News for Monday 021813
By Dave Graichen
A statewide poll predicts the 2015 Governor's race could be a close one. Public Policy Polling surveyed 600 Louisiana voters to see who would win in a head-to-head match-up between New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U-S Senator David Vitter. Each received 43-percent of the vote. The poll also asked voters who they would elect for governor if it was between Landrieu and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. The survey indicated the democratic mayor would win by a slight margin.
Governor Jindal unveils proposed legislation to ease state prison populations by locking up fewer non-violent offenders. Mr. Jindal says in Louisiana that's mostly simple drug offenders, who enter prison as 1st-offenders but leave as criminals. Mr. Jindal says even a little time in prison can affect people's future
earnings and employment potential. He says the proposed reform would saves millions by lowering inmate numbers, and would be more humane for 1st-time and non-violent offenders. The bill would also allow for early release & treatment for some current 1st-offense prisoners.
A public forum about the changes to laws and policies affecting Louisiana's public school system will be held Tuesday in Pineville. The forum, sponsored by the Louisiana Education Association, will begin at 6 p.m. at Kees Park Community Center. A panel of local education stakeholders and community members will participate in the discussion.. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.
State police report, A 27-year-old Pineville man was seriously injured Saturday, on highway 28 east near Libuse, when a pickup truck collided with his motorcycle. Justin Ewing was wearing a helmet, but sustained serious injuries after he was struck by a pickup driven by 18 year old Kevin Burns. Burns was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. He was charged with failure to yield.
A weekend article in the Baton Rouge Advocate reported Governor Bobby Jindal spent almost one day of every four, at least 86 of 365 days, out of the state, mostly campaigning for Republican candidates around the nation and speaking to conservative political groups. Various GOP supporters and campaigns paid for Jindal’s hotel rooms and airfare for the campaign trips. Louisiana taxpayers, however, paid $65,000 to feed, house and, often, fly his security team. During the same time, Louisiana entered its fifth year of budget cuts because the state doesn’t have enough revenues to pay for services.
The University of Louisiana System will begin accepting applications today for its first 100% online collaborative degree. Spokeswoman Jackie Tisdell says the degree is for a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational leadership. to enter the program, students must be at least 25-years-old and have completed 60 hours of college credit including general education courses. She says the program is offered in five, eight week terms each year and costs $325 per credit hour. Tisdell says you can apply online at ulsystem.edu/OL.
Travel on Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans should be less of a headache, as the state Department of Transportation opens a new, widened stretch through the Capital City. DOTD spokesman Bill Grass says I-10, from the 10/12 split, to Seigen Lane is now six lanes wide, instead of four. The $86-million project was part of DOTD's "Geaux Wider" program.
Iberia Sheriff's Office deputies found the body of a male victim while recovering an overturned vehicle in a canal Sunday morning. The cause of the crash is still under investigation and the identity of the driver is not being released until notification to the next of kin.
The 3rd ranked LSU Tigers had a successful start to the college baseball season by sweeping Maryland. The Tigers only scored six runs in the first two games, but the bats came alive on Sunday in a 14-3 win. The Tigers play host to Lamar Tuesday Night.