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News for Friday 102017

By Dave Graichen

 

Pineville Police have made an arrest in the stabbing death of 42-year-old Latish White. A passerby found her body near the Pineville Expressway early Wednesday morning.  Deputy Police Chief Darrell Basco says they learned 29-year-old Matthew Sonnier of Pineville was responsible for her death and arrested him in Alexandria. Basco says Sonnier was a known acquaintance of White and the two were together at the time of her death. Sonnier is charged with second degree murder and aggravated flight from an officer.  He is in the Rapides Parish Detention Center without bond.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health believes jambalaya contaminated with salmonella resulted in 49 cases of gastrointestinal illness in Caldwell Parish. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized. Doctor David Holcombe, with the state office of public health, says one person who showed symptoms associated with Salmonella poisoning died, but it’s still unclear if that is the cause of his death. Holcombe says 300 plates of this contaminated jambalaya were served at a charity softball event and more cases are still possible.

 

Former Louisiana College President Dr. Joe Aguillard has lost his wrongful termination lawsuit against the college. The decision by the 9 Judicial District Court also denied payment of attorney fees, leaving Aguillard owing the LC close to $18 grand to cover arbitration fees. Aguillard and his attorney had argued he was terminated after an improper tenure hearing, but an arbitration panel found Aguillard was given due process.

 

Organized Greek activities at LSU are not allowed to have alcohol at their functions until at least January. That’s the decision of LSU President F King Alexander, who last week decided to allow Greek organizations to have on-campus social events with alcohol. But after receiving concerning reports, he’s reversed that decision.

 

NOAA released their winter outlook today and it says La Nina will dictate a warmer and drier winter in Louisiana for a second year in a row. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across the northern United States. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s a similar weather pattern we saw in 2011 when drought conditions crossed the state.

The winter forecast will be revised by NOAA in Mid-November.

 

Dr. Craig Greene will be sworn in next week as the Public Service Commissioner who will represent the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Houma areas. Greene says the biggest challenge facing the P-S-C is getting energy at the cheapest rate possible.

 

Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is hopeful that President Trump’s tax reform package will be passed, giving relief to millions of American’s pocketbooks and corporations.  The House Majority Whip says the Republicans reform proposal will simplify the tax code. Scalise says their plan would help a somewhat stagnant economy take off. 

 

A man on trial in the death of a New Orleans Police officer was declared incompetent to stand trial Thursday.  Travis Boys rubbed feces on his face after entering the courtroom for his jury trial Wednesday.  Prosecution experts say it was a stunt for him to avoid trial.  The judge ordered Boys to be evaluated and if needed medicated after declaring him incompetent.

 

An LSU Health Sciences Center doctor says a clinical study of veterans dealing with brain injuries and disorders has shown a reduction in suicides using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Dr. Paul Harch has been studying the effects of the therapy on 30 veterans since 2008.  He knew some symptoms would be reduced, but was surprised at the final results. After treatment,  52-percent of military patients no longer met the criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD.   Harch says the therapy helps to increase oxygen levels to treat the disease. It is estimated that 300-thousand military veterans who return from service in Afghanistan or Iraq have PTSD or major depression.

 

Coming off of two wins, LSU fans are excited to travel to Oxford, Mississippi to watch the Tigers take on the Rebels. LSU Alumni Association Senior Director of Alumni Engagement Sally Stiel says they have a sold out Trip. Kickoff is at 6:15 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

 

After losing their season opener in Memphis, the Pelicans hope to turn things aroung tonight when they play host to the Golden State Warriors. It will be a late start 8:30. You can hear the game in Cenla on ESPN 1410 & 93.1 HD3

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News for Thursday 101917

By Dave Graichen

 

Authorities in Rapides Parish are investigating a fire in a ditch off Old Boyce Road where two charred bodies were found. Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Tommy Carnline says they responded to the scene at around 6:30 Wednesday morning and made the grim discovery.  No id’s have been made yet. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RPSO.

 

In Pineville the body of a woman was found lying in Melrose Street early yesterday morning.  Police say upon the arrival of officers and other first responders the victim was pronounced dead. Pineville PD later announced the woman had been murdered and had suffered several knife wounds. The victim was identified as 42 year old Latish White of Alexandria. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

 

More than 4,000 jobs could be saved by a $200 million expansion of the West Rock paper mill in Hodge in Jackson Parish in a deal aided by state incentives. Governor John Bel Edwards is slated to make the announcement at this hour. The plant employs about 450 workers with a $28 million annual payroll, but the mill supports about 3,700 indirect jobs.

 

In just a few weeks, hundreds of inmates will be released in Louisiana as a result of a criminal justice reform package signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator voiced concern that violent criminals will be released early without proper rehabilitation. But Edwards says Prator didn’t have his facts straight and that no violent prisoners will be released. Prator also said it was important to keep “good” prisoners incarcerated, so they can pick up trash, wash cars, and cook for first responders.  No word as to the governor’s response to that thought.

 

It’s expected that The Caddo Parish Commission will vote today to remove the statue of a Confederate soldier outside of the parish courthouse in Shreveport. LSU Shreveport Associate Professor of Political Science Jeffery Sadow says last month the council preliminarily voted to support the removal of the monument. Sadow says when the monument was placed; it was in the location of the last capitol of the Confederacy.  Surprisingly, there have been few comments from the public over the potential removal. 

 

Investigators have matched bullets from two fatal shootings to a rifle found inside the home of alleged East Feliciana serial killer Ryan Sharpe, who was arrested last week in those two shootings and two others that have occurred in the Clinton area since July.

Officials said in the warrant that Sharpe confessed to the shootings.  All four men were shot outside during the day within 25 miles of each other; two while doing yard work in front of their houses.

 

The Iberville Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an ordinance to outlaw the desecration of official flags in the parish. The mandate protects the American flag, the Louisiana state flag, and any official flags of Iberville Parish. The ACLU of Louisiana calls the ordinance a violation of the public’s constitutional rights and “unenforceable.”

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News for Wednesday 101817

By Dave Graichen

 

State police report a single vehicle crash claimed the life of a Pollock woman yesterday morning. Troopers say 85 year old Marion Morrison apparently lost control of her vehicle on Highway 165, left the roadway and struck a culvert. Morrison was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

 

A Winnfield man was killed yesterday after his pickup ran off of highway 156 and struck some trees. 50 year old Randall Shell was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Louisiana ranks 42nd on tax competitiveness. Senior Policy Analyst Jared Walczak says the Bayou State has one of the nation’s most complex tax structures. The index also reports Louisiana ranks 50th for the state’s sales tax structure. Walczak says Louisiana could benefit greatly if it simplified its tax code.

 

The first class of the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program has started training military vets to run their own business.  State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the class helps veterans wanting to go into business, by taking online classes and boot camp training on the LSU campus. They hope to train over 100 participants in the first year with a long term goal of creating 100 new jobs through the businesses created from this program.

 

A Ruston school was destroyed following a fire.  Paul E. Slaton Head Start caught on fire around 6 Tuesday morning.  Officials say no one was inside when the fire started.  Power lines were damaged, knocking out power to over 30 homes.  Investigators are trying to determine the cause of fire.

 

An 18-month old child is dead following a gruesome murder in New Orleans.  Police say the father 45-year-old Mark Hambrick told police “God made him do it.”  The exact motive of why Hambrick killed his daughter is unknown.  Police Chief Michael Harrison says they are seeking any information about Hambrick that will help them with the investigation. Hambrick is in custody with charges to be filed later.

 

Open enrollment for the Medicare program is now until December 7th for 2018 plans. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says this is the only time of the year when senior citizens can shop around for their plans and compare prices. He says it’s important to find a plan that goes along with your current doctors.

 

A Clinton man arrested last week tipped police off himself.  The Associated Press says 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe was not a suspect in three murders and one attempted murder in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes until he called police and id’ed himself as the suspect.  Officers arrested Sharpe after leading them on a high speed chase.  The murders started in July and were all in a 15 mile radius…

 

A tiger who became a roadside attraction in Grosse Tete has died. Tony the Tiger had lived at the Iberville Parish Tiger Truck Stop since 2001. There have been legal battles between Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Sandlin’s attorney Jennifer Treadway says her client plans to get another tiger and he has a permit to do so. The Animal Legal Defense Fund feels Tony’s death demonstrates how the legal system leaves wildlife vulnerable to exploitation.

