The Pineville Police Department is reporting a severely autistic boy who was reported missing yesterday from Pinecrest, has been found safe and sound. The Louisiana State Police had issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Media Advisory for the missing child. But, again the good news, the child has been found and he’s fine.
A Louisiana company announces plans to build an 11 billion dollar facility along the Calcasieu River ship channel to export liquefied natural gas. Baton Rouge based G2 LNG is the name of the company and the chairman is Former Governor Buddy Roemer. Federal agencies must approve the project before they can put shovels in the ground, but the company says the facility is expected to create thousands of construction jobs and more than 250 permanent jobs.
A barge manufacturer says it will close a facility near Madison in St. Tammany Parish and lay off 336 workers. Trinity Marine Products Inc. announced the layoffs on Monday in a notice to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The company says the layoffs will take place by the end of the year.
A new statewide poll on Louisiana’s governor’s race shows Democrat John Bel Edwards has jumped out to a 9-point lead over Republican David Vitter. Pollster John Couvillion with JMC Analytics found Edwards had 28 percent and Vitter had 19 percent. Republicans Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne polled at 8-percent and 7-percent respectively. Couvillon says it’s probably time for them to shift their focus from Vitter to Edwards.
A new NBC/Marist poll on the presidential race in Iowa shows Governor Bobby Jindal now has 6-percent of the vote. That’s a two-percent increase from their previous poll. Jindal’s 6-percent has him tied for fifth place, along with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, among Republican presidential hopefuls. Donald Trump leads the poll with 24-percent, followed by Ben Carson with 19-percent.
The terms of Louisiana’s settlement with BP for $6.8 billion dollars over the 2010 Gulf Oil spill were finalized Monday. This clears the way for the state to begin receiving billions of dollars for coastal restoration and economic recovery. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says laws need to be changed so that similar situations in settlements of this magnitude don’t take so long.
ULM is grieving today over the loss of backup quarterback Daniel Fitzwater who passed away suddenly on Saturday. Warhawk Coach Todd Berry says he had to tell the players about the passing of their 20-year-old fellow teammate three hours before the homecoming game. He said they didn’t have all the details about Fitzwater’s death but it didn’t appear to be self-inflicted and foul play is not suspected.
In the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, the lawyers of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin went before a three judge panel to argue that the jury that convicted their client on corruption charges was given improper instructions. There is no indication of when the court will rule on whether or not to appeal the corruption convictions. Nagin, who has always maintained his innocence, is serving 10 years in federal prison.
Minden Congressman John Fleming announces his support for Metairie Representative Steve Scalise to become the House Majority Leader. LaPolitics-dot-com Publisher Jeremy Alford says there were questions whether Fleming would support Scalise’s bid to move up in the House leadership. Scalise, the current House Majority Whip, looks to move into the number two leadership position in the US House.
Louisiana volunteers are joining the Red Cross response in South Carolina as the state deals with severe flooding. Spokeswoman Nancy Malone says they’ll be helping families stay safe and dry by opening shelters and bringing in meals…
The Thibodaux Police Department says a toddler and 17 dogs were removed from a home that was in deplorable conditions. Five people, ranging in age from 17 to 70, were arrested after officers made the discovery on various charges of animal cruelty counts and child desertion. Officers say the child and dogs were found among urine, feces, mold and rotten food throughout the home.
LSU’s passing game took a step backwards in its progression during the Tigers 44-22 win over Eastern Michigan. The Tigers only completed four passes for 80 yards. The Tigers are ranked 124th in the nation in passing, one of just five teams in the country averaging less than 100 passing yards a game. Good news is The Tigers are 4-0 and ranked fifth in the latest coaches poll. But Miles says there’s room for improvement as his team heads back into SEC play this Saturday.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s appeal to his conviction on fraud charges is heard in a federal courtroom in New Orleans today. Nagin was convicted on 20 counts last year and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says Nagin is arguing that the jury was incorrectly instructed on laws regarding honest services fraud. He says Nagin’s appeal only covers nine of his 20 convictions.
In a recent poll ranking Louisiana’s six most recent governors, former four-term Governor Edwin Edwards came in at number one among respondents. 31-percent thought “The Cajun Prince” was the best governor, followed by former two-term Governor Mike Foster with 21-percent. Current Governor Bobby Jindal ranked third with 14-percent. But when asked who was the worst governor, 42-percent of respondents picked Jindal.
The public is about to get a look at details of an $18 billion settlement agreement announced in July to resolve years of legal fighting over damage caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
A statement from the U.S. Justice Department says the agreement involving the federal government, five Gulf states and BP Exploration and Production will be filed today. That will be followed by a 60-day public comment period, the next step toward final court approval.
The settlement would end battles over economic and environmental damage caused by the nearly 134-million-gallon (507-million-liter) spill.
New changes are in place for the Powerball multi-state lottery game which will make it more difficult for players to win the grand prize, but more money could be won in other ways. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says the matrix changes will increase the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 and 292 million. Chopin says for players who add the one-dollar power play option, they can now multiply their nonjackpot prize up to ten times.
About 280-thousand dollars has been raised for the 11 victims and the families of the two women killed in July’s Lafayette theater shooting. CEO of Pixus Digital Printing Todd Landry says the company raised the majority of the money by selling signs, t-shirts, car deals. He says he never dreamed they’d have this kind of impact. Landry says even though it’s been a little over two months since the tragedy, they’re still receiving orders.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that an 84-year-old man appears to have drowned near Black Bayou. They believe Sheffield Royer was cast-netting alone when he went into the water. His family began a search when Royer failed to return home. Deputies later found Royer unresponsive in the water. Authorities believe the drowning to be accidental, but the investigation will continue pending the coroner’s examination.
The convicted killer who was accidentally released for prison on September 22 in East Feliciana Parish has been captured in Atlanta. Middle District of Louisiana US Marshal Kevin Harrison says they talked with Marshals in Georgia after getting a tip that 32-year-old Benjuiel Johnson was staying in a Motel 6 outside of Atlanta. He says developed leads after talking to people in Johnson’s hometown in Iberville Parish and determined he had connections in Georgia.
The Department of Children and Family Services announces changes coming to child support direct payment card clients when it comes to paying and receiving money. D-C-F-S Secretary Suzy Sonnier says Louisiana is in the process of moving towards a new stored value card for child support clients. She says this means all clients using the card need to update their address as soon as possible. Sonnier is strongly encouraging her child support clients to start using direct deposit.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees connected with CJ Spiller on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage in overtime to give New Orleans a 26-20 win over the banged up Dallas Cowboys. It was Brees 400th career touchdown pass and it gave New Orleans its first win of the season.
It wasn’t the blowout people were expecting on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. LSU only led by six points halftime and eventually defeated Eastern Michigan 44-22.
For the second straight year, Louisiana Tech easily defeated UL Lafayette. The Bulldogs scored 22 points in the 2nd quarter and went on to win 43-13.
A two vehicle crash yesterday afternoon in Concordia Parish claimed the lives of three people. Two of whom were teenagers from Vidalia. Troopers say the driver of a loaded logging truck, 28 year old Mark Gordon of Jonesville, lost control, crossed the center line and hit a pickup killing three of it’s four passengers. 49 year old Richard Stewart, 17 year old Vera and 15 year old George Stewart. Troopers say none of three were wearing seatbelts. The lone survivor, 51 Year old Sheila Smith, who was wearing a seatbelt, received moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The driver of the logging truck was not injured.
The APD reports a woman was killed late Wednesday night when she was struck by a vehicle. An investigation found that a vehicle traveling south on MacArthur Drive had exited onto Coliseum Boulevard and hit the woman as she tried to cross that exit lane. No charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle. The name of the woman has been withheld pending notification of family members.
In last night’s gubernatorial debate hosted by WDSU-TV in New Orleans, each of the four major candidates took shots at each other on a couple of different subjects. On the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood, Republican David Vitter criticized both Democrat John Bel Edwards and fellow Republican Jay Dardenne. In reference to Edwards, Vitter equates his support of President Obama to support for Planned Parenthood. Vitter supports defunding the organization. Edwards says while he supports the Commander in Chief, he does have issues with many positions taken by the President. On the same topic, Vitter called out Dardenne claiming that the Lt. Governor voted in favor of abortion six times. In response, Dardenne called Vitter a liar. On the topic of Common Core, Republican Scott Angelle took the opportunity slam Vitter’s inconsistency on the issue.
A recent poll of Louisiana voters on the presidential race shows Governor Bobby Jindal receiving only three-percent support from state Republicans. The poll, conducted by Clarus Research, shows Ben Carson leading the Republican field with 23-percent.
State Treasurer John Kennedy announces that audits of life insurance company policies have found $35 million that should have been paid to Louisiana residents. Kennedy says when a life insurance company learns of a policy holders death, they should actively seek out the beneficiaries and heirs of that person. Kennedy says, so far this year, claimants have received $2.6 million from these life insurance policy audits.
Investigators have discovered that the Eunice mother who shot her two children then took her own life, while also setting her home on fire, purchased a hand gun nine days before the double murder suicide. Deputy Chief with the state Fire Marshal’s Office Brant Thompson says the mother, 39-year-old Carla Watford, carefully planned out this murder and legally purchased the .38-caliber hand gun along with 50 rounds of ammunition.
This September will go down as one of the driest for north Louisiana, according to records from the National Weather Service. Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford says Shreveport Regional Airport recorded only 0.07 inches of rain during the entire month, which just surpassed the previous record set in 1994. Hansford says the drought has caused burn bans to be put in place for almost every parish in north Louisiana.
A well known Louisiana tradition kicks off this weekend as the 2015 Angola Prison Rodeo gets underway. The annual event runs every Sunday in October at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Warden Burl Cain says this is an event the entire family can enjoy. He says, in addition to the rodeo, there are arts and crafts, food, and events the kids will enjoy. Tickets are just $15 each and can be purchased online at angolarodeo-dot-com. The event draws more than 70,000 spectators to the prison annually.
Analysts have been telling us that gas prices would drop during the fall, but according to the American Automobile Association the statewide average price for a regular gallon of gasoline has gone up a few pennies over the week to $2.03. Triple-A Fuel Analyst Don Redman says prices are leveling off now that refineries are transitioning into the winter blend of gasoline. Redman still predicts gas prices to drop to about $1.80 per gallon in December.
