News for Thursday 082219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The first of several services for late Governor Kathleen Blanco happens this morning with an interfaith ceremony at St. Joseph Cathedral in Downtown Baton Rouge. For those that cannot make it to the cathedral, a telecast can be seen on affiliates of Louisiana Public Broadcasting. Following the ceremony, the casket will be transported to the Capitol to lie in state.
The public will have an opportunity to pay their respect today to Former Governor Kathleen Blanco, who will lie in state starting at 1 pm at the State Capitol Rotunda.
Commissioner of Higher Ed and former Blanco Aide Kim Hunter Reed says the state’s first female Governor is getting a fitting send-off. The public viewing will be continue through 6pm.
AG Jeff Landry says yesterday an armed law enforcement officer from his office was on campus to help educate students and protect them from crime, which may have triggered the armed intruder false alarm. LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard says they are reviewing Tuesday’s response, adding they have recently trained for a similar scenario.
Ballard says campus safety is a shared responsibility and if someone sees something, they should say something.
The largest employer in Minden ,a company that employs 750 people, is threatening to relocate to east Texas if the state does not upgrade several bridges in the area that have structural problems. Fibrebond builds huge structures that can measure 16 by 75 feet and weigh 150,000 pounds, making them ineligible to cross de-rated bridges. Fibrebond is a Louisiana owned and operated company that’s been open for the last 37 years.
A 19 year old Pollock man, who was accused of setting fire to a home in Pineville and killing two animals inside back in April 2017, has been sentenced two years of supervised probation and will have to pay close to $12,000 in restitution. Investigators with the state fire marshal’s office believe Shea Dubrock may have been responsible for other fires in the same area of Pineville. Dubrock was charged with seven counts of simple arson, a single count each of burglary of a dwelling and obstruction of justice, two counts of cruelty to animals, and a dozen counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. On Wednesday, he changed his plea and pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of simple criminal damage and simple burglary. In exchange, the other charges he faced were all dismissed.
The United States Attorney’s office announced yesterday that a former corrections officer at the Federal Correctional Complex in Pollock was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison and two years of supervised release for accepting bribes to smuggle contraband to prisoners. 39 year old Byron Wyatt of Marksville was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. He was previously found guilty of the offense on April 5, 2018, after a three-day trial.
St. Landry Parish Sheriffs are trying to identify a body they discovered left just off Highway 10 in the Beggs area. Authorities say it appears to be an African American female in her early 20s. Foul play is suspected and hey believe he woman had been dead for four to five days.
Slidell police have arrested two people after a school resource officer found cocaine on a five-year-old. Authorities say the child didn’t know he had the drugs. 23-year-old Angelica Stanley and 51-year-old Ellis Cousin were taken into custody at their home and they are facing several charges.
West Monroe Police have arrested a man they say was in unlawful possession of an AR15-style rifle and body armor. 46-year-old Stewart Wayne Hayes was discovered in his vehicle in the armor, with the gun.
The Eastbank Little League baseball team from River Ridge advances in the World Series after beating New Jersey 4-1 yesterday, putting them one win away from competing in the US final and two wins from the championship game against an international team. Coach Scott Frazier says the kids are staying focused despite possible distractions. This is the first team from the New Orleans area to play in the Little League World Series.
Drano or Liquid Plummer would not have helped this situation. An underwater camera employed by the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board on Tuesday revealed what appeared to be at least one, and possibly more, vehicles crammed into a drainage culvert known as the Lafitte Canal that runs under Jefferson Davis Parkway near the Lafitte Greenway. The cars, embedded in a pile of other debris, are clogging up one of the key pipelines used by the pump station that drains parts of Mid-City. Their removal is now underway..
News for Wednesday 082119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state’s first human cases of West Nile Virus of the year have been reported by the Department of Health. While the West Nile season may be off to a later start than usual, Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter he is hesitant to call it an optimistic trend. Kanter says the virus has three levels of seriousness and cases have been discovered in East Baton Rouge, Washington, Livingston, St. Tammany, and Caddo parishes. The department recommends people mitigate the risk of contracting the virus by wearing more clothes and use bug repellants that contains DEET.
While there turned out to be no threat, it was an intense scene at LSU’s campus yesterday after police received a report of an armed intruder at Coates Hall. Just before 3pm the school sent out an alert telling students in the area to Run, Hide, or Fight. Just before 5pm, another alert was sent, giving the all-clear. Director of Media Relations Ernie Ballard says they believe one possibility was that a plainclothes officer with a gun on his belt was walking around the building just before the call came in, but that has yet to be confirmed as the reason for the call.
A record 8,084 students earned college credit while in high school due to the CLEP in the last school year according to the Louisiana Department of Education. Assistant Superintendent Ken Bradford says it’s an incredibly valuable program that can save students and their families a lot of money. The CLEP tests are graded on a 20 to 80 scale, with 50 being a passing grade. Bradford says for the students who pass, doors can start opening across the country. FYI, The lowest pass rate for any class taken by more than a thousand students was US History II at 29 percent.
The state continues to mourn the death of former Governor Kathleen Blanco who passed away from an Ocular Melanoma that she’d been fighting for eight years. LSU Health New Orleans Retina Specialist Maria Reinoso says it’s a tragic cancer, but a rare one that only impacts a small percentage of the population. Reinoso says people with light-colored eyes, fair skin, and northern European ancestry are more prone to the disease. Reinoso says the best way to stay ahead of any potential eye diseases is yearly dilated eye exams.
Louisiana soybean farmers continue to take a beating as the trade war with China drags on with no apparent long term deal on the horizon. Soybeans were going for 10 bucks a bushel before the trade war began, and have dipped noticeably since then. Kyle McCann assistant to Louisiana Farm Bureau President says that’s a significant problem for the state’s largest crop by acre. Many farmers would be out of business by now if not for the Market Facilitation payments that are covering an estimated 80 percent of lost profits. Another round of the payments are reportedly on the way now to embattled farmers.
Raw chicken is dirty, but a new USDA study indicates washing raw poultry before cooking can be dangerous. Researcher Dr. Mindy Brashears says washing chicken is a common mistake that could lead to foodborne illness from salmonella spread from splashing. Brashears says the CDC estimates each year, millions get sick from foodborne illness, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3000 deaths. Solution, run the water out of the tap at little more than a trickle and avoid splashing the area surrounding the sink. If you do, bleach on a rag or one of those sanitary wipes should be used to wipe down the area.
29-year-old Andrew Caufman of Shreveport faces 35 counts associated with revenge porn for allegedly distributing nude photos of his ex-girlfriend in a school parking lot. Lt. Bill Davis, with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s office says the revenge porn law was enacted in 2015 to address the unlawful and non-consent distribution of images intended to be private.
Two Lafayette Police Officers are recovering from injuries after they were dragged by an allegedly drunk suspect’s vehicle. Corporal Bridgette Dugas says the officers tried to remove a suspect from his vehicle when he threw it in reverse. The 31-year-old driver was arrested.
An investigation is underway into the death of a worker in a salt mine in St. Mary Parish.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Mine and Health Administration now investigating an incident that claimed the life of a Franklin man. According to a spokesman for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, mine worker Shawn Clements was inside a salt mine owned by Compass Minerals when he was electrocuted last Thursday August 15, 2019. Clement's death was ruled as an accident by the Sheriff's office.
News for Tuesday 082019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Two Oakdale men have been arrested in a cold-case homicide, accused in the kidnapping, rape and homicide of an 18-year-old woman whose remains were found in in the Gardner area in November 1980. The identity of the victim, Donna Brazzell, remained a mystery until July, when the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office got information about her identity that was confirmed through DNA testing. That happened five years after the sheriff's office also received other information that led detectives to identify 64 year old Leo Laird and 54 year old Gary Haymon as suspects. After Brazzell was identified, warrants were obtained for Laird and Haymon on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and aggravated kidnapping in the 39-year-old case. Detectives state their investigation is still ongoing and additional charges may be filed.
Two of the three candidates running for the Alexandria City Council District 1 seat were disqualified on Monday. One candidate, Reddex Washington for failure to file taxes from 2015 to 2017. The second was Charles Gilmore. Rapides Parish Judge Monique Rauls ruled that Gilmore's 13th St. home wasn't actually in District 1. Washington says he will appeal the judge’s decision. Charles Gilmore says he will not appeal.
Funeral arrangements are set for former Governor Kathleen Blanco who died from cancer at age 76. The public memorials and services will begin Thursday in Baton Rouge. An interfaith service will take place at 10 AM at St. Joseph Cathedral and then the former governor will lie in state at the state capitol that afternoon. A public visitation is set for Friday in Lafayette and the funeral will also take place in Lafayette on Saturday morning at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral. Governor Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until her private burial on Saturday.
Popular charter fisherman Theophile (Toe-fill) Bourgeois died Sunday when his plane crashed off the coast of St. Bernard Parish. Two others were on the seaplane and they were rescued by the U-S Coast Guard. The condition of the other two victims is not known.
And funeral services for WVUE Fox 8 New Orleans TV anchor Nancy Parker are Friday. Parker was shooting a story in a stunt plane when the crash happened in a field near the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Nance Parker is survived by her husband and three children. Parker was 53.
Congressman Ralph Abraham pledges that if he is elected Governor any new tax increases passed in the Legislature will be offset with equal or greater tax reductions in other areas. The candidate made the pledge yesterday after after being asked if he would pledge to reject new taxes on any front.
The Pelican Institute is hosting a public forum at the Old State Capitol today aimed at getting a framework in place for a potential future state constitutional convention. CEO Daniel Erspamer says interest is growing in reforming the state constitution, and more politicians come on board to the idea every year. The only problem is folks don’t exactly know what that would entail. Louisiana’s constitution is thousands of pages long and reportedly the 3rd largest in the nation.
Caddo Parish Sheriff deputies arrested a DeSoto Parish man for a rape that allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s. Detective Larry Pierce says a 34-year-old woman told investigators last month that she was forced to perform sex acts upon Glenn Miller Senior on multiple occasions over two decades ago. He says Detective Chris Ardoin found enough evidence to charge Miller with two counts of First Degree Rape. Miller is being held on a 500-thousand dollar bond.
