News For Friday 041114
By Dave Graichen
Several local businesses were recognized Thursday at the Central Louisiana Torch Awards. The awards, presented by the Better Business Bureau, recognize local companies and nonprofits in areas such as integrity and customer service. This Year’s winners were: Hixson Brothers Funeral Home for Integrity. Chick-fil-A for customer Commitment, The nonprofit Award went to St. Mary’s Residential Training School of Alexandria and finally, the Good Neighbor Award went to Our parent company, Cenla Broadcasting. Congratulations to all involved.
No raise in the $7.25 minimum wage in Louisiana this year. A series of bills that would have done just that failed to pass out of the House Labor committee on Thursday. Dawn Starns, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, testified a higher minimum wage in the state would lead to lay-offs and higher prices for consumers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal bolstered the Louisiana Republican Party’s call Thursday for 5th district congressman Vance McAllister to resign in the wake of a “kissing congressman” controversy. The governor, in a prepared statement said “Congressman McAllister’s behavior is an embarrassment and he should resign. He says he wants privacy to work on his issues with his family. The best way to get privacy and work on putting his family back together is to resign from Congress. Earlier in the day, the GOP made a similar request.
A bill that would name the Holy Bible as the official state book of Louisiana passes out of a House committee yesterday. The measure passed on an 8-5 vote and now heads to the house floor.
Federal officials have warned Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration that it will withhold $307 million in Medicaid money from the state if no agreement has been reached on financing plans for the privatized LSU hospitals. Jindal’s health secretary, Kathy Kliebert, said Thursday the announcement was expected because of continuing negotiations over financing plans for uninsured care at LSU hospitals that have been privatized. Most of LSU’s charity hospitals were turned over to private managers, but federal officials haven’t decided yet whether they’ll agree to the money arrangements used to pay the new hospital operators.
The Colorado State University hurricane forecast team is calling for a below-average hurricane season. C-S-U researcher Phil Klotzbach says they anticipate nine named storms and only three hurricanes this year. Klotzbach says an El Nino will likely develop in the Pacific, which will effect storm development in the Atlantic. The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making
landfall on US soil and Klotzbach says there's a 19-percent chance of a Category 3 or higher hurricane hitting the gulf coast.
One of the state's largest festivals gets underway today, The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival gets underway at 4:00 today and it's estimated to attract 200-thousand people over the next three days.
Tax Day is just a few days away, which means thousands of Louisiana taxpayers will spend this weekend filling out their tax forms. I-R-S spokeswoman Lea Crusberg says once you get your paperwork together electronic filing may be the way to go. The deadline for filing your taxes is midnight on April 15. Crusberg says if you need to file for an extension, it is easy to get one. But, that will not let you off the hook for your tax bill.
The presence of LSU Athletics generated almost $400 million dollars in new sales and $119 million in new household earnings for the four parishes surrounding the university in 2012. That's according to a study conducted but former LSU economics professor Dr. Loren Scott. He says these numbers are quadruple what they were in 2002.
Good news for crawfish lovers. As temperatures are finally starting to warm up, the supply of crawfish is heating up and the price is going down. The size of the mud bugs are still rather small. But, the President of the Crawfish Farmers Association David Savoy says they should be getting larger as the weeks go by.