News for Thursday 053019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Legislation that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected obtained final passage and is headed to the governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. The debate was intense when Baton Rouge Representative Ted James attempted, and failed, to bring an amendment offering exceptions in the case of rape or incest. The measure is not expected to take effect anytime soon. Under the proposal, the restriction of abortions would not be enforceable until a federal appeals court rules on upholding a similar law in Mississippi.
The APD reports K’ci Rue turned himself in on Wednesday, following a shooting on Bacon Street last week that killed one person and wounded four others. Rue was arrested on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, four counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder.
Local authorities have arrested a Pineville man, 58 year old Mark Evans on three counts of possession of Pornography Involving Juveniles Under the Age of Thirteen. Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant at Evans' home. They seized electronic devices that are subject to further forensic examination, which may lead to additional charges. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation.
The State Police announced yesterday that they will be setting up sobriety check points Friday night and early Saturday morning across Rapides parish. State Police Spokesman Scott Moreau says the mission will be to intercept and incarcerate impaired drivers before they can cause injury or death to themselves, their passengers, or members of the public. He says they are asking the public to make the mature decision and to designate a sober driver.
As families hit the road for summer vacations, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists to buckle up as part of their Click It or Ticket Campaign. Sheriff Hilton announced the receipt of a grant through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct additional traffic safety enforcement targeting seatbelt use during this campaign, which runs through June 2nd.
State officials found guilty of sexual harassment could be set to foot much of the bill for their misdeeds if Senate approved legislation gets final approval on the House floor before the end of the session. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says her legislation was inspired by a Legislative Auditor’s report that showed taxpayers have been on the hook for millions of dollars in costs associated with sexual harassment suits.
A bill banning drivers from holding their phone while behind the wheel is headed to the Senate after an at-times heated discussion on the House floor. Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson says the legislation will save money on insurance rates, but more importantly, likely save the lives of Louisiana drivers, particularly teens. Opponents say the proposal is government overreach.
The House and Senate are at odds over whether or not to include a 39-million-dollar funding increase for public schools, on top of a 1,000-1,200 dollar pay raise for teachers. A portion of the 39 million would help keep increased benefit costs from a pay raise from falling back on educators; the rest goes to the schools.
A proposal attempting to make Louisiana the first state in the South to legalize recreational use of marijuana failed in the House Criminal Justice Committee. Kevin Caldwell of Common Sense NOLA says marijuana use is increasing and the state is not getting any benefits from it. Tax revenues from the sale of legal pot would have gone towards public schools, TOPS and better roads. After about a ten-minute discussion on the proposal, the marijuana legalization bill was soundly defeated.
Legislation is heading to the governor’s desk to extend Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans’ license with the state through 2054. Harrah’s will pay millions of dollars more to the state and city for having Louisiana’s only land-based casino license. A similar bill died last year over concerns that the state was not getting a good deal. Prior to this year’s debate, the legislature hired a consultant to study the market value of the casino license.
Louisiana's congressional delegation has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers whose crops are in the path of the Morganza Spillway, which will be opened Sunday and wipe out anything planted in the Atchafalaya River Basin floodway. Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, Louisiana's only member of Congress on an agriculture committee, led the delegation's request. Opening the Morganza Spillway will flood about 25,000 acres of crops and aquaculture.
The Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that places signs on I-10 at the Texas and Mississippi borders declaring that motorists are entering the Home of the Who Dat Nation. New Orleans Senator Wesley Bishop says a metal banner with the message will be added to existing road signs, and they will be funded by fans. Originally, the bill called for I-10 to be renamed the Who Dat Nation Highway, but lawmakers forgot it was already named in honor of veterans.
A barge has arrived that will be sunk in Bayou Chene and will act as a temporary floodgate site to prevent backwater from flooding parts of Assumption, Lower St. Martin, Iberville, St. Mary, and Terrebonne Parishes. The process is being carried out in response to the opening of the Morganza Spillway on Sunday due to rising river levels.
One man has been arrested in Texas and another suspect is still on the lam following a theft of 120-thousand dollars’ worth of wheels and tires from a Slidell car dealership in April. Police said 39 year old Eric Summage was apprehended in Texas and they are still on the lookout for 44 year old Riley Richardson. More arrests are expected in connection with what investigators are considering a professional theft ring along I-10.
ESPN reports Anthony Davis and Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin met Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. The two are expected to keep talking as Griffin is making a case for the All-Star to remain in New Orleans. A-D can be a free agent next summer.
Forward Emmit Williams announces he’s returning to LSU. He’s one of four Tigers who entered their name into the NBA draft, but have decided to come to back LSU.
The LSU-Alabama football game will not be a CBS primetime game this year. Instead the network has decided to televise an SEC night game in September. It’s expected to be the Norte Dame-Georgia game. The SEC Showdown between LSU and Alabama has been shown on CBS at night since 2010. CBS could still televise the big game, but it will kick-off at 2:30, instead of 7 PM.