The two losing bidders for Louisiana’s new round of multi-billion dollar Medicaid contracts have filed protests of the state’s decision, claiming the bid process was tainted and that officials were biased against them. Louisiana Healthcare Connections and Aetna, two of Louisiana’s five existing Medicaid managed care organizations, or MCOs, filed lengthy protests of the bidding process Monday. The new contracts, set to go into effect Jan. 1, are worth billions of dollars and involve managing care for 1.7 million patients in Louisiana as part of the state’s privatized Medicaid program.
The Department of Defense announced Monday the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Specialist Clayton James Horne, 23, of Atlanta, Louisiana died August 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a result of wounds sustained by a noncombat related incident. The incident is currently under investigation, according to the defense officials.
LSU’s Pennington Biomedical secures $16.4 million in funding to research how optimized nutrition can help soldiers maintain their physical and mental performance. Researcher Dr. Jennifer Rood says previous studies showed how weight loss from military activity affects the mind and body, but a testosterone injection made an impact.
Rood says the new study will result in participants living in a setting comparable to being in the military and researchers will throw in an extra factor not previously accounted for, sleep deprivation. Rood says participants in the study will be paid $7,500 for twenty days.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office arrest a 29-year-old man for allegedly using his cell phone to record a 12-year-old take a bath. Detective Larry Pierce says Christopher Ashby of Mooringsport cracked the door open, so he could record the girl while she was nude.
LSU is ranked sixth in the A-P preseason poll which was released Monday. Tiger Rag Magazine Editor James Moran says the ranking matches the hype that surrounds this team. Moran says it remains to be seen if LSU can live up to its ranking, but based on what you see on paper, the Tigers should be one of the best teams in the country.
The Saints coaches have been evaluating the tape from yesterday’s 19-17 victory over the Chargers in preseason action. The first half did not go well as New Orleans fell behind 17-3, but third string Q-b Taysom Hill led the Black and Gold on a big second half comeback. But second-string quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s performance was forgettable as he completed just five passes for 40 yards and there was an interception. Coach Sean Payton says Bridgewater was sick and he didn’t get much help. The third preseason game of the year is Saturday at the New York Jets.
News for Monday 081819
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Louisiana’s only elected female governor, Kathleen Blanco, has passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with cancer. Blanco was a mother to six children and a former school teacher. It wasn’t until her early 40s that she got into politics when she was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1983. Blanco served five years in the House of Representatives and in 1988 the New Iberia native became the first woman elected to the Public Service Commission. In 2003, she defeated Republican Bobby Jindal to become the state’s first female governor. In 2017 she announced that she had a rare cancer which eventually attacked her whole body. In public appearances leading up to her death, the former governor said she had made peace with her future and the devout Catholic said she had an extraordinarily full life.
Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who died Sunday, will be honored with several events in Baton Rouge on Thursday, and there will be a funeral Mass on Saturday with a private burial. There will be a public visitation in Lafayette on Friday. Details will be released on Today.
A multiple Emmy-award winning TV news anchor and a stunt pilot are dead after a fiery plane crash in New Orleans East Friday afternoon. Nancy Parker was shooting a story about the stunt pilot, who has been identified as 69-year-old Franklin J-P Augustus of New Orleans. Parker was from Alabama and a beloved on Fox 8 television in New Orleans. It appears the crash was due to engine problems on the plane.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics show since July 2018, seasonally adjusted private-sector employment increased by 11-hundred jobs. L-W-C Secretary Ava Dejoie says Education and Health services gained 8,700 jobs year-to-year and is at a record high at 323,000 jobs. But it’s not all good news, Shreveport lost 3,100 jobs over the year, while Houma lost 2,900 jobs.
A Caddo Parish court judge has ruled that Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton does not live in Senator Greg Tarver’s district and she’s not eligible to run against him in the fall elections. Norton has 48 hours to appeal. If her appeal is unsuccessful, Republican Jim Slagle will be Tarver’s lone opponent on the October 12th ballot.
Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Camille’s devastating landfall along the Mississippi coast in 1969. Before Hurricane Katrina, Camille was the Gulf Coast’s defining storm. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the impact was so devastating that it led to the creation of the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which categorized hurricanes in a way the public could understand. The system is one of only four Cat 5s to make landfall.
A new report shows the Asian market’s craving for hot sauce is on the rise and is expected to push international hot sauce sales from 2.3 billion dollars to 3.7 billion in 2026. The report by Fortune Business Insights says that’ll be a real boon to Louisiana products like Tabasco which Chef Kevin Belton says has a unique flavor. Tabasco Pepper sauces control the largest share of the market at 22.6 percent, which is good news for Louisiana produced Tabasco.
The New Orleans Saints experienced contrasting halves in Sunday’s 19-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The first half was filled with mistakes and sloppy play, while the second half produced an energized team that fought back to make the game close.
LSU made it official over the weekend by announcing the hiring of Bill Johnson as the team’s defensive line coach. Johnson fills in for Dennis Johson, who badly injured his knees in a pickup basketball game. Johnson was the Rams defensive line coach the last two season and before that he was with the Saints from 2009 to 2016. Coach Ed Orgeron says Johnson has a long track record of coaching and developing top defensive linemen…
Despite criticism, U-L Lafayette Football Coach Billy Napier says he still wants his scholarship players to give 50-dollars annually to the Ragin Cajun Athletic Foundation, which raises funds for the athletic department. Napier says his goal is to create a culture where players are grateful for the opportunity. Napier says if a player can’t afford the 50 dollars or has a problem with giving money to the R-C-A-F, while being an unpaid student-athlete, he’ll cover the cost.
News for Friday 081619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall has announced the Alexandria Amphitheater will get a face lift. The work will include the addition a hard covering to the stage area. Mayor Hall says that will allow them to add stage lighting. The plan is to also add security cameras and additional lighting for safety as well. The project is a joint endeavor with the Red River Waterway Commission, who will pay for 80% of the project. The mayor says the project should be done sometime next year
The State Bond Commission has approved a 450-million dollar financing plan to pay for renovations to the 44-year-old Superdome. The state will spend 90-million dollars on the project, the Superdome Commission 210-million dollars and the Saints will put up the rest. Governor Edwards to the media earlier this week the planned improvements will improve the fan experience, expanded concourses, more concession stands and replace the ramps with escalators and elevators. The 4-year overhaul process will begin after this football season.
The state Democratic Party will issue it’s official endorsements tomorrow night, hoping to find the right candidates to knock out a slew of GOP incumbents. State Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk says this year they’re celebrating the fact that 43 of the 77 women running for the state legislature are Democrats. Currently only 15 percent of Louisiana legislators are women, the third-lowest rate in the nation.
The Louisiana State Police Academy is on the cusp of a milestone, they are prepping to recruit men and women for their 100th Cadet Class. Since LSP’s conception in 1936 the department has had several hiring freezes over the years and so it’s taken a bit longer to reach this mark. Sgt Melissa Matey says to reach potential troopers for the 100th cadet class the department is using modern recruitment methods like Facebook and they are not limiting the themselves to just the Bayou State.
Former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson has been cleared in an investigation into his alleged repeated misuse of department funds during his tenure. Edmonson left State Police two years ago after coming under fire for findings of a Legislative audit. Edmonson Attorney Gray Sexton says any actions his client did take did not meet the threshold of an ethics violation.
Superintendent of Education John White receives a favorable rating from the Board of Elementary Secondary Education for the seventh year in a row. White says he’s proud to continue his work in Louisiana, and says the education system’s ability to get 5,000 more students TOPS than the year that he started is his proudest achievement. The state saw an 81.4 percent high school graduation rate last year, the first time the state has ever cracked 80%.
The US Department of Health and Human Services awards nearly $400 million nationally in grant funding to combat the opioid crisis with nearly $5 million coming to Louisiana. Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Dr. Alex Billioux says
while the state’s number opioid overdose deaths continues to grow, the rate of growth has slowed down. Billioux says much of the spending will lay infrastructure to continue with other health goals linked to drug use, including eliminating hepatitis C within the next five years.
Former St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain pleads not guilty to charges of aggravated rape, aggravated incest, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and sexual battery. Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says at this point the trial moves into discovery as the defense tries to get a hold of police reports and evidence. The allegations carry up to a mandatory life sentence.
Former Lake Charles Police officer Robert Hammac has pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom to using excessive force during a police chase in 2017. Hammac will be sentenced in November and The DA says the 45-year-old faces up to ten years in prison.
LSU freshman offensive guard Kardell Thomas will reportedly miss the next two months because of an ankle injury suffered in Wednesday’s practice. Thomas was the nation’s number one offensive guard in the 2019 recruiting class. He was not getting reps with the first team, but Coach Ed Orgeron has been encouraged by his development.
Orgeron is reportedly bringing in former Saints defensive line coach Bill Johnson to coach the LSU Tigers D-Line. Current defensive line coach Dennis Johnson is in a wheelchair after badly injuring both knees while playing basketball.
LSU football will hold its second scrimmage of fall camp tomorrow. Sophomore linebacker Damone Clark from Southern Lab High School was the leading tackler in last week’s preseason game and Coach Ed Orgeron says Clark is pushing Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen for one of the starting inside linebacker spots. Michael Divinity who started at outside linebacker last year will start at one of the inside spots.
ESPN reports former Pelican and current Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a serious knee injury while working out in Las Vegas. Doctors fear the four-time All Star tore his ACL. It would be Cousins third major injury since tearing his Achilles while playing with the Pelicans in 2018.
LSU basketball lost to the Dominican Republic 92-88 in an exhibition game in Spain. Sophomore forward Emmitt Williams led LSU with 28 points.
On Air Tonight… Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
News for Thursday 081519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
30-year-old Justin Burnett, of Sikes was taken into custody after a shooting Wednesday morning that left two people in critical condition. The shooting occurred around six yesterday morning in the town of Dodson. For a period of time, Dodson High School was placed on lockdown. No word yet from Winn Parish authorities on what led to the shooting.
Grant Parish authorities have arrested 26 year old Joshua Thompson of Pollock after receiving a report of someone breaking into a home. When the GPSO arrived at the scene they arrested Thompson and booked him with Aggravated burglary and criminal trespassing.
It may be peak hurricane season, but it’s been a month since any named storm has popped up in the Atlantic Basin despite estimates from NOAA that this season would see above-average activity. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s eerily quiet out there and this type of lull from July 15th-August 15th is rare, the last time, 1982.
