News for Thursday 020614
By Dave Graichen
The National Weather Service has issued yet another winter weather advisory for Rapides, Avoyelles and Vernon Parish. The NWS in Lake Charles says the advisory is in effect from 9 am til 12 noon. During that time there is the possibility of sleet or light freezing rain. Today's winter event could cause problems on elevated roadways or bridges, but poor conditions shouldn't last very long.
Keith Bonin, president of the Alexandria Kennel Club and chairman of the Mardi Gras Dog Show, said he plans to sign a two-year contract this week to keep the event at the At the Alexandria Riverfront Center for the next two years. It was feared, due to scheduling conflicts and the unavailability of the Rapides Parish coliseum, the show would be forced to leave town. Bonin said local officials have “bent over backward” to ensure the show stays in Alexandria.
The state department of education announces 47 of Louisiana's 69 school systems are technology ready, which is a 25 percent increase from July. State Superintendent John White says the progress seen in a short time shows school districts are committed to ensuring all students have access to technology. White says the Department of Education is helping schools achieve technology readiness by helping them purchase computers, I-pads and laptops at discounted prices.
More jobs are headed to New Orleans as Governor Bobby Jindal announced yesterday that International Shipholding Corporation is moving their corporate headquarters from Mobile to New Orleans. Once the corporate headquarters are complete, the company will bring at least 100 high-paying jobs to the city. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says this move reflects to rebuilding of New Orleans post-Katrina to be –quote -"better than we were before."
The state Civil Service Commission agreed Wednesday to the privatization of LSU’s hospital in Bogalusa after hearing that it would save taxpayers at least $10 million annually. The commission voted 6-1 for the plan, which involves the layoff of the hospital’s 554 employees. The good news is, 100 percent of the hospital employees have been offered a position with the private operator. The transition is scheduled to take place March 17.
A former volunteer firefighter has been charged with four counts of simple arson in connection with fires that investigators say were intentionally set in a wooded area just south of Deridder,
Twenty-six year-old Brandon Harris was booked into the Beauregard Parish jail with a $60 thousand dollar bond.
The prosecution has rested its corruption case against former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin. Federal prosecutors brought over two-dozen witnesses to the stand and 5 of them testified they bribed Nagin in order to receive lucrative contracts. Loyola University law Prof Dane Ciolino says the prosecution has delivered a strong case so far. Ciolino says Nagin's defense team will have to prove that the prosecution's witnesses are liars.
CVS Pharmacy announced Wednesday that they will stop selling tobacco products by October 1. Director for the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living Torrie Harris says they have been working hard to get pharmacies in Louisiana to get tobacco products from behind the counter. Harris says the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living advocates for a healthy lifestyle and CVS's decision is a milestone. Especially since smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths across the world.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's office says an argument over certain groups being mentioned in rap song lyrics lead to a drive-by shooting Sunday that claimed the life of a woman who was an innocent bystander. They say two arrests were made Monday and Tuesday and the search continues for a 17 year old who was also allegedly involved in the shooting. The charge for the 3 is first degree murder.
There are reports that the New Orleans Arena, where the NBA's Pelicans play, will be renamed the Smoothie King Center. An official announcement could be made today. Tulane Marketing Professor Eric Hamerman says the NBA All Star Game is taking place at the New Orleans Arena on February 16th. Hamerman says that’s probably why the naming rights deal is going down now. Hamerman says it makes perfect public relations sense that Smoothie King would want their name on the Arena since their headquarters are in suburban New Orleans.
Jacoby Davis, a former Vermilion Catholic High School standout football player filed a lawsuit against the school and Diocese of Lafayette, claiming he was expelled in 2013 without due process after he was accused of getting two teens pregnant. The lawsuit claims, one of the girls was another Vermilion Catholic student who was not expelled, while Davis was expelled in February 2013 during his junior year and was denied requests to defend himself. The lawsuit does not provide additional information about the second mother, including what school she attended.