News for Monday 110413
By Dave Graichen
Members of the state House Education Committee will meet today, and pose questions of education officials about the embattled Common Core State Standards for student performance. Baton Rouge Rep. Steve Carter chairs the committee. He says it's an opportunity for lawmakers to get themselves up-to-date on the controversial topic. Carter says the purpose is to help state legislators to be better- informed about Common Core when asked by constituents and media. He says Education Superintendent John White and Board of Elementary & Secondary Education President Chas Roemer be there to answer questions.
Early voting is under way for the 5th district congressional runoff between state senator Neil Riser and political newcomer Vance McCallister. Election day is November 16th, this week, voters can cast early ballots. Political Analyst Elliot Stonecipher says its too hard to say who will win between Riser and McCallister. Stonecipher says McCallister has some momentum in this race, because he
is a political newcomer and voters are looking for a fresh face. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat agrees with Stonecipher but he says Riser should benefit from the backing of Governor Jindal and
former U-S Representative Rodney Alexander.
The March of Dimes gives Louisiana a failing grade again this year in its annual Premature Births Report Card. Spokesperson Makesha Judson says the MOD does the annual report to call attention to early birth rates that often spawn health problems later in life for those children. Judson says Louisiana's premature birth percentage of 15.3% IS coming down slowly; last year it was 15.6. In 2006 it was over 16%. She says March of Dimes and the state Department of Health & Hospitals are working together to try to reduce the premature birth rate to under 10% by 2020.
The Thibodaux man accused of killing his 7-year-old handicapped son in a brutal manner returns to court today. Judge John Leblanc has scheduled three days of hearings to determine if Jeremiah Wright is competent to stand trial. Judge Leblanc has ruled before on two different occasions that Wright was incompetent to stand trial. Wright spent time earlier this year at a mental hospital in East Feliciana Parish.
U.L.-Monroe announces job eliminations and consolidations, as the university reorganizes to meet the annual state budget. ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno says five academic colleges will merge into three, and 25 positions will be cut; six by attrition, and 19 via layoffs. Bruno says the reorganization will mean about $4-million in annual cost reduction through 2016, then about $2-million yearly going forward. Bruno says state budget cuts for higher education are the reason the cuts were necessary. He says raising tuitions and fees at ULM has not helped to avoid the reorganization.
Saints Quarterback Drew threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns but it was not enough to avoid an upset loss to the New York Jets. Brees was also intercepted twice as he was under a lot of pressure in this game. New Orleans defense also gave up nearly 200 rushing yards. Sean Payton and the Saints are now 6-and-2 on the season.