News For Tuesday 11/24/15
News for Tuesday 112415
By Dave Graichen
The Curtis-Coleman Bridge over the Red River will be closed between 8 a.m. and noon today, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The bridge on U.S. highways 71 and 165 will be closed for the demolition of concrete piers on the old O.K. Allen Bridge. The closure was moved to today from Monday. Also, all traffic on the Red River will be shut down both 30 minutes before and after the demolition.
Governor-elect John Bel Edwards names state senator Ben Nevers of Boglausa as his chief of staff when he takes office on January 11th. In his first address since winning election, Edwards told teachers Monday that he entered the race because he wanted to improve education, but his first focus will be on the state budget. He told the annual convention of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers that he wouldn’t ban vouchers and wouldn’t close charter schools as his election opponents repeatedly claimed during the campaign. But he would insist on greater accountability of charter schools.
Lake Charles business owner Laura Leach, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, Baton Rouge senator Sharon Weston Broome, former legislator Taylor Townsend and Baton Rouge businessman Richard Lipsey are also on the Governor Elect’s transition team.
US Representative John Fleming of Minden has joined fellow Republican Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany in letting voters know that he plans to run for US Senate next year. Boustany, state treasurer John Kennedy and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle are other candidates could run for Vitter’s seat as the former gubernatorial candidate has announced he’s not seeking re-election in 2016.
Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser visited his soon-to-be state offices Monday, assuring employees they would still have a job after his January inauguration if they wanted it.
Nungesser said he may bring a couple of people who worked in his campaign to Baton Rouge, but he says he’s not in a hurry to make any decisions.
With rumors swirling that LSU’s Les Miles will be fired at the end of the regular season, the head coach addressed the situation at his weekly Monday news conference. Miles says his focus is not on his job status, but on the players and coaches and getting them ready to play Texas A-and-M on Saturday night. Tiger Rag Editor Cody Worsham says Miles’ 15 million dollar buyout isn’t much of a determining factor because those who want him gone are willing to front that money.
When the state legislature reconvenes for a new term there will be two more republicans in the House, bringing the total to 61 GOP members in the lower chamber. Democrats picked up a seat in the Senate, dropping the number of republicans to 25.
New Orleans Police announce the arrest of the suspect wanted in the Friday shooting of a Tulane medical student. Video surveillance shows 25-year-old Peter Gold trying to help a woman who was apparently being mugged by 21-year-old Euric Cain. Cain pulled a gun on Gold and shot him in the abdomen. Cain then pointed the gun at Gold’s head and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed. Cain is charged with attempted first degree murder, second degree kidnapping, and armed robbery.
Not many tips are coming in after the shooting at Bunny Friend Playground that left 17 people injured in front of about 500 people. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says this was an act of domestic terrorism. He says there were a lot of onlookers recording on their cell phones and isn’t sure why more people haven’t come forward with information.
Bossier Parish authorities are investigating why a mother fatally shot her son and injured another woman while driving down Interstate 20. Bossier Parish officials say 47-year-old Dora Blake of Minden took out a handgun and shot the two people in the front. Blake, who was highly intoxicated, was booked into Bossier Maximum Security Facility on a one million dollar bond.
The two men arrested in Florida for the killing of a Baton Rouge couple, whose bodies were found at a Hammond truck stop last month, are expected to be transported back to Louisiana in the coming days. A Broward County, Florida State’s Attorney spokesperson says arrangements are being made to extradite both Frank Garcia and Ernesto Alonso to face murder charges in the deaths of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier. Alonso stopped resisting his extradition last week. Garcia waived extradition yesterday.
For the fourth year in a row, the cost for a traditional Thanksgiving meal has increased. The LSU AgCenter surveyed Baton Rouge retailers and found the cost of items to prepare a meal for 10 was $49.81, a $1.31 increase from last year. Economist Kurt Guidry says a rise in turkey prices led to this year’s price increase. He says, on the wholesale level, the price of turkey is up 9-percent from a year ago.
According to a recent poll, a record number of people plan to shop local for Small Business Saturday. Dawn Starns, the Louisiana state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says this is so encouraging because this is the time of year where small businesses are in competition with big name stores. She says shoppers are often looking for unique gifts and items and that’s where your small business retailer comes in handy. Starns encourages shoppers to keep local stores in mind this holiday season, because says the money spent at a small retailer goes right back into the local economy.
News For Monday 11/23/15
News for Monday 112315
By Dave Graichen
A state representative from Amite is the next governor of Louisiana. John Bel Edwards defeated Republican David Vitter by double digits, becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide election since 2008. How quickly elections can change. About a month ago, Vitter was the odds on favorite to be the next governor of Louisiana. The then two gubernatorial candidates had asked legislators to reject the plan.
Republican Senator David Vitter has decided to not seek re-election to the US Senate next year. Vitter made the announcement during his gubernatorial election concession speech Saturday night. Vitter said when he decided to run for governor, he wanted to pursue challenges outside the Senate, no matter the outcome of this election. Vitter said he had reached his personal term limit in the Senate.
Two-term Republican incumbent Buddy Caldwell was defeated in the Attorney General’s race as fellow Republican and former Congressman Jeff Landry won by 12-percentage points. Caldwell says he’s proud of the work he’s done as the state’s top lawyer. Landry says he’s thankful for the support he’s received and now plans to bring honor and integrity to the Attorney General’s office.
Rapides Parish voters approved a parish wide senior citizens tax on Saturday, along with three district taxes. Voter turnout, only 28.8 percent.
The joint legislative budget committee approves Governor Bobby Jindal’s proposal to close a 487-million dollar budget deficit. The plan calls for cuts to state agencies, patchwork financing and tapping into the rainy day fund. Senate president John Alario says it’s not a perfect plan, but it puts something in place until a new governor takes over in January.
Louisiana’s unemployment rate rose slightly to six-point-two percent in October based on figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that’s lower than last October when the unemployment rate was seven-percent. The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the civilian labor force lost nearly 12-thousand workers from September to October. The two main factors, low oil prices and a decline of government workers.
NOPD reporting at least 16 people were hospitalized in New Orleans Sunday evening, following a shooting during a party at a city park. The shooting broke out at Bunny Friend Park in the Upper Ninth Ward where about 500 people were gathered at the playground for the impromptu shooting of a music video. The victims were all in stable condition.
According to the personal finance website, Kiplinger, Louisiana ranks fourth for best state to live in for low taxes and it’s also eighth for retirees. Kiplinger Senior Associate Editor Sandra Block says the Pelican State has a variety of tax friendly policies. Plus, Block says Louisiana’s income tax is also one of the lowest in the US.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has kicked off their Thanksgiving holiday Click it or Ticket campaign. State Police Trooper Michael Reichardt says nobody wants to remember the holidays tragically and buckling up has been proven to save lives. He says in addition to checking for seatbelt violations, troopers will also be on the lookout for motorists drinking and driving. Reichardt says there will be increased patrols through November 29th.
The President of the University of Louisiana System is stepping down. Sandra Woodley gave no explanation for her resignation. In a released statement, Woodley says she is proud of what the system has been able to accomplish during her presidency which began in January of 2013. Woodley will leave her post at the end of the year. She will remain on board to serve in a transitional capacity through March 31st.
A man from Denham Springs will spend the rest of his life behind bars for shooting up his fiancee with a lethal dose of heroin. 26-year-old Jarret McCasland was found guilty of second-degree murder. East Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore says evidence against McCasland was overwhelming and the jury didn’t take long to return a verdict. 19-year-old Flavia Cardenas died of a heroin overdose in July of 2013
Is Les Miles getting ready to coach his last game in Tiger Stadium? It’s a possibility after the Tigers suffered their third straight loss in an embarrassing 38-17 defeat to Ole Miss. Coach Les Miles says his job status didn’t affect his players’ performance. This is the first time LSU has lost three straight games with Miles as the coach. A published report in the Advocate last week said Miles was coaching for his job after suffering losses to Alabama and Arkansas. The head coach says he doesn’t know if he’s in danger of losing his job.
News For Friday 11/20/15
News for Friday 112015
By Dave Graichen
Funeral services for former Northwestern State University President Randall Webb will be Monday at 10am in Prather Coliseum on the NSU campus. Visitation will be Sunday from 3pm-6pm in the Prather Coliseum arena. School officials say the 72-year-old died Wednesday after a long illness. At 18 years, Webb was the longest-serving president in the history of Northwestern State.
Governor Bobby Jindal is calling on the candidates for Governor to outline specific budget proposals instead of criticizing the one his Administration has laid out. Both Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards say they would reject Jindal’s plan to address the current year budget deficit. Jindal says neither candidate is suggesting detailed solutions and they should have the guts to say what their plan is.
Officials gathered in New Orleans Thursday morning to assure citizens that there is no terrorist threat imminent in Louisiana. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says there are no credible threats from any of the Syrian refugees there. FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet (sa-LET) says there is a very strong Joint Terrorism Task Force in the state. He says their job is to protect the citizens of Louisiana from attacks like the ones in France.
Saturday is election day in Louisiana. The statewide ballot is highlighted by the gubernatorial runoff between Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says, with this election falling on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, there’s concern that some activities may keep some voters from the polls. However, early voting numbers have Schedler predicting a 42-percent voter turnout for the runoff, up from the primary election’s 39-percent. The Lt. Governor and Attorney General’s races will also be on Saturday’s ballot. Polls will be open from 7AM to 8PM.
Retired Gen. Russel Honoré, once thought to be a possible wildcard in the governor's race, has endorsed Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards. In a robo-call that started yesterday Honore’ says he has seen Edwards’ honorable character first hand, he goes on to call Edwards a "dedicated family man" and "statesman" who is "independent." The retired general is best known for his work in rebuilding New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Baton Rouge Police report a second man has been arrested in the slaying of an elderly Baton Rouge couple whose bodies were discovered at a Hammond truck stop last month. Lt. Johnny Dunham says 48-year-old Frank Garcia was arrested in Florida and will be charged with two counts of first degree murder. Dunham says this is still an active investigation and it’s possible more arrests could be made.
Gas prices keep dropping in Louisiana. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is now $1.91 according to GasBuddy with the lowest price in New Orleans at $1.58.
The City of Natchitoches officially kicks off their Christmas Festival season tomorrow with its “Turn on the Holidays” event. Entertainment, shopping and food vendors will be showcased throughout the day, then that evening, hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights will illuminate the Natchitoches Historic Landmark District. The event marks the beginning of the city’s preparation for the 89th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 5th.
Louisiana fishermen have the rare opportunity to catch red snapper in state waters in November and December. Randy Pausina, assistant secretary for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, says a fall red snapper season begins today, after it was determined Louisiana did not reach its maximum number of red fish harvested for 2015. The fall season will run seven days a week in state waters and should remain open through the end of the year.
The LSU football team looks to snap its two-game losing streak on Saturday when they visit Ole Miss. The Tigers offense has struggled to put points on the board the last two weeks. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron says they want to get the running game going after attempting to throw the ball 40 times last week.
News For Thursday 11/19/15
News for Thursday 111915
By Dave Graichen
31 Year old Casey McClain of Alexandria is under arrest in Grant Parish after Sheriff’s Deputies found methamphetamine in his pocket and two syringes in his vehicle. McClain is charged with possession, fourth offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Grant parish Sheriff’s office says McClain also had four outstanding warrants from other agencies.
Just in time for your holiday travels, the State police has announced extra law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for seat-belt violations in Louisiana as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign. State Police troopers will be on the roads Nov. 22-29 to enforce Louisiana’s mandatory seat-belt law.
Governor Bobby Jindal is back in Louisiana after ending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. At a Governor’s Mansion news conference in Baton Rouge, Jindal said he has no regrets seeking the nation’s highest elected office. He stated that the failure of his campaign rests solely on his shoulders. The governor, who has a little over seven weeks left in his second and final term, said he’s not sure what his political future holds. Jindal said he is not getting involved in the governor’s race.
The Jindal administration releases its plan to solve a 487-million dollar budget deficit. It calls for 150-million dollars in cuts to state agencies, dipping into the state’s “rainy day” fund and using revenues from lawsuit settlements. The plan does NOT call for cuts to higher education or state worker layoffs. However, the proposed deficit reduction plan calls for a 130-million dollar reduction in state spending by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Folks will be preparing for the Thanksgiving Holidays in a week and vacationing motorists will enjoy low gas prices. In Louisiana, the statewide average for a gallon of regular is just $1.94 according to the American Automobile Association.
According to officials with Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge, a gun threat came in because they help Syrian refugees resettle in Louisiana. State Police Col Mike Edmonson says a phone call came in from out of state and they are taking it very seriously. As concerns over the Syrian refugee situation continue to grow, Edmonson says several other Catholic Charities in other states have also received threats and that’s unacceptable.
Five straight losses to Alabama and a possibly seven-win regular season might not be acceptable to LSU athletics director Joe Alleva. The Advocate is reporting Coach Les Miles is coaching for his job in the next two regular season games. On today’s SEC coaches teleconference, Miles says there is no added pressure to win. Miles’ contract runs through the 2019 season, but LSU can buy him out of his remaining years, but it would cost them at least 12.9 million dollars.
The former president of Northwestern State University Dr. Randall Webb has passed away at the age of 72. Webb was the longest serving president in the history of the University, serving for 18 years, from 1996 to 2014. State Senator Gerald Long of Natchitoches knew Webb for almost 50 years and says he had a great love for the school and for life itself.
A Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force in Ouachita Parish has netted 75 arrests in cities including Monroe, West Monroe, Sterlington and Bastrop. Cops say totals for narcotics seized in the operation were six pounds of marijuana, 2.5 grams of crack, 28.7 grams of cocaine, 7.1 grams of meth and 22 units of prescription pills. They added this operation is not over.