 

Louisiana voters will likely be gearing up for a gubernatorial runoff election in 2019.  GOP Chairman Roger Villere says one big name has been mentioned a lot for the election is U.S. Senator John Kennedy.  He says he is a formidable candidate for the position. Villiere says many other politicians have voiced interest in running for Governor. Currently Governor Edwards is enjoying a high approval rating.

 

LSU and Ole Miss will meet for the 106th time this Saturday when the two teams get together for a Saturday night kick-off in Oxford. The Tigers have won 11 of the last 15 against the Rebels dating back to 2002. But it’s been 2011 since LSU’s last win at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels are 3-and-3 and won their first SEC game of the year last week as they pounded Vanderbilt 57-45.

 

The Pelicans tip off a new season tonight in Memphis. With a healthy Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, along with a full season from DeMarcus Cousins,  there’s a belief New Orleans can be one of the eight playoff teams in the difficult Western Conference. You can hear that game tonight beginning at 6:30 or immediately after the game 5 of the American League Championship series on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

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News for Tuesday 101717

By Dave Graichen

 

Louisiana is once again tops for murders in the country.  The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program says the states murder rate was 11.8 per 100,000 persons, with 554 homicides in 2016.  New Orleans based Crime analyst Jeff Asher says even if you didn’t count New Orleans, Louisiana would remain tops in the country.

 

Zachary Police have charged a 33-year-old man with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting, stabbing and beating an 11-month old child. Police Chief David McDavid says they found several weapons in the house and the autopsy shows the baby died of multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

 

The fire is out at the platform that was the site of an explosion Sunday night on Lake Pontchartrain. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the platform is a storage facility and owned by Clovelly Oil Company. Three victims from of the explosion remain in critical condition and the search for a 44-year-old worker from Katy, Texas continues. 

 

Investigators are piecing together the strange case of a baby born to a 13-year-old girl. Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn says the family wasn’t aware she was pregnant and gave birth in her bedroom. Dunn says the teen decided to drop the newborn off, with the umbilical cord still attached on a school teacher’s front porch. Police suspect the father is also just 13-years-old.

 

The state Department of Children and Family Services has posted an online mapping tool called Safe Haven Facility Locator in an effort to prevent newborn abandonment. Child Protective Services Program Manager Mona Michelli says a mother can visit Louisiana-safe-haven-dot-com (louisianasafehaven.com) to find a place where they can give up a child less than 60 days old. If a mother or parent is not able to locate a facility, call 911 and an emergency responder can transport the child to a facility. Michelli says it’s important to remember a mother faces no legal recourse if she follows the Safe Haven laws.

 

Waitr is looking to help feed needy families. Starting this week, when customers order food service from the Lake Charles based app, they can donate between two and ten dollars and Waitr along with participating restaurants will match a customers’ donation.  Chief Marketing Officer Sonny Mayugba (MY-ooh-buh) says the “Share Thanksgiving” food drive will be conducted in all 130 markets, including Alexandria.

 

Detectives in Baton Rouge are investigating a fatal shooting last Sunday that left a 26-year-old dead after a homeowner claims he brandished a firearm and charged at him. BRPD Sgt. Don Coppola says the 36-year-old homeowner told police he was standing in his yard when he shot Clayton Bradford after a verbal altercation. Coppola says the homeowner is cooperating and no arrests have been made as of yet.

 

State Police say a 4-year-old was killed over the weekend after being struck by a vehicle in Iberia Parish. They say Raylen Jones of New Iberia had wandered outside of his home Saturday night without detection and ended up in the street. The investigation is continuing.

 

A major story line heading into Saturday’s SEC West matchup between LSU and Ole Miss is the return of head coach Ed Orgeron to Oxford. Orgeron was the Rebels head coach from 2005 to 2007 and won just ten games. During his Monday press conference, Coach O downplayed the trip back to Oxford.

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News for Monday 101617

By Dave Graichen

 

A significant cold front moved through the Bayou State leaving us with some much needed relief. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this front has brought in much cooler and drier Canadian air and pushed out the warm Gulf of Mexico air. He says the afternoon highs will be in the 70s in northern parishes and low 80s in the coastal zone. Keim says this cool weather will stick around all week long. Keim says even as temperatures in the 90s subside, expect a warmer than usual autumn.

 

After Three days, the trial is over. Antonio Boyd, the so called head of the Triple M Murder Team,  took a plea deal during the lunch recess of his trial Friday. The 32 year old Boyd pleaded guilty to racketeering and attempted first-degree murder, receiving sentences at hard labor of 50 years and 35 years, respectively. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

 

An oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday evening (Oct. 15) near St. Charles Parish and north Kenner, according to Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor. Seven people were injured in the explosion, according to Kenner Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kriss Fortunato, and authorities believe an eighth person is still missing.

 

Former state Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, is headed to a Nov. 18 runoff against New Orleans attorney Derrick Edwards to choose Louisiana's next treasurer. Edwards received more votes in the primary, but experts indicated he got into the runoff mostly because he was the only Democrat in the race. Schroder is expected to win a Nov. 18 runoff election and become the next state treasurer of Louisiana.

 

Louisiana residents voted in favor of three more changes to the state constitution Saturday. Voters decided to prevent ongoing construction from counting toward a property's value for tax purposes. Practically speaking, the change will mostly benefit owners of industrial properties.  A property tax exemption was approved for spouses of first responders and a wider swath of law enforcement officers killed while on the job.

Voters also consented to a new restriction on gasoline and fuel taxes. At this point, the restriction is hypothetical since the Louisiana Legislature had refused to implement a new gas or fuel tax in recent years.

 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and former judge Desiree Charbonnet earned spots in a runoff for New Orleans mayor, guaranteeing the city will elect its first woman mayor in the Nov. 18 runoff.

 

Police have identified the suspect involved in the shooting death of a New Orleans Police Officer.  30-year-old Darren Bridges, a convicted felon, faces a charge of first degree murder in the shooting death Friday of 29-year-old officer Marcus McNeil.  Chief Michael Harrison says they are still investigating what exactly happened.

 

State health officials are reminding Louisianans it’s time to get your annual flu vaccination. The flu season has begun and doctors are starting to see a small number of cases. The Louisiana Department of Health will host flu vaccination clinics until December in all parts of the state and residents can visit LDH’s website for locations and dates. The flu shot is free for individuals with insurance and 10 dollars for those without insurance.

 

Sasol announces they have hired their 500th employee to support its new 11 billion dollar ethane cracker and derivatives project in Calcasieu Parish and plans to hire at least 200 new employees over the next two years. Kim Cusimano with Sasol says they’ve been working towards this goal for several years. 93-percent of those hired are Louisiana residents and 83-percent are Calcasieu Parish residents. Sasol partnered with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles to help fill positions. These careers have an average salary of 80-thousand dollars.

 

Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garret Graves authored legislation seeking to protect Cajuns, saying they are endangered, because of coastal land loss.  He is pushing for them to be protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Graves believes the federal government has been mismanaging the Mississippi River system for years, endangering the Cajun’s way of life. Following discussion on the floor and some good natured jabbing, Graves withdrew his amendment from consideration.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards says 100 pallets of donated goods will be sent to Puerto Rico.  Parishes across the state have been collecting the items for the past couple of weeks.  Over 400-thousand packaged items including diapers and baby wipes will be sent to help Hurricane Maria survivors.  300 members of the Louisiana National Guard have been sent to Puerto Rico.

 

Two Baton Rouge school students are in trouble after a BB gun they allegedly brought to school discharged Friday.  Police say the incident happened after students were traveling back to School following a field trip.  The male 9th grader who brought the weapon tossed it to a female 9th grade student, that’s when the weapon sischarged striking another student. Both were charged with Negligent Injury and Illegal Carry of a Weapon on school property.

 

Halloween is only two weeks away and Louisiana residents are rushing to find the hottest costume. Store manager for Halloween Express in Baton Rouge DeMarcus Cox says the most popular costume this year is Pennywise the Clown from the movie It.

 

The LSU Tigers are once again ranked in the Top 25 polls after their historic come from behind win over Auburn. LSU trailed by 20 points, but roared back to beat their SEC West rival 27-23. The defense held Auburn to 64 yards in the 2nd half. It’s the Tigers largest come from behind win at home since 1949. LSU is now 5-2, 2-1 in the SEC.

