News for Friday 042514
By Dave Graichen
This is a huge festival weekend in Louisiana with at least a dozen festivals taking place across the state. Although a lot of focus is on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which kicks off today. Among the other festivals occurring this weekend are The Festival International in Lafayette, the Etoufee' Festival in Arnaudville, DeltaFest in Monroe, the Italian Heritage Festival in Kenner, and the Slabtown Festival in Ringgold.
The Senate approves a bill that would allow state lawmakers, who have a concealed handgun permit, to carry their gun into most public buildings, but not the state capitol. The capitol is a gun-free zone. But there are certain exceptions for state troopers who provide security and certain members of the judiciary. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says after first proposing to have legislators
armed as well, he got the message that no one wants guns at the Capitol.
Despite impassioned testimony Thursday about struggling families, leather-worn shoes and pockets devoid of change for the smallest chocolate bar, efforts to increase wages for the working poor in Louisiana appear to be dead for the legislative session. What was likely the last gasp came in a meeting of the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations, where state Sen. Ben Nevers asked his colleagues to advance legislation setting minimum wage at $9.50 an hour. Committee members listened, asked a few questions, killed Senate Bill 123 and then adjourned for the weekend.
It is about to be against the law in the state to sell e-cigarettes to minors. The House and the Senate unanimously agrees on legislation that closely resembles the ban of tobacco cigarettes to
those under the age of 18. The House Bill passed 88-0.
After an intense debate Thursday over whether or not to allow the sale of raw milk, lawmakers advanced the bill by Carencro Rep. Stephen Ortego. The vote was 9-6 and now heads to the House Floor.
The Louisiana Senate advanced legislation Wednesday to give a cost-of-living raise to more than 100,000 retired state employees, teachers, school employees and State Police. Before approving the measure, senators linked the 1.5 percent increase in retiree pension checks to passage of separate House legislation that would limit the amount and frequency of future increases.
Tomorrow the Louisiana State Police and several local enforcement will take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It is an effort to help individuals rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that are expired, unused, and unwanted. During last October's Take Back Day, nationwide, Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs.
Grambling State University students approved an athletics fee that will generate an additional $1 million per year. Last season Grambling football players boycotted practices and a game over poor facilities and equipment and financial issues with the athletic department. Each student will pay a $100 fee per semester beginning this fall.
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert poked some fun at the Louisiana Legislature on his show Wednesday night over one lawmaker's fight to keep the sport of chicken boxing alive. Opelousas Senator Elbert Guillory opposes a bill that would expand Louisiana's ban on
cockfighting. The Senate ended up agreeing with New Orleans Senator JP Morrell's bill that would close certain loopholes in cockfighting laws. However, Colbert commends Senator Guillory for trying to keep big government out of our chicken sporting events.
A 22-year-old Lacassine man found dead yesterday morning has been identified. The Jefferson Davis Sheriff's office says that Timothy Mason Chambers was found dead near some rice dryers in Lacassine. The Sheriff's office also says it appears that Chambers’ death is either accidental or a suicide. Foul play is not suspected.
Alcohol infused ice cream could be coming to a store near you. Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter's legislation that would allow licensed alcohol retailers to sell wine ice cream finally made it out of a House committee on its third try. The bill heads to the House floor for more discussion. Hunter says the proposed law is written, so ONLY retailers that are licensed can sell wine ice cream, which should keep it from being sold to minors.
Law enforcement in northwest Louisiana say they arrested 49 people wanted on mostly felony drug charges during a round-up yesterday. Bossier Parish Sheriff's, Lt. Bill Davis, says the arrests concluded an 11-month investigation. Davis says meth charges accounted for most of the arrests...
The Richland Parish Sheriff's office says a 41-year-old corrections officer is under arrest for allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with an inmate. They say a complained was lodged by the alleged
victim against Chris Moore of Columbia who was charged with two counts of malfeasance and sexual conduct prohibited with persons in custody.
The 6th ranked LSU baseball begins a three-game series tonight against Tennessee. The Volunteers are 7-and-11 in league play, while the Tigers have won 8 of their last 10 overall and they are one-and-a-half-games back of Alabama for first place in the SEC West.