News for Thursday 022819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The RPSO yesterday arrested three individuals in connection with a robbery in Pineville on Monday. It’s reported multiple weapons and electronics were stolen. Surveillance video led to the capture of 21 year old Hunter Beaulieu, 19 year old Evyn Matthews and 19 year old Trent Williams. The three were located just a few blocks from the reported burglaries and detained without incident.
The APD reports a man was found dead in an 18 wheeler around lunchtime yesterday in a Mac Arthur Drive Parking lot. Police say the vehicle was locked and there were no immediate, outward signs of foul play. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. The name of the deceased is not being released.
U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy are blocking two of President Donald Trump's nominees to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development until the agency frees up money for Louisiana's 2016 flood victims. Congress passed a law more than four months ago that would allow flood victims who secured Small Business Administration loans to also access Recover Louisiana grants, but HUD has yet to write the necessary rules to release the money.
Southwest Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins questioned President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. During his opening statement, Cohen said at one time he was so mesmerized by Trump that he was willing to do things for him that he knew were absolutely wrong. The president employed Cohen for more than a decade. But Higgins suggested in his questioning that Cohen didn’t say anything in the hearing that damages Trump.
Senator John Kennedy has called for Secretary Rebekah Gee to be fired, citing the tens of millions of dollars spent on Medicaid recipients who were not income eligible, and the recent report that 37,000 people were discovered to be income ineligible after a new computer system checked income eligibility for the entire database. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera is confident the Medicaid program is headed in the right direction after the implementation of a new computer check system that verifies a person’s income automatically. Purpera says they have a good working relationship with the department.
State Police will be stepping up patrols in and around the Big Easy as Mardi Gras weekend approaches. Trooper Melissa Matey says LSP will be deploying over 170 troopers to the area to assist in the festivities. Troopers will also be on the lookout for impaired drivers on the roadways.
Louisiana’s Senior Senator Bill Cassidy had an opportunity to question top executives of several pharmaceutical companies about rising prescription drug costs. Cassidy says there is acknowledgment from the pharmaceutical industry that there is a problem in prescription drug affordability, which is a good first step. Cassidy says Humira, which treats arthritis and Crohn’s Disease, is sold at an 80-percent discount in Denmark and the drug manufacturer still makes a profit.
The Board of Regents unveiled a new certificate program designed to get enrollees new age STEM skills necessary for work in many of the state’s largest companies in a compressed 18 hour course load. Commissioner of Higher Ed Kim Hunter Reed says the classes were developed to supplement a workers existing education with flexible tech training. The program was requested by companies, including CenturyLink, DXC and IBM.
A recent spike in fatal motorcycle accidents has highway safety advocates asking motorists to be more mindful of those on two wheels. Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Mark Lambert says the most recent numbers show that in 2017, 96 motorcycle drivers were killed in crashes on Louisiana roads.
The old state capitol in Baton Rouge has opened a new exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of the building’s restoration called “Castle on the River: The Evolution of Louisiana’s Old State Capitol.” It documents the building from its inception to the current function as a museum. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says those that are interested in the architectural history and the structure of the building will also find themselves intrigued with the display. The exhibit is free.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is looking for anyone willing to lease their land to hunters for the opening day of dove season in September. Research and Survey Program Manager Jeffrey Duguay says it’s got to be at least 50 acres, and not all fields will be eligible to make the easy money. The minimum payout is 950 dollars.
In LSU Baseball, the tigers beat Southern at the box 17-4. The Tigers begin a three game weekend series against Texas this Friday night.
Pelicans… on the road last night lost to the LA Lakers 119 – 125. The Pels are at Phoenix next tomorrow. Airtime 7:30p 94.7 ESPN
On air today….
The Houston Astros vs Miami 11:50a 94.7 ESPN
LSU Lady Tiger Basketball @ Miss State 6:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Wednesday 022719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
17 year old John Owens of Robeline was killed in a one vehicle accident yesterday afternoon on LA Hwy 485 North of Robeline. Evidence at the scene indicated that Owens lost control, at a high rate of speed, and exited the left side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with several trees. He died a short time later at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.
A Rapides grand jury has indicted three people for second-degree murder and other charges in the suspected murder case of a 25-year-old woman who suffered from cerebral palsy. 47 year old Karen Harrison, the mother of Cyra Harrison, is charged with second degree murder, conspiracy to commit second degree murder, cruelty to the infirmed, and cruelty to a juvenile. A couple that Harrison was living with, Glen and Marilyn Maricle, were also indicted on the same charges.
30 year old Dmarcus Hinkston of Alexandria was arrested in Grant Parish yesterday after he allegedly dropped a bag of cocaine on the floor of a business. Hinkston was charged with Possession of C.D.S. II (cocaine) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He also had outstanding warrants from the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Alexandria Police Department.
Governor John Bel Edwards is celebrating the news that Louisiana set another record high for total GDP in the third quarter of 2018. The state’s GDP rose to 252 billion in the third quarter, up 2.3 billion from the second. Department of Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says it’s part of a continued string of success stories for the state economy. Pierson says the numbers are even more impressive when you consider the negative impact a series of trade wars have had on Louisiana’s agricultural and export/import based economy.
Senator John Kennedy lit into the Louisiana Department of Health, demanding to know exactly how much money has been spent on Medicaid recipients who were found to be ineligible for the program. Kennedy says he would like the Legislator Auditor to find out how much was spent, but admits in the end the state may be unable to recoup the costs. 37,000 people were found income ineligible after a new computer system ran a check of the entire Medicaid database. The usual turnover in a given month is 18,000.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open over 30 bays on Bonnet Carrie Spillway in St. Charles Parish this morning and the flood control structure could remain open for the next month to relive pressure as the Mississippi River swells, threatening the New Orleans levee system. Colonel Michael Clancy says they’ve been in a flood fight since November 2nd. When the Spillway opens, it diverts a portion of the Mississippi’s flow into a seven mile long empty plain that drains into Lake Pontchartrain.
An attorney for the former LSU student charged with negligent homicide in the alleged hazing death of Maxwell Gruver has submitted new court filings that paint Gruver as a party animal who consumed alcohol and marijuana willingly on a daily basis. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Matthew Naquin’s lead attorney John McLindon latest filings argue that Gruver is responsible for his own death, adding a filing of this nature is likely admissible in this case.
Superintendent of Education John White slammed the governor’s budget for failing to include additional funding for early childhood education. Early childhood education has seen a rise in interest as a national movement has brought the issue into the limelight. White says expanding childcare assistance benefits the most vulnerable, working class families in the state. The waiting list for childcare assistance is 3,300 kids long, and could balloon to 9,800 if a federal subsidy expires this year.
Preliminary notifications have been sent out to representatives of both Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller and LSU basketball coach Will Wade that they will be subpoenaed for the April 22 federal basketball corruption trial following the FBI’s wide-ranging investigation into college basketball. The FBI has audio of both coaches in conversations with Christian Dawkins, a former agent who has since been implicated in paying players.
Northeast Louisiana has seen a 44 percent drop in the violent crime rate since 2016. The Western District of the US Attorney’s Office credits that drop with a new policy that busts criminals for firearms offenses, before they end up using that gun to commit a violent crime. Attorney David Joseph says most of those targeted under the new policy are drug dealers.
The 32-year-old mother of an Acadiana High student was arrested last week for posting a video on social media of two children fighting at the school will not be prosecuted. DA Keith Stutes says he has reviewed the case, and is not accepting the charges. Legal analyst Franz Borghardt says The charge of Unlawful Posting of Criminal Activity for Notoriety and Publicity is a relatively new law and has not been constitutionally challenged.
A Rodessa man has been arrested and faces multiple charges for sex crimes involving children following an investigation by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. 47-year-old Darin Chandler is accused of committing the offenses upon children ages 5 and 6. The total bond is set at a quarter million dollars. Chandler is charged with one count of first degree rape, two counts of sexual battery, and two counts of indecent behavior with juveniles.
The NFL’s competition committee was unable to reach a consensus on possible changes to the league’s replay system during a meeting in Indianapolis. New York Giants owner John Mara says there’s not a lot of support among committee members to expand reviewable calls, but that could change when the league’s owners get together next month in Phoenix. The Saints and even Governor John Bel Edwards have asked the league to change the rules, so that a blown no call would never cost a team a chance at playing for the Super Bowl.
