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News for Tuesday 012219

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The man who was elected mayor of the Town of Ball last fall, and then disqualified from serving due to his criminal conviction when a new amendment went into effect, is challenging that decision in appellate court. Roy Hebron, who was convicted for FEMA Fraud in 2011, unseated the incumbent. Loyola Law Professor Dane Cioino says even though he ran before the amendment went into effect, the law is very clear. The interesting twist to the story, voters in Ball approved the November amendment  barring convicted felons from running for, or holding office for five years after their sentence by an overwhelming margin.

 

A former 4th District congressman is considering jumping into the race for governor.  According to several sources, John Fleming, who currently serves the deputy assistant secretary of health information technology reform, has not yet given a timetable for making a final decision.  LSU Shreveport Poli Sci Professor Jeff Sadow says Fleming has been out of Congress for four years.  While his current position is viewed as a big deal in Washington, Sadow doesn’t foresee the position as being viewed in the same light to Louisiana voters. Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham are still the only two candidates to have officially entered the race.

 

Pecan farmers are losing crops due to bad weather, and losing lots of profits too. This year marks the fifth consecutive year growers are seeing weather take its toll on the industry.  Ouachita Parish grower Abraham Lincoln Fowler says in years past, the blame has fallen on lack of rain, mistimed rain, but this year, it’s been the abundance of rain that hurt growers.

 

Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans is helping Saints fan mourn their stolen season with the  “no ref” cookie that puts the Saints/Rams head referee’s face on a sugary treat that you can take a bite out of. While grieving the loss yesterday, co-owner David Haydel says they decided to express their frustration with a little creativity in the oven

 

The Saints are beginning the process of trying to move on from a disappointing finish to the 2018 season. It seemed like New Orleans was destined to play in the franchise’s second Super Bowl only to see those dreams fall apart with an overtime loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship game. Saints owner Gayle Benson says she’s thoroughly disappointed by the no call on the pass interference the NFL says should have been called against the Rams in the final two minutes of regulation.

 

One of the oldest fraternities in the nation has closed its LSU chapter following an investigation that found students violated the organization's hazing and alcohol policies,  a development that comes amid the university's ongoing quest for safer practices within its Greek system.

 

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard III confirmed Friday that Delta Kappa Epsilon recently announced it would end its presence at LSU almost 100 years after the chapter was founded.

 

LSU's seven-game winning streak came with a reward of its own Monday.  The Tigers are back in the AP Top 25, at  No. 25 in this week's poll. The Tigers had not been ranked in the poll since Week 3, nine weeks ago.

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News for Monday 012119

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Today we pause and take time to remember the legacy of DR. Martin Luther King. Several activities are taking place here in Alexandria today. A prayer breakfast was held earlier this morning. The MLK parade starts at 10 this morning on Bolton Avenue and finishes up at the Riverfront Center, where a rally will be held,  starting at noon. The final event of the day will be a special viewing of the HBO Documentary “The King In  The Wilderness”, A movie that chronicles the final chapters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. That starts at 6 P.M. in the Coughlin - Saunders Performing Arts Center. All events are free and open to the public.

 

The Saints Super Bowl hopes were dashed inside a stunned Superdome on Sunday by a missed pass interference call and a 57-yard field goal in OT to give the Rams a 26-23 win over the Black and Gold. New Orleans had a chance to win in regulation, but thanks to a missed pass interference call, L.A. was able to tie the game. Coach Sean Payton says the league office told him after the game, the refs blew the call.

 

Sad news over the weekend with the passing of Dr. Chris Rich. Dr. Rich is best known for helping put Mid State Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center on the map. He helped get the practice up and running in 1988, leaving in 2011. He also served as Northwestern State University's team physician, as well as serving 44 high schools in the area.  Dr. Rich had been battling a rare Liver cancer  for a little over a year. He   passed away at his home, surrounded by loved ones.  Dr. Rich is survived by his wife, Vickie, three children and one grandchild.

 

Louisiana now has 15 straight months of employment gains, and added 21,900 jobs from December of 2017 to December of 2018, putting the state’s unemployment rate at 4.9%. Louisiana Workforce Commission chief economist Ali Bustamante says more than half of those gains came from one market. New Orleans. New Orleans added 12,600 jobs from 17 to 18, and Baton Rouge added 5,200. Lafayette looks like it’s beginning to bounce back from the slow decline of the oil and gas industry, adding 2,200 jobs from December 2017 to 2018.

 

During his 2014 5th district congressional campaign, Ralph Abraham made a vow to not accept his salary if elected.  However, the Advocate newspaper reports that campaign promise only last for his first two year term. Now, Abraham is running for governor, and his rival, Governor Edwards, is blasting him for it. Abraham says it was a first term promise, and he did keep it for that term.

 

Now may be a good time to check old lottery tickets you have hanging around. No one has stepped forward to claim a Powerball ticket worth one million dollars that is getting close to expiration.   Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Dustin Annison says if you find the ticket, give them a call so you can collect your winnings. The winning ticket matched up the five white balls of the drawing on August 25, 2018, and the ticket was sold in New Orleans.

 

Sports…

 

The LSU Tigers haven’t been ranked in the Top 25 since losing two in a row in Orlando, but that should change this week. The Bayou Bengals handed South Carolina its first SEC loss of the season with a commanding 89-67 over the Gamecocks.

 

The Pelicans will try to turn things around this afternoon after losing their last two games..  The Pels meet the Grizzlies this afternoon starting at 4p. Hear the game on 94.7 ESPN.

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News for Friday 011819

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

An Alexandria man with a long criminal record has been arrested and charged with beating a pregnant woman unconscious and then the next day coming back and burning down her home. 41 year old Joseph Elie III was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on Wednesday.  But, Elie is no stranger to local authorities, he entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the October 1994 death of 82 year old Rita Rabalais, who was found, stabbed and bludgeoned to death, in a bedroom closet of her Alexandria home. Elie was sentenced to 13 years in prison at hard labor in August 2001. But, by the next month, was released from prison after getting credit for time served.

 

State climatologist Barry Keim warns Louisiana residents to expect rapid changes in weather over the next few days. The first part of that rollercoaster starts today, where things may feel fine right now, but are set to take a drastic turn later tonight, as rain moves into the state. Keim says expect anywhere from half an inch to an inch and a half of rain and there is the possibility of some severe weather. And after all that nasty rain clears out, break out your heavy jackets as cold weather moves in..

 

Kenner is the host city for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that kicks off today at the Ponchartrain Center. President of the event, Roger Villere, says the conference is put on every couple of years by the 15 southern states of the RNC and will feature many guest speakers over the course of two days. Villere says both Republican candidates for the 2019 Governor’s race will be in attendance.

 

Louisiana’s Speaker of the House Taylor Barras, for a third month in a row, has blocked the Revenue Estimating Conference from recognizing additional revenue for the state budget, despite suggestions from economists. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the delay will prevent State Police from recruiting the next class of officers. The stalemate could also hurt Governor Edwards’ proposal to provide teachers with a pay raise next fiscal year.

 

Louisiana has distributed February food stamps to 337-thousand households. The early issuance is due to the partial federal government shutdown and the department of children and family services is advising food stamp recipients to budget accordingly, because these are not extra benefits. Assistant Deputy Secretary Sammy Guillory says if you recently applied for food stamps, your application is still being processed.

 

A steel-covered walkway is being installed at the entrance of the state capitol to protect visitors from falling pieces of mortar from the 86-year-old building. Division of administration spokesperson Jacques Berry says  the state legislature will have to appropriate the 40 to 60-million dollars to repair the falling mortar.

 

A pedestrian is dead following a hit & run in St. Landry Parish. State Police say the accident claimed the life of 51-year-old David Sonnier of Arnaudville.  It appears Sonnier was walking on or near LA 182 when he was struck by two vehicles, with both fleeing the scene. The investigation continues in an effort to local the drivers of the two vehicles.

 

A military jury has convicted Barksdale Air Force airman Isaiah Edwards in the fatal stabbing of his roommate during a deployment to Guam last year. Edwards faces a life sentence. Edwards tried to claim he killed 20-year-old Bradley Hale in self-defense.

 

Sports..

 

The Who Dat nation is ready to rumble in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome again this Sunday as the Saints battle the LA Rams in the NFC Championship. A win and the Black and Gold heads to the Super Bowl in Atlanta. You’ll be able to hear the game on 96.9 KZMZ and 94.7 ESPN..

