News for Thursday 081414
By Dave Graichen
Ball’s police chief has been cleared of any wrong doing in a case of sexual harassment. The state’s assistant attorney general ruled, based upon information provided to his office, they have determined there was no evidence of criminal conduct related to the complaint. The original complaint was filed by a former Ball police officer Kyle McCain, who alleged that Williams sexually harassed him back in March.
Common Core crossed its first of many legal hurdles in Louisiana on Wednesday when a judge said a lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to order the state away from the hotly contested academic standards and companion tests can go forward. But state District Judge Todd Hernandez said attorneys for the group of parents and teachers who filed the suit last month cannot question the governor under oath in a deposition. Now, the pro-Common Core suit will be the focus of a full-blown hearing Monday. Hernandez is being asked to lift the Jindal administration’s suspension of state test contracts that Common Core advocates plan to rely on.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says the state will hold another tax amnesty period from October 15th through November 14th. Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield says there’s something new this year: the option that delinquent taxpayers can pay their debt through payments. The tax payer will also have all penalties waived and only have to pay 50% of the interest that is due.
A new law preventing anyone 70 or older from running for constable or justice of the peace in Louisiana is facing stiff opposition, especially among the officials who are about to be banned from re-election because of their age. The mandatory retirement provision was signed into law in June with little fanfare. Now, however, the law is drawing fire as the deadline for filing to run in the November election approaches next week.
The long anticipated SEC Network, which promises to air more than 1,000 live events in its first year, will officially launch today at 5pm. Herb Vincent, who is a former leader within the athletic department at LSU, is the associate commissioner of communications for the Southeastern Conference. He says the SEC Network will broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year, all SEC all the time.
For the first half of 2014, Louisiana has had a 9.3 percent increase in exports compared to the same period last year. According to the World Trade Center of New Orleans report, the Bayou State exports hit $32.1 billion dollars. That’s good enough to be ranked 6th out of the top ten exporting states.
A Lafayette mother is facing negligent homicide charges in the death of her three-year-old child. Lafayette Police corporal Paul Mouton says 27-year-old Sara Leblanc told investigators the child was sick for a couple of days, and their investigation revealed the child went 25 hours without food or fluids during her illness. An autopsy report has determined the cause of death can be attributed to hypothermia and dehydration. Leblanc was charged with negligent homicide. Mouton says the investigation remains ongoing
The former chief financial officer at the Catahoula Sheriff’s office faces theft and malfeasance charges after he allegedly gave himself two unauthorized pay increases. State Police Trooper Albert Paxton says the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office provided the evidence that led to the arrest of 61-year-old George Tosspon of Jonesville. Paxton says the state audit revealed Tosspon received over 22-thousand dollars in excess wages from August 2009 to November 2013.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issues a warning for travelers, beach goers, and fisherman about two diseases. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says one is the flesh-eating bacteria found in brackish or saltwater. He says the bacteria can be fatal, but it is treatable if you catch it early. DHH says the flesh-eating bacteria has infected 8 people in Louisiana this summer. Guidry says the other is a virus usually transmitted by mosquitoes in the Caribbean. He says initial symptom of this virus resemble the flu. The good news is, it is usually not fatal.
New research provided to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows Louisiana Black Bear population is making great strides toward recovery. Large Carnivore Program Manager, Maria Davidson, says they believe there are at least 250 female bears. They’re hopeful to soon have the Louisiana Black Bear removed from the endangered species list.
It’s been 2 years since the Bayou Corne sinkhole showed up in Assumption Parish, and now Federal Judge Jay Zainey has approved a $48.1 million dollars class action settlement which will compensate 269 residents. There were no objections to the settlement.
The Lake Charles Police Department says a 16-year-old Barbe High School student was hit by a car while she was crossing McNeese St Wednesday morning. The driver told cops she couldn’t see the pedestrian due to glare from the sun. The student is at a hospital with minor injuries.