News for Monday 040119
By Dave Graichen
A man wanted for attempting to run over a Grant Parish Sheriff’s Deputy multiple times after being stopped on a parole violation, has been arrested. The GPSO reports Britt Barnes is now in the parish lockup and is being held on half a million dollars bond. Charges against Barnes include 8 counts aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, 4 counts attempted first degree murder, 1 count aggravated flight from an officer and 4 counts resisting an officer-aggravated assault.
We’re a week away from the start of the 2019 legislative session, and since it’s an odd numbered year legislators will be tasked with taking on tax and revenue issues from the start. LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says there’s one problem though, the Revenue Estimating Conference cannot agree on just how much revenue the state will take in this year. Speaker Taylor Barras is opposing the other three member’s recommendation to raise the forecast from last year. Alford says with tax and budget issues at the forefront, the more conservative of the two legislative chambers will take center-stage, at least to start the session.
The Rolling Stones will not be appearing at New Orleans Jazz Fest this year. The Stones have been advised to postpone their “No Filter Tour” so Mick Jagger can receive medical treatment. The band released a statement that physicians have told Jagger he cannot go on tour at this time, but they expect him to make a full recovery. No other details on his condition were provided. The big question now is who will take the place of the stones???
New legislation to place the country of origin of imported crawfish and shrimp on the restaurant seafood menu will be introduced in the next Legislative session
The session begins April 9th.
Metairie Representative Cameron Henry is filing a bill that could lead to fines, community service and possibly jail time for anyone who harasses refs, umpires, and other game officials. Henry says officials at a recreational parks in his district are occasionally threatened with physical harm by parents over little league games.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham’s campaign says the Congressman has raised a million dollars in the first hundred days of his campaign to unseat Governor Edwards. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it’s a crucial fundraising marker to cross, but it still puts him in 3rd place money wise in the race for Governor. Edwards started 2019 with 8.4 million in the bank, and the other Republican in the race, Eddie Rispone has pledged five million dollars of his own money to the race.
Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval has introduced legislation for the upcoming session that would see handheld cell phone use prohibited while driving. Current law only sees that restriction in place while in a school zone. Huval says the bill is meant to curb distracted driving.
Authorities have arrested three people, two brothers and an acquaintance, in the murder of an elderly Zachary woman who was found by her husband bound and shot to death in her home on March 21st. Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says 74-year-old Frances Jane Schultz had her arms and legs bound by duct tape and duct tape was over her eyes and mouth. She was shot multiple times. The sheriff says one of the suspects worked on the couple’s property bailing hay.
Gonzales Representative Clay Schexnayder is proposing to legalize hemp production in Louisiana. Last year’s federal farm bill permits states to regulate and grow hemp if they so choose. He says the crop is a cash cow that is perfectly suited to the Louisiana climate, much like sugarcane. A hemp pilot program was launched in Kentucky in 2017, and it’s success was mentioned frequently as the feds contemplated allowing the plant to be regulated. Schexnayder says the program demonstrated just how profitable the plant could be. At one time, hemp was the nation’s top export.
Residents in six southeastern Louisiana parishes will get some relief from backwater flooding thanks to a new floodgate. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced this week that the state's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is pledging $80 million to build a permanent floodgate across Bayou Chene. The money comes from a revenue-sharing agreement called the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act that gives gulf states money from oil and gas developments off their shores.
The LSU Tigers basketball season ended Friday night after one of the most successful seasons in years, but not without controversy still lingering. The Michigan State Spartans defeated LSU 80-63 in the East Regional NCAA Sweet 16. Meanwhile the outcome of the FBI wiretap scandal involving suspended head coach Will Wade remains to be seen.
What happens now with the LSU basketball program now that the season is over? Head Coach Will Wade could be dismissed in the wake of the FBI wiretap scandal that caught Wade in an alleged pay to play scheme. Tiger Rag Associate Editor Tyler Nunez says Wade has been subpoenaed to testify in a college basketball corruption trial that begins April 22nd. LSU could wait for that trial to end to see if they can keep Wade around, but Nunez says LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva will likely look to move on.
On the Air…..
Houston Astros begin a three game series tonight at the Texas Rangers. Airtime 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 032919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A massive fire broke out in downtown Alexandria at the Alexandria Iron & Supply Corporation located at the corner of 5th and Arial Street, just before 9pm last night. Several crews from the Alexandria Fire Department worked at the scene. As of now, no further word on the fire, other than the blaze caused extensive damage.
Community leaders got together yesterday at the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of commerce office to discuss upcoming legislation that would set in place rules statewide to encourage ride services life Uber and Lyft to offer their services across the state. Members of Geaux Louisiana, a statewide coalition that supports the legislation, was on hand to discuss why they support the legislation. The coalition has a petition (geauxridesharing.com) that it is urging people who support ride-sharing to sign. Currently, Alexandria is home to the only airport in the state not served by ride-sharing companies.
The RPSO is looking for a man who they say robbed the Family Dollar store in Tioga Tuesday Night. According to evidence at the scene, the suspect appeared to be a black male approximately 6’-6’2” in height. Detectives say he entered the store, produced a handgun and robbed the cashier of an undetermined amount of money. Sheriff's Detectives say their investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information on this robbery, they are asked to contact the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office.
Despite changes made by lawmakers to rein in the state's film tax credit, taxpayers still lose roughly two-thirds of the money they put into the program. New preliminary figures unveiled Thursday show for every dollar spent on the tax credit programs for the entertainment industry in Louisiana, mainly the film tax credit, state and local governments get about 36 cents back in tax revenue. The study was paid for by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.
With the Mueller Report in the rear-view mirror, President Trump says he and his Republican colleagues will become the “party of healthcare”. The party failed to pass an Affordable Care Act repeal in 2017 despite a Congressional majority. One of the primary concerns then was that Republicans had no replacement plan ready to pass Congress if they did undo the law. Senator John Kennedy says this time around that must change.
CVS and Walgreens are beginning to distribute over-the-counter CBD products on the national level, but don’t expect to see it at your local store under the current law that outlaws products containing the marijuana extract. While CBD products have been sold in Louisiana before, recently citations have been issued to those selling the supplements. While the 2018 Farm Bill opens the possibility to legally sell CBD products, legislation on the state level must pass first before it is legal in Louisiana.
LSU is launching the state’s largest ever education fundraising effort, aiming to raise 1.5 billion dollars for the entire LSU system. 60 percent of the funds raised will go towards academics, and the other 40 percent will fund athletics. LSU Foundation spokesperson Sarah Whitaker says the “Fierce for the Future” campaign is the first to unite fundraising for all eight LSU campuses.
Yahoo Sports has identified the alleged recipient of suspended LSU basketball coach Will Wade’s “strong offer” as Baton Rouge Basketball Guru Shannon Forman. This comes via new wiretaps and emails from an ongoing corruption investigation. The report mentions phone calls from Wade to now convicted felon Christian Dawkins about Foreman rejecting the offer because Foreman “didn’t get a big enough piece of the pie”.
AAA estimates the average price of gallon of regular this this spring will be 20 cents lower than it was last year, and Fuel analyst Don Redman that lower price will encourage many to take a road trip. Redmon says if you decide to take a camper or SUV out on the road for an extended adventure, those savings could add up to 200 dollars by the end of your trip.
A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy is recovering from a gunshot wound, while two suspects are dead after a shooting during a drug bust outside of an IHOP restaurant in Gretna. Sheriff Joe Lopinto says undercover narcotics officers attempted buy drugs from a suspect, when the driver realized it was a sting, he tried to get away and backed into a deputy. Lopinto believes the deputy, who is in stable condition, was hit by friendly fire. A passenger in the vehicle was also shot and died of his injuries at a local hospital. Details were still rather murky late last night.
The Tigers take on Michigan State tonight at 5:30 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. It’s LSU’s best tourney run since 2006 when they made the Final Four. Hear the game on KSYL 970am/ 104.9fm
The Houston Astros won their Season Opener yesterday 5 to 1 against Tampa Bay. Tonight, they’ll continue that three game series. Airtime 5:35 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Thursday 032819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Two children were killed and three others injured when a mobile home in Washington Parish went up in flames during the overnight hours. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they are still trying to determine a cause. Authorities have not released the identity of the victims, but we do know a 10-year-old girl and six year old boy perished in the fire.
Obamacare signups are down 15 percent in Louisiana this year, and the 93,000 enrollees mark the lowest level of participants since the individual market came online in 2014. Enrollment is also down 57 percent from it’s high point in 2016, and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says that’s because 2016 was the year of the Medicaid expansion. Over 500,000 people have enrolled in Medicaid since Governor Edwards accepted the mostly federally funded expansion.
Senator John Kennedy is calling on the US Attorney’s Office to pursue action against former Empire star Jussie Smollett for allegedly faking a racially motivated assault against himself. This comes after Chicago Police dropped their charges against the actor. Kennedy says he’s encouraged by reports that the feds are stepping in where local authorities failed.
Saints Owner Gayle Benson vowed to make changes to the NFL rulebook after the team felt they were denied a chance at playing for a Super Bowl, because of a non-pass interference call. Coach Sean Payton arrived at the NFL owners meeting earlier this week, lobbying others to allow instant replay look at pass interference calls. NFL owners voted to expand the use of instant replay to include pass interference calls and allow for the review of a non-pass interference call.
The Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction for the man who fatally shot former Saints player Will Smith in a 2016 traffic dispute. The three-judge panel unanimously rejected all grounds of Cardell Hayes’ appeal. Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in December 2016.
A former priest in the Lafayette Diocese pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual molestation of a juvenile. Michael Guidry, the former pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow now faces 5–10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000, As part of his plea deal.
LSU hoops fans making their way to the nation’s capital to see the Tiger take on Michigan State Friday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament will have a warm welcome from the DC’s LSU Alumni Chapter. Chapter secretary Ginger Gibson says they are excited to welcome Tiger fans from Louisiana and around the nation.
