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  • News for Thursday 111518

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Today is recognized as the Great American Smokeout, an observation started by the American Cancer Society in 1975.  Spokesperson for Louisiana’s Smoking Cessation Trust Jim Pittman says the observation was started in an effort to get tobacco users to kick the habit in favor of using money spent on smoking toward charity. According to a recent report, about 23% of adults in Louisiana smoke.

     

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis has announced the Gross Domestic Product grew in Louisiana for the second quarter of 2018, making it the 12th fastest economic growth in the nation, and third among the 12 states of the southeastern region.  LSU economist Loren Scott says the state’s percentage rate of growth just barely outpaces the national average. Scott says the news creates optimism for the state, even in the oil patch, where recent years have not been kind to the industry.

     

    Louisiana’s Attorney General says he’s running for re-election, taking him out as a possible candidate to challenge for the Governor’s mansion next year.  Landry says he’s comfortable he can best serve the state by continuing in his current job.  When it comes to GOP contenders for the Governors election, Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone has announced his entrance into the race, while Sen. John Kennedy says he’ll make his decision by December 1.

     

    Governor Edwards is criticizing a decision by interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to publicly claim the former Mayor of New Roads “illegally cast his ballot” in the midterm election, when the Governor says further review showed Robert Myer was actually eligible to vote. Ardoin says he made that assertion after discovering Myer’s name was never added to the “can’t vote” list after his conviction in January.

     

    A half-inch of snow fell in Monroe Wednesday morning, and the national weather service says its the earliest recorded accumulated snowfall in Monroe’s history.

     

    Congressman Steve Scalise will be House Minority Whip for the 116th Congress after winning in a unanimous vote. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says as the current Majority Whip, it’s a role Scalise is very familiar with. California Congressman Kevin McCarthy is taking the reins of Minority Leader in the House next year. A leadership vote for Speaker has not been held yet by the Democrats, but reports say current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the favorite.

     

    New Orleans was the host city for WWE’s annual Wrestlemania event back in April, and now we know the economic impact.  It’s estimated that the over 78-thousand in attendance for the event at the Mercedes Benz Superdome contributed to a $175-million boom for the economy of the New Orleans region.

     

    Governor Edwards was out in California Wednesday for the Rolling Stone/Variety Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, where he was on a panel discussing how Criminal Justice reforms are shaping up in Louisiana, and how successes in Louisiana can be used elsewhere. The summit hopes to use the power of entertainment to spread a pro-reform message across the country.

     

    A 71-year-old Mandeville financial adviser who stole more than $1.1 million from elderly investors has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Ralph Willard Savoie, who previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, also was ordered Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to pay $1.1 million-plus in restitution and forfeit another $1.1 million. Savoie, who also had an office in Baton Rouge, defrauded clients by using their money for personal expenses, to pay off other investors and to invest in a risky real estate venture.

     

    Sports..

     

    One of the nation’s top high school running backs in the nation has committed to LSU. Destrehan’s John Emery is rated as the second best running back in the country, according to 24-7 sports. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says this is a big win for Coach Ed Orgeron on the recruiting front. Emery committed to Georgia during the summer, but de-committed 12 days later after watching the Tigers upset the Bulldogs in Death Valley.

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  • News for Wednesday 111418

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Winter weather is here to stay. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this cold front is an introduction to the winter as arctic air has settled. Today the northern part of the state will see temperatures in the twenties, central Louisiana will be in the thirties, and the southern portion will experience the warmest weather with temperatures in the fifties.

    Keim says this weekend the Bayou state will see some higher temperatures.

     

    By the way.. Cold weather resulted in snow flurries in the Shreveport area yesterday morning. 

     

    When temperatures go below freezing in Louisiana, the fire risk increases. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the first priority to keep your family safe is to make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Browning says the use of space heaters is quite common, saying it’s important to keep them five feet away from anything combustible, don’t overload wall outlets, and do not use them with extension cords. Browning insists that no one use a kitchen stove top or oven in an attempt to warm their home.

     

    Local authorities are still looking for one suspect in a Rapides Parish burglary and theft ring. The APD put out an alert for 34 Year old Kevin Harris of Pineville on a laundry list of charges. The department busted the ring, arresting two people last week. Anyone with information on Kevin Harris is asked to contact police.

     

    Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says the state Medicaid program potentially paid 85 million dollars in medical costs for people who may not have been eligible for benefits. Medicaid previously only checked wage eligibility every 12 months, and Purpera says that led to overpayments relative to other states who check eligibility more frequently.

    But that policy is now changing, as the state will be checking eligibility more frequently starting in January.

     

    71 percent of early education programs in the state were rated proficient, up five percent from last year according to the Louisiana Department of Education. Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Melanie Bronfin says the state though is seriously lacking when it comes to childcare support for working class.

     

    Food banks are seeing empty shelves as the holidays are approaching. President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Mike Manning says the nation responding to areas hardest hit by natural disasters are having a negative impact of the food bank’s ability to fill the shelves with food. Manning says a contributing factor is the lack of excess production as a result of ongoing natural disasters. Manning says in order to fix the issue, it’ll just take more donations.

     

    The ACLU of Louisiana is looking for answers from authorities after a Winnfield woman lost sight in her right eye due to a police taser.  ACLU spokesperson Bruce Hamilton says Tanisha White had gone to a private residence to speak with someone, while there she called the Winnfield Police. Details on how and why white was hit with a taser are not clear. Hamilton says the open request for policies regarding the use of force have been unanswered, with the department refusing to comment on the case.

     

    Sad story out of Baton Rouge as a piano teacher was killed in Mississippi while helping out a motorist who was involved in a crash. Mississippi Highway Patrol says 52-year-old Leslie Wood was killed on I-55 when a semi hit Wood’s vehicle on the side of the road and hit her too. Wood taught at Baton Rouge Magnet High School.

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  • News for Tuesday 111318

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Three 13-year-olds have been arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office after a student overheard them planning a shooting at Grant Junior High and reported it to authorities. As of right now, they are facing charges of terrorizing. The news of the arrests comes less than a week after voters rejected a 1 percent sales tax that would have put Grant deputies into parish schools as school resource officers, as well as funding the D.A.R.E. program, providing equipment, salaries and benefits for deputies.

     

    A threat to Hammond Magnet High School was posted early Monday morning to social media, resulting in the school being closed before students arrived. Police are saying nothing was found during a search of the campus.

     

    Chilled temperatures take over the Bayou state this week.  Louisiana is stuck with rain and clouds throughout the early portion of today. But State Climatologist Barry Keim says dryer conditions are on the way. Keim says if you thought today was cold with highs in the mid-40s to 50s, it gets even colder as the week progresses. Good news is we’ll see daytime temps back in the 60’s by Friday and sunshine through the weekend.

     

    Here in Cenla we had reports of close to two inched of rain in some locations since Saturday.. In Shreveport / Bossier better than 3 ½  inches of rain fell and that shut down interstate 20 yesterday morning for several hours. Everything is now back to normal.

     

    Police are on the hunt for the gunman who ambushed a man outside of a funeral in Crowley. The funeral was being held for a late October shooting victim, and his mother who passed away from health complications two days later. Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard says it’s a horrific event, but thankfully no one else at the funeral or outside of the building was injured in the shooting. He says the minister was able to keep his congregation safe during the chaos.

     

    Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance says his deputies are looking to the arrest the person who fired a bullet into an apartment complex in Ringgold killing 31-year-old Shanette Carter. The Sheriff says Carter’s five-year-old child found her mom dead.  Detectives do not believe Carter was the target of the bullet, but rather a victim of a stray bullet.

     

    Republican Senator Rick Ward of Port Allen is attempting to build awareness and public support for a new bridge crossing the Mississippi River with a TV ad that started airing last week.  Ward says the new bridge would help alleviate the congested roadway issues for Baton Rouge and outlying areas. The proposed bridge doesn’t have a solidified location yet, but the estimated cost is about $1 billion. 

     

    Congratulations to a friend and colleague. Louisiana Radio Network’s Don Molino, a familiar voice for 30 years has been named the 2018 National Farm Broadcaster of the Year.  Molino says he was shocked upon hearing his name announced at the National Farm Broadcasters annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri this past Friday.

     

    A Pearl River man has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide in the killing of a friend while they were hunting hogs in the Honey Island Swamp.  22-year-old Donald Jones of Pearl River was arrested Saturday after he told wildlife officials he accidentally shot 23-year-old Zachary Swanson of Slidell.  Authorities say Jones fired toward a hog, but hit his friend instead.

     

    Sports..

     

    After losing six in a row, the Pelicans took a two-game win streak into Toronto last night where New Orleans faced the12-and-1 Raptors. So now make a three game winning streak. The Pels beat the Raptors 126 - 110

     

    Not many LSU fans were excited about the Tigers 24-17 win over Arkansas on Saturday. The expectation was for LSU to win by a lot more points against a team that has just two wins and has played poorly on defense this season. Coach Ed Orgeron calls it a nice bounce back win after getting shut out by Alabama. LSU returns to Tiger Stadium to host 1-and-10 Rice. Add cornerback Kristian Fulton to the injury list. Orgeron says Fulton will be out awhile.

     

    After torching the Bengal’s defense Sunday, Saint’s head coach Sean Payton admits to smashing a fire alarm in the visitor’s locker room about thirty minutes before the Saints smashed the Bengal’s on their home field. Peyton says the alarm had been going off for about 15 minutes when he decided to put an end to the racket. It’s not clear if he’ll face any penalties, but the Bengals say they’ve contacted the authorities.

     

    Monday night Football it was the NY Giants over the 49ers 27 to 23

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  • News for Monday 111218

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The mother of an infant that was found burned alive in a barn in Natchitoches has been indicted on 1st degree murder. 23-year-old Hannah Baker allegedly asked her partner, Felicia Smith to murder her child. On July 17th, police say Smith set took the child from Bakers home and set it on fire, but Baker says her child was stolen against her will during a break in.

     

    On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, investigators from Louisiana State Police, in conjunction with numerous other law enforcement agencies, conducted a criminal enforcement detail in Avoyelles, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn Parishes. The objective was to serve fugitive warrants and apprehend individuals engaged in criminal activity. Authorities report along with the 49 individuals arrested, law enforcement officers also seized various illegal drugs, several firearms, bullet proof vests, and currency.

     

    Those looking for an excuse to break out that beloved hoodie or sweater will get the opportunity to do so for the next few days. The National Weather Service says much of the state will flirt with freezing temps overnight Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

     

    Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup is the surprise of the midterms, as the Democrat will head to a run-off against Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin. Collins-Greenup was just 10 thousand votes shy of topping the Interim Secretary, despite little fundraising and not securing the Democratic Party’s backing, which went to 3rd place candidate Renee Fontenot Free. She says she never viewed herself as an underdog.

    Collins-Greenup raised less than 3,000 dollars for her run. The run-off election will be held December 8th.

     

    Six weeks from today it’s Christmas Eve and the National Retail Federation projects a consumer will spend on average, 1,007 dollars this holiday season, up 4 percent over last year. N-R-F spokesperson Ana Serafin Smith says we’ve never seen a November and December this big. 21 percent of consumers say they already started their shopping back in October.

     

    The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is working on a $34 million project that will use rock-filled sacks to protect the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish.  Authority project manager Bevin Barringer says an aggregate material is being used to keep the so called pillows, about the size of a small car, from sinking in the mucky soil. With erosion rapidly taking its toll on the area, Barringer says the objective is to stabilize the shoreline.

     

    Sports..

     

    The Saints clobbered Cincinnati 51-14 yesterday for the Black and Gold’s eighth straight win. Quarterback Drew Brees threw as many touchdown passes as incompletions, three. Michael Thomas had two touchdown catches and Alvin Kamara also found the end zone twice. Some analysts warned this was a trap game, with a home game against Eagles coming up next. But Brees says the players were ready to play…

     

    LSU heads into its final home game of the year of the with an 8-2 record after holding on to beat Arkansas 24-17 on a frigid night in Fayetteville. The Tigers looked like they were going to win this game going away, but the Hogs scored two fourth quarter touchdowns. Coach Ed Orgeron was happy, even though the game got close…

     

    LSU got leaped in the AP Top 25 by Washington State, falling a single spot to No. 10 in the poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. LSU (8-2) beat Arkansas 24-17 Saturday night, but it wasn't enough to keep them ahead of Washington State (9-1), which jumped two spots after the Cougars beat Colorado 31-7. There was no movement for LSU in the USA Today Coaches Poll, where they remain No. 10 after Week 11 of the NCAA football season. The three teams from the Southeastern Conference in the AP Top 25 Poll's top 10 are ranked the same way in the Coaches Poll: No. 1 Alabama (10-0), No. 5 Georgia (9-1), No. 10 LSU (8-2)

     

    ESPN is reporting The New Orleans Saints could possibly sign another wide receiver this week after Dez Bryant's ill-fated Achilles injury placed him on the IR this week. It’s reported the Saints will reach back out to Brandon Marshall, who worked out for the Saints on Tuesday, with a deal possibly being made early this week. The report says Marshall, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 30, impressed the Saints during his workout, and could be playing as early as next week when the Saints take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 11.

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  • News for Friday 110918

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Fall will arrive with a vengeance at the start of this weekend. Rain may stick around as cool air barrels in from Canada but State Climatologist Barry Keim says  though a freeze is possible around Wednesday of next week north Louisiana doesn’t have much to worry about this weekend…

     

    Fewer public schools received an “A” grade while the percentage of schools that received an “F” went up, as school performance scores were released yesterday. State Education Superintendent John White says the decline in schools that received an “A” is because Louisiana has raised the bar for what it takes to earn the highest grade.

     

    The body of a Natchitoches man, who had been reported missing, has been found in the Cane River Lake. According to the NPSO, 31 year old Randal Evans suffered from some mental issues. Family members reported him missing on November 3rd, after he wandered away from the family home.

     

    Two deep red Republican run states voted in minimum wage hikes on Tuesday. Arkansas went up to 11 dollars an hour by 2021, and Missouri increased to 12 by 2023. But efforts to even get minimum wage increases on the ballot in the Bayou State have stalled out the past three years, but New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says Arkansas’s example will help the case in Louisiana. Louisiana’s minimum wage is currently 7.25, which went into effect as a federal minimum in 2009.

     

    Louisiana is home to 278-thousand veterans.  With this Sunday being Veterans Day, there are various events going on throughout the state.  Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Col. Joey Strickland says it’s important to remember our country is still at war and be willing to help as those that are fighting as they are coming home.

