News for Thursday 090414
By Dave Graichen
A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled Louisiana’s ban on same sex marriage is constitutional. In a 32-page ruling, Judge Martin Feldman says states have the right to define marriage. But John Dennison, chairman of Forum for Equality Foundation, says numerous judges around the country have ruled the other way on this issue. In 2004, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills believes that amendment played a role in Feldman’s decision. Opponents of the ban say they will appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Natchitoches teen accused of fatally punching a student at Natchitoches Central High School was in court yesterday for arraignment and a bond hearing. Sixteen year-old Timmy Robinson is charged with manslaughter in the death of 18 year-old Johnquaries Smith. Bond was set at 100-thousand dollars.
The APD reports, an Alexandria man is facing an attempted second-degree murder charge after a verbal fight escalated into a stabbing. Officers were sent to a local hospital Tuesday because of a reported battery. After an investigation, officers arrested and booked the suspect, 19 year old Louis Means, into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. The victim remains hospitalized, his condition is unknown.
The Alexandria City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that would officially committed up to $2.8 million to help build Central Louisiana Technical Community College's new campus downtown. Plans call for the campus ,now located on South MacArthur Drive, to be built in an area across Murray Street from the federal courthouse in downtown Alexandria. The cost will be nearly $22 million, with the city providing up to $2.8 million of that.
In a new poll by the Glascock Group, Republican Dr. Ralph Abraham has taken the lead in the 5th District Congressional race. Abraham comes in at 22-percent followed by incumbent Republican Vance McAllister with 20-percent and Democratic Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo with 15-percent. Pollster Darrell Glascock believes McAllister’s drop in the poll can be attributed to the addition of Clyde Holloway to the candidate field. He says McAllister has a hard core base of 20-percent. Glascock says in a field this large, that means you shouldn’t write off the incumbent. Monroe businessman Harris Brown received 11-percent in the poll and Clyde Holloway garnered 9-percent. Duck Dynasty favorite Republican Zach Dasher polls at 7-percent of the vote.
The Department of Health and Hospitals says Louisiana Medicaid will no longer pay for early elective medically unnecessary deliveries of newborns before 39 weeks of gestation. DHH Secretary Kathy Kleibert says Blue Cross is joining the state in the same effort. Kleibert says these early elective deliveries are called “convenience births”. Any births before 39 weeks that are deemed medically necessary will continue to be covered. Kleibert says the goal of this move is to get people to wait until the baby is ready to be born. She says there are definite benefits of giving birth at full term.
An Allen Parish judge has found a 19 year old man guilty of killing his grandfather with a shotgun blast and stealing more than $12,000 and his grandfather’s truck. 33rd District Judge Joel Davis called Laken Johnson “a coldblooded killer” when he handed down the seconddegree murder verdict in the death of Norman Ray Johnson Sr. Second degree murder carries an automatic life sentence. Laken Johnson testified that the shooting was an accident. The judge also found Johnson guilty of theft over $1,500 and of obstructing justice by tampering with evidence, including hiding the 12gauge shotgun police say was the murder weapon.
The Louisiana State Police Retirement System Board of Trustees is holding a public meeting this afternoon to discuss what they’ve discovered regarding the so called “Edmonson Act.” There was concern political maneuvering this past session allowed Col Mike Edmonson to get a massive pension hike. State Treasurer John Kennedy says certain people called on the board to investigate a state law that gave two troopers, including Edmonson, thousands of dollars more for retirement. Edmonson says he will refuse the extra retirement money but Kennedy says that’s not enough — the law needs to be removed from the books.
The National Weather Service says this summer will go down as the wettest on record for Lake Charles. The N-W-S Meteorologist Donald Jones says nearly 37 inches of rain fell during the months of June, July and August, breaking the old record of 33 inches in 1989. Jones says it’s unusual to break a record for summer rainfall without the help of a tropical storm. Jones says another interesting note about this record is that surrounding areas did not approach a record summer rainfall.
Authorities say a 4-year-old child is in critical condition after being injured in a residential fire Tuesday night in the DeSoto Parish town of Mansfield. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says two adults and a 10 year old child were able to escape the home but they soon realized the toddler was still inside. He says a male relative went back inside to rescue the 4-year-old. The toddler was air lifted to University Hospital in Shreveport.
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has weighed in on what should be done with the ISIS terrorist group. During an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Robertson said there’s only two options, convert them or kill them. Which, by the way is the same thing ISIS says about us. The difference is, they have carried out their threat. The Islamist militant group is behind the beheading of two American journalists.
A thirteen year-old juvenile from Charenton has been arrested on simple battery for physically assaulting two teachers at B.E. Boudreaux Middle School. Both teachers sought medical treatment at Franklin Hospital. That juvenile was also charged with criminal damage to property.
The Saints will kick-off the season on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Drew Brees says even though it’s just game one of a 16-game regular season schedule, this weekend’s match-up in the Georgia Dome could have postseason ramifications. Brees says even though he missed most of the preseason with an oblique injury, he’s ready for the start of the regular season.