News for Wednesday 081413
By Dave Graichen
Authorities say a man who took hostages at a bank in rural Louisiana shot the two remaining hostages before being shot and killed by police. Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson says that during negotiations with law enforcement, the suspect — identified as 20-year-old Fuaed Abdo Ahmed — said he was going to kill the hostages. Law enforcement then entered the building just before midnight Tuesday. Edmonson says that’s when Ahmed shot the two hostages in the upper body and then state police shot and killed him. Edmonson says the hostages were taken from the scene in critical condition.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's office says they've discovered a third massive marijuana field worth a street value of an estimated $22 million. Assistant Chief Marvin Hilton says the two acre field contained about 14,800 plants over two acres and was very well manicured. Hilton says a field with 7,000 plants was discovered in June, then a few weeks later a smaller growth operation was uncovered. He says narcotics agents believe that Mexican Nationals are responsible for these grows.
State police have arrested a Texas man after he was pulled over on I-10 east of Breaux Bridge and they found almost 692 pounds of marijuana in the van he was driving. The driver and lone occupant of the van, 38-year old Pedro Matamoros of Brownsville, was also charged with improper lane usage as well as possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. Street value about a million bucks.
A candidate for the soon to be vacated fifth congressional seat says it appears the election is rigged. State Representative Jay Morris, a republican from Monroe, plans to qualify for the October primary next week, but he says Rodney Alexander's retirement from Congress and quick decision to join the Jindal administration are peculiar. On August sixth, Alexander announced he was resigning from the US House. The next day Alexander accepted the job as the Louisiana Secretary of Veterans Affairs. State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia announced his candidacy right away. Morris says the whole thing appears to be rigged so Riser can win. Riser, Alexander, a Jindal spokesperson and political consultant Timmy Tepell, all deny they worked to give Riser an advantage over his competition.
The Monroe News Star reports that US Representative Rodney Alexander is keeping the door open for a possible run at governor in 2015. Alexander said he has been approached by supporters since last week’s announcement who are encouraging him to enter the race. He says at this point, he won’t say no to anything.
Louisiana ranked sixth on an integrity list compiled by a Chicago-based watchdog group. The Better Government Association gave the state marks for laws governing freedom of information, open meetings and conflicts of interest. Louisiana’s lowest mark was in whistleblower protection. On overall integrity, the state finished behind Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, Nebraska and California. No state received a score above 70 percent
According to federal health officials, Louisiana recovered more than $124 million in fraudulent Medicaid payments during the last fiscal year, leading the nation in recovery efforts. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that Louisiana’s recovery rate of nearly 2 percent of all Medicaid dollars spent was the highest of any state. On average, states recover less than 0.6 percent of their respective Medicaid budgets.
Police say a fourth arrest has been made in the case of Shreveport firefighters who reportedly abused two mentally handicapped men and even allegedly paid a woman to have sex with one of them.
The Terrebonne Parish Council has decided to hold off on moving forward with a proposed ordinance that would ban sleeping in parks and other public areas. The ordinance is designed to keep homeless people from sleeping on park benches. But Council Chairwoman Beryl
Amedee made the motion to delay any action on this proposed law, so the parish's legal department can determine how to word such an ordinance, so that it would not be struck down in court.
Officials say a woman in Loranger has pleaded no contest today to negligent injury after her pit pull attacked an 8 year old girl in Hammond last year. 40-year-old Bridgette Harper will be sentenced
next month. She faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine.
The fourth season of A&E's most watched show featuring the loving Robertson's from West Monroe, Duck Dynasty, will premiere tonight. The network previewed tonight's episode saying Phil and Miss Kay will renew their vows. Willie and Jep's wives apparently decide they are going to plan a wedding for the occasion. It's also been previously reported that the Robertson's third and oldest son, Alan, will be making his first introductions on the show. Tonight's episode is called, "Till Duck Do Us Part".
The Touchdown Express, a service of the Baton Rouge public transportation system that shuttles LSU fans from downtown to Tiger Stadium for each home game will be operating again this season. However, it's now going to cost ten dollars for the round trip instead of the usual four dollars. Transportation officials say that's because they lost a grant that picked up most of the cost. LSU kicks off the home season September 7th against UAB.
A new study out of LSU finds that people who suffer from social anxiety disorder, are seven times more likely to be addicted to pot. Julia Buckner is an assistant professor in the department of Psychology. She says the problem is not that these people smoke pot, but that they rely on the drug to help them cope with anxiety. Buckner says her research into this issue is on-going and she's currently developing a new treatment that would help people with both their marijuana use and anxiety disorder. She says people with substance abuse problems are usually sent to rehab, but their psychological disorders are seldom addressed.