News for Thursday 032014
By Dave Graichen
The House Health and Welfare Committee has approved new standards for abortion clinics. The biggest provision requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The bill now heads to the House floor. But pro-choice advocates were on hand during the debate to voice their opposition to the so-called admitting privileges bill. Amy Irvin, with the New Orleans Abortion Fund, says if this legislation becomes law, it will close abortion facilities in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
A bill by New Orleans Representative Cameron Henry which calls for harsher penalties for individuals who commit battery on athletic sporting officials was approved by the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice and now moves to the house floor. Henry says that the current penalties for battery are clearly not strong enough and he wants to see fines increased along with possible jail time, community service, and court approved counseling for individuals who commit this offense.
A number of charges are facing a Department of children and family services audit director for allegedly using a state-issued credit card for personal use. State Police Captain Doug Cain says when they searched the home of 34 year-old Delrice Augustus, they discovered items worth $7500 and about $18,000 in cash. Augustus allegedly purchased iphones, flat screens, ipads and a dishwasher with the card.
Lake Charles Police are investigating a shooting Tuesday afternoon, in which a 12 year-old boy shot a 15 year-old boy after an argument. Police caught up to the young suspect shortly after he fled the scene. According to a Lake Charles TV station, they believe the gun was registered to owner of the home.
Louisiana State Police says a man from Clinton is booked with his 7th DWI in East Feliciana Parish. They say 30-year-old James Earl Haynes refused a breath test and was booked into jail on counts of 7th offense DWI and unlawful refusal to submit chemical tests. Haynes has been arrested by the same trooper 3 times since 2011 for the same offense.
A 19-year-old mother from Houma is charged with attempted second degree murder of her one month old baby. A spokesman with the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's says they believe the woman was responsible for shaking her baby and throwing the boy against the wall.
The Department of Transportation has launched a "Pick the Paint" campaign to have the public pick the new paint color for the Jimmie Davis Bridge that connects Shreveport with Bossier City. With over 27 hundred votes so far, it sounds as if there's some LSU and Louisiana Tech influence, as the top choices are Purple, Blue and Red. The rehabilitation project for the bridge is scheduled to go to bid this fall.
Instead of a price-tag of almost $540 million dollars, the estimated cost for rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans has now been reduced to around $262 million dollars, according to a rail study released yesterday. The study by HNTB Corporation proposed leasing trains upfront as opposed to purchasing them to save money. The trip would take a about an hour and a half with seven stops along the way.
A Louisiana House committee voted 14-1 in favor of advancing legislation that would expand the application of the death penalty. Under House Bill 278, the killing of a prison worker would become a capital crime. First degree murder already covers the death of firemen, peace officers, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab civilian employees, taxi drivers, young children and the elderly. The last time a prison worker was killed by an inmate was during a failed prison escape at Angola 15 years ago.
As expected, a bill by New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno which would ban UV tanning for anyone 17 and under was overwhelmingly approved by the House in a 97-1 vote. The only lawmaker to vote against the bill was Stonewall Representative Richard Burford. Moreno says this measure will lower risks from skin cancer associated with UV tanning lamps and beds. She says the risks are especially high for younger tanning bed users.
LSU is selling old lockers from Tiger Stadium in a fundraising effort. The Jeff Boss Locker Room is in the process of a complete renovation and the old lockers from 1996- 2013 are being sold. For more information about the lockers or to purchase a locker go to tiger-stadium-lockers-dot-net