News for Tuesday 011414
By Dave Graichen
It’s another major campaign promise kept. All Rapides Parish Sheriff’s substations will be fully operational again when the South Alexandria substation reopens Wednesday. The newly reopened substation will be at the old location of the Pill Box Pharmacy, 3311 Third St. and will handle the deputies assigned to the southeast parts of Rapides Parish, including the Poland, Echo, Lecompte and Cheneyville communities.
A teacher from Pineville High School is under arrest for allegedly having sex with one of his students. Officials say 28 year old Robert Stone of Alexandria was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center Friday on three counts of prohibited sexual conduct between educator and student. The Superintendent’s office has confirmed that Stone has been placed on administrative leave pending results of the investigation.
After giving indications he may return for one more season of college football, LSU running back Jeremy Hill announced on his twitter account that he will enter the NFL draft. There were media reports last week that HIll was leaning towards returning. Hill's departure leaves Terrance Magee as the likely starter at tailback next season.
A state Representative from Monroe believes that he has a way to keep students who receive TOPS scholarships working in Louisiana after they complete their degree. Representative Marcus Hunter says he plans to introduce legislation for the upcoming session that links working in Louisiana to the number of years a student receives the TOPS award. Hunter says the state has to work to keep students here after Louisiana has helped pay for their education through TOPS scholarships.
Louisiana's House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a meeting later this month to discuss the feasibility and effectiveness of legalizing marijuana possession and use. Baton Rouge Representative Dalton Honore requested the meeting and he says his main focus is to look at the use of medical marijuana in this state. Honore says it's legal for a doctor in Louisiana to prescribe medical marijuana, but pharmacies are not allowed to sell it. The state rep says a poll conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union last Summer shows 53-percent of the respondents support taxing and regulating marijuana for use by people over the age of 21...
The state Department of Education announced Monday , the ranks of schools that accept voucher students is up but not all will be accepting new students. The state will have 136 schools during the next school year that accept voucher students, up 8 percent from the current school year.
However, of the 136, only 114 will accept new students for various reasons, including academic or financial sanctions or decisions by school officials not to expand. The state now has 126 schools used by about 6,700 students relying on vouchers.
The State House and Senate Labor Committees meet in Lake Charles today to discuss if the region is ready to meet the increase demand for skilled workers to fill new jobs. House Labor Committee Chairman Herbert Dixon says the highest job concentration area will be Southwest Louisiana. Dixon says it is estimated that over 80,000 new high paying jobs with benefits, will engage the job market in Louisiana in 2014. The chairman says over 25% of the new jobs in the state will occur in Southwest Louisiana. Coming on-line by the end of the decade is the Sasol energy complex, which is the largest private investment in the state's history.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office says a 17 year old Northwest High student is booked with aggravated for allegedly setting a school bathroom trashcan on fire. They say the suspect, Shavera Welcome of Opelousas, claimed she was mad about being forced to go to school.
Officials with the Cajundome in Lafayette are proposing improvements to the venue. Director Greg Davis says the Cajundome is 29 years old and it's time for some major renovations. The project would be $16 million dollars and Davis says architectural plans will be presented to the Cajundome Commission next month, but in the meantime they'll be seeking permission to sell bonds to finance the renovations. Davis says the bulk of the construction would take place between May
and October of 2015.
Iberia Bank is expanding, as the Lafayette-based bank has spelled out plans today to purchase New Iberia-based Teche Federal Bank. The deal is for about $161 million, and will cover all 20 of Teche Federal's locations in South Louisiana including Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Iberia, and Franklin.
And it's that time of the year again. Festival Productions says the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival line-up will be announced today. This year's Jazz Fest will celebrate it's 45th anniversary.
An Ascension Christian High School teacher was arrested yesterday after school officials being sent home early for being drunk. Gonzalas police say Jamie Ingrassia was involved in a hit and run accident and resulted in her second offence DWI. Sgt. Steven Nethken says once police caught
her they gave her a Breathalyzer test which determined her BAC was .285. Ingrassia was arrested on the charges of careless operation, hit and run and DWI. Nethken says they have no reason to believe any other substance besides alcohol was involved.