News for Friday 050914
By Dave Graichen
Well today is day two of the three day AlexRiverFete. Activities start downtown at 4pm with the art walk, followed by live entertainment from 7 to 10 on the Dragon Stage. Saturday, it’s a full day, starting with the Dragon Boat Races and activities all day long. The 2nd annual event will wrap up with live entertainment. If you are looking to travel, you may want to check out the 40th Annual Cochon de lait Festival in Mansura. It continues through Sunday.
It looks like some much needed rain is in store for most of Louisiana heading into the weekend. State Climatologist Barry Keim says after three to four weeks of dry weather, the state is finally moving into a wet pattern. Keim says that there a chance of widespread thunderstorms across the
state dropping a potential of one to two inches of rain over the next few days. He adds that the rain is needed to avoid drought conditions.
For seven hours Thursday, the Louisiana House debated Common Core, school vouchers, art, private prisons, health care clinics and other planks in the $25 billion state operating budget.
House members made a few changes, took the generally unprecedented step of calling a cabinet secretary to the floor, then voted 65-34 in favor of House Bill 1, the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts in July. The state Senate now gets its chance to tackle the budget.
Common Core critics suffered their fourth major defeat of the session Thursday when a Senate committee crushed a bid to scrap the national academic standards in favor of new ones drafted by Louisiana parents and educators. The bill was the last of the sweeping anti-Common Core proposals awaiting action, and means that key bills to drop or revamp the standards and accompanying tests have now failed in three House and Senate committees.
Chief Executive magazine has ranked Louisiana the ninth best state for business. Since 2010, the state has climbed 31 spots in the magazine's Best & Worst States for Business rankings. Louisiana now places among the top 10 states nationally in four national business-climate rankings.
Former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has endorsed an underdog candidate in the US Senate race. Palin says Louisiana can elect a true conservative in Air Force Colonel Rob Maness. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says Palin's endorsement will help Maness gain some much-needed name recognition. Palin calls Maness the true conservative in the race.
An independent survey on this year's US Senate race shows Senator Mary Landrieu's popularity continues to fall. Southern Media and Opinion Research conducted a survey last week of 600 likely voters and Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Landrieu's approval ratings have hit an all-time low of 39-percent. Landrieu has been a US Senator since 1996 and was recently appointed to the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee. Pinsonat says her seniority and power mean little to Louisiana voters.
The bill requiring dogs to be restrained in the back of pickup trucks on interstates goes another step into becoming law Thursday. HB1091 by Kenner Rep. Tom Willmott got approval in the Senate Transportation Committee. Willmott says the dog would need to be in a crate, a car carrier or
wear some type of harness when in the back of a truck traveling on an interstate. He says a dog that is free to roam in the back of a truck that's going 70 miles per hour could fall out which is dangerous for other motorists and of course the dog. The bill now heads to the Senate floor.
A 19 year-old Monroe man has been arrested after he allegedly tried to check a 13 year old girl out of school that he had exchanged sexual text messages with. Deedrich Bethley has been charged with attempted kidnapping. Monroe Police Sgt. Mark Johnson says Bethley showed up at the girl's school to pick her up and school officials got suspicious..
An arrest has been made in the case of a 26-year-old Plaquemine man who was found shot dead, execution style, at his camp off Grand River Wednesday. 22-year-old Detrell Scott of Plaquemine has been booked with first degree murder and armed robbery charges in the death of Kyle Boudreaux. The Iberville Parish Sheriff says the suspect and victim knew each other. Boudreaux's cell phone and wallet were stolen.
The big reopening of the historic Shreveport Municipal Auditorium opens tonight with a concert. The Louisiana Hayride will return to the stage along with other musical talents. Auditorium Spokesperson Sam Voisin the auditorium has re-opened after being closed for a year due to a 5.3 million dollar renovation. The upgrades have placed the building on the National Historic Landmark list.
LSU begins its final home SEC series tonight against Alabama. A couple of weeks ago, the Crimson Tide were in first place in the SEC West, but they've lost 6 of their last 7 conference games. Coach Paul Mainieri says Alabama is still bringing a good baseball team into the Box. The Tigers are coming off a series where they dropped two out of three to Texas A-and-M.
Tonight is the second round in the NFL draft and it is expected several LSU Tigers will be selected tonight. Draft Analyst Mike Detillier says Jarvis Landry could be the first former Tiger picked tonight. Detiller says quarterback Zach Mettenberger, running back Jeremy Hill, defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and offensive guard Trai Turner are other possible selections tonight. Detiller also believes Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Justin Ellis has a good chance of being selected tonight.