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Local News
  • News for Friday 111717

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Pineville PD yesterday captured the third suspect in the attempted robbery of a Wardville convenience store on November 5th. 23-year-old Devon Thomas was found in Wardville on Thursday by officers who were conducting an unrelated investigation. Thomas, who had been described as possibly armed and dangerous, was taken into custody without incident.

     

    Secretary of State Tom Schedler is expecting a voter turnout of 13 percent statewide for Saturday’s election which features the race for state treasurer and the New Orleans mayoral runoff between LaToya Cantrell and Denise Charbonnet.  Schedler says if it wasn’t for this race, it would be a slow day at the polls.

     

    The election for the New Orleans mayoral race is tomorrow and polls show Democratic councilwoman LaToya Cantrell beating fellow Democrat and former judge Desiree Charbonnet by a landslide. Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says this will be the first time a female has been mayor of New Orleans and this big race with two Democratic candidates is likely to help out Democrat Derrick Edwards’ campaign for State Treasurer against Republican John Schroder.

     

    The U.S. House approved a tax reform bill, which Republicans say will lower tax rates at all income levels and lower the corporate tax rate. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says this legislation will also make it easier for everyday Americans to do their own taxes. The Senate still must vote on its own version of a tax reform plan and if that passes then it must be settled in a conference committee.

     

    Natchitoches unveiled its newly renovated riverfront yesterday.  Mayor Lee Posey says they’ve added a new festival stage, amphitheater seating and a new Santa Claus house. He says restrooms and handicap ramps have also been added along the Cane River. Saturday the Festival of Lights begins its run over the next seven weekends.

     

    Tickets are on sale now for WrestleMania 34, which takes place April 18th at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The last time WWE’s flagship show came to The Big Easy was in 2014, bringing in over 75,000 fans and generating $142 million dollars in economic impact. This is the quickest that WrestleMania has ever returned to a previous host city ever.

     

    The Louisiana National Guard says over 300 of their soldiers and airmen have returned from a deployment to Puerto Rico to help the island nation recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Guard says the soldiers cleared roads and helped electric companies restore power.

     

    It took less than a month, but Layoffs have been announced by CenturyLink after their acquisition of Level 3 Communications.  35 workers in Monroe and 165 companywide are being let go.  Spokesperson Annmarie Sartor says the layoffs come in the IT department.  She says 27-hundred still work in Louisiana for CenturyLink.

     

    Nicholls State has named Jay Clune as the university’s 6th president.  Clune is currently the interim graduate dean for the University of West Florida. The Houma native is a Nicholls graduate and he will take over after the first of 2018. Clune says he wants students coming to Nicholls to learn in a modern environment…

     

    The state is launching a Louisiana Cultural Shopping Trail to provide visitors an opportunity to discover unique retail stores as they travel through the Bayou State. Chairman of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission Steve Windham says L-A-shopping-trail-dot-com will highlight great antique or boutique shops, along with stores that feature hand-crafted goods. Windham says the Louisiana Cultural Shopping Trail gives specialized businesses off the beaten path a chance to showcase the state’s vibrant culture to visitors who are traveling our highways

     

    Baton Rouge Police have made an arrest in the 2014 killing of West St. John High School coach Juan Joseph. Sgt. Don Coppola says they originally booked another man for the murder, but those charges were later dropped after the DA’s office said the shooter was misidentified. Coppola says now Jamarcus Goodman is charged with second degree murder. Copolla says Goodman was living in Texas and had faced other charges there, but is now in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail.

     

    A grand jury Thursday issued a first degree murder indictment of Darren Bridges who is charged with murdering New Orleans Police Officer Marcus McNeil on October 13. It’s being reported that District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says his office is pursuing the death penalty for Bridges.

     

    The steady increase in gas prices is continuing. AAA says there is still strong fall demand for gasoline and it’s chipping away at inventory. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is now $2.34, up almost 10 cents over the past month.

     

    The forecast calls for rain and temperatures falling into the 50s on Saturday in Knoxville for the LSU-Tennessee game. But the Tigers should have success running the football as the Volunteers rank last in the SEC in rushing defense.

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  • News for Thursday 111517

    By Dave Graichen

     

    It’s now official. After being named as acting Principal of Holy Savior Menard High School back in August, Veteran school administrator Dwayne Lemoine now has the job on a permanent basis. Lemoine brings 34 years of education experience to the school, including eight years as superintendent of Avoyelles Parish Schools and eight years as principal at Pineville High School.

     

    5th district Congressman Ralph Abraham, the state's only member of the House Armed Services Committee, says the house version of the National Defense Authorization Act is a Homerun for the state. Under the bill, Barksdale's B-52s will get a modern makeover, Fort Polk will be protected from the base closure list and Belle Chasse's F-15 fighters will stand guard over the Gulf Coast. The House approved a conference committee's version of the Act this week and the Senate is expected to quickly follow. The President says he will sign the bill.

     

    Today is the Great American Smoke out, the day tobacco users are encouraged to quit smoking, chewing tobacco or using other tobacco related products.  Lance Barbour with the American Cancer Society says Louisiana ranks among the highest in the country for the number of smokers and smoking related illness.

     

    It is one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in the country and the numbers now back it up.  The state Department of Transportation reports there were 2,423 crashes on Interstate 10 between Lafayette and the Baton Rouge Mississippi River Bridge over a three year period, from January 1st of 2014 to the end of 2016. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says of those crashes, 19 were fatal and 20 people died. Wilson says the majority of these wrecks are a result of tailgating or distracted driving. Numbers from DOTD show 55-percent of these accidents happened when a car rear-ended another, 22-percent happened when a car ran off the interstate.

     

    The U.S. House has legislation to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program, but it does not have the full support of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation. Representative Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish says the measure doesn’t help with rising premiums and he’s concerned. Abraham hopes the Senate passes a better bill.

     

    Republican Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s successfully added an amendment to the Senate’s tax reform legislation that would provide 200-million dollars in tax relief for thousands of Louisiana residents who were impacted by last year’s August flood. The legislation still needs approval from the entire Senate and House.

     

    There is a new North Louisiana Crime Lab operating in Shreveport, serving 29 north Louisiana parishes. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says the state of the art 86-thousand-square foot North Louisiana Forensic Sciences Center should help them solve D-N-A cases much faster. The planning started over 12 years ago with construction beginning in 2013 at a cost of 26-million-dollars. Prator says the new lab will also partner with the LSU Medical School in Shreveport.

     

    Governor Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain continue their listening tour with farmers today with stops in Ferriday and Slaughter. The tour started earlier this week as the two elected officials held meetings in Mooringsport and Bastrop to hear about concerns within the agriculture industry. Edwards says producers are worried that state budget cuts are impacting agriculture research at LSU and Southern. Edwards says soybean farmers are also pushing for funding so the Red River can be dredged in northwest Louisiana to help with shipping costs. The tour will end tomorrow with stops in Ville Platte and Arnaudville

     

    65-year-old Wilbert Jones became a free man today after serving over 45 years in jail in connection with a 1971 rape and kidnapping of a Baton Rouge nurse. State District Judge Richard Anderson threw his conviction out, because he determined the case against Jones was weak and the prosecution withheld evidence. The Innocence Project worked for 15 years to free Jones.

     

    The busy holiday travel season starts next week and the Transportation Security Administration is asking passengers to make sure they don’t pack guns in their carry-on travel bags. T-S-A spokesperson Sari Koshetz says so far this year, six guns have been confiscated at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport and 52 from Louis Armstrong in New Orleans.

     

    State officials are gradually introducing 23 juvenile whooping cranes from Wisconsin, Maryland and Canada to the wild in Louisiana as part of the state’s effort to grow the population of the rare, endangered birds. State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Sara Zimorski says 12 of the birds were brought to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on the southwest Louisiana coast where three cranes recently hatched…

     

    The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine says Mike Seven, the school’s live mascot that arrived on campus in August, has added 100 pounds of weight during his first three months in Baton Rouge. The 14-month old Tiger now weighs about 270 pounds and the Bengal-Siberian mix is expected to keep growing until he’s about four or five years old.

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  • News for Wednesday 111517

    By Dave Graichen

     

    With the announcement of DXC Technology opening a digital transformation center, over two-thousand direct jobs will be created in New Orleans over the next seven to eight years. Demographer Greg Rigamer says Louisiana provided $120 million in incentives to attract the company’s attention.

     

    A man who spent nearly a half century in jail will be freed after his conviction is over turned.  65-year-old Wilbert Jones is expected to be released today.  State District Court Judge Richard Anderson threw out his conviction after it was discovered authorities withheld “highly favorable” evidence that would have exonerated Jones in connection with a 1971 rape.

     

    A Grambling State student that was arrested last month after a double homicide has been indicted on two counts for first degree murder.  19-year-old Jaylin Wayne allegedly fatally shot 23-year-old Earl Andrews, a senior at Grambling, and 23-year-old Monquairious Caldwell.  The Lincoln Parish DA says they may seek the death penalty pending the final police report.

     

    Gas prices keep inching up along with demand. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.31, according to AAA.

     

    The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will lead a full scale nuclear disaster prevention drill called Operation Great River in which a dozen federal, state and local authorities will participate.  The exercise will happen today along the Mississippi River near the Port of Baton Rouge. GOHSEP Spokesperson Mike Steele says it’s a first of a kind drill in Louisiana.

     

    Have you ever thought Louisiana as a golf destination?  Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser wants to make it so.  He is helping to reenergize the Audubon Golf Trail.  15 courses statewide are included.  He says this will be a valuable tool to gets visitors to vacation here and see what other attractions Louisiana has to offer.

