News for Friday 113018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Alex Winter Fete’ officially kicked off last night with the Lighting of the Christmas tree and downtown lights. Mayor Jacques Roy flipped the switch for the last time. The mayor saying it was a bitter sweet experience. Alex River and Winter Fetes were a very successful accomplish of the Roy administration, something the mayor was proud to point out. Winter Fete’ continues tonight and concluding Saturday night, after a full day of activities and entertainment.
Some residents in the Carlyle area of Alexandria are counting their blessings after an 18-wheeler crashed into the back of a home in that neighborhood last night. Police say the truck ran off of I-49. The miracle is, no one was injured. No word yet about any citations for the incident.
State police report a two vehicle crash just before noon yesterday claimed the life of an 86 year old Pitkin man. Troopers say a logging truck had been involved in an accident on LA HWY 399 and was stopped in the highway. James Johnson, upon approaching the truck from behind, failed to stop and hit the back of the truck. Johnson was wearing his seat belt, but was pronounced dead at the scene.
Congress pushed back its deadline to deal with the National Flood Insurance Program by at least a week, passing yet another short-term extension of the program late Thursday. A deadline to avoid a lapse in the federal program, which underwrites most flood insurance coverage in the country and covers a half-million Louisiana homes, had been looming at midnight tonight. The short-term deal is the eighth temporary extension for the program since it first came up for periodic renewal more than a year ago.
Senator John Kennedy is delaying his announcement on whether or not he’ll run for governor until Monday, siting travel issues. The 2019 race is now less than a year away, and only one Republican, Eddie Rispone, has declared against Governor Edwards. ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says the Senator’s repeated delays are beginning to look like non-interest. Stockley says if Kennedy does not declare, he’s hurt the GOP cause in the race by boxing other candidates out of fundraising for the last few months.
A statewide poll of 500 Louisiana chronic voters finds that Republican US Senator John Kennedy leads Democratic incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards 49-to-45-percent in a head-to-head race for governor. The poll indicates only six-percent of voters are undecided with the election just over 10 months away. Pinsonat says Edwards remains a popular governor, 60-percent of respondents approve of his job performance. But Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says the governor is a Democrat in a Red state…
President Donald Trump’s approval is up to a clear majority of voters in Louisiana in a new poll from Bernie Pinsonat. Pinsonat says 2018 has featured a few big signature wins for causes close to the heart of white conservative voters that dominate the state’s electorate. Trump sports a 70 percent approval rating in total from white voters in Louisiana.
The candidates in the Secretary of State’s special election are seeing increases in fundraising ahead of the December 8th run off. Democrat candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup reportedly has $16,400 in her campaign account. Meanwhile, Republican Kyle Ardoin has just under $136 thousand in the bank.
Today marks the final day of the 2018 hurricane season, a season that was initially forecasted to be below average. Even though Louisiana was spared of the impact of any major weather event, other coastal areas in the US were not so lucky. Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast says they under-predicted the slightly above average season.
Senator Bill Cassidy announced yesterday Federal officials will clear the way for Louisiana to dole out recovery grants to flood victims who'd taken out Small Business Administration loans and they would do that without additional action from President Trump. Congress changed federal law in October to allow 2016 Louisiana flood victims who'd taken out the loans to tap grants from the Restore Louisiana program. But checks haven't gone out as Louisiana officials waited on guidance from the Trump administration. Cassidy say we should get that guidance sometime in December.
Tangipahoa Parish authorities say they believe the 3 pound baby boy found in the back of a Tickfaw garbage truck was likely a stillborn. Sheriff Daniel Edwards says they’re searching for the child’s mother, and have honed in on the likely dumping location after determining where the corpse was located relative to other trash in the truck that had been compacted. The child was discovered by a Waste Management worker yesterday while he was loading trash cans into his vehicles compactor.
Good news for the thousands of motorists who use the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. The bridge was closed last month for repairs after a barge hit the structure, but after testing and inspections, it will be partially reopened tomorrow.
It was a tough start to the game last night for Drew Brees. Brees started the game against the Dallas Cowboys with four consecutive incomplete passes, the first time he's done that in his 18-year career. The final score, the Saints lost this one 10 to 13. They’ll play a week from Sunday at the Buccaneers.
The Pelicans at in Miami to play the heat tonight.. game time 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 112918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriffs say they walked in on a fairly horrific scene in Plainview after responding to a call about a natural death, and now three people are under arrest and facing 2nd Degree Murder, Cruelty to the Infirm, and other charges. Captain Tommy Carnline says the deputy arrived after the call, and realized something was terribly wrong at the scene of the 25-year-old special needs woman’s death. Carnline says authorities have called it one of the worst cases of negligence they’ve seen in their entire careers.
Starting Tonight and ending Saturday, downtown will be transformed into "A Magical Winter Wonderland" for Alexandria's popular Christmas festival, Alex Winter Fete’. Festival-goers can enjoy snow, ice skating, shopping, food and holiday-themed activities, plus plenty of food and shopping vendors. The Commencement ceremony and lighting up of downtown, is at 6 this evening.
It was something we don’t see very often, the Alexandria City Council making a unanimous decision. But, that was the case Tuesday when the Council unanimously decided to re-name the Riverfront Center in honor of former mayor Ned Randolph. Randolph served as mayor for 20 years, that after serving the area as a state representative and state senator. Mayor Ned passed away 2 year ago. But, his legacy goes on as his late wife Deborah Randolph continues to serve the area as President of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce.
Governor Edwards is putting out a call to action for Louisiana citizens to start stocking their local food banks for the holidays, as a series of natural disasters have devastated stores just at the time when banks usually can begin stocking up for spring and summer. Edwards says he’s gravely concerned after touring the half empty Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank yesterday. Food Bank of Central Louisiana Executive Director Jayne Wright-Velez says it’s troubling that supply is running low as demand skyrockets. Food banks accept cash and food donations, but say they can use funds to purchase foods at lower prices than you would pay for them at grocery stores.
Some House Republicans are discussing legislation for the next session that would roll back the .45 percent sales tax passed in June because of a rosier than expected revenue forecast for the state. Alexandria Representative Lance Harris did not confirm that such legislation will be brought but says he has heard talk of phasing out last session’s sales tax over a few years. The .45 percent sales tax, that is set to expire in 2025, is estimated to generate 466 million annually.
120 jobs are coming to Minden in Webster Parish as a result of Catamaran Solutions plans to assume operation of a 135,000 square foot industrial fabrication center. The jobs will come with an average salary of 61-thousand dollars a year. Catamaran plans on anticipating its Louisiana workforce to as many as 500 employees statewide over time.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit is investigating the discovery of a deceased infant in the back of a waste management truck. A waste management worker discovered the body as he was performing his regular. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene.
A recent survey found that 1 in 3 Americans suffers from a “festive burnout” due to the holidays being a stressful time. Even though it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, LSU Health New Orleans clinical psychologist Dr. Michelle Moore says for those already dealing with festival burnout, it may be time to reconsider your holiday activities.
Prosecutors are attempting to obtain the cell phone passcode of Matthew Naquin, a former LSU student charged with negligent homicide in the Max Gruver case. But Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says the Fifth Amendment prohibits Naquin from being obligated to give a testimony revealing his cellular passcode
If you’ve purchased a fresh Christmas tree yet this year, you’ve probably noticed they cost a little more than last year. Blake Huval, the owner of Huval’s Tree Hut in Central, says during the Great Recession farmers scaled back on planting new trees, so a decade later the supply is not enough to keep up with demand. Huval says if you’re look to save a few bucks, look for trees that may have a hole or two on one side and have that side face the corner of a room.
WBRZ-TV is reporting Dedrick Lee, who is the son of convicted south Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee, has been charged with negligent homicide, in the fatal shooting death of a 16-year-old. The East Feliciana High School student was killed in a home in Clinton. Dedrick Lee has posted bond and you may remember his dad died in prison.
LSU is number 10 in the latest College Football playoff rankings which puts them in position to play in either the Fiesta or Peach Bowl. Jerry Palm does bowl projections for CBS Sports says LSU could be knocked out of contention for a New Year’s Six Bowl if, Northwestern beats Ohio State in the Big 10 championship or if Pittsburgh upsets Clemson in the ACC title game.
Palm has Louisiana Tech going to the New Orleans Bowl to face the winner of Saturday’s Sun Belt Championship game between the Cajuns and Appalachian State. But there’s another report showing Louisiana Tech heading to the Hawaii Bowl to face old WAC rival Hawaii.
The loser of the Sun Belt Game goes to the Cure Bowl in Orlando.
