News for Thursday 101713
By Dave Graichen
New data from the Ourso College of Business at LSU suggests Louisiana will soon have more jobs than ever before. Economist Dr. Loren Scott collaborated on the report. He says business expansions, new industries and high-tech companies moving to the state will account for about 70-thousand new jobs within the next two years. Scott says by 2015, Louisiana employment should surpass 2-million jobs for the first time ever. Scott says job growth is forecast for all eight of the state's metro areas.
The state Supreme Court strikes down a 2002 law that made it a felony for non-U.S. citizens to drive in Louisiana without proof of lawful status. The court ruled the law redundant, due to a similar federal law that carries lesser penalties. Critics of the law say it's led to exactly zero arrests.
A fatal shooting involving an officer is being investigated by Shreveport police. The incident happened around 7:45 Tuesday night when the Shreveport Fire Department called for help dealing with a man who had become combative. The man began threating officers and the firemen with a knife and that is when he was shot. The man's name has not been released.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is trying to address the concerns surrounding Common Core, which are new academic standards that public school students will be asked to achieve starting with next school year. BESE President Chas Roemer says the state will allow local school districts to use their own instructional materials and textbooks. Roemer says the state's education board also approved a provision that gives parents or guardians the opportunity to review the materials that will be used in the classroom. The Board made the rule changes yesterday after hearing hours of testimony earlier this week
A full time substitute teacher in Baton Rouge is under fire today after a video allegedly of her cussing out 8th-graders during class was released to the media by a mother. In the video given to WAFB, the unidentified teacher is seen at the front of the classroom using extremely foul language while reprimanding the students. School officials say the incident is under review.
Kaiser Family Foundation reported Wednesday, eighty-seven percent of Louisiana’s poor, uninsured, non-elderly adults will fall within a health insurance coverage gap because the state did not expand Medicaid with the federal health care revamp. The percentage translates into 242,150 individuals who have incomes above the state Medicaid program’s eligibility levels but not enough to qualify for tax credits in the marketplace insurance exchanges. Nationwide the number is 5.2 million. a large percentage of those people live in Texas and Florida.
Gov. Bobby Jindal told Politico on Wednesday that he is launching a nonprofit to “play offense in the war of ideas” on Capitol Hill. The initiative accelerates speculation that Jindal is trying to mount a run for the White House in 2016. Jindal told Politico “America Next” will focus on ideas, such as an alternative to Obamacare. Describing the nonprofit to Politico, the governor did not rule out a run for the White House, telling the political news organization that he is undecided on running for president. The statement is the first time Jindal has publicly acknowledged he is giving the idea consideration.
A St. Martin Parish swamp tour operator is facing an animal cruelty charge as a result of a video that shows him hitting an alligator with an oar during one of his tours. Kristin Simon with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says in the video, Ryan Champagne is tormenting the animal and should be prosecuted for animal cruelty. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issued two citations against Champagne, simple cruelty to animals and possession of a live alligator without a permit.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's office says they've arrested a father and son for allegedly sexually abusing a disabled little girl over the period of several years. Captain Dawn Foret says a 14 year old girl reported to authorities that she had been sexually assaulted by her stepfather and step grandfather. Foret says the investigation led to the arrest of 29-year-old Russell Leblanc Jr and 65-year-old Russell Leblanc Sr. on aggravated incest charges. She says each man's bond has been set at over $500,000.
A man from Baton Rouge has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 11 month old daughter in June. Larry Leflore is accused of inflicting brain damage and cigarette burns on the baby. DA Hillar Moore says he hasn't decided if his office will seek the death penalty.
More fallout from last Friday's arrest of two prep football referees in Covington. The Covington PD stands by the busts, which occurred when the refs tried to eject two cops from the game. Now the Greater New Orleans Football Officials Association tells St. Tammany Parish schools they will not provide officials for those schools' home games if security is done by Covington Police. More as it develops.
State licensed casinos report a drop in revenues for September from the previous month. The total figures represent a 9% decline from August totals. Baton Rouge saw the biggest slide. The three casino there report business down nearly 17% from the month before. The State Police Gaming Control Board compiled the numbers.
St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Peter Galvin pleads not guilty to charges he conspired to steal money from his own office and other charges. Galvan allegedly took over $100-thousand in pay he didn't earn, and misuse of an office debit card for personal goods, meal and more. His bond is set at $100-thousand.
Leaders of the two groups who won their appeal with the state education board to open charter schools in Lafayette Parish said they are securing sites for three of the schools so they can open by August. The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the applications from Lafayette Charter Foundation to open two K-8 schools by August and a high school by 2017, and an application from Louisiana Achievement Charter Academies to open one K-8 school by August and another K-8 school in 2015.