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.
News for Thursday
Compiled by Dave Graichen
59 year old William Ellington of Alexandria has been arrested on a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The alleged victim, according to police, is only 9 years old. At the time the department announced his initial arrest earlier Tuesday, it said another case was under investigation as well. Ellington remains in the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
AAA projects over 1/3 of the nation’s population will be on the move during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Spokesperson Don Redman says for as long as AAA has looked at holiday travel numbers, they’ve never seen anything like this. Redman says it’s important that travelers practice patience and give themselves a little extra time to get where they need to go. There is some good news; Redman says travelers can expect gas prices along the Gulf Coast to be relatively low.
According to the US Census Bureau, Louisiana is among nine states that has seen a loss of population, with a decrease by nearly 11,000 in the time between July 2017 and July 2018. Demographer Greg Rigamer says it’s not a good sign and a reflection upon the state’s economy. Since 2010, Louisiana’s population has only increased by 115,000, compared to Texas who has seen an increase of 3.5 million and Florida with 2.5 million.
Louisiana’s two US Senators are on opposite sides of a criminal justice reform bill approved by the Senate on an 87-12 vote. Bill Cassidy says the legislation helps non-violent and low risk parolees re-enter society, get a job and stay out of trouble. But John Kennedy says the, just passed, First Step Act is a violation of American public safety.
Bossier City will see 80 jobs, and Baton Rouge 160 as the result of two new Young Williams customer service call centers. The contract to process calls for the Department of Children and Family Services will run for five years. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says it’s a prominent company, with a good background.
The state GOP is calling for a return to closed primaries that only let party members vote for party candidates. Currently voters are free to vote for whomever in the primary, and the top two candidate’s progress to the general election. The call was made by GOP State Chairman Louis Gurvuich, who says the “Jungle Primary” creates issues for Republicans when they have large fields of candidates.
Louisiana's nursing homes are among the nation’s worst. The state ranked 50th in patient quality of care in a recent AARP report. Elderly citizens widely prefer staying in their homes with help as long as possible, studies show. And advocates for changing the system say that making institutionalization a last resort would save the state money. But when legislation was introduced this year to address that imbalance, three prominent former lawmakers helped torpedo it before it could progress. Former House Speaker Jim Tucker urged the House Appropriations Committee to kill the proposal. Joe McPherson, the former chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, told his onetime colleagues the reform was impractical. And Sherri Buffington, the committee’s former vice chairwoman, watched from the audience. Each of them is deeply connected to the nursing home industry, which has strongly opposed the changes. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, here Louisiana, more than a third of ex-lawmakers continue to try to influence their old colleagues and in many cases they are successful.
While many internet transactions are already seeing sales taxes collected for the state, as of January 1, all purchases from out of state internet retailers will be subject to a flat 8.45 percent tax. Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson says the idea behind the tax is to have level playing field between internet retailers and brick and mortar . Of the 8.45 percent sales tax rate collected, 4 percent of that will go to local government.
There are people living in a Mandeville neighborhood hoping their neighbor takes down the five inflatable dragons up in her front yard. It started with two dragons, both of them wearing a Santa Claus hat. But the homeowner, Diana Rowland, says she received an anonymous note saying her neighbors were wondering if she was involved in a demonic cult. So Rowland decided to add three more dragons because of her judgy-mcfudgyface neighbor.
A vivint-source-dot-com report finds that Louisiana has one of the highest rates for holiday thefts in the nation. PR Specialist Hilary Bird says over the past five years, Louisiana had an average of 68 thefts per 10-thousand residents during the holiday season. Larceny is the most common crime, which is pickpocketing or breaking into someone’s car.
The nation’s number one prospect according to Rivals-dot-com is officially an LSU Tiger on the first day of college football’s early signing period. Derek Stingley Jr. signed his national letter of intent in front of classmates at Dunham High School. Based on who signed with LSU today and who might possibly sign in February, the Tigers could land a top 5 recruiting class. Stingley says he chose LSU, because it will benefit him after his playing days are over.
LSU signed 19 players on the first day of college football’s early signing period as they work towards securing a top five recruiting class.
News for Wednesday 121918
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Word yesterday of the passing of former District 27 State Representative Rick Farrar. Rick represented Rapides Parish from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2008 and worked as an assistant DA under Philip Terrell. The Parish DA’s office released the news Via social media saying Farrar died Tuesday morning at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. He will be missed Rick Farrar was 58.
Another passing of note.. Charlie Baker, a longtime coach and teacher at Peabody High School died last Friday at the Alexandria VA Medical System Hospital. Funeral services for Charlie Baker will be this Saturday at Newman United Methodist Church in Alexandria with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. and the funeral starting at 11. Charlie Baker was 82.
An investigation in to several damaged tombstones in the Dry Prong Cemetery earlier this month, has led to the arrest of 32 year old Felicia Ruiz. The GPSO charged the Dry Prong woman with hit and run and reckless operation of a vehicle. Sheriff McCain says It appears Ruiz not paying attention, when she ran off of the road, hitting the gravestones. It’s believed she panicked and left the scene.
The Trump Administration has banned bump stocks, a firearm add-on that can be used to increase a semiautomatic weapon’s rate of fire. The Justice Department estimates 520,000 bump stocks have been sold in the US since 2010. Bump stock owners now have 90 days to destroy their devices, or turn them in to ATF.
Governor Edwards says he’s concerned a recent Texas court ruling could mean the end of health insurance for over a million Louisianans, and scolded Attorney General Jeff Landry for his support of the lawsuit that may overturn Obamacare. The Trump administration said yesterday that no changes will be made in the affordable care act until an appeal is heard. 480,000 Louisianans have received coverage under Medicaid expansion alone.
The state health department has declared a Hepatitis A outbreak as they’ve confirmed 24 cases of hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease, in the Baton Rouge area. The illness is spread by consuming contaminated food or beverages, during sex or through close contact with an infected person. The state has received funding to vaccinate at-risk groups, which are drug users and those who are homeless.
Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s teamed up with the Connecticut AG in a suit against generic drug manufacturers, claiming the companies are violating anti-trust laws to push prices higher than they should be. Landry says they’re discussing a settlement with 18 manufacturers in a suit that involves 47 states.
Construction of the Prien Bridge portion of I-210 in the Lake Charles area is set to begin in early January. The project will see the addition of extra lighting and a new surface for the 930-foot stretch of bridge. DOTD spokesperson Tammy York says the main area of construction will begin near where I-210 splits off from I-10. The bridge was built in the 60’s and York says several issues are being tackled with the $35 million project.
The early signing period for 2019 football recruits begins today and LSU is expecting a signed national letter of intent from the nation’s top prospect. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says cornerback Derek Stingley Junior from Dunham High in Baton Rouge is expected to be impact player in 2019. Moran says LSU’s 2019 recruiting class also features two of the state’s best running backs, Destrehan’s John Emery and Southern Lab’s Tyrion Davis. The early signing period lasts through Friday.
News for Monday 121718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Monday Weather: Areas of dense fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 64.
A federal judge in Texas declares the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, because of the federal mandate that requires Americans to buy health insurance or face an additional tax if they do not comply. Judge Reed O’ Connor says now that Congress has removed the penalty for not having coverage, the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
Governor Edwards is disappointed. He says hundreds of thousands of Louisianans could lose their health insurance, if the ruling stands through the appeals process. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry applauds the decision and says he’ll work with the state legislature to make sure those with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
The APD reports an Alexandria woman was shot and killed Friday evening when a gun two brothers were struggling over fired and struck the woman who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. 32 Jazzlyn Fields was pronounced dead at the scene of the Baker Street incident. 28 year old Edward Conner was booked into the parish detention center on a charge of Second-Degree-Murder.
The holidays can be a dangerous time on the roadways so law enforcement is stepping up patrols as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Deputy Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Dortha Cummins says in the last five years, 139 people have died during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday period. Cummins says the campaign runs through New Year’s Day and drivers should be aware that law enforcement is out and actively looking for drivers who may be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both..
It’s a heck of a tax break.. The state Board of Commerce and Industry agrees to give a developer planning to build a massive liquefied natural gas export facility in Calcasieu Parish a tax break that could eventually reach two-billion dollars. The advocacy group, Together Louisiana, objected. Broderick Bagert says local government taxing bodies did not give residents enough information about the project
This week marks the busiest week for the United States Postal Service. USPS spokesperson Sean O’Neill says while some deadlines may have already passed to ensure delivery by Christmas, there are still two days coming up that those shipping gifts this holiday season need to keep on their radar. 1st class and priority mail should be mailed by the 20th, priority mail express by the 22nd.
Former state superintendent of education Paul Pastorek will lead an investigation into allegations that T-M Landry College Prep in Breaux Breaux falsified college applications so their students can attend Ivy league schools. The New York Times reports one of the co-founders of the school, Michael Landry, also abused some of the children, however they produced no evidence to back up the accusation . State Police is looking into the abuse claims.
Congressman Cedric Richmond has introducing a half-a- trillion dollar bill that would build an estimated 2.1 million new, affordable homes in America, and subsidize the purchase of existing houses. Housing NOLA Executive Director Andreanecia Morris says the bill would create over 30,000 affordable housing opportunities in New Orleans alone, and put an additional 513-million dollars into that city’s economy.
Tax season is right around the corner and that means tax refunds. The financial technology company, SmartAsset, says just over 1.5 million taxpayers in the state will receive a refund, with the average being right around $3,300. VP of Financial Education at SmartAsset AJ Smith says you may be losing out on opportunities to make money on the money that is being withheld. If you want to make adjustments to your withholdings, you should speak with someone in HR at your job.
Governor John Bel Edwards was the commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies at UL Lafayette and UNO Friday. Edwards says these graduates are now equipped with the diverse set of skills that will be necessary to navigate the five or more different jobs many of them will have throughout their life.
Just in time for Christmas, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has sent a commemorative football to every player and coach that helped him set the NFL’s career passing record. There were 174 balls that went out to Brees current and former teammates and assistant coaches too. The gift also includes a signed letter.
The Saints visit the Panthers tonight in Carolina for the first meeting of the season between the two. Carolina sits at 6 and 7, and is riding a five game losing streaking that’s all but taken them out of the playoff conversation. Saints QB Drew Brees knows how vital a win tonight would be, with the top seed in the NFC on the line.
News for Friday 121418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain.. High 54
Businesses and schools across the nation were evacuated yesterday because of bomb threats, that appear now to have been hoaxes. Here in Louisiana, State Police are aware of several threats in multiple cities. The threats were sent via email, requesting money being paid to senders via bitcoin, some with the emails having the subject line “Think Twice.” Here in Alexandria First Federal Bank on North Blvd and Red River Bank off of Jackson Street Extension received the threats.
It’s a dead heat. Congressman Ralph Abraham says a new poll he funded shows he’s the Republican to beat Democrat John Bel Edwards in next year’s governor’s race. President of the Remington Research Group Titus Bond says they surveyed nearly 17-hundred likely voters this week and both Abraham and Edwards received 44-percent. Edwards’ campaign says the poll is a desperate plea for credibility.
For the 13th time since 1990, Louisiana has been ranked 50th in America’s health rankings. Thirty-five different areas of health are factored in to determine the overall ranking. Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says among the areas of concern, child poverty, where Louisiana ranks last.
A report out of Loyola says Louisiana has the second highest rate of food insecurity in the country, a result of the state’s substantial poverty, and proliferation of food deserts where residents don’t have access to, or can afford healthy food. The report calls for the state to increase incentives for grocery stores to operate in under-served communities, including refrigeration tax breaks for small grocers to allow them to bring in healthier food.
The secretary of state’s office diverted more than $90 thousand dollars from computer upgrades to pay its portion of a sexual misconduct settlement involving former Secretary of State Tom Schedler. A spokesperson for the current Secretary of State says none of the funds were obtained by making cuts to anything having to do with cybersecurity.