Two men facing double murder charges for allegedly killing a Lacassine couple in their home pleaded innocent to the charges Monday in district court. 21 year old Jordan Legros, of Welsh and 23 year old Javari Guidry Houston each pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the 31st Judicial District Court. Both men are accused of fatally shooting 72 year old Walter Gotreaux, and his 72 year old wife Darlene during what authorities said was a robbery back in December of last year. Trial dates for the suspects are scheduled for Sept. 16 with a pre-trial hearing set for Sept. 4.
On Air Today..
Houston Astros officially open their season later today at Tampa Bay. Airtime 2:25p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball tonight as the tigers travel to Mississippi State airtime 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Pelicans play host to the Sacramento tonight.. Airtime 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Wednesday 032719
Compiled By Dave Graichen
After a three day State Police criminal enforcement detail, which was aimed at identifying and apprehending individuals engaged in criminal activity, 63 individuals have been arrested in Rapides and Natchitoches Parishes. Along with the 63 individuals arrested, law enforcement officers also seized various illegal drugs and several firearms.
The Office of Juvenile Justice cut the ribbon on a new, modern rehabilitation facility in Bunkie Yesterday after months of delays. The first 12 incarcerated youths will be housed in the facility which is set to expand over the next few months to 72 The new facility may be needed sooner rather than later, as an LSU study predicts the juvenile prison population will increase in 2020 when 17-year-old violent offenders are no longer prosecuted as adults.
A Pineville man who pleaded guilty Tuesday in the attempted robbery and shooting of a local doctor, Jeffery Garrison, has been sentenced to 40+ years behind bars. 21 year old Roy Dewayne Hayes Jr pleaded guilty to reduced felony charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. The armed robbery conspiracy sentence of 40 years is to be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Louisiana received 18 dollars per person in federal funding to fight the opioid epidemic last year, for a total of 82 million dollars from over 50 different revenue streams according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. State Medicaid enrollees made 1,858,000 emergency department stays from June 2017-18, 40% of those with opioid use disorders are on the government-run health insurance. Louisiana’s rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2017 was noticeably lower than the southern regional average of 14.1.
A new poll on the governor’s race shows John Bel Edwards at 44%, but Republican challenger Ralph Abraham not far behind at 33%. Abraham’s campaign funded the survey. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says the poll also shows Abraham with a 23-point lead over fellow Republican candidate Eddie Rispone, who is at 10%. 13% of those polled are undecided.
The governor’s office says based on the numbers released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the state’s personal income growth increased by 4.5 percent for the fourth quarter of 2018 and 3-point-eight percent for the year. John Bel Edwards says that means Louisiana personal incomes hit a record high of 215-billion dollars in 2018.
After repeated delays, the Louisiana Association of Therapeutic Alternatives has demanded that medical marijuana be available by May 15th. It was almost four years ago when the state legislature approved the framework for dispensing and L-A-T-A executive director Jesse McCormick says it’s time for the product to hit the shelves. The L-A-T-A group made their request at a stakeholders meeting involving state ag commissioner Mike Strain, who says testing will be a critical part of the process.
Three men are behind bars following accusations they managed to heist over 100 iPhones from a Best Buy in Baton Rouge. The total cost of the phones was over 6 figures. An SUV seen on security footage was later spotted at a hotel where the arrest was made.
The Louisiana Dairy Industry is having a cow over the rise of almond “milk”, saying the label is not accurate, so Delhi Senator Francis Thompson has filed a bill to prohibit non-dairy products from describing themselves as milk. Thompson says the false advertising tricks some into buying the less nutritious dairy alternative. While Thompson’s bill only specifically addresses “milk”, the Senator says it’s not the only labeling dispute that he’s considering pursuing. The Delhi Democrat says products like cauliflower “rice” and lab grown “steak” need to change their labeling as well.
The Bonnet Carre Spillway is closing after opening many of it’s bays a month ago to relive pressure on the Mississippi River levee system. The levees were in danger of overtopping thanks to the substantial amount of water crashing down from upriver spring rains and snowmelt. At it’s peak this year, 206 of the 350 bays were opened. The river level in New Orleans is expected to continue to drop over the next few weeks.
The identities of the two bodies discovered following a welfare check in Tangipahoa Parish have been released. Sheriff Daniel Edwards says 41-year-old Mica Fitzhugh and 44-year-old Robert Wolf were discovered yesterday morning in a Ponchatoula residence. A Preliminary investigation indicates the incident to be domestic in nature. The investigation is on-going.
After days of speculation, the Saints yesterday announced the signing of 2018 Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook. The 32-year-old has reportedly received a two-year contract worth 15.5 million dollars. Cook caught 68 passes for the Raiders last year.
NFL owners discussed several different proposals yeaterday, inspired by the infamous “No Call”, that would potentially expand the use of replay and challenges. Saints coach Sean Payton, who sits on the competition committee, has led the charge for replay expansion, says the NFL cannot fear change, and warned leadership about the dangers another blown call in a significant game could pose to the league’s image and integrity.
News for Tuesday 032619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole has denied an effort by the former mayor of Ball, Roy Hebron, to get a recommendation from the board to be pardoned by Governor John Bel Edwards. That decision came Monday morning from a panel of four members; the fifth member recused himself because he knew Hebron. In the end, there were two "yes" votes and two "no" votes.
It appears a house fire in Alexandria that occurred Sunday night on Schnack Street has been ruled as arson by the Alexandria Fire Department. KALB TV5 reports an investigator at the scene told them the blaze, which started a little before 10pm at an abandoned home, was human-caused. No arrests have been made, and there were no injuries reported.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office received a complaint earlier this month from a victim who discovered that multiple bank accounts and credit cards had been opened in their name without their knowledge or authorization. 33 year old Roman Simmons was identified as a suspect. Upon receiving a warrant for Simmons for one count of identity theft, they also obtained a search warrant for his residence. While there, investigators found evidence identifying 37 additional victims and 164 additional acts of identity theft. Simmons is in the Parish Lockup.
The man charged in connection to the death of a newborn who was thrown in the trash has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Carl Hall was originally charged with first-degree murder for the incident that happened in February 2018. Hall was sentenced to five years in jail. The child’s mother also pleaded guilty to negligent homicide last week.
Budget hearings start next Monday and most state leaders appear to be on-board the push to give teachers a raise, including Republican House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry who has proposed a budget that includes a one grand raise for teachers and 500 bucks for support staff. Henry says it’s in due to popular demand.
The raises would cover workers in K-12 education. Governor Edwards has made the raise the centerpiece of his legislative agenda, and while that looks increasingly likely to pass, his request for 39 million in additional education funding could be in for a rocky ride.
The statewide average for a price of regular gasoline is $2.38, which is 26-cents higher than a month ago, but is about what we were paying at this time last year. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says expect the price to rise another 30 cents over the next couple of months.
The US Justice Department says they’ve reviewed the Mueller report, and say it’s conclusion is that there was no collusion between President Trump and the Russian government in the 2016 election. The investigation resulted in 34 other indictments, but Minority Whip Steve Scalise Scalise says the core accusation of Russian collusion was nothing but a bad faith effort by Democrats to impeach the President. But Democratic political consultant Mary Patricia-Wray says President Trump still faces a series of other inquiries into his finances, including an investigation by the District Attorney of Southern New York into potential tax evasion. The consultant says the Mueller Report shouldn’t excuse the President’s other misdeeds.
Louisiana Republican Party chairman Louis Gervich says he’s making it clear that there will be no negative campaigning between Republicans in this year’s governor’s race. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says four years ago the race was thrown by Republicans, after they let their primary candidates shred front-runner David Vitter like pulled pork. This reminder was in response to an Advocate article that said some “sniping” had begun between Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham. Pinsonat says since both have strong followings, the party really can’t risk alienating either by playing favorites.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says there are no plans to pursue charges against Louisiana Democratic Party chairwoman and state senator Karen Carter Peterson for illegally entering a Baton Rouge casino. Peterson has admitted to a gambling problem and voluntarily put her name on a list of people banned from Louisiana casinos.
Pediatricians across the state and the American Heart Association call for regulations to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks by kids. Dr. John Maa with the American Heart Association says for the first time, pediatricians are calling for a tax on sugary drinks, among other measures. Data shows that for children and teens, 17% of their calories come from added sugars. Nearly half of those are coming from drinks alone, with children consuming an average of 30 gallons of sugary drinks annually.
The LSU baseball team has fallen a few spots in the national rankings as a result of losing two of three to Georgia, who is ranked in the top 10 in major polls. LSU won by one run on Friday night and the Tigers lost by two runs in the next two games.
On Air Today….
Tonight LSU Baseball vs McNeese State 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Pelicans vs Atlanta 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 032219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Association Of Broadcasters announced their Prestige Awards yesterday and it was a good day for Cenla Broadcasting. Congratulations to KRRV 100.3 won Louisiana Radio Station of the year for large markets.. Max & Mark on Q93 won the award for best radio personality team in the state and Magic 100.9’s Murphy, Sam & Jodi won the award for the state’s best morning show.. Congratulations also to our friends over at KALB TV5, they won TV station of the year.
After a complaint was made earlier this month and a subsequent internal affairs investigation, another Rapides Parish Sheriff’s corrections officer has been fired. 45 year old Jeremy Morrow of Alexandria was fired Wednesday and then arrested and charged with second degree battery and malfeasance in office. Morrow later was released on a $2,500 bond.
The mother of a newborn tossed in the trash in February of last year has pleaded guilty in the 9th Judicial District Court to negligent homicide. 31 year old Thelma Kirkland of Alexandria was originally charged with first degree murder. According to the Alexandria Police Department, emergency personnel had been called to a home on Bush Avenue for a report of a miscarriage. When they began treating the mother, they discovered a newborn baby, still alive, in the trash. The baby died several months later. Kirkland and the baby's father, 32 year old Carl Hall of Alexandria, were both charged. Kirkland received one year in the parish jail for her plea with credit for time served. That means, she could be out the same day. Hall's case is still pending.
Four suspects have been arrested in Ball on charges relating to narcotics and illegal gun possession. Wednesday Ball police officers served a search warrant at a home on McRay Drive following multiple narcotics complaints. James Young, Danielle Broussard, David Tabor, and Sam Gibson were arrested at the scene. Authorities say they seized meth, oxycodone, and multiple handguns, one of which had obliterated serial numbers.