The Saints defense will face one of the top running backs in the NFL tonight. Ezekiel Elliot leads the NFL with 1,074 rushing yards and averages nearly five yards a carry for the Cowboys. Kick-off is this evening s at 7:20 from AT-and-T Stadium.
Saints Hall of Fame linebacker Rickey Jackson reportedly underwent successful brain surgery. Details on why the surgery was needed have not been released. Jackson was a member of the famed Dome Patrol and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
News for Wednesday 112818
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Pineville High School was evacuated for a short period of time yesterday, after what school officials called an “electrical malfunction” in the Heating and A/C unit in one classroom. Parents were notified and students returned to classes after an short period of time.
Two proposed ordinances on the Alexandria City Council agenda that sparked controversy on social media have been removed just hours before they were to be voted on yesterday. The first ordinance would have broadened the definition of retired unclassified employees specifically for health insurance plans. Essentially, the change would have allowed employees, who meet certain criteria and are no longer employed with the city, to stay on the city’s health insurance plan with no employer contributions. That means former employees would have to pay 100 percent of the cost to stay on the health plan. A second item was also removed from the agenda. It was an ordinance that would keep current rules in place for the city’s 457 retirement plan.
Governor Edwards’ plans to fund 43 million dollars in additional projects for the year are on hold after Representative Cameron Henry put a stop to the Revenue Estimating Committee’s plans to improve the state’s revenue forecast at a Committee meeting. Henry says he disagreed with the REC’s projections that the state’s revenue situation has improved. The Edwards’ administration was hoping to use a better forecast to authorize tens of millions in additional spending for Corrections, Sheriffs, and Juvenile Justice, among other items.
Time is running out for Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance will lapse if a sought after six month extension is not passed by Friday. Senator John Kennedy says they’re working towards an extension, but there’s some lawmakers who are trying to kill the program, permanently. Kennedy says the opposition is not partisan, but geographical, comprised of leaders from non-flood-prone states.
Former Congressional candidate and Democrat Justin DeWitt was fired less than two days after his failed attempt to unseat Garret Graves in Louisiana’s 6th District. DeWitt worked as a surveyor for Baton Rouge based SJB Group, which a report says is owned by Republican Wilfred Barry. DeWitt says after receiving a performance raise in July, and a performance bonus in October, the decision came as a shock. The Democrat says he’s approached the DA about criminal charges.
Early voting for the Secretary of State’s election run-off set for December 8th is off to a slow start. JMC Analytics Pollster John Couvillon says the 31,000 early votes in the first two days are likely due to the fact that most folks aren’t even aware that there is an election less than two weeks away. The run-off features Republican Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin and Democratic Minister Gwen Collins-Greenup.
The West Monroe Police Department have arrested a person of interest during the course of a suspicious death investigation. 31-year-old Shomari Clemons facing charges of mutilating, disinterring the human remains of his grandmother. Why? Authorities aren’t saying anything yet.
The Supreme Court sides with a St. Tammany landowner who argued a portion of his land was wrongfully deemed critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, by forcing the lower courts to re-evaluate their previous decision. The landowner’s lawyer, Mark Miller says they’ll get to state their case that making the land livable for the frog would be an undue burden. Wildlife and Fisheries argues that the land, which is just across the border from where the frogs currently reside in Mississippi, will be crucial for the future survival of the species.
Louisiana sees many productions around the state for television shows and motion pictures. Now a recently released film, Green Book, is getting attention for possibly being an Oscar contender.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. The headline says its time to rethink Drew Brees and it also says please stop calling Brees an underdog. Writer Greg Bishop calls Brees one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest, who’s ever lived.
The Pelicans lost their fourth straight last night as they fell to Boston 124 to 107 Monday night. New Orleans hosts Washington tomorrow night. You can hear the game beginning at 6:30 on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron says some unprofessional acts occurred after the seven overtime loss to Texas A-and-M. Coach O spoke with the 94.6 ESPN Radio show Off the Bench. Video shows a credentialed member of the Aggies staff shoving Kragthorpe during what should have been a postgame hand shake. Kragthorpe has Parkinson’s Disease and a pacemaker and Orgeron says that should not have happened.
News for Tuesday 112718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report an Alexandria woman died Monday morning after her car was hit head-on by a box truck, on highway 3170 near LSUA. According to authorities 24 year old Chandler Lewis lost control of the truck, crossed the center line and hit a vehicle being driven by 24 year old Leminee Issac. Issac, who was not wearing a seatbelt was pronounced dead at the scene. Lewis, the driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries. Charges are pending against Lewis.
The man accused of raping an 82-year-old dementia patient last year at an Alexandria hospital has taken a plea that will send him to prison for up to 40 years. 28 year old Juantavies White was due to stand trial this week on a charge of first-degree rape.
An Alexandria man accused in the fatal shooting and armed robbery a man in September 2017 was found unable to stand trial on Monday. 21 year old Braylon Dozier Jr. was declared mentally unfit and a danger to himself and others by Judge Harry Randow. Randow ordered Dozier be sent to the East Louisiana Mental Health System in East Feliciana Parish until further notice. Dozier is accused of murdering Steven Allen, who was delivering pizza at the time he was shot and killed.
A former APD officer was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison. 43 year old Kenneth Thomas, who accused of dealing drugs and having sex while on duty, pled guilty to a reduced charge of abuse of office back in October. Thomas attempted to withdraw his guilty plea prior to sentencing yesterday, but the judge in the case refused. Thomas will serve his term without hard labor and with credit for any time served. He will also be eligible for work release.
When can an oil company seize your land to build a pipeline and who gives them permission. The answers are pretty much anytime they want and without you permission. That leads us to a hearing today, in the case that’s delayed construction on a portion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, after owners of land in St. Martinville say crews were illegally building, clearing trees and digging up land on their 32 acre property for nearly 60 days. The land owners are trying to fight the law that allowed the oil company to enter their property.
Congressman Ralph Abraham says soybean farmers are having issues with accessing the Market Facilitation Program, originally designed to help farmers, because of the recent congestion with crop elevators due to the nations trade war. He says the only step being take right now, is a bill that he’s pushing that alters the payment structure for the MFP. Abraham says many farmers are in danger of facing bankruptcy due to the issue, and he’s willing to do what it takes to get the ball rolling as fast as possible
Reports have pegged Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher’s nephew, Cole Fisher as the assailant who attacked LSU Analyst Steve Kragthorpe after the Aggies 74-72 win over LSU Saturday night. USA Today Reporter Glen Guilbeau says the seven overtime barnburner was the highlight of a night full of controversy, something that likely won’t be forgotten, or forgiven by fans of both teams. Kragthorpe suffers from Parkinsons and says the hit, which landed on his pacemaker, made his heart flutter.
This past Saturday proved to make a huge impact on locally owned shops and restaurants as the movement known as “Small Business Saturday” saw big numbers. National Federation of Independent Business Louisiana spokesperson Dawn Starns says looking at the full shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than two-thirds of small business owners expect sales to be stronger than 2017. Small Business Saturday was first recognized in 2010.
Venezuela will hold onto its U.S.-based Citgo refineries, including one in Lake Charles, settling a lawsuit that threw ownership of the struggling country's prized assets into peril.
Court papers show that Venezuela on Friday began paying off $1.4 billion that a panel said was owed to the Canadian mining firm Crystallex, following a disputed takeover of the company by the late-President Hugo Chavez. Citgo operates a 426,000-barrel-per-day-capacity refinery in Lake Charles, the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S., employing 1,800 company and contract workers. Plus facilities in Corpus Christi and Lemont, Illinois.
A Baton Rouge rapper known as Blvd Quick was found dead early Monday after a shooting at an apartment complex in East Baton Rouge. Police were called to the scene shortly after midnight where they found the body of 25 year old Ashton Wells. Police say this killing marks the 77th homicide in East Baton Rouge Parish for the year, a figure still below last year’s record high number of homicides.
The Saints are on a 10 win streak, looking comfortably like the best team in the NFL behind the most efficient season in Drew Brees’ career, and a surging defense that’s forced 10 interceptions and 12 fumbles. With five games left in the season, the Saints could eclipse the franchise regular season win record of 13. The Saints face a resurgent Cowboys team Thursday night in Dallas. The Cowboys are on a three game win streak and are in the thick of the playoff hunt.
News for Monday 112618
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A two vehicle Saturday night claimed the life of a Leesville man. State police say the accident happened on highway 8 west of Leesville when two vehicles collided head on. The crash claimed the life of a 22 year old male passenger. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Early voting for the December 8th election is now underway. There are 134 candidate runoffs in 47 parishes. John Couvillon of JCM Analytics says the Shreveport mayoral race is one high profile election heading to a run-off, then there is the Secretary of State runoff, plus there are other local races… early voting ends on Saturday.