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News for Thursday 011719

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond said today that one of three people involved in last week’s fatal shooting of police officer Chateri Payne was the victim’s boyfriend and father of their child. He’s been identified as 26-year-old Treveon Anderson. Raymond says they also recovered the murder weapon, a 40 caliber gun. Raymond says two other men have been arrested and all three suspects are facing second-degree murder charges.

 

An Alexandria man is facing a long list of charges after threatening the life of an APD officer yesterday afternoon. The officer stopped the man, Vernon Holden, for a traffic violation. After a physical confrontation, Holden grabbed the officer’s TASER and deployed it and then pulled a gun and threatened the officer before fleeing.  Holden was arrested a short time later.

 

Fans wishing to get inside The Superdome for the NFC championship game will have to fork over several hundred dollars to get in. Ticket prices on the low end start at $285 dollars at StubHub.com. Ticket scammers are also likely to be looking to make a buck and Attorney General Jeff Landry says if a ticket deal seems too good to be true it is…

 

The coveted one-day tickets to see the Rolling Stones on May 2nd at Jazzfest in New Orleans go on sale exclusively for Louisiana residents today at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Fans were allowed to start lining up at midnight in anticipation of the 10am box office opening. Stones fans should be ready to shell out $185 plus applicable fees per ticket. While only the one day tickets for May 2nd will go on sale today, all other tickets including VIP packages, will go on sale to the public Friday morning.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards says nearly 6,000 federal workers in the Bayou State are suffering without paychecks as the longest government shutdown in history drags on. He noted the toll it’s taking on several different departments, and even the Coast Guard at the Belle Chase Naval Air Station. Edwards says he’s concerned that prolonging the shutdown could present safety risks to the public, as more and more vital programs close, or become understaffed.

 

Monroe Democratic Representative Katrina Jackson is set to speak tomorrow morning at the National March for Life Rally in Washington D.C. Jackson authored a 2014 bill that ultimately passed that required abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to operate. Jackson says their aim is the eventual reversal of the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. Tens of thousands are expected to be in attendance for the 46th annual march.

 

For weeks we have seen gas prices on the decline but now they are heading back in the other direction. AAA Fuel Analyst Don Redman says even with the price of crude oil rising you shouldn’t expect any huge jumps in prices until the start of summer.

 

Thompson Pipe Group will close its Zachary manufacturing plant later this year, a move that will impact 120 workers as the region faces its third announced plant closure in a week. The firm’s decision comes after Georgia-Pacific said last week it would close down a major division of its Port Hudson paper mill, laying off 650 at the site. And Tuesday, German chemical giant BASF confirmed it is shutting down its specialty chemical plant that employs 54 in the spring. All three closures will take place later this year.

 

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry says they are preparing to fight back against any attempts to raise revenue to fund the Governor’s proposed 1,000 dollar teacher, and 500 dollar school support personnel pay raise. President Stephen Waguespack says unnamed leaders have mentioned their support a pay raise tax.  But, Instead of a flat raise for all Bayou State teachers, Waguespack, the business lobbying group, supports utilizing the same amount of funds, or fewer, to reward teachers who  perform better than their peers.

 

Property once owned by Dukes of Hazzard star and country singer John Schneider sold for 385-thousand dollars at an auction. The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s office seized the land, which has two homes on it, a baseball field, studios and other features, because of unpaid mortgage payments. Schneider hopes the new owner will maintain the movie studio on the land.

 

Terrebonne Parish Sheriff deputies have arrested a 12-year-old girl at Houma Junior High after allegedly threatening to shoot three of her classmates. The threat was made on Instagram. Deputies say the juvenile admitted to sending the message as a joke, but she was still booked at the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Justice Center.

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News for Wednesday 011619

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

State Police report a Deville man died Monday when he lost control of the loaded log truck he was driving on La. Highway 913 in Catahoula Parish. 32 year old Matthew Howerton was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The Rolling Stones and Katie Perry are two of the major headliners of the 50th annual New Orleans Jazzfest, as the event’s musical lineup was released Yesterday.  Festival producer Quint Davis explains the undercard isn’t too bad either as it features some of the biggest names in music. Davis says the rest of the US tour for the Stones has been sold out for months, but says locals will get the first opportunity to buy tickets this week. Tickets go on sale for Louisiana residents at the Superdome box office tomorrow.

 

Postseason success for the Saints results in a victory for the local economy. President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Jay Cicero says even retailers that do not sell Saints merchandise benefit from the Black and Gold, especially if they keep winning in the playoffs, The Saints will host the Rams Sunday in the NFC Championship game. Cicero says it’s hard to say how many Rams fans will show up in the Crescent City, but there will be plenty of Who Dats in the city this weekend

 

When asked which teams she’d like to welcome to Atlanta for the Super Bowl, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says “Just anybody other than the Saints. If it can’t be the Falcons, then hey, as long as it’s not the Saints then I’m happy.” And if the Saints power past the Rams for this Sunday’s NFC Championship clash, they’ll be taking that trip to Atlanta. New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation President Mark Romig says the sparing is all in good fun. He says Atlanta is a wonderful city, and luckily for the Black and Gold Nation, easy to get to.

 

A Board of Regents report shows students allowed into higher education through “academic exemptions” had noticeably lower college GPA and graduation rates. The report was spurred by LSU’s admission that they had doubled the number of exemption students allowed into the institution. Only 32 percent of those with exemptions in 2010-2011 graduated in six years, compared to half of those without exemptions, and their GPA’s averaged 2.0 while nonexempt students averaged 2.7.

 

The first trial date for the man accused of killing Lafayette Police Officer Michael Middlebrook is set for Nov. 18. That trial will be for three attempted-murder charges against Ian Howard, who is accused of the shooting death of Middlebrook and shooting injuries of three civilians on Oct. 1, 2017 at a convenience store. The District Attorney’s Office is pursuing a separate capital murder case against Howard in Middlebrook’s death. No date has been set for the murder trial.

 

LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing has been ranked the 10th best nursing school in the nation by Nursing Schools Almanac, and 4th among all public schools. The rankings surveyed 3,200 programs nationwide. Nursing Dean Demetrius Porche says they traditionally fare well in these rankings due to the wealth of programs available, and the success of their graduates. Porche says the program is a vital piece of the Louisiana healthcare machine, and will grow even more important as the healthcare needs of the state increase over time.

 

Authorities have identified the 91-year-old man killed in a Union Parish house fire on Monday. Robert Jones of Marion and his two Labrador retrievers died in the blaze. State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says they are still trying to determine the cause.

 

Jeff Davis Parish Sheriffs office is investigating a case of suspected animal cruelty involving five cattle that had been shot in the head with a small caliber weapon. The cows are still alive and grazing, but authorities are hunting for the suspect in the abuse case, and are offering an award for anyone who presents information that can lead to an arrest and conviction.

 

Louisiana residents on food stamps can expect their February benefits this week, because of the partial government shutdown. Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Assistant Secretary Sammy Guillory says recipients must be aware that these are not extra benefits, so budget accordingly for February.

 

Louisiana Family Forum is on the hunt for the longest married couples throughout the state.  For the last three years, a couple from Benton have locked in the title for being married the longest.  But that couple passed away in 2018, and another couple will be taking the distinction.  General council at LFF Kristie Cross says the organization will be on the lookout through early February in an effort to make an official recognition on Valentine’s Day.

 

One person died and two others were injured Tuesday in a six-vehicle crash on La. 1 in Addis. Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson said a male driver caused the wreck near Sugar Plantation Parkway when he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him, causing a chain reaction that damaged six vehicles in total. Three people, including the driver who caused the crash, were transported to a hospital. One of those patients died en route

 

German chemical giant BASF will shut down its Zachary manufacturing plant in April, a move that will affect 54 workers. BASF acquired the site in 2012. Despite making “significant capital investment” in the facility, the company decided to close the plant. The company said it is working to find employees jobs at other BASF sites.

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News for Tuesday 011519

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

President Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans Monday making his case on why a border wall is needed. Congressional Democrats have refused to go along with spending 5-point-7 billion dollars to build a physical barrier between the U-S and Mexico. Mr. Trump says Democratic leadership is playing politics. Despite the fact there were several hundred demonstrators outside of the Morial Convention Center where the president spoke, inside POTUS received a warm welcome..

 

A Florida newspaper reports the family of Jeremiah Warren, one of the victims from Avoyelles Parish who died in the fiery crash on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Florida, is filing a lawsuit.  The lawsuit is aimed at both of the truck companies involved in the crash. The report states that the suit is to help in recovering damages for Jeremiah's parents.