Former Congressman Charles Boustany says the trade war with China is failing, and Louisiana is beginning to pay the price to the tune of over 100 million dollars in costs to Bayou State businesses and consumers this year, nearly 20 million in October alone. Boustany says the trade war is a hurricane, and we’re starting to feel the first bands of bad economic weather…
The Chackbay man who shot his neighbor a year ago over a property line dispute has been convicted of 2nd Degree Murder. 61-year-old Keith Trosclair told police it was in self-defense, but But authorities say they had reason to doubt that version of events after reports from two witnesses that Trosclair was moving towards the victim while firing, and forensic evidence that indicated the neighbor, did not pose an immediate threat when Trosclair opened fire. 2nd Degree Murder carries a mandatory life sentence.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain is reportedly under investigation for allegedly molesting several juveniles. Strain is also the target of a federal probe into public corruption involving his former work release program that he once supervised. The ex-Abita Springs police chief served as sheriff of St. Tammany from 1996 to 2015.
News for Thursday 121318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
90% Chance of showers and t-storms High 67
The Bayou State can expect heavy rainfall as a storm system whipped up in Texas and Oklahoma moves into the state today. Paired with a cold front, one to two inches of rain is likely to land across Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says in some areas of Louisiana the rain could be even more intense and flooding is possible. The good news.. The weekend looks great!
Authorities in Natchitoches report four people were shot, one fatally, in the city Tuesday night. Natchitoches PD responded to the shooting and found one victim had suffered a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three had been taken to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in a private vehicle. Two had been shot in the abdomen, while the third had been shot in the back of the neck. The shootings remain under investigation.
Louisiana Department of Health is conducting a special one-day, multi-location flu shot promotion, throughout Louisiana from 2 until 6:30 this afternoon. LDH Immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says a similar event was conducted in January of this year during the middle of a rough flu season that saw more than 1600 deaths in Louisiana. Shots will be little to no cost and recipients are encouraged to bring an insurance card if they have it. Here in Rapides Parish the shots will be available at the Parish Health unit on Coliseum Blvd.
A 21 year old Grant Parish man was arrested yesterday after he was pulled over for the second time in as many days. The GPSO says Michael Reed Jr was stopped Tuesday with a license plate that didn’t belong to the vehicle he was driving. Yesterday a deputy attempted to stop him again, this time there was no plate on the vehicle, but this time he took off and a short time later hit a tree. He also attempted to dispose of a glass smoking pipe and some meth. Reed was arrested and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
Congress is set to vote this month on a criminal justice reform bill that would give judges more leeway in sentencing non-violent offenders, and would increase funding for rehabilitation programs for prisoners. The bill is backed by President Trump, but Senator John Kennedy and other Republicans say they’re concerned the legislation would lead to more prisoners getting out of jail who could potentially be violent individuals. Kennedy says there’s a number of incidents in Louisiana where a prisoner was released early under the new guidelines, and went on to commit a crime.
Over 98-thousand dollars was allegedly stolen from the Office of Motor Vehicles by three employees between March and June of 2017. That’s according to a new Legislative Auditor’s report that surveyed the OMV’s appropriation of funds. Auditor Daryl Purpera says the OMV has been receptive to changes since the release of the report. He notes it can be challenging for that department to prevent these kinds of crimes given how small most OMV outposts can be. All three were fired after the audit revealed the missing funds.
Louisiana has three of the top 30 cities most in need of charity donations this holiday season according to WalletHub.com. New Orleans came in at 10, Shreveport was next highest in the state at 21, and Baton Rouge came in at 26. WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzales says the report took into account child poverty, unemployment, homelessness, high school drop outs, economic security, health, and safety ratings.
Authorities are looking for two men facing hate crime charges for terrorizing a black woman at the West Monroe Walmart. Investigators have identified the two as 22 year old Dylan Reynolds and 24 year old Michael Walters. The woman was leaving the store as the men began yelling at her and calling her racial slurs. One of the men is accused of chasing after her car on foot as she fled the scene.
Former Port Allen police officers are accusing Police Chief Esdron Brown of forcing his religion upon his officers via mandatory religious meetings and using God’s will as a reasoning for promotions. Legal analyst Tim Meche says those that lost their positions could potentially be entitled to compensation.
Google’s annual Year in Search was released and shows what Louisianans want to look at online. The “Year in Search” lists are Google’s annual look at the trillions of searches performed throughout the year. Google Technology Expert Molly Vandenburg says the number one search in the Bayou State was a little surprising. The top list was for the “World Cup”. Next was everything LSU.
The Saints have released wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall never appeared in a game with the Black and Gold after he was signed last month. To take Marshall’s place, tight end Erik Swoope signed with the Saints. Swoope was just released by the Colts.
LSU has begun bowl practices for their New Year’s Day matchup with Central Florida. Coach Ed Orgeron says they will continue to work on getting the offense to score more touchdowns and it starts with doing more with their quarterback…
LSU safety Grant Delpit has become only the ninth unanimous All-American in school history. Delpit was one of four Tigers who made the F-B-S Coaches All-America Teams
ESPN ranks LSU’s seven overtime loss to Texas A-and-M as the best college football game of the year.
News for Wednesday 121218
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 64.
Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 55.
Thursday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 68. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
This Morning's News...
The RPSO reports eleven Alexandria residents have been arrested after a months-long investigation spurred by heroin and fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the parish. A release announcing the arrests states a "fairly organized" group was selling heroin all over Alexandria, but was "primarily centered" around the Third Street area near Broadway Avenue. As the investigation is ongoing, more arrests are "imminent.
The Grant Parish DA’s officer reports 55 year old Ricky Murphy will go to prison for more than nine years after being convicted in October for a Thanksgiving 2017 assault.
Murphy was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years at hard labor on each count of aggravated assault with a firearm and five years at hard labor on each count of attempted aggravated assault. The sentences will be served concurrently.