The Department of Children and Family Services announces changes to the food assistance program to encourage able-bodied recipients without children to move into the workforce. Secretary Suzy Sonnier says now, able-bodied adults without dependents must work at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in a federally-approved job training program to qualify for SNAP benefits. She says there are approximately 62,000 able-bodied SNAP recipients in the state with no dependents.
A man who owns a movie making business in Mandeville is sentenced to six months in jail for cheating the state’s film tax credit program. 38-year-old Daniel Garcia pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Authorities caught Garcia writing $3 million dollars in canceled checks to create fraudulent documents indicating the money was for a movie, so that he could collect $900,000 in film tax credits.
A grand jury has indicted a Lafayette woman on a second degree murder charge in the death of her newborn baby whose body was discovered 14 years later in a storage unit. 57-year-old Rebecca Landry was arrested in June after a renter discovered the corpse after the storage unit was auctioned off. Authorities say Landry claims she was suffering from alcoholism when she gave birth to the baby in secret. When the child died a few days later, she hid the body. If convicted, Landry faces a mandatory life sentence.
The Saints are 0-3 heading into Sunday night’s game with Dallas. But Coach Sean Payton says no one has their head down or is feeling sorry for themselves. The Saints seem optimistic that Quarterback Drew Brees will return to the field this Sunday after missing last week’s loss to Carolina. Payton says Brees and the rest of the team are working hard and hopefully it results in a win against the Cowboys.
The LSU Tigers are big favorites to beat Eastern Michigan on Saturday night. Coach Les Miles says he wants to see a penalty free game after his team was flagged 14 times last weekend.
The four major gubernatorial candidates for governor are slated to appear tonight at 6 in a televised debate hosted by W-D-S-U T-V in New Orleans. It will also air online and on N-B-C affiliated stations across the state. L-S-U Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says this is the chance for Republican candidates Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne to gain some traction against frontrunner David Vitter. This is the only televised debate before the October 24th primary that the four major candidates have committed to attend.
Get ready for some beautiful weather Louisiana as another cold front settles over the state over the next several days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says today is just the beginning with slightly cooler and less humid conditions. By tomorrow morning, the minimum temperatures are going to be in the 50s, with high temperatures only in the 70s. Keim says this weather pattern is going to persist through the weekend and perhaps even into early next week.
A Ball woman is facing multiple charges of forgery and bank fraud in connection to checks police say were stolen from her grandfather. Catherine Renee Durand, of the 6000 block of Monroe Highway, was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on Tuesday. She was charged with nine counts of forgery and nine counts of bank fraud.
There has been a second death this year from the West Nile virus according to DHH and there are now 54 total reported cases. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says the latest death is out of the Baton Rouge area. He says about 90 percent of the cases they see are asymptomatic, but about 10 percent will develop West Nile Fever. He says even though it’s starting to cool off, mosquitoes remain active through the end of the year in Louisiana and it’s important to protect yourself.
The Louisiana Chapter of the Americans for Prosperity is out with an ad letting voters know which of their lawmakers up for re-election in the fall voted for tax increases and Medicaid expansion. A-F-P State Director Phillip Joffrion says the radio spot includes information about how legislators dealt with the state’s fiscal crisis in the last session. He says the public can view their lawmaker’s record at Louisiana Score Card-dot-com. Louisiana AFP has ties to the Tea Party.
There is now a $6,000 reward being offered for information which leads to the arrest of the convicted killer who was released from prison by mistake in East Feliciana Parish. 32-year-old Benjueil Johnson is a black male, about 5’10 and 190 pounds and he lived in Plaquemine prior to incarceration. A human error allowed Johnson to bond out. If you see him please call 911.
New Orleans Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened Wednesday morning at a school in Treme. They say a teacher was walking into the Success Preparatory Academy around 7am while no children were at the school, when she was approached by a suspect with a gun who robbed her. Police say it also happened to another teacher. The gunman remains at large.
The Monroe Police Department says they are still looking for a suspect in the case of two people who were found shot dead at a bail bondsman’s office. They’ve identified the victims as Ivan Webb, who owns the business, and Catrina Wallace who worked there. Cops say no arrests have been made at this time but the investigation is ongoing.
A study shows more Louisiana drivers are buckling up this year. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Col. John LeBlanc says their 2015 Louisiana Seat Belt and Motorcycle Helmet Observation Survey found a record 86 percent of front seat passengers and drivers we’re using their seatbelt. LeBlanc says they’re still trying to get more young male drivers to buckle up. And he says front seat seatbelt use among African Americans measured lower than other races. LeBlanc says 58 percent of drivers killed in Louisiana are not buckled up.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees says he feels good about playing against the Dallas Cowboys.
Brees says he took most of the reps at practice yesterday and he’ll continue to ramp up the volume leading up to the primetime game against the Cowboys.
A debate has started over whether star LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette should sit out his junior season so he doesn’t risk injury before heading to the NFL. The Heisman Trophy candidate is not eligible for the draft until after next season. Fournette weighed in on the topic by tweeting, “I will never jump ship.”
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame announces its 2016 induction class and once again it’s a star studded group of athletes and coaches. Janice Joseph-Richard, who led Louisiana College to national prominence in women's basketball as both a player and a coach will be remembered forever among the state's athletic immortals. The group of eight will be enshrined next summer at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Natchitoches.
Work continues to remove the last of the debris from the demolition of the OK allen bridge over the weekend. Word is the main channel of the river has been cleared to at least 20 feet deep, and it is open to barge and other river traffic. Crews have been working around the clock to accomplish that task..
A Montgomery man has been arrested in Natchitoches Parish and charged with stealing a vehicle and about $30,000 in tools from the town of Montgomery. It’s reported that 53 year old Robert Caskey then drove that truck into Black Lake. Caskey was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, charged with illegal possession of stolen things and a laundry list of other charges.
The RPSO reports 52 year old Justin Walters of Colfax is behind bars after being indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury last week on kidnapping and rape charges. He was arrested Monday at his home by members of a U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force after his indictment on Thursday of last week. He currently is in the Grant Parish Detention Center.
An independent poll on the Louisiana governor’s race reveals that 44-percent of voters view Republican David Vitter unfavorably. The poll was paid for by The Advocate and WWL-TV. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says, during Vitter’s years in public office, it appears the Senator has managed to alienate some voters. The survey also shows that over 40-percent of voters could not give a favorability rating to any of the other three major candidates.
Blueprint Louisiana, which is a group of businessmen and executives, is calling on the next governor to expand Medicaid. Blueprint chairman, Doctor Phillip Rozeman, says the group doesn’t necessarily agree with the Affordable Care Act, but an expansion of Medicaid could save the state 165-million dollars over five years. Rozeman says the group would also like to see an increase in the gasoline tax to pay for better roads.
The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing the Bossier Parish School Board of violating the US Constitution by allowing the Fellowship of Student Athletes to set up prayer boxes at Airline High School in Bossier City. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says this does appear to go against the First Amendment’s Establishment of Religion Clause. The School Board says they plan to address the issue at their next meeting.
The US Marshals office along with Louisiana authorities are looking for a convicted killer who was mistakenly released from prison. He’s 32-year-old Benjuiel Johnson and an error led to him being released on bond. He was serving time at the Dixon Correctional Center and Iberville Parish Sheriff Major Ronnie Hebert says they are not sure where Johnnson may have gone. Johnson was convicted on manslaughter for a fatal shooting in Plaquemine in 2010.
The state Department of Ag and Forestry says two men are accused of animal cruelty for allegedly shooting and killing a calf while four men total are accused of stealing the animal for its meat. The four were arrested after a cattleman found a dead calf on the spillway levee near Gonzales.
The Denham Springs Police Department says a woman was stabbed to death in her front yard yesterday allegedly by her boyfriend. They say 52-year-old Kent Scott and the victim were arguing when the fight moved outside and the suspect stabbed her multiple times. The woman died at an area hospital. Scott is expected to be charged with either first or second degree murder.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the ballots for the October 24th primary have been sent to print, but it’s possible more candidates will be removed before election day. He says they started out with about 1150 races statewide but, due to offices running unopposed, challenges or candidates dropping out, there are now about 575 active races. Schedler says if a candidate is listed on the ballot but is not in the race come voting day, notices will be posted near the booths about the elections which are affected.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says as of this Friday, taxpayers will no longer be able to choose the Louisiana MyRefund Prepaid Debit Card as an option to receive their state return. They say the reason is that JPMorgan chase is ending its line of business for prepaid debit card services.
Southern University has launched a fund to help provide financial assistance for wide receiver Devon Gales, who suffered a neck injury in the loss to Georgia. A link to the fund can be found at gojagsports.com.
The Baton Rouge Police Department says nine siblings have been removed from their home after state authorities found little food and zero beds at the residence. The mother, 27-year-old Leticia Brothers was arrested on charges of child endangerment, cruelty to juveniles and criminal neglect of family. A report indicates investigators found that all nine children slept in one room together on the floor. Bond has not been set for Brothers and she remains in parish prison.
A new airline will soon offer daily non-stop flights between Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans and Shreveport Regional Airport. New Orleans Resident Trey Fayard is the founder of the new airline called Glo, which will also have flights from New Orleans to Little Rock and Memphis. He says he started the airline after experiencing years of wasted time having trouble getting to different locations in the mid-South region. Fayard says their first flights are scheduled to take off November 15th and you tickets are available for purchase now.
According to ESPN, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a successful throwing session Tuesday and it’s said that he will take practice reps today. Number 9 missed the Carolina game due to a rotator cuff injury. A return to practice could mean that Brees will be able to play Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Coming off a win over FIU at Joe Aillet Stadium, the Bulldogs are back at home this Saturday to host U-L Lafayette, a team they beat 48-20 last year. Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel says they look at the Cajuns as a rival and would like to beat them again. Louisiana Tech comes into this game leading Conference USA in total offense, as they are averaging 523 yards a game.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified the woman who drowned in the Indian Creek Recreation Area on Saturday. They say witnesses report 33-year-old Stacy Roszell of Pineville was swimming when she dove down in water which was about 20 feet deep and never resurfaced. Detectives say an autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.
