Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 07/16/2019
News for Tuesday 071619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
People around Louisiana spent Monday surveying the aftermath of Hurricane Barry. Many are feeling they dodged a bullet. The main issue facing homes and businesses in the Southern part of the state is power outages. Entergy has 24,000 customers without power, down from 89,000. Cleco, who at one point had over 63,000 customers without power, now has less than 12,000. Cleco spokesperson Jennifer Cahill says crews are working feverishly to get power back to 100%
Governor Edwards is praising the state’s level of readiness in the face of Barry but wants to remind folks that “This is just the beginning of Hurricane Season, and we have a long way to go.” The Governor singled out some impressive feats, such as a record breaking 900,000 sandbags distributed statewide. Edwards says one thing that really inspired confidence for the next storm was how well the state’s levee systems held up. He says not a single levee was breached, with only a few even being overtopped.
President Trump is taking some heat for a statement he tweeted over the weekend suggesting four minority members of congress, who have openly criticized his policies, go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Well, For three of the congresswomen, that place would be the USA. Despite that 5th District Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, who is running for Governor, jumped on board and announced yesterday, he would pay their way. Abraham is the only republican member of congress, so far, who has supported the Presidents comments.
A jury recommends the death penalty for 57-year-old Kevin Daigle, convicted in the “cold blooded”2015 ambush shooting death of a State Trooper in Calcasieu Parish. Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier says the murder was so shocking that it’s the first time in his 14 years as DA that he’s stuck with a death penalty request. Daigle was caught on dashcam footage blasting Trooper Steven Vincent with a sawed-off shotgun after the officer responded to what appeared to be a person in duress.
New details released by the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office Monday suggest beloved Baton Rouge activist 75-year-old Sadie Roberts-Joseph, whose body was found in the trunk of her own vehicle Friday, died by asphyxiation. Despite the storm, detectives spent the weekend chasing possible leads and conducting interviews. Investigators still have no possible suspects nor a motive in the killing.
Louisiana is beginning the 60-million-dollar process of replacing two 70-100-year-old youth prisons with newer, “Therapeutic Model” buildings. Deputy Secretary for the Office of Juvenile Justice Dr. James Bueche says they think they can pay for the new facilities by applying for bonds and paying those bonds with future savings. Bueche says the older facilities are falling apart and in constant need to repair, which costs a lot of money. He says the new buildings will be smaller, safer, and more efficient. The plan is to replace the Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe, and The Center for Youth outside of New Orleans.
A new program called Compete Louisiana aims to ease the burden of returning to college for those that may have finished school without receiving a degree. President of the University of Louisiana system Jim Henderson says many of those adults are now finding it harder to compete for jobs and they need to finish what they started. One in five adults in the state, just over 650,000, started college but never got a degree.
The optimism of small business owners has seen a modest downturn, slipping 1.7 points. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says business owners are becoming more cautious with spending and credits the end of the legislative session for a reason for the droop. Starns says at the end of the day, optimism is still historically high, but there’s just a general slowdown.
State police are investigating an officer involved shooting in Houma that occurred yesterday afternoon. Authorities say two Houma officers were conducting storm damage assessments, when multiple shots were fired near the officers, emanating from a still unknown direction. During the incident one of the officers fired their weapon, but no officer were harmed during the event. No suspects have been identified yet.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Mattassa is getting some flak for riding out Hurricane Barry in Las Vegas. Mattassa flew out of town for a previously scheduled conference in the desert, one day after declaring a state of emergency in his parish. Mattassa defended the decision saying The only thing he could have done was fill sandbags, which he really couldn’t do because of back problems.
LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron told hundreds of reporters at SEC Media Days that the Tigers will be running a spread offense. On the defensive side of the ball, Orgeron says the Tigers have the best group of defensive backs he’s ever coached in 35 years. And the old D-Line coach plans to work more with the defensive line this season. LSU is coming off a 10-win season and the Tigers will likely start the 2019 season ranked in the top ten in the preseason polls.
Longtime Ruston Daily Leader sports editor Buddy Davis passed away over the weekend at the age of 72. Davis was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and enshrined into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. The press box at Joe Aillet Stadium is named after him. Davis spent five decades covering sports in Lincoln Parish. Davis covered icons like Terry Bradshaw and Karl Malone, the great Louisiana Tech women’s basketball teams and Grambling State’s coach Robinson.
Good Morning.. News For Monday 07/15/2019
News for Monday 071519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Barry is a tropical depression in Arkansas this morning after dumping several inches of rain, knocking out power and producing some flooding along the coast. But Barry didn’t live up to projections of major flooding, because of 15 of 20 inches of rain. State Climatologist Barry Keim says you can thank wind shear that the models didn’t take into account. But Keim says you do have to give forecasters credit for using the information available and predicting a Category One hurricane would make landfall in southwest Louisiana four days before it actually happened.
Most of Louisiana appears to have dodged a bullet from once Hurricane Barry, and Governor Edwards says the state will begin ramping down it’s state of emergency activities. On Friday there were serious concerns that some levees in New Orleans may have difficulty handling the storm, but Edwards says the upgraded levee system held up. Edwards thanked the emergency personnel who rose to the occasion during the storm.
For a while during the weekend storm, many Cenla Residents were without power. However, early Sunday crews were out inforce removing downed trees from powerlines and restoring power. As of late last night, power had been restored to most residents in Rapides and Grant parishes. The huge problem facing CLECO now is in South Louisiana in St. Martin, St. Mary’s and Iberia Parish whereas of 9 p.m last night., Cleco had approximately 33,000 customers without power. All available Cleco crews and vegetation personnel, as well as 1,000 additional line mechanics and 400 tree trimmers continue to work around the clock to get the lights back on for customers.
On a positive note, All CLTCC Campuses will be open today for normal operations.
Investigators worked through the weekend to determine how Baton Rouge African American history museum founder Sadie Roberts-Joseph ended up dead in the trunk of a car last Friday. Her Body was discovered about three miles from her home in Baton Rouge. Family members told police they had seen Roberts-Joseph only a few hours before the heartbreaking discovery. An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the cause of death.
LSU receives a grant worth nearly $400k from the Institute of Museum and Library Science in an effort to tell the stories of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and active duty military through the creation of virtual footlockers. Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science Ed Benoit says these virtual footlockers will not only be important family heirlooms but important documentation for historians.
Today is the first day of SEC Media Days. LSU Coach Ed Orgeron, along with Joe Burrow, Grant Delpit and Lloyd Cushenberry will speak to hundreds of reporters today. Braden Gall covers college football for Athlon Sports and ESPN-U Radio. He says LSU and Florida are two dark horses to make the college football playoff. Gall says LSU will be good on defense once again, but the play at quarterback could be the best it’s been at LSU in a long time… Gall says Alabama goes in as the preseason favorites in the SEC West again. Texas A-and-M is facing a difficult schedule, so Gall believes Auburn could be the other team that challenges the Crimson Tide for SEC West supremacy.
Good Morning... News For Friday 07/12/2019
News for Friday 071219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Hurricane warnings are now in effect for much of the south-central Louisiana coast as Tropical Storm Barry puts the Bayou State in it’s bullseye. Governor Edwards says Tropical Storm Barry will be a major weather event for much of Louisiana. The storm is expected to make landfall Saturday morning as a Category One hurricane. But Edwards provided has some good news. He says the storm surge forecast at the mouth of Mississippi River has been lowered. Edwards says flooding is the biggest concern. Power outages are also likely.
Here in Cenla some strong winds and heavy rainfall is expected, but the real brunt of the storm is expected to be felt to the south and the east. The storm was expected to reach Central Louisiana Saturday night, passing to the east of Alexandria at about midnight. The National Weather Service is projecting 40- to 55-mph winds in the Alexandria area, with some gusts stronger than that, and 3 to 4 inches of rain. But, this is a slow moving storm and very unpredictable.
Closures…. LC to close at noon today. LSUA will close at noon as well and will reopen Monday. The ACT test scheduled for July 13 will be canceled and a make-up date will be announced soon.
Pitkin High School ACT test set for July 13 to be rescheduled.
All Save the Children Heat Start Centers closed July 12
State Climatologist Barry Keim says tropical storm conditions will begin Friday night and take a noticeable turn for the worse Saturday morning along the coast, and that afternoon in the Baton Rouge area. Storm surge levels are estimated at between three to six feet at the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach in Cameron Parish, and 15 to 20 inches of rain could fall across some portions of the state.
Tropical Storm Barry is set to bring rain totals not seen in many places since the 2016 floods, with rainfall totals of 18-24 inches in some places threatening to swell south Louisiana rivers. Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s not a great time for a system like Barry to drop by, considering rivers are already swollen with upstream water and run-off. Edwards says this system has the potential to threaten areas that have just begun to recover from historic flooding three years ago by dumping nearly two feet of rainwater.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the low-lying areas of Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes. A voluntary evacuation has been called for areas south of Leon Theriot Lock in Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish. Lafourche Sheriff’s office spokesperson Brennan Matherne says they are anticipating strong winds and heavy rainfall in Lafourche and residents there are taking this storm seriously
The United Cajun Navy has been activated in anticipation of Barry’s Saturday landfall along the Louisiana coast. Founder Todd Terrell says they’ve mobilized their volunteers to help make sandbags in the Baton Rouge area, which is set to potentially see over a foot of rainwater. The organization has built a nationwide volunteer base after operations in other disaster zones over the past three years.
It looks like Saints rookie defensive end Carl Granderson will not report to training camp later this month. That’s because he’s been sentenced to serve six months in jail immediately in a sexual battery case. Two female Wyoming University students accused Granderson of touching them sexually why they slept at his apartment in 2018. Granderson’s plea agreement in the case was rejected by the judge who ordered that his six-month sentence begin immediately.
The NFL has announced its roster of officials and the seven refs who worked the controversial NFC Championship game are listed as among the 122 officials for the 2019 season.
The Pelicans improved to 3-and-1 in Summer League Action with a 99-78 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the way with 26 points, five rebounds and six assists. Jaxson Hayes had 13 points.
LSU’s all-time winningest pitcher Jared Poche has announced he’s retiring from professional baseball. The 24-year-old left-hander from Lutcher has struggled this season in Stockton, California, the home of the A’s Class-A affiliate. He’s 0-6 with an 8.53 ERA. During his career as a Tiger he won 39 games.
Former LSU Tiger Josh Smith has signed his contract with the New York Yankees, who selected him in the second. His contract is worth an estimated 967-thousand dollars.
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 07/11/2019
News for Thursday 071119
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The state is bracing for a slow moving tropical system that’s expected to drop a ton of rain and make landfall as Hurricane Barry Saturday. Ten-to-15 inches of rain is possible. National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Erickson says much of that rainfall will come between Friday and Sunday. Erickson says one concern that comes with this storm is the possibility of tornados.
Governor John Bel Edwards says be prepared for a significant rain and storm surge event from the storm system will push three to six feet of storm surge along the coasts and dump up to 15 inches of rain across parts of south Louisiana. Edwards has declared a statewide emergency. He says this is just not a south Louisiana event.
A Hurricane watch is in effect for much of the coast.
Based on current projections, Terrebonne Parish could get the brunt of what may be Hurricane Barry
State Climatologist Barry Keim says the reason this system went from nothing to a major problem is due to gulf surface temps being in the mid to upper 80s, giving the system plenty of fuel. Many streets in New Orleans turned into rivers Wednesday morning as an estimated eight inches of rain fell during a three-hour period over parts of the city.
Due to the potential for flooding, Alexandria Utility Director Michael Marcotte says the city will have free sandbags available for Alexandria residents starting today. Elderly and infirm residents may obtain pre-made sandbags from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the City Compound on Industrial Park Road. Residents must show a driver’s license or current utility bill as proof of residence and there is a 10 bag maximum per household. Other self-serve locations will be open at Bringhurst Park, in the parking area between Bringhurst Field and the Alexandria Zoo on Babe Ruth Drive, Cheatham Park, in the parking lot across from Peabody Magnet High School on Jones Avenue and Johnny Downs Complex, in the front parking lot off of La. Highway 28 West.
The Corps of Engineers says heavy rains and storm surge from a tropical system will push the Mississippi River to 20 feet in New Orleans, which could result in some levees being overtopped. Spokesperson Ricky Boyett says they do not expect potential over toppings to be widespread, but they’ve begun additional surveying to see if some areas could use reinforcement. He added that there are concerns at the moment about areas south of New Orleans.
As the storm moves westward and impacts Louisiana, parishes along the coastline are preparing. In Vermillion Parish they have issued a voluntary evacuation order for low-laying areas.
Natchitoches Parish officials report a Marthaville man died when he was ejected from and crushed by an all-terrain vehicle. The body of 54-year-old Timmy Lopez was found late Wednesday afternoon by another person riding a trail off Preston Hayes Road near Marthaville. The 911 caller said the man was dead and that his body was underneath an ATV. Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
SEC Media Days begin on Monday and LSU announced today that quarterback Joe Burrow, safety Grant Delpit and center Lloyd Cushenberry will join Coach Ed Orgeron in speaking with the hundreds of reporters that will be packed into the Hyatt Regency Birminngham-Winfrey Hotel.
Former LSU standout Tremont Waters has signed a two-way deal with the Celtics, who took him in the second round. That means the 21-year-old will spend most of next season playing for the Maine Red Claws, but he’ll get a chance to spend a maximum of 45 days with the Celtics.
LSU baseball has confirmed the hiring of former Tulane hitting coach Eddie Smith as the Tigers new hitting coach. The Green Wave are coming off a great year at the plate as they lead the American Athletic Conference in several categories.
Tiger Rag Editor James Moran reports that LSU has also signed two more infielders, Zach Arnold from California and Zack Mathis, who hit .351 with 10 home runs and 66 RBIs at a JUCO school in California last season. Moran says Arnold and Mathis provide much-needed depth in the infield.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 07/10/19
News for Wednesday 071019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A disorganized area of low pressure is expected to become a tropical depression by tonight and head in the direction of Louisiana. National Hurricane Center Senior Hurricane Specialist Jack Bevan says forecasting a weather system of this nature is challenging. Some forecast models project the system has a shot at becoming a hurricane. Bevan says between warm surface temps in the gulf and upper-level winds, conditions are favorable for further development. Gov. John Bel Edwards will host a Unified Command Group meeting today to discuss potential developments and the possible impacts in Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center expects a tropical depression will form by Thursday from a broad area of low pressure that’s moving into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the Florida panhandle. State Climatologist Barry Keim says conditions in the Gulf are ripe for tropical development. Currently, the system is labeled as Invest 92.