Thousands of 2016 Louisiana flood victims continue to wait for President Donald Trump to sign a waiver so they can be eligible for disaster aid. Flooded homeowners who took out Small Business Administration disaster loans remain ineligible for grant dollars, because of the federal government’s duplication of benefits policy. Congress approved a law in October to allow Louisiana flood victims who got an S-B-A loan to also be eligible for federal grants through the Restore Louisiana program.
It’s Cyber Monday a chance for consumers to find great deals on the internet. Southeast Louisiana Better Business Bureau spokesperson Cynthia Albert says before you purchase any item on the internet, make sure you know who you are dealing with first, because there are a lot of fake websites out there. She says if you are in a generous mood and plan on donating money, you can check if the charity is legit at give-dot-org…
Senator John Kennedy is expected to announce this week on whether he’ll run for Governor in 2019 against John Bel Edwards. Southeastern Louisiana Professor Dayne Sherman expects Kennedy to get in the race, as even if he loses, he’ll retain his seat. Sherman says Attorney General Jeff Landry’s decision to seek reelection all but sealed the deal on Kennedy’s run.
Christmas tree farms are generally seeing a fair crop this year. And it is looking much better than the last couple of years. That’s according to Gray Anderson of Grant Farms in Alan Parish, who says weather has had an effect on the crop in previous years. Anderson says his farm sells between 2,500 and 3,000 trees each year.
A convicted child rapist, and former Catholic Priest has died in prison while serving out his life sentence. Corrections officials says 82-year-old Robert Lester Melancon died of natural causes. Melancon was convicted in 1996 for raping an altar boy from 1985 to 1991 while he was a priest in Terrebonne Parish.
An LSU Manship School Assistant Professor says his research shows the loss of local media can make towns a lot more partisan. Joshua Darr says the study was a joint effort with researchers from Colorado State and Texas A&M, where they analyzed the rate of voters who turned in ballots supporting candidates from more than one party. Darr says that’s because when local media dies, the often more heavily partisan national outlets fill the gap. Darr says his research reinforced the importance of keeping local news alive and supported, so that local voters can be fully informed about local candidates history and positions on vital local issues, as opposed to just falling back on party line voting.
LSU suffered an absolute heart breaking loss on Saturday to Texas A&M as the Aggies outlasted the Tigers 74-72 in seven overtimes. There were several questionable calls that went Texas A-and-M’s way. LSU will find out its bowl destination on December 2nd.
LSU fell four spots in the AP Top 25 Poll after its 74-72, seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M that had the most total points in FBS history. LSU (9-3) is now even with Washington State at No. 12. The Aggies (8-4) moved from unranked to No. 22 in the poll.
Those who vote in the USA Today Coaches poll apparently weren't all that impressed with LSU in its historic seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M on Saturday. The Tigers fell six spots to No. 14 in the latest version of the poll voted on by a panel of college football coaches. Texas A&M (8-4) moved into the poll at No. 22 after it was unranked last week.
News for Wednesday 112118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana tradition of frying a turkey for Thanksgiving can be disastrous if not done correctly. Thanksgiving often results in a flood of calls to first responders. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says to make sure your frying pot is on grass or concrete, not on a wooden surface. Also, that it is far enough away from anything combustible. Browning says the main reason for a turkey fry turning into a fiery situation is due to the grease overflowing from the frying pot. Also, be sure the bird is dry when you lower him into the water.. bon appetite!
Governor Edwards say minimum wage increase successes in other southern states have galvanized his administration and their allies to push for a pay raise for working class Louisianans again in the next legislative session. Edwards has stuck to his guns on the issue since his 2015 election, where he made raising the minimum a key plank in his platform. While Arkansas jumped to 11 an hour, and Missouri voted in 12 over time, Edwards says he plans to pursue what he calls his modest campaign pledge, more like $8.50 an hour. Lobby groups say they will oppose the increase.
A Mandeville couple has something additional to be thankful for as they were cleaning house preparing for family coming into town and found a winning lottery ticket, just two weeks shy of expiration. The ticket was valued at 1.8 million dollars, as it was the sole jackpot-winning ticket from a June drawing. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson BreAnne Frye says the ticket was found on a nightstand. We should all be so lucky.
The numbers don’t lie.. Louisiana spent almost 35-thousand dollars on attorney fees to settle the sexual harassment suit against former Secretary of State Tom Schedler. That’s in addition to the 149-thousand dollars that went to the alleged victim in the out of court settlement. That brings the total taxpayers pain to $184,000. Schedler also personally paid 18-thousand dollars to the ex-employee.
Chris John is out as president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association after leading the organization for the past 11 years. John has been on the front lines lobbying at the State Capitol for legislation that benefits the state’s energy industry. John said in a statement it was time for him to move on to his next adventure.
A judge has ruled the Vermilion Parish School Board broke the state’s open meeting law when they threw out a teacher who spoke against a 30-thousand dollar raise for Superintendent Jerome Puyua (PEE-oh) during a January board meeting. The incident drew national media attention. The judge also threw out Superintendent Puyau’s 30-thousand raise.
A 105-year prison sentence has been handed down against 56-year-old Douglas Holley, who was convicted of a crime in which he detonated a homemade bomb in an effort to kill a Bossier Parish veterinarian and his wife. Holley worked as a horse farm handyman and prospectors say he was upset they couldn’t save his horse from dying. The bomb did not hurt Bobby Hewlett or his wife.
Two are under arrest in connection to the October 14th shooting death of a Lafayette area boxer, 28-year-old Brandon Broussard. Both suspects are facing Second Degree Murder charges.
On Thanksgiving night, the Saints will go after their 10th straight win when they host the Atlanta Falcons. Running back Mark Ingram says the team is on an amazing run… Kick-off Thursday is at 7:20. Airtime 5p on 96.9 KZMZ
News for Tuesday 112018
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A deal has been announced that would end litigation between the Rapides Parish Police Jury and District Attorney's Office. DA Phillip Terrell says the deal includes a 10 percent salary cut for him and all his assistant district attorneys. However, those cuts do not extend to other staff members in the office. Terrell also said four "high-paid" positions that are currently vacant won't be filled. The deal is part of the DA’s budget request for 2019.
Whether you plan to travel on the roadway, by plane, or on cruise ship, AAA is forecasting the number of travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday to be the highest since 2005. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says the higher number of travelers is likely a sign of confidence in the economy.
Louisiana ATC can now enforce a law barring anyone under the age of 21 from working as an erotic dancer in bars and nightclubs, in a court reversal of a hold on a 2016 anti-trafficking law that Solicitor General Liz Murrill says was justified, and needed.
The Department of Children and Family Services is teaming up with the United Way in an effort to expand workforce training for food stamp recipients in seven southeast Louisiana parishes. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says the money is used to reimburse organizations already doing such training for people on the SNAP rolls. It’s hoped funding will soon be available for the rest of the state.
Authorities are searching for a Baton Rouge man accused of killing his wife and injuring two of her relatives in a stabbing at the family's home Sunday night. 49 year old Michael Vallery, according to police, fled the scene after fatally stabbing his wife. The two female family members were found in the home suffering from apparent stab wounds.
Children who suffer from severe peanut allergies may be in luck, as a new treatment can help mitigate the potentially deadly effects of accidental ingestion. It’s an oral medication that builds up peanut tolerance in allergy sufferers over six months. LSU Health New Orleans ran the experiment on 372 children. Two thirds of the participants who took the treatments saw positive results. One in 50 Americans is estimated to have a peanut allergy.
1,230 new direct and indirect jobs are headed to St. James Parish as Wanhua Chemical selects Convent for the location of its new factory. It’s a 1.25 billion dollar, 250-acre complex that’s set to begin construction next year. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says deep water and quality infrastructure make it a good fit. Wanhua is a Chinese company with a global reach that Peirson says dominates its chemical industry, and already has a facility in Europe.
It’s less than three days from Thanksgiving, and if you’re roasting a bird you’ll want to make sure your guests don’t end up regretting it on black Friday.experts with the LSU AgCenter say the most important thing you can do to keep the family safe is cooking that turkey long enough to blast the bacteria. And while you’re at it, you might want to get a head start on putting that turkey so it has time to defrost. The so called experts are again saying you shouldn’t wash the turkey for fear of cross contamination.. they obviously have never been to a poultry processing plant..
The funeral is set for a police officer in Slidell who died Saturday from injuries suffered in an on-duty motorcycle in September while he was escorting a funeral procession. The services for Officer Jason Seals will be held Wednesday at noon. He was survived by his wife and three young children.