Authorities are still trying to figure out why a mother in Eunice may have shot and killed her two daughters before setting their house on fire then turning the gun on herself. The mother is identified as 39-year-old Carla Watford and her two deceased daughters are 16-year-old Julia 9-year-old Tayla. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they recovered the weapon they believe was used in the murder suicide and also chemical accelerant that was used to set the fire.
A new Advocate/WWL-TV poll shows Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republicans Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne each defeating Republican David Vitter in a potential runoff in Louisiana’s governor’s race. The survey, conducted by Clarus Research Group, shows Edwards and Vitter tied at 24-percent heading into the primary. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says this is bad news for the Senator who was polling at 38-percent this spring
The Louisiana Department of Revenue announces a 50th arrest has been made in a massive statewide crackdown on tax fraud. They say Joyce Gains, just like many of these other busted tax filing establishments, filed phony business losses for customers. LDR Criminal Investigators Director Barry Kelly says the state has recovered over $400,000 in court-ordered restitution of fake refunds.
State Police say a toddler was killed and three others injured in a single vehicle crash in St. Landry Parish. Authorities say a car driven by Shararia Citizen of Church Point ran off the roadway and struck several trees. A two-year-old sitting in the rear of the vehicle in a child safety seat suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Citizen and two other juveniles suffered minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
The price at the pump kept falling over the weekend. Gasbuddy.com says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $1.98. They say the lowest price in Louisiana right now is $1.72. Analysts predict we could see a statewide average as low as $1.50 by the end of the year.
LSU President F. King Alexander is concerned about the continuing decline in state funding for higher education. Alexander says if trends keep continuing, Louisiana will become the second state to not pay a penny on higher education by the year 2027. Alexander hopes the trend reverses with the next governor. Currently, public colleges and universities have one billion dollars in deferred maintenance on the campuses and no consistent source of funding to address the problem.
In continuing efforts to crackdown on crime in New Orleans, the police department announces the arrest of a 16-year-old they believe to be responsible for at least five armed robberies Uptown this month. Cops say they were actively patrolling the area to locate the suspect who tried to evade officers on his bike. Cops say they found a revolver on the teen then later at his home discovered five smart phones and a lever action rifle in a folding chair bag.
The Bayou State is ranked among the top states in the country where Hispanics have adapted to the American mainstream. The WalletHub study ranks Louisiana fourth for all states for Hispanic assimilation. The state’s “Veteran Status for Hispanics” is 10th in the country, which Manny Blanco, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, says is a source of pride within the community. The study ranked states on Cultural & Civic, Education, and Economic assimilation
The LSU football team is 3-0, but Coach Les Miles knows there’s room for improvement. The Tigers are last in the Southeastern Conference in penalties, as they’ve been penalized 28 times for 258 yards. Miles says they are trying to do something about all of the yellow flags.
In the victory over Syracuse, LSU was flagged 14 times for 120 yards.
The Saints are one of four teams in the NFL that are winless. Coach Sean Payton says there is no way to sugarcoat it, they are in hole and they have to find a way to get their first win of the season. The Saints host Dallas this Sunday and Payton is looking forward to ending the losing streak.
All that’s left now is the cleanup as the O.K. Allen Bridge, a landmark in Central Louisiana for 79 years, disappeared in a matter of moments Saturday morning. The explosion, at exactly 8am, was heard many miles away as the bridge splashed down into the Red River. John Gagnard, the project engineer for the bridge replacement project, said the demolition went smoothly and as expected. The Bridge, which was named in honor of Gov. Oscar K. Allen of Winn Parish. Allen was our 42nd governor and served from 1932 to 1936.
The state police reports 32 year old Antonio Jones of Colfax was killed Saturday on Highway 71 near Bush Road. Troopers say Jones was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle and hit several trees. Jones who was not wearing a seatbelt died at the scene.
The Rapides parish sheriff’s department reports divers recovered the body of a yet to be identified female from Indian Creek Saturday afternoon. Rapides Parish sheriff's deputies had responded to a possible drowning call around 2 p.m. Two males told them that a female "they had recently met" was swimming in water about 20 feet deep when she dove but did not resurface. The woman’s body was found about 5 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities arrested a 19 year old Sabine Parish man Friday on multiple sex related charges.
Leland Campbell of Converse was charged with aggravated rape, aggravated crimes against nature, oral sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Campbell was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center.
The latest campaign finance reports are out in the governor’s race and Republican David Vitter still has a considerable financial edge over his three opponents. But Democrat John Bel Edwards raised the most out of all of the candidates in the latest fundraising period. The primary is October 24th.
The Baton Rouge Press Club was set to host a forum today involving the major candidates in the Attorney General’s race but Republican Incumbent Buddy Caldwell canceled on the event. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says it doesn’t serve Caldwell any good to debate Republican candidates Jeff Landry and Marty Maley. In 2011, Caldwell switched parties. Pinsonat says in order for Caldwell to be reelected, he’ll need votes from democrats because Landry has the conservative vote locked up.
US House Speaker John Boehner surprisingly announced his resignation Friday which means Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, could be declared the candidate for the No. 2 spot which is majority leader. Majority Whip is the third highest position in the leadership hierarchy and if House Republicans elect Scalise to be their leader, he’d be the highest ranking Louisiana member of Congress since the early 70s.
The Red River Waterway Commission will temporarily close the Boyce Recreation Area beginning Monday for resurfacing of the roadway and parking lot. The initial closure period is approximately two weeks with estimated completion by the end of October. The Commission will issue project updates and anticipated reopening dates.
U.S. Department of Justice representatives will discuss with the public a federal civil rights investigation into city and parish law enforcement at a community meeting Tonight in Ville Platte. The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ville Platte Police Department are under scrutiny for allegations that both agencies arrest or detain people without legal justification to do so. A flyer announcing the event says the meeting will be an opportunity for the department to discuss its investigation and gather information from the public. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at St. John Baptist Church.
The Center for Louisiana Studies is holding a Gun Violence Symposium in Lafayette today to discuss what they call one of the biggest problems in our state. CLS Director Michael Martin says the day long program features scholars from universities and colleges across Louisiana who study gun violence. Martin says in the wake of the Lafayette movie theater shooting and other incidents around the country, they feel the topic of gun control needs to be discussed no matter which side of the debate you’re on
A Thibodaux woman is in jail after she lied to Lafourche Parish Sheriff deputies about a murder inside her home and then driving off in a deputy’s patrol car. Thirty-four-year-old Loralyn Boudreaux stole the police car when deputies went inside her house to investigate a homicide that never occurred. Boudreaux was arrested a short time later at nearby residence.
LSU’s Leonard Fournette had another 200-yard plus performance on Saturday to help the Tigers beat Syracuse 34-24. The Heisman Trophy candidate rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns against the Orange, becoming the first player in LSU school history to have consecutive 200-yard efforts.
The Saints are still winless after losing to Carolina 28-22. The Saints defense could not contain Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Newton also had a rushing touchdown. Saints quarterback Luke McCown says the players will not give up, despite an 0-and-3 start. McCown played for the injured Drew Brees
Barring any last minute glitches, the demolition of the old OK Allen bridge will go on as planned Saturday morning. The project engineer said Thursday that everything is on track for the demolition to take place. The new Curtis-Coleman Memorial Bridge, which is next to the O.K. Allen Bridge, will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday to accommodate the demolition and subsequent inspection. Boat traffic in that part of the Red River will be halted before the demolition and for 24 to 36 hours afterward. A British TV crew plans to be in town to film the demolition.
A poll paid for by an anti-David Vitter group shows Democrat John Bel Edwards would beat the GOP US Senator by a 50 to 38 percent margin. In the primary, the poll conducted on behalf of GumboPAC, found Edwards with 28 percent, Vitter 27 percent and Republicans Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne with 15 and 14 percent respectively.
The so called “Super Blood Moon” will coincide with a lunar eclipse on Sunday night in a phenomenon that won’t happen again until the year 2033. L-S-U Professor of Astronomy Brad Schaefer says you can see the closest full moon pass through the Earth’s shadow. You can see this marvel from your backyard at about 8 p.m. and the moon will begin to turn blood red at around 9 p.m. He says the moon will be 14 percent bigger and brighter than usual creating a deep red color. LSUA will hold a lunar eclipse viewing party on Sunday, weather permitting.
People are asked to gather in the Mulder Hall parking lot from 8 to 10 p.m. Those who attend should bring their own lawn chairs.
The Attorney General’s Office says they’ve made a second arrest in an elaborate financial fraud scheme that claimed hundreds of stolen social security numbers and millions of dollars. Assistant AG Kurt Wall says the alleged leader of this scam, 24-year-old Donald Batiste of Baton Rouge, is charged with felony racketeering facing 75 years in prison. 64-year-old Brenda Taylor of Carencro is accused of co-conspiring with Batiste.
Another court has once again upheld the ruling that a former state Senator and convicted felon Derrick Shepherd cannot run for a House seat. A constitutional amendment bars convicted felons from seeking public office for 15 years but Shepherd was trying to argue the wording on a technicality. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the disqualification, but says it cannot rule on the constitutionality of the law.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff is the latest to have her car wrecked by the new security system at the State Capitol. Melissa Mann was driving into the parking lot when the steel poles that restrict the entrance came up and crashed into the front of her SUV. This happened to several legislators in the last session after the bollards were installed in April. A reported 14 total incidents.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating two armed robberies connected to false accounts on the dating website “plenty of fish.com.” Capt. Dawn Foret says they caught 4 people who were involved in using a fake profile to trick people into meeting up then robbing them at gunpoint. Two men were charges with armed robbery. Another was charged with online impersonation.
Efforts continue to raise money to build the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center in Lake Charles. Gray Stream is leading the fundraising efforts. He says research will take place at the museum to help better protect Louisiana from future hurricane damage with the goal of collecting information and distribute it to other experts. Supporters of the project have collected 42-million dollars in pledges and they’re still seeking another 15-million.