The site of the Lafayette movie theater shooting is reopening tonight and a series of events are happening beforehand to honor victims and first responders of the tragic summer shooting. A small vigil will take place at 6pm, the ribbon cutting is at 6:25 then the newly renovated Grand 16 Theater box office will open at 6:45.
A man from Thibodaux was arrested for allegedly using a spare key to enter a woman’s home and watch her take a shower. Thibodaux PD says 21-year-old Brandon Polkey knew a mutual friend of the victim and he knew where she kept a spare key. He is charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and peeping tom.
News For Wednesday 11/18/15
News for Wednesday 111815
By Dave Graichen
Governor Bobby Jindal has announced he’s dropping out of the 2016 Presidential race. In a statement, Jindal says now is not his time. The governor says he’ll go back to work at the think tank he started a few years ago, called America Next. Jindal’s second term as governor ends in January.
The debate on whether or not to accept Syrian refugees has become an issue in Louisiana’s gubernatorial race. In a new TV commercial, Republican David Vitter claims Democrat John Bel Edwards has pledged to work with President Obama to bring Syrian refugees to Louisiana.
Edwards has fired back at Vitter claiming the senator missed key votes regarding the Syrian refugee issue.
Gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards will campaign in Alexandria and Marksville on Thursday. Edwards will attend a rally at 10 a.m. Thursday at Spirits Food and Friends restaurant, on Texas Ave. in Alexandria. At 1 p.m. Thursday, he will be at a rally at the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville. The rallies are open to the public.
The Arts Council of Central Louisiana is taking over management of the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in downtown Alexandria. The Alexandria City Council on Tuesday adopted an ordinance authorizing Mayor Jacques Roy to enter into a cooperative endeavor with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana for a lease and management agreement of the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. The center has been managed by the Central Louisiana Community Foundation.
Two Opelousas men were arrested Tuesday by Louisiana State Police, accused of trying to funnel drugs into the Avoyelles Correctional Center through work-release inmates. When the pair was arrested Tuesday, they had more than 50 bundles of synthetic marijuana and more than 20 packages of cigarette paper.
Fatal crashes in Louisiana are on the rise. The state Highway Safety Commission says in 2014, 739 people died on Louisiana’s roadways, up 2% from the prior year. Stats also show the number of 18-24 year olds dying in alcohol related crashes is up as well.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says they are suspending the 2015 Tax Amnesty Program until December 1st. They say there was a mistake with the information included in some of the amnesty invitation letters so they decided to stop the period until the letters can be corrected.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana ranked number two nationally for worker safety in 2014. They survey showed Louisiana improved to 2 incidents per 100 full time workers. The national average is 3.2. Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eyesink credits business and industry in the state as well as their employees
Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control commissioner Troy Hebert announces he will be leaving his post at the end of 2015 after having served as the head of the ATC the past 5 years. In a statement, Hebert says he looks forward to spending time with his family and added, “Who knows. I may have one more political race in me.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has implemented new guidelines that calls for 100% screening of imported seafood before it enters the country. The new policy comes after U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy questioned the FDA when studies showed large amounts of bacteria in imported seafood. Cassidy says our Louisiana producers are required to follow strict safety measures and we should demand that other countries do the same. He hopes this new policy will help local shrimpers.
Another one of the big items on the 2015 runoff ballot on Saturday is the race for Lt. Governor. In a recent forum, both Republican Billy Nungesser and Democrat Kip Holden were asked what was the first thing they planned to do if they were elected to the state’s second highest post. Holden said he’s going to travel the state and find out what people want for their cities Nungesser says he’s going to put together a package to present to the legislature that would restore cuts to the state’s parks, museums and historical sites…
News For Tuesday 11/17/15
News for Tuesday 111715
By Dave Graichen
Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, during a press conference yesterday announced that the Confederate Flag will not be a part of that city’s Christmas parade as it has been for the past 20 plus years. Posey said Monday that he knew controversy would surround his decision, but “the decision was made because it was the right thing to do.” Posey said he attempted to work out a compromise by agreeing to allow other Confederate flags, but not the “flag of controversy” , in the parade, but to no avail. Posey did want to make it clear that the city of Natchitoches has not banned the Confederate flag from public display. Just from being a part of the parade.
A flash flood watch is in effect for a good portion of Louisiana today and forecasters say there’s a good chance we could see severe storms as result of massive weather system that will move through the bayou state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says be ready for anything. Keim says we’ve seen strong storm systems move through the state over the last couple of weeks, but this one has the greatest potential to produce damaging storms
It what was most likely their last debate before the runoff election Saturday, Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter faced off Monday night in what turned out to be a very disorganized shout fest. Over the hour, the candidates talked over each other and the moderators in often angry tones. The live audience yelled over some of the questions, becoming rowdy to the point that it became hard to hear their answers. Most political pundits across the state agree little if anything new came out of the event.
The latest JMC Analytics survey on the Louisiana gubernatorial race shows Democrat John Bel Edwards with 51% of the vote, Republican David Vitter with 35% and 13% still say they are undecided. The poll, which was conducted November 14th-16th, also shows Republican Billy Nungesser leading Democrat Kip Holden by 11 points in the Lt. Governor’s race, with 21% undecided.
The Department of Revenue’s 2015 Louisiana Tax Amnesty period officially began yesterday. Over the next 30 days people have the opportunity to bring overdue taxes up to date with lessened interest charges. Deputy Secretary Jarrod Coniglio (ca-nig-lee-oh) hopes people will take advantage of this amnesty period because state law dictates another one cannot be offered for at least 10 years.
A strange Monday in the Saints’ world began with coach Sean Payton shooting down a report from Fox Sports that the team was firing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. It ended with Payton announcing that Ryan had been fired after all. It wasn’t unexpected, but Payton apparently wasn’t willing to announce it when he first met with local media not long after Fox first ran its report. On Monday evening on his WWL Radio show, Payton confirmed that Ryan was out and that Dennis Allen will take over as defensive coordinator.
Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order Monday telling state agencies to not accept the resettlement of any more refugees of the Syrian civil war into Louisiana. The order comes after the US State Department said 14 Syrian refugees had been resettled in Louisiana so far this year. It called on State Police to “monitor and avert threats within the State of Louisiana.”
A month after Louisiana’s Office of Motor Vehicles sent out 1.2 million pre-collection notices to drivers with lapsed auto insurance causing an outcry over what some residents called a money grab by the state the agency sent 700,000 new letters Friday warning delinquent drivers they are one step closer to being forced to pay up. Recipients of the 700,000 letters, some of which are repeats of the 1.2 million originally sent, will have 30 days to pay the penalties for expired insurance, he said. Fines range from $125 to $525, according to the initial notices.
The 17th ranked LSU football team will look to snap a two-game losing streak this Saturday in Oxford where they’ll take on the 25th ranked Ole Miss Rebels. The Tigers no longer have a chance at winning a national championship or an SEC title, but Coach Les Miles believes there’s a desire within the program to finish the regular season with two more wins. Miles is in his eleventh season as head coach and frustration within the fan base maybe at an all-time high since the mad hatter arrived in Baton Rouge.
News For Monday 11/16/15
News for Monday 111615
By Dave Graichen
Following a request from Gov. Bobby Jindal for more information about Syrian refugees after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, the State Department confirmed Sunday that 14 Syrian refugees have been allowed into Louisiana this year. The State Department confirmed to WWL TV in New Orleans Seven Syrian refugees have resettled in Kenner, six in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge. On Saturday, Gov. Bobby Jindal wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking him for more information about Syrian refugees, saying the state has been “kept in the dark.” Multiple blogs reported earlier this month that 10,000 Syrian refugees had settled in New Orleans
Governor Jindal will reportedly not endorse a candidate in the runoff. The Republican Presidential candidate said voters can make up their own minds without him announcing who he is backing. A recent UNO poll of likely voters in Louisiana showed Jindal had a 70 percent disapproval rating, so analysts say it’s not likely his endorsement would have helped either candidate.
Early voting for Saturday’s runoff elections for governor and other offices is up 16 percent from primary figures, with the largest increases in urban areas. Elections officials said 257,021 of Louisiana’s 2.89 million registered voters had cast ballots by the time early voting ended Saturday. Saturday’s ballot is topped by the race for governor between Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter. Political analyst John Couvillon said the early voting figures suggest that a 44 percent turnout is likely Saturday, up from 39 percent in the Oct. 24 primary. Increases were higher among African-Americans and registered Democrats than among whites and registered Republicans.
In the 2015 University of New Orleans Louisiana Gubernatorial Runoff survey, polls show Republican Bill Nungesser in a 10 point lead over Democrat Kip Holden in the Lt. Governor’s race. Ed Chervenak, director of the UNO Survey Research Center, says the poll also showed that two-thirds of people feel Louisiana is headed in the wrong direction and Governor Jindal with a 70 percent disapproval rating. This was the same poll that found Democrat John Bel Edwards with a 22 point lead over Republican David Vitter.
Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bell Edwards will meet in another televised debate this evening. The debate will begin at 6PM and is being hosted by Nexstar Television stations.
Lawyers for Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his estranged heirs have agreed to mediation over Benson’s lawsuit to remove them as future owners of the teams. Legal analyst Tim Meche believes this is a sign that the judge presiding over the case indicated to Benson’s lawyers that they would not win the case during trial. . Benson’s lawsuit seeks to take back stock in the team from his heirs and force them out as non-voting owners of the teams. Meche says, at the end of the day, both parties are going to have to sit together and come to some understanding.
Due to this year’s outbreak of avian influenza, will there be enough turkeys for Thanksgiving? Professor and Poultry Extension Specialist with the LSU Ag Center Theresia Lavergne says the last confirmed case of this flu was in June and it affected almost four percent of turkeys in the country. She says but you’ll still be able to find a turkey. But, it will cost, we could see a 20 to 40 cent increase per pound for the bird.
LSU is in jeopardy of having its once promising football season spiral out of control. The Tigers were manhandled for a second straight week on Saturday, this time by Arkansas, who beat LSU 31-14. It was a rough game for the offense line as LSU only rushed for 59 yards and allowed five sacks.
It was a brutal performance for the Saints on Sunday as they were routed by the Redskins 47-14. Coach Sean Payton says it will be hard to look at the tape and find anything that went well. The Saints defense set the tone for this one, as they allowed Washington to march 96 yards down the field on its first drive and score a touchdown. New Orleans allowed 514 yards of total offense. The Saints are entering the bye week with a 4-6 record.
News For Friday 11/13/15
News for Friday 111315
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana has a nice weekend coming up with cooler temperatures as a front moves through the state today. Meteorologists say the air is going to be dry and temps are expected to me in the mid to upper 60s for the next several days.
The father of the six-year-old who was killed in an officer involved shooting last week in Marksville has reportedly been released from the hospital. Chris Few was said to be critically injured by gunfire that ended the life of Jeremy Mardis. Two city marshal deputies are the accused shooters and one of them is in the process of trying to bond out.
A gag order remains in place when it comes to information authorities can release to the public about last week’s fatal shooting by two Marksville deputy marshals. State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson visited with District Judge William Bennett and Edmonson says the judge is adamant that no evidence can be released. An attorney for Few says police body camera footage shows Few with his hands up, but Edmonson says only a select group of people have seen the video.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office says one of the Marksville officers involved in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy was not bonded out yesterday because of a technical issue. It’s reportedly due to a state law banning attorneys from bonding out defendants. Sheriff Doug Anderson says the father of 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr., who is an attorney, was preparing a million dollar property bond to get his released. It appears it may be Monday before that happens..
A new poll on the governor’s race published by The Advocate shows Democrat John Bel Edwards’ double-digit lead over Republican David Vitter slipping a bit. According to the survey, conducted by Market Research Insight, Edwards beats Vitter, 52 to 38 percent, if roughly 26-percent of African-Americans vote in the election. The survey shows Edwards support among white voters has fallen 10-percent while Vitter gained 8-percent support. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says this could signify some backlash over Edwards’ negative “prostitutes over patriots” ad.
A telephone poll of 600 likely voters conducted by the University of New Orleans found that Democrat John Bel Edwards has a 22-percent lead over Republican David Vitter in the governor’s race. UNO survey research center director, Doctor Ed Chervenak, says the unpopularity of Governor Bobby Jindal seems to be spilling over into the governor’s race. Jindal had a 70-percent disapproval rating in the poll.
According to fundraising totals released Thursday, Edwards has received $4.5 million in contributions since the primary while Vitter raised $2.6 million during the same time.
Republican gubernatorial candidate David Vitter is out with a new ad which features he and Willie Robertson of the Duck Dynasty clan. In the commercial, Robertson says he knows Vitter has made some mistakes but adds, “Who hasn’t?
Early voting ends tomorrow and Secretary of State Tom Schedler urges everyone to go out and exercise your right to vote. Schedler says it’s important to early vote, because November 21st is the weekend before Thanksgiving, which will be a busy time for many. Schedler says the number of early voters is outpacing what we saw in the primary. Total voter turnout in October was 39-percent and he says we could possibly have the anomaly where the general election receives a better turnout than in the primary.
Gas prices in Louisiana continued to creep up Thursday as the statewide average is about to reach the $2.00 mark for a gallon of regular. Petroleum analysts say the creep up is the result of volatility in oil prices at the end of October. As of this morning, Louisiana gas prices are still among the lowest five states in the nation.
Some seafood shops will be selling crawfish this weekend. Alan Matherne, with the LSU AgCenter, says farmers have recently flooded their ponds and the crawfish they caught are holdovers from last year’s season, so they have good size to them, but they will be a little pricey. He says January through March is typically when the harvest is at its peak.
