News for Tuesday 062414
By Dave Graichen
Cleco Corp. confirmed Monday that more than one company has offered to acquire the Pineville-based utility. Cleco subsidiary Cleco Power, a regulated electric utility, serves about 284,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Cleco said it has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. as its financial advisers to help evaluate any proposals. Cleco said there is no guarantee the review will result in a merger or business combination. Also, Cleco does not intend to make any further announcements regarding the review unless its board of directors approves a specific deal or a course of action that requires disclosure.
A Baton Rouge judge says lawmakers didn’t follow the Louisiana Constitution in authorizing Gov. Bobby Jindal to close the LSU-run public hospital in Pineville. But the decision doesn’t require the Jindal administration to slow plans to shutter the Huey P. Long Medical Center within a week. Judge Robert Downing ruled Monday that the Senate violated the open meetings law when the legislation was heard by its health care committee. He granted a preliminary injunction request sought by two hospital closure opponents. However, Downing also suspended that judgment, effectively allowing the hospital closure plans to continue, pending an appeal of his decision, which heads directly to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Senate intends to appeal.
A Winsboro mother of 5 has been arrested for throwing her 20 month old baby from a moving car, reportedly to get the attention from the father. Twenty-three year old Lasasha Allen is facing attempted second-degree murder charges. She retrieved the seriously injured baby, but delayed hospital treatment. The baby was airlifted to Shreveport, where it’s in serious condition. The woman’s 5 other children were taken into the care of child services.
The National Council on Teacher Quality has ranked Northwestern State and LSU in the top ten nationally for all elementary teacher preparation programs. Louisiana Board of Regents Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leader Initiatives, Jeanne Burns, says Louisiana was one of the first states to recognize the need to create a more rigorous teacher certification structure and a more rigorous teacher preparation approval process. The rankings are based on information collected from approximately 1,600 programs nationwide. 64% of Louisiana's elementary teacher preparation programs met fully with the NCTQ standard. The national average is 16%.
Auditions for the 14th season of American Idol will be held in judge Harry Connick Jr's home city of New Orleans all day tomorrow. You can try out to be a contestant on the reality talent show at the UNO Lakefront Arena starting at 7am Wednesday morning. Connick Jr. says the producers will be looking for true performers. Tomorrow is the very first round of auditions and producers say you'll
get about 30 seconds to sing and will be told right away if you get to sing for the celebrity judges
Poverty Point State Historic Site in West Carroll Parish has been named a World Heritage Site by a United Nations agency. The designation was granted Sunday by the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization during a meeting in Qatar. Poverty Point is now one of 20 sites that were added worldwide in an ongoing meeting. Poverty Point is a 400-acre complex of carefully engineered mounds and ridges more than 3000 years old.
A Jennings Police Officer is in the hospital after being shot in the neck yesterday. Ricky Benoit is listed in stable condition at a Lafayette hospital. A suspect is in custody, but authorities are
not ready to release the name at this time.
A Westlake man has been charged with his fifth DWI after a crash that occurred near Kinder. Thirty-seven year-old Bent Hetzler was charged with DWI 5th offense, tampering with an interlock device, no seatbelt, texting while driving, and child endangerment when troopers discovered an 8 year-old in the vehicle with him.
Parents who lose their temper and strike a referee at their child’s Little League game now will face larger fines and more time behind bars in Louisiana. House Bill 227 was one of 56 bills that Gov. Bobby Jindal announced signing Monday.
Kenner Police say a road rage incident on I-10, which began with a cigarette butt being thrown from a car window and hitting a pickup truck, lead to a child being shot. Authorities say after a chase
with the truck, David Sean Jackson allegedly pulled a gun and fired three shots at the pickup. A 10-year-old passenger in the truck suffered a graze wound to the and required surgery. Jackson faces attempted murder and other charges.
Three juveniles have been recovered in a Louisiana law enforcement operation targeting child sex trafficking. Enforcement actions took place in all major cities across the state, except Lafayette. It's also reported that sixteen pimps and 75 prostitutes were arrested, police seized cash, several vehicles, cell phones and a cross section of narcotics.
The Jackson Parish Sheriff's office is investigating an apparent murder-suicide after they say the bodies of a man and woman were found in their home Saturday morning. They say a child called 911 after hearing gunshots in the home. Investigators found 50-year-old James Smith and 32-year-old Amanda Henderson dead from gunshot wounds to the head. They believe Smith shot Henderson then killed himself. Henderson's three children were taken in by relatives in Ouachita Parish.
Two people from Prairieville have been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after reportedly hosing down a dog and continuously beating it with a baseball bat. The dog died from its injuries. 31-year-old Jamari Jackson and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Sammi Corely, were booked into the Ascension Parish Jail where they were released on bond.
Kickoff time for LSU's Thanksgiving night game against Texas A&M has been set for 6:30PM in College Station. This will be LSU's first Thanksgiving Day game since 1973 according to the athletic department.