The East Baton Parish Coroner says a man who died after cops say he tried to attack them and was tased as a result, had overdosed on drugs. They say the 32-year-old Zachary man had a mixture of methamphetamine and synthetic drugs in his system which is what caused his death in June.
Monroe Police say a man suffered only minor injuries Wednesday after being hit by a train. They say the man was wearing headphones while walking on the railroad track and he couldn’t hear the conductor blowing the horn behind him. The train was able to slow down before striking the man. The man was issued a summons for trespassing on railroad tracks.
With the rising popularity of online fantasy football, many fans in Louisiana want to know why they can’t participate for cash. The Sportsman’s Paradise is one of 5 states which makes it a crime to conduct an online sports fantasy business, where money is wagered in order to win a cash prize. A bill was filed in the last legislative session that would have allowed betting on virtual gaming sites but it was pulled.
In an unexpected move Vivian Brossett has withdrew from the House District 25 race. In doing so Rep. Lance Harris has been re-elected to his seat. Harris says he plans to stay just as active in meeting with constituents as he would if he were still facing an Oct. 24 election.
A 2 vehicle crash yesterday afternoon claimed the life of a Pitkin man. The crash, that occurred on la hwy 10 involved a ford escape and an 18 wheeler. The car driven by 79 year old Bobby Bunting Sr failed to yield and pulled into the path of the truck. Bunting was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the 18 wheeler received only minor injuries. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration is reportedly telling legislative leaders that Louisiana finished the fiscal year that ended on June 30th with a deficit. It’s not known how large the deficit is and we are expecting more details next month. The four gubernatorial candidates have said they would call a special session in January to deal with the state’s budget problems.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Rita and many remember the destruction it caused only a month after Katrina. Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany recalls the immense flooding and tornadoes that slammed into southwest Louisiana. He says the only fortunate thing that came out of this tragic event was there were no lives lost. He says the recovery proves that after a natural disaster, the people of south Louisiana come back better than before.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is confident that he can play this Sunday against Carolina Panthers. Brees says he’ll put in extra time this week to rehab is bruised shoulder, so he can play against the Panthers. Brees also remains optimistic that the Saints can turn their season around despite two losses to start the year.
Louisiana Tech says its student enrollment is at an all-time high. Over 12-thousand students are enrolled in the fall quarter, a 10 percent increase from last year. Tech spokesman Dave Guerin says a big key to the record enrollment is that 81-percent of first-time, full-time freshman in 2014 are back this year. The school reported earlier this year that its graduation rate is the second highest among all public Louisiana universities.
We’re one month away from Louisiana’s October 24th primary election. For a while, the governor’s race has been lackluster, at best. However, UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says it appears the governor’s race is finally starting to heat up.
Cross says we’re at the point in the campaign where issues and negative politics take hold. He says with all four major gubernatorial candidates running television ads and taking shots at each other, it finally feels like election season.
Governor Bobby Jindal continues to poll in the single digits in Iowa. Public Policy Polling surveyed nearly 500 Republican primary voters last weekend and four-percent said they would like to see Jindal receive the GOP nomination for President. Polling analyst Jim Williams says Jindal’s four-percent standing puts him in the top ten in Iowa. Public Policy Polling continues to see Donald Trump leading the state with 24-percent, Ben Carson is at 17-percent and 13-percent are for Carly Fiorina. He says a positive sign for Jindal is that his favorability rating is 59-percent.
A record number of students have graduated from the state’s technical and community colleges in the 2014-2015 year. Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Dr. Monty Sullivan says they’ve graduated over 21-thousand students, who have entered the workforce or moved on to universities to pursue bachelor’s degrees.
Sullivan says 70 percent of graduates go directly into high demand jobs.
Louisiana Tech reports the highest enrollment it’s ever had for the 125-year history of the school. The headcount is at 12,414 students for the fall quarter, a 10-percent increase over last year. The previous record was just under 12-thousand in 2003. University spokesperson Dave Guerin says they are also seeing an increase in other key areas as well. The school reported earlier this year that’s graduation rate went up four-percent to 54-percent, the second highest among all public universities. Guerin says a big key to the record enrollment is that 81-percent of first-time, full-time freshman in 2014 are back at Tech this year
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office says a 14-year-old student from Boyet Junior high is under arrest on felony battery charges after allegedly shoving a 67-year-old teacher to the ground. They say the altercation apparently started during a disagreement over an assignment and afterwards the juvenile left campus. Deputies found him a few blocks from the school and he was sent to jail.
Two members of actress and beauty queen Ali Landry of Breaux Bridge have reportedly been murdered after being kidnapped earlier this month in Mexico. The online publication Latin Times says Landry’s husband’s father and brother were being held for ransom and the money was delivered, but the pair was never released. Landry is married to director Alejandro Monteverde.
State Police say a DOTD vehicle and a Trooper patrol car were badly damaged when a suspected drunk driver drove through a barricade as cops were working another crash in Gonzales. They say the Trooper vehicle had its lights activated while DOTD was clearing the accident and that’s when 36-year-old Rickey Denny Jr. drove through the scene crashing into both unoccupied vehicles. Nobody was injured. Cops say Denny’s BAC registered nearly three times the legal limit.
Today is the deadline to register to vote for the upcoming gubernatorial election. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the easiest way to register or make changes to your registration is to go online at Geaux Vote dot com. Schedler says we have more than 600 statewide elections coming up and hopes more people will get involved, as we only have a few weeks left.
Alexandria residents could be seeing a change in their utility bills in the not too distant future. Members of the Utility Committee meet yesterday to discuss the matter. The Mayor saying it appears the recommendation will be to actually lower the electricity rates. That’s good news and something you don’t see very often. On the down side, other utilities such as gas, water and wastewater, could see their rates go up. The matter is expected to get a comprehensive hearing from the council before any changes are made.
Today marks the first day of fall and hopefully that means we’ll start to feel cooler temperatures in Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says we can expect normal temperatures for the next three months and we’ll also be getting some relief to the dry conditions across the state with higher than average rainfall. Keim says Louisiana will be cooling down shortly with the arrival of cold fronts.
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control found in a state-by-state analysis that Louisiana had the fourth highest adult obesity rate in the nation in 2014. The numbers show that the obesity rate here is at almost 35%, up from 23 percent in 2000. Arkansas has the highest adult obesity rate at 36 percent, while Colorado has the lowest at 21 percent.
The Council for a Better Louisiana has released its 2015 Election Agenda. Its recommendations on roads, education, and health care for the next governor and legislature. CABL President Barry Erwin hopes the next governor looks at raising the gas tax in an effort to increase investment in highway infrastructure. CABL’s agenda also supports Medicaid expansion and a cap on TOPS.
The Jefferson Parish Republican Executive Committee has decided to endorse Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser for Lt. Governor over their own Jefferson Parish President John Young. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says this is a big win for Nungesser. He says it clearly shows that Young has issues with his fellow Republicans in his home parish. The group also endorses Republican David Vitter for governor but Dubos says it was only by one vote in a runoff with Jay Dardenne.
The four main candidates for governor were asked about the possibility of raising the minimum wage during a forum in Baton Rouge. Republican David Vitter was absent, but fellow GOP candidate Jay Dardenne doesn’t think increasing the minimum pay is the answer. Republican Scott Angelle agrees. Democrat John Bel Edwards supports raising the wages of the state’s lowest paid workers.
A state judge has thrown out a 1997 constitutional amendment that prohibits convicted felons from running for public office in Louisiana until 15 years after their prison sentence is completed. The case involves former state senator Derrick Shepherd, who spent 37 months in prison and is seeking a state House seat this fall. Judge Wilson Fields agreed with Shepherd’s attorneys who said the language on the ballot in 1997 did not match-up with what the legislature passed. This same constitutional amendment kept former Governor Edwin Edwards from qualifying for this year’s governor’s race.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says a Lake Charles man is under arrest for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and raping her. They say 37-year-old Joshua Duplechin broke a bedroom window of the residence then once inside, threatened the victim and raped her. He is charged with home invasion and second-degree rape with a $250,000 bond.
The Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case of a 1 year old child who was discovered wandering Holly Beach alone, while her parents were jogging naked 4 miles away. Sheriff Ron Johnson says child protection services was called to assist in this case and the two parents, 32-year-old Cody Bourgeois and 35-year-old Monique Bourgeois are charged with child desertion and obscenity. Johnson says he’s not sure why the parents left the baby and started running with no clothes on but they believe drugs are involved.
State Police report a single vehicle crash yesterday afternoon killed a woman from Marksville.
The accident occurred on LA Hwy 1192 and involved a vehicle driven by Dane Flook of Hessmer and a pedestrian, identified as Annette Smith. Troopers say Smith was jogging alongside the roadway when she struck and was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation continues.
It may still be several months away, but, the announcement was made yesterday that the Alexandria Police Department will join a growing number of law enforcement agencies around the nation in having officers wear body cameras. The cameras are similar to the police dashboard cameras in providing video of interactions between officers and the public, including suspects. The city is now researching which cameras will do the best job.
And early morning crash yesterday claimed the life of 31 year old Joe Graves of Wisner. Authorities say Graves was traveling southbound on LA Hwy 913 at a high rate of speed, when he lost control and exited the roadway and collided with a tree. Graves was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
There are wide-ranging reports on the health of Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ shoulder. The NFL Network said Brees could miss several games, while ESPN’s Ed Werder said that treatment on his injured shoulder will determine if he can play this Sunday. Brees took a big hit in the loss to Tampa Bay. Coach Sean Payton said today its too early to discuss Brees’ playing status.
Authorities in Monroe say former LSU tight end, 26-year-old Tyler Edwards, was found dead over the weekend from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
US News and World Report has ranked Louisiana Tech number one among public universities in the nation for lowest average student debt. Tech is the first public institution to appear on the list of National Universities in this category. Tech spokesperson Dave Guerin says they’ve also been recognized for highest return on investment and highest mid-career salaries for graduates. Overall Tech ranks sixth alongside colleges like Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Cal Tech.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to a crowd of supporters in Baton Rouge Monday. The former Secretary of State is in town recruiting local volunteers to help her campaign’s efforts ahead of the state’s primary election on March 5th. The large crowd of a reported 1200 people applauded loudly when Clinton talked about her support of the Affordable Care Act. There were several cheers when she criticized Governor Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid in Louisiana. Clinton also held a large fundraiser in the capitol city last night.
