News For Friday 032114
By Dave Graichen
A group of current Louisiana College students is calling for a strike to begin Monday and is demanding changes at the private Baptist school in Pineville, including the removal of Joe Aguillard as president. Fliers have appeared on campus asking others to join the student strike at Guinn Auditorium at 8 a.m. Monday. They’re asking for faculty and community members to join them.
After almost not moving at all to start 2014, the gas price in Louisiana is starting it's spring climb. The American Automobile Association says the current statewide average for a gallon of
regular stands at $3.29 which is up almost a nickel from just last week. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says motorists should start to budget more for gas. He says they are expecting a mostly smooth transition from winter to summer blend gasoline, but the tensions in Russia and Crimea have the market a little nervous which could mean a sharp spike later this month.
In response to U.S. sanctions over Crimea, Russia has imposed some entry bans on a number of U.S. lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. A New Orleans newspaper reports that there is speculation it is based on her criticism of Russia ending an adoption program.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is reminding all registered voters that you can cast your ballots early for the April 5th spring municipal elections starting tomorrow. He says the elections next month will be held in 34 of the state's 64 parishes. Early voting begins tomorrow and runs through Saturday March 29th, excluding Sunday March 23rd.
Several students are reportedly facing big time punishment for allegedly changing their grades in an online class for credit. Caddo Parish officials say the seniors, from Southwood High, apparently hacked into the system and gave themselves more credit needed to graduate. They are suspended and could be expelled.
A New York City man has been arrested after making a statement that he had placed an explosive device on a Greyhound bus in Monroe. 26-year-old Jonathan Rivera locked himself in the bus bathroom and started a fire. Police report 37 passengers were removed from the bus and taken across the street while the Monroe Fire Department, Fire Marshall's Office and State Police aided in sweeping the bus and surrounding area with the of bomb-sniffing dogs. Rivera remains in custody in the Ouachita Correctional Center.
You might be due some cash from the IRS. Louisiana residents who have not filed their 2010 tax returns are due a total of over $15 million. IRS Media relations director Lea Crusberg says thousands of individuals have potential refunds waiting to be claimed. She says there is a three year window that you have to claim refunds before the money goes into the US Treasury.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office announces they've gotten more dangerous drugs off the street. They say about $40,000 worth of synthetic marijuana, about 22 pounds of it, was seized during a traffic stop near Lawtell. A search of a vehicle found 968 ten gram packets of 9 different types of the synthetic drug. Names of suspects are not being released at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
Speaking of synthetic pot, The state Department of Health and Hospitals issues an emergency
order that bans an additional eight compounds found in synthetic marijuana sold in Louisiana. Officials say in recent weeks, emergency rooms in the Baton Rouge area have treated over 100 individuals who have overdosed on synthetic marijuana.
If you are planning on kicking off the first weekend of spring with a crawfish boil, expect little mudbugs and big prices. Dr. Greg Lutz with the LSU Ag Center says, this season the crawfish are running way behind. Lutz says a good crawfish crop relies on vegetation to provide the basis
for a natural food chain. However, with the cold weather we've experienced in recent months, that vegetation is just not there. Thus smaller, fewer and more expensive crawfish.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office says a 25-year-old man from Sulphur is accused of raping a 4-year-old girl. They say Albert Hudson is accused in the incident that occurred last month, and
after further investigation he was arrested this week and booked with aggravated rape. Bond is set at $750,000.
The Ragin Cajuns look to pull off an upset this afternoon when they face the Creighton Blue Jays in the NCAA Tournament. Creighton finished in second in the Big East Conference and they are led by Doug McDermott, who is one of the top scorers in the nation. Cajuns Coach Bob Marlin says his team has a chance to make a real statement. The Ragin Cajuns received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament by winning the Sun Belt Tournament.