News for Wednesday 070319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Shocking news yesterday here at Cenla Broadcasting upon word of the Passing of John Walton, half of the KZMZ morning team of Walton & Johnson. Steve Johnson, his on air partner since the early 80’s told us yesterday that John passed away shortly before midnight Monday night. Johnson asked the public to keep the Walton family in their thoughts and prayers. Today, the plan is to take calls from fans, giving them a chance to say good bye.. Johnson says the show will go on, returning as soon as possible.
Word of another passing yesterday.. that of longtime Avoyelles Parish Assistant District Attorney Norris Greenhouse Sr. He worked under former DA Ed Knoll for nearly ten years and under current DA for nearly 18 years as a prosecutor. There has been no word yet on funeral arrangements. Norris Greenhouse Sr was only 62 years old.
A record 48.9 million Americans are expected to make a trip for the 4thof July, a 4.1 percent increase over last year. AAA Analyst Don Redman says locally in the Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas region, 4.7 million people will travel. Nationally, 4 million travelers will take to the skies, a 5.5 percent increase over last year, with airfare costs up 10 percent over last year. The average price for a gallon of regular in Louisiana sits at $2.35, but shop around you can do a lot better than that.
Over the last several years, the popularity of rideshares services such as Uber and Lyft has grown, but it hasn’t been a transportation option in all areas of Louisiana. But Uber South spokesperson Trevor Theunissen says Uber services begin statewide today ahead of the 4th of July holiday. Theunissen says an aggressive campaign is kicking off to recruit drivers who want to make a little extra money.
A stretch of highway in Cajun Country running from I-10/I-49 South to Raceland was named Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway at an unveiling ceremony last night featuring both the current and former Governors. Franklin Representative Sam Jones was there and says it’s a fantastic way to honor one of the great Cajuns in state history. Blanco served from 2004-2008, and has “made peace” with her battle against cancer that’s left her wheelchair bound.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the 2019 capital outlay bill which will provide one-point-five billion dollars in new funding for construction and infrastructure improvement projects. 94-million dollars is for construction of roads and bridges, 246-million for education construction projects and 40-million for water infrastructure projects.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents will be cracking down on impaired boaters for Operation Dry Water weekend from July 5 to July 7. Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe. In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.
St. Bernard Parish President Brian McInnis calls on the feds to provide immediate relief in the form of disaster aid to help the struggling seafood industry. Freshwater pouring from the Mississippi River into the area due to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is having devastating effects on the region’s largest economic driver. McInnis says the plea for relief has the full support of the parish council, state and federal representatives. The parish has organized a trip to DC to state their case next week.
A female is recovering after being shot and being dumped off on the side of Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola says the suspect, 28-year-old Gerry Byrd, fled to Mississippi where he was shot by law enforcement in the Woodville area after they were alerted he was in a parking lot, waving two semi-auto pistols in the air. Coppola says the suspect was brought back to Baton Rouge to be treated for his life threatening injuries. The victim’s wounds appear to be non-life threatening.
“Operation Murder Gang Meltdown”, a cross agency narcotics taskforce in Terrebonne Parish is nearing an end after the arrests of 18 suspects and the seizure of significant amounts of drugs. Terrebonne Parish Chief Deputy Terry Daigre says the taskforce has made some major seizures. The drugs’ street value topped a million dollars.
After suffering catastrophic damage from an EF-3 tornado in April, Louisiana Tech has made the decision to demolish the baseball, softball, and soccer stadiums this summer. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says after extensive surveys, they came to the conclusion that trying to salvage those sites just wouldn’t be safe.The tornado caused hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage and took the lives of two people.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is raising the bounty on nutria from $5 to $6 per tail for the season that starts November 1st. LDWF biologist Catherine Normand says the bounty program has been in place since 2002, adding at one point, there was a fur market for the nutria and the state didn’t have an issue with rodents causing damage to the wetlands because of the number of hunters keeping the population down and keep them from overgrazing.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office announces the arrest of two volunteer firefighters for their connection to three fires in two parishes. Since being taken into custody, Matthew Crane of Springhill and Montana Ludlum of Cullen have made confessions of their involvement. Both men have been dismissed from the fire department.