It was a record hot weekend in Louisiana but a cold front is coming. State Climatologist Barry Keim says most of Louisiana can expect much drier conditions and lows in the upper 60′s and highs in the upper 80′s to near 90 degrees for the next couple of days.
An Abbeville man is facing a charge of video voyeurism after he allegedly took photos of a woman undressing in the fitting room of a department store in LaFourche Parish. 52-year-old Aaron Merritt was eventually released on a five-thousand bond.
State Police say they’ve snatched up about a half a million dollars in cocaine and an airplane in Terrebonne Parish. They say in a joint effort by several law enforcement agencies, 29-year-old John Crow of Brownsville, Texas was met by agents at his plane at the Thibodaux Municipal airport and he was acting extremely nervous. Troopers say 34 pounds of cocaine was found in Crow’s luggage. The drugs, cash and the plane was seized and Crow was sent to jail.
Convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee has lost his latest appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court of his death sentence in the 2002 death of LSU student Charlotte Murray Pace in Baton Rouge. Lee was arguing the district court didn’t give enough funding for adequate DNA testing. That and other arguments were rejected by the high court. Lee is convicted of killing two women and is linked to five other murders.
LSU is up five spots to number eight in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The Tigers dominated Auburn 45 to 21 on national television on Saturday. And with Alabama losing on Saturday, LSU is now one of the favorites to win the division. Ohio State remains ranked number one in the A-P poll.
A large contingent of Tiger fans are heading to upstate New York later this week for LSU’s first football game in the Northeast since 1947. Jason Ramezan, Vice President of LSU Alumni Relations, says LSU has sold its allotted 5-thousand tickets but he expects more than that inside the Carrier Dome for the Saturday kickoff against Syracuse.
A Sunday evening crash claimed the life of a Forest Hill man. 24 year old Mario Mancada-Rubio was killed when his vehicle left Evangeline Drive and struck a tree. Police believe Rubio was traveling at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred and was not wearing a seatbelt. They also believe alcohol may have been a factor.
Experian, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, recently released data on the average credit score in more than 200 U.S. metro areas. Alexandria was the fifth-worst in the country. Your credit rating can affect anything from finding a place to live to how much you pay for insurance.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is reminding Louisianians that the deadline to register to vote in the October 24th primary is Wednesday September 23rd. This applies to citizens who have never registered to vote and voters who need to update their card. You can do so online at GeauxVote.com, Geaux spelled the Cajun way.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton will make a campaign stop in Baton Rouge Today. Clinton will hold what is described as a “grassroots organizing event. Supporters can sign up to attend the event online at Clinton’s campaign website. There will also be a private campaign fundraiser while she is in town.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the number of people employed in mining and logging, and that includes the oil sector, is at its lowest level since December 2005. There are 46-thousand people employed in this sector of the state’s economy, a decline of 78-hundred over the last year. Executive director of the L-W-C Curt Eysink says you can blame the low price of oil. But Eysink says overall the state has added more jobs in the last year because of an industrial construction boom happening across south Louisiana. He says the state has nearly 25-thousand more workers than in August 2014
Gasbuddy-dot-com reports that the statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has officially dropped below two-dollars a gallon. Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski says the average price has fallen to $1.99 a gallon. Laskoski reminds motorists that $1.99 is Louisiana’s average price. There have been some reports of gas selling as low as $1.67 a gallon. Laskoski it’s uncertain just how low gas prices will go.
According to the latest U.S. Census data, Louisiana had the third highest rate of poverty in the country for 2014, just below 20 percent. Jan Moller, Director of the Louisiana Budget Project, says he hopes the gubernatorial candidates will create plans to reduce poverty in the state because it’s often a topic that gets swept under the rug. Almost 897-thousand of Louisiana residents lived below the poverty line, which is 24-thousand dollars for a family of four. Moller says the rate of children living in poverty in the state was even higher and estimated at 28 percent.
The Baton Rouge Press Club is holding a gubernatorial forum today and three of the four major candidates are expected to attend. Senator David Vitter will not be at the forum. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says even with the other debates he’s missed, he doesn’t think this will hurt Vitter’s chances of making the runoff. Pinsonat says even though Vitter is missing today’s forum, he has enough money to get is message out through TV commercials.
The US House of Representatives passed two abortion related bills Friday. The actions come on the heels of Planned Parenthood’s alleged use fetal tissue. One measure would freeze government funding for the organization for a year. Another would establish criminal penalties on medical personnel who do not try to save a baby if an abortion fails. It’s unlikely the legislation will make it to President Obama’s desk as there’s enough democrats in the Senate to vote against such a measure.
A disturbing story out of Livingston Parish finds 56-year-old Minton Morris and 52-year-old Nina Morris in jail after they allegedly produced child pornography involving bestiality. They each face 250 counts of crimes against nature. Minton was also charged with child pornography and both face drug charges. Each were booked with a bond over $6 million.
Governor Bobby Jindal raised $350,000 during a Thursday presidential campaign fundraiser in New Orleans. The governor resumes campaign efforts in Iowa this weekend. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says the key for Jindal is to beat expectations. Hogan feels Jindal’s message resonates with a sizable number of very conservative voters.
Former state Senator Derrick Shepherd, who spent time in jail on a money laundering charge, has been disqualified from next month’s election. Shepherd was seeking a return to the state legislature, but state Judge Stephen Enright ruled Friday that Shepherd’s name should be removed from the ballot. Legal Analyst Chick Foret says Shepherd can take his case to the Court of Appeals. A 1998 constitutional amendment prevents convicted felons from running for election unless they’ve been pardoned or 15 years have passed since their prison sentence.
LSU’s Leonard Fournette is the biggest star in college football after his jaw dropping performance in a 45-21 win over Auburn. Fournette had a career-high 228 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The victory for LSU gives them a 2-0 record, with both victories coming against SEC west division foes.
The Saints are 0-2 on the season after losing to Tampa Bay 26-19 in front of home crowd at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Saints had a brief lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Buccaneers took control in the 3rd quarter and three New Orleans turnovers were too much to overcome. Coach Sean Payton says the Bucs were the better team.
Demolition of the OK Allen bridge will not take place this Saturday as was previously announced. The demolition, which will involve using explosives to drop the old bridge superstructure into the Red River, had been scheduled for Saturday morning, but that is being delayed. A new date has not been set, but it officials say it will probably be late next week.
A Pineville man is dead as a result of what police are calling a home invasion. The Pineville Police Department responded to a call about a shooting Sanders St. early yesterday morning. One of the residents said “several black males forced their way into the apartment and began to ransack the apartment. One resident, 26-year-old Montreal Jones, was shot and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The department announced just before 2 p.m. yesterday that Jones had died. No arrests have been made, and an investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pineville PD.
During a Lt. Governor’s candidate debate, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he was appalled that state Senator Elbert Guillory used the “n-word” in a campaign commercial. Holden, who is an African-American, let his frustrations be known when asked about the commercial that Guillory aired which has former President Lyndon Johnson using the racial slur. Guillory, who is a black lawmaker from Opelousas, said he included the phrase in the ad for “educational purposes”.
Political analysts say Governor Bobby Jindal failed to stand out in Wednesday night’s CNN Republican presidential candidate debate. Jindal was among four candidates who appeared in a debate of lower tier candidates. ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says last night’s performance shows why Jindal continues to remain at the bottom of the pack.
The Times-Picayune is laying off 28 full-time journalists and nine part-timers as part of a major restructuring aimed at cutting costs. In trimming its news operations for the second time in three years, the company’s announcement Thursday quoted NOLA Media Group President Ricky Mathews as saying that another 21 percent of the company’s remaining full-time journalists were being cut.
The Livingston Parish man accused of brutally attacking his pregnant wife and killing their unborn child has pleaded guilty. 34-year-old Jeffrey Reynolds of Walker was arrested in 2013 on charges of attempted manslaughter and first degree feticide. He has been sentenced to 20 years. It is believed Reynolds was on bath salts at the time of the attack.
A Moody’s Investors Service analysis says low oil prices will most likely continue and result in more cuts to oil companies in 2016. LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott says because oil prices are so low, it’s difficult for energy companies to borrow money to continue to drill, which could result in a loss of jobs. Scott says Louisiana is the number two state for oil and natural gas production, so this is depressing news to us because these cuts are negatively effecting businesses and people in the state. He says currently crude oil is selling for about 47 dollars a barrel and they expect it to only slightly go up.
A record number of Louisiana residents have signed up to quit smoking through Quitline and the Smoking Cessation Trust. DHH Assistant Secretary for Public Health J.T. Lane says nearly 2,700 Louisianians signed up for free smoking cessation services in July.The Smoking Cessation Trust offers free services for Louisiana residents who started smoking prior to September 1, 1988 to quit. Lane believes the recent increase in the state cigarette tax could be a factor in the increased number of residents looking to kick the habit.
Education officials in Lafayette say they are spending more than $26,000 on beefed up security at Northside High following a shooting after last Friday night’s football game which injured a student. Bobby Badeaux is the athletic director of the Lafayette Parish School system. He says now a minimum of 12 cops will staff the home games. Cops say the September 11th incident in which a 17-year-old was shot in the arm after the game is still under investigation.
The Many Police Department says a Texas man is under arrest after being caught with apparent narcotics in his pocket but claiming the pants he was wearing weren’t his and he didn’t know where they came from. Police spokesperson Dean Lambert says 41-year-old Demontra Nelson of Houston was charged with possession of both cocaine and marijuana, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. Lambert says he’s been in law enforcement a long time and has only heard this excuse one other time. It didn’t work that time either..
A donor who wishes to remain anonymous is offering to pay New Orleans $126,000 to remove four prominently displayed Confederate monuments. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been pushing for the symbols to come down and be declared a public nuisance. The City Council said they got a letter this week with information that an anonymous donor was ready to pay the cost of taking the monuments down.
A grand jury in East Baton Rouge Parish indicted a man accused of hiring three people to kill his ex-wife on charges of first degree murder. The 64-year-old a Baton Rouge car dealership owner, is accused of paying $10,000 to have the victim, his 54-year-old wife, abducted, killed and buried in April. She was discovered over a month later. DA Hillar Moore says his office will consider seeking the death penalty.
