News for Wednesday 030514
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana was hit with its fourth wintry precipitation event of the year yesterday. So when will it end? State Climatologist Barry Keim hopes Tuesday was the end of the winter weather. Keim says it's very rare to have freezing rain in Louisiana during the first week of March. He says it will be much warmer today and for the rest of the week.
Louisiana State Police say they are investigating a case out of New Iberia in which a man who was handcuffed and in the back of an Iberia Parish Sheriff patrol car, apparently killed himself. Spokesman Stephen Hammons says deputies were responding to reports of a fight Sunday night where they arrested 22-year-old Victor White III. Upon arrival at the Sheriff's office, the suspect refused to get out of the patrol car. Hammons says while in the back of the patrol car, White produced a handgun and fired once striking himself in the back. He says White was pronounced dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a local hospital.
State Farm has compiled data that ranks Louisiana seventh in the nation for the number of wind and hail storm claims during 2013. State Farm spokesperson Gary Stephenson says State Farm paid more than three billion dollars in claims nationwide, as a result of property damage caused by wind and hail storms. In Louisiana alone, they had 14-thousand claims.
The US House of Representatives approves a bill that would spare thousands of Louisiana homeowners massive flood insurance rate increases, and the legislation now heads to the Senate. Metairie Congressman Steve Scalise says this bill protects those who have built their homes to code from unaffordable hikes permanently. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act is in-part lead by Baton Rouge Congressman Bill Cassidy who says the House legislation also lowers the cap on annual rate increases to 18% per property.
A lawmaker from Baton Rouge says he doesn't want the government to be able to use drones on the private property of Louisiana residents so he's filed a bill restricting the use of the flying devices. State Senator Dan Claitor says he wants to make it against the law for a drone to look at our backyards or into our private homes. Claitor says his bill would still allow the use of drones if a search warrant was obtained or if law enforcement needed them to help document a crime scene. He says our home is our castle and citizens are supposed to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.