There are flash flood watches still in effect for several parishes in northern and western part of the state through tonight. State Climatologist Barry Keim says almost all of the state will see showers and possible severe thunderstorms.
Senator David Vitter says folks who loaded up on groceries during a data glitch with the EBT card system earlier this month should be held responsible. The error caused cards to show no credit limits, causing chaos at several Wal-Mart stores, as cardholders loaded their baskets to the brim. Vitter urges Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to prosecute. Wal-Marts in Springhill and Mansfield were virtually cleaned out by a "feeding frenzy" of EBT cardholders. Vitter says most of them KNEW they were purchasing far beyond the monthly credit limit of their EBT card. Some shoppers left without making any attempt to pay - even with an EBT card - which is outright theft.
The 2014 Bayou Country Superfest lineup has been announced! Reba McIntyre will be joining George Strait Friday night May 23rd, Luke Bryan headlines Saturday along with Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean will close Sunday the 25th along with Eric Church and Breaux Bridge's Hunter Hayes.
There are some consolidation plans underway for the University of Louisiana at Monroe. President Nick Bruno plans to announce more budget cuts this week that will reportedly include staff reductions of some 35 positions and the consolidation of ULM's five colleges into three. Bruno says the cuts will save ULM almost 400 thousand dollars.
The LHSAA suspends five assistant football coaches from Destrehan for hacking into a website that allowed them to see video of closed practices for South Lafourche High School. Destrehan has also forfeited its victory over South Lafourche as part of the ruling.
A former Calcasieu Parish priest awaiting trial on charges he molested young boys is out of jail today on a one-point-five-million dollar bond. Defense attorney Tom Lorenzi says friends and family
members of 57-year-old Mark Anthony Broussard put together their resources to get Broussard out of jail after he missed out on a family wedding. Broussard is facing five counts of sexual abuse. He had been in the Calcasieu Parish jail since his March 2012 arrest.
State Police say a single vehicle crash overnight claimed the life of a woman from Natchitoches. They say it happened around 12:40 am when 50 year old Sandra Ponthieux lost control of her vehicle and exited the roadway before slamming into a tree. The driver is suspected of being impaired at the time of the crash and she was not wearing her seatbelt.
The Monroe Police Department says the boy who was run over by an 18 wheeler after falling off his bike into the road was likely suffering some type of medical condition. Spokesman Sgt Mark Johnson says there were several witnesses to this tragic incident. Johnson says the bike fell directly into the path of the 18 wheeler and the little boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bad weather is on its way to Cenla on Thursday and with that in mind. Many Rapides Parish municipalities have had to change their regularly scheduled Halloween events and trick-or-treat times. The city of Pineville’s Fall Festival at Kees Park, which had been scheduled for tomorrow night, will be held tonight. Pineville also changed its citywide trick-or-treating to 5 to 8 this evening instead of Thursday. Others moving their “Trick or Treating” up.. The city of Alexandria is this afternoon from 5:30 to 8:30. The town of Ball, 5 p.m. to 8 tonight. Cheneyville’s Halloween celebration has been changed to 5:30 to 7:30 this evening on the grounds of the Old Town Hall. Festivities will be moved inside in case of rain. Halloween in the Park in Forest Hill is planned for Halloween night, but if necessary, it will be moved to the Forest Hill Academy gymnasium on Blue Lake Road.
Fifth congressional district Republican candidate Vance McAllister has picked up the endorsement of democrat Monroe mayor Jamie Mayo. McAllister is in a November 16th runoff against Republican State Senator Neil Riser. Political experts say Mayo's endorsement could be a game-changer for McAllister's campaign.
When making publicity rounds touting his new reality show, rumors are circling that former Governor Edwin Edwards is considering another run for office. During a speaking engagement at LSU, Edwards says if he felt people would warm up to the idea and he thought he could win, he would likely run again. He says Louisiana needs him. According to state law Edwards would need a Presidential pardon to run for governor in 2015 -- but he could run for US Senate in 2016
without the need of a pardon.
A financial website rates Louisiana the nation's worst state in which to retire. "MoneyRates.com" looked at factors like overall senior population, costs of living, crime and more to compile the list. The ranking also cites Louisiana's climate and the low average life expectancy past 65 as reasons our state tops its Worst Places to Retire list. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne disagrees with the ranking and says it will not change plans to continue marketing Louisiana as a great place to spend one's Golden Years. He says our state has so much to offer.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has filed legislation aimed at sparing homeowners with National Flood Insurance from massive premium hikes. One of the sponsors is Senator Mary Landrieu, who says nearly a half-million policyholders will see unsustainable rate increases under the 2012 Biggert-Waters flood insurance reforms. Senator David Vitter is a co-sponsor too, plus senators from Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, North Dakota, Florida, Massachusetts and New York. Landrieu says the bill seeks to delay Biggert-Waters for several years, while mandating FEMA to complete an impact and affordability study of the proposed premium increases.
A coalition of conservative think tanks recommended Tuesday morning that Louisiana address its nation-leading incarceration rate by repealing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenses. The report concluded rolling back Louisiana’s harsh sentences would allow the state to better focus on ensuring violent criminals are kept behind bars. Laws enacted by the state during the past couple decades led to a doubling of the state’s prison population from 1992 to 2011. ( The report was produced by the Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based research group that says it promotes libertarian principles, in conjunction with the New Orleans-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a self-described study group that promotes free markets and limited government. http://theadvocate.com/home/7440265-125/groups-recommend-louisiana-legislators-rewrite
Whooping cough has set a post-1960s record in Louisiana and things are worse in Texas, where nearly 2,900 cases have been reported, and Arkansas, where numbers are double those of a year ago. Louisiana health officials are asking doctors to keep an eye out for it. Louisiana’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard, says 169 confirmed and likely cases as of mid-October breaks a vaccination-era record of about 160 for all of last year.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking questions about the financial arrangements needed to make privatization of LSU hospitals work. A top state health official said the inquiries are routine, but state Treasurer John Kennedy fears the privatization effort might be improperly laundering federal money. Kennedy said he is concerned the federal government will not accept the way the state is accounting for lease payments under the LSU plan. The payments are being included as part of the calculation that determines how much the federal government pays for reimbursing the hospitals for medical care to patients under Medicaid.
A Bossier City couple is charged with cruelty to juveniles, after two kids were found living in their home with no electricity or running water. Bossier spokesman Mark Natale says the
11-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy had been left home alone for over 15 hours with no food in the house either.
Police in Opelousas report a car that hit a parked boat, tree and a fence was found to have a dead man behind the wheel. The owner of the property where the damage was done called police and told them the driver was still in the car and was not moving. Officers found 35-year-old Daniel Hardy of Opelousas inside the car. It's unsure if he was killed by the crash, which was a high rate of speed, or something else.
Grambling State University says civil rights activist Jesse Jackson plans on visiting the campus in the near future to help close a rift that's developed between students and administrators. School leaders
say Jackson will be able to promote a period of healing. Grambling's football team recently held a boycott that resulted in them forfeiting a game against Jackson State.
A personal injury attorney from LaPlace admits he stole 58-thousand dollars from an elderly client. Kurt Wall, director of the Louisiana Attorney General's office criminal division, says 42-year-old Kerry
Brown represented a senior citizen in an automobile accident, but never informed the client of the 58-thousand dollar settlement.
The statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline has hit $3.10 according to the American Automobile Association. The price at the pump has fallen 23 cents over the last month and Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says many retailers are selling unleaded gasoline for less than three dollars a gallon. Redman says January 2011 was the last time the statewide average was
below three-dollars a gallon.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office is investigating, yet another apparent murder suicide. Police say Sunday afternoon it appears 39-year-old Sedric Richard shot his girlfriend, 26-year-old Brittany Rogers. The motive in the incident is still unknown.
State Highway safety officials say seat belt usage by Louisiana drivers this year has increased by 3%; it's biggest jump in ten years. According to the Highway Safety Commission, 82 & a half
percent of us use our seatbelts regularly. Seat belt usage doubles your chances of surviving an auto crash.
The tea party-connected Senate Conservatives Fund announced Monday it would support Rob Maness over fellow Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in the 2014 U.S. Senate race. It’s the biggest endorsement yet for the retired U.S. Air Force Col. Maness. of Madisonville, and gives the tea party candidate greater ability to draw in national fundraising dollars.
A bipartisan group of US senators and representatives will introduce flood insurance reform legislation today that seeks to prevent dramatic rate hikes for thousands of south Louisiana residents. Louisiana's US Senators, Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, are part of this group, Vitter
says one key provision would delay any extreme premium hike. Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program went into effect on October first and an estimated 18-thousand Louisiana policies will see an immediate impact. Vitter says Louisiana is not the only state that could see these large increases, which is why he's confident Congress will pass the legislation that will be filed today in the US Senate.
LSU System President F. King Alexander says he's willing to discuss raising the price of Tigers football tickets. Last week, Athletic Director Joe Alleva asked LSU Board members to consider hiking tickets next year. Dr. Alexander says they'll look carefully at Alleva's request over the next six weeks, but any changes in prices are up to the board. Some have suggested that, if LSU needs to increase game day revenues, they should consider selling beer in Tiger Stadium. Alexander says
that's never been debated by the LSU Board (to his knowledge) and he's not sure it's a good idea.
East Baton Rouge Parish coroner Dr. Beau Clark plans to work with state lawmakers to increase sentencing laws for those individuals convicted of dealing heroin. Dr. Clark is advocating for a stiffer punishment against heroin dealers, because of a recent surge in heroin overdose deaths. He says life sentences used to be handed out for dealing heroin, but lawmakers recently changed the sentencing guidelines. He says heroin has become more accessible and those dealing it
should face great consequences.
Two years ago, Lafayette-based Schumacher Group announced it would spend $19 million to expand its emergency medical services management business and create 600 jobs by 2017. On Monday, the company announced its third layoff of the year; 42 people nationwide, 32 of them in Louisiana.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's office says a man is under arrest for allegedly banning an elderly woman from eating. They say 55 year old Sidney Elair of Centerville was booked on charges of cruelty to the infirm, resisting a police officer, simple assault and disturbing the peace intoxicated.