A motion to revoke Micah Dean Baden's probation has been filed after his June 25 arrest on a domestic violence charge, less than a year after he was sentenced for the death of a 16-year-old Ball girl in a 2016 wreck. Baden was arrested on June 25 by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office on a felony charge of domestic abuse battery with a child present, as well as a parish probation violation. He has been in jail since that time.
The hearing is set for Aug. 19.
Get ready, the governor’s race is about to get ugly. Louisiana Republican Treasurer John Schroder and the Republican Governors Association blistered Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards Tuesday saying Edwards "has done nothing" to boost the state's economy. The governor, on the other hand, has noted data showing Louisiana's economy is on the rise and that the state has emerged from recession under his leadership. Schroder criticized Edwards for supporting two temporary sales taxes to avert a budget crisis. It should be noted both were passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
John Bel Edwards’ re-election campaign says they have a record amount of cash on hand for an incumbent Louisiana Governor, with 9.6 million dollars in the bank. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards is in a good position to be re-elected, because along with the hefty war chest, the Governor has something that money can’t buy. The primary for the governor’s race will take place October 12th.
57-year-old Kevin Daigle has been found guilty of first-degree murder in in what was called a “cold blooded ambush” shooting death in 2015 of Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent. Vincent was killed during a traffic stop near Bell City, with much of the incident caught on dash cam video, which was played for jurors. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty in the case.
The former mayor of Turkey Creek, Heather Cloud, announced her campaign for state senate in District 28, which includes Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Evangeline, and St. Landry Parishes. If elected, Cloud says she will be a bold conservative voice in the legislature.
Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond launches “Lion Up Recovery,” the first and only public university collegiate recovery program in the state addressing issues with drug and alcohol abuse in the college setting. Interim program coordinator Madison Evans says the program will have on-campus support groups and sober social events.
Evans says 37% of college students report they have used illicit drugs or have abused alcohol on a regular basis.
12-year-old Shreveport wunderkind health food advocate and chef Owen Osborne showed off his skills last night on the Food Network’s Chopped Junior cooking competition. The program challenges chefs to prepare meals with a seemingly random collection of ingredients, testing the cook’s creativity. Osborne says despite the national spotlight, he kept a cool head. The competition is judged by a rotating cast of celebrity judges, with the winner walking away with 10,000 dollars.
The Saints released their training camp schedule Tuesday. The first practice open to the public will be Friday, July 26th at 8:50 in the morning. A total of 12 practices will be open to the public. On Sunday night, August 4th, the Black and Gold will practice at Turchin Stadium on Tulane’s campus. The Saints are also set to hold joint practices with the Chargers in Costa Mesa, California on August 15th and 16th, prior to their preseason game in Carson, California on August 18th. The Saints also announced that the seating for fans who watch practice at the team’s training facility in Metairie will be covered and misted.
Hall of Fame high school football coach James Waguespack has passed away after suffering a stroke on Sunday night. Waguespack was a head football coach for 32 years and won 231 games and two state championships at St. James and Cecilia. The St. James grad also coached at Beau Chene. Waguespack was 76 years old.
Pelicans first-round pick Jaxon Hayes put on an impressive performance in his Summer League Debut last night in Las Vegas. Hayes had 28 points, four rebounds, and three blocked shots. The eighth overall pick had a nasty one-handed dunk as he skied over a Bulls player in a 109-72 victory. The Pels next Summer League game is tomorrow night against Cleveland.
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 07/09/2019
News for Tuesday 070919
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center says there is a high probability a tropical depression will form by the end of the week over the northern Gulf of Mexico, which has the potential to produce heavy rain over Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says as long as this possible tropical depression or storm doesn’t develop into anything too significant, the potential rainmaker could be beneficial to Louisiana. Keim says eight to ten inches of rain could fall across the northern Gulf Coast later this week.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is keeping a finger on the pulse of the weather forecast with a system in the Gulf that has the potential to develop into a threat to Louisiana. GOHSEP spokesperson Mike Steele says as of Monday, the system has an 80% chance of developing into a tropical depression. In 2016, a weather system formed in the northern portion on the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the flooding that many are still trying to recover from due to high amounts of rainfall. National Weather Service Slidell Meteorologist Freddie Zeiggler says the current system has some parallels to that 2016 storm. Zeiggler says the development could even turn into a hurricane by the end of the week.
Restore Louisiana is sending out the first round of checks to 2016 flood victims, previously denied government aid because they were approved for an SBA loan. Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development Pat Forbes says 230 homeowners will receive the grant money this week and many other families received notification Monday they are eligible for this money too.
According to the National College Access Network’s FAFSA tracker, 78.7 percent of Louisiana’s nearly 48-thousand high school seniors completed their free application for Federal Student Aid. With the findings, Louisiana ranks number one for application completion for a second year. Tennessee came in at number two followed by Delaware, DC, and New Jersey.
Food delivery service Waitr says they’re in the process of adding beer and wine to the list of goods you can have delivered with your order. Waitr CEO Chris Meaux says once they work out the specifics with the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, you’ll see a new option on the app when you go to order from participating restaurants. Beer and wine delivery was OK’d in the last Legislative session, but Meaux says there is no current timeline as to when ATC will approve this request. Meaux says in order to have the factory sealed beer or wine included in your order, you’ve got to have some food as well. Waitr works with more than 3,500 restaurants statewide.
Starting August 1st the Department of Children and Family services is giving parents who are behind on child support the opportunity to get their driver’s license back without having to pay off everything they owe immediately. Regional Administrator for Child Support Enforcement Sandra Broussard says previously parents could have their license suspended for being 90 days past due and could not get their license reinstated without making the full back-payment. However, that caused even more problems with people unable to get to work. Broussard says getting non-custodial parents their licenses back make them more likely to make payments.
An investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Probation and Parole led to the arrest of a Pineville man for drug charges. 33 year old Zachary Proveaux was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A Belle Rose man is in the slammer after going to a grocery store, filming himself opening a Blue Bell ice cream container, licking the contents, sticking his fingers in the container, then returning it to the store freezer. 36-year-old Lenise Lloyd Martin III is accused of pulling the stunt. Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office Commander Lonny Cavalier says It appears Martin later returned to the store and purchased the ice-cream he licked. Martin remains in the parish prison.
Governor Edwards has released his first TV re-election ad of the gubernatorial campaign. The ad emphasizes Louisiana’s recovery from the Jindal deficits under Edwards’ leadership. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the reported seven figure ad buy will likely appeal to Edwards base, but he’s got a long way to go to convince the state’s more conservative voters. The primary is set for October 12th
A dog is dead after a high jacking incident in Baton Rouge. Yesterday a man left his dog in the car with the AC on while going into a doughnut shop, only for someone to steal the car with the dog in tow. That led to a citywide hunt for both the dog and car that ran over 24 hours. Authorities say they discovered the dog in the car, and have determined the animal died of heat exhaustion. 30-year-old Leslie Aguillard was arrested on a litany of charges as a result.
From the “Not The Sharpest Knife In The Draw Department”, A Colfax man who had been arrested landed in more trouble when he asked a deputy to get his cellphone from his truck. 39 year old Jason Wesse, who had been taken into custody by a Grant Parish Sheriff's Deputy on an outstanding warrant from Rapides Parish, asked the deputy to get his cellphone from his truck forgetting, we assume, he had a bag of marijuana, methamphetamine and pipe that was used to ingest the drugs sitting on the front seat. Wesse was arrested and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center on possession of meth, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia charges and the fugitive warrant.
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Good Morning.. News For Monday 07/08/2019
News for Monday 070819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Forecasters are keeping an eye on a trough of low pressure over the southeastern US which forecast maps show moving toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico where the chances for tropical development have increased. According to the Hurricane Center, a board low pressure area will likely form in a few days, and, thereafter, upper-level winds support some development.
Governor Edwards officially kicked off his re-election campaign over the weekend in his hometown of Amite with a repeat of his RV tour. The Edward’s campaign is touting a successful legislative session that included the first teacher pay raise in a decade. Edwards is the south’s lone democratic governor facing two major republican candidates in October, U-S Representative Ralph Abraham and Businessman Eddie Rispone. The Edwards RV Tour continues throughout the week.
A Louisiana memorial will be held this coming Sunday for John Walton, half of KZMZ’s Walton and Johnson radio show. The celebration of life will be held at Generations Hall in New Orleans from noon to 3 p.m., which will include a Second Line and tribute brass band. The public is invited to attend.. John Walton passed away last Wednesday due to multiple heath issues. A Texas memorial service is also in the works.
In a devastating blow to state tourism, it was announced over the weekend that all of the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches have been closed for swimming as the expanding bloom of toxic blue-green algae blankets the state's waters. On Sunday the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced the closures of Pascagoula Beach West and East, the final two state beaches that were open for swimming.
State Treasurer John Schroder is blocking the state from using 25 million dollars in unclaimed property in this fiscal year’s budget, telling lawmakers if they want the money, they’ll “have to drag me to court”. Schroder says the Legislature has appropriated 850 million dollars of unclaimed property funds over the decades, but after doing some research, he doesn’t think the move it legal. An Edwards spokesperson responded, saying “The budget bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor appropriates that money for critical needs throughout the state”, and that they hope they don’t have to go to court to get the funds.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana presents the first Louisiana Rural Economic Development Summit along with Southern University Law Center this week in Marksville at the Paragon Casino Resort. Tribe Chairman Marshall Pierite (pee rite) says the goal of the summit is to connect rural communities with local, state, and national leaders, as well as Native American Country. Pierite hopes the summit, which kicked of yesterday and continues through tomorrow, helps develop a steady platform for small business owners and elected officials.
The Diocese of Baton Rouge announced on Sunday two more additions to its list of Catholic clerics who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, bringing the total to 43. Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca released the initial list in January, which included 37 names. He said then that it would evolve over time as other diocese release their own lists amid a nationwide push for transparency from church leaders.
An Oxford Economics report says Louisiana is one of the states most vulnerable to losing a significant amount of jobs due to automation. The report says Louisiana is particularly vulnerable to the robotics revolution due to its status as a “low-skill” region that relies on manufacturing and service jobs. Oregon is most at risk, followed by Louisiana, Texas, and Indiana. Hawaii, Florida, and Nevada were marked as the safest states, due to their statewide status as tourism hubs.
A law recently signed by Governor Edwards brings new restrictions to rescue shelters on how and when they can pass along animals to research facilities. Houma Representative Jerome Zeringue says in the event that the animal ends up going to a research facility, the law increases the likelihood of an animal finding a good home. Zeringue says among the regulations, shelters must notify those making an animal drop off that they do provide animals for testing. It also eliminates automatic euthanizing of animals for research that could possibly find a good home. Zeringue says each violation would result in a $1000 fine. The law goes into effect August 1st.
The trial of former LSU fraternity member Matthew Naquin, who was charged with negligent homicide in the alleged hazing death of Max Gruver in 2017, begins today.
Legal analyst Tim Meche says the proceedings will likely be difficult to watch for both families as the prosecution and defense take turns tearing down both Gruver and Naquin’s character. Naquin is accused of pressuring Gruver into drinking himself to death in a Frat initiation ceremony.
Accident investigators in the Bahamas are going well below the surface of the water to try to figure out what went wrong in the moments before a helicopter crashed after takeoff and killed seven people, including West Virginia coal magnate Chris Cline, his daughter and two of her Louisiana State University classmates. Authorities have said it is too early to draw conclusions about the cause of the crash.
The funeral for beloved Ragin Cajuns baseball coach Tony Robichaux is today at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette. Robichaux died last week at the age of 57 following a heart attack. He’s described as a man of faith and a leader for young men.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 07/03/19
News for Wednesday 070319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Shocking news yesterday here at Cenla Broadcasting upon word of the Passing of John Walton, half of the KZMZ morning team of Walton & Johnson. Steve Johnson, his on air partner since the early 80’s told us yesterday that John passed away shortly before midnight Monday night. Johnson asked the public to keep the Walton family in their thoughts and prayers. Today, the plan is to take calls from fans, giving them a chance to say good bye.. Johnson says the show will go on, returning as soon as possible.
Word of another passing yesterday.. that of longtime Avoyelles Parish Assistant District Attorney Norris Greenhouse Sr. He worked under former DA Ed Knoll for nearly ten years and under current DA for nearly 18 years as a prosecutor. There has been no word yet on funeral arrangements. Norris Greenhouse Sr was only 62 years old.
A record 48.9 million Americans are expected to make a trip for the 4thof July, a 4.1 percent increase over last year. AAA Analyst Don Redman says locally in the Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas region, 4.7 million people will travel. Nationally, 4 million travelers will take to the skies, a 5.5 percent increase over last year, with airfare costs up 10 percent over last year. The average price for a gallon of regular in Louisiana sits at $2.35, but shop around you can do a lot better than that.
Over the last several years, the popularity of rideshares services such as Uber and Lyft has grown, but it hasn’t been a transportation option in all areas of Louisiana. But Uber South spokesperson Trevor Theunissen says Uber services begin statewide today ahead of the 4th of July holiday. Theunissen says an aggressive campaign is kicking off to recruit drivers who want to make a little extra money.
A stretch of highway in Cajun Country running from I-10/I-49 South to Raceland was named Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway at an unveiling ceremony last night featuring both the current and former Governors. Franklin Representative Sam Jones was there and says it’s a fantastic way to honor one of the great Cajuns in state history. Blanco served from 2004-2008, and has “made peace” with her battle against cancer that’s left her wheelchair bound.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the 2019 capital outlay bill which will provide one-point-five billion dollars in new funding for construction and infrastructure improvement projects. 94-million dollars is for construction of roads and bridges, 246-million for education construction projects and 40-million for water infrastructure projects.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents will be cracking down on impaired boaters for Operation Dry Water weekend from July 5 to July 7. Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe. In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.
St. Bernard Parish President Brian McInnis calls on the feds to provide immediate relief in the form of disaster aid to help the struggling seafood industry. Freshwater pouring from the Mississippi River into the area due to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is having devastating effects on the region’s largest economic driver. McInnis says the plea for relief has the full support of the parish council, state and federal representatives. The parish has organized a trip to DC to state their case next week.
A female is recovering after being shot and being dumped off on the side of Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola says the suspect, 28-year-old Gerry Byrd, fled to Mississippi where he was shot by law enforcement in the Woodville area after they were alerted he was in a parking lot, waving two semi-auto pistols in the air. Coppola says the suspect was brought back to Baton Rouge to be treated for his life threatening injuries. The victim’s wounds appear to be non-life threatening.
