News for Monday 051914
By Dave Graichen
Louisiana's longest serving agriculture commissioner, Bob Odom, passed away Saturday at the age of 78. Governor Bobby Jindal issued a statement ordering all flags at state buildings be flown half staff for the man he called a champion for the Louisiana agriculture community. Odom, a staunch Democrat, served as Agriculture Commissioner from 1980 to 2007 and some say he was one of Louisiana's most influential elected officials.
Law enforcement agencies from around the state are participating in a statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign that kicks off today. Louisiana law says that everyone inside a vehicle is required to wear a seat belt. State Police spokesman Sgt. Nick Manale says the message is simple , "Seat Belts, Save Lives". The campaign runs through June 1st, which includes Memorial Day, traditionally among the worst holidays for traffic deaths in Louisiana.
It's graduation season and Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink says there's more opportunity for graduates now than ever before in The Bayou State. He says there is a really healthy job market in a number of sectors throughout Louisiana. Eysink says whether you have a degree from a technical or community college, or a four year university -- you're in great shape here. He says not only do we have overall growth in our labor markets, but there are more than 60 billion dollars’ worth of projects coming to our state and most of those have yet to get started. The state’s labor force is currently at a record high.
We're now two weeks away from the end of what some are calling one of the most quiet legislative sessions we've had in Louisiana under Governor Bobby Jindal's Administration. Jeremy Alford with
Lapolitics.com says by far the biggest issue left for lawmakers to work out is the funding mechanism for public schools.
The Supreme Court could take its first look at police use of stun guns in a case involving the death of a Louisiana man who was shocked by police eight times after he had been handcuffed. The justices could say on Monday whether they will hear the case of Baron Pikes in the fall. They are being asked to review a lower court ruling that dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of Pikes’ young son against a former police officer in the central Louisiana town of Winnfield. The justices have previously rejected appeals from victims of stun gun use and from police in state and federal court cases.
Amnesty International says more than 540 people have died following police use of stun guns in the U.S. since 2001.
LSU’s main campus is going tobacco-free this fall. The Louisiana Legislature approved a law last year requiring colleges and universities to develop their own “smoke-free” policies. That legislation, which serves as an addendum to the Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibits smoking in some public places and workplaces, states that colleges also can go the extra step of excluding all tobacco. LSU already limits smoking to designated areas, but advocates have pushed to further make the campus free of any tobacco products.
The Saints held a rookie mini-camp this past weekend and it was an opportunity for first round pick Brandin Cooks to get familiar with his new team. The former Oregon State wide out says he's excited
about playing with Quarterback Drew Brees and for head coach Sean Payton. Cooks says the adjustment hasn't been too bad, since the Saints offense is similar to the one he played in college. He's just five-foot-ten, 189 pounds, but doesn't think his size will work against him in the NFL.
The NFL Owner's Meeting gets underway today in Atlanta and one of the items on the agenda will be who gets to host Super Bowl 52 in 2018. The Big Easy is in the running along with Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Greater New Orleans Foundation president Jay Cicero says they'll make their final pitch before the vote tomorrow. New Orleans last hosted the Super Bowl in 2013 and that injected 480 million dollars into the economy
A great weekend for the LSU tiger baseball team. In the crucial season-ending series at Auburn, LSU swept by scores of 10-0, 11-3 and 8-1.