The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association met yesterday for it’s annual gathering in Lake Charles with the industry showing some signs of life in the Gulf of Mexico. Haynesville Shale President Gifford Briggs says one threat is suppressing investment in Louisiana’s energy industry, and that’s coastal erosion lawsuits. A number of coastal towns have filed suit against oil and gas for it’s role in coastal erosion after the Edwards administration began permitting the action. Briggs says that’s scaring off investors
Spring is in the air and with that comes spring cleaning and home improvement projects, but the State Fire Marshal’s office is warning the public of the dangers of the chemicals they may be using could be a fire risk. Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says those chemicals including oil-based paints, stains, and varnishes could result in spontaneous combustion from discarded rags.
Two people were killed, four others injured, when a car that was apparently stolen slammed into a beauty salon in New Orleans. New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson says the two deceased individuals were in the vehicle. Ferguson says the car had just accelerated away from a patrol vehicle that had attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Wednesday night’s crash sparked a major fire in the Broadmoor neighborhood.
The State Attorney General’s office reports, five Louisiana Medicaid recipients have been arrested on charges related to welfare fraud. The arrests come after investigations by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana Department of Health, and the Legislative Auditor’s Office. Here in Alexandria 33 year old Naji Abdelsalam was arrested on one count of theft over $25,000, one count of government benefits fraud, and one count of filing or maintaining false public records. His family allegedly had over $40,000 worth of claims paid by the Medicaid program despite Mr. Abdelsalam’s ownership of several businesses – including two convenience stores, a tire service business, and a multi-million dollar Medicaid provider company.
60 years ago the Golden State, hoping to stem the tide of 20th century extinctions, agreed to ban the sale of “endangered” animal products in their state by 2020. One of the animals listed was alligators, and Louisiana Sea Grant Spokesperson Mark Shirley says California’s legislature may not be aware that we’ve got about as many gators as registered voters. So Louisiana’s congressional delegation is asking the California legislature to reverse course, and support a proposed law that would overturn that old law before the January 1st blanket ban goes into place.
Presently, state law limits the total amount of bottles of wine that can be shipped to a home to 144 bottles that do not exceed 750 ml per bottle. But if a proposed new law in the upcoming session makes its way onto the books, the bottle size limitation would be a thing of the past. Senator Jack Donahue says this would open up deliveries to more variations of wine bottle sizes. Donahue says the previous law would impede on those that collect wine as a hobby. Donahue, by the way, says he too is a wine enthusiast.
LSUA Men’s Basketball team meets Bethal University at 10:45a this morning in the 2nd round of the National Championship Tournament hear the game on 94.7 ESPN
LSU moves on to the second round of the NCAA tournament after beating Yale 79-74.
LSU will play Maryland on Saturday.
It’s LSU Baseball this afternoon as the Tigers begin a three game series at Georgia. Saturday’s game will be preempted by Basketball. But Sunday’s game will be broadcast. Airtime 5:30p this afternoon on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Thursday 032119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The APD reports a shooting took place on Monroe Street shortly before 5 yesterday afternoon. Officers arrived and learned that a male subject had shot at another male in the parking lot of a business at the corner of Monroe and Kent Ave. A vehicle was hit during the shooting, but it appears no one was injured.. Both the shooter and the apparent victim fled the scene prior to the arrival of the police.
Earlier this month local media reported the arrest of 25 year old Mohammad Abudayeh, who was arrested by APD for attempted first-degree feticide and criminal conspiracy to commit feticide. Yesterday Investigators with Louisiana State Police announced new charges being brought Abudayeh involving SNAP benefits, or what most call food stamps. The charges, unauthorized SNAP benefits, computer fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and bank fraud. In June 2018, State Police began investigating the Food Mart in Alexandria on 3rd Street, concerning allegations of the owner buying SNAP benefits from local individuals. Investigators seized approximately $340,000 in U.S. currency and 11 cases of alcohol at his residence, that was discovered to be stolen from a local grocery store.
Four employees at the Louisiana Special Education Center in Alexandria who were under a police investigation are back at work. The state department of education says they were notified by the Rapides parish District Attorney’s office that allegations of serious infractions involving residents were unfounded. However, the DA’s office says the investigation is not totally over, since a Special Prosecutor is still looking at the case.
Today is the first full day of spring. What can we expect from the weather for the next few months? State Climatologist Barry Keim says we’re currently in a weak El Nino that will affect conditions this spring, bringing of rain to the state. Keim says the forecast for wet weather is welcomed news for farmers.
The LSU Board of Supervisors has approved an extension and pay raise for football coach Ed Orgeron. Athletics Director Joe Alleva appeared at yesterday’s meeting and said Orgeron is deserving of a 500-thousand dollar raise. Orgeron’s new contract runs through 2023 and his annual salary is four million dollars, the ninth highest in the SEC
Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s “not prepared” to echo calls from former Board of Regents Chairman Richard Lipsey for LSU President F. King Alexander and Athletic Director Joe Alleva to be fired for their handling of Will Wade and other sensitive topics.
Wade was suspended after refusing to talk to the administration about the reported FBI wiretap. One area the governor was prepared to definitively back the administration on was the decision to give football head coach Ed Orgeron a 500,000 dollar raise and a longer contract. Edwards says O is still one of the lowest paid coaches in the SEC, despite his success.
Flooding in the Midwest has many concerned about how those draining flood waters could impact the already very high Mississippi River levels. National Weather Service Slidell meteorologist Danielle Manning says those flood waters from the Missouri River basin do have to pass through the river on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Manning says those flood waters shouldn’t be a threat.
The Associated Press reports Governor Edwards will ask lawmakers in the upcoming session to increase funding for higher education by 19-million dollars. About a third of that money would be for TOPS and the governor’s plan also calls for three-million dollars to help pay for resources for students who take classes online, such as electronic textbooks.
A Baton Rouge mother is facing charges that she allegedly drugged her 18-month-old baby to death. Authorities say 42-year-old Heather Hidalgo initially told police she had no involvement in her child’s February 15th death. Hidalgo was booked into jail after her child’s death on other warrants at the time, and Hicks says deputies continued their investigation until a toxicology report came back in early March with some disturbing results. Hicks says the report showed the child had a cocktail of different drugs in her system. Hidalgo allegedly told authorities it was to “comfort the child, and make the child comfortable.”
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office says 37-year-old Tara Jackson of Broussard left her two small children in an unlocked vehicle for about an hour and half while she gambled at a video poker truck stop in St. Martinville. Major Ginny Higgins says the children are okay. Jackson has been charged with two counts of child desertion.
The Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville is under fire for posting an exhibit sign that described the slaves who powered the plantation as “happy.” A state parks official says the sign has been removed and admits it was in poor taste. About 850 people were enslaved at Rosedown, and the site has become the most visited historic location in Louisiana, hosting close to 29,000 visitors last year.
According to research from staffing firm Robert Half, 72% of managers say college basketball playoff activities improve employee morale. New Orleans senior recruiting manager Carrie Lewis says when in moderation, there are definite potential benefits to group activities tied to sporting events. Lewis says 75% of companies will organize sports related festivities, 45% will host friendly competitions, and 43% will allow team apparel because of the benefits it can produce in the workplace.
Third seeded LSU looks to avoid the upset as it faces 14th seeded Yale at 11:40 this morning in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Hear the game on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm. Airtime 11am
LSUA will move on to round two of the NAIA division 1 Men’s basketball tournament after they defeated Central Baptist College yesterday afternoon 81 to 74. Friday the #2 ranked Generals will face Bethel University at 10:45 in the morning. Hear the game on 94.7 ESPN.
The New Orleans Pelicans are off until Sunday, that after they lost to the Orlando Magic last night 96 to 119. The Pels play the Mavericks Sunday evening.
News for Wednesday 032019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The speed limit through Alexandria on I-49 was increased yesterday. From about Broadway Avenue north to the US 71 interchange, the speed was increase from 60 to 65, either side of that the increase will be to 70.
The Powerball is up to $550 million for today’s drawing, and as that number rises, so do the amount of people playing, all trying to chase that elusive life changing big ticket. The half billion dollar drawing is the 8th largest jackpot in the history of Powerball, and the 11th highest in American lotto history.
House Republican Caucus Chairman Lance Harris used yesterday’s joint legislative budget committee to question Governor Edwards re-election claims that taxes have gone down during his term. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says a combination of cuts and tax increases were needed to overcome a massive budget deficit left by the Jindal administration. Dardenne reminds Harris that deeper cuts to the state budget could have been made, but the state legislature never presented a plan.
The Department of Treasury is mailing out a second round of unclaimed property checks. Just over 44,000 checks are being mailed out this week, totaling $4.2 million dollars. State Treasurer John Schroder says they had some issues with the first wave of checks, with people not believing they had come into a large sum of money. For those that are curious to see if anything has been found in their name, head over to LATreasury.com and click on “unclaimed property” at the top of the page.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser gave an update on the status of the four New Orleans Confederate monuments yesterday, saying he’s working to get the city to transfer control of them. Rumors circulated after the monument’s removal that private citizens were cutting deals to have the statues transferred to their property, but Nungesser says none of those efforts were ever completed. Despite the initial failures, the Lt. Governor says some private citizens are still making an attempt.
Deputy Sheriff Stuart Wright announced on Tuesday his candidacy for Natchitoches Parish Sheriff in the election to be held in October. Wright is seeking to replace Sheriff Victor Jones who announced last week he will retire at the end of the current term. Jones has publicly endorsed Wright’s candidacy.
Starting next school year, the entire school system in Avoyelles Parish will have a four day week. The decision was made in an effort to recruit teachers to the area. Avoyelles School Superintendent Blaine Dauzat says the parish is last in salaries for teachers in the state and an attempt to collect a tax aimed at giving teachers a raise failed a few years ago.
DCFS Division of Family Support Deputy Assistant Secretary Sammy Guillory says those who normally get their SNAP on the 10th through the 14th will instead get their funds on the 9th next month. Guillory says they had to make the change to make sure some of their recipients did not end up going too long without their food assistance.