     

    The newest numbers from the Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of this year rank Monroe and Shreveport in the top for the most affordable cities to live in the Bayou State. President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership Scott Martinez says the consumer’s dollar goes farther in these markets.

     

    State Police are investigating an officer involved shooting in which they say a Baton Rouge cop shot and killed a man during a struggle when escorting a state child welfare case worker. Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says, despite rumors circling social media, the man who was killed was not handcuffed when he was shot.

     

    A Baton Rouge attorney has been arrested for the second time in as many months on child pornography charges.  36-year-old Victor Loraso of Covington is charged with 20 different counts involving possession and distribution sexual abuse images or videos of minors.  He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.  He was released last month on a 150-thousand-dollar bond.

     

    The LaFourche Parish Council is issuing a proclamation marking the 130th anniversary of the Thibodaux Massacre. The incident occurred on November 23, 1887. It was one of the bloodiest incidents of violence in American history. White mobs shot black men and women after a strike was called by sugar cane workers in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.  Next Thursday, there will be a moment of silence in Thibodaux to mark the anniversary of the slaughter.

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  • News for Tuesday 111417

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The state police report a suspect in an Alexandria kidnapping and rape was caught Monday in Grant Parish after a chase. 40-year-old Edward Williams would not stop for law enforcement on La. Highway 8 yesterday and after a short chase, he jumped from the car and ran. State Police Troopers were able to quickly take him into custody. Shortly thereafter, Alexandria authorities took custody of Williams. He is now facing multiple charges.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards says Virginia-based DXC Technology will open a New Orleans office that will employ two-thousand people. Officials are calling it the single largest jobs announcement in the city’s modern history. An exact location for the facility has yet to be decided, but it will be downtown. Average salaries of for those working there will be 63-thousand dollars.

     

    LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva says the elimination of tax break in the GOP tax reform bills could be disastrous for big-time collegiate athletics. LSU and many other schools require donations to purchase tickets to athletic events and Alleva is concerned those donations will go away, if fans can no longer claim 80-percent of the donation as a tax deduction. Alleva says LSU receives about 50-million dollars from this revenue stream.

     

    U.S. Senator John Kennedy has written an op-ed piece to the Washington Examiner entitled “Please stop having children you aren’t willing to raise.”  In the piece, Kennedy implores parents that if they are drug users or if the child would be born to a fatherless house, to think twice about bringing lives into the world. Kennedy says too many parents are failing their children these days in Louisiana. He says thousands of children are in the state’ foster care system and those who fail to find a good foster care home end up struggling in life.

     

    Today, the Governor will begin traveling with Ag Commissioner Mike Strain on a listening tour with farmers across Louisiana to hear their concerns.  Today’s stops will be in Mooringsport and Bastrop.  Later this week they will be in Arnaudville, Ferriday, Slaughter and Ville Platte.

     

    The latest poll on the New Orleans Mayors race is out. LaToya Cantrell continues to hang on to a double-digit lead over Desiree Charbonnet, according to UNO pollster Ed Chervenak, 46 percent to 35 percent, with 19 percent still undecided.

     

    Expectations of a bumper pecan crop in Louisiana this year have been lowered due to unfavorable weather, but that shouldn’t affect your pies for the holidays. That’s according to LSU AgCenter Associate Professor Charlie Graham, who says pecans are still in greater supply than last year.

     

    Reports indicate a Louisiana man was arrested trying to cross into North Korea.  The man was detained by South Korean forces before he could cross the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries.  The 58-year-old is identified as “A”.  The Washington Post says he was trying to enter North Korea for “political purposes.”

     

    If you want to know if the flu bug has invaded your neighborhood, a new phone app called Sickweather has been designed with you in mind.  Founder and CEO Graham Dodge says they use the public’s help to track when there’s an outbreak of various illnesses from the common cold to the flu. Dodge says the app will alert you when you are entering an area where there’s been a large of number of verified illnesses reported.  The app is currently available on Google Play and the Apple store for free.

     

    For the third time this year, LSU linebacker Devin White has been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. The sophomore from Springhill, Louisiana had 14 tackles in the Tigers 33-10 win over Arkansas.

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  • News for Monday 111317

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A pilot was killed when a small plane crashed in Rapides Parish, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The single-engine private airplane was found in thick brush between Lake Buhlow and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.  Further details, including the name of the pilot or where he was going, have not been released. The FAA is investigating the crash.

     

    There’s an estimated 600-thousand Louisiana adults who lack a high school diploma. Now, a program called WorkReady U is attempting to grow Louisiana’s workforce by helping to educate the 600-thousand Louisiana’s adults who do not have a high school diploma. Jason Beard is the senior manager for a nonprofit group called Educational Testing Service, which offers adults looking to better their education a chance at passing the High School Equivalency Test. More information can be found online at yesyoucan.la

     

    It appears the state AG didn’t have his fact straight after all. The state Department of Health announces new data shows there are fewer opioids being prescribed since Medicaid expansion began in July 2016. This comes amid recent claims by Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry that the better access to healthcare is fueling the opioid crisis. But, the state Board of Pharmacy says there was a 2 percent reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions from the year before Medicaid expansion to the year after.

     

    Four Baton Rouge police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of possible payroll fraud.  A source told WAFB TV that they include two sergeants.  The information comes on the heels of similar allegations involving the Louisiana State Police concerning three troopers.

     

    This week, two years from now, voters will cast their ballots for Louisiana’s next governor. Current Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is planning to run again. Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry could challenge Edwards and tensions between the two continue to escalate. He says expect GOP leaders to keep attacking the governor on various issues. Pinsonat says there’s been word that along with Landry, Congressmen Garret Graves and Steve Scalise as well as U.S. Senator John Kennedy are taking a look at the governor’s seat.

     

    U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, supports the Senate’s GOP tax plan which was unveiled on Thursday. Cassidy says the proposed legislation would help families and help businesses grow by cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code. He says a family of four would see a tax cut of over 14-hundred-dollars…

     

    A new phone app called OnPoint can help you keep an eye on politicians at nearly every level of government.  Vote-Smart-dot-org National Director Walker McKusick says they have culled information on over 40-thousand politicians, including those in Louisiana. McKusick credits their non-partisanship donations in helping them to present the true facts behind every politician in Louisiana…

     

    Two elderly people were killed after a logging truck struck their vehicle in Beauregard Parish Thursday.  State Police Sgt. James Anderson says 86-year-old Elaine Picard and passenger 82-year-old William Picard were at a stop sign, when they pulled out onto Highway 112 east of DeRidder, directly into the path of a logging truck.

     

    Complete domination. That’s the best way you can describe the Saints 47-10 beat down of the Bills in Buffalo yesterday. New Orleans had 482 yards of total offense to Buffalo’s 198 and the Saints had the ball for over 41 minutes in the game. It was the team’s seventh straight victory. The Saints rushed for 298 yards and set a franchise record by scoring six rushing touchdowns.

     

    The LSU football team scored four touchdowns in the 2nd half on Saturday to beat Arkansas 33-10. LSU is now 7-3, 4-2 in the SEC and this Saturday they’ll visit a Tennessee team that was crushed by Missouri 50-17. The Vols are 0-6 in the league.

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  • News for Friday 111017

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A Rapides Parish Jury found a 17 year old mother, Donasty Cohen, guilty of manslaughter in the death of her 27 day old son nearly a year ago. Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 4, giving time for the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation ordered by 9th Judicial District Court after the verdict.

     

    The Rapides Parish  Police Jury and the company in charge of managing the Rapides Parish Coliseum  are hoping a grant from the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority will allow for the purchase of some equipment  that they say is needed to attract larger events to the venue. The Jury approved the  $200,000 grant application at a special meeting Thursday. The money would be used to purchase a stage, chairs for the floor of the arena, speakers, spotlights, wireless intercom and a forklift.

     

    Young people in Louisiana are smoking at a rate of 12-percent, which is lower than the national average of 16-percent, according to a report by Truth Initiative. President and CEO Robin Koval says when teenagers are given the facts and allowed to make their own decisions, they are more likely to positively respond. The down side of the report shows a different story when it comes to adult smoking. Over 22-percent, of adult smoke in the state, that compared to 15 in the rest of the country.

     

    Tomorrow is the last day to early vote for the November 18th election and early voting locations are closed today in observance of Veteran’s Day. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says in the last days of early voting, the number of residents who cast a ballot exceeded his original expectation of around 10-percent. Aside from the statewide State Treasurer’s election, the New Orleans mayoral race is also on the ballot. Voters here in Alexandria will be asked whether to renew a 24-year-old property tax that funds "critical" capital projects, such as roads and drainage.

     

    The five members of the Capitol Police Department at the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot, have been awarded the medal of honor. Scalise says the excellent training undergone by members of this department prepared them and gave them the skills to save the lives of so many that day.

     

    Authorities are refuting a WBRZ-TV report that a 13-year-old child was raped by an inmate in a bathroom during last month’s Angola Rodeo. Officials say the State Police Crime Lab through DNA testing determined no sexual contact occurred between the minor and prisoner. West Feliciana Sheriff Austin Daniel says an investigation started when it was observed a 13-year and an inmate walked out of a bathroom together. Daniel says they are not sure why the two were in bathroom together, but there is no evidence that sexual contact occurred.

     

    University system presidents met at the governor’s mansion Thursday afternoon to discuss steps to eliminate hazing and alcohol abuse among sanctioned groups on campus. LSU System President F King Alexander says it’s not their intention to get rid of Greek organizations, because they do a lot of good work in the community.

