News for Friday 082914
By Dave Graichen
Law enforcement agents across Cenla are sending out a special warning to weekend warriors: Drink and drive over the Labor Day weekend, and chances are you will be caught. These agencies will increase their patrols and operate impaired driver checkpoints throughout the area. Alexandria Police will have four DWI units on patrol, instead of their average two units, while LSUA Police will work with Louisiana State Police on sobriety checkpoints, and the Rapides Sheriff's Office will work with Pineville Police to conduct a sobriety checkpoint. A happy labor day weekend is one where you are around on Tuesday.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s department has filed more charges against a Pineville man, 56 year old Joseph Glenn Desoto, after being charged with aggravated incest and drug charges. After continuing the investigation, detectives got more search warrants for Desoto's residence, which resulted in the additional charges. Desoto now also has been charged with six counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, five counts of aggravated incest, four counts of sexual battery, three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of intimidating a witness. He remains in the Parish lockup.
Crest Industries is acquiring the assets and will expand the workforce of Eunice-based Precision Cutting Specialties Inc. Crest, based in Pineville, will invest $5 million to develop a new cutting, machining and fabrication facility in Eunice and add new machining centers to existing PCS equipment. Crest will retain 18 PCS jobs, and the expansion project will create 20 new jobs averaging $50,000 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana’s economic development department estimates the investment will result in an additional 24 indirect jobs.
A U.S. District Judge heard arguments Thursday regarding an abortion rights organization’s request for a temporary restraining order to block the state from enforcing a law that would require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. A ruling is expected today.
Today marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in Louisiana. Even after nine years, memories are still fresh and recovery continues. Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Kevin Davis, says the state has made great strides in hurricane preparedness since Katrina. Davis was President of St. Tammany Parish when Katrina hit. Davis is very confident on the local and statewide level that officials are prepared for any type of disaster.
The South Plaquemines High School student who was suspended because of his religiously mandated hairstyle, has been allowed to return to class. The student is a follower of the Rastafarian religion and is required not to cut his hair. ACLU-LA Executive Director Marjorie Esman says school policy is that boy’s hair cannot extend past the collar. The school has allowed the student to attend class with his dreadlocks pinned up. Esman says it’s unfortunate that there doesn’t seem to be enough recognition of the rights of members of minority faiths. She says the US Constitution is very clear on this issue
The family of a 22-year-old New Iberia man who sustained a fatal gunshot wound while in police custody is asking the US Justice Department to investigate the circumstances of his death. The Iberia Parish coroner has ruled Victor White III’s death to be a suicide. But Monroe lawyer Carol Powell-Lexing wonders how White could shoot himself while he’s handcuffed. Powell-Lexing has been hired by White’s family to represent them.
A 2-year-old Zachary child drowned in a backyard pool on Thursday morning after the child slipped outside without the mother noticing. When the mother found her child in the pool she ran to the front yard with the child in her arms screaming for help. Arriving police performed CPR, and EMS took the child to a nearby hospital, where the child was pronounced dead
An investigation is underway into a fatal shooting involving a Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputy. Sheriff Jason Ard says 48-year-old Freddie Leblanc was armed when deputies responded to a call of an attempted suicide. Ard says despite repeated demands, Leblanc refused to drop his weapon and eventually pointed his gun at the officers. The Livingston Parish Coroner’s office pronounced Leblanc dead the scene.
Troubling allegations are coming out about Baton Rouge TV personality Scott Rogers, who was fatally shot Wednesday allegedly by his producer who then turned the gun on himself. On a Baton Rouge talk show yesterday, nameless victims came forward and claimed Rogers had been physically and sexually abusing them since they were children. One victim said Rogers fostered and adopted the children he abused and tortured. The alleged gunman, Mathew Hodgkins, is in critical condition. Rogers was reportedly booked on child molestation charges in the UK, but never disclosed that when he came to America which is why he was under a federal investigation.
Officials in St. John the Baptist Parish are increasing the chlorine levels in their water system after testing confirmed the presence of a deadly brain-eating amoeba. This brain-eating amoeba was previously detected in St. Bernard and DeSoto Parishes and has killed three people in Louisiana since 2011. In all three cases it was from tap water getting up the victims’ nose. Officials say the water is safe to drink and cook with, but the public should avoid tap water going up their noses.
Governor Bobby Jindal announces Bell Helicopter will start assembly operations at the Lafayette Regional Airport in 2016. He says it’s going to happen in a new $26 million dollar facility and create an estimated 115 new jobs.
Two Louisiana teams begin the college football season tomorrow against Top 25 opponents. The 13th ranked Tigers will face 14th ranked Wisconsin at a neutral site in Houston. LSU Coach Les Miles says the plan is to play two quarterbacks, Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings, but that could change depending how the game goes.
Louisiana Tech is also facing a Top 25 team as the Bulldogs will visit third ranked Oklahoma tomorrow night. The game is listed as a sell-out in Norman, Oklahoma and Bulldogs wide receiver Paul Turner says staying focus is the key when playing in front of 82-thousand fans