Reviews are rolling in for The Governor's Wife starting former Governor Edwin Edwards and wife Trina which premiered Sunday night on A&E. Some are calling the reality show, "creepy in almost every way." But there are some who are intrigued and can't wait to see more. The Governor's Wife airs Sunday nights at 9 on A&E.
The Lafayette Police Department says a 14-year-old is under arrest for attempted first degree murder for allegedly stabbing a woman in the chest. They say the victim was in an argument with the mother of the suspect when the teen intervened. Reports indicate the stab wounds placed the woman in critical condition at a local hospital. The teen was booked into the Lafayette Parish Juvenile detention center.
The Coast Guard is searching for a welder who fell from on offshore rig in the Gulf; about 55 miles from shore. They say the 38-year-old man was knocked overboard when an empty barrel fell on him. Few other details are known at this time.
Saints Coach Sean Payton had the players at the team's practice facility yesterday going over some of the mistakes that were made in the 35-17 win over Buffalo. Payton says there were a number of things they could have done a lot better. The head coach says the corrections will be made as they get ready to play the Jets.
Louisiana Tech announces they plan to break ground this spring on an 18-million dollar South End Zone complex which will close the south end of the Stadium. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says the three story athletic facility will be 70-thousand square feet and it will feature state of the art technology and furnishings. McClelland says the facility would not be possible without the genoristy
The University of Virginia's Center for Politics, which is known for predicting elections, no longer labels next year's US Senate race in Louisiana as a "toss up." Their crystal ball leans democratic, meaning Landrieu is a slight favorite. University of Virginia political analyst Kyle Kondik says the latest campaign finance totals show Landrieu has two million dollars more compared to Cassidy in her campaign war chest. He says Landrieu also has a history of winning close elections, which is why they give her a slight edge in the race. Kondik says Louisiana's unique open primary system for federal elections also gives Landrieu an edge.
State health officials say now is the time to get the flu shot, even though the peak of the influenza season in Louisiana is not until February. The state department of health and hospitals flu shot expert, Doctor Frank Welch, says it's best to get the shot now, before the flu bug gets you. DHH urges everyone six months and older to get a flu shot. Welch says it’s especially important for pregnant women, adults 65 and older and children under the age of five to get the flu shot. He reminds Louisiana residents that the flu is an illness that can kill.
Another West Nile virus death has been reported by the state Department of Health and Hospitals. It is the fourth death in the state this year. DHH said the death is from Ouachita Parish, the second death in that parish this year. The other two deaths were in Rapides Parish. DHH also confirmed four new West Nile virus cases this past week, bringing this year’s total to 55 cases.
Two Americans remain hostages of pirates on a Louisiana owned ship off the coast of Nigeria. The C-Retiever ship, which is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, was attacked by Nigerian pirates last Wednesday. Tulane maritime law director Martin Davies says the kidnappers are likely demanding money for the safe return of the two men. Davies says these hostage situations off the coast of Africa could go on for months, but if the kidnappers are seeking ransom, then the victims are usually treated well. According to the International Maritime Bureau there's been 40 piracy attacks in the first three quarters of 2013 in the Gulf of Guinea, where this attack occurred. Davies says companies who vessels that work in these areas, understand the dangers and purchase insurance for it.
A group of business, faith and conservative leaders from Louisiana are headed to Washington DC today to urge members of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Group spokesman Randy Hayden says it's vital to Louisiana's economy to help immigrant workers become Americans so they can easily enter the workforce. Hayden says reform is needed in agricultural visas to help our farmers and also reform in high-tech visas to help colleges and universities.
With less than a month until the runoff election for Louisiana's 5th Congressional District, the two Republican's vying for that job are campaigning hard to come out on top. Columbia state Senator Neil Riser has been considered front-runner all along. He says he'll bring true conservatism to Congress for Louisiana. Political newcomer Vance McAllister is Riser's opponent. He has run a largely self-funded campaign and finished in the October 19th election with 18% of the vote, to Riser's 32%. McAllister suggests Riser has become a career politician, and voters now want something else. Both men will spend the next three weeks campaigning hard to win voters over - especially the many Democrats and independent voters in District 5.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been the subject of some controversy this week regarding the way it chooses to refer to itself. The school says it's not trying to change its name, but State Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi is one of many who doesn't think it's right for UL-Lafayette to simply have "Louisiana" on its jerseys. Many Ragin' Cajuns feel most of the outrage is coming from the ULM nation but before the Monroe school was known as The Warhawks, they used "Louisiana Indians" on their football helmets. Thompson says he's gotten many calls from angry ULM alumni who are angry the Lafayette school is trying to refer to itself as Louisiana.
The LSU Tigers head into the bye week ranked 13th in the coaches poll and 11th in the AP poll after beating Furman 48-to-16 on Saturday night.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes as New Orleans improved to 6-and-1 on the season with a 35-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.
School performance scores released today by the state department of education shows a record 43% of Louisiana public schools received an "A" or "B" under a new accountability system. State Superintendent of Education John White was happy to share the good news during a conference call with reporters this afternoon. The number of failing schools is at an all time low, decreasing from
12 to 8 percent. Parents can see how their child's school is performing by going to Louisiana believes dot com.
An Alexandria woman wanted in a fatal shooting Monday on Lee Street has been captured, along with four others who are accused of helping her elude authorities. 21-year-old Stormy Cofer was found in a house in the 1700 block of Beatrice Street. She was arrested, booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with second-degree murder and a warrant for failure to pay a fine. Four other Alexandria residents werealso were arrested and all charged with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.
Two years from today it will be election day in Louisiana as voters will be choosing a new governor. A large field is anticipated since Governor Bobby JIndal is not allowed to run for a third consecutive
term. Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says several well-known republicans could enter the race. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, state treasurer John Kennedy, PSC Commissioner Scott Angelle and former Congressman Rodney Alexander have made their expectations to run known.
A man from Jackson is suing the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff amid claims he was wrongly arrested for rape last year. George Sheppard reportedly held in prison for 6 months before a judge ruled no probable cause of prosecution.
If you've ever wanted a little Duck Dynasty in your gumbo, Willie Robertson has that on the menu at his new restaurant opening today in West Monroe. Courtney Hornsby is the president of the West
Monroe/West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce. She says "Willie's Duck Diner" is sure to attract Duck Dynasty lovers far and wide. Hornsby says the menu features great southern home cooking comfort foods like chicken-fried steak, pork chops, meatloaf, biscuits, frog legs and of course duck --- served up fried or in gumbo. She also says there are pictures, both new and old, of the family on the walls of the restaurant.
US Senator David Vitter has support from 29 other senators as he seeks an explanation regarding the US Justice Department's lawsuit against Louisiana's voucher program. Attorney General Eric Holder says it upsets the racial balance of students in districts under federal desegregation
orders. Vitter says that civil rights argument doesn't make sense.. A letter signed by Vitter and 29 other senators seeks answers on why the federal government filed this lawsuit. Vitter wonders why Holder is more concerned about a quota than the type of education a child receives. Vitter says the lawsuit will return 570 voucher students to public schools so that it can preserve a school's racial make-up.
46-year old Gregory Walker of Baton Rouge has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges after he admitted receiving almost one million dollars in bogus state film tax credits. Walker is facing up to 20 years in prison and a quarter million dollar fine.
First-offense DWI pleas arranged in a bribery scheme at the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office could be called into question in a lawsuit planned by a Lafayette defense attorney. At issue are plea deals in Lafayette Parish allegedly arranged by private investigator Robert Williamson, who is under federal indictment in an investigation of bribes paid to employees of the District Attorney’s Office in return for favorable treatment in DWI cases. Meanwhile, some DWI defendants who made the special plea have since been arrested again on new DWI charges. At least five of those defendants now say they should not face more severe penalties for second-offense DWI, arguing that their first DWI pleas are not valid because they were effectively denied the right to an attorney and were represented instead by Williamson, a private investigator.
The reality TV show starring Former Governor Edwin Edwards and his young wife will hit the airwaves for the first time on Sunday. The show "The Governor's Wife" centers around the family life of Trina Scott Edwards and her 86 year old husband. Trina says the entire filming experience was surreal. The A&E show was originally scheduled to air over the summer but Edwards says a difficult pregnancy put things on hold. She says the thing she's looking forward to the most on the show is the final episode...:(The series premiere episde entitled, "Happy Birthday Mr.. Governor" is on Sunday at 9 on A&E.)
The Lafayette Fire Department says a 64 year old man is under arrest for allegedly setting a mobile home on fire because he thought it was ugly. They say William Riley is booked on a count of simple arson. The home was vacant and Riley indicated to officials he didn't like the tall grass and the abandoned appearance of the trailer in his neighborhood.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says they are actively investigating the shooting death of a black bear which occurred earlier this month. They've determined the bear, which is on the threatened and endangered species list, was shot in the head. An $8000 cash reward is being offered for information that would lead to an arrest.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who was indicted in January on charges relating to accepting free trips and over $200,000 in bribes, has had his trial delayed. A federal judge Thursday set a new trial date of January 27th.
Alexandria police are looking for a 21-year-old woman in connection to the shooting death Monday of an 18-year-old woman on Lee Street. Police describe Stormy Cofer, of Alexandria, as being about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds. Her hair is colored reddish, according to the release. If you know the whereabouts of this woman, contact the APD.
If you plan on buying tickets to LSU football games and you're worried about the price going up and by how much, you're just going to have to wait a while longer. The LSU Board of Supervisors had scheduled the item for a vote this coming Friday, but the board decided to wait a while before deciding what to do. They'll now vote on the ticket price hikes at their December meeting.