One of the most anticipated NFL games of the season lived up to its immense hype.
The Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs, 54-51, in the highest scoring game in the 49-season history of Monday Night Football.
The New Orleans Pelicans finished off a three-game home stand with a 140-126 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night . It was the third consecutive victory for the Pelicans who were playing their third game in the Smoothie King Center in four nights. Tomorrow night, the Pels are in Philadelphia t take on the 76ers..hear that game starting at 5:30p on 97.4 ESPN.
News for Monday 111918
Compiled By Dave Graichen
For a 13th consecutive month, Louisiana has reported an increase in jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm employment has increased by 19-thousand jobs since October 2017. Alexandria and Houma were two metro areas though that actually saw job losses from September to October.
Wanhua Chemical, which is based in China, announces plans to build a 1.25 billion dollar chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish in the town of Convent. The 250-acre manufacturing site will create 170 new direct jobs.
5th district Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham says he supports a work or educational requirement for an able-bodied adult to be eligible for SNAP written into the Farm Bill. Abraham says the current version of the Senate Farm Bill is seeing hurdles in the lame duck session, as he says Dems want to completely rewrite the bill. Abraham says there is a chance that there may be an agreement reached with the Farm Bill before the lame duck sessions ends.
US Representative Mike Johnson has been named Republican Study Committee Chairman which gives Louisiana more clout in Congress. In a statement Johnson said with the Republican Party becoming the minority party in the House, this committee has a vital responsibility to present practical ideas and effective policy initiatives and vigorously defend and advance core conservative principles.
A young leader is emerging in Avoyelles Parish. 19-year-old Stanley Celestine Junior has been elected to the Avoyelles school board and will begin serving his term in January. The district just received a “C” grade from the state department of education. Over half of Avoyelles Parish schools received either a D or F grade. Celestine says one of the first things he wants to look at is the school system’s discipline policies.
Baton Rouge has been flooded with gunfire over the last week, with a 20 percent increase in shots fired, and 10 dead from shootings in the last 15 days including a kindergartner who was shot by a 13-year-old. Police Chief Murphy Paul attributes the majority of these shootings to drug related crime. This spike in shootings comes after months of peace.
Repairs to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish are ahead of schedule. The bridge has been closed due to a barge carrying a crane colliding with the structure last month. The detour has inconvenienced the nearly 25,000 drivers who use the bridge daily. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says although they are seeing much progress, he says weather is always a variable that can alter the speed of repairs. State officials hope to have the bridge reopened in January.
A suspected serial killer has confessed to the murder of two Terrebonne Parish women. The murders happened in 1982 and 1996. Houma Police Sgt. Travis Theriot says detectives believe the suspect, 78 year-old Samuel Little, killed dozens of women in several states. Little is currently serving multiple life sentences in a Texas jail. He also confessed to killing 29-year-old Melissa Thomas of Opelousas in 1996.
The American Farm Bureau reports the average cost for Thanksgiving dinner has gone down the past three years. The bureau conducted a survey of grocery stores across 37 states, Louisiana Farm Bureau Representative Avery Davidson says the average price nationwide to feed ten people is $48.90, but the Bayou State is one of the best in regards to cost. Davidson says the turkeys at Louisiana grocery stores are cheaper here than in other parts of the country.
Fifteen people were rescued from a boat near Grand Isle early Sunday morning after reports the vessel was taking on water. The liftboat, a vessel capable of elevating itself on legs to create a stable platform, often used in offshore oil extraction or construction, had 15 people on board when problems were reported at 3:16 a.m. The master of the liftboat reported it was tilting at 45 degrees and had no power, leaving it unable to right itself. A good Samaritan vessel rescued six people, and Coast Guard members rescued the remaining nine.
The Saints are playing unbelievable football. They smoked the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles yesterday 48-7 for their ninth straight win. It’s the third straight game they’ve scored 40 points or more. The Saints have won nine in a row and they have a three-game lead over Carolina for first place in the NFC South.
LSU got its offense back on track versus a weak Rice Owls team as the Bayou Bengals had 552 yards of total offense in a 42-10 win. LSU has one regular season game left and its this Saturday versus Texas A&M. A ten-win season and a berth into a New Year’s Bowl game is on the line for the Tigers. LSU jumped two spots to No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll, which were released Sunday.
It's official: Les Miles has been named new Kansas head football coach. The 65 year old Miles signed a five-year, $2,775,000 per-year contract at Kansas, and he was formally introduced at a 5 p.m. news conference in Lawrence on Sunday.
News for Friday 111618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The price at the pump continues to decline. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.34 in Louisiana today, down nine cents since last week, putting prices just two cents higher than a year ago. Gas Buddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says some gas stations in the state are selling gas below $2 per gallon.
LSU announced Thursday that it had agreed to a settlement with former football coach Les Miles, bringing his final contract with the university to a close and allowing “both parties to move forward." LSU and Miles agreed to a lump-sum settlement that would pay the former Tigers coach $1.5 million of the remaining $6.5 million he was owed through 2023. Miles, who is now 65, lives in Baton Rouge, and reports have recently connected him to the coaching opening at the University of Kansas. It’s unclear if Thursday’s announcement is a sign that Miles is negotiating with Kansas, but the settlement frees up the opportunity for Miles to pursue another job.
Senator John Kennedy says the chances for a passage of any long term flood insurance program renewal in the lame duck session are slim. The program is set to expire November 30th, and in the meantime Kennedy says he’s proposing a six month renewal while a long term fix continues to be hashed out. Unlike most of the problems on Capitol Hill, Kennedy says this one isn’t actually about Democrats and Republicans, it’s more about people who live near water vs. those who don’t, and those who don’t just don’t consider it a priority…
A man convicted of three California murders and suspected in numerous other deaths, including three in Louisiana, now claims he was involved in about 90 killings nationwide spanning nearly four decades, and investigators in Texas already have corroborated about a third of those The Louisiana killings were in Opelousas, Houma and Gray.
78-year-old Samuel Little was booked into jail this week following his indictment in the 1994 death of a Texas woman.
Medicaid has come under fire in the wake of a Legislative Auditor’s report that showed the service may have paid up to 85 million in healthcare costs for people who were not wage eligible for the program at the time they received coverage, and today, Medicaid launched a new verification system that more frequently checks wage eligibility. Louisiana Medicaid Director Jen Steele says this should prevent that in the future.
The online system will also provide instant feedback on applications to join Medicaid.
Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s running for re-election because he sees crime as the biggest issue facing Louisiana in the near future, and AG’s are best situated to tackle it. Landry says Medicaid fraud and abuse is another major issue he’ll tackle if re-elected. No Democrats have jumped into the AG’s race yet.
Food delivery service Waitr is going public on the NASDAQ stock exchange this Friday. The company started in Louisiana in 2013 and has since expanded into over 230 cities in the southeast. CEO Chris Meaux says services like Waitr have opened restaurant owners to the idea of using third party delivery companies. Meaux says restaurants will not only see cost savings, but continued growth of revenue with delivery companies such as Waitr.
Three people are dead after being among four men that were shot Wednesday night in Baton Rouge. The motive and suspects are unknown at this time, but authorities say they believe there were two gunmen. Baton Rouge Police Department spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean Mckneely says the initially while two victims died at the scene, the other two victims had survived. But, a third one died this afternoon.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report highlighting the lack of recorded data published on police activity in Louisiana in reference to traffic stops. S-P-L-C attorney Jamila Johnson says due to a lack of clear punishments for failures to follow the law, it’s difficult to get the compliance that is needed.
LSU will honor 18 seniors on Saturday night as the Fighting Tigers host Rice in the final game in Tiger Stadium this season. Senior tight end Foster Moreau has mixed emotions, as he’s loved his time at LSU, but at the same time he’s looking forward to this game….
The Saints host the Eagles on Sunday and Quarterback Drew Brees could have a chance to throw passes to a new wide receiver. Recently signed Brandon Marshall says he’s ready to contribute and quarterback Drew Brees believes Marshall is a good fit for the offense. The Eagles come in with a record 4-5, but Brees knows it will not be an easy game…
News for Thursday 111518
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Today is recognized as the Great American Smokeout, an observation started by the American Cancer Society in 1975. Spokesperson for Louisiana’s Smoking Cessation Trust Jim Pittman says the observation was started in an effort to get tobacco users to kick the habit in favor of using money spent on smoking toward charity. According to a recent report, about 23% of adults in Louisiana smoke.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has announced the Gross Domestic Product grew in Louisiana for the second quarter of 2018, making it the 12th fastest economic growth in the nation, and third among the 12 states of the southeastern region. LSU economist Loren Scott says the state’s percentage rate of growth just barely outpaces the national average. Scott says the news creates optimism for the state, even in the oil patch, where recent years have not been kind to the industry.
