News for Tuesday 021219
Compiles by Dave Graichen
A plea deal for a man, accused of vehicular homicide back in a 2016 for a crash that killed an 18-month-old boy, was rejected on Monday. Keaton Spurlin allegedly hit the rear of the van on Dec. 28, 2016, on Vandenberg Drive, near Bayou Rapides Road, as the family was returning home from church. Six members of the Dixon family were injured in the crash. An 18-month-old boy, who was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, died the following day. Ad hoc Judge Harry Randow explained to the parents the child that the plea deal was not acceptable. A pretrial conference was set for March 20, and a trial date for May 6.
The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire in Alexandria Early Sunday morning that claimed the life of man and injured 3 others. The Alexandria Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 2800 block of Culpepper Road around 2 in the morning Sunday. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the investigation continues.
A Monday morning fire caused extensive damage to a vacant house on the 1900 block of Levin Street. No one was reported inside the home. The house next door, which is occupied, suffered structural damage from the same fire. No one was inside at the time.
An investigation is under way in Red River Parish after two teenagers are believed to have killed themselves within days of each other. The Red River Parish Sheriff's Office said a 17-year-old died Thursday night, followed by a 13-year-old on Saturday night. They were both at the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta.
Divers with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a man in Catahoula Lake Sunday. 26 year old Ryan Reed of Lafayette had fallen from a boat into the lake. Divers discovered his body at approximately 9:30 in the morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the body was turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office.
Negotiators in Congress said they have reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another partial government shutdown. The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening. Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday.
Louisiana has ordered a wood pellet plant near Bastrop to install air pollution controls following a challenge by environmental groups. Environmental Integrity Project attorney Keri Powell says when the Drax Morehouse Biomass Plant opened in 2015, it drastically underestimated it’s pollution output and had been exceeding it’s allowed emissions by four times to 1000 tons annually. Powell says the toxins can cause a range of health issues.
Louisiana took home some gold at Sunday night’s Grammys as Lafayette native Lauren Daigle won for best contemporary Christian Music Performance for her song, “You Say” and also won best contemporary Christian music album, “Look Up Child.” New Orleans native PJ Morton tied with Leon Bridges for best traditional R-and-B performance for his song “How Deep is Your Love.” Buddy Guy won for best traditional blues album.
The race for the governor’s mansion is now just eight months away, with incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards currently set to face off in a jungle primary against Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and Alto Congressman Ralph Abraham. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the race has been quiet so far, but is set to blast off soon. Candidates have already begun their social media campaigns, with all three candidates sporting an active Facebook campaign page and accompanying paid ads on the site.
Following the popularity of The Chute at Tiger Stadium, LSU baseball fans can now look forward to The Yard. The Yard is composed of two areas around Alex Box Stadium where fans can purchase and consume beer and wine during games so long as they are at least 21 and have purchased a wristband for the area. Putting the area outside of the stadium along with the restricted entry keeps the school in compliance with SEC regulations.
The Department of Environmental Quality has an online, interactive map on it’s website that lets anglers see the fish consumption and swimming advisories for rivers, lakes, and bayous in Louisiana. DEQ Scientist Al Hindrichs says it’s an intuitive tool, and gives a comprehensive look at the advisories for 58 bodies of water statewide. Two of the advisories warn against both swimming and fishing and two other warn only against swimming, but the majority are warnings about contaminants in the fish.
A 19-year-old south Louisiana man was fatally shot last night when a bullet entered his mother’s home in Lockport. LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s office spokesperson Brennan Matherne says six people were inside the trailer at the time of the shooting, but they are not sure who, if anyone, inside the home was the intended target.
Student Loan Hero ranks Baton Rouge and New Orleans in the top 10 for most likely cities for people to be more than 90 days late on student loan payments, as more than 20-percent of borrowers have been delinquent. According to the report, Louisiana students graduated with 27,210 dollars of student debt on average, a little less than the national average.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $20.7 billion for Valentine’s Day. Fewer Americans are spending money on Valentine’s Day compared to other years, but NRF spokesperson Katherine Cullen says those that are making purchases are spending enough money to make it a record-breaking year.
Cullen says people are budgeting to spend on average $162 this year, with men being the big spenders.
19th ranked LSU faces its biggest test of the season tonight when they face 5th ranked Kentucky in Lexington at 6 PM. Both teams are tied for second in the SEC with 9-and-1 conference records.