A former employee of the 19th Judicial District Drug Court program is accused of falsifying hundreds of drug tests and alerting program participants ahead of time when they would be tested. 54 year old Nina Burage performed drug tests for the program, which allows nonviolent offenders to receive judicial supervision and substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration, and arrest. A participant of the diversion program told the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office that Burage would accept money, between $100 and $400 per week, in exchange for the assistance.
On air today…
LSUA Men’s Basketball team meets Central Baptist College in the 1st round of the National Championship Tournament. 3pm on 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Nicholls 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
News for Tuesday 031919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The decision was unanimous when the Alexandria city council voted to appoint Ronald DeJoie to fill the vacant District 1 seat, formally held by now state representative Ed Larvadain. DeJoie has been an Alexandria resident since 2005 when he moved here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated that area. There will be an election on October 12 to permanently fill the seat. Dejoie said he will not be running.
Grant Parish Sheriff’s detectives went to a home looking for a woman wanted on drug charges. When they arrived, they found the suspect, along with 5 bags of methamphetamine, digital scales, and pipes that are commonly used to ingest the drugs. 49 year old Myra Seals of Colfax, was arrested for possession of C.D.S. II (methamphetamine) with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and contempt of court.
A Colfax woman was recently arrested on multiple charges after a burglary investigation. Grant Parish Sheriff’s detectives discovered drugs in the suspect’s house, along with a small child. 34 year old Amanda Whiteof Colfax, was arrested for simple burglary, possession of C.D.S. II (methamphetamine), possession of C.D.S. I (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of C.D.S. in the presence of a minor.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott slammed Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards for his handling of the state economy over the past few years. The comments were made yesterday in Baton Rouge at the Republican Governor’s Association round table that included GOP candidates for Governor, Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham. The Edwards Campaign hit back, noting the Republican Governor Association’s past support for former Governor Bobby Jindal…
Congressman Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone, the two Republicans running against Governor Edwards in this year’s governor’s race, showed some differences in policy approach yesterday at the Republican Governor’s Association round table. Abraham says if elected he would not undo the Medicaid expansion, but he would seek some overhauls. Rispone had a different plan though. He also agreed that the expansion should not be rolled back, but says considering recent reports of improper spending in the Medicaid program, he would put a hold on new applicants until the Department of Health could rectify it’s problem with ineligible recipients on the rolls.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and CenturyLink have reached an agreement to extend the company's commitment to maintain its headquarters in Louisiana. The deal, which will be announced jointly by Edwards and CenturyLink Chief Executive Jeff Storey in the coming weeks, will keep CenturyLink's corporate headquarters in Monroe through 2025. The company employs more than 2,000 workers in Louisiana with the bulk of those located at the corporate headquarters in Monroe.
The state Legislative Auditor’s office releases a report that shows LSU paid a faculty member over 400-thousand dollars in salary and benefits for nearly three years, even though that person admitting to not performing work for the university during that time. State auditor Barrett Hunter says the School of Veterinary Medicine did not take sufficient action to address the employee’s lack of performance. LSU has responded saying the School of Veterinary Medicine has inserted safeguards to ensure nothing like this will occur again.
The executive director of the Louisiana GOP tied the knot on Friday, then just a few hours later, was arrested for shoving a New Orleans Police Officer. According to the police report, Andrew Bautsch was asked to leave a business on St. Charles Avenue around 1:30 AM Saturday. He was being escorted to an elevator when the shove was alleged to occur. Bautsch was booked with battery on an officer, resisting police and criminal trespassing.
LSU opens their NCAA Tournament run Thursday against Yale, and the American Gaming Association says 47 million American adults will place a bet on this year’s contest either by filling out a bracket or putting down money on a specific game. CEO Bill Miller says 8.5 billion in bets will be placed by the end of the tournament. The Bayou Bengals are eight-point favorites to beat the Bulldogs.
24th Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux says his office will seek the death penalty against 21-year-old Dakota Theriot. He’s accused of killing five people in a multi-parish killing spree in January. Theriot pleaded not guilty today in the shooting deaths of three members of the Ernest family. He’s also accused of killing his parents in Ascension Parish.
The former mayor of Vinton was fatally shot in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Police say 64-year-old David Riggins was killed during a struggle with 32-year-old Vernon Mosby on Saturday morning. Authorities say Mosby arrived at the home unannounced after learning through a dating app that another love interest was spending the night with him.
A state lawmaker who championed having the right to vote restored to felons now wants those same individuals serve jury duty with a bill pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session. About 36,000 former felons were granted the right to vote as of March 1. But Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says much like voting rights, jury pool eligibility isn’t restored as soon as the cell door opens and someone is released into society.
James’ bill will be heard in the legislative session that begins next month.
The U-S Supreme Court will hear the case of a Louisiana man convicted for second-degree murder in 2016 and it was on a 10-to-2 guilty vote. Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted of killing a woman in 2014, wants his conviction overturned because it was not an unanimous verdict. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Ramos, several other convictions could also get overturned including Ronald Gasser, who shot former NFL player Joe McKnight. Starting this year, all serious felony crimes require a unanimous jury verdict.
LSU football coach Ed Orgeron is set to receive a two-year contract extension and a 14-percent raise that will boost his annual salary to four-million dollars a year. Orgeron’s buyout will increase to 10-million dollars, but that buyout will dwindle as the months go by. The LSU Board of Supervisors will vote on Coach O’s new contract on Wednesday.
News for Monday 031819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria recorded its third fire fatality of 2019 early Friday morning, according to the city. A fire was reported at 3:58 a.m. in the 2100 block of Harris Street. Alexandria Fire Chief Larry King said the person has not been identified yet. An autopsy is scheduled to determine cause of death and identification.
A Rapides Parish Jury has convicted 25 year old Taurnena Foster of Alexandria a reduced charge of manslaughter for allegedly distributing a fatal dose of carfentanil back in January of last year to 19 year old Jakelynn Ammons. Ammons was found dead in a car near a local hotel. Foster had been indicted for second-degree murder. This conviction carries up to 40 years in prison. Sentencing will take place on 25th of this month.
When your computer crashes it can be a major headache. But, put yourself in the place of the Louisiana department of revenue. 26-million dollars in duplicate state tax refunds were electronically sent out to 66,700 Louisiana residents on Tuesday of last week as a result of a computer error. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says if you got your tax refund twice, don’t spend it. If the state is unable to recover the refunds directly from banking institutions, those taxpayers will receive a letter from the Revenue Department with repayment instructions.
The Republican Governor’s Association is throwing a fundraiser in New Orleans today, trying to build up steam to take out the only Democratic governor in an SEC state. But political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the big money raised today will likely not end up in one of the Republican candidate’s account anytime soon. But Pinsonat says that tip jar cash certainly won’t go unspent for long, and Louisianans should prepare to start seeing an increasing number of anti-Edwards ads in rotation while Republicans figure out which of their two candidates will be the standard bearer.
A Department of Corrections investigation into contraband smuggling and inappropriate behavior results in multiple arrests and resignations at Angola. Of those involved in the investigation, six were sergeants and one was a nurse.
Senator John Kennedy is introducing legislation that seeks to give social media users legal control of content they post to social media. Currently all photos, private messages, posts, and other interactions are owned by network you post them too, which gives companies the right to sell it advertisers. Kennedy says it’s time to make that process more transparent. The Senator says this would force the companies to note exactly what personal data is being sold, and to which companies. This may seem simplistic, but if the fact that companies make a profit off of a service you receive for free bothers you, you can always cancel your account.
A bill to abolish the death penalty in Louisiana will be debated in the upcoming legislative session. Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor believes the death penalty cheapens life, adding there are errors that occur during prosecution, as well as a list of other issues. Claitor, a Baton Rouge Republican, is working with Representative Terry Landry, a Democrat from Acadiana on pushing the bill forward. Claitor says victims’ families will be a part of the discussion. This is the first time this legislation has been introduced, but Claitor says he’ll keep trying even if not successful this year.
Of the 181 LSU Health New Orleans graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program, 81 chose to remain in Louisiana to complete their medical training. LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans Dean, Dr. Steve Nelson, says many are also choosing to continue with LSU Health New Orleans. Last year, only 46% or medical students stayed in state, with three-quarters of those continuing at LSU.
The 10th ranked LSU baseball team started SEC play by sweeping Kentucky in a three-game series. The Tigers completed the sweep with a 7-2 win. The Tigers will face Nicholls State on Wednesday.
The LSU men’s basketball team is a three-seed in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament and the Tigers will play the Yale Bulldogs on Thursday in Jacksonville.
2015 was the last time LSU was in the NCAA Tournament.
The Pelicans, who are in a major slump with no wins since the 3rd of this month, hope to turn things around tonight as they travel to Big D to face the Mavericks. Airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN
After winning the last four games in Spring Training, the Astros take the day off today. They’ll be back in action tomorrow as they face the Phillies. Airtime 11:50 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Friday 031519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Today is day two of “The Country Cares for Kids St Jude Radiothon” The event is being broadcast until 7pm tonight on 100.3 KRRV. Call now to become a Partner in Hope at 1-800-573-5425 and help the kids at St Jude Children's Research Hospital. That Number again 1-800-573-5425…
HUD has agreed to implement rules allowing those who received SBA loans after the 2016 flood access to RESTORE funds by late April, but that won’t be finalized until the Office of Management and Budget OKs the rule change. Congress passed a law that was signed by the President late last year closing the duplication of benefits loophole, but various federal agencies have refused to implement the law.
Louisiana's two Republican U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy both voted Thursday in favor of President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to secure funding for a southern border wall, but their support wasn't enough to carry the day for the president. Twelve other Republican senators broke rank and joined all of the Senate Democrats in a vote to block the national emergency. Republican senators such as Utah’s Mitt Romney and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander said they supported Trump’s desire to build the wall. But they did not want to set a precedent of the president going around Congress for funding lawmakers had rejected. The President says he will veto yesterday’s vote.
The number of abortions in Louisiana last year fell to a 10-year low. 8,048 abortions were reported to have been performed in the state, and A 2017 report indicated nationwide abortion numbers have fallen to their lowest rate since Roe vs. Wade was passed in 1973. Planned Parenthood says it’s due to efforts to make contraception widely accessible to women. But Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper says it’s due to a culture shift. Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, responded saying “We are committed to reducing the number of abortions in Louisiana, and the data shows that is working”.