 

As the federal government shutdown continues, the focus of food stamp recipients turns to what they can expect as the SNAP program is federally funded. Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Assistant Secretary Sammy Guillory says February benefits are coming this week. However, Guillory says there is uncertainty as to what happens with the program beyond February.

 

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the flu is on the upswing as five percent of doctor visits in the state are for flu-like symptoms.  Louisiana is among several hotspots in the southeast.  LDH flu bug expert Dr. Frank Welch ays if someone hasn’t gotten a flu shot by now, they haven’t missed the boat. Late to get the shot is much better than never.

 

Shreveport attorney and state representative Alan Seabaugh says he’s abandoning his quest to become a federal judge in favor of seeking re-election to the legislature, and then run to be the next House Speaker. Seabaugh says he hopes John Bel Edwards will be pushed out of the Governor’s Mansion in the 2019 election, so that the next speaker can focus on passing Republican priority legislation. But, when asked if the Democratic governor does win reelection, if he would be willing to work in a bi-partisan fashion… Seabaugh said no.

 

The federal government shutdown is impacting the craft beer business in Louisiana as the industry is heavily regulated by the feds. President of the Louisiana Brewers Guild and Bayou Teche Brewing Karlos Knott says brewers are not able to get product labels approved during the shutdown, so some of the seasonal beers are being put on hold.

 

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser laid out the Office of Tourism’s goals for 2019 in a speech  at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday. Among other things, Nungesser says he wants to build on international tourism. Recently, international flights from Germany and London started offering service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International airport and bringing in more out of country visitors could mean big bucks for Louisiana.

 

Reports say that for at least one moment in Sunday’s Saints playoff win, the Dome rumbled as fans roared at a recorded 128 decibels. Southeastern Communications Professor Joe Burns says it’s a remarkable feat because exposure to any sound over 100-120 Db can be painful, and prolonged exposure can result in damage to your hearing. The NFL Db record is held by Seattle for a 137 decibel outburst in 2017, but Burns says that number is questionable because even momentary exposure to 140 Db may result in deafness.

 

The Humane Society of Louisiana says there is a rise in horse abuse cases throughout the state.  H-S-L Director Jeff Dorson says rarely does a day go by the animal protection group doesn’t get a call about one or more horses being mistreated. Dorson says part of the issue is an endless cycle from the horse racing industry with an oversupply of horses being turned over to new owners without the proper credentials to care for the animals.

 

A Thibeaux High School student is under arrest after allegedly threating fellow students that he would bring a firearm to the campus. 18-year-old Cameron Boudreaux has been charged with Cyberstalking in relation to the incident. Authorities say Boudreaux had been threatening several boys and girls at the school through social media, including a death threat. An investigation is ongoing while Boudreaux remains in custody on a 10,000 dollar bond.

 

LSU will look to remain unbeaten in SEC play tonight when the Tigers travel to Oxford to face the 18th ranked Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss moved up into the Top 25 in the latest poll by beating two ranked teams last week, Auburn and Mississippi State. Airtime 7:30 on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM

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News for Monday 011419

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Another week, another rematch as the Saints continue their march toward Atlanta and Super Bowl 53. After a come-from-behind 20-14 victory over the reigning champion Philadelphia Eagles, they have set up another date with the Los Angeles Rams. New Orleans beat the Rams 45-36 in a Week 9 showdown earlier this season.

The Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys 30-22 in their own divisional round matchup.

 

A poll finds that about half of Louisiana voters approve of Governor John Bel Edwards’ job performance. Morning Consult, which polls the popularity of governors, found Edwards has a 49-percent approval rating, 30-percent disapprove and 21-percent are undecided.

 

President Donald Trump is in New Orleans today to speak at the American Farm Bureau Convention. Rice and soybean farmers say the tariffs and now the government shutdown have hurt their ability to make money off their crop. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says despite the tariff issues, he expects the crowd to welcome the President.

This is Trump’s first visit to New Orleans since a 2016 campaign stop.  

 

Despite the recent talk of a slight uptick in the oil and gas business, when comparing 2008 to 2018, nearly 11,000 jobs were lost in the Acadiana area from the 24,000 oil jobs in 2008.  President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority Gregg Gothreaux says the drop in the oil industry has seen a domino effect in job losses in other sectors.

 

A 52-year-old Lake Charles man and his 59-year-old wife are dead in what authorities believe was a murder suicide early Friday morning. Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso says they believe David Bendley stabbed his wife and son and then fatally stabbed himself, the son survived the attack. Mancuso would not speculate on what sparked the attack.

 

A Rockefeller Institute of Government study shows Louisiana receives $1.52 in federal spending for every tax dollar it sends to D.C. Director of Fiscal Analysis Laura Schultz says the Pelican State as a whole doesn’t pay a lot in federal taxes, compared to other states, because of the high percentage of low wage earners. That means the state receives $3,785 more in federal money per person than it sends, good for 17th lowest in the nation. Kentucky had the highest taxes out to revenue in ratio, at $2.35 received for every one dollar sent. Connecticut had the lowest at 72-cents received for every dollar sent.

 

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux released the names Friday of 14 priests who admitted or were convicted of sexual misconduct with children. That list contains the names of five priests who were credibly accused outside of a court setting. Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Shelton Fabre sent a letter to parishioners, apologizing for the egregious sins that have taken place.

 

The administrator of the Louisiana Tax Commission is facing 65 criminal counts related to payroll fraud. State Police investigators say 51-year-old Charles Abels of Baton Rouge was paid for time he did not work. Authorities also say Abels used a state rental vehicle for personal use and submitted unauthorized fuel requests.

 

Eric Prudholm was serving a life sentence for an aggravated rape and armed robbery that happened in a Bossier City motel in 1981, but he’s now a free man, after a DNA test of bed linens and the victim’s nightgown led to the courts deciding his original conviction and sentence should be vacated. Innocence Project New Orleans Executive Director Jee Park says Prudholm gained his freedom by pleading no contest to robbery with credit for time served

 

A U.S. judge in California on Sunday (Jan. 13) blocked Trump administration rules, which would allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control, from taking effect in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

 

Judge Haywood Gilliam granted a request for a preliminary injunction by California, 12 other states and Washington, D.C. The changes would allow more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also object on moral grounds.

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News for Friday 011119

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A female Shreveport Police officer is dead after being shot multiple times outside of a home Wednesday  night around 8:30 as she was on her way to start her shift.  The officer was identified as Chateri Payne, who had graduated from the police academy in November.  Police Chief Ben Raymond says law enforcement agencies from all across the northern portion of the state are assisting in the investigation and adds they are looking for the public’s help as well.

 

A Bossier City mother and daughter are dead after an overnight double homicide shooting allegedly by the daughter’s boyfriend. 22-year-old Shandrell and 40-year-old Maeisha Simoneaux are believed to have been murdered by the father of Shandrell’s two kids, 22-year-old Frederick Jackson, who has been arrested. Public Information Officer Traci Landry says the children were present at the time of the shooting. Jackson has been booked into the Bossier City Jail on a 7.5 million dollar bail.

 

Corporal Alan Stokes of the Alexandria Police Department has been reinstated to his job, after his termination back in September of last year. Stokes was fired after filing a police report back in May 2018 alleging that he was publicly intimidated by Mayor Jacques Roy during a phone call related to the selection of the city's next police chief, charges the Mayor was formally cleared of. Susan Broussard, the city’s new chief of staff would only say: "The City of Alexandria has reinstated Corporal Alan Stokes effective January 15. After a review of the matter, they determined reinstatement was the best course of action for the City”.

 

Gov. Edwards has issued a state of emergency declaration due to flooding concerns.  Deputy director of GOHSEP Casey Tingle says the agency is continuing to ramp up prep for local emergency managers as they begin to combat issues relating to river flooding from periods of excessive rainfall over the last few weeks, and more rainfall in the forecast. Currently, eight parishes are included in the declaration including Beauregard, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Catahoula, Rapides, St. Tammany, and Washington.  Tingle says residents should keep an eye on local alerts of road closures.

Many regions saw record rainfall for the first few days of 2019. 

 

It’s a major blow to the North Baton Rouge economy. Georgia-Pacific announcing yesterday they will lay off nearly 700 people at its Port Hudson mill due to declining demand for office and copy paper. About 300 people will continue to work at the mill, producing toilet tissue and paper towels for retail purchase. The company says the shutdown should occur by mid-March.