That being said Keim warns you not to let your guard down even if we escape the month of August without any trouble because the last time this happened the Atlantic woke up in a rage for September.
71 percent of Louisianans believe in climate change according to a survey that was aimed at measuring support for coastal restoration. While a strong majority of Louisianans agree climate change is real, pollster Greg Rigamer says the percentage of those who believe in the phenomenon can vary wildly between different regions.
62 percent agree that climate change is real in the Lafourche/Terrebonne Parish region, where a significant amount of the state’s coastal erosion is taking place. 68 percent of respondents agree that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and Rigamer says a majority are concerned about those impacts. While 71 percent may agree that climate change is real, only half of the respondents think it’s having an impact on their lives right now.
The state bond commission is scheduled to vote on the financing plans for the $450 million upgrade to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. State Treasurer John Schroder says he doesn’t foresee any hurdles in getting the greenlight on the overhaul. The venue, which first opened in 1975, is in need of modifications to keep the venue competitive for hosting major events and keep the Saints in New Orleans for 30 more years. Schroder says although there has been some public pushback, the investment into the dome is a good one. The renovation process will take three to four years to complete.
State Superintendent of Education John White won a satisfactory job evaluation Wednesday from Louisiana's top school board. Gary Jones, president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, made the announcement after a BESE executive session of about 40 minutes behind closed doors. The review marked the seventh year in a row that White has gotten favorable remarks during his annual job check.
Louisiana takes the top spot for the safest state for kids to be online. CenturyLink Quote spokesperson Elaine Thompson says the rankings take into consideration the number of victims of internet crimes, and the reported rates of malware infections.
Thompson says few other states have more law pertaining to cyberbullying and sexting.
Two Eunice men, 21-year-old Logan Bertrand, and 18-year-old Carlos Juan Flores, have been arrested for setting fire to a neighboring mobile home. State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the fire is one of two to rock the Eunice community in recent days, including an unrelated blaze in a fourplex that displaced the families that lived there. No one was injured in the fires. The two are charged with simple arson and criminal trespassing.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has teamed up with Governor John Bel Edwards to help get the word out about the state’s new Veterans First Business Initiative. In a P-S-A, Brees encourages the public to visit l-a-veterans-first-dot-org to search for Louisiana veteran-owned businesses. The goal is to encourage consumers to do business with Louisiana’s veteran-owned firms.
Medical marijuana may be legal but it’s still against the law to drive while under the influence of the substance, even if you have a prescription. Medical marijuana is designed to not include some of the psychoactive properties of recreational pot, but State Police Lt. Nick Manale says the substance can still impact your perception.
Due to the effects of THC, employers still have a legal right to deny you work if you test positive, even if you have a prescription.
Tonight, it’s NFL Pre-Season Football as the Cardinals play host to the Raiders. Airtime 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.
LSU true freshman offensive guard Kardell Thomas suffered an injury during Wednesday's practice and according to coach O he will be out for a while. Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 329-pound Baton Rouge native, was one of Orgeron's prize recruits in a 2019 class that ranked No. 5 nationally, according to 247Sports Composite rankings, and the former five-star recruit was expected to provide depth at a position that needed it. Orgeron told the press yesterday at this point they don’t know how serious the injury is.
The expectation is that LSU will be good on offense this season. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says the offensive production will start with quarterback Joe Burrow and the second-year starter sure seems more comfortable in this offense, compared to the one he ran last year. Former LSU standout and ESPN football analyst Ryan Clark posted on twitter the Tigers finally got their guy after watching Burrow practice yesterday. Clark says Burrow made some big-time NFL throws.
Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz says his guys continue to grind through fall camp under sweltering temperatures in Ruston. Holtz says even though they are in the dog days of camp, the team is coming together well. The Bulldogs will have their second scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday. Fanfest is also this Saturday at the Thomas Assembly Center from 12:30 to 2:00.
The Saints are in California, for two joint practices with the Chargers today. New Orleans and Los Angeles will also face each other in a preseason game on Sunday. The temperatures will be much more comfortable in Cali, with temps in the 80s.
Sports Illustrated ranks LSU’s Mike the Tiger as the third best mascot in college football, behind only Oregon’s Duck and Georgia’s Bulldog.
News for Wednesday 081419
A very slight drop in temps is expected today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a cold front is coming and will bring with it cloud cover and an increased chance of rain.
Keim says the drop should bring conditions closer to normal, but the high humidity will present dangerous heat index values. Keim says hotter weather should present itself again over the weekend.
A Public Religion Research Institute study shows Louisiana has the lowest levels of support for abortion rights in the nation, with only 34 percent saying it should be legal. 60 percent of respondents replied that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. This compares to 54 percent nationwide who said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while only 40 percent said the procedure should be illegal in most or all cases.
This week marks the three-year anniversary of the 2016 south Louisiana flood. The Advocate reports that only a third of the 2016 flood victims who applied for assistance through the Louisiana Restore Program actually received money. But Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes says many of the applicants were not eligible for the federal funds. The state received one-point-two billion dollars from the feds to rebuild. Forbes says 90-percent of the homeowners eligible for Restore grant dollars have received checks, the other 10-percent will get their money soon. Forbes says 15-thousand households have received assistance through the Restore Louisiana program.
It’s been a week since medical marijuana became available to patients in Louisiana and grower GB Sciences says about 10,000 vials of the treatment have been sent out to select pharmacies. GB President John Davis says all nine of the state’s medical marijuana pharmacies have received product, and the pharmacies are reporting few hiccups, and steady demand. GB is partnered with the LSU AgCenter in growing the plants that are turned into the non-psychoactive treatment.
A Pro-Edwards super PAC called Gumbo PAC releases two statewide television ads attacking both major Republicans in the race, Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham. The anti-Rispone ad claims the Baton Rouge businessman failed to properly pay workers and attempted to hire foreign workers instead of labor from Louisiana. Rispone’s campaign doesn’t deny the facts but says the ad is an attempt to distract voters that Louisiana ranks dead last in almost every category. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says the Gumbo PAC spent millions four years ago, and it appears they are going for a repeat.
A grisly scene in New Orleans East as a rock band shooting a music video stumbles upon the charred remains of several dogs. Authorities say they’re not sure what happened to the dogs. The Louisiana Humane is investigating.
Surveillance video has been released that shows the punch that knocked comedian Andy Dick to the ground after a performance in the French Quarter this past weekend. In the video you can see an unidentified man sucker punch Dick outside of One eyed Jack’s and then walk away. No arrests have been made.
A police officer assigned to Baker High in Baton Rouge was forced to use his stun gun to break up a fight among students gathered Monday morning in the gym. The fight which was captured on video and posted online, shows the officer breaking up a fight between two students when other students jumped in, sparking a brief brawl. It was only brought to a halt after the officer discharged his stun gun. School officials say the officer did his job and brought a stop to an escalating situation.
News for Tuesday 081319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The brutal heatwave continues across the state, with conditions now getting so bad that the National Weather Service has issued its first excessive heat warning of the year for the northern half of the state. Meteorologist Gary Chatelain says heat indices will climb over 110-degrees or more today here in Cenla.
The Catholic Diocese of Alexandria has announced that Father August Thompson, a local retired priest, died Sunday at the age of 93. Fr. Thompson served as pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Mansura, rector of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and pastor of St. James Memorial Church in Alexandria. Arrangements for Fr. Thompson’s wake and funeral Mass are pending.
It’s been a year and a half since 20 year old Akeeley Blade of Alexandria, was found guilty by a Rapides Parish jury of the first-degree murder of 55 year old Michael Butler of Lecompte at a Motel 6 in Alexandria. Three other defendants in the case have already been sentenced for their roles. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. On Monday August 26th Blade will be sentenced.
If you were up early this morning you may have noticed an unusual amount of shooting stars. Actually what you saw was the annual Perseid meteor shower. The brilliant display comes courtesy of the Comet Swift-Tuttle’s yearly voyage around the sun. LSU Astronomy Professor Brad Schaefer says every year around August 12th the Earth’s orbit intersects with the trail of sand grains the comet leaves behind as it travels through the solar system. Schaefer says Arabic records indicate the shower could be at least 800 years old.
A new online service allows residents to securely view, download, and print official copies of immunization records on-demand for free. Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Dr. Alexander Billioux says it adds convenience for those who may need records for school or recreational activities. Billioux says the signup and verification process is relatively quick, taking about five minutes to complete. The website can be found at LA.MyIR.net.
A man convicted of raping and murdering a four-year-old child in 2001 has had his death sentence put on hold by a federal judge, just a week before his scheduled execution date. Jason Reeves’s attorneys filed a federal appeal that could extend the case another few years Calcasieu Parish DA John DeRosier says it’s a ploy to hold out until the Legislature outlaws the death penalty. Reeves kidnapped, raped, and then stabbed four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen to death in November of 2001.
An arrest has been made in connection with a Sunday shooting at a Vernon Parish club.
Monday, Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of 25-year-old Andrez Jones of Fort Polk in connection with shots fire call at a local club early Sunday. VPSO says the shooting happened at a club located in the area of Billy Goat Hill. Several people were injured, but not seriously.
An LSU study shows over the last six decades rain events have gotten more intense and drop more rain in a shorter period of time, causing increased risk of flash flood events. LSU Assistant Professor of Research Dr. Vincent Brown was on the research team and the research is pretty clear about why this is: Gulf sea surface temperatures have been rising over the decades. Brown says the higher the humidity, the more water available in the air for storm systems to utilize, thus increasing the chance of an intense downpour.
Along with Texas and Oklahoma, Louisiana is one of only three states where drivers can buy gas for under $2 a gallon. The statewide average for a gallon of gasoline has dipped 8 cents over the last week to $2.24. GasBuddy.com spokesperson Patrick Dehaan says the escalating trade tensions between the US and China can take credit for the decline.
Louisiana sees a 59 percent decrease in the number of wildfires when comparing 2018 to 2008. Arson cases are also down 82 percent, going from 893 in 2008 to 160 in 2018. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain credits a cooperative effort between his department and the Fire Marshal for putting pyromaniacs behind bars. Strain says those arrests were linked back to 5,240 acres of burned timberland.
