News for Friday 122118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards says 2018 was a successful year for Louisiana as the state continues to move in the right direction. Edwards says stabilizing the budget was his top accomplishment. He says the budget deal fully funded higher education, without raising taxes. Edwards also highlighted that Louisiana shed its title as having the largest incarceration rate in the world. He says he’s also proud to announce the state set a record in 2018 for the number of adoptions from their foster care system, with 912 children being adopted by over 600 families.
On the down side.. Personal income growth in Louisiana for the third quarter was 48th worst in the nation, at 2.3 percent. That’s down from 4.8 percent in the second quarter, and 6.6 percent in the first quarter. Governor John Bel Edwards attributed this drop to the tariffs, which he says were largely responsible for a 101 million dollar drop in farm earnings. But Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s more complicated than just the tariffs. While they hurt farmers, there was also a lot of nasty, heavy rains that hit just as harvest time had rolled around. And Strain says it’s not just farmers that took a huge hit this quarter. With the price at the pump at a remarkable low, the oil industry hurting again, and suffering noticeable losses.
President Trump says he will veto a resolution that would fund the government through February 8th because it did not include five billion dollars in funding for a proposed border wall. Senator John Kennedy says we may be looking at a government shutdown.
Democrats have refused to pass any bill that includes the five billion dollars for the Mexican border wall that’s being sought by the White House.
Saints legend and ALS advocate Steve Gleason will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal., Gleason played for the Saints from 2000 to 2007, memorably blocking a punt for a touchdown against the Falcons in the Saints first game back in the dome after Katrina. Senator Bill Cassidy says it’s the highest honor Congress can bestow. The bill passed nearly unanimously in both chambers of Congress.
Louisiana’s START K12 saving program has been launched that now allows for funds to be used on the beneficiary in covering tuition and related expenses between kindergarten and 12th grade. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says he’s excited about the plan that could see parents use up to $10,000 annually on private school tuition.
A Monroe man is facing one count of solicitation for murder after he allegedly tried to pay a man to kill his estranged wife. Detectives say 47-year-old Michael Faubion asked his roommate, who has a criminal history, if he can contact people in jail that would be willing to execute a hit on his wife. But now Faubion is the one in jail on a one-million dollar bond.
A Bossier City patrol cop has been arrested and charged with over three dozen animal sexual abuse related charges. The State Police Special Victims Unit busted 38-year-old Terry Yetman with possession of animal pornography. Yetman was honored in October for his work against domestic violence. The LSP investigation began in August.
A new study out of Sweden finds the risk of having a heart attack rises nearly 40 percent on Christmas Eve. Cardiologist Dr. Frank Smart at LSU Health New Orleans says that if someone suspects they are having a heart attack, the earlier they get to the hospital, the better, but they should not drive themselves to the hospital. The study observed the timing of 283,000 heart attacks over 15 years. Smart says the research indicates that the peak timing of heart attacks on Christmas Eve and in case you want to set your watch, 10 pm seems to be most common time.
A former assistant warden who worked in security at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has been charged with abusing his position by helping facilitate the underground market for contraband. 45 year old Kevin Benjamin has been charged with malfeasance in office. It is the second case in a widening multi-agency drug investigation, which includes the FBI and the Louisiana Department of Corrections.
Bayou Country Superfest will return to Baton Rouge in 2019 after two years in Superdome. Producers announced yesterday the Superfest will return to its original venue, LSU's Tiger Stadium, for its 10th anniversary show on May 25-26, 2019. The talent lineup will be revealed in early 2019.
The Saints can lock up home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
We will be off until January 2nd.