     

    The Kenner Police Department says a habitual offender that was released early from jail due to the state’s new criminal justice reform, committed an armed robbery 5 days after he was let out.  Chief Michael Glaser says Tyrone White is well known in that neighborhood, and cops had already been alerted that he was lurking again pulling on car door handles to see if they were unlocked. Glaser says this 24-year-old man should never have been let out of jail…

     

    A Denham Springs woman turned herself into police today after being suspected of texting before a fatal crash on I-12 that killed a 5-month-old baby. Denham Springs Police issued an arrest warrant for 23-year-old Jessica Cowart. Cowart is charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring and reckless operation.  She is free on a 51-thousand-dollar-bond.

     

    Gas prices keep rising as demand remains high. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.29, up five cents from the prior week.

     

    According to the Louisiana Lottery, no one has claimed the $50,000 Powerball prize from the drawing on June 14. The winning ticket was purchased at Super 1 Foods on Northeast Evangeline Thruway in Carencro. The winner has until Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. to claim the prize.

     

    Have you ever wondered who is responsible for painting LSU’s Eye of the Tiger in Death Valley? Well it’s LSU graduate Hunter Sexton who is the Sports Turf Manager for Tiger Stadium. He says being the guy who paints the intimidating eye in the middle of the field is the coolest job ever. Sexton says he’s been painting fields since he was a kid, and to be able to work full time for LSU is a huge honor.

     

    The Saints seek their seventh straight victory this Sunday when they visit Buffalo. When the schedule came out, many Saints fans probably thought the Bills would have a losing record at this point of the year. But Buffalo is 5-3 and New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees says they are a perfect 4-0 at home.

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  • News for Thursday 110917

    By Dave Graichen

     

    If you’re dumb enough to make repeated crank calls to 911, don’t get caught in the act. A Pollock man did just that. 21-year-old Arthur Veal  was in the process of making another crank call to 911 when a Grant Parish deputy tracked him down.  The GPSO says in addition to catching Veal, they found Multiple Bags Of Marijuana in the home he was calling from. But the story doesn’t end there. As Veal was being booked into jail, officials found crystal meth hidden in his underwear .We don’t have enough time to report how many things he has been charged with.

     

    After an alleged confrontation with a student player on Friday,  a Natchitoches Central High School football coach John Daughtery was charged with simple battery. The Natchitoches PD reports they received a complaint around 6 p.m. Monday about an incident that happened on Friday at Turpin Stadium. The 17-year-old alleges that Daughtery grabbed his helmet, eventually pulling it off and then began to pull him into a locker room by his jersey. Daughtery  has a court date in December.

     

    Three state police troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave amid allegations of claiming overtime on hours they never actually worked. State Police Major Doug Cain says the investigation started after surveillance video was uncovered by a New Orleans television station.

     

    An Arson fire in Many destroyed the ARC of Sabine building, which benefits the developmentally disabled. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they have a person in custody. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Brett Shoemaker and he’s a former client of ARC. No injuries were reported.

     

    Early voting for the November 18th election comes to a close on Saturday and the candidates for State Treasurer continue to get their message out to voters. Republican candidate John Schroder is a former lawmaker from Covington, a veteran and a business owner. He says he’s ready to take on the job and separate himself from any loyalties to do what is the best for our state. Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards has a Master’s degree in accounting and is an attorney in the New Orleans area. Edwards says he will bring accountability and transparency to the office of the State Treasurer. He says this race is not about party affiliation.

     

    A 25-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly attacking a woman who tried to help him as he was lying in a ditch near Oak Grove. West Carroll Parish Sheriff Jerry Philley says the victim saw Christian Turnbow on the side of the road as she was driving her kids to school. He says police arrived after one of her children called 911 to report the attack. The victim suffered minor injuries.

     

    The state department of corrections is not saying much about a Baton Rouge television station’s report that claims a 13-year-old boy was raped by an inmate during the last weekend of the Angola Prison rodeo. A D-O-C spokesperson says an investigation is underway into an alleged incident that may have occurred and details will be released at the appropriate time.

     

    Two people were injured and dozens were evacuated yesterday off of a Shell platform about 115 miles off  the Louisiana coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Petty Officer Lexie Preston says a 54-year-old male suffered from flash burns and a concussion and a 29-year-old male suffered a sprained wrist and a concussion. Preston says the fire has been reduced to a small flame and a light sheen is reported north of the platform. The incident occurred early Wednesday morning.

     

    The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office says a Covington woman is under arrest amid allegations she lied about an NFL referee physically abusing her. Lt. Brennan Matherne says 49-year-old Sandra Brooks told cops in June that her live in boyfriend, 57-year-old Carl Johnson Sr. of Thibodaux, was hitting her. He says no evidence of wrongdoing by Johnson was found and ultimately he was exonerated in the investigation and Brooks is one now facing the charges.

     

    Authorities have arrested a 14-year-old after he allegedly brought a handgun and rifle ammunition to Rayville High School. Rayville Police Chief Willie Robinson says the rifle rounds were in the teen’s backpack and a gun belonging to him was found in another student’s vehicle. Robinson says the teen told detectives he forgot to take the ammo out of his bag after he went hunting.

     

    More than half of LSU’s 27 fraternities are in some kind of trouble for violating policy both before and after the death of LSU pledge Max Gruver. The punishments range from suspensions, being kicked off campus, on probation or letter of reprimand. The latest is an LSU letter sent to Alpha Gamma Rho saying they must stop all charter events because of an incident, “not in compliance with university policies.”

     

    A state law approved seven years ago allows persons to possess guns inside a place of worship, under strict conditions. The person must be approved by the church leader, the congregation is made aware and persons must receive specialized training. One of those courses is coming up later this month in Livingston Parish. Sheriff Jason Ard says there is increased interest since the Texas church shooting.

     

    Washington Parish authorities arrest the owner of a 2006 Porsche after he allegedly came up with a scheme to burn his water damaged vehicle in an effort to collect insurance money.  Chief Deputy Mike Haley says 49-year-old Gary Joseph Leblanc of Robert was arrested following a six week investigation.

     

    Multiple sources are reporting that former LSU coach Les Miles is interested in the coaching job at Oregon State. The Beavers are 1-8 under interim coach Cory Hall after Gary Andersen and the school opted to part ways following a loss to Southern California earlier this season.

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  • News for Wednesday 110817

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White released the annual school performance scores for the 2016-2017 year yesterday. White says the scores have remained steady for the third consecutive year. White says unfortunately, 272 schools statewide received D of F grades for three straight years or saw high school graduation rates less than 67-percent. Here in Rapides Parish, The School System received another "B" grade. The number of schools given an "A" based on their scores is down to five from seven last year.

     

    The investigation continues into a Sunday night armed robbery and shooting at a Wardville convenience store. The operator of Lee Rays on Bayou Marie Rd. told police three armed men entered the store and ordered everyone to the back of the store. The clerk told police he armed himself and fired at the men, hitting two of them. One was hit in the abdomen, he remains in the hospital in critical condition,  the other in the arm. Police say arrests are still pending.

     

    Recent record breaking heat in some areas of the state will give way today to much cooler temperatures as a cold front moves in.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect a gray dreary day. After the front moves through, Keim says to expect much colder air descending on Louisiana providing, us with fall like weekend.

     

    Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy has introduced the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act, aimed at preventing terrorists from using vehicles to attack Americans.  Cassidy says as technology improves, newer vehicles can become weapons in the hands of terrorists. Cassidy says this bill would give Congress information law enforcement needs to help expand their role to more technical issue.

     

    A man identified as the legislative aid to Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop was found dead Tuesday in Central. East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Casey Hicks says they believe 31-year-old Larry Warino Jr. took his own life after fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend.

     

    The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says two men who fell from a helicopter have died.  The men were from California and were working on electrical lines in Sulphur.  The safety harness they were using rubbed against the power lines, causing the harness to snap and the men fell some 100 feet to their death.

     

    Emerge Louisiana is a new group that will train female Democrats on how to run a successful campaign for political office. Executive Director Melanie Oubre says any interested females can apply for the training program through November 18th and 20 to 25 women will be selected. Oubre says after graduating, the women will be provided with a network of support locally and nationally.

     

    LSUA opens its Basketball season tonight at The Fort as they play host to Xavier of Louisiana. You can hear that game tonight beginning at 7 on Magic 100.9

     

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  • News for Tuesday 110717

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The state’s education department developed a website to help parents decide the best K-12 public school for their child. The website, Louisiana-schools-dot-com (louisianaschools.com), launches today. Director of Family and Education Communications Annie Morrison says families can find information about all traditional public schools in the state, along with facts on charter, magnet and scholarship schools. Again that website, louisianaschools.com

     

    The Energy Information Administration says October gasoline consumption was the highest in month-to-month numbers since 2006, which is why there has been a slight increase in prices at the pump.  Triple A fuel analyst Don Redman believes the warm fall has led to more people driving increasing demand for gasoline. Redman says Louisiana prices are the sixth lowest in the nation with drivers paying an average of $2.26 a gallon, but still about 20 cents more a gallon than last year. 

     

    The state Department of Education releases the 2016-2017 annual school performance scores today and this is the last time schools with be graded on a curve. President for the Council for a Better Louisiana Barry Erwin says it’s time to go back to the system where grades really give a true reflection of the school’s performance. Erwin says after getting rid of a curve, we do sometimes see a dip in school performance with more receiving D’s and F’s. He expects it might take a year or two but schools will eventually score better as the bar is raised.

     

    The first two days of early voting for the November 18 election shows numbers remain dismal with just under 26-thousand voters participating.  Secretary of State Tom Schedler says even though they are getting the word out to encourage voters, not many have taken the advice. Early voting remains open until Saturday with the exception of Friday for the observance of Veteran’s Day.

