News for Thursday 051718
By Dave Graichen
Agents with the LDWF report the recovery of a body Wednesday found floating in Bayou Pierre near the border of Natchitoches-Red River parishes. Officials hope an autopsy will identify the body and determine the cause of death. It is believed to be the body of a female.
State education officials say since 2012, there has been a 15-percent increase in the number of high school graduates entering college each fall. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says high school programs geared toward college credits have helped the numbers grow. A record 23,500 public high school students from the Class of 2017 enrolled in college last fall.
Two republican legislators admit they were involved in a fist fight early Thursday morning at a downtown Baton Rouge bar. Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop and Houma Senator Norby Chabert apologized to their colleagues. Chabert is reportedly upset with Bishop for blocking his legislation in the House Natural Resources Committee. Chabert told the USA Today Network that he loves Stuart like a brother and sometimes brothers fight.
The House has gutted a Senate bill that would have allowed teachers to participate in student-initiated prayers during school hours. Shreveport Representative Alan Seabugh says the legislation by Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti would have prompt lawsuits. The bill heads back to the Senate.
Heading to the governor’s desk is legislation that would allow students to bring bulletproof backpacks into public schools. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith voted against the legislation, because of concerns that students in poorer areas would be unable to afford the same protection allowed to students in more affluent school systems. Bulletproofing a backpack can cost anywhere from 50 to 400-dollars.
A recent US Supreme Court decision allows gambling to happen in all 50 states. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones anticipates one day state legislators will pass legislation, so that it can be regulated in Louisiana. Jones believes believes legalizing sports betting in Louisiana will cut back on the black market that exists around sports wagers.
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes announced she’s running for Secretary of State. Stokes was also a candidate in last year’s State Treasurer’s Race, but backed out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Governor John Bel Edwards held his monthly talk show yesterday, where he touched on a series of legislative topics. Edwards took the opportunity to reiterate his support for the 15 week abortion ban, a rarity for a prominent Democratic official. The Governor praised efforts in the Legislature to improve a bill to renew Harrah’s contract, after the initial version came under heavy fire from statewide political officials. Governor Edwards’ signature will not be needed on a constitutional amendment requiring unanimous verdicts in felony trials, as the decision for final passage will be left up to the voters in November. Edwards says he hopes the people will put the item into law.
The Senate agreed to a bill that would renew Harrah’s contract with the state for twenty more years, contribute 20 million dollars a year to state coffers, build a 350 million dollar hotel, and provide a lump sum payment of tens of millions upfront. New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson says if Harrah’s agrees, it’d be a huge investment in the state.
LSU baseball wraps up the regular season with a three game series that starts tonight against Auburn. The Tigers are 14-13 in the SEC and it’s believed LSU has to finish with at least a .500 record in league play in order to receive an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. But LSU is 3-and-13 away from home this season. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3.
The NBA Western Conference Final is tied at 1 all since Houston Defeated Golden State last night 127 to 106 Game three of that series will be Sunday evening.
Boston has a 2 to 0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final. They play next Saturday Night.