A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the nation’s obesity rate has climbed to almost 38-percent, which is up from 32-percent ten years ago. Department of Health and Hospitals Assistant Secretary of Public Health JT Lane says Louisiana’s obesity rate is at 35 percent and although they’d like to see it lower, we’re heading in the right direction. The C-D-C found the obesity rate for women in the country is now higher than men. Lane says in Louisiana the obesity rate for women is 36-percent and for men it’s 33-percent. He says there is an even greater disparity between white and black adults.
The Thibodaux Police Department says a woman who has been convicted on theft charges five times is under arrest again this time for allegedly stealing crayons and ink pens. Since 36-year-old Janell Davis of Franklin has been convicted 5 times for theft of goods within the past 10 years, the theft of the crayons is a felony.
LSU basketball tips off a new season filled with high expectations tonight as they host McNeese State. Many believe the Tigers can make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
You can hear that game tonight beginning at 6:30 on 970 KSYL.
The 4-and-5 Saints visit the Washington Redskins, who also has a losing record at 3-and-5. New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees says with the playoffs fast approaching, now is the time to string some victories together. After the Sunday’s game against the Redskins, New Orleans will have a bye week. Brees says with an open week coming up, it makes it even more important to get a victory. That game Sunday morning starting at 10 on 96.9 kzmz.
News For Thursday 11/12/15
News for Thursday
By Dave Graichen
Fall weather is definitely on its way, as a cold front finishes passing the state today and gets rid of the humidity. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the air is going to be dry and cool with high temperatures in the mid to upper 60s for the next few days. Keim says come Saturday and Sunday, we’ll see low temperatures in the 40s. He says for the next three days, it’s time to break out the sweaters and jackets. Keim says make sure you’re well prepared on Saturday when tailgating for the LSU- Arkansas game because it will be the chilliest game of the season.
One of the Marksville officers involved in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy and injuring of his father, is reportedly set to be released on a million dollars bond today. Apparently 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr.s’ dad is securing property to come up with the bond. Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford are each charged with second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.
You’ve probably noticed we’re dealing with a major mosquito problem in Louisiana right now, even this far into November. Colby Colona, President of the Louisiana Mosquito Control Association, says blame the weather. She urges folks to protect themselves from mosquitoes until things really start to cool off. Colder temperatures are expected to move in over the next several days.
At this time last year, three-percent of all doctor visits were because of the flu. That’s according to Dr. Frank Welch, with the Department of Health and Hospitals. Welch says this year they are seeing fewer cases. Welch says it’s not hard to explain why we saw more flu cases at this time last year. He says last year’s flu shot was ineffective against the strain going around, which led to more cases. The doctor says this year’s flu vaccination should be more successful.
A New Orleans organization advocating for low-income residents urged Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to end a new minimum work requirement enacted for more than 60,000 food stamp recipients. The group Stand With Dignity sent a complaint letter to Jindal and his Department of Children and Families Services secretary, Suzy Sonnier, calling the work requirements “unreasonably harsh.” The Jindal administration let a federal waiver expire on Oct. 1 that allowed adults aged 18 to 49 without children to receive food stamps without a work requirement. They will soon be required to work at least 20 hours per week or be enrolled in a federally-approved job training program to receive benefits.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office says a man is dead and another is behind bars after a fight escalated between the two over a dog. They believe the suspect, 38-year-old Danny Breaux of Raceland, arranged to buy the dog from 39-year-old Duong Tran, but ended up not paying for it. Cops say during a fight over the matter, Breaux beat Tran to death. He will be booked on a charge of second-degree murder.
State Police say an “on duty” Shreveport Firefighter has been placed under arrest and charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile, computer aided solicitation of a minor and prostitution. They say 35-year-old Brian Garza believed he had set up a sex encounter with a 13-year-old and her mother together, but when he left the fire station to meet up, he was met by troopers and arrested.
Joe’s Crab Shack, which has locations across the country including Louisiana, is the first major restaurant chain to experiment with dropping tipping wages for its servers, and paying them higher, fixed, hourly wages. Don Kasten is an Assistant Professor at Nicholls State’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. He expects this to become a trend. The Joe’s Crab Shack owner said front house workers at select restaurants will now earn hourly wages of around $12-$14, and prices on the menu increase around 15%.
The New Orleans Saints and Pelicans’ owner has donated $20 million to expand the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner Medical Center. The money is on top of the $5 million gift Tom Benson gave to create the center in 2010. The money will go toward growing cancer care services and advancing clinical research at Ochsner’s main campus in Jefferson Parish. Since its creation, the center has served patients from eight states and seven countries. Last year, 24,000 patients were treated. In 2008, Benson underwent surgery there to remove a cancerous mass on his left kidney.
News For Wednesday 11/11/15
News for Wednesday 111115
By Dave Graichen
Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside each year to honor those who have served in the US Armed Forces. Louisiana National Guard Col. Pete Schneider says Veterans Day is a day of reflection and thanks, but it’s also a day to celebrate those who served and kept us free… He says Veterans Day is not only a day to thank those who serve, but their families for the sacrifices they make, too. Schneider says there are about 10,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard and many have been deployed overseas. If you happen to see a veteran today, Schneider encourages you to thank them for their service.
Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards spent a lot of time attacking each other’s record during an hour long televised debate last night. Edwards made the case that Vitter is a very ineffective senator and says if he’s elected governor, he’ll just continue Governor Bobby Jindal’s failed policies. Vitter claims Edwards is completely misrepresenting his record, when in fact on many occasions he publically disagreed with Jindal. He says Edwards hasn’t ever stood up against his party leader, President Barack Obama.
During the debate the candidates did talk about education, Medicaid, transportation and workforce development. The conversation got testy towards the end when Vitter’s prostitution scandal was brought up. Edwards made reference to his “Patriots over Prostitutes” commercial. Vitter says Edwards is acting “holier than thou,”
The FBI is reportedly assisting in the case of the Marksville officer-involved shooting that killed a 6-year-old and left his father, Chris Few, injured. A judge issued a gag order and the media is being denied requests for public records. It’s also reported that the condition of the father, Few, is now listed as “confidential” — meaning there will be no more updates provided on his condition.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says he’s seeing more participation during early voting in this election than for the primary. Schedler says typically the general election receives less votes than the primary, but numbers are looking good during this early voting period, even though there will be no voting today because of Veteran’s Day. Schedler says he thinks voters are much more engaged with the runoff election, possibly because the ballot is smaller and the candidates are more recognizable. Voter turnout for the primary was 39-percent. Schedler says he’s not ready to say we’ll see a higher turnout for the runoff.
A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity says Louisiana gets an F in a look at states on transparency and accountability. States were graded on things like access to public information, ethics enforcement and government accountability. Overall Louisiana ranked 41st in the CPI State Integrity Investigation.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand releases new information regarding the spying scandal involving a person hired by the David Vitter Campaign. Normand says he’s been able to recover deleted recordings from the device of PI Robert Frenzel. He says one of the videos shows the owner of the PI firm trying to coerce someone into saying a blog written by Jason Berry on Vitter’s previous relationship with a prostitute, was false. Normand says they also uncovered a secret video on Frenzel’s device, which shows a conversation with a potential witness to discredit the Wendy Ellis/Cortez prostitute’s story about her relationship with Vitter.
Normand says they will be meeting with the FBI on Thursday to discuss the findings.
LSU of Alexandria hired Richard Thiberville, Jr. Tuesday as its first sports information director. Thiberville comes to LSUA from Loyola University of New Orleans where he has served in the school's sports information department for the previous five years. Thiberville will take over updating the statistics for all LSUA athletics, managing the athletic website, coordinating press releases and press conferences as well as managing social media sites.
The music industry is mourning the death of New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint, who was a songwriter, performer and producer. Toussaint (Two-Saint) was on tour in Europe when he reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack after a performance in Spain. Louisiana Music Hall of Fame President Mike Shepherd says Toussaint was not only one of the biggest international figures in music, but was also a true gentleman. Toussaint (Two-Saint) was 77-years-old.
The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled Louisiana can keep the final Angola 3 inmate in jail and try him again in the 1972 killing of a prison guard. This would be the third time Albert Woodfox would have to face trial as the other two convictions were thrown out on technicalities. Legal analyst Tim Meche says lawyers of Albert Woodfox and those who believe he is innocent, have been very successful in getting the public and the media on their side…:
Woodfox is the last incarcerated member of the Angola 3.
The acts for this year’s Bayou Country Superfest were announced. The annual country musical festival in Tiger Stadium will be three days long during the Memorial Day Weekend. The headliners are Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Eric Church. Producer Quint Davis says if you missed the six previous bayou country superfests, this is the year to go. Tickets go on sale one week from today.
CBS Sports reported Tuesday that the LSU/Alabama game in prime-time this past Saturday was the highest-rated and most-watched college football game so far in the 2015. Nielsen reports that 11.2 million people tuned in to view Bama’s 30-16 victory over the Tigers.
The rumors of New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton leaving the team after this season are not over. Yahoo Sports reporter Charles Robinson says he’s heard from a source that there’s a 50-50 chance Payton will not return for the 2016 season and a lot of the decision depends on the legal battle with Owner Tom Benson and his former heirs.
News For Tuesday 11/03/15
News for Tuesday 111015
By Dave Graichen
The Associated Press is reporting that the lawyer for the man who was gunned down allegedly by Marksville City Marshals when his 6-year-old child was killed, had his hands up and posed no threat. The report indicates the lawyer says the body cam evidence shows it. Bond was set at one million dollars for both Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. on changes of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder.
Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter went toe to toe during an hour long debate at the Baton Rouge Press Club. The two candidates for governor made the case on why they should be elected November 21st. Edwards says if elected, he will govern in a way that is bi-partisan and that reaches out to everyone across the state. Edwards says as governor, he will be the leader that puts Louisiana first. He says after 8 years of Governor Jindal’s failed leadership and disastrous polities, it’s time for a change. Vitter says he and Edwards have starkly different voting records and will take the state in opposite directions.
The first televised debate between gubernatorial candidates Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter will air tonight on LPB stations around the state. The debate will be from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross predicts the candidates will be aggressive, especially because of recent attack ads.
Monday, State Police honored the four people who rendered aid to Trooper Steven Vincent while he was critically wounded during a traffic stop in August. Vincent was shot and killed while trying to assist a motorist with his vehicle. Master Trooper Brooks David says the actions of these men were over and above what anyone would have expected. One being recognized is Robert LeDoux who subdued the alleged shooter, 54-year-old Kevin Daigle, and held him until officers arrived.
Governor Bobby Jindal once again fell short of making the main stage for Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jindal will join New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in a one hour 2nd tier debate that will air at 6pm on the Fox Business Network. This is the fourth televised debate among Republican presidential hopefuls and the fourth time Jindal has failed to qualify for the main event.
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel says the movie theater where a man opened fire on a crowd of people in July, will open its doors for the first time since the shootings in 9 days. On July 23rd, a crazed man shot and killed two women and injured several others at the Grand 16 shortly after a film had started. Durel says this is a symbolic development. Durel says The Grand Theater will open on November 19th at 7pm.
The city of Hammond says its police chief, Roddy Devall, has been removed from his position as the result of a pending disciplinary matter. A letter cited the reasons for the firing were over civil service violations in a dispute over how the police department handled an officer’s arrest.
The new CFP rankings come out tonight and Jerry Palm with CBSsports.com believes there’s still a chance that LSU will be one of four teams to make it to the College Football Playoff, even after the loss to Alabama. He says having one loss doesn’t automatically mean you don’t make the playoffs and he doesn’t think that all of the teams will be undefeated anyway. LSU still has to play and win against Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M to stay alive.
LSU running back Leonard Fournette is not discouraged and gives credit to Alabama for holding him to 31 yards in Saturday’s loss to Alabama. Fournette says it was obvious from the beginning of the game, the Crimson Tide were going to do all they could to stop him. Fournette says the team needs to move past this one and look forward to Saturday’s contest at home against Arkansas.
LSU star running back Leonard Fournette’s used jersey that was allowed to be auctioned off following the displaced South Carolina game to benefit flood victims, went for a whopping $101,000. The high bidder’s user name on the auction website is Coach.
News For Monday 11/09/15
News for Monday 110915
By Dave Graichen
Two men working as City Marshals in Marksville were arrested by State Police for their roles in the killing of a 6-year-old child on the night of November 3rd. The investigation into the death of the boy, Jeremy Mardis, and the injuring of his father, Chris Few, who were fired upon inside their vehicle, is ongoing. Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford were booked on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. The little boy, Jeremy Mardis, will be laid to rest today in Mississippi . His father, Chris Few, remains hospitalized.
Early voting for the November 21st runoff is now underway. Polls will be open from 8:30AM to 6:00PM through November 14th — but will be closed Wednesday in observation of Veterans Day. The marquee races on the ballot are for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.
An administrative law judge will hear testimony from both sides on the proposed sale of Cleco Corp. during hearings in Pineville this week in one of the final steps before the transaction is ultimately approved or rejected. The hearings start today in the Pineville City Council Chambers and could continue through the week. The hearings are public, but only previously entered witnesses will be allowed to testify.
Social media was outraged last night over a banner hanging in Alabama which read “Finish what Katrina started” — ahead of the the LSU/Alabama. The Alabama University student newspaper, The Crimson White, reports the banner was at an off-campus apartment complex and was quickly taken down.
Louisiana Congressmen Ralph Abraham of Alto and Cedric Richmond of New Orleans introduce a bill which tries to prevent death of high school football players. Abraham says the bill will require the CDC to ask for input from parents, coaches, athletic trainers and other health care professionals to discover new methods to prevent future serious injuries or death.