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office has billed 29 year old Shane Carruth of Alexandria, with 95 counts of video voyeurism following his arrest last September. Carruth was arrested after he allegedly placed cameras in the women's restroom of a local gym. The case moves on now to a grand jury.
The Denham Springs police department arrests a couple in the death of a small child in Livingston Parish. Detective Amber Fairburn says their investigation started last Friday when they were called to a home in reference to an unresponsive two-year-old female. The toddler died on Monday and Fairburn says the child’s mother and her fiancé are facing significant charges.
Former Avoyelles Correctional Center Warden Nate Cain has pleaded guilty to charges in his federal trial on corruption charges. US Attorney David Joseph says the guilty plea means Cain conspired with his ex-wife to use department of corrections banks cards to purchase furniture, pet supplies, toilet paper, gun parts, Christmas decorations and other items for personal use. Defense attorney John McLindon says Cain has only pleaded guilty to purchasing gun parts for personal use with state dollars; the other charges have been dismissed. Cain will be sentenced June 17th.
Caddo authorities are on the hunt for a 56-year-old James Sloan, who allegedly broke into a home where his ex-girlfriend was living, and initiated a confrontation that led to a shooting. Sloan reportedly shot a man, identified as Terry Jones, twice in the buttocks during the incident, and then tied and gagged his ex and her two children. Sloan ultimately escaped and is on the run.
A tugboat crew had to abandon ship after the boat sunk in the Mississippi River. The Coast Guard got the call yesterday morning around 11 of a towing vessel sinking at Baton Rouge General Anchorage. US Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Giles says the Army Corp of Engineers deployed survey teams in an effort to locate the completely submerged vessel. Giles says officials are also checking for environmental impacts.
The four crew members escaped uninjured.
On The Air Today..
Today, the LSU basketball team will play Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The two teams played in the regular season twice, each game went into overtime, with each team winning on the other team’s home court. Tip-off is at noon. Hear the game on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm
The LSUA Lady Generals meet Louis – Clark today in the Second Round of the National Women’s Basketball Tournament. Hear the game starting at 11:45 on 94.7 ESPN.
The 10th ranked LSU baseball team begins SEC play tonight as they host Kentucky. The Tigers are 12-and-5 on the season. Kentucky brings a 13-4 record to LSU. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970am/104.9fm
Pelicans vs Portland 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
Selection Sunday is three days away and the LSU basketball team has to wonder just how the growing off the court controversy involving suspended coach Will Wade will impact their NCAA tournament seeding. CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm says the recruiting scandal will not factor into the selection committee’s analysis. LSU plays it’s first SEC tournament game today against Florida at 12PM. Palm says more so than any scandal, it’ll be their performance in this weekend’s competition that will have the biggest say in where they land. Palm notes the top eight teams are all from three conferences, meaning the majority of the teams ahead of LSU will suffer a loss.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade has asked for his suspension to be lifted, so he can return to his coaching duties immediately, and the school responded saying they won’t, until he talks to the admin about an FBI wiretap he’s on. LSU’s statement also point out that Wade has never denied any wrongdoing in his public statements.
After a back and forth with his hometown team, the Miami Dolphins, it looks like Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater will be returning to NOLA after posting a picture on twitter of himself in the Black and Gold.
The New Orleans Saints have signed defensive tackle Malcom Brown from the New England Patriots. The Pats elected not to pick up Brown’s fifth-year option, setting him up for free agency. Brown was the Patriots first-round draft pick in 2015.
News for Thursday 031419
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The Country Cares for Kids St Jude Radiothon is going on now on 100.3 KRRV. Call now to become a Partner in Hope at 1-800-573-5425 and help the kids at St Jude Children's Research Hospital. That Number again 1-800-573-5425…
Tuesday State Superintendent John White announced the Special School District's Interim Superintendent will leave the job in June. Interim Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper has held the position since summer of 2018. The announcement comes after state police investigated allegations of misconduct at the Louisiana Special Education Center in January. Four LSEC leaders were also suspended because of that investigation.
Superintendent White said State Police turned the results of the investigation over the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office. No word yet as to what if any charges will be filed.
There’s concern that processors who sell pre-peeled crawfish meat won’t have enough foreign H-2B visa workers to peel all of the crawfish on the market. Only 33,000 visas are made available every six months, and Farm Bureau public policy coordinator Brian Breaux there’s a need for about 100,000 manual laborers. Breaux says that means large amounts of the crawfish crop potentially could be thrown out, as there isn’t enough demand for non-peeled mudbugs. Louisiana farms about 130-150 million pounds of crawfish per year, over 90 percent of the national crop.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has granted an official pardon to a lucky crustacean which means the mudbug will not go into a crawfish boil. The Third Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish ceremony took place on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Nungesser says this unique event celebrates crawfish season in Louisiana.
Spring has finally arrived, and with it the possibility for spring showers that could dump enough water to flood your home, and National Flood Insurance Chief Executive David Maurstad says it’s time to get covered. he says 30 percent of all flood claims are from moderate to low risk areas, something southeast Louisiana learned the hard way in 2016. Maurstad says if you aren’t covered, the longer you wait to get it done, the higher the risk, because you can’t get the coverage fast enough to respond to an immediate threat.
Several Romanians, who were in the country illegally, have been arrested in Livingston Parish after allegedly being in the country illegally, and running a “skimming” scam targeting gas stations along the I-12 coordinator. Sheriff Jason Ard says they tracked the suspects with the help of the Secret Service, who’s cracking down on nationwide skimming operations.191 counterfeit credit cards were allegedly discovered in their car, along with 4,000 dollars in cash. Four adults have been arrested, and three juveniles are being held as a result of the bust.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the state is seeing fewer fatalities in fires so far in 2019 compared to other years with 16 fatal fires killing 17. Browning credits a milder winter as a contributing factor for the lower numbers, due to the less frequent use of space heaters and a lessened strain being put on electrical systems in older homes.
Whenever people get sick, they often take to social media to let the world know about it. Now there is an app that’s been tracking social media posts about sickness and comparing it to clinical data to forecast when an illness is expected to be on the rise. CEO of the app “Sick Weather” Graham Dodge says social media inclusion enables to the app to give a real time outlook for an area. Dodge says the app’s algorithm has been collecting data for the past eight years and right now is seeing a late flu peak for Louisiana and is forecasting a more severe allergy season in the bayou state.
The LSUA Women advanced yesterday in the National Basketball Championship by squashing Westmont College 70 to 59. Up next, Lewis & Clark tomorrow morning at 11:45. That game will be carried on 94.7 ESPN.
The No. 13 LSU baseball team's bats came to life Wednesday night as the Tigers put up 18 hits on the way to a 16-5 win against Texas Southern Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium. With the win, LSU improves to 12-5 on the season. The Tigers begin a three game series tomorrow night playing host to Kentucky.
The LSU Basketballers begin play in the SEC tournament Saturday Afternoon.. You can hear that entire series on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm
The Saints second-leading rusher, Mark Ingram, has landed in Baltimore, reportedly signing a three-year, 15-million dollar contract with the Ravens. New Orleans will attempt to replace Ingram with Latavius Murray, who has agreed to a 4-year, 14.4 million dollar contract. Ingram ends his Saints career less than 90 yards shy of Duece McCalister’s all-time franchise record.
In other NFL free agency news, All Pro safety Earl Thomas joins Mark Ingram in Baltimore, former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. joins LSU teammate Jarvis Landry in Cleveland, former Tigers defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is heading to the Chiefs, All-World running back Le’veon Bell is joining the Jets, and former Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro is resigning in Tennessee on a four year deal. The new NFL season officially kicked off at 3pm yesterday.
News for Wednesday 031319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff Hilton’s handpicked successor, Mark Wood, officially entered the race for Rapides Parish sheriff yesterday at a Hotel Bentley gathering. Sheriff Hilton expressing his confidence and belief in the ability of Wood to take his place. Currently, Mark Wood is serving as the head of the criminal patrol division.
State lawmakers heard from supporters of the death penalty Tuesday, one of them being Wayne Guzzardo, whose daughter, was gunned down in a robbery in 1995 and blames Governor Edwards for being excuse-oriented as to why Louisiana can’t execute inmates, while other states saw a total of 22 executions last year. Governor Edwards responded saying the fact of the matter is the state cannot execute someone in Louisiana today because the only legally prescribed manner set forth in state statute is unavailable to us. He says It’s up to lawmakers to change that.
A Denham Springs couple whose home was flooded in 2016 is suing HUD in an effort to access Restore grant money. The couple’s lawyer, J.R. Whaley, says the suit against HUD is for their inaction in correcting the issue, saying many were eligible, yet not qualified for further help due to their use of an SBA loan. Whaley says HUD has offered excuse after excuse for delays in changing their rules as they were ordered to do, with HUD crediting the latest slowdown due to the recent government shutdown. Whaley says the goal is to get HUD to follow the law and has made sure to shape the suit in a manner to not slow things down even further in the court system.
Governor John Bel Edwards spoke to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education yesterday to urge them to include a one-thousand dollar teacher pay raise as part of their public education funding request to the legislature. Edwards says teaching is an underappreciated profession and he wants to change that.
The gubernatorial primary is seven months away. There is still time for another Republican to get in the race and some are saying it could be Congressman Steve Scalise. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says that’s unlikely.
Currently, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is facing two G-O-P challengers, Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.
Community activists are calling on lawmakers to pass a law allowing local governments the right to set their own minimum wages. Nationwide states and cities have been raising their minimum wages, including neighboring Arkansas. A 1999 law bars local municipalities from setting pay and benefit standards, instead leaving that up to the state. Step Up Louisiana member Pamela Bourgeois says with the cost of living rising ever higher, $15 is a reasonable place to start in the Bayou State.