It appears the Red River Charter Academy will open in 2019 in Avoyelles Parish for students in sixth through eighth grades. Seven members of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in favor of the academy’s application Tuesday during a committee meeting. A procedural vote at today’s board meeting will take place, but the results are expected to be the same.
A Sabine Parish teacher has been arrested for allegedly molesting a female student at the school in which he worked. 50 year old James Jones, a teacher at Pleasant Hill High School, surrendered to authorities after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was issued after an investigation by Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives found that he allegedly had sexual relations with a 13-year-old female student on five different occasions.
A female trainer at Opelousas high school has been arrested and charged with having sex with a student. Opelousas police report 28 year old Laura Huval of Crowley has been arrested and charged with felony prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student. Huval had been working for a company in Lafayette that provides trainers to schools and had been assigned to Opelousas High. Opelousas Police Chief Donald Thompson said another employee of the company reported the conduct.
Jim Bernhard, former president of the Shaw Group, says his private equity firm is willing to finance the cost of a new bridge over the Mississippi, and estimates the project would take about seven years to complete. Bernhard says the numbers look good for financiers investing in the project. But before the billion dollar project could be initiated, Bernhard says access roads and additional infrastructure leading up to the structure will need to be approved. He estimates waiting another five years on the project could inflate its cost by another 200 million dollars.
An 11-month-old child is dead following an infection from untreated burns. Emergency services received a call of an unresponsive child on Sunday in DeRidder, and found the child with burns covering the lower portion of the body. Police Chief John Gott says the injuries were sustained when the mother’s boyfriend gave the child a bath. Gott says the mother and her boyfriend had attempted to home remedy the child’s burns but it clearly didn’t work. While it is unknown why neither adult got the child proper care, authorities believe it was out of fear of legal ramifications.
A Farm Bill is in conference committee with votes expected on a final version in Congress later this week. The bill houses the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or food stamps, along with farming policy for the next several years. Congressman Ralph Abraham says he’s disappointed the bill leaves out SNAP work requirements, but overall it’s a good bill. The bill has the support of Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy and Congressman Steve Scalise. Senator John Kennedy says he won’t vote for it due to its lack of work requirements.
The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health has received a $23.1 million State Opioid Response grant. Assistant Secretary at the Louisiana Department of Health in the Office of Behavioral Health Karen Stubbs says the grant will fund a multitude of programs to the benefit of those suffering from opioid use disorder. Stubbs says the next step is increasing access to treatment through community outreach.
According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund workers and their families in Louisiana are spending the largest share of their income on health care compared to the rest of America. Vice President for Healthcare Coverage and Access at the Commonwealth Fund Sara Collins says what an employer has to pay on the overall premium is lower than the national average, but the issue stems from what an employee has to pay.
The man wanted for the shooting of a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy over the weekend was captured this morning in New Orleans. There had been a manhunt for 38 year old Tynonne Louis since Sunday. Lopinto credits the help of Crime Stoppers for getting the tip that lead to the arrest.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has received 12 juvenile whooping cranes at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge as they attempt to reestablish a flourishing population to the Bayou State. The state’s population of the bird at one point was as high as 10,000, but dropped to just one in the 1950s.
LSU All-American linebacker Devin White remains undecided on whether he’ll skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. White, who won the Butkus Award which goes to the nation’s best linebacker, says he still has some unfinished business. White could be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft, if he decides to enter.
News for Tuesday 121118
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A robbery at the Silver Dollar Pawn Shop back in September, in which a number of guns were stolen, has led to the offering of a $10,000 reward. Half of the reward is being put up by the ATF's New Orleans Field Division, while the other half comes from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is a trade association for the firearms industry. The $10,000 would go to whomever provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary. Anonymous tips can be sent to the ATF through its mobile app, ReportIt, available for Android and iPhones, or by visiting www.reportit.com.
The Alexandria Police Department reports in the last seven days, six guns were stolen in the area from car burglaries and only one of the cars was locked. APD reminds residents not to leave guns or valuables in your vehicles. If for any reason you must, put it in the trunk and be sure your vehicle is locked.
It appears a deadly fire early Sunday morning in the Campti area was not set and appears to be the result of something in the home. The fire killed a 71 year old grandmother, Lucy Telsee and her 6 year old granddaughter Rosia Mae Telsee. After escaping the blaze, the grandmother reentered the burning home in an attempt to rescue the child. She apparently found the child, but both were unable to escape the fire. Fire officials found the two in the wreckage of the home. 4 people survived the fire..
A Monday afternoon fire caused extensive damage to a home in the 3000 block of Herbert Street in Alexandria. The fire has been ruled as accidental after investigators determined that a space heater was being used too close to combustibles. There were six people were living in the house but fire officials say there were no injuries.
The current revenue forecast for state government will stay in place after Speaker Taylor Barras votes down an increase today in the Revenue Estimating Conference. The committee has indicated they hope the Speaker will change his mind by early next year, and that a new meeting will be called that can get the unanimous approval necessary. Barras says he likely would support a forecast increase, but later down the road.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeals of Louisiana challenging lower courts’ decisions to prevent the Bayou State from excluding Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid contractor. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented. The newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was among the justices voting not to hear the case.
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline continues it’s descent as it currently sits at $2.10 per gallon. It’s just over a 30 cent drop from this time last month, and the lowest price since last December. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says it is a welcomed trend with the holidays. Redman says late last week, some oil producing countries have agreed to cut back on production by about a million barrels a day. Redman expects that may impact prices next spring.
Louisiana has the second highest credit card burden in the United States according to a survey conducted by creditcards.com. The credit analysts found came to the conclusion by comparing the average credit card debt to the median income in each state. Industry Analyst at creditcards.com Ted Rossman says compared to other states Louisiana’s credit card debt is right in the middle but the burden stems from earnings differences.
Governor John Bel Edwards is gearing up his 2019 campaign with a focus on his record of bipartisanship, including his cordial relationship with the President. While national Democrats are solidifying their pre-presidential primary base by challenging the President, Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says that likely isn’t pleasing the Democrat’s base, but Edwards’ situation is unique being elected in the Deep South. A recent poll found 55 percent approval for the President in Louisiana.