“Operation Murder Gang Meltdown”, a cross agency narcotics taskforce in Terrebonne Parish is nearing an end after the arrests of 18 suspects and the seizure of significant amounts of drugs. Terrebonne Parish Chief Deputy Terry Daigre says the taskforce has made some major seizures. The drugs’ street value topped a million dollars.
After suffering catastrophic damage from an EF-3 tornado in April, Louisiana Tech has made the decision to demolish the baseball, softball, and soccer stadiums this summer. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says after extensive surveys, they came to the conclusion that trying to salvage those sites just wouldn’t be safe.The tornado caused hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage and took the lives of two people.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is raising the bounty on nutria from $5 to $6 per tail for the season that starts November 1st. LDWF biologist Catherine Normand says the bounty program has been in place since 2002, adding at one point, there was a fur market for the nutria and the state didn’t have an issue with rodents causing damage to the wetlands because of the number of hunters keeping the population down and keep them from overgrazing.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office announces the arrest of two volunteer firefighters for their connection to three fires in two parishes. Since being taken into custody, Matthew Crane of Springhill and Montana Ludlum of Cullen have made confessions of their involvement. Both men have been dismissed from the fire department.
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 07/02/2019
News for Tuesday 070219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The RPSO reports 36 year old Robert Boyd of Lena, who has been in jail since early June, has been slapped with 21 more counts of sexual battery of victims younger than 13. Boyd, who was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on June 4, was arrested again while in jail on the additional charges. His total bond has been set at $580,000.
The State department of public safety announced yesterday, Norris Greenhouse, Jr. is out of jail after completing 35% of his sentence. Greenhouse, Jr. was sentenced to seven years and six months after pleading guilty in October 2017 to malfeasance in office and negligent homicide. He received two years and six months on the malfeasance conviction and five years for negligent homicide for his role in the November 2015 shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and the shooting of his father, Chris Few, in Marksville. Greenhouse, Jr. was one of two deputy Ward 2 city marshals charged in connection with the crime, the other being Derrick Stafford, who is serving a 40 year sentence for manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.
Spraying for mosquitoes is underway in Alexandria. Crews with the city’s Public Works Department will spray different zones in the city two nights per week, with the complete city covered every two weeks.
KALB TV5 is reporting Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton confirmed yesterday that two more officers, Eddie Andrus and Brian Frost, have been fired as part of the investigation into payroll fraud committed during the state-funded "Safe and Sober" campaign. Three deputies were arrested as part of the same investigation last week.
A new fiscal year budget for Louisiana went into effect on the 1st. The spending plan contains funding increases for K-through-12 education, public colleges and early childhood education, which will allow more low-income families to receive assistance so their children can attend pre-K education. TOPS also received a 15 million dollar bump in funding, and state leaders do not expect any midyear cuts will be needed.
Two men are dead, a Barksdale Airman, and an alleged gunman following a break-in at a Shreveport home early Sunday morning. A female witness who lived there told investigators that her ex-boyfriend, broke into the home and shot her current boyfriend, a Barksdale airman. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says there were five children in the home at the time of the shooting.
A former West Baton Rouge deputy accused of stalking and sexually assaulting multiple women while on duty - pleaded guilty Monday to malfeasance in office. Ben Arceneaux, who resigned from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office after being indicted in December on one count of malfeasance in office, will serve no prison time but will be on probation for two years. Arceneaux was also sentenced to five years in prison, but the judge suspended that part of the sentence.
222 US mayors, including the leaders of Shreveport, Monroe, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge are returning home from five days of the United States Conference of Mayors in Honolulu, Hawaii. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo says they got an opportunity to learn how to generate federal dollars for much needed economic development and infrastructure needs back home. The diverse cast of mayors from every corner of the US each shared their experiences with climate change, from wildfires in California, to tornadoes and floods in Louisiana.
Senator John Kennedy spoke at the Baton Rouge Press Club and during the address; he gave his thoughts on the current state of the Governor’s race. Kennedy says he’s spoken with President Trump about the election but did not disclose many more details.
Kennedy believes the race will be a close one but adds that Governor Edwards has the advantage of having plenty of money and mainstream media connections. Kennedy stopped short of endorsing one candidate.
In Lafayette, police are investigating a shooting that resulted in the death of a two-year-old. The incident happened around eight o’clock Sunday night and three adults at the home have been arrested in what is being ruled an accidental shooting. The child’s mother 22-year old MaKayla Cormier is among the three arrested.
Jury selection is underway in Lafayette for the man accused of killing a State Trooper in 2015. Kevin Daigle was indicted in the 14th Judicial District in Lake Charles, but the court granted him a change of venue and jury selection was moved to Lafayette. Daigle is accused of killing Trooper Steven Vincent after he stopped to help Daigle, whose truck was stuck in a ditch. The state is seeking the death penalty and trial is expected to last two to three weeks.
Fourteen alligator snapping turtles that have been raised with the care of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are now swimming in the wild as part of a program to replenish the species. LDWF biologist Charles Battaglia says while the numbers in Louisiana are doing okay, elsewhere the population is showing red flags. The federal government is scheduled to decide next year whether to declare the turtles as endangered or threatened.
The Pelicans made a splash at the start of the NBA free agency last night by using their cap space on two widely respected veterans at positions of need. The team nabbed, free agent 3 point specialist, shooting guard JJ Reddick. Locked on Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says Reddick is exactly what the young team needed. The Pels also traded for Utah for Center Derrick Favors.
LSU has announced the hiring of College Football Hall of Famer and longtime USC Coach John Robinson as a senior consultant. Robinson had two stints as the head coach of the Trojans and won a national championship. LSU says Robinson will assist head coach Ed Orgeron as a consultant of daily planning of practice, personnel and game planning.
On The Air Today….
Houston Astros @ Colorado 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 07/01/2019
News for Monday 070119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Union Parish authorities say a three-year-old child is in critical condition after the little boy was attacked by three neighborhood dogs, two of them are pit bull mixes. Sheriff Dusty Gates says the child’s mother found her son next to a shed in the yard with his clothes ripped off and suffering from numerous injuries.
The US Supreme Court defeated an effort last week to allow federal courts to intervene when states engage in partisan gerrymandering of voting districts. Fair Districts Louisiana co-founder Brandon Faske says the decision means Louisiana legislators can still draw their own districts and pick their own voters. The court decision ended a legal effort to have North Carolina Congressional districts rewritten in time for the 2020 election. The decision means any policies regarding gerrymandering will have to be handled at the state level and in Congress. In state’s other than Louisiana, The ballot initiative allows voters to bypass the legislature to enact measures, but Louisiana does not allow for ballot initiatives.
Two bigtime donors within the Republican Party, Boysie Bollinger and Joe Canizaro are heading up Ralph Abraham’s gubernatorial campaign finance committee. Abraham lags financially compared to the other two candidates Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Eddie Rispone. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says it’s a major development for Abraham. Bollinger once ran a shipbuilding firm and Canizaro is a New Orleans banker.
UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux underwent a second surgery at a New Orleans-area hospital on Sunday, a week after suffering a heart attack, and is in "critical condition". “Coach Robichaux has received additional medical attention as a result of the incident suffered a week ago Sunday. The Robichaux family asks specifically for prayer during this time.” The 57 year Robichaux had open-heart surgery last Monday and was moved to Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans from Lafayette General Hospital. He has coached the Cajuns’ baseball program since 1995
The Caddo Parish Coroner’s office has identified the two-year old child who died as a result of an apparent accidental shooting in Shreveport. Ranaldo Bennett was struck by a bullet Friday morning and died two hours later. 19-year-old Jaylen Jones has been charged with negligent homicide and illegal possession of a firearm.
A Eunice man’s plan to dodge jail for unpaid child support goes south when he’s caught staging his own robbery and shooting. Officers responded to a call of a man being shot in the chest. During the investigation, Michael Rung claimed a person took his wallet before the shot was fired. Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot says when taking a statement from Rung, some things were just not adding up. Rung didn’t act alone in the setup as his friend Jacob Jack is accused of acting as the trigger man. Fontenot says he’s not sure how Rung convinced Jack to go through with the plan.
The two historic openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway this year have made life difficult for those in the seafood industry in southeast Louisiana. Oyster beds have been destroyed and catches are down and fishermen have been forced to go out farther to catch fish and shrimp. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser hopes the federal government can provide some assistance.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a bill that gives the state an additional 700-million dollars to spend on specific transportation projects. The money will fund highway projects in Caddo, Rapides, St. Tammany, I-49 through Acadiana and L-A 1 in LaFourche Parish.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking fishermen to be on the lookout for the Asian swamp eel. The invasive species was found in Bayou St. John in New Orleans. It primarily lives in freshwater but can be tolerant of brackish water for short periods. LDWF biologist Robert Bourgeois says the swamp eel has the potential to throw off the ecosystem. Tthe eel is not known to be dangerous or aggressive with humans. But, the LDWF says if anyone catches an Asian swamp eel, they should notify the agency of where it was located, and kill it if possible.
A Baton Rouge woman is Louisiana’s latest one million dollar Powerball winner. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson BreAnne Frye says Lala Singleton was tagged in a Facebook post by her sister-in-law in Connecticut that someone in Baton Rouge won a million-dollar Powerball prize, and turns out it was her. Frye says Singleton plans to donate some of her winnings to a charitable cause close to her heart.
A former Caddo Magnet High fencing coach is convicted of attempted molestation and faces up to 7 and a half years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. The jury deliberated for 2 and a half hours before finding 72-year-old Sharron Settlemire guilty. The victim, who is now 33, was 16 at the time of the incident. Sentencing is scheduled for next week.
An LSU study shows high social and economic costs occur when there is a failure to diagnose and treat Conduct Disorder in kids, which covers a range of severe anti-social, rule-breaking, and aggressive behavior. LSU psychology professor Paul Frick says parents need to compare their kids’ behavior to their classmates. If your child stands out, he advises counseling. Frick says kids who exhibit more severe levels of Conduct Disorder and are not treated early can burden society later after they fail to find success socially and economically. Conduct Disorder affects about three percent of school children nationwide.
A 33-year-old man died at University Medical Center after being shot on St. Louis Street in the New Orleans French Quarter early Sunday morning. Police report a woman approached the man and "they got into a verbal altercation, the woman then pulled a gun and shot the victim. The subject fled the scene.
The New Orleans Pelicans have made another splash, and this time it's in the form of former Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter J.J. Redick, according to a report from. League sources confirmed the report. The signing was reported seconds after the NBA free agency moratorium period kicked off, and was for two years and 26.5 million.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/28/2019
News for Friday 062819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish has a new superintendent of schools. School board members voted last night to give Jeff Powell the job after only two rounds of votes. The first round eliminated finalist Deborah Heitman, leaving Rapides Executive Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Bennett and Powell. Powell received six votes; Bennett received three. The vote to accept the results was 8-0 with President Wilton Barrios abstaining.
State Police announce the arrest of three Rapides Parish Sheriff’s deputies who allegedly were paid for hours they didn’t work during the Safe and Sober campaign. Trooper Scott Moreau says the three deputies arrested, Matthew Davis, Jonathan Treadway, and David Billings are facing charges or malfeasance, public payroll fraud, and injuring public records.
Authorities arrested a Rapides Parish jail escapee who had been at large for more than a month. 33 year old Glynn Jerrod McCoy escaped from the Parish Detention Center #2 back on May 20th. Within a day of his escape, two women were arrested for allegedly helping him. When McCoy was arrested early yesterday morning he was with 29 year old Quintin Ray Fields. Authorities believe Fields helped McCoy after his escape as well.
The AP reports Congressman Ralph Abraham has missed almost 200 out of 509 votes in Congress since December when he began his race for the Governor’s mansion. Abraham had stronger attendance from January 2015 to September 2018 missing only 10 votes out of nearly 2500. Abraham has responded saying being a Congressman is more than sitting behind a desk and voting.
The quick-thinking action by two boys while their mother's ex-boyfriend opened fire inside their home early Thursday likely saved their lives and proved key to the almost-immediate arrest of the alleged gunman, who authorities say killed their mother, great-grandmother and their mother's boyfriend in a "crime of rage." The 14 and 12-year-old boys were able to get outside the house just after midnight. They then called 911 relaying identifying information about their mother's ex-boyfriend and his vehicle. Police say they then hid in a backyard shed until officers arrived at the scene
The Army Corps of Engineers says they expect to close the Bonnet Carre Spillway within the next two to three weeks as pressure on Mississippi River levees is expected to begin decreasing. It’s the first time in history the Spillway has had to open twice in one year as record rainfall in the Midwest has sent a torrent of water downstream. Spokesperson Matt Roe says that’s kept Corps engineers and inspectors busy for most of 2019. Reports indicate a massive levee breach in Arkansas may have been responsible for the reduced flow.
The US Supreme Court has rejected a Trump Administration bid to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census. Congressman Garret Graves says the decision could result in further reductions in Louisiana Congressional representation as states with growing undocumented immigrant populations continue to gain seats. The citizenship question has not been featured on the standard short form census since 1950.
Baton Rouge authorities report the body of an 18-year-old man was dumped in a parking lot outside BREC's Olympia Stadium at midday Wednesday while children played and park workers labored nearby. Baton Rouge Police late Wednesday identified the victim as Dovonta Deon London. The coroner says the victim had sustained severe trauma to his face and head. The investigation continues.
NASA aims to put boots on the moon in 2024 and the latest glimpse of the rocket core stage for the Artemis moon mission is being unveiled today at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Facility director Robert Champion says all manned crafts used in space flights in the history of NASA have gone through the facility.
New child passenger safety laws go into effect in Louisiana August 1st, when kids under 13 must ride in the back seat and more child safety seat and restraint laws will be enforced. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lisa Freeman says the policy may not go into effect for another month, but she recommends new parents check out the requirements online and start practicing them now. Visit Louisianahighwaysafety.org for a rundown on the new laws.
LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger is set to receive a one-year contract extension. It’s up for approval at today’s LSU Board of Supervisors meeting. Ensminger is entering his second season as the Tigers O-C. His 800-thousand dollar annual salary will remain the same. Tomorrow’s agenda also calls for contract extensions for offensive line coach James Cregg, special teams coach Greg McMahon and head strength coach Tommy Moffitt.
A dollar menu at the stadium? The Ragin Cajuns athletic department announced yesterday that they’ll have fan friendly concession prices for the 2019-202 season. Several items will be available for as little as one or two dollars. Bottled water, hamburgers, pretzels, nachos, fountain soda, and something new, 16-ounce domestic beer will all be available for three dollars.
On Air Today..