On Air Today… Pelicans @ L.A. Lakers 9p 94.7 ESPN
News for Tuesday 022619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria Police arrested a man Sunday who they say allegedly stole five vehicles from M&M Hyundai early Sunday and then set the business on fire. 32 year old Kent Mayeau of Pineville had been arrested earlier this month on resisting an officer and theft charges. He can add to that a laundry list of new charges. At last check the Mayeau was in the Parish lockup.
Verda Elementary school in Grant Parish is experiencing a high level of students, approximately 1 in 5, suffering from flu like symptoms. Grant Parish Superintendent Sheila Jackson said there were a number of cases of confirmed flu, a lot of sinus and respiratory illnesses, and even students with stomach viruses. For that reason, the school was shut down last Friday and the building was decontaminated. Parents are encouraged to get their children vaccinated as influenza activity continues to increase this year.
Gas prices have been on a noticeable rise throughout the state recently. In the last week, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen by seven cents. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says the rising trend has been happening all throughout the month of February.
Louisiana political leaders are keeping a close eye on the developing situation in Venezuela, as Houston based Citgo, the American subsidiary of the country’s state own oil company, is responsible for the direct and indirect employment of thousands of Louisiana workers. Senator Bill Cassidy says Venezuela is facing a political crisis as a coalition of nations has called for the resignation of current President Nicolas Maduro.
A state of emergency has been declared in Morehouse Parish as back flood waters of Bayou Bartholomew are posing a risk to the area as more rain is being predicted in the region within the next week. The declaration led to the closure of all parish schools Monday due to rising waters on some roads. The risk increased after Morehouse saw historic levels of rainfall in the past week.
It’s a controversial pick but southeast Louisiana filmed Green Book took home the Oscar for Best Picture Sunday night. The film is about a black musician, pianist Don Shirley and his white chauffer in 1962. It was shot in New Orleans, Hammond, and a few other spots in the state, and joins 12 Years a Slave as the second best picture winner shot in Louisiana in the last ten years. In addition to the Green Book win, New Orleans designer Hannah Beachler won best production design for her work on the movie Black Panther.
The Raise the Age Act that was passed in 2016 goes into effect this Friday, which means 17-year-olds will no longer be charged as adults in the court system for non-violent offenses. Louisiana Center for Children’s right says the act is a big win, as the juvenile justice program has a lower rate for recidivism. Policy Director Rachel Gassert says a reason for the outpouring of support is the fact that in most other areas, the line for adulthood is drawn at 18.
Online dating is alive and well in many parts of the country, but there is bad news for those looking for love in the bayou state. According to research conducted by ATTSavings.com, of all of fifty states and Washington DC, Louisiana ranks last for online dating.
Acadiana based Bayou Teche Brewing has a definitively Cajun concoction on their hands with the creation of a breakfast stout brewed with boudin, coffee, and maple syrup. Brewery founder Karlos Knott says to his knowledge it’s the first time in the sausage’s over 200 year history that it’s been tossed into beer, and not just eaten alongside it, and taste like nothing you’ve sipped before. The sausage comes from Russell’s Grocery in Arnaudville.
News for Monday 022519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Two state house seats were decided over the weekend and in the end it was no race at all. In District 26, Alexandria City Councilman Ed Larvadain III defeated Rapides Parish School Board member Sandra Franklin. He did that by pulling down 61% of the vote. Larvadain takes the seat that was held by Jeff Hall, who was elected last year as Alexandria's new mayor. In the District 27 race, Mike Johnson defeated Richard Kretzsinger with an amazing 92% of the vote. Johnson will take the seat formerly held by Chris Hazel.
State police report 73 year old Wayne Pray of Dodson in a Saturday afternoon crash on Bayou Rapides Rd. according to the police report, Pray was a passenger in a pickup truck that was struck head on by another pickup driven by 26 year old Alex Ekermeyer. Pray was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of both trucks, who according to the State Police were not wearing seatbelts, sustained moderate injuries.
37-thousand people enrolled in Medicaid have been told they no longer qualify for the taxpayer funded health care coverage, because they make too much money. Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says a new computer system does a more thorough job of checking to make sure a Medicaid recipient qualifies for the program. If you received one of these notifications and can’t prove you can’t prove you still meet the income qualifications, your Medicaid coverage will end by March 31st.
The Edwards administration has recommended a 30-million dollar budget plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. It includes pay raises for public school teachers, fully funds TOPS and provides more money for juvenile justice. But funding is uncertain, since House Republican leadership has yet to go along with a recommendation to raise the state’s income forecast.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may open the Bonnet Carrie Spillway in St. Charles Parish on Wednesday to relieve pressure on the levees along the lower Mississippi River. New Orleans district Corps Spokesperson Ricky Boyett says high water levels have arrived earlier than expected, because of rainfall flowing down from the Midwest.
If the spillway is opened, it would be the third time in four years, despite only being activated 13 times since 1931.
A 36-year-old New Orleans nurse was shot dead on Bourbon Street in the early Sunday morning hours. Julie Couvillion was an innocent bystander who was struck by bullets originating from an altercation at Willie’s Chicken Shack. NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson says the shooting began when a security guard attempted to remove an uncooperative patron who was selling drugs.
LSU announces several administrators who were put on leave last week, pending the outcome of an investigation into what they knew about the hazing allegations at Delta Kappa Epsilon, have been cleared of any wrongdoing. LSU says an investigation determined they, did not try to sweep under the rug, accusations of hazing that were allegedly taking place inside the DKE frat house.
Federal and state officials signed an agreement to allow construction on a $760 million flood protection project estimated to benefit over 60,000 people in St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes. Congressman Garret Graves says it took 45 years for the state to gain the funding and construction on 18.5 miles of earthen levees should begin later this year. The levees will protect against storm surge that impacted the river parishes during Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
In case you missed it.. Six men were inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in Winnfield on Saturday. They are former Secretary of State Paul Hardy, former first gentleman Raymond Blanco, the husband of former governor Kathleen Blanco, the C-E-O of Acadian Ambulance Service Richard Zuschlag, former state representative Ron Gomez, Fourth circuit court of appeals judge Edwin Lombard and Marion Edwards, who is the late brother to former governor Edwin Edwards.
Somebody missed out on a chance to claim a one million dollar Powerball prize. A ticket worth that amount from an August 26th drawing expired Thursday, with no one claiming the prize. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says the money will go into an unclaimed prize fund. The ticket was sold in New Orleans.
A New Orleans Senator has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming session that would exempt feminine products and diapers from the state sales tax. Currently food, residential utilities, and prescription drugs are exempted, and Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says diapers and feminine products are no less mandatory to everyday life for a majority of the population.
With four more regular season games left, 13th ranked LSU is in a three-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference after the Tigers thrilling 82-80 overtime win over 5th ranked Tennessee on Saturday.
LSU baseball remains undefeated after a three game sweep of Bryant over the weekend at the box.
The New Orleans Pelicans, who have been struggling as of late, put the hurt on the LA Lakers Saturday night at the nest. The final 128 to 115. Tonight, the Pels play host to the 76ers. Airtime 6:30 on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 022119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Tune into Q93 and KALB TV5 as we help raise money during the Children’s Miracle Network Mediathon . It goes on until 7 tonight.. . drop by our Cenla Broadcasting studios from 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for our Drive Thru Gumbo Lunch sponsored by CHRISTUS Health! Bowls are $5, CMN T-Shirts will also be for sale for $10-$12 each and all proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network. Please call to donate 318- 528-3500. Some very nice people are standing by to take your call.
Roger Boggs, the CEO of Revolution Aluminum, who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, didn't show up to court on Wednesday in Rapides Parish for a felony pre-trial hearing. Boggs was indicted on a bank fraud charge. He was booked into the Rapides Parish jail in December 2017 on an Alexandria Police Department warrant. At that time he posted $250,000 bond. There’s concern now that Boggs may have fled the country. It’s reported Boggs may have dual citizenship in Brazil.
Rodney Bailey Jr. has pleaded guilty in connection with the death of 2-year-old Willow Rain Renteria-Molina. The body of the 2-year-old Hornbeck girl was found in Beauregard Parish in May 2016. The 36 year old Bailey was her babysitter and the last person to have seen her alive. Bailey pleaded guilty in Vernon Parish court on Tuesday to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and obstruction of justice. He has not yet been sentenced.
