News for Friday 031513
By Dave Graichen
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man shot by a Pineville Police Department officer last April. The story started when family members asked the Pineville PD for help in locating a family member , Carter Rhodes Jr., that after they had obtained an order of protective custody for Rhodes. Pineville PD report when they located Rhodes he charged them with a knife. An officer at the scene followed procedure and shot Rhodes. Authorities say video and physical evidence collected at the scene will prove the officer acted properly.
The weather promises to be perfect this weekend for the 28th annual The Louisiana Nursery Festival in Forest Hill. A wide variety of shrubs and trees are available, as well as rose bushes, including the new disease-resistant Knock-Out Rose. Alongside those, there will be bedding plants. Gardening experts will be on site to answer questions. Plus, more than 50 vendors will be at the festival with handmade crafts. The festival runs today through Sunday.
The Jindal Administration unveiled its tax reform plan to state lawmakers yesterday. On the upside, It would eliminate income taxes. On the down side it would eliminate about 200 tax breaks currently on the books. The plan would raise the state sales tax from 4% to 5.88% on most purchases and the cigarette tax would go from 36-cents a pack to $1.41. The plan would include rebates for retirees making less than $60,000 and low and middle income families. The proposed tax changes would go into effect January 1st and lawmakers will debate the reforms when the legislative session begins in April.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rejection of the federal Medicaid expansion could prove expensive to Louisiana businesses. Collective tax penalties for Louisiana employers potentially could range from $51.7 million to $77.5 million annually, based on the analysis by Jackson Hewitt, a national tax accountants’ company.
A clause in the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, penalizes some employers with 50 or more employees when those workers aren’t able to obtain affordable medical coverage through their company. The employers don’t have to pay the penalty if their employees qualify for Medicaid expansion coverage. That is something the governor has so far refused to agree to.
In an effort to turn things around in failing schools, state superintendent of education john white says Louisiana will use $5million in federal professional development funds to train
educators. The grants will reportedly cover a year of advanced training for the new school leaders.
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council has approved a proposal to let casinos serve alcohol 24 hours a day. The panel voted, 7-4, with one abstention, in favor of creating a special license for casinos that
will allow them to sell alcohol past 2am.
The US Marshals Service added an escaped murdered who disappeared from a St. Gabriel women's prison to their 15 most wanted fugitive list today. Keana Barnes escaped January 1st. She was serving 15 years on two counts of manslaughter.
Shreveport Police are seeking a man who stole car with a small child inside yesterday morning. They report a mom was dropping one child off at daycare, and momentarily left her other child in the back seat. The suspect jumped in her Mercedes sedan and roared off. Some minutes later police received a call that the vehicle was stopped and empty on a local street with a child standing outside. The child is unhurt. Police are searching for the man, who they think was attacked by a dog, while escaping on foot.
A state lawmaker says someone is scamming Louisianans with a bogus website that solicits money in exchange for info on getting a drivers license; info that is free, by the way. Mandeville Rep. Tim
Burns says "LouisianaDriversLicense.org" is a private site that LOOKs like a state website, but asks you for your credit card information and $14..just to link you to the REAL state Office of Motor Vehicles website. The legitimate state website address is "expresslane.org"
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is putting a new initiative in place that focuses on creating lasting connections for children who spend time in foster care. DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier says the "Faith in Family Services" program has several goals. It’s hoped that within 12 months 75.2 percent of children in foster care in the state will be reunified with their family -- which would equal the national standard. She says one of their main goals is also to reduce the number of children in foster care to start with.
The Louisiana Lottery says the estimated jackpot for the Saturday night Powerball drawing is up to $216 million dollars. Kimberly Chopin says this is the second jackpot that's been up over $200 million this year. She says the take home cash payout for Saturday night's drawing is a nice chunk of change, $132.8 million. Before you get too giddy, keep in mind. there have only been 14 powerball winners in Louisiana since the state lottery joined in 1995. That’s less than one per year.
A Calcasieu Parish grand jury indicts nine people in a string of armed robberies of Radio Shack stores in Lake Charles and Sulphur earlier this year. Some of the nine are also suspected of robbing
Radio Shack's in east Texas.
The LSU men's basketball team beat Georgia 68-63 yesterday afternoon and will
advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament. The Tigers face Florida today. You can hear that game on ESPN1410.. Airtime 11:30 this morning.
The third ranked LSU Baseball team begins SEC play with a top-ten match-up against eighth ranked Mississippi State. The three-game series with the Bulldogs gets underway in Starkville at 6:30 tonight. Coach Paul Mainieri is expecting close, hard-fought baseball games. You can hear tonight’s game beginning at 6 on 970 KSYL