News for Monday 081114
By Dave Graichen
The President of the LSU Alumni Association goes on annual leave amidst a lawsuit claiming he paid a former female employee hush money. Mary Olive Pierson says her client, Charlie Roberts, admits to having a sexual relationship with Kay Heath but didn’t do anything unethical. Health’s attorney, Jeffry Sanford, says the two entered into a contractual financial agreement that was terminated by Roberts without notice. The lawsuit alleges Roberts asked Heath to quit her job and promised to pay her monthly money for the rest of her life.
The Department of Health and Hospitals reports 14 new cases of West Nile, bringing the state total to 29. And this past week, there was a second Louisiana death. David Holcombe, who is the Medical Director for the Office of Public Health in Central Louisiana, says the threat of West Nile will remain until we get cold weather. Not much is known about the latest victim, except that it was reported he was from the Capital area, and he was over the age of 75.
An experienced pilot died Sunday morning when his Bell 47 helicopter carrying crop-dusting materials crashed in a sugar cane field near Jeanerette. The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office say 60 year old Kenneth E. Squires was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is under investigation.
With school starting around the state, teachers are educating kids in the classroom with no idea what assessment test will be given this year. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan says educators are frustrated and angry about all of this. Monaghan says most teachers are irritated about being in the middle of a political battle between BESE and the Department of Education and Governor Bobby Jindal over Common Core. The two sides head to court this week. Monaghan says these political forces need to make this year about teaching.
Russia’s “full embargo” on food imports from the US, in response to sanctions over its crisis in Ukraine, will have a minimal impact on Louisiana farmers. The LSU AgCenter says, over the past five years, Russia has been a relatively minor customer for most US ag products.
The Baton Rouge Police Department says a Fed Ex man is under arrest for allegedly stealing packages he was supposed to deliver to businesses. BRPD spokesman L’Jean McKneely says they believe 50-year-old Nathaniel Smith would lie by saying he delivered goods he’d kept for himself. He says Fed Ex launched an investigation and that’s when they interviewed Smith and booked him for felony theft. McKneely says Smith was even supposed to deliver two computers to the police department that never arrived.
A man accused in two homicides has been charged with asking friends to beat, bribe, intimidate or kill the witnesses who planned to testify against him at his murder trials. The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office issued a true bill against 23 year old Erick Scott charging him with solicitation for first-degree murder and conspiracy to injure or intimidate witnesses after an investigation into his jailhouse phone calls and letters. Scott has been in Parish Prison since 2012 awaiting trial in the murder of two men and attempted murder of two others.
Farmers across the state are beginning to harvest another rice crop. There was a phenomenal crop last year yielding a statewide average of 7,500 pounds per acre. LSU AgCenter Rice Specialist, Dr. Johnny Saichuck (SAY-chuck), says we shouldn’t expect those same numbers with this year’s crop. Saichuck says this year’s rain and cloud cover has affected this year’s rice crop. He thinks the crop is running about two weeks behind what it was last year.
LSU’s defensive line has been hit by another injury as junior defensive tackle Quentin Thomas from Breaux Bridge is out for the season with a torn bicep. Tiger Rag Editor Robert Stewart says having a significant player lost for the season at this particular position is a tough blow for the Tigers.