News for Thursday 011614
By Dave Graichen
Rapides Parish Sheriff's detectives arrested a Deville man Wednesday and found nine firearms that had been reported stolen on Tuesday. Detectives arrested 18 year old Colby Deville after a complaint from a local pawn shop Tuesday launched an investigation. A juvenile was also arrested and authorities say they expect there will be more arrests in the case.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday officially opened a substation the new substation on Lower Third St. in the old Martin Luther King branch library. The South Alexandria substation will provide dispatching and assistance to the School Resource Officer Section of the Law Enforcement Division and will handle the deputies assigned to the southeast parts of Rapides Parish, including Poland, Echo, Lecompte and Cheneyville.
According to an article in today’s Town Talk, the plan is to have The Hotel Bentley will reopened in March. Owner Michael Jenkins bought the downtown Alexandria hotel in October 2012 and is overseeing a complete restoration and renovation of the historic property. In his words, It has not been easy. The Bentley had been closed for nearly eight years when Jenkins bought it. He is converting the seven-story tower portion of the property into condominiums. The original portion of the property will remain a hotel with 92-94 rooms.
Can you imagine having a million dollars and not knowing it.. A $1 million lottery prize is fast dwindling to nothing. The $1 million Powerball ticket sold in Alexandria in July will expire today. The prize must be claimed by 5 p.m. at Louisiana Lottery Corp. headquarters in Baton Rouge. The winning ticket was sold at Albertsons on South MacArthur Drive and was for the drawing on Saturday, July 20. Prizes that go unclaimed are recycled into the game in the form of higher jackpots and special promotions.
The only university in the state to make the top 50 in the 'return on investment' ranking of 2014 is Louisiana Tech. Best-Colleges-Dot-Com Com looked at nearly 7 thousand colleges and universities. The school in Ruston was number 48 on their list. According to the data, the average price for Tech students to get their degrees is just under 70 thousand. But the average 30 year net 'return on investment' is over 800 thousand.
In a somewhat related story, The U-S Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparency list ranks U-L Lafayette as the most affordable school in the state.
J.C. Penney announced Wednesday it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to get back on the path to profitability. The news raises concerns that Penney's holiday season sales were not what the company hoped for and that the chain needs to do even more to recover from a turnaround plan that has had disastrous results. The good news is, at this point, no Louisiana stores are on the closure list.
For the first time in six years there are no expected budget cuts for state agencies, even though the income forecasts show the Bayou State will bring in about $35 million dollars less than expected.
The Jindal administration is asking the legislature to use more one time money to help offset those losses, in this case, the money gained through the recent tax amnesty program .
An infant from Lake Charles has died from injuries he received after his father accidentally hit the baby with his car. Authorities report says the child was in critical condition after the accident,
and was flown to Children's Hospital in New Orleans, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Some women in the Capital City are a little nervous after Baton Rouge police confirm there have been three separate home invasions that resulted in sexual assaults against females. B-R-P-D Sergeant Mary Ann Godawa (Guh-da-wah) says in each case the intruder gained entry into the home through an open window or forced entry. Godawa says they are advising homeowners to lock their doors, windows and use other safety precautions.
It's called the Food Stamp Fraud Prevention and Accountability Act, and U.S. Senator David Vitter is introducing it to require beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to
show a valid photo ID when purchasing items with SNAP funding. Recent incidents in Northwest Louisiana exposed flaws in the SNAP program's Electronic Benefits Transfer system. Vitter says the act will help cut down on future fraud.
The U.S. House approved a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill Wednesday that also would delay flood insurance rate hikes likely until early 2015 for some policyholders who were drawn into more expensive zones in flood maps. The U.S. House approved the legislation on a vote of 359 to 67, with all but three of the “nay” votes coming from Republicans. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who chairs the self-proclaimed conservative Republican Study Committee, was the only Louisiana congressman voting against passage. The Bill was sponsored in the house by Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy and in the senate by Mary Landrieu.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu partnered Wednesday with the Canadian foreign affairs minister and the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. to urge approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas. The U.S. State Department is nearing completion of a final environmental review of the project, which Landrieu said should come in “just a few weeks.” Landrieu is in line in the next couple of months or so to take over as chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The cold weather Louisiana received last week caused a delay in strawberry growth. The freeze destroyed the blooms on strawberry plants but did not kill the crop. Prices are expected to increase only slightly due to the loss.
Louisiana's film industry is now being recognized worldwide according to Louisiana's Entertainment Executive Director. Chris Stelly says Louisiana is one of the top 5 production destinations in the world. He cites the multiple movies filmed in the state that were nominated for Golden Globe Awards.
The Sun Belt Conference changed their minds and has now agreed to refer the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's sports teams as the "Louisiana Ragin Cajuns" amid a little controversy. But the conference says that when the name is abbreviated is should read U-L hyphen L.
There are multiple reports that say LSU has hired Jeff Grimes as the Tigers new offensive line coach. Grimes spent last season at Virginia Tech as an assistant. He also coached Auburn's offensive line from 2009 through 2012.