 

The Saints nearly blew a 35-point lead, but an opportunistic Black and Gold defense preserved a 52-38 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Saints defense, which looked very bad at the beginning of the season, forced five turnovers and scored a franchise record three touchdowns in one game. The Saints have won three in a row and for the first time since 2013 they have a winning record at 3-2.

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News for Friday 101317

By Dave Graichen

 

A serial killer in Louisiana?  Police have arrested a Clinton man whom they believe is responsible for the deaths of three men and the injuring of yet another in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes since July.  Police say 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe is expected to be charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. The big question now is what led Sharp to killing the men and what if anything they have in common other than their age. 

 

Investigators are seeking answers in the death of an eight month old child left in a car for several hours.    Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dawn Panepinto says the child’s guardian never dropped off the child to a day care center and when they returned to the daycare to pick up the toddler, it was discovered the infant was still in the vehicle. She says the guardian is cooperating with police.

 

Tomorrow is Election Day in Louisiana and the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Secretary of State Tom Schedler predicts about a 15-percent turnout statewide. He expects turnout in Orleans Parish to be a little higher, as New Orleans has a big mayoral election. 13 parishes in the state only have the treasurer’s race and three constitutional amendments on the ballot.  In Rapides parish, Fire Protection Dists. No. 4 and 7 have 10 year Rededications. In Road Dist. No. 2B (Ward 11) - 10 Mills tax for 10 Years.

 

With all the destruction due to numerous fires in California, people can become concerned in Louisiana about the threat for wildfires. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says Caddo, Desoto, Webster and West Carroll Parishes are currently under burn bans with much of the state in moderate danger of fires. He warns if you have to burn, do so only if necessary.

 

Members of the Louisiana House met Thursday to learn about budget issues.  Louisiana faces a fiscal cliff when one-point-38-billion-dollars in temporary revenue ends July 1.  Minden Representative Gene Reynolds says they all know what the problem is and they know there are no easy solutions.  Alexandria Representative Lance Harris says they had a very positive response from members.  Over half of the 103 members attended the meeting.

 

Former Monroe TV children’s show personality Frank Selas will stand trial on child molestation charges on February 5th. That’s the word from his attorney Mike Small. Selas, also known as Mr. Wonder, allegedly raped a child during a 1979 camping trip in Rapides Parish. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

 

University of Louisiana at Monroe has made a statement concerning offensive comments made on a private internet group exchange.  President Nick Bruno says they have suspended the fraternity Kappa Sigma Pledge for the comments.  Bruno says, he is quote “angry and embarrassed that students of the institution chose to conduct themselves in this manner.”  He adds that a thorough investigation will be conducted and appropriate actions will be taken.

 

The Boy Scouts of America have made the decision to allow girls into the organization and allow them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of Southeast Louisiana Ernesto Carballo says this is a great opportunity for females but isn’t much of a change from what they’ve already been doing. Carballo says many people don’t know that girls are already included in many Boy Scout programs. He says the only change now will be that parents don’t have to run between meetings for their daughters and sons.

 

With the Louisiana black bear population increasing, the likelihood of bear-versus-human encounters grows. State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries bear expert Maria Davidson says there’s a new website called bear-wise-dot-org, which helps people who have never had to deal with bears before. The black bear was officially moved from the protected list in April of 2016.

 

Former LSU Head Coach Les Miles says he’s looking forward to his return to Tiger Stadium this weekend as the 10-year-anniversary of the 2007 National Championship team is honored. He says he’ll be honored to stand with that team again. The reunion will be Miles’ first return to Tiger Stadium since his firing in September of last year. The Hat says when LSU called and invited him to be part of the celebration, he immediately said yes. Kickoff for LSU vs. Auburn is scheduled for 2:30pm.

 

A victory this Sunday over the Detroit Lions will give the Saints a winning record for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. Sunday’s game could be high scoring. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has nine touchdown passes, while Brees has thrown for eight.

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News for Thursday 101217

By Dave Graichen

 

The State AG’s office reports two Rapides Parish men have been charged with child pornography offenses. 35 year old Gabriel Gunter of Lecompte and 57 year old Michael Wayne Tipton of Alexandria remain in the Rapides Parish Detention Center after their arrests by the AG's Cyber Crime and Fugitive Apprehension units.

 

Opening statements were heard yesterday in the trial of Antonio Boyd, the so called head of the Triple M Murder team. Boyd is charged with second-degree murder, racketeering, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Because of the complexities surrounding the case, it is expected the trial will last more than two weeks.

 

Louisiana House members will hold a closed door retreat today in order to try to find a fix for a one-billion-dollar plus state budget gap.  Alexandria Representative and GOP House Leader Lance Harris says he and Democratic chairman Gene Reynolds thought it would be a good idea to discuss their options. Harris hopes that a bi-partisan plan can be approved.  He says this retreat is just one step in what will be many toward a solution. A temporary one-cent sales tax will expire in July 2018, which will leave the state with a budget deficit of over one billion dollars. 

 

Ten current and former LSU students were booked on charges Wedbesday in connection with the suspected hazing death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver. All of the individuals are facing a misdemeanor hazing charge and one of them, 18-year-old Matthew Naquin of Texas, also faces a negligent homicide charge

 

Sean Pennison is one of the ten LSU students arrested as part of the investigation into Max Gruver’s death. His Attorney Franz Borghardt says it’s extremely hard for these students as Max was their friend. He says Pennison is not being charged with Gruver’s death, only hazing. If found guilty of the misdemeanor, Pennison and the others could serve up to 30 days in jail.

 

Four fraternities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have been suspended in the wake of LSU student Maxwell Gruver’s death. ULL Dean of Students Margarita Perez says after Gruver’s death, more students are willing now to come forward and report hazing. ULL suspended the four fraternities for an investigation but no word has been released on what occurred. During the summer, Kappa Sigma, was expelled from the UL-Lafayette campus.

 

CenturyLink’s next chief executive tells the USA Today Network he will not live in Louisiana, but plans to keep the company’s headquarters in Monroe for now. Jeff Storey takes over as the leader of the Fortune 500 telecommunications company in 2019. The company and the state have a contract that requires Centurylink to remain headquartered in Louisiana through at least 2020. Centurylink employs over 27-hundred people in Louisiana.

 

The CDC reports Louisiana had the second highest rate of HIV in 2016. Deputy Director for the Louisiana STD/HIV Program Chaquetta Johnson says they are aggressively tackling this epidemic. She says they have partnered with each office of public health and also with community and parish leaders to educate the public on these diseases. Louisiana is ranked second in the country when it comes to the high rates of STDs for the third year in a row.

 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation has received an additional 60-million-dollars from the federal government for highway projects. Each year, the Federal Highway Administration allocates road repair funds not used by other states or national programs.  DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the money will be used to fix several bridges

 

Former Saints and LSU star Tracy Porter has been arrested on drug and domestic battery charges.  Sgt. Don Coppola with the Baton Rouge Police Department says the victim visited Porter trying to get her keys back.  That’s when an argument started.

Porter was arrested on charges of battery of dating partner, possession of marijuana and distribution of schedule II drugs.

 

The 2007 LSU championship team will be honored at halftime this Saturday in Death Valley during the game between the Tigers and Auburn. Members of the ’07 squad and former Coach Les Miles are all slated to attend the reunion on the field. About 65-70 former team members have also agreed to come.

 

The Ragin Cajuns play in front of a national television audience tonight when they host Texas State in a Sun Belt contest. The Bobcats are 1-and-5 and winless in league play. But Louisiana Coach Mark Hudspeth says Texas State has played better than what their record indicates. The Cajuns struggled on defense in their first four games, but looked much better in the win over Idaho last Saturday.

 

Saints Coach Sean Payton calls the trade of running back Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals a “win-win” situation. Payton says the emergence rookie running back Alvin Kamara made it difficult to get Peterson the number of snaps he needs to be successful. The Saints will receive a conditional draft pick in next year’s draft from Arizona in exchange for Peterson. Payton says the Saints still have enough running backs on the roster to get through the season. The Saints host the Lions on Sunday.

 

Thursday night NFL tonight. It’s the Carolina Panthers and The Philadelphia Eagles. Here the game starting at 7 on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

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News for Wednesday 101117

By Dave Graichen

 

Alexandria Police arrested an employee at Rapides Regional Medical Center for allegedly raping a patient who is suffering from dementia. It’s been reported another employee caught 27-year-old Juantavies White of Alexandria in the act. White has been charged with first-degree rape. The investigation is ongoing.