About 500 business people representing various sectors of the economy are in Baton Rouge today for what Governor John Bel Edwards calls a statewide business summit. The state Republican Party calls it a campaign ploy, but Edwards says the goal of the conference is to see how the public and private sector can drive Louisiana’s economic future.
The former longtime executive director of the national Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity told the Advocate it was known for 30 years the LSU chapter had severe hazing problems and the university knew it too. Nine DKEs were arrested last week on hazing charges and LSU has placed multiple administrators on leave for failing to act properly after hearing rumors.
A Legislative Task Force is recommending the state allow foster kids to stay in the system through the age of 21. Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says it would dramatically improve outcomes. A national report notes kids who leave the foster system at 18 have a one in five chance of becoming homeless, and less than 3 percent will earn a college degree by 25.
A Ville Platte man is under arrest after beating up an elderly disabled vet in at a gas station in Nuba. After the beating, the suspect left his scene in his vehicle. Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux says 29 year old Kenneth Shergold is accused of approach the victim from behind and for no apparent reason, struck him numerous times in the head, back, and body with a tire iron. Thibodeaux says the motive is unclear.
A 67-year-old Opelousas woman was arrested for allegedly shooting her llama after it attacked her. St. Landry sheriff deputies responded to Madeline Bourgeois’ home to find the injured llama, named Earl, limping in the pasture. Major Eddie Thibodeaux says Bourgeois is now charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Earl is recovering at LSU.
The Humane Society is working to find homes for 16 horses that will march in this year’s carnival parades. It’s the third year of the program and has so far saved 32 horses from potentially being sent to slaughter. Humane Society of Louisiana CEO Jeff Dorson says these horses are brought into the area to accommodate equine demand during Mardi Gras. If you are interested in purchasing any of the horses go to the Facebook page for the Louisiana Mardi Gras Parade Horse adoption program.
Baton Rouge Police say a woman was attacked and assaulted after getting into a vehicle she had mistaken for being her rideshare driver in the Tigerland area. Sgt. L’Jean McKneely says the victim knew there was a problem after getting a notification that her real driver was one minute away after she got into the vehicle of her attacker. McKneely says the victim escaped by getting out of the vehicle while it was still in motion.
About 80 New Orleans firefighters battled a massive blaze that destroyed a historic mansion on St. Charles Avenue in the garden district yesterday. The fire destroyed the three-story, 150-year-old mansion, but three people, including a 92-year-old woman escaped the blaze. New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell says investigators are trying to determine a cause. McConnell adds it was one of the largest fires in New Orleans in many years.
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office took into custody a student at St. Martinville High School after the subject posted video on social media that had him brandishing a handgun on a school bus and also inside a classroom.
News for Wednesday 022019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Kayla Giles, the woman accused of fatally shooting her estranged husband last year in a Walmart Parking lot, was reminded that a gag order still exists in her case after the prosecution alleged she'd been trying to contact the media again. Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Greg Beard made the point Tuesday after Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney Monica Doss revealed that Giles has tried to contact the media more than once. Shortly after her arrest, she gave an interview from jail to KALB TV in which she declared she wasn't a killer. Days later, Doss sought and was granted a gag order.
Multiple motions were slated to be heard on Tuesday, but those were continued until March 7. Giles is being held on a $1 million bond.
The state health department says one out of ten visits to a health care provider are for flu-like symptoms. While there are flu cases being reported all around the state, LDH indicates a big concentration is in New Orleans. Flu bug expert Dr. Frank Welch says flu season has peaked just in time for Mardi Gras. Welch recommends washing hands and not sharing drinks while congregating and celebrating Mardi Gras and if you haven’t already, get the shot! The flu causes approximately 500 deaths and nearly 3000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana. The LDH recommends if you are sick, stay away from other people until you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed recently made comments suggesting the cost of community college in the state is too expensive when compared to what students in other southern states are paying. Chancellor of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Monty Sullivan says the LCTCS board has worked toward raising the value of the education, while keeping the prices from on tuitions from rising as well. Sullivan says on average, community college students can roughly double their income when compared to the state’s per capita income.
Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed is keeping a close eye on the criminal investigation into alleged hazing at the LSU’s Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter that has so far resulted in nine arrests. Reed says it’s vital the Board of Regents gathers this new information, and uses it to craft additional policies that can be applied statewide.
Last year the legislature passed harsher anti-hazing laws in the wake of the Max Grvuer’s 2017 death that allegedly resulted from hazing.
Louisiana now has a record seven entities under the control of fiscal administrators, agents of the state who are appointed when a municipality’s budget woes cause it to default on mandatory payments. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says the administrators have broad authority to adjust budgets by lying off city or district employees, and raising rates to make up for fiscal crisis. The municipalities are Jeanerette, St. Joseph, Clayton, Clarence, and the Madison Parish Hospital district, along with newly added Sterlington and Bogalusa.
Abbeville Senator Bob Hensgens has pre-filed a bill for the legislative session that begins in April that would give teachers a 250 dollar tax deduction for purchased school supplies, reviving a temporary deduction that expired in 2008. The deduction would apply to anyone who is employed as a teacher or aid in a qualified school, and works fifteen hours a week on average.
A 41-year-old Prairieville woman is lucky to be alive after State Police say a suspected drunk driver hit her vehicle in Garyville on Monday morning causing it to erupt in flames. Cell phone video shows four good Samaritans dragging her out as flames shot out of the back of the car. Police say 22-year-old Richard Preston hit her vehicle and he’s been arrested.
The 13th ranked LSU basketball team begins a three-game homestand tonight as the Bayou Bengals host Florida. A big crowd is expected to welcome the 21-and-4 Tigers back to the PMAC. Saturday’s game against 5th ranked Tennessee is sold out. You can hear all three games on KSYL 970am/104.9fm Airtime for today’s game is 5:30p
News for Tuesday 021919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It’s one of those weeks you don’t want to be caught without your umbrella as the state is bracing for the impact of rain throughout the week. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the rain is the result of a front that is stalled along the coast. Keim says much of Louisiana could see three to five inches of rain over the next five of six days. Keim notes there is a slight to marginal risk for severe weather, especially tonight and into tomorrow morning that includes severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornados.
KALB TV reports; A motion date is set for March 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria for a federal lawsuit filed by a former football coaching prospect who claims he was denied a job at Louisiana College due to his "Jewish blood." Louisiana College and President Dr. Rick Brewer, who is also named in the lawsuit, have denied the claims made by Joshua Bonadona.
While the state hasn’t seen a case this year, the Louisiana Department of Health is urging doctors to be on the lookout for measles following an upswing of cases of the disease across the country. Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, says cases have been spotted in areas as close as Houston and Georgia. Kanter says measles is one of the more contagious diseases out there and it can be spread just by breathing in the same room as someone who is infected. The CDC says the main cause of the outbreak is parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated.
There’s less than 72 hours until a one million dollar lottery ticket bought at the Ideal Mart in New Orleans expires, becoming one of the highest jackpots to ever have not been claimed in Louisiana. Lotto spokesperson Dustin Annison says if you have the winning ticket from the August 25th drawing, high tail it to the capital city. Lotto players have a 180-day deadline to claim their prizes if they hold a winning ticket.
An aide to Congressman Clay Higgins has been charged with pandering. Lafayette Parish Sheriff deputies say 47-year-old Jerod Prunty was one of eight arrested as part of an investigation looking into human sex trafficking and prostitution at massage parlors.
The legislative session is now on the horizon, and every year there are calls for the Louisiana film tax credit to be revoked and the 180 million to be deposited back into the general fund. Louisiana Entertainment’s Chris Stelly hopes the legislature maintains the program, which he says supports thousands of jobs that pay 60-65 thousand on average…
The latest Governor’s race campaign finance numbers show Governor Edwards has eight-point-four million dollars in his bank account, while Eddie Rispone has five-point-five million and Ralph Abraham only has 350-thousand through the 2018 fundraising period. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says Edwards is in a good position heading into the October 12th election…
State GOP operative Scott Wilfong says he’s aware of efforts to find a more competitive candidate to take on the governor in the fall primary. Incumbent Governor and Democrat John Bel Edwards is currently lapping his two Republican opponents in fundraising and statewide name recognition, but that may not be the case for long.