Houston vs Seattle 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/27/2019
News for Thursday 062719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Pineville PD have released the name of a man who was killed Tuesday afternoon while attempting to cross the Pineville Expressway near Louisiana College. Police say 65 Year old Gary Lewis lost his life in the accident shortly after 4 in the afternoon. The investigation is ongoing.
Louisiana State Police say one man is dead and another seriously injured after their horses were hit from behind by a pickup truck. Trooper Taylor Scrantz says the riders were heading west in the west lane of Louisiana Highway 620 near Erwinville when the westbound pickup hit the horses about 9 p.m. Saturday. 33 year old Temell Dunn died Sunday and 34 year old Jonathan Stewart was seriously injured. Scrantz says the driver did not show any signs of impairment, and was wearing his seat belt. Both horses were killed in the accident.
A report finds Louisiana uses solitary confinement for prisoners four times more than the national average. Loyola Jesuit Research Fellow Dr. Sue Weishar says the practice undermines the goal of rehabilitation because the intense mental and physical stress created by extended stays creates long term damage. 30 percent of prisoners who responded to the survey reported being in solitary confinement over the last five years.
The Louisiana Health Department announces they’ve reached a “subscription model” deal with Asegua Therapeutics that will result in the state treating an estimated 31-thousand people who have hepatitis C, which is an infectious liver disease. Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says there are at least 39-thousand people in Louisiana’s Medicaid program and prison system who suffer from Hepatitis C, which kills more people than all other infectious diseases combined.
Senator Bill Cassidy says legislation he helped put together called the Lower Health Care Costs Act received approval from a U-S Senate committee Wednesday. Cassidy says the proposal contains provisions that would protect patients against surprise medical bills, lower prescription drug costs and improve price transparency.
Governor Edwards has been making the rounds in the world of sports recently, hosting LSU freshmen football players at the mansion and filming a PSA with Drew Brees.
Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says in an election year, such public embrace of beloved sports heroes could be fodder for his Republican gubernatorial opponents. But it might not be cold politically calculus driving these decisions. Brees has a history of supporting veterans, and Pinsonat says Edwards and LSU coach Orgeron have a public friendship and openly support each other.
U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, leadoff hitter for the Republicans in Wednesday night's Congressional Baseball Game, officially scored his first run since returning to the baseball field after narrowly surviving a mass shooting two years ago.
It was his first time back up at bat in Nationals Park. With an error on a 3-2 count, Scalise was able to advance to first base after a couple of swings. U.S. Rep. William Timmons of South Carolina, took his place running the bases and was the first player of the game to cross home plate.
The Pointe Coupee Animal Shelter was stripped of most of its supplies and animal medications over the weekend during a break in, but the wider Baton Rouge area community has come out in force — raising more than $16,000 in two days to help recoup the loss.
Beaches are shuttered along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as toxic algae blooms have popped up, likely as a result of the Bonnet Carrie Spillway’s opening. Beaches closed are in two of the state’s three coastal counties as a result of it. The blue-green water can cause rashes, diarrhea and vomiting in people who get to close to them.
Craft beer brewers across the state are seeing a slump in business. While six breweries may have opened over the last year, five others have shut their doors. Executive director of Louisiana’s Craft Brewer’s Guild Cary Koch part of the reason for the plateau in the industry is antiquated state laws on the books. In Louisiana, the three-tier system of having a brewer, distributor, and a retailer is cutting into the ability to stay afloat. Koch says of the outdated business models that brewers have to deal with is the lack of the ability to self-distribute product.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are receiving calls that black bear spottings are on the rise in portions of Louisiana. Large carnivore program manager for LDWF Maria Davidson says several reasons contribute to the encounters, including mother bears forcing her young to scatter to start fending for themselves as she preps for another mating season. And a warning, there may also be run ins with adult male bears looking for potential mates.
Newly minted Pelican Zion Williamson arrived in town to a housewarming gift of a framed, signed jersey from Saints QB Drew Brees, a note welcoming him to the city. Zion is probably the most nationally hyped athlete to ever play in New Orleans, and Brees welcomed the Phenom by inviting him to become the new favored son of New Orleans sports…
The NCAA has announced its changing some of its guidelines for student-athlete transfer waivers, which will make it more difficult to gain immediate eligibility at their new schools.
Bass fishing has been accepted by the Louisiana High School Athletics Association as a trial sport, with 173 schools in Louisiana telling the organization that they’d like to see fishing made official.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/26/2019
News for Wednesday 062619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
24 year old Johnny Bennett escaped for a short time yesterday morning from the custody of a Rapides Parish Corrections Deputy, during a scheduled appointment outside of the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Deputies and APD officers immediately responded. Bennett was quickly located and taken into custody. For his efforts Bennett has been booked with simple escape from a DOC facility.
It something you don’t hear of often in Bunkie, a drive by shooting.. Yesterday authorities report there were two. According to police, a dark-colored Chevy four-door vehicle was involved. In one, a woman and her toddler were shot at around the intersection of South Louisiana and Keller Street in Bunkie. Over 42 rounds were shot at the residence. About 45 minutes later, the same vehicle was believed to be in another shooting. A residence was shot up over 25 times in the Morrow area.
No injuries were reported in either shooting.
A couple from Lecompte has been arrested for setting fire to a truck belonging to one of their relatives. 57 year old Eddie Holsomback and 57 year old Deborah Blake were booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on one count each of arson with intent to defraud and criminal conspiracy. The incident took place back in March.
Personal income growth was up four percent in the first quarter of the year, a rate that paces the national average. The income growth rate was higher than that of Texas for the first quarter. The four percent increase means Louisianans personal income grew by more than two-billion-dollars.
Coast Professional Incorporated announces an expansion of its contact center in West Monroe which will result in 146 new jobs with an average salary of 36-thousand dollars. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the state’s workforce program called FastStart will guide recruitment. Coast Professional will renovate a former Sears Hometown store to accommodate the new workforce.
2,300 of the state’s best teachers have begun specialized training aimed at preparing them to be mentors to new educators and struggling students. Assistant Superintendent Hannah Dietsch says the program will give experienced educators the tools to be able to better prepare their rookie peers for those first, challenging years in the classroom.
According to Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan, 39 year old Oshay Booker has been arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma after he fatally shot his stepfather two weeks ago. There was a brief standoff with the Tulsa Police Department Fugitive Squad before he surrendered to police. Booker was wanted for killing Ronald Goff. Goff was a former Mayor of Winnfield, LA.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has issued 20 temporary permits to retailers who are now able to sell C-B-D products. The temporary permits will expire at the end of February and permanent permits will only be issued after A-T-C receives a certification from the Louisiana Department of Health.
Senator Bill Cassidy says a proposal to end surprise medical billing, lower the cost of prescription drugs, increase transparency in the healthcare system, and secure a patient’s personal data will get a hearing in front of a Senate committee today. Cassidy says the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 faces hurdles but has a good chance of reaching the President’s desk. Cassidy says a second Senate committee hearing will take place in July. If both committees pass the measure, it heads to the Senate floor.
A Saharan Air Layer, that’s when dust from the Saharan Desert in Africa gets kicked up and is swept into the atmosphere, has descended on Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the dust can create some respiratory issues for more allergy prone people, but does come with some interesting optics, one of those being beautiful sunrises.
Louisiana’s Hepatitis A outbreak is growing, with 305 cases reported dating back to the outbreak that was declared in December of last year. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says while we haven’t seen outbreaks in the thousands like some of our neighbors, it’s still a significantly more cases than normal. Kanter says nationally, since the outbreak was declared in 2016 there’s been about 20,000 cases. Kanter recommends talking to your doctor about possibly getting vaccinated if you think you might be at risk.
The Governor has signed into law a bill authored by Shreveport Representative Thomas Carmody allowing delivery services to bring low alcohol content adult beverages along with a food order to your front door. Carmody says there is a catch, as only W-2 employees of delivery services can make the drop-offs, which disqualifies several popular services. Another bill from Belle Chasse Representative Chris Leopold allowing grocery and liquor stores to hire their own drivers to make deliveries has also been signed into law. The booze cannot be delivered to a home if it is on a college campus.
Video of a box turtle missing his rear legs has gone viral after getting a new set of wheels courtesy of some clever LSU veterinarians. LSU Vet School spokesperson Ginger Guttner says the story has since spread like wildfire, gaining Pedro and the vet school plenty of media attention. Pedro now has a Lego block glued to the bottom of his shell where the axel of the wheels snaps into place.
A former Playboy playmate has been arrested on drug charges by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. A deputy conducted a traffic stop over a brake light issue. Inside the car they found the driver and two passengers, one of which was Valerie Mason, a playmate of the month from 2008. The deputy searched the vehicle, finding 2 grams of meth and syringes.
The Pelicans announced today that Todd Graffagnini is the team’s new radio play-by-play guy. The New Orleans native has served as the voice of the Tulane Green Wave for the last 12 seasons. NOLA-dot-com’s Jeff Duncan reported today that Antonio Daniels will be the Pels new color analyst on the T-V side, replacing David Wesley, who has held down that job for the last seven seasons.
The Monroe News-Star reports Louisiana Tech and Eric Konkol have agreed to a one-year contract extension. The Bulldogs were 20-and-13 last season, nine and nine in Conference USA, which is an improvement from the prior season.
Sports On The Air Tonight….
Wednesday June 26th
Houston Astros vs Pittsburg 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/25/2019
News for Tuesday 062519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Utility workers for Cleco and the city of Alexandria worked throughout the day yesterday and overnight to restore power to residents as a result of and early Monday morning storm. At one point Cleco had over 13,000 people without power, the City of Alexandria 2,300. As of late last night most power was restore. But, utility officials say some outages could last into today.
A homicide in Concordia Parish leaves a teacher dead. According to investigators, the victim, Frederick McCray Jr. gave a ride to the suspects to a location where the suspects shot him. The suspects have since been apprehended and confessed to the crime. The victim was a teacher in Natchez where he was recently named teacher of the year.
Legendary New Orleans music producer Dave Bartholomew, the man who found Fats Domino, passed away Sunday at 100 years old. Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Mike Shepard says Bartholomew worked with, and was loved by all the greats, including Irma Thomas, Benny Spellman, Dr. John, and more. Bartholomew is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Saints QB Drew Brees won his lawsuit against a San Diego jeweler who ripped him off by reportedly lying about the apparent value of millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds they purchased. The Black and Gold legend was awarded damages in excess of six million dollars as a result of the trial that took him off the practice field for the first few days of offseason team training.
A Bunkie man accused of stabbing a wedding guest at a reception on Saturday night has turned himself into police in Pineville. Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Steven Martel says 19-year-old Dontavian Williams of Bunkie brought an outside issue inside of the wedding reception and that led to the incident.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry announces the latest results of statewide effort to arrest child predators. Landry says Operation Broken Heart, a culmination of multiple law enforcement agencies netted 63 offenders in the last two months alone. Since July of 2018 the sting arrested one-hundred-sixty-five child predators.
A recent study by AAA indicates about 70% of drivers in America feel they are unlikely to be caught by the police while driving while under the influence of marijuana. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says it is usually about an hour or so after using marijuana that the effects may set in. Millennials and young adults are the ones to report they are most likely to drive within an hour of toking up.
South Louisiana is getting a 400,000-dollar EPA grant to clean up two environmentally contaminated sites as part of the “Brownfields Program”. Congressman Garret Graves says Brownfields are plots of land, often in the middle of booming markets that have sat abandoned as a result of environmental issues. He says these plots drag down property values and discourage investment. The two locations getting a little TLC in Louisiana are a former VFW Hall in Houma, and a federal office building in Lafayette. Graves says they sit in vital economic corridors for the local community.
El Dorado Resorts, the parent company of a string of Louisiana casinos including the Belle of Baton Rouge, has purchased Caeser’s Entertainment, the parent company of several other casinos including Harrah’s in New Orleans, for 17.3 billion dollars. Casino Association of Louisiana executive director Wade Duty says the merger will create the opportunity for the company to reinvest in Louisiana.
A Slidell man’s fiancé allegedly shoots up a truck stop after her betrothed gets fired from his job as a truck driver. After shooting at the trucking company owner in apparent retaliation for the firing, Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzeneau says 32-year-old Natalie Williams turned to the company owner’s truck and continued the shooting spree.
No one was injured in the incident.
Ragin’ Cajuns baseball’s head coach is recovering following a heart procedure Monday afternoon. UL Lafayette Athletics spokesperson Patrick Crawford says Coach Tony Robichaux went to the hospital on Sunday evening and found out he was experiencing a cardiac event. Crawford says the operation went well and doctors are expecting the coach to make a full recovery.
Sports on the air today…
Houston Astros vs Pittsburg 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/24/2019
News for Monday 062419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just a reminder, the public is encouraged to attend tonight’s superintendent finalists public forum. The event takes place at the Instructional Resource Center, across from the school board in Alexandria. A meet and greet with candidates begins at 5:30 p.m. and the public forum begins at 6 p.m.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in May, a .6 percent drop year to year, and a .1 percent drop from March. Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie says the state has 2,600 fewer unemployed than last month, and 12,000 since last year. She says in total it’s a record for the decade. The 4.4 percent unemployment rate puts Louisiana in a category economists call “full employment”, the first time Louisiana has received that designation in years. Dejoie says this level of unemployment means businesses have to fight harder for new hires. It’s not all rosy news however, as Houma is down 2,600 jobs from last year, Alexandria is down 600, and Shreveport is down 2,700.
The Diocese of Alexandria released the names of three additional clergy against whom there have been credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Evidence for all three were presented to the Permanent Review Board and the allegations were deemed credible. The Diocese of Alexandria pledges to provide updates to the list of credibly accused clergy as new information becomes available. All cases date back to the 50’s and 60’s. Two of the named priests have died.
An Opelousas woman died in a Sunday afternoon crash in St. Landry Parish. State police report 21 year old Qiana Orville died from injuries suffered in a single-vehicle crash on La. 167 in St. Landry Parish. Reports say Orville lost control of her vehicle, left the roadway and struck a tree.
A father is in jail after admitting to striking his two-month-old child several times in the back of the head, resulting in his death. Welsh Police Chief Marcus Crochet says the suspect did not a previous criminal history. The suspect is charged with manslaughter and is being held at the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail.
Governor John Bel Edwards spoke at the Louisiana Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans. During the address, Edwards highlighted that Louisiana needs the China trade deal resolved, and soon, in an effort to return to stability.
A recent poll making the rounds in the media shows support for President Trump in Louisiana is not what is used to be. But U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross questions the validity of the survey. Another shock in the poll was the data that Louisianans oppose the President’s border wall plan 49 percent to 41 percent. Cross says sometimes you have to take poll results with a grain of salt.