The FBI is hiring and wants to meet those interested in being special agents in New Orleans next Wednesday. They’re looking for those with STEM backgrounds, lawyers, accountants, and even teachers, and New Orleans field office lead agent Eric Rommal says they’re focusing next week on hiring women and people of color. They’re seeking applicants aged 23 to 36, with at least two years of work experience, and a clean background. Starting pay for special agents is more than double the average salary in Louisiana at a whopping 80,000 dollars a year. Rommal says if you’re selected, you’ll be shipped off to Virginia to receive your training.
The LSU AgCenter is getting a grant potentially worth one million dollars to study the vital bayou stalwart roseau cane. The cane helps keep the bayou intact, but is threatened by sea level changes and an infection of roseau scale. Professor Roberto Diaz says they’ll use the money to run a series of tests in isolated greenhouses and out in the field. The cane is credited with sustaining bayous by reducing the action of waves as they crash into the wetlands.
Former Vikings running back Latavius Murray has reportedly agreed to a four year deal with the Saints, likely signaling the end of Black and Gold standout RB Mark Ingram’s tenure in New Orleans. Reports indicated that several teams were pursuing Ingram at a price point that would have been untenable for a team with limited cap space. Murray ran for 578 yards and 6 TDs last year.
LSU Baseball last night was anything but boring.. but, in the end, the tigers lost to the Demons 1 to 3. The tigers will face Texas Southern tonight.. Airtime 6p on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm
The Pelicans were kicked hard by the Bucks last night.. the final 113 to 130. They’ll play next on Friday evening against Portland..
The Houston Astros lost to the Washington Nationals 3 to 5 yesterday as spring training rolls on. They’ll face the Mets today.
Yesterday’s LSU basketball press conference once again saw interim head coach Tony Benford fielding questions on the two individuals of interest in the recent FBI wiretap investigation, the suspended Coach Will Wade and freshman Javonte Smart. Benford says Smart’s status is still up in the air as to if he will be playing in the upcoming SEC tournament.
News for Tuesday 031219
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Authorities in Sabine Parish report an investigation is under way into the death of an infant early yesterday morning in Many. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene on an unresponsive baby shortly before 4am. One deputy attempted to perform CPR until paramedics arrived, however, the child was pronounced dead on the scene. The case is being handled by the sheriff’s office, coroner’s office and the Division of Children and Family Services.
Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter is bringing a constitutional amendment in the upcoming session that asks voters whether local governments should have the authority to lower the homestead exemption. The amendment would first require two thirds support in the legislature to make it onto the fall ballot, where it would then need to be approved by a majority of voters. Carter says at that point, local voters would still have a final say on homestead exemption rates in their own back yards.
Louisiana has now seen eleven straight months of jobs gains, adding 2,100 jobs from December 2018 to January 2019. Other south Louisiana markets like Lafayette also performed well, but those gains in the south are not being duplicated in northern markets like Shreveport, Alexandria, and Monroe, who’ve lost a combined 2,200 jobs year to year.
The House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a hearing today on the Death Penalty, featuring family members of victims whose attackers are on death row, but have not been put the death, as the state has not executed anyone in over a decade. but Attorney General Jeff Landry says today they will showcase a legal path forward for the death penalty. Landry says the lack of an executable death penalty incentivizes more crime. Landry cited recent executions in Texas and Oklahoma as evidence that with some legal and policy tweaks, Louisiana could begin executing again as well.
The legislative session is a less than a month away and two topics look to be hot button issues. One of those, teacher and school support personnel pay raises, comes with an estimated 135-million dollar price tag. LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says figuring out how to pay for it could be a struggle. The proposal would raise teacher pay by 1,000 dollars, and support personnel pay by 500 dollars. The other topic on many lawmakers lips is the prospect of legalizing sports betting in Louisiana.
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s reintroducing the College Transparency Act. Cassidy says the legislation aims to make education more affordable to students by modernizing the college reporting system to make available accurate data on student outcomes. Cassidy says among the data used would be the completion of the curriculum, as well as post-college hiring rates and earning expectations based upon a selected school.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning announces the arrest of a Bastrop man who allegedly set fire to a home with three relatives inside, including a child. 25-year-old Charles Craft faces three counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of aggravated arson. Authorities say Craft became angry after not receiving money from his mother to buy cigarettes.
A helicopter crash has left one dead and another missing. The aircraft crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in a flight between Galliano and Venice. The Coast Guard responded to the crash around 1:42 p.m. Authorities confirmed Nicholas Duplantis, of Houma, was killed in the accident. The pilot remains missing.
The 13th ranked LSU baseball team visits Natchitoches for the first time since 2014 when they play Northwestern State at Brown-Stroud Field. The Demons are 7-6 on the season, while LSU is 11-4. Hear the game on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm.
The suspension of LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade in response to his involvement in an FBI investigation into college basketball corruption has created more questions than answers. Among the questions, what benefit is it to the school to suspend Wade at this point? LSU beat reporter for the USA Today Network Glen Guilbeau says it makes the school look better in the NCAA’s eyes since they’ve taken steps towards self-disciplinary actions. Guilbeau says he believes the Tiger fans have seen the last of Will Wade at courtside.
News For Monday 031119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Flu season may see the worst to come as Louisiana has a second round of flu on the way. LSU Health New Orleans Infectious disease specialist Dr. Fred Lopez says though the Bayou State handled the H1N1 strand well this year another flu variation is rearing its ugly head again. Lopez says just because you had the flu this season doesn’t mean you are protected from the emerging strain. He says the best protection from H3N2 is the flu shot and it’s not too late to get it. The CDC says the H3N2 strain is accounting for almost half of all new diagnoses this year.
Alexandria Police have arrested 25-year-old Mohammed Abudayeh of Alexandria, for attempted first-degree feticide and criminal conspiracy to commit feticide, after investigators received a report he attempted to put a hit out on his unborn child. Cpl. Wade Bourgeois says so far, these charges are best suited for the disturbing situation, but that could change if more information comes to light. Bourgeois says the suspect allegedly wanted a staged attack focusing on his girlfriend’s stomach.
LSU head basketball coach Will Wade has been suspended by the university in the wake of reports of an FBI wiretap involving his activities in a college basketball corruption scandal. But legal analyst Tim Meche says Wade may see ramifications from the feds if things get much worse for the coach, but there are questions that need to be answered. Audio of Wade in conversations with recruiting handler Christian Dawkins caught with the FBI wiretap appear to be discussing a payment to a recruit’s family. Dawkins was recently sentenced to six months in jail after being found guilty of fraud and conspiracy charges for facilitating payments to the families of recruits. Meche doesn’t foresee LSU being on the receiving end of legal ramifications from the feds in this situation.
House Democrats passed a sweeping elections reform package last week that includes major electoral changes such as making voting days federal holidays, automatic voter registration, and other substantial changes. Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham, who voted against the bill, calls it the Democrat Politician Protection Plan. The bill passed unanimously with Democrats, who say the legislation would dramatically increase voter participation. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell says the bill will not even be considered in the Upper Chamber.
According to a report in the Baton Rouge advocate the number of Louisiana towns, villages and small cities in which fines make up at least half their revenues has risen from 15 in 2007 to 25 in 2018. For 60 other municipalities, fines and forfeitures account for more than 30 percent of government revenues. That’s up from 28 in 2007. And 194 of the state’s 304 incorporated cities, towns and villages raise more in fines and forfeitures than they do in property taxes, that’s according to latest financial audits. The worst here in Cenla, Georgetown, just north of Pollock, which generates 90 to 100% of its revenue from speeding tickets. Next would be Forest Hill, McNary & The speed trap known at Creola.
A St. Parks woman, 22-year-old Chelsey Paige Wiltz, was arrested after her two-year-old son shot himself in the arm with an unsecured gun. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office Major Ginny Higgin says Higgins says if parents lack gun safety this can happen in any household. The child was treated of his injuries and released from the hospital the following day.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office deputies are investigating the Saturday drowning death of a 5-year-old. According to the Sheriff's Office, the child drowned in the Jeanerette area, but authorities are releasing little information on the circumstances of the death nor the child's identity. The investigation is ongoing and further information is pending autopsy results.
An amped up LSU crowd celebrated an SEC title in basketball on Saturday, but before and during the contest they expressed anger towards athletic director Joe Alleva for suspending coach Will Wade. Freshman Javonte Smart was also held out, because of reports the FBI has a recorded conversation with Wade trying to set up a payment for a recruit, believed to be Smart. With Smart out, Marshall Graves hit four three-pointers. He says the players fed off the crowd’s energy…
In LSU tiger baseball, the tigers took 2 out of 3 this weekend against Cal.
On the air…. Houston Astros & The Mets 11:30a
News for Friday 030819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Autopsies are scheduled for today on two people who died in an early Thursday fire on Melder Road in Glenmora. The victims, who officials have yet to identify, are believed to be a 75-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman. Both bodies were found near each other and "just feet" from the only exit at the home.
Another Central Louisiana Sheriff has announced he will not seek reelection. After winning five successful elections for sheriff since 1999, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones, Jr. announced on Thursday he won’t seek re-election this year and will retire at the end of his term in 2020. Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton made a similar announcement earlier this year. Sheriff Jones was first elected Natchitoches Parish Sheriff in 1999 and was re-elected four subsequent times, the most recent election earning 91% of the votes cast
US Senator Bill Cassidy tells USA Today that he’s running for re-election in 2020. LSU political science professor Dr. Robert Hogan says Cassidy’s backers will prevent a creditable Republican primary challenge, and there really isn’t much of a threat to his job from the left either. The state’s senior Senator was elected to the Upper Chamber after serving in the Legislature, and US House of Representatives.
It’s the first Friday of Lent for the million plus Catholics who call Louisiana home, and for many that means ditching red meat for seafood. Gulf Seafood Institute Chairman Harlon Pearce says we’re on track for a good season, but soft shell crab lovers in particular are in for a real treat this year after closures in recent years. For many Louisianans of all religious denominations, the star attraction is crawfish, that recent arctic blast has led to some up and down prices and supply. But Pearce says give it a few weeks and you’ll have all the mudbugs you can eat.
