News for Friday 110218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Many Cenla residents spent the night in the dark last night, that after a strong line of thunder storms moved through the area late Wednesday night and early yesterday morning. Cleco reported as of 5 yesterday over 3,000 residents in Rapides and 1,100 in grant parish were without power.
Damage was extensive in the Sonya Quarters section of Alexandria and in the area of the Alexandria mall. In Pineville, the bulk of the damage appears to have been in the area surrounding Louisiana College and down Military highway and Donahue Ferry Rd. towards the Cleco corporate offices.
In LaSalle Parish, damage in Jena and in Trout was perhaps the worst to be seen yesterday. Many homes were severely damages by falling trees and high winds.
There have been reports of minor injuries. Four people were hurt in Concordia Parish, and two others in Washington Parish. In both cases, strong winds flipped over mobile homes
At least 11 tornadoes have been confirmed by National Weather Service surveyors so far in Louisiana and Mississippi as part of that storm system.
The amazing part of the story surrounding all the damage is that there were no reports of serious injuries.
All Schools in Rapides Parish will reopen today, With the exception of Louisiana College, which will be closed again today as clean up continues.
There’s another month left of the hurricane season, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s highly unlikely we’ll be hit in the next 30 days. Keim notes there’s always a chance of some development, but the late season climate just isn’t suited to producing hurricanes. Louisiana has not been hit by a November hurricane in the 167 years they have been keeping records.
There’s been growing support for the number two amendment option on the November ballot, but not all District Attorneys are on board with the move to require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Tangipahoa, Livingston, and Helena Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux says he’s concerned it would delay justice for victims. DAs in four of Louisiana’s largest parishes, along with both Republican and Democratic state parties have come out in support of the initiative.
March of Dimes has released its annual report which grades all 50 states on their rates of preterm birth and reveals racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in each state. The country overall got a C-grade and Louisiana received an F. President of the organization, Stacy Stewart says it’s an indicator more babies are being born premature and less healthy. Stewart says women need access to good quality and affordable prenatal care, as well as women need to be healthy before they become pregnant.
Stewart says changes must happen on many levels to ensure healthier pregnancies.
The Diocese of Lafayette announces Reverend Jody Simoneaux is on administrative leave because he allegedly engaged in improper behavior with minors while assigned to churches in Eunice and Youngsville 30 years ago. Simoneaux has been serving as a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Jeanerette. The Diocese says the allegations have been turned over to law enforcement.
Thousands are expected to attend the Giant Omelette Celebration in Abbeville this weekend. The festival was started in the 1980s with the determination to bring the community closer to its French Heritage. Celebration president Ray Trahan says the omelet starts with a twelve-foot skillet and 5000 eggs. Trahan says the history of the celebration dates back to Napoleon, the emperor of the French in the early 1880s, as he had an omelet following a battle and loved it.
ESPN has named southeast Louisiana the center of the football universe this weekend with the two best games of the week being played in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Number four LSU takes on number one Alabama in Tiger Stadium, and President of Visit Baton Rouge Paul Arrigo says the hotels are packed. Baton Rouge saw 87 percent occupancy in hotels for Georgia. Arrigo says the iconic program will give the city a chance to show off to the rest of the nation, and hopefully inspire a few trips.
And after that ESPN will be broadcasting live from New Orleans for the Saints Rams game that has huge implications for both teams playoff seeding.
The Saints are two point favorites against the only undefeated team in the league Sunday as the eight and 0 Rams charge into the dome to take on the six and one Saints.
Louisiana Tech gets another chance at Mississippi State tomorrow. Last year the two teams met in Ruston and State won 57-21 This year’s Mississippi State team has one of the best defensive lines in the country.