A new social media platform called First Responders Emergency Media outlet, or FREMO, has been unveiled by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. Nungesser says the website will serve as an outlet of expression for first responders who experience things on the job that might leave them a bit shaken. Many first responders may not want to seek help as they feel they run the risk of being labeled as having some sort of problem. Nungesser says this website will be a secure, confidential platform.
The man who lost a challenge for the Melville Chief of Police in St. Landry Parish, and allegedly punched an officer at a parade for the winner, has bonded out of jail. Cleven Clark denies that he assaulted the officer, and says police were harassing his family by running the parade in front of his house after the election, but Chief Anthony Moreau says it’s an unfortunate incident, but that he won’t tolerate anyone putting their hands on his officers.
Two Louisiana schools have been named “National ESEA Distinguished Schools” for outstanding academic performance. L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish was recognized in the category of “Exceptional Student Performance Schools.” Eastside Elementary School in Livingston Parish was recognized in the category of “Closing the Achievement Gap.”
News for Monday 121018
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Fire officials are drying to determine the cause of a deadly fire yesterday morning just north of Campti in Natchitoches Parish. The NPSO has confirmed two fatalities, also four injuries. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office is also involved in the investigation.
Pineville voters approved all five propositions on the ballot relating to the city’s alcohol regulations, four of which expanded allowable alcohol sales. Previously, only restaurants were able to sell alcohol in Pineville. That option was again approved Saturday, along with propositions that will allow stores to sell packaged alcohol and businesses like bars to serve alcohol. All five propositions received at least 62 percent of the vote in elections that saw turnout of about 22 percent.
Louisiana voters decide to keep Republican Kyle Ardoin as Secretary of State. Ardoin defeated Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup in Saturday’s special election. Ardoin received 59-percent of the vote in a low voter turnout election. The 51-year-old Ville Platte native has served as interim Secretary of State since Tom Schedler resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal.
Shreveport has a new mayor. 33-year-old West Point graduate, Adrian Perkins, easily defeated Mayor Ollie Tyler, who was seeking a second term. Perkins received 64-percent of the vote. Perkins is a war veteran and attorney with no previous political experience. His promise of a better Shreveport led to a landslide victory over the incumbent…
US Representative and now candidate for governor, Republican Ralph Abraham, says Governor John Bel Edwards has been relentless in his effort to raise taxes. But Eric Holl, spokesperson for the 2019 Democratic Coordinator Campaign team, says Abraham’s proposal for over a billion dollars in across the board cuts would have devastated the state. Abraham also says Louisiana is heading in the wrong direction. But Holl disagrees, based on what’s happen during the first three years of the Edwards administration.
A useful app you may want to download to your smart device is available now, and the developer behind the app is an LSU grad from Walker, Louisiana. The app is called Find a Spot and it links you with a friend to find the best possible geographical meetup place in the middle of your two locations. App developer Derrick Denicola says the idea came to him while sitting in traffic. Denicola says it took about seven years to produce the app after first coming up with the idea. The 2007 LSU grad says it’s simple to use, even his parents can figure it out, which was his goal.
St. Tammany Parish has been awarded a $25 million BUILD grant to widen I-12. The widening is needed due to unsafe conditions and bottlenecks along a 3.8 mile stretch and comes after four fatalities over Memorial Day weekend this year. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister calls the quick turnaround on locking in the money to move forward with construction a huge success.
For the first time in franchise history, the Saints are back-to-back division champions. New Orleans clinched the NFC South crown on Sunday with a come from behind 28-14 win over Tampa Bay. New Orleans trailed 14-3 in the third quarter, but scored 25 unanswered points to avenge an earlier loss to the Buccaneers.
News for Friday 120718
Compiled by Dave Graichen
There’s rain moving in across the state today that could total anywhere from 2 to 5 inches. The heaviest amounts are expected in the northwest portion of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says once this front moves through, the state should see cool air move in next week.
5th district Congressman Ralph Abraham made it official yesterday that he is joining the race for Governor. Abraham, a conservative Republican, says he’s been concerned about the direction the state is moving since Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards took over in 2015, the same year he was elected to Congress. He joins Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone as the only two Republicans to have officially joined the race. However, Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says be on the lookout for a few more candidates to rise to the challenge. Governor Edwards responded to the announcement by releasing a statement saying he welcomes the debate.
5 different propositions dealing with Pineville's regulations on selling alcohol will be on the local ballot Saturday, along with five tax propositions. Currently, only restaurants are able to sell alcohol in Pineville, but that could change, depending on Saturday's election. The propositions range from no alcohol sales of any kind in the city to expanding alcohol sales into other types of businesses, such as retail stores and bars.
Congress punted yet again on overhauling the National Flood Insurance Program, extending the program for two more weeks as part of a broader stop-gap funding deal. The NFIP has lurched along for more than a year on a series of short-term extensions as lawmakers have deadlocked and then put off overhauling the federally run program, which underwrites most flood coverage in the U.S.
Former President of the Shaw Group Jim Bernhard says he is ready to back the loan, if need be, to build a new bridge across the Mississippi River. Bernhard says his company is willing to underwrite the bonds for the project. Bernhard says there is much infrastructure work that needs to be done prior to the bridge being built.
75 year old Former Governor Kathleen Blanco, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, told a Council for A Better Louisiana luncheon Wednesday that her cancer has spread to other parts of her body and that while she remains optimistic, she understands there’s “no escape. Blanco said that she is at peace with the disease and that she realizes the monster is not far down the road.”
After spending $750 million to construct an oil pipeline that’s scheduled to open at the end of the month, the builders must spend another $450 to settle claims it didn’t properly seize a swath of undeveloped land in St. Martin Parish. In a ruling released Thursday, state judge Keith Comeaux said those building the Bayou Bridge Pipeline had a right to seize the land under eminent domain, but he refused to forgive their trespassing against three property owners. He ordered the pipeline’s owners to pay them $150 each. The judge then said the company was clear to seize the land.