 

A study shows the University of Louisiana System contributes 10.9 billion dollars to the state’s economy. The report shows that one out of 18 jobs in the state are supported by the universities of Louisiana. UL System President Jim Henderson says it’s evidence the system produces a large return on investment. The study shows that the UL system positively influences the state’s economy plus it gives students the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing job market.

 

Louisiana is aiming to have a plan in place by July to offer Medicaid and incarcerated patient’s unrestricted access to curative treatments for Hepatitis C, to cut down on the spread of the deadly virus. Governor Edwards says the plan is the first of its kind for any state in the US. The plan aims to get Louisiana primary care providers easier access to the necessary drugs. Department of Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says doing this will keep costs down, while increasing the number of treated patients.

 

President Donald Trump will visit New Orleans on Monday, so he can speak at the American Farm Bureau Convention. Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson is glad to see the President will be at their centennial convention. Rice and soybean farmers say the tariffs and now the government shutdown have hurt their ability to make money off their crop. There’s also concern among producers about whether documented workers living in Mexico can return for the growing season. Anderson says farmers are eager to hear from the president.

 

The driver of a vehicle that struck and killed East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso last June as Amoroso was bicycling with a friend in West Feliciana Parish was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail. The judge in the case suspended 80 days of the sentence and gave credit for the three days he had already served. 21 year old Nicholas Alexander of Lafayette will only serve 12 days in jail. While some details about the wreck have been disputed, officials determined that Alexander was going the speed limit at the time of the crash and was not intoxicated.

 

The state has completed the purchase of a 515 acre tract of land to resettle the Isle De Jean Charles community that will lose their homes due to coastal erosion. The 11.7 million dollar land purchase outside of Schriever is the first step in relocation. State Office of Community executive director Pat Forbes says they hope to start construction on the new community later this year. The island in south Terrebonne Parish has lost 98 percent of it’s landmass since 1955, and is at major risk of flooding. While the new site is in development, Forbes says inhabitants of the island, Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians, have been offered rental assistance to find interim housing.

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News for Thursday 011019

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

18 year old Kevin Thompson of Pineville was sentenced this week in the shooting death of 19 year old Huey VanDyke III back in December of 2017. The Alexandria man was shot once in his back as he sat in the passenger seat of a car. Thompson was sentenced to 20 years in prison at hard labor for an amended charge of conspiracy to commit manslaughter and 28 years in prison at hard labor for conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

 

After a 2015 GOP gubernatorial blood bath that saw the ascendance of The South’s only Democratic governor, Louisiana Republican operative Scott Wilfong, on a Baton Rouge Talkshow said yesterday,  the party is taking a hard look in 2019 at throwing their weight behind just one candidate before the October open primary. Wilfong says potential candidates will be given an opportunity to build support and compete for the Louisiana GOP’s backing, and he hopes that once a frontrunner becomes clear, the other competitors will bow out gracefully. The only two Republicans in the race so far are Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, and Congressman Ralph Abraham.

 

President Donald Trump will be in New Orleans Monday for the National Farm Bureau Convention. It’s the second time the President has accepted the invitation to speak at the annual convention. Historically it’s a faction that’s backed the President, but ULM Poli Sci Professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says the trade war could mean a chillier reception than his last appearance.

 

The Pelican Institute is asking lawmakers to sign on to their revenue neutral tax plan that they say would slash corporate and upper-income tax levels by eliminating the myriad tax exemptions and deductions that have built up in the Louisiana constitution over the decades. Senior Fellow Chris Jacobs calls for eliminating refunds for businesses like job incentive, inventory tax credits, and others. But, to do that the state constitution would need to be rewritten.

 

Educators are keeping their finger on the pulse of sports betting in Louisiana after Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s open to dedicating any revenue from the additional gaming to better preparing children for kindergarten.  While he expects the gains to be modest, Edwards says the sports betting is also an important aspect in making sure the state doesn’t see a decline in gaming revenue.

 

Detectives with the Bossier City Police Department’s Juvenile unit arrested a daycare worker following an investigation into a report of cruelty to a juvenile.  On January 7, personnel from Epic Learning Center notified the parent of a toddler and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services that an accident occurred at their facility.  The parent then contacted the police.  Detectives says it appeared an employee shook the toddler, then  slung the child to the floor.  The child suffered a bloody nose and busted lip.

 

After the Board of Ethics vote to no longer allow campaign funds to be used for childcare for campaign events and activities, the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus has requested the board to reconsider the decision.  Caucus Chair Sen. Beth Mizell  says candidates may not have the financial means to cover the cost of child care for the time it takes to run a campaign.

 

Louisiana has received a one-point-two million dollar federal grant will go towards improving the outcomes for child victims of human trafficking. Governor John Edwards says the money is needed, because a report released last February found 681 adults and juveniles identified as victims of human trafficking in 2017. In 2016, Shared Hope International ranked Louisiana number one in the nation for its anti-trafficking laws. Edwards says the state is making progress in trying to stop modern-day slavery, which is why the Department of Justice trusts Louisiana with this federal grant.

 

An Acadiana restauranteur and chef has died following a plane crash while on a hunting trip in California.  Lionel Robin is fondly remembered in his community. Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette says he has known Robin is whole life. Robin had owned and operated Robin’s Restaurant in Henderson for about four decades, but had recently been working as the hospitality chef for Tabasco Pepper Sauce.

 

The story of how former LSU offensive lineman Matt Branch lost his left leg in a hunting accident in Mississippi is making national headlines. Branch’s friend says a dog was sitting near a loaded shotgun on a pickup truck bed when the gun discharged, the bullet struck Branch in his left hip. Branch, who played for the Tigers from 2008 to 2011, is expected to recover.

 

The Sean Peyton era Saints are an undefeated 5-0 at home for the playoffs, and fans and the players are getting hyped for the Sunday dome showdown with the reigning champion Philadelphia Eagles. Peyton says quarterback Drew Brees lives for playing on the biggest stages. Brees is 7-6 for his career in the playoffs, averaging 323 passing yards and over two touchdowns per game.

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News for Wednesday 010919

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

President Trump addressed the nation last night to lay out his case for increased funding for border security in the midst of a government shutdown over the President’s demand for 5.7 billion in funding for a physical border wall. Republican Congressman Garret Graves says we do not need another Great Wall, but additional physical structures would decrease illegal border crossings. Democratic New Orleans Congressman Cedric Richmond says with illegal immigration at the lowest point it’s been in decades, the wall would be a waste of money.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards re-election campaign announces it has 8-point-three million dollars in the bank after raising three-point-eight million dollars during 2018. The campaign says 87-percent of the money came from in-state donors. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards will remain hot on the campaign fundraising trail. One of Edwards’ announced challengers, Eddie Rispone’s gubernatorial campaign says the Baton Rouge Republican has 5.5 million dollars in his campaign account. No word yet from the other Republican challenger Ralph Abraham.

 

The RPSO is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a man who robbed the Fred’s store in Tioga Monday night. Capt. Tommy Carnline reports a black male, approximately 6’-6’2” wearing a mask and a gray hoodie, entered the store, produced a semi-automatic handgun and robbed the cashier of an undetermined amount of money. Anyone with information is asked to the Sheriff’s office or Crime Stoppers..

 

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke with the press in an effort to answer questions of how the food stamps program will be impacted by the government shutdown.  In an effort to extinguish as much confusion and anxiety as possible, Perdue says SNAP benefits should be okay through March, which he says he’s hopeful should give ample time to resolve the issues with the government shutdown.

 

The United Way ALICE report shows in 2016, 48 percent of all households in the state did not make enough to meet their basic needs, up six percent from 2014. Louisiana United Way President Sarah Berthelot says 29 percent make above the poverty level, but still not enough to reliably pay the bills. The report shows a single adult needs to make 19,548 dollars a year to pay the bills, and the average family needs 54,000. Lead researcher Stephanie Hoopes says with 66 percent of all jobs paying under 20 dollars an hour, it’s clear this economy with the recent economic growth isn’t benefiting most workers.

 

Tangipahoa Sherriff Daniel Edwards has increased the reward for information related to a December 23rd double murder that claimed the lives of a mother and son in their Independence Home. The office is now offering 10,000 dollars, and Crime Stoppers have increased their offering to 2,500 dollars. The Sheriff is asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.

 

After rising through the ranks for 28 years in the New Orleans Police Department, Superintendent Michael Harrison is leaving for Baltimore to take the reins as its Police Commissioner. New Orleans only recorded 146 murders in 2018, the lowest number of murders since 1971. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says Harrison’s departure is a loss for the city. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has plans to announce a replacement soon.