     

    Reactions are coming in the aftermath of the largest church mass shooting in Texas history this past weekend near San Antonio which killed 26.  Seven years ago, former Shreveport area State Representative Henry Burns authored a bill which allows guns in places of worship, with church leadership approval. When asked if there are any additional steps that churches need to take to ensure the safety of attendees,  Burns says installing metal detectors may be an extreme but necessary step.

     

    Some 60 dogs and cats rescued from Hurricane Maria and relocated to Louisiana are looking for their new forever home.  Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans is currently sheltering the animals.  They were surrendered after many lost their homes.  Director Michelle Ingram says some animals are having a hard time adjusting to their new circumstances at their shelter.  She says foster families are needed to help these animals.

     

    A 19-year-old Tibodaux woman who was shot last week has died.  Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre says Shantell Pollard was shot on October 31st.  When police arrived, they found Pollard in the passenger side of an SUV bleeding from a head wound and was unresponsive.  She was in critical condition after she was transferred to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.  Police say the investigation is continuing.

     

    LSU Football Head Coach Ed Orgeron says quarterback Danny Etling will remain the Tigers starting quarterback. Orgeron says despite some missed opportunities in the passing game against Alabama, Etling is the better option over freshman Myles Brennan to achieve a 10-win season. LSU will play Arkansas this Saturday after losing to Alabama by two touchdowns last weekend.

     

    Louisiana Tech now has a new Tech XXII mascot after Tech XXI retired last fall. Vice President for Student Advancement Jim King says they are excited to finally introduce the beloved bulldog to students. King says Tech is well taken care of by the university’s pre-vet club and has been adopted by a local Ruston family.

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  • News for Monday 110617

    By Dave Graichen

     

    State Police report an early morning single vehicle crash, Saturday Morning,

    Took the life of 53 year old Carl LaBorde of Marksville. LaBorde’s vehicle was northbound on LA Hwy 115 when he lost control, exited the right side of the roadway and collided with a concrete culvert. Laborde, who was not wearing a seatbelt,  was pronounced dead at the scene.

     

    Early voting for the November 18 election is under way.  Secretary of State Tom Schedler is expecting a low turnout, around 10 percent.  There is a statewide treasurer’s race, the New Orleans mayoral race and a handful of local ballot items in about half of the state’s parishes.  Early voting continues through Saturday.

     

    The senate approved a 23 month contract extension Friday for the state’s Medicaid managed-care companies unanimously, but House members voted against it, blocking the Governor’s efforts to help extend high-dollar contracts for managed-care companies beyond January.  House Appropriations Committee chairman Cameron Henry expects more meetings next month to find savings in the proposed 15.4-billion-dollar deal.

     

    A 67-year-old grandmother is dead in Plaquemine after her grandson allegedly shot her by mistake.  Police say 19-year-old Blaise Horton reported he was holding a gun in a house when Kathleen Fulton was killed.  Police Chief Kenny Payne says the bullet grazed a dog and struck Fulton in the back.  He says Horton’s sister was in the home at the time and evidence at the scene matches up with the story Horton and the sister told officers.

     

    Officers say a three-year-old toddler has died as the result of an alleged accidental shooting in St. Martin Parish.  Police have arrested the child’s 28 year old uncle.  He has been charged with Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm and Obstruction of Justice.

     

    A Mandeville man has been arrested after allegedly blocking off the exit of a subdivision and holding two teens at gunpoint after they toilet papered his house. Police Chief Gerald Sticker says homeowner Craig Scott unjustifiably took matters into his own hands.

     

    Especially now that it’s getting darker earlier, State Farm wants to remind people to watch out for deer while driving. Louisiana ranks 41st in the country for the most deer collisions. State Farm Spokesperson Kip Diggs says it’s now mating season deer and they’re on the move. He says dusk to dawn are the highest risk times to see deer out on the roadways.

     

    We turned back our clocks for Standard time Sunday morning.. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds residents now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarm. He says first generation fire alarms need to have the batteries replaced every 12 months, and it also might be time for an upgrade. Many of the new Smoke detectors can run 10 years between battery changes.

     

    So what do CPAs say the GOP tax plan will do for us and our pocketbooks?  Among the changes, the plan eliminates the ability to deduct state income tax, which is between two and six percent in Louisiana.  Brandon Legarde with the Society of Louisiana CPA’s says one of the reasons the GOP is happy with tax reform is the change afforded to businesses in trying to urge corporations to come back to the U.S.  Legarde says his office is still trying to determine how all the tax breaks will benefit businesses and if they will be able to get around some of the new laws…

     

    For the first time since 2005, two state police cadet classes will run simultaneously.  Aspiring troopers have reported for the 97th cadet class with 49 individuals.  The 96th class has entered their 11th week of training.  Sgt. Jared Sandifer says both classes are going through an intense training program. After graduation, troopers will participate in a 10-14 week field training program before beginning their new careers.

     

    Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and 10 Louisiana chefs are in New York City to prepare the Bayou State’s world-class food and give the Big Apple a taste of what we have to offer. Nungesser says they hope to woo people with our culture and encourage them to take their next vacation to Louisiana. This trip is a marketing and communications effort in part of the Louisiana Culinary Campaign.

     

    The Saints won their sixth straight on Sunday as they dominated Tampa Bay 30-10. A blocked punt that went for a touchdown in the 1st quarter gave New Orleans a 9-0 lead and they never looked back.

     

    LSU outgained Alabama on Saturday night but still lost to the Crimson Tide 24-10 in Tuscaloosa. Tigers Head Coach Ed Orgeron says Alabama’s ability to make the big play was the difference. LSU entered the game as a three touchdown underdog, but lost by two touchdowns.

     

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  • News for Friday 110317

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The RPSO is investigating a shooting that occurred in Sieper yesterday shortly before noon. Upon arrival, deputies located the victim suffering from two gunshot wounds.  One deputy responding to the scene located the suspect, identified as 68 year old Jimmy Carl Harper of Sieper, walking down Jesse Perry Rd.  Harper was taken into custody without incident.  The victim was transported to a local hospital. Harper was placed under arrest for Attempted 2nd Degree Murder.

     

    Early voting begins today for the November 18 election. There is a state treasurer race, New Orleans mayoral contest and local propositions in 32 parishes to be decided.  The October 13 election only saw a 14 percent turnout.  Secretary of State Tom Schedler predicts an even lower turnout this month.

     

    The House GOP tax reform plan announced Thursday would consolidate the current seven tax brackets into four and would double the standard deduction, giving an average family of four nearly 12-hundred-dollars more income per year.  But Jan Moller with the Louisiana Budget Project says the one-and-a-half-trillion-dollar cuts in the package over ten years will affect services many rely on.

     

    A Morning Consult poll finds Governor John Bel Edwards approval rating among voters is 52-percent. LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says that’s a solid number for a Democrat in a red state. Hogan says Edwards has done well to stay away from partisan disputes. Edwards is closing in on two years in office.

     

    There are now 14 former LSU Tigers who are World Champions. The latest two are third baseman Alex Bregman and relief pitcher Will Harris, who helped the Astros win their first world series title in franchise history.

     

    Another feud is brewing between Governor John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry. The AG believes his office should handle the lawsuit against opiod manufacturers; not the administration. The state Department of Health claims in a suit that drug firms intentionally flooded Louisiana with highly addictive opioids. Landry says his office is working on its own litigation. The AG won a legal battle this week over the governor’s office on an executive order dealing with discrimination of LGBT state workers.

     

    The head of a veterans advocates group in Slidell will not go to this Sunday’s Saints game to accept an award, because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem. Retired Navy Commander John Wells understands that some players want to protest racial injustice, but doing so during the national anthem is not the time. Wells was set to receive the Peoples Health Champion Award.

     

    Lafayette Police say no charges will be filed against a man who fatally shot another man in a Home Depot parking lot on Evangeline Thruway. Authorities say a violent struggle occurred when an owner of a vehicle saw the now deceased male trying to break into his car. Detectives say during that struggle the vehicle owner shot and killed the subject and they are ruling it a justifiable homicide.

     

    The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office announces the arrest of a private school teacher who allegedly bit a two-year-old in the face. Investigators say 28-year-old Heather Marcotte admitting to biting the little boy, when she became frustrated with his behavior at Northlake Christian School.

     

    A group committed to the survival of the Louisiana black bear has announced their intent to file suit to place them back on the endangered species list. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility contends they were removed prematurely.

     

    This weekend the Vermilion Parish town of Abbeville will hold their annual Giant Omelet Celebration.  The event has been held for 33 years and was created after a group who traveled to France to attend a similar festival.  Spokesperson Arlene Collee (Coal-lee) says they will use over 5,000 eggs cooked in a 12-foot skillet with several different ingredients. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday with the omelet preparation to begin at 1pm Sunday.

     

    Also this weekend it’s the Louisiana Pecan Festival in Colfax. The fun starts tonight and runs through Sunday.. With Live entertainment on the stage tonight and throughout the day on Saturday. Also a large fireworks display Saturday night.

     

    Another event this weekend is the Swine Festival in Basile. With food and entertainment through Sunday.

     

    Not many people are giving LSU the chance to beat top ranked Alabama on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers are three touchdown underdogs. Alabama has won six straight games against LSU. 2010 was the last time the Tigers scored more than 20 points in a game against the Crimson Tide.

     

    The Saints look to extend their winning streak to six games on Sunday when they host NFC South rival Tampa Bay at 12:00 in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Bucs are 2-and-5, but New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees expects a tough game.

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  • News for Thursday 110217

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Governor Edwards suffered a loss in the courtroom Wednesday as a state appellate court ruled against his executive order that sought to project LGBT state workers from being discriminated against. Edwards released a statement that said, “Discrimination in state government and by state contractors is wrong, makes us weaker and is bad for business and economic development.”  He also cites President Trump’s executive order that remains in place and was identical to his order.