The intense summer heat is upon us in the Bayou State and according to state climatologist temps will be higher than normal this summer. Officials with the State Department of Health want you to enjoy the summer but also remember to take precautions and not succumb to the dangers of heat exhaustion or worse. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says with heat indexes already reaching into the 100’s we all need to practice heat safety, stay hydrated and wear proper clothing.
Dr. Kanter also wants to encourage those transporting children to never leave them in a car unattended, even for a short amount of time.
A similar warning from the Louisiana Humane Society who reminds pet owners not to leave animals in cars unattended as it only takes a few minutes for the heat to cause organ failure and kill an animal.
The state of Louisiana has reached a settlement with Bell Helicopter over an economic development deal that never took flight in Lafayette. The Daily Advertiser reports Bell Helicopter is ordered to pay the state about $9.5 million in cash. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson also told the newspaper that the state will keep a helicopter valued at $4 million. The deal with Bell Helicopter was highly touted when announced by former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration in 2013, but when Bell Helicopter failed to meet hiring goals the deal was off. The company moved its operations to Amarillo last year.
A study from LSU Health New Orleans shows a link between pre-pregnancy weight and breast milk and the effects it could have on infant growth rates. Lead author of Dr. Henry Nuss says the levels of hormones like insulin and leptin in the breast milk of mothers that are overweight pre-pregnancy could impact childhood obesity. They don’t want to discourage mothers that are overweight from breastfeeding at this time, they still believe breastfeeding is the best option.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/21/2019
News for Friday 062119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The storm that hit Tioga and Ball early Thursday morning was one of the worst kinds, the kind that hits in the middle of the night.. The national weather service has confirmed a tornado did strike the two towns and they believe it was an F1 storm. Many people are wondering why no warning was issued. The only local warning issued by the NWS was a tornado watch, not a warning. Heavy damage was confined to small patches where it appears the tornado touched down for no more than a few moments. High wind damage was also reported in Deville. The blessing is no one was severely injured.
At one point after the storm, CLECO reported 19,000 residents were without power. By six last night that number was down to 3,600.
Today marks the first day of summer and State Climatologist Barry Keim says this summer is going to sizzle. Keim says the hot temps are already in the Bayou state as the month of June has exceeded the historical average. Keim says the long range forecast from the climate prediction center is forecasting normal rainfall patterns for the summer and says the temps are expected to run above normal for the entire summer.
More shootings have been linked to murder suspect 22-year old Sean Barrette in Jefferson Parish now. Barrette was arrested yesterday and charged with the murders of three people in West Metairie Avenue and one in New Orleans. Now Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s authorities have connected him to a June 17th shooting of a female driver on I-10. The victim was not killed but her vehicle was struck multiple times with bullets. And Kenner Police says another driver was followed closely on 1-10 and the vehicle pulled beside them and fired several shots, that driver also was not injured.
Mental health has been the focus of conversation following that spree that left four people dead. The suspect Sean Barrette had been committed twice in recent months prior to the murders.. New Orleans licensed professional counselor Mark Saucier says mental health issues are something that Louisiana as a whole needs to face.
Governor Edward has signed the Seafood Labeling Bill so restaurants that aren’t serving seafood from the U-S must let you know. Bill sponsor Representative Truck Gisclair acknowledges that many Americans do not realize that 90-percent of the seafood they consume at restaurants is imported. He wants tourist in Louisiana to know if they’re getting the real deal.
On his monthly talk show yesterday Governor Edwards responded to criticism of his signature of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban from pro-choice voters. Opponents say the governor’s signature shows a disregard for women’s healthcare and wellbeing but Edwards countered saying his administration has made substantial improvements in women’s healthcare outcomes the last four years. When asked what the state is doing to help poor families afford to raise kids they haven’t planned for, Edwards responded by mentioning this year’s budget focused on educating working class families’ children.
Edwards tried to alleviate concerns of pro-choice Democrats before the fall governor’s race that Louisiana’s economic progress under his watch will allow the state to invest in programs championed by progressive voters.
Allegiance Health Management facilities across Louisiana are fighting against the opioid crisis to the courtroom. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, seeks damages for hospitals and emergency rooms impacted by the opioid epidemic. New Orleans attorney Mark Stein says the economic impact goes beyond the patients. Stein says beyond seeking to recover monetary losses they have incurred treating adults and opioid-dependent born children, the lawsuit aims to stop the overuse of opioids.
A Congressional subcommittee tackled the question of whether or not African Americans should receive reparations for the United States’ history of slavery and racial injustice. Congressman Mike Johnson spoke out against the idea at the hearing. Congressman Johnson believe taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for actions taken while they were not alive.
John Paul Funes (Foo-Nes) entered a guilty plea in Federal Court Thursday to charges of wire fraud and money laundering after a scheme that siphoned off more than a half a million from the Our Lady of the Lake foundation in Baton Rouge. It was revealed that Funes admitted he chartered a flight from Houma to Tampa for a Saints game and gave approximately a hundred thousand dollars to the family of former LSU football player Rohan Davey. Sentencing is deferred until the pre-sentence investigation is complete.
An anonymous individual donates a $2.52 million gift to the Nicholls State athletics department to contribute to a $6.5 million building project. The project will fund the expansion of Barker Hall to include a football operations center. Athletics Director Mike Roan says the size of the gift is one of the record books.
Drew Brees has been nominated for two ESPY’S. The Saints quarterback is nominated for best NFL player and best record-breaking performance. Brees already has 4 ESPY’S. The other nominees for the best player include Patrick Mahomes of the chiefs, Aaron Donald of the rams, and Todd Gurley also of the rams.
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/20/2019
News for Thursday 062019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish School Board members took little time yesterday witling down the list of potential Superintendent candidates to three. All three had experience within the school district. The finalists are Kimberly Bennett, the district's executive assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and a former principal at Tioga High School; Deborah Heitman, middle school director for Caldwell Parish School District and former principal at Rosenthal Montessori Elementary School in Alexandria; and Jeff Powell, chief academic officer for Iberville Parish Schools and former Rapides director of middle schools and magnet programs. A public forum to be held Monday at the district's Instructional Resource Center on Beauregard St. here in Alexandria. There will be a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the forum at 6 p.m.
Former State Senate President and longtime physician Dr. Donald Hines died Tuesday after a long illness. Hines represented central Louisiana in the Legislature for 15 years. A public memorial service for Hines will be held this evening at 6p at the Hass Auditorium in his hometown of Bunkie. The funeral is at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Bunkie. Dr. Hines was 85.
A DOTD worker was killed Wednesday in Simsboro when an 18 wheeler collided with a DOTD truck on LA Highway 563. The worker was standing behind the truck replacing road signs. 50-year old Johnny Cole of West Monroe was pronounced dead on the scene.
Jefferson Parish authorities have identified 22-year old Sean Barrette as the suspect who randomly selected four victims to murder in Metairie and New Orleans in the last few weeks. Two of the four victims are Hispanic males and they all appear to be random at this point in the investigation. A cell phone found at the scene of one of the murders linked the suspect to the murders. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff says the suspect has a history of mental issues and is not cooperating with authorities at this time.
Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s not concerned about losing votes over his decision to sign a series of abortion restrictions during the legislative session. Edwards says his support for the fetal heartbeat abortion ban that would functionally ban abortion six weeks after pregnancy should not have come as a surprise, given his past support for pro-life policy. Edwards is now one of the Democratic party’s highest positioned pro-life members. Polling suggests that a potential pro-choice progressive candidate could get some traction if they were to run for Governor to the left of Edwards.
A report presented Wednesday to the Louisiana Board of Regents spells out why LSU and other schools are supposed to limit the number of students admitted even though they failed to meet academic standards. "For the past two decades the Board of Regents has conducted studies on performance with similar findings: there is a direct relationship between student preparation and student performance. Students who meet the academic criteria before admission outperformed those who did not "based on every performance measure examined in the study, which was done by the staff of the regents. The report is the latest volley in a months-long dispute between the board and others and LSU President F. King Alexander over how many students should be allowed to enter LSU if they failed to meet grade point, ACT or other standards.
Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine was found floating 50 miles off the Louisiana coast by a work boat that hauled it back into Port of Iberia and turned the contraband over to authorities. Iberia Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Major Wendall Raborn says they aren’t certain how the package got left stranded on the high seas, but it could have come from an aerial drop from the cartels that just didn’t find it’s mark.
The Department of Ag will enforce regulations, next October after passage of a truth in labeling bill, and violators of the law receive a $500 fine per day, per violation. Senator Frances Thompson author of the bill says the goal of the law is not to put anyone out of business; it was just to make things clearer. The things Senator Thompson thought you may be confused about was whether or not Almond Milk came from a cow or whether or not Cauliflower rice was rice or Cauliflower. Also a source of confusion according to Senator Thompson was the term Soy burger, from a cow??
An alleged Walmart thief dragged a cop through a parking lot and led Slidell Police on a high-speed chase then ended when the suspect wrecked his car in Mississippi.
Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzeneau says 51-year-old Robert Myers of Picayune, Mississippi fled from Walmart Loss Prevention officers and was later cornered in his car by Slidell authorities…Myers is facing Third Offense Felony Theft, Flight from an Officer, Battery of an Officer, Assault of an Officer, and more.
An Amite High School athlete is dead following a Tuesday football practice. The Amite Police Department received a call about an emergency at the school around 9 pm. Upon arrival, other first responders were on the scene performing CPR to 15-year-old Terrance Allen. Police say the team had just finished practice and that Allen was joking in the locker room before falling to the ground. First responders were able to get a pulse as the teen was taken to a medical facility, but he died prior to arrival.
The NBA Draft kicks off at 6pm this evening and the new look Pelicans are sporting the 1st and fourth picks, and looking to rebuild after trading former cornerstone superstar Anthony Davis. It’s a stone cold lock that New Orleans will grab Duke legend Zion Williamson with the first pick. Hear the draft tonight starting at 7 on 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/19/19
News for Wednesday 061919
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Five Louisiana nursing homes are in hot water after a report by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare services shows poor conditions and subpar treatment of patients. Louisiana Department of Health spokesperson Bob Johannessen says it’s the first time the feds have made the annual report public, and its important information for families.
Here in Louisiana Tioga Community Care Center, St. Helena Parish Nursing Home, Lake Charles Care center, South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, and Belle Maison Nursing Home in Hammond were on the list. The list identified over 400 problem facilities nationwide.
After an investigation that lasted several months, Two women were arrested at the Queen Spa on Mac Arthur Drive in Alexandria. The charges range from prostitution and money laundering to pandering. Alexandria and Pineville PD and the US Marshal’s Task Force were involved in the investigation.
Louisiana continues to be ranked 49th in overall child well-being. KIDS COUNT manager at Agenda for Children Teresa Falgoust says one of the main reasons the state does so poorly is the face the state ranks 50th in childhood poverty, with 307-thousand children living in poverty, roughly 28% of the state’s child population. The state has dropped in ranking for education from 47th to 48th. Falgoust says another troubling trend is the number of children getting ready to enter high school not doing well in math. In 2009, 80% of eighth graders were not proficient in math. That number increased to 81% in 2017.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the 30-billion dollar budget that lawmakers approved in the recently completed legislative session. Edwards says the spending plan that goes into effect July 1st contains the first teacher pay raise in a decade. The budget also increases funding for pre-K education.
Calcasieu Parish authorities report a Westlake pastor stands accused of raping an 11-year-old girl multiple times over a two-year period. 45 year old John Michael Ward was arrested Monday on 10 counts of first-degree rape, 40 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, and two counts of pornography involving a juvenile.
Four people are behind bars, with three charged with human trafficking and the fourth being charged with carnal knowledge after an investigation by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. The investigation began in March when a tip was called into authorities alerting them to the location of 14 year old girl previously reported as a runaway. Upon arrival at a motel, the girl was located in a room along with one of the suspects. The victim says she had been forced into sex trafficking since January.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking for the public to help count how many bats live in the Bayou State, so they can find out if a bat-based disease is spreading. LDWF State Wildlife Veterinarian Jim LaCour says over 80 percent of the state is private property, which can make it tough to track bat populations, so if you got some bats on your land, they ask you contact their office. LaCour says the white nose syndrome has ravaged bat populations in other states, but has not yet been detected in Louisiana.
From the “Not the sharpest knife in the draw” department, a Haughton man was arrested after allegedly stealing items from his neighbor’s garage, including a live streaming surveillance camera he didn’t turn off. Bossier Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis says the footage made it easy to catch the thief, and the incident is a good example of how effective a simple surveillance camera can be.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is accepting permit applications from retailers who want to sell C-B-D products. A-T-C Commissioner Juana Lombard says C-B-D can only be added to food if approved by the F-D-A and C-B-D can’t be marketed as a dietary supplement and the labeling cannot make medical claims.
ESPN reports the Saints are ready to make wide receiver Michael Thomas the highest paid receiver in the NFL and a deal could be done before the start of training camp. The 26-year-old out of Ohio State has become one of the best receivers in the league and last year led the NFL with 125 catches for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Pelicans have committed to Alvin Gentry as their head coach for the next two seasons by picking up his option for the 2020-21 season. New Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffen has been a big supporter of Gentry’s and the two worked together previously in Phoenix.
A big question heading into Thursday night’s NBA draft is whether the Pels will trade the number four pick that they acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers. ESPN’s Jonahtan Givony says the Celtics, Bulls and Timberwolves have expressed interest in the number four pick so they can select Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.
LSU Hall of Famer Ebert Van Buren has passed away at the age of 94 at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans home in Monroe. Van Buren never played high school football, but former coach Bernie Moore saw him play on the Metairie playgrounds and made him a fullback and linebacker. Van Buren helped LSU land a berth in the 1949 Sugar bowl. His brother is the late Steve Van Buren, who is a member of both the LSU and NFL Halls of Fame.
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/18/2019
News for Tuesday 061819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards has requested a federal fisheries disaster declaration for Louisiana. Edwards says diverting Mississippi River water into Lake Ponchartrain has resulted in troubling mortality rates among oysters, declining fish catches and financial damage to the livelihoods of those in the fishing industry. The Bonnet Carre Spillway has been operated twice this year because of high levels on the Mississippi River.
An Opelousas man is dead following a shooting at his home. Police say 49-year-old Stanley Boxie died of multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed in his driveway at 3am Monday morning. The investigation is ongoing and there are no suspects at this time.
The former warden of the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport, Nate Cain was sentenced Monday to 38-months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of federal wire fraud. His ex-wife, Tonia Bandy, received an eight month sentence. Prosecutors say the duo made fraudulent purchases with public dollars.