 

The Monroe Police are investigating the death of a United States Postal worker that was electrocuted Tuesday afternoon.  The incident happened outside of the Shannon Street Post Office in Monroe.   According to investigators, 47-year-old Paul Wesley Gammill was electrocuted while changing a lightbulb.

 

South Louisiana Methanol has announced its plans to pursue a $2.2 billion project in St. James Parish.  Preliminary work began last year at a 1500 acre Mississippi River site.  Construction could begin later this year.  Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson initially there will be thousands of construction jobs that go into the project, followed by 75 new direct jobs.

 

Congressman Garret Graves supports pending legal action against several federal agencies for refusing to distribute RESTORE funds to families who fall into the “duplication of benefits” loophole after the 2016 floods. Graves says the agencies had 45 days to write policy for the money to be distributed, but departments, like HUD, have ignored the Congressional mandate passed in October.

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News for Tuesday 010819

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The residents of Marksville are still in mourning following the I-75 crash involving two 18 wheelers that left seven dead, including five local children who were on a church trip to Disney World last week.  A large crowd turned out for a candlelight vigil late yesterday afternoon at Marksville High School’s football field.  Marksville mayor John Lemoine says the support that has come in from around the country to help the grieving community has been overwhelming..

 

You'll need a couple hundred bucks to snag a ticket to the Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints divisional-round playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. As of Monday morning, the lowest price ticket on the secondary market was $150. Compare that to the Dallas Cowboys-Los Angeles Rams divisional-round game, and $150 isn't so bad. The lowest price ticket for that game as of Monday morning was $300.

 

Entergy announcing Monday that both of Louisiana's nuclear power plants have been federally relicensed to operate into the 2040s, when both plants will be in their 50’s. The company operates the River Bend facility in St. Francisville and Waterford 3 in Killona. Each was originally licensed in 1985. Entergy also owns the Grand Gulf plant just over the state line in Port Gibson, Mississippi; it was relicensed in 2016. Nuclear power provides 16 percent of Louisiana's energy.

 

Former Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider has opened up about why his production studio in Holden was seized by the Sheriff, saying plainly, that it’s his fault for not making the mortgage payments on the property. Schneider, who played Bo Duke on the hit show from 79-85, says he wants to make it clear that unlike many plots from Dukes, the seizure was not some nefarious, underhanded scheme from the local sheriff. Schneider says he was a much better storyteller than businessman.

 

A single-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 135 in Franklin Parish on Sunday resulted in the death of a teenage driver and serious injuries to another teen. State Police Trooper Michael Reichardt says 16-year-old Angel Irwin of Winnsboro over corrected and hit a tree.

 

Governor Edwards has been unsuccessful in his effort to increase the minimum wage, but he’ll try again this year. Edwards says this spring he’ll ask the legislature to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to eight dollars an hour by 2020 and $8.50 by 2021. He says the legislation is modeled after what Arkansas recently approved. The Governor is also planning on asking lawmakers to approve a pay raise for the state’s teachers, who continue to be paid below the southern regional average.

 

Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond is now the highest ranked member of the Louisiana delegation in House, and says he plans on using his high ranking authority position to highlight, and push for solutions to the state’s most pressing issues. He says Democrats will be pursuing an aggressive climate change and green energy policy, one that can address the state’s coastal, and economic woes. Richmond was named Assistant to the Majority Whip for the 116th Congress.

 

51-year-old Meshell Hale of Slaughter has pleaded not guilty to charges that she poisoned her boyfriend to collect on his $10,000 insurance policy.  Investigators initially thought 41-year-old Damien Skipper had died of a heart attack in 2015, but police determined Hale had researched barium poisoning and purchased the chemical prior to his death, prompting an examination of Skipper’s body.

 

College football’s National Championship game in Santa Clara is now in the books, but New Orleans is already looking forward to next year, as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome welcomes the game in 2020.  COO of the Sugar Bowl Jeff Hundley says the finale of the college football playoffs has seen about a $300 million dollar economic impact for the host cities.

 

After an eleven-day layoff, The LSU men’s basketball team jumps into SEC play tonight by hosting Alabama. The Tigers haven’t played since December 28th, while Crimson Tide are coming off a 77-75 win over nationally ranked Kentucky. You can hear the game starting at 7:30 on KSYL 970am/104.9fm.

 

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News for Monday 010719

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Five children from Louisiana died in a tragic multi vehicle wreck near Gainseville, Florida on Thursday as they traveled to Disney World. Witnesses to Thursday’s smoldering crash say the explosion occurred when two semi-trucks collided. The drivers of the two big rigs were killed. The passenger van from the Avoyelles House of Mercy church was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and was swept up in the accident. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan expects a lengthy investigation into the cause of the crash.

 

To date, no major disruptions have happened to crucial state programs, according to Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry. But officials are keeping tabs on what might ultimately happen if President Donald Trump and congressional leaders remain in a standoff over Trump’s desire for funding for a wall along the nation’s southern border to curb illegal immigration. More than 40 percent of the state’s nearly $30 billion budget comes from the federal government.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards addresses the Baton Rouge Press Club today as he begins the final year of his current term.  Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat expects Edwards will tout his accomplishments and also tell us his re-election message. Pinsonat says of the accomplishments, Edwards will likely highlight the stability in the budget as well as funding for education and health care. Pinsonat predicts Edwards will focus on the goal of teacher pay raises, as Louisiana is below the southern regional average.

 

The St. Landry’s Veterans Memorial in Opelousas has been defaced with racial slurs and other profanities by vandals and investigators are looking for the culprits.  Project organizer of the memorial, Pat Mason-Guillory says the community has reached out to assist in the cleanup effort. St. Landry Detectives are working the case.

 

The village of Turkey Creek in Evangeline Parish now holds the distinction of having the youngest mayor to hold the office in the history of the state.  Phillip Cavins, who is 23-years-old , says growing up, he’s always had an interest in government and politics.

Cavins says the age distinction didn’t dawn on him.  Once he qualified for the position and found out he was running unopposed, someone reached out and let him know he was likely the youngest mayor in the history of the state.

 

The US Surgeon General has declared teen vaping an epidemic as a report says an estimated 2.1 million middle and high school students are using the electronic cigarettes. Department of Health Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, says just because it’s not a traditional cigarette, doesn’t mean it isn’t terrible for your health, particularly if you’re young.

 

Construction begins today to improve the integrity of the I-210 Prien Lake Bridge in Calcasieu Parish.  The 35-million dollar project is expected to last one year.  DOTD spokesperson Tammy York says motorists need to be prepared for a slowdown in the area. York says the first phase kicking off today is to prepare the structure for a redecking that will happen in the second phase of the project.

 

Shots rang out in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans in a gun fire exchange between four city police officers and a shooter on late Friday night leaving the suspected shooter dead. Officers were responding to a report of a suicide attempt when they were fired upon. One the officer was struck two times by shots in the chest, but his protective vest saved his life.

 

Sports..

 

Former Haughton star and Sulphur native Dak Prescott won his first NFL playoff game on Saturday as the Cowboys defeated the Seahawks 24-22. Prescott threw for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown as Dallas moves on to play the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday.

 

The Saints will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Round. Former ULM star and Philadelphia Coach Doug Pederson is now 4-0 in the playoffs as a head coach. The Eagles stunned the Bears 16-15 yesterday with a dramatic wild card win in the Windy City. Pederson and quarterback Nick Foles have been unstoppable in the postseason the last two seasons.

 

The Eagles and Saints will meet for a second time this season at 3:40 on Sunday. New Orleans smashed Philly 48-7 in the Superdome on November 18th. Pederson expects a much closer contest this time…

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News for Friday 010419

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A 64-year-old Texas man is in the Rapides Parish detention center accused of scamming a victim out of over $60,000 over the course of several months.  The scammer convinced the victim, he would be given a million dollars, but needed assistance paying US taxes and fees from Nigeria.  Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Capt. Tommy Carnline says the scammer claimed to be a retired FBI agent.

 

Louisiana is one of nine states reporting a high activity level for flu-like illnesses. That’s according to CDC’s latest U-S Influenza Surveillance report. The CDC says 4.5 percent of the hospital visits in Louisiana during the Christmas week were because of the flu or flu-like illnesses. Last year saw record numbers of flu cases state wide.

 

Parts of Caddo Parish received nearly twice as much rainfall in December as they normally do, leading to concerns the saturated ground could prevent flood waters from draining in a timely fashion. South Caddo and Wallace Lake will likely see the biggest impacts from deluge, with the Lake at risk of hitting a flood. Authorities are monitoring the situation.