It’s the tenth year of the George Rodrigue Foundation art scholarship contest is seeking submissions. Spokesperson Christine Dunaway says it’s been an important program for art students in it’s over decade of existence. The school with the top number of submissions will win a 1,000 dollar art kit.
The security website SafeWise has put together it’s list of the twenty safest cities in the state for 2018. Safety and Security analyst for the site Rebecca Edwards says Louisiana has struggled to keep it’s statewide crime rate down as the average number of violent crimes per 1000 citizens was 8.6, nearly double the national average. Edwards says among the safest cities are De Ridder, Harahan, Scott, and topping the list was the St. Mary Parish city of Patterson.
Advanced cancer patients are a lot better off receiving palliative care, where treating symptoms is the focus, than traditional treatments, according to a new study by Tulane. Graduate student Laura Perry says the research, led by Tulane Assistant Professor Michael Hoerger, could inspire a new norm for patients with severe prognoses .2,092 patients were observed, and 56 percent of those who received palliative treatment survived past a year, compared to 42 percent who got typical treatments.
A win Sunday over Tampa Bay and the Saints clinch a second consecutive NFC South title. The Bucs beat New Orleans in the season opener and Quarterback Drew Brees says Tampa Bay’s defense has been playing well lately. Last time out the Saints had their 10-game winning streak snapped with a Thursday night loss in Dallas. Brees says it’s a defeat they can learn from.
News for Thursday 120618
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Pineville PD report a multi-vehicle accident occurred on HWY 165 in the Kingsville area yesterday afternoon involving a Rapides Parish school bus, an 18-wheeler and a van. According to Pineville Police, no children were inside of the school bus at the time of the crash. Police report there was one person in the van who had to be extricated. The condition of the person is unknown. The bus driver and the driver of the 18-wheeler have non-threatening injuries.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Deputies say a man wanted for shooting his father in the hip, fatally shot himself during a standoff with authorities near Chopin Wednesday morning. Deputies began a manhunt for Joseph Dauzat Tuesday night after he reportedly shot his dad.
An appellate court decision Wednesday will move an armed robbery trial back to the 9th Judicial District Court division now presided over by new Judge Chris Hazel. Defense attorney Chad Guillot had filed an emergency writ to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal Monday after Judge Greg Beard denied a motion that sought to move the trial of Anthony Strong back to Hazel's Division B. Jury selection had started on Tuesday but, after the 3rd Circuit's decision to consider Guillot's writ, that was put on hold.
Due to the less than pleasant weather forecasted for the weekend, several towns have decided to reschedule their Christmas parades… The City of Pineville’s parade has been moved from this Saturday to next Monday evening at 7, Town of Ball moved their parade to Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m., while the town of Boyce moved theirs to Sunday the 16th at 3p.
It didn’t take long for a candidate to come forward to fill the District 26 State House seat vacated by Alexandria’s new mayor Jeff Hall. Rapides Parish School Board Member Sandra Franklin announced on Wednesday she will run for the seat as a Democrat.. Another candidate believed to be running is Alexandria City Councilman Ed Larvadain. Though not officially announced, he’s holding a press conference on Friday.. In the District 27 seat vacated by Chris Hazel, Pineville attorney Mike Johnson announced, back in June, he will run as a Republican.
With the holiday season in effect, the state has seen an uptick in flu cases. This news comes after a horrible flu season last year, with triple the number of hospitalizations and deaths than normal. Flu Bug expert for Louisiana Department of Health Frank Welch says getting the flu shot doesn’t guarantee someone won’t get the flu, but if they do get the flu after getting the flu shot, it won’t be so severe.
A Report from Hunger Free America says Louisiana has the third highest rate of food insecure children in the nation. About 25 percent of kids in the state live in households where their parents do not make enough money, and CEO Joel Berg says that doesn’t mean the state is of third world status, but it does mean many families are having to make tough choices between absolute necessities despite living in such a wealthy country.
The Avondale Scout Reservation in East Feliciana Parish has been closed after two boy scouts were hospitalized with histoplasmosis. It’s a flu-like illness that comes from soil contaminated with bat or bird droppings. State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says histoplasmois is a fungus and you can sick after breathing in the spores from the fungus. At least 15 campers were reportedly exposed to histoplasmosis. Ratard says symptoms can develop three to 17 days after exposure, but usually infected individuals recover quickly…
Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has provided a gift to some 400 WalMart shoppers in New Orleans. Mrs Benson paid off nearly 100-thousand dollars in gifts that were on layaway for the holiday season, which came as a complete shock to those consumers who learned of the nice gesture. The Saints owner will be looking for more holiday cheer this weekend as the Black and Gold try to get even with the Bucs this Sunday.
A $25 million dollar bond has been set for a Ponchatoula man accused of possession of child pornography. The FBI New Orleans Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes State Police, arrested 59-year-old Edd Scafidel Jr. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says authorities received the information on the suspect last month.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva told Alexandria’s 94.6 ESPN yesterday that despite the great year for the Tigers, it’s not time to talk about a contract extension for Coach Ed Orgeron. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says it’s Alleva’s style to wait after the final game is played. Orgeron is currently getting paid 3.5 million dollars a year.
McNeese State has apparently found a new head football coach. Nothing official from the school but there’s a report the Cowboys have hired South Florida offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. Gilbert is also a former offensive coordinator at Texas and played high school football in the Lone Star state.
The Monroe News-Star reports Grambling State and its athletics director Paul Bryant have decided to go their separate ways. Bryant will leave the school at the end of the month and President Rick Gallot says the vice president for student affairs, David Ponton, will take over as A-D at the first of the year. Gallot says Bryant wanted to explore other opportunities.
The high school state football championships kick-off today at the Superdome, as nine teams will be crowned champions before the prep classic concludes on Saturday night.
News for Wednesday 120518
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Today is a national day of mourning in honor of the passing of George HW Bush, the 41st President who served from 89-93. Bush only served one term after losing his re-election bid to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 92, in what turned out to be a heated race. Through all that though, the two presidents remained close personal friends, a friendship that lasted until the passing of Bush last week. President Bush helmed the country through a monumental shift in world power, including the dismantling of the Berlin wall and the final days of the former Soviet Union.
