News for Friday 071913
By Dave Graichen
State funeral directors are appealing lower court rulings in favor of a group of Covington monks who make and sell caskets. Federal district and appeals courts found no reasonable grounds for a regulation that only state-licensed funeral directors may sell coffins in Louisiana. The monks says they'll keep fighting for their
right to make and sell the coffins.
The state laid off over 3800 employees during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Some 1900 of those were workers at four LSU hospitals and outpatient clinics that have been privatized by the Jindal administration. The Governor's Office says a good number of that 1900 have been hired by the private companies who've taken
those facilities over.
Deputies in Morehouse Parish report two people dead in a plane crash near Oak Ridge. The small aircraft was from the Flying Tigers Aviation School, and the company says a pilot and a student were killed in the crash. The victims' names are being withheld until their families are notified. Flying Tigers says they've never had a
single injury or fatality until today. The crash is under investigation.
Three Henderson Police officers including the Chief, Leroy Guidry, are facing a number of charges from fraud to malfeasance over an alleged ticket-quota scheme along I-10. Lafayette TV station KATC is reporting that court records showed the officer's pay was tied to the number of tickets they issued. An arraignment is expected on August 12th.
Average gasoline prices across Louisiana are expected to hit or exceed $3.50 a gallon today, as crude oil prices continue to rise. Louisiana AAA's Don Redman says gas prices are high, and they're going to get higher. His prediction, between $3.50 & $3.75 a gallon through the fall. Redman says troubles in Egypt and Libya are one reason for the sharp rise in crude oil prices. Crude traded at $108 a barrel yesterday.
Governor Bobby Jindal is in Washington DC attending a meeting of the Republican Governor's Association. Jindal serves as the leader of that group. U.L. Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says it's a post that gives the governor a chance to be influential on the national scene. Cross says leading the RGA means a lot to Jindal's possible future political ambitions on a national stage.
Louisiana has reached a new all-time high in national business rankings for its climate for business. Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret says the good news comes from the Pollina Corporate Real Estate annual pro-business state rankings. Moret says Louisiana is rated the 14th-best business environment out of 50 states. He says the state was 40th in 2008; jumping 26 spots in just 5 years.
The Louisiana Republican Party is planning a statewide tour to get people involved in an effort to defeat democratic senator Mary Landrieu next year. The "Red to the Roots" 100-city tour will begin Aug. 16 in Winnsboro. Louisiana GOP Executive Director Jason Dore says this is the start of their grassroots campaign against Landrieu. Dore says the tour stops are designed to look for individuals who want to get involved with next year's election.
A Lafayette man is wanted for allegedly kidnapping his own grandson. Deputies say 54-year-old Monty Wilson is "knowingly decoying and keeping away" his grandson, 3-year-old Joshua Lowe, from the state Department of Children & Family Services, who were granted legal custody of the boy earlier this month. Deputies don't think the
child is in any danger, but they do want to catch up to Wilson and the boy. Wilson could be driving a silver Kia Sedona minivan. Plate number: WGS 269.
Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is urging horse owners to vaccinate their animals against mosquito borne diseases. That's because a two-year-old horse in Livingston Parish has been euthanized after reportedly testing positive for both West Nile and Eastern Equine encephalitis. It's the first case of this summer.
LSU Coach Les Miles says star running back Jeremy Hill remains suspended following his guilty plea to a misdemeanor simple battery charge. Hill was arrested last April after he punched another man in the head in a parking lot outside of an off-campus bar. Hill goes before a judge in August, who will determine whether the
running back should go to jail for violating his probation.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's deputies arrest a Sulphur man on multiple accounts of aggravated incest. Deputies allege that 50-year-old Perry Arnold molested a family member numerous times, starting in 2002, when the victim was just 6 years old. Arnold's bond is set at $3-million.