 

A 68-year-old Sulphur man was killed yesterday when a tree fell on his van. Police say the ground was totally waterlogged allowing the tree to simply fall over. A passenger in the van was also injured, the extent of his injuries are unknown.

 

There was an officer involved shooting in Monroe early Thursday morning at the Super 8 Motel. Officers say they were responding to a disturbance complaint, and once they arrived on scene, shots were fired resulting in one policeman, and two subjects being hit. All three were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The two suspects were arrested.

 

The DASH Diet, developed in part by LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has been named number two diet of 2019 according to U.S. News and World Report. Researcher Catherine Champagne says the diet emphasizes more greens, and shares similarities to the popular “Mediterranean diet”. The number one goal of the Dash Diet is not weight loss, but lowering blood pressure.

 

Louisiana is receiving a federal grant to revive a program that aims to reduce recidivism among inmates with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.  The revised Second Chance Act program, now known as the New Beginnings program, will work with prisoners returning to the Baton Rouge and St. Tammany areas. The original program was discontinued due to lack of funding.

 

A Baton Rouge-area appeals court judge is suing an ex-girlfriend, seeking the return of a diamond-studded engagement ring he had purchased for $62,000 with a matching wedding band, but the woman says she intends to keep it. Wayne Ray Chutz, an elected judge on Louisiana's 1st Circuit Court of Appeal, filed the petition in Livingston Parish last month. The suit also seeks reimbursement for $30,000 to $45,000 for expenses he incurred on her behalf, including the purchase of a long-haired Chihuahua and an Amazon Prime subscription.

 

Sports..

 

The top-seeded Saints have the weekend off from playoff football, but there are three teams playing this weekend to keep an eye on. Depending on how the games shake out, the Cowboys, Seahawks, or Eagles could head to the Big Easy next Sunday. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says the most dangerous of the three, Dallas, gave the Black and Gold one of their three losses this year.

 

Former New Orleans Saints star and ALS activist Steve Gleason will officially be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal after President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law Thursday. The measure introduced by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, was approved Dec. 20 after passing the House 390-2.

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News for Thursday 010319

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Much of Louisiana is under a flash flood watch as several inches of rain are expected to fall between now and tomorrow morning. Kent Kuyper with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles says Central Louisiana could see the highest rainfall totals, as three to five inches is forecasted.

 

The attorney for Town of Ball’s Mayor-elect Roy Hebron has filed an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal after a judge said he’s unable to hold office. Charles Elliott filed the appeal for expedited consideration on Wednesday. This comes after Rapides Parish District Court Judge Monique Rauls ruled Hebron, a convicted felon, can’t hold office because of a constitutional amendment that passed the same day he was elected.

 

Starting this year Hospitals are now required to put a master price list online for all of their services, but Unfortunately a brief survey of Louisiana hospitals indicated that many have either not posted those prices on their primary hospital website, have dead links to price charts, or have made them very difficult to access. So, if you’re interested in seeing what the real cost of that x-ray is, you may not have an easy time doing it.

 

The shooting deaths of five horses at Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area is currently being investigated by Ft. Polk personnel.  Spokesperson for the Pegasus Equine Guardian Association Amy Hanchey says she believes the killings were no accident and is glad to know the base is investigating the matter. Hanchey say historical documentation shows the wild horses have roamed the area dating back to the 14th century and genetic testing indicates very strong Colonial Spanish ties.

 

Gasoline prices continue to fall. According to Triple-A, the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is a $1.95. That’s about 20-cents cheaper than a month ago. Low gas prices are a double edge sword for Louisiana. Low oil prices means less revenue for state government. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says says the current cost for a barrel of crude oil is 50-dollars and he says if that keeps going down it can cause real problems.

 

The Louisiana Legislature is seeing a high turnover rate as the AP reports 22 state lawmakers, roughly 15%, have left office without completing their terms since January 2016.  Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says he doesn’t foresee the trend being reversed, as there are many more attractive jobs in government worth pursuing.

He says low pay, longer than expected hours, and no benefits also add to the disinterest.

 

Five out of six Louisiana US House members find themselves out of power as Democrats take control of the lower chamber today. LSU Poli Sci Professor Dr. Robert Hogan says the House and Senate couldn’t even agree on a budget when both were controlled by Republicans, so you should probably get ready for two years of hardcore gridlock.

 

A pastor whose wife was killed in late November in a New Orleans carjacking has been declared missing after his vehicle was found abandoned in the city. David Plessy was last heard from by his daughter on Monday, who says they’re quite worried because it’s highly unusual for Mr. Plessy to be out of contact with his family for this long. His wife died after three teenagers threw her out of the vehicle, and struck her as they departed.

 

The US 11 bridge between Slidell and New Orleans will be shut down to traffic starting today, running through April 18th. Department of Transportation Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says it’s the continuation of a lengthy repair process that won’t be completely finished until summer of 2020. That bridge is close to 100 years old.

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News for Wednesday 010219

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Louisiana is seeing a wet start to the New Year.  A flash flood warning has been posted for Lake Charles, Alexandria, and Monroe as the state is expected to get pounded with rain.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Nuttall says the rain is expected to last until Thursday evening. Some areas in North Louisiana could see 4-6 inches of rain.

 

Twenty states had minimum wage increases  take effect on the 1st, while the minimum wage in Louisiana remains set by the federal government, $7.25 an hour and it’s been that way since 2009. Governor John Bel Edwards will attempt once again this year to raise that minimum wage. Previous attempts to raise the wage have faced resistance from groups who say it will increase the costs of running a business.

 

Several new state laws went into effect on the first day of 2019. Families can install video cameras in nursing home rooms to keep an eye on loved ones and boat registration fees are nine dollars higher.

 

All felony convictions require a unanimous jury decision, as the unanimous juries constitutional amendment that passed in November is now in effect. It’s the end of a Jim Crowe era law that made Louisiana one of only two states that did not require unanimous decisions in those cases, and Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says it’s a positive change. 64-percent of voters approved the amendment. Opponents are concerned unanimous verdicts will make it tougher for justice to be served to those who commit heinous crimes. Ciolino says those concerns are exaggerated, as DAs in other states do just fine…

 

A major story in 2019 will be the governor’s race. Democrat John Bel Edwards is up for re-election and there’s two announced Republican challengers, Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says it’s unclear who will be Edwards’ biggest challenge. The gubernatorial primary is October 12th.

 

Only one person in Louisiana was sentenced to death in 2018, David Brown of Lafourche Parish, who was convinced of sexually assaulting, then murdering a mother and her two daughters, and setting their house on fire in 2012. Louisiana has not performed an execution since 2010

 

A representative is bringing legislation in the upcoming session that would lock in protections for Louisianans with pre-existing conditions and allow dependents to stay on their parent’s plans until 26, even if a pending court case strikes down Obamacare. A Judge in Texas declared the entire ACA unconstitutional. The case is set to be heard next in the New Orleans based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

The Harahan Police Department’s recent offer to screen methamphetamine for the Zika virus has captured the attention of social media and news outlets across the globe.  In a Facebook post, the department encouraged meth users to bring all of their drug to police for free testing.  Police Chief Tim Walker admits there is no meth actually contaminated with the Zika virus.  But has anyone been gullible enough to take him up on the offer of testing meth? He’s not saying..

 

With the new year comes the tradition of making new year’s resolutions.  But many of the goals don’t necessarily withstand the test of time.  Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health at LHD, Alex Billioux says among the recommendations in order to complete goals, choose goals you can truly commit to out of desire. Billioux recommends setting goals that might not be so big and overwhelming.

 

Sports…

 

There will be no talk of a national championship at U-C-F. LSU ended the Knights 25-game winning streak with a 40-32 win in the Fiesta Bowl. Quarterback Joe Burrow bounced back from an early pick six to throw for 394 yards and four touchdowns.

LSU finishes the season 10-3. It’s first ten-win season since 2013.

 

After losing to the Carolina Panthers 33-14 in the regular season finale, the Saints say they will use the extra week before their January 13th playoff game to focus on fundamentals. New Orleans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins says the mistakes they made against the Panthers are fixable. The Saints will play either Dallas, Seattle or Philadelphia in the NFC Divisional round. Rankins says having a week to focus on themselves will be good for the Black and Gold

 

The Pelicans celebrated the new year by beating Minnesota 123-114 New Year’s Eve. . Anthony Davis did not play because of illness, but Elfrid Payton returned from a broken finger and it helped spark a nine-point win. Julius Randle led the way with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Tonight, The Pels are at Brooklyn to play the Nets.. Airtime 6p on 97.4 ESPN.