     

    Authorities in Caldwell Parish have arrested a McDonalds employs, after she dropped a hand gun inside the store, causing it to discharge into a wall. The Sheriff’s office says the bullet hit a water line in the ceiling. The woman was arrested on unspecified gun and drug charges. Good news is, no one was injured.

     

    Could Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry be in the running to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned from his post as U.S. attorney general earlier this week? Speculation swirled on Thursday -- two days after Sessions submitted his resignation at the president's request -- that Landry may have made it onto the White House's short list of candidates to take the reins as attorney general.  Meanwhile, Politico reported that Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who lost a bid for governor this week, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are among potential top-tier candidates.

     

    The parent organization of Pi Beta Phi confirmed Thursday that it has halted activities at their chapter house at LSU after receiving information alleging events at the sorority that “may have constituted hazing. A spokesperson for the organization says no one was physically harmed and no alcohol was involved. Pi Beta Phi immediately informed university officials and began an investigation

     

    The mayor of Maringouin (Mar-in gwah) in Iberville Parish, who claims "substantial irregularities and error" caused her to lose her re-election bid by four votes this week, asked a state court Thursday to either declare her the winner or order a new election. Challenger Maurice Harris drew 351 votes to incumbent Demi Lynn Vorise's 347 in Tuesday's mayoral election. Vorise says she has identified at least 29 ineligible voters who cast ballots in the election..

     

    The volunteer fire department in French Settlement was left with less than $1,000 in the bank and an unpaid insurance bill that threatened a shutdown when authorities arrested the treasurer last week. Melissa Guitreau, who is married to the fire chief, was accused of embezzling $225,000 from the fire department over the course of a year and a half. Now, the Livingston Parish Council and businesses in the area are pitching in to keep the Livingston Parish Fire Protection District No. 8 running. Local businesses raised $9,300 to fund the fire departments operations through the end of the year.

     

    Turnout for the midterm elections in Louisiana was 48 percent.  That’s in comparison to the only 40 percent of eligible voters who participated in the 2015 governor’s race run-off between David Vitter and now Governor Edwards.  It tough to answer exactly why Louisianans have grown less engaged with state issues over the decades, but LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Mike Henderson says it could be due to a media climate that’s increasingly focused on high profile races for federal seats.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is celebrating a record breaking number of adoptions from foster care, with 912 children finding homes in the Federal Fiscal Year of 2018.  It’s an 18% increase from the previous record set last year.  DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters credits additional staffing support as well as families wanting to take in more than just one child.

     

    A Gonzales woman was killed Wednesday night in an eleven vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 in Ascension Parish. State Trooper Bryan Lee says an 18-wheeler caused the chain reaction crash.  Lee says the driver of the semi-truck has been booked into the Ascension Parish Jail for Negligent Homicide and 18 counts of Negligent Injuring.

     

    Sports..

     

    Saints coach Sean Payton spoke today about the team’s new acquisition, former Cowboys star Dez Bryant.  Payton says the former All-Pro wide receiver is about five pounds heavier than he should be, but that’s to be expected. Bryant has been known as a problem child. But Payton says the Saints have a special culture and it will be a good fit for Bryant.

     

    If LSU is able to win its final three games, the Tigers are in position to play in one the New Years Six bowl games. CBS Senior Writer Jerry Palm says the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans is a possibility for the Tigers. If Georgia doesn’t make the four-team playoff or if the Bulldogs do not finish higher than LSU in the college football playoff rankings, than LSU will end up at the Sugar Bowl.

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  • News for Thursday 110818

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Kayla Giles will return to court tomorrow, this time for a hearing on a motion to quash her indictment on 1st degree murder charges. Giles is charged with murdering her estranged husband, 30-year-old Thomas Coutee back on September 8th, in the Walmart parking lot on Coliseum Boulevard . Coutee, who was shot once in his chest, died at the scene.

     

    One day before jury selection in his trial was to begin, 45 year old Christopher McGrew of Pineville took a deal. McGraw was facing 102 total felony counts, including 9 counts of aggravated incest, three counts of first-degree rape, three counts of computer sex solicitation and 87 counts of pornography with juveniles. On Monday, all the incest charges, one rape charge and 84 of the pornography charges were dropped.

     

    Two juveniles are in custody after a threat was made via social media against Brame Middle School, but police have determined it wasn't credible. The Alexandria school has not been put on lock down Wednesday, but the Alexandria Police Department has an "increased presence" at the school as a precaution.

     

    Democrats are taking control of the U-S House and Louisiana’s Republican Congressional delegation is reacting. Senator John Kennedy says he hopes the Dems will stay away from investigations on the president and work on issues like healthcare. Meanwhile, Congressman Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish has told colleagues that he plans to run for Minority Whip.

     

    The special election for the Secretary of State’s seat is headed for a run-off between the interim holder of the position, Republican Kyle Ardoin and a relatively unknown Democratic candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup.  Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the success of the latter candidate caught some off guard. Collins-Greenup, a black minister and entrepreneur from East Feliciana Parish, holds a law degree.

     

    The turnout in Louisiana for Tuesday’s election was 49-percent. Will next year’s governor’s race see that kind of turnout? The turnout for the gubernatorial primary in 2015 was just 39-percent. La-Politics-dot-com publisher Jeremy Alford says voters will not pay attention to the governor’s race until mid-summer, but that will not stop the candidates from raising money…

     

    All six of Louisiana’s U-S House of Representatives were re-elected Tuesday by wide margins. Mike Johnson will represent the 4th district for a second term. Johnson says he is also in a race to be the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of Republicans in the Congress and that decision will be made later this month…

     

    Democrats came up well short of challenging any of the five Republican incumbent Congressmen this year, with none of their candidates even cracking 40 percent of the vote. It’s the continuation of a two decade trend that’s led to Republican dominance of the Bayou State, and political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says that’s not likely to change any time soon.

     

    U.S. Representative Clay Higgins says the Democratic takeover of the House does not bode well for a conservative agenda or the state’s Congressional delegation’s ability to pass legislation helpful for Louisiana. With five of our six Congressmen now in the minority party, Higgins says the Bayou State will be hard pressed to get the legislation it needs through the lower chamber. Reports indicate the state’s lone Democrat, Cedric Richmond, could be pursuing a high level leadership role in the House.

     

    Voters in 47 of 64 parishes have decided online fantasy sports games should be legal in their parish. The opens the door for FanDuel and Draft Kings to operate in select areas. River Ridge Republican Representative Kirk Talbot, who triggered the ballot initiative, said he didn’t expect to get more than 40 parishes on board. As for the next steps with how to handle the passages that took place, Talbot says he’ll pitch a more detailed plan in the 2019 session that begins in April. Talbot says he will look at other states for how to handle the additional tax revenue from the newly legalized activity.

     

    The Saints add a new face in the receiving core: former Cowboy star Dez Bryant. The outspoken wide out has been without a team since his release in April, but had a try out in New Orleans this that apparently well. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says Coach Sean Payton has always been a big fan of Bryant. Bryant will join Mike Thomas and rookie Trequan Smith in a receiving core that’s lacked depth this year.

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  • News for Wednesday 110718

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Alexandria has a new mayor.. Jeff Hall easily won last night with 53% of the overall vote, Thus avoiding a runoff with Kay Michiels who had 36%. Catherine Davidson was only able to grab 11% of the vote.

     

    Running down the winners in the Alexandria City Council race, the winners were..

    Councilman at large Jim Villard with 58%, District 2 councilman Gerber Porter with 55%.

     

    In the seat for 9th Judicial District Judge Chris Hazel easily defeated Charles Elliott 60 to 40.

     

    None of the area mayor’s races will require a runoff.. in Boyce Alma Scott Moore easily one with 54% of the vote. In Lecompte it was Craig Phillips with 58%, In Mansura it was Kenneth Pickett Sr with 61%, Montgomery Steve Gun had 60% and in Rosepine Donna Weeks Duvall had 66%.

     

    As expected Former Ball Mayor Roy Hebron easily won his old seat back, taking 56% of the vote.  But, that race is far from over since in will surely end up in court since constitutional amendment #1 passes. That’s the one that prohibits Felons from office.

     

    In area other races for Mayor….

     

    Jennifer Vidrine easily won reelection in Ville Platte, In Jonesville it was and easy win for Milton Ceasar, Oberlin Joseph Moochie Manuel squeaked by with 51%, Ola, Rhona Elliott won with 76% of the vote. 

     

    A sales Tax Rededication was shot down in Lecompte. And a new 1% tax in Grant Parish that would have provided a GPSO Deputy in all schools and funded the DARE program was shot down with 56% of Grant parish voters saying no..

     

    In the race for the Rapides Parish School Board…  District C there will be a run off between Mark Dryden and Jamie Floyd.  Keith Breazeale easily won district G with 73% of the vote. In District H the winner was Darrell Rodrigues with 53%, District I Sandra Franklin easily won with 72% of the vote..

     

    All towns that had a race for Alderman will see a runoff.

     

     

    On the matter of Authorizing “Fantasy Sports Contests, Avoyelles, Grant & Vernon said No. 52% of Rapides parish residents said yes.

     

    On the proposed Constitutional Amendments brought before voters yesterday, all easily passed.

     

    In the race for Sec of state, there will be a three way runoff between Kyle Ardoin, Gwen Collins Greenup and Renee Free.

     

    In the state’s Congressional races. All candidate easily won reelection.

     

    So far the only controversy yesterday election day was the lack of “I voted stickers.” Many people who voted yesterday went on social media expressing their disappointment they didn’t receive n “I voted” sticker. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office blames budgetary constraints.

     

    Employers looking to hire seasonal help may have to be more competitive in recruiting employees.  This is a result of unemployment numbers being at a thirty year low.  UNO Professor of Finance Mark Rosa says with the economy doing well, the growth in the Christmas season may be a bit more ambitious than it’s normal annual gains

     

    Sports..

     

    The LSUA Generals are at the Fort tonight facing William Carey University. You can hear the game on 94.7 ESPN starting at 6:50p

     

    LSU linebacker Devin White says the two weeks leading up to the Alabama game were very emotional for him. White spoke to reporters for the first time since the controversial targeting penalty that forced him to miss the first half of last Saturday’s game. White called the targeting penalty against him a bogus call. He says it will not change the way he plays.

     

    The New Orleans Pelicans are hoping to break a bit of a losing streak. They host the Chicago bulls tonight at the nest.

     

    First Basketball game of the season last night, LSU defeated South Eastern Louisiana 94 to 63 at the Pmac.  

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  • News for Tuesday 110618

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Voters in Alexandria today will make history with the election of a new mayor. No matter who wins, the city will see either it’s first black or female mayor. In this race, there is no excuse to be uninformed. All three candidates have participated in several debates and forums and have been extremely active campaigners. All three candidate say, what is important is that you vote, so your voice can be heard.

     

    The RPSO is investigating the Stabbing of a man in Wardville yesterday morning. Deputies responded to a call, from the 100 block of Westbrook Street, shortly after 7:30 yesterday morning. A male who apparently suffered multiple stab wounds was taken to a local hospital, the victim's condition is unknown at this time.

     

    In other states, Congressional races are set to come down to the wire, but here in Louisiana we aren’t expecting to see tight races in most of the congressional districts. UL Lafayette Professor Pearson Cross says the only district in the state showing signs of life is southwest Louisiana’s 3rd, where incumbent Clay Higgins faces stiff competition.

     

    The Baton Rouge based 6th district is expected to be a rout for incumbent Garrett Graves. But Cross says the 6th is a special case, where the more democratic section of the city was cut out in 2010 redistricting. Voters will also decide on a Secretary of State’s special election race that is projected to go into a December runoff.

     

    But Cross says away from congressional races, Louisiana voters will have one, major chance to reshape their state with the number two amendment option. That’s the one that would require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Cross says indications of higher turnout bode well for the historic change.

     

    Voters heading  to the polls today will see the question asking if fantasy sports betting should be legalized in their parish.  Not everyone is on board with the idea of legalization.  President of the Louisiana Family Forum Gene Mills says fantasy sports betting could result in a domino effect that sees the integrity of sports put at stake.

    Senator Danny Martiny is in favor of the legalization and says anyone who thinks they are suppressing gaming by voting against it is fooling themselves. The polls close at 8PM.

     

    National pollsters are predicting a tight race for Congress today, giving Democrats a slight edge to retake the lower chamber, but next to no chance to gain control of the Senate. Democrats are cautious, but confident of their chances in the House. 5th District  Congressman Ralph Abraham predicts the economy’s recent growth will lead to a narrow majority for the House GOP.

     

    It’s a lot of Chihuahuas.. The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine receives the largest commitment in school history, and the eight largest gift in LSU Foundation history. That’s after a 10.1 million dollar endowment from the Soong family, who SVM Senior Director of Development Tracy Evans says developed a close bond with the school after it cared for their two Chihuahuas.

     

    A 31-year-old Iowa man is dead after being struck by an on-duty Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s deputy.  LSP Spokesperson Trooper Thomas Gossen says the deputy never saw the pedestrian, who was wearing dark clothes and  it was foggy. The incident is still under investigation.

     

    The Sunshine Bridge is still on course for its January reopening after the bridge was closed due to a barge carrying a crane colliding with the structure last month. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says the arrival of the jacking system to realign the bridge ensures the momentum is moving forward to hitting the anticipated reopening time frame.

     

    Monroe Police have made an arrest in connection with the multiple bomb threats called into medical facilities in North Louisiana.  The multi-agency investigation resulted in the arrest of 28 year old Pauline Copeland, who authorities says appears to suffer from mental illness.   Copeland will be charged with two counts of terrorizing and booked into the Ouachita Parish Correctional Facility.

     

    Sports…

     

    Following Saturday’s loss to Alabama, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said they didn’t have the personnel to beat the top ranked Crimson Tide. On Tell the Truth Media, Orgeron said he could have coached better. The Tigers are 7-2 and ranked ninth in the country heading into Saturday’s game against Arkansas. The Razorbacks are having a tough season as they are just 2-7 under first year coach Chad Morris.

     

    LSU Officially begins it’s Basketball season tonight as the Tigers play host to South Eastern Louisiana. Airtime 7p on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm

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  • News for Monday 110518

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    For the second time in less than a week, portions of Louisiana are facing the threat of severe weather.  National Weather Service Shreveport Meteorologist Aaron Davis says the weather may bring with it some dangerous wind conditions. Davis says it’s hard to determine how much tornado activity  the state could see out of this storm system compared to the one that produced numerous tornadoes last week.

