News for Thursday 080813
By Dave Graichen
Bobby Jindal announced yesterday Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander will serve as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs starting on September 30th. Alexander will resign from Congress, effective on September 26th. This means it will be a wide-open race for the Fifth Congressional District seat. State Senator Neil Riser has told Gannett newspapers he plans to run and Representative Marcus Hunter says he's also very interested. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo and Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy are potential candidates as well.
Residents of Lawtell who were evacuated from their homes after a train hauling hazardous material fell off the tracks on Sunday, will be allowed to return home today. Cleanup at the site continues, but DEQ says the most dangerous chemical on the train, vinyl chloride did not leak and was removed Tuesday. State Police say US 190 in the area will also open today.
The government official who oversees the National Flood Insurance Program is in south Louisiana today to take a tour of the state's flood protection system. US Senator Mary Landrieu says she'll express her concerns with FEMA Associate Administrator David Miller about higher flood insurance premiums that are coming down the pike. Landrieu says they'll also talk with Miller about the new FEMA maps that punish some communities who do have flood protection, but from non-accredited levees.
A second facility in Louisiana received approval Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Energy to export liquefied natural gas to countries not covered by free trade agreements. Lake Charles Exports LLC is the third such company nationally to be granted approval. Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish was the first Louisiana plant to get that approval. The push by corporations to export more liquefied natural gas coincides with the domestic natural gas boom in Louisiana and other states, as well as the demand in Europe and Asia for more affordable energy sources.
State Police say a suspect believed to be connected to a 2011 hit and run fatality crash in Lafourche Parish is now in custody. Trooper Evan Harrell says Edward Farbe of Larose originally tried to use a false identity during an unrelated arrest in Florida, but officials there found out who he really was and called LSP. He says Farbe was the driver of a truck that was at fault in the accident two years ago that actually claimed the life of one of his passengers and seriously injured the other.
The three-day trial over unsafe heat conditions at Louisiana State Penitentiary has ended. District Judge Brian Jackson did not say Wednesday when he would rule in the lawsuit, but said that because of health claims, it would be important to decide soon.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office says they've arrested the boyfriend of a woman who was found dead of two gunshot wounds in 2012. Spokeswoman Kim Myers says 53-year-old Leo Thibodeaux told investigators his live-in girlfriend, 37 year old Toni Frabbiele (Fra-Bill), had committed suicide right in front of him. She says a yearlong investigation resulted in a different conclusion. Myers says the crime scene was reconstructed and an autopsy revealed more than a year later, that there was no possible way the woman could have shot herself twice. Thibodeaux was booked with 2nd degree
murder and is being held on $1 million bond.
Two Saints players who were expected to make big impacts in 2013 have been lost to season-ending injuries. Head coach Sean Payton announced both wide receiver Joe Morgan and defensive end Kenyon Coleman are done for the season.