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News for Friday 122118

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Governor John Bel Edwards says 2018 was a successful year for Louisiana as the state continues to move in the right direction. Edwards says stabilizing the budget was his top accomplishment. He says the budget deal fully funded higher education, without raising taxes. Edwards also highlighted that Louisiana shed its title as having the largest incarceration rate in the world. He says he’s also proud to announce the state set a record in 2018 for the number of adoptions from their foster care system, with 912 children being adopted by over 600 families.

 

On the down side.. Personal income growth in Louisiana for the third quarter was 48th worst in the nation, at 2.3 percent. That’s down from 4.8 percent in the second quarter, and 6.6 percent in the first quarter. Governor John Bel Edwards attributed this drop to the tariffs, which he says were largely responsible for a 101 million dollar drop in farm earnings. But Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s more complicated than just the tariffs. While they hurt farmers, there was also a lot of nasty, heavy rains that hit just as harvest time had rolled around. And Strain says it’s not just farmers that took a huge hit this quarter. With the price at the pump at a remarkable low, the oil industry hurting  again, and suffering noticeable losses.

 

President Trump says he will veto a resolution that would fund the government through February 8th because it did not include five billion dollars in funding for a proposed border wall. Senator John Kennedy says we may be looking at a government shutdown.

Democrats have refused to pass any bill that includes the five billion dollars for the Mexican border wall that’s being sought by the White House.

 

Saints legend and ALS advocate Steve Gleason will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal., Gleason played for the Saints from 2000 to 2007, memorably blocking a punt for a touchdown against the Falcons in the Saints first game back in the dome after Katrina. Senator Bill Cassidy says it’s the highest honor Congress can bestow. The bill passed nearly unanimously in both chambers of Congress.

 

Louisiana’s START K12 saving program has been launched that now allows for funds to be used on the beneficiary in covering tuition and related expenses between kindergarten and 12th grade.  Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says he’s excited about the plan that could see parents use up to $10,000 annually on private school tuition.

 

A Monroe man is facing one count of solicitation for murder after he allegedly tried to pay a man to kill his estranged wife. Detectives say 47-year-old Michael Faubion asked his roommate, who has a criminal history, if he can contact people in jail that would be willing to execute a hit on his wife. But now Faubion is the one in jail on a one-million dollar bond.

 

A Bossier City patrol cop has been arrested and charged with over three dozen animal sexual abuse related charges. The State Police Special Victims Unit busted 38-year-old Terry Yetman with possession of animal pornography. Yetman was honored in October for his work against domestic violence. The LSP investigation began in August.

 

A new study out of Sweden finds the risk of having a heart attack rises nearly 40 percent on Christmas Eve.  Cardiologist Dr. Frank Smart at LSU Health New Orleans says that if someone suspects they are having a heart attack, the earlier they get to the hospital, the better, but they should not drive themselves to the hospital. The study observed the timing of 283,000 heart attacks over 15 years.  Smart says the research indicates that the peak timing of heart attacks on Christmas Eve and in case you want to set your watch, 10 pm seems to be most common time.

 

A former assistant warden who worked in security at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has been charged with abusing his position by helping facilitate the underground market for contraband. 45 year old Kevin Benjamin has been charged with malfeasance in office. It is the second case in a widening multi-agency drug investigation, which includes the FBI and the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

 

Bayou Country Superfest will return to Baton Rouge in 2019 after two years in Superdome. Producers announced yesterday the Superfest will return to its original venue, LSU's Tiger Stadium, for its 10th anniversary show on May 25-26, 2019. The talent lineup will be revealed in early 2019.

 

The Saints can lock up home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

 

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

We will be off until January 2nd.

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News for Thursday

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

59 year old William Ellington of Alexandria has been arrested on a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile.  The alleged victim, according to police, is only 9 years old. At the time the department announced his initial arrest earlier Tuesday, it said another case was under investigation as well. Ellington remains in the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

 

AAA projects over 1/3 of the nation’s population will  be on the move during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Spokesperson Don Redman says for as long as AAA has looked at holiday travel numbers, they’ve never seen anything like this. Redman says it’s important that travelers practice patience and give themselves a little extra time to get where they need to go. There is some good news; Redman says travelers can expect gas prices along the Gulf Coast to be relatively low.

 

According to  the US Census Bureau, Louisiana is among nine states that has seen a loss of population, with a decrease by nearly 11,000 in the time between July 2017 and July 2018.  Demographer Greg Rigamer says it’s not a good sign and a reflection upon the state’s economy. Since 2010, Louisiana’s population has only increased by 115,000, compared to Texas who has seen an increase of 3.5 million and Florida with 2.5 million.

 

Louisiana’s two US Senators are on opposite sides of a criminal justice reform bill approved by the Senate on an 87-12 vote. Bill Cassidy says the legislation helps non-violent and low risk parolees re-enter society, get a job and stay out of trouble. But John Kennedy says the, just passed, First Step Act is a violation of American public safety.

 

Bossier City will see 80 jobs, and Baton Rouge 160 as the result of two new Young Williams customer service call centers. The contract to process calls for the Department of Children and Family Services will run for five years. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says it’s a prominent company, with a good background.

 

The state GOP is calling for a return to closed primaries that only let party members vote for party candidates. Currently voters are free to vote for whomever in the primary, and the top two candidate’s progress to the general election. The call was made by GOP State Chairman Louis Gurvuich, who says the “Jungle Primary” creates issues for Republicans when they have large fields of candidates.

 

Louisiana's nursing homes are among the nation’s worst. The state ranked 50th in patient quality of care in a recent AARP report. Elderly citizens widely prefer staying in their homes with help as long as possible, studies show. And advocates for changing the system say that making institutionalization a last resort would save the state money. But when legislation was introduced this year to address that imbalance, three prominent former lawmakers helped torpedo it before it could progress. Former House Speaker Jim Tucker urged the House Appropriations Committee to kill the proposal. Joe McPherson, the former chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, told his onetime colleagues the reform was impractical. And Sherri Buffington, the committee’s former vice chairwoman, watched from the audience.  Each of them is deeply connected to the nursing home industry, which has strongly opposed the changes. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, here Louisiana, more than a third of ex-lawmakers continue to try to influence their old colleagues and in many cases they are successful.

 

While many internet transactions are already seeing sales taxes collected for the state, as of January 1, all purchases from out of state internet retailers will be subject to a flat 8.45 percent tax.  Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson says the idea behind the tax is to have level playing field between internet retailers and brick and mortar . Of the 8.45 percent sales tax rate collected, 4 percent of that will go to local government.

 

There are people living in a Mandeville neighborhood hoping their neighbor takes down the five inflatable dragons up in her front yard. It started with two dragons, both of them wearing a Santa Claus hat. But the homeowner, Diana Rowland, says she received an anonymous note saying her neighbors were wondering if she was involved in a demonic cult. So Rowland decided to add three more dragons because of her judgy-mcfudgyface neighbor.

 

A vivint-source-dot-com report finds that Louisiana has one of the highest rates for holiday thefts in the nation. PR Specialist Hilary Bird says over the past five years, Louisiana had an average of 68 thefts per 10-thousand residents during the holiday season. Larceny is the most common crime, which is pickpocketing or breaking into someone’s car.

 

 

Sports..

 

The nation’s number one prospect according to Rivals-dot-com is officially an LSU Tiger on the first day of college football’s early signing period. Derek Stingley Jr. signed his national letter of intent in front of classmates at Dunham High School. Based on who signed with LSU today and who might possibly sign in February, the Tigers could land a top 5 recruiting class. Stingley says he chose LSU, because it will benefit him after his playing days are over.

 

LSU signed 19 players on the first day of college football’s early signing period as they work towards securing a top five recruiting class.

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News for Wednesday 121918

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Word yesterday of the passing of former District 27 State Representative Rick Farrar. Rick represented Rapides Parish from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2008 and worked as an assistant DA under Philip Terrell.  The Parish DA’s office released the news Via social media saying Farrar died Tuesday morning at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. He will be missed Rick Farrar was  58.

 

Another passing of note.. Charlie Baker, a longtime coach and teacher at Peabody High School died last Friday at the Alexandria VA Medical System Hospital. Funeral services for Charlie Baker will be this Saturday at Newman United Methodist Church in Alexandria with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. and the funeral starting at 11. Charlie Baker  was 82.

