News for Friday 110813
By Dave Graichen
An early morning crash yesterday involving an 18-wheeler and a motorcycle has claimed the life of a Pineville man. Forty-one year-old Kevin Herron was killed when his motorcycle was struck on Louisiana Highway 107 by the truck driven by 58 year-old Elton McNeal of Effie. McNeal was charged with failure to yield. The crash remains under investigation.
The Lafayette Police Department is looking for a man they believe kidnapped the mother of his child at a daycare center yesterday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing 29-year-old Scott Thomas shove the victim into his car then drive off leaving a 2 year old behind. Thomas' car was found Wednesday night but the whereabouts of the suspect and victim remain unknown at this time.
Public school students in Louisiana again Thursday finished near the bottom nationally in reading and math in the latest update of the nation’s report card. The exam is called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The exam is considered one of the most reliable indicators of student achievement and state-to-state comparisons. The latest results for fourth- and eighth-graders show that Louisiana students were: Tied for 50th in fourth-grade math. 48th in fourth-grade reading.
Tied for 48th in eighth-grade math. Tied for 48th in eighth-grade reading. The results carry extra significance amid arguments about the state’s drive to add rigor to public school courses, which is called Common Core. Backers contend that increasing standards in math, reading and writing will improve student achievement.
Early voting for the November 16th elections comes to a close tomorrow evening, and voter turnout so far has been light. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says about 3300 people have cast early ballots each day of the early voting period this time around.
The state department of health and hospitals is requiring local water systems to maintain higher disinfectant level. The emergency rule is in response to the recent discovery of a deadly amoeba in the water systems in St. Bernard and DeSoto Parishes. DHH Assistant Secretary J-T Lane says increasing the chlorine level should lead to safer water. It's the first time Louisiana has changed the required chlorine level in drinking water since 1995.
Louisiana ranked No. 9 on the American Medical Association’s annual list of states with the lowest level of competition among health insurers. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana had 57 percent of the market, according to the AMA. UnitedHealthCare had the second-largest share at 19 percent. The other 10 states with the least competitive health insurance markets were Alabama; Hawaii; Michigan; Delaware; Alaska; South Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; and Rhode Island.
The Jindal administration announces food stamp recipients could lose their benefits if its determined they took advantage of a computer glitch and made purchases that exceeded their available balance. Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier says suspected violators will receive a letter explaining that the state will being the process of disqualifying that person from the SNAP program. She says first time offenders could lose their benefits for a year.
The son of legendary Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson passed away Wednesday night. Eddie Robinson Jr died from complications related to heart surgery. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's office says three additional arrests have been made in the join homicide investigation into the death of Willie Francis. They say additional details will be released later today. The 23-year-old Bayou Vista man's body was found last week and a 15-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says a former deputy has been arrested again for felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. This is the third time 24-year-old Todd Tripp has been arrested in three
months. The first arrest was for indecent behavior with juveniles and child porn amid allegations Tripp was exchanging sexually explicit pictures with a 15 year old boy. He was arrested yesterday for allegedly having sexual contact with a 16 year old.
Louisiana has now spent 11 million dollars in response efforts for the giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The state expects to be reimbursed by Texas Brine, which is the company that operated an underground salt dome cavern that caused the sink hole.