Louisiana’s Attorney General says he’s running for re-election, taking him out as a possible candidate to challenge for the Governor’s mansion next year. Landry says he’s comfortable he can best serve the state by continuing in his current job. When it comes to GOP contenders for the Governors election, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone has announced his entrance into the race, while Sen. John Kennedy says he’ll make his decision by December 1.
Governor Edwards is criticizing a decision by interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to publicly claim the former Mayor of New Roads “illegally cast his ballot” in the midterm election, when the Governor says further review showed Robert Myer was actually eligible to vote. Ardoin says he made that assertion after discovering Myer’s name was never added to the “can’t vote” list after his conviction in January.
A half-inch of snow fell in Monroe Wednesday morning, and the national weather service says its the earliest recorded accumulated snowfall in Monroe’s history.
Congressman Steve Scalise will be House Minority Whip for the 116th Congress after winning in a unanimous vote. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says as the current Majority Whip, it’s a role Scalise is very familiar with. California Congressman Kevin McCarthy is taking the reins of Minority Leader in the House next year. A leadership vote for Speaker has not been held yet by the Democrats, but reports say current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the favorite.
New Orleans was the host city for WWE’s annual Wrestlemania event back in April, and now we know the economic impact. It’s estimated that the over 78-thousand in attendance for the event at the Mercedes Benz Superdome contributed to a $175-million boom for the economy of the New Orleans region.
Governor Edwards was out in California Wednesday for the Rolling Stone/Variety Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, where he was on a panel discussing how Criminal Justice reforms are shaping up in Louisiana, and how successes in Louisiana can be used elsewhere. The summit hopes to use the power of entertainment to spread a pro-reform message across the country.
A 71-year-old Mandeville financial adviser who stole more than $1.1 million from elderly investors has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Ralph Willard Savoie, who previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, also was ordered Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to pay $1.1 million-plus in restitution and forfeit another $1.1 million. Savoie, who also had an office in Baton Rouge, defrauded clients by using their money for personal expenses, to pay off other investors and to invest in a risky real estate venture.
One of the nation’s top high school running backs in the nation has committed to LSU. Destrehan’s John Emery is rated as the second best running back in the country, according to 24-7 sports. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says this is a big win for Coach Ed Orgeron on the recruiting front. Emery committed to Georgia during the summer, but de-committed 12 days later after watching the Tigers upset the Bulldogs in Death Valley.
News for Wednesday 111418
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Winter weather is here to stay. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this cold front is an introduction to the winter as arctic air has settled. Today the northern part of the state will see temperatures in the twenties, central Louisiana will be in the thirties, and the southern portion will experience the warmest weather with temperatures in the fifties.
Keim says this weekend the Bayou state will see some higher temperatures.
By the way.. Cold weather resulted in snow flurries in the Shreveport area yesterday morning.
When temperatures go below freezing in Louisiana, the fire risk increases. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the first priority to keep your family safe is to make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Browning says the use of space heaters is quite common, saying it’s important to keep them five feet away from anything combustible, don’t overload wall outlets, and do not use them with extension cords. Browning insists that no one use a kitchen stove top or oven in an attempt to warm their home.
Local authorities are still looking for one suspect in a Rapides Parish burglary and theft ring. The APD put out an alert for 34 Year old Kevin Harris of Pineville on a laundry list of charges. The department busted the ring, arresting two people last week. Anyone with information on Kevin Harris is asked to contact police.
Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says the state Medicaid program potentially paid 85 million dollars in medical costs for people who may not have been eligible for benefits. Medicaid previously only checked wage eligibility every 12 months, and Purpera says that led to overpayments relative to other states who check eligibility more frequently.
But that policy is now changing, as the state will be checking eligibility more frequently starting in January.
71 percent of early education programs in the state were rated proficient, up five percent from last year according to the Louisiana Department of Education. Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Melanie Bronfin says the state though is seriously lacking when it comes to childcare support for working class.
Food banks are seeing empty shelves as the holidays are approaching. President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Mike Manning says the nation responding to areas hardest hit by natural disasters are having a negative impact of the food bank’s ability to fill the shelves with food. Manning says a contributing factor is the lack of excess production as a result of ongoing natural disasters. Manning says in order to fix the issue, it’ll just take more donations.
The ACLU of Louisiana is looking for answers from authorities after a Winnfield woman lost sight in her right eye due to a police taser. ACLU spokesperson Bruce Hamilton says Tanisha White had gone to a private residence to speak with someone, while there she called the Winnfield Police. Details on how and why white was hit with a taser are not clear. Hamilton says the open request for policies regarding the use of force have been unanswered, with the department refusing to comment on the case.
Sad story out of Baton Rouge as a piano teacher was killed in Mississippi while helping out a motorist who was involved in a crash. Mississippi Highway Patrol says 52-year-old Leslie Wood was killed on I-55 when a semi hit Wood’s vehicle on the side of the road and hit her too. Wood taught at Baton Rouge Magnet High School.
News for Tuesday 111318
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Three 13-year-olds have been arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office after a student overheard them planning a shooting at Grant Junior High and reported it to authorities. As of right now, they are facing charges of terrorizing. The news of the arrests comes less than a week after voters rejected a 1 percent sales tax that would have put Grant deputies into parish schools as school resource officers, as well as funding the D.A.R.E. program, providing equipment, salaries and benefits for deputies.
A threat to Hammond Magnet High School was posted early Monday morning to social media, resulting in the school being closed before students arrived. Police are saying nothing was found during a search of the campus.
Chilled temperatures take over the Bayou state this week. Louisiana is stuck with rain and clouds throughout the early portion of today. But State Climatologist Barry Keim says dryer conditions are on the way. Keim says if you thought today was cold with highs in the mid-40s to 50s, it gets even colder as the week progresses. Good news is we’ll see daytime temps back in the 60’s by Friday and sunshine through the weekend.
Here in Cenla we had reports of close to two inched of rain in some locations since Saturday.. In Shreveport / Bossier better than 3 ½ inches of rain fell and that shut down interstate 20 yesterday morning for several hours. Everything is now back to normal.
Police are on the hunt for the gunman who ambushed a man outside of a funeral in Crowley. The funeral was being held for a late October shooting victim, and his mother who passed away from health complications two days later. Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard says it’s a horrific event, but thankfully no one else at the funeral or outside of the building was injured in the shooting. He says the minister was able to keep his congregation safe during the chaos.
Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance says his deputies are looking to the arrest the person who fired a bullet into an apartment complex in Ringgold killing 31-year-old Shanette Carter. The Sheriff says Carter’s five-year-old child found her mom dead. Detectives do not believe Carter was the target of the bullet, but rather a victim of a stray bullet.
Republican Senator Rick Ward of Port Allen is attempting to build awareness and public support for a new bridge crossing the Mississippi River with a TV ad that started airing last week. Ward says the new bridge would help alleviate the congested roadway issues for Baton Rouge and outlying areas. The proposed bridge doesn’t have a solidified location yet, but the estimated cost is about $1 billion.
Congratulations to a friend and colleague. Louisiana Radio Network’s Don Molino, a familiar voice for 30 years has been named the 2018 National Farm Broadcaster of the Year. Molino says he was shocked upon hearing his name announced at the National Farm Broadcasters annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri this past Friday.
A Pearl River man has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide in the killing of a friend while they were hunting hogs in the Honey Island Swamp. 22-year-old Donald Jones of Pearl River was arrested Saturday after he told wildlife officials he accidentally shot 23-year-old Zachary Swanson of Slidell. Authorities say Jones fired toward a hog, but hit his friend instead.
After losing six in a row, the Pelicans took a two-game win streak into Toronto last night where New Orleans faced the12-and-1 Raptors. So now make a three game winning streak. The Pels beat the Raptors 126 - 110
Not many LSU fans were excited about the Tigers 24-17 win over Arkansas on Saturday. The expectation was for LSU to win by a lot more points against a team that has just two wins and has played poorly on defense this season. Coach Ed Orgeron calls it a nice bounce back win after getting shut out by Alabama. LSU returns to Tiger Stadium to host 1-and-10 Rice. Add cornerback Kristian Fulton to the injury list. Orgeron says Fulton will be out awhile.
After torching the Bengal’s defense Sunday, Saint’s head coach Sean Payton admits to smashing a fire alarm in the visitor’s locker room about thirty minutes before the Saints smashed the Bengal’s on their home field. Peyton says the alarm had been going off for about 15 minutes when he decided to put an end to the racket. It’s not clear if he’ll face any penalties, but the Bengals say they’ve contacted the authorities.