     

    Wednesday on the day Louisiana is released 19-hundred non-violent offenders, a state audit finds the Department of Corrections is not able to track offenders or did not have proper methods in place to calculate correct prisoner release dates. Auditor Kristen Jacobs says the DOC tried to plug up the holes in the records system.  They spent 3.6-million-dollars a few years ago on a computer data system that was quickly abandoned…

     

    Louisiana earned an ‘F’ grade on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Dr. Martha Whyte with the state Department of Health says the preterm birth rate in Louisiana is 12.6-percent. Caddo Parish has the highest number of premature births in the state with 17 out of every 100 babies born preterm. Whyte says African American women also have more premature babies in the Bayou State. Whyte says changing this failing grade starts with addressing chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. Another startling statistic, 60-percent of births in Louisiana are unplanned.  

     

    The 24-billion-dollar acquisition of Level 3 Communications by Monroe based CenturyLink is now complete. CenturyLink Spokesperson Ann Marie Sartor says this merger will allow them to expand in the US, and overseas. Based upon a state contract, CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters must remain in Monroe through 2020.

     

    The open enrollment period began today for those who would like to purchase change or renew their health insurance policies through the Affordable Care Act. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says policyholders can anticipate an 18 and a half percent increase in premiums, because of an uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Visit healthcare.gov to search policies. The enrollment period ends December 15.

     

    When it comes to popularity in Congress, both of Louisiana’s US Senators rank in the middle, according to a new Morning Consult poll. John Kennedy’s approval rating is at 50-percent, while Bill Casssidy’s is at 47-percent. Cassidy is up for re-election in three years…

     

    UL Lafayette has fired its highly successful softball coach, claiming that Michael Lotief created a hostile learning and working environment. Lotief was placed on administrative leave in early October. In a news release, the university says Lotief violated school policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault. Lotief admits he has a loose tongue in competitive situations, but it shouldn’t result in his firing. Lotief has not made a decision on whether he’ll sue the university

     

    The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services reports a record number of children were adopted form the state’s foster care system in a one year period ending September 30.  764 children were adopted up from the record of 735 the previous year.

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  • News for Wednesday 110117

    By Dave Graichen

     

    An estimated 19-hundred prisoners will be released today as part of the state’s criminal justice reform legislation enacted this year. The Edwards Administration says this will lower the highest incarceration rate in the country and produce better outcomes for non-violent offenders.  Nonviolent offenders will be allowed to be released after serving 35 percent of their sentence under the new law, but according to Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc they will be still be monitored.

     

    The suspect in last week’s double murder at Grambling State University, Jaylin Wayne, says he’s not guilty and has hired a defense team. Attorney Ronald Haley says there was yet another suspected shooting on campus this past weekend, and they feel more light should be shed on a bigger problem at Grambling, gun violence. Wayne faces first-degree murder charges.

     

    State Attorney General Jeff Landry wants to take control of a lawsuit filed by Governor Edwards suing opioid manufacturers. Landry also wants to hire former Mississippi AG Mike Moore who successfully sued tobacco manufacturers in the 1990s.  Landry is asking the court to allow him to supersede the state Department of Health’s lawsuit against more than a dozen pharmaceutical firms.  He wants to include allegations of the increased cost to the criminal justice system and the loss of workforce productivity.

     

    The FCC has approved Monroe headquartered CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications, paving the way to close the deal. The company says this is great news and means everything is now in place to complete the transaction, which they anticipate will be effective tomorrow. CenturyLink and Level 3 believe the merger will allow CenturyLink to compete with AT&T and Verizon Communications in the business communications market.

     

    Baton Rouge Police are investigating a crash off Airline Highway, which left two people dead including a toddler. Sgt. Don Coppola says witnesses told detectives they saw the driver of a 2009 Mustang driving erratically and crossing over the median multiple times before hitting an 18-wheeler head on.

     

    The hurricane season ends on November 30, but a named storm has never struck Louisiana in November in 167 years of record keeping.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says the state came close to breaking that streak in 2009 when Tropical Storm Ida churned in the Gulf…

     

    LSU takes on the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium and ticket sales are on fire. Cameron Papp with Stub Hub says ticket prices range from 90 dollars to over 500 dollars for a seat to see the highly anticipated match up. He says this is the highest selling Alabama home game this season so far. Papp says there is still plenty of time left for fans to purchase tickets.

     

    Ascension Sheriff deputies arrested two Prairieville men for allegedly stopping a school bus. Lt. Colonel Ward Webb says 58-year-old Clifton Hamby and 60-year-old Kerry LaSaicherre (Les-sha-share) were angry with the bus driver for speeding on the road they lived on. Webb says the men should have called police instead. Webb says one of the men was armed, but he never threatened the bus driver with the gun.

     

    Caldwell Parish juvenile is in custody after allegedly destroying a building that belonged to St. Paul Baptist church in nearby Richland Parish.  Sheriff Gary Gilley says the suspect also damaged several vehicles at Caldwell Parish High School and stole an Entergy truck before setting fire to the structure.

     

    Jefferson Parish Sheriff deputies arrested a woman for allegedly pepper spraying people at a Chuck E. Cheese in Metairie. Lt. Jason Rivarde says 24-year-old Katarian Marshall was angry and started indiscriminately spraying pepper spray, hitting five adults and two kids. Marshall is charged with disturbing the peace by fighting.

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  • News for Tuesday 103117

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Halloween is today and with that comes trick or treating.   State Trooper Jesse LaGrange says it’s vital that drivers easily see children who are out and about.  He says make sure they are easily seen in darker shaded costumes. LaGrange says drivers need to be aware of the extra foot traffic in neighborhoods and drive with caution. Other tips include children knowing their address and phone number in case they get lost, trick or treating in well-lit neighborhoods and having parents inspect all candy before eating after returning home. Trick or treating is from 5 to 8 this evening in Alexandria & Pineville. 

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Laura Edwards were in Puerto Rico yesterday along with leaders of the Louisiana National Guard and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to observe and give support to the island nation as it recovers from Hurricane Maria.  Shortly after the storm, Louisiana launched a donation drive for Puerto Rico.  The governor’s spokesperson Shauna Sanford says the state has sent approximately 100 pallets worth of essential items from diapers to non-perishable formula to help in the recovery efforts

     

    An audit released by the state legislative auditor’s office accuses three former cashiers at Grambling State of improperly adding over 164-thousand dollars to spending accounts for 35 students, including two of the former cashiers. That adds up to over $4,600 per student. No word yet is charges will be brought against the cashier. Grambling is no longer giving cashiers the ability to manually allocate dollars to the spending cards.

     

    The big game of the year has arrived as LSU visits top ranked Alabama this Saturday. The Bayou Bengals are looking for their first win over the Crimson Tide since 2011. Bama is a three touchdown favorite. On another LSU note, the school announced the time for the Arkansas game on November 11th will be 11am in Tiger Stadium.

     

    LSU might be a big underdog headed into a date with top-ranked Alabama in Bryant–Denny Stadium Saturday, but that would never stop Tiger fans from traveling to watch it unfold. Barrett Elder with Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports says LSU/Alabama games are invariably exciting. Alabama has won six straight against LSU, but Elder says both sides consistently put up a challenge which is a blast for fans to take in.

     

    The State Department of Health is warning those who frequent indoor shooting ranges about toxic exposure to lead. There are at least 50 shooting ranges in Louisiana, a third of those are indoor. Dr. David Holcombe with Office of Public Health says there are no regulations in place to control dangerous exposure levels. Over the past 40 years, the CDC says 36 studies show higher toxic lead levels among those who use gun ranges regularly. Health effects from lead can permanently damage vital organs and in children, damage the nervous system, slow growth and creates learning and behavior problems.

     

    State Police say I-10 eastbound near Grosse Tete was closed for several hours yesterday after a fatal crash involving four 18-wheelers. Trooper Bryan Lee says one of the big rigs didn’t stop for upcoming traffic and smashed into three other 18 wheelers.

    Two out of state residents were killed in the 18-wheeler that slammed into the other three.

     

    New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is doing “very well” after being hospitalized overnight Sunday. Spokesman Greg Bensel said the 90-year-old was observed at Ochsner Hospital after experiencing brief weakness following the Saints 20-12 win over Chicago at the Superdome.

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  • News for Monday 103017

    By Dave Graichen

     

    State police are investigating a late Saturday night crash that claimed the life of a Pineville man. Troopers say 66 year old Otis Walker lost control of his pickup on Louisiana highway 454 and collided with a utility pole. Walker, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

     

    A survey from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission finds Louisianans are buckling up but drivers and passengers in pickup trucks are not doing so as often. Executive Director Dr. Katara Williams says the seat belt usage rate has consistently increased annually in the Bayou State since 2009. However, Alexandria and Baton Rouge drivers and passengers had the lowest rates when it comes to wearing seat belts at nearly 83-percent and 85-percent.

     

    Prison reform measures go into effect Wednesday when some 14-hundred non-violent offenders will be released as a result of changes to the state’s sentencing laws.  It’s an effort led by Governor John Bel Edwards to lower the state’s incarceration rate which is considered the highest in the world.  State Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says most of these prisoners set free this week were nearing their release. Lowering the incarceration rate is estimated to save the state 262-million-dollars over ten years, most of the savings will go towards rehabilitation programs.