The Pelicans will tip off the 2019-2020 regular season in Toronto where they’ll face the defending NBA champion Raptors on October 22nd. The home opener will be on Friday October 25th against the Dallas Mavericks. T-N-T will televise the season opener, while E-S-P-N will broadcast the home opener nationally. The Pels can be heard all season on 94.5 ESPN and on T-N-T, ESPN and A-B-C a record 20 times.
Governor John Bel Edwards visited Saints training camp today in Metairie and discussed the 450-million dollar plan to renovate the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Edwards says the massive renovation would also result in a new long-term lease agreement between the state and the NFL franchise. Edwards says artist renderings could be made public later this week and the renovations would start after the football season.
Game one of the Houston Astros series in Chicago against the white sox was rained out last night.. Tonight they will try again to play.. airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.
News for Monday 081219
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Get ready for another scorcher across Louisiana today as the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory. State Climatologist Barry Keim says temps are going to be in the low to mid 90s, but it is the very high humidity with very little chance of rainfall that will make conditions extremely uncomfortable. The advisory is in effect through 7PM.
The Louisiana Department of Health says now 450 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed as part of an ongoing outbreak in the state. LDH says five of those cases are unrelated to the current outbreak in the state and could be the result of infections happening outside of Louisiana. Of the outbreak 58-percent have been hospitalized with only one death reported. The majority of the cases are in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes.
President Trump announces he’s backing stronger background checks for gun purchases and red flag laws allowing authorities to remove firearms from those who are a danger to themselves or others. Despite the White House’s shift in policy many Congressional Republicans say they’re still strongly against the proposals. Congressman Ralph Abraham says the President’s shift hasn’t changed his mind.
Abraham voted against recent background check and red flag laws that cleared the House on a party-line vote. The biggest fight over background checks will likely be in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he’d allow discussion of the issue.
Four Eunice families lost their homes Saturday when an apartment fourplex burned. Eunice Fire officials say no one was injured in the blaze, which destroyed the complex on the Eunice-Iota Highway. So far there is no determined cause of the fire, which is still under investigation.
Louisiana food delivery company Waitr's stock price fell by half Friday, sending the company's market value to $134 million from a peak of $910 million just five months ago. The company was coming off a financial report Thursday and a shake-up of its workforce, including its top executive's role in the company.
A Monroe woman has been arrested for allegedly shooting at a mosquito abatement aircraft that she says she thought was a drone circling her home. Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s spokesman Glenn Springfield says they received a call from a woman who said a drone had been circling her home, taunting her, so she shot at it three times with her revolver to knock it out of the sky. After deputies determined what had actually happened, 40-year-old Stacy Rodgers was arrested on illegal use of weapons.
The US Small Business Administration is opening a disaster loan outreach center in the Ruston City Hall in an effort to issue low-interest loans to those impacted by a tornado outbreak in April. SBA spokesperson Louise Porter says anyone who has received damage is eligible to apply. Porter says while there is consideration put into a person’s ability to handle repayment, the SBA is a bit more flexible than a conventional lender.
Statewide incumbents appear to have gotten off pretty easy this year with few high profile, or well-funded challengers signing up to run for their seats. Prominent Republicans sat out this cycle with all statewide offices except for Governor controlled by the party. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says challengers are rare in states with one-party rule.
New Orleans city council unanimously bans property owners from renting out homes for Airbnb use unless the home itself is the owner’s primary residence. Supporters say real estate speculators have been buying up historic residential neighborhoods, pricing locals out of owning homes, and drastically cutting the supply of rental units. The ruling also caps the percentage commercial “short term rentals” to 25 percent of the units in a single property, and a substantial limit on private business use of Airbnb as well.
A Shreveport woman is accused of intentionally slamming the head of her 23-month old child following a bus accident in an effort to collect an insurance pay day. State Police Trooper Brent Hardy says the arrest of 38-year-old Deidra Lee comes after an investigation into the incident that took place on a city bus.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association announces the “No Room for Trafficking” campaign aimed at helping hotel workers recognize the warning signs to look for when dealing with potential human trafficking situations. AHLA President and CEO Chip Rodgers says in 2018, Louisiana had 149 cases with 19 of those in hotels.
The Saints first preseason game of 2019 saw the Black and Gold coming up short against the Minnesota Vikings with a final score of 34-25 on Friday night. The spotlight was placed firmly on backup QB Teddy Bridgewater, who took plenty of snaps throughout the first half. Bridgewater spoke after the game, calling it a learning experience.
Major League Baseball announced it is going to play a professional game in Iowa, a first for that state…at the same field the movie Field of Dreams was filmed at. A temporary 8000 seat ballpark will be constructed at the site where the 1989 classic sports flick was shot. That game is set to take place August 13, 2020 between the Yankees and the White Sox.
On the air tonight….
Houston Astros @ Chicago White Sox 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Friday 080919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Qualifying has officially closed and the rosters are set for the fall statewide elections.
In the marquee competition, Governor John Bel Edwards will face two major Republican opponents, Baton Rouge Businessman Eddie Rispone and Congressman Ralph Abraham. Five other candidates populate the ballot.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is facing two Democrats.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin will hope to secure his first full term after winning the special election for his seat last year. He’s up against the opponent he faced in the run-off last year, Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup, and two other Republicans.
Attorney General Jeff Landry has one challenger, Plaquemine Democrat “Ike” Jackson Jr.
State Treasurer John Schroder will face the man who he beat for the job in 2017, Democrat Derrick Edwards, and one other.
Ag Commissioner Mike Strain will seek to keep the office he’s held since unseating Bob Odom in 2007. Democrats Margee Green, Charlie Greer, and Peter Williams, plus another Republican are challenging.
And in what should be the most hotly contested position outside of the Governor’s race, you’ve got 13 year incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon set to take on fellow Republican Tim Temple.
Gas is down nearly seven cents over last month in Louisiana as the typical fall gas price reduction appears to be arriving a month early. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman warns it’s not just the usual seasonal market forces at work. Prices are notably lower than they were this time last year. The average for a gallon in Louisiana is 2.31 a gallon, down from 2.38 last month, and 2.64 this time last year. The global economy appears to be slowing down, and there are growing fears the US could be looking at a similar fate in the near future. Redman says those concerns are translating into lower prices at the pump.
Mayors from four of Louisiana’s biggest cities joined 200 of their colleagues nationwide in signing a letter to Congress demanding the passage of gun background check and red flag legislation. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo was one of the signees. He says a rash of recent mass shootings demands a response. Opponents of the legislation say it’s an infringement on 2nd amendment rights and would do little to actually curb gun violence, but Mayo says it would at least help cut down on mass shooting events. Mayo was joined by Mayors Latoya Cantrell of New Orleans, Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge.
A licensed medical marijuana physician is arrested in Ouachita Parish by State Police. Dr. Benjamin Stage faces five counts of illegally prescribing controlled dangerous substances to a patient that was not one of his own. Depending on the outcome of the case, the medical board may also take action against the doctor.
NOAA has upped it’s hurricane forecast for the year to five to nine hurricanes with two to four major storms. NOAA lead hurricane season forecaster Gerry Bell says all the ingredients are now in place for an above-average hurricane. There have only been two named storms so far, with Hurricane Barry impacting the state as a category 1 storm at landfall.
The family of a man shot dead in a motel room by a West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy is requesting a federal investigation into the incident, stemming from their distrust of local authorities. Attorney for the family Ben Crump says State Police are not being transparent about their investigation into the death of 38-year-old Josef Richardson.
Richardson, who was unarmed, was killed by a shot to the back of the neck in a motel room near Port Allen as deputies were serving a warrant. Crump says the only thing the officers recovered in the incident was about $300 in marijuana and 3 pills of methamphetamine. Richardson was in the motel room with his girlfriend, who is facing drug charges. But investigators have not released any information on why the deputy fired his weapon.
The Slaughter Police Officer that was caught on video punching the local Fire Chief has resigned from the Police Department. A video surfaced on Snapchat Wednesday of the officer punching Slaughter Fire Chief Billy Poche at a local gas station. The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the altercation.
The Saints kick off tonight with their first preseason game, this one against Minnesota in the Dome. Saints analyst Mike Detillier says don’t expect to see your favorites like Drew Brees, because preseason is for up-and-comers and journeymen fighting for a job. Detillier says it could be undrafted free agent Emmanuel Butler’s time to make a strong case for the job. Airtime 5pm on 96.9 KZMZ Kickoff at 7.
Jrue Holiday says he has no ill will towards his former New Orleans Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis. This season marks the first in six years that Holiday and Davis will not be sharing the court after Davis was traded to the Lakers. Holiday says it is cool to see Davis head to a team he grew up a fan of. But when the two teams go to battle with each other, Holiday says he’s ready to hand Davis an L.
Colin Kapernick says he’s still ready to return to the NFL even though he’s been un-employed for the past three seasons. In a video posted Wednesday on social media, the 31-year-old is shown working out in a gym. He says in his video 5 a.m. 5 days a week for 3 years…still ready. Kaepernick was with the 49’ers when he helped start a protest about social and racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem during games.
On Air Tonight..
Houston Astros @ Baltimore 5:40p 94.7 ESPN
Saints vs Minnesota 5p 96.9 KZMZ
News for Thursday 080819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A single vehicle crash early yesterday morning claimed the life of a DeRidder woman. Troopers responded to the crash around 4:50 a.m., which occurred on Bass Road, near U.S. Hwy 171. It appears 30 year old Rebecca Iles lost control of the vehicle she was driving, exited the road way and struck a culvert and some trees. Iles was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation continues and routine toxicology tests are pending.
The RPSO has arrested an Elizabeth woman for first degree murder after an 81-year-old man was found dead on Chester West Road in Elizabeth. Deputies say the incident happened around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The victim was identified as Sherwood Emanuel Doyle. Detectives arrested 31 year old Kristina Hoffpauir an alleged acquaintance of Doyle's. Hoffpauir was booked into the parish jail on a $500,000 bond.
It took a federal jury less than 30 minutes yesterday to convict 40 year old Ronald Allen Jr of Fort Polk Guilty of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and sexual abuse of a minor. Allen now faces up to 45 years in prison when sentenced.
