News for Thursday 032714
By Dave Graichen
The Town Talk is reporting Dr. Joe Aguillard has been asked by the Louisiana College Board of Trustees to resign from his position as president of the private Baptist school in Pineville. Multiple sources confirmed that Dr. Aguillard met with his senior leadership team Wednesday afternoon, telling them he had no plans to resign. No official word has been made as of yet by LC of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Authorities in Houma report a 4-year-old girl was killed Tuesday night by a pit bull that her family owned. The child's mother was also injured. When police arrived, the dog was running loose in the home in a vicious manner and the mother was screaming for help in a bedroom. Officers had to shoot the dog to stop the threat. They are not sure what set the animal off.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office says a 17-year-old is under arrest after deputies say they found a .25 caliber handgun on him while he was at Peabody High School. They say Andrew Smith was booked for possession of a firearm in a school zone.
No changes to the TOPS program. That word came down yesterday from the House Education Committee. Several lawmakers wanted to place limits on that program, in order to save the state money, but there were not enough votes to change it. As it is now, the program will cost the state well over $230 million dollars for next year.
The rapid increase of heroin overdose deaths is getting the attention of Louisiana lawmakers. The House Criminal Justice Committee approved the bill that would double mandatory minimum
sentences for the distribution of heroin from five to ten years, and heroin possession would result in 2 years behind bars. The bill heads to the house floor for discussion.
At the State Capital, The Senate Retirement Committee has approved bills giving a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase for members of Louisiana's main retirement organizations. That averages out to about $29 a month for approximately one-hundred-eleven thousand retirees.
New stats from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission shows auto-pedestrian deaths have had a rather sharp increases. Factors have involved alcohol and mostly in the evening hours and on weekends. Latest numbers have 122 pedestrian deaths in 2012, and that's the highest number since 1997.
A jury has been seated in the Brian Horn murder case. Horn is accused of kidnapping and killing 12-year-old Justin Bloxom of Stoneway in 2010. The jurors were selected in Baton Rouge and are enroot to Desoto Parish for the trial. The trial could begin on Friday with opening statements.
A state House panel Wednesday endorsed a pilot program that would impose requirements for certain food stamp recipients to keep receiving benefits. House Bill 464 would require non-working, able-bodied adults to be engaged in acceptable workforce training or education activities. The legislation would restrict the experiment to Tangipahoa Parish where some 2,188 individuals could be impacted.
A bill that puts tougher gun restrictions on people who are involved in certain domestic violence situations clears committee Wednesday. The legislation by New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno prohibits a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse battery from possessing a gun for 10 years.
The House Natural Resources Committee passes a bill that would result in a $300 fine if you throw a cigarette butt out the car window. The normal fine for littering is $250. This bill would impose a $300 fine for a first offense of littering with a cigarette butt plus community service.
A bill by Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter, which would authorize the sale of wine ice cream, is set to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee today. Hunter points out that restaurants already sell alcohol infused dishes and wine ice cream falls into that same category. He says his bill aims to make the sale of these products legal in Louisiana.
A convicted sex offender from Port Allen, who allegedly repeatedly raped his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter last year and arranged sexual encounters between the girl and other adults, was indicted Wednesday along with five others in the rape of the child.
For the first time in five years The Louisiana State Police is actively looking for new troopers. Captain Doug Cain says they are seeking individuals who want a career in law enforcement and a desire to make the state a safer place. 2 years of college, 2 years as a full time police officer or 3 years in the military are some qualifications needed. For more information about the application process, visit laspc.com.