Monday night Football it was the NY Giants over the 49ers 27 to 23
News for Monday 111218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The mother of an infant that was found burned alive in a barn in Natchitoches has been indicted on 1st degree murder. 23-year-old Hannah Baker allegedly asked her partner, Felicia Smith to murder her child. On July 17th, police say Smith set took the child from Bakers home and set it on fire, but Baker says her child was stolen against her will during a break in.
On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, investigators from Louisiana State Police, in conjunction with numerous other law enforcement agencies, conducted a criminal enforcement detail in Avoyelles, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn Parishes. The objective was to serve fugitive warrants and apprehend individuals engaged in criminal activity. Authorities report along with the 49 individuals arrested, law enforcement officers also seized various illegal drugs, several firearms, bullet proof vests, and currency.
Those looking for an excuse to break out that beloved hoodie or sweater will get the opportunity to do so for the next few days. The National Weather Service says much of the state will flirt with freezing temps overnight Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup is the surprise of the midterms, as the Democrat will head to a run-off against Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin. Collins-Greenup was just 10 thousand votes shy of topping the Interim Secretary, despite little fundraising and not securing the Democratic Party’s backing, which went to 3rd place candidate Renee Fontenot Free. She says she never viewed herself as an underdog.
Collins-Greenup raised less than 3,000 dollars for her run. The run-off election will be held December 8th.
Six weeks from today it’s Christmas Eve and the National Retail Federation projects a consumer will spend on average, 1,007 dollars this holiday season, up 4 percent over last year. N-R-F spokesperson Ana Serafin Smith says we’ve never seen a November and December this big. 21 percent of consumers say they already started their shopping back in October.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is working on a $34 million project that will use rock-filled sacks to protect the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish. Authority project manager Bevin Barringer says an aggregate material is being used to keep the so called pillows, about the size of a small car, from sinking in the mucky soil. With erosion rapidly taking its toll on the area, Barringer says the objective is to stabilize the shoreline.
The Saints clobbered Cincinnati 51-14 yesterday for the Black and Gold’s eighth straight win. Quarterback Drew Brees threw as many touchdown passes as incompletions, three. Michael Thomas had two touchdown catches and Alvin Kamara also found the end zone twice. Some analysts warned this was a trap game, with a home game against Eagles coming up next. But Brees says the players were ready to play…
LSU heads into its final home game of the year of the with an 8-2 record after holding on to beat Arkansas 24-17 on a frigid night in Fayetteville. The Tigers looked like they were going to win this game going away, but the Hogs scored two fourth quarter touchdowns. Coach Ed Orgeron was happy, even though the game got close…
LSU got leaped in the AP Top 25 by Washington State, falling a single spot to No. 10 in the poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. LSU (8-2) beat Arkansas 24-17 Saturday night, but it wasn't enough to keep them ahead of Washington State (9-1), which jumped two spots after the Cougars beat Colorado 31-7. There was no movement for LSU in the USA Today Coaches Poll, where they remain No. 10 after Week 11 of the NCAA football season. The three teams from the Southeastern Conference in the AP Top 25 Poll's top 10 are ranked the same way in the Coaches Poll: No. 1 Alabama (10-0), No. 5 Georgia (9-1), No. 10 LSU (8-2)
ESPN is reporting The New Orleans Saints could possibly sign another wide receiver this week after Dez Bryant's ill-fated Achilles injury placed him on the IR this week. It’s reported the Saints will reach back out to Brandon Marshall, who worked out for the Saints on Tuesday, with a deal possibly being made early this week. The report says Marshall, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 30, impressed the Saints during his workout, and could be playing as early as next week when the Saints take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 11.
News for Friday 110918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Fall will arrive with a vengeance at the start of this weekend. Rain may stick around as cool air barrels in from Canada but State Climatologist Barry Keim says though a freeze is possible around Wednesday of next week north Louisiana doesn’t have much to worry about this weekend…
Fewer public schools received an “A” grade while the percentage of schools that received an “F” went up, as school performance scores were released yesterday. State Education Superintendent John White says the decline in schools that received an “A” is because Louisiana has raised the bar for what it takes to earn the highest grade.
The body of a Natchitoches man, who had been reported missing, has been found in the Cane River Lake. According to the NPSO, 31 year old Randal Evans suffered from some mental issues. Family members reported him missing on November 3rd, after he wandered away from the family home.
Two deep red Republican run states voted in minimum wage hikes on Tuesday. Arkansas went up to 11 dollars an hour by 2021, and Missouri increased to 12 by 2023. But efforts to even get minimum wage increases on the ballot in the Bayou State have stalled out the past three years, but New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says Arkansas’s example will help the case in Louisiana. Louisiana’s minimum wage is currently 7.25, which went into effect as a federal minimum in 2009.
Louisiana is home to 278-thousand veterans. With this Sunday being Veterans Day, there are various events going on throughout the state. Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Col. Joey Strickland says it’s important to remember our country is still at war and be willing to help as those that are fighting as they are coming home.
Authorities in Caldwell Parish have arrested a McDonalds employs, after she dropped a hand gun inside the store, causing it to discharge into a wall. The Sheriff’s office says the bullet hit a water line in the ceiling. The woman was arrested on unspecified gun and drug charges. Good news is, no one was injured.
Could Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry be in the running to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned from his post as U.S. attorney general earlier this week? Speculation swirled on Thursday -- two days after Sessions submitted his resignation at the president's request -- that Landry may have made it onto the White House's short list of candidates to take the reins as attorney general. Meanwhile, Politico reported that Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who lost a bid for governor this week, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are among potential top-tier candidates.
The parent organization of Pi Beta Phi confirmed Thursday that it has halted activities at their chapter house at LSU after receiving information alleging events at the sorority that “may have constituted hazing. A spokesperson for the organization says no one was physically harmed and no alcohol was involved. Pi Beta Phi immediately informed university officials and began an investigation
The mayor of Maringouin (Mar-in gwah) in Iberville Parish, who claims "substantial irregularities and error" caused her to lose her re-election bid by four votes this week, asked a state court Thursday to either declare her the winner or order a new election. Challenger Maurice Harris drew 351 votes to incumbent Demi Lynn Vorise's 347 in Tuesday's mayoral election. Vorise says she has identified at least 29 ineligible voters who cast ballots in the election..
The volunteer fire department in French Settlement was left with less than $1,000 in the bank and an unpaid insurance bill that threatened a shutdown when authorities arrested the treasurer last week. Melissa Guitreau, who is married to the fire chief, was accused of embezzling $225,000 from the fire department over the course of a year and a half. Now, the Livingston Parish Council and businesses in the area are pitching in to keep the Livingston Parish Fire Protection District No. 8 running. Local businesses raised $9,300 to fund the fire departments operations through the end of the year.
Turnout for the midterm elections in Louisiana was 48 percent. That’s in comparison to the only 40 percent of eligible voters who participated in the 2015 governor’s race run-off between David Vitter and now Governor Edwards. It tough to answer exactly why Louisianans have grown less engaged with state issues over the decades, but LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Mike Henderson says it could be due to a media climate that’s increasingly focused on high profile races for federal seats.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is celebrating a record breaking number of adoptions from foster care, with 912 children finding homes in the Federal Fiscal Year of 2018. It’s an 18% increase from the previous record set last year. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters credits additional staffing support as well as families wanting to take in more than just one child.
A Gonzales woman was killed Wednesday night in an eleven vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 in Ascension Parish. State Trooper Bryan Lee says an 18-wheeler caused the chain reaction crash. Lee says the driver of the semi-truck has been booked into the Ascension Parish Jail for Negligent Homicide and 18 counts of Negligent Injuring.
Saints coach Sean Payton spoke today about the team’s new acquisition, former Cowboys star Dez Bryant. Payton says the former All-Pro wide receiver is about five pounds heavier than he should be, but that’s to be expected. Bryant has been known as a problem child. But Payton says the Saints have a special culture and it will be a good fit for Bryant.
If LSU is able to win its final three games, the Tigers are in position to play in one the New Years Six bowl games. CBS Senior Writer Jerry Palm says the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans is a possibility for the Tigers. If Georgia doesn’t make the four-team playoff or if the Bulldogs do not finish higher than LSU in the college football playoff rankings, than LSU will end up at the Sugar Bowl.
News for Thursday 110818
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Kayla Giles will return to court tomorrow, this time for a hearing on a motion to quash her indictment on 1st degree murder charges. Giles is charged with murdering her estranged husband, 30-year-old Thomas Coutee back on September 8th, in the Walmart parking lot on Coliseum Boulevard . Coutee, who was shot once in his chest, died at the scene.
