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Hollis files lawsuit over Landrieu residency

Former Senate hopeful Republican Paul Hollis has filed a lawsuit against Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu claiming she cannot represent Louisiana because she does not live in the state.  

ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says this merely is a political ploy to detract from the senator's re-election campaign.
"Senator Landrieu has a residency in Louisiana, whether it is with her parents or not is irrelevant.  She pays taxes here in Louisiana as a Louisiana resident"
The US Constitution states that in order to qualify you have to be a registered voter in the state where you are running and an "inhabitant" of that state.  The Secretary of State's office says Landrieu is a registered Louisiana voter.  Stockley doesn't think the lawsuit will have any long-term effect on Landrieu's campaign, but feels it can be a temporary issue.
"Because instead of talking about other issues like oil and gas, education, and her chairmanship, she's going to have to spend a little bit of time defending that she is a Louisiana resident."
Hollis dropped out of the race and threw his support to Republican Representative Bill Cassidy.  He filed the lawsuit Friday.  Stockley says this lawsuit has no impact to Hollis, himself. 
"He's merely trying to help Bill Cassidy and help Republicans defeat Senator Landrieu."
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Judge temporarily blocks enforcement of controversial abortion law

Michelle Southern reporting.
The law that would require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals went into effect today, but a Louisiana judge rules officials can not enforce it yet. Abortion doctors who have started the application process can not be penalized under the order. 

Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Benjamin Clapper feels it's a fair ruling.

"To be clear the law is not frozen and it hasn't been stopped," said Clapper. "It allows for abortionists to receive word from hospitals on their pending applications."

The law was passed by the state legislature in the last session. Center for Reproductive Rights Senior Council Janet Crepps says they applaud the decision by the judge.

"The ruling is going to ensure that Louisiana women are safe from this kind of underhanded attempt to block their access to abortion," said Crepps.

Crepps says politicians should not be lying about their motives with House Bill 388 which they say would have forced abortion clinics in Louisiana to close this week if it was enforced. 

She says not only is the law medically unnecessary it's also harmful to women and they want to see it struck down in its entirety.

"In the meantime our short-term goal is to make sure that women continue to have safe and legal access to abortion in Louisiana," said Crepps.

The measure mandates abortion doctors must be able to admit a patient into a hospital within 30 minutes should an emergency take place.

Clapper says the judges ruling is a step in the right direction to protecting the health of women.

"It begins the goal of putting safety requirements into place," said Clapper.


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LSU rallies for victory while the Cajuns and Lions win Big

The 2014 college football season is off to a thrilling start for the LSU Tigers. The Bayou Bengals rallied back from a 17-point third quarter deficit to beat Wisconsin 28-24. Associate Head Coach and running backs coach Frank Wilson says it was a great character win.

"It showed that this team has a chance," Wilson said. "We have a chance to do some good things and we are going to work extremely hard to put ourselves in a position to claim victory more times than not."
As expected Anthony Jennings started at quarterback and played most of the game. He had a couple of shaky moments, but ended up throwing for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
The Ragin Cajuns rolled up 512 yards of total offense as UL Lafayette defeated Southern 45-6. Quarterback Terrance Broadway threw for 237 yards and four touchdowns, he also rushed for a score.
Southeastern Louisiana won in a laugher as well, as the Lions defeated Jackonsville 44-3. The Lions had 564 yards in total offense and quarterback Bryan Bennett threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns, he also rushed for game-high 93 yards. 
Louisiana Tech was no match for third ranked Oklahoma as the Sooners crushed the Bulldogs 48-16. Tech rushed for only 54 yards, while Cody Sokol threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
And, Lamar upended Grambling State 42-27. Grambling gave up 28 points in the 3rd quarter, which ended up coasting them an upset victory. 
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LWC: Louisiana has a lot to be proud of this Labor Day

Michelle Southern reporting.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the job outlook in Sportsman's Paradise is giving us a lot to celebrate on this Labor Day. According to LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink, the labor force in Louisiana is stronger now than ever before.

"Our workforce is bigger than it's been. I think it's better trained and better equipped than it's been," said Eysink. "It's growing as well as it has in a long, long time and we have a really bright future."

Eysink says it's great that we've got government agencies, education leaders on every level and business and industry at the table to figure out how to make Louisiana's workforce better into the future.

He says wages have been growing as fast as the economy here.

"And I think the average take home pay in Louisiana now is greater than it's ever been," Eysink said.

Eysink says private sector job growth in Louisiana has increased every month for about the last four years. He says more than 2 million Louisianians are working today which is an all time high.

"We also have a record for the number of jobs which is approaching 2 million," said Eysink. "Some people work more than one job so both of those growing together is a really strong indicator of the vitality of our labor markets."
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Beef prices continue to rise

If you are planning a Labor Day cookout, don't expect to find any real bargains on burgers or steak this holiday.  Increased beef prices are due to a shortage of cows in the country.