The Shreveport Police Department announces a $5,000 reward is now being offered for murdered officer Thomas LaValley’s department issued weapon which is still missing. Officer LaValley was shot and killed in the line of duty early August allegedly by 27-year-old Grover Cannon. Authorities say the reward will be given to anyone who has information as to where the missing Glock 22, .40 caliber handgun can be found.
A high of 95-degrees is forecasted for Baton Rouge on Saturday when the LSU Tigers host the Auburn Tigers in what should be a sweaty Tiger Stadium. Brandon Harris will be at quarterback for LSU for his first official start in Tiger Stadium. Harris started as a true freshman against Auburn last season and the results were not good in a 41-7 loss. But Miles says Harris is much different player now.
27-year-old Bobby R. Anderson of Alexandria was shot and killed Tuesday by a U.S. marshal as a task force tried to take him into custody. Anderson was wanted on warrants charging him with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, burglary, two counts of forgery, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and misrepresentation during booking. Anderson was reportedly armed and threatened officers.
Lake Buhlow, which was closed last week because of a “fish kill, has reopened. The Pineville lake was closed Sept. 9 at the recommendation of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. Officials say the reason for the kill, low oxygen levels.
It’s the end of a piece of Central Louisiana History, one most of us won’t terribly miss. The old O.K. Allen Bridge over the Red River is coming down on Saturday. For that reason, the Curtis-Coleman Memorial Bridge, which sits right next to it, will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon that day. Motorists are being told to use alternate routes. DOTD says before the demolition begins and for a period of 24 to 36 hours after its completion, the Red River will be closed to allow crews to remove demolition debris from the river bed.
Governor Bobby Jindal Wednesday lost his lawsuit to challenge Common Core nationally. The Administration claimed the education standards represented a federal overreach, but the US District judge in Baton Rouge said there was no evidence to support such a claim. Jindal’s lawyer says they planned to appeal.
State Police say an attempted hit and run in Iberia Parish has left a Grant Parish woman dead. Master Trooper Brooks David says 35-year-old Angela Brown of Pollock crossed the center line of LA 86 and side swiped another vehicle. He says as Brown tried to flee the scene, she ran off the road and struck a tree. She was pronounced dead at the scene. David says Brown was involved in a hit and run crash in St. Martin Parish just before the Iberia crash that claimed her life. Impairment is believed to be a factor in the crashes.
State Police have identified the man fatally shot by a St. Bernard Sheriff’s deputy after a Tuesday altercation. Trooper Evan Harrell says 21-year-old Tyrone Bass of New Orleans was shot dead after attacking a deputy with an object. He says investigators are working to determine how many officers shot at Bass and how many shots were fired. The deputy’s name and the type of object used in the attack have not been released.
Parish leaders along I-10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge gathered Yesterday to urge the next Louisiana governor to support a proposed railway commuter line that would connect the state’s two largest cities. Kristen Palmer, chairwoman of the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority, says the commuter railway would give residents better access to jobs and help traffic on I-10. It’s been estimated that a rail line would cost 262-million dollars.
The Grambling State University family is mourning the loss of Doris Robinson, the spouse of the late Legendary Coach Eddie Robinson, Sr. Family members report that Mrs. Robinson passed away peacefully at 8 a.m. this morning after a brief illness at the age of 96. Grambling head football coach Broderick Fobbs says Mrs. Robinson always looked at the GSU football players as her own kids. Mrs. Robinson is referred to as the “Eternal First Lady of GSU Football.” She and Eddie got married in 1941.
Two more lawmakers have been added to the list of those who will be running without opposition in the October 24th primary. The state House says Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater and Covington Representative Paul Hollis both had challengers who have decided not to run for the office. The number of legislators in the lower chamber who do not have opponents is 51 out of 105.
The new president of the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association is eager to work with the new governor and legislature on removing or altering the current 180-million dollar cap that was put on the state’s film tax credit program this year. Robert Vosbein, CEO of the Silver Screen Group, took over for Will French and says his message to policy makers will be that thousands of jobs are at stake. Vosbein says he’s very concerned, because the state of Georgia has a similar film tax credit program and is getting a lot of Louisiana’s business. Vosbein says raising the cap would be a step in the right direction but doesn’t really think we need to have it at all.
Governor Bobby Jindal continued to go after Donald Trump, the republican presidential front-runner, in Wednesday night’s CNN republican presidential debate. Jindal was not invited to the debate that featured Trump and 10 other main candidates, but he participated in a debate featuring lower-tier candidates and didn’t hold back on his criticism of the Trump campaign.
After discussing Trump, the candidates gave their views on immigration. Jindal received a loud applause for his call for immigrant assimilation.
The season started off on a down note for the Saints with a loss to Arizona and there’s some in Who Dat nation who wonder if the Black and Gold are headed for another losing season. But Quarterback Drew Brees expects big things from this year’s team. The Saints offense could get a lift this weekend if running back CJ Spiller returns. Spiller has been sidelined by a knee injury, but practiced yesterday for the first time since undergoing surgery.
LSU is a seven and a half point favorite to beat Auburn this Saturday in Tiger Stadium. Auburn’s last win in Baton Rouge was back in 1999. Auburn heads into Death Valley with a 2-0 record.
An annual study released yesterday by The Violence Policy Center says Louisiana ranks number 4 in the nation in the rate of women who are murdered by men. The report indicates our state has ranked among the top 10 states in this category for a fifth year in a row. The study shows that nationwide, 94-percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and the most common weapon used was a gun.
Higher education here in central Louisiana seems to be attracting more students. Louisiana State University of Alexandria says this fall they’ve reached the highest enrollment in school history, with 3,104 students. They say it’s a nearly 15 percent increase over fall last year and a 39% jump from 2013.
The second Republican presidential candidate debate is tonight on CNN and once again Governor Bobby Jindal finds himself on the outside looking in. Low poll numbers are keeping Jindal out of the prime time debate, but he will appear in the undercard debate beginning at 5PM. UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says this is a real blow to Jindal. He says only political junkies will be paying attention to the undercard debate which makes it difficult for Jindal to jump out of the group.
Republican lawmakers appeared before a Congressional hearing in New Orleans to criticize the Obama administration’s intent to toughen standards for offshore drilling. GOP Senator Bill Cassidy says federal policies leave over 63 million acres in the Gulf unavailable for oil and gas production. He says it’s time for America to be energy independent and it’s vital for the federal government to ease regulations so that oil and gas production in the Gulf can continue to grow…
Republican gubernatorial candidate David Vitter keeps trying to avoid questions about his cloudy past, but they keep coming. During a forum Monday night in which just he and Republican Jay Dardenne were present, each were asked if they’ve ever violated any state laws. Dardenne responded no, and Vitter called the question a “gotcha” inquiry which was specifically targeted at him. Vitter says he’s already addressed his past and said he doesn’t appreciate questions planted on behalf of opponents. The forum was hosted by the Alliance for Good Government.
A Plaquemines Parish mother has admitted in court that she used a large amount of hand sanitizer to kill her 17-month old son, who was a Down Syndrome child. Erika Wigstorm entered a plea of guilty to Manslaughter and was sentenced to 40 years without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. The child died in January of 2014.
State Police Col. Mike Edmonson believes your Louisiana driver’s license will be a sufficient enough ID to board a plane in Louisiana after January 1st, even though there are concerns travelers may need another form of picture ID because the state is not in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Edmonson says there is no current indication from the federal government that a regular license isn’t enough. Heath Allen, executive director of Lake Charles regional Airport, told a Lake Charles TV station that Louisiana travelers will be required to have a passport or another form of federal identification in 2016. But Edmonson says that’s not the case right now.
In southwest Louisiana, the Sulphur Police and Fire Department are applying “In God We Trust” decals to their vehicles. Local business leaders are funding the stickers, but there are some who are not happy about this. Police Chief Lewis Coats says he’s trying to bring some positive into a negative world. Coats says the officers are eager to display the “In God We Trust” stickers.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s office has announced that his top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, is resigning as Commissioner of Administration to work in the private sector. They say Stafford Palmieri will replace Nichols as the head of the DOA starting October 15th. The release indicates Nichols is taking a position with Ochsner Health System as Vice President for Government and Corporate Affairs.
An artist out of Leesville, Louisiana created a Christmas ornament to help fundraise for the family of the fallen State Trooper Steven Vincent. Owner of JillyBean Studios, Jill Leonard, says she’s raised more than 26-thousand dollars so far.. She says it’s been difficult keeping up with the huge number of orders she’s receiving. Leonard says the ornament costs 12 dollars and 60 percent of the proceeds go to the wife of Steven Vincent.
Governor Bobby Jindal made yesterday a statewide Day of Prayer to honor law enforcement officers in Louisiana who lost their lives in the line of duty. Events were held at the capitol and around the state, including several events here in CENLA. So far in 2015, Louisiana has lost nine police officers, making us the number two state in the country for law enforcement deaths.
The burn ban for Rapides Parish is no longer in effect. The Police Jury voted Monday to rescind its Aug. 10 motion that enacted the burn ban because of "extremely dry conditions."
The lifting of the ban became immediately.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler feels voter apathy may partly explain why 46% of candidates who signed up for offices in the October 24th primary will run without opposition. He says in 2007, 35% of qualified candidates didn’t have an opponent and in 2011 it was 39%. He feels this uptick trend points to a public that just doesn’t care.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. But, State Treasurer John Kennedy feels the horrible crime problem in New Orleans could be helped by implementing a stop and frisk program in the city. He says this would let officers frisk anyone without probable cause which he admits is controversial, but, according to Kennedy, we should be empowering our police officers and not undermining them.
The US House Natural Resources Committee will hold a field hearing in New Orleans today to discuss how current federal policies impact oil and natural gas development in the Gulf of Mexico. Committee chair, Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, says the hearing will focus on federal statutes which could cause a second moratorium in the Gulf. Senators Bill Cassidy and David Vitter are scheduled to attend the meeting. The hearing will also touch on the crude oil export debate. Bishop says by not allowing the US to export crude oil, the development of the oil and gas industry is significantly harmed. The House will vote on lifting the export ban in the coming weeks.
