News for Monday 041414
By Dave Graichen
According to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets index, the Baton Rouge housing market is the most rapidly recovering in the nation, and New Orleans is No. 9 on the list. Norman Morris is the CEO of the Louisiana Realtors Association. He says areas across the state are seeing a nice housing boom. He also says The Bayou State weathered the recent housing recession better than most states.
Northwestern State University President Randy Webb announced Friday he will retire later in the year. Under Webb, Northwestern State has received national and international attention for its academic programs and student accomplishments.
LSU has completed a survey on two social issues that are gaining a lot of attention, the legalization of marijuana and same sex marriages. Amy Reynolds, director of the Reilly Center for Media and Public affairs says they found the support for legalizing marijuana in Louisiana is on the rise with 79% of people saying pot should be legal for medical use. She says the support for same sex marriages increased from 39 to 42 percent over the past year as well.
A Democratic lawmaker from Amite is criticizing Republican leaders for calling for the resignation of Congressman Vance McAllister, when they backed Senator David Vitter amidst his scandal. La. GOP chairman Roger Villere said McAllister is a hypocritical embarrassment. Rep. John Bel Edwards, who plans to run for Governor says Villirie is the hypocrite. Edwards questions why Vitter taking phone calls from prostitutes is any different from Congressman McAllister making out with a married woman who worked for him.
The Sulphur Police Department says a former LSU football player was shot Friday night. They say Tahj Jones, who played for The Tigers as a linebacker and was at last week's Pro Day, was allegedly injured by a bullet and taken to a hospital. He is said to be in stable condition. An arrest has been made according to authorities but a suspect's name is not being released at this time.
The largest cruise ship ever to be docked at the Port of New Orleans arrives today. The 36-hundred passenger Carnival Dream will begin year round, 6 day Caribbean departures starting at 4 o'clock this afternoon. Senior Vice President of Fleet Deployment Terry Thornton says this ship is 30% bigger than their last ship and can hold 4 thousand people.
The House Transportation committee is scheduled to hear a bill today that would designate a section of I-49 in St. Landry Parish as a "Slow Down Speed Trap." The bill is by Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh introduced the bill. The proposed law calls on the department of transportation to place signage near the Washington exit reflecting the highway designation. Seabaugh believes that the town of Washington is not using the speed limit laws as they were intended.
A lawmaker from Kenner wants people to be required to have a dog secured in a humane manner when the animal is in the back of a pickup truck traveling on the interstate. Representative Tom Willmott's House Bill 1091 would do just that. He says dogs in the bed of a truck that is going a high rate of speed could be considered an unsecured load. Willmott says he's heard several stories about dogs flying out of trucks on interstates who then get run over and killed. He also says these types of incidents could cause serious crashes.
The full senate is scheduled to vote on a bill this afternoon that would require judges to sentence a person convicted of a home invasion armed with a dangerous weapon to five years in prison. Right now, there's no minimum jail time, while the maximum sentence is 30 years. The legislation was approved unanimously by a state senate committee last week.