 

The Rapides Parish Fair officially gets underway today and will continue through Sunday. As of right now, the weather looks perfect for the entire run. The hours today will be from  4-11, Thursday 3-11, Friday and Saturday the fair will run til 11:30 each evening and until 8pm Sunday.. Discount tickets are still available at the Cenla Broadcasting Studios at 1115 Texas avenue $25 (cash only) for 50 Tickets. That’s 50% off. The hours 9 to 4 today and tomorrow.

 

The Morning Consult group says that President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have dropped some, but only two percent in Louisiana.  U-L-M  Political Science professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says the drop from a 59 percent approval in January to 57 percent now is not a big deal… The president’s approval rating in Louisiana is still the fourth highest in the country.

 

Champion Home Builders announces a manufactured housing production facility will be established in the Vernon Parish town of Leesville. Mayor Rick Allen says these jobs are desperately needed and will provide good wages and benefits to employees. He says the project will create 200 direct jobs and 218 indirect jobs.

 

As a result of criminal justice reform measures passed in the last legislative session, 14-hundred inmates in Louisiana will be released early from prison in November. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said last week that some extremely dangerous criminals could be back on our streets. But Criminal Justice Reform Field Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center John Burkhardt says no one convicted of sex crimes, manslaughter or murder will be released early as a result of the legislation approved earlier this year. He says the new sentencing laws accelerate the release mechanism for inmates on good time parole.

 

The N-F-L has been more about the National Anthem than the game itself recently.   Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams, specifying that all players and coaches quote – “should stand for the National Anthem.”  N-F-L analyst Mike Detellier says it’s sad team owners didn’t force the issue prior to Goodell’s memo. Detellier says President Donald Trump’s remarks about the N-F-L helped to keep the controversy alive and has proved to be problematic for the league

 

Lafayette police say they have arrested a Baton Rouge man in connection with the death of a woman injected with silicone.  23-year-old Brionna Guillory died after allegedly receiving the injections from 33-year-old Vincent Jamal Boles. Lafayette Police Corporal Karl Ratcliff says the silicone traveled throughout Guillory’s body to her heart and lungs.

 

Monroe-based Flying Tiger Brewery will donate a portion of the revenues from their latest brew, War Hawk, to scholarships through the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation. Flying Tiger Co-owner Robert Brewer says they want to help ULM because the school doesn’t get the credit it deserves, aside from academics.

 

High school students from across the state will be designing the new Louisiana Seafood logo.  The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education to let students design the new logo.  Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says it’s a good way for students to use the creative skills they have learned. Submissions will be accepted through December 15th and is open to all high school students in Louisiana.  The winner will be announced in April 2018.

 

The father for wounded East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tullier says his son is making remarkable progress.  Tullier was seriously injured during a police ambush in Baton Rouge in July 2016.   James Tullier says his son has been moved from a rehab facility in Houston to the Transitional Learning Center in Galveston, Texas, marking an important point in his recovery. James Tullier says his son is continuing to beat the odds so much so that doctor’s predictions on the final outcome have long been surpassed…

 

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is alerting parents, guardians and consumers there are several child products that have been recently recalled. Landry has a list on his website. Among the items that are listed…Strollers by Delta, Activity Toys by Manhattan Toy, Children’s Pajamas by Sweet Bamboo and Nightlight Soothers by Skip Hop.

 

Future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson is no longer a Saint. New Orleans has traded the veteran to Arizona for a conditional draft pick. Peterson had trouble fitting in with the Saints as he only ran the ball 27 times for 81 yards, while the Cardinals have been looking for a running back since losing David Johnson to a wrist injury in the season opener.

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News for Tuesday 101017

By Dave Graichen

 

State Police are investigating a fatal crash on I-10 eastbound near Butte La Rose in St. Martin Parish, where an 18-wheeler was engulfed in flames Monday morning. State Police say the driver of the big rig drove off the interstate into a bridge and traveled down the road before the truck overturned and burst into flames. Master Trooper Brooks David says emergency crews needed several hours to clean up the mess which included a load of potatoes. Officials confirmed the driver of the truck was killed in the crash.

 

Baton Rouge-area law enforcement are investigating a shooting Monday that killed a camp ranger at the Avondale Scout Reservation in Clinton and its possible link to three other shootings over the last four months. The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Brad DeFrancheschi (De-Fran Chess-Key). Authorities say the man was close to the road when he was shot multiple times in front of his home. The Monday shooting happened on the same road less than 10 miles away from where a Sept. 12 drive-by shooting injured, but didn't kill a 47-year-old man who was exercising near the roadside on his property.

 

The formation of Tropical Storm Ophelia in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean makes it 15 named storms during this very active Atlantic hurricane season. The good news is, the storm is moving away from the U.S. mainland.

 

Election Day is less than a week away for the special election to select a new State Treasurer. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says usually we see numerous ads in the days leading up to an election, but this quiet race to remain quiet. The state treasurer’s race features three Republican candidates, who have been able to raise some money. There’s also a Democrat, but he has failed to receive the endorsement of his own party. Pinsonat says none of these candidates have enough money to make a huge push before election day.

 

Financial help is being provided for the family of a slain Lafayette Police Officer. 44-year-old Corporal Michael Middlebrook was killed last week in the line of. Community Foundation of Acadiana President Raymond Hebert says the support towards the family has been incredible. Donations may be made through the website cfacadiana.org

 

Former LSU and pro Hall of Fame quarterback, Y.A. Tittle, passed away Sunday night at the age of 90, the school confirmed today. Tittle was a two-time All SEC quarterback when he played for LSU. He enjoyed his greatest team success by leading the Giants to three straight Eastern Conference titles, passing for 86 touchdowns between 1961 and 1963.

 

The University of Louisiana System has set a goal to graduate 150-thousands students by 2025. U-L System President Jim Henderson says if this can be accomplished by the nine universities in the system, these students will be the most educated generation in Louisiana history. Henderson says it’s time Louisiana started to invest more in its students. He says we need to focus more on the outcomes of investments, rather than what it costs on the front end.

 

Iberville Parish leaders will discuss a proposed law on October 17th that would prevent an individual from damaging or defacing the nation’s or the state’s flag. Councilman Matthew Jewell says last Veterans Day, a group of people ripped down and burned an American flag. He says the veterans were extremely upset about it so he decided to take action. Jewell says strong penalties would come along with the ordinance.

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News for Monday 100917

By Dave Graichen

 

Early voting for the October 14th election, which ended on Saturday, was very light. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the turnout for the election this Saturday might be even lower than 20-percent. The ballot includes a special election for state treasurer, a south Louisiana Public Service Commission seat, three constitutional amendments and the general New Orleans mayoral race, where 18 candidates are running. 

 

Hurricane Nate steered east of New Orleans after making a double landfall Saturday night, first in Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River then again nearby just outside Biloxi. The storm's winds never reached the Category 2 strength that forecasters had suggested could happen, and New Orleans was spared the storm's brunt. But, we’re not out of the woods yet. A Tropical disturbance formed Sunday in Atlantic. Forecasters say it has a 70 percent chance of developing.

 

Now that Hurricane Nate is a memory for Louisiana, what will that mean for gas prices?  Oil rigs from Louisiana to Alabama were shut down and the industry hasn’t fully recovered from Hurricane Harvey in August.  Don Redman from Triple-A says any increase in prices we see will be short lived. Refineries are also gearing up to switch from the summer blend to winter grade gasoline, which Redman says could affect prices. Despite the storm, Redman says drivers are paying more on average than we have for the past several years.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has identified A body found in Buhlow Lake as that of 62 year old Philip Brandt III of Alexandria. Boaters found Brandt's body around 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Brandt was pronounced dead at the scene. A red kayak and a paddle that belonged to Brandt were found about 100 yards away from his body. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

 

With the decline in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, any hope of exporting Louisiana goods is shrinking.  A year ago, Governor John Bel Edwards and State Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain led a delegation from Louisiana to Cuba to strength the relationship between the Bayou State and the island nation. Strain says if the trade embargo with Cuba is lifted it could mean millions of dollars for the state and the ag industry, so he’s hopeful the diplomatic relations can be restored.

 

The Florida Gators paid tribute to Tom Petty during Saturday's 17-16 home loss to LSU.