LSU AgCenter Extension Economist Ross Pruitt says consumers won't get much of a break in beef prices.
"The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has come out in the past few weeks and said that all ground beef prices are about $4.22 during the month of July."
He says beef production continues to fall in the United States.  He says production is almost six-percent lower than this time last year.  Pruitt says more price increases are on the horizon. 
"The record prices we've seen, up to this point this year, at the wholesale level and even the farm gate level haven't been fully transferred down to consumers, just yet."
Pruitt says consumer beef prices will continue to rise through the rest of this year.  He says you shouldn't be afraid to shop around to find the best deal. 
"If you find decent prices, don't be afraid to stock up and store it in the freezer, properly, for the next couple of months.  Because prices are going to slowly continue to rise at the grocery level."
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Department of Revenue warns citizens about a data breach

State officials say a data breach involving JP Morgan Chase may have exposed Louisiana citizens to identity theft or fraud.

The state department of revenue says JPMorgan Chase notified them on Thursday that personally identifiable information it holds under contracts with state agencies may have been breached. But the company does not if or to what extent information on Louisiana citizens may have been exposed. 
So the state is asking residents who have used pre-paid debit cards issued by Louisiana agencies to monitor their credit statements and financial reports for suspicious activity.
You may have received a pre-paid debit card from the state for unemployment benefits, child support, STEP supportive services or child care assistance. 
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Labor Day Weekend gas prices down to 2010 levels

Michelle Southern reporting.
According to GasBuddy.com, domestic oil production is keeping the nation's gas prices down to 2010 Labor Day weekend levels. Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says prices on average in Louisiana are about 20 cents lower today than they were a year ago.

"With some prices throughout the state under $3.00 a gallon," said DeHaan.

DeHaan says the lack of hurricanes is allowing for oil production to go on without any disruption. He says the United States is about to eclipse Saudi Arabia in monthly oil production.

"We're talking about a huge increase in the amount of oil that this country is able to produce," said DeHaan. "Refineries have been running all summer."

DeHaan says the low price at the pump is boosting consumer confidence and as a result more people are hitting the road for an end of summer vacation.

He says the good news doesn't end there as demand for gasoline drops after this weekend.

"And then mid-September the entire country goes back to a cheaper form of gasoline, the winter blend," said DeHaan. "So we should see the downward trend continue throughout the fall months."

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Jindal's office ready to pay $275,000 in legal fees to defeat Common Core

Based on contracts approved by the division of administration, Governor Jindal could pay outside lawyers as much as 275-thousand dollars in state money to represent his office in lawsuits over Common Core.

Governor Jindal filed a lawsuit earlier this week against the Obama administration over Common Core. Jindal accuses the federal government of trying to nationalize the curriculum in local schools. 
A Jindal spokesperson says outside counsel is needed when the individual has special expertise in certain areas of the law.
UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says there is a vocal group of anti-Common Core supporters, but there are also many who support the education standards and wish Jindal would spend the state's money elsewhere.
"This expenditure is going to be seen as unwarranted, unnecessary and too much," Cross said.  
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Nine years after Hurricane Katrina preparedness improves

Today marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in Louisiana.  Even after nine years, memories are still fresh and recovery continues. 

Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Kevin Davis, says the state has made great strides in hurricane preparedness since Katrina.
"Communication, number one.  Statewide radio system, number two.  Continually doing exercises, planning, and training with all of our local partners and the parishes are very well in tune to their response and their recovery nine years later."
Davis was President of St. Tammany Parish when Katrina hit.  He says he feels the people of Louisiana have learned quite a bit about hurricane preparedness as a result of Katrina.  Davis is very confident on the local and statewide level that officials are prepared for any type of disaster.
"You have a wealth of information and experience as we're doing planning and training.  And you bring all that forward to help those new folks who come into the systems to be better prepared."
Davis says recovery after a storm is always difficult because every community is different.  But he thinks the knowledge gained after Hurricane Katrina will benefit Louisiana for years to come.
"I think the lessons learned and what we've experienced through that process, nine years later, that wealth of information and then applying it to today, in case there is something in the future, will mean a faster recovery."
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LSU fans gearin' up!

Michelle Southern reporting.
Tomorrow is LSU's first game of the season so it's crunch time for Tiger Fans to get geared up in their purple and gold! Jennifer Feduccia is the owner of a LSU fan shop called Holiday Hallmark in Baton Rouge. She says they've seen a huge influx in LSU women's apparel that is flying off the shelves.

"They don't make just plain t-shirts anymore..they make the most GOOD looking LSU shirts that have a little bling to them and they fit you like a lady," said Feduccia. "No longer do ladies have to try to wear a man's shirt at the game."

LSU introduced a new logo this season and basically said goodbye, officially, to the old Tiger logo that was extremely unpopular with fans. Feduccia says her customers are EXTREMELY glad to see "Toonces" go.

"I mean there was nothing wrong with our original Mike, we loved him," said Feduccia. "People really love the Tiger Eye."

Feduccia says fans have been coming in and out all week to get their favorite shirt that will be "THE" lucky shirt they wear for the 2014 season.
 She says one of their new items that fans are literally eating up is the LSU "fan pan".

"You can make LSU ice cubes, LSU cupcakes, LSU cakes all in the shape of LSU," said Feduccia.


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