Wilfong says while the GOP field may grow more crowded, he hopes low performing candidates will drop out by qualifying in August, leaving the state GOP with one standard bearer to back.
A 14-year-old has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his mother and a dog at a home in Vivian Sunday night. Caddo Sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says after the incident, the teenager stormed out of the house. Chadwick says the boy fled on a four-wheeler, but was captured a short time later.
A 75-year old Bossier woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her husband. Sunday morning Bossier police were called a residence where they found 71-year old, Robert Walker unresponsive with a puncture wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife Betty Walker was arrested and has been charged with second degree murder. Bond is set at $250-thousand.
Louisiana-based food delivery service Waiter announces its creating 200 new jobs in downtown Lafayette with new offices. Waiter CEO Chris Meaux says the company he founded in Lake Charles continues to grow as they’ve are now servicing 624 cities and 85-hundred restaurants, which resulted in gross food sales of 279-million dollars. Waiter is now a publicly traded company and will release a full earnings report next month.
A well-known New Orleans Radio show host is recovering after he was injured in a hit-and-run in downtown New Orleans last week. According to WWL and New Orleans police, "Scoot" was walking across Canal Street when he was struck and knocked unconscious by a speeding motorcycle. While the injuries were serious, Scoot is expected to make a full recovery.
LSU basketball moved up six spots today in the latest A-P Top 25 poll to number 13. No other team in the country made a larger leap. 2009 was the last time the Tigers were ranked in the Top 15. The Bayou Bengals have two home games this week, Wednesday against Florida and then Saturday they’ll host fifth ranked Tennessee. The Vols were previously ranked number one, but were knocked down from the top spot after losing to Kentucky on Saturday.
LSU football now has the nation's top-ranked recruiting class of 2020, according to 247Sports. A Monday evening defensive line commitment pushed the Tigers over the edge from No. 2. Four-star Alec Bryant, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound Texas native who is the nation's No. 9 weak-side defensive end according to 247Sports, announced his commitment to LSU on Twitter.
News for Monday 021819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says Louisiana flood control and prevention project funding will not be effected by the President’s declaration of a national emergency. The declaration allows funds to be redirected from military construction projects towards building up the southern border wall. Graves says they convinced the White House to take money from other projects. 3.6 billion of the reported eight billion dollars the President is seeking to pool for the wall will come from construction projects.
But, Graves says progress on projects like the Comite River Diversion and other vital flood protection efforts will proceed as usual despite the national emergency.
President Trump is taking up Senator Bill Cassidy’s plan to fund additional border wall construction using money seized from drug and cartel busts at the border. This comes as a national emergency has been declared to raise additional money for wall construction. Cassidy says his legislation is good public policy. The President is seeking to raise 8 billion dollars for the wall, and 600 million of that reportedly comes from the Treasury’s Forfeiture Fund, which is made up of seized funds from illicit activities. Cassidy says his solution to the ongoing border wall funding battle is a long term fix that is self-funding…
FBI and IRS investigators had enough information to convince a federal grand jury that a Baton Rouge accountant allegedly stole almost 2 million dollars from the New Orleans firefighters pension fund. The Advocate newspaper reports that Wayne Triche of American Pension Consultants, now faces a 38 count indictment. The federal grand jury indictment states that Triche used the money for gambling, credit card debts, various living expenses and home improvements. If convicted Triche could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' plan to boost teacher pay to the regional average is facing headwinds before the legislative debate even begins on April 8. Governors in at least eight other states that Louisiana is compared have proposed raising pay for their own teachers this year, that according to the Southern Regional Education Board, which sets the average. Those plans include raises of $3,000 in Georgia, $1,000 in Arkansas and $1,200 in Oklahoma. In addition, six rival states raised teacher pay last year while Louisiana remained bogged down in a budget crisis that sparked seven special sessions.
The Ethics Board has reversed a November decision to bar a Baton Rouge woman who was running for office from using campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses. There was a public outcry over the decision, due to the board previously allowing men to do it.
The recent high profile hazing case that that resulted in the arrest of 9 LSU students from incidents in the Fall of 2018 has many wondering what it will take to end the hazing culture on college campuses. Founder of HazingPrevention.org Tracy Maxwell says it is important to remember the elimination of hazing will take time. Maxwell says the swift action taken to address the situation is a step in the right direction.
Ouchita (WASH-IT-AW) Correction Center officials inspecting letters discovered synthetic marijuana had been sprayed on a page they think was intended to reach inmates. Among the seven people arrested was 25 year old Andriana Massey who faces charges of taking contraband to a penal institution and criminal conspiracy.
The Monroe News Star reports that correction officials reviewed a February 7th phone call conversation Massey had with 27 year old inmate Michael Warren. Another Ouchita Corrections inmate, Ashton Finely also called Massey to request a letter be sent to him.
After three and a half days in the courtroom, a jury has found a 19 year old man not guilty of murder in the stabbing death of a St. Amant High School Student. Jacob Westbrook was 16 at the time when he got into altercation that would leave 18-year old Todd TJ Toups Jr. dead. Westbook’s attorney says the jury agreed that Westbrook acted in self-defense.
Drivers in the Shreveport-Bossier City area can expect intermittent lane closures for both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Texas Street Bridge starting Wednesday. OTD spokesperson Erin Buchanan says the bridge which is part of US 80 was built in the 1930s and is in need of rehabilitation. Buchanan warns drivers to expect delays in their commute for at least the next year as the project continues.
There was a shooting death in New Orleans Saturday morning about 4:30 am beneath the Interstate 10 bridge near the Central Business District. The Advocate newspaper reported another man was killed by gunfire earlier in February at the same intersection. Also Two teen age boys were shot Friday night on the porch of home on Louisiana Avenue Parkway. Both injuries were non-life threatening.
An ATM technician was arrested by Louisiana State Police after allegedly stealing over $41,000 from ATMs across eight parishes. NOLA.com reports that 32 year old Christian Washington of Harvey, was placed under arrest and faces charges in parishes including Jefferson, Orleans, Washington, St. Tammany, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa and Lafourche parishes. Washington’s job was to service those ATMs.
Three people were shot at a rap party that was under law enforcement supervision early Saturday morning in Ascension Parish. About 250 people were at a dance studio in Donaldsonville for the party when a fight broke out about 1 a.m. Shortly after the fight started and deputies rushed in to break it up, multiple shots "coming from all directions" rang out and people began to flee the scene. The Sheriff’s office says no one received life threatening injuries.
The New Orleans Pelicans made a dramatic cut to their roster… the team’s General Manager Dell Demps. Bourbon Street Shots writer Jesse Brooks says Demps was on borrowed time after the Anthony Davis demanded to be traded off the team a few weeks ago. Owner Gayle Benson released a statement saying “I would like to assure our fans that I am prepared to provide any, and all, resources required to compete for championships.”
The LSU Tiger Baseball Team is off to a good start after finishing it’s opening weekend undefeated. Up next, Tuesday night the Tigers meet Southeastern LA 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The three main sports of LSU are seeing a really great year. Football finished last season ranked in the top ten and recently scored the 5th ranked recruiting class, while basketball is seeing a promising season and things are looking promising on the diamond, as baseball started their season with top ranking. Tiger Rag Associate Editor Tyler Nunez says it’s a rare occurrence for the planets to align for so much athletic success. Nunez says the credit for such success is definitely spread all throughout the athletic department.
News for Friday 021519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A 13 year old student at Grant Parish High has been arrested after making threats on social media. Grant Parish Superintendent Sheila Jackson said there was no immediate harm to anyone on campus. She said the administration did exactly what they were supposed to do, and the GPSO was contacted immediately.
It’s being done all across the country and now the Alexandria Police Department would also like to enlist the public’s help in solving and preventing crime. Police Chief Jared King says the APD wants to create a phone contact list of city residents who have home surveillance cameras on their property. King stresses they're not asking for access to their camera feed, or to come into your homes to look at your cameras. They want to have a list of phone numbers to call in case a crime happens in that person's neighborhood. Home security cameras have proven to be a useful tool it catching criminals.
