News for Tuesday 090313
By Dave Graichen
The Gillis Long Bridge, also known as the Jackson State Bridge, which connects Alexandria's business district with downtown Pineville, will close for three months starting at 9:00 this morning. State Department of transportation spokesperson Deidra Druilhet says a lot of work will be done on the bridge, including the replacement of the steel grid deck. The Bridge is also used by bicyclists and pedestrians. Druilhet says there will free shuttle service for those individuals who need to get across the river.
A 20-year-old Many man died late Sunday when he was ejected from a pickup involved in a a single-vehicle crash in Sabine Parish, according to Louisiana State Police Troop E. Police said Zachary S. Rhame was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers say 20 year old Christopher Neal of Florien lost control of the truck, causing it to roll and hit two trees. Neal was charged with vehicular homicide, contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, careless operation and no seat belt. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
1-point-9 million people are employed in Louisiana based on the latest job figures from the state's Workforce Commission. Currently, there are 84-hundred more jobs than at this time last year and the number of people employed in Louisiana is expected to grow faster than the national average through 2020. The LWC report shows the private sector has added jobs for the past 35 consecutive months.
The number of West Nile cases has reached 21 in Louisiana. That's according to the Department of Health and Hospitals who says ten of the 21 cases are the more serious form of the disease which can cause brain damage, paralysis or death. State epidemiologist Raoult Ratard urges the public to keep taking the steps to avoid mosquito bites. Last year, Louisiana reported 160 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease. Ratard says its doubtful the state will come close to that number this year.
The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is reaching it's most-active period, yet the tropics have been mostly quiet. State Climatologist Barry Keim attributes that to a prevailing weather system over the central Atlantic Ocean. However he notes September is the most active part of hurricane season. There is a low pressure system east of the central Antilles that has a medium chance of
development. If it intensifies it will be named Gabrielle.
For the second time in a week, a child in New Orleans has been killed as result of gunfire. Police say an 11-year-old girl was shot in the head just after midnight Monday. Another 11-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man were also wounded in the shooting. The victims were shot inside their home. No arrests have been made. Police are also looking for the gunman who killed a one-year-old girl in New Orleans last Thursday.
Baker police are searching for a man who tried to abduct a 15-year-old girl Monday afternoon as she walked home from the library. Police Chief Mike Knaps said the girl was walking home from the library, when a man with a Mohawk haircut drove up in a sport utility vehicle and asked the girl if she needed a ride home. When she said, “No,” he cut her off with the vehicle, jumped out and grabbed her arm to pull her into the vehicle. The teenager yanked her arm free and ran, at which time the man drove away, Knaps said. Knaps described the vehicle as a silver, older model SUV with “Rodeo” written across the back window in big letters; the kidnapper was described as a light-skinned black man. They are asking anyone with info to please contact authorities.
The crazy ant population in Louisiana is getting worse and could soon become out of control. LSU Entomologist Dr. Linda Hooper-Bui (Booey) says the number of crazy ants is growing and they are being reported in more and more places. She says the problem with the reddish-brown ant is that they build large colonies with several queens and are next to impossible to get rid of. The pest's numbers are on the rise currently in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes but they've also been reported in the north and western part of the state as well. The good news is they seldom bite or sting.