The Alexandria Fire Department is investigating an early morning blaze Tuesday involving three homes in the 200 block of 12th Street. Officials say the fire started at one home and spread to two more. Five people were able to escape the blaze.
An Alexandria man accused of rape and sexual battery will be examined by a sanity commission after his attorney contended he doesn't understand the charges against him. 19 year old Jalen Carter was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury in September on two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of oral sexual battery, charges he pled not guilty to. Police say the victims were both under the age of 13.
We need more companies like this in Central Louisiana.. Monday night RoyOMartin presented the Alan Parish Police jury with check for $3.25 million Dollars. This coming after the ten-year tax exemption given to the Martco plant comes to an end. RoyOMartin thank Allen Parish and specific communities that have spent the past ten years helping make Martco the success that is today. Due to this tax exemption, RoyOMartin was able to invest $234 million to build the plant, providing 174 direct jobs, 105 of which are held by Allen Parish residents, along with over 600 indirect jobs.
St. Landry Parish Sheriffs have arrested a substitute teacher for allegedly having sex with two students off campus. 38-year-old Tara Richard is facing four counts of Felony Carnal Knowledge, and one count of Oral Sexual Battery in connection with what authorities say were her actions involving a 15 and 16 year old who attended a local school. Richard has allegedly admitted to having sex with the two over the summer.
The 2019 Governor’s race took a turn that blindsided many when Senator John Kennedy announced he would not be challenging Governor Edwards. Republicans are in a scramble to find a candidate with less than a year until the election. Political consultant Roy Fletcher says there’s a reason why the GOP didn’t have a Plan B candidate. It was pretty much a given that Kennedy would run. While several names have been discussed including Congressman Ralph Abraham, Attorney General Jeff Landry, State Treasurer John Schroder, and Senator Sharon Hewitt of Slidell, Fletcher says they all face a similar obstacle, lack of name recognition.
Governor John Bel Edwards hopes U.S. Senator John Kennedy’s decision to stay out of the 2019 governor’s race and remain in DC will give the Senator a new-found focus on his federal responsibilities, instead of using his time to verbally spar with state leaders.
Kennedy released a statement yesterday saying many of the state’s issues were related to a “top down institution.” and said he’s confident another Republican will defeat Edwards.
A Baton Rouge woman told Grant Parish Sheriff's deputies she was selling drugs to get Christmas money after she allegedly dropped a bag of meth inside a business. The GPSO reports 34 year old Claire Brewton admitted there was meth in the bag and that it was hers. Brewton was booked into the parish jail.
Good news for LSU fans looking to attend the Fiesta Bowl: tickets will likely be available through the school for at least the next week for the game against undefeated UCF in Glendale, Arizona. LSU Ticket Manager Brian Broussard says it’s an attractive vacation spot, and he hopes it will draw in Purple and Gold from around the country.
The FCC is encouraging TV viewers who use an antenna to watch television to rescan their TV as many stations are moving frequencies in an effort to free up airwaves for high speed internet and mobile broadband. Chair of the FCC Incentive Auction Task Force Jean Kiddoo (ki’doo) says if you subscribe to TV, through Cable or Satellite, you don’t have to worry about the changes. The changes will have an effect in Lafayette, Monroe, Alexandria, and Lake Charles. Some stations have already made the switch, so you may be missing them, if a rescan hasn’t been performed recently.
Four West Baton Rouge sheriff deputies are charged with malfeasance after an investigation into multiple inmate escapes. Major Dale Simoneaux says during their probe they learned a 23 year old deputy had sex with an inmate, while another deputy took a bribe to look the other way. Simoneaux says they discovered one trustee escaped while taking out the trash and another escaped by simply scaling the fence at the end of the night.
A state judge sets a January 28th date on where he’ll decide whether Matthew Naquin should turn over his personal passcode to his cell phone. The former LSU student is accused of negligent homicide in the 2017 alcohol-related hazing death Max Gruver.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is mourning the loss of one of it’s explosive ordinance detection K-9 officers. The 10 year old black lab, named Barry, had been with the agency since 2012. Barry came to the State Fire Marshal from the US Marine Corp where he served two tours of duty overseas. Barry died following surgical complications to remove a large mass in his stomach.
Former Seahawk and Saints cornerback Brandon Browner was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday on an attempted murder charge. Browner plead no contest after prosecutors say he threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend last July when he attempted to smothered her with a carpet.
News for Tuesday 120418
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Canadian air is back in Louisiana this morning, causing temperatures to plummet after an unusually warm streak of weather to start off the month of December. State Climatologist Barry Keim says north Louisiana is suffering near freezing temperatures, while the south sits around the 40s. And it gets even colder tomorrow.
Jeff Hall was sworn in as the new mayor of Alexandria yesterday. Hall replaces Jacques Roy, who opted not to run for re-election after 12 years. Hall is a graduate of Grambling State University and worked at Cleco for 32 years as a Senior V-P and then served as an accountant for the City of Alexandria.
Also yesterday, Chris Hazel was sworn in a Judge. Hazel was a longtime state representative, as well as a former Marine and assistant district attorney. He won the election for 9th Judicial District Court, Division B last month. He took the position opened by Retired Judge Tom Yeager, who actually came to swear Hazel in.
Senator John Kennedy says after much consideration, he will not be running for governor, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Governor John Bel Edwards in the 2019 contest. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says it’s a shock announcement considering his not-so-subtle public interest in the position. Other names are being discussed for the ballot, including State Treasurer John Schroder who says the announcement took him by surprise. 5th Dist. Congressman Ralph Abraham says he will make a decision soon on whether or not he’ll run.
Governor John Bel Edwards responded to Senator Kennedy’s decision yesterday by saying Kennedy’s flirtation with running for governor was to put the spotlight on himself. Edwards says he now hopes Kennedy and the entire Congressional delegation can work with him to get things done for the hard working families in Louisiana.