LSU is confirming that nine members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity have been arrested on Hazing charges, and four of them are facing battery charges related to reports that pledges were doused in gas, urinated on, and beat. The activities are alleged to have taken place during the fall of 2018. The hazing charges are misdemeanors despite the passage of tougher anti-hazing laws last year.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell says President Trump will declare a State of Emergency to obtain the funds necessary to build his sought after addition to the southern border wall. Much of that money would reportedly come from Army Corps and/or FEMA disaster prevention and relief projects, a keen concern for hurricane prone Louisiana. Senator John Kennedy says he’s aware that’s a possibility, but he says he will not vote against it. Kennedy says he expects the battle to shift to the courts.
41 year old Shannon Martin of Pitkin was killed yesterday morning in a single vehicle crash, when according to State Police he lost control of his truck and crashed. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pointe Coupee authorities are trying to determine who shot into a home in the town of Glynn killing a young woman sleeping on the couch. Sheriff Bud Torres says says the only other person in the home was the victim’s boyfriend. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Aerial Edwards. Police are saying she was pregnant.
After a year-long investigation, State Police have arrested fifteen suspects in connection with a Mardi Gras 2018 incident known as a ride out where participants would stop up highways and ride recklessly. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says the investigation is very complex as many participants come from out of state. Matey says ride outs of this nature have taken place in other cities across the country, but is hopeful this investigation will keep another one from happening during this year’s Mardi Gras.
Yet another Acadiana school has been closed due to an infestation of bats that are making their yearly migration from Mexico to their more northern breeding grounds. Franklin Junior High in St. Mary Parish is closed until Monday classes after officials discovered bats hanging out in the halls and flying around in the gym. Experts have been called in for a non-lethal solution.
The Ethics Board will reconsider its decision to bar candidates from using campaign funds to pay for childcare today. The decision has received quite a bit of public flack, including from Governor Edwards. UL-Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards’ opposition will be hard for the board, seven of whom are appointed by the governor, to ignore. In November a female Baton Rouge candidate requested authorization, and was denied as the board overruled a 2000 decision that allowed a man to use campaign funds for childcare. Cross says the optics of the decision make it look like the board is trying to prevent moms from running for office.
A nine-year-old boy is dead and his 18-year-old cousin has been arrested in an incident that Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says was a negligent, but accidental discharge of a firearm. Kamone Thomas has been charged with Obstruction of Justice, and Possession of Marijuana, and Negligent Homicide. Lopinto says Thomas admitted guilt and said it was an accident that began with some horseplay.
After a 2 year stint in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Bayou Country Superfest returns to Tiger Stadium for its tenth anniversary over Memorial Day weekend. Festival Producer Quint Davis says this year’s lineup for the 2-day festival is the best yet, and is expected to draw fans from across North America. Tickets go on sale next Thursday.
LSU basketball remains in second place in the SEC after Tennessee stayed undefeated in league play with an 85-73 win over South Carolina Wednesday night. The 10-and-1 Tigers meet the 1-and-10 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, while Tennessee visits Kentucky. Airtime 4:30p on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri announced his starting pitchers for this weekend’s opening series. Zach Hess will start tonight against ULM, freshman Landon Marceaux will pitch on Saturday against Army and freshman Jaden Hill will start on Sunday against Air Force. You can hear both tonight’s and Sunday’s games on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM
News for Thursday 021419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A horrific scene on Mac Arthur drive yesterday morning. The APD reports around 6:15 an unidentified woman was struck by a pickup truck and killed while trying to cross the roadway by the Jackson Street exit. The woman who appeared to be homeless was carrying a suitcase, the clothes inside were scattered along the highway. The investigation into the crash continues. No word yet as to whether or not charges will be filed against the driver of the truck.
A fatal accident at the Jena Choctaw Pines Casino Friday night claimed the life of 67 year old Barbra Ratcliff. The Grant Parish Sheriff’s office reports a vehicle driven by an 87 year old woman struck Ratcliff under the casino’s canopy. Ratcliff was transported to a local hospital when she later died. Sheriff Steve McCain called the incident a tragic accident, and at this time the Sheriff’s Office is not charging the driver.
The RPSO reports the arrest of a Pineville woman on a long list of drug related charges. 35 year old Shantae Armstead allegedly was hiding bags of drugs in several locations where parish work crews were scheduled to pick up trash. After surveillance and Armstead’s arrest, investigators received a warrant to search her home. There they found assorted drugs and paraphernalia.
Beginning this fall, Louisiana will become only the second state in the US with military veteran centers on every college campus. Chancellor of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Monty Sullivan says the resource centers are put in place to help vets in transitioning into the campus lifestyle. Sullivan says the number of veterans enrolled in colleges across the state has significantly increased in recent years. Sullivan says the centers will be staffed with someone dedicated to working with them. It also helps veterans interact with other veterans on campus.
A border wall deal has been reached in Congress that would provide 1.37 of the 5.7 billion dollars the President has demanded to construct additional physical barriers along the Mexican border. Senator John Kennedy says he hasn’t been shown the bill yet, but he’s been told by colleagues that when combined with other funds, the final tab is a bit higher. Kennedy says he’s not sure whether he will ultimately vote for the deal, but two billion dollars isn’t a bad start to southern border wall expansion efforts.
A shootout between a homeowner and an intruder in an Ascension Parish neighborhood left the intruder dead and the home owner injured early Wednesday morning. The homeowner killed the intruder but received a gunshot wound in the process. The homeowner, a 60 year old man, underwent surgery yesterday morning. Hospital officials say he is expected to survive.
It’s been nearly a year since legislation was passed that would allow riverboat casinos to expand on land within 1,200 feet of their river mooring, and so far no ground has been broken on those sought after expansions. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says that was to be expected, and it may be quite some time before any casinos climb up out of the water. The law also changed the restrictions on the total amount of gaming machines and gaming spaces riverboats are allowed to have. Jones says of the 15 river boat casinos in Louisiana, so far he knows of only two who are actively working out their expansion plans.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs are seeking a woman who left a newborn in a field just outside of the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Gauthier Campus building Tuesday night at 8pm. Sherriff Tony Mancuso stressed that any mother who has just had a child and is considering abandoning it can leave the new born at any local police station, fire department, or hospital, and will not be asked any questions, and will not face any charges.
The competition to secure a good spot for Mardi Gras parades can be intense, but one Facebook user says he’s willing to ease that burden… for a price. New Orleans resident Kenneth Sampey posted an offer to hold a 10×10 spot on St. Charles Avenue for Fat Tuesday. The fee for the service? Two grand. Sampey says he made the post out of jest, not expecting it to get the attention that it did.
In Baseball, The Phillies are reportedly close to signing former LSU ace pitcher Aaron Nola to a four-year, 45-million dollar contract extension. The 25-year-old Baton Rouge native went 17-and-6 last season with a 2.37 ERA and finished third in the National League in the Cy Young voting.
Thibodaux Police have arrested a man after a dating site meet up lead to an armed robbery. 25-year-old Kareem Acker of Gretna was apprehended after the victim contacted law enforcement from the meet up going south. Acker claims the victim gave him the money prior to a misunderstanding over the gender identity of the victim.
The Baton Rouge man dubbed as "The Hamburglar" who allegedly robbed three local restaurants since mid-January was arrested Monday. According to a East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Facebook Post, authorities arrested 34 year old Cornelius Kelly and booked him with three counts of simple criminal damage to property and three counts of simple burglary. Kelly gained entry into the establishments by shattering the drive-thru windows, according to the sheriff's office. Once inside, he stole money from registers and safes.
News for Wednesday 021319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton announces his sixth term as sheriff will be his last as he will not pursue re-election. Hilton was elected sheriff in 1992, serving four terms before retiring. Then he came back out of retirement for two more terms. Hilton says he intends to stay retired this time. William Earl says of all the accomplishments he’s achieved in law enforcement, he’d like for his dedication to school safety be the highlight of his legacy.
March food stamps are set to arrive early, and recipients should be checking their mailboxes for benefits on the first and second of the month, whereas SNAP traditionally arrives sometime between the first and 15th. Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says the early delivery is to make up for the significant gap recipients faced due to the last government shutdown.