Abraham says the proposed bill would not impose any new regulations, it only directs existing federal agencies to study the issue and offer recommendations for solutions.
During the LSU-Alabama game, Democratic candidate for governor John Bel Edwards unveiled a new TV attack ad accusing Republican opponent David Vitter of answering a prostitute’s call after skipping a vote to honor soldiers killed in the line of duty. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Edwards is on the attack, because internal polls must be showing Vitter is gaining ground. The polls on the governor’s race that have been made public, show Edwards with a double-digit lead over Vitter. Pinsonat expects the November 21st race to be tight and the Edwards campaign has decided to go on the offensive.
Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs is not surprised President Barack Obama said no to a proposal to build the Keystone Pipeline. Obama’s decision ended a seven-year debate over the Canada-to-Texas project that energy advocates said would create thousands of jobs and lower gas prices. Briggs says the President has never liked the idea of this pipeline. Environmental groups applaud the President’s decision as they had concerns for the communities along the pipeline’s route.
The US House has passed a $325 billion dollar transportation package, and has now formed a conference committee with the Senate so that Congress can compromise on how to fund it. They have until November 20th to complete a report for the President’s desk, when highway funding is set to expire. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves is on the compromise committee. The highway bill approved by the House calls for spending $261 billion on highways and $55 billion on transit over six years. The Senate passed similar legislation that guaranteed highway funding for three years. Graves says they are pushing programs for upgrades on nationally significant roadways that should be a priority — such as I-10, I-49 and I-12
A devastating disease of roses caused by the rose rosette virus has been confirmed for the first time in Louisiana. Rose rosette disease was discovered at a commercial landscape in Bossier City. LSU AgCenter “Plant Doctor” Raj Singh says this disease is very deadly to all different kinds of roses. He says rose enthusiasts should make themselves aware of the symptoms of rose rosette disease.
The LSU Tigers are still ranked in the top 10, but their chances of winning the SEC or being involved in the college football playoffs took a serious hit after losing to Alabama 30-16. The Bayou Bengals couldn’t stop Bama running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns, while LSU’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 31 yards. LSU is ranked 9th in the latest AP poll. They can still win the SEC West, but the Tigers will have to hope Alabama losses another SEC game and LSU will have to win out.
Disappointing loss for the Saints on Sunday as they allowed Tennessee to come into the Mercedes Benz Superdome and leave with its 2nd victory of the season. The Titans topped New Orleans 34-28 in overtime. Saints Coach Sean Payton says they made too many mistakes to win…
News For Friday 11/06/15
News for Friday 110615
By Dave Graichen
State Police say the man who was driving the vehicle when a 6-year-old passenger was fatally shot several times in Marksville, was not armed. Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. LJ Mayeaux reported that 25-year-old Chris Few was fleeing from city marshals who opened fire on the vehicle at the end of the chase. The little boy was killed. Edmonson said there is video of the incident, but they aren’t releasing any further information at this time. State Police Col Mike Edmonson says as of Thursday afternoon, two day after the incident, nobody involved in the incident has been interviewed.
Attorneys for DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert are challenging a Baton Rouge’s federal judge ruling which indefinitely blocks Governor Bobby Jindal’s order to pull funding from Planned Parenthood. Jindal issued a written statement Thursday saying Louisiana has the authority to determine which organizations are qualified Medicaid providers which he says Planned Parenthood is not.
A slow-moving cold front is going to bring a lot of rain across the entire state over the next few days. Mike Marcotte Forecaster with The National Weather Service in Lake Charles says they’re anticipating 24 to 36 hours of moderate to heavy rains into Saturday. Marcotte says this rain event is going to cause temperatures to drop about 10 to 15 degrees into Monday. Forecasters says we’re in one of the strongest El Nino patterns in history and that is the main reason for the heavy rainfall we’ve seen over the past three weekends.
After 3 decades of operating Harlow’s Donut & Bakery in Pineville, the owner of that tasty institution, Roy Burr Sr., has passes away. Burr died Wednesday at age 76. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in First Baptist Church in Pineville.
Early voting for the November 21st runoff election begins statewide Saturday. Polls will be open from 8:30AM to 6:00PM through November 14th. Early voting locations will be closed Sunday and again Wednesday, in honor of Veterans’ Day. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says now that we’re in the runoff, hopefully more Louisiana voters will cast their ballot. Only 39-percent of voters turned out for last month’s primary election.
A wave was made today in the governor’s race as Republican Jay Dardenne announces he’s endorsing Democrat John Bel Edwards over his fellow Republican David Vitter. In accepting the endorsement, Edwards says he’s grateful for Dardenne’s friendship and counsel. Dardenne finished fourth in last month’s primary election. He says electing Vitter as governor would do further damage to the Republican brand in Louisiana.
The Republican party of Louisiana is not happy with Republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne’s endorsement of Democrat John Bel Edwards for Governor. Chairman Roger Villere says he feels as if this is an act of betrayal to the Republican Party for all the years they supported Dardenne as a Republican elected official.
State Police has a man is in custody accused in the fatal hit and run crash that caused an 18-wheeler to crash through the guardrail on I-10 and into the Pearl River near the Mississippi line. They believe 25-year-old Daniel Coy of Gulfport was in the at-fault vehicle and he was apprehended today in Mississippi and when he gets back to Louisiana will be charged with Negligent Homicide, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Felony Hit and Run.
A study finds five years after the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, dolphins are still having a hard time having babies in Barataria Bay in the gulf. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wildlife epidemiologist Lori Schwacke says in other studies, they also discovered an increased amount of stranding of these animals and the higher mortality rate within the oil spill footprint. Schwacke says the oil spill not only immediately caused a loss of many dolphins but now many suffer from long lasting abnormalities, hindering their ability to procreate.
We’re starting to see gas prices inch back up. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular jumped two cents overnight to $1.97 according to AAA
Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert issued emergency suspensions to four more French Quarter bars found in violation during the Agency’s “Operation Trick or Treat” investigation. He says the New Orleans businesses must immediately stop selling alcohol after the agency uncovered illegal drug sales at two bars and prostitution and drug activity at two strip clubs.
The LSU football team leaves today for Alabama where they’ll take on the Crimson Tide tomorrow night in a Saturday night showdown in Tuscaloosa. LSU is looking to keep its perfect season intact and Coach Les Miles wants his players to leave it all on the field. Miles says whoever controls the line of scrimmage will be the winner in this game…
News For Thursday 11/05/15
News for Thursday 110515
By Dave Graichen
State Police says City Marshals from the Ward 2 office in the central Louisiana town of Marksville were involved in a shooting following a pursuit. When the dust settled, a 6-year-old child was dead and his father critically injured. Trooper Scott Moreau says the initial investigation revealed that officers fired on the vehicle after the chase. Avoyelles Parish Coroner, Dr. L.J. Mayeux, says the driver, Chris Few, was ramming the cop car at the end of a dead end road in an effort to escape. That’s when they fired, striking Few and the little boy. State police say the boy, was shot several times. The exact reason the Ward 2 marshals were in pursuit of Chris Few is unclear.
The Pineville City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the sale of Cleco to an investment group The vote was taken at a special meeting Tuesday night. The resolution has no direct effect on the sale approval, which should be voted on by the Louisiana Public Service Commission early next year.
State police arrested a Marksville man last night after an 8 hour standoff. Troopers say 32 year old Will Ray Lachney spent most of Wednesday holed up in his mother's home off Eddy Street. It’s believed the incident started when Lachney, a man who has been arrested several times over the past few years, stole a shot gun. During the standoff Lachney accidentally shot his own mother in the arm. She was airlifted to an Alexandria hospital. Her condition is unknown. Charges are still pending in the case.
State Police says an Alabama man was killed when his 18-wheeler went over the guardrail and plunged into the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish Tuesday night. Investigators are calling it a fatal hit and run and the search is on for a dark colored pickup truck that attempted to pass another 18-wheeler on the right shoulder, which caused a chain reaction of events to occur.
Republican state lawmakers have endorsed Senator David Vitter in the gubernatorial runoff, but members of the GOP on the Senate side aren’t happy about some of Vitter’s campaign tactics. However, House caucus Chairman, Alexandria Representative Lance Harris, says this is typical political rhetoric and the lower chamber fully supports Vitter.
Republicans leaders in the House endorse David Vitter, but the Senate side isn’t so certain yet. The US Senator is running a campaign commercial trashing lawmakers and Senate Republican caucus Chair, Metairie Senator Danny Martiny, says Vitter isn’t running against the state legislature.
Former Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster officially announced Wednesday his endorsement of Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the Louisiana governor's race. Vitter faces Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Nov. 21 runoff election.
Republican Jay Dardenne is expected to endorse Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor’s race today. Edwards’ campaign had said it planned to make a “major campaign announcement” but offered no other details on Wednesday. Multiple sources close to both Edwards and Dardenne have confirmed to The Advocate that the plan is for Dardenne to endorse Edwards during a news conference.
A new statewide poll shows tight races for Lt. Governor and Attorney General. The survey of 600 Louisiana voters was paid for by Nextstar television stations and conducted by JMC Analytics. Pollster John Couvillon says in the AG’s race, Republican Jeff Landry has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Buddy Caldwell, 38 to 34-percent. He says 29-percent are undecided. In the Lt. Governor’s race, Billy Nungesser is barely ahead of Kip Holden, coming in at 40-percent to Holden’s 39-percent. Couvillon says we’re seeing a huge percentage of undecided voters in these two elections but expects that number to change closer to runoff.
WalletHub has released their list of the Fattest States in America and Louisiana comes in at number two. The personal finance website unveiled their list in conjunction with National Diabetes Awareness Month. Spokesperson Jill Gonzales says a big factor in Louisiana’s ranking is the number of children in the state who are overweight or obese. Louisiana ranked 6th in the percentage of adults who are obese, 2nd in the percentage of adults eating less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day, and 1st in the percentage of residents with hypertension. In case you were wondering, Mississippi ranked as the fattest state in the country.
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is putting a warning out about a batch of poisonous heroin on the streets. They say 2 known drug abusers were found dead this week at a home in Luling after injecting heroin. Sheriff Greg Champagne says recently in Chicago, 74 people overdosed on a “bad batch” of heroin in a three day period and he is fairly confident that’s what happened with the Luling double death overdose.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says a judge has ruled in their favor and has reinstated the suspensions of three French Quarter strip clubs. Commissioner Troy Hebert originally ordered a suspension of the businesses’ alcohol permits after uncovering drugs and prostitution there. His ruling was overturned, but put back in place Wednesday. An administrative hearing is scheduled for these strip clubs on Monday in New Orleans. He says the effort to clean up this criminal activity in the French Quarter is far from over and they expect there will be more alcohol suspensions issued as their undercover operation continues
New Orleans has been selected to host the college football national championship game in January 2020.Executive director of the CFP, Bill Hancock also announced that Atlanta will host the championship game in 2018 and Santa Clara will host the title game in January 2019.
News For Wednesday 11/04/15
News for Wednesday 110415
By Dave Graichen
Word yesterday that State Police investigators are looking into possible “serious improprieties” by a Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office employee. According to parish DA Phillip Terrell, it appears the improprieties have been ongoing on for more than 20 years. He said State Police officials have asked him not to identify the employee or give details about what actions are being investigated. Terrell did say, “The employee in question immediately resigned in lieu of termination”.
The Alex Winter Fete got the official stamp of approval Tuesday from the Alexandria City Council. The council voted 4-2 to authorize spending of up to $100,000 in recreation-tax funds for the new festival, to be held Dec. 3-5 in downtown Alexandria.
Another poll shows Democrat John Bel Edwards with a double-digit lead over Republican David Vitter in the gubernatorial runoff. The Baton Rouge Advocate published a poll from Market Research Insight, which found Edwards leading Vitter 54 to 38-percent if African-American voter turnout is at 25-percent. U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Vitter is in trouble, but the race isn’t over yet. The MRI survey was conducted by pollster Vern Kennedy and it was paid for by an independent group of private business leaders, including Advocate owner, John Georges.
In the Lt. Governor’s race, state senator Elbert Guillory, who finished fourth in the primary in the Lt. Governor’s race, announced his endorsement for Republican Billy Nungesser over Democrat Kip Holden.
A new Public Policy Poll on the Republican Presidential nomination shows Governor Bobby Jindal is now ahead of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in Iowa. The PPP survey puts Jindal’s numbers in Iowa at 6% which ties him for fifth with Mike Huckabee and puts him a point ahead of Bush and Fiorina.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a Pineville man is under arrest accused of vandalizing a church. They say agents followed the vehicle of 21-year-old Charles Melancon and he claimed the loud noise they heard was gunshots coming from the woods. Investigators later discovered the church door was kicked in and the suspect later admitted to the crime. Melancon was booked by Grant Parish deputies for unauthorized entry and simple criminal damage to property.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office says former NFL player Marvin White, a Port Barre native, has been arrested again and booked with theft and resisting an officer. Capt. Clay Higgins says the 31-year-old walked into a gas station and allegedly took some candy then didn’t pay for it before telling the cashier, “Call the cops, I’m Marvin White. I’m the best.”
Thousands of Tiger fans will make the trip to Tuscaloosa for the November 7th LSU-Alabama matchup. Jason Ramezon, Vice President of LSU Alumni Relations, says this is one of the most highly anticipated games of the season. He says the LSU Traveling Tigers will leave Friday morning and stay in Birmingham. LSU is ranked number 4 and Alabama is number 7.
