin two game series in Arlington to play the Rangers..
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