Congressman Mike Johnson and a delegation of Republican House members met with President Trump yesterday for an hour and a half meeting to discuss passing additional conservative legislation in the coming session. During the meeting Johnson says the President inquired about the upcoming elections in Louisiana. Johnson says Trump was interested to know how his policies were being viewed back in the Bayou State. The Congressman told the President Louisianans were happy with his administration, but unhappy with local leaders.
The details of the Jefferson Parish triple homicide that left two children and a mother dead, along with two other severely injured have come to light. Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the suspect 33-year-old Terrance Leonard admitted to killing the two children and injuring the others with a hammer. Lopinto says the suspect was the boyfriend of the adult victim, 32-year-old Kristina Riley. Lopinto says Leonard is being held in the Jefferson Parish jail on three first degree murder charges, two attempted murder charges, and obstruction of justice for his attempt to hide the weapon and hastily clean up the scene.
Twenty horses used in Mardi Gras parades this year have found new homes following a volunteer effort by the Human Society of Louisiana. Humane Society Director Jeff Dorson says a thorough background check is done on each of the potential owners, in an effort to ensure the horses have a bright future ahead of them. In past years, horses were used for the parades and then sent to auction, where they could be in danger of heading to slaughter.
A record half million Rouses King Cakes were devoured this year. Bakery Director for Rouses Markets Michelle Knight says more are coming with an Irish twist for Saint Patrick’s Day.
Yahoo Sports reports the FBI intercepted a phone conversation between LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade and recruiting middleman Christian Dawkins, in which Wade is recorded discussing a “deal” about “this Smart thing,” which could be a reference to LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart. LSU beat reporter for the USA Today Network, Glen Guilbeau, says LSU officials should be concerned. The Yahoo sports report also quotes Wade saying a strong offer has been made in the alleged conversation between the Tigers coach and Dawkins. LSU hoops is enjoying its best season in a decade, but Guilbeau says this FBI investigation could get worse for the Tigers basketball program
10th ranked LSU baseball begins a weekend series tonight against California. Zack Hess will start on the mound tonight and freshman Cole Henry will start Saturday in the place of Landon Marceaux, who struggled last weekend in Texas. Mainieri believes Henry can handle a weekend start. Sophomore Eric Walker is scheduled to start Sunday. You can hear the series on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm.
News for Thursday 030719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
61 year old James Walker of Pineville died Tuesday night when he was struck while walking along the Pineville expressway near Louisiana college. According to the Pineville PD, Williams was hit by a pickup truck driven by 41-year-old Christopher Brown of Pineville. Brown was arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of marijuana.
Three people were found dead at a home in suburban New Orleans Wednesday morning. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office captain Jason Rivarde says two of the victims are children and the other is an adult. He says they are trying to determine if this was a murder-suicide. Rivarde did not provide details on how the individuals were killed or the relationship of the victims.
New research out of Denmark indicates the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine does not raise the risk of autism. That same study shows the vaccine does not trigger autism in kids who are in risk of it. Louisiana Department of Health Immunization Director Dr. Frank Welch says this is the 17th study to debunk the myth of a connection between autism and vaccination and what separates this is one is the size of the study group, 650,000 children. Welch says the vaccination-autism myth originated from a study in England involving a group of less than 12 autistic children, where the researcher concluded that many of their autistic symptoms happened after their vaccinations.
John Bel Edwards re-election team says radio ads that attack the governor are blatantly false. Victory 2019 spokesperson Eric Holl says the ads claim the governor’s budgets did not contain a dime for early childhood education. Holl says every budget the governor signed had millions for Pre-K education. Holl says the ads were so blatantly false, they legally had to be pulled down. A group called Truth in Politics produced the spot and spokesperson Jay Connaughton says the ads are still running and they stand by their message.
There’s another delay in the production of medical marijuana. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is the regulator of the state’s medical marijuana program and he claims LSU and its private grower, GB Sciences, violated law by moving cannabis plants from a temporary pod to the main growing facility. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it’s unclear when medical marijuana will be available to the patients who have been waiting to purchase the drug. Pinsonat says the Edwards administration may need to get involved in order for the product to become available to eligible patients.
A Louisiana Navy recruit from Monroe collapsed and died following physical training at Great Lakes, Illinois. The Navy says personnel administered first aid to 20-year-old Kierra Evans, but she died at a hospital several hours later. A cause of death is unknown. Evans was participating in a standard physical fitness evaluation.
Mississippi authorities say a Tulane student was killed in a freak accident at an Interstate 10 rest stop. Authorities say 21-year-old Margaret Maurer was walking back to her car, when a tire came loose from a passing 18-wheeler and struck her. Maurer was from Minnesota and studied ecology and evolutionary biology.
A St. Martinville man and his 25-year-old girlfriend from New Iberia have been booked on child abuse and hate crime charges. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office Major Ginny Higgins says Tony Domingue physically abused a one-year-old child and the infant’s mother witnessed it and did nothing to stop it. Higgins says the two are also facing a hate crime charge, but she did not go into details of the crime.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has launched Rx Saving Solutions, a new tool that allows its members to save money by monitoring the price of prescriptions from different sources or alternatives with generics. Company spokesperson Teresa Day says the goal is to help their members become better healthcare consumers. The tool, which can be accessed on line or thru a mobile app, will benefit more than 637,000 Louisiana residents.
Colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in the United States and Louisiana ranks 34th in screenings for the disease. Shreveport doctor and Gastrointestinal Specialist James Hobley says digging into family history is imperative to gauge a person’s risk factor. American College of Gastroenterology guidelines highlight average-risk adults should begin screenings at 50 years old, and African Americans should begin at 45 years old.
The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction takes place tonight in Baton Rouge, recognizing those that have made significant contributions to the state’s ag industry. This year’s class has four inductees. LRN Farm Broadcaster Don Molino says Linda Zaunbrecher of Gueydan is only the second woman inductee. Molino says Korean War veteran Jack Hamilton of Lake Providence is receiving a posthumous induction. Also being inducted, Dr. Grady Coburn of Cheneyville and George LaCour, Jr. of Morganza.
Spring football begins today for the LSU Tigers. Steve Ensminer returns as the offensive coordinator and he has another year to work with starting quarterback Joe Burrow. Tiger Rag Assistant Editor Tyler Nunez says with former Saints assistant Joe Brady added to the LSU coaching staff, expect to see more run-pass option out of Burrow. LSU’s leading rusher last season, Nick Brossette, has moved on, so the Tigers will look to fill the void he leaves behind.
News for Wednesday 030619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria has been named the bishop-elect for the Diocese of Memphis. The appointment of Bishop David Prescott Talley was announced on Tuesday in Rome by Pope Francis. Talley will remain in Alexandria until his installation in Memphis in early April. A replacement has yet to be named.
When disaster strikes, the Cajun Navy is there to help. The Cajun Navy 2016 has responded to the devastation left from tornadoes in south Alabama that killed at least 23. Vice President of Cajun Navy 2016 Billy Bringear says they’ve got boots on the ground with chainsaws rescuing survivors from the mangled homes. Cajun Navy 2016 responders from Baton Rouge are in Lee County, which saw the heaviest impact from the tornado outbreak.
Many are wondering if Medical Marijuana will ever be available to patients here in Louisiana.. AG Commissioner Mike Strain said the LSU AgCenter is breaking the law by moving its medical marijuana crop into the primary growing facility in a regulatory feud that's now headed to court. The LSU AgCenter and its private partner GB Sciences said a letter from Strain's medical marijuana program director granted permission for the move, but Strain said the permission is contingent on the AgCenter signing a proposed contract. Strain said he won't seek to seize the plants before the matter can be addressed in an administrative hearing.
Sen. John Kennedy and Rep. Ralph Abraham have filed legislation with the intent of combating fraud in government assistance programs. The Income Verification Act applies to Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and food stamps. Abraham says the idea is to verify recipients’ eligibility for the programs. In November, a report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office revealed that 82 out of 100 Medicaid recipients in a random sample did not financially qualify for the program. Abraham says the act would see programs verifying eligibility with federal data, instead of state data.
The town of St. Martinville will be the host of a public reading of the Bible from cover to cover starting today. The Bible Marathon runs today through Sunday in the town’s square Father Michael Champagne says the event was inspired by a similar event once done by the Pope. The event drew thousands last year, both locals and people passing through the area. During the four days of continuous reading, 300 lectors will read in 20 minute increments. Champagne says the event is intended to re-ignite a love for scripture and says the atmosphere is very festive.
There will be an effort in the upcoming legislative session to raise the age from 18 to 21-years-old to legally purchase or possess tobacco and vaping products. West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman says six states and over 400 cities have risen the tobacco age to 21 and the goal is to produce better health outcomes. Hoffman’s proposed legislation will be House Bill 38 in the legislative session that begins next month. He says raising the age would mean a loss of tax dollars from a decline in purchases of tobacco products, but it will have a long term benefit.
Tax season is in full swing and that can mean tax refunds are on the way too. IRS Spokesperson Raphael Tulino says anyone curious about their return status, can check online, rather than calling the IRS. Taxpayers can expect their refund within 21 days after filing, but if three weeks pass, Tulino says feel free to call the federal agency.
Governor John Bel Edwards was in Atlanta Tuesday for an economic development announcement involving Louisiana. Switzerland-based helicopter maker Kopter announced that it plans to assemble helicopters at a facility owned by the Lafayette Regional Airport. State officials say Kopter will hire 120 workers with an average annual salary of $55,000 plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will create an additional 157 indirect jobs. The company will begin hiring later this year with the first completed helicopters to be delivered in 2021.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s office is investigating the death of 17-year-old inmate, Charles Williams, at the parish jail. Authorities say at this time, no signs of foul play are suspected. Officials say Williams recently went to the hospital for treatment of an allergic reaction. He was being held on four counts of attempted second-degree murder.
News for Tuesday 030519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
While many may associate Mardi Gras with catching beads, in small towns like Eunice, the focus is on chasing chickens or Courir de Mardi Gras. Participants will dress in costume as part of a 12-mile chicken run, with some on horseback. Captain of the Eunice Mardi Gras Pat Frey says the country version of the Mardi Gras has been going for 123 years. There are a few limitations on the run. You have to be 18 to participate and have to be in costume. Frey says there run happens regardless of the weather conditions, and they expect about 800-1000 join in on the festivities. Similar festivities are held in Mamou and many other towns across the southern western part of the state.