One day before jury selection in his trial was to begin, 45 year old Christopher McGrew of Pineville took a deal. McGraw was facing 102 total felony counts, including 9 counts of aggravated incest, three counts of first-degree rape, three counts of computer sex solicitation and 87 counts of pornography with juveniles. On Monday, all the incest charges, one rape charge and 84 of the pornography charges were dropped.
Two juveniles are in custody after a threat was made via social media against Brame Middle School, but police have determined it wasn't credible. The Alexandria school has not been put on lock down Wednesday, but the Alexandria Police Department has an "increased presence" at the school as a precaution.
Democrats are taking control of the U-S House and Louisiana’s Republican Congressional delegation is reacting. Senator John Kennedy says he hopes the Dems will stay away from investigations on the president and work on issues like healthcare. Meanwhile, Congressman Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish has told colleagues that he plans to run for Minority Whip.
The special election for the Secretary of State’s seat is headed for a run-off between the interim holder of the position, Republican Kyle Ardoin and a relatively unknown Democratic candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the success of the latter candidate caught some off guard. Collins-Greenup, a black minister and entrepreneur from East Feliciana Parish, holds a law degree.
The turnout in Louisiana for Tuesday’s election was 49-percent. Will next year’s governor’s race see that kind of turnout? The turnout for the gubernatorial primary in 2015 was just 39-percent. La-Politics-dot-com publisher Jeremy Alford says voters will not pay attention to the governor’s race until mid-summer, but that will not stop the candidates from raising money…
All six of Louisiana’s U-S House of Representatives were re-elected Tuesday by wide margins. Mike Johnson will represent the 4th district for a second term. Johnson says he is also in a race to be the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of Republicans in the Congress and that decision will be made later this month…
Democrats came up well short of challenging any of the five Republican incumbent Congressmen this year, with none of their candidates even cracking 40 percent of the vote. It’s the continuation of a two decade trend that’s led to Republican dominance of the Bayou State, and political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says that’s not likely to change any time soon.
U.S. Representative Clay Higgins says the Democratic takeover of the House does not bode well for a conservative agenda or the state’s Congressional delegation’s ability to pass legislation helpful for Louisiana. With five of our six Congressmen now in the minority party, Higgins says the Bayou State will be hard pressed to get the legislation it needs through the lower chamber. Reports indicate the state’s lone Democrat, Cedric Richmond, could be pursuing a high level leadership role in the House.
Voters in 47 of 64 parishes have decided online fantasy sports games should be legal in their parish. The opens the door for FanDuel and Draft Kings to operate in select areas. River Ridge Republican Representative Kirk Talbot, who triggered the ballot initiative, said he didn’t expect to get more than 40 parishes on board. As for the next steps with how to handle the passages that took place, Talbot says he’ll pitch a more detailed plan in the 2019 session that begins in April. Talbot says he will look at other states for how to handle the additional tax revenue from the newly legalized activity.
The Saints add a new face in the receiving core: former Cowboy star Dez Bryant. The outspoken wide out has been without a team since his release in April, but had a try out in New Orleans this that apparently well. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says Coach Sean Payton has always been a big fan of Bryant. Bryant will join Mike Thomas and rookie Trequan Smith in a receiving core that’s lacked depth this year.
News for Wednesday 110718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria has a new mayor.. Jeff Hall easily won last night with 53% of the overall vote, Thus avoiding a runoff with Kay Michiels who had 36%. Catherine Davidson was only able to grab 11% of the vote.
Running down the winners in the Alexandria City Council race, the winners were..
Councilman at large Jim Villard with 58%, District 2 councilman Gerber Porter with 55%.
In the seat for 9th Judicial District Judge Chris Hazel easily defeated Charles Elliott 60 to 40.
None of the area mayor’s races will require a runoff.. in Boyce Alma Scott Moore easily one with 54% of the vote. In Lecompte it was Craig Phillips with 58%, In Mansura it was Kenneth Pickett Sr with 61%, Montgomery Steve Gun had 60% and in Rosepine Donna Weeks Duvall had 66%.
As expected Former Ball Mayor Roy Hebron easily won his old seat back, taking 56% of the vote. But, that race is far from over since in will surely end up in court since constitutional amendment #1 passes. That’s the one that prohibits Felons from office.
In area other races for Mayor….
Jennifer Vidrine easily won reelection in Ville Platte, In Jonesville it was and easy win for Milton Ceasar, Oberlin Joseph Moochie Manuel squeaked by with 51%, Ola, Rhona Elliott won with 76% of the vote.
A sales Tax Rededication was shot down in Lecompte. And a new 1% tax in Grant Parish that would have provided a GPSO Deputy in all schools and funded the DARE program was shot down with 56% of Grant parish voters saying no..
In the race for the Rapides Parish School Board… District C there will be a run off between Mark Dryden and Jamie Floyd. Keith Breazeale easily won district G with 73% of the vote. In District H the winner was Darrell Rodrigues with 53%, District I Sandra Franklin easily won with 72% of the vote..
All towns that had a race for Alderman will see a runoff.
On the matter of Authorizing “Fantasy Sports Contests, Avoyelles, Grant & Vernon said No. 52% of Rapides parish residents said yes.
On the proposed Constitutional Amendments brought before voters yesterday, all easily passed.
In the race for Sec of state, there will be a three way runoff between Kyle Ardoin, Gwen Collins Greenup and Renee Free.
In the state’s Congressional races. All candidate easily won reelection.
So far the only controversy yesterday election day was the lack of “I voted stickers.” Many people who voted yesterday went on social media expressing their disappointment they didn’t receive n “I voted” sticker. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office blames budgetary constraints.
Employers looking to hire seasonal help may have to be more competitive in recruiting employees. This is a result of unemployment numbers being at a thirty year low. UNO Professor of Finance Mark Rosa says with the economy doing well, the growth in the Christmas season may be a bit more ambitious than it’s normal annual gains
The LSUA Generals are at the Fort tonight facing William Carey University. You can hear the game on 94.7 ESPN starting at 6:50p
LSU linebacker Devin White says the two weeks leading up to the Alabama game were very emotional for him. White spoke to reporters for the first time since the controversial targeting penalty that forced him to miss the first half of last Saturday’s game. White called the targeting penalty against him a bogus call. He says it will not change the way he plays.
The New Orleans Pelicans are hoping to break a bit of a losing streak. They host the Chicago bulls tonight at the nest.
First Basketball game of the season last night, LSU defeated South Eastern Louisiana 94 to 63 at the Pmac.
News for Tuesday 110618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Voters in Alexandria today will make history with the election of a new mayor. No matter who wins, the city will see either it’s first black or female mayor. In this race, there is no excuse to be uninformed. All three candidates have participated in several debates and forums and have been extremely active campaigners. All three candidate say, what is important is that you vote, so your voice can be heard.
The RPSO is investigating the Stabbing of a man in Wardville yesterday morning. Deputies responded to a call, from the 100 block of Westbrook Street, shortly after 7:30 yesterday morning. A male who apparently suffered multiple stab wounds was taken to a local hospital, the victim's condition is unknown at this time.
In other states, Congressional races are set to come down to the wire, but here in Louisiana we aren’t expecting to see tight races in most of the congressional districts. UL Lafayette Professor Pearson Cross says the only district in the state showing signs of life is southwest Louisiana’s 3rd, where incumbent Clay Higgins faces stiff competition.
The Baton Rouge based 6th district is expected to be a rout for incumbent Garrett Graves. But Cross says the 6th is a special case, where the more democratic section of the city was cut out in 2010 redistricting. Voters will also decide on a Secretary of State’s special election race that is projected to go into a December runoff.
But Cross says away from congressional races, Louisiana voters will have one, major chance to reshape their state with the number two amendment option. That’s the one that would require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Cross says indications of higher turnout bode well for the historic change.
Voters heading to the polls today will see the question asking if fantasy sports betting should be legalized in their parish. Not everyone is on board with the idea of legalization. President of the Louisiana Family Forum Gene Mills says fantasy sports betting could result in a domino effect that sees the integrity of sports put at stake.
Senator Danny Martiny is in favor of the legalization and says anyone who thinks they are suppressing gaming by voting against it is fooling themselves. The polls close at 8PM.
National pollsters are predicting a tight race for Congress today, giving Democrats a slight edge to retake the lower chamber, but next to no chance to gain control of the Senate. Democrats are cautious, but confident of their chances in the House. 5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham predicts the economy’s recent growth will lead to a narrow majority for the House GOP.