Since the Grambling State Football team decided not to show up to its game on Saturday, their opponent Jackson State says it plans to sue. The Mississippi university claims the cancellation of the game cost them millions of direct and indirect dollars. The game was also Jackson State's homecoming which the university says draws thousands of fans. Tickets are being refunded and
businesses are reporting losses.
Two Louisiana congressmen John Fleming and Charles Boustany are calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius because of the ongoing issues with the Affordable Care Act. Boustany says people are finding it difficult to purchase insurance because of technical glitches in the system. Fleming plans to file legislation to stop collection of personal data when people sign up for the Affordable Care Act because he's afraid the information would not be kept confidential.
Members of the state House and Senate Insurance committees heard yesterday from state and local officials who are concerned about impacts of dramatic rate increases for flood insurance in Louisiana. St. Charles Parish President VJ St. Pierre Jr. says FEMA has told their residents that flood insurance rates could be as high as 35-thousand dollars. An estimated 18-thousand Louisiana policies will see their rates skyrocket because of changes to the National Flood Insurance
A Baton Rouge woman is now facing two years in prison after a judge suspended 15 years of her 17 year sentence for a road rage incident that claimed the lives of five people just south of the capitol
city. Kelsy Hall was convicted of negligent homicide in the 2011 accident. The other defendant accused in the deadly crash, David Leger, will be standing trial early next year.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is offering a reward for tips on who illegally killed a black bear in Avoyelles Parish earlier this month. A citizen reported finding the bears remains in some woods a few miles south of the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area. A necropsy revealed the bear had been dead for about five to six days and that it had been shot in the head. Agents also collected an arrow nearby and think the bear might have been shot with an arrow first.
Caddo Parish deputies arrest four people who were allegedly involved in the theft of 63 semi-automatic guns delivered to a Shreveport gun distributor. Sheriff's office spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says they were called into investigate after the freight company noticed some of the guns
were gone. Chadwick says their investigation led them to a 21-year-old security guard who was on duty at the freight company on the day the guns arrived. Three more people were arrested as their investigation continued. Chadwick says they have yet to recover any of the guns and it's likely the semi-automatic weapons have already been sold.
The police department in Many will be posting pictures on Facebook of people who loaded up their Wal-Mart buggies with groceries while the food stamp system was experiencing a computer glitch and balances couldn't be checked. They simply loaded up and walked out. Investigator Jo Ann Carter says they're targeting people who were specifically taking advantage of the October 12th frenzy.
Police in Richwood say a woman is under arrest for allegedly slapping a child on a school bus then doing the same to the bus river. They say 32-year-old Menza Hudson entered the bus where her child and another child were fighting and got in the middle of it. She is booked with cruelty to a juvenile.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office say a man is booked with negligent homicide in the death of a motorcyclist for leaving his truck on the side of the road when it ran out of gas -- then was hit
by the cyclist who died. They say Marcus Amos didn't leave lights on to warn others.
A former Livingston Parish deputy sheriff 38-year old Jeremy Brister of Denham Springs has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Brister was arrested in January of last year on three counts of indecent behavior and one count of molestation of a juvenile involving a 15-year old girl. He will also have to serve one year of
supervised probation, pay a 15-hundred dollar fine and register as a sex offender.
Today the 107th Louisiana State fair opens in Shreveport. The fair is taking extra safety precautions this year to make sure there are not any accidents on the carnival rides. State Fair General Manager Chris Giordano says that a third party has been hired to make constant inspections throughout the duration of the fair. There have been mechanical errors the last two years that resulted in injuries, including a four year old boy who was severely hurt in 2011.
A freshman on the LSU football team is in trouble with the law. LSU police say they arrested defensive back Jeryl Brazil after he allegedly grabbed a woman by the throat and threw her onto a sofa. Captain Cory Lalonde says the incident occurred last week at the West Campus Apartments. Coach Les Miles says Brazil has been suspended indefinitely. He's only played in one game this season. He was an All-State player at Loranger High School last season.
Alexandria police detectives are investigating a shooting on Lee Street Monday evening that killed an 18-year-old woman. The body of Leiunna Collins of Alexandria, was found at the intersection of Dallas and Lee streets shortly before 6 Monday night. Collins was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police say the investigation continues.
Drive-thru flu shots will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Rapides Parish Health Unit, 5604-A Coliseum Blvd. in Alexandria. The shots are free if people present proof of insurance. Bring a photo copy of both sides of your insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card. For those without proof of insurance, there will be a $10 charge.
A jacket for when you are outside and another blanket at night could be needed this week as more cool air is filtering into Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a cold front has brought more Canadian air to the Bayou State. Keim says high temperatures will be in the mid 70s today and low
temperatures will be in the mid 40s over the next few mornings. He says we'll see another temperature drop later in the week. Keim is not anticipating any record lows, but we'll experience the
coolest temps of the fall this week.
State lawmakers gather in Baton Rouge today to discuss the impact of rising flood insurance premiums for some Louisiana property owners. Senate Insurance Committee Chairman, Blade Morrish of Jennings, says much of the public is in the dark on who will be impacted as a result of
flood insurance reform legislation that went into effect on October 1st An estimated 18-thousand Louisiana policies will see an immediate impact and some property owners could see rate increases of up to four-thousand percent.
Louisiana Public Broadcasting will air a program tonight that discusses whether or not Louisiana should legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Kirby Goidel from the LSU Public Policy Research
Lab is co-hosting the show. A release from LBP says mandatory drug sentencing costs Louisiana
taxpayers millions of dollars to incarcerate people charged with simple possession of marijuana. Goidel says a recent survey showed overwhelming support for de-criminalizing pot in Louisiana. The show will air tonight on LPB at 7pm.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff's office arrests a man for allegedly trying to extort a contestant on the popular music competition show "The Voice. Spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick says Harold Martin of Texarkana, Arkansas faces extortion charges for threatening to defame 22-year-old Cole Vosbury of Shreveport if he didn't perform at benefit concerts for free. She says Martin then started to threaten Vosbury, after he began appearing on the NBC television show.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office says a 47-year-old woman killed her 84-year-old mother and a dog, before fatally shooting herself at a home in an upscale Baton Rouge neighborhood. Colonel Lawrence McLeary says investigators learned Karen Diamond suffered from severe depression and was also concerned about her mother needing home health care, which could explain why the murder-suicide occurred. It's been reported Diamond was a doctor, who had a drug addiction and recently left her job at a Baton Rouge hospital.
Amid new controversy surrounding the Tulane legislative scholarship program, a state senator from Baton Rouge said Tuesday he will propose legislation to scrap the program, which allows each of Louisiana’s 144 lawmakers to award a one-year scholarship worth an estimated $43,150 to the private university each year. The program dates to the 1880s, when the then-public University of Louisiana was privatized into Tulane.
Governor Bobby Jindal joined former Governor Mike Foster in Franklin earlier Tuesday to announce that more than two million dollars has been set aside to maintain the archives of Foster, a two term Republican Governor of the Pelican State. According to the governor's office, the money will be used to preserve the third floor of the former Crowell Elementary School. That school now houses the Franklin City hall on the first two floors.
The University of Louisiana System Board plans a comprehensive review of Grambling State University. UL System President Sandra Woodley says outside experts and consultants will be brought in to look at all aspects of the university. Grambling's troubles came to particular light last week, when the football team boycotted the Jackson State game due to terrible conditions and problems with the school’s administration. Woodley says the institutional review of Grambling State could take several months to complete.
Five people had to be rescued Tuesday morning from the Mississippi River when their tugboat overturned in uptown New Orleans. There were no injuries reported. New Orleans port officials say its possible that a wake from a passing ship caused the tugboat to
The state’s school voucher program continues to grow, but at a pace slower than expected. The program added more than 1,800 students this year, according to the first official tally for the current 2013-14 school year released Monday. The state Department of Education said 6,751 students are enrolled in 126 private schools across the state with taxpayer dollars. Another 24 students have switched to a high-performing public school through the voucher program, for a total of 6,775 enrollments. That's a 37 percent increase, up from 4,944 students using vouchers at the same point last year, in the first year of the statewide program.
On Monday the Department of Defense announced a Marine, 20-year-old Lance Corporal Christopher Grant of Monroe, , died on Sunday during combat operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Grant was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and had been serving in Afghanistan. Friends say a candlelight vigil is planned for this weekend in Monroe.
Natchitoches Police Department Assistant Chief Cary Hargrove was suspended for one day for a policy violation related to a Sabine Parish homicide investigation. Hargrove is alleged to have had a telephone conversation with officer Robert Barthelemy charged in the beating death of Tony Procell, of Many, while Barthelemy was on the run from police in August. Barthelemy was indicated in September on charges of first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated kidnapping. Natchitoches Police Chief Micky Dove did not disclose the nature of incident that led to an internal investigation into Hargrove’s actions.
After residents of Pineville voted to approve the sale of alcohol in restaurants over the weekend, city officials say it will most likely be the first of the year before they start doing so. The city’s chief of staff Rich Dupree says the City Council must still make any change official by ordinance. Such an ordinance would be introduced at the Nov. 12 council meeting at the earliest, and voted on at the Dec. 10 meeting. Dupree said city officials are working with the Rapides Parish Sales and Use Tax Office, which issues alcohol permits, on the language in the city’s future alcohol ordinance.
Human rights activists call on state officials to release the last imprisoned member of the Angola Three. Laura Downton is with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and she says Albert Woodfox has been in solitary confinement for 41 years, even though his conviction for killing a prison guard has been overturned three times. Federal judge James Brady ruled last February Woodfox should be released on the issue of racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson. But Woodfox remains imprisoned as the Attorney general's office appeals the decision to the fifth circuit. Downton says they have a petition containing 25,000 signatures calling for Woodfox's release
State Police say a 1 year old child died from injuries sustained in a New Orleans crash shortly after 1am Monday. They say 30-year-old Jeremiah Price was ignoring road closure signs in the area and ended up hitting a construction vehicle from behind. The baby was in the front seat and was thrown forward as a result of the crash and later died from head injuries. Price's charges include DWI with child endangerment, vehicular homicide, and no child restraint.
