News for Wednesday 062613
By Dave Graichen
US Senator Mary Landrieu made a huge announcement yesterday regarding troop reductions at Fort Polk. The Senator says in the face of the potential loss of 5300 troops, Fort Polk came out with a reduction of only about 240 troops over the next four years. She says the Department of the Army is cutting 80,000 troops nationwide. Landrieu credits the central Louisiana community's commitment of getting the message across that the state's largest military base needs to be kept strong and intact. She says the formation of Fort Polk Progress and the effort to transform the region into a great place for the Army to stay and grow, made a huge difference.
There's great relief here in central Louisiana over the Army's decision not to drastically reduce the number of troops at Ft. Polk. Instead, the Army announced the Leesville military base will only see a reduction of 240 troops over the next four years. Ft. Polk Progress chairman Mike Reese says a team effort led to the great news. Statistics show a troop reduction of 5300 troops at Fort Polk would have resulted in an annual loss of $24 million dollars for the state and a loss of more than 8 thousand jobs locally. Reese says any major reduction of troops would have been devastating to the CenLa region.
Louisiana and a handful of other mostly Southern states are no longer under extra scrutiny from the federal government on voting laws and much more because of Tuesday’s high-profile U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Congress should come up with an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.
Winnfield Police say they've made an arrest in the shooting death of rap artist Lil Snupe last week. Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter says Tony Holden turned himself in to face charges of 1st degree murder, armed robbery and possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Addaren Ross, also called Lil Snupe, was considered an up & coming
A judge has postponed the trial of a man who disappeared and was declared dead, only to resurface years later as a suspect in the slayings of his girlfriend and her daughter, because federal budget cuts are hampering the publicly funded defense team. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell in Alexandria issued a court order saying that public defenders can’t currently afford expenses for the complex, death-penalty. Thomas Steven Sanders’ trial had been set to begin, here in Alexandria, in August.
State Police say a 37-year-old woman is behind bars for human trafficking. They say Katherine Vidrine of Lafayette allegedly took money in exchange for letting people have sex with a 12 year old child. She was booked with trafficking of children for sexual purposes and principle to molestation of a juvenile.
There is a belief Bobby Jindal is position himself to run for President in 2016, but John Maginnis of la-politics-dot come says the governor will also consider challenging Senator Mary Landreiu. He says Jindal may have a better shot a winning the US Senate seat. Congressman Bill Cassidy has already entered the race with Landrieu but Maginnis doesn't think he has enough support with the GOP.
The New President and Chancellor of LSU took some time to get to know incoming freshman this week. Dr. F. King Alexander mingled Tuesday at the university's new dining hall. He says he's impressed with the warm reception and the positive attitudes he seen among incoming students. Dr. Alexander comes to LSU from Cal State Long Beach, where he served as chancellor. He spoke with parents of incoming students on Monday night, and asked them to help keep their kids focused on earning a degree from LSU.
National Police in Colombia say they've arrested four people for the slaying of DEA Agent James Watson last week in Bogata. Both U.S. and Colombian lawmen feel the assailants were unaware they were robbing and killing a federal agent. Watson, who's from Richland Parish, was killed June 20th after leaving a restaurant and getting into a taxi. Two of the accused are cab drivers.
Nearly half of the eligible residents and families in an evacuation area affected by a sinkhole induced by a Texas Brine Co. salt dome failure last summer have agreed to company buyout offers, while the rest have more than a month to complete negotiations. Texas Brine faced a 5:30 p.m. court-imposed deadline Monday to reach out-of-court settlements with residents who had not filed suit against the company, but U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey extended that deadline on Tuesday until July 31.
The New Orleans Pelicans will have the sixth pick in tomorrow night's NBA Draft. General Manager Dell Demps is trying to build on last year's draft, which saw the NBA franchise select Anthony Davis with the number one overall pick. The experts say this year's draft does not contain players that you can build a franchise around. But Demps says they will be able to get a quality player with the sixth pick.