News for Thursday 082814
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy will deliver his annual "State of the City" address on Friday. The address will come at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the City Council Chambers in City Hall as part of Roy's general press conference and preview of City Council issues. The public is invited to attend, and the State of the City address will be shown at various times on the public access television channel, which is Suddenlink cable Channel 4
Construction is set to begin next week on a major expansion of the emergency department at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The expansion which will cost upwards of $12.5 million dollars will nearly double the department beds, from 26 to 51, including four psych beds. It will add 16,370 square feet of space and renovate more than 6,000 of the department’s current 20,000 square feet. Construction is scheduled to take about 18 months, with completion in early 2016.
Governor Jindal has filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging the Obama administration violated the Constitution by using federal grant money to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards. Jindal says Common Core is the latest effort by the feds to have Washington D-C in control of everything. Jindal, a one-time supporter of Common Core, has taken steps this year to keep the new math and English standards out of Louisiana. US Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said Jindal’s actions are about politics, not education.
The 16-year-old who sucker-punched another student at Natchitoches Central High School will be charged as an adult with manslaughter in connection with the death of another student in a fight. Principal Bill Gordy says they don’t know much about 16 year old Timothy Ray Robinson, because he had just started at Natchitoches Central. Eighteen year-old Johnquaries Smith died Tuesday at a local hospital.
Following the second arrest of the star of the “Sons of Guns” show, the Discovery Channel, has decided to pull the plug on the series. In this latest charge, Will Hayden is accused of repeatedly raping an 11 year old for almost a year and a half. Hayden’s bond is set for $250 thousand dollars.
The American Automobile Association says more people are traveling for the Labor Day Holiday than since the recession. AAA spokesman Don Redman says 34.7 million people are projected to journey 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals allocates 18-million dollars to a Baton Rouge Hospital to keep its emergency room open. Baton Rouge General decided to close their Mid-City ER because they were losing money providing health care to an increasing number of uninsured patients. But DHH Chief of Staff Calder Lynch says this commitment should meet the ER’s needs for the current fiscal year. Baton Rouge General says the increase in uninsured patients is due, in part, to the closure of LSU’s Earl K. Long Medical Center.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says tourism is encouraging for 2014 following last year’s record setting year. Over 27 million people visited Louisiana in 2013, a nearly 4-percent increase from 2012. That translated into dollars. Domestic and international visitors spent nearly 11-billion dollars in the state last year. Dardenne says there are no hard numbers available for 2014, as of yet. But he says the LouisianaTravel-dot-com website and their social media activity has been ranked number four among all tourism sites in the US.
Cliff Vannoy, who has been serving as acting head of the LSU Alumni Association in recent weeks, has been named the new president and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit alumni group. Vannoy took on the acting president role earlier this month, after former CEO Charlie Roberts retired amid a lawsuit that claims he had entered into a monetary arrangement with a former employee to keep secret a sexual relationship between the two.
A Baton Rouge television personality shot and killed in his home Wednesday afternoon was in the midst of a child custody battle and a federal criminal investigation that were both shrouded in mystery.
Attorneys and local prosecutors were tight-lipped about why a federal grand jury was convening around the same time 52 year old Scott Rogers was killed in what’s being called a murder-attempted suicide. His business partner 36 year old Mathew Hodgkins is in critical condition.
Michael DiNardo, the son of former LSU football coach Gerry DiNardo, was arrested this week in Baton Rouge under felony drug and firearm charges. Michael DiNardo, a 21-year-old student at LSU, was booked Wednesday by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for the intent to distribute marijuana and possessing a firearm with drugs. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. The Department of Health and Hospitals said Wednesday that the amoeba was found in the St. John Water District 1, which serves 12,577 people in the towns of Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy. Officials say there are currently no known cases of illness related to the amoeba in the parish or elsewhere in the state.
The ULM Warhawks kick-off their 2014 season tonight hosting Wake Forest in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. Head coach Todd Berry says this is a rare opportunity for the Warhawks to play in front of the home fans early in the season. Berry is hopeful tonight’s crowd is rowdy