The Saints have agreed with running back running back Pierre Thomas on a two-year contract extension. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says it's a wise move for the Black and Gold. Detillier says not only is Thomas a good rusher, he's an excellent pass catcher and blocker.
"I know one thing, the happiest guy around is #9. The way he was getting knocked around last year, I want Pierre protecting me in the backfield. He is one of the best in the business doing that and as a screen pass receiver he is one of the best to wear the black and gold to do it," Detillier says.
Thomas led the team in rushing last year, he also caught 77 passes for 513 yards.
The Saints also made a big splash in free agency last night with the signing of free safety Jarius Byrd to a six-year contract. Detillier calls it the biggest free-agent acquisition since the signing of Drew Brees prior to the 2006 season. He says Byrd causes problems for opposing quarterbacks.
"He's had twelve interceptions the last three years for Buffalo. Together Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins combined for six over the last three years. He brings a new dimension to the table and he is their new quarterback for the defense," Detillier says.
Legislation banning anyone under the age of 18 from UV tanning passes the House Health & Welfare committee this morning by a vote of 17-1. A melanoma skin cancer survivor, Kristy Reece, spoke during the hearing in support of the bill. She testified to tanning when she was in high school, then being diagnosed with cancer when she was 31.
"A small mole on my left foot was found to have this life threatening disease that could kill me," Reece said. "All because I wanted to have a few shades of darker skin, when I was younger, that would fade in a few weeks. "
Greece says she wants to share how scary melanoma can be and that hopefully her story gives people a different outlook on tanning beds.
Kara Morgan, a 40-year-old mother of two, said during the meeting she has stage 4, incurable melanoma and attributes it to UV tanning.
"The first time I used a UV tanning bed I was 13. The last time I used a tanning bed I was 19," Morgan testified. "So it had been quite a while from the time I'd used tanning beds to when I was diagnosed with melanoma. And that's what they know now...research shows that the most dangerous time to use these machines is when you're a young adult."
Brian Trascher owns a Planet Beach franchise in Metairie and he also spoke in committee to support House Bill 746.
He says he strongly opposes anyone 17 and younger from coming to tan in a bed and he'd like to see it written into law so he doesn't have to argue with disagreeable parents who insist on letting their child UV tan.
"You know you see reality shows with these moms that have young kids in beauty pageants," Trascher said. "I thought it was just TV but it's not. They do come into my store. I've even had parents want to have their 6 or 7 year old come to UV tan."
New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno's legislation now heads to House floor.
A New Orleans woman, who was once a victim of human trafficking, tells her sad story during a press conference in which Governor Jindal announced his push to crackdown on the horrific criminal activity. Clemmie Greenlee says she was walking to the store when she was 12, then was suddenly snatched up by men who were passing out gifts.
"They immediately put me in this car and pulled off. Then they took me to a house where there were already girls in a basement handcuffed, beaten and bleeding," Greenlee recounts. "Then these men immediately took me, drugged me up and gang raped me."
According to Shared Hope International, Baton Rouge ranks in the top ten cities in the nation for human trafficking. Jindal says there are millions of these women living in slavery who will go to sleep tonight praying for a way out.
He says this legislation would ensure these monsters are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"Our warning is that you DO NOT want to do this in Louisiana," Jindal said. "You don't want to do this anywhere in the world, but you certainly don't want to do this in the state of Louisiana."
Two bills have been filed for this session that would put very stiff penalties on people who force a victim to provide commercial services, often times sexual, against their will.
The legislation also increases protections and remedies for victims.
Greenlee says the horror she experienced is one that will remain with her the rest of her life.
"I received stab wounds and stitches and I have the scars I can show you guys," said Greenlee. "It is so terrifying that at 12 years old, at 14 years old, 16 years old -- these men took an innocent life and destroyed it. I wanted to be an RN but instead I was labeled a prostitute."
Greenlee says she is grateful this issue is getting the attention it needs.
"Because I know there are still a lot of young girls that are somewhere tied up right now," Greenlee said.
The Saints were not expected to make to a big splash in free agency, because of limited salary cap space. But somehow New Orleans found enough dollars to sign 3-time Pro Bowl safety Jarius Byrd, who will play alongside Kenny Vaccaro in New Orleans secondary.
"Coming to terms with Byrd makes the Saints defense one of the very best in the NFL," NFL analyst Mike Detillier said. "He's the new defensive quarterback and a good one."
Byrd is 27-years-old and former second-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2009 draft.
In 73 games, he has 22 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Byrd missed the first five games last season, because of a foot injury. His rookie season is the only other time he's missed time due to an injury.
He's considered one of the top players in this free agent market. The former Oregon standout will reportedly receive 28-million dollars in guaranteed money.
Byrd will replace safety Malcolm Jenkins in the Saints backfield. Jenkins signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Legislation has been filed that will allow teachers and principals to bring their guns into classrooms. The bill is by Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo who says this is in response to an increase in gun violence, particularly on school campuses.
Garofalo's bill will no doubt run into resistance from those on the side of the gun control debate who feel guns only create more problems. He feels this legislation will "take up the welcome mat" and send a clear signal to those who would do harm.
"We have to do something to show the criminals and the crazies that we are taking action and they may meet some resistance if they go onto those campuses," Garofalo said.
While the bill has not been scheduled for hearing at this time, Garofalo anticipates a committee hearing date will be set in the near future.
A Caddo Parish man on
death row has been released from Angola after a Caddo Parish District Judge
signed an order vacating Glenn Ford's first degree murder conviction and death
Ford has spent the
last 30 years on death row for the murder of a Shreveport Jewelry store owner,
who was found shot to death in 1983. Ford's attorney Gary Clements was quick to
praise the prosecution for their efforts in this case.
"New evidence has come up to show he is factually innocent. Evidence the prosecution brought to our attention, and to their credit, helped make this day possible," Clements said.
This new evidence
"supports findings that Ford was neither present at, nor a participant in
the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman."
Prosecutors, however, were
unwilling to state what the new evidence is, saying this information could
jeopardize a future case against the actual killer. Clements says three other
men were initially arrested at the same time as Ford, but never went to trial,
while went Ford went to jail.
"They put the wrong person on death row, in fact I know they put the wrong person on death row," said Clements.
Clements says Ford,
who did occasional odd jobs and yard work for Rozeman, has always maintained