News for Tuesday 021814
By Dave Graichen
A legislative panel Monday gave its blessing to a Jindal administration plan that allows extra charges to renew a driver’s license for those seeking faster service. The new rules, which have been tested in Metairie and Slidell and are expected in Baton Rouge soon, allow private contractors, call “public tag agents,” to charge up to $18 more than the typical $21.50 fee. Currently, according to State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, Louisiana’s 2.9 million motorists have typically renewed their driver’s license at Office of Motor Vehicle offices, which operate in all 64 parishes, or online. Public tag agents offer a third option, and presumably one that is faster than visiting a state office.
A 16 teen year old Lafayette boy has been charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile after he drove to Wichita, Kansas, to pick up a 12 year old girl he met on the internet. Captain Kip Judice of
the Lafayette parish sheriff's office says the 12 year old girl was missing for little over 24 hours before authorities found her at a home in Lafayette. He says the 16-year-old from Lafayette did not
hurt the girl. Judice says the 16 year old boy's parents were out of town for the weekend and unaware of the situation until authorities notified them.
Three of Louisiana’s most powerful lawmakers agreed Monday that changes need to be made to TOPS, Louisiana’s college scholarship program, before it becomes too expensive for the state to maintain. One of them said nothing will change as long as the family for whom the program is named has the governor’s ear. The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students is set to cost the state $235 million next year and is projected to increase to more than $370 million over the next five years.
The Louisiana department of corrections turned in a plan on Monday to keep death row of the Angola state prison cooler. The department was directed by U-S District Judge Brian Jackson to draft a plan to keep temperatures from going higher than 88 degrees. The plan filed in court lists air conditioning, cold showers, and ice chests to cool death row. The order was in response to suits by 3 inmates who say the excessive heat violated their constitutional rights to NOT be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
Troop I also investigated a fatal crash in Evangeline Parish Sunday that claimed the life of a motorcyclist who wasn't wearing a helmet. Hammons says 60-year-old Terry Thrasher of Ville Platte lost control of his bike and hit a tree. The helmet-less man was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene
State Police say during a routine traffic stop Sunday morning in Port Allen, a US Army Sergeant was busted with 23 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. They say during questioning, 30-year-old
Sergeant Borace Brown of Florida, troopers became suspicious and discovered the drugs during a search of the vehicle. Sgt Brown was booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish jail and US Army CID was informed of the arrest.
The band director at Kentwood High School has been arrested on child pornography charges. Tangipahoa Sheriff's Deputies say they made the arrest of Kenneth Dillon after explicit pictures and videos were found on his computer; one involving an adult having sex with a 10 year-old child.
If you've been a chronic smoker for decades, there is a free smoking cessation program in Louisiana. It's called Smoking Cessation Trust and it's located in New Orleans, but anyone in the state can use their services. Smoking Cessation Trust C-E-O Mike Rogers says they hope to help at least 200 thousand Louisianans. The Smoking Cessation Trust was created as a result of a class-action lawsuit and the judgment required that tobacco companies fund a program to help people quick smoking. The program has been around for about a year and a half. Rogers says about 11 thousand people are in the program today. The program funds doctor visits, prescription medications and counseling for smokers.