News for Wednesday 062514
By Dave Graichen
An investigation in underway in the shooting death of an off-duty Vermillion Parish Sheriff's deputy. Allen Barres was gunned down after he reported suspicious activity by suspects while mowing his
lawn. Louisiana State Police Spokesman Stephen Hammons says, after they allegedly shot Barres, they fled in his vehicle, which showed up in South Abbeville. Police arrested 20 year-old Quintalyn Richard and 19 year-old Baylon Taylor.
A Jennings man has been arrested for shooting a police officer. Jennings Two police officers responded to a disturbance just before noon Monday, and Sargeant Ricky Benoit was shot in the neck by 30 year-old George D. Lowdins who was hiding from view. He was apprehended by the other officer, and charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer. Benoit is in serious but stable condition.
Despite a ruling from a Baton Rouge judge, the state will continue with its plans to close the Huey P Long Medical Center in Pineville. Judge Robert Downing says the Senate violated the open meetings law when the Health and Welfare panel heard legislation authorizing the hospital's closure. The hospital is in the district of state Senator Rick Gallot. Gallot opposes the closure of the hospital, and knew at that time, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee did not give enough advanced notice to allow for public comment, when they considered the issue. But, the bottom line, patients who used the Huey P Long Medical Center will use two nearby private hospitals. The Jindal administration says the privatization deal will lead to better health care, but Gallot has some concerns. He feels the Jindal administration rushed the closure of HPL.
Governor Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that would require a doctor, in most cases, to leave a brain dead pregnant woman on life support until her baby is born. New Orleans Representative Austin Badon says it's their duty as lawmakers to do everything possible to protect human life which is currently in state statute. Opponents to the measure say this takes away the rights of the family and the husband in making end of life decisions. The new law goes into effect immediately.
State Treasurer John Kennedy says Governor Bobby Jindal has vetoed the bill that would require additional financial accountability and legislative over sight of state contracts. The bill would have
required that all state dollar contracts $40,000 or more get approval from lawmakers.
A tragic accident in Ascension Parish has claimed the lives of two children and injured three adults after an SUV crashed into a group of people fishing near Bayou Manchac. State Trooper Jared Sandifer says the two children, ages six and nine, were pronounced dead at the scene. The three adults, all men, were transported to a local hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Authorities say impairment doesn't appear to be a factor in the accident but the investigation is ongoing.
Today a federal judge will hear arguments whether Louisiana should recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The issue will come down to how US District Judge Martin Feldman interprets the Supreme Court's decision in the US v Windsor case. A ruling for Louisiana to recognize same-sex marriages would give gay married couples numerous benefits not afforded to them currently, like issues with inheritance laws, income taxes, retirement benefits, health insurance, and more. Whatever way Feldman decides to rule on this issue, this case is most likely headed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A former managing auditor for the state Department of Children and Family Services told a federal judge Tuesday that he used his state credit card to rent hotel suites for Mardi Gras in New Orleans and also was reimbursed more than $27,000 for official travel that never occurred. 33 year old Corey Polk is the third ex-DCFS auditor to plead guilty to federal program fraud since late May.
Two months ago ship builder Boyse Bollinger endorsed US Senator Mary Landrieu in a commercial. Today the lawmaker from Louisiana announced she included $318 million for new vessels that would be built at Bollinger in a bill that funds the Dept. of Homeland security. LSU Political Science Prof. Robert Hogan says this is good and bad for her. Hogan says this is why incumbents have somewhat of an advantage during campaigns because they can show their voters they have the power to bring money to the state. However he feels her opponents will point out that she had a hand in moving cash to a major supporter.