It’s a lot of Chihuahuas.. The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine receives the largest commitment in school history, and the eight largest gift in LSU Foundation history. That’s after a 10.1 million dollar endowment from the Soong family, who SVM Senior Director of Development Tracy Evans says developed a close bond with the school after it cared for their two Chihuahuas.
A 31-year-old Iowa man is dead after being struck by an on-duty Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s deputy. LSP Spokesperson Trooper Thomas Gossen says the deputy never saw the pedestrian, who was wearing dark clothes and it was foggy. The incident is still under investigation.
The Sunshine Bridge is still on course for its January reopening after the bridge was closed due to a barge carrying a crane colliding with the structure last month. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says the arrival of the jacking system to realign the bridge ensures the momentum is moving forward to hitting the anticipated reopening time frame.
Monroe Police have made an arrest in connection with the multiple bomb threats called into medical facilities in North Louisiana. The multi-agency investigation resulted in the arrest of 28 year old Pauline Copeland, who authorities says appears to suffer from mental illness. Copeland will be charged with two counts of terrorizing and booked into the Ouachita Parish Correctional Facility.
Following Saturday’s loss to Alabama, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said they didn’t have the personnel to beat the top ranked Crimson Tide. On Tell the Truth Media, Orgeron said he could have coached better. The Tigers are 7-2 and ranked ninth in the country heading into Saturday’s game against Arkansas. The Razorbacks are having a tough season as they are just 2-7 under first year coach Chad Morris.
LSU Officially begins it’s Basketball season tonight as the Tigers play host to South Eastern Louisiana. Airtime 7p on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm
News for Monday 110518
Compiled by Dave Graichen
For the second time in less than a week, portions of Louisiana are facing the threat of severe weather. National Weather Service Shreveport Meteorologist Aaron Davis says the weather may bring with it some dangerous wind conditions. Davis says it’s hard to determine how much tornado activity the state could see out of this storm system compared to the one that produced numerous tornadoes last week.
An Alexandria man has been arrested after two children he was caring for tested positive for drugs. The APD reports they were contacted by the Department Of Child and Family Services after the 2 and 3 year olds tested positive. The children were found in a Laurel Street home where police say drug activity was taking place. 27 year old Dalton Barton was arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to a juvenile and was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
Corporate officials with Copeland’s are meeting today to decide whether or not the will reopen the Alexandria restaurant after Wednesday night’s storm caused extensive damage. The restaurant management told employees over the weekend that they should look for other jobs. Saying that if they do reopen, it could be quite a while before repairs are completed.
Tomorrow voters head to the polls to cast their ballots, but there hasn’t been much publicity for the statewide election of a new Secretary of State. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the stressed importance of this Election Day for other issues on the ballot has resulted in more people casting votes in early voting.
Tomorrow you’ll have a chance to weigh in on whether or not the state should require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases, amendment two on the ballot. The option passed the House 84 to 15 and has received widespread bi-partisan support..
A Lafayette TV station reports the Louisiana Attorney General has received four criminal complaints involving catholic clergy and correspondences from constituents expressing support for a statewide grand jury. The A-G’s office adds they’ve responded to each of the victims and law enforcement in the parish were notified of the alleged crimes.
The New Orleans Archdiocese has released the names of 57 priests dating back to 1917 who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them while in the ministry. Archbishop Gregory Aymond did not note how many claims were deemed un-credible, but says in order to move forward the church needed to address the issue.
Gas prices have been falling and they are expected to decline for the next couple of weeks. That’s according to Dan McTeague, who is an analyst with Gas-Buddy-dot-com. McTeague says the price of gasoline has fallen about 10-cents in the last week to a statewide average of $2.47. He expects it to continue to drop for a while.
Congressman Ralph Abraham has a suite of new campaign ads airing across south Louisiana markets that don’t have many voters from his more northern and central district. Abraham has publicly waxed about the idea of running for governor, and reports say he’s giving it a hard look, but ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says like most GOP candidates, he’s likely anxiously awaiting a decision from Senator John Kennedy, the presumed frontrunner.
Despite all of the emotion, confidence and belief among Tiger nation that LSU could not beat number one ranked Alabama, as the Crimson Tide won easily 29-0 on Saturday night. The Bayou Bengals were held to 196 total yards. Coach Ed Orgeron says Alabama’s defense over powered them. Alabama has now won eight straight games in this series. Orgeron says for the Tigers to finally beat the Crimson Tide, they need to get better along the offensive and defensive lines…
LSU is on the move in the polls this week, but is trending downward after losing 29-0 at home against No. 1 Alabama. The Tigers fell to No. 9 in the Associated Press Top-25 and to No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll published by USA Today. The College Football Playoff Top-25 comes out on Tuesday (Nov. 6) evening.
The Saints won their seventh straight yesterday, holding off Los Angeles 45-35 in front of an energetic Superdome crowd. New Orleans led 35-17 at halftime. But the Rams rallied back to tie it in the 4th quarter. Saints regained the lead on a 72-yard touchdown catch by Michael Thomas. The victory improves the Saints record to 7-1, while the Rams fall to 8-1.
News for Friday 110218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Many Cenla residents spent the night in the dark last night, that after a strong line of thunder storms moved through the area late Wednesday night and early yesterday morning. Cleco reported as of 5 yesterday over 3,000 residents in Rapides and 1,100 in grant parish were without power.
Damage was extensive in the Sonya Quarters section of Alexandria and in the area of the Alexandria mall. In Pineville, the bulk of the damage appears to have been in the area surrounding Louisiana College and down Military highway and Donahue Ferry Rd. towards the Cleco corporate offices.
In LaSalle Parish, damage in Jena and in Trout was perhaps the worst to be seen yesterday. Many homes were severely damages by falling trees and high winds.
There have been reports of minor injuries. Four people were hurt in Concordia Parish, and two others in Washington Parish. In both cases, strong winds flipped over mobile homes
At least 11 tornadoes have been confirmed by National Weather Service surveyors so far in Louisiana and Mississippi as part of that storm system.
The amazing part of the story surrounding all the damage is that there were no reports of serious injuries.
All Schools in Rapides Parish will reopen today, With the exception of Louisiana College, which will be closed again today as clean up continues.
There’s another month left of the hurricane season, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s highly unlikely we’ll be hit in the next 30 days. Keim notes there’s always a chance of some development, but the late season climate just isn’t suited to producing hurricanes. Louisiana has not been hit by a November hurricane in the 167 years they have been keeping records.
There’s been growing support for the number two amendment option on the November ballot, but not all District Attorneys are on board with the move to require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Tangipahoa, Livingston, and Helena Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux says he’s concerned it would delay justice for victims. DAs in four of Louisiana’s largest parishes, along with both Republican and Democratic state parties have come out in support of the initiative.
March of Dimes has released its annual report which grades all 50 states on their rates of preterm birth and reveals racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in each state. The country overall got a C-grade and Louisiana received an F. President of the organization, Stacy Stewart says it’s an indicator more babies are being born premature and less healthy. Stewart says women need access to good quality and affordable prenatal care, as well as women need to be healthy before they become pregnant.
Stewart says changes must happen on many levels to ensure healthier pregnancies.
The Diocese of Lafayette announces Reverend Jody Simoneaux is on administrative leave because he allegedly engaged in improper behavior with minors while assigned to churches in Eunice and Youngsville 30 years ago. Simoneaux has been serving as a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Jeanerette. The Diocese says the allegations have been turned over to law enforcement.
Thousands are expected to attend the Giant Omelette Celebration in Abbeville this weekend. The festival was started in the 1980s with the determination to bring the community closer to its French Heritage. Celebration president Ray Trahan says the omelet starts with a twelve-foot skillet and 5000 eggs. Trahan says the history of the celebration dates back to Napoleon, the emperor of the French in the early 1880s, as he had an omelet following a battle and loved it.
ESPN has named southeast Louisiana the center of the football universe this weekend with the two best games of the week being played in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Number four LSU takes on number one Alabama in Tiger Stadium, and President of Visit Baton Rouge Paul Arrigo says the hotels are packed. Baton Rouge saw 87 percent occupancy in hotels for Georgia. Arrigo says the iconic program will give the city a chance to show off to the rest of the nation, and hopefully inspire a few trips.
And after that ESPN will be broadcasting live from New Orleans for the Saints Rams game that has huge implications for both teams playoff seeding.
The Saints are two point favorites against the only undefeated team in the league Sunday as the eight and 0 Rams charge into the dome to take on the six and one Saints.
Louisiana Tech gets another chance at Mississippi State tomorrow. Last year the two teams met in Ruston and State won 57-21 This year’s Mississippi State team has one of the best defensive lines in the country.
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