The IRS is reporting that tax returns are eight percent lower than they were in 2018, and that on average those who do get a return are nabbing about 170 dollars less than last year, before the 1.5 trillion dollar GOP tax reform went into effect. Wegmann Dazet Tax Manager Frank Holzenthal says the numbers indicate on a whole, most folks received a slight tax cut. Several polls run in the first half of last year indicated that a slim majority of Americans did not notice larger paychecks as a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
The National Federation of Independent Business says their Small Businesses Optimism Index has slipped to its lowest levels since just before the 2016 presidential election. State Director Dawn Starns says the shutdown was the primary driver, but another issue tugging at optimism for small business owners was difficulty hiring qualified workers. Starns says 23 percent of members reported that as an issue.
15 percent of companies said taxes were their biggest concern.
River levels for the Mississippi are very high right now and they are forecast to continue to rise. President of the 5th Louisiana Levee District Reynold Minsky says if there is any overtopping of the levee system, it’d likely take place in Tensas Parish. A lot will depend on the weather upriver over the next few weeks.
LSU Ag Center Aquaculture Specialist Greg Lutz has some good news crawfish fanatics: this year’s crop is lookin pretty good. Despite some topsy-turvy weather lately, he says all the conditions are ripe for a solid, but not record setting year for size and supply.
LaFourche Parish deputies have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old, who was struck by a bullet that entered his mother’s home in Lockport on Sunday. Lt. Brennan Matherne says 17-year-old Jyairus Folse fired several shots into the home and one them struck Alton Adams of Bayou Blue in the back. Matherne says they still don’t exact reason why Folse shot at the home.
Allegiant Air will begin non-stop service between Shreveport and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in Florida on May 17th. Shreveport Regional Airport Authority spokesperson Mark Crawford says fares start at 49-dollars each way and flights will operate on Mondays and Fridays. The seasonal service is scheduled to run through Monday, September 2nd. Allegiant has flown out of the Shreveport Regional Airport for the last 13 years.
The LSU Tigers had a good night last night as they defeated the UK Wildcate 73 to 71. Up next, the Tigers travel to Georgia for a match up Saturday..
The Pelicans added another one to the loss column last night as the fell to the Orlando Magic. The final 88 to 118. The Pels meet the Thunder Thursday night..
News for Tuesday 021219
Compiles by Dave Graichen
A plea deal for a man, accused of vehicular homicide back in a 2016 for a crash that killed an 18-month-old boy, was rejected on Monday. Keaton Spurlin allegedly hit the rear of the van on Dec. 28, 2016, on Vandenberg Drive, near Bayou Rapides Road, as the family was returning home from church. Six members of the Dixon family were injured in the crash. An 18-month-old boy, who was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, died the following day. Ad hoc Judge Harry Randow explained to the parents the child that the plea deal was not acceptable. A pretrial conference was set for March 20, and a trial date for May 6.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire in Alexandria Early Sunday morning that claimed the life of man and injured 3 others. The Alexandria Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 2800 block of Culpepper Road around 2 in the morning Sunday. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the investigation continues.
A Monday morning fire caused extensive damage to a vacant house on the 1900 block of Levin Street. No one was reported inside the home. The house next door, which is occupied, suffered structural damage from the same fire. No one was inside at the time.
An investigation is under way in Red River Parish after two teenagers are believed to have killed themselves within days of each other. The Red River Parish Sheriff's Office said a 17-year-old died Thursday night, followed by a 13-year-old on Saturday night. They were both at the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta.
Divers with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a man in Catahoula Lake Sunday. 26 year old Ryan Reed of Lafayette had fallen from a boat into the lake. Divers discovered his body at approximately 9:30 in the morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the body was turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office.
Negotiators in Congress said they have reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another partial government shutdown. The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening. Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday.
Louisiana has ordered a wood pellet plant near Bastrop to install air pollution controls following a challenge by environmental groups. Environmental Integrity Project attorney Keri Powell says when the Drax Morehouse Biomass Plant opened in 2015, it drastically underestimated it’s pollution output and had been exceeding it’s allowed emissions by four times to 1000 tons annually. Powell says the toxins can cause a range of health issues.
Louisiana took home some gold at Sunday night’s Grammys as Lafayette native Lauren Daigle won for best contemporary Christian Music Performance for her song, “You Say” and also won best contemporary Christian music album, “Look Up Child.” New Orleans native PJ Morton tied with Leon Bridges for best traditional R-and-B performance for his song “How Deep is Your Love.” Buddy Guy won for best traditional blues album.
The race for the governor’s mansion is now just eight months away, with incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards currently set to face off in a jungle primary against Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Alto Congressman Ralph Abraham. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the race has been quiet so far, but is set to blast off soon. Candidates have already begun their social media campaigns, with all three candidates sporting an active Facebook campaign page and accompanying paid ads on the site.
Following the popularity of The Chute at Tiger Stadium, LSU baseball fans can now look forward to The Yard. The Yard is composed of two areas around Alex Box Stadium where fans can purchase and consume beer and wine during games so long as they are at least 21 and have purchased a wristband for the area. Putting the area outside of the stadium along with the restricted entry keeps the school in compliance with SEC regulations.
The Department of Environmental Quality has an online, interactive map on it’s website that lets anglers see the fish consumption and swimming advisories for rivers, lakes, and bayous in Louisiana. DEQ Scientist Al Hindrichs says it’s an intuitive tool, and gives a comprehensive look at the advisories for 58 bodies of water statewide. Two of the advisories warn against both swimming and fishing and two other warn only against swimming, but the majority are warnings about contaminants in the fish.
A 19-year-old south Louisiana man was fatally shot last night when a bullet entered his mother’s home in Lockport. LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s office spokesperson Brennan Matherne says six people were inside the trailer at the time of the shooting, but they are not sure who, if anyone, inside the home was the intended target.
Student Loan Hero ranks Baton Rouge and New Orleans in the top 10 for most likely cities for people to be more than 90 days late on student loan payments, as more than 20-percent of borrowers have been delinquent. According to the report, Louisiana students graduated with 27,210 dollars of student debt on average, a little less than the national average.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $20.7 billion for Valentine’s Day. Fewer Americans are spending money on Valentine’s Day compared to other years, but NRF spokesperson Katherine Cullen says those that are making purchases are spending enough money to make it a record-breaking year.
Cullen says people are budgeting to spend on average $162 this year, with men being the big spenders.
19th ranked LSU faces its biggest test of the season tonight when they face 5th ranked Kentucky in Lexington at 6 PM. Both teams are tied for second in the SEC with 9-and-1 conference records.
News for Friday 020819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria, the fourth Catholic diocese in Louisiana to release names of clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing minors was, according to many, the least open among them in disclosing the work histories of those clerics, but perhaps the most forthcoming about the abuse allegations themselves. The Diocese this week named 27 clergy members that it deemed credibly accused of sexual abuse, bringing the state's total count of clerics outed in such announcements to 135. Diocesan officials say their decision to exclude any information about the parishes where the former clerics served was meant to protect the flocks who worship in those parishes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped a law that threatened to shutter Louisiana abortion clinics from taking effect this week, but the fight over whether abortion providers should be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is likely far from over. In a brief late-night, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the admitting privileges law be put on hold pending a "timely filing" of a petition for the high court to act on the law itself. It would immediately expire if that doesn't happen. If a timely petition is filed, then the stay remains in effect until the high court rules on the law.
The Rapides Parish School Board has put on hold a decision on whether to hire an outside company to manage its social media. On the agenda at last Tuesday’s Board Meeting was an item that would have contracted with a private company to provide "social media management services" for about $1,700 per month. The board decided instead to pass a substitute motion to determine whether such services are even needed. If at a later time the board decides it is, they will look at a justifiable cost for the services and at that time request proposals from vendors.
Here’s a switch.. State Farm, Louisiana's largest auto insurer, will cut auto insurance rates starting in April by an average of 3.2 percent for its roughly 1 million Louisiana policyholders. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced the rate decrease Thursday. It represents the third rate decrease by State Farm in the past nine months, totaling a drop of 7.7 percent. The change, which will vary by policy, will go into effect April 1, and be applied to policies as they are renewed by customers.
The man accused of killing five people in suburban Baton Rouge last month was indicted on first-degree murder charges by a grand jury in Livingston Parish on Thursday. The three-count indictment was the first set of formal charges filed against 21-year-old Dakota Theriot. The first-degree murder charges open up the possibility that Theriot could face the death penalty, although prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek to execute him.
