News for Thursday 080714
By Dave Graichen
Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway yesterday asked for the resignation of CLECO’s CEO Bruce Williamson. Commission members spent nearly two hours Wednesday quizzing Williamson about why he wants to sell the publicly traded utility based in Pineville. Williamson insisted that the company is not for sale, but by law, they have a fiduciary duty to review a proposal when it is received. Williamson went on to say federal law prohibited him from talking about the offer.
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a 23 year old Alexandria man on charges of armed robbery and home invasion. Donald Ray Sias Jr. is accused of breaking into a Kelley Land subdivision home early Tuesday and demanding money from a resident. The victim said he woke up to find a man holding a pistol in his face, demanding money. The suspect left after taking money and other items, according to the release. When detectives and deputies found Sias, he still had items that had been taken from the residence.
Governor Jindal wants a judge to rule Louisiana’s public schools can NOT use testing material tied to the Common Core education standards. Attorney Jimmy Faircloth filed the petition in state court today on Jindal’s behalf. At one time Governor Jindal was a supporter of Common Core, but now describes the controversial education standards as an attempt by the federal government to interfere with local education. This issue also has a lawsuit from the other side, filed by parents and teachers who say Jindal violated the constitution when his administration suspended the testing contract tied to Common Core.
The state police report Rosepine's police chief was arrested Wednesday, accused of stalking his estranged wife at her home and at work. Detectives received a complaint last month about Chief James "Dennis" Parrott's alleged stalking. According to the complainant, Parrott followed his wife and a male friend back to her new residence where he obtained the license plate number of the male’s vehicle. Parrott then allegedly used the Rosepine Police Department’s computer databases to run the license plate to obtain the identity of the male friend." Parrott was arrested Wednesday at the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and was charged with stalking and malfeasance in office. His bond was set at $15,000.
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa now stands at 932, according to the World Health Organizations. Medical Director for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Dr. Frank Welch says there is no real threat of an outbreak in Louisiana. Welch says the Ebola virus is spread by very close personal contact with an infected person through their bodily fluids. He says that’s why many cases now are health care workers caring for patients with Ebola. Welch says you cannot contract Ebola very easily like, for example, the flu.
In a postscript to ill-fated damage claims made against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Corps has sent out about 565,000 letters formally notifying victims of those storms that their claims have been denied. The Corps released a copy of the one-page letter Wednesday. It is signed by chief counsel Earl Stockdale. He describes it as “the final administrative action” in claims against the Corps regarding Katrina- or Rita-related injuries, deaths or property damage blamed on faulty levees or badly maintained navigation channels. It is all a moot point since various court rulings have held that the Corps is immune from such claims.
As summer winds down and we look toward the fall, it looks like another banner year for the film industry in Louisiana. Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2, Terminator 5, and a new Fantastic Four movie were all filmed here this year. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, Chris Stelly, says there are more movie productions scheduled for the Bayou State. Stelly says the number of projects filmed in Louisiana have steadily increased over the past few years. He says the future of the film industry in Louisiana looks bright.
As most kids head back to the classroom this week or next, the State Police are reminding motorists that cell phones are now banned, by law, in a school zone. Trooper Jared Sandifer says cops will be out enforcing this law. Sandifer says a first violation of the cell phone school zone ban is a $175 fine and subsequent violations can be up to $500.
The LSU Alumni Association President is speaking out about a lawsuit filed on Friday where it is alleged he offered lifetime payoffs to an female employee with whom he reportedly was having a sexual relationship. In a statement released Wednesday, Dr. Charlie Roberts said he was “blindsided” by the accusations, and responded that the charges of him trying to pay off Kay Heath – when she was let go – are false.
A new 14-million dollar laboratory for animal and food science research is open for business on the LSU Baton Rouge campus. LSU Ag Center Associate Vice Chancellor Phil Elzer says the state-of-the-art research and teaching facility has spacious labs and three-million dollars in new equipment. Elzer says the renovated animal and food science laboratory will help LSU attract more students and faculty who want to perform cutting edge research. State funding helped revitalized the two-story, 49-thousand square foot building.
The new iphone 6 will be here next month, and insiders are saying there will be many benefits that users are looking for, along with some surprises. So LN asked around the state, “What do you want on your phone?” Most said better coverage and fewer gimmicks