News for Wednesday 013013
By Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives served a search warrant at a Pineville residence early Tuesday morning, resulting in the arrests of a couple on firearms and drug charges. Arrested were 28 year old Brett Lyons and 27 year old Lyric Rogers. Detectives found a firearm, narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
A Rapides Parish man has been arrested for cooking up crystal meth in his home...again. 43-year-old Steven T. Belgard was busted back in September, for running a possible meth lab. Acting on a tip, officers this week busted Belgard a second time. He's in custody, without bond as yet.
We note the passing of Former Pineville High School French teacher Terri Juneau, who died yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Juneau was a beloved educator of over 29 years at Pineville high and she will be sorely missed, or as one facebook post put it, "The world's loss is heaven's gain,".
State lawmakers known as the "fiscal hawks" announce a package of bills that will change how the budget is crafted and the way the state handles budget cuts. Lake Charles Representative Brett Geymann says one thing they want to do is open more areas of the budget to cuts, so higher ed and health care are not hit the hardest during tough fiscal times. Geymann's legislation also addresses the annual argument over using one-time funds on annual expenses.
State officials are calling this a win win.. A fairly new state program, that intercepts casino winnings of parents behind on state-ordered child support, is a success. The state Department of Children and Family Services says over $800-thousand in gaming winnings has been intercepted from about 600 persons, since the program started in Fall of 2011. That money is routed to custodial parents taking care of their kids.
State insurance regulators have rejected a request by State Farm to raise their rates by 16.6 percent. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has said they declined the company's request after a review found the rate revision not to be justified. The company's last rate request of 7.8 percent was implemented last February.
With more than a million people expected to be in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is activating their Crisis Action Team today. GOSHEP spokesperson Christina Stephens says this is just a way to prepare for any public safety issue. Stephens says GOSHEP is working along with the local and state agencies in order to make sure the Super Bowl is a fun and safe time for all the visitors to the Big Easy.
State Police say a 7-year-old girl was killed last night, as she tried to cross a very busy Highway 190 near Eunice. Trooper Stephen Hammons says little Kendessa Castile was hit by two vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene. Charges have not been filed against either driver. Police say they are still interviewing family members to try to figure out why the child was so close to the busy highway.
Lawmakers are able to file bills for the upcoming legislative session, and a Shreveport lawmaker is making a proposal that would require people to keep their firearms locked up. Barbara Norton says more and more children are gaining access to guns and her bill would require gun owners to be more diligent with their weapons. Bossier City Representative Jeff Thompson is starting a campaign to defend the rights of gun owners called "Defend Louisiana." He says he's not going to let stricter gun legislation go unchallenged. Norton says she's not trying to take away anyone's guns. She just feels that if guns were kept in a locked case, it would be harder for children and potential criminals to have access to them.
A federal judge has approved an agreement for BP to plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges for the deaths of 11 men in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The deal allows BP to pay $4-Billion in criminal penalties. Judge Sarah Vance heard testimony today from relatives of the 11 victims of the rig explosion. BP agreed to plead guilty back in November.
More and more football fans are arriving in New Orleans for Super Bowl 47 and there are tickets available for the big game at the right price. The big game between the Forty-Niners and Ravens might be sold out, but Glenn Lehrman (luhr-man), with StubHub.com, says tickets are still available on-line and actually less than last year's game.
Traffic on the Mississippi River remains at a standstill, while crews continue to contain oil leaking from a barge that hit a railroad bridge at Vicksburg early Sunday morning. It's unknown how much longer the river will be closed.