Sen. David Vitter announced Monday he plans to block for now the nomination of the proposed undersecretary of the Department of Energy because of project delays at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. President Barack Obama has nominated NASA Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson for the undersecretary position and Vitter contends she is directly responsible for delayed, job-creating contracts at Michoud. The Michoud facility has tried to reinvent itself since the end of the space shuttle program and has contracted more with commercial and government contractors to use the site.
Leaders of the Louisiana House and Senate have decided to keep secret hundreds of documents that disclose whether Louisiana’s 144 legislators are awarding Tulane University scholarships to relatives of fellow politicians. The clerk of the state House of Representatives recently sent a letter to the New Orleans Advocate and WWL-TV explaining his refusal to disclose the one-page application forms. All students who receive Tulane legislative scholarships fill out the forms, which require them to disclose whether they are related to an elected official. It’s against the law for lawmakers to give those scholarships to family members. However, some believe certain members of the state legislature are awarding the $30,000 scholarships to the children of other lawmakers, thus skirting the law.
East Baton Rouge Parish deputies are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide. The bodies were found when deputies received a phone call from a woman asking that they check on her friend. When deputies arrived at the home yesterday afternoon they found the two bodies. No other information is being released at this time.
State Police say a man is facing vehicular homicide charges after a single vehicle accident happened south of Lake Charles Saturday. They say a teenage passenger died in a car driven by 21-year-old Ryan Adams. Hannah McVey was not wearing a seat-belt when the vehicle hit a metal traffic signal pole and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Adams was also booked with DUI, careless operation and open container.
Grambling State football players have ended their boycott and will play their home game against Texas Southern this Saturday. The players didn't play last Saturday, because they are upset with the condition of their football facilities and the university's administration. Vines says the players have received a commitment that their facilities will be updated.
About Eleven Months Ago by By Dave Graichen
News for Monday 102113
By Dave Graichen
The voters have spoken and the sale of alcohol in Pineville restaurants will now be allowed. Rich Dupree is the Chief of Staff for the city of Pineville. He says this move will be a good one for the for the entire central Louisiana community. Dupree says national chain restaurants have shown interest in Pineville but were shying away because alcohol sales were not allowed. He feels now that the restaurant only ordinance has passed, it won't be long before new eateries start popping up. Dupree says he is glad the citizens of Pineville were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on the matter. He wants to emphasize that this means alcohol can only be sold places that sell food.
Louisiana has a $153-million budget surplus; left over from the fiscal year that ended June 30th. That news was delivered Friday to the Legislature's Joint Budget Committee. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says it's good news, and a sign of an improving economy and labor market. Nichols says the surplus is largely from higher-than-expected income tax revenues. She says the surplus will be presented to the state's Revenue Estimating Conference in January, so it can be officially "recognized." She says state lawmakers will decide where those funds will be used.
Louisiana's health department says the number of people who have died from West Nile this year is up to 3. The latest death is from Rapides Parish and it’s the second death this year from Rapides. There's been a total of 51 cases this year, but D-H-H regional health director David Holcombe says this is the time of year the season begins to wind down.
Louisiana's 5th District congressional race will go to a November 16th runoff between Columbia state Senator Neil Riser and Monroe businessman Vance McAllister. Riser took a third of the vote Saturday, and U.L.- Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley says McAllister came from behind to take 18%. Democrat Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo took 3rd place, with 15% of the vote Saturday, Republican Clyde Holloway was 4th with 11%.
A kindergartner has been suspended from his school in Monroe after he brought a BB gun to class. Ouachita Parish School superintendent Bob Webber says the incident occurred at Swayze Elementary School. Webber says the kindergartner actually brought the bb gun, which was not loaded, to the teacher and the teacher quickly notified the principal. Webber says the boy will probably not be expelled, but remains suspended until they can conference with his parent or parents, which they're having trouble contacting.
Governor Jindal has appointed former Bossier Parish state Rep. Jane Smith to a vacant seat of the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education. Smith also serves a legislative liaison for the department
A babysitter in Jefferson Parish has been arrested after doctors determined a child under her care suffered from shaken baby syndrome. The baby girl is alive, but has limited mobility in one of
her limbs and has had some bleeding in her brain. 56-year-old Sherry Savois of Gretna is charged with cruelty to a juvenile, and the case is still under investigation.
LSU is ranked 13th in the coaches and media poll and 12th in the Harris poll after they were upset by Ole Miss 27 to 24 on Saturday night. It was a day full of upsets, but when the dust settled the Tigers chances of playing in the conference championship game are bleak. Coach Les Miles says they can still have a great season, despite having two losses.
An Alexandria eatery will be featured tonight on CBS's "Undercover Boss" Whitney Durant works at the Ryan's Buffet in Alex. She says she was unaware of what was going on, when her supervisor recruited her for a special project. Durant was asked to take a trainee under her wing; a man named Mike, with zero experience in customer service. She was asked to teach him everything she knows about the business, while TV cameras caught it all. She says she cannot reveal any more about tonight's program, but will say that her Undercover Boss, Anthony Wedo (we-dough), the CEO of Ryan's parent company was a good student.
Tomorrow is election day, and voters in the state's 5th Congressional District will select their next representative in Washington. There are 14 candidates for that job. How is the race stacking up? U.L.-Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley predicts a runoff between Columbia state Senator Neil Riser and one of the other Republicans. Republican Riser has been seen as the front-runner throughout the campaign. Stockley feels other GOP candidates Jay Morris and Clyde Holloway are the two most likely to make a November runoff with Riser.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany is the lone republican from Louisiana to vote in favor of legislation that ended the federal government shutdown. The legislation also gives the US Treasury the ability to borrow money through February 7th, avoiding a national default. Boustanty says he did not want to jeopardize the economy over political disagreements on capitol hill. Democrats Mary Landrieu and Cedric Richmond also voted to finance the federal government through January 15th and the raising of the debt ceiling.
Governor Jindal announced Thursday that $190,000 in capital outlay funding for new evidence technology and renovations at the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office has been submitted to the State Bond Commission for approval. The renovations would include new radio control room for booking offenders and taking tip calls to solve crimes faster.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva announces he plans to ask the school's Board of Supervisors to approve an increase in football ticket prices starting next season. The proposal would also seek to increase the Tradition Fund which is mainly paid by season ticket holders. Alleva is asking for a six percent increase in season ticket prices for football with the price of no section in the stadium going
up by more than $100. He is also seeking approval to price tickets based on opponent and the date of the game.
The Lottery announces several changes will be made to the Mega Millions game starting tomorrow. Louisiana Lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Chopin says these game enhancements are designed to create larger jackpots and more millionaires. She one of the key changes includes a higher starting jackpot of $15 million. Chopin says even though all these changes are coming to Mega Millions, the price of the ticket will remain $1. However, to make these new game features possible, 19 white ball numbers will be added for a total of 75 --- and 31 numbers will be removed from the field of yellow Mega Ball numbers. That means the the odds of winning the jackpot will get longer.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's office says two men are charged in connection with pipe bombs that were found in their vehicle during a traffic stop Wednesday in Carencro. Captain Kip Judice says a surveillance team followed a vehicle leaving a home that had been under investigation over matters that were drug related. Judice says the exact intended use for the bombs is not known.
20-year-old Jake Richard of Loreauville and 30-year-old Paul Parker of Carencro were each charged with manufacturing and possession of bombs.
A judge in Sorrento has tossed out hundreds of speeding tickets written by a Sorrento cop, who himself is apparently an habitual speeder. The data recorder in Officer James Bell patrol unit shows
he exceeded 75 on well over 700 occasions between July and September, often outside his jurisdiction. The officer also admitted that he has not been calibrating he radar gun.
The man from Breaux Bridge who runs a swamp tour group and was seen in video enticing a gator with an oar, has the animal cruelty charged dropped against him. St. Martin Parish DA Chest Cedars says there was no evidence to support such a charge. LDWF did however cite the man with illegal possession of an alligator and he has to pay a $250 fine for that.
Two former East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court employees, one the son of a state judge, pleaded not guilty along with four others Thursday to charges stemming from the alleged theft of 48 pounds of cocaine and five guns from the clerk’s evidence vault last year. The prosecutor handling the case said after Thursday’s arraignments that attorneys for several of the indicted defendants have approached her about possible plea bargains.
Ouachita Parish Schools is checking into the circumstances surrounding a video that administrators believe shows a coach paddling two students at Richwood Middle School in violation of the district's corporal punishment policy. That policy does allow reasonable corporal punishment, but has strict rules for who can administer it, and coaches aren't on the list.
A Baton Rouge firefighter has been sacked from his job, for using his fire house as a set to shoot a racy movie. 40-year-old Dewey Allen is a 10-year veteran. Officials say he violated policy by shooting the film in the workplace. The film is not pornographic, but certainly qualifies as R-rated. Allen says the termination violates his First Amendment rights. A review of the case is
scheduled next month.
A Thursday afternoon fire at LSU’s Huey P. Long Fieldhouse on Field House Drive caused the evacuation of a handful of students, faculty and staff from the building, but did not injure anyone, Baton Rouge Fire Department investigators said. A preliminary investigation pointed to a blow torch used during some construction work
ULL campus police say a man is under arrested for allegedly hacking into his ex girlfriend's computer, deleting things and creating a fake match.com profile for her. They say 23-year-old Sean Michael Gray was booked on charges of computer tampering and online impersonation.
New data from the Ourso College of Business at LSU suggests Louisiana will soon have more jobs than ever before. Economist Dr. Loren Scott collaborated on the report. He says business expansions, new industries and high-tech companies moving to the state will account for about 70-thousand new jobs within the next two years. Scott says by 2015, Louisiana employment should surpass 2-million jobs for the first time ever. Scott says job growth is forecast for all eight of the state's metro areas.
