News for Tuesday 021913
By Dave Graichen
Longtime local minister and public servant B.G. Dyess died Monday. Dyess was a former state senator and served as Rapides Parish’s registrar of voters for 24 years. Services are at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Parkview Baptist Church in Alexandria. Visitation is today at Hixson Brothers in Alexandria from 5-9 p.m., and also Wednesday at Parkview from 8:30-11 a.m. B.G. Dyess was 90 years old.
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy yesterday during his “State Of The City” address said, The city is "fiscally and operationally sound," and that "The fiscal state of the city bodes well for its future. According to Mayor Roy, Alexandria is now one of the best fiscal responsibility models for municipalities in the state.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state board of ethics shows Governor Jindal raised the most money out of any Louisiana elected official in 2012. He cannot use that money to run for governor again, but there are other legal uses for it; like buying commercials to tout his legislative agenda, or to help boost his lagging popularity numbers. The highest funded Democrat in the state is currently New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who has about a million bucks in his warchest. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Landrieu is up for re-election next year, but he could also be eyeing the governor’s office. Pinsonat says he expects Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and State Treasurer John Kennedy to also run for Governor in 2015.
Louisiana's Mary Landrieu is part of an effort in Congress to pass legislation that would require online businesses to collect sales tax at the point of purchase. Landrieu says it's unfair for local brick-and- mortar retailers to charge their customers sales tax, while online businesses do not. Landrieu joined a bipartisan group of 53 senators and representatives who have introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act. The senator says in Louisiana an estimated 800-million dollars of state sales tax revenue goes uncollected every year.
Gas prices continue their brutal climb. A gallon of regular gasoline in Louisiana is $3.57 on average and that's about 17 cents more than it was last week. Don Redman with the American Automobile association says that's an increase of 42 cents since the start of 2013. Redman says the price could be as high as $3.80 here by the end of the month and into March. He says one reason the price is increasing is
because refineries are switching to a summer blend of gas and some are shut down for maintenance.
New Orleans has hosted Super Bowls, final fours, BCS Championship games and now they'll get their chance to host Wrestlemania 30. The WWE will bring its premiere event to the Mercedes Benz Superdome on April 6th, 2014. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is ecstatic the city will host this major event. They say Wrestlemania is expected to bring thousands of fans and tourists to the city as the WWE brings it premiere pay per view to the Big Easy.
A Bossier City lawmaker is leader of a grassroots campaign aimed at protecting Louisiana's Second Amendment gun rights. Representative Jeff Thompson calls his movement "Defend LA", and says it's about defending one's right to protect one's home and family. Thompson says Defend LA has already gathered over 3000 members. Thompson bill would assure that the identities of persons who have, or have applied for, concealed carry weapon permits remain private.
Citing the increased cost of doing business, Entergy Louisiana has asked the state's Public Service Commission to approve a rate hike for its customers. The increase would come to an average additional 8 dollars a month for most residences. PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta (sker-MET-uh) says the PSC will carefully go over Entergy's rate request, which is thousands of pages long. He says the review could take up to 12 months to approve--IF it is approved at all.
Investigators aboard the Carnival cruise ship "Triumph" say a leaking fuel line caused the engine fire that left the ship stranded in the middle of the Gulf. Passengers went through over 5 days of limited power, no toilets, cold food and no heating or air conditioning before they were finally towed to the Port of Mobile last Thursday night. At least one passenger has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages.
The state Office of Conservation has ordered all of the state’s 34 salt dome operators to show how close their caverns are to the outer edges of the subterranean salt domes containing them and, for caverns closest to the salt edge, also to prove they are structurally sound. The directive is in response to the failure of a Texas Brine Co. cavern in the Napoleonville Dome that is believed to be the cause of an 8.6-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish. Conservation Commissioner James Welsh has given operators until March 18 to submit the information.
The LSU men's basketball team can get past the five-hundred mark in the SEC with a win tonight at Tennessee. The Fighting Tigers have won 5 of their last 6, to even their league record at six-and-six. Airtime is 5:30p this afternoon.