News for Friday 082313
By Dave Graichen
A 15-year-old faces first-degree murder charges in the death of a Pineville woman, who was killed in Lafayette last weekend. Lafayette Police Corporal Paul Mouton says the teenager is from Lafayette and he was booked into the parish juvenile detention center. Mouton says
detectives also believe they've found the murder weapon. 51-year-old Connie Burch, a Pineville resident, was found shot dead on a city street Sunday morning. A tip led to the teen suspect, whose name is being withheld. Mouton says his motive for allegedly killing the victim is unknown. And they still don't know why 51-year-old Connie Burch was in Lafayette.
State Superintendent of Education John White says the number of technology-ready school districts has increased sevenfold in one year. Over the last year, school districts have upgraded or purchased an additional 65-thousand computers and tablets. White says because of these efforts, 37 districts meet the minimum technology standard. White says an additional 18 districts are on the cusp of meeting the minimum standard for technology devices, which is one computing device for every seven students.
Outgoing District 5 Congressman Rodney Alexander has endorsed Columbia state Senator Neil Riser to replace him in the U.S. House. Many feel there's been a plot to set Riser up with an advantage over other candidates seeking to succeed Alexander. LSU political science professor
Kirby Goidel says some will likely use that in their campaigns. The endorsement of the outgoing office-holder usually gives candidates an edge. Goidel says the appearance that Alexander's resignation, his appointment to the Governor's cabinet and Riser's "favorite son" status could look to some like a "back room deal" was made, which could backfire on Riser's campaign.
A burn ban has now been order for Bossier Parrish areas and parts of southern Caddo and Desoto parishes. The ban will remain in effect as long as present conditions continue. Those areas have received less than average rain fall and have very dry vegetation.
Dramatic video showing numerous trees being swallowed whole by the Bayou Corne sinkhole, in Assumption Parish, is getting national and international media attention. The footage - shot by Assumption Parish Emergency Preparedness Director John Boudreaux - has been viewed more than 425-thousand times on YouTube. Boudreaux says it's a powerful illustration of what folks with property near the sinkhole have been going through.
Vernon Parish lawmen are still investigating who is responsible for three large outdoor marijuana growing operations that have been discovered and uprooted in recent months. The three pot fields had an estimated street value of over $60-million. There are currently no solid leads to identify the growers.
A Jefferson Parish state lawmaker has resigned his seat in the state House, after federal authorities accuse him of cheating on his income taxes. Harvey Rep. Girod Jackson is alleged to have misrepresented his income on one tax return, and failed to file for two other years. The Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement reacting to Jackson's resignation this afternoon. Jackson
represented Louisiana House District 87.
The Department of Transportation and Development launches an application that will provide drivers with traffic information while on the road. DOTD spokesman Dustin Annison says it's called the "Way to Geaux" (G-E-A-U-X) app. The app can be downloaded for iPhones or Androids by visiting DOTD's website, the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Annison says all you have to do is set your phone down, and traffic alerts will automatically be sent to your phone after an incident is entered into the system by operators at Traffic Management Centers.
Shreveport's Independence Bowl is losing its title sponsor. Advocare says 2013 will be the last year for the Advocare V-100 Independence Bowl. Bowl officials says they aren't giving up after 38 years, and are confident they'll find another sponsor.
The federal corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been delayed. Set to start on October 7th, Nagin's trial will now begin three weeks later. The "Chocolate City" former mayor is
accused of taking bribes from contractors while he was in office. He denies doing anything wrong.
Southern Living Magazine has once again named LSU as a contender for the "South's Best Tailgate" competition -- which is featured in their issue that hits newsstands today. Travel and features editor Jennifer Cole says they picked 15 schools with the greatest pregame parties for
a chance to earn the best tailgate honor, and LSU was a no brainer. Cole says they are asking fans to decide which school best honors the great tradition of Southern hospitality with the most spirited tailgate.