News for Monday 063014
By Dave Graichen
The City of Alexandria remains under a conserve water order following the blowout of a 42” water line on Saturday. The line was quickly repaired by the utility department, however there was a 24 hour delay before the water from that main was allowed to flow in to the main city system. The fear is a drop in the water level and pressure could force a boil advisory to be issued. So far so good, no such advisories have been posted. However, residents who utilize the Poland and Latanier water systems are under a boil advisory til further notice. Both water system receive part of their water supply from Alexandria. The city was forced to shut off their tap Saturday.
5th district congressman Vance McAllister has scheduled a press conference for this morning during which many expect he’ll recant his declaration from April and announce he will seek re-election this fall. Entering just the eighth month of his first year in Congress, the Swartz Republican businessman has had an eventful rookie season. In November 2013 he assumed the final year of the two-year congressional term of Rodney Alexander, who abruptly announced his resignation in August 2013.
A special meeting of BESE is set to take place on Tuesday and we could find out then whether the state's top school board will seek legal action against Governor Jindal's attempt to remove the Common Core education standards out of Louisiana. There is an agenda item that calls for "consideration of the potential retention of special legal counsel."
Synthetic marijuana is illegal to use in Louisiana. But, it’s becoming the new drug of choice, exceeding cocaine, because many users think it’s a safe, modified version of marijuana. It’s not, say law enforcement and health officials. Calls to the Louisiana Poison Control Center have increased in recent months. The Southeast Veterans Health Care Center reported a disturbing escalation of calls from young veterans experiencing psychotic episodes after use.
New Orleans Police report nine people were wounded in gunfire on Bourbon Street early Sunday. Two of them were listed in critical condition after the shooting around 2:45 a.m just around the corner from Pat O'Brien's and Preservation Hall. The shooting victims were taken to nearby hospitals, and the NOPD continued to gather details. No arrests had been made.
The National Hurricane Center reports A low-pressure system meandering south along Florida's east coast could form a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon. The system is becoming better developed as it takes on a more southwestern course. Forecasters put the odds of it developing into a tropical storm at 60 percent by Tuesday.
State lawmakers held a special meeting at the capitol Friday to discuss problems with federal V-A hospitals and clinics. Veterans are having trouble getting access to treatment at V-A facilities
nationwide. State Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David LaCerte says they've sent complaints to the federal V-A and its inspector general for years. Reports have surfaced that veterans are facing long wait times and other lapses in care. LaCerte says he's even had trouble making an appointment. He says it will be up to the federal government to improve health care for its veterans, but he urged state lawmakers to apply pressure to get something done.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission won a federal grant of over six- million-dollars to train workers in high-demand occupations and help the cost of worker training. The grant focuses on industries that are driving employment demand in South Louisiana. LWC estimates 1,200 people living in South Louisiana will qualify for a combination of services under the grant.
An Avoyelles Parish judge has approved a $5.9 million settlement against Acadian Ambulance.
A hearing on a proposed settlement in the class-action lawsuit against Lafayette-based company happened Friday. 440 Louisiana residents have filed claims that they were overcharged by Acadian Ambulance for services over the last two decades. Claim reimbursements should be distributed later this year.
A former St. Martin Parish Sheriff's deputy has been charged in the shooting death of her husband in Breaux Bridge. A grand jury charged Chrystal Alexander with second degree murder in the December death of 34-year-old Kendall Alexander. Chrystal Alexander was a lieutenant in the Sheriff's Office.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of a restricted-use pesticide to help combat tawny crazy ants in Louisiana. Termidor SC was given an emergency exemption for use against the pests. LSU entomologist Dennis Ring says tawny crazy ants grow to huge populations with multiple nests. Ring says they believe this pesticide will reduce the number of the ants. Ring says the tawny crazy ant problem covers 18 parishes, so far.
Baton Rouge Congressman and US Senate candidate Bill Cassidy touted the benefits of increasing domestic energy production while delivering the Weekly Republican address. Cassidy says a common sense solution to creating jobs and lowering energy costs is the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. President Obama and democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid oppose
the keystone pipeline. A Cassidy victory this fall could help the GOP take control of the Senate. And the Baton Rouge republican made it known in his address that it’s time to retire Reid as the leader of the Senate. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who Cassidy is challenging this fall, also supports the Keystone Pipeline and has a bill in the Senate that would green light the construction of the pipeline.
A 28-year-old Baton Rouge man has been found guilty of killing his unborn child when he shot his pregnant wife in 2012. A jury found Frank Atkins guilty of second degree murder and attempted murder. He faces life in prison.
A four year-old boy died over the weekend in a backyard swimming pool. Caddo Parish authorities responded to a home to find the child unresponsive. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The incident occurred at a home while a family gathering was taking place.