News for Friday 070618
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria has lost one of it’s favorite sons with the announced passing of Brent Caplan. Caplan was a well-known businessman who ran his family's longtime Alexandria clothing business. But, he will be remembered by many as a great father, husband and friend and for the many civic organizations he was involved with. Caplan passed Wednesday after battling brain cancer for nearly a year. Services will be held this weekend here in Alexandria. Brent Caplan was 54.
Can you imagine being a child who spent the night at a friend’s only to come home the next day to find your family has moved, leaving you behind? That’s exactly what happened to a Leesville boy. The VPSO is asking for the public's help in finding 44-year-old Gail Bernard Odom. She is wanted on a warrant for criminal neglect child desertion. Authorities believe Odom may be here in Rapides or possibly in Avoyelles Parish. Authorities report the boy is being take care of by the parents of a friend.
It appears now no charges will be filed against a Hineston who hit and killed a Leesville man in late May on highway 171. Louisiana State Police on Thursday issued a release after what it called a "very thorough and comprehensive investigation" into the May 29 crash that killed 31-year-old Sherell Lewis Jr. It said the investigation found that 18 year old Matthew Martin was not to blame for the accident. For many it was comments made on social media after the crash, where he used a racial slur to refer to Lewis and seemed more concerned about the damage to his truck than what happened to Lewis, who died on his birthday.
It’s been three months since four-year-old Junior Phillips was reported missing from his home in Claiborne Parish. Despite an extensive search, the child has not been found. The child’s parents have seen legal troubles with arrests since the disappearance, but Sheriff Ken Bailey is not sure if there is a connection between their legal woes and the missing child. The FBI has offered a ten-thousand reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the child.
The Louisiana Revenue Department is estimating that they’ll be ready to start collecting sales taxes on all items purchased online by the start of next year. A recent Supreme Court decision has paved the way for collection of sales taxes from stores without a physical presence in states they ship too. Secretary Kimberly Robinson says a recent report says that’ll be a good chuck of change in state coffers. Many major online sellers, such as Amazon, already collect state sales tax for online purchases, but Robinson says right now they’re not getting 100 percent compliance form many of the smaller online outlets.
It took a couple of tries but Southern University Thursday became the second higher education institution to raise fees in the last week. The Southern Board of Supervisors approved Thursday increasing fees by 5 percent for students on the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport campuses and at the university’s law school. LSU’s governing board last week also approved a similar 5 percent fee hike.
A former State Police trooper pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony counts of malfeasance in office, admitting he falsified times on traffic tickets he wrote during overtime shifts. Jimmy Allen Rogers was sentenced to three years probation and paid more than $2,500 in restitution in the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles.
Rogers was charged following a statewide investigation of a controversial traffic-ticket program intended to raise money for district attorneys, public defenders and other law enforcement agencies.
A Lake Charles man found suffering from gunshot wounds in a wrecked car has died from his injuries. State Police report several people at the scene trying to render aid to the driver, 21 year old Dorian Colston who in addition to crashing his vehicle, had been shot several times. Authorities believe Colston was shot while he was in his car and drove a short distance before crashing into a tree.
A recent escape from Swanson Center for Youth by Monroe marks at least the fifth excape so far this year for the juvenile detention facility. While attention can be turned to staffing issues, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Juvenile Justice, Dr. James Bueche says dated facility infrastructure such as doors and fences are partially to blame.
Bueche does say staffing is a big portion of the problem in dealing with the offenders and the agency continues to pursue additional funding. While the agency hopes the most recent jailbreak is the last, Bueche says it is hard to guarantee that it will be.
A federal appeals court judge with New Orleans roots is among President Donald Trump's top three choices to fill the seat on the Supreme Court bench left vacant by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the only woman among the three people said to be finalists. Barrett was born in New Orleans in 1972 and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Barrett has lived away from New Orleans since graduating.
The Comite River Diversion Canal project has been fully funded, one of several projects that’s received cash in a three billion dollar funding package from the feds. Comite will be completed in an estimated three to four years. Other projects funded include 760 million to the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project, 15 million to Grand Isle, and 15 million in other coastal restoration projects.
A juvenile was arrested after crashing a stolen truck through a home in Lafayette Thursday around noon. The driver fled a traffic stop and immediately crashed through the house, causing major damage. Two people in the home at the time of the crash escaped injuries.
Suspected members of the infamous Felony Lane Gang were arrested Tuesday as part of a routine traffic stop, where officers discovered nearly 12,500 dollars, 22 credit cards, 5 checkbooks, 40 grams of pot, 11 drivers licenses from across the country and even 14 wigs. The suspects were arrested on Veterans Boulevard in Jefferson Parish
An Arnaudville teen has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder following an early Wednesday morning police pursuit. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Major Ginny Higgins says it appears that the suspect intentionally aimed his vehicle at deputies when the crash occurred, injuring the officers involved.
Despite being given a five year sentence for injuring 32 people when he drunkenly plowing his truck into a crowd at a New Orleans Mardi Gras, 26 year old Neilson Rizzuto who was sentenced in January will be free later this month. With the 2017 prison reform law allowing the release of well-behaved inmates after serving 35% of their sentence for non-violent offenses,
Sports on the air today..
Houston Astros vs Chicago White Sox 6:35p 94.7 ESPN