     

    A federal judge agrees with Alton Sterling protesters in a class action lawsuit against Baton Rouge law enforcement agencies. A hearing was held Friday morning involving about 80 protesters who were arrested last year. The ACLU of Louisiana filed a similar lawsuit but one that did not seek damages. Executive Director Marjorie Esman applauds the ruling.  The plaintiffs will receive a combined total of about $136,000, which amounts to individual payments ranging from $500-$1000.

     

    The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office says they arrested a suspect in Grambling State University’s deadly shooting.  Jaylin Wayne of St Louis Missouri is in custody for the shooting that allegedly killed another student and his friend early Wednesday morning.  Wayne turned himself in Thursday night after he learned he was wanted for 1st degree murder.  The Shooting Occurred  during an altercation outside some dorm rooms.

     

    Halloween is a time for celebration, but State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds the public some costumes and decorations are highly flammable. Browning says costumes should have a fire retardant coating, so they don’t easily burn. He also says nearly half of all home fires during Halloween are a result of decorations too close to a heat source.

    According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are over 10-thousand fires in American each year in the days leading up to and following Halloween.

     

    Changes have been made to Mega Millions. It will result in larger multi-state jackpot prizes, but the price of a ticket has increased from one to two dollars. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says the higher ticket price will mean the starting jackpot starts at 40 million, instead of 15 million dollars.  Chopin says the odds of winning of the jackpot will increase, but other enhancements to the game will lead to more winners for the smaller prizes. Chopin says the first drawing for the revised Mega Millions game is tomorrow night.

     

    Police in Gonzales arrested four men Sunday morning accused of stealing the ATM machine from a Gonzales convenience store after ramming a truck into the storefront.

    At least one of the suspects has been linked to a similar convenience store burglary case in the same area earlier this year. All four men are from Houston, Texas.

     

    Whether we like it or not, flooding is a disaster that happens in Louisiana.   An LSU AgCenter building science instructor has found an effective way to repair flooded homes at a quicker pace.  Bill Robinson calls it wet-proofing by using glass faced drywall.  He says it’s easy to dry out these walls if they get damaged. There are some downsides.  The first question that comes up is the cost.  There is about a 25 percent increase in construction costs, but Robinson says the long term benefits are worth it.

     

    Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was taken to Ochsner Hospital following Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears for precautionary reasons. The 90 year old  Benson  was feeling a little weak and worn out after the game before being taken to the hospital. He had a busy weekend after attending the Saints' Hall of Fame event, the Pelicans and Cavaliers game, and then Sunday's game against the Bears. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Benson was "heading to get checked out and then home for rest.

     

    LSU moved up three spots to No. 20 in the Amway coaches poll released Sunday and four spots to No. 19 in the AP top 25. The Tigers were off this week and travel to play top-ranked Alabama) on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Coach Ed Orgeron's Tigers carry with them a three-game winning streak. The Crimson Tide has won 29 consecutive regular season games and owns a six-game win streak against LSU.

     

    The Saints are on a five game winning streak after beating the Chicago Bears 20-12. New Orleans did a lot of things well, the defense gave up just one touchdown, quarterback Drew Brees threw for 299 yards. The Saints are now 5-2 and host 2-5 Tampa Bay this Sunday.

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  • News for Friday 102717

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Authorities say the man who murdered a woman whose body was found in Pineville last week, is also the person that allegedly killed two people, Kendrick Horn and Jeremy Norris, who’s burnt bodies were found  in a ditch on Old Boyce Highway that same morning. Rapides Sheriff William Hilton says Matthew Sonnier now faces three counts of first-degree murder. Hilton says they also arrested Sonnier’s sister, Ebony Sonnier and she’s facing charges that could result in the death penalty for the murder of Horn and Norris. Pineville Police have upgraded the murder charge of Matthew Sonnier to first-degree murder and now his sister is also facing the same charge for the stabbing death of Latish White.

     

    President Trump’s declaration against the opioid crisis today helps the state choose how they will use future federal funds to fight a problem that increased by 12 percent in 2015 alone.  Governor Edwards has sued opioid manufactures and Trump has said he would like to do the same, calling it a national crisis.  The declaration will help mobilize additional federal resources for states.

     

    Another fraternity on LSU’s campus has been shut down. The Board of Directors for Lambda Chi (like sky) Alpha voted earlier this week to close the house at LSU, because it was unsafe and didn’t promote a healthy environment. The fraternity was put on probation in May of 2016, because of alleged hazing incidents.

     

    A 191 million dollar Powerball jackpot ticket was sold last night at a gas station in Eunice. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says the last time the Bayou State saw a jackpot winner was in May of 2013. She says in 2008, a player won the second largest jackpot of 97 million dollars. She says if the winner chooses the cash option, they’ll receive $119 million.

     

    Good news for Louisiana’s tourism industry. Nearly 25 percent of the new jobs in the state were related to tourism.  Over six-thousand new travel related jobs were created in the last 12 months, based on data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser says not only is the industry creating jobs, but it’s bringing in a large portion of the state’s tax revenue…

     

    The Lafayette Fire Department says a two-year-old died in a morning house fire yesterday. Officials say they attempted to rescue the toddler, but the flames were too intense. Two adults and an infant were able to escape. Investigators believe the deadly blaze started in the living room.

     

    The Board of Regents is requesting 192 million dollars more in state funding for public colleges in 2018. The money would go straight to the four college systems as they suffered budget cuts for years. It’s unlikely the request will be granted by lawmakers or Governor Edwards because the legislature is still looking at how to stop from falling off a 1 billion dollar fiscal cliff.

     

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe now has a Doppler weather radar, helping to bridge a gap in identifying severe storms in northeast Louisiana.  ULM received a 3-million-dollar grant through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to acquire a radar to assist weather forecasters.

     

    The State Fair of Louisiana kicks off today in Shreveport. Live entertainment includes performances by The Hollow Decks, Pokey Bear, Lenny Cooper, Frank Foster and more. Find out more at statefairoflouisiana.com.

     

    Louisiana is set to get nearly $2 million from a settlement with General Motors.  49 states settled with GM over allegations the automaker concealed safety issues connected to ignition switch related defects.

     

    The World Series resumes tonight in Texas as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros face off in game three. The series is tied at one game apiece. The survivors and victims of Hurricane Harvey will be honored before tonight's game. Hear the game starting at 6 on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

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  • News for Thursday 102617

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Legendary New Orleans singer, songwriter, and pianist Fats Domino passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Domino was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was a great influence for many Louisiana performers. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis was a long-time friend of Domino and says the global star never forgot his roots, which was reflected in his music. Domino had 30 top 40 hits including 23 gold singles.  There is no word on any pending funeral arrangements.

     

    Grambling State University President Rick Gallot says they are beefing up security, after a gunman killed two 23-year-old men from Farmerville after an altercation in a dorm room. Gallot says he spoke with Governor John Bel Edwards, who offered Grambling additional resources for the upcoming homecoming weekend. Gallot says this was not a random shooting, as Earl Andrews and Monquiarious Caldwell were targeted. He says students should feel safe on campus.

     

    Jason Alden will perform tonight at Champion’s Square in New Orleans at his first outside concert since the horrific Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead and 546 injured. General Manager of the Superdome and Champion’s Square Alan Freeman says they are looking at the tragedy as a onetime occurrence but safety is still their number one concern.  Alden has told fans he will not let the incident in Vegas stop him from performing.

     

    A lawsuit has been filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of William “Liam” Pierce claiming their client was offered a job by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office that was later rescinded when they learned Pierce had HIV. Attorney Scott Schoettes (shotis) says that suit is asking for Pierce to be employed as deputy. The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office says they don’t comment on current litigation.

     

    As part of his campaign to educate the public on the Criminal Justice Reforms going into effect November 1st, Governor John Bel Edwards has released three videos featuring community leaders who were active in passing the legislation. Edwards says he wants to highlight the necessity of criminal justice reform in Louisiana, the reduced cost to taxpayers and the increased safety that will result from this reform for communities across the state.

     

    LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva believes attendance at games in Tiger Stadium would be improved if they started selling beer. Speaking to the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club, Alleva said they have to do a better job of making the fan experience at LSU games more friendly; and he feels beer would be a good place to start. He says hes continuing to push the SEC to change its alcohol policy.

     

    Tulane University has received a five-year 1.8-million-dollar grant to study a possible link between traumatic stress and alcohol abuse.  Researcher Jeff Tasker says humans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to abuse alcohol than the general population and this project will hopefully provide insight into why.

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  • News for Wednesday 102517

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A shooting at  Grambling State University overnight has left two men dead. Lincoln Parish officials are saying the incident happened during an altercation in a courtyard,  the shooter fleeing the scene. KNOE has reported the victims were two 23 year old students from Farmerville.

     

    The Interior Department plans to put nearly 77-million acres in the Gulf of Mexico on sale for energy companies to perform oil and gas development. President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Don Briggs hopes energy companies will take advantage of the largest oil and gas lease sale in U-S history. A lease sale last August drew a lukewarm response from energy producers.

     

    Country music superstar George Strait will headline a scaled down 2018 Bayou Country Superfest. The show will be May 27th inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, and Midland will also perform that Sunday.

     

    The family of a 38-year-old mother of four was left heartbroken and confused Tuesday morning after authorities said she was killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide in a rural area in the southern part of Livingston Parish. The brother and parents of Sherry Toney said they are at a loss for what could have driven 34-year-old Patrick Toney to shoot his wife of seven years and then turn the gun on himself inside their home Monday night. Police and friends say there were no indications of any abuse in the household.

     

    An 18-year-old and 26-year-old man have been arrested in a shooting that wounded two young girls in Natchitoches. Tyrease Evans and Demario Davis are facing charges of attempted first degree murder. Natchitoches Police spokesperson Kelly Parks says multiple subjects were shooting at each other in the area of Reba Street on Sunday afternoon. The two children are expected to fully recover.