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is hovering just above $2.00 a gallon and that leaves many wondering just how low will it go? American Automobile Association spokesperson Don Redman says the US Department of Energy forecasts the national average to hit $2 a gallon by December. He says Louisiana gas prices are about 20-cents lower than the national average, so we could be looking at prices near $1.80 by the end of the year. Redman says you’d have to go back to early 2009 to find gas prices that low.
The coroner in East Baton Rouge Parish says autopsies on the four people who died in Central in an apparent murder suicide show one man suffered multiple gunshot wounds and his two brothers had one shot each to the chest. He confirmed the three brothers deaths were homicides. The alleged shooter, 60-year-old Rodney Chemin (KEY-men), died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Apparently the men were in a dispute over what music to listen to while watching the LSU game Saturday Night.
The Many Police Department says a man is under arrest on second degree murder charges for allegedly shooting his friend in the thumb when the two were fighting over a video game. They say the 21-year-old victim, Edward Glynn, and 32-year-old Patrick Carhee were playing x-box when the suspect became livid over the game. Apparently Glynn slapped Carhee, cut him with a knife and tried to hit him with a hammer before shooting him in the hand. The investigation is ongoing.
Playboy Magazine has released its 2015 Top Party Schools List and Tulane made number 4. Playboy says if anybody knows how to party its New Orleans and Tulane is a thriving campus. They say you can often find spirited students strolling the French Quarter where the notorious open-container policy allows shenanigans to happen year round.
The Baton Rouge Police Department says a 25-year-old man was shot and killed while he was driving his vehicle on I-10 over the weekend. They say Herbert Williams of Baker died when shots were fired from another passing vehicle early Sunday. Investigators do not believe the shooting was random but they currently don’t have suspects or motives.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office says they’ve charged a man with second degree murder for a homicide that happened 35 years ago. They say 62-year-old Jimmy Lee Tigues of Shreveport was booked in the death of 29-year-old Robert Earl French who was found dead on the side of the road on August 1st 1980. Detectives got new information on the unsolved murder recently and obtained a warrant for Tigues’ arrest.
Today is a statewide day of prayer for law enforcement. Governor Bobby Jindal is hosting a public prayer rally at the Capitol at 11:30 this morning where residents can gather to pray for the men and women serving the state. Here in Cenla, a Prayer Rally will be held at First Baptist Church in Pineville starting at 12:15. Those who attend are encouraged to wear blue to show support for our local police..
Qualifying for the fall elections came to a close Thursday of last week and nearly half of Louisiana’s state lawmakers are going back to the Capitol unopposed. 20 out of 39 senators and 49 out of 105 House members will not have anyone challenging them in the October primary.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Department reports a party organized at a home in Central to watch Saturday’s LSU football game, that turned into a karoke sing-a-long, led to a fight over music and ended with four people dead, three of whom were brothers. Officials are saying it was an apparent murder suicide.
Once again, Gov. Bobby Jindal will be relegated to the so-called kids’ table when Republican presidential candidates assemble Wednesday for a program of nationally televised debates. Low poll ratings again are keeping him out of the featured lineup in prime time.
A job fair is set for Tuesday as the state Office of Juvenile Justice begins hiring employees for the a new detention facility in Bunkie. The Acadiana Center for Youth is scheduled to open in July of next year and will employ 124 workers. The job fair is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Haas Auditorium in Bunkie. Many of the new hires will be in professional and support-based positions, including those in administrative, social services, treatment, education, direct care, dietary and maintenance.
As the old expression goes, the buck stops here.. The Louisiana Supreme Court Late Friday issued a stay for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. That means he avoids house arrest for now in the firefighter pay dispute. In a last-minute decision, the state’s high court spared Landrieu from having to serve the punishment because of the city’s apparent failure to pay $75 million to firefighters in a decades-old legal dispute.
Friday in Baton Rouge a jury convicted a Bossier City drifter of second degree murder in the 1984 killing of Crowley businessman Gary Kergan. 66-year-old Ronald Dunnagan, who was also a former French Quarter clown, now faces an automatic sentence of life in prison. Kergan, along with his brother, owned several Sonic restaurants in south Louisiana. His body was never found and he was declared legally dead in 1986. The jury deliberated for less than a hour before returning with the guilty verdict.
It’s reported that a Marine from Denham Springs was killed in a crash during a training exercise in California. 21-year-old Corporal Bryan Lauw was one of 18 Marines involved in a rollover accident when a multi-ton truck carrying them flipped on a paved road at a base in San Diego.
Calvin Moret, a New Orleans native and the last surviving member from Louisiana of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, has died. He was 90. Moret was a Congressional Gold Medal honoree for his World War II service with the African-American unit of military airmen. Moret died late Friday after a battle with cancer. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said over the weekend “We have lost a national hero, “He was truly an ambassador for the city of New Orleans.
Former Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover has qualified to run for his old District 4 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Glover, a Democrat, held the same spot in the House from 1996 to 2006 before he was elected Mayor of Shreveport. Current District 4 Representative Patrick Williams decided not to seek a new term.
Authorities in New Orleans say an NOPD officer was injured by shrapnel when he was shot at when responding to a crime scene Friday. The police department says the officer is going to be okay and that he was hurt when the bullet fired at him passed through his patrol car’s windshield. A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in the incident and NOPD officer, Kenneth Gill, was sent to the hospital according to a news release. The suspects in this incident are at large.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Houma man in connection to the stabbing of his girlfriend. Spokesperson Dawn Foret says 35-year-old Ashraf Khalil is charged with attempted second degree murder after a woman ran into a convenience store begging for help after claiming she was stabbed by him in a vehicle. She says the 23-year-old victim is in serious condition but is expected to recover.
The mayor of Plaquemine, 57-year-old Tony Gulotta, died after a massive heart attack Friday morning. They say Gullotta had a history of heart disease and collapsed at a friend’s house before being rushed to the hospital. He is survived by his wife and two children.
A former lawmaker who served two years in federal prison, signed up to run again. Derrick Shepherd, a Democrat from Marrero who was convicted of money laundering, is seeking the 87th District House seat. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says even though Shepherd says he plans to fight this, the state constitution prohibits convicts from seeking public office at the state level. He says with just four weeks until early voting begins, Shepherd doesn’t have much time to resolve the issue.
Déjà vu is such an unpleasant experience. For the second straight season, the New Orleans Saints started their season with a rugged road opener. Sunday, it was a close-but-never-quite-good-enough 31-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
14th-ranked Tigers survived a cat-versus-dog battle to beat No. 25 Mississippi State late Saturday night at Davis Wade Stadium, 21-19. LSU increased its school-record streak of season-opening wins to 13 and beat Mississippi State for the 15th time in 16 meetings.
As fans are clamoring for LSU-Auburn tickets this weekend in Tiger Stadium, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office is advising consumers searching for tickets to games or other events like concerts, beware of scams.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 55-year-old man in Alexandria on human trafficking charges after receiving a complaint in reference to alleged child abuse. Spokesperson Lt. Tommy Carnline says evidence of human trafficking surfaced against Bobby Otis Augustine and he was booked on five counts of the horrific crime, as well as one count of trafficking of children for sexual purposes, one count of aggravated crimes against nature. Carnline says Augustine was taken into custody without incident and is currently in the Rapides Parish Detention Center awaiting bond.
Six Rapides Parish police jurors were re-elected without opposition. However, Thursday afternoon, the last day of qualifying for the fall elections, Mark Atwood qualified to run against Sean McGlothlin for the District G seat on the Police Jury. Atwood, owner of Atwood's Bakery, is a Republican while McGlothlin is listed as other party. Both are from Alexandria. District D Juror Theodore Fountaine Jr. is being opposed by Angelina Iles, while District E Juror Richard Vanderlick faces a challenge from James Marien.
State Rep. Lance Harris will face opposition for the House District 25 seat from a former Boyce councilwoman who filed to run shortly before end of qualifying Thursday. Vivian Brossett wrapped up her qualifying for the District 25 seat shortly after 4 p.m. The deadline to qualify was 4:30 p.m. Brossett, a Democrat from Boyce, is a small-business owner and a Realtor.
State Rep. Jeff Hall, DAlexandria, was re-elected without opposition in House District 26. The House District 27 race has two candidates, incumbent Chris Hazel, R-Ball, and challenger Chris Tyler, R-Pineville.
Robin Hooter was re-elected clerk of court without opposition, and Rapides Parish Assessor Rick Ducote Jr. also won another term by having no challengers. Jonathan Hunter was the lone candidate for Rapides Parish coroner.
In Senate District 29, there are two candidates running for the seat currently held by Rick Gallot, who is not seeking reelection. Vying for the seat are Republican Pineville minister Joshua Joy Dara Sr. and Democratic Alexandria attorney Jay Luneau. In other Senate districts that include parts of Rapides Parish, Sen. Gerald Long, R-Natchitoches, was re-elected without opposition in District 31, and Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, had no opposition and won another term in Senate District 32. In Senate District 35, which includes part of Rapides Parish, the candidates are Stewart Cathey Jr. of Monroe and Jim Fannin of Jonesboro. Fannin is currently a House member, but he is term limited.
Early voting will begin Oct. 10 for the Oct. 24 primary elections. The general elections, featuring runoffs where needed, are set for Nov. 21.
The Franklin Parish community continues to mourn the loss of Tyrell Cameron, the Franklin Parish High School football player who lost his life after an injury during a game last Friday
Visitation for Cameron will be held this evening with funeral services scheduled for Saturday afternoon at River of Life Church in Winnsboro.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s trash talk about Donald Trump is making national headlines today. Jindal called the Real Estate guru’s campaign a carnival at the National Press Club. He said it would be a huge mistake if the Republican Party nominated for president a narcissist, egomaniac — and someone who Americans truly have no idea what he’d do if he made it to the White house. Trump piped back to Jindal on Twitter saying he only responds to people that register more than 1% in the polls.
Former 5th District Congressman Vance McAllister, made good on his word yesterday and signed up to go up against State Senator Mike Walsworth for the District 33 seat this fall. Both are Republicans. McAllister says he wants attention on this race because it’s important to end “the Jindal-Walsworth” administration.
