News for Tuesday 052714
By Dave Graichen
New numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission show the Houma, Lafayette and Lake Charles metro areas had an unemployment rate below four-percent in April. LSU economist Loren Scott these areas of the state are benefiting from a boom in construction, because of new plants that are coming to the state. But Scott says not all areas of the state are doing well. The Louisiana
Workforce Commission says the Shreveport metro area's unemployment rate is near five-percent. He says that area of the state is still suffering from the closure of the General Motors plant in 2012 and cutbacks at Barksdale air force base.
The dean of political journalism in Louisiana has passed away. John Maginnis, publisher of lapolitics-dot-com, died Sunday at the age of 66. Maginnis wrote political books, a syndicated column and
published a newsletter that provided an inside look at state government. LSU mass communications professor Bob Mann says Maginnis will be sorely missed. Maginnis started on Louisiana political beat in 1972.
Governor Jindal has signed into law legislation that would allow concealed handgun permit holders to bring a gun into restaurants that serve alcohol, but make most of their money off food sales.
Bossier City Representative Jeff Thompson warns concealed handgun holders can have their premit revoked if they possess a gun in one of these establishments and have a blood alcohol reading greater than .05%. Thompson says business owners will have the right to prohibit guns
in their restaurant if they choose to do so.
The Louisiana Senate Finance Committee reversed many of the changes and adjustments made to the state budget proposal by the state House of Representatives. Yesterday, the committee approved the 25-billion dollar spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year and passed it on to the full senate.
Beginning with this year's Atlantic Hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center will begin issuing a Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map for areas along the coast at risk of storm surge from a tropical cyclone. Storm Surge Leader for the National Hurricane Center Jamie Rhome says this has been in the works for a while. The maps will predict how deep the water will be above ground and how far inland the water will go. They will be available 48 hours prior to landfall or during the watch and warning phases. Rhome says the map will change as a storm approaches the coast.
The 2014 legislative session will come to a close Monday. So, how has this session been going? UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says the session has been wandering since the beginning. 1,284 bills have been filed in the House and 685 in the Senate. Many of those will not survive. Of course, some of the biggest bills await final action in the final days of the session. Cross says Governor Jindal has spent quite a bit of time out of state during this session, which kept major legislation from getting approved this year.
The Bayou Country Superfest wrapped up Sunday night with performances from Louisiana’s own Hunter Hayes and Jason Aldean. Organizers say the three-day country music festival had a record setting turnout of 135-thousand fans.
The NCAA Baseball Tournament field has been announced. Eighth seed LSU will host Houston, Bryant, and Southeastern Louisiana in regional action. In the Lafayette Regional, UL-Lafayette, the number six seed, will host Jackson State, San Diego State, and Mississippi State. Both regionals kick off Friday.