Tulane has been awarded a $6.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the long term impact of Hurricane Katrina. Researchers will investigate the long term health, demographic, and socioeconomic impacts of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the entire region. The goal of the study is to create a picture of where the city and different groups of survivors stand more than a decade removed from Hurricane Katrina.
The 86-year-old woman in Slidell who was looking for her wedding ring that’s been missing since Halloween night found the jewelry in her yard. She asked for help from Slidell PD thinking it could have fallen in a kid’s candy bag, and they solicited the help of the public. Sgt. Daniel Seuzeneau says her husband passed away years ago and the ring has a lot of sentimental value.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says they’ve recovered the body of a missing boater from the Atchafalaya River. They say 56-year-old William Seal of Butte LaRose had not been seen since he set off for a day of fishing Sunday morning. His body was turned over to the St. Martin Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.
News For Tuesday 11/03/15
News for Tuesday 110315
By Dave Graichen
Here in Rapides Parish clean up continues after severe weather ripped through the area over the weekend. Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Tommy Carnline says there was a confirmed tornado that touched down in Elmer knocking down powerlines and damaging several homes. He says thankfully nobody was injured but there is plenty of cleaning up to do. There were also reported tornadoes Saturday out of Livingston and Tangipahoa Parish.
22 year old Christopher James Blakeney of Pineville is in hot water after leading police in both Rapides and Grant parishes on two chases in as many days. Blakeney faces a laundry list of charges, including attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Three others also face charges in connection to the incidents.
According to a recent survey by JMC Analytics on the Louisiana governor’s race, Democrat John Bel Edwards is leading Republican David Vitter by 20 percentage points. The WVLA poll shows Edwards ahead of the US Senator 52 percent to 32 percent. The two will face off in a statewide debate on Monday November 16th.
The Voice of the LSU Tigers will miss the first game of his broadcasting career this weekend as No. 4 LSU takes on No. 7 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Jim Hawthorne, who has called every LSU game since 1984, underwent surgery last week and several sources are reporting he could miss the rest of the season. He’s retiring after this year. A spokesman for LSU says Hawthorne’s status the remainder of the season has not been determined.
State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donleon is issuing some reminders to the public, now that the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period is underway. He says during enrollment, which runs November 1st through January 31st, 2016, families that do not receive healthcare through their employers can sign up through the online Health Insurance Marketplace.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s office says Louisiana is ranked as having the 4th best business climate in the nation by Site Selection, which is 2 spots down from the prior year. They say it is the sixth consecutive Top 10 ranking for Louisiana in the annual Site Selection report and reinforces the state’s reputation as a top location for business investment and job creation.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office says an 81-year-old homeowner perished in a residential blaze over the weekend in Claiborne Parish. They say firefighters found the home completely engulfed in flames upon arrival and later the body of Mary Bryant of Homer was located. The investigation into how Bryant died and how the fire started is ongoing.
46 year old Terry Adams Jr. of Tioga has been indicted by A Rapides Parish grand jury has on 50 counts of pornography with juveniles. Adams was originally charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with 100 counts of pornography with juveniles when arrested in September.
The grand jury decided to indict Adams on 50 counts.
The 2015 Louisiana Tax Amnesty program will run November 16th to December 15th. Jared Coniglio (ca-nig-lee-oh), deputy secretary with the Department of Revenue, says this gives people the opportunity to bring their delinquent taxes up to date with lessened interest charges and penalties for 30 days. Coniglio says, in the past two amnesty periods, they collected more than their goals of $150 million in 2013 and $104 million in 2014.
November has just begun and many retailers are already beating the Christmas shopping season drum. Many stores are already setting up Christmas displays and advertising Christmas specials. Dan Rice, LSU Marketing Professor, says it appears stores are starting the Christmas season earlier and earlier each year. Rice says many companies are not just going to have “Black Friday” deals for the holidays. He says some are giving holiday deals that are good for a longer period of time, up to several weeks in some instances.
Another statewide race headed into the November 21st runoff is between incumbent Republican Buddy Caldwell and fellow GOP challenger Jeff Landry for the office of Attorney General. Landry, a former Congressman and Tea Party favorite, says Caldwell is in for a difficult fight because the AG’s office is currently filled with cronyism, nepotism and corruption.
Caldwell has held the position since 2008. He says Landry has never tried a case and is unqualified to be the state’s lawyer.
Only 14 Louisiana House seats remain to be decided in the Nov. 21 runoff election, after another seat was settled when a candidate dropped out of the race. Chad Brown, a Democrat from Plaquemine, won a vacant House seat when his opponent, James Barker of Plaquemine, withdrew from the race.
The University of New Orleans Presidential Search Committee will hold a public forum Nov. 9 to collect input about the characteristics people hope to see in the school’s next president. The forum will begin at 11 a.m. in the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center on the UNO campus. The committee is looking for a successor to President Peter Fos.
LSU is ranked No. 4 in this week’s AP Top 25 and USA Today’s Coaches Top 25. The Tigers received five first place votes in the AP Poll and one in the Coaches Poll. Alabama remained No. 7 in both polls, setting up a top ten matchup in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The LSU and Alabama SEC battle is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m.
News For Monday 11/02/15
News for Monday 110215
By Dave Graichen
The Jindal administration told lawmakers Friday that the state finished last fiscal year with a 117-million dollar deficit. Jindal administration official say the deficit is the result of a higher than expected tax refunds and credits. The gap must be closed within eight months and it’s expected Governor Jindal will address the issue before he leaves office in January.
Democrat John Bel Edwards was joined by sheriffs from the around the state Friday as he received the endorsement of the Louisiana Sheriffs Association. Also Friday The National Federation of Independent Business announced its endorsement for David Vitter. Early voting for the runoff election begins November 7th.
Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards have a agreed to a televised debate on Nov. 16. WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge will host the event. WVLA oversaw a debate during the primary as well, but Vitter did not appear at that one.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is rolling out enhancements to its online system for Louisiana job seekers and employers. LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink says the improvements are being made to the HiRE employment system. Eysink says these upgrades will better connect unemployment insurance to workforce development and job matching. He says Louisiana will be the first state in the country to launch a system where all the unemployment business conducted will ride on the same system as their job matching and skills development. Eysink says, with these enhancements, the re-employment process will begin immediately.
WVUE-TV in New Orleans reports the US Department of Education is investigating how LSU handles cases of rape and sexual assault. The report reveals 16 rapes were reported to an LSU campus advocacy group last year, but very little was done to protect the victims or punish the perpetrators. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell has written legislation addressing this issue and he says universities are required by law to have a Title nine coordinator to handle situations like this. In a statement, LSU says it cannot discuss matters pertaining to a pending investigation or any specific alleged incidents.
The Christian Science Monitor has named Louisiana’s START College Savings Program the 5th best plan in the country. State Treasurer John Kennedy says START is an underutilized program that allows money to grow over time without being taxed. He says over the past eight years tuition has gone up 70-percent and this is a great way to help students pay for college.
Kennedy says all a parent needs to do to open a START account is ten dollars and then the money is professionally managed for future educational expenses. He says for more information on Louisiana’s START saving program, visit latreasury.com…
Daylight Saving Time ended Sunday and Louisiana State Police reminds motorists to stay safe on the road as you adjust to the new time schedule. Trooper Dustin Dwight says it will take a little time for our bodies to adjust to the new time change. As the sun begins to set earlier in the day, it may throw some drivers off who are not used to driving in darker conditions.
As flu season is rapidly approaching, the Tulane University School of Medicine is working on more effective vaccines after receiving a 1.6 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health. Tulane immunologist Dr. Elizabeth Norton says their goal is to make a better vaccine for people regardless of the strength of their immune system. Norton says the grant will support research until 2020.
Cops say a gymnastics coach from Jefferson Parish has been arrested and booked with video voyeurism and possession and production of child pornography. Kenner Police say they executed a search warrant at the home of Brian Townsend and found several images of female juveniles engaging in sex acts. Townsend worked at several dance studios in Kenner and Metairie.
The State Department of Health and Hospitals says the deadly amoeba found in an Ascension Parish water system this summer has now been eradicated. Officials have been working for weeks to treat the water with chlorine into the lines outside Donaldsonville. Since 2011, three deaths in Louisiana have been attributed to the harmful strain of amoeba, prompting the Department of Health and Hospitals to order the state’s water systems to raise their chlorination levels.
The New Orleans Saints, left for dead three weeks ago, have pulled themselves up out of the grave. Behind the best day of Drew Brees’ career, the Saints won 52-49 in spectacular fashion Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, evening their record at 4-4. Brees was brilliant all day, throwing for a career-high 511 yards and tying an NFL record with seven touchdown passes.
The Kansas City Royals have won the World Series for the first time in 30 years. Kansas City Defeated the N.Y. Mets in a stunning 7-2, 12-inning ambush, in game 5 of the series, to claim the title of champs.
News For Friday 10/30/15
News for Friday 103015
By Dave Graichen
Forecasters say the weather on Halloween could be frightening, as severe storms and heavy rainfall is expected. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a front will stall along the Louisiana coast and it will help to produce another significant rain event, similar to what we saw last weekend. Keim says it’s a good thing many parishes have moved Trick or Treating to Friday, because heavy downpours are expected Saturday.
With that in mind, the cities of Pineville, Alexandria, Oakdale, Ball, Boyce and Colfax have moved Trick Or Treating time to tonight from 5p to 9p. Leesville, while planning many inside activities, plans to celebrate Halloween Saturday night.
The State Police reminds kids and parents as you hit up neighborhoods, please remain on guard for possible hazardous or dangerous situations. He says parents should make sure kids have flashlights and something reflective on their costume
The state Department of Education says the percentage of high schools in Louisiana who have received an “A” grade under the state’s accountability system have increased from 10-percent last year to 23-percent this year. Education Superintendent John White says higher graduation rates and ACT scores led to 73-percent of high schools receiving at least a “C. On the scale, schools scoring 100 points or higher receive an A. Rapides Parish has three high schools with scores in the 90s, with Pineville High School coming closest to an A at 97.4. White says the state plans to raise the bar on standards over the next ten years.
The latest data has been released about students who receive state-financed tuition from the TOPS program. The study, presented Wednesday to the Board of Regents, shows students who start college with the free tuition aid graduate at higher rates than students without TOPS.
On the down side, awards from the program, which costs more than $280 million this year, continue to go disproportionately to white students and students from wealthier families.
A new survey on the governor’s race shows Democrat John Bel Edwards leading Republican David Vitter by a 52 to 40-percent margin. The survey also shows Vitter’s unaffordability rating has climbed to 52-percent. Political analyst Clancy Dubos believes Edwards could actually be higher than 12 points. The survey was conducted on behalf of the anti-Vitter Gumbo PAC.
Meanwhile Vitter is staying busy on the campaign trail. The US Senator was in Lafayette yesterday announcing endorsements of a group that represents Louisiana’s oil and gas industry and also several politicians from the Acadiana region, many of of whom supported Republican Scott Angelle in the primary.
The NAACP of New Orleans says they’ve been getting complaints about Vitter’s ad targeting Edwards and using the words “dangerous thugs” to describe people recently released from prison. They feel it’s a veiled attempt by the US Senator to scare the white community. The Vitter campaign says they don’t plan to pull the spot.
The Shreveport Police department says two people have been arrested in connection with the deadly shooting that claimed the life of one woman and injured two others. Police say 29-year-old Elbert Fredieu was arrested in the shooting and 24-year-old Scarlett Groce as an accomplice. The the surviving victims remain hospitalized. Authorities are still trying to figure out the motive for the shootings.
Fans are scrambling to get tickets for the top 10 matchup next weekend between LSU and Alabama. But Cameron Papp with Stub Hub says tickets for the November 7th showdown are not as pricey as previous LSU-Alabama games in 2013 and 2011. He says the cheapest ticket available for the November 7th game is 195-dollars.
Festival Productions announced yesterday that next year’s Bayou Country Superfest will be expanded to three days and promises to include an explosive line up. BCS in Tiger Stadium will take place Memorial Day weekend 2016 from Friday through Sunday, May 27th-29th. Organizers say they will announce the performers on November 10th.
Louisiana Tech will face Rice tonight in a big Conference USA matchup. The Bulldogs are 3-and-1 in league play, while Rice is 2-and-1. A loss for either team, likely knocks them out of contention to play in the CUSA title game. The game will be on Fox Sports One at seven o’ clock. You can also hear the game tonight starting at 5:30p on espn 1410.
Thursday night NFL it wal the Patriots over the Dolphins 36 to 7..
News For Thursday 10/29/15
News for Thursday 102915
By Dave Graichen
Well, it is now official, Alexandria has a new festival. The Alex Winter FeÌte will be held downtown from December the 3rd through the 5th. Details of the holiday-themed festival were announced Wednesday at a “launch party”. The first night of the festival will coincide with the Holiday Magic Downtown lighting of the Christmas tree in the mini-park and the first night of the Twelve Nights of Christmas celebration.
Two Alexandria men have been charged with drug offenses after leading Rapides Parish Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase Tuesday. Dedrick Howard and Davetreous Howard were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. No one was injured during the pursuit.
Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo says public colleges and universities are seeking a 636-million dollar increase in state funding next year. That’s nearly doubled what they received this fiscal year. Rallo says the gubernatorial candidates say higher education will be a priority and he hopes whoever is elected will stick to that promise. Rallo says an increase in state funding is needed to meet the state’s workforce demands.
For the second time this week in Louisiana a student has been arrested amid allegations they made threatening statements about schools on social media. This time the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office 17-year-old Jada Perron allegedly posted on Snapchat that a shooting would happen at Breaux Bridge High School yesterday. An investigation was immediately launched she was charged with terrorizing.
