News for Wednesday 052913
By Dave Graichen
The 2013 Memorial Day weekend was a deadly one. State Police investigated 6 fatal crashes resulting in 8 deaths. This is up from last year's 4 fatal crashes resulting in 4 deaths last Memorial Day weekend. They report says failure to use a seat belt contributed to most of the 8 fatalities; driving while drinking was also a factor in some of the crashes.
The Military is reporting a Louisiana solider was killed in Afghanistan. The family of Chris Drake of Tickfaw was notified on Sunday night about Drake's death. Drake was reportedly 20-years-old and graduated from Independence High School. As of Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at least 2,092 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
A planned contract to allow a partnership between Rapides Regional Medical Center and Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital to take over Huey P. Long Medical Center has been delayed because details have yet to be worked out. One of the things apparently holding up the contract is a plan to move the hospital’s functions to the England Airpark in Alexandria, a process that began a year ago but was halted by hospital budget cuts. The LSU Board of Supervisors Tuesday did approved contracts to privatize four more of its public hospitals, in Houma, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. The board ignored pleas from lawmakers and local residents in Monroe & Shreveport to delay action until a more complete contract — one that shows cost estimates and personnel actions — could be developed.
The state Senate deflected another attempt to make voters decide whether Louisiana should accept Medicaid Expansion money in the White House health care reform. Governor Jindal has rejected the expansion as being unsustainable once the federal money runs out. Supporters say it'll bring health coverage to over 250-thousand of
the state's working poor. An attempt was made to tack that onto a hospital debt bill by Bogalusa Senator Ben Nevers. The amendment failed by a 15-23 vote.
A national business magazine ranks Lafayette first in the country for economic strength and year-over-year growth indicators. Lafayette Economic Development Agency President Gregg Gothreaux says being ranked number one overall is a big deal for the city. Area Development Magazine, a site selection and facility planning publication, ranked 380 metro areas in 21 different economic and workforce measures over the last five years.
Two gun bills were heard on the House floor Tuesday. One received it final passage; another was sent to a conference committee to hash out differences over an amendment. John Schroder's HB 6 allows off-duty cops to carry their weapons onto school campuses. That bill now goes to Governor Jindal's desk. The other, HB 8 from Bossier City Rep. Jeff Thompson would penalize anyone who publicly releases names or personal information on the state's concealed weapon permit holders. Thompson objected to an amendment tacked on in the Senate to allow said information release IF the CCP holder commits a crime. A conference committee was assigned to try to resolve that disputed amendment.
The state House of Representatives approved final passage Tuesday of a bill that would exempt students with disabilities, and who are not pursuing a traditional high school diploma, from taking the American College Test, commonly known as the ACT. Senate Bill 127, which passed on a 101-4 vote, provides that schools accountability scores won’t be affected by students who opt out of taking the test.
LSU’s Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to appeal 19th Judicial District Judge Janice Clark’s ruling that the university illegally denied The Advocate and other news outlets the names and other information related to LSU’s search for a new president. LSU general counsel Shelby McKenzie told the board the university followed all applicable public records laws and would be willing to take its case to the Louisiana State Supreme Court, if necessary. The judge issued a one-paragraph ruling April 25, saying the documents requested by The Advocate and the Times-Picayune should have been surrendered by LSU.
This sounds like a joke waiting for a punch line, There are snakes in the Louisiana State Capitol and this is not a political jab. Apparently baby water snakes have been found in the basement committee rooms curled up in closets, slithering across the
carpet, and in a bathroom corner. Workers are installing weather stripping to help keep the snakes out. A wildlife official say they are water snakes and are completely harmless to humans.
State Police say a Ragley man is charged with 3rd offense DWI, hit & run and other offenses, after crashing his pickup truck into a home in Moss Bluff. Troopers say Brian K. LeBlue rear-ended a car...then left that accident scene. He later ran a stop sign and smashed into the house; stopping partially in the living room. The two persons
inside were not injured.
Police in Eunice say a man who used a glass coffee pot as a weapon to rob a local casino has been apprehended. Officers say 32-year-old John Guillory allegedly took over $800 from the register and stole an employee's smartphone before fleeing on foot. They say using the coffee pot as a weapon gave them additional grounds to arrest Guillory.
LSU's Aaron Nola has been named SEC Pitcher of the Year and shortstop Alex Bregman has received SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Nola has won ten games for the top ranked Tigers, while Bregman leads the team in hitting.