     

    Kenner Representative Julie Stokes says her treatment for breast cancer is going well as she goes through 5-months of chemotherapy treatment, which forced her to drop out of the race for State Treasurer. Stokes says she is now in her second round of treatment, which is more intense, but the results so far are positive. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Stokes says this is a great opportunity to share her story about the disease. One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer. Stokes says even if you think it’s nothing, get checked, because she’s fighting for her life right now.

     

    Louisiana has earned an A-Plus in a National Small Business Survey.  It’s an improvement from the C-plus grade the state got in 2016. The survey group Thumbtack awarded the grade based on the friendliness of businesses, the ease of hiring new employees and several other factors. Louisiana scored better than neighboring states Arkansas and Mississippi, scoring A and A-minus respectively.  

     

    The Union Parish Sheriff’s Office says a man was arrested for allegedly stealing a car with a baby inside. They say the suspect reported he did not know the child was in the vehicle at the time; but upon making the discovery he returned the car. The  investigation is ongoing.

     

    Forecasters are continuing to monitor a broad area of low pressure in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center says the disturbance has a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical system over the next five days.

     

    Veterans in southwest Louisiana have a new facility for medical care.  The Lake Charles VA Community Outpatient Clinic recently opened a 24-thousand-square-foot office. Director of the Alexandria VA System Pete Dancy says this will expand care for some seven-thousand in the Lake Charles area with 26-hundred vets actively using VA services. The closest outpatient facility prior to the opening was in Jennings. 

     

    First year head coach Will Wade is quickly making his mark on the LSU men’s basketball program. In just one season, he’s turned over the roster and is putting together one of the top recruiting classes in the nation for next year. LSU will tip-off its new season on November 10th at home against Alcorn State.

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  • News for Tuesday 102417

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Authorities in Marksville report a standoff yesterday led to the suicide death of the suspect  27 year old Kaliven Lyons and the death of a man being held hostage.   Marksville PD say the incident started shortly after 7:30 in the morning. Police were able to confirm Lyons, was holding two children and two adults hostage. Lyons left the house, with three of the hostages, walking into a wooded area, shortly after State Police were able to remove one of the children to safety. Police say while in the woods Lyons shot and killed one of the hostages 27 year old Ryan Mayes. Lyons then took the remaining two hostages to a house on Bordelon Street. It was then with state police at the door, Lyons shot and killed himself.

     

    A woman accused of shooting a state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent in Morehouse Parish during a traffic stop in January pleaded guilty to all four counts against her.  31-year-old Amethyst Baird of Monroe pled guilty of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, obstructing justice, and illegal possession of a stolen vehicle and firearm.  Baird remains in custody pending her sentencing January 26.

     

    Two children in Natchitoches were injured Sunday after they were hit by bullets.  Police say the three and five-year-olds were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.  The younger child was hit in the foot while the five-year-old sustained a shot in a calf.    Several nearby apartments and vehicles were damaged.  Suspects from the gunfight have been identified but no arrests have been made.

     

    Louisiana ranks 4th in the nation for state’s with the highest divorce rate, according to a report done by 24/7 Wall Street who used data from the Census Bureau. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at LSU Heath New Orleans Michele Many says it’s not surprising since Louisiana has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. She says the median household income in Louisiana is a little over 45-thousand dollars a year, over 10-thousand dollars lower than the national average.

     

    Gas prices have been on a slow decline over the last three weeks and the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.22.  AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says a year ago the statewide average was $2.09. He expects gas prices to decline towards that figure as the weeks go by. Nationally the average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 20 days.

     

    Today is the 30th anniversary of the historic 1987 gubernatorial election where Democrat Buddy Roemer was elected governor when fellow Democrat Edwin Edwards conceded after finishing second in the primary. Roemer received 34-percent of the vote in the primary and Edwards garnered 28-percent. Other candidates in the 1987 race for Louisiana Governor were, U.S. Representatives Robert Livingston Jr. and Billy Tauzin along with Secretary of State Jim Brown.

     

    Point Coupee Parish is drying out after recording a foot of rain Sunday. The heavy rainfall caused flooding due to already over saturated waterways and levees.  Sheriff Bud Torres says one main bridge on Highway 413 has been shut down indefinitely.

    Flood damage is also reported in East Feliciana Parish.

     

    Singer and former child actor Corey Feldman was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license in Richland Parish. Mangham Police Chief Perry Fleming says cops pulled over Feldman on. Feldman was released after paying a fine.

     

    Famed New Orleans Chef John Bash has stepped down from the restaurant company he founded amid a sexual harassment investigation. Besh suddenly became the focus of a scandal following a Times-Picayune report of harassment allegations throughout the Besh Restaurant Group. The group includes 12 acclaimed eateries in and around New Orleans, and Besh has appeared in shows such as Top Chef and Iron Chef.

     

    Tulane University has received a grant to reduce auto emissions from the chemical science company, SACHEM(Say-chem). Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Daniel Shantz (Sean-tz) says this grant will allow researchers to make materials for a diesel truck’s emission system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. He says nitrogen oxide contributes to the production of acid rain.

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  • News for Monday 102317

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Employment numbers released by the Louisiana Workforce Commission find the state has added nearly 15-thousand non-farm jobs over the last year. And the state’s unemployment rate has dropped slightly to five-point-one percent. The leisure and hospitality sector continues to be one of the fastest growing job sectors.

     

    This past weekend’s cold front has brought even cooler temperatures to Louisiana.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says it really feels like fall today. But, Keim says enjoy it.. We will go into a warming trend with temperatures climbing back above normal by the end of the week.

     

    The state health department now reports 125 cases of gastrointestinal illness from a chicken and sausage jambalaya at a softball team’s fundraiser in Caldwell Parish. Thirty-seven people have been hospitalized. Health officials are still trying to determine if a death that was reported is associated with the salmonella outbreak. Also, health investigators have found a second bacteria associated with raw meat and poultry in stool samples from those who became ill.

     

    The number of teens involved in fatal car crashes went down 53-percent in Louisiana over a ten-year period from 2005 to 2015. That’s according to the National Young Driver Survey. State Farm spokesperson Kip Diggs says with the improvements with seat belts and vehicles, he expects this number of fatal crashes with drivers of all ages to go down. He says it all starts with adding more steps before teens can get a driver’s license.

     

    Jefferson Parish authorities have recovered the body of a Texas man who was killed Last Sunday in an explosion on an oil rig in Lake Pontchartrain. Interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto says 44-year-old Timothy Morrison’s body was found Friday on the shoreline, about three miles or so from the damaged platform. The cause of the blast is still under investigation. Seven others were injured, three critically.

     

    A federal lawsuit has been filed to stop the removal of a Confederate monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. The legal action comes after the Caddo Parish Commission voted to remove the statue from where it currently stands. The lawsuit was filed by the Shreveport Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the monument and they claim the statute is on private property.

     

    Eight people were arrested in Acadiana Friday on multiple charges of Medicaid welfare fraud. The individuals arrested were allegedly submitting time sheets and service logs for Medicaid services while working other jobs.

     

    Robert Myer has resigned as the mayor of New Roads. Myer just reached a plea deal with prosecutors on allegations that he misused city-issued credit cards. Myer pleaded no contest to one count of malfeasance in office and must pay back the city for any outstanding balances owed for personal charges made with the city credit cards. He will avoid a year in jail.

     

    The two candidates in the State Treasurer’s runoff face the challenge of getting people out to vote in the November 18 election. Former state representative John Schroder is up against Democrat Derrick Edwards. Just over 13 percent of registered voters participated in the October 14th election.

     

    The Louisiana Republican congressional delegation believes tax reform legislation can be passed this year. U.S. Senator John Kennedy says a bill has yet to be drafted, but he supports an across the board personal income tax cut, starting with the middle class. The first step was taken last week when Senate Republicans passed a four-trillion-dollar budget plan, which cuts spending over the next decade by five-trillion-dollars.

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU’s Derrius Guice is the first running back in the SEC history to rush for over 250 yards in three different games. Guice had 276 yards and one touchdown in Saturday’s 40-24 victory over Ole Miss. The victory moved LSU’s record to 6-2, 3-1 in the SEC. They get a week off before they play top ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa on November 4th.

     

    The Saints overcame a few 1st half mistakes to win their fourth straight a 26-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers. New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees bounced back from two first half interceptions and ended up throwing for 331 yards. Mark Ingram rushed for 105 yards and a score. The Saints have won four straight and they’ve moved to the top of the standings in the NFC South, with a winnable game coming up this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

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  • News for Friday 102017

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Pineville Police have made an arrest in the stabbing death of 42-year-old Latish White. A passerby found her body near the Pineville Expressway early Wednesday morning.  Deputy Police Chief Darrell Basco says they learned 29-year-old Matthew Sonnier of Pineville was responsible for her death and arrested him in Alexandria. Basco says Sonnier was a known acquaintance of White and the two were together at the time of her death. Sonnier is charged with second degree murder and aggravated flight from an officer.  He is in the Rapides Parish Detention Center without bond.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Health believes jambalaya contaminated with salmonella resulted in 49 cases of gastrointestinal illness in Caldwell Parish. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized. Doctor David Holcombe, with the state office of public health, says one person who showed symptoms associated with Salmonella poisoning died, but it’s still unclear if that is the cause of his death. Holcombe says 300 plates of this contaminated jambalaya were served at a charity softball event and more cases are still possible.

     

    Former Louisiana College President Dr. Joe Aguillard has lost his wrongful termination lawsuit against the college. The decision by the 9 Judicial District Court also denied payment of attorney fees, leaving Aguillard owing the LC close to $18 grand to cover arbitration fees. Aguillard and his attorney had argued he was terminated after an improper tenure hearing, but an arbitration panel found Aguillard was given due process.