The state Supreme Court strikes down a 2002 law that made it a felony for non-U.S. citizens to drive in Louisiana without proof of lawful status. The court ruled the law redundant, due to a similar federal law that carries lesser penalties. Critics of the law say it's led to exactly zero arrests.
A fatal shooting involving an officer is being investigated by Shreveport police. The incident happened around 7:45 Tuesday night when the Shreveport Fire Department called for help dealing with a man who had become combative. The man began threating officers and the firemen with a knife and that is when he was shot. The man's name has not been released.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is trying to address the concerns surrounding Common Core, which are new academic standards that public school students will be asked to achieve starting with next school year. BESE President Chas Roemer says the state will allow local school districts to use their own instructional materials and textbooks. Roemer says the state's education board also approved a provision that gives parents or guardians the opportunity to review the materials that will be used in the classroom. The Board made the rule changes yesterday after hearing hours of testimony earlier this week
A full time substitute teacher in Baton Rouge is under fire today after a video allegedly of her cussing out 8th-graders during class was released to the media by a mother. In the video given to WAFB, the unidentified teacher is seen at the front of the classroom using extremely foul language while reprimanding the students. School officials say the incident is under review.
Kaiser Family Foundation reported Wednesday, eighty-seven percent of Louisiana’s poor, uninsured, non-elderly adults will fall within a health insurance coverage gap because the state did not expand Medicaid with the federal health care revamp. The percentage translates into 242,150 individuals who have incomes above the state Medicaid program’s eligibility levels but not enough to qualify for tax credits in the marketplace insurance exchanges. Nationwide the number is 5.2 million. a large percentage of those people live in Texas and Florida.
Gov. Bobby Jindal told Politico on Wednesday that he is launching a nonprofit to “play offense in the war of ideas” on Capitol Hill. The initiative accelerates speculation that Jindal is trying to mount a run for the White House in 2016. Jindal told Politico “America Next” will focus on ideas, such as an alternative to Obamacare. Describing the nonprofit to Politico, the governor did not rule out a run for the White House, telling the political news organization that he is undecided on running for president. The statement is the first time Jindal has publicly acknowledged he is giving the idea consideration.
A St. Martin Parish swamp tour operator is facing an animal cruelty charge as a result of a video that shows him hitting an alligator with an oar during one of his tours. Kristin Simon with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says in the video, Ryan Champagne is tormenting the animal and should be prosecuted for animal cruelty. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issued two citations against Champagne, simple cruelty to animals and possession of a live alligator without a permit.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's office says they've arrested a father and son for allegedly sexually abusing a disabled little girl over the period of several years. Captain Dawn Foret says a 14 year old girl reported to authorities that she had been sexually assaulted by her stepfather and step grandfather. Foret says the investigation led to the arrest of 29-year-old Russell Leblanc Jr and 65-year-old Russell Leblanc Sr. on aggravated incest charges. She says each man's bond has been set at over $500,000.
A man from Baton Rouge has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 11 month old daughter in June. Larry Leflore is accused of inflicting brain damage and cigarette burns on the baby. DA Hillar Moore says he hasn't decided if his office will seek the death penalty.
More fallout from last Friday's arrest of two prep football referees in Covington. The Covington PD stands by the busts, which occurred when the refs tried to eject two cops from the game. Now the Greater New Orleans Football Officials Association tells St. Tammany Parish schools they will not provide officials for those schools' home games if security is done by Covington Police. More as it develops.
State licensed casinos report a drop in revenues for September from the previous month. The total figures represent a 9% decline from August totals. Baton Rouge saw the biggest slide. The three casino there report business down nearly 17% from the month before. The State Police Gaming Control Board compiled the numbers.
St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Peter Galvin pleads not guilty to charges he conspired to steal money from his own office and other charges. Galvan allegedly took over $100-thousand in pay he didn't earn, and misuse of an office debit card for personal goods, meal and more. His bond is set at $100-thousand.
Leaders of the two groups who won their appeal with the state education board to open charter schools in Lafayette Parish said they are securing sites for three of the schools so they can open by August. The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the applications from Lafayette Charter Foundation to open two K-8 schools by August and a high school by 2017, and an application from Louisiana Achievement Charter Academies to open one K-8 school by August and another K-8 school in 2015.
Get ready for some more cool Autumn-like weather. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it's coming via a cold front that is bringing rain to parts of the state already. Keim says the cool front is expected to make its way from northwestern parishes to coastal regions by later today, bringing a nice cool snap. He says expect overnight lows in the upper 50's and daytime highs in the mid-to-upper 70's, with very little rainfall after today.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana announces they are dropping its prescription drug plan for seniors. That move will impact 13-thousand residents who will now have to find a new Medicare Part D Coverage. Members can enroll into a new plan starting today through February 28th.
A manhunt is underway for a Natchitoches man who is accused of fatally shooting 37-year-old Ted Charles Brou (Broh) during a home invasion late Sunday in the town of Creston, which is in Natchitoches Parish. Alan Virgil Brumfield is considered armed and dangerous. He's a white male, about five-foot-ten, 150 pounds. Authorities believe he's driving a blue Nissan Sentra with a Florida license plate.
Deputies in Rapides Parish seek an inmate who escaped Monday from a work detail on US 71. They say 28-year-old Randy Girod, of Columbia, is not considered to be dangerous. They ask anyone who may have seen him to contact the Sheriff's Office in Rapides.
Campaign finance reports show Senator Mary Landrieu ahead in fundraising for her 2014 re-election bid for the third quarter of this year. Between July and the end of September, Landrieu's team raised over $1.3-million, compared to her nearest challenger, GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy, who raised about $700-thousand. Landrieu's total raised is nearly $6-million. Cassidy $3.4-million.
Cleanup is underway a Fourchon Beach, after a ton of oil was found under the sand there. Tropical Storm Karen brought the oily mess partially to the surface. Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael Anderson says it's a mat of oil, beneath the sand, that only became visible as Karen dissipated. It is assumed the tar mats and tar balls were from the 2010 BP oil spill. He says active cleanup is underway and so far about 500 pounds have been removed.
Benedictine monks in St. Tammany Parish win the final round of a lawsuit to allow them to sell their handmade caskets. The state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors have protested the coffin sales, as cutting into their business. The case went on appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The legal battle over who owns the phrase "Who Dat" is going back to court. Two new suits have been filed by a company called Who Dat Inc. against a number of New Orleans t-shirt shops for using the phrase without permission. Many say no one OWNS the expression and it dates back to the late 18th century.
Senator Mary Landrieu recommends that President Barack Obama appoint Walt Green as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. Green has been acting U.S. Attorney in that Baton Rouge-based federal district since Donald Cazayoux stepped down in July.
Police in the Jefferson Parish town of Harahan say a woman told them hundreds of dollars in bras and underwear had disappeared from her dresser drawers. She placed a hidden camera and caught video of a neighbor entering her home, her bedroom and helping himself to her lacey things. Police arrested 19-year-old Ross Frioux for simple burglary and possession of stolen things.
Grant Parish Sheriff's deputies were called to a Colfax Church on Sunday. Not by the holy spirit but by parishioners who didn't care for the 7-and-a-half foot gator that got a bit too close to the
church. The deputies were miraculously able to return the alligator to the Red River.
Deputies in Rapides Parish arrest a man for killing his own mother and dumping her body in a lake in Grant Parish. Sheriff's Lt. Tommy Carnline says they found 61-year-old Paula Kimberlin's remains October 1st. Investigators noticed her car was missing and so was her son, 38-year-old Anthony Deville. Texas Rangers spotted the reported-stolen car in Cooke County, Texas with Deville driving. He's been sent back to Rapides to face murder charges. Carnline says the investigation is ongoing, and he cannot yet talk about Deville's possible motive, or how the victim was killed.
State police report 52-year-old Michael D. Cooley of Deridder died early Monday in a three-vehicle crash in Allen Parish. The accident happen just after six in the morning on highway 112.
A glitch in the government's Electronic Benefit Transfer card system Saturday led to customers with EBT cards stripping shelves at two Wal-Mart stores in northwestern Louisiana bare. The computer problem prevented the cards from showing balances; something many took as free reign to spend as much as they chose - filling multiple carts with food items. When the stores - in Springhill and Mansfield - announced on loudspeakers that the system was back online and they'd be checking balances, most just left their full shopping carts where they were and exited the store. One woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held
by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn't press charges if she left the food.
The Republican National Committee is making robocalls into Louisiana, claiming Senator Mary Landrieu and other senate democrats are playing politics with the government shutdown. The call states that this political game could result in veterans losing their benefits. House republicans say senate democrats should act on a bill that would continue disability compensation for veterans, despite the shutdown. The robo call urges residents to call Landrieu's office and let their voices
An impaired driver heading the wrong way on I-10 over the Bonne Carre Spillway near Kenner led to several accidents Monday morning. State Police report a drunk driver was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and it caused one 18-wheeler to swerve and overturn and the SUV eventually slammed into another 18-wheeler. No one was seriously hurt.
Deputies in Beauregard Parish say a 51-year-old man fatally shot his wife, then ended up in a hospital after getting in a car crash. Randall Langley allegedly shot his wife while and took off, but got into a wreck near Merryville; some 20 miles away. He's now in the hospital. The couple’s 22-year-old daughter was present. She is the one who called 911.
Monroe police have arrested a 13-year old after he allegedly fired a weapon in the bathroom of Carroll Junior High Monday. Police believe the gun went off accidently as the boy was showing it to some friends. The bullet went through the ceiling causing only minor damage. No one was injured.
Deaths connected to using the drug heroin are on the rise in Louisiana. State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson says statewide heroin deaths in 2011 numbered 16. In 2012 that number was over 50. This year it's on track to be hundreds.
Marathon swimmer Tim Root says he will try to swim across Lake Pontchartrain to raise money for Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. The swim, more than 25 miles from Madisonville to New Orleans, will take place in November.
An investigation continues over the arrest of two high school football officials by Covington police during a game on Friday. Head referee Jim Radcliffe of Metairie and linesman Chris Gambino of River Ridge were charged with public intimidation of an officer after an incident on a sideline got heated.