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Montgomery man and a Verda woman following a narcotics investigation. 46 year old Ryan Johnson was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana. 41 year old Misty Brocato was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony probation violation.
Louisiana officials are optimistic that 2016 flood victims who did not get RESTORE grant money due to receiving SBA loans will see a check in the near future. State Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes says the state is getting final guidelines approved by HUD. After that happens, they will contact remaining flood victims. This action should end the “duplication of benefits” loophole.
Former Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who resigned last May amid a lawsuit alleging he repeatedly sexually harassed a woman who worked in his office, is trying to get his money back as part of that case. Though the lawsuit was settled late last year, Schedler is seeking reimbursement for his costs. The state ultimately paid north of $180,000 on the case, including, attorney’s fees, and the woman who alleged the harassment received $167,500, including over $18,000 that Schedler paid personally.
In a lawsuit Schedler filed against the state in February, he argues the state did not provide him as an individual with a defense in the original case, as it was required to by law.
State Police say an impaired driver is to blame for a wreck that sent three victims flying off the elevated Westbank Expressway in Harvey. All three people died after a fall of about 100 feet. Trooper Monroe Dillon says the three victims were working on a disabled vehicle in the roadway. Dillon says they arrested 40-year-old Todd Williams of New Orleans and he’s facing numerous charges including three counts of vehicular homicide.
A 15-year-old is dead and two other minors are in critical condition after they were ejected from an SUV in a rollover crash south of Ponchatoula on I-55 Sunday night. None of the children involved appear to have been buckled up.
The executive director of the Louisiana State Troopers Association was arrested on Father's Day, accused of firing one shot toward his daughter's boyfriend in the parking lot of his office in Baton Rouge. David Young, the association's executive director, was booked into jail Sunday night. The Louisiana State Troopers Association is an organization that acts as a union and advocates on behalf of state troopers.
Congressman Ralph Abraham grabbed 180 votes and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone grabbed 94 votes at Saturday’s Southwest Louisiana Republican’s “Iowa Governor’s race (I-oh-way) straw poll”. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Abraham has to be feeling good about the results, and it appears the Congressman is solidifying his frontrunner status. The 25 dollar a head event was hosted by the Calcasieu Republican Party Executive Committee and the Republican Women of Southwest Louisiana.
Progressive and Louisiana Farm Bureau are dropping their auto insurance rates on the heels of the state’s largest insurer, State Farm, also lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the three insurers combined account for just over 50 percent of all Louisiana auto policies.
Sports On Air Tody..
Houston Astros @ Cincinnati 5:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/17/2019
News for Monday 061719
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Senator Bill Cassidy says the feds have finally relented and will allow those who suffered damage in the 2016 floods, but received SBA loans, access to Louisiana RESTORE grant money. Cassidy says if you make below 120 percent of the area-median-income, you will be immediately eligible for RESTORE, once the state writes some final rules. No word as to how long that might take.
State Police report a man from Winnfield was killed in a single vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on Highway 471 at French Cemetery Road. 36 year old Rufus Green was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by a 17 year old. Troopers say the driver lost control and ran off the right side of the roadway, causing the truck to overturn. The driver and other 4 injured passengers were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries The driver was cited for careless operation and no driver’s license.
The City of Alexandria has received a report indicating individuals approached a homeowner and identified themselves as Alexandria Water Department employees. They asked to enter the home in order to collect water samples. They were not employees.. The City of Alexandria reminds residents that any time city employees need to come to a person’s home or office they will always be wearing proper city-issued uniforms, will have city-issued ID badges with photo ID and workers should arrive in a city-marked vehicle. If someone approaches a residence and says they are a city employee but does not have the proper credentials and is not in a city-marked vehicle, please contact police immediately."
Tensions are rising in the Mideast once again as the US alleges Iran is responsible for several recent attacks against oil tankers in the vital oil shipping lane of the Strait of Hormuz.LSU Center for Energy Studies Director Dr. David Dismukes says the political instability will likely lead to a rise in fuel costs for Americans. Iran and the US have traded threats ever since President Trump canceled an agreement, to ease sanctions on the nation in exchange for international monitoring of it’s nuclear abilities.
Some Louisiana drivers will see their car insurance rates drop starting later this summer. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced last week that he has approved a 2.2% rate decrease for private passenger automobile policies through Progressive Security Insurance. Donelon says more than 175,000 of the company's policyholders will see the lower rate when they renew their policies, starting in September.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been released from jail after posting bond Friday, at the jail he used to run. Strain was indicted and arrested this on sex crime charges. Strain made few comments to the press as he left jail but stated he’ll have plenty to say in court.
Investigation Discovery ran a four-hour special over the weekend on the unsolved murders of eight women in the Jennings area between 2005 and 2009. A decade later the deaths remain unsolved. ID Executive Producer Liz Massie says they hope their in-depth look can change that. Not all of the deaths have been ruled murders, and no one was ever charged in the cases.
A corrections officer at the state penitentiary at Angola is facing one count of malfeasance. Prison officials report Christopher Allen of Woodville, Mississippi is a facing charge after investigators say he seized contraband from one prisoner and gave it to another. The contraband included money and cellphones. Allen had worked for the department since 2009 and has resigned following his arrest.
Over 260 dolphins have been stranded since February 1st in the Gulf and Mexico prompting NOAA to declare Unusual Mortality Event. Of the mammals they have been able to perform necropsies on 23-percent have shown skin lesions consistent with fresh water. There are concerns the recent openings of the Bonne Carre Spillway has increased the amount of fresh water and pollutants into the Gulf.
Disgruntled Pelicans star Anthony Davis gets his wish and is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for young guns Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, along with the 4th pick in this year’s draft and a bevy of future 1st round selections. Locked On Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says it’s not the deal many fans wanted, but it’s likely the best they could get.
New ULM athletic director Scott McDonald is not using the lack of money as an excuse for not having success. The latest USA Today report says ULM’s athletic budget ranks last among the 130 FBS schools. McDonald, who was interim AD for nine months before getting the job full-time, says he understands the challenges.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/14/2019
News for Friday 061419
Compiled By Dave Graichen
56 year old Justin Walters of Colfax pleaded not guilty Thursday to rape, kidnapping and abuse charges in a case in which law enforcement officials believe there may be more victims who have not stepped forward. Walters entered his plea in the 35th Judicial District Court in Colfax. A pretrial conference was set for Nov. 14. His trial was set for Dec. 16.
The Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for 39- year old Oshay Booker in connection with the murder of the former Mayor of Winnfield. Police say Ronald “Cloud Goff was killed Tuesday night in a shooting on Spillway Road. The suspect is the stepson of the former mayor. Police say the suspect fled the scene in a forest green Honda Pilot and is considered armed and dangerous.
Bond has been set at $1.3 million for a former Lake Charles teacher who was accused last month of raping a 10-year-old student. The Calcasieu parish sheriff’s office says
after further investigation, 34 year old Deidre Smith was re-arrested Thursday for additional incidents with the victim. Smith is now facing 9 counts of first-degree rape and other sexually related charges.
31 year old Brian Middleton has been arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office for the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with drugs, felony probation violation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The GPSO said that hundreds of empty THC oil packages were found in the house. It appears Middleton was filling vaping devices with the THC oil and packaging them for sale.
Dads should expect to hit the mother lode this weekend. According to the National Retail Association, Americans are expected to spend more than ever on Father’s Day gifts this year. Sons and daughters are predicted to spend an average of $139 on gifts this year, an increase of 70-percent since 2009.
A high ranking NCAA official tells CBS Sports that at least six schools will be informed this summer about allegations of Level One violations. The accusations are based on the recently completed federal investigation into college basketball corruption. There were two trials and LSU’s Will Wade’s name surfaced in both of them. Tiger Rag Magazine Assistant Editor Tyler Nunez says it remains to be seen if LSU will receive a notice. LSU can fire Wade on cause if the NCAA alleges the men’s basketball program committed Level One violations and that also means athletics director Scott Woodward would get an automatic two-year contract extension.
A U-S House Committee has approved a bipartisan proposal to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five years. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says he’s concern the bill does not address the N-F-I-P’s long-term debt and because of how the legislation is structured, there’s a chance it can raise rates. There are about 500-thousand flood insurance policies in Louisiana.
A Trust for America’s Health report shows a dramatic spike in deaths due to drug abuse and suicide over the last twenty years, particularly among young people. CEO John Auerbach says in 2017 Louisiana had 2,000 deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide, a seven percent increase over 2016. He says those rates are some of the worst in the nation.
The state says Louisiana’s Medicaid program will spend about 400-million dollars less than expected this fiscal year, because of the tens of the thousands Medicaid recipients that were dropped from the program, because a computer check of their income found they were not eligible. Most of the 400-million is federal money and any state dollars saved has been spent elsewhere in the budget.
Louisiana judges will receive a pay raise this year and potentially a 12.5% salary hike over the next several years – under a new measure signed into law by the governor that is also expected to boost pay for sheriffs and other local officials. The measure, which was overwhelmingly backed in both chambers, gives judges a 2.5% pay raise July 1. The judiciary will pay the $1.8 million cost out of its existing surplus of roughly $50 million.
Governor Edwards awards 25 million for a road project in Monroe after a controversy erupted over the legislature not including northeast Louisiana in a signed 700-million-dollar road project plan. Monroe Representative Jay Morris says when the plan to use BP oil money to fund projects was announced in the legislature, politicians from every corner of the state wanted a piece of the action.
Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier is seeking the death penalty for Jason Reeves, who was convicted in 2004 of abducting a four-year-old girl, raping her and brutally killing her. The kidnapping occurred 18 years ago and DeRosier says it’s been a long time coming, but he’s now seeking an execution date of August 19th. Four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen was taken from her family in Moss Bluff on November 1st, 2001.
A Louisiana man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the physical and psychological abuse of a young autistic woman. Jody Lambert's sentencing was the latest in court cases involving the woman who was kept in a cage, beaten, shot with a BB gun and forced to eat the cremation ashes of her dead mother before the abuse was discovered. Those cases have been playing out in state court in Tangipahoa Parish, where the abuse occurred, and in federal court in New Orleans.
The battle is over.. the Toronto Raptors are the NBA Champs. Last night Toronto defeated Golden State 110 to 110 to take the series 4 games to 2.
On the air tonight….
The Houston Astros begin a weekend series at home tonight against Toronto hear the entire series this weekend on 94.7 ESPN. Tonight’s airtime 6:35p
The NFL announced Thursday that it will be up to the replay official initiate reviews of potential pass interference calls in the final two minutes of each half and overtime. There was talk of shifting that responsibility to the coaches, but the coaches balked at that idea saying it could impact their timeout strategy.
The Saints concluded their three-day mandatory camp Thursday. Quarterback Drew Brees returned for the final two days after missing some time, because he and his wife are involved in a trial against a San Diego jeweler who allegedly defrauded them of millions of dollars. Brees says it was stressful to be away, because he knows the responsibility he has to the team.
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/13/2019
News for Thursday 061319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Grant Parish grand jury has indicted 56 year old Justin Grant Walters of Colfax on multiple charges, including three counts each of rape and second-degree kidnapping. According to Grant Sheriff Steven McCain, Walters used his skills as a registered nurse to hold women against their will and beat and rape them. McCain says he believes there are more victims out there and he is asking them to come forward.
Rapides Parish School Board members met in a special board meeting yesterday to review all eight applications for superintendent of schools. One of the 8 candidates, Dr. Corwin Robinson apparently did not meet the qualifications for the position and was disqualified. The board will conduct first-round interviews with the remaining seven candidates on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
If all goes according to plans a November trial will be held for a Pineville man accused of killing his girlfriend, during a domestic violence incident back in a 2017. 61 year old Douglas Ponthieux will face a jury trial on Nov. 4. He's accused in the death of 56-year-old Connie Ducote Patterson, who was found unresponsive at a Shreveport Highway home on March 2, 2017.
The 21-year-old man accused of setting fire to three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish now faces federal hate crime charges. U-S Attorney David Joseph says attacks against a group because of their religious briefs will not be tolerated. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects the feds will be the first to prosecute Holden Matthews. Matthews is currently being held in jail without bond.
The American Gaming Association’s annual report showcasing 2018 casino revenue indicates Louisiana remained flat at just over two-and-a-half billion dollars, generating just over 600-million in total tax revenue for the state. The Baton Rouge market saw a steep 17.4% gaming revenue drop last year, likely due to the city-wide ban on smoking in bars and casinos put into place in May of 2018.
The Shreveport city council votes 6-1 to abolish a 2007 ordinance banning people from wearing pants below their waistlines. ACLU Louisiana Legal Director Katie Schwartzmann says the law was racially motivated and a violation of first amendment rights. Police data shows the ordinance resulted in the arrest of 699 black men and 12 white men, although it is unclear if anyone was arrested for the violation alone. Schwartzmann says the law could lead to a police interaction that might not end well.
Friday marks the two year anniversary of when Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise welcomed U-S Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner who was also shot, but she’s credited with stopping the shooter. Scalise says the Capitol Police were the epitome of what’s great about law enforcement…
The House Judiciary Committee passes legislation permanently authorizing healthcare funds for 9/11 first responders who suffer health effects from the attack. Congressman Mike Johnson sits on the panel and says while the first responders fund has been well managed; it was time to guarantee their benefits long term.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office says two people are dead after an airplane crashed on the levee of the Atchafalaya River. The F-A-A is now leading the investigation. No other details are known. The crash happened near the St. Martin Parish line.
Louisiana’s sole Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond has been named co-chair for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Richmond says Biden is committed to doing the opposite of President Trump, and former Governor Jindal, by investing in the people through education and healthcare. There’s upwards of 20 Democrats running for the nomination.
A national study involving the Pennington Biomedical Research Center debunks the thought that taking vitamin D significantly lowers the chances of a person with pre-diabetes developing type 2 diabetes. Assistant LSU professor and local site investigator Daniel Hsia (Shaw) says there was a thought that vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties would have an effect on diabetes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The study looked at 2,423 people in 22 centers across the nation and did find one potentially interesting avenue for future research. It’s estimated that 575,000 Louisianans have diabetes, and 1.3 million are at high risk of developing the disease.
The Pelican Institute says their study reveals the Medicaid expansion led tens of thousands of Louisianans who qualified for Medicaid to drop their private insurance. Pelican Vice President for Government Affairs Renee Amar says about 450,000 people enrolled under the expansion, at an average cost to the state of 6,286 dollars a year, and many previously had insurance. But Louisiana Department of Health Policy Director Jeanie Donovan says a commissioned study by LSU shows the private insurance market barely budged after the expansion, debunking Pelican’s claim. Donovan countered saying the clear majority of those who enrolled under the expansion are working, but low wage individuals who could not afford monthly premiums.