Politico names Louisiana one of 14 states where the election system is most at risk of being exploited due to the what they deem as an insufficient paper trail generated by Louisiana voting machines. The report says the state is one of the few left that has completely paperless voting machines, but Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says that’s not entirely accurate, nor a weakness. Louisiana was on track to have new machines in many precincts before the 2020 Presidential election, but a dispute over the bidding process put that date out of reach. Analysts say paper verification of each vote is necessary to combat the possibility of hackers altering election outcomes, but Ardoin says internet hackers aren’t a threat to the system.
Heated debate over car insurance rates and so-called tort reform ended during the legislative session earlier this year without the passage of any measure. Now, the issue is spilling into election season. The Louisiana Committee for a Conservative Majority, a political organization headed by Attorney General Jeff Landry and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, has hit at least three lawmakers — including a Republican — with direct mail attacks that accuse them of preventing lower insurance rates. The bill ultimately was defeated in Senate committee after its backers couldn’t prove the measure could lower car insurance rates.
Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says internationally, they’re working on a new trade deal with Britain, but it’s the trade war with China that has many farmers in Louisiana Hurting. Louisiana accounts for one percent of the soybean production in the US, with 60% of the national export being sent to China. Good news is, climate change is allowing farmers to grow crops farther north than they have in the past.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is touting major numbers when it comes to his handling of tourism. Nungesser says he has two state parks generating revenue after being told some may be facing closure. Tourism has grown during his years in office as well.
Nungesser credits part of that growth to a push for staycations, keeping residents vacationing in a different part of the state they may not be familiar with. So far, Nungesser is running unopposed to maintain the Lt. Governor’s seat.
A Clinical Psychologist at LSU Health New Orleans says the conflicting reports of a shooter at a Walmart in Baton Rouge yesterday may be the result of the psychological impact of recent mass shootings. Authorities say a gun was drawn during an altercation, but despite multiple eyewitness accounts, no shot was ever fired. Michelle Moore says when in fight or flight the nervous system just takes over. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve reviewed the video and did not see any shots fired during the event.
A 255 million dollar flood prevention project in East Baton Rouge Parish is set to break ground next year. Transportation and Drainage Director for the Parish Fred Raiford says they’ve begun testing drainage models now, and they could be breaking ground as early as February of 2020.
A 63-year-old man is dead following a single motorcycle crash Wednesday morning in Lafayette. According to police, the victim struck a pole and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The identity will be released once family members are notified.
The defense for a Greenwell Springs man accused of double murder claims that the suspect’s heavily-tattooed face draws discrimination from potential jurors. 29-year-old William Bottoms faces a mandatory term of life in prison for the 2017 slayings. Legal analyst Franz Borghardt says the facial markings could be claimed as a distraction from the case.
The 2020 SEC schedule has officially dropped for all teams, with LSU set to start the year September 5th against UT San Antonio before taking on Texas September 12th, and finishing out their Texas trio with a contest against Rice September 19th at a neutral site in Houston. The team has a brutal stretch from October 10th-November 7th where they’ll play, Florida, MS State, and Alabama in less than a month. They end the regular season with Auburn November 21st and a major revenge game November 28th against A&M.
After missing five straight practices, today marked the return of Saints rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Butler. Butler didn’t do much outside of the indoor stretching and conditioning followed by individual position drills. It’s still welcomed news as Butler return comes just ahead of Friday night’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Sean Peyton is hopeful Butler can play Friday.
Tickets are now on sale for the Saints Hall of Fame Induction ceremony taking place this October. Those being honored in this year’s induction class are former Saints running back Reggie Bush, former Saints wide receiver Marques Colston and former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Gov. Blanco will be honored with the Fleur de Lis award for her contributions in getting the Superdome repaired following damage sustained from Hurricane Katrina. The event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25 from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Tickets are $75.
News for Wednesday 080719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
First it was an active shooter situation inside a Baton Rouge Walmart, then a shooting that left one person injured near the customer service counter. but ultimately it was just an argument between two store patrons that involved weapons drawn but no shots fired. East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says It turns out the whole scenario started when one man threatened another with a pair of scissors during an argument that escalated while the two were waiting in line.
The trial for Kayla Giles, the woman accused of shooting and killing her estranged husband in the Alexandria Highway 28 West Walmart back in September of last year has been set to begin on May 4th of next year. The final pretrial conference is set for April 13. Any motions filed by the state or the defense will be heard on Feb. 10.
A status conference will be held on Oct. 14. Giles is charged with 1st degree murder.
The investigation continues in to the death of an unidentified 37 year old man early Saturday morning here in Alexandria. The APD say they responded to a report of shots fired on Huffman Street around 2:45 in the morning. At about the same time, another police officer followed a car that ran a downtown Alexandria red light to a hospital finding that a passenger had been shot. The man died a short time later.
Candidates lined up to qualify for the governor’s race at the Secretary of State’s office yesterday, the first day of qualifying. Governor Edwards two Republican opponents signed the papers first, but the Governor rolled in later to stake his claim to four more years. Edwards says he’s excited about the opportunity to preserve the momentum Louisiana has gained since he has taken office.
Congressman Ralph Abraham is the top polling Republican in the Governor’s race and says there’s a reason why two qualified GOP candidates are in the race, and it’s the Governor’s recent tax increases. But there was one area where Abraham is in agreement with the governor, and that’s the Medicaid Expansion. He says if elected he would maintain Governor Edwards’ Medicaid expansion, but adds his proposed tax cuts would lessen the need for the program as more businesses return to the state.
Tim Temple also officially filed qualifying paperwork Tuesday to challenge incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. Temple is running following twenty-plus years working in different capacities in the insurance business. Temple says the Louisiana families are paying entirely too much toward insurances. Current commissioner Jim Donelon said he’s excited to be on the campaign trail and joked that his wife is surprised anyone would want his job.
According to court documents unsealed Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted nearly two dozen people accused of smuggling large amounts of drugs into the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, including five former guards and several inmates. Twenty-two people were indicted on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges following a federal and state investigation aimed at curbing marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines that were being brought into the state's largest prison through postal mail and prison staff. Authorities described the operation as "large-scale.
Patients at select pharmacies statewide have begun purchasing medical marijuana for the first time in the state’s history. The product is only available to those who have a prescription from board authorized doctors and runs about 90 to 200 dollars a vial for the treatment that comes in a liquid oil form that is placed under the tongue. Other versions of the treatment are set to become available in the next few months, including an inhalable version.
News for Tuesday 080619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Alexandria Daily Town Talk is one of thirteen Louisiana newspapers that are part of a merger of Gannett and GateHouse Media, two of the country's largest newspaper companies. Gannett owns The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, Opelousas Daily World, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Monroe News-Star and Shreveport Times. Gatehouse owns newspapers in Leesville, DeRidder, Gonzales, Plaquemine, Donaldsonville, Houma, Thibodaux and Metairie. The companies said Monday that the deal will cut up to $300 million in costs annually and help speed up a digital transformation.
Medical marijuana is available in select pharmacies today four years after the Legislature passed a law authorizing the product.
Authorities arrested a Colfax woman in the Grant Parish court House after a search of her purse led to the discovery of Meth and Lorazepam. The twist to the story, 49 year old Myra Seals was appearing before a judge at the time for sentencing on a prior drug conviction.
27 year old Ashley Evans of Pineville was arrested yesterday after Grant Parish authorities received a tip from the Winn Parish sheriff’s office to be on the lookout for a vehicle and a suspect who had allegedly shoplifted from the Winfield Walmart.
The vehicle and woman were located, along with the stolen items. When she was transported to the Grant Parish jail, methamphetamine was also discovered in her possession. Evans was arrested for possession of stolen things and introduction of contraband into a penal facility.
The race for the Governor’s Mansion officially starts today with candidates heading to the Secretary of State’s office to file their paperwork for qualifying. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Governor Edwards heads into the race as the odds on favorite to win, however he adds the limited polling available shows Edwards’ support in the mid to low 40s at the moment, a dangerously low level for a politician seeking re-election. Edwards’ top polling opponent Congressman Ralph Abraham doesn’t have much money heading into campaign season, but Cross says he’s got conservative cred and he expects Abraham’s cash problems to disappear as outside PACs join the race on his side. The other Republican in the race is Eddie Rispone, who’s running a self-funded campaign leaning heavily on his support for the President. Cross says his biggest issue is name recognition. Qualifying runs through 4:30PM Thursday.
More troubling news came out Monday about former Baton Rouge Police officer Blane Salmoni, the man who fatally shot Alton Sterling. An attorney for the Sterling family, Chris Stewart, released documents showing an EMS complaint accusing Salamoni of blocking paramedics from saving a 17-year-old’s life in 2014. The Sterling family has filed a civil suit against Salamoni, the police department and the East Baton Rouge Metro Council..
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana on Monday issued the first of two reports for those seeking to overhaul the state Constitution. The review includes the purposes of a constitution and what an ideal document should include. The second report will include recommendations. In the Monday release, the group said the report is intended to stimulate a discussion about what we should want, and not want, in our constitution. PAR regularly issues analysis of proposed constitutional amendments to aid voters.
The Mississippi River in Baton Rouge has been above flood stage for most of 2019, easily breaking the previous record. But on Sunday, the river finally dropped below 35 feet, ending that 211 day stretch. As of 2 p.m., the Mississippi River was at 34.93 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters believe the river will continue to fall through mid-August.
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame will hold its 2019 induction ceremony in Baton Rouge and the Hall could build a new museum in the Capitol City. The 2006 inaugural Hall of Fame class included legendary LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman. Ceremonies have been in Lubbock, Texas, but the foundation is looking for a new home. Sports B-R President Patrick Coogan says a new College Baseball Hall of Fame in Baton Rouge would be more than just old uniforms and baseballs. The 2019 induction ceremony will take place on November 2nd at the Raising Cane’s River Center in downtown Baton Rouge.
The St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of their deputies who was killed in a head-on collision in Mississippi. Corporal Jonathan Panks was reportedly driving back from his own bachelor party in Florida. Mississippi Highway Patrol says another driver on I-10 crossed the median and hit Panks head-on.
Four companies have been chosen to manage the care of 1.7 million Louisiana Medicaid patients. Louisiana's health department announced Monday that the contracts, worth billions, will go to AmeriHealth, Community Care Health Plan of Louisiana, Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana and United Healthcare Community Plan. Terms of the deals remain to be negotiated. Louisiana contracts with managed care companies to oversee services provided to 90 percent of its Medicaid recipients.
The Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office released more details Monday into the death of a Crowley man, and is asking the public for help with information on solving the homicide.
Tim Breaux's vehicle was found Friday night abandoned in the West Crowley Cemetery. Evidence within the vehicle led police to believe that foul play could have occurred and a short time later that suspicion was confirmed when Deputies found nearby in a ditch. Deputies were able to confirm the body was Tim Breaux. Sheriff officials say Breaux died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Shreveport police are investigating an early Saturday morning drive-by shooting left a one-month old child dead in the Sunset Acres neighborhood. Police Chief Ben Raymond believes there is someone out there that has details that can lead to an arrest, and says they need to come forward. Authorities have identified the infant victim as Queen Dean, who was struck in the head when a bullet entered her family’s home.
In St. Charles Parish a Luling woman has been arrested, accused of setting fire to her apartment unit with her children inside. The State Fire Marshal's Office says that fire also affected other occupied units in the complex. 39-year-old Cassandra Jones was booked into the St. Charles Parish Jail on one count of Aggravated Arson.
On the air tonight….
Houston Astros @ Chicago White Sox 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
News for Monday 080519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Bunkie man is dead following an ATV accident early Saturday morning. Bunkie Police Chief Scotty Ferguson reported officers spotted a man driving the ATV at a high rate of speed without lights around 1 a.m. police believe 20 year old Reginald Smith hit an embankment and was unresponsive at the scene. He was reported dead a short time later at Bunkie General.
Sunday a crash involving a UTV killed a woman from Ball, LA. Troopers responded to the crash around 12:45 p.m., which occurred on Cunningham Camp Road. The crash involved a 2017 Honda Pioneer 700, driven by a 16-year-old juvenile. The Honda was eastbound on Cunningham Camp Road when the juvenile driver lost control causing the vehicle to begin overturning. The juvenile received minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital. A passenger, identified as 40-year-old Amanda Preble, was pronounced dead. Both occupants were ejected during the crash.
Congratulations to the city of Pineville for winning the 2019 Lieutenant Governor's Beautification Award. The award was handed out during the 82nd Annual Louisiana Municipal Association meeting in Monroe. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser presented the award along with representatives from the Louisiana Municipal Association, Keep America Beautiful and the Louisiana Garden Club Federation. It should be noted Pineville has also won the Louisiana Garden Club Federation's 'Cleanest City' award 11 times.
Louisiana has another significant budget surplus, this time 300 million dollars, good for 10 percent of the total size of the budget that was passed. Legislative Fiscal Office Chief Economist Greg Albrecht says the state is generating a lot more revenue thanks to federal changes in the tax code that have reduced the size of state tax returns, and the steady elimination of a series of corporate income tax deductions over the past four years, which increased state revenue. That makes three years in a row the state has run a surplus.
Governor Edwards and Congressman Ralph Abraham painted two very different pictures of the current status of state at the Louisiana Municipal Association convention in Monroe. Edwards touted his hard work in pulling the state out of its largest budget deficit and an economy that was deep in the ditch. But Abraham says the state can do a lot more, and still lags behind the rest of the country when it comes to economic growth.
The third man currently on the ballot in the Governor’s race, Eddie Rispone, was absent from the event.
Medical marijuana products will be delivered to nine licensed pharmacies across the state on Tuesday. In order to be able to purchase the product, a patient will need to be diagnosed as having one of the qualifying conditions and have a prescription from a physician. The process is similar to filling other prescriptions. At first the product will come in a droplet form that goes under the tongue with three different strengths to choose from. Other variations of the product are expected in the near future. Medical marijuana products are not covered by insurance. Thibodeaux says the going price for a bottle is between $90 and $200.
Senator Bill Cassidy announces Louisiana will receive one-point-two billion dollars in flood mitigation dollars. Cassidy this money will help reduce Louisiana’s flood risk which will lower flood insurance premiums. The release from Cassidy’s office does not say where the money will be spent.
Tomorrow is qualifying for the fall election, and while most eyes are on the governor’s race there are some undercard competitions for other statewide offices to keep an eye on. The most competitive appears to be Insurance Commissioner, where incumbent Jim Donelon is taking on Tim Temple, who has invested 800-thousand dollars in his own campaign.
Before last week it appeared Ag Commissioner Mike Strain could be vulnerable to a candidate who hammered him on medical marijuana delays, but the product will be hitting shelves on Tuesday. Strain faces Democrats Margee Green and Charlie Greer.
No major contenders seem interested in taking on Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser or Attorney General Jeff Landry despite their high-profile offices, But anything could happen until the 4:30PM Thursday deadline to sign up. Secretary of State and Treasurer will also be on the ballot.
New Orleans attorney Randy Boudreaux files a lawsuit against the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana State Bar Association saying attorneys are unconstitutionally forced to pay bar fees. General Counsel at the Pelican Institute James Baehr says the association does not handle regulation like similar organizations in other states. The Supreme Court mandates that to practice law, attorneys must pay dues to the private group. The Louisiana State Bar Association says it’s in compliance with the law and denies the allegations that are contained in the lawsuit.
ESPN is reporting that the Pelicans will play on Christmas Day. New Orleans will travel to Denver as the league looks to feature Zion Williamson on what is a big day for the Association. It’s also been reported that Anthony Davis will make his first return trip to the Big Easy on November 27.
After a four-decade plus wait, Delhi native Johnny Robinson is finally in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Robinson was a standout safety for the Kansas City Chiefs. He played in three A-F-L title games and two Super Bowls. Robinson’s last game was in 1971.
Former Leesville and LSU star Kevin Mawae was also enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a 16-year career in the NFL, in which he made eight Pro Bowls.
Former Destrehan star Ed Reed also gave an emotional speech on Saturday night as his bust was unveiled.
News for Friday 080219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State agriculture regulators have cleared Louisiana's first batch of medical marijuana for release to pharmacies, ending months of delays getting the product cleared for patients. John Davis, the head GB Sciences Louisiana, said medical marijuana will be released to pharmacies on Tuesday and that's when the first patients can get access to the drug. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry said Thursday evening it completed testing of a random sample of the marijuana tincture, which was produced by LSU and its contractor, GB Sciences.
Congressman Ralph Abraham picks up another endorsement from a Republican lawmaker in his bid to defeat Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards this fall with Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says for now the endorsements help to offset Eddie Rispone’s large advantage in campaign dollars. Governor Edwards is in the front-runner in the polls heading into the October 12th primary.
Over 200 new laws took effect yesterday, including an effort to prevent the harassment of refs in amateur and high school sports. Metairie Representative Cameron Henry’s law would allow officers to remove, and possibly arrest people who threaten physical violence against those amateur refs. Henry says he brought the legislation on request from his local playground, which was tired of dealing with raging parents…
Another new law expands a judge’s abilities to order chemical castrations. Marrero Representative Patrick Connick’s bill would allow judges to sentence those who commit sexual battery to chemical castration. He says previously that wasn’t an option.
A new child safety seat law is in place. And medication abortions can now only take place at the state’s three licensed abortions clinics, no longer in a gynecologist’s office.
A 5- year-old boy from Ville Platte is now recovering after he was shot in the leg late Wednesday night. The alleged drive-by shooting happened when he was riding in the car with his dad, sister and step-mother. Ville Platte has seen some major cutbacks in it’s Police Department leading to the elimination of 11 positions, almost half the police force. A 17-year-old has been identified as a suspect in this shooting.
Baton Rouge police announce that Blane Salamoni, the officer who fired six shots into the body of Alton Sterling, will never work as a B-R-P-D officer as part of a settlement reached. The department has learned that Salamoni had an arrest record that he did not disclose to police when he applied to be an officer. That should have prevented him from being hired. The shooting of Sterling led to days of protest and civil unrest. Police Chief Murphy Paul says the healing process continues. Salamoni will be allowed to voluntarily resign retroactive to March 2018, instead of being fired.
A new report from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network evaluates Louisiana’s effort to fight the disease. In 2007, a law was put into place requiring all indoor workplaces to be smoke-free, with the exception of bars and casinos. ACS-CAN spokesperson Lance Barbour says the state has fallen short to combat second-hand smoke. Among the areas of concern, access to care, quality of life, and prevention.
Barbour says the findings in the report indicate that Louisiana could combat smoking by raising the state’s cigarette tax.
Beginning in fall all Louisiana public schools will have to display “In God We Trust” and educate students about the origin of the national motto. The law was written by Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow, who says the motto must at minimum be displayed on a paper sheet. The law also allows teachers to freely choose to display the motto in their classroom. The law requires that the history of the motto be added to the mandatory curriculum in public schools. Barrow says it’s meant to teach students about the “patriotic history” of the USA. That will be taught alongside instruction on proper flag etiquette.
The 6,952 square mile “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi isn’t quite as big as NOAA predicted this year due to the disturbance of Hurricane Barry. The nearly 7,000 square mile Zone was still good for the 8th largest on record.
Four juveniles were arrested Thursday on felony criminal damage and other counts on allegations they took school buses on an evening joy ride at Donaldsonville High School, smashed a brick building and damaged three buses. No injuries were reported and the building sustained moderate damage to the exterior.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday Louisiana will likely have another $300 million budget surplus when the state closes the books on the fiscal year. That's 10 percent more than the original estimates. This latest surplus is for Fiscal Year 2019, which ended on June 30.
LSU hits the practice field today for the start of preseason camp. Coach Ed Orgeron plans to be heavily involved in the development of the defensive line, especially with D-Line coach Dennis Johnson in a wheelchair after severely injuring both of his knees while playing basketball. Orgeron says for LSU to accomplish its goals this season, they have to play better on the offensive and defensive lines.
Can’t Guard Mike is back in Black and Gold after a short holdout led to him becoming the highest paid receiver in NFL history. The 26-year-old grabbed a five year, 100-million-dollar contract to set the new record. After breaking the record for most receptions through a player’s first three years, he’s confident he’s worth every penny.
Thomas caught 83 percent of the passes sent his way over his first three years.