Food stamp recipients were able to use their debit-style cards in grocery stores on Sunday, a day after a system outage that affected people across 17 states, including Louisiana. People from Alabama to California found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp cards on Saturday morning, after a routine test of backup systems by Xerox sparked technical problems that shut down the states’ electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, systems. Xerox said late in the evening that access was restored for all users.
With three new cases being reported this week, the state's year-to-date total of West Nile virus infections is 48. One of the three was the more serious brain and spinal cord infection. There
have been two deaths as well this year in Louisiana caused by the mosquito spread virus.
Louisiana Ag Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain is trying to make the public aware of a little-known effect of the partial federal government shutdown. He says the safety of the nation's food supply
could be at risk because almost half of the current Food and Drug Administration staff is not working. Those staff make inspections at over 200 food plants a week. Strain says normally only about 10-percent of imported food is inspected. He says if the shutdown ends within the next few days the situation is unlikely to reach crisis level.
As we head into the third week of the federal government's partial shutdown, Governor Jindal says there is some growing concern over parts of state government that rely on the feds to operate. Mr. Jindal says some state agencies, like the Department of Children & Family Services are partially funded with federal dollars. The Governor says Medicaid and other "entitlement" programs will not be
impacted by the continued Government shutdown. He says most federal funding is good through the end of the year, but some programs are only funded through the current month.
A Lafayette Parish parents group is trying to stop two charter school operators from moving into their district. Their concern is that it does not provide help with the problems they have already
and it may under mind the good programs they have in place. The parents group plans to hold a rally in Baton Rouge this Tuesday.
A Texas based company is moving its headquarters to Louisiana. Jogler LLC makes level gauges. They announced Friday that their new location will be in Baton Rouge next month. Jogler has been given tax breaks from the state, along with assistance in worker training for the eventual 60 new jobs being created over the next several years.
A man from Deridder is under arrest after being accused of raping a 3-year-old girl according to police. They say Jerry Palmer is charged with aggravated rape after they investigated a complaint regarding a 3 year old who had been sexually assaulted. Palmer's bond is set at $750,000.
A former Ascension Parish sheriff's deputy who was arrested last month for indecent behavior with juveniles, was arrested again - charged with hundreds of counts of child pornography. 24-year-old
Todd Tripp allegedly had over 300 illegal images on his computer and cell phone. Tripp was fired after his September arrest.
The St. Tammany Parish coroner is charged with conspiring to steal money from his own office, and other charges. 54-year-old Peter Galvan allegedly plotted with another employee to be overpaid to the tune of $111-thousand. He's also accused of using a coroner's office debit card for personal items--running up over $15-thousand in charges. Galvan will reportedly resign from his elected position this week.
The LSU Tigers defense is back to playing dominant football. The Bayou Bengals kept Florida out of the end zone on Saturday in LSU's 17-6 win over the Gators. LSU climbs to No. 6 in AP Top 25 Poll
The Saints were on their way to a 6-and-0 record, but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to give New England a 30-27 victory over New Orleans.
After a second Louisiana Parish Water system tests positive for a brain eating amoeba, one state lawmaker calls for statewide testing of public drinking water systems. New Orleans state Senator JP Morrell says finding the amoeba in St. Bernard Parish water means a possible systematic problem. Morrell has written Governor Jindal and the health department, urging statewide testing and a set benchmark for chlorine amounts that will kill the amoeba yet still be harmless to humans.
There are just two more days to cast early ballots for the October 19th special election. Secretary of State Tom Schedler reminds us to take advantage of the ease and convenience of casting your vote early. There are local issues on ballots in 46 parishes, but the highest profile race will be in the state's 5th Congressional District, where voters must choose a successor the Rodney Alexander in the U.S. House. So far only around 23-thousand early ballots have been cast. Early voting ends Saturday at 6p. The election is one week from tomorrow
State employee layoffs since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office neared the 8,000 mark as of September’s end, according to the latest state Civil Service report issued Thursday. Employee layoffs associated with the transfer of LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to private operation pushed layoffs of classified employees to just under 8,000. The numbers are in a report to the Legislature which updates layoff activity through the first three months of the state fiscal year. About 41,800 classified, rank-and-file employees remain on the state payroll.
State Police say an elderly couple from Ferriday has been killed following a three-vehicle crash last night. They says the driver of a pickup, 77-year-old Carolyn Smith, failed to stop at Highway 84
and two cars traveling in different directions slammed into the truck. Smith and her 80 year old husband both died.
State Police report one of their officers collapsed and died while on duty Yesterday in Houma. Supervisor Sgt. Brett Lange was 48-years-old. Attempts to revive him by fellow troopers and EMTs were unsuccessful. He was a 23-year-veteran of the State Police. His cause of death is under investigation. Lange leaves behind a wife and two sons.
The federal government shutdown is, of all things, affecting beer...at least on a small scale. Bayou Teche Brewing President Karlos Knott says they're one of Louisiana's craft brewers waiting for permission to release seasonal beer from a federal agency whose employees are furloughed. Knott says the labels on new beers have to be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tac and Trade Bureau or TTB before they can go out.
A Bossier Parish judge denies parole eligibility for a Ouachita Parish teen convicted of murdering his parents in September 2010. Dalton Fletcher's first sentence was tossed out after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that juvenile convicted of murder may not be denied possible parole. That ruling leaves it up to judges on a case-by-case basis. Fletcher’s Attorney says he will appeal.
A 43-year-old Livingston Parish man is convicted of conning an elderly woman with dementia out of virtually everything she had. Gary Gorman romanced the 75-year-old victim and convinced her they would get maried. She gave him over $80-thousand from a reverse mortgage, $132-thousand from an annuity and signed over power of attorney. He also maxed out all her credit cards. The jury took just 30 minutes to convict him. His sentencing is in December.
A Lafayette school teacher is being disciplined for allegedly doing something to influence students into gluing themselves into their seats. The matter is being investigated, but the teacher is under
It's going slowly still but Louisianians are signing up for health care coverage through the federal government's "health insurance marketplace." Vantage Health Plan spokesman Billy Justice says just over a dozen people have completed the signup & purchase of their offered plans so far. Justice says there have been numerous sign-ups via Vantage sales agents, as many seek to avoid problems with the HealthCare.gov website.
A former state Representative who was accused of federal tax fraud plead guilty in US District Court in New Orleans today to all three counts. Girod Jackson who represented the West Bank of Jefferson Parish is scheduled to be sentenced in January and faces up to 3 years in prison.
Two men who allegedly cut through a prison fence at Angola and attempted to elude officers for two hours before being caught have plead not guilty to simple escape. 49-year-old Melvin Johnson who is a rapist from Orleans Parish and 24-year-old Aaron Francois who is a murderer from Lafayette were assigned defense attorneys and trial has been set for March 17th.
The team that claimed LSU's first Bowl Championship Series title in 2003 will be honored during a halftime ceremony Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. It's been ten years since the Tigers claimed the first national title for LSU in 45 years beating Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. Skyler Green will be among those honored. The 40 members of the 2003 national championship team will be there
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office has taken over the investigation into the death of a Deville woman, whose body was found in Grant Parish. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tommy Carnline says deputies in Grant discovered the human remains on October 2nd. Carnline says Grant Parish investigators and the coroners' office determined the woman, 61-year-old Paula Marlene Kimberlin, was from Rapides Parish and was probably killed here and dumped there. The RPSO is asking anyone with information to please come forward.
Opelousas Police say a man is charged with the first degree murder of his wife after allegedly brutally stabbing her to death Tuesday morning during a domestic dispute. They say 44-year-old Hank Moran was found in their home standing over his wife who'd been stabbed 14 times with a small pocket knife. The man is being held without bond.
Police in Alexandria say a woman is under arrest for allegedly lying about being raped. They say 49-year-old Vanessa Pierce told officers she was the victim of rape and a suspect was even detained. Detectives discovered Pierce had given false information and she was charged with one count of injuring public record. The person in custody was released.
The city of New Orleans plans to submit a major bid package to the NFL to host the Super Bowl in 2018. The city especially wants to get the big game that year, because it will be the 300th birthday of the Crescent City, and will be a great beginning to a year-long celebration.
As the October 19th special election to replace 5th District Congressman Rodney Alexander heats up, many politicos are giving the advantage to Columbia state Senator Neil Riser. Riser has the support of U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor. UL-Monroe political science professor
Joshua Stockley says things seem to be stacking up in Riser's favor. Stockley says the 5th district is fairly heavily populated with actively voting Republicans, so despite the Democrats and "other" party
candidates in the race, he foresees a probable November runoff between GOP candidates.
As expected, the Ouachita Parish Police Jury has approved a total smoking ban in bars and bingo halls. The 100-percent smoke free ordinance will go into effect January 2 and includes ALL tobacco products including electronic cigarettes, which only release water vapor.
Governor Bobby Jindal is chiming in on the federal government shutdown - now in its second week. On Fox News yesterday, Mr. Jindal says the President is providing poor leadership with the matter. In addition the President is calling for Congress to raise the debt ceiling before October 17th. Jindal says he opposes that, as a way to simply "kicking the can down the road".
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office says a man is under arrest for allegedly using a cell phone to video tape under a woman's dress at a department store. They say a deputy working off duty security at a Wal Mart noticed 29-year-old Jarion Sherman of Baton Rouge following the woman and putting a cell phone under her dress. He is booked with video voyeurism which is a felony.
An East Baton Rouge Parish jury finds two men not guilty in the case of the murders of 2 LSU grad students in 2007. They deliberated for more than six hours and EBR DA Hillar Moore says ultimately the feeling was the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The victims were international students from India.
A woman whose pit bulls attacked an 8 year old girl in 2012 is sentenced to six months in the Tangipahoa Parish jail. DA Scott Perriloux reports 40-year-old Bridgette Harper was charged with negligent injuring after her dog bit a little girl several times while she was playing outside. Another owner of the dog's case is still pending.
