News for Monday 021113
By Dave Graichen
The weather was not in the mood to cooperate yesterday for the Alexandria Mardi Gras parade. The parade was moved up to 10 in the morning to avoid the forecasted heavy rain and strong winds. But, the rain made it appearance shortly after the parade began. Many of the bands and dance groups decided against taking the chance, as did many fans. Organizers say the crowds were down significantly. Parades scheduled around the area today and fat Tuesday could suffer the same fate, since rain is in the forecast thru tomorrow.
Austin Dean, 21, of Pineville, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, after an altercation over the weekend at a Lecompte bar that left an Alexandria man dead. Dean faces charges in the death of 19 year old Nicholas Griffin. It’s believe the incident grew out of a fight in the bar’s parking lot. Other details are forthcoming.
Governor Jindal's approval rating is below 50-percent. That's according to a survey paid for by the Louisiana State Medical Society. The poll of 600 Louisiana voters resulted in a 46-percent approval rating. The poll also shows voters disagree with the governor's refusal to expand the Medicaid program in the state. The expansion of Medicaid is part of the new federal health care law. 51-percent of the poll's
respondents say Louisiana should participate in the Medicaid expansion.
A Slidell lawmaker files legislation to ban a dangerous hallucinogenic designer drug called "25-I", and others like it. Rep. Kevin Pearson says 25-I was linked to at least one death, and three persons made sick, at last Fall's Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. "25-I" is often sold in an eye dropper bottle, but is also frequently put on blotter paper and sold as LSD to unsuspecting drug users. Governor Jindal has issued a ban of the substance by executive order, but Pearson says it needs to have the weight of state statute.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the decision of Farmers Insurance to leave Louisiana shouldn't alarm the company's 23-thousand customers in the Bayou State. Farmers announced they were pulling out last week. Donelon says competitors are waiting in the wings to cover those homes and businesses. Farmers will start sending non-renewal letters this Spring, and Donelon has this advice to the company's customers, start shopping now..
Entergy says they figured out the cause of the infamous 34-minute power outage during the Super Bowl. The utility company says it was a faulty electrical relay device. CEO of Entergy New Orleans Charles Rice appeared before the New Orleans City Council to provide more details. Rice says the faulty device was removed and they are looking into purchasing new equipment.
Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson is facing three counts of malfeasance in office. Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown did not go into specifics. But state legislative auditor Daryl Purpera says his office has not been able to complete an audit on the town's books since 2007, because they are so disorganized. Purpera says state law requires all towns to perform an annual audit on their finances. Purpera says there's no evidence Mayor Thompson stole money, but he says it's difficult to tell based on the town's financial record keeping.
Better pull up your pants in Grambling, because now you can be fined if they sag. Police Chief Tommy Clark says they're tightening the dress code in order to maintain the town's image of being clean and desirable. He says saggy pants are already restricted in Grambling University's handbook, but non-compliance caused the city to get involved. Clark says the first offense is a maximum of a $150 fine, 15 days in jail or 24 hours community service. He says second offense could be as much as $250 and the third is no more than $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Senator Mary Landrieu is recommending New Orleans attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr for the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana position. Jim Letten stepped down from the post in December amid an online scandal involving two of his top prosecutors.