     

    An Alexandria man has been arrested after two children he was caring for tested positive for drugs. The APD reports they were contacted by the Department Of Child and Family Services after the 2 and 3 year olds tested positive. The children were found in a Laurel Street home where police say drug activity was taking place. 27 year old Dalton Barton was arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to a juvenile and was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

     

    Corporate officials with Copeland’s are meeting today to decide whether or not the will reopen the Alexandria restaurant after Wednesday night’s storm caused extensive damage. The restaurant management told employees over the weekend that they should look for other jobs. Saying that if they do reopen, it could be quite a while before repairs are completed.

     

    Tomorrow voters head to the polls to cast their ballots, but there hasn’t been much publicity for the statewide election of a new Secretary of State.  Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the stressed importance of this Election Day for other issues on the ballot has resulted in more people casting votes in early voting.

     

    Tomorrow you’ll have a chance to weigh in on whether or not the state should require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases, amendment two on the ballot. The option passed the House 84 to 15 and has received widespread bi-partisan support..

     

    A Lafayette TV station reports the Louisiana Attorney General has received four criminal complaints involving catholic clergy and correspondences from constituents expressing support for a statewide grand jury. The A-G’s office adds they’ve responded to each of the victims and law enforcement in the parish were notified of the alleged crimes.

     

    The New Orleans Archdiocese has released the names of 57 priests dating back to 1917 who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them while in the ministry. Archbishop Gregory Aymond did not note how many claims were deemed un-credible, but says in order to move forward the church needed to address the issue.

     

    Gas prices have been falling and they are expected to decline for the next couple of weeks. That’s according to Dan McTeague, who is an analyst with Gas-Buddy-dot-com. McTeague says the price of gasoline has fallen about 10-cents in the last week to a statewide average of $2.47. He expects it to continue to drop for a while.

     

    Congressman Ralph Abraham has a suite of new campaign ads airing across south Louisiana markets that don’t have many voters from his more northern and central district. Abraham has publicly waxed about the idea of running for governor, and reports say he’s giving it a hard look, but ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says like most GOP candidates, he’s likely anxiously awaiting a decision from Senator John Kennedy, the presumed frontrunner.

     

    Sports..

     

    Despite all of the emotion, confidence and belief among Tiger nation that LSU could not beat number one ranked Alabama, as the Crimson Tide won easily 29-0 on Saturday night. The Bayou Bengals were held to 196 total yards. Coach Ed Orgeron says Alabama’s defense over powered them. Alabama has now won eight straight games in this series. Orgeron says for the Tigers to finally beat the Crimson Tide, they need to get better along the offensive and defensive lines…

     

    LSU is on the move in the polls this week, but is trending downward after losing 29-0 at home against No. 1 Alabama. The Tigers fell to No. 9 in the Associated Press Top-25 and to No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll published by USA Today. The College Football Playoff Top-25 comes out on Tuesday (Nov. 6) evening.

     

    The Saints won their seventh straight yesterday, holding off Los Angeles 45-35 in front of an energetic Superdome crowd. New Orleans led 35-17 at halftime. But the Rams rallied back to tie it in the 4th quarter. Saints regained the lead on a 72-yard touchdown catch by Michael Thomas. The victory improves the Saints record to 7-1, while the Rams fall to 8-1.

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  • News for Friday 110218

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Many Cenla residents spent the night in the dark last night,  that after a strong line of thunder storms moved through the area late Wednesday night and early yesterday morning. Cleco reported as of 5 yesterday over 3,000 residents in Rapides and 1,100 in grant parish were without power.  

     

    Damage was extensive in the Sonya Quarters section of Alexandria and in the area of the Alexandria mall. In Pineville, the bulk of the damage appears to have been in the area surrounding Louisiana College and down Military highway and Donahue Ferry Rd. towards the Cleco corporate offices.

     

    In LaSalle Parish, damage in Jena and in Trout was perhaps the worst to be seen yesterday. Many homes were severely damages by falling trees and high winds.

     

    There have been reports of minor injuries. Four people were hurt in Concordia Parish, and two others in Washington Parish. In both cases, strong winds flipped over mobile homes

     

    At least 11 tornadoes have been confirmed by National Weather Service surveyors so far in Louisiana and Mississippi as part of that  storm system.

     

    The amazing part of the story surrounding all the damage is that there were no reports of serious injuries.

     

    All Schools in Rapides Parish will reopen today, With the exception of  Louisiana College, which will be closed again today as clean up continues.

     

    There’s another month left of the hurricane season, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s highly unlikely we’ll be hit in the next 30 days. Keim notes there’s always a chance of some development, but the late season climate just isn’t suited to producing hurricanes. Louisiana has not been hit by a November hurricane in the 167 years they have been keeping records.

     

    There’s been growing support for the number two amendment option on the November ballot, but not all District Attorneys are on board with the move to require unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Tangipahoa, Livingston, and Helena Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux says he’s concerned it would delay justice for victims. DAs in four of Louisiana’s largest parishes, along with both Republican and Democratic state parties have come out in support of the initiative.

     

    March of Dimes has released its annual report which grades all 50 states on their rates of preterm birth and reveals racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in each state.  The country overall got a C-grade and Louisiana received an F.  President of the organization, Stacy Stewart says it’s an indicator more babies are being born premature and less healthy. Stewart says women need access to good quality and affordable prenatal care, as well as women need to be healthy before they become pregnant.

    Stewart says changes must happen on many levels to ensure healthier pregnancies.

     

    The Diocese of Lafayette announces Reverend Jody Simoneaux is on administrative leave because he allegedly engaged in improper behavior with minors while assigned to churches in Eunice and Youngsville 30 years ago. Simoneaux has been serving as a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Jeanerette. The Diocese says the allegations have been turned over to law enforcement.

     

    Thousands are expected to attend the Giant Omelette Celebration in Abbeville this weekend.  The festival was started in the 1980s with the determination to bring the community closer to its French Heritage.  Celebration president Ray Trahan says the omelet starts with a twelve-foot skillet and 5000 eggs. Trahan says the history of the celebration dates back to Napoleon, the emperor of the French in the early 1880s, as he had an omelet following a battle and loved it.

     

    ESPN has named southeast Louisiana the center of the football universe this weekend with the two best games of the week being played in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Number four LSU takes on number one Alabama in Tiger Stadium, and President of Visit Baton Rouge Paul Arrigo says the hotels are packed. Baton Rouge saw 87 percent occupancy in hotels for Georgia. Arrigo says the iconic program will give the city a chance to show off to the rest of the nation, and hopefully inspire a few trips.

     

    And after that ESPN will be broadcasting live from New Orleans for the Saints Rams game that has huge implications for both teams playoff seeding.

     

    The Saints are two point favorites against the only undefeated team in the league Sunday as the eight and 0 Rams charge into the dome to take on the six and one Saints.

     

    Louisiana Tech gets another chance at Mississippi State tomorrow. Last year the two teams met in Ruston and State won 57-21 This year’s Mississippi State team has one of the best defensive lines in the country.

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  • News for Thursday 110118

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    As predicted, a heavy line of thunderstorms moved through Rapides Parish overnight. At one point, there were three active tornado warnings in Rapides Parish including Hineston, Elmer, Woodworth, Alexandria, Pineville and surrounding areas.

     

    No classes at Louisiana College today due to storm damage Wednesday night. There were reports early this morning of downed powerlines and other damage in the area around the Pineville school and along Military Highway.

     

    At 1 a.m. Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office reported they were on the scene of possible tornado damage in the Washboard Road area in Pineville. Alexandria police also reported possible tornado damage in the area around Alexandria Mall and St. Frances Cabrini School.

     

    Power is also reported to be out in several areas..

     

    The APD has yet to identify a man whose body was found in a stolen car yesterday morning in the 1700 block of MacArthur drive. Police were responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle when the made the discovery shortly before noon. Police say the man suffered trauma to the head that appears to be a gunshot and that an autopsy will be conducted to confirm. The victim is described as a black male between the ages of 25 and 35 years old.

     

    Two Denham Springs residents were found murdered at their pool company Tuesday  night. 70-year-old Patricia Gurley and 72-year-old Frank Gurley, a retired Denham Springs teacher, were last seen alive around 4PM Monday. Police Chief Shannon Womack offered limited details, but says they suspect the murders were premeditated.

    Authorities have announced they have a person of interest in the case.

     

    Monroe Representative Jay Morris is publicly calling for U.S. Senator John Kennedy to jump into next year’s governor’s race against John Bel Edwards. Morris says he’s impressed with Kennedy’s work as State Treasurer and says he’s a potential candidate who would bring great administrative experience if he wins. Kennedy says he’ll announce his 2019 intentions by December.

     

    Early voting ended Tuesday and at the close 307-thousand people voted in person or with a mail in ballot, which JMC Analytics pollster John Couvillon says is a record for a non-Presidential election. Couvillon says even though the Louisiana ballot lacks a marquee race, voters are aware of the November 6th election, because of hotly contested midterm elections across the country.

     

    The hottest ticket in town is going fast as the Bama/LSU game is officially sold out, with fans only way of getting into the stadium now on the secondary market, buying tickets second hand. LSU’s official ticket reselling partner is StubHub. LSU Ticket Manager Brian Broussard says if you buy through Stubhub and there’s an issue, LSU will find a fix for you. Broussard says they saw a lot of fraud before the Georgia game and they fully expect to see quite a bit of it before the biggest game of the year as well.

     

    Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is the latest high-profile Louisiana politician to throw his endorsement behind Amendment 2, a ballot proposition that would require unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases. Cassidy's endorsement, announced Wednesday, adds to a growing bipartisan choir backing the change to state's unusual, 120-year-old practice of allowing juries to convict or acquit on split votes. Every other state but Oregon requires unanimous verdicts; Louisiana and Oregon require only 10 of 12 jurors to agree.

     

    Governor Edwards met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday as part of his weeklong economic development mission. The governor’s office says today’s meeting should lead to trade and investment growth between Louisiana and Israel in oil and gas, the collaboration of water management research and Louisiana learning new methods to combat cyber security threats.

     

    The New Orleans City Council could decide to take a new vote on whether to authorize the new power plant at the center of a controversy over Entergy New Orleans' use of paid actors to support the proposal. After the council heard an investigative report on the matter Wednesday afternoon, two council members said they would be open to reconsidering the earlier 6-1 vote approving the plant. Only two of the members who took part in that March vote are still are on the council. The council then unanimously voted to begin the process for assessing a $5 million fine against Entergy.

     

    A state Department of Public Safety officer was arrested and fired Wednesday after State Police investigators determined he lied about being shot at during a traffic stop Monday night, a fabricated account that included an elaborate description of the suspect and set in motion extensive search efforts in the Denham Springs area. 22 year old Chandler LeGrange was booked into Livingston Parish jail on one count each of malfeasance in office and filing false public records, which is a felony.

     

    Ben Kleinpeter, the former head of Baton Rouge-based Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, died Wednesday at the age of 91.Kenny Kleinpeter, general manager of the dairy, said his father died in his sleep. Even though Ben Kleinpeter had stepped down as president of Kleinpeter Farms 14 years ago, he still played an active role in the business.

     

    A new report from the American Psychological Association shows members of Generation Z, people ages 15 to 21, have the worst mental health of any generation.  91% of Gen Z adults say they have felt physical or emotional symptoms, such as depression or anxiety associated with stress.  Licensed Psychologist at LSU Health School of Medicine Dr. Richard Costa says current events are likely contributors to these findings.

     

    Sports…

     

    Hahnville High School QB Andrew Robison has won his arbitration hearing against the LHSAA.  The victory means the senior is eligible to play in Friday’s regular-season finale.  He’ll also continue with a lawsuit against the governing body for damages. Robison’s Attorney David Moyer says schools should not be afraid to challenge the LHSAA. LHSAA says they are not commenting due to pending litigation.

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  • News for Thursday 110118

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The APD has yet to identify a man whose body was found in a stolen car yesterday morning in the 1700 block of MacArthur drive. Police were responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle when the made the discovery shortly before noon. Police say the man suffered trauma to the head that appears to be a gunshot and that an autopsy will be conducted to confirm. The victim is described as a black male between the ages of 25 and 35 years old.

     

    Two Denham Springs residents were found murdered at their pool company Tuesday  night. 70-year-old Patricia Gurley and 72-year-old Frank Gurley, a retired Denham Springs teacher, were last seen alive around 4PM Monday. Police Chief Shannon Womack offered limited details, but says they suspect the murders were premeditated.

    Authorities have announced they have a person of interest in the case.

     

    Monroe Representative Jay Morris is publicly calling for U.S. Senator John Kennedy to jump into next year’s governor’s race against John Bel Edwards. Morris says he’s impressed with Kennedy’s work as State Treasurer and says he’s a potential candidate who would bring great administrative experience if he wins. Kennedy says he’ll announce his 2019 intentions by December.

     

    Early voting ended Tuesday and at the close 307-thousand people voted in person or with a mail in ballot, which JMC Analytics pollster John Couvillon says is a record for a non-Presidential election. Couvillon says even though the Louisiana ballot lacks a marquee race, voters are aware of the November 6th election, because of hotly contested midterm elections across the country.

     

    The hottest ticket in town is going fast as the Bama/LSU game is officially sold out, with fans only way of getting into the stadium now on the secondary market, buying tickets second hand. LSU’s official ticket reselling partner is StubHub. LSU Ticket Manager Brian Broussard says if you buy through Stubhub and there’s an issue, LSU will find a fix for you. Broussard says they saw a lot of fraud before the Georgia game and they fully expect to see quite a bit of it before the biggest game of the year as well.

     

    Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is the latest high-profile Louisiana politician to throw his endorsement behind Amendment 2, a ballot proposition that would require unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases. Cassidy's endorsement, announced Wednesday, adds to a growing bipartisan choir backing the change to state's unusual, 120-year-old practice of allowing juries to convict or acquit on split votes. Every other state but Oregon requires unanimous verdicts; Louisiana and Oregon require only 10 of 12 jurors to agree.

     

    Governor Edwards met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday as part of his weeklong economic development mission. The governor’s office says today’s meeting should lead to trade and investment growth between Louisiana and Israel in oil and gas, the collaboration of water management research and Louisiana learning new methods to combat cyber security threats.