The Louisiana Department of Ag and Forestry says a man from Greeenwood keeps stealing timber. They say 61-year-old David Lubas was booked into the Claiborne Parish jail in Homer charged with theft by fraud of timber for the fourth time in less than three months.
The price for Shrimp is up about a $1 from where it was this time last year because there are fewer foreign shrimp available. Thomas Hymel (Hee-Mel) who is a marine extension educator with the LSU Ag Center. He says we only produce about 10% of the shrimp we consume in this country domestically. Hymel says the shrimp are in short supply here because some shrimpers overseas are dealing with a viral disease outbreak in their ponds. He says that's working towards Louisiana shrimpers favor but the prices are up for everyone.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's office says they busted up what appeared to be a very large and organized dog fighting ring Saturday night. spokesman Lt. Tommy Carnline says they received a complaint about suspicious activity going on at an abandoned house on the south end of Alexandria. Carnline says many people were seen running from the residence when officers arrived, and they later discovered 16 vehicles parked behind the house and 3 pit bulls inside some of the cars. Deputies also located an actual dog ring just outside the abandoned dwelling. Carnline says all of the vehicles were seized and the dogs were taken to a local animal control. Two men were arrested. More arrests are expected.
A delegation from SACS’ Commission on Colleges will begin a three-day visit to Louisiana College today to examine the private Baptist College, which is operating under warning status from SACS for the second straight year. Louisiana College was denied reaffirmation of accreditation in December last year leaving it on warning for a second straight year. Which by the way is the maximum amount of time an institution can be on that status. The visiting team will make a recommendation to the SACS board, which will announce its decision on the college’s status at its annual meeting in December.
Operations at Fort Polk are back to 100 percent after the government shutdown forced the base into partial closure last week. Eighty percent of the civilian workforce was furloughed last week. But, it appears all employees are back on the job. Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act on Sept. 30, and President Barack Obama signed it just before the government shutdown began, allowing active-duty military to continue to be paid. The Pay Our Military Act also covers civilian employees as well.
With the falling temperatures, come the falling gas prices. The American Automobile Association says it varies throughout the state, but the average gas price in Louisiana for a gallon of regular is
$3.18. Shreveport Bossier is paying the least at $3.14 a gallon.
State education officials have more-or-less abandoned local school districts to their own resources to implement rigorous new student test standards known as Common Core. So says Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association. Richard says Common Core and related testing standards will require a new curriculum and updated technologies put in place, but the state offers no plan for getting that done. DOE calls it empowerment of the local districts, but Richard says it's like "building an airplane while you fly it".
The partial federal government shutdown moves into its second week and members of Louisiana's Congressional delegation are blaming the other political party for failing to approve a funding bill that would send government employees back to work again. Republican Steve Scalise of Jefferson points the finger at the democratic controlled Senate. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu says the republican controlled House is only willing to talk, if they get everything they want. And so it goes..
A US judge in New Orleans began hearing testimony Monday about how much oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico suing the 2010 BP spill. The US government's estimate is 4.2 million barrels. Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute, Eric Smith, says the estimate is based on video that showed large amounts of oil slowing out of the blow out well. BP's estimate is much lower at 2.45 million barrels and that is the argument they will make.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is the SEC Offensive Player of the week after leading LSU to a 59-26 victory over Mississippi State. Mett completed 25 passes on 29 attempts for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns.
A Bossier Parish man is behind bars, after viciously stabbing both his parents Sunday. Authorities say 29-year- old Steve Hall II lived with his mom and dad. Though his motive is yet unknown, it’s believed he was upset with his folks after they asked him to get a place of his own.
An insanity hearing is scheduled in a Livingston court today for the man who allegedly cut his unborn baby out of its mother when he claimed to be high on bath salts. The disturbing incident took place almost exactly a year ago. Jeffrey Reynolds of Walker was charged with feticide.
Louisiana wakes to brisk Autumn weather today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a cold front entered the state over the past several hours, bringing cold, dry conditions. Keim says the blast of cool air over the state started over the northern Pacific Ocean, before crossing the Rocky Mountains and slowly working its way southeast. He says we can enjoy the cool snap now through Wednesday.
Early voting for the October 19th election runs now through Saturday. Polling hours are from 8:30 AM to 6 PM at your parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations. Voters in 49 parishes have various items on the ballot including tax propositions. The biggest item is the Fifth Congressional district election, which impacts 24 parishes in the state.
The federal government shutdown will NOT affect benefits for Louisiana mothers and their kids, under the Women, Infants and Children Program, commonly called "WIC." J.T. Lane is Assistant Secretary for Public Health at the Department of Health and Hospitals. He says a local budget surplus is the reason why. Lane says feds gave DHH to permission to use leftover WIC funds from last year to assure that doesn't happen here.
A 7-year-old child outside playing was shot and wounded in the leg Sunday afternoon when a man opened fire on a nearby SUV. Baton Rouge PD report the gunman approached the SUV, which was occupied by two people, and opened fire with bullets going through the front windshield and the driver’s side door. Neither of the occupants was injured in the attack.
With the help of a private consultant, the Jindal administration plans to give a tune-up to a state government IT system that employs hundreds of workers and costs nearly half a billion dollars a year. Roughly 800 people work in information technology, the computer and telecommunication systems that store and use data departments in 20 executive branch agencies. Jindal administration aide Ruth Johnson said any positions eliminated will not be through layoffs, but when people retire or take other jobs. She said the goal is not privatization in and of itself. although there may be some of that.
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury is meeting today along with both the Monroe and West Monroe City Councils to vote on an ordinance that would ban smoking in bars and establishments like Bingo
Halls. Police jury president Shane Smiley says this is an extension of the state smoking ban that's already in place for restaurants. He says the parish-wide smoking ban would mean a level playing field for businesses. Smiley says Monroe and West Monroe have agreed to a workplace smoking ban as well and he expects it will pass today.
It's Fire Prevention Week and that's important, because Louisiana has one of the highest death rates in the country based on data compiled by the US Fire Administration. The state's fire death rate is 7th highest in the nation. United States Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell says most of these fatalities happen at night and are preventable. Mitchell says the best thing you can do it to make sure your smoke detectors work.
Louisiana Tech won its first ever Conference USA game on Saturday with a
38-35 victory over U-TEP. Coach Skip Holtz says it was a big win for his
The Ragin Cajuns won their Sun Belt opener on Saturday by beating Texas
State 48 to 24.
The 10th ranked LSU Tigers bounced back from their loss to Georgia with
a 59-26 win over Mississippi State.
The Saints are an NFC best 5-and-0 after beating the Chicago Bears 26-18
The state is preparing for whatever Tropical Storm Karen may bring our way. State Climatologist Barry Keim says warm sea surface temperatures are feeding Karen's intensity, but other weather factors are working to diminish it. The National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service predict Karen will become a hurricane later today, but will likely lose strength before coming ashore, somewhere between Plaquemines Parish and the Florida panhandle. Keim advises southeast Louisiana be prepared for a Category One hurricane.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is keeping a close eye on this storm. GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis is encouraging you to listen to advisories as we head into the weekend and check your emergency supplies and review your emergency plans.
You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new ALERT FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the new Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other important information at www.getagameplan.org.
The early voting period for the October 19th election begins tomorrow morning. Early voting will go from tomorrow until Saturday October 12th, from 8:30 AM to Six PM, excluding Sunday. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says citizens who want to vote early, may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations. Voters in 49 parishes have various items from tax propositions that are on the ballot for the October 19th election. The biggest item is the 5th Congressional district election, which impacts 24 parishes in the state.
The Wildest Show in the South is back as the Angola Prison Rodeo kicks off this weekend. Cathy Fontenot is the assistant warden of programming at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. She says this is
probably the most unusual and unique event you might ever attend. Fontenot says people from all over the world come to Angola to catch one of the October Sunday rodeos and enjoy music from inmate bands and the famous offender-made arts and crafts. She says tickets for this Sunday's rodeo are almost sold out and they expect over 13,000 people to attend.
The state Department of Revenue is reaching out to delinquent taxpayers to remind them there's a tax amnesty going on. From now 'til November 23rd, those behind on state taxes can get caught up, with no penalty fees and pay only half the accrued interest. LDR executive counsel Jason Decuir says the goal is to collect $200-million by then. He cannot say how much they've brought in so far..:
One of the most famous houses in Louisiana is hitting the auction block. The Cook-Taylor House aka the "Steel Magnolia House" in Natchitoches is being sold to the highest bidder on October 26th. Auctioneer Barbara Bonnette says owner Christina Landry has been operating the house as a bed and breakfast.
Tenth ranked LSU will look for a bounce back performance tomorrow night against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. LSU has won 13 straight over the Bulldogs. 1999 was the last time State beat the Tigers and that was in Starkville. The Bulldogs home stadium seats 55-thousand, but it gets loud with all of those Cowbells.
The police chief of Colfax has been arrested and charged with theft and malfeasance in office. A complaint to the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office led to an investigation and the arrest of 43 year old Charles Stickell. The release from the sheriff’s office does not go into any detail, like what was alleged in the complaint or even when the arrest was made. It does state that a warrant for Stickell's arrest was issued after the investigation. Neither Colfax Mayor Gerald Hamilton or representatives of the Colfax Police Department would commented on the arrest.
Authorities in grant parish report two fishermen found the body of an unidentified woman in the Little River just south of Pollock Tuesday. The grant parish sheriff’s department reports the body was that of a white female between the ages of 35 to 65. There have been no reports of anyone matching that description in the parish. The body has been sent for an autopsy, and an investigation is continuing.
The price of gasoline has fallen for the past 30 days here in Louisiana. The AAA now reports the statewide average for a gallon of gas is $3.22 and there are reports some stations in the Slidell are selling it for less than $3 a gallon.
