News for Wednesday 060513
By Dave Graichen
Details are still sketchy, but a Pineville police officer was seriously injured Tuesday when a car collided with the officer’s motorcycle on Highway 28 East. Officer Michael Daenen was struck by a vehicle turning onto Medical Park Boulevard. He is listed in stable condition. With several broken bones.
The Rapides Parish School Board approved a hire for executive assistant superintendent, a position created in the district reorganization plan proposed by Superintendent Nason Authement. The plan, which included several position eliminations and additions, was approved on May 21, two weeks before Authement’s first board meeting.
In a break with tradition, six Louisiana House members — instead of the usual — three would work with the state Senate to hammer out a compromise on the state budget.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, made the motion shortly after the House got underway Tuesday, signaling possible movement toward a resolution on the $25 billion state spending plan. If the House and the Senate cannot reach an agreement by 6 p.m. Thursday, when the session ends, legislators would have to return to the State Capitol for a special session.
The House approved bill by NOLA Representative Austin Badon that would loosen penalties on pot possession sentences passed in a Senate Committee 4-2 yesterday. It heads to the Senate Floor today for possible final legislative passage.
Judges and parish sheriffs have won legislative backing for their pay raises. With a 29-7 vote, the Senate gave final passage Tuesday to a bill outlining five years of pay raises for judges. Sheriffs can get the salary hikes, because a law allows them to get the same raises as district court judges. The bill now goes to Gov. Bobby
Jindal, who has said he'll sign it into law.
Family, friends and well-wishers lined US 190 near Hammond yesterday, as the body of slain National Guard Specialist Chris Drake was driven by. Drake's remains were taken from a Hammond airport to a funeral home in Denham Springs. He was killed in Afghanistan by a rocket propelled grenade attack.
A low pressure disturbance in the southern Gulf of Mexico has potential to become the year's first tropical storm. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the system COULD become Tropical Storm Andrea. Keim says the system is mostly swirling over the area of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is poorly organized at this time...but that could change. Even if the system upgrades into the season's named storm, forecasters say it'll likely move to the northeast and the Florida panhandle.
Tuesday the legislature passed a law that would require state agencies to pay women the same amount of money as a male co-worker in the same position. Louisiana Pay Equity Advocacy Director Camille Moran says they are thrilled this has made it all the way to the Governor's Desk. Moran says there are a lot of state employees who are currently not receiving the same pay for doing the same work and she hopes
Governor Jindal will sign this bill into law.
Two far-reaching House-approved bills that sought to prohibit federal oversight of gun laws in Louisiana have stalled in the state Senate and apparently won’t become law this session. Promoted as states’ rights measures against what backers called an increasingly intrusive federal government, the proposals were easily approved in the Louisiana House despite concerns that they were unconstitutional. But senators have shelved the measures through procedural moves, creating hurdles that appear unable to be met by session’s end Thursday.
A former accountant at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals faces over 100 years in prison after she allegedly swindled over one-million dollars from the state's Medicaid program and used the stolen cash to gamble. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the arrest of 46-year-old Deborah Loper of Baton Rouge.
Acadia Parish deputies say they've identified the body found last week by a boy riding his 4-wheeler. The remains are those of 31-year-old Thomas Mendoza, a citizen of Honduras. An autopsy determined Mendoza died of multiple stab wounds to his upper body. A Crowley man has been arrested in connection with the murder.
College students will be paying extra fees this fall, including one for campus building maintenance, if Gov. Bobby Jindal goes along with legislation that won final legislative approval on Tuesday. The Louisiana House voted 71-16 to Senate changes, then shipped the legislation to Jindal’s desk. House Bill 671, sponsored by state Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, would allow up to a $48 per semester fee for repairs and renovations to buildings on public college campuses. The schools face a $1.7 billion backlog of projects for which state funding has been lagging.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden said Tuesday that he’s 80 percent sure he will run for Louisiana lieutenant governor in 2015. Holden, a Democrat, was sworn into his third term as East Baton Rouge mayor president in January. The term ends the last day of 2016, but he would leave the mayor’s office a year early if elected lieutenant governor.
Home-based cookie and cake preparation businesses would no longer fall under the state sanitary code under a bill that won final legislative approval Tuesday. The Louisiana House and Senate agreed to a conference committee report settling differences between the two chambers. Today, the sanitary code exemption applies to preparation of jellies, preserves, jams, honey and honeycomb products made in the home for sale. Gross annual sales cannot exceed $5,000. The new bill would add cookies and cakes to that list and raise gross annual sales to $20,000
A Terrytown woman is arrested for stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from her employer. 38-year-old Kristen Carroll worked at Greco's restaurant, and reportedly skimmed the money from bank deposits to support her gambling habit. The alleged theft took place between 2011 and 2012.
New specialty “I’m Cajun” and “I’m Creole” vehicle license plates are just around the corner. Legislation that would create the prestige plates won final legislative passage Tuesday on a 92-0 vote. That sent the measure to the governor’s desk.
Police in Shreveport say a man is in serious condition in a hospital after being stabbed by his wife several times while he was sleeping. Sgt Bill Goodin says 54-year-old Curtis Johnson was found in his home with nearly a dozen stab wounds. He says detectives identified 33-year-old Tracy Johnson as the prime suspect in the stabbing. Goodin says Johnson is in serious condition, but is expected to survive.
The times are set for the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend and LSU is set to face Oklahoma at The Box, 6pm Friday. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. Saturday's game is also at 6. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri announces Aaron Nola will be the starting pitcher in Game 1 of the Super Regional series against Oklahoma. Mainieri says Nola will most likely match up against the Sooners' ace Jonathan Gray on Friday night