Petty's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down" played over the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium sound system between the third and fourth quarters on Saturday. To the dismay of some Florida fans, that was also the same time the LSU band started playing. Gators fans were not amused. Petty , who died last week, was born and raised in Gainesville, Petty once worked as a groundskeeper at the University of Florida as he tried to make it in the music industry.

 

After suffering the program’s first loss against a team from the Sun Belt Conference, the LSU Tigers bounced back with a 17-16 win victory over Florida in the Swamp. It was a hard fought victory for the Tigers, who finished with three freshmen on the offensive line because of injuries.

 

Louisiana Tech also suffered a tough loss on Saturday as UAB blocked a 30-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to preserve a 23-22 win over the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech was a big favorite to win the game.

 

The Ragin Cajuns snapped a three-game losing streak by going on the road and beating Idaho 21-16

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News for Friday 100617

By Dave Graichen

 

Nate continues to make its way to the Gulf Coast with Louisiana in its sights.  David Zelinsky (Zuh-lin-ski) with the National Hurricane Center says Gulf Coast residents need to remain alert this weekend. The good news is Nate will not be as strong a storm as Harvey, Irma or Maria. This will be the fourth named storm to reach U.S. Landfall this year. 

 

Governor John Bel Edwards held his first briefing on Nate and said they do anticipate that Louisiana will take a direct hit when it makes landfall. He says the state is prepared, but people need to pay attention. Edwards says Nate is expected to impact the area early Sunday morning, as either a strong tropical storm, or category one hurricane. He says that could change at any time, and he encourages residents to monitor the updates, and follow directions you’re given from local authorities. Edwards says he has asked President Donald Trump to declare a pre-landfall state of emergency in Louisiana.

 

The Grand Isle Mayor has issued a voluntary evacuation order, as the island is expecting 4 to 5 inches of rain; and unusually high tides. Grand Isle schools will be closed Friday and Monday.

 

Nate is affecting some sports events in Louisiana.  The LSU-Florida game is still on in Gainesville, but other games have been affected.  Tulane will now play Tulsa at 11am, Nicholls State versus Northwestern State will kick off at 11am in Thibodaux  instead of 6:30.  And the Southeastern Louisiana-Incarnate Word contest in Hammond begins at 10am…

 

State Police have arrested a St. Joseph mother for allegedly murdering her newborn and putting him in the dumpster. The one day old boy was found Monday in front of an elementary school. Senior Trooper Michael Reichardt says 21-year-old Alicia Richard is charged with first degree murder.  An autopsy has been performed on the infant and the cause of death is ruled to be blunt force trauma.  Bond is set at 200-thousand-dollars

 

Governor John Bel Edwards can’t understand why Congress didn’t include 2016 Louisiana flood victims in legislation that gives this year’s hurricane victims special disaster tax breaks. The bill has five tax relief provisions. Edwards says Congress should not pit storm victims against one another.

 

Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says the 192 felons that will be released early from prison next month in Caddo Parish is due to new laws. He says Louisiana does need some reform but.  During a news conference in Shreveport today, Prator gave examples of the kind of inmates that will be set free next month as a result of the new laws laws. The Sheriff says he knows of one prisoner who will be let out seven years early who should not be out on the streets.

 

Former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson is set to be released from his 13-year prison sentence for taking bribes. A federal judge says seven out of ten counts against Jefferson are now invalid. The feds must now decide if they want to pursue the remaining 3 counts.  Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino says the ruling is based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s corruption case .Ciolino says Jefferson’s time in prison might be done based on yesterday’s ruling.

 

New data from InsuranceQuotes finds Louisianans who bundle their auto and home insurance could save an average of nearly 600 dollars a year. Senior insurance analyst Laura Adams says if you own a home and are a driver in the Bayou State, you can save about 19-percent on insurance. Adams says it’s a good idea to shop around with different providers.

 

 

The LSU Tigers are ranked as the nation’s fifth most-valuable college football program in a report out of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. The analysis, by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance, broke down each team’s available revenue and expenses from 2016. He found that if the Tigers were for sale, they’d be worth about $911 million dollars.

 

The LSU Tigers take on No. 21 Florida tomorrow on the road, and not many people are giving The Bayou Bengals much of a chance in the Swamp. Associate Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says if LSU wants to start winning games, they are going to have to start playing a lot better. This is the game that was supposed to be played in Baton Rouge, but Hurricane Matthew forced the 2016 contest to be moved from Gainesville.

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News for Thursday 100517

By Dave Graichen

 

Norris Greenhouse Jr. was sentenced to seven and half years Wednesday for his role in the shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.  The former Marksville Marshal pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and malfeasance in office.  An earlier trial stemming from the incident resulted in Derrick Stafford, another ex-Marshal, being sentenced to 40 years for manslaughter.  The shooting victim’s father, Christopher Few says he’s glad there will not be another trial.

 

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting the development of a hurricane develop in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Right now, the system called Tropical Depression 16 is near Central America, but it will head north in the coming days. The current forecast track has what could be Hurricane Nate making landfall as a Category One storm anywhere between the Mississippi-Alabama line to Tampa, Florida.

 

Authorities in Winn Parish report a huge drug bust .  Local and federal authorities have indicted 21 people after a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in Winn Parish. Eleven of the defendants were indicted on federal charges, and 10 face state charges. All but one of the 21 are in custody.

 

Rapides Parish School Board employees will receive an extra $297 check on Nov. 17.

The money represents excess collections from a half-cent sales tax passed last year to give school system employees raises. Board members voted Tuesday to distribute the roughly $1.2 million next month ahead of Thanksgiving and the approaching holiday season.  School Board employees received a similar excess check in May.

 

Visitation is today for fallen Lafayette Police Officer Cpl. Michael Middlebrook who was killed during an exchange of gunfire at a convenience store last weekend. Police Chief Toby Aguillard says Middlebrook was born in Thibodeaux and had a stellar nine year career with Lafayette PD. Middlebrook was allegedly shot by 28-year-old Ian Howard who is in jail without bond and charged with first degree murder.

 

State Police are awaiting autopsy results on an infant that was found dead in a dumpster in Tensas Parish. Media reports say the grisly discovery was made at Tensas Elementary School. Senior Trooper Michael Reichardt says once the autopsy is completed they’ll have a better idea as to what happened.

 

Allergy sufferers might be suffering a bit due to the hot and humid conditions over the past few weeks. Doctor Sanjay (CAM-BO-JUH) Kamboj, an allergy expert at LSU Health New Orleans says those with allergies should use saline nasal spray twice a day, and follow that with nasal steroids. He also recommends keeping windows and doors closed and running the air conditioner to help filter out allergens.

 

The LSU fraternity pledge who died last month may have drank an excessive amount of alcohol during a drinking game according to Police records.  Legal analyst Tim Meche says although there is Louisiana law to hold someone responsible for causing an overdose by injecting illegal drugs, there is no such law for alcohol.  Because of this Meche says the fraternity members involved should avoid felony charges. Max Gruver died after a night of playing the game called “Bible Study” in which pledges had to drink for incorrect answers to questions about the frat.

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News for Wednesday 100417

By Dave Graichen

 

Thoughts and prayers going out to the family of 20 year old Specialist Alexander Missildine, a soldier based at Fort Polk. Missildine was killed and another soldier was injured in Iraq Sunday when an IED detonated near their convoy. Missildine was from Tyler, Texas and was a motor transport operator. He served with 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

 

A broad area of low pressure has formed over the southwestern Caribbean Sea and it’s expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it has a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression by this weekend. Forecasters are also watching a trough of low pressure over Cuba.

 

The State Police are investigating an officer involved shooting death during a traffic stop in Ouachita Parish Monday afternoon.  The OPSO report says the driver pulled a gun from his waistband and one of two deputies at the scene fired a fatal bullet killing the suspect. A passenger in the vehicle, 35-year-old William Underwood, was later taken into custody and is facing multiple charges.

 

Saints Coach Sean Payton says current gun laws are flawed and frustrating as he spoke about gun control in light of the massacre that occurred in Las Vegas. In a conference call with beat reporters, Payton says the current system in our country right now is not working and that there has to be a better way. Payton says if people don’t like his position for common sense gun control, that’s tough.

 

Louisiana is set to receive 55-million dollars in federal grant money to improve the reading and writing skills of struggling students. State department of education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says the state will receive 18.5 million dollars each year for the next three years. State officials say only 36-percent of Louisiana children are able to read and write on grade level by fourth grade. Dunn says this grant will accelerate the learning of all students reading below grade level.

