News For Wednesday 040214
By Dave Graichen
It didn’t take long, Alexandria Police have charged a Pineville man with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Laredo, Texas man, whose body was found Monday afternoon in the 100 block of Chester Street. 31 year old Mark Russell Thomas was arrested Monday night and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Thomas is accused of shooting 37 year old Jenain Simmons. The motive behind the shooting has not been released by the police as the investigation is ongoing.
The House Criminal Justice Committee will hear legislation today that deals with allowing concealed carry permit holders to bring their gun into certain places that sell alcohol. Bossier City Rep Jeff Thompson's proposed law, House Bill 20, says if you have a concealed carry permit, you can bring your weapon into a Class A establishment. Thompson says his legislation applies to places who get the vast majority of their sales from food like an Chilies. He says people have the right to protect their families when they go out to eat dinner.
A bill is now headed to the House Floor that would ban the use of cell phones through a school zone. The legislation that would fine violators $175 on a first offense and $500 on subsequent offenses passed 8-7.
A Donaldsonville High school teacher and coach has been arrested on charges of giving steroids to a student athlete. Fifty-six year-old Curtis Tsurada was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail
today on distribution of schedule 3 CDS, distribution to a student, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
A bid to label some communities as “speed traps” was watered down, then shelved Tuesday in the Louisiana House. The proposal, House Bill 961, would require communities deriving more than 50 percent of their revenue from speeding tickets erect “speed trap” signs, including blinking lights.
The House yanked the “speed trap” language from the measure and replaced it with “strict speed enforcement zone,” minus any requirement that it include lights. The bill was later returned to the House calendar, which likely kills the measure for this session. The plan was opposed by the influential Louisiana Municipal Association, which represents city and town governments across the state.
The Louisiana Senate on Tuesday endorsed a bill that would require private schools to account for funds they receive for the education of voucher students. The Senate voted 35-0 for the measure.
Senate Bill 460 sponsor state Sen. Robert Adley said the legislative auditor found it “difficult to follow the public funds.” The legislation would require the voucher schools to account for the funds separately or develop an accounting procedure that would allow the tracking. The bill now heads to the House.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would scrap the mandatory age 70 retirement for Louisiana judges sailed through the Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 11, sponsored by state Sen. Eric Lafleur, D-Ville Platte, received a 34-0 vote, far more than the two-thirds majority needed in the 39 member Senate. The bill heads to the House where it died last year.
State Police say a woman from Bastrop who did not pull over when officers were trying to stop her from speeding, ended up crashing her car and suffering fatal injuries. Trooper Albert Paxton says
63-year-old Patricia Porter was not buckled up. He says they are not sure why she didn't stop.
The state senate gave unanimous approval to legislation that would allow a victim of domestic abuse to be granted an immediate divorce from their spouse. Similar legislation is also being debated in the House.
Extensive debate begins today in the House education committee over Common Core. The new public educational standards in reading, writing and math will take full effect next year. But, one of the bills up for debate would get rid of Common Core all together. Debate on Common core is expected to last until Thursday.
State Sen. Ben Nevers wanted to lower the cost of payday loans in Louisiana by limiting the amount of interest that can be charged annually. By the time Senate Bill 84 emerged from the Senate Committee on Judiciary A Tuesday, it was a substantially different proposal. The cap on annual interest fees disappeared. In its place is a prohibition against consumers taking out more than 10 payday loans in a year. The committee also added language setting up a database so the state can keep better tabs on how many dollars consumers are borrowing.
Governor Jindal's recent trip to Asia reportedly cost taxpayers 57-thousand dollars. Jindal went to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan in January in the hopes that the trip will lead to increased business
in Louisiana from Asian companies. Security, rental cars, lodging and airfare led to the 57-thousand dollar expense.
A coffee design created by a Starbucks at the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge has yielded an apology to a woman who complained about what appeared to be a devil pentagram star drawn in the foam. The consumer, Megan Pinion, was so offended, she decided to post a picture of the design on Facebook. Once Starbucks became aware, they issued an immediate apology.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff's office says two people are under arrest for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit pictures of a 2 month old baby over Facebook. Spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick says a 28-year-old Shreveport woman, Brandi Brown, is accused of production of child pornography involving a two-month old family member. Chadwick says Brown is accused of taking the sexually explicit photographs and then Facebook private messaging them to another man.