News for Tuesday 032514
By Dave Graichen
Alexandria police are investigating the apparent murder of 21 year old William Dryden of Pineville. His body was found at a North MacArthur Drive hotel early Monday morning. Police were called to the scene after reports of shots being fired.
About 50 students were involved in a student strike yesterday at Louisiana College in Pineville. The group is seeking the removal of Dr. Joe Aguillard as the college's president. The protestors gathered in front of Guinn Auditorium, held hands, prayed and sang. There are rumors students are planning another protest but school officials told the group yesterday they will not be allowed to do so on campus.
The House transportation committee put the brakes on a proposal to ban the use of a hand held cell phone while driving. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval wanted to make it a secondary offense if a driver spoke on a phone up to their ear while driving. There was support for the bill from Members of the state's insurance industry, however strong opposition from committee members. The bill is dead for the session.
Also in the Louisiana House Transportation committee Monday, a bill that would ban photo speed enforcement devices on interstates passed. That bill heads to the House floor.
Teaching creationism in Louisiana science classes is unconstitutional, but senators refuse to repeal a law that mandates it.The Senate voted 32-5 Monday against a bill by Republican Sen. Dan Claitor that would remove a law requiring public schools to give balanced treatment in science classes and textbooks to evolution and creationism. The law also prohibits teaching evolution as proven scientific fact. The law, passed in 1981, was found unconstitutional in 1987 by the Louisiana Supreme Court. But lawmakers have refused to strip it from the law books.
Legislators cracked open Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed state prison budget Monday and quickly expressed displeasure with what they found. Leftover hurricane dollars will help pay for workers’ retirement costs. Funding for supplies was slashed. No money was set aside for repairs. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, said the state Department of Correction’s $525 million proposed budget doesn’t contain a nickel for any handyman projects that arise at the state’s prisons. The only increases, he said, are for salaries and benefits.
Cost of living increases appear to be on the horizon for about 100,000 retired state workers, teachers, school employees and state police troopers. The proposed 1.5 percent increases, the first in six years for some, cleared the Senate Retirement Committee on Monday. The raise must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and the governor before it can be implemented.
A bill that would require local municipalities who get more than half of their revenue from traffic citations to post signs warning motorists of speed traps made it out of a House committee Monday. The bill passed 9-3 and will be further considered on the House floor.
The Louisiana Senate on Monday night advanced legislation banning sale of e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to minors. The Senate voted 37-0 for the heavily amended Senate Bill 12. State Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, said the changes are the result of discussions with the state Office of Alcohol Tobacco Control and industry representatives. The changes better define the products covered in the ban.
Sabine Parish Deputies, working with Deputies in DeSoto Parish have made a total of ten arrests in connection with an organized dog fighting event near Hicks Lane of Highway 175 in North Louisiana. Deputies seized a total of 5 vehicles, a quantity of cash and two dogs in the raid over the weekend.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a fatal pedestrian/vehicle hit and run. 26-year-old Justin J. Brown of Lake Charles was apparently lying in the middle of the road when he
was struck and killed. The vehicle described as an white, older model car did not stop after striking Brown Deputies investigating case have determined that due to heavy fog, it is possible the driver of the car did not know he even hit the man.
A family who did not return from a weekend boating trip were found safe late Sunday evening.
Spokesperson Traci Landry says friends of Peter and Jennifer Orlando and their two children ages 12 and 15, became alarmed when their mobile phones were sending calls straight to voicemail. She says the Orlando's left around 9am Saturday morning. After their boat's motor failed, the father was able to get the boat to land and they family took refuge in a small houseboat. Landry says
Mr. Orlando is to be commended for using available resources to keep his family safe while awaiting rescue.
The Raging Cajuns have been ranked number 1 in Collegiate Baseball's NCAA Division 1 poll. This is a first for the Cajuns who have won their last 12 games in a row and the team is hitting .303 as a team and averaging 7.5 runs per game. At 22 and 2 this is the best start in school history.
2013 was a big year in the state's agriculture business. In fact, it was a record-breaking one thanks to good weather and no major disease problems. The agriculture industry contributed
11-point-eight billion dollars to state's economy.