News for Monday 030314
By Dave Graichen
12 Years a Slave,” the historical drama filmed in the New Orleans area, earned three Academy Awards on Sunday, including the night’s top honor, best picture.
State police report 43-year-old William Antee of Boyce is facing vehicular homicide and other charges after he lost control of a utility task vehicle Saturday night. The vehicle overturned and killed a 4-year-old Texas girl and injured two other girls who were riding in the vehicle. Authorities say that alcohol use is suspected in the crash. Antee was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center, charged with vehicle homicide, vehicular negligent injuring and careless operation. The investigation continues.
One man is dead and another is fighting for his life after a crash early Sunday on La. 35 inLandry Parish. State police say 31 year old Curtis Wheeler of Church Point died in the single-vehicle wreck after he was ejected from a pickup that struck a culvert and rolled over several times. Troopers believe the driver of the vehicle, 25 year old Brad Wheeler of Church Point , may have been drunk at the time of the crash. Wheeler is listed in critical condition.
Louisiana college president Dr.Joe Aguillard, could soon receive a contract extension to remain at the private Baptist school in Pineville. Board of Trustee Chair, Tommy French, says work began on the new contract and will continue over the next few weeks. If a contract extension is offered to Aguillard, it must be approved by the full board, which is scheduled to meet in April. French said he couldn’t speak for the committee or the board, but he saw no reason Aguillard would not receive a new contract.
City of Pineville water service has been restored to residents along La. Highway 3128 (old Paper Mill Road), including the Whispering Pines subdivision, but a boil advisory remains in effect for affected residents. On Saturday, an 8-inch water main burst, leading to disruption of service in that area. The main was replaced later Saturday with a temporary 2-inch line. Replacement of close to 300 feet of the original water main will take place this week. A water boil advisory remains in effect until this repair project is complete.
Mother nature cooperated and large crowds turned out yesterday for the Alexandria Mardi Gras parade. The parade featured 23 floats and five bands. Becky Deville, president of the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association, called the parade a success thanks to the work of the association and the city.
A new pediatric death from influenza in Central Louisiana has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This new death brings the total of pediatric flu deaths so far this flu season to four. Since October 2013, lab tests confirmed 66 flu deaths in Louisiana of various ages. However, state health officials say the number may be as high as 200 to 400 deaths. Since many deaths are caused by complications from the flu. Officials say a flu shot is your best protection.
A three-year-old child in Slidell died on Sunday by drowning in a neighbor's pool. Authorities say it appears the three-year-old left his parents’ home Sunday morning through a window in his bedroom. It appears the child fell into the pool.
Louisiana taxpayers who were concerned about a delay in their state tax refunds can expect to get their refunds quite soon. Byron Henderson of the Louisiana Department of Revenue says one reason the state refunds are a bit late was the federal shutdown which delayed the I.R.S. processing schedule. Henderson says the first batch of four hundred and forty thousand refund checks has been issued and promises a steady output of state tax refunds will continue.
This Mardi Gras holiday the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission handed out grants to law enforcement agencies to fund overtime and extra shifts for officers throughout the state. Their goal is to remove impaired drivers from Louisiana roadways. In Louisiana, the first offense of Driving While Intoxicated can carry a thousand dollar fine and possibly jail time, plus the suspension of a driver's license for up to 2 years.
We're now one week away from the legislative session and once again lawmakers will talk about proposed changes to the popular TOPS scholarship program. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has weighed in and they think higher standards should be set to receive the award. BRAC COO Erin Monroe Wesley says TOPS is becoming too costly. Currently to be eligible for TOPS, you have to have a 2.5 GPA and a minimum ACT Score of 20. Wesley says an increase in those requirements would better align TOPS to comparable merit-based programs.
A Baton Rouge man will face life in prison for killing three women. A jury found 24-year-old Courtney Williams, guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and two others during a shooting spree in 2011. Williams will be formally sentenced to life in prison at Angola, March 28th.
A Gonzales man was arrested for holding his parents captive inside their home for five days. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says 44 year old Richard Miley held them against their will,
beginning on February 20th. They were freed when the imprisoned couple's granddaughter visited the home and got them out. Miley told deputies he had stopped taking his medication which he says caused the incident. He is being held in Ascension Parish jail without bond.
Even though there has been an excess of snow in northern states surrounding the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, it is not expected to cause floods in Louisiana. National Weather Service hydrologist Jeff Graschel says even with seasonal rainfalls, we shouldn't see many problems with the lower part of the river. In 2011, record level rainfalls in the Midwest led to flooding issues along the Mississippi, forcing the Army Corps of Engineers to open the Morganza Spillway to prevent major flooding in southeast Louisiana Graschel says they don't expect anything like that this year.
Now that we are in March, allergy season is right around the corner. Doctor Ken Paris, with the LSU Health Sciences Center, says tree pollen in the spring time causes nasal congestion, coughing and wheezing for thousands in the bayou state, but this year's allergy season may start a little later, because of our cold winter. Paris says if you have allergy issues, there are things you can do now
to minimize the symptoms once the pollen count escalates. He says prescription and over-the-counter nasal sprays can be effective. But, if allergy season makes you feel miserable, then go see a doctor now and get a head start.