One of the men that was videotaped by a private investigator from a firm working for the David Vitter campaign believes Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand was the target of the so-called spying incident. Attorney John Cummings says, he believes Normand was the target because the Sheriff’s Association was going to endorse Democrat John Bel Edwards in the gubernatorial runoff. Robert J. Frenzel, the investigator, is charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief in the incident.
The AARP of Louisiana has released a “Video Voter Guide” which features the two candidates for governor discussing their views on policies which impact older voters. AARP Louisiana spokesman Andrew Muhl says they want the electorate to know where Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards stand on critical issues. The video can be viewed online at aarp.org/la. Muhl says voters over the age of 45 make up 56% of Louisiana’s registered voter population, and their goal was to present as much information as possible to allow them to make an informed decision.
Blue Bell ice cream lovers are in luck because the creamery is offering delivery services to homes and businesses. Spokesperson Joe Robertson says they will send you four half-gallons of ice cream and ship it anywhere across the country for everyone missing Blue Bell. Robertson says Blue Bell will begin phase 2 of restocking on Monday and Louisiana should see the ice cream in stores again during phase 4. But Robertson wouldn’t comment on when phase 4 would begin. By the way, the cost for the 4 ½ gallons direct to your door, Just 129-dollars.
State Police Col Mike Edmonson announces the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles collected just over $2 million dollars in fines since they sent out 1.2 million warning letters to drivers. He said that as of today, the agency was able to clear the driving records of about 30,000 people since the notices went out October 13th.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says a woman is under arrest amid allegations that she tried to kill her 2-year-old little boy. EBRSO spokeswoman Casey Hicks says Hicks says the woman admitted to beating her child and biting him as a form of discipline. She says the woman was angry that her son got water out of the refrigerator which is when she hit him with a belt causing him to fall on the tile floor and hit his head.
Plans are changing all over the place as the National Weather Service expects almost the entire state to be covered in rain on Halloween night. Many communities are moving trick-or-treat to Friday from 6pm-8pm. East Baton Rouge Parish started the movement and trick-or-treat is on the evening of the 30th in areas including Lafourche, Livingston, Jackson, St. Francisville, Terrebonne Parish and more are expected.
Shreveport Police are looking for a gunman who fatally shot one woman multiple times and seriously injured two others. Authorities say the suspect is still on the loose but detectives are following up on leads. No motive for the shooting has been announced.
The Saints take a two-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Quarterback Drew Brees says it’s been nice to see the team have some success on the field, but they can’t stop now. Brees will have to be careful with the football on Sunday. New York is second in the NFL with 11 interceptions. They had three picks last week in a win over Dallas.
The Kansas City Royals now have a 2 to 0 advantage after defeating the NY Mets 7 to 1 last night in game two of the World Series. There’s now game tonight, Play resumes Friday in New York.
News For Wednesday 10/28/15
News for Wednesday 102815
By Dave Graichen
Officials from the city of Alexandria and the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will discuss plans today for an upcoming Christmas festival. Last week, the Alexandria City Council voted to support the festival and to authorize Mayor Jacques Roy to spend up to $100,000 for planning. City officials said contributions from the private sector are expected to reduce the city’s expenditure considerably. The festival is tentatively set for Dec. 3-5.
Drive-through flu shots available at the Rapides Parish Health Unit on Coliseum Blvd. this Friday from 8a to 3p. Participants should bring insurance information, including Medicare/ Medicaid cards. Those without insurance may be asked to pay a maximum $10 fee.
Louisiana public school students ranged from 43rd to 49th nationally in reading and math in the latest installment of the nation’s report card, which was released late Tuesday night. The results show that fourth-graders were ranked 43rd nationally in reading, an improvement over 47th in 2013 and 50th in 2009. Fourth-graders finished 45th in the nation in math, an improvement over 49th two years ago. Eighth-graders were 48th in reading, the same as 2013, and 49th in math, down a spot from 48th two years ago.
The US Guard says they are investigating a report of a debris field off the coast of Mississippi in connection with a missing aircraft which is believed to have a Louisiana man on board. They say there were three people on the plane which has not been on radar since 12:30 Monday. The Coast Guard was notified Monday night and several agencies are assisting in the search. The flight reportedly first picked up a man in Ruston.
The presidential GOP hopefuls will participate in a debate hosted by CNBC tonight and again Governor Bobby Jindal will not be on the main stage. Instead, Jindal and three others will participate in an undercard debate at 5 PM. Jindal’s campaign argued he should be included in the main debate, because recent poll numbers from Iowa, the first primary state, showed he was gaining support. The governor even threatened to skip the CNBC debate, but after thinking about it, Jindal will attend. In the national polls, Jindal is not performing well.
A teen from Hammond has been arrested for allegedly posting a cartoon on online Monday night which contained a threatening to area schools. Cops say the image depicted a character with a gun saying if would be best if you don’t go to school in Hammond the next day. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards says there was no credibility to the threat and the teen is charged with terrorizing.
The Louisiana governor’s November 21st runoff has already started getting nasty just a few days after the primary. Republican David Vitter is tying Democrat John Bel Edwards to President Obama’s policies and Edwards is running spots calling Vitter dishonest. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says not only will the two candidates be throwing barbs at each other with commercials, so will outside groups, which could make it tough on TV viewers. He says the negativity is in full swing.
The Department of Children and Family Services is starting a statewide campaign to recruit more, desperately needed foster parents. Secretary Suzy Sonnier says fostering is a temporary situation with a permanent impact. Sonnier says there is a critical need for foster homes, with over 300 children entering the system every month. She says with the shortage of homes available, in many cases, siblings are separated from each other. Currently there are about 48-hundred children in foster care in the state.
According to a report by InsuranceQuotes.com, even though Louisiana has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, we have the largest savings for bundling home and auto insurance. The numbers indicate drivers here are padding their wallets with an extra $548 on average when car and homeowner’s insurance is from the same company. The national bundling savings is $295.00
Slidell police say they are trying to determine who killed a family dog by placing a bag around its head. The deceased canine was found inside a home and it appears someone broke into the residence to kill the dog. Authorities say the homeowner recently received social media threats from an individual and had his property vandalized prior to the dog’s death.
The heavy rainfall and strong winds we saw this past weekend has created some headaches for sugarcane farmers as they harvest their crop. LSU Ag Center sugarcane specialist, Kenneth Gravois, says the wet harvesting conditions make it more difficult and costly for the farmers and also slick roads cause problems as the crops head to the mills.
The Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued emergency suspensions of five strip clubs on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter after they discovered prostitution and drug activity. They say the action follows a month-long investigation called Operation Trick or Treat. State Police assisted in the investigation and uncovered prostitution, drugs, and lewd and improper acts at the strip clubs. They say at least 7 other businesses are facing charges.
News For Tuesday 10/27/15
News for Tuesday 102715
By Dave Graichen
It was an extremely wet weekend in Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says most of the state got 5 inches of rain or more and the wettest spot was in Baton Rouge at LSU which recorded 10.5 inches. He says there is some good news as 86 percent of Louisiana was in drought conditions last week and now there could be a 1 to 2 category improvement following the rain. He says it looks like we’ll be getting more rain this weekend which should further eliminate the drought.
Louisiana has always been a state of extremes when it comes to the weather and the past few days were no exception. After many areas of the state experienced extreme draught, much of the state saw several inches of rain over the weekend. In Tangipahoa Parish, about 50 people had to be rescued from a trailer park because of flooding. By the way, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning has lifted the statewide burn ban.
Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office yesterday morning had to rescue 20 children from a school bus that stalled in a flood . The bus got stuck on a flooded bridge in the northern part of the parish.
An inaugural Manufacturing Expo will be held at Central Louisiana Community Technical College’s main campus today. The expo will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the canteen area of the main campus at 4311 South MacArthur Dr. Several employers and workforce development groups are scheduled to attend the expo, which will allow industry and education to showcase the multiple job opportunities, skill requirements, and education opportunities available in Central Louisiana.
After a turnout of just 39-percent in the primary, Secretary of State Tom Schedler hopes for a bigger turn out for the November 21st runoff. Schedler says before the election, they predicted turnout anywhere from 45 to 50-percent and voters likely didn’t show up due to frustration with this election cycle or the major rainfall across the state. The headline items on the November 21st ballot are the governor’s race, lt. governor and attorney general. He says there are another 153 races to be decided statewide.
Despite finishing a distant second in the primary, Republican US Senator David Vitter says he will be elected as the state’s next governor on November 21st. Vitter believes voters will choose him over Democrat John Bel Edwards, because Edwards does not represent the values Louisiana is seeking. But Edwards says a vote for Vitter will continue to send Louisiana down the wrong path. Vitter got 23% of the vote in the primary and Edwards had 40%.
The Louisiana Sheriff’s Association has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards and the state’s Oil and Gas Political Action Committee is endorsing Republican David Vitter. Jeremy Alford of LA-Politics-dot-com (LApolitics.com) says this kind of support is a big deal coming so soon after the primary election. Alford says Vitter made an aggressive push to get an early endorsement from the Sheriffs and didn’t get it. He says Edwards comes from a long line of law enforcement so he had more of an advantage when it came to getting their support.
A Farmerville woman has been arrested in the kidnapping of an eight-year-old boy from Lincoln Parish. The child was found safe Sunday night in Ouachita Parish, while 23-year-old Sommer Hattaway was arrested Monday morning. Ruston Police deputy chief Clint Williams says the boy’s mother reported her son was in her vehicle asleep at a motel when a woman she was in the room with stole the vehicle. Williams says at this point they don’t think the woman knew the child was in the car when she took the vehicle and left.
The World Health Organization has announced that ham, sausage, and other processed meats could lead to colon, stomach, and other cancers. WHO researchers also said that red meat probably caused cancer, too. Leigh Ann Burns, Registered Dietician with the LSU Health Sciences Center, says meats that are transformed to improve its flavor or to preserve it are included in this category. The meat industry says the classification is unfair because cancer is a complex disease not caused by a single food.
In the latest A-P Top 25 poll, LSU is ranked fourth and they received five first place votes. Ohio State is number one, Baylor is second and Clemson is ranked third. The Tigers next opponent, Alabama, is ranked seventh and they received one first place vote. The SEC announced today that the LSU-Alabama game will kick off at 7 PM on November 7th. It will be televised by CBS.
Expectations are high as the Pelicans tip-off the regular season tonight against the defending NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors. New Orleans is considered by many as a team on the rise, but Jake Madison, who writes from the blog site, Bourbon Street Shots, says wins might be difficult early on, because the team is dealing with numerous injuries.
News For Monday 10/26/15
News for Monday 102615
By Dave Graichen
The heavy rainfall that has impacted much of the state the last couple of days should come to an end today. Gavin Phillips, with the National Weather Service, says the storm system that has dumped several inches of rain in some areas of the state is finally moving out. Phillips says it’s rare to have this kind of prolonged rain event in Louisiana in October, but it’s much needed after several weeks without significant rain.
Saturday was a good day for incumbents. All of the incumbent officials up for re-election in Saturday’s elections in Rapides Parish were reelected. Many by a large margin. At the top of that list, Sheriff William Earl Hilton. 75% of the voters in the parish wanted the popular sheriff for a 6th term. Another example, 27th District Rep. Chris Hazel. He walked away with 65% of the vote.
One of the more interesting races of the night was the race for the District 29 house of representatives seat. Jay Luneau, a white Alexandria attorney, was easily elected senator in District 29, a seat vacated by Sen. Rick Gallot. His opponent, African-American minister Joshua Joy Dara Sr. of Pineville, who ran to many people’s surprise as a republican. Nearly 60 percent of Senate District 29’s voters are black, and nearly 60 percent are Democrats.
In statewide races, most will face a runoff.
It’s Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter in the November 21st gubernatorial runoff. Edwards won the primary with 40-percent of the vote. He told his supporters he’ll run a honest campaign as he seeks to replace Bobby Jindal. Vitter, who got 23% of the votes, said in his post-election speech that Edwards is a liberal who supports the president.
Analysts are anticipating a close governor’s race as Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter will battle for votes leading up to the November 21st runoff. ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley says at this moment, he gives a slight edge to Edwards.
In the ever nasty Lt. Governor’s race, it was a close race. But, in the end, the runoff will be between Democrat Kip Holden and republican Billy Nungesser.
The attorney generals race, another close one, will be a runoff between incumbent Buddy Caldwell and Jeff Landry both men are republicans.
In the State Treasurer’s race it was a cakewalk for John Kennedy who pulled down better than 80% of the vote state wide.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon as well as State Ag Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain were easily reelected.
The APD reports A 12-year-old has been charged with negligent homicide in the Friday evening shooting death of an Alexandria man. Police responded to a call about a man down shortly before 7 firday night. Upon arrival, they found a man, 29-year-old Courtney Honore. It appears the man suffered a single fatal wound from an air-pellet-type weapon. Honore was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Residents of New Orleans’ French Quarter have overwhelmingly approved a new five year sales tax to keep more than 30 state troopers patrolling their historic district. Complete but unofficial returns show that nearly 1,000 people voted, and 78 percent of them voted for the tax. It will add about a quarter of a penny to each dollar spent at stores in the neighborhood. Supporters said tourists will pay most of the $2 million a year the tax is expected to bring in.
Authorities said four employees of a casino in Lake Charles have been arrested and booked on charges of computer fraud. The four were employees of the Golden Nugget casino. Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said the arrests that were made over the last week resulted from an investigation. The probe was sparked by a call earlier in the month to the state police Gaming Enforcement Division. All four face computer fraud charges. Two were booked with theft.