     

    The New Orleans City Council could decide to take a new vote on whether to authorize the new power plant at the center of a controversy over Entergy New Orleans' use of paid actors to support the proposal. After the council heard an investigative report on the matter Wednesday afternoon, two council members said they would be open to reconsidering the earlier 6-1 vote approving the plant. Only two of the members who took part in that March vote are still are on the council. The council then unanimously voted to begin the process for assessing a $5 million fine against Entergy.

     

    A state Department of Public Safety officer was arrested and fired Wednesday after State Police investigators determined he lied about being shot at during a traffic stop Monday night, a fabricated account that included an elaborate description of the suspect and set in motion extensive search efforts in the Denham Springs area. 22 year old Chandler LeGrange was booked into Livingston Parish jail on one count each of malfeasance in office and filing false public records, which is a felony.

     

    Ben Kleinpeter, the former head of Baton Rouge-based Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, died Wednesday at the age of 91.Kenny Kleinpeter, general manager of the dairy, said his father died in his sleep. Even though Ben Kleinpeter had stepped down as president of Kleinpeter Farms 14 years ago, he still played an active role in the business.

     

    A new report from the American Psychological Association shows members of Generation Z, people ages 15 to 21, have the worst mental health of any generation.  91% of Gen Z adults say they have felt physical or emotional symptoms, such as depression or anxiety associated with stress.  Licensed Psychologist at LSU Health School of Medicine Dr. Richard Costa says current events are likely contributors to these findings.

     

    Sports…

     

    Hahnville High School QB Andrew Robison has won his arbitration hearing against the LHSAA.  The victory means the senior is eligible to play in Friday’s regular-season finale.  He’ll also continue with a lawsuit against the governing body for damages. Robison’s Attorney David Moyer says schools should not be afraid to challenge the LHSAA. LHSAA says they are not commenting due to pending litigation.

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  • News for Wednesday 103118

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Wicked weather is brewing as a front will move into Louisiana today, bringing with it enhanced thunderstorm activity.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says the timing of the rain may spook some in the northern portions of the state during prime time for trick or treating, possibly causing some to purge their evening plans. Here in Cenla, nasty weather will be moving in to the area late evening and overnight.

     

    Although generally a great time, Halloween can pose some risks for those that are venturing out of their home tonight.  Whether you are walking around looking for candy or just simply driving from point A to point B, it’s important to star aware of your surroundings.  The State Police also maintains a website that lists where registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood.  They also suggest  trick or treaters stay close to home.

     

    A Deridder man allegedly rammed his car into his ex-wife’s house and then tried to kill her and the other occupants by dousing the vehicle in gasoline before running off. Deputy Chief Chris Rudy says they are looking for 49-year-old Ricky Calloway, on attempted First-Degree-Murder charges.  Anyone with information is urged to call authorities.

     

    A Moss Bluff woman is facing additional charges after Calcasieu Parish Deputies allegedly caught her driving with a dead woman in her trunk. 24-year-old Sarah Parker is now facing two counts of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles in the commission of a felony. Authorities say Parker is the girlfriend of a Fort Polk soldier who allegedly killed his wife and put the body in the trunk. Parker’s two children were in the car.

     

    A new report shows 14 percent of bridges in Louisiana are structurally deficient, with a need for rehabilitation or possibly even replacement.  Spokesperson for the transportation research group TRIP, Rocky Moretti says fixing all of the bridge issues is not something that can happen overnight and it’ll take funding from all levels of government. DOTD responded, saying just because a bridge is rated structurally deficient, doesn’t mean it’s not safe to drive on.

     

    The United Cajun Navy will provide protection to a few south Louisiana synagogues while tensions are high after the Pittsburgh terror attack on a Jewish congregation. 11 people died in the Saturday morning massacre by alleged shooter Robert Bowers. United Cajun Navy spokesperson Brian Trascher says they are inspired, in part, by an Islamic donation effort that raised 150,000 dollars for the victims.

     

    Over a million dollars in drugs were seized in Lafayette in one of the biggest busts in Parish history. The bust led to the arrest of three people and the discovery of 11.9 pounds of methamphetamine, enough for thousands of doses.

     

    A 28-year-old LaPlace man has been charged in a fatal hit and run that occurred on October 20th. Investigators say 55-year-old Danny Simoneaux of LaPlace was  hit by vehicle while walking on L-A 628. L-S-P spokesperson Melissa Matey says Charles Combetta not only accused of driving away after striking the victim, he also tried to destroy any evidence.

     

    Billboards apparently paid for by Alabama fans have popped up in Baton Rouge encouraging Louisiana residents to donate 50-dollars to the Red Cross for Hurricane Michael relief efforts, because the Crimson Tide will drop 50 points on LSU on Saturday night.

     

    Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban calls the LSU 7-and-1 Tigers an elite football team. And Saban adds a seven-game winning streak against the Bayou Bengals, doesn’t guarantee a win this Saturday. During this seven-game winning streak, LSU has been shutout twice and the most points they’ve scored in any of those games is 17. But Saban says LSU’s offense provides his defense with more challenges this year.

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  • News for Tuesday 103018

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

     

    The former Alexandria Golf and Country property has been purchased. The club near Woodworth closed in February 2017 after struggling for some time to make it financially. According to the release from the new owners, TrustLand is "a closely held investment company focused on buying, selling, financing and developing rural land throughout Louisiana." While Trustland officials did not specify what the future use of the property will be, they did say the property is ideal for commercial and residential redevelopment.

     

    The November 6th ballot includes an amendment that allows voters to decide whether or not convicted felons should be allowed to run for office right out of prison. Public Affairs Research Council Louisiana President Robert Scott says we’ve had that law in the past, but the law was overturned after a challenge by former state legislator Derrick Shepard, who had served two years in prison on corruption charges, and was seeking office after getting out.  Scott says unlike other amendments on the ballot, this one certainly has some public opposition from groups who believe that once you serve your time, you shouldn’t be punished further.

     

    Roy Hebron the former mayor of the town of Ball and a candidate for that office again, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $105,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of defrauding FEMA of an estimated $320,000 in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. Now, more than seven years later, the government is telling the town they have to refund that money back. The town’s current mayor, Neil Kavanagh says a large chunk of change, close to $270,000. The demand letter from GOHSEP says the town can pay in full, or request a payment plan, but until it's paid, the town may not receive future grants.

     

    Medical Marijuana in Louisiana has been pushed back from the distributors hoped for launch date of late this year, to early next year as the grower, GB Sciences, its partner, LSU, and the Ag Department iron out the last regulatory details. If GB’s crop clears safety standards in November, and they finish up their background check with State Police, then mass production should begin.

     

    U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. will host the Louisiana Mental Health Summit today to bring together federal, state, and local leaders to discuss methods to improve mental health care in Louisiana. Cassidy says many sheriffs note local jail is the largest provider of mental health services in most parishes and that puts a strain on communities.

     

    A new $200 million power plant is coming to Washington Parish with the groundbreaking taking place today.  The facility is a 361-megawatt natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Bogalusa and will be run by Calpine.  Louisiana PSC Commission Chairman Eric Skrmetta says between a growing population and energy needs, as well as other facilities needing an overhaul, the project is a necessity. The plant is expected to be operational in three years.

     

    State treasurer John Schroder says tens of thousands of Louisianans will get a check from the state before the end of the year for unclaimed property that’s been held by the state. The checks will be up to 1,500 dollars. Schroder says they uncovered the money after teaming up with the Revenue Department. If you are owed more than 1,500 dollars, additional verification will be needed before the state will mail you your money. To see if you are owed money, drop by latreasury.com

     

    According to a recent report, 56% of all occupants who died in a crash did not use a safety belt. Executive Director of Statistical Analysis at the Highway Safety Research Group Helmut Schneider says despite the threat of legal ramifications, some people are just continuing to hold out on buckling up. Schneider says the research is clear when it comes to the correlation between seatbelt usage and traffic fatalities.

     

    The first four-day Disney cruise sold out in just an hour, and more cruise lines are about to launch bigger ships and longer cruises from the Port of New Orleans. Disney announced in September that cruises out of New Orleans would start in early 2019.

     

    In the video for his breakout single "Moolah," local New Orleans rapper Young Greatness scrambles for cover outside a corner store as he sings about “being on the block when the shots go bang.” A similar scene played out in real life early Monday when the 34-year-old rapper, born Theodore Jones, was gunned down outside a Waffle House in New Orleans. Police are searching for two people in connection with the fatal shooting.

    .

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU are 14 point underdogs against the Crimson Tide this Saturday, in the largest spread against the Tigers at home in 20 years. Despite the Purple and Gold’s two major upset victories against Top Ten teams, Vegas has decided the Bama train will roll on, and easily. The Tigers were seven point underdogs when they crushed Georgia 36-16, and 10 point underdogs when they squeaked out a 22-21 win over Auburn.

     

    The LSU Ticket office made it official Monday, Tiger Stadium is sold out for LSU's prime-time, top-five showdown with Alabama on Saturday night. It is LSU's third announced sellout of the season, with previous announcements made against Louisiana Tech and Georgia.

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  • News for Thursday 102518

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

     

    The RPSO has arrested 46 year old Tammy Laborde of Marksville after a complaint was filed with the Pineville PD indicating unusual activity in the bank account of an elderly couple the woman was caring for. Authorities say Laborde, who had a past history of theft, was booked into the Parish Detention Center on charges of identity theft, felony theft and two counts of exploitation of the infirm.

     

    High water in the red river has led to the closure of public boat ramps from Caddo Parish through Rapides parish. No word as to when the launches will reopen.. For the latest information, visit www.redriverwaterway.com

     

    We’ll see heavier than normal rains today as the remnants of a Pacific hurricane passes through Louisiana, after initially making landfall in Mexico. State Climatologist Barry Keim says that system will augment existing cloudy weather to bring some nasty weather. But it’s not going to last. Keim predicts the system will be out of our hair by late tonight, leaving us with perfect weekend weather.

     

    Up to ten additional parents have come forward with information suggesting Benton Elementary School teacher “Perry” Norcross of Bossier City behaved inappropriately with their child. Norcross is facing rape and video voyeurism charges related to two other students. Bossier Parish Sherriff Spokesperson Lt. Bill Davis says it’s likely the new allegations will lead to additional charges. The 47-year-old Norcross has been employed at the school since 2004 as a teacher.

     

    Alongside the announcement that John Kennedy will announce his gubernatorial intentions by December 1st, the Senator released a poll of likely voters, noting Kennedy had the highest approval rating in the state at 57 percent, over his potential Republican rival Jeff Landry, who sat at 41 percent. UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says Landry’s political feud with the governor has made the A-G less popular. The poll also showed Kennedy leading Governor Edwards 48 percent to 39 percent in a theoretical race.

     

    Louisiana is receiving a $3 million grant over the next three years from Youth Villages, a nonprofit organization offering services to young people aging out of foster care. The organization will be training DCFS staff to implement their program known as YVLifeSet. DCFS Child Welfare Manager Christy Tate says the research on the program indicates positive outcomes. Tate says the intent is to keep the YVLifeSet program going, even after the grant ends.

     

    The 112th Annual State Fair gets kicked off today in Shreveport. With about sixty carnival rides, rodeo events, parades and more, there is plenty to do for every member of the family.  The event first took place in 1906 and State Fair spokesperson Russell Adams says the fair is tradition for many families. General gate admission is $12, with discounts on the weekdays. 

     

    The Legislature is investigating the effects of sports gaming legalization in Mississippi, now that the Magnolia State has a few months of the activity in the books to look at. They heard testimony from the Louisiana State Police Audit Director Jeff Traylor, who says an American Gaming Association study says legalization would contribute a hefty sum to state coffers.

     

    Agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday raided a home and business office associated with the father of Saints superfan Jarrius Robertson, a teenager who suffers from a rare liver condition and is the face of the organization It Takes Lives To Save Lives. An official with The DEA said no arrests were made but that she couldn't comment further because the investigation, which also involves other federal and local agencies, remained ongoing.

     

    After touring the damaged Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish, Governor John Bel Edwards announced plans for it to re-open in January 2019. The estimated cost to repair the damage is five-million dollars. Edwards says crews will be working around the clock to fix the bridge, but windy conditions could cause delays. The bridge has been closed for nearly two weeks after being struck by a barge.

     

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released the results of its latest analysis on national and state-by-state obesity rates among youth and it ranks Louisiana as the fourth worst in the nation. The foundation’s data indicates that around 1 in 6 kids age 10 to 17, in Louisiana, are not just over weight, but obese.

     

    The state fire marshal’s office says a 10 year old boy was killed in a house fire in Monroe Wednesday morning. A second child, a 13 year old, had been hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but has since been released. Two adults also escaped the fire through a master bedroom window.

     

    Sports..

     

    The Boston Red Sox have a two to nothing lead over the LA Dodgers in the World Series. That after a 4 to 2 win last night.. Game three, in the best of 7 series,  is Friday Night.

     

    LSU Coach Ed Orgeron hopes the targeting call against Devin White will spark coaches in the offseason to review the rule and demand that officials have more leeway when determining the severity of a targeting penalty. In the meantime, he says either Micah Baskerville or Patrick Queen will start in the place of the suspended White against Alabama.  Orgeron says he’s glad to see Governor Edwards and famous LSU alumnus James Carville speak out om support of White..

     

    And Billboards are up in Birmingham, Alabama, the home of the SEC headquarters, that read hashtag-free Devin White. LSU fans raised the money through a Go Fund Me Account.

     

    The Pelicans are 3-0 after beating the Clippers 116 to 109 Tuesday night. The Pels will play host to the Brooklyn Nets Friday Night.. You can hear the gams on 94.7 ESPN.

     

    Saints Coach Sean Payton says they are hopeful newly acquired cornerback Eli Apple will play in Sunday night’s game against Minnesota. Apple had highs and lows during his 2.5 seasons in New York, but Payton feels good about the trade after talking with players on their roster who played with Apple at Ohio State. The Saints sent a 2019 fourth round pick and a 2020 seventh round pick to the Giants to complete the trade.

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  • News for Wednesday 102418

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A deadly crash Monday afternoon claimed the lives of two Center Point women, but State Police say a 2 year old managed to survive the crash with only minor injuries.

    26-year-old Ashley Cameron lost control of a pickup truck, on LA 1205, and ran off the road.  Both Cameron and a passenger, 48-year-old Linda Dodge, were pronounced dead at the scene. The toddler was secured in a child safety seat.

     

    A Pacific hurricane impacting Louisiana?  Hurricane Willa will cross Mexico first, but enough of the remnants of the storm will be left over to bring some rain to the Bayou State. National Weather Service Slidell Meteorologist Kevin Gilmore says the rain from the storm will start as soon as today and continue into tomorrow. Gilmore says there is good news for those with outdoor plans for the weekend. The forecast beginning Friday calls for Sunny and Cool!