 

Police reports say the LSU fraternity pledge who died last month may have been forced to drink an excessive amount of alcohol as part of an initiation ritual called “Bible Study.” Phi Delta Theta pledges who gave incorrect answers to questions about the frat were forced to drink. Officials believe 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver’s death is a possible hazing incident.

 

What Houma natives Holly and Tracy Pitre thought would be an evening of dancing and fun at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas turned into a night of terror. Holly says they are lucky to be at the right place at the right time to avoid being killed or injured as a gunman fired shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalya Bay hotel. The couple are home safe and sound.

 

Police arrested a man in his underwear after he allegedly crashed through a fence at the Slidell Municipal Airport and hit utility pole. Slidell Police Detective Daniel Seuzeneau says 43-year-old Kevin Bolton told his authorities he was on his way to see a voodoo doctor. Bolton has been charged with careless operation and hit and run.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it’s sending the Norwegian Breakaway to sail from New Orleans beginning in November of next year. This will be the largest cruise vessel ever to sail out of The Big Easy. Port of New Orleans spokesperson Donnell Jackson says this ship is over 1,000 feet and will hold about 4,000 passengers. The Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven, ten and 11 day seasonal cruises.

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News for Tuesday 100317

By Dave Graichen

 

An arrest has been made in Sunday night’s shooting death of a Lafayette police officer at a convenience store. 28 year old, Ian Paul Howard was arrested in connection with the death of Officer Michael Middlebrook. Howard is charged with one count of first degree murder of a police officer. State Trooper Brooks (DAH-VEED) David says two people inside the convenience store sustained non-life threatening injuries. Howard was a nine-year veteran of the police force.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statement in response to the Sunday night killing of a Lafayette police officer  as well as the horrific mass shooting that took place at a country music festival Sunday night in Las Vegas. The governor issuing an executive order lowering the Louisiana and American flags over all state public buildings through Friday.

 

One person died and another person was seriously wounded in a shooting on Interstate-20 in Shreveport shortly after midnight Monday. Shreveport authorities say they believe the victims were shot by someone with a rifle. The driver, 22-year-old Kenyon Frazier, was shot multiple times and doctors say he has life-threatening injuries. The deceased person has not been identified.

 

A “Save LSU Football” GoFundMe campaign has been set up to buy out Coach Ed Orgeron and Athletic Director Joe Alleva. But Tiger Rag Editor Cody Worsham says getting rid of Coach O would cost the program $12 million dollars and they’re still paying Les Miles $9 million dollars — plus former men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones and his assistants are also getting buyout money. The Tigers football team is off to a disappointed 3-and-2 start.

 

A self-inflicted gunshot to the head is the cause of death listed on the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s autopsy report for the LSU student whose body was found on Friday evening by hunters.  21 year old, Michael Nickelotte Junior had gone missing on September 18th. The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab used DNA tests to make a positive ID of the remains Monday.

 

State Police say two of their own troopers have been demoted in rank for the expensive road trip they took to a law enforcement conference in San Diego last year. It was determined the troopers took a side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, paid for by taxpayers. The trip cost a reported 19-thousand dollars.

 

A Shreveport TV station is reporting the former mayor of Stanley and current alderwoman of the DeSoto Parish town has died as a result of home explosion that occurred on September 18th. 92-year-old Dwena Henry suffered extensive burns and was at the University Hospital in Shreveport.  The home exploded as a result of a natural gas leak.

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News for Monday 100217

By Dave Graichen

 

Former Marksville city deputy marshal Norris Greenhouse Junior agrees to a plea deal and a seven and a half year prison sentence for the 2015 fatal shooting of a six-year-old boy. Authorities say Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford opened fire on Christopher Few’s car, wounding him and killing his son. Stafford received a 40-year sentence on a manslaughter conviction. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the Few family is likely satisified. Greenhouse plead guilty to negligent homicide and malfeasance in office.

 

Early voting is now under way for the October 14th election. New Orleans has a race for mayor, while south Louisiana voters can vote for candidates for the Public Service Commission. Statewide ballots have three constitutional amendments listed and voters can select from candidates for State Treasurer. Voters can take advantage of early voting until October 7th.

 

We’re coming towards the end of the Atlantic hurricane season but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods just yet. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Louisiana has seen some notable hurricanes in the month of October. He says Hurricane Juan hit our coast in 1985 from October 28th to the 31st. Keim says so far, we’ve had 14 named storms and the Colorado State Forecast Team predicts 16 this season. He says the season technically ends November 30th.

 

State Climatologist Barry Keim says this is one of the driest September’s on record. He says statewide there’s been less one inch of rainfall this month and we usually see an average of over four inches for September. Keim says a lack of tropical activity explains the abnormally dry month.

 

Over three-hundred Louisiana National Guardsmen are set deploy to Puerto Rico to assist after the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria. Governor’s office of homeland security and emergency preparedness spokesperson Mike Steele says GOHSEP and the Guard are also sending an 11-person team to help Puerto Rican officials find housing for displaced citizens. A smaller emergency team will go to the U-S Virgin Islands to help their recovery from Hurricane Irma. Steele says the governor is happy to lend this kind of support.

 

Starting with the freshman class in the fall of 2018, first year LSU students are required to live on campus. Assistant Vice President for Residential Life Steve Waller says they’ve been working towards this goal for a few years because research shows students who live in a dorm their first year of college perform better in school. Waller says many dormitory construction projects are expected to be completed by next fall so there are enough beds to accommodate the increase in freshmen staying on campus.

Students 21 years or older or have medical needs can also be exempt.

 

The search for the missing LSU student turned up a body that authorities think is 21 year old Michael Nickelotte Junior. The body was discovered by hunters off of Ben Hur road, just south of the campus. Investigators do not suspect foul play at this time. DNA tests will be done for a positive ID of the remains. Michael Nickelotte Junior had last been seen on September 18th at a campus apartment complex.

 

An LSU political science professor finds that proactive policing may be counter-productive as a deterrent to major crime. Christopher Sullivan studied a specific seven-week period when the New York Police Department halted aggressive policing against minor crimes and the data shows serious criminal activity dropped. The public complaints of major crime declined by three to six percent during the halt on proactive policing.

 

Sports..

 

After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Saints have put together two consecutive victories. New Orleans dominated the Dolphins 20-0 at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday and head into the bye week with a two-and-two record. Miami only had 185 yards of offense. It was the Saints first shutout since 2012 and for the fourth consecutive game, New Orleans did not have a turnover.

 

LSU’s homecoming celebration was ruined by Troy University, who came into Baton Rouge and upset the once mighty Tigers 24-21. The Trojans took control of the game with a turnover on the first offensive play and then a quick touchdown. At one point, Troy had a 17 point lead. The loss drops LSU’s record to 3-2 and has many fans wondering if this team will be able to qualify for a bowl game.

 

ULM is 2-0 in the Sun Belt Conference after beating Coastal Carolina 51-43 on Saturday. ULM is now 2-and-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Sun Belt for the first time since the 2014 season. The Warhawks are Texas State next Saturday.

 

Louisiana Tech beat South Alabama Saturday 34 to 16 Tech is now 3 and 2 on the season.

 

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News for Friday 092917

By Dave Graichen

 

Early voting begins tomorrow for the October 14th election, but Secretary of State Tom Schedler doesn’t expect a big turnout. Three constitutional amendments, the state treasurer’s race and a few big local elections are on the ballot. However, Schedler says there has not been much publicity. There is also a vacant Public Service Commissioner seat on the ballot for many voters in south Louisiana, as Scott Angelle left his post to work for President Donald Trump. Early voting is from 8:30 am to 6 p.m. and starts Saturday and continues through October 7th, except on Sunday.

 

Voters should be aware of three constitutional amendments on the October 14thballot. Amendment number one establishes a property tax exemption for construction work in progress. Amendment two would give surviving spouses of first responders who died while on duty a property tax exemption. And amendment three would create a construction subfund of the transportation trust fund that would force any new revenue from any future increase in the state gas tax to go towards road and highway construction projects and nothing else.

 

The state Department of Transportation’s Motorist Assistance Patrol Program, or MAP program, is headed to Alexandria to help with serious congestion problems in the region. Deidrea Druilhet with DOTD says the goal of introducing the MAP program to this central Louisiana area is to get traffic back to peak capacity by providing free help to drivers. Druilhet says the MAP program has proven successful in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and New Orleans. She says patrols will be out to assist on local highways, not just I-49.