The Louisiana Department of Health is concerned about people catching more than just beads as the flu virus is widespread in the state. Assistant state health officer, Doctor Joseph Kanter encourages those celebrating Fat Tuesday to take extra precautions in avoiding the spread of the virus. The flu shot takes about a week or two to hit its full effectiveness. Kanter says it appears that flu season is right around its peak, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get vaccinated if you haven’t already.
A flood warning was issued Monday for the Mississippi River at New Orleans by the National Weather Service, although the levees and spillways are expected to keep the city dry. The river is forecast to reach the 17-foot flood stage at New Orleans Saturday and remain there at least two weeks. It has already exceeded flood stage levels from Lake Providence to Baton Rouge. Though flood stage in New Orleans is 17 feet, the city is protected up to 20 feet.
The body of a missing Texas woman was found on the Louisiana side of the Sabine River on Monday. Candi McKee was reported missing when she didn’t show up for work at her job in Buna, Texas. A search began with law enforcement agencies from Texas and Louisiana working together after her co-workers contacted authorities and McKee’s husband. Early Monday her vehicle was found burned near the town of Kirbyville. Then Last Night her body was discovered in the Sabine River near the Burr Ferry Bridge, over 40 miles away from the burned car. It has also been confirmed that a suspect, who authorities say knew McKee, is in custody and has allegedly confessed to the killing.
32-year-old Tashonty Toney remains in jail on a 510-thousand dollar bond after New Orleans Police say he plowed into a group of bicyclists on Saturday night, killing two and injuring seven. Detectives suspect Toney was impaired and he’s facing counts of vehicular homicide and several other charges. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says Toney, the son of a New Orleans Police Officer, faces a lengthy prison sentence.
An estimated 36,000 convicted felons who’ve been out of jail for at least five years can now register to vote thanks to a state law that went into effect March 1st. To register, an eligible felon must get a certification letter from Probation and Parole. Checo Yancy, the director of Voters Organized to Educate, says you can’t really be a full citizen of a nation if you don’t have the right to vote for your representatives.
The Louisiana Board of Regents will award grants to ten college campuses in an effort to reduce textbooks for students. Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Communication Meg Casper Sunstrom says they believe this effort could save more than one-million dollars over three years for 15-thousand students and they plan to track the results.
A man in the Caddo Parish town of allegedly murdered his cousin Sunday and is now in jail facing second degree charges. Police investigators say 76-year-old Jerold Barron was in an argument with his 47-year-old cousin Terry Lee, when Barron shot Lee in the chest. The dispute allegedly centered on living arrangements in the house that was owned by Barron.
The man who stands accused of fatally shooting LSU Basketball player Wayde Sims is seeking a reduction in his bail of 350,000 dollars. This comes from a brief from 20-year-old Dyteon Simpson, who claims he’s “totally remorseful”. Legal analyst Franz Borghardt who says such changes, historically, are incredibly rare. Borghardt says even worse for Simpson’s case, the letter itself and the claim of remorse may actually hurt his case for a lower bail, because it sounds awfully close to admitting to committing a fairly heinous crime. Simpson described himself as a father of a five-month-old who is “very productive and independent.” Sims was allegedly shot by Simpson near the Southern University campus in Baton Rouge after Sims reportedly stepped in to defend his friend in a fistfight last year.
Louisiana is joining a pilot program that will give those seeking addiction treatment the ability to see the “ratings” of a treatment facility on a range of different services they provide. Department of Health Communications Director Bob Johannessen says Shatterproof will fill in prospective patients on the facility’s capabilities, compared to their needs. Johannessen says addiction is a difficult struggle, but having this kind of information available will make at least one part of the recovery process easier to handle. The rating system will go live in 2020.
The LSU baseball team went from being ranked number one or two to not even in the top ten in a couple of the major college baseball polls following their three losses in Texas over the weekend. Coach Paul Mainieri says it was a bad weekend at the ball park.
News for Monday 030419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Parade goers need to bundle up for a frigid Fat Tuesday. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the temperatures are going to reach below freezing in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Lafayette. He says the big easy isn’t off the hook either. New Orleans will also face 15 mile per hour winds today and tomorrow as parades roll by.
Witnesses said Tashonty Toney, the man accused of plowing his Camaro into nine bicyclists on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans Saturday evening, was so drunk they had to revive him when he lay passed out on the pavement after trying to flee the scene on foot. Toney had just sped into a group of friends and associates from New Orleans' environmental justice circles, leaving two of them dead.
Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has sent a proposal that would allow GB Sciences and LSU to begin growing medical marijuana in a large scale, permanent facility. The Commissioner says State Police still need to finish background checks for the program, something that has been ongoing for over two years, but if that checks out the growing could be set to significantly increase in scale. LSU will be put in charge of keeping an eye on the entire grow operation run by GB Sciences. Still no word as to when the drug will be available to consumers.
Anyone 17-year-old who is arrested, starting this month, will no longer be treated as an adult, and will be instead put through the juvenile justice system. Louisiana was previously part of a small minority of states to prosecute minors as adults in all cases.
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves has been named the top Republican on the newly reformed Climate Crisis panel. The panel will focus on threats posed by climate change, but will likely feature a partisan split on the origin of the threat. Graves, who agrees that sea rise poses a threat to the nation, says the appointment will give him a platform to raise awareness of Louisiana’s vulnerabilities.
Louisiana has declared a state of emergency as the Mississippi River approaches flood levels. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness spokesperson Mike Steele says this precaution is taken to speed up any support process needed for areas throughout the Bayou State…
The FAA has now confirmed two people were killed in a plane crash in North Louisiana. Authorities suspect a plane that lost contact with the tower Thursday shortly after takeoff from the Shreveport Downtown The plane was recovered late Saturday night. Authorities say the two victims of the crash were still strapped in their seats.
While many in Louisiana were celebrating the Mardi Gras weekend, the number one ranked LSU Tigers got swept in Austin as the 18th ranked Texas Longhorns completed the sweep with a come from behind 7-6 win on a cold and dreary Sunday. LSU returns to the diamond for a game on Wednesday against Holy Cross.
News for Friday 030119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Local, State and Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating “threatening graffiti” found on the walls of a bathroom at Alexandria Senior High School. The Graffiti contained a message threatening that a shooting would take place in the future. Officers collected photos of the graffiti, which was removed from the walls.
The Rapides Parish DA’s Office has dismissed charges against five Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office corrections officers who are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for an excessive force complaint from an inmate. According to District Attorney Phillip Terrell, the decision was made to hold off on the charges as a federal investigation continues and the Department of Justice takes the lead. So far, there has been no indication when the investigation will wrap up or if it will head to a federal grand jury. The Parish charges, according to Terrell, can be reinstated.
It’s going to be a rainy Mardi Gras weekend, and revelers should plan to pack an umbrella and rain coat if they plan on enjoying the parades for the next few day. State Climatologist Barry Keim says if you are going out, tonight is the night to do it.
After tonight’s low rain chances, the weather will really start getting dicey. Keim says Saturday, which features possibly the largest parade crowds, you’ll almost certain get some precipitation. Starting Monday the rain will disappear, and be replaced by frigid temperatures, with Fat Tuesday projected to feature temperatures in the lower 50s.
Gov. John Bel Edward issued a state of emergency Thursday as the Mississippi River continues to rise above flood stage and other rivers and tributaries, like the Ouachita River and Bayou Bartholomew, top their banks. The state of emergency allows faster access to resources in a flood fight.
A new bill that requires background checks for not only the sale of a firearm, but also the temporary transfer of a firearm, has passed in the Democrat-controlled House. The bill, called the Bipartisan Backgrounds Check Act of 2019, if the first of two bills focused on gun regulations this week to be passed through the house. A second bill, passed today, aims at extending the time to complete a background check before a gun sale can go through. Both bills are expected to be shot down in the Republican controlled Senate.
Louisiana's state agriculture department on Thursday offered to give LSU permission to expand its medical marijuana-growing operations if its contractor meets certain conditions related to the regulatory process. Under the agreement, which has not yet been signed, LSU and its contractor, GB Sciences Louisiana, would be allowed to move "plant material" into the vegetative room and mother room of its production facility in south Baton Rouge. The endeavor has been delayed several times, keeping marijuana from reaching patients several years after the state legalized the program.
Louisiana's Democratic Party is seeking public records from Congressman Clay Higgins' previous law enforcement career after the former deputy claimed he arrested "thousands" while grilling Michael Cohen during Wednesday's Capitol Hill hearing. To quote the congressman, "I've arrested several thousand men and you remind me of many of them," Higgins, who also quoted Scripture and told Cohen he didn't even know who he was before the hearing.
The Powerball jackpot is currently at $348 million for this Saturday’s drawing, and Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says the cash value of the multistate drawing’s jackpot is right around $211.9 million. She also adds don’t toss out that ticket if you don’t win the big prize, as you could still win something.
A 54-year-old wheelchair bound pedestrian was struck and killed in Lafourche Parish Wednesday. Carl Guidry was pronounced dead on the scene, and the driver of the vehicle that struck him, 77-year-old Charles Richard Junior passed an on scene alcohol test and was not charged. Richard told authorities he did not see Mr. Guidry in the road, as he was rounding a curve when the accident occurred.
New Orleans police released video footage Thursday of a dramatic Feb. 17 shootout between officers and a suspect in several robberies, a gun battle that left the suspect dead and five bystanders wounded in the Central Business District.
The footage – along with a briefing by NOPD officials – revealed three of the injured bystanders may have been shot by police as they exchanged gunfire with Reginald Bursey. Bursey immediately shot at one of two uniformed officers who approached him to question him in connection with at least one robbery. Despite being about a yard away, he missed the officer and struck a 17-year-old girl walking nearby on Canal Street.
The number one ranked LSU Tigers take their 8-0 record on the road for the first time this season when they visit 18th ranked Texas this weekend. Junior center fielder Zach Watson says he’s looking forward to playing on the home field of one of the top college baseball programs in the country. The Longhorns visited LSU last year and the Tigers took two of three.
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