On air today… NBA Finals!
Toronto @ Golden State G6 Toronto Leads 3-2 7p 94.7 ESPN
After missing Tuesday’s minicamp practice Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was back on the practice field Yesterday. Brees has been in San Diego as he and his wife are involved in a lawsuit against a California jeweler claiming they were sold 15-million dollars’ worth of diamonds, but an appraiser says they paid roughly seven million dollars more than what the collection is worth.
The Anthony Davis trade talks are reportedly heating up as ESPN reports the Lakers and Celtics are talking with the Pelicans. L-A is apparently willing to give up the fourth overall pick as part of their package. Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated that if the Celtics traded for the six-time All-Star, there’s a strong possibility he’ll only play one season in Boston. A-D is reportedly only interested in signing a long term deal with the Knicks or Lakers.
ULM has decided to remove the interim tag from Scott McDonald’s title and the former baseball player at the school will become the Warhawks permanent athletics director. McDonald has served as the interim A-D for the last nine months. In a statement, McDonald says they are fully committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience at ULM and they’ll continue to achieve great things in the classroom and community, while also pursuing championships.
In college baseball news, LSU Catcher Brock Mathis and relief pitcher Will Ripoll are looking to transfer.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/12/2019
News for Wednesday 061219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Last night the Pineville city council voted to put a renewal of an "ad valorem" tax on the ballot this November that funds public safety. It's a 10 mill renewal for services like fire and police. The money would raise nearly one million dollars annually to help pay for employee salaries and equipment among other things. Mayor Clarence Fields said the money is the bare minimum of what Pineville actually needs
Governor Edwards signed legislation yesterday that will bring ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft statewide. The DOTD is in the process of establishing the rules to the issuance of permits for the statewide framework for rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says he expects the process to be done by the end of the year.
With the legislative session in the books, the state’s political focus shifts to the governor’s race and the October 12th primary. It’s been a quiet race so far, with little ad spending from Governor Edwards and his two Republican opponents, but political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says expect that to change, and soon. A run-off would be necessary if none of the three candidates earn more than 50 percent of the vote.
PTSD has been added to the list of covered injuries for public sector first responders, giving them the ability to get worker’s comp coverage for the illness. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti wrote the law that was signed by Governor Edwards, and says previous policy made a nightmare situation for many first responders suffering from PTSD even worse. The National Alliance for Mental Health estimates 3.5 percent of US adults suffer from PTSD.
After successfully thwarting a raise in the state’s minimum wage, the National Federation of Independent Business says their hoping for a new governor in the fall, but in the meantime small business optimism is up according to their latest survey. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says business owners in Louisiana are feeling better now that the 2019 legislative session is in the rearview mirror.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been booked on rape and incest charges. Late last year allegations became public that Strain may have been involved in sex crimes. The accusations came out of a federal investigation into a work-release program run by the St. Tammany Sheriff’s office.
The Louisiana Watershed Initiative is hosting an Interstate Summit on watershed management with representatives from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas in an effort to mitigate flood risks. State Office of Community executive director Pat Forbes says the event in Bossier City is the first of its kind in Louisiana. Forbes says towns and parishes already work together in combatting flood risks, now it’s time to further the efforts by working with other states. Congress has allocated $1.2 billion in federal dollars as a result of the 2016 flooding that are helping to avoid future disasters.
ESPN reports the Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan have agreed on a three-year, 52-million dollar contract extension. Jordan has two more years on his current deal, so this would keep him with the Black and Gold through the 2023 season. ESPN also reports Jordan would receive 42-million dollars in guaranteed earnings. Jordan will turn 30 years-old in a month and he’s coming off a season in which he recorded a dozen sacks.
Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffin said today there is no urgency to trade Anthony Davis before the June 20th NBA draft. If the Pels unload Davis before the draft, it could result in more draft picks for New Orleans. Meanwhile, Griffin plans to meet soon with Zion Williamson and his family. The Pels are expected to take the former Duke star with the number one pick.
On the air today…
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/11/2019
News for Tuesday 061119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A cold front will bring the Bayou State cooler temperatures and lower humidity for the next few days. Davyon Hill with the National Weather Service in Shreveport says says the heat and humidity will return Friday afternoon, so get outside the next few days and enjoy this brief return to spring like weather…
State Police report a Sunday night single vehicle crash killed a woman from Alexandria
The crash, which occurred on Interstate 49, north of LA Hwy 174, claimed the life of 52 year old Delissa Horn. Authorities believe it was a tire failure that led to the crash. Horn was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
The battle to deter hazing on college campuses continues with a bill on the way to the Governor’s desk authored by Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry. It revises the state’s current anti-hazing laws based on the recommendations of law enforcement, and requires organizations to report hazing much sooner in the process.
The Louisiana Democratic Presidential Primary has been pushed back a month to April 4th, 2020, making this cycle’s Louisiana primary the latest in two decades. Some are concerned the change could leave the state voting after a primary winner has all but been decided.
The 2019 Legislative Session marks the first increase in base funding for higher education in a decade. Lawmakers appropriated an additional 47-million dollars to help with mandated costs for universities and colleges. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says this time lawmakers were attentive to their issues…
On the heels of Governor Edwards’ signature of abortion restrictions, a poll is out showing 42 percent of Democratic voters would like another Democrat to challenge the incumbent in the gubernatorial race. Only 43 percent of Democrats say they would not like to see another Democrat, Among Democrats under 35-years-old, 64 percent support having another Dem option in the race. 60 percent of Democrats opposed his signing of the restrictions. We Ask America, who ran the poll, is reportedly a Republican friendly polling firm.
Governor Edwards signs legislation allowing eyewitness identification experts the right to testify in criminal trials. Innocence Project New Orleans Staff Attorney Kia Hayes says this policy brings the state in line with most other states and could cut down on the instances of false identifications. Hayes says 28 people that they know of, have been convicted on a case of mistaken identity.
LSU scientists estimate the 2019 Dead Zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be the second largest since measurements began in 1985. The dead zone is a low oxygen area in the Gulf that threatens living resources, like fish, shrimp and crabs. Agricultural practices in the Midwest created the dead zone some 50 years ago.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is urging everyone in southwest Louisiana to participate in a hurricane evacuation study conducted by LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Institute Director Brant Mitchell says the survey is looking for information to better assist in evacuation operations.
We go to game 6 in the NBA finals. That after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Toronto Raptors last night 106 to 105. Toronto still leads the series 3 games to 2. Game six takes place Thursday.. Airtime 7p on 94.7 ESPN
ESPN reports that the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, is open to a multi-team trade in order to get the biggest return possible for trading All-Star Anthony Davis. It’s reported the Lakers, Clippers, Nets and Knicks have all asked about A-D who is entering the final year of his contract.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans continue to add to their front office by hiring former UCONN and WNBA star Swin Cash. The 39-year-old Cash won three WNBA titles and two national championships with UCONN. According to ESPN, Cash will scout, help with player development and perform other roles.
The Saints have reportedly signed cornerback Kayvon Webster. The former third round pick in 2013 has played for the Broncos, Rams and Texans, but injuries have prevented him from playing more than 11 games in a season.
Minicamp begins today for the Saints and all three practices are open to the public, weather permitting. The practices are from noon until 1:20 in the afternoon.
On the air today….
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/10/2019
News for Monday 061019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It started with an argument early Sunday morning and ended, according to authorities with a Bunkie woman shooting her boyfriend in the throat. The APSO says the unidentified man is in intensive care. Police arrested 27 year old Brittney Franklin on a charge of attempted second degree murder. She was booked into the Avoyelles Parish Jail.
Authorities in Evangeline Parish report two inmates who escaped from the GEO Facility in Pine Prairie on Sunday morning have been recaptured. The two men were captured in Oakdale at a convenience store and have been returned to the facility. Both will face simple escape and possibly other charges.
A proposal to abolish the death penalty failed to pass this year, but proponents are more optimistic about its chances going forward, citing the progress it made this year. New Iberia Representative Terry Landy says his bill got further this year than ever before, proof that legislative opinion may be shifting. Landry adds the incoming generation of lawmakers, set to replace a third of the legislature that is term limited, may be more progressive in their views of this issue. The death penalty ban failed to pass, but so too did an effort to make it easier to get the drugs needed to carry out the death penalty.
Governor Edwards signs legislation to extend foster care to age. The voluntary program would allow the Department of Children and Family Services to assist in the transition to adulthood. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says for those that elect to stay in foster care, they can receive various forms of aid from the state.
Previously, the law ended support at 18, which meant some of those in the foster care program were not able to finish high school. Walters says the change will increase the likelihood of better outcomes.
Legislation barring kids under the age of 16 from getting married awaits Governor Edwards. Kids aged 16 and 17 will need judicial approval and parental consent before getting married. An amendment to allow anyone under 16 to get married, but with judicial approval was defeated.
CBD sales were legalized in the same legislation that allows industrial hemp production, and the ATC is now accepting applications from retailers interested in selling the products. ATC Commissioner Juana Lombard says retailers will need to apply as they would for an alcohol license, but no need for a newspaper posting. Retailers will receive a temporary permit, which will last through January. A permanent license can be obtained by working with the Department of Health on labeling requirements. Lombard says the kinds of CBD products available once retailers begin selling will be limited by what is FDA approved.
LSU’s baseball season is over, as Florida State advanced to the College World Series, 5-4, on Sunday night. Florida State (41-21) will face either Arkansas or Ole Miss in its opening game of the CWS later this week.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/07/2019
News for Friday 060719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
We note the passing of another Louisiana Icon with word yesterday that Dr John had died of a heart attack. Malcolm John Rebennack Jr assumed the persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s, in his autobiography. "Under a Hoodoo Moon" it was revealed Rebennack, in his younger years, was gangsta to a degree that would likely shock Lil Wayne. But over the course of a remarkable life and career, he evolved into another New Orleans Legend. Dr. John was 77.
The opening of the Morganza Spillway has been pushed back again, this time with no new date set. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyett says the river levels are coming in a little lower than originally projected. Boyett says it is possible the opening will still have to take place depending on weather conditions to the north. Officials are monitoring the levels on at the Red River Landing, which is north of the spillway, to make sure the river level does not surpass the 62-foot mark. The postponement is good news for farmers whose crops would have been lost
Many legislators were off to a late start Thursday as south Louisiana was swamped today with a severe weather system creating localized flooding and even tornadoes. State climatologist Barry Keim says the system dumped dangerous amounts of water on some communities…
37-year-old William Johnson died during the heavy rain event in Baton Rouge when his car flooded. Keim says the severe amount of rainfall was more than initially predicted, but this whole weather system has been unusual from the start. A possible tornado also flipped over cars at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Lori Steele says teams are surveying the wind damage from what is believed to be a tornado outbreak in various areas of the parish.
Before the close of business yesterday, the Louisiana House unanimously approved the $30 billion state operating budget for next year, which aligned with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ agenda for $1,000 teacher and $500 support staff pay raises and a contested $39 million block grant for public school districts. The Legislature’s budget deal also included boosts to higher education spending and early childhood education after years of standstill funding and cuts to these agencies and programs. It was the first significant statewide pay raise for teachers in a decade. The budget will take effect on July 1, 2019.
Governor Edwards celebrated the end of the first legislative season of his tenure and says the passage of most of his legislative agenda points the state in the right direction.
Edwards says the over 300-million-dollar surplus the state ran last year made for smoother sailing when crafting a budget, as opposed to previous years’ fiscal chaos…
Opponents say the surplus is evidence that the Legislature did not need to pass a .45 percent sales tax renewal last year.
The 2019 Legislative session is in the books. House Republican Chairman Lance Harris feels overall it’s been a great session. Harris says among the most positive pieces of legislation was the controversial fetal heartbeat abortion ban, which has already been signed into law by Governor Edwards. But he bemoaned the fact that once again, legislation targeting the state’s sky high auto insurance rates crashed and burned…
Governor Edwards signs industrial hemp legalization into law, potentially clearing a path for the first crop in Louisiana to be planted early next year. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says if everything goes according to plan, Louisiana will join dozens of other states for the next planting season. The feds are expected to release their requirements for hemp regulation later this year.
Louisiana will shuffle election dates in 2020, moving the presidential primary from March to April because of Easter-related scheduling conflicts. Lawmakers made the adjustment in an elections bill sent to the governor. Under the change, Louisiana's presidential and municipal primary will be held April 4 next year, rather than its originally scheduled March 7 date. After 2020, the primary will revert back to the first Saturday in March.
Some huge names will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Natchitoches. Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning, former LSU football Coach Les Miles and former La Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan will also be enshrined.
The induction ceremonies can be seen live on C-S-T on Saturday night.
LSU and Florida State will meet tomorrow in a best of three Super Regional Series. The winner will advance to the College World Series. The Seminoles shocked college baseball observers by easily winning the Athens Regional. Airtime 1:30 tomorrow afternoon on KSYL 970AM /104.9FM
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/06/2019
News for Thursday 060619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The unsettled weather pattern continues across the state today with widespread coverage of thunderstorms, especially across the southern portions of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a storm system over the Gulf is a contributing factor to the current conditions. Keim says the Storm Prediction Center has Louisiana in the marginal category for tornados, hail, and high winds with this system today and tomorrow. The wet weather is expected to continue through Sunday, with possibly a brief break on Saturday.
Today is the final day of the 2019 legislative session. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says between a funding increase and a pay raise, K-12 education and teachers are clear winners this year, along with those who backed them. Labor issues once again found little support again. Governor Edwards pushed for a minimum wage increase from the current 7.25 an hour to nine dollars an hour. That was shot down early in the session. While most issues have been settled, it remains up in the air as to whether or not the Governor will sign a 700-million-dollar road project bill that uses BP oil spill settlement money. Pinsonat says politically it’s a double-edged sword.
The Legislature approves a constitutional amendment that would allow voters on the 2020 Presidential ballot to decide if the state does not protect the right to an abortion. The amendment would not protect that right in cases of rape or incest. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says it’s necessary to prevent a rogue judge from protecting the right to an abortion in Louisiana. This comes on the heel of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban that was signed into law by Governor Edwards. The law would not take effect unless Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
Legislation allowing those with a medical marijuana prescription access to an inhalable form of the treatment is headed to the Governor’s desk. Bill sponsor Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the pill or oil-based forms of the treatment sometimes aren’t fast acting enough to respond to an urgent situation, such as an episode of PTSD.
