News for Monday 060914
By Dave Graichen
Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, a fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, was crowned Miss USA 2014 Sunday night in Baton Rouge. The 24-year-old from Las Vegas beat out 50 other contestants from all the states.
The National Journal reports, an independent super PAC linked to U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s bid for Louisiana governor picked up a new big contributor: Vitter’s U.S. Senate war chest. David Vitter for U.S. Senate gave the Vitter-friendly Fund for Louisiana’s Future a contribution of $100,000 on Feb. 14, according to a filing with the Federal Elections Commission. The Journal went on to say, Through a super PAC and some creative lawyering, Vitter and his allies appear to have found a way to redirect all of that money to support his gubernatorial campaign, and in doing so, they’ve pioneered a new method for politicians nationwide to get around old prohibitions on spending federal money on state races and vice versa.” Super PACs, political action committees, can accept unlimited campaign contributions as long as they operate independent of the candidates they support.
Governor Bobby Jindal has a busy travel schedule this month, visiting key presidential primary states. Over the weekend he was in South Carolina and next weekend he plans to be in Iowa. The governor is also scheduled to speak at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference in Washington, DC June 19th through the 21st.
A recent decision by a federal judge ordering officials at Angola to install air-conditioning on death-row has been put on hold. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling halts implementation until an
appeals panel reviews US District Court Judge Brian Jackson's decision.
Governor Jindal has signed into law a bill that will allow optometrists to perform certain surgeries. Ophthalmologists strongly opposed this measure saying optometrists don't have the proper training to perform the procedures at issue. But Dr. Jared Sandefur, Executive Director of the Optometry Association of Louisiana, says optometrists throughout the country are authorized to perform these procedures and have an exemplary safety record. Sandefur says it will probably be about six months before the first optometrists are trained, then certified to perform these procedures.
A bill that has now been signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal would give public schools the right to put up a nativity scene or Christmas tree during the Holidays. Supporters of the measure say this would keep Louisiana in line with an already US Supreme Court decision that allows such displays. But they couldn't include anything that would point to a specific religion. The law takes
effect August 1.
In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers passed a $53 million fee hike on drivers who don’t maintain car insurance as required by law. Most of the money expected to be raised is slate to go to boost the salaries of Louisiana State Police troopers. Other beneficiaries of the fee hike include local sheriffs and district attorneys. The measure raises fees for the reinstatement of driving privileges if a driver has been caught without insurance, boosts penalties for not carrying proof of insurance in a vehicle and requires a minimum $75 fine for someone caught in violation of the law requiring insurance on top of the other fines and penalties.
Governor Jindal signs into law a measure that provides less government interference for those who sell baked goods like breads, pies and jams made in their own kitchen and make less than $20,000 a year doing so. These individuals are now exempt from some state licensing standards. The new law does require a warning label on home based goods as a way of notifying the consumer a product was made in an uninspected kitchen.
Governor Jindal has signed legislation banning the use of hand held cell phones while driving in an active school zone. The law will only be enforced in school zones where visible signs are posted indicating the ban.
More information is coming out about the transgender woman who was held captive as a sex slave in Natchitoches Parish. Sheriff Victor Jones is not releasing the victim's name, but says she's in her early 50s and came to Louisiana from Minnesota after meeting her eventual captors online. Investigators say the relationship between the victim and the 3 people arrested was consensual at first. But, the relationship deteriorated to the point where the victim was chained outside without any clothes, food or water. Jones says the three people arrested are in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and the investigation continues.
In another example of how Hollywood South is the place for film making, one of the former Dukes of Hazzard has built is own movie studio in Livingston Parish. John Schneider, aka Bo Duke says he's now directing films out of a location in Holden, where he also lives. Schneider has already directed the movie, "Smothered", at locations around downtown Baton Rouge and at his 58-acre studio but it has not yet been released.