     

    State election officials say turnout could be noticeably higher for this year’s fall elections when compared to last year’s 13 percent participation. Analysts say national turnout could crack 55 percent, which would be more than double the 2014 midterm numbers. Early voting, for the November ballot, runs through Tuesday, With the exception of Sunday.

     

    Amendment number two on the November ballot is getting nationwide attention, with over two million dollars pumped into the state to convince voters to support requiring unanimous jury decisions in felony trials. The Bayou State is one of only two states in the nation to not require a unanimous jury decision to gain a conviction in a felony trial.

     

    Senator John Kennedy says we’ll know whether or not he’s going to challenge Governor John Bel Edwards before the first of December. In an interview with the AP, Kennedy said he loves his current job but finds it “hard to stomach what is happening in Louisiana right now.”

     

    A Moss Bluff man is facing charges of attempted second degree murder after allegedly shooting at his wife.  Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso says 36 year old Robert Moreau was driving home with his wife from a party with a gun in his lap when he threatened to shoot her.  Upon disarming Moreau during a scuffle at home, one of the couple’s three sons, ages 10, 12, and 14, then pulled another gun and threatened Moreau. Moreau, later lead authorities in a traffic pursuit before being arrested, his bond is set just shy of a quarter million dollars.

     

    A facelift is underway for an iconic LSU campus landmark as Memorial Tower will be receiving a much-needed renovation.  It’s the first restoration of the building since it was constructed 95 years ago, as a tribute to those who fought in World War One. The $6.3 million project will see a refurbished exterior as well as the addition of air conditioning to the structure. The project should be completed within 18 months. Once done the tower will serve as a museum housing displays and artifacts.

     

    The Advocate newspaper reports that Marquette Transportation, the barge operator that’s responsible for hitting the Sunshine Bridge at Donaldsonville, had 32 collisions or “brush-ups” with bridges since 2013, and were not penalized. Ascension Parish Council Chairman Bill Dawson says their piloting should have been addressed much sooner. Dawson says it’s clear the Coast Guard needs to reform how it tracks company and pilot accidents on the river.

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU says the SEC will not overturn Devin White’s suspension for the first half of the Alabama game, because of targeting a Mississippi State player. So can legal action be taken?  Suspended Hahnville High School quarterback, Andrew Robison, received a court order to play football, but he’s yet to take the field, because the LHSAA could hand down future penalties. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the same thing could happen to LSU, if a judge ruled White can play Bama.

     

    The Saints were in the market for a cornerback and they found one, but it is not former LSU star Patrick Peterson. Instead, New Orleans sent fourth and seventh round picks to New York for Giants cornerback Eli Apple. The former first round pick struggled last season, but he’s played better this year, even though New York has won just one game.

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  • News for Tuesday 102318

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

     

    Kayla Giles, the woman accused of killing her husband in a Walmart parking lot back in September, appeared in court yesterday. Her bond has now been set at $1M. Testimony before that decision showed Giles allegedly confessed twice to police, to the officers arriving to the shooting scene and during questioning later at Alexandria Police Department headquarters. Giles has yet to be arraigned on the charge of 1st degree murder. That will happen on Nov. 30.

     

    Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso says a Fork Polk soldier and his 24-year-old girlfriend Sarah Parker were driving around Sunday night with a dead woman in their trunk. Mancuso says 22-year-old Logan Kyle killed his wife at the military base and then was in the process of dumping the body when they were stopped in Calcasieu Parish. The sheriff says two young children were also in the vehicle, they are now in state custody.

     

    The trial of an Alexandria man accused of raping a hospitalized dementia patient was continued until late November. 28 year Juantavies White was arrested in October of last year after a hospital employee reportedly caught him having sex with an elderly dementia patient. He was indicted on a first-degree rape charge in January of this year.

     

    Two children are dead today and three people injured following a late night mobile home fire in Belle Chasse. State Fire Marshal spokesperson, Ashley Rodrigue, says while the official cause of the fire is still under investigation, it is believed that the blaze started in an unoccupied addition to the home and isn’t linked to space heaters which often spark fires when cooler weather arrives. The three adults injured in the fire remain hospitalized.

     

    A famous LSU alumnus says the targeting penalty called on LSU linebacker Devin White is evidence there’s collusion between the Southeastern Conference and Alabama.  White will be suspended for the first half of Alabama game.  Professor James Carville says the botched targeting call on White benefits Alabama to the SEC’s delight and it’s unfair to LSU’s players.

     

    Avery Island in Iberia Parish, the home of Tabasco,  is now a part of the National Register of Historic Places after an extensive nearly yearlong review.  While known for it’s hot sauce, McIlhenny Company CEO Tony Simmons says the island is also home to the state’s first bird refuge, which his great grandfather created for the snowy egret in 1895. The Audubon Society credits that creation with saving the species.

     

    Voters in all 64 Parishes will have a chance, in November,  to vote on whether or not folks in their neck of the woods will be allowed to play fantasy sports for money. Currently, Louisianans are barred from websites like DraftKings and FanDuel, which are currently classified as gambling. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates 59.3 people played in 2017.

     

    All eyes are on the $1.6 billion jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot drawing after no jackpot-winning ticket was sold on Friday night.  Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says Mega Millions sales are up 177% over last fiscal year and says that is largely in part due to this current jackpot run. The cut off to buy a Mega Millions ticket is 9PM.

     

    $90 dollars per person. That’s how much The National Retail Federation says we’ll be spending this year on Halloween. All in all, that comes out to $9 Billion Dollars nationwide.  Experts say a healthy economy is the reason for this year’s uptick.

     

    Sports….

     

    LSU men’s basketball opens the season ranked 23rd in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Tigers have one of the top incoming freshmen classes and the return one of the best point guards in the SEC in Tremont Waters. But they are missing the veteran presence of Wayde Sims, who was murdered last month. Coach Will Wade says Sims absence will impact the team all year. It’s only the fourth time since 1992 that LSU enters the season ranked in the preseason AP Top 25

     

    Through six games, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has not thrown an interception. When asked about that accomplishment during his Monday conference call with reporters Coach Sean Payton seemed like he didn’t want to jinx the streak. The Saints return to Minnesota on Sunday night. The Vikings beat the Black and Gold twice last season, including a heart breaking playoff loss. Payton says the revenge factor is overrated.

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  • News for Monday 102218

    By Dave Graichen

     

    All your co-workers should be in the office today, unless they are ill, because no one won Friday night’s one-billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot, so now the jackpot increases to a US record one-point-six billion for Tuesday night’s drawing. There was no winner of the Powerball either.. That drawing Wednesday night will be worth close to $700 million.

     

    With flu season starting soon, the Louisiana Department of Health has scheduled flu vaccine clinics around the state. Health officials recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months who doesn’t have a complicating condition. Louisiana immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says the flu vaccine clinics are a test run for a more serious emergency. The state health department will administer mass flu shots in Alexandria tomorrow, Jena on Wednesday and in Marksville, Jonesville Winnfield and Lafayette on Thursday. Those with insurance are asked to bring their card with them.  Those without insurance can expect to pay $10 for the shot.

     

    The Agriculture Department says they anticipate the first batch of medical marijuana will be tested around mid-November. Commissioner Mike Strain attends a meeting today amid concerns from licensed medical marijuana pharmacies that the product will not be available this year. Strain says the grower, GB Sciences, has harvested its first plants.

    Strain says GB will not be allowed to grow at a larger, primary facility until they complete a legislatively mandated start-up process that includes State Police background checks.

     

    NOAA is predicting we’ll see above-average precipitation totals during the winter months in Louisiana. So does that mean we’ll see a greater chance for winter precipitation from December to February. State Climatologist Barry Keim says no, because much of the country can expect a warm winter. Louisiana is seeing it’s coolest weather of the fall this far this morning as temperatures are or were in the 40s for much of the state.

     

    The Louisiana Workforce Commission is celebrating 12 months of jobs gains, noting the Bayou State has added 19,900 non farm jobs since September of 2017. Secretary Ava Dejoie says Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles saw the biggest gains over the year. Despite the gains, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the state’s unemployment rate at five percent, third highest in the nation.

     

    One person died and another is fighting for his life after a shooting Friday night in the parking garage of the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City. Authorities are still looking for the gunman.

     

    A Bossier Parish elementary substitute school teacher has been charged with rape in a case involving one of Benton Elementary School’s students. 47-year-old Aubrey Norcross of Bossier City was arrested earlier this week on video voyeurism of another student. She’s being held at the Bossier Maximum Security Facility on a bond of 900,000 dollars

     

    A woman who says she was raped 20 years ago recognizes her alleged rapist at a wedding reception last June and now that man is behind bars. 38-year-old John Louis Davis of Baker has been charged with aggravated rape after the woman got his name and contacted authorities. Baton Rouge Police Sergeant Don Coppola says they believe they got the right guy. The rape occurred during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in 1998

     

    A tip from the Sabine Parish Sherriff’s Office led to the arrest of a man in Waveland, Mississippi, who allegedly killed 23-year-old Lynnquithis January of Many. Agency Spokesperson Joe Dewil says the suspect, 23-year-old Darrell Williams Junior was living in Mississippi at the time he committed the crime.  January was killed June 18th at a Many apartment complex.

     

    Sports…

     

    Down 10 points in the 4th quarter the Saints scored 17 consecutive points and held on for a 24-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday.

     

    The LSU Tigers will head into its annual grudge match with top ranked Alabama with a 7-1 record, but they’ll start the game without star linebacker Devin White, who has to sit for the first half after he was flagged for targeting late in the 4th quarter in a 19-3 win over Mississippi State Saturday.

     

    Despite throwing for 124 yards, ULM topped Texas State 20-14 for a homecoming win in Monroe on Saturday.

     

    It was a good Homecoming for Louisiana Tech Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated UTEP 31 to 24.

     

    Northwestern lost to Central Arkansas Saturday.. the final 17 to 38

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  • News for Friday 101218

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The Town Talk reports an agreement has been reached to strengthen the area of the Red River levee in Pineville that's eroding. The Red River Waterway Commission, the Red River Atchafalaya & Bayou Boeuf Levee District and the city of Pineville are pooling resources to fix the levee, which is eroding to the point where officials are worried that it could cause a collapse of Riverside Drive. All parties involved say it is not a perfect plan, but it is at least a temporary fix to a serious problem.

     

    Vidalia’s Police Chief says he is not ready yet to upgrade charges against a man who’s large dogs brutally attacked a 74-year-old woman. Malinda Nation died Sunday almost a month after the attack. Chief Joey Merrill says he wants to know for sure the cause of the woman’s death before making any changes to the charges. 53 year old Leslie Jones has been charged with negligent injuring and letting dogs run at large.

     

    Over the past two weeks, sheriff’s detectives from the Deville and Kolin Substation have been investigating several burglaries in the Deville area. Yesterday around 5 a.m., detectives located a suspect's vehicle on Nation Road. It’s believed that the suspect, Shane Evans, fled into the woods in the area of Ida Wells. After searching for several hours, authorities called off the search and began securing warrants for Evan's arrest. The RPSO says If you see Evans, please call 911.

     

    The APD reports the arraignment for Kayla Giles has been delayed a week.  Giles is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, in the Walmart parking lot on Coliseum Boulevard on September 8, Giles will now be arraigned on October 22, the same date as a bond reduction hearing and when several standard court motions will be heard.

     

    The State Fire Marshal’s team is on the scene just east of Panama City, where the eyewall of Hurricane Michael came ashore, bringing untold amounts of devastation. Fire Marshal Butch Browning says much of the work is just getting people out of their storm surge ravaged homes and over to shelter. The team is working with a task force comprised of first responders from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.

     

    Tiger Stadium is sold out as LSU and Georgia meet for the first time since 2008. Georgia has sold all of its 6,000-ticket allotment for the game making Saturday one of the largest game day crowds ever on campus. LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette recommends fans arrive early in the morning to reduce traffic. The showdown between the Tigers and Bulldogs will kick off at 2:30 PM.

     

    The Corp of Engineers is about to be on the path to some major changes under new legislation that’s nearly been set into law. The America’s Water Infrastructure act reforms the Corp, and gives states the option to take more direct controls of flood prevention and hurricane protection projects. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says this could speed up nearly 100 billion in backlogged projects. The law has been sent to the President’s desk, and he’s expected to sign it soon.

     

    The Secretary of State’s office is appealing the decision by The Office of State Procurement voiding a multi-million dollar contract that would have replaced the state’s aging voting machines.  Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says the Edwards administration rejected the contract, because a lobbyist for a losing bidder is a supporter of the governor.  Ardoin is one of nine candidates seeking election to the Secretary of State’s post. The election is November sixth.

     

    A meter reader for Entergy has been fired after falsifying meter readings and now about four-thousand Entergy customers in southeast Louisiana are experiencing sticker shock with their latest bills. Entergy Vice President of Distribution Melonie Stewart says they are giving customers many months to pay the heavy bill.

     

    LSU President F. King Alexander is defending the university’s decision to use a holistic admission standards, in the wake of reports that 7.5 percent of the freshman class did not meet traditional GPA or ACT requirements. Alexander says while the new policy will help high out of state achievers make it to Baton Rouge, it won’t keep out locals. Previously the board of regents allowed for four percent of students to fall below the requirements.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards is taking a trip to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in partnership with the National Governor’s Association. The governor will be taking Bayou businessmen, researchers, and other officials on a trip to try and spur some economic development with the small Mediterranean nation. A major aim of the trip is cyber security, an industry that Israel is known for. The governor will leave for the trip on October 26th.

     

    New Medicare cards will be on their way to Louisianan who get their healthcare from the feds. The new cards come with a few changes to better protect beneficiary’s identities and fight fraud. Regional Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services Jeff Hinson says when the new card comes in, the old card needs to be destroyed.

     

    Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone says he will run for governor next year. The founder of an industrial contracting company has long been a prominent state Republican donor, and Jeremy Alford of La-Politics-dot-com says around the state capitol, he’s shown great interest in education issues. Rispone plans to make a full campaign announcement soon.

     

    Louisiana State Police have arrested a Baton Rouge man after he threatened to kill troopers and other law enforcement officers during a traffic stop.  42-year-old Melvin Amar, Jr. was pulled over when he was observed driving a pickup truck with no tag and he was not wearing a seatbelt.  Trooper Bryan Lee says during the course of the stop, Amar started making threats against law enforcement by referencing the 2016 Baton Rouge Police shooting that left three officers dead during an ambush. Amar was transported to the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail and was found to be in possession of marijuana and Xanax.