 

An investigation in to several damaged tombstones in the Dry Prong Cemetery earlier this month, has led to the arrest of 32 year old Felicia Ruiz. The GPSO charged the Dry Prong woman with hit and run and reckless operation of a vehicle. Sheriff McCain says It appears Ruiz not paying attention, when she ran off of the road, hitting the gravestones. It’s believed she panicked and left the scene.

 

The Trump Administration has banned bump stocks, a firearm add-on that can be used to increase a semiautomatic weapon’s rate of fire. The Justice Department estimates 520,000 bump stocks have been sold in the US since 2010. Bump stock owners now have 90 days to destroy their devices, or turn them in to ATF.

 

Governor Edwards says he’s concerned a recent Texas court ruling could mean the end of health insurance for over a million Louisianans, and scolded Attorney General Jeff Landry for his support of the lawsuit that may overturn Obamacare.  The Trump administration said yesterday that no changes will be made in the affordable care act until an appeal is heard.  480,000 Louisianans have received coverage under Medicaid expansion alone.

 

The state health department has declared a Hepatitis A outbreak as they’ve confirmed 24 cases of hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease, in the Baton Rouge area. The illness is spread by consuming contaminated food or beverages, during sex or through close contact with an infected person. The state has received funding to vaccinate at-risk groups, which are drug users and those who are homeless.

 

Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s teamed up with the Connecticut AG in a suit against generic drug manufacturers, claiming the companies are violating anti-trust laws to push prices higher than they should be. Landry says they’re discussing a settlement with 18 manufacturers in a suit that involves 47 states.

 

Construction of the Prien Bridge portion of I-210 in the Lake Charles area is set to begin in early January.  The project will see the addition of extra lighting and a new surface for the 930-foot stretch of bridge.  DOTD spokesperson Tammy York says the main area of construction will begin near where I-210 splits off from I-10. The bridge was built in the 60’s and York says several issues are being tackled with the $35 million project.

 

The early signing period for 2019 football recruits begins today and LSU is expecting a signed national letter of intent from the nation’s top prospect. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says cornerback Derek Stingley Junior from Dunham High in Baton Rouge is expected to be impact player in 2019. Moran says LSU’s 2019 recruiting class also features two of the state’s best running backs, Destrehan’s John Emery and Southern Lab’s Tyrion Davis. The early signing period lasts through Friday.

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News for Monday 121718

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Monday Weather: Areas of dense fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 64.

 

A federal judge in Texas declares the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, because of the federal mandate that requires Americans to buy health insurance or face an additional tax if they do not comply. Judge Reed O’ Connor says now that Congress has removed the penalty for not having coverage, the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

 

Governor Edwards is disappointed. He says hundreds of thousands of Louisianans could lose their health insurance, if the ruling stands through the appeals process. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry applauds the decision and says he’ll work with the state legislature to make sure those with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.

 

The APD reports an Alexandria woman was shot and killed Friday evening when a gun two brothers were struggling over fired and struck the woman who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. 32 Jazzlyn Fields was pronounced dead at the scene of the Baker Street incident. 28 year old Edward Conner was booked into the parish detention center on a charge of Second-Degree-Murder.

 

The holidays can be a dangerous time on the roadways so law enforcement is stepping up patrols as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  Deputy Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Dortha Cummins says in the last five years, 139 people have died during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday period. Cummins says the campaign runs through New Year’s Day and drivers should be aware that law enforcement is out and actively looking for drivers who may be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both..

 

It’s a heck of a tax break.. The state Board of Commerce and Industry agrees to give a developer planning to build a massive liquefied natural gas export facility in Calcasieu Parish a tax break that could eventually reach two-billion dollars. The advocacy group, Together Louisiana, objected. Broderick Bagert says local government taxing bodies did not give residents enough information about the project

 

This week marks the busiest week for the United States Postal Service.  USPS spokesperson Sean O’Neill says while some deadlines may have already passed to ensure delivery by Christmas, there are still two days coming up that those shipping gifts this holiday season need to keep on their radar. 1st class and priority mail should be mailed by the 20th, priority mail express by the 22nd.

 

Former state superintendent of education Paul Pastorek will lead an investigation into allegations that T-M Landry College Prep in Breaux Breaux falsified college applications so their students can attend Ivy league schools. The New York Times reports one of the co-founders of the school, Michael Landry, also abused some of the children, however they produced no evidence to back up the accusation . State Police is looking into the abuse claims.

 

Congressman Cedric Richmond has introducing a half-a- trillion dollar bill that would build an estimated 2.1 million new, affordable homes in America, and subsidize the purchase of existing houses. Housing NOLA Executive Director Andreanecia Morris says the bill would create over 30,000 affordable housing opportunities in New Orleans alone, and put an additional 513-million dollars into that city’s economy.

 

Tax season is right around the corner and that means tax refunds. The financial technology company, SmartAsset, says just over 1.5 million taxpayers in the state will receive a refund, with the average being right around $3,300. VP of Financial Education at SmartAsset AJ Smith says you may be losing out on opportunities to make money on the money that is being withheld. If you want to make adjustments to your withholdings, you should speak with someone in HR at your job.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards was the commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies at UL Lafayette and UNO Friday. Edwards says these graduates are now equipped with the diverse set of skills that will be necessary to navigate the five or more different jobs many of them will have throughout their life.

 

Just in time for Christmas, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has sent a commemorative football to every player and coach that helped him set the NFL’s career passing record. There were 174 balls that went out to Brees current and former teammates and assistant coaches too. The gift also includes a signed letter.

 

The Saints visit the Panthers tonight in Carolina for the first meeting of the season between the two. Carolina sits at 6 and 7, and is riding a five game losing streaking that’s all but taken them out of the playoff conversation. Saints QB Drew Brees knows how vital a win tonight would be, with the top seed in the NFC on the line.

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News for Friday 121418

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Friday Weather..

Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain.. High 54

 

Businesses and schools across the nation were evacuated yesterday because of bomb threats, that appear now to have been hoaxes. Here in Louisiana, State Police are aware of several threats in multiple cities.  The threats were sent via email, requesting money being paid to senders via bitcoin, some with the emails having the subject line “Think Twice.” Here in Alexandria First Federal Bank on North Blvd and Red River Bank off of Jackson Street Extension received the threats.

 

It’s a dead heat. Congressman Ralph Abraham says a new poll he funded shows he’s the Republican to beat Democrat John Bel Edwards in next year’s governor’s race. President of the Remington Research Group Titus Bond says they surveyed nearly 17-hundred likely voters this week and both Abraham and Edwards received 44-percent. Edwards’ campaign says the poll is a desperate plea for credibility.

 

For the 13th time since 1990, Louisiana has been ranked 50th in America’s health rankings.  Thirty-five different areas of health are factored in to determine the overall ranking.  Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says among the areas of concern, child poverty, where Louisiana ranks last.

 

A report out of Loyola says Louisiana has the second highest rate of food insecurity in the country, a result of the state’s substantial poverty, and proliferation of food deserts where residents don’t have access to, or can afford healthy food. The report calls for the state to increase incentives for grocery stores to operate in under-served communities, including refrigeration tax breaks for small grocers to allow them to bring in healthier food.

 

The secretary of state’s office diverted more than $90 thousand dollars from computer upgrades to pay its portion of a sexual misconduct settlement involving former Secretary of State Tom Schedler.  A spokesperson for the current Secretary of State says none of the funds were obtained by making cuts to anything having to do with cybersecurity.

 

Former Congressman Charles Boustany says the trade war with China is failing, and Louisiana is beginning to pay the price to the tune of over 100 million dollars in costs to Bayou State businesses and consumers this year, nearly 20 million in October alone. Boustany says the trade war is a hurricane, and we’re starting to feel the first bands of bad economic weather…

 

The Chackbay man who shot his neighbor a year ago over a property line dispute has been convicted of 2nd Degree Murder.  61-year-old Keith Trosclair told police it was in self-defense, but But authorities say they had reason to doubt that version of events after reports from two witnesses that Trosclair was moving towards the victim while firing, and forensic evidence that indicated the neighbor, did not pose an immediate threat when Trosclair opened fire. 2nd Degree Murder carries a mandatory life sentence.

 

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain is reportedly under investigation for allegedly molesting several juveniles. Strain is also the target of a federal probe into public corruption involving his former work release program that he once supervised. The ex-Abita Springs police chief served as sheriff of St. Tammany from 1996 to 2015.

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