News for Thursday 031314
By Dave Graichen
More headaches for Louisiana College. Less than three months after reaffirming Louisiana College’s accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools plans to open an investigation into the private Baptist school in Pineville. SACS’ decision comes in the wake of allegations that LC officials had submitted documents that contained forged signatures to the accrediting agency as it was considering whether to remove the school from warning status in 2011-12.
A recent survey of Louisiana employers conducted by Manpower indicates the majority plan to do more hiring and only 4% say they want to make cuts to their staff during the second quarter of 2014. Manpower's Regional Director, Rene Patterson that's good news and keeping us up to par with the rest of the nation. 16% of Louisiana employers polled say they want to increase their staff.
A bill that may soon mean parents would have more say in what books their children are learning from in school passed a Senate committee Wednesday without debate. The legislation would let the state choose the textbooks that meet Louisiana's educational standards, but then individual districts could hold discussions with educators and parents would get to choose which materials they think are best to use.
The Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union says there should be no more death penalty here. That's their reaction to the release Tuesday of 64-year-old Glen Ford, who spent over 25 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. LA-ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman says even though there aren't any bills in the current session to toss capital punishment, legislators still have time to put one together. Ford was made a free man after the Caddo Parish DA's office learned
there is no way he could have murdered the Shreveport jewelry store owner.
By the way, Nobody won the Mega Millions jackpot Wednesday night. The prize for Friday's drawing is now up to $353 million dollars. That cash value? $194 million dollars.
Two state representatives are pushing for legislation that would set aside 15-percent of the state's revenue from the beer tax and put towards the Wounded Warriors Fund, which assists veterans who were disabled while serving overseas. Many Representative Frank Howard is a co-sponsor of the bill and he says he was inspired by the veterans from his own district and that's why he introduced this legislation. The bill has yet to be scheduled for committee debate.
The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the school bus accident caused by an S-U-V that crossed the road on U.S. Highway 190 has been found to be the result of a blown-out tire that was 10 years old. Thirty-one players and coaches from the Lafayette High School baseball team were injured in the crash; some severely. That investigation continues.
The president of the New Orleans nonprofit National Action Now, Reverend Raymond Brown, calls for the US Justice Department to investigate the fatal in-custody shooting of Victor White III. Brown says he has no confidence the State Police will conduct an impartial investigation. Authorities say White was arrested on drug charges on March 2nd and while in an Iberia Parish Sheriff's deputy vehicle, he allegedly fatally shot himself while handcuffed. Ultimately Brown, says he just wants to get to the truth.
The House Health and Welfare committee approved legislation yesterday that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed. The bill is by New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno, who says her legislation would lower risks of skin cancer associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Since emerging 18 months ago, the Bayou Corne area sinkhole, began showing signs of stabilizing yesterday according to a leading scientist studying the hole. Newly released models indicate that while the hole is still growing, the rate of growth has slowed significantly.
A proposed new law that would create stricter penalties for littering cigarettes, will be discussed during this current legislative session. Marrero Representative Patrick Connick says the idea came up after there would be a monthly roadside clean-up and thousands of cigarette butts had to be scooped up. Connick says under this proposed law, people who throw their butts on to the ground could face a 300 dollar fine and eight hours of community service.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office has charged a mother for allegedly killing her Downs Syndrome baby. Twenty year-old Erika Wigstrom faces a charge of first degree-murder for the alcohol poisoning death of two year-old Lucas Ruiz (roo-eeze), who died January 14th. The baby's father, Cesar Ruiz, was accused of pouring rum into the child’s feeding tube when the baby was only 8 months old.
The New Orleans Saints have signed running back Pierre Thomas to a two year contract extension. Thomas has played seven seasons in New Orleans and last year led the team in rushing and caught 77 passes.