     

    LSU looks to knock off unbeaten Georgia on Saturday. Georgia leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 245 yards a game. Coach O says it will be a tough task trying to slow them down, but he say it can be done.

     

    The Ragin Cajuns host New Mexico State on Saturday for homecoming. The Aggies are coming off a bye week and they have won their last two games, after dropping their first four games of the season.

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  • News for Wednesday 101018

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Alexandria City officials unveiled plans for SPARC 2.0 at a press conference Monday. The project continues the brand from the original SPARC a major infrastructure initiative that has been ongoing since 2008. The original SPARC focused on distressed areas that covered less than half the city, But, Mayor Roy says SPARC 2.0 will include projects throughout Alexandria and will include even small-scale projects such as street repairs.

     

    Deputies with the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a prowler at an abandoned home in the Springhill Community. When they arrived at the home what they found were three unconscious adults and a 4-month-old child. Deputies reportedly found a man unconscious on the porch, woman in a shower with a syringe beside her and another unconscious woman who was hanging off a bed. The child was turned over to Louisiana Child Protection Services.  All three adults were later arrested.

     

    A new study out of the University of Southern California found Louisiana does a bad job recruiting and graduating black students from its public colleges. The report from the USC Race and Equity Center gave each institution a letter grade and an "equity index score." Those were averaged to get the state's overall score. Louisiana's was the lowest of 50 states at 1.18. The average equity index score across the 506 public institutions in the study was 2.02. The report did not include historically black colleges and universities.

     

    Though the head of LSU argues that the university’s change in admission criteria is leading to an academically stronger class, the percentage of “exceptions” to the set standards were almost double the level the state’s higher education board allows. LSU President F. King Alexander wrote Commissioner for Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed that 7.5 percent of the freshman students who entered LSU last month scored lower on college board tests and had lower grades than the minimum admission standards set by the Board of Regents. The Regents have embarked on an audit of all 14 of the state’s four-year colleges to identify and count the students being “admitted by exception.”

     

    Currently, flood victims who applied for SBA loans immediately following the floods are not eligible for grant money available through the Louisiana Restore Program. But President Trump has signed legislation corrected the Duplication of Benefits issue.  Division of Administration Executive Director Pat Forbes says now they are waiting on written guidance from HUD on the specifics of implementation. Flood victims have until October 19th to fill out an initial survey at restore-dot-la-dot-gov and the deadline to complete the application has been extended until to  November 16th. 

     

    A 20-year-old Shreveport woman and her one-year-old child are recovering after they were shot in their home at around 3:30 Tuesday morning. Authorities say a car stopped in front of the home and someone started shooting. The victims are expect to recover from their injuries

     

    It’s your tax dollars at work.. A UL-Lafayette professor has been given a 250,000 dollar grant to take an in-depth look at how south central Louisiana seafood makes it from the water to your dinner plate. Dr. Geoffrey Stewart got the grant from the US Department of Agriculture. Stewart says he’s looking to better understand that supply chain, and look for ways to improve its efficiency. St. Mary, Vermilion, and Iberia Parishes are the areas of focus for the study.

     

    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hopes to get approval to use some BP cash to rebuild the brown pelican habitat on Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay. Coastal Resource Scientist Manager Todd Baker says the degradation of coastal habitats for the birds is been linked to difficulties in keeping them in state. Researchers say once the birds grow up, they are leaving the state.  If approved Baker says the projects could take off in 2019.

     

    20 years ago voters approved a constitutional amendment to create the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The LCTCS is comprised of 12 unified, open-access two-year colleges. LCTCS President Monty Sullivan says the system has created opportunities for all walks of life.

     

    Sports

     

    A petition is circulating that calls for the former Lee Circle in New Orleans to be named Brees Circle in honor of the Black and Gold’s most beloved athlete. Lee Circle saw its titular General Lee removed last year along with other Confederate statues city-wide. Petition creator Blake Ivey says the popular reputation of historical figures can be controversial, but if there’s one guy in the city who everyone agrees isn’t controversial, it would be Brees. You can join the petition by liking the Brees Circle Petition Facebook page.

     

    LSU’s offensive line performed poorly in the Tigers 27-19 loss in Gainesville to the Florida Gators. Florida sacked quarterback Joe Burrow five times and the Gators produced 10.5 tackles for a loss. Starting left guard Garrett Brumfield will not be back for Saturday’s game, so Adrian Magee will start for a second straight week at that position. If there are no injuries during the week of practice, the Tigers could start the same starting five on the O-Line for consecutive games for the first time this season.

     

    After a frustrating home loss to UAB, Louisiana Tech goes back on the road this Saturday to face the UTSA Roadrunners. The Bulldogs scored one touchdown against the Blazers and coach Skip Holtz says they’ll face another good defense in San Antonio.

     

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  • News for Tuesday 100918

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Louisiana appears to be out of the path of Hurricane Michael.  The storm may have a dangerous impact on the Florida Panhandle with storm surge, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds. National Weather Service New Orleans Meteorologist Bridgette Lim  says although Michael isn’t an issue this time around for Louisiana, it’s important to remember hurricane season isn’t over until November 30th. The hurricane could be a Category 3 on Wednesday when it strikes the Florida panhandle.

     

    Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotel announces that Monsignor Robie Robichaux has been placed on administrative leave for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage girl from 1979 to 1981. Deshotel says when the victim came forward in 2004, the Bishop at the time requested a ruling from the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, who said since the victim was 16-to-17 years old, she was an adult under Canon Law. But Deshotel says state law would have considered her minor.

     

    LSU is "expecting one of the largest game day crowds ever on campus" when the Tigers host Georgia at Tiger Stadium on Saturday. LSU's official ticket office announced Monday morning that the game was sold out, and the news release added that Georgia has sold all of its allotted 6,000 tickets. It is the first time Georgia has played at Tiger Stadium since 2008, when the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 52-38.

     

    Enforcement of new anti-abortion restrictions will have to wait as the physicians who challenged Act 620’s constitutionality asked for a review of an appellate court decision upholding the law. The doctors argue that requiring them to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would likely require two of the state's three facilities to close and leave only one doctor with the proper credentials to perform the medical procedure that ends pregnancies. They want the 16 members of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the split decision by a three-judge panel before allowing the state to enforce the law.

     

    18-year-old Mason Andrews of Monroe is now the youngest person to ever circumnavigate the globe piloting an airplane. The young man took off from the Bayou State on July 22nd, and returned home over the weekend. Andrews says the flight was a taxing, but incredible experience that gave him a birds-eye-view to some of the most jaw dropping sights on earth.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a water emergency in the Concordia Parish town of Clayton after learning that the water system’s contractor quit because it was no longer getting paid.  Mayor Josephine Washington says its related to fiscal problems the city is facing, and she’s pitched that the town go to a three-day work week and that she take a pay cut. Governor Edwards’ emergency order allows for the state to pay JCP Management to run the water system for now.

     

    State Police has released new details in the officer-involved shooting that killed 23-year-old Coltin LeBlanc of Loranger in downtown Hammond in the early morning hours of September 27th. State Police Lt. Nick Manale says Witnesses say LeBlanc’s truck peeled out and sped off down the street during his interaction with the as of now unnamed trooper. One Hammond resident says he saw the officer attach himself to the truck as it drove away, and a few moments later, heard shots fired, but Manale says the investigation into those events and the examination of the officers body camera are still ongoing.

     

    A new study shows the divorce rate dropped by 18 percent between 2008 and 2016.  Researchers say this is likely because millennials are waiting to get married later.  Director of Tulane University’s Social Work Program, Parker Sternbergh says the delay in marriage is likely due to growing up in a society where divorce was so prevalent.

    Sternbergh says millennials are approaching marriage differently than previous generations.

     

    If it seems like those jackpots on the lottery billboards just keep getting bigger, it’s because they are.  The Mega Millions game from the Louisiana Lottery is currently up to $470 million, making it the 6th largest jackpot in the history of the game.   Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says this current jackpot is the second one this year to break the top ten.

     

    Sports…

     

    It was a big win for the New Orleans Saints Monday night as the defeated  the Washington Redskins 43 – 19 Drew Brees ticked off his latest, and possibly most impressive NFL record Monday, passing Peyton Manning in all-time passing yardage at 71,941.

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  • News for Monday 100818

    By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The National Hurricane Center reports a newly named Tropical Storm Michael is likely strengthen to a hurricane as it heads to the Florida Panhandle. The hurricane center upgraded the tropical depression in the Caribbean to a named tropical storm on Sunday. Forecasters say the storm could strengthen into a hurricane, possibly as high as a Category 2, by Tuesday night or Wednesday. The hurricane center advised residents along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast to monitor the storm's progress.

     

    Break out the sweaters, pumpkin spice latte and all of your fall weather favorites. Finally, fall is coming to Louisiana. According to the National Weather Service, "an actual cold front will finally bring some more typical fall like weather to the region for the end of the week and over the weekend." Wednesday night temps are expected to drop into the low 60’s with the high Thursday in the upper 70’s. We’ll see temps as low as 50 beginning early next week.

     

    If you have yet to register to vote in the upcoming November election you still have time to do so, however tomorrow is the last to do it in person at the registrar’s office.  Geep in mind though you can register until October 16th by visiting the Geaux (that’s g-e-a-u-x) Vote Online Registration System.

     

    Iraq is set to buy 90,000 tons of American grown rice in a deal that more than triples the tonnage of the original request pushed by Congressman Ralph Abraham and others, and that’s big for Louisiana, which produces more rice than any other state. Abraham has mentioned the need for diversifying the state’s agricultural exports in the past, and says he’s been working behind the scenes to solidify this new Mid-East connection.

     

    The confirmation of Brett Kavanagh is now history as the senate voted to approve Saturday afternoon. But Friday nearly 200 female Louisiana lawyers signed a petition urging the state’s two US Senators to vote against Nomination. The document highlighted the judge’s temperament during the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing as enough to disqualify him from consideration. No comments we made by either senator relating to the petition.

     

    Louisiana pro-life advocates are celebrating the ascension of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. With his appointment, the conservative bloc now commands a five to four majority on the nation’s highest court. Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper says there’s a 14-week fetal dismemberment ban that could be the test case that outlaws abortion.

     

    It’s been six months since the disappearance of a 4 year old in Claiborne Parish.  Rondriez “Junior” Phillips vanished on April 5th, and the search still continues with a reward offered by the FBI for information that helps find him.  Phillips was outside with his step father, who was working on a vehicle, when he went missing. Sheriff Ken Bailey says the disappearance has shaken the community.

     

    The November election to crown a new Secretary of State is less than a month away, but you may not have noticed with a lack of campaigning from the candidates.  Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the reason why is, compared to other positions, candidates for the gig don’t see many donations. Pinsonat says with the money the candidates have raised, you may start to detect more of a campaign visibility soon

    The election takes place November 6 and six of the candidates appear today at the Baton Rouge Press Club.

     

     

     

    Sports..

     

    Drew Brees heads into tonight’s game against Washington just 201 yards shy of the all-time passing yards record. The heart and soul of the Black and Gold has thrown for 71,740 yards in his career and fans are hoping he breaks the record tonight in New Orleans, which is held by New Orleans born Peyton Manning.

     

    LSU has fallen out of the Top 10 after suffering its first loss on Saturday as the Florida Gators scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat the Tigers 27-19. The Bayou Bengals fell eight spots to number 13 in the A-P poll.

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  • News for Friday 100518

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    New, cheaper health insurance plans are available on the Louisiana marketplace, but there’s a catch: they don’t have to provide the same level of coverage as was mandated under Obamacare. Since 2010 many Louisianans have likely grown used to the guarantee that their health insurance covers pre-existing conditions, emergency services, hospital stay, and likely comes with a reasonable deductible, but Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says you may not get that with these new plans. The Commissioner says Louisianans may need to employ an insurance expert before shopping for the new plans.

     

    A subtle reminder we are still in Hurricane season, a disturbance in the Caribbean Sea has had its chances for tropical development upgraded slightly as it tracks toward the Gulf of Mexico. The broad area of low pressure has a "medium" chance -- 40 percent -- to develop over the next five days.

     

    The two Republican senators of Louisiana have expressed their satisfaction with the findings of the 5-day FBI investigation into the accusations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  Senator John Kennedy, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says after reading through the report, he wishes the report could be public. Senator Bill Cassidy says although he has not read the FBI report, he doesn’t believe it’ll be all that different from all the other statements given under oath.

     

    A buyer has purchased the Avondale Shipyard in Jefferson Parish, with plans to turn the site into a global logistics hub that could employ 2,000 people. Governor Edwards says it’s a solid come back for a facility that used to employ thousands. The shipyard shut down back in 2014 after a long and distinguished history where it was home to the construction of many of the naval vessels that patrolled the seas during the cold war.

     

    Usually, gasoline prices fall at this time of year, but the statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is actually on the rise to $2.65 per gallon. AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says the price at the pump is at its highest level since 2014. Redman says the price of crude oil could go even higher, so a break between now and the holidays is not likely.

     

    Louisiana’s Catholic bishops came out Thursday in favor of requiring unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials in the state. If it passes, Louisiana would fall back in line with 48 other states, as well as the federal court system, in requiring unanimity in all criminal jury verdicts.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Health recently released its voluntary non-opioid directive form as a new tactic in combatting opioid abuse.  Those who sign the form pledge refuse the offer or administration of opioid medications.  Dr. Janice Petersen with LDH says the form is meant to be used by patients as a communication tool with care providers. Petersen says although Louisiana ranks as one of the worst states for feeling the effect of the opioid epidemic, the state is seeing progress in the fight against the use of the drugs.

     

    A proposal to build an airstrip on Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish has been grounded after receiving complaints from conservation groups and environmentalists who questioned whether it’s a good idea to have an airport in a protected wildlife refuge.

     

    The Orleans Parish Coroner Office says the death of 32-year-old Sadie Thibodeaux, whose body was pulled from Lake Pontchartrain in August, was an accidental drowning. At the time she went missing, the case was investigated as a potential homicide by NOPD. Her companion who was also on the boat was rescued and survived the ordeal.

     

    Days after a woman was punched in the face and robbed of her purse in the Central Business District of New Orleans, she found a new image had been synced to her iCloud account. It was her alleged robbers. They had taken a selfie. New Orleans police sent out the high-resolution photo Thursday afternoon in hopes of identifying the robbers. The woman said the pair "repeatedly" struck her in the face and head before stealing her purse.

