News for Friday 111612
By Dave Graichen
Pineville police say a call to their office yesterday morning of a shooting led to the discovery of a dead 29 year old man in a Madison street home. Pineville PD have Id’s the man as Troy Wilson. Police say several people were at the home at the time of the shooting, all were interviewed, but no arrest has been made. The department is waiting for autopsy results to compare with findings at the scene and witness statements.
The Christmas season officially kicks off in Natchitoches this weekend with the 86th annual Festival of Lights. Lisa Cooley is the Main Street Coordinator for the city. She says the lighting ceremony is at 6:30 Saturday night and the lights will be turned at 7pm following a spectacular fireworks show. She says Saturday is a day-long party with activities starting at 8am.
29 year old Tanya LaPrairie of Vidalia was seriously injured yesterday afternoon when she lost control of her vehicle on highway 84 and ran off the road, flipping the vehicle several times. State police say LaPrairie was wearing a seatbelt . the crash remains under investigation.
Governor Jindal is criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for claiming he lost the election because of President Barack Obama's "gifts" to minorities and young voters. Romney told donors the President used financial incentives to get people to vote. Jindal appeared with C-N-N's Wolf Blitzer after he was elected as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. Jindal says the Presidential election showed the republican party that if it wants to win elections on the national stage, it needs to do a better job of showing their policies will benefit every American. Jindal says the republican party needs to look forward and not back after Mitt Romney's loss.
The LSU Board of Supervisors has agreed to redo the vote to merge the positions of president and chancellor. The board voted unanimously October 26th to combine the positions, but the Attorney General’s office has serious concerns that the vote may have violated the state's open meetings law.
Three criminal indictments were announced against BP officials today for their role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed eleven men. Two BP employees, who were well site leaders, were indicted on manslaughter charges, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. Assistant US Attorney General Lanny Bruer says a third BP official, David Rainey was charged with obstruction for allegedly lying to Congress about how fast the oil was spilling out of the broken well. BP will settle with federal authorities for $4.5-billion. About half of that will come to Gulf state for coastal rebuilding.
Louisiana's two U.S. Senators react to yesterday's $4.5-billion criminal settlement between the Justice Department and BP. Sen. Vitter wants the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to push for fines against BP via the National Resources Damage Assessment (NeRDA) for violating the federal Clean Water Act. He says mechanisms already in place, like the RESTORE Act passed earlier this year, would send those dollars to coastal states for restoration. Vitter says he hopes Holder didn't trade off potential civil fines and penalties for BP, just to "nail a criminal scalp to the wall". Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu says Mr. Vitter made his statements before Holder's Thursday afternoon press conference started. Holder says negotiations of civil damages for BP continue, but a satisfactory sum hasn't yet been agreed upon. Landrieu says Louisiana and coastal neighbors will get nearly half of BP's $4.5-billion settlement sum for coastal restoration.
The Public service commission split 2-2 with one abstention on Chairman Foster Campbell’s effort to impose new regulations on prison phones and setting a base rate to be used in parish jails and state prisons. After the vote, Campbell said it was “just raw hard Louisiana politics”. Campbell said he believes that the sheriffs’ plan is to delay any vote until January when Field would no longer be on the commission and his replacement, former Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle, might be more agreeable to the sheriffs keeping the current rate. The issue is expected to come up again at the PSC meeting in December.
As another area of the state opens up for deer season today, State wildlife officials are urging hunters not to overlook basic tree stand safety. LDWF spokesman John Sturgis says 1/3 of tree stand hunters will fall from a tree stand during their lifetime and require medical treatment
Lawyers for convicted Baton Rouge serial killer Derrick Todd Lee were denied their request for evidence in his trial to be handed over to them. Lee's attorneys wanted the original DNA swabs taken, plus victim Charlotte Murray Pace's blouse and bra from the night she was murdered. They also asked for a telephone cord, used in the murder. The DA's office argued there was no good reason to request those items and defense lawyers hadn't made their reasons clear. Lee's lawyers are appealing his death sentence--trying to get it commuted to a life sentence. They have until February to go over the evidence, but it will remain with the court.
A Lake Charles man accused of killing his grandmother back in 2009 has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. 35-year-old Carl Webb is charged with 1st-degree murder for the death ofthen-75-year-old Helen Webb. Webb claimed to have hallucinations, but psychiatrists say he can tell right from wrong.
Someone shot and killed nearly 20 stray cats at a home in Ethel. The homeowner moved away, leaving the cats to fend for themselves. Concerned citizens had been feeding the cats. They discovered most of them dead or dying of gunshots this week. Sheriff's deputies are seeking the persons responsible.