A Fort Polk soldier, Specialist Logan Kyle of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to the October 2018 murder of his wife and unborn son. Kyle was sentenced to life behind bars.
An investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Probation and Parole led to the arrest of four people in the Springhill community. Sasha Delaney of Pineville, Tony “T.C.” Carter of Winnfield, Julius Layfield of Pollock and Matthew Dodge of Dry Prong have all been charged with a long list of drug charges.
The Saint Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was announced Wednesday with Reggie Bush, Marcus Colston, and former Governor Kathleen Blanco receiving the distinction at a ceremony this October. Blanco was instrumental in getting the Saints back to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina by pushing for repairs to the storm damages of the Superdome. Blanco, who is currently battling cancer, was on hand for the announcement and describes the induction as a huge honor.
The Louisiana Senate voted 37-0 Wednesday to tighten hazing laws since incidents keep occurring on college campuses even though lawmakers took several steps to crack down on the problems last year. The bill approved by the Senate would penalize universities and student organizations that fail to immediately report hazing incidents to law enforcement, and it would allow campus police to investigate off-campus hazing incidents. The Legislature elevated hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony last year.
A Taco Bell in Slidell ran out of both soft and crunchy taco shells on Monday. One patron felt the snafu was an egregious violation and warranted a call to Slidell Police. Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzaneau says initially the department thought it was a joke. Authorities have posted their account of the story on social media, which has since gone viral with over 2,000 shares. Seuzaneau says others have chimed in on Taco Bell’s inventory woes.
Dates and times are set for the Saints four preseason games. New Orleans will host Minnesota on August 9th at 7 PM, visit the Chargers on August 18th for a 3 PM kick-off. Take on the Jets in New York at 6:30 on August 24th and then host Miami in the preseason finale on August 29th at 7.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/05/2019
News for Wednesday 060519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A flash flood watch is in effect for southwest Louisiana, central Louisiana, and Acadiana as the state is expected to see steady rains over the next several days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a trough has formed along the coast, and is expected to bring rains across the entire state. Keim says after two weeks of some incredibly dry weather, our fortunes are expected to change starting today. Some areas of the state could see 2 to 4 inches of rain.
Also, A tropical disturbance is working its way up the Mexican Gulf Coast , and there’s a 40 percent chance the disturbance could develop into Tropical Storm Barry. If you’re worried the deluge could exacerbate the ongoing flood risk on the Mississippi River, Keim says don’t worry about it, because the water we’re about to get won’t be getting into that waterway. Keim adds the water putting south Louisiana levees at risk is flowing in from the north.
Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a near-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2019, which is only a slight increase from the initial forecast issued in early April. The research team calls for 13 named storms this season. Researcher Jhordanne Jones says conditions in the Pacific could impact the Atlantic season.
Jones says what causes the season to be average is the uncertainty of the Pacific to continue to warm up.
KALB TV reports Roger Boggs, the former CEO of Revolution Aluminum (formerly American Specialty Alloys), who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, has been declared "indigent" by the 9th Judicial District Public Defender's Office. Boggs is charged with bank fraud for allegedly defrauding Red River Bank, and most recently, a charge of issuing worthless checks over $25,000.
President Trump approves the state’s request for federal assistance to help rebuild public property and infrastructure from the EF-3 tornado that hit Ruston in April. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker says over five-hundred structures were damaged in Ruston and about one-hundred of them were totaled. He says the other issue they are dealing with his fraudulent contractors. Walker says most of their expenses are from repairing the city’s electrical grid and fiber system, plus debris removal.
A bill that would direct 700 million dollars in BP oil spill settlement money to road projects gains final passage. Houma Representative Tanner Magee says the money will find its way to every corner of the state, and target projects with the greatest economic impacts. Magee says when federal matching dollars are accounted for, the total investment could top a billion dollars. One of the roads that will benefit locally is Sugarhouse Road in Alexandria. That project has been stalled for years.
Legislation to ban the handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel is dead for the session. This is the second year Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval has pursued the measure. Huval says the bill has built momentum, but met its fate when Senator Regina Barrow changed her vote, now moving to defer the bill, which had no objection. Huval says he will continue with the efforts next year.
An attempt to pull a bill out of House Appropriations that would have paved the way for sports betting legalization failed in the House on a 41 to 48 vote, but it’s not the end of the line for the increasingly controversial topic. The House will take up a vote on a combined fantasy sports/sports betting bill today. If that legislation fails to get the votes, it will head into a conference committee with a looming 6pm Thursday deadline for the session approaching.
The state legislature has given final approval to a bill that will create a new crime of harassment of a school or recreation athletic contest official. If someone is found guilty of threatening or injuring an official, he or she could receive up to 90 days in jail, along with mandatory counseling and community service work.
Senator John Kennedy says he’s got legislation that would address the raw deals smaller news media outlets are getting from social media giants who use their content. Kennedy wants to empower small media outlets by temporarily suspending antitrust laws for them. He says this would allow them to collectively negotiate for more profit sharing from companies that use their content.
Final legislative approval came on Monday for a measure to give a pay raise of $1000 to teachers, $500 to school support workers, and $39 million in block grant funding for school districts. President of the Louisiana Association of Educators Debbie Meaux says while it is a modest amount, teachers are ecstatic that lawmakers recognize the importance of the raise. The legislative instrument results in a $140 million increase to annual school spending.
LSU’s Super Regional Series against Florida State will begin Saturday at 2 PM at Alex Box Stadium. Game Two will be at 5 o’ clock on Sunday and if the third game is needed, it will be played on Monday night at 7:30.
The Pelicans are reportedly listening to trade offers for disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis. Newly hired Pelicans executive David Griffin reportedly met with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, last week to see if the six-time All-Star had a change of heart and wanted to stay in New Orleans. But there have been reports that Davis is still seeking a trade, even though the Pels own the top overall pick in the draft.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not at Tuesday’s session of organized team activities because he was reportedly in San Diego dealing with a lawsuit. Court records indicate that Brees and his wife are suing a San Diego-based jeweler. It gave backup Teddy Bridgewater a chance to run the first team offense.
LSU teammates Zack Hess and Todd Peterson were both taken in 7th round of MLB Draft Monday night.
The Independence Bowl is reportedly losing its tie-in with the SEC. Starting in 2020 the annual football game in Shreveport will have teams from the ACC and PAC-12 play in the bowl game. In 2020, 2022 and 2024 the SEC will have teams playing in the Las Vegas Bowl and the Gasprilla Bowl in Tampa.
On air tonight..
Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs with Toronto @ Golden State airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/04/2019
News for Tuesday 060419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities in Natchitoches are investigating the suspicious death of a pregnant woman in Clarence. Detectives with the NPSO have identified the deceased as 22 year old Elonzeya Teal of Campti. Teal was pronounced dead at the scene. The body is being sent for an autopsy to determine the manner of death. Late last night, the NPSO announced the arrest of 25 year old Christopher Houston Jr. of Campti in connection with the death of his wife and unborn child.
A three-year fight in the Louisiana Legislature over creation of statewide regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft has ended with the proposal's passage. The measure by Houma Republican Rep. Tanner Magee is aimed at expanding the services to more areas, particularly smaller, rural communities. A 98-0 House vote Monday sent the legislation to Governor John Bel Edwards for his signature.
The House votes unanimously to give K-12 teachers a 1,000 dollar pay raise, support personnel a 500 dollar pay raise, and approves 39 million dollars in new public-school funding. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson says the state is long overdue for an increase in education spending. The pay raises plus additional funding will cost the state an extra 140 million dollars a year and will be permanent, rather than a one year stipend.
The state Senate breathed new life into the effort to legalize sports betting by allowing a hitchhiker amendment, then approving Monday the newly revamped legislation. Senators voted 24-13 for fantasy sports regulation, House Bill 459, which picked up a last-minute rider on the Senate floor: the sports betting legalization language from a measure sidelined last week. The amended legislation now returns to the Louisiana House for consideration of the changes.
The Senate amends a proposal to let medical marijuana patients use cannabis inhalers that results in the measure’s favorable passage. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the bill, saying providing a remedy for debilitating issues when other drugs fail to help is the fair thing to do. Winnfield Senator Gerald Long was on the opposing end of the measure, insisting that medical marijuana was paving a pathway to a slippery slope toward recreational marijuana. Following the 31-7 favorable vote, the bill is heading back to the House.
The legislative battle over whether Louisiana should have a minimum age to get married continues. Legislators are pushing to set the minimum age at 17. An amendment was introduced that would preserve the lack of minimum age, but would require 16 and 17-year-olds have parental consent for marriage and judicial review for younger individuals.
Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry says she’s for sending the bill to a conference committee prior to advancing the measure any further.
The Senate passes legislation legalizing industrial hemp production and CBD oil, but the upper chamber packed it with new amendments, so the proposal still needs House approval. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says farmers are itching to grow hemp, as the prices for rice, cotton, and soybeans are currently low.
The Corps of Engineers says they’re delaying the opening of the Morganza Spillway to Sunday, the second time the structure’s much talked about opening has been pushed back. Corps spokesperson Ricky Boyett says it’s due to recent reports that the river’s high-water mark will be arriving three days later than previously thought. Just outside the State Capitol building you can see the water pushing up close to the top of the levee system. Boyett says the river level in Baton Rouge has been up and down but is projected to stay within safe levels through the end of the week.
Authorities in Hammond report a 13-year-old boy is accused of stabbing a woman to death in Hammond early Sunday. 30 year old Ceirra Miller died from stab wounds to her neck and head. Investigators identified the suspect as a boy who "was in Miller's care for the evening." Authorities did not release the juvenile's identity.
A Baton Rouge teenager was arrested Monday after authorities said he shot his father multiple times, causing injuries that will likely prove fatal. The father remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his head and torso. 17 year old Anthony Templet is accused of retrieving two handguns from his father's bedroom and then firing multiple shots during an argument. He confessed to the shooting in an interview with detectives.
LSU catcher Saul Garza was voted as the Baton Rouge Regional’s co-Most Outstanding Player as he helped the Tigers defeat Southern Miss six to four last night. The Tigers advance to the Super Regionals where they’ll face Florida State.
On The Air Tuesday June 4th
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/03/2019
News for Monday 060319
Compiled By Dave Graichen
We note the passing over the weekend of a Louisiana Legend. Leah Chase was know by many as the Queen of Creole Cuisine. But, she was also a civil rights pioneer. Leah Chase died Saturday, surrounded by her family. She was 96.
The state Senate approves a 30-billion dollar budget for next fiscal year and the controversy over the fetal heartbeat abortion bill spilled into the debate. New Orleans Senator and chairwoman of the state Democratic Party , Karen Carter Peterson, tried to steer more money towards the state’s foster care system, but it was shot down by her colleagues. If the federal courts uphold a similar law in Mississippi, than abortions would be outlawed in Louisiana once doctors detects the heartbeat of a fetus, usually six weeks into a pregnancy. The House and Senate still have to settle their differences with the spending plan.
Governor Edwards proposal to provide teachers with a one-thousand dollar pay raise and also provide public schools with 39-million dollars in block grant funding received approval from a key committee in the House. The Appropriations Committee okayed the proposal, despite concerns it may cause funding problems in future years. House Republicans rejected a similar proposal earlier this year over concerns the state can’t afford this type of spending.
Teachers may not know what kind of pay raise their getting yet, but judges are celebrating as a 2.5 percent pay raise, with potential for a 2.5 percent raise every year for the next five years. That as a result of bill that has received final legislative passage.
A study by LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott indicated Louisiana judges were 2.5 percent behind the southern regional average in pay. The raise will cost 1.8 million in the first year and could grow to 9.5 million if the State Supreme Court approves raises in each of the next five years.
A bill prohibiting handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel has cleared the House and is being heard in Senate Judiciary Committee C today. From there, it would need final passage on the Senate floor before the session wraps up on Thursday. Last year, a similar effort got hung up, but Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval is confident this year will be different. Current law only calls for no handheld cell phone use while driving in a school zone.
A bill to bring Uber and Lyft ride sharing services to Alexandria and rural areas is close to final legislative passage. The proposal has died in the Senate the last two years, but over the weekend the upper chamber approved the measure 34-to-1. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau (Lou-NO) says this legislation can help reduce drunk driving deaths among college students. The lone Senator to vote against the measure was Kenner Republican Danny Martiny, who questioned why Lyft and Uber would not be regulated by the Public Service Commission, which currently regulates taxi cabs. The bill still needs House approval of changes made by the Senate, but that is expected to happen.
Houma Representative Beryl Amadee withdraws her bill that would extend Stand Your Ground legal protections to houses of worship amid concerns from opponents who say the legislation could extend to interpersonal conflicts, and poorly defines what a “justifiable threat” is in a church.
The House Ag Committee advances a Senate-approved bill that would prohibit Louisiana manufacturers from labeling foods such as of cauliflower rice as rice when it doesn’t contain rice. Opponents of the bill say it will also be a hindrance to manufacturers who specialize in producing plant-based meat imitation products.
The bill moved forward without any objecting votes.
Beer and wine could be available for purchase in the general seating areas in Tiger Stadium this year as the SEC has lifted its stadium wide ban on alcohol sales. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says LSU has been a driving force behind this rule change.
The policy change gives the 14 schools in the SEC the ability to draw up their own alcohol sale policy.
AAA is warning drivers to be extra cautious on the roads this summer as teens off from school pack the roadways. Spokesperson Don Redman says there’s a 17 percent increase in fatal teen crashes during this period relative to other times in the year.
The top three killers of teen drivers are speeding at 28 percent of all fatalities, drunk driving at 17 percent, and distraction at 9 percent. Redman says parents need to set a good example for all three, particularly distraction.
Port Allen based Holy Family Catholic School Principle Michael Comeau was arrested in Washington D.C. Friday morning while in the Capital for a school field trip for allegedly getting highly intoxicated at a strip club, refusing to pay his bill, and then standing drunkenly in the roadway and refusing to move when police arrived on the scene. Comeau is an award winning educator who’s previously received the prestigious Milken award.
Police are investing an arson and vandalism case at a Lake Charles church that occurred May 22nd. The church security camera caught a suspect walking up to the church with a five gallon bucket of some kind of liquid, and filmed them as they attempted to kick in the glass door. After failing to do so, the suspect kicks in a side window, tosses the liquid in, and follows it up by throwing items he lit on fire on the liquid. A vehicle has also been caught on film. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Lake Charles Police.
LSU will play in a Super Regional series for a 14th time in program history as the Fighting Tigers won the Baton Rouge Regional last night with a six to four victory over Southern Miss. LSU will host Florida State in the Super Regionals, which will start on either Friday or Saturday.