News for Thursday 080119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The RPSO reports that 24 year old Jasmine Anderson, the woman arrested by the Alexandria Police Department on July 23 for the alleged murder of her 5-year-old daughter, has officially passed after she committed suicide late last week. The report stated an autopsy had been conducted and results should be back within six to eight weeks, which is a standard practice.
Tuesday’s heavy rains and subsequent flooding has left many Alexandria residents upset over a continuing problem in the city. Mayor Jeff hall says the city did everything they could to prevent Tuesday’s flooding, unfortunately, more funding is needed to fix the overall problem. The mayor explained that they are going to need some help from the state and federal government. Something he says the city is exploring. In the meantime, Mayor Hall, along with Alexandria’s Councilman At-Large, Joe Fuller said, the city will continue working together to prevent any more major flooding events.
State Police have updated a story involving that two vehicle crash Monday that claimed the lives of three people, including a toddler. Troopers have now arrested and charged Joseph Pardue with three counts of negligent homicide, one count of negligent injuring, reckless operation, and unsafe vehicle. The 18 wheeler Pardue was driving struck the back of a Ford Fiesta that had slowed to make a right turn. The initial report also stated that the Toddler that was killed in the crash was not properly restrained. Troopers now say the child was in indeed in a child safety seat. The crash remains under investigation.
The family of a black man killed last week during an encounter with a West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy is demanding justice. An autopsy shows 38-year-old Josef Richardson was fatally shot in the back of the neck. Richardson was in a motel room with his girlfriend, who is facing drug charges. Investigators have not released any information on why the deputy fired his weapon. The identity of the deputy involved in the shooting has not been released.
Beginning today, the average Cleco customer will see a bill credit of approximately $14 a month for the next 12 months. The benefit stems from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which reduces the company’s corporate tax rate and is being passed along to customers. Last month CLECO’s plan to credit customers over $84 million gained approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Tulane releases a report comparing pre and post-expansion quality of life for the Medicaid expansion’s 475,000 enrollees, and the results look positive. The study also shows the number of people who report they did not take medication as prescribed due to cost dropped by 66 percent. Providers who accept Medicaid saw a 35 percent increase in Medicaid patients post-expansion. Diana says that’s resulted in a substantial increase in the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The report came out Yesterday, which was the three year anniversary of the Governor’s executive order permitting the expansion.
Louisiana now has a minimum age for marriage in the state. The new law that goes into effect today sets the age at 16. During discussion by lawmakers, the age limit for marriage received pushback from GOP lawmakers saying it puts a roadblock in front of marriage in the event of teenage pregnancy.
Delhi Senator Francis Thompson is term-limited in the Senate but will attempt to continue his four-decade tenure in the legislature with his announcement that he’s running for the House. There are some concerns that the chamber flipping is against the spirit of the state’s term limit law, but Thompson says the Capitol is at it’s best when it has a few people who know all the ins and outs. Thompson previously served in the Louisiana House from 1975 to 2007. Thompson is 77 years old.
Tonight it’s a sample of what’s to come.. the Hall of Fame Game, the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
The Saints and Michael Thomas have reportedly agreed to a new contract that makes him the highest-paid receiver in NFL history. Sources say the deal is worth 100-million dollars over five years. The media has picked LSU to finish second in the SEC West.
Louisiana has lost a sport legend in the boxing community, Beau Williford a professional trainer who once sparred with Muhammad Ali and founder of the Ragin’ Cajun Boxing Club in Lafayette has died. Williford died early Wednesday morning after a brief battle with cancer, he was 69 years old. Services will be held Saturday at First Baptist Church in Lafayette.
News for Wednesday 073119
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Clean up gets underway today after a severe thunderstorm that dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time Tuesday morning caused widespread street flooding as well as scattered power outages. Several neighborhoods, including Martin Park and Charles Park, were impacted by rising waters as motorists were stranded and homes and businesses sustained damage. According to the National Weather Service's Lake Charles office, the area got between 4 and 6 inches of rain Tuesday, with isolated spots getting between 6 and 8 inches, and possibly more.
A 62-year old Coushatta man is facing several molestation charges of a juvenile. The Red River Parish Sheriff’s office received a complaint earlier this month from a victim and obtained forensic evidence to support the claim. Steven Pierce Weir (Ware) was a basketball coach and teacher at Riverdale Academy. The victim told police them the abuse began when he was a student in 2006 and continue after his graduation in 2012. Weir is in jail awaiting bond.
GOP governor’s race candidate Eddie Rispone is set to start spending five million-plus dollars on an ad buy that Rispone campaign communications director Anthony Ramirez says will let the voters know exactly who the Baton Rouge business magnate is. Ramirez says expect to see the candidate’s message on everything from nightly news to Monday Night Football.
House Republican Chairman Lance Harris says he’s seeing a lot of support for Congressman Ralph Abraham for Governor in his Alexandria based district. After the Alexandria Republican’s attempt in the last session to roll back a 2018 sales tax failed, he got a call from the Congressman, who vowed, if elected, that he would get that effort over the finish line.
For years the Louisiana Treasury Department has returned unclaimed money to folks, and now they’re looking to do the same thing for lost military medals. Louisiana has an above-average rate of military service, and Treasurer John Schroder says the proposal flew through the Legislature unanimously. The law would allow the Department to collect lost medals and military paperwork from depositories and return them to the owner, or next of kin.
Senator Bill Cassidy releases a paid leave proposal for new parents. Cassidy says with the plan, new parents would be allowed to take $5,000 advance on the child tax credit, reducing the $2,000 annual benefit to $1,500 for ten years after the birth or adoption of a child. Cassidy says the proposal presents great benefits to families. The bill has bi-partisan support.
48-year-old James William Eaton of West Monroe is in jail after posing online as a woman and luring another man to drive from California to Ouachita Parish thinking he was marrying that woman. It is unclear how long the relationship had been going on.
The St. John Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double homicide. Sheriff Mike Tregre says the victims are cousins, 18 and 20-years old and they were found in a vehicle on West Airline Highway in Reserve, and says violence like this involving young men is far too common. They’re currently hunting for suspects.
Louisiana Tech is investing in building new residence halls and parking by fall of 2021 as the student body continues to expand year to year. Louisiana Tech assistant VP for student advancement Dickie Crawford says 600 new beds will be created, along with a thousand new parking spaces in and around the campus. The new halls will mean Harper, Mitchell, and Cottingham halls will be discontinued by 2021. Crawford says the old halls aren’t unsafe or falling apart, but they are outdated and with interest in the Ruston institution growing, they’re pushing to show a more modern face.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber releases their 2019 legislative and gubernatorial election platform that calls for a major focus on making south Louisiana competitive for business growth with reinvestment in infrastructure. BRAC Senior VP of Economic Competitiveness Liz Smith says they’d like to see a special session called in 2020.
Smith says the platform lays out a plan to pay for infrastructure needs via a gas tax.
The Louisiana Select Association has been formed within the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. The L-S-A is made up of private schools. Catholic High of Baton Rouge athletics director J-P Kelly says finding a host site for their championship games is a top priority…
The Saints made some roster moves yesterday, dropping running back veteran Buck Allen and defensive back Chris Campbell, while picking up former Washington running back Robert Kelly and practice squad player Travin Dural. Kelly had a great start to his career, running for over 700 yards his rookie year and appeared to be set to take on a featured roll for the teams before falling out of favor and eventually off of the roster. Dural was originally signed to the practice squad out of LSU in 2017, but spent the 2018 season on IR.
LSU football is off to a strong start for their recruiting… in the 2021 season. Four-star defensive end of out Texas Landyn Watson tweeted that he’s planning on joining the Purple and Gold. Watson is a junior at Hutto High, and is already clocking in at 6’3 240 pounds as the no. 11 defensive end of the class according to 247 Sports, and the number 33 overall prospect.
LSU’s basketball team has picked up former Southeastern Louisiana University guard Parker Edwards, a former St. Pauls of Covington star to fill a roster spot left open by Will Reese, who is leaving the program to focus on an internship. Edwards is best known for putting on a show against the Tigers last season in the opener against SLU, dropping 25 points on 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Coach Will Wade says he’ll be a great addition.
Wade is also calling for LSU to find the rest of the funds needed to complete a 15 million dollar renovation of the basketball facility after seeing the new, 28 million dollar football operations center.
News for Tuesday 073019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
An Alexandria woman accused of murdering her 5-year-old daughter has been declared “clinically deceased” a few days after attempting suicide while in custody at the Rapides Parish Jail. Rapides Sherriff William Hilton says they’re reviewing the incident, but it appears all policies were adhered to, but 24-year-old Jasmine Anderson’s lawyer Chad Guillot says it’s unacceptable. Guillot says he’s still trying to get more information about the incident but considering Anderson was in a mental facility when she was initially arrested, the jail should have taken more precautions. Anderson is still on life support machinery at the hospital, but Guillot says that’s only because she was a registered organ donor.
Shortly before noon yesterday a two vehicle crash on LA Hwy 127 South of Olla claimed the lives of three people, including a toddler. Troopers say the teenage driver of the vehicle had slowed to make a right hand turn, when it was hit from behind by and 18 wheeler. The two people killed, both passengers, were not wearing seatbelts. State Police also say the 3 year old toddler was not properly restrained. Charges are pending and the crash remains under investigation.
Four years after the Legislature authorized medical marijuana in Louisiana patients appears to set to get access to the treatment. It should be available at select pharmacies by next week, and that’s a load off the shoulders of proponents who have hammered the state after the product was repeatedly delayed. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says despite the wait, it was still a quick process compared to usual medication trials. But, there is bad news as well, it appears the treatment will not be covered by insurance, leaving it out of reach of many of those who need it most.
Authorities say the missing persons case of Kasey Bigum has been resolved in Avoyelles Parish. Sheriff Doug Anderson says 20-year-Tristin James, murdered his mother, and with the help of his girlfriend hid the body, not even reporting his mom missing for three weeks after the murder. Her body was discovered Friday. The two have been charged with 2nd degree murder.
LSU athletics director Scott Woodward wants to change the transfer policy which has provided the academic side with millions of dollars generated by athletics. From 2012-to-2017, LSU athletics sent nearly 50-million dollars to the university. Woodward says it’s dangerous for a university to rely on recurring money from athletics and the policy needs to change.
