News for Friday 020714
By Dave Graichen
A teacher in Monroe facing possible dismissal stemming from Governor Bobby Jindal's tenure law is filing a lawsuit in Monroe to fight it. That's not the only one. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers has filed a lawsuit claiming the bill is unconstitutional. Wednesday, the governor hinted he might make some changes to soften the current law.
Heroin addiction and heroin related deaths are reaching epidemic levels in Louisiana and throughout the country. Dr. Ken Roy is the founder and medical director of Addiction Recovery Resources in New Orleans. He says between 60-80% of people that come in for detox these days are intravenous heroin users. Roy says he hopes high profile heroin deaths, such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman's, will encourage more people to get help and treatment before it's too late.
Nobody won the Powerball last night. The jackpot for Saturday's drawing now goes to $247 million.
An Utterly ridiculous story.. After about a year of record high prices for milk, Louisiana consumers can expect to see those prices go down soon because of the Farm Bill that President Barack Obama is prepared to sign today. Most dairies are predicting prices will go down between 35 and 50 cents..
Louisiana businesses could pay substantial tax penalties starting in 2015 because of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rejection of Medicaid expansion, according to a new report by a national tax preparation firm. Jackson Hewitt estimated that the penalties could range between $41 million and $62 million annually. The study found, “States that do not expand Medicaid for adults leave their large employers exposed to higher employer ‘shared responsibility’ tax penalties” that are part of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Officials with the Texas Motor Speedway announce "The Duck Commander" as the new title-sponsor of its annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The largest-attended, single-day sporting event in Texas will now be called "The Duck Commander 500." Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage says the race, which will be held April 6th, draws crowds in excess of 150,000 people.
A federal judge in Missouri has ruled drivers have a First Amendment right to flash their lights to alert oncoming motorists that a speed trap is up the road. But State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey says that ruling has no impact on Louisiana's law, which says it is illegal to flash your lights, unless it's for a hazardous purpose. She says if you flash your lights to warn other drivers there are officers nearby, you could be issued a citation.
The state Department of Health and Hospitals is unrolling a Parents as Teachers program in North Louisiana which matches parents with trained professionals who provide in-home support to families from the start of a mother's pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten. Amy Zapata, the Director of the Bureau of Family Health with DHH says the goal of the PAT program is to support healthy pregnancies and early child development for low income families who qualify. She says the parent educators teach families how to stimulate their child's early learning by facilitating activities that encourage language development, intellectual growth and motor skills.
The New Orleans Arena has officially become the Smoothie King Center. Governor Bobby Jindal, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, along with Smoothie King owner Wan Kim made that announcement Thursday morning. They say timing is right, because the NBA All-Star game is next weekend in New Orleans.
With 65 billion dollars coming to Southwest Louisiana in expected growth including the massive Sasol engergy complex, local business leaders and public officials want answers on how they can prepare for it. Calcasieu Police Juror, Hal McMillin says 2 studies are being conducted and the reseachers will also look at what local government can do in advance of the tremendous economic growth. McMillin says the studies should be completed in June.
An electrocution at Cyprus Black Bayou Park in Benton Wednesday has killed one man, and injured two others. Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Lt. Bill Davis told the Louisiana Radio Network electrical workers were doing some maintenance work when the accident took place. The names of the men have not been released as of yet.
The new Ouachita Parish Bridge project just got more expensive. The Army Corps of Engineers says DOTD should find three other locations to consider because of environmental concerns.