     

    Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport says a book borrowed 84 years ago has been returned by the son of the woman who checked it out when she was 11.  The copy of “Spoon River Anthology” was in pretty rough shape, so it’s probably not worth much.  The book was found while cleaning house.  The library’s maximum late fee is $3, but that was waived.

     

    State Farm Insurance, Louisiana's largest auto insurer, is laying off 47 workers at its operations center in Baton Rouge and is leaving its 30,000-square-foot space. The company told state employment regulators the layoffs will take place Nov. 30. It will leave the space at the end of the year.

     

    Drag Queen Story Time in Lafayette has been put on hold after Southern Louisiana Community College backed out of hosting the event citing concerns for the safety of its students and other visitors. The event has been a growing source controversy in the city and was set to run tomorrow. A doctor who supports Story Time says public showcases of tolerance are important for young people who may be LGBTQ. The event, where Drag Queens will read stories to children about accepting their LGBTQ classmates, is seeking a new location.

     

    Sports…

     

    After losing to Kentucky for the first time in over three decades, Florida has bounced back to beat SEC foes Tennessee and Mississippi State and boast a 4-1 record heading into Saturday’s game against 5th ranked LSU. Local broadcast begins at 12:30p on 96.9 KZMZ & KSYL 104.9

     

    Since winning the season opener against Grambling State, UL Lafayette has lost three straight heading into Saturday’s Sun Belt contest against Texas State.

     

    In other action this weekend, Louisiana Tech is back home on Saturday night to host UAB. The Bulldogs coming off a big win over North Texas.  Hear the game locally on 94.7 ESPN beginning at 4:30p

     

    McNeese looks to improve to 5-1 when they host Abilene Christian and Northwestern State hosts Nicholls State at six o’ clock. The Demons next three out of four are at home

     

    After a little break, the Saints are back at practice facility for Monday’s game against Washington. The Redskins are playing well on defense. Through three games they are giving up just 15 points a game, 187 yards through the air and 278 total yards of offense. The Saints just had one of their more balanced games on offense between the run and the pass.

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  • News for Thursday 100418

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    Good news for 2016 flood victims who cannot receive federal rebuilding grants through the Louisiana Restore Program, because they already received an S-B-A loan. Senator Bill Cassidy says legislation addressing the duplication of benefits issue has passed the senate and is heading to President Trump’s desk…

     

    All in all, federal officials say yesterday’s National Alert Test was a success. The test that started locally at 1:18 was supposed to be heard on all cellphones first. That was to be followed by all radio and TV stations. In part one of the test, early estimates had about 75% off all Cellphones receiving the test. The Feds had hoped that number would have been higher. Few problems were reported by radio and TV stations here in Louisiana, with the test going off without a hitch.

     

    A Vernon Parish man found guilty of killing his girlfriend and her young son has had his convictions has had his day in Appeals court. Matthew Dotson had appealed his convictions on two counts of first-degree murder, for which he received two life sentences, claiming that there wasn't evidence and that "unduly graphic" autopsy photos shouldn't have been shown during the trial. A three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal found no merit to either of those claims.

     

    Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is backing efforts to replace NAFTA with a new deal that would adjust some aspects of trade with Canada and Mexico. The state is an exporting powerhouse, and Strain says if approved, the new trade deal would be a major boost for some major Louisiana based corporations. President Donald Trump supports the plan.

     

    With recent trade negotiations having disrupted the usual shipping lanes for soybeans as well as a higher yield from farmers, storage silos are full and Louisiana farmers are having issues finding places to store their crops before they can be shipped. Congressman Ralph Abraham has put in a request to the USDA requesting help with the issue.  Abraham says there are still many beans that need to be harvested but have nowhere to go. Abraham says if this isn’t resolved quickly, the consequences could be dire.

     

    The Secretary of State’s office is warning of scammers trying to collect voter information through phone calls.  The callers would get in touch with potential victims and ask for information in order to register to vote or to receive an absentee ballot.  Something the state says they would never do.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says the growing numbers of waste tires in urban centers is creating a pollution problem, so starting this month, the state OK’d an increase on the per tire fee that’s used to pay for waste tire processing. The new charge $2.25 per tire. Secretary Chuck Brown says it’s a modest, but necessary tax.

     

    It was a very emotional night outside of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Tuesday night as hundreds showed up for vigil to remember LSU basketball player Wayde Sims. Wayde’s father, Wayne Sims, spoke at the gathering and says he hopes that others can learn something from his son’s death. Sims was fatally shot last Friday while coming to the aid of a friend. Funeral services are this Saturday..

     

    A 50-year-old Slaughter woman is headed to trial in Baton Rouge facing First Degree Murder charges in the death of her boyfriend Damian Skipper who she allegedly poisoned to death with barium in 2015. Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore says Hale is a suspect in her husband’s 2016 death as well, something they’re looking into. Hale was in line to collect 750,000 dollars of insurance money in that case.

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  • News for Wednesday 100318

    Compiled by Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    At 1:18 today most phones in the state will begin emitting a nice, shrill screech that will announce the beginning of the first ever Wireless Emergency Alert test. This new system will allow local, state, or federal authorities to broadcast emergency messages to your phone. Assistant Deputy Director of Preparedness Chris Guilbeaux says two minutes after the tone sounds on phones, the EAS portion of the regularly scheduled test will go out. And if you’re wondering, no, you can’t opt out of this test. The message will be labeled a “Presidential Alert.”

     

    The England Authority board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Sandra McQuain as it news executive director. McQuain, who most recently has served as chief operating officer of Baker Manufacturing, will succeed Jon Grafton, who stepped down in May after 24 years on the job.

     

    Allen Parish authorities have arrested a Pitkin man who they believe is responsible for setting fire to a home early yesterday that destroyed the building. 31 year old Nathan Martin was captured in a field next to the home. An APSO spokesperson says Martin was wearing clothes stolen from the torched home. He was booked into the Alan Parish jail.

     

    One woman is dead and another in the hospital after being trapped in an overturned vehicle stranded in a canal for over 24 hours. Officials recovered the victims from the canal Monday afternoon after two friends of the girls searched and found them. West Baton Rouge Sheriff spokesperson Lt. Ken Albarez says he believes divine intervention lead them to the vehicle.

     

    Senator John Kennedy is bringing forward a bill that would prevent banks from discriminating against companies based on the company’s positions on social issues like gun control. The Louisiana Bond Commission recently decided to not do business with banks that cut capital for gun manufacturers. Citigroup will restrict capital to companies that sell guns to those under 21, or who do not take background checks. Bank of America is refusing to finance companies that manufacture assault weapons.

     

    Two teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an Airman stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. Sergeant 30-year-old Joshua Kidd of Bossier City was found with a gunshot wound to his chest last week. Police say evidence linked two young boys, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, to the murder.

     

    Louisiana will receive 3.6 million dollars from the U-S Department of Education to help schools statewide develop and expand their emergency operation plans for disasters, whether they are natural or manmade. The governor’s education policy advisor, Donald Songy, says they want every school to have a plan in place if students are threatened

     

    DriversEd.com has released a report showing 73% of drivers admit to reading text messages while driving, with 54% typing on their phones. The report, which examines behind-the-wheel behaviors, habits, and decisions, also shows only 39% of drivers say they use their phone more than they should. Safety and Education Analyst from the website, Laura Adams says the shows the use of technology is on the rise, whether watching videos on YouTube and Netflix or browsing social media.

     

    A woman’s body found in Cameron Parish was apparently burned with gasoline as part of a possible homicide. 32-year-old Mitzie Galimidi appears to have already been dead when her body was brought to the scene and doused, according to authorities. Cameron Sheriff Ron Johnson says so far they have very little evidence.

     

    A 37-year-old, ten year veteran of the Louisiana State Police has been arrested and charged with Abuse of Office after an investigation revealed he allegedly used his access to law enforcement databases for unauthorized activities. John Kelley of Troop G is out after posting bond. Kelley has been placed on forced leave.

     

    A new poll shows massive, bipartisan support from coastal residents for Coastal Restoration efforts, and a substantial majority of support for Sediment Diversion projects. Environmental groups estimate the state could experience substantial land loss over the next several decades.

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU is undefeated and ranked number 5 in the country heading into Week 6 of the college football season.   But today, ESPN released its top nine teams that have chance of going to the playoffs and LSU was left off the list.  ESPN says LSU and West Virginia both have a 6.4 percent chance to make the playoff but only six-tenths of a percent chance to win it all.

     

    Running back Mark Ingram is back with the Saints after serving his four-game suspension. He greeted the team at the team’s facility when they returned from beating the Giants. Coach Sean Payton says Ingram is ready to go. Quarterback Drew Brees enters Monday’s game against Washington just 102 yards away from breaking Peyton Manning’s record for regular season career passing yards.

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  • News for Tuesday 100218

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

     

    A Candlelight vigil for slain LSU basketball player Wayde Sims is set for tonight.  The vigil will be held at 8 p.m. in front of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, where Sims, a Baton Rouge native and former University High star, played for the Tigers the past two seasons. Funeral services for Sims will be held Saturday at noon at Healing Place Church. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m.

     

    Louisiana has the highest FAFSA submission rates in the nation according to a new report. That means more students than ever are applying to see what financial aid they qualify for when it comes to post-secondary education. EdTech Senior Consultant Stephanie Marcum says the 84 percent participation rate comes down to a new mandate for graduating high school seniors. And it wasn’t just in submission rate, the Bayou State led the nation in growth rate as well.

     

    The sexual assault hotline has seen an uptick in call volume.  The day of the testimony of Dr. Christine Ford, the service saw an increase of 201% compared to a typical day.  Assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at LSU, Michelle Many says that activity is likely do to the barrage of news reports about this case and other allegations of sexual abuse. Many says although the call volume has increased, she believes that until there is a change in the way allegations are received and those that raise allegations are treated, many will still keep it to themselves.

     

    The Louisiana Health Department announces they did not identify elevated levels of lead in 12 elementary schools built before 1986. State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says the results from this first round of testing is encouraging, but it doesn’t mean there is not a case of elevated levels of lead at an older school. He says they will conduct testing in 12 more schools next year and 12 more after that.

     

    The GPSO reports the arrest of a Ball man after a detective spotted drugs, drug paraphernalia and a gun during a routine stop.  55 year old Eric Jones told the detective he and his girlfriend were on a date “Dumpster Diving”. Jones was arrested and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center.

     

    Grant Parish authorities report the arrests of two people who were spotted by a sheriff’s deputy smoking meth in the parking lot of a store. Arrested were 26 year old Tyler Vanderwater of Pineville and 32 year old Megan Olson of Dry Prong. Both were charged with possession of crystal meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

     

    Avoyelles Parish authorities have arrested Joshua Viola of Bunkie after he allegedly set fire to a mobile home he shared with his girlfriend over the weekend.  Viola was booked into the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center Sunday on simple arson, domestic abuse battery and criminal damage to property. No one was injured in the incident.

     

    Louisiana has again been dubbed one of the most dangerous states in the nation to ride a bicycle, sparking debate on just why a seemingly innocent exercise seems to carry inordinate risks. Last week, an analysis by The Wall Street Journal concluded that the state is No. 2 nationally in bicyclist deaths, behind only Florida. The same review said New Orleans is the sixth most dangerous of 50 metro areas when it comes to bike riding. The grim review is not the first of its kind. In 2015, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Louisiana had the third highest rate of bicyclist deaths in the nation, behind Florida and Delaware.

     

    The east coast saw the season’s only major Hurricane landfall incident when Florence slammed the Carolinas, killing 29 and causing an estimated 38 billion in damage in September, and as we move into October there’s only two months of hurricane season left. State Climatologist Barry Keim says another major storm is unlikely but possible.

    Keim says there’ve been a few storms to hit Louisiana in October, but the last was Juan in 1985.

     

    LSU Health New Orleans has received a $1.3 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human services to be used to increase the availability of sexual assault nurse examiners, or SANEs, across twelve southeast Louisiana parishes.  With many of those parishes being limited on resources, LSU’s Dr. Jessica Landry says they are hoping to train more nurses with the funds.

     

    A dog is dead after being thrown out of a moving vehicle in Webster Parish on I-20. The animals was bound with tape and rope, and was thrown out of the vehicle and dragged while still alive. Humane Society of Louisiana Executive Director Jeff Dorson says the injuries were brutal, and called it torture.The Webster Parish Humane Association, who took custody of the animal and tried to save it, to no avail, is offering a 2,500 dollar award for information about the case, and Dorson says they’re considering an additional 750 dollars to help get people’s attention. Dorson says it’s clearly Felony Animal Abuse, which comes with a hefty sentence for those found guilty.

     

    Yet again, researchers are finding that communities along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans are at a greater risk for exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. Three years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that St. John the Baptist Parish had the highest cancer risk from airborne pollutants nationwide because of the "likely carcinogen" chloroprene. Now, the most recent Assessment conducted by the EPA notes dangers from ethylene oxide. The numbers are even more staggering downstream.

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Ole Miss. LSU is at 22nd ranked Florida this Saturday.

     

    t was a no brainer for Conference USA to name Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson as the Defensive Player of the Week. He set a career-high with four sacks in a single game. He’s only 4.5 sacks away from tying the program record. Bulldogs kicker Bailey Hale was also named Special Teams Player of the Week, he tied a program record with five field goals in the win over North Texas.

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  • News for Monday 100118

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    A Ville Platte woman was booked on vehicular homicide and other counts after crashing into two pedestrians early Saturday morning in Evangeline Parish. 28 year Marla Rushing was traveling north on La. 3149 when her pickup truck struck Bo Darbonne of Mamou, who was standing near the roadway. Rushing continued a short distance and then struck 20 year old Michael Fontenot of St. Landry, who was standing in the northbound lane. Both men were taken to a local hospital, Fontenot was pronounced dead and Darbonne was treated for moderate injuries. Rushing was booked into Evangeline Parish.

     

    Baton Rouge Police announce the arrest of 20-year-old Dyteon Simpson of Baker in the fatal shooting of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims. Police Chief Murphy Paul says DNA evidence led them to Simpson, who admitted to authorities that he shot Sims. Paul says Sims stepped into a fight to defend a friend that was being punched on the ground. Authorities say Simpson was doing the punching and when Sims stepped in that’s when Simpson fired the weapon. Simpson was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and charged with second-degree murder. His case will be brought before a grand jury soon.