Congressman Garret Graves legislation that would revive the National Scenic Byways program flew through the House with little opposition, potentially reopening a program that would protect and promote two iconic wilderness trails in Louisiana. Graves says reopening the program will help drum up more interest in Louisiana for nature tourists.
Louisiana hosts two scenic byways, the Creole Nature Trail that winds through the wetlands of the southwest, and the Great River Road that accompanies the Mississippi River. Graves says by reopening the program, they’ll have the opportunity to hopefully get additional areas of the state designated and protected.
Senator John Kennedy says to avoid another government shutdown, he thinks President Trump will declare a national emergency if negotiations fail to provide adequate funding for additional physical wall at the southern border by the February 15th funding deadline. Presidential allies have stated declaring a national emergency would allow the president to use disaster relief and military construction funds to begin constructing a wall. However, it would most certainly end up in the courts.
While illuminated by a portrait of his smiling family, law enforcement officers remembered the late Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Shane Totty as a motor man, family man and man of honor, someone driven by compassion and a warrior’s spirit. The 31 year old police officer died last Friday when the police motorcycle he was riding during a funeral procession collided with a truck.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrest an Opelousas man for igniting a fire inside his family’s home. Investigators say 26 year old Amad Redding was the sole occupant of the home at the time of the blaze and was injured in the incident. Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says Redding had been making threats as recently as the week leading up to the fire of burning the home down. Rodrigues says not only was the family’s home damaged, but a business next to the home, resulting in multiple charges for Redding.
A rideshare driver for Lyft has been arrest and accused of kidnapping and raping an intoxicated passenger in Jefferson Parish. Authorities say 30 year old Yousef Hamed picked up the victim from a bar and instead of taking her to her home; he then took her to his home in Harvey and raped the woman.
A wanted criminal from Arkansas is now behind bars in Caddo Parish after allegedly threatening to beat a man with a bat, shooting a moving car, crashing into that car, and later leading a high speed chase after the law finally caught up to him. Sherriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says 33-year-old James Shultz day began by attacking his neighbor, and then leading police on a high-speed chase that involved wrecking not one, but two cars.
The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Pelicans have decided not to take the Los Angeles Lakers trade offer for forward Anthony Davis, who will remain on the team at least until the summer after requesting a trade last week. The Pels did ship off Nicola Mirotic to the Bucks for Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson. New Orleans is now faced with the question of what to do with their star big man, start him, or sit him for the rest of the year to insure he is not injured.
News for Thursday 020719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Last month, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge released a long list of Priests who were found to have credible accusations of sexual abuse against minors. Yesterday, the Alexandria Diocese made good on it’s promise, after a lengthy investigation, to release it’s list of offending clergy. The list consisted of 27 local priests, some living, some not. In the letter, Bishop David Talley calls the accusations an "evil chapter in the life of our diocese”. The Diocesan Permanent Review Board reviewed 535 files of clergy who have served in the diocese since its establishment in 1853. Both clergy and lay people were part of the investigative team.
The APD reports a shooting in the city Tuesday night. Investigators say a man was riding in a car near intersection of 6th and John Thomas Streets and was shot by an unknown gunman who fired multiple rounds into the vehicle. The man, who was shot in the head, was sent to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. His condition is unknown at this time.
The attorney for Kayla Giles, the woman accused of shooting and killing her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in September in the parking lot of Walmart on Coliseum Boulevard, is asking a newly assigned judge to reconsider motions previously ruled on by Judge Mary Doggett. Judge Doggett recused herself from the case last month due to the fact that her nephew by marriage represented Coutee, Jr. in his divorce proceedings. Attorney Paul Carmouche wants Judge Greg Beard, who is now assigned to the case, to reset motions for a bill of particulars, preliminary examination, bond reduction, and to quash the indictment. Judge Doggett had previously ruled on those motions, and effectively denied them.
After an investigation that started back in Mid-January, the RPSO has arrested and booked 18 year old Chandler Johnson of Pineville. Johnson has been charged with1st degree rape. After booking, he was released on $250,000 bond.
State Police reported yesterday that there have been over 600 wrecks in construction zones on I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge since the beginning of construction in May of 2017. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet says a large share of the responsibility for the high number of accidents falls onto drivers who are speeding and/or driving distracted. Mallet says in a little more than a year’s time, in the stretch of I-10 between I-49 and Breaux Bridge saw about 470 crashes.
President Donald Trump delivered his State of the union address Tuesday Night, touching on a series of issues including the border wall debate, the economy, healthcare, and foreign policy issues like his late February meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Senator Bill Cassidy, who applauded the speech, says the President is willing to work with the Democratic opposition in the House to find a border security compromise, but it must include funding for an additional physical wall.
Mardi Gras Beads, nightmare for New Orleans and other cities due to the fact that many end up in the sewer system. Science has found a solution.. Biodegradable Mardi Gras beads are under development following a grant received from the LSU board of supervisors last summer. The beads are going to be produced using oils from algae, but they won’t be ready for his carnival season. A major issue now is the cost. Currently they cost about $13 a strand to make.. That price is expected to come down.
A now former Vermilion Parish deputy is out of a job and behind bars after an investigation by the special victims unit of state police. State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says the investigation of 42-year-old Bryan Kibodeaux of Abbeville began in late January from a tip given to law enforcement. Sandifer says Kibodeaux was arrested following the execution of a search warrant of his home and is now facing multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of a child.
Entergy is bringing advanced meters to the company’s customers. The roll out for homes and businesses starts this month in New Orleans. Entergy VP of grid modernization Lauren Kenney says among the biggest benefits for customers is to be able to track energy usage via online tools, as opposed to waiting for the bill to come in at the end of the month.
LSU ends the recruiting season with the fifth ranked class in the nation according to 24/7Sports. It’s a group headlined by arguably the best player in the nation, five star Baton Rouge cornerback Derek Stingley. Also picked up, five star Destrehan running back John Emery, and five star Texas linebacker Marcel Brooks. Head coach Ed Orgeron says it’s the kind of class LSU fans demand. Alabama nabbed the other 2 top ten players in the Bayou State.
It’s NBA trade deadline day and the clock is ticking down on any potential mega deal for superstar Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, who submitted a trade request last week and said he would not resign with New Orleans after his contract expires in 2020. Locked on Pelicans host Jake Madison says the Lakers are still the primary threat to pluck The Brow by the deadline. If Davis is not traded by the 2pm deadline today, then the team will be forced to decide whether to play him the rest of the year, or shut him down until the season ends.
News for Wednesday 020619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It started as a robbery in Natchitoches. That led to a car chase and gunfire that ended in Alexandria early Tuesday morning. 53 year old Carmello Casciari of Lena told police he was robbed at an unknown location in Natchitoches Parish, he then got into his truck and pursued a jeep filled with people who he said robbed him. He and his wife then followed the jeep to Alexandria, where gunfire was exchanged between the two vehicles near Airbase Rd. Casciari's truck went off-road on Highway 1 and into a ditch. RPSO officers perused the jeep, which was reported stolen. After the driver refused to stop, four males and one female got out of the jeep and ran away. Detectives are still investigating the incident.
If you haven’t gotten it yet, the Department of Health says it’s time to go get your flu shot as 6 percent of recent hospital visits were reportedly for flu like symptoms. LDH flu bug expert Dr. Frank Welch says the main strain going around is a very serious strain known as H1N1. Welch adds while there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of catching the flu, the best protection is to get the flu shot.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning residents in south Louisiana about canine distemper, which is a rabies-like disease that veterinarians are seeing in raccoons and other animals. Complaints have been reported from Lafayette to the Florida parishes. L-D-W-F says the disease is spread among susceptible animals through contact with body fluids or droppings from an infected animal.
Filing your taxes will be a bit different from recent years with 2018 being the first year of the Trump administration’s implementation of a new tax plan. CPA Carrie Grinnell says the taxpayers will notice the standard deduction is higher, but the forecast is that a majority of taxpayers may see that offset by the lack of itemized deductions. Grinnell says she’s heard from the IRS that tax refunds should be processed and distributed just as timely as it was in past years despite the recent government shutdown, but, another shutdown looming.