 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was greeted with a roaring ovation yesterday when  he returned to the U.S. Capitol for the first time since he was shot by a gunman in the left hip The Metairie native says while it was an evil act, he was able to see the goodness of people. 60 minutes will have a feature on Scalise on Sunday night.

 

A UNO statewide poll finds a majority of Louisiana voters believe NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem should be punished. But Researcher Tony Licciardi says there was a stark difference between black and white respondents, 70-percent of whites say they should penalized, while only 34-percent of blacks felt the same. He says big racial divides in polling are not uncommon. The survey also found 49-percent approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance, while 45-percent disapprove.

 

The two suspects wanted in the fatal stabbing of an 82-year-old woman in Shreveport are in a jail in Texas awaiting extradition back to Caddo Parish. Shreveport Police say Roy Narcisse and Kiana Williams of Ville Platte were located in San Angelo, Texas and they were still in possession of the victim’s vehicle.

 

West Baton Rouge officials say a 5 year old Lafayette boy passed away Thursday from the injuries he sustained in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 on Tuesday. Xander Cruz clung to life for two days after an 18 wheeler struck three vehicles on Tuesday. His grandmother says the boy’s organs will be donated to others.

 

One week after multiple Louisiana Sheriff’s Offices announced a lawsuit against several opioid manufacturers, the state Health Department has filed its own lawsuit claiming these drug companies helped fuel a severe opioid epidemic. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says it could be difficult for the plaintiffs in a trial, because opioids are regulated and approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors.

 

Parkway High School in Bossier Parish has told students that any school athlete that kneels or disrespects the flag during the national anthem could be kicked off the team. Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana Marjorie Esman says the laws of our country do not allow the schools to prohibit students from peacefully protesting in this manner. Esman says they haven’t heard of any other school districts prohibiting students from this type of protest. But she says they issued a statement so other schools thinking of taking similar action know what the law is.

 

Sports..

 

LSU faces Troy for homecoming tomorrow night. After losing the season opener to Boise State, the Trojans have won three in a row. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says Troy is not a team you can overlook…LSU is coming off an uninspiring victory over Syracuse. Moran says he’ll look for improved play from the offensive line, after they struggled to pass block last week. You can hear the game starting at 4 on 970 KSYL and 96.9 KZMZ.

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News for Thursday 092817

By Dave Graichen

 

Cleco announces a new two year, 130-million dollar project to improve customer service and it will also help stimulate the economy. Spokesperson Jennifer Cahill says they are calling it the START program and it will create 221 jobs, as they will replace Cleco’s core technology of multiple systems with one primary system.  She says the START program will improve efficiency and also help the state and local economies.

 

Crime Stoppers is asking for information on the robbery of the South Circle Pawn shop in Alexandria last Thursday. The APD reports a large quantity on fire arms were taken in the overnight robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 443-7867 or go to rpso.org/crime-stoppers. A reward is being offered and all information is confidential.

 

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says although he’s on an official trip in Europe to promote Louisiana tourism, he’s decided to not attend the Saints Sunday game at Wembley Stadium. This is due to some Saints players failing to stand for the national anthem. Nungesser says he’s worked with people who have lost loved ones in war.

Nungesser says he won’t support anyone who disrespects the national anthem.

 

Meanwhile, though some lawmakers have called on the state to cut tax benefits to the Saints organization Senate President John Alario says that would be just as un-American as not standing for the anthem. Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s unfortunate to see NFL players not stand for national anthem, but that doesn’t mean the state can end its current agreement with the Saints.

 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot at a Republican Congressional Baseball team practice last June, will appear on 60 minutes Sunday to discuss his road to recovery.

 

St. Bernard Parish authorities say a 56-year-old man attacked his ex-wife with an ax as she left her home for work Wednesday morning, killing her. 48-year-old Kimberly Owens suffered fatal injuries as her mother watched from the home. The sheriff says Kimberly Owens had a restraining order against Mark Owens, who turned himself in.

 

Shreveport police detectives are trying to determine who fatally stabbed an 82-year-old woman who lived alone. Kathleen Cates was pronounced dead at the scene, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Neighbors say a man and woman performed yard work at the home before she was killed. They are considered persons of interest.

 

17-year-old Vincent Cummings has been arrested in connection to the death of an 8-month-old girl in Baton Rouge. Sgt. Don Coppola says Cummings admitted to police that 8-month-old Katelyn Carter was acting strange so he picked the child up and squeezed her extremely hard. He is charged with second degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile.

 

Lake Charles Police have charged a former Angola prison inmate with the fatal shooting of a 10-year-old child and his 17 year old brother who was also injured in the shooting incident. Authorities arrested 50-year-old Felton Thompson in New Orleans overnight. He served 24 years in Angola for armed robbery. A motive for last weekend’s shooting is not known.

 

Sports..

 

Defensive end Cam Jordan was one of the ten Saints players who sat during last Sunday’s playing of the national anthem prior to the victory against Carolina. Jordan says he respects the flag and our troops and he loves everything about our country, but he felt they needed to do something after President Donald Trump said players should be fired for protesting during the anthem. Jordan says the demonstrations are to highlight social injustices that occur in America and they are not trying to create a rift, but they are pushing for unity.

 

Quarterback Drew Brees says if you’re an American, you should stand with your hand over your hear during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Brees says before this Sunday’s Dolphins game in London, the team plans on being unified during the national anthem.

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News for Wednesday 092717

By Dave Graichen

 

Jury selection will begin on Monday morning in Marksville as scheduled in the trial of Norris Greenhouse Jr. The attorney for Greenhouse asked the 12th district court, due to the extreme media coverage of the story, to move the trial during a hearing on Monday. Yesterday, Judge William Bennett ruled the only way to know if Greenhouse can receive a fair trial in Avoyelles Parish is to question potential jurors. Greenhouse faces charges of attempted second-degree and second-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2015, shooting of Christopher Few and his son, Jeremy Mardis.

 

The latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act pushed by Senator Bill Cassidy is over for now as the votes are not there in the U.S Senate. However, Cassidy says on a bi-partisan level, lawmakers believe Obamacare is not doing well, so he’s not giving up. Cassidy’s bill would have given block grant health care funding to states for them to decide how to use it.

 

Now that Senate GOP leaders have decided not to vote on a bill that would repeal Obamacare, Louisiana’s Junior Senator John Kennedy says it’s time for Congress to focus on tax reform. He says cutting taxes is the only thing that will get the economy moving again. Kennedy says citizens are taxed on just about every single thing they do, and over-regulation is strangling the economy. He says his goal is to implement tax cuts, both for middle class Americans and for businesses, by November.

 

The push back continues over the decision by ten Saints players not to stand for the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game against Carolina. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser told two media outlets he’s boycotting the team. Nungesser says not standing for the anthem is un-American and offensive to the military.

 

Another lawmaker has voiced her disapproval of multiple Saints players refusing to stand for the national anthem. Denham Springs Representative Valarie Hodges wants to examine the team’s agreement with Louisiana that contains state subsidies. She’s called for a discussion to take place during next month’s legislative budget meeting.

Hodges says the American flag is not a political symbol for NFL players to use to protest. She says it’s un-American to see players kneel, some with their fists in the air.

 

It’s been a month since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, and gas prices are slowly starting to go down after about 28% of refining capacity was knocked out because of the storm. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, says with the switch-over to winter-blend gasoline, demand beginning to slow and Gulf Coast refineries coming back, consumers can expect to see much lower prices at the pump next month.

 

5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham will hold a listening session on Friday morning at Rayville High School to receive input from farmers and ag leaders on what they want included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Abraham wants to know what is working and what could be improved. State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and the Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson will attend the listening session.

 

East Baton Rouge authorities found a body underneath a truck early Tuesday morning.  Now, Stephen Herbert is charged with DWI and negligent homicide in the death of his brother Kirk Hebert.  EBR Sheriff spokesperson Casey Hicks says Stephen Hebert admitted that he and his brother had been drinking.   She says that beyond that, the suspect did not remember much.

 

Lafayette Police say an Oklahoma man broke into a woman’s home, sexually assaulted her and forced her to withdraw money from an ATM. Corporal Karl Ratcliff says 22-year-old Devon Bell had only been in the area for a few days. The victim alerted police after the suspect fled from her vehicle.