The Louisiana Lottery said nobody won the jackpots in three big weekend games — but one Powerball ticket sold in Louisiana is worth $150,000 and two others are worth $50,000 each.
Wednesday’s estimated jackpot rise to $110 million for the Powerball.
The Louisiana National Guard Museum at Jackson Barracks will open a Desert Storm exhibit in February to mark the 25th anniversary and they’re seeking the help of current and former guardsmen. Museum Director Captain Heather Englehart says they’re searching for items to help tell the story of how the National Guard assisted in Operation Desert Storm. Englehart says the museum is really struggling to find videos from that time period. She says if any guardsmen has a particularly interesting story, they’re willing to interview them on camera.
LSU enters the bye week with a perfect 7-0 record after beating Western Kentucky 48 to 20 in a mud-filled game at Tiger Stadium. It’s the eighth time the Tigers have started the season 7-0, but Coach Les Miles says there’s still room for improvement. In a couple of weeks, the Tigers will visit Alabama, who is 7-and-1.
The Saints have a two-game winning streak after holding on to beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-21. It looked like New Orleans would have an easy win in Indy, but the Colts mounted a furious comeback to have a chance in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 255 yards and one touchdown. But the biggest pass of the game was thrown by backup Luke McCown on a fake field goal. McCown’s 25-yard completion to Ben Watson set up New Orleans first touchdown of the game.
Saturday 10/24/15 Election Results
GOVERNORS RACE.. (Runoff)
John Bell Edwards 39%
David Vitter 23%
Lt Gov. Race (Runoff)
Melvin L. "Kip" Holden (D) 32.93%
Billy Nungesser 30.00%
John Young 29.0%
Atty General (Runoff)
James D. "Buddy" Caldwell (R) 35.37%
"Jeff" Landry (R) 33.00%
John Kennedy (R) 80.11% Wins
"Jim" Donelon (R) 53.51% Wins
State Ag Comm.
Michael G. "Mike" Strain (R) 58.36% WIN
All 113 precincts reporting
William Earl Hilton (D) 74.94% WIN
Police Juror -- District D
Theodore Fountaine, Jr. (D) 66.73%
Police Juror -- District E
Richard G. Vanderlick (R) 51.55%
Police Juror -- District G
Sean McGlothlin (O) 58.20%
State Senator -- 29th Senatorial District
All 124 precincts reporting
Jay Luneau (D) 59.34% WIN
State Senator -- 33rd Senatorial District
All 124 precincts reporting
Michael A. "Mike" Walsworth (R) 62.28% WIN
State Senator -- 35th Senatorial District
117 of 118 precincts reporting
James R. "Jim" Fannin (R) 52.89% WIN
State Representative -- 22nd Representative District
All 74 precincts reporting
Terry Brown (O) 52.37% WIN
State Representative -- 27th Representative District
All 37 precincts reporting
Click here for Results by Parish
"Chris" Hazel (R) 64.93% WIN
BESE Board District 5
Dr. Gary Jones (Winner) 62%
CA NO. 1 (Act 473 - SB 202) -- Budget and Transportation Stabilization Trust
3796 of 3945 precincts reporting Fails
YES 47.75% 445472
NO 52.25% 487431
CA NO. 2 (Act 471 - HB 618) -- Funds for Transportation
3796 of 3945 precincts reporting Pass
YES 52.88% 502856
NO 47.12% 447994
CA NO. 3 (Act 472 - HB 518) -- Fiscal Legislative Session
3796 of 3945 precincts reporting Fail
YES 45.66% 429499
NO 54.34% 511220
CA NO. 4 (Act 470 - HB 360) -- Property Tax Exemption for Public Land/Property
3796 of 3945 precincts reporting Passes
YES 51.50% 485112
NO 48.50% 456848
News For Friday 10/23/15
News for Friday 102315
By Dave Graichen
The Alexandria City council took the first step yesterday in creating a new winter festival in the city. The council approved a resolution of support and introduced an ordinance that would allow Mayor Jacques Roy to enter into partnerships and spend up to $100,000 to put on the festival. It is not a done deal yet, the ordinance still has to be voted on. That will take place in two weeks.
It was a bit of horseplay that went terribly wrong. An 18-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the August 2014 death of a fellow student at Natchitoches Central High School. Timmy Ray Robinson punched Johnquaries Smith, who was a leader for the school’s football team, in the school’s hallway between classes. Smith fell and hit his head on the concrete floor. He died a short time later. Robinson was 16 at the time of the incident, but was tried as an adult. Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years.
According to analysis from the Center for Public Integrity, Louisiana leads the country in political TV advertising this year at 15.8 million dollars. Jeremy Alford, with lapolitics.com, says Republican David Vitter and a Super PAC supporting him has also spent a lot of money on ads. He says much of them target the other two republican candidates. He says the bad news is that negative ads tend to keep people from voting. Election Day is Saturday.
Governor Bobby Jindal has once again been shut out of the main Republican presidential debate, but has been invited to the lower tier debate just before. CNBC will have the top 10 GOP candidates in primetime at 8pm on October 28th. The undercard debate with Jindal takes place at 6pm.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon believes the debt collection notices sent out by the state Office of Motor Vehicles to Louisiana citizens, who allegedly allowed their auto insurance to lapse, is an attempt by the Jindal administration to plug a hole in the state’s budget. The OMV sent 1.2 million notices notifying residents that they are facing fines for allowing their auto insurance to lapse. Many of the cases happened several years ago.
The Office of Motor Vehicles has extended its hours until 8 p.m. to answer all calls regarding the letters drivers are receiving for not paying fines for expired auto insurance.
Shreveport police say they’ve arrested a 17-year-old for making threats of terrorism towards the students at Byrd High School. Authorities say Donovan Mosley posted a video to “Facebook” that the cvilian population at Byrd should be ready when he arrives on campus with a gun. Mosley was arrested at his home and booked on one count of terrorism.
The Department of Education released additional information Thursday regarding the results from the Common Core exams that third through eighth graders took in the spring. Overall, about 15 to 35 percent of Louisiana students received “mastery” scores on the PARCC exams. In Rapides Parish, the highest percentage of students scoring advanced on any of the tests was sixth graders with 9 percent on the social studies section of the LEAP, which also tested science. PARCC tested English and math. Rapides third- and fourth-graders saw high scores in English, with 34 percent of each of the grades scoring high.
The US Department of Ag and Forestry says 45 parishes in Louisiana are in such horrible drought that farmers and ranchers are eligible for disaster aid. Those qualified have eight months to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
Shreveport police were involved in a shooting in front of a casino Thursday morning. Officers responded to calls from citizens about a man waving a knife at people. Shreveport police says officers demanded that the unidentified suspect drop his weapon, but instead he charged at an officer and was shot multiple times. He died a short time later.
The Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s office says a fourth person has died from the October eighth explosion at the Transcontinental Gas pipeline company in Gibson. Three men died at the scene and two were critically injured. The fourth person to die has been identified as 56-year-old Michael Hill of Paris. Tennessee.
News For Thursday 10/22/15
News for Thursday 102215
By Dave Graichen
At a meeting yesterday in Alexandria, a consumer and environmental advocacy group reiterated its opposition to the proposed sale of Cleco Corp. The group, The Alliance for Affordable Energy, claims the deal is bad for customers and is being driven to enrich the company's current management. The group is encouraging people to contact the Public Service Commission members who will decide early next year whether to approve the sale of the utility. Cleco agreed last October to a sale proposal for nearly $5 billion from an investment group. The sale has received other regulatory clearance and was approved by Cleco stockholders in February. Now, it up to the PSC.
The city of Alexandria is looking at the possibility of bringing another festival, this time with a holiday theme, to downtown. The festival, that would be along the lines of the Alex River Fete, would tentatively be held from Dec. 3-5. A special council meeting was called for today to vote on a resolution of support and to introduce an ordinance so that the planning process for the festival can be expedited.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has sent out over one million letters to residents and former residents, warning them that a collections agency might be used to collect fines for allowing their auto insurance lapse. A law was passed earlier this year that allows the OMV to collect money through the Office of Debt Recovery.
A federal judge has issued her final ruling in Governor Bobby Jindal’s lawsuit that takes aim at the Common Core education standards. Judge Shelly Dick is refusing to hear the governor’s claim that the US Department of Education was illegally coercing states to use the standards. The governor plans to appeal.
The investigation into the body which was found at a Sugartown residence inside a burned out truck continues according to the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office. They say when authorities responded yesterday morning, they found the vehicle on fire in the backyard. The body is being sent to the Calcasieu Coroner’s Office and officials say it’s too early to tell if foul play is a factor.
One person has been arrested in the double murder and abduction of an elderly Baton Rouge couple. The victims, Denis and Suzanne Duplantier (do-plon shay), were found strangled to death in their vehicle at a truck stop in Hammond. Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie says 42-year-old Ernesto Alonso was arrested in Miami, Florida on several charges. Authorities say Alonso did odd jobs around the couple’s home. The arrest warrant says that a large amount of cash was missing from the victims’ home and that they were beaten.
We’re two days away from the gubernatorial elections, so is there anything the candidates can do at this point to sway voters? ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says, this late in the cycle, it’s rare that people hitting the polls would change their minds about how they are going to vote. Stockley says recent polls have suggested that many people remain undecided on who they want to vote for governor, and at this point that typically means they won’t show up to the polls.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain says one of their K-9′s, “Thor” is recovering from surgery today after he was stabbed by a burglary suspect. His doctors say Thor lost a lot of blood and it’s too soon to say whether he’ll be able to return to full time duty. Thor and deputies were chasing after two suspects in the Mandeville area yesterday. One of the suspects was shot and killed by police after he stabbed Thor.
The 109th State Fair of Louisiana kicks off today in Shreveport and runs until November 8th. President and Grand Marshal of the fair Chris Giordano says this year’s fair is looking to be bigger and better than ever with new carnival rides, events and food vendors.
Hundreds of new jobs are coming to the Port of Iberia as a result of two large companies who have announced plans to begin projects at the port. President of the Iberia Industrial Development Foundation Mike Tarintino says Primoris Services Corp. and Dynamic Industries are now seeking about 600 new employees to get started. He says other companies already at the port are expanding and looking for people to fill new positions. Tarintino says the reason new businesses are investing in the area is because the Port of Iberia is in an ideal location for the oil and gas industry.
The Saints are getting ready to take on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Indy is 3-and-3 on the season and coming off a loss to New England. But Coach Sean Payton says the Colts are very good over the last few years after a loss and they have a lot of talent. The Saints are 2-and-4 on the season. You can hear the game, beginning at 10a Sunday morning on 96.9 KZMZ.
Saturday afternoon the LSU Tigers will play Host To Western Kentucky. Airtime 4pm on 970 KSYL & 96.9 KZMZ.
News For Wednesday 10/21/15
News for Wednesday 102115
By Dave Graichen
State Police say a 17-year-old from Alexandria lost her life Yesterday in a single vehicle wreck in Rapides Parish. Troopers says Bree Ducote lost control of her pick-up truck and ended up colliding with two trees. She was not wearing a seat belt.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the state set an employment record in September, but the oil and gas job losses continue at a rapid pace. 2500 non-farm jobs were added between the same time last year according to LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. He says we’ve seen about 60 months straight now of growth year over year, however it’s not all good news. Eysink says despite over the year gains, the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas, lost 1200 jobs in September and 8,800 over the 12 month period. He says the longer the price of oil stays low, the more it’s going to affect employment in that category
Gas prices are below $2 again after a brief jump. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $1.99 down four cents from last week according to AAA.
Nearly 80% of Louisiana lawmakers races will be decided after this Saturday’s election according to LaPolitics.com. Publisher Jeremy Alford says there are 23 House races and 9 Senate races which have multiple candidates that could head to the November 21st runoff…:
He says about half of state lawmakers were automatically re-elected.
Retired state employee and teacher groups wanted to know where the four major governor’s candidates stood on issues important to them, like pension and health care benefits.
But two of the candidates declined overtures, Republicans U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle. Both men claimed they had scheduling conflicts. When asked if they would answer the group’s questions in writing, both men declined.
And Lake Charles Police are looking for a green SUV that was involved in break-in early Tuesday morning that resulted in a three-year-old getting shot. The child is in stable condition, the two suspects are still on the run.
The Baton Rouge Police Department is looking for three men after they say a 15-year-old girl was found bound and gagged in a drainage canal Yesterday afternoon. They say the girl had been tied up in the woods since overnight.
The Hammond Police Department says a Baton Rouge couple found dead at a truck stop near I-12 was strangled and kidnapped from their home. Authorities say they used OnStar to locate the vehicle in Hammond. It appears more than one suspect is likely involved and police believe the couple was taken from their home on Sunday.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office confirms that New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt was injured over the weekend while chasing two people who were trying to steal cars in his Metairie neighborhood. They say Vitt saw a woman in his front lawn trying to break into a neighbor’s car then he saw a man in his own car. While chasing them, cops say Vitt fell and was injured. Sources say he broke his ankle and arm in the fall. The suspects got away.
News For Tuesday 10/20/15
News for Tuesday 102015
By Dave Graichen
A federal judge rules that Louisiana must continue Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood at least 14 more days despite Governor Bobby Jindal’s push to stop payments to the clinics. Jindal’s effort began following the release of videos which allegedly show Planned Parenthood workers talking about selling fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood denies the allegation and said in a statement that the ruling protects the health and safety of thousands of Louisiana’s men and women.
The Secretary of State’s Office reports that 222,000 Louisianians cast an early ballot for October 24th’s election. A breakdown of early voting numbers reveal that 71-percent of participants were white, while just 27-percent were black. Pollster John Couvillon says the low percentage of black voters participating in early voting could have an impact on the number of voters hitting the polls Saturday. Polls will be open from 7AM to 8PM Saturday.