There’s been a rash of measles outbreaks across the country, and Louisiana Department of Health Immunization Director Frank Welch says it’s a great reminder to make sure you and your children are vaccinated against the virus. Welch says before mass vaccinations, measles was a serious threat to young children, and could leave them permanently disabled or worse. Welch says the vaccination is highly effective, and recommends children get two, the first when they turn one, and the second when they turn four.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards has announced the establishment of Operation Angel, a program where individuals suffering from addictions can turn to local law enforcement for help in getting to rehab. For those that might be paranoid that it could be a trap, Edwards says part of the program is working with the permission of the DA’s office, and those in need of help need not fear legal ramifications. Other parishes are looking at starting similar programs.
The jaguar that escaped his cage at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and killed nine other animals last summer is back on display after a half-year hiatus. Vice president of the Zoo Joel Hamilton says after the tragic breakout, they redesigned the exhibit to make it safer, and more appealing, and that Valerio is an important part of the zoos mission to educate the public about the rapidly disappearing population of wild jaguars and other large felines. Valerio was born in San Diego in 2015, and moved to New Orleans in 2017.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine gets 11 and a half million dollars in funding to launch the Center for Lung Biology and Disease. LSU Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Gus Kousoulas says the state is swamped with lung disease issues, and further research into the biology of how the body reacts to initial infections and fights them off will be crucial to addressing those problems.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, and since it appears the Pelicans are not interested in moving forward with any of the Lakers trade proposals for Anthony Davis, Los Angeles has reportedly put on hold its efforts to acquire A-D. There have been reports the Pelicans are seeking six to eight picks, contract relief, and young talent for their All-Star big man and may prefer to wait until the summer to see what other deals are out there. Boston, who has a treasure chest of attractive assets, is reportedly set to make an offer after the season.
LSU has the 6th ranked recruiting class according to 247Sports heading into National Signing Day today. 247Sports analyst Billy Embody says at the top of the list is the battle for one of the best defensive tackles in the nation, Ishmael Sopsher from Amite in the perpetual recruiting battleground of Tangipahoa Parish. Sopsher isn’t the only Amite star the Purple and Gold are racing to lock up. Four star prospect, cornerback/wide receiver Devonta Lee is also reportedly leaning towards Baton Rouge.
News for Tuesday 020519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The US Supreme Court will take up a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says a ruling in favor of the law could signal a major shift in the court’s treatment of abortion related issues. Supporters of the law say it’s a necessary requirement for a healthcare facility, and opponents argue it’s an onerous burden that will shut down clinics. The law has been put on hold until at least Thursday while the court considers an appeal from Louisiana abortion providers.
The President will speak to the country tonight for his annual State of the Union address. It comes just after a contentious government shutdown centered on his demands for funding for additional physical border wall, a demand that ultimately was not met. The speech will be made in the House of Representatives, a chamber that flipped to the Democrats in the midterm elections. You can hear the president’s address this evening starting at 8 on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM.
Who Dats turned off the Super Bowl in record numbers as boycott parties raged across New Orleans. The Nielsen rating for the New Orleans market was a 26.1. National ratings cratered during this year’s 13-3 snoozer that featured a widely panned half time performance and only six points through three quarters. The 44.9 national rating was the lowest in a decade. Nielsen estimates about 165,000 households had the game on last night in the New Orleans market.
Another government shutdown is looming in a couple of weeks, if funding is not secured for a Southern border wall. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy filed legislation that would take money seized from drug cartels and us it to pay for a southern border wall. Cassidy says the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund averages 842-million dollars annually and his proposal is to issue bonds in order to make billions of dollars for immediate improvements to border security…Cassidy thinks his idea could find bipartisan support.
For the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, the Louisiana Lottery has seen an uptick in contributions to the state treasury, transferring over $53.9 million towards K-12 public education in the state. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says that’s nearly a $10 million increase from this time last year. Annison says the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot from autumn had a big impact on the numbers.
Governor John Bel Edwards has released a couple of new digitals ads with the message being the state is better off now compared to how it was when he took office. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it’s an absolute must for Edwards to start campaigning now, before opposing campaigns begin to target him. Pinsonat says the digital ads are just the tip of the iceberg in advertising for the November governor’s race.
The Baton Rouge area saw motorcycle wrecks leave three dead in a span of less than 24 hours, including one on-duty police officer. With those deaths comes an increased focus on motorcycle safety. Motorcycle Awareness Campaign spokesperson Scotty Drake says motorcyclists need motorist to be actively aware and watching for those on two wheels. A separate motorcycle crash claimed the life a Woodworth man over the weekend.
St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies have made the arrest of an Arnaudville woman accused of the theft of flowers and other items from a Cecilia cemetary. Following a complaint, deputies were able to identify and locate 42-year-old Rhonda Lagrange. A search of her home produced silk flowers, floral arrangements, religious statues, vases, and other religious memorabilia.
News for Monday 020419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
An early Sunday motorcycle crash claimed the life of a Woodworth man. State police say 28 year old Aaron Arthur was killed when the motorcycle he was driving left the Highway 3054 and struck some debris. As a result of the collision, Arthur was ejected from the motorcycle and pronounced dead. He was wearing a helmet.
Saturday thousands marched from Pineville to Alexandria while proudly holding signs and wearing shirts in support of life. Pollock Baptist Church Pastor Brian Gunter says he was stunned at the turnout of about around 7,000 participants. Two hundred Central Louisiana church groups were a part of the crowd.
The Catholic Diocese announced late last week that it will soon be releasing the names of priests who were accused of sexual misconduct. The Diocese of Baton Rouge released its list on Thursday of last week. Bishop Talley has established a committee to review all personnel files that date back to its establishment in 1853. Over the past three months, this group has been examining records and looking for any allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor. The Diocese of Alexandria expects to release its list of clergy later this month.
It’s been a long road for medical marijuana in Louisiana, but LSU AgCenter Dean of Agriculture Dr. Bill Richardson says the first batch of medical marijuana grown by GB Sciences and the AgCenter has passed testing. Last week ,reports mentioned the product would be ready available for those with a prescription by summer, but Richardson says he can’t commit to that date just yet. Despite passing, GB Sciences says they are waiting until they have a steady stream of product before they release it to the 10 pharmacies that have been licensed for sale.
Accused murderer Dakota Theriot is back in Louisiana after declining to fight his extradition at a court hearing in Virginia. Theriot is accused of murdering a family he lived within the Walker area, before heading to Gonzales to execute his parents. An Advocate report last week mentioned Theriot had previous mental instability and suffered from hallucinations. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says if that’s true, it could make it less likely that the 21-year-old would be sentenced to death. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Gary Champagne told reporters over the weekend, this case is an extremely horrific example of what we all have known are the shortcomings of our national system of mental healthcare.
A State Police trooper was injured Sunday Morning when A driver speeding at 115 mph on the Bonnet Carre Spillway hit a police vehicle on the side of the road. While conducting traffic enforcement, the trooper clocked a driver traveling 115 mph in a 60-mph zone. Then the trooper saw the vehicle hit the right guardrail and then the left back quarter panel and tire well of the trooper's vehicle. The trooper was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the speeding vehicle, a 23-year-old New Orleans Man, was not injured.
Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent Scott Smith is the target of a federal investigation that he illegally received controlled dangerous substances in a shipment from overseas. While it’s still under investigations, reports say anti-anxiety drugs that had been ordered over the internet were intercepted in the mail. A delivery was arranged by postal inspectors and investigators from homeland security, which led to Smith. Smith, who was hospitalized Thursday after he became extremely upset when federal agents approached him as part of their investigation, is expected to resign as superintendent.
A Shreveport woman who is accused of failing to send her two children to school for almost two years has plead guilty to improper supervision. The 35 year old woman admitted she failed to send her children, ages 13 & 14, to school for the entire 2017-18 school year as well as the current school year until November. She’s been sentenced to 30 days behind bars, but receives credit for time served.
Pelican’s All-Star Forward Anthony Davis says he’s given the New Orleans franchise all that he can and it’s time to move on. Davis did not give a timetable on when he would like to be traded and didn’t provide any preferred destinations. He says if not traded this year, he’ll suit up for the Pels when his injured finger heals. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.
The Atlanta Super Bowl is in the books, and it’s only five years until the big game makes it’s return visit to the big easy. New Orleans has hosted 10 so far, tied with Miami for the most. Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation CEO Jay Cicero says it’s a half decade away but they’re already preparing.
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