     

    Senator John Kennedy says unless an FBI investigation uncovers any concerning new material about allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, he expects a final confirmation vote for his lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court to be held later next week. The Senator says as of now, he knows where he stands.

    Senator Bill Cassidy has also indicated he will vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson says she believes Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations, and says the two senators support for the judge sends the wrong message to assault survivors.

     

    The Board of Regents has made the decision to perform an audit on universities, looking at admission policies.  Universities will begin submitting data in January and a report is expected to be complete in May or June.  Higher Education commissioner Kim Reed says of the 200-thousand students enrolled in the public institutions in the state last year, about a thousand were admitted by exception.  Reed says among the goals with the report is to make sure that students are getting to enroll into schools where they can be most academically successful.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards is in California to promote Louisiana as a prime location for television and film production.  A delegation from Louisiana is meeting with executives from Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Walt Disney Studios just to name a few. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment Chris Stelly say they will promote the state’s revised film tax incentives.

     

    The reward is now up to 50-thousand dollars for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person who killed Josh Woodruff in a hit and run in the early morning hours of January 1, 2016 at the intersection of Decatur and Dumaine Streets in New Orleans. Woodruff’s family believes someone saw something as the hit and run driver dragged Woodruff’s body for six miles.

     

    “Drag Queen Story Time”, and event originally scheduled to take place at the Lafayette Public Library has seen such high demand that the event sponsors and hosts say they’re going to have to move it to a bigger venue. The new location will at South Louisiana Community College, where a UL-Lafayette fraternity will dress in drag and read stories to kids about accepting their LGBT classmates. The event is still planned for October 6th.

     

    Today the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of a St. Tammany man who is protesting the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service designation that a portion of his land is off limits for unfettered development due to its importance to the endangered dusky gopher frog. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says it’s a ruling that could restrict the scope of the Endangered Species Act. The land owner, argues that because the land is not habitable for the frog in its current form, it should not be classified as critical habitat. The agency argues in the near the future the land may be necessary for the frogs survival.

     

    Sports..

     

    The Saints won their third straight on Sunday with a 33-18 victory over the New York Giants.  The win moves the Saints into first place in the NFC South with a 3-1 record. New Orleans will host the Washington Redskins next Monday night.

     

    LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow led a balanced attack on Saturday night as the 5th ranked Fighting Tigers defeated Ole Miss 45-16. Burrow was 18-of-25 with three touchdowns.

    Up next for LSU its 22nd ranked Florida.

     

    Louisiana Tech had a huge road win on Saturday as the Bulldogs went into Denton and defeated North Texas 29-27. After falling behind 21-6 after one quarter, Tech scored 20 points in the second quarter to take a 26-21 lead and ended up winning 29-27.

     

    Monday night football… it’s Kansas City @ Denver  6:30p 94.7 ESPN

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  • News for Friday 092818

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    A 21 year old Pineville man has been arrested and charged with raping a child he was babysitting. Ethan Scott Jowers was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on two counts of first-degree rape. Authorities believe Jowers also, on another occasion, had sexual intercourse with a sibling of the first victim. Jowers remains in jail. Bond on the two first-degree rape charges was set at $2 million.

     

    A motion to reduce bond for Kayla Jean Giles, the Alexandria woman accused of killing her estranged husband on Sept. 8, will be heard on Oct. 22. The 31 year old Giles was indicted Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of  30 year old Thomas Coutee Jr. He was shot once in the chest and died in the parking lot of the Walmart on Coliseum Boulevard.

     

    Hanna Nicole Barker, the mother accused in connection to her infant son's death in July, will face an Oct. 10 probation revocation hearing. Barker was arrested in 2016 on drug-related charges in Natchitoches Parish. A five-year prison sentenced was deferred, however, and she was placed in the 10th Judicial District Court's drug court.

    A new document filed with the Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court's Office details why officials are seeking the revocation.  Barker was arrested on July 25 on a charge of being a principal to first-degree murder.

     

    Warrants were put out for sixteen former inmates and five former Washington Parish Sheriff’s Deputies related to incidents at the Washington Parish jail involving the rape of one inmate and the beating of another. The sixteen have been booked into the parish jail, with the former officers facing charges of malfeasance in office and the inmates facing simple battery charges. State Police and the FBI were contacted in relation to the investigation.

     

    The Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Louisiana Law that would require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. A law that included some similar language in Texas was shot down by the Supreme Court. Center for Reproductive Rights Senior Council TJ Tu says it’s a decision that fly’s in the face of the Supreme Courts previous decisions, and could make access to abortion in the Bayou State difficult to obtain.

     

    The CDC has released a new report that shows the rate of babies born with congenital syphilis has been on the rise throughout the United States.  Reported cases have jumped from 362 in 2013 to 918 in 2017.  When compared to other states, Louisiana ranks at the very top. 

     

    Senator John Kennedy closed out yesterday’s questioning of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  In his opening remarks, he expressed his sympathy toward Kavanaugh, his family, Dr. Christine Ford, and her family for what they had all been through recently.

     

    Gov. John Bel Edwards says one of his goals is for Louisiana to have more cybersecurity protections in place than any other state. The Governor has declared October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Late last year, Edwards created a task force to lead the state's efforts on the initiative.

     

    Lake Charles authorities report a traffic stop last weekend led to a major drug bust, 63 pounds of cocaine. Police say it happened Sunday afternoon on Interstate 10, when a tow truck was pulled over for a traffic violation. Arrested was 42 year old Elton Joseph Richard of Church Point. Richard’s bond is set at $250,000.

     

    State Police say one of their Troopers used deadly force on a suspect in Hammond Early Thursday morning. Authorities identify the deceased suspect as 23-year-old Coltin Brennan Leblanc of Loranger. A witness grabbing a late night snack at a local restaurant says after being pulled over during what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, LeBlanc sped away after exchanging words with the officer. The officer fired to stopped the driver. Authorities say Leblanc died a short time later at a hospital.

     

    A shooting inside a Dollar General store in Iberia Parish has left one man in critical condition in a Lafayette hospital and another in the custody on the parish jail.  Investigators arrested 23-year-old Joel Saenz, who ran into the store and shot the victim in the head during a physical altercation between the suspect’s brother and the victim.  The suspect left the store and was later arrested at his home.

     

    Disney Cruise Line announced they will start sailing out of the Port of New Orleans in 2020 during Mardi Gras season. The 27-hundred passenger Disney Wonder is scheduled for six different Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from February 7th to March 6th.

     

     

     

    Sports..

     

    Former LSU star Eric Reid has found employment. The Carolina Panthers has inked the safety from Dutchtown High School to a one-year contract. Reid signed a collusion grievance against the NFL in May after he went unsigned during the free agency period. Reid is a former starting safety with the 49ers and has not stood during the National Anthem. Reid said back in March he was willing to stop the National Anthem protests, but remain active off the field when it comes to highlighting and stopping social injustice.

     

    LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said during his radio show last night he expects injured starting offensive guard Garrett Brumfield will miss at least a couple of weeks. True freshmen Chasen Hines from Marshall, Texas will take Brumfield’s place in the starting line up.

     

    LSU is set to unveil a statue of the late Dr. Billy Cannon, the school’s only Heisman Trophy Winner. The ceremony happens tonight, one night ahead of the Tigers hosting Ole Miss. Billy Cannon is the first LSU football player to have a statue erected on the campus in his honor.

     

    Drew Brees says he’s looking forward to playing a pair of New Orleans boys in Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. this weekend as the Saints take a trip up north to play the Giants in New York. Drew’s gotten to know the two after living in the Crescent City for over a decade since joining the Black and Gold.

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  • News for Wednesday 092618

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The charge is now 1st degree murder, in the case of Kayla Giles, the woman accused of killing her estranged husband earlier this month at the Wal-Mart on Coliseum Blvd. The indictment for First Degree Murder, which can be punishable by life in prison or the death penalty, was handed down by a grand jury yesterday..

     

    The RPSO has arrested a Pineville man on a laundry list of charges. 38 year old Mark Roberts was charged with Sexual Battery, 3rd Degree Rape, False Impersonation of a Police Officer, Stalking, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Authorities say Roberts was also wanted in Mississippi for an un-related crime. Roberts is now in the Rapides Parish Detention Center where he’s being being held on a $34,500.00 bond on the local charges while he awaits extradition to Mississippi.

     

    Former soldier Ryan Taylor of New Llano has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison for manufacturing and detonating a chemical weapon at a Fort Polk training area. US Attorney David Joseph says a device containing chlorine gas exploded in the Kisatchie National Forest in April 2017. Taylor plead guilty in June of producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon, which is banned under international and national laws because of the effects it can have on the human body.

     

    After ranking at the bottom of the pile nationally last year, Louisiana has seen relatively strong growth in personal income in the second quarter of this year. With a 5.9 percent growth rate, Louisiana is second in the nation to Texas at 6%.  The construction sector was responsible for most of the growth.  LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says the oil industry’s recent uptick and a national trend of expansion in the healthcare industry are also contributing factors.

     

    The personal finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2018’s Best and Worst States for Teachers.  The website analyzed 22 key metrics, including income growth potential and teacher safety.  Louisiana ranks 48 out of 51 spots.  Louisiana Federation of Teachers spokesperson Les Landon says many of the concerning metrics area echoed by educators.

     

    Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality arrested a Lake Charles man on knowingly disposing of gasoline into a storm water retention pond, which is a felony.  54 year old Dean Domingue and accomplice 51 year old David Mouton dumped 200 gallons of a gasoline and water mixture behind an Albertson’s grocery store.  Mouton remains at large. Nolan says the cost of cleanup was around 49-thousand dollars and that the Albertson’s picked up the tab.

     

    Most of the Zachary Fire Department emergency response team returned home Monday night from the Carolinas after a 14 day mission responding to floods and damage from Hurricane Florence in South Carolina. Chief Mike Kimble says Louisiana teams saved 6 lives, including a few folks stuck on car surrounded by rising waters.

    Kimble says twos of his team are still in South Carolina.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards was in Lake Charles Tuesday for the dedication ceremony of the newly renovated two-mile runway at Chennault International Airport.  Edwards says the 18-million dollar renovation of this runway, which is one of the longest along the Gulf Coast, is an investment into the future of the region.

     

    A former sergeant in the k-9 Unit of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison and one year of supervised release on his guilty plea to violating the civil rights of a detainee.  David Prejean previously admitted during a guilty plea hearing that he acted without legal justification when he commanded his K-9 to bite the detainee, then striking the detainee several times.  The incident took place in 2012.

     

    Ruston lawmaker Rob Shadoin announced today he’s resigning from the state House of Representatives to take a job in Baton Rouge as the deputy counsel for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Shadoin, who is in his second term, says 10 legislative sessions since 2016 made it difficult on his solo law practice.

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  • News for Tuesday 092518

    Compiled By Dave Graichen

    Cenla Broadcasting

     

    The deal to transfer management of two hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to Oschner and LSU has been finalized. The new system, called Oschner LSU Health System of North Louisiana, will begin October 1st. Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says the partnership will offer new services that will mean north Louisianans won’t have to leave home to get healed. LSU says the deal puts to rest rumors of the the medical school closing.

     

    A Many man has been arrested after he attempted to steal an ATM kiosk by driving a stolen vehicle through the front of Curtis Grocery early Sunday morning. Sabine Parish Sheriff Ronny Richardson says 37-year-old Leo Mitchell’s master plan did not work. Mitchell, who has an extensive criminal history for theft and drug charges, was later found hiding in the woods after abandoning his vehicle. Richardson says Mitchell now faces several new charges.

     

    State Police say a fatal train wreck in Webster Parish Monday morning left 33 year old Jason Fory of Minden dead. Troop G spokesperson Glenn Younger says for some unknown reason Fory’s pick-up truck stopped on the tracks and the train couldn’t stop in time. Younger says investigators are unsure as to the reason the truck was in the path of the train.

     

    Visitors to the Louisiana Capitol may have noticed that scaffolding used to restore the building’s limestone and mortar is gone.  But work is still needed on the 86 year old building, so a new walkway is being built to shelter those walking into the front doors from falling mortar.  Louisiana Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry says the front doors are expected to be reopened before the end of the calendar year.

     

    The Louisiana Restore Homeowners Assistance program has reopened its application process for those who suffered damage in the floods of 2016, on the heels of reports that say Congress is nearing a deal that would allow those who filed for SBA loans to receive federal grant rebuilding money. The Edwards Administration says expanding the Restore Louisiana program to SBA recipients will lead to an additional 215 million dollars in benefits making their way into flood victims’ hands. The new deadline to complete the application is October 19th.

     

    A 28-year old Bayou Blue woman has been arrested and charged with murder after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend in the chest with a large kitchen knife. Investigators say the two were in a verbal dispute that turned physical before the eventual stabbing that sent her 28-year-old boyfriend to the hospital, where he later died. Shannel Thompson had her bond set at a million dollars.

     

    The Bayou State is getting a 24-million dollar boost from the federal government to help us rehabilitate opioid addicts and keep them from falling back into the habit that’s killing thousands across the country every year. The federal grant will go to the state Department of Health. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Behavioral Health Dr. Janice Petersen says the funds will help them expand recovery programs in rural areas that are currently under-served.

     

    The trust fund that covers unemployment benefits for the state is projected to hit one billion dollars this year.  The trust fund, managed by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, is the twelfth strongest in the nation.  LWC director Ava Dejoie says the size of the fund has exceeded expectations. Dejoie says the milestone is made even more notable considering the fund went broke in the eighties due to a decline in the oil industry, which we are seeing again at present day.

     

    A 32-year-old Catahoula Parish man lost his life during a police chase. State Police spokesperson Michael Reichardt says 32-year-old Uel Beard of Jonesville didn’t pull over when an officer attempted a traffic stop on him Saturday morning.  Reichardt says Beard’s motorcycle sideswiped a jeep and he died at the scene.

     

    Sports..

     

    Bad injury news for 5th ranked LSU. Coach Ed Orgeron says starting guard left guard Garrett Brumfield is out for Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. Brumfield hurt his knee in the win over La Tech and Coach O is not sure how many games the Baton Rouge product will miss. Freshman Chasen Hines will start in Brumfield’s place.

     

    LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron wants to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That will be important this week as the Tigers host the SEC’s top passing team. The Ole Miss Rebels are averaging 348 yards through the air. Coach Ed Orgeron says Andre Anthony is a guy who can get after the passer. On other side of the ball, Orgeron wants to see more explosive plays on offense.

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