A political action committee, called the Louisiana Water Coalition, released a television commercial reminding voters of David Vitter’s 2007 prostitution scandal. So far the matter has not been brought up at this point in the governor’s race. The commercial is 30 seconds long and says “We can do better than Vitter.”
With voting on the mind, Secretary of State Tom Schedler says you could be casting your ballot on an iPad instead of voting booth. Schedler says with this new technology, you’ll still have to go to a voting location. But he says you can use the Geaux-vote app on your phone to fill out your ballot beforehand and these iPADs can read your ballot. He says the plan would be to lease the iPads which would cost the state 50-60 million dollars. Schedler says he doesn’t expect to use iPADs for voting until at least 2017.
A suspect from Breaux Bridge is in custody accused of the attempted manslaughter of a St. Martin Parish Deputy. Master Trooper Brooks David says the deputy was investigating suspicious activity and approached 22-year-old Donald Clement Jr.’s vehicle when the suspect took off with the deputy hanging on to the door. He says the Clement drove quite a ways with the deputy on his car before he crashed the vehicle.
The Saints open their regular season Sunday afternoon at Arizona. The Black and Gold are looking to rebound after a disappointing 7-9 campaign last season. Saints radio color analyst Hokie Gajan says preseason injuries have him concerned heading into the season opener.
A big match-up in Saturday’s LSU game against Mississippi State is the Tigers defense against Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott had his way with the LSU defense last year as he rushed for over 100 yards and threw over 200 yards against the Bayou Bengals in Baton Rouge.
Toss another hat into the race for Rapides parish sheriff.. William Burns Jr. has qualified to run for Rapides Parish sheriff, joining two other challengers to incumbent William Earl Hilton. Burns is a Republican from Ball, joins Robert Dukes of Hineston; and Roy James Jr. of Pineville. Sheriff Hilton is going for a 6th term in office.
State Rep. Chris Hazel, R-Ball, qualified for re-election in House District 27 on Wednesday. He has one challenger so far, fellow Republican Chris Tyler of Pineville.
Former Rapides Parish Superintendent Gary Jones of the Alexandria area, who filed Tuesday to run for the multi-parish District 5 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, has picked up an opponent. "Johnny" Fatheree, a Republican from Downsville, qualified Wednesday morning to run for the BESE seat.
Also on Wednesday, Sen. Gerald Long, R-Natchitoches, qualified to run for re-election in Senate District 31, which includes part of Rapides Parish. So far, he has no opponent.
Natchitoches Police report a 14-year-old has been arrested and has been charged with negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the Labor Day shooting of a Natchitoches 17-year-old boy, Demarcus Pye. The unidentified juvenile was charged by the Natchitoches Police Department with the homicide charge, as well as illegal possession of a stolen firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by a juvenile.
Pineville and state wildlife officials have shutdown Lake Buhlow in Pineville after what is being described as a fish kill. The cause, low oxygen levels in the water. A news release from the city of Pineville said the lake will be closed until early next week.
Local officials say, the next time a major industry takes a look at Central Louisiana, we’ll be ready. On Wednesday, stakeholders announced progress has been made on developing a nearly 1,600-acre “megasite” at England Airpark. Jon Grafton, executive director of the England Authority, said he hopes to break ground on infrastructure improvements to the site next summer and have it ready within two years. The state has committed $11.8 million to the project, with $2 million in matching funds from the England Authority, which has already invested $4 million in the project.
A slow moving cold front will give Louisiana its first taste of fall during the weekend. But National Weather Service Forecaster Freddie Zeigler says first we’ll have to deal with some rain, as today and Friday we should see an increase in showers and thunderstorms across the state. Zeigler says north Louisiana will start to feel cooler temperatures and lower humidity as early as Saturday and as far south as Alexandria and Baton Rouge temperatures could dip into the upper 50s.
There’s a new poll on the governor’s race which doesn’t reveal many surprises. The Triumph Campaigns survey shows Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter in a statistical tie at 31-percent. Pollster Justin Brasell says they’re both getting strong support from voters in their parties. The survey has Republican Scott Angelle polling at 14 percent and Republican Jay Dardenne at 13 percent.
Wednesday on the second day of qualifying for the October 24th elections, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden became the first Democratic candidate for the Louisiana Lt. Governor’s job. He joins Republicans Elbert Guillory, Billy Nungesser and John Young.
President of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Chas Roemer, announces he won’t be running for re-election on October 24th. The announcement comes on the second day of qualifying for the races. Roemer, who is the son of a former governor, did not say why he wouldn’t be running again for the BESE District 6 seat which represents the Baton Rouge area.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says one of their agents rescued 8 people from the Gulf of Mexico in Vermilion Parish. They say on September 6th, a vessel began taking on water near Pecan Island, and as the agent was on his way there, he rescued a man in mud up to his waist in the pouring rain. He then saw two other people he got into his boat, then went to the original call and saved three more. In total the agent saved 8 people that day.
Nearly three million people watched the telecast of NBC’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls which featured New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. One person who was surprised by the Monday night episode was Saints head coach Sean Payton. Payton says the show was a lot different than what was described to him and a lot more dangerous. As part of the episode, Brees, with the help of Grylls, jumped on the back of a live crocodile and stabbed it. When asked if he would allow his star quarterback to do a similar program… Shall we say he made it clear the answer would be no.
The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office says it has concerns over alcohol use at Muddy Bottoms ATV Recreation park where two people died over the weekend. Toxicology reports from the bodies are pending, but authorities say they plan to look at alcohol policies at the off-roading site.
AT-and-T announces plans to bring high speed internet to nearly 75-thousand rural homes and businesses in Louisiana. Director of external and regulatory affairs Rick Demint says they are receiving nearly 28-million dollars annually over the next six years from the federal government to help get this done. In these new deployment areas, A-T-&-T will deliver broadband at speeds of at least ten megabits per second.
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office has arrested an 11-year-old student from Cecilla Junior High School for allegedly calling in a bomb threat that led to his school shutting down for the day. The incident happened Tuesday. The sheriff’s office says the suspected prankster was released to the custody of his parents.
The APD is investigating the death of a person who’s body was found yesterday morning beside a Masonic Drive convenience store yesterday morning shortly before 11. No ID has been released pending notification of family members. All police are saying is that foul play is not suspected in the death. However, An autopsy is pending.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Betsy made landfall in Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Betsy was the signature storm of New Orleans and a turning point for the city up until Hurricane Katrina. He says the hurricane made landfall at night and created major flooding across the region. Hurricane Betsy killed more than 75 people and caused over one billion dollars’ worth of damage along the coast.
Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton was the first in line yesterday, the first day of qualifying, for the October 24th elections. Later Tuesday, Robert Dukes of Hineston and Roy James Jr. of Pineville, both republicans, qualified to run against the sheriff. Hilton, a Democrat from Hineston, is seeking re-election to a sixth term.
The four major candidates in Louisiana’s governor’s race Republicans David Vitter, Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne & Democrat John Bel Edwards, all qualified for the election Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge.. If necessary, a runoff election will be held November 21st.
The three major Republican candidates in the Lt. Governor’s race qualified for this fall’s election Tuesday morning. Opelousas state Senator Elbert Guillory, Jefferson Parish President John Young and Former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser . Democrat Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden is expected to qualify this afternoon.
Two republicans, Marty Maley and Jeff Landry, have filed paperwork to challenge current attorney general Buddy Caldwell, who is also a republican. Caldwell is seeking a third term as attorney general.
A couple of new polls show Governor Bobby Jindal gaining more support in Iowa. The governor has pledged to visit all 99 counties and has already spent a lot of time there. An NBC/Marist Poll shows four percent of Iowa caucus-goers plan on voting for Jindal, which is up from one percent in July. There is also a Gravis Poll that showed Jindal at 5 percent . Donald Trump and Ben Carson are the frontrunners, with Trump at 32 percent and Carson at 16 percent.
LSU has released its plans for refunding those who had tickets for Saturday’s cancelled McNeese State football game. If you purchased the tickets through LSU with a credit card or if you’re a season ticket holder, you will automatically be issued a refund on your credit card account by September 30th. If you paid for a ticket for the McNeese State game through the LSU ticket office with cash or check, then you’ll need to show proof of purchase before getting a refund. Those who bought tickets without using a credit card, will be reimbursed with a refund check by October 15th. Cancellation of game is expected to cost LSU between $1.2 to $3.2 million
The Natchitoches Police Department has identified the high school student who was shot to death Monday evening outside a home in the city. They say 17-year-old DeMarcus Pye was found lying in a ditch shot two times. Police say arrests may be forthcoming.
Governor Bobby Jindal is going to host a prayer rally on the steps of the state capitol on Monday at 11:30am to commemorate the statewide day of prayer for all law enforcement.
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office says they received a report of a bomb threat from school officials at Cecilia Jr. High yesterday morning. They say both the Jr. High and the High School in Breaux Bridge were evacuated out of an abundance of caution and students were dismissed. Officials found nothing suspicious in either school.
The motoring public continues to enjoy falling prices at the pump. The American Automobile Association says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.11 down almost twenty five cents from a month ago.
Officials with Barksdale Air Force Base have identified the airman who died over the weekend at Muddy Bottoms in Webster parish. They say 24-year-old Dustin Reinhart was in an accident at the ATV Park and was killed. A 30-year-old female also died in a separate accident. The incidents are both under investigation.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced the arrest of two individuals who fired shots at deputies who were on patrol last week in Marrero. Normand says neither man is showing any remorse about the shooting. Both men face 20 to 50 years in prison if convicted. No officers were injured in the shooting.
14th ranked LSU is getting ready to face 25th ranked Mississippi State on Saturday night in Starkville. The Bulldogs have been tough to beat at home the last couple of years.
Last year, Mississippi State came into Baton Rouge and beat the Tigers 34-29.
LSU dropped two spots to No. 15 in the USA today Coaches’ Poll after Saturday’s severe weather canceled their game against McNeese State. But in the AP the Tigers remained at No. 14. The SEC has a record 10 teams ranked in the AP poll.