Hanna Nicole Barker, the mother accused in the burning death of her 6-month-old boy in Natchitoches, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday after her probation on 2016 drug charges was revoked. Barker also was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder, after her indictment by a Natchitoches Parish grand jury. She pleaded not guilty, and her trial date was set for Jan. 13, 2020.
The St. Landry Sheriff’s office says a local doctor is in critical condition after he was shot during a home invasion early Monday morning. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz his detectives are hoping to interview Doctor John Vallain to find out what happened.
A pretrial scheduled for Monday for Roger Boggs, the CEO of Revolution Aluminum who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, has been continued until February 20. Boggs was indicted on a bank fraud charge back in April. A charge he pled not guilty to.
After law enforcement made the discovery of more than a dozen horses that all appeared to be emaciated on her property in Lockport, the Lafourche Humane Society President, Pamela George and fellow property owner John Gautreaux, have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty. George and Gautreaux, have been booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on a $2000 bond each.
The Louisiana Department of Health has released six recommendations of an expert panel on steps to fight the opioid epidemic, much of which Assistant State Health Officer for LDH Dr. Joseph Kanter says is common sense. Kanter says the state has a long way to go in expanding access to effective treatment and the use of other means of treating chronic pain. Kanter says behind every one of the recommendations are a series of measurable items that can be used to gauge the state’s progress.
Pollster Bernie Pinsonat has this Saturday’s Secretary of State’s election at 43-40 for Republican Kyle Ardoin of Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup, with 17 percent still undecided. The close numbers may be a bit surprising for a race most assume Ardoin will win handily, but Pinsonat says a lot of it has to do with voters who are still up in the air. He expects the numbers to start tipping notably in Ardoin’s favor as we get closer to voting day, and the Interim Secretary of State’s substantial cash advantage increases.
LSU star cornerback Greedy Williams will not play in the Tigers bowl game against UCF as he’s declared for the NFL draft. Williams is considered to be a top five pick and Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says not playing in a bowl game, is a growing trend for future first round picks. Linebacker Devin White announced Monday he will play in LSU’s bowl game.
News for Monday 120318
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Senator John Kennedy says he will not run for governor, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Governor John Bel Edwards in the 2019 contest. Kennedy says after much consideration, he’s decided he can get the most done for Louisiana, and the country, in the Senate.
Jeffery Hall will be sworn in as Alexandria’s next mayor today. The Inaugural Ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Randolph Riverfront Center where Hall will be introduced by his wife Patricia. Around noon, Hall will provide an acceptance address to the community. Following the ceremony, an Inaugural Reception will be held for invited guests.
One of the last things outgoing Mayor Jacques Roy did Friday was signed off on the confirmation of Alexandria Police Chief Jerrod King. The document signed by the mayor stated that King had successfully completed a standard probation process.
It was announced Friday night that the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush had died. It was in New Orleans that his road to the White House became official when he accepted the nomination at the GOP National Convention at the Superdome in 1988. Bush was applauded for his efforts in establishing the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund, which he formed with Former President Bill Clinton that donated millions to local schools, libraries, and non-profits. Bush was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, who passed away earlier this year. George H.W. Bush was 94 years old.
New CDC data indicates drug overdose deaths rose 12% in Louisiana from 2016 to 2017. Overdose deaths have contributed to the life expectancy rate declining for three straight year in the United States, a pattern not seen in 100 years. President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health John Auerbach says this marks the first time that more than 1,000 people died in a single year from overdoses in Louisiana.
A federal judge has ordered $34.8 million in restitution from the owner of Explo Systems, a military contractor hired to demilitarize artillery charges at Camp Minden in Webster Parish, in a case stemming from a huge munitions blast in 2012 due to illegal dumping of the materials. In addition to the restitution, five people are heading to the clink with sentences between 2-5 years. US Attorney David Joseph says he’s happy with the outcome.
A 23-year-old North Shreveport woman was seriously injured from a gunshot wound she received in the back. Her two-year-old child is believed to have accidentally discharged the unsecured weapon. The investigation is ongoing.
Shreveport Police are looking for one or more people who fired gunshots at a five-year-old boy and a man and a woman who arrived at a location to sell a puppy. Authorities say the child was shot once, while the adults were shot multiple times. The gunshot wounds to the three individuals are not considered life threatening. A motive for the shooting has not been established. The puppy was not hit by gunfire.
A Koch brother’s backed conservative advocacy group has begun airing anti-gas tax ads on social media and at gas station video screens across the state ahead of next year’s legislative session that may include a push to raise the tax to pay for road projects. Americans for Prosperity State Director John Kay says gas taxes hurt everyday Louisianans most. Last year infrastructure advocates attempted to pass a 17 cent gas tax that would have raised half a billion dollars a year.
A Fort Polk interior designer and military spouse had the honor last week of joining 150 volunteers for the annual Christmas decoration of the White House. Amy Hirata was one of the seven thousand people who sent in an application to take part in the activities.
At least two Boy Scout campers who returned from a recent trip with fevers, chills and a cough have been hospitalized for exposure to a rare and unusual disease linked to bird and bat droppings found in the soil, spurring involvement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. St. Francisville resident Emiley Bonano has been battling histoplasmosis since she traveled to Camp Avondale with her little brother’s Boy Scout troop in early November. Reports say other scouts have reported similar symptoms. However, CDC and Louisiana Health officials will not say how many.
For the first time in the 125-year history of LSU Football, the Tigers will play in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on New Year’s Day and they’ll face UCF, who has won 25 in a row. Coach Ed Orgeron says his team deserved to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl game. U-C-F beat Auburn in last year’s Peach Bowl.
Louisiana Tech will face former Western Athletic Conference foe Hawaii in the Hawaii bowl on Saturday night, December 22nd. The Bulldogs will play in a bowl game for a fifth consecutive season. Coach Skip Holtz says playing a bowl game in Hawaii is an unique experience and he’s glad his team has this opportunity.
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