News for Friday 040414
By Dave Graichen
Investigators from the Louisiana State Police and the FBI arrested the chief of police and an officer from the town of Lecompte yesterday. Chief Mikel White was charged with extortion, malfeasance in office, and false imprisonment. Officer Gregory Armstead was charged with malfeasance in office and false imprisonment. The charges stem from an incident last month in which chief white was captured on video threatening a man who owed him money. The victim was handcuffed and taken into custody by Officer Armstead at the order of the Chief. The victim was eventually released without being charged for any crime.
Could the discussion of Common Core be essentially dead for the session? A bill that would scrap the new controversial education standards set to begin next year was voted down by the House Education Committee 12-7 yesterday, despite Governor Bobby Jindal's last minute backing.
Testimony continues today in the penalty phase of Brian Horn's capital murder trial. Horn has already been convicted for killing 12 year old Justin Bloxom in 2010. Horn was found guilty of picking up Justin in a Taxi after sending texts pretending to be a girl. Horn ended up strangling the child and leaving his body in a wooded area. The DA says they are seeking the death penalty.
There was a bill to reduce the penalties of simple marijuana possession introduced by New Orleans Representative Austin Badon. Now it looks as if it won't be able to get out of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Badon was trying to make a case that the current 20 year sentence is excessive. His proposal would have reduced the penalty to five years.
Also not leaving committee today was a Senate Bill by Mike Walsworth of West Monroe that would allow certain people to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. There was no discussion on the legislation that only got 5 votes and failed 3-2. Those who oppose the bill say data clearly indicates wearing a helmets saves lives.
The Louisiana House supported a rewrite of Louisiana’s career-track diploma law, to match a new policy of the state education board that will require public high school students who aren’t college-bound to get job skills certifications to get a diploma. House Bill 944 by state Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, was sent to the state Senate with a 94-0 vote Thursday. The redesign, pushed by Superintendent of Education John White, emphasizes skills training for students who don’t intend to go to a four-year university.
Public school students in Louisiana who show proficiency in a language other than English could be able to get a state “Seal of Biliteracy” on their diplomas, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House in an 86-0 vote Thursday. House Bill 1016 by state Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, would encourage local school districts to participate in the program, but wouldn’t require it.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says a woman who was trying to get away from her husband with a divorce was found killed allegedly by his hand before the man turned the gun on himself. They say their teenage son found his parents around midnight Thursday morning in the Gonzales residence. The wife was dead and the husband had a gunshot wound to the head but was still alive and is currently listed in serious condition. The investigation is ongoing.
The state House approves a package of domestic violence bills sponsored by New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno. One of the, House Bill 753 received unanimous support. Moreno says this legislation will prevent certain offenders of domestic violence from owning a gun. Another bill that passed Thursday enhances the penalties for anyone that violates a restraining order or protective order. The measures head to the Senate.
The Lafayette Police Department says the mother of a 5 month old baby who died of suffocation in January is charged with murder. They say the child was brought to the hospital where the mother reported a plastic shopping bag had covered her baby's head. Corporal Paul Mouton says they received new information in the case and the woman, 20-year-old Raven Senegal of Lafayette, was arrested Wednesday and charged with 1st degree murder.
With hurricane season coming up, emergency preparedness officials are going through a statewide training exercise that's testing their disaster response capabilities. Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, says federal, state and local agencies are participating in this drill.
20th ranked LSU hosts 9th ranked Mississippi State tonight at Alex Box Stadium. Aaron Nola has been the Tigers traditional Friday starter, but Coach Paul Mainieri will pitch freshman Jared Poche instead tonight. Nola will pitch tomorrow night. Mainieri says since Nola pitched last Saturday, he wanted to rest him six days, before he pitched him again.