News for Monday 010713
By Dave Graichen
In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Connecticut, Governor Jindal has formed a special Study Group to look at safety measures in Louisiana schools and colleges. State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson will head up the group. He says folks from numerous agencies will take part. Edmonson says the panel will look at safety and security measures currently in place, with an eye on how they can be improved to assure Louisiana students are safe. Edmonson says the Governor has set no deadline for the panel's findings.
A Lake Charles gun range offers to provide firearm training to school teachers. Louisiana Shooters Unlimited told the Calcasieu Parish School System they would provide the free training to teachers approved by the school board. The gun range's lead trainer, Matthew Courtney, says it's not enough to just have armed security guards at schools. Schools statewide are firearm free zones. But Courtney says a state law gives school principals the authority to allow certain teachers to carry a gun into the school. He says they may ask other school boards around the state if they want their teachers to attend one of their hand gun training sessions.
Women's shelters and other domestic violence abuse programs across the state are taking the brunt of the latest round of state budget cuts. Beth Meeks is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition
Against Domestic Violence. She says because of the cuts she estimates they will be forced to cut the number of beds for battered women and children by a third. She says outreach programs and services may also be forced to shut down. The Jindal administration says the state wants to move away from costly residential care for domestic violence victims in favor of short-term hotel stays.
Flu season in Louisiana is off to a roaring start, with a large number of reported cases and no peak in sight. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says there's more flu virus activity this year than has been seen in recent years. Guidry says it's important to go see your doctor if you feel sick--even if you've already had the flu shot.
About 85 Louisiana Army National Guard soldiers are heading to the Middle East to assist in military aviation operations. The 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group and the 2-244th Airfield Operations Battalion deployed out of Pineville yesterday. The Louisiana National Guard says they have about 270 of their soldiers and airmen already deployed overseas. The units will conduct mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying overseas for at least a year.
Rep. John Fleming was the only member of the Louisiana Congressional delegation to vote against a bill that will set aside $9.7 billion to pay flood insurance claims related to the Superstorm Sandy. Fleming, a Republican from Minden whose district includes parts of Central Louisiana, said he could not support the measure because it was not offset with spending cuts elsewhere. The bill passed 354-67 in the House with all of the "no" votes coming from Republicans. The Senate passed the measure later in the day on a voice vote.
Four term Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards and his 34-year-old wife, Trina Scott Edwards, will be the stars of their own A&E reality show called "The Governor's Wife." The show, which debuts in February, will focus on the dynamics of the couple's May-December romance and check in on Edwards' grown daughters and Trina's two teen sons. It will also follow the Edwards’ efforts to have another child… Word is Trina is expecting.
The official start to the Mardi Gras Season got under way yesterday, on Twelfth Night, and that means it's King Cake time. Dave Haydel Jr. of Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans says they're expecting a huge demand for King Cake's this year because the Superbowl falls right in the middle of Carnival season.
Louisiana’s health department has recalled oysters from one Cameron Parish harvest area and has closed it to shellfish harvesting because nine people got stomach illness after eating oysters gathered there. The department says nobody was ill enough to be hospitalized. It says they may have had norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.