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes announces she is not seeking reelection this fall. Stokes was first elected to the House seat in 2013, and in 2017 ran for state treasurer, but pulled out of the race following a breast cancer diagnosis. Stokes unsuccessfully ran for Secretary of State in 2018. Now, she says she’ll be spending more time with family. Of all of her legislative accomplishments, Stokes says her actions to help those afflicted with cancer are the most rewarding.
School systems in Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita parishes have been hit with cybersecurity issues, and now it appears The Tangipahoa Parish Public School System is the latest to be targeted. LSU’s Stephenson National Center for Security Research Executive Director Jeff Moulton says they suspect automated hacking programs, not live humans, are responsible. He says emails generally the most common form of attack.
A new study from LSU Pennington Biomedical research indicates that fat stored in unhealthy locations doubles a colorectal cancer patient’s risk of death within seven years. Director of the Cancer Metabolism Program Dr. Justin Brown says historically cancer cure rates have increased over time and patients are eager to understand things they can do to improve their outcomes.
Leaders of select schools gathered in Lafayette Monday to create a sub organization called the Louisiana Select Association. The L-S-A says this is not an attempt to break away from the LHSAA. One major duty for the Louisiana Select Association is to determine where championship events in football, basketball, baseball and softball should be played. Venues in New and Lafayette are potential sites.
The Saints released wide receiver Cam Meredith Monday. The Black and Gold signed Meredith during the 2018 offseason after he missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL. He caught 66 passes in Chicago in 2016, but his knee has not responded to major surgery, plus some younger receivers have looked impressive at camp, including rookie undrafted free agent Emmanuel Butler from Northern Arizona.
News for Monday 072919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Another part of Louisiana’s History went up in smoke Friday night when the Frogmore Plantation in Concordia Parish caught fire. .The family that calls the plantation home says the fire started on the back porch of the house and quickly spread to the attic and most of the remaining house. The State fire Marshal’s office will begin their investigation into the blaze today. The plantation had been standing since the early 1800’s
The accident occurred in the late night hours of July 3rd. A single vehicle crash killed a man from Montgomery and moderately injured a teenager. At the time no charges were filed against the 18 year old driver of the vehicle Colton Trouille. But, that changed Sunday morning when Trouille was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, reckless operation, no seat belt, open container, and expired inspection sticker. Trouille was booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.
Authorities in Avoyelles parish believe human remains found in Big Bend on Friday, are those of a woman who has been missing since May 30th. Over the weekend the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s department announced the arrests of two people in connection with to the disappearance of Kasey Bigum. One of those arrested was the woman’s son 20 year old Tristin James of Moreauville, The other 18 year old Hannah Deselle of Moreauville. Sheriff Doug Anderson said the body had not been identified and that the remains were sent to the LSU FACES Lab for identification.
Chad Guillot , the attorney for Jasmine Anderson has filed a request for a bond reduction. Guillot filed the reduction request on Friday, stating that Anderson is not able to post the issued amount. The bond was originally set at $500,000. Anderson was arrested by the Alexandria Police Department on Tuesday of last week for second-degree murder in connection to the death of her daughter, 5-year-old Audrey Chelette. Guillot has also filed a motion for an appointment of a sanity commission with the hearing set for tomorrow.
A new child safety seat law goes into effect August 1st and it’s considered the best in the country by national safety experts. State Police Lt. Nick Manale says the new laws reflect some of the best practices that safety experts have pushed for years. The new law requires anyone under 13 to ride in the backseat. Manale says the idea behind the law isn’t to add any more grief or inconvenience for parents but to keep kids in protective categories even longer. Manale says for many years the state had fallen behind on the trends of car seat safety, but firmly believes the new law is changing that.
Two former LSU students are in prison for their roles in the alcohol-related hazing death of Max Gruver. Judge Beau Higginbotham sentenced Sean-Paul Gott of Lafayette and Ryan Isto of Montana to 30 days in the parish prison. Gott and Isto pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing.
Super ATV’s new manufacturing and distribution center in Shreveport is open. It will employ 75 workers. The Indiana based company specializes in aftermarket parts for ATVs and UTVs. North Louisiana Economic Partnership President Scott Martinez says Super ATV is a great addition to the Sportsman’s paradise. Martinez says Super ATV expects to generate the highest sales volume from Shreveport for its axles, portal gear lifts, mud tires and lift kits.
Three nonpartisan good government groups have joined forces in an effort to get the candidates for governor and the legislature to discuss details on what they plan to do if elected. The Council for a Better Louisiana is one of the organizations. So far in Louisiana’s governor’s race, the candidates have not provided much when it comes to their plans on improving the state, instead, the ads have centered around President Donald Trump and Governor Edwards’ current term. Erwin says they want to change the conversation.
In response to the unveiling of the 28-million dollar LSU football operations building, LSU alum Ginger Gibson has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise 20-million dollars for a new university library. Gibson hopes LSU football fans rally behind the campaign as they do for the team because a modern library is a win-win for everyone. As of Saturday morning, 35-hundred dollars have been raised.
A Lafayette judge is the target of scrutiny after ordering a bailiff to tape a defendant’s mouth shut. 15th Judicial District Court Judge Marilyn Castle has Michael Duhon’s mouth taped after multiple interruptions. Was the judge in the right to pull this rarely seen maneuver? Lafayette Attorney Tommy Guilbeau says a judge can order someone to be bound, gagged, duck taped, or removed from the courtroom. The ACLU calls the incident shocking, dehumanizing, and brutal.
Former LSU football player Drake Davis, who recently pleaded guilty to a series of domestic violence charges, was arrested early Sunday after allegedly grabbing and pushing a dating partner. The 22 year old Davis was captured on video being physical with a woman while arguing with. The woman told a deputy the two started arguing when Davis found out she was speaking with another man, but the argument grew physical.
News for Friday 072619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff deputies had to revive Jasmine Anderson after a suicide attempt Thursday morning. The 24-year-old Alexandria mom, who was arrested earlier this week, is accused of killing her five-year daughter. Her attorney, Chad Guillot says a hearing is set for next Tuesday for a judge to determine if a sanity commission is needed. Guillot says if medical professionals find that she’s not competent, she’ll be sent to the state’s mental hospital in East Feliciana Parish for treatment.
Authorities say a suspect involved in a standoff with officers in Vidalia on Thursday afternoon is dead and the standoff has ended. According to the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office, the standoff started after the suspect shot a deputy at an apartment complex in Vidalia earlier Thursday. Authorities say they were working an armed robbery investigation from earlier in the morning. Officer Walter Mackel knocked on one of the apartment doors for questioning when he was shot. Authorities have not said how the suspect died. His identity has not been officially released. Officer Mackle is said to be recovering from his injuries.
A Baton Rouge Police officer was fired Thursday after a video showed the cop in April repeatedly punching a man outside a Tigerland bar. Officer Marshall McDermitt was fired after an internal investigation into his conduct on April 7, which found he violated BRPD's policies on use of force, truthfulness, conduct unbecoming, carrying out orders, and falsification of documents. McDermitt is a 2-year veteran of the force.
Southern University says its medical marijuana grower has planted its first crop, as Louisiana edges nearer to having product available to patients. The Baton Rouge University estimates its medical marijuana could be in pharmacies by the fall.
The Louisiana Department of Health will soon begin enforcing the state’s new crawfish and shrimp labeling law approved by the legislature. The law lets patrons at restaurants know the origin of their meal. LDH Environmental Services Chief of Field Operations Carolyn Bombet says if a restaurant is not falling in line with the law, contact LDH who will investigate.
LSU announces its beer and wine policy for sale at concessions stands in the general seating areas of Tiger Stadium. A new SEC policy approved in the Spring gave schools the option to sell beer and wine in public areas. LSU Senior Associate athletics director Robert Munson says it’s something fans have asked for.
The US Department of Justice announces it is ending a moratorium on executions and one of the five federal death row inmates that were named by the Attorney General to be put to death is Alfred Bourgeois, a LaPlace man convicted in 2002 of abusing and murdering his two year old daughter. The incident happened in Corpus Christi, Texas. The executions are scheduled to take place at a Federal Prison in Indiana between December 9 and January 15th.
Senate President John Alario is ending his political career after 48 years in the state legislature. Alario who is term-limited had the option of running for a House seat, but the Republican from Westwego decided to spend more time with his family. Pollster Pinsonat says Alario is one of Louisiana’s most influential politicians. Alario has twice served as Senate President and twice as House Speaker. The Senate says he’s one of only four lawmakers in the nation to do that.
An LSU Professor had the roles reversed when he found himself depending on students as he went into cardiac arrest. Math professor Dr. James Oxley was swimming laps on campus July 5th when he slipped under the water and eight students jumped into action to save his life. Oxley says his cardiologist told him it was the students’ training that made the difference.
The town of Church Point has a unique designation as being the home to the state’s first cloned cow. The cow lives at Circle T Cattle Company. Several years ago, owner Bob Thibodeaux purchased a cow that won awards all over the world. The original cow that was duplicated has since been sold and lives in Florida. Thibodeaux says the clone, named Eight over nice, has the exact look and personality of the original. The cloning of the animal took place in the state of Iowa, then was transported back to Louisiana.
Gov. Edwards issues a statewide emergency declaration following a cybersecurity attack on several school systems in North Louisiana. Senior Coordinating Official for the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission Kenneth Donnelly says the state was first made aware of a malware attack on July 23rd. This is the first activation of Louisiana’s emergency support function relating to cybersecurity. Donnelly says Louisiana State Police, National Guard, GOHSEP, and the Office of Technology service are all working alongside the FBI in response to the attack.
The Saints hit the practice field this morning, but star wide receiver Michael Thomas will not be there. The 26-year-old is seeking a new contract that would make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. Coach Sean Payton hopes the contract talks will not linger. General Manager Mickey Loomis says he wouldn’t say they are close to agreeing on a new contract with Thomas, but he says they are not far off. Thomas is reportedly looking for a 20-million dollar a year contract that would make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.
The LSU basketball team has released its non-conference schedule. The 2019-2020 season gets underway on Friday November 8th at home against Bowling Green. The Tigers will host Nicholls, UNO and Northwestern State in the non-conference, while travel to V-C-U, U-S-C and Texas. The contest against the Longhorns will be part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge in January.
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