Isn't it a little late in the year for a possible tropical storm? History says "no", there've been numerous storms and even hurricanes in October for Louisiana, including Hurricane Lili in 2002. Right now a tropical wave, just east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is headed for the southern Gulf and predicted to turn north in our direction. There's a 70% chance it could reach named storm intensity within the next two days.
Good news for Louisiana sportsmen; the Federal government shutdown will have no effect on the state's wildlife management areas. That's represents over a million acres of public areas within the areas that hunters can access. Deer and resident game season opens this week.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Brees threw for 413 yards in New Orleans 38-17 victory over Miami. It's the 15th time he's won the award since coming to the Saints. Former LSU Tiger, Patrick Peterson, is the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Peterson had two big interceptions to help Arizona rally to beat Tampa Bay 13 to 10.
A Belle Chasse man is behind bars, pending a $50-thousand bond, for shooting secret nude videos of his fiancée’s teen daughter in the bathroom. Plaquemines Parish authorities say the mother found the video files on the family computer and called them. Once arrested, the man admitted everything. If convicted of video voyeurism he could face 10 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender. The suspect's identity is being withheld to protect the identity of his 15-year-old victim.
Another Louisiana city is considering tougher anti-smoking laws. Thibodaux's city council is considering a ban on smoking along walking paths in the city's public parks. One park in question is next to the Nicholls State campus, where lighting up is banned entirely. Citizens complain the park is littered with cigarette butts.
State Farm is raising the rates on its homeowners insurance policies in Louisiana. That means premiums will rise an average of eight-point-seven percent for the nearly 308-thousand homeowners policyholders. State Farm spokesperson Gary Stephenson says the higher rates are already in effect for new customers and existing policyholders will see the rate increase after November first. State Farm's last rate adjustment was in February 2012 and that was a statewide average increase of eight percent.
A 150-million dollar expansion and modernization of a grain facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge will help Louisiana farmers ship their grain around the world. LSU Ag Center economist, Doctor Kurt Guidry, says the new facility should help increase producers income.Louis Dreyfus, a global merchandiser of commodities, invested the money into the project. Guidry says expectations for the expanded facility are high.
The partial federal government shutdown has thousands of Louisiana residents at home and missing out on a paycheck. There's an estimated 20-thousand federal employees in Louisiana. Fort Polk in Vernon Parish has about three-thousand government workers and base spokesperson Scott Stearns says 80-percent of their workers have been furloughed. This is the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.
The National Hurricane Center is watching an area of low pressure that shows some signs of organization in the western Caribbean. Richard Pasch, with the National Hurricane Center, says this disturbance is expected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico later this week. He says they give it a medium chance of developing into a named storm.
Opening day glitches were apparent Tuesday as the online insurance marketplaces at the heart of the national health-care overhaul opened. A spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, one of four companies providing insurance through the exchange in Louisiana, said no one among about a dozen testers of the system was able to complete a transaction early Tuesday.
Company spokesman John Maginnis said BCBS is advising people to take a deep breath, relax and check back. The exchanges are going to be open for quite a long time. The enrollment period lasts six months. Louisiana is among the states that refused to run its own marketplace, leaving that to the federal government under a decision made by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
State Superintendent of Education John White reiterated his support Tuesday for tougher academic standards and blasted what he labeled as a static public school establishment. In a speech in Washington, D.C., White noted that students in Louisiana have long ranked between 45th and 49th. White and other backers say the standards will improve student achievement and allow state-to-state comparisons on how students fare in the classroom. Critics contend the new guidelines will pave the way for a federal curriculum.
From the WHAT? Department.. A federal judge orders the immediate release of an Angola prisoner
who has spent four decades in solitary confinement. Judge Brian Jackson says Angola 3 member Herman Wallace should be free to go, because there were no women on the jury that convicted him in the stabbing death of an Angola prison guard in 1972. Wallace, who is in the late stages of liver cancer, was released late last night and transported to a new Orleans hospital.
Just before the federal government shutdown, Louisiana received word from the US Department of Veterans affairs that they'll provide funding for a veterans cemetery in Rayville. David LaCerte, deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, says this newest cemetery
provides for the needs of about 35-thousand Veterans and their families. The cemetery will be located near I-20 on property donated by the Franklin family. It will span about 50 acres. The hope is to have a new veterans cemetery completed in early 2015.
The Louisiana Hospitals Association, along with state and local partners launch a six month initiative to help make a healthier Louisiana. LHA Board Chairman Stephen Wright says the "Geaux Lite" challenge has an eye toward a slimmer Louisiana. Geaux Lite seeks to challenge Louisianans to lose a combined 200 tons of weight. That's 400-thousand pounds. Department of Health & Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert (KLEE-bear) says 34.7% of Louisianans are overweight.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff's office placed a deputy on leave who allegedly beat a man in handcuffs with a baton at the Sugar Cane Festival. Reverend Raymond Brown with Action Now says it started
Saturday when several people were arrested on rioting charges. He says the police doubled up forces for Sunday and things got out of control. Brown says one of the people at the festival asked a deputy why they were being so mean, and that's when that man was cuffed and then clubbed with a baton. He says a video of the incident has gone viral.
Two teenage girls from Baker have been arrested and charged with cyber stalking after using Twitter to threaten to kill another girl. Chantel Williams and Jasmine Montgomery, both 17, were apparently making the threats because one of their boyfriends was expressing interest in the victim.
A 23-year-old Franklin man is facing first-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of a man whose body was found in the roadway near Jeanerette early Monday morning. St. Mary Parish Sheriff's office spokesperson, Tracy Landry, says 23-year-old Jazmine Jackson is now behind bars..
One of the five men suspected in a triple homicide and home invasion case in Ascension Parish has pleaded guilty before the trial was set to begin. Michael Aikens is accused of taking part in the murders of Irwin and Shirley Marchand and their son Doug Dooley in order to steal coins from their house. Aikens agreed to plead guilty in exchange for three life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's deputies have retrieved a body from Lake Pontchartrain. It's believed to be the remains of the man whose truck drove off the Causeway bridge yesterday, though a positive identification has not yet been made. An autopsy of the male body has been ordered.
Loyola University in New Orleans has been awarded a NASA grant for a new invention that uses body heat to recharge smartphones. The invention refines the science of thermoelectricity; converting heat into electric current. A physics professor at Loyola leads the team who are developing the device.
State Police rescued a child that was reported missing from Florida Tuesday . Troopers say they were on the lookout for a blue Chrysler minvan traveling west on I-10. They spotted the vehicle near Henderson and pulled it over. The child was inside and recovered by troopers. The driver, 38-year-old Gloria Reyes, of Orlando, was arrested for warrants in Florida. Her relationship to the 5-year-old is yet unknown.
A mess on I-49 yesterday morning, between The Forest Hill and Meeker exits, after a tanker truck caught on fire. Traffic was detoured for hours as authorities contained the mess. The roadway was reopened shortly before 2 in the afternoon.
The price at the pump has slipped once again. The American Automobile Association says the current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $3.22 which is down a penny from yesterday and 21 cents less than this time last month.
New federal data shows personal income in Louisiana grew at the fourth-fastest rate in the nation, for the first half of this year. The report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that growth rate was 1.3 percent. LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says that's largely driven by new business and industry, and building to house them. In the report, only Arizona, Florida and New Hampshire show higher rates of personal income growth in the years first two quarters.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is advising people to be patient and prepared before you sit down and shop the health insurance marketplace which opens today. BCBS Spokesman John Maginnis says they are working closely with the government but it's possible there will be some technical issues at the start. Customers will be able to begin purchasing health insurance today, but the deadline to purchase coverage for a January 1, 2014 start date is December 15th. He says the marketplace is scheduled to remain open through March 31st.
State officials have lifted the outdoor burn ban that had been in place for fully half of Louisiana's parishes. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says daytime high temperatures are falling, and there's been a fair amount of measurable rain in drought-stricken areas. However, Browning says even though the ban is over, remember outdoor fires will still be subject to any state or local laws and fire department restrictions.
Governor Bobby Jindal has invited President Obama to Louisiana so he can meet with parents of children who received taxpayer funded vouchers to attend private schools. Jindal's invite is in response to the federal government's lawsuit against the program. The US Justice Department filed the suit seeking to prohibit Louisiana from giving out future vouchers to students who attend public schools that under federal desegregation orders.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office says the wife of the suspect in the case of the pastor who was shot while giving a church sermon, filed rape charges against the preacher last Wednesday. They say Pastor Ronald Harris and the suspect Woodrow Karry's wife exchanged text messages that were found by the suspect last weekend. Both the shooting and the rape allegations are being investigated to determine if there was a consensual sexual relationship between Harris and Karey's wife or if it was non-consensual.
In St. Landry Parish, 34-year-old Todd Richard of Arnaudville has been arrested after allegedly slipping narcotics into his 78-year-old grandmother's food to make her sleep. Sheriff deputies
say Richard gave her drugs so he can smoke crystal met in the house and he also allegedly stole seven-thousand dollars from his grandmother.
Deputies in St. Mary Parish are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered lying on state Highway 182, near Jeanerette, early Monday morning. An autopsy has been ordered to determine exact cause of death, but detectives have already started investigating the man's death as a homicide.
Flood insurance rate hikes for many south Louisiana homes and businesses built prior to the first 1973 federal flood maps will begin being phased in today as new changes for the National Flood Insurance Program goes into effect. The Oct. 1 trigger applies to properties — businesses, secondary vacation homes and homes that have been repeatedly flooded — that were grandfathered into artificially lower premiums for flood insurance before flood maps were created. Such impacted policyholders will see 25 percent annual premium increases over a few years. However, those not grandfathered in could see their rates go from $400 a year to $15,000.
Can you say 4 and 0… Drew Brees passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns as the Saints served a meal of whoop ass to the Miami Dolphins last night.. the final 38-17.
LSU has dropped four places on the AP Top 25 College Football Poll, after Saturday's hard fought loss to Georgia. LSU went from 6th place last week to 10th. The Tigers are also ranked 11th on the USA Today Coaches' Poll.