News for Thursday 111413
By Dave Graichen
Federal data shows few Louisianans signed for Obamacare via the federal health insurance marketplace last month; only about 387. Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana says over 4000 bought federally complaint health plans directly from them in October.
36 year old James Johnson Jr of Alexandria has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Jacqueline Bazert. Although there were no eyewitnesses, prosecutors relied on DNA evidence to convict Johnson. Bazert’s blood was found on Johnson’s shoes, and Johnson’s DNA was found underneath her fingernails. The coroner’s report indicated Bazert had been stabbed 139 times.
A state appeals court on Wednesday overturned the sexual battery conviction of a former Rapides Regional Medical Center nurse accused of performing oral sex on a sedated male patient. A three-judge panel from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that Phillip Wayne Raines did not receive a fair trial when he was convicted in April 2012 because of statements witnesses made during the trial. Statements, that according to the three judge panel, should have led to a mistrial. Raines was sentenced to 30 months at hard labor on June 1, 2012.
The State Department of Children and Family Services is out with Louisiana's 18 "Most Wanted" non-custodial parents who owe almost $866,000 in past due child support. DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier says these parents have repeatedly evaded efforts to collect child support that is critical to their children. Sonnier says all of the parents on the Most Wanted 18 poster owe at least $20,000. The largest sum owed is over $128,000 by Richard Miller who was last known to live in Lake Ozark, Missouri. She says you can view the entire poster online at dcfs.la.gov
State Farm has released findings from its annual distracted driving survey which shows mature adults are catching up to younger drivers in terms of being on the phone when behind the wheel. Regional State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson says the sharp increase in the number of people using their smartphone while driving is troubling.
A south Louisiana man, who was kidnapped by pirates, while serving as captain on a offshore supple ship, is back home. The man, who is being identified as "Tom" was taken captive on October 30th off the Nigerian coast. Tom and another crew member from Florida were not injured in the
ordeal. It’s reported the two were released after company officials complied with a ransom demand.
State Health officials are making a major push to get Louisiana residents vaccinated against the flu. State Health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says There are plenty of shots to go around and they are very affordable and at many state health centers they are free.
The state's tax amnesty program is entering its final week. Those in arrears on state taxes can settle up, and pay no penalties and only half the accrued interest...but they must apply for the amnesty by November 22nd.
The Union Parish Sheriff's office says a 22 year old man from Marion was booked into the Detention Center on illegal use of weapons charges after he allegedly shot up his father's house when he thought he was seeing ghosts. They say witnesses reported Kenji Wheeler said ghosts were coming through the walls and trying to kill him. His bond was set at $25,000.
A school bus driver has been charged with cruelty to a juvenile for allegedly grabbing a young student by the neck and pinning him down. East Baton Rouge Parish Spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks says they received a complaint from the mother saying her child had been attacked by 58 year old Sandra Henderson. Hicks says Henderson was arrested and booked into parish prison
after detectives reviewed the surveillance video from the bus. That student was only seven years old.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been named as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Brees threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in the victory over the Cowboys. It's the 16th time Brees has won this award since he joined the Saints in 2006.
Grambling State was notified Wednesday that they will be fined by the SWAC for forfeiting its football game against Jackson State on October 16th. The amount of the fine was not made public.