News for Wednesday 032013
By Dave Graichen
Despite the fact that many said he days were over at LC, Dr Joe Aguillard held onto his position as president of Louisiana College, surviving an attempted coup by a segment of the school's Board of Trustees to oust. The board wrapped up two days of meetings on the campus of the private Baptist college Tuesday afternoon. However, Aguillard isn’t out of the woods yet. The board is scheduled to meet again next month. It is expected the matter will be brought up again at that meeting.
It was one of those traffic accidents that to look at, made no sense. One person has died and two others were injured in a three-vehicle crash yesterday at the intersection Lee Street and Texas Avenue in Alexandria. The crash involved two cars, a truck and a van. The damage was much worse than you would have expected to see at an intersection where the speed limit was 35 or under.
Authorities wasted no time in making an arrest in connection with a fire in Wardville yesterday, in which a body in the rubble after the fire was extinguished. Arrested was 44-year-old John Richard Purvis of 419 Smith St. Purvis is being charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated arson and two counts of contempt of court. The identity of the person found in the burned house has not been released, and no cause of death has been determined yet. But detectives are treating the case as a homicide.
Lawyers for the state and for teachers unions argued for and against the controversial school vouchers law before the state Supreme Court Tuesday. A state District Court ruled late last year that the funding mechanism for the scholarship plan violates the language of the state constitution. The state is appealing that ruling. The High Court will have 30 days to issue a ruling on the case. Meanwhile the
vouchers program is evaluating applications for the 2013-2014 school year.
A State Trooper in the Monroe area is under arrest on drug charges. Ronald O. Thomas worked in the Bureau of Investigation Unit. He's accused of payroll fraud, conspiring to distribute cocaine, malfeasance in office and obstructing justice. His arrest is the result of a nearly year-long investigation. Thomas was booked into the Ouachita Parish jail.
Latest numbers provided by the Louisiana Workforce Commission show the state added 18-thousand non-farm jobs from January 2012 to 2013. The commission's executive director Curt Eysink says one-point-nine million people are working in Louisiana and the state could hit two million jobs by the end of the year or early next year. January was the 29th straight month of private sector job growth. Job growth is stronger in south Louisiana, because of a growing chemical industry.
Criminal charges have been filed against a Winnsboro woman who reportedly set herself on fire, then told police she was the victim of a racially-motivated attack. Franklin Parish 5th District Attorney Mark Lancaster says 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffit faces charges of terrorizing & false swearing for the purpose of violating public safety. Moffitt reportedly doused herself with lighter fluid & set herself aflame. She also allegedly wrote "KKK" of her own car, to give the appearance of a hate crime.
Today is the first day of spring and State Climatologist Barry Keim says conditions are likely to be warmer and dyer than normal over the months leading into summer. Keim says this is following a trend that we've seen over the past several years in The Bayou State. About 18 inches of rain has fallen so far this year in Louisiana which is about 5 inches above average. Keim says since we've already had so much rain this year it will take longer before a worry would emerge over drought conditions. But, that could be the case later this year.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold its Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans today. Michael Lyons with the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association says this lease sale is the largest held by the federal government every year, are is very important to Louisiana. Lyons says this year's lease sale will offer 38.6 million acres of offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
It may have taken some strong arming, but Governor Bobby Jindal met for the first time with Bayou Corne families yesterday at that massive Assumption Parish sinkhole. Residents had complained in recent months that the Governor hadn't been very involved with the sinkhole which was highlighted in the media since August. The good news for residents is the governor has been much more vocal for displaced residents the past week.
Again this year a state lawmaker seeks to repeal a state law allowing creation theory to be taught in public school science classes. New Orleans Democrat Senator Karen Peterson has tried the same bill in two previous years. Supporters of the Science Education Act say it's purpose is promote critical thinking by examining alternate theories.
An Opelousas lawmaker says he's concerned that part of Governor Jindal's tax swap plan would deny film payroll tax breaks to people making over a million bucks on movies and tv shows shot here. Democrat state Senator Elbert Guillory says that could potentially chase away some bigger movie productions. Guillory says we should encourage the Louisiana film industry to grow, not enact policies to discourage it.
Bond is set at over a million bucks for a West Monroe man, charged with 150 counts of child pornography. 41-year-old Dwayne Greer was arrested Sunday. If convicted of the charges he could face up to 20 years in prison, and lifetime registration as a known sex offender.
The third ranked LSU baseball team is back in action tonight against Northwestern State. You can hear the game on 970 KSYL. Airtime 6pm