 

An Arcadia Councilwoman faces up to 10 years in prison after she was convicted of stealing water bill payments when she served as the town’s clerk. Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street says Patricia Hampton used the public’s money for her own personal use. Hampton will be sentenced on November eighth and she’s been automatically suspended from public office, pending an appeal.

 

Five teenagers are accused of damaging over 50 Christmas trees at the Shady Pond Farm in St. Tammany Parish. Owner Clarke Gernon says 10 trees were destroyed during Labor Day weekend and the perpetrators came back last weekend, but this time the state forestry department set up motion-detection cameras and the vandalism was caught on video. Gernon says damage was in excess of six thousand dollars.

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News for Tuesday 092617

By Dave Graichen

 

A total of six suspects have now been charged in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old De'Juan Ledet last Wednesday on Duhon lane. Two were charged the day after the shooting, while two more were charged over the weekend. Monday afternoon,  the APD announced 17 year old Donerious Roy and 19-year-old Devontae Chism were being booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery.  The department arrested 19-year-old Marcel Jones and an unidentified 16-year-old over the weekend.

 

A hearing was held yesterday on a change of venue in the case of Norris Greenhouse Jr.  Last week, Greenhouse, Jr.'s attorney, George Higgins, filed a motion for a change of venue citing too much pretrial publicity. Greenhouse faces a murder and attempted murder charge for the 2015 death of 6 year old Jeremy Mardis and the shooting of his father, Chris Few. Following the hearing, no decision was made by Judge William Bennett, but a decision could come as soon as today.

 

Once again Louisiana ranks in the top five for the rate of women who are murdered by men. The Violence Policy Center looked at the latest data available, which is 2015, and found the rate in Louisiana is double the national average and the Bayou State has the third highest rating in the country. Executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Mariah Wineski, says one factor is inadequate funding for domestic violence services, for those seeking immediate safety.  Another factor is easy firearm access for abusers. She says state and federal law prohibit many abusers from possessing firearms, but Louisiana lacks any consistent process for actually implementing these prohibitions.

 

Ten Saints players sat on the bench during the national anthem prior to the team’s win over Carolina, now a state lawmaker says it’s time for Louisiana to stop giving the professional franchise taxpayer dollars. St. Francisville Representative Kenny Havard says these players have a right to protest, but they should not do it during the anthem.

The Saints receive millions of dollars in tax dollars, exemptions and credits.

 

Dozens of NFL players didn’t stand during the anthem following comments made by President Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama. Mr. Trump said the NFL should fire players who sit or knee during the anthem. Saints QB Drew Brees disagrees with the President. But Brees wishes the protests for social inequality didn’t involve sitting during the anthem.

 

A 10-year-old was killed and a teenager was injured in a shooting that happened Sunday night in Lake Charles. Deputy Chief Mark Kraus says this is not a case where two children were playing with a gun and it accidentally discharged. He says someone shot these kids. The 10-year-old child that died is Jaylyn Citizen and the 17-year-old is in stable condition, after undergoing surgery.

 

State Police say a 7 year old was killed in a single vehicle crash in St. Charles parish.  Trooper Melissa Matey says they believe the driver, 32 year old Islam Ezzo was impaired when he ran off of the roadway. State Police say the child was not properly restrained.

 

Six Winnfield Senior High School students were recognized on the House floor by Congressman Ralph Abraham after serving as pallbearers for a World War II veteran. 93-year-old Thomas Hunter had no close family so the football players stepped up after learning about the situation. Abraham says this is an inspiring story about a community rallying to honor a hero.

 

There’s yet another reality show with northeast Louisiana ties that is quickly becoming the latest TV craze. Rednecks 4 Hire follows three men who do nasty jobs that nobody else wants to deal with. David Yelton says he and Mike Myers and Kevin Dodd will do almost anything. Yelton says the three of them know each other from church, and decided to work together to help people out. He says everything you see on the show actually happened the exact way it’s presented. Yelton says so far they’ve filmed 6 episodes which air on the CW at 6:30am on Saturdays, and 12:30pm on Sundays. You can also watch the show through their YouTube Channel

 

Sports..

 

25th ranked LSU continues preparations today for its final nonconference game of the year as the Tigers will host Troy on Saturday night. Last week, LSU focused on not committing penalties and they only had three called against in the Syracuse game. Head Coach Ed Orgeron says they look to get more consistent on offense this week.

 

LSU has announced the game time for the away Florida game on October 7th. The Gators and Tigers will kickoff in The Swamp at 2:30pm central time on CBS.

 

 

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News for Monday 092517

By Dave Graichen

 

A hearing is set for today on a motion to change the venue of Norris Greenhouse Jr.’s trial. He and Derrick Stafford, former Marksville City Marshals, are accused in the death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. Stafford was already convicted for attempted manslaughter and manslaughter in Avoyelles Parish. Legal Analyst Tim Meche believes there’s a good chance Greenhouse’s trial will be moved, due to a glut of publicity. Greenhouse is facing charges of attempted second degree murder in the injuring of the father, Christopher Few, and second degree murder for the death of Mardis.

 

Arizona Senator John McCain has announced he opposes the health care bill that’s co-authored by Louisiana’s senior senator Bill Cassidy. In a statement, McCain says we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats. D-C observers say McCain’s opposition is a significant setback in Cassidy’s efforts to get the legislation passed this month.

 

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore sent an email to local school administrators alerting them police have seen an increase in possession of alcohol and intoxication among high school students at LSU home games. Moore says law enforcement agencies that provide security on LSU game days will increase their presence. The letter comes as the campus is reeling from the death of 18-year-old Max Gruver fraternity pledge.

 

Meanwhile Governor John Bel Edwards is requesting university officials to review their hazing, drug and alcohol abuse policies, in the wake of the death of 18-year-old Max Gruver at a fraternity. Edwards does not want to see another student die as a result of a possible hazing incident.

 

The first police report on Gruver’s death was released by LSU-PD and indicates the freshman was found unresponsive at the fraternity house, then later pronounced dead at a hospital.

 

Southern University announces that the contract for medical marijuana cultivation and production has been awarded to Advanced Biomedics out of Lafayette.

 

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is visiting Germany and the United Kingdom, leading a mission along with 17 tourism partners, to promote Louisiana and the direct flights into New Orleans. Nungesser says so far the international flights have been extremely popular. Nungesser says Germans are required to take 24 days of paid vacation every year, and he wants them to come to Louisiana.

 

The US Supreme Court is expected today decide today whether to accept a petition

by a New Orleans man who was convicted on a 10-2 vote of murder in 2015.

Louisiana is one of two states where a unanimous decision is not necessary for a

felony. Dale Lambert, who received a mandatory life prison sentence, wants the high

court to hear his challenge of the Louisiana law that allows felony convictions

by a vote of less than 12 jurors.

 

The Lafayette Police Department says a 25-year-old man allegedly shot and killed his father. The victim is identified as 48-year-old John Adams. The suspect, Damarkus Adams, is under arrest on the charge of Second Degree murder.

 

A Breaux Bridge Police officer is under arrest for allegedly having sexual interactions with a 16-year-old. 29-year-old Craig David is charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, computer aided solicitation of a minor and malfeasance in office.

 

LSU’s Speech Language Hearing Clinic has a program that allows people with a medical condition like ALS to bank their voice. Speech Language Pathologist Sara Green Mele (me-lee) says individuals with a degenerative disease come to the clinic and record their voice in a sound proof booth using a third party recording software. WAFB news anchor Donna Britt was recently diagnosed with ALS and has banked her voice. The process takes about six to eight hours. Mele says with ALS, even with the loss of voice, a patient’s cognition remains strong.

 

Sports..

 

So does LSU have a quarterback controversy? Starter Danny Etling was 10-of-17 for 188 yards and two touchdowns, but freshman Myles Brennan entered the game in the third and led the Tigers on a touchdown drive, but he also threw an interception. The two quarterbacks did enough good things to help the Tigers beat Syracuse 35-26, as LSU improved to 3-1. Coach Orgeron says it was a good win after losing by 30 points the week before….

 

The Saints put together one of their better performances in a long time as they defeated NFC South rival Carolina 34-13. Quarterback Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and the defense forced three turnovers and held a struggling Panthers offense to 288 total yards. Coach Sean Payton says the Black and Gold had a good week of practice and it showed in their performance on Sunday.  Carolina came into the game ranked number one in the NFL in total defense.

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