A longtime Louisiana political analyst finds the interest in this year’s governor’s race is a bad as he’s ever seen. Bernie Pinsonat says voters are very disappointed in the last four years with Jindal and reduced funding toward higher education and hospitals. Pinsonat says the four major candidates haven’t been able to generate any interest, because they’re all being muffled by the constant attack ads. Pinsonat says the voters are finding themselves shying away from believing the candidates can actually fix problems. He says 70-percent of voters give Jindal a negative rating and that’s rubbing off on the newest candidates.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry announce the arrest of 22-year-old Justin Murphy of Jonesboro who is charged with six counts of simple arson for intentionally setting fires when he worked as a volunteer firefighter in 2010 and 2011. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says Murphy’s confession came while he was being questioned about another fire in north Louisiana last week. He says Murphy has not been charged in that Hill fire.
A survey released from State Farm finds many teenagers are still texting and driving ever after understanding the potential dangers. Spokesperson Roszell Gadson says over 90-percent of teens admit to knowing it’s distracting, yet 44-percent confessed they still text and drive. He says this week is Teen Driver Safety week and hopes they can get the word out for young drivers to stay focused on the road.
US Senator David Vitter’s brother has been named the new Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. Jeffery Vitter previously served as provost at the University of Kansas. In a statement, the senator says he is proud for his brother but there’s going to be payback every time the LSU Tigers whoop Ole Miss in the SEC.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office says two brothers have been arrested in connection with the murder of Nanette Me’Shell King whose dead body was found inside a burned car. Sheriff Jack Strain says the victim’s ex boyfriend, 53-year-old Gary Harris, allegedly murdered her and his brother, 64-year-old Ray Harris, helped him cover it up. Gary Harris is charged with second degree murder and Ray Harris with accessory after the fact.
According to LSU, Mike the Tiger will not be attending anymore home games, at least for the rest of this season. Ginger Gutner, with the LSU Vet School, says they can’t force the giant tiger to do anything and they will reevaluate the matter next season. Mike VI didn’t attend any games last season, and in 2013 he was only at three and some fans aren’t happy this tradition isn’t being honored.
State police report a 25 year old Mamou man died Sunday morning in a single vehicle crash. Cody Hammon lost control of his vehicle on LA 26 east of Oberlin, ran off the road and struck a tree. Troopers say Hammon, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s second book is out today and in it the GOP presidential hopeful shares why he thinks he should be the next man in the White House. The title is “American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed our Republic.”
News For Monday 10/19/15
News for Monday 101915
By Dave Graichen
An early morning crash Saturday claimed the life of a 43 year old Pitkin man. State troopers say Keith Perkins apparently lost control of his vehicle on LA Highway 10, ran off the road and struck some trees. Perkins was wearing a seatbelt, but the impact was so severe Perkins died at the scene from his injuries. Investigators believe impairment may have been a factor.
NOAA weather forecasters predict that a very strong El Nino will bring some much needed rain to Louisiana in the coming months. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the state can expect cooler and wetter than normal conditions for the coming winter and spring. He says rainfall typically runs about 25-percent above average during an El Nino event. El Ninos also tend to bring more freezing weather as well. Forecasters call this El Nino one of the strongest on record.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s latest presidential campaign fundraising report shows he raised less than $600,000 in the third quarter and has only $261,000 on hand. By comparison, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson raised over $20 million during the same time frame.
Recent polls show Republican David Vitter has the highest unfavoribility ratings out of the four candidates running for governor, but yet, analysts believe Vitter has the best shot at succeeding Bobby Jindal. Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says once Vitter makes the runoff, his negatives will begin to go away. Many analysts predict a Vitter versus John Bel Edwards runoff.
An LSU Public Policy Research Lab report surveying people’s opinions about the 2015 election cycle found that 56-percent of Louisianans believe the state is heading in the wrong direction. Dr. Michael Henderson says only 29-percent of voters surveyed thought the state was going in the right direction. Henderson says even though voters feel this way, these negative sentiments don’t seem to be translating into positive or negative attitudes toward the candidates. He says none of the four major candidates have succeeded in consolidating the support of the dissatisfied voters.
After more than two decades of gambling in Natchez, the Isle of Capri Casino closed its doors Sunday. Isle of Capri, one of the oldest gambling houses in Mississippi, first announced the closure and sale of its hotel in August. The casino closed at noon Sunday. The hotel’s approximately $11.5 million sale to parent company, Casino Holding Investment Partners, will be completed Today. The casino should be reopening under the new banner later this week. Complete renovations of the facility will be on going for the next few months.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says a 22-year-old woman is under arrest after authorities discovered her 3-year-old child sitting in the middle of the road with his blanket. They say upon arrival they realized the child was about 150 yards away from his house and found the mother searching for him. Halie Prejean of Lake Charles left her 3 month old inside the house to look for the other child and she was booked with two counts of child desertion.
LSU is reportedly giving Athletic Director Joe Alleva another contract extension — one year to July 2020. The Board of Supervisors will officially vote on the proposed extension at its meeting in a week. Alleva’s pay will remain the same at $725,000. Last year his deal was extended three years to July 2019.
After a thrilling, 35-28 win against No. 11/8 Florida, LSU remained at No. 5 in this week’s USA Today / coaches poll and rose one spot to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. The Tigers picked up one first-place vote in both polls for their efforts. LSU is now the only undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference at 6-0, 4-0. The Tigers’ next opponent, Western Kentucky, received five votes in the coaches’ poll.
Governor Bobby Jindal could be getting an answer as soon as Monday on whether or not he can defund Planned Parenthood in Louisiana. The organization could lose its funding next week unless the federal judge intervenes. Jindal announced he’d stop making payments to Planned Parenthood after secretly taped videos surfaced showing its leaders discussing the sale of fetal tissue. The group denies the allegation.
The State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries wants to hear from hunters about the proposed changes to the waterfowl hunting zones. Waterfowl program manager Larry Reynolds says they’re seeking public comment through November 5th and the changes they are proposing could be significant for some hunters. Reynolds says the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission can alter waterfowl hunting zones every five years and want to make sure these choices are what hunters want. He says these are pretty significant changes being purposed.
News For Friday 10/16/15
News for Friday 101615
By Dave Graichen
State Police say a 17-year-old who had been involved in an accident was struck by another vehicle while standing on the side of the road in Glenmora Wednesday morning. Troopers say 49-year-old Danny McBride of Elmer swerved to avoid the accident and struck the woman. Katelyn Glenn, who was a senior at Bolton High, died from her injuries yesterday.
Tomorrow is the last day to early vote for the October 24th primary and the Secretary of State’s office says turnout looks to be about average. Spokeswoman Meg Casper says, so far, the numbers are only slightly behind what they saw for the Congressional elections in 2014.
A new poll from LSU shows voters are getting more interested in the October 24th primary, with about 40 percent of voters following election news, up from 25-percent last spring. Dr. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says even though we’ve seen an increase, it’s still lower than last fall’s election. Henderson says voters’ opinions of the major candidates are evolving. He says this is especially true for Vitter, who has both the highest share of favorable opinions at 30-percent and the highest share of unfavorable opinions at 41-percent.
Due to the extremely dry conditions within the state, state officials have issued a burn ban for all private burning statewide. The order will remain in effect til further notice. A lack of rainfall in Louisiana in the past several weeks has put most of the state in drought conditions. The US Drought Monitor reports that 86-percent of Louisiana is currently dealing with drought conditions. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the last 90 days have been extremely dry. The report shows that 51-percent of Louisiana is suffering from extreme drought conditions.
The federal government has announced there will not be an increase in benefits for millions of Social Security recipients. Brenda Hatfield with Louisiana AARP says this is especially devastating because next year Medicare costs are expected to increase for seniors, veterans and the disabled. She says they’ve pleaded with Congress not to increase Medicare. The main reason given for no increase in social security benefits, low gas prices.
Another man has been convicted by a federal jury for scamming Louisiana’s film tax credit program. 38-year-old Matt Keith of Pineville was sentenced to six months in prison and was ordered to pay $1.2 million dollars in restitution. Keith conspired with movie maker Daniel Garcia who was convicted and given a similar sentence two weeks ago.
Authorities in Natchitoches Parish report a Campti man is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, after his SUV hit two police cars and tried to run another off the road during a high-speed chase. 23 year old Randle Perot was arrested Saturday. At the time of the chase, Perot was wanted on charges in connection with a July accident in which he allegedly fled the scene.
Alexandria Police and the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force took a Pineville man into custody Thursday who allegedly tried to take a woman against her will by impersonating a police officer. 57 year old James Williams was charged with impersonating a police officer and simple kidnapping.
The Louisiana Army National Guard has made significant jumps in their overall strength and retention of force. LANG ranks number four among all other states’ National Guards in overall strength of its force and first for retaining personnel. Col. Pete Schneider praises everyone at the Guard for helping raise Louisiana’s rankings. He says Louisiana ranked number 15 last year in overall strength.
A woman from Lake Charles was sentenced to three years in prison on negligent homicide charges handed down after an infant died in her care while she was high on cocaine and meth. 26-year-old Brittney Woodcock placed 6-month-old Kaden Reed in an adult bed to sleep and he died after becoming wedged between the mattress and the wall. Woodcock’s husband was sentenced to one and a half years for accessory to negligent homicide.
Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods says a Jennings woman has been able to find the whereabouts of her mother, who was last seen in this state in 1982. Woods says it turns out that Lee Marie Kratzer started a whole new life in Memphis as Lisa Neese, but passed away in 2008. Woods says DNA and help from a Tennessee woman helped Kathernie Renee Kratzer find her mother after filing a missing person’s report last year
The US Attorney’s Office says a man from Amite has been sentenced to over 12 and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of heroin distribution. US District Judge Martin Feldman gave 25-year-old Coye Dotey 151 months. Prosecutors said Doty sold heroin in Hammond three times during an undercover investigation last year.
News For Thursday 10/15/15
News for Thursday 101515
By Dave Graichen
The 2016-17 Louisiana Economic Outlook report shows the state’s economy will continue to feel the effects of low oil prices, but industrial booms in certain areas will create major job growth. Economist and co-author of the report Dr. Loren Scott says the biggest gains will be seen from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles. Meanwhile Scott says growth in the northern part of the state will remain mostly stagnant over the next couple of years with just a small amount of job losses predicted. He says areas in the oil patch around Houma and the Acadiana region will continue to struggle.
Even though it’s mid-October it will feel like summer again today as high temperatures will be in the 90s across much of Louisiana. Shreveport broke a 134 year-old record when temps reached the mid-90s yesterday. Brandi Hughes, with the National Weather Service, says dry conditions are helping to produce summer like weather. Hughes says it will feel more like fall this weekend as a cold front will knock high temperatures back down to the 70s for much of the state.
Two men died when a twin-engine Cessna crashed at the Hammond airport Wednesday afternoon. The Tangipahoa Parish coroner has confirmed that both of the crash victims are men, but his office has yet to determine their ages or identifications. The small plane had just taken off about 3:45 p.m., probably rising no higher than 200 feet, when it “nose-dived” into the ground and burst into flames.. Authorities say the two men were the only people aboard the plane and no one on the ground was injured.
The head of LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab says were seeing a lot more negative commercials for this governor’s race compared to 2003, which was the last competitive race for governor we had in Louisiana. Michael Henderson says we can expect to see more negative ads as we approach election day and head into a runoff. The four main candidates for governor will be involved in a televised debate tonight.
Meanwhile a new WAFB-TV/Raycom Media poll shows Democrat John Bel Edwards is leading the race with 24% support, Vitter is in second place at 21% and Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle trail with 8% and 7% respectively. However, of the 602 respondents, a whopping 37% percent say they remain undecided on who to vote for governor next Saturday.
An Ascension Parish judge has decided that a 16-year-old accused of murder should be tried as an adult. Authorities say Jacob Westbrook stabbed 18-year-old Todd Toups, who went to a trailer home to give a girl a ride to the St. Amant homecoming dance.
State Ag & Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says they are investigating the cause of wildfires through 6 parishes in north Louisiana which destroyed thousands of acres of land. He says one of the fires was caused by a lightning strike, another caused by a person burning a tree stump, while the others were deliberately set. Strain warns people who commit arson, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Authorities say an LSU student is under arrest on terrorizing charges after allegedly screaming into a CB radio statements about guns and shootings on the top of the student union parking garage. LSU police say they found 21-year-old Richard Aaron Bee of Mandeville wearing camouflage when he was taken into custody. Bail had not been set as of Wednesday.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office says a local comedian has been arrested on counts including identity theft. They say 42-year-old Jennifer Kober, originally from Lake Charles but now living in California, is accused of using a family member’s debit card without permission and stealing her identify to obtain utility services for her current residence. Kober bonded out of jail and promised on her Facebook page that she’d tell the full “hilarious” story at a show next week in Lake Charles.
The Saints look to turn their season around tonight when they host the Atlanta Falcons. The Dirty Birds are undefeated, while New Orleans is 1-4 and rank last in the NFL in total defense.
Louisiana Tech will face on Mississippi State on Saturday. Tech has won three in a row, but head coach Skip Holtz wants to see his defense stop giving up big plays. Holtz says Mississippi State is playing well on offense and defense, but they may excel the most on special teams.
Lite Favorites Of Yesterday & Today
Click To Listen!
Also On The Air At 93.1 HD2
Rockin' Oldies Of The 60's & 70's
Click To Listen!
Also On The Air At 93.1 HD3
1115 Texas Avenue
9AM - 4PM