     

    Organized Greek activities at LSU are not allowed to have alcohol at their functions until at least January. That’s the decision of LSU President F King Alexander, who last week decided to allow Greek organizations to have on-campus social events with alcohol. But after receiving concerning reports, he’s reversed that decision.

     

    NOAA released their winter outlook today and it says La Nina will dictate a warmer and drier winter in Louisiana for a second year in a row. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across the northern United States. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it’s a similar weather pattern we saw in 2011 when drought conditions crossed the state.

    The winter forecast will be revised by NOAA in Mid-November.

     

    Dr. Craig Greene will be sworn in next week as the Public Service Commissioner who will represent the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Houma areas. Greene says the biggest challenge facing the P-S-C is getting energy at the cheapest rate possible.

     

    Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is hopeful that President Trump’s tax reform package will be passed, giving relief to millions of American’s pocketbooks and corporations.  The House Majority Whip says the Republicans reform proposal will simplify the tax code. Scalise says their plan would help a somewhat stagnant economy take off. 

     

    A man on trial in the death of a New Orleans Police officer was declared incompetent to stand trial Thursday.  Travis Boys rubbed feces on his face after entering the courtroom for his jury trial Wednesday.  Prosecution experts say it was a stunt for him to avoid trial.  The judge ordered Boys to be evaluated and if needed medicated after declaring him incompetent.

     

    An LSU Health Sciences Center doctor says a clinical study of veterans dealing with brain injuries and disorders has shown a reduction in suicides using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Dr. Paul Harch has been studying the effects of the therapy on 30 veterans since 2008.  He knew some symptoms would be reduced, but was surprised at the final results. After treatment,  52-percent of military patients no longer met the criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD.   Harch says the therapy helps to increase oxygen levels to treat the disease. It is estimated that 300-thousand military veterans who return from service in Afghanistan or Iraq have PTSD or major depression.

     

    Coming off of two wins, LSU fans are excited to travel to Oxford, Mississippi to watch the Tigers take on the Rebels. LSU Alumni Association Senior Director of Alumni Engagement Sally Stiel says they have a sold out Trip. Kickoff is at 6:15 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

     

    After losing their season opener in Memphis, the Pelicans hope to turn things aroung tonight when they play host to the Golden State Warriors. It will be a late start 8:30. You can hear the game in Cenla on ESPN 1410 & 93.1 HD3

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  • News for Thursday 101917

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Authorities in Rapides Parish are investigating a fire in a ditch off Old Boyce Road where two charred bodies were found. Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Tommy Carnline says they responded to the scene at around 6:30 Wednesday morning and made the grim discovery.  No id’s have been made yet. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RPSO.

     

    In Pineville the body of a woman was found lying in Melrose Street early yesterday morning.  Police say upon the arrival of officers and other first responders the victim was pronounced dead. Pineville PD later announced the woman had been murdered and had suffered several knife wounds. The victim was identified as 42 year old Latish White of Alexandria. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

     

    More than 4,000 jobs could be saved by a $200 million expansion of the West Rock paper mill in Hodge in Jackson Parish in a deal aided by state incentives. Governor John Bel Edwards is slated to make the announcement at this hour. The plant employs about 450 workers with a $28 million annual payroll, but the mill supports about 3,700 indirect jobs.

     

    In just a few weeks, hundreds of inmates will be released in Louisiana as a result of a criminal justice reform package signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator voiced concern that violent criminals will be released early without proper rehabilitation. But Edwards says Prator didn’t have his facts straight and that no violent prisoners will be released. Prator also said it was important to keep “good” prisoners incarcerated, so they can pick up trash, wash cars, and cook for first responders.  No word as to the governor’s response to that thought.

     

    It’s expected that The Caddo Parish Commission will vote today to remove the statue of a Confederate soldier outside of the parish courthouse in Shreveport. LSU Shreveport Associate Professor of Political Science Jeffery Sadow says last month the council preliminarily voted to support the removal of the monument. Sadow says when the monument was placed; it was in the location of the last capitol of the Confederacy.  Surprisingly, there have been few comments from the public over the potential removal. 

     

    Investigators have matched bullets from two fatal shootings to a rifle found inside the home of alleged East Feliciana serial killer Ryan Sharpe, who was arrested last week in those two shootings and two others that have occurred in the Clinton area since July.

    Officials said in the warrant that Sharpe confessed to the shootings.  All four men were shot outside during the day within 25 miles of each other; two while doing yard work in front of their houses.

     

    The Iberville Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an ordinance to outlaw the desecration of official flags in the parish. The mandate protects the American flag, the Louisiana state flag, and any official flags of Iberville Parish. The ACLU of Louisiana calls the ordinance a violation of the public’s constitutional rights and “unenforceable.”

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  • News for Wednesday 101817

    By Dave Graichen

     

    State police report a single vehicle crash claimed the life of a Pollock woman yesterday morning. Troopers say 85 year old Marion Morrison apparently lost control of her vehicle on Highway 165, left the roadway and struck a culvert. Morrison was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

     

    A Winnfield man was killed yesterday after his pickup ran off of highway 156 and struck some trees. 50 year old Randall Shell was pronounced dead at the scene.

     

    According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Louisiana ranks 42nd on tax competitiveness. Senior Policy Analyst Jared Walczak says the Bayou State has one of the nation’s most complex tax structures. The index also reports Louisiana ranks 50th for the state’s sales tax structure. Walczak says Louisiana could benefit greatly if it simplified its tax code.

     

    The first class of the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program has started training military vets to run their own business.  State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the class helps veterans wanting to go into business, by taking online classes and boot camp training on the LSU campus. They hope to train over 100 participants in the first year with a long term goal of creating 100 new jobs through the businesses created from this program.

     

    A Ruston school was destroyed following a fire.  Paul E. Slaton Head Start caught on fire around 6 Tuesday morning.  Officials say no one was inside when the fire started.  Power lines were damaged, knocking out power to over 30 homes.  Investigators are trying to determine the cause of fire.

     

    An 18-month old child is dead following a gruesome murder in New Orleans.  Police say the father 45-year-old Mark Hambrick told police “God made him do it.”  The exact motive of why Hambrick killed his daughter is unknown.  Police Chief Michael Harrison says they are seeking any information about Hambrick that will help them with the investigation. Hambrick is in custody with charges to be filed later.

     

    Open enrollment for the Medicare program is now until December 7th for 2018 plans. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says this is the only time of the year when senior citizens can shop around for their plans and compare prices. He says it’s important to find a plan that goes along with your current doctors.

     

    A Clinton man arrested last week tipped police off himself.  The Associated Press says 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe was not a suspect in three murders and one attempted murder in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes until he called police and id’ed himself as the suspect.  Officers arrested Sharpe after leading them on a high speed chase.  The murders started in July and were all in a 15 mile radius…

     

    A tiger who became a roadside attraction in Grosse Tete has died. Tony the Tiger had lived at the Iberville Parish Tiger Truck Stop since 2001. There have been legal battles between Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Sandlin’s attorney Jennifer Treadway says her client plans to get another tiger and he has a permit to do so. The Animal Legal Defense Fund feels Tony’s death demonstrates how the legal system leaves wildlife vulnerable to exploitation.

     

    Louisiana voters will likely be gearing up for a gubernatorial runoff election in 2019.  GOP Chairman Roger Villere says one big name has been mentioned a lot for the election is U.S. Senator John Kennedy.  He says he is a formidable candidate for the position. Villiere says many other politicians have voiced interest in running for Governor. Currently Governor Edwards is enjoying a high approval rating.

     

    LSU and Ole Miss will meet for the 106th time this Saturday when the two teams get together for a Saturday night kick-off in Oxford. The Tigers have won 11 of the last 15 against the Rebels dating back to 2002. But it’s been 2011 since LSU’s last win at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels are 3-and-3 and won their first SEC game of the year last week as they pounded Vanderbilt 57-45.

     

    The Pelicans tip off a new season tonight in Memphis. With a healthy Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, along with a full season from DeMarcus Cousins,  there’s a belief New Orleans can be one of the eight playoff teams in the difficult Western Conference. You can hear that game tonight beginning at 6:30 or immediately after the game 5 of the American League Championship series on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

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  • News for Tuesday 101717

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Louisiana is once again tops for murders in the country.  The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program says the states murder rate was 11.8 per 100,000 persons, with 554 homicides in 2016.  New Orleans based Crime analyst Jeff Asher says even if you didn’t count New Orleans, Louisiana would remain tops in the country.

     

    Zachary Police have charged a 33-year-old man with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting, stabbing and beating an 11-month old child. Police Chief David McDavid says they found several weapons in the house and the autopsy shows the baby died of multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

     

    The fire is out at the platform that was the site of an explosion Sunday night on Lake Pontchartrain. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the platform is a storage facility and owned by Clovelly Oil Company. Three victims from of the explosion remain in critical condition and the search for a 44-year-old worker from Katy, Texas continues. 

     

    Investigators are piecing together the strange case of a baby born to a 13-year-old girl. Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn says the family wasn’t aware she was pregnant and gave birth in her bedroom. Dunn says the teen decided to drop the newborn off, with the umbilical cord still attached on a school teacher’s front porch. Police suspect the father is also just 13-years-old.

     

    The state Department of Children and Family Services has posted an online mapping tool called Safe Haven Facility Locator in an effort to prevent newborn abandonment. Child Protective Services Program Manager Mona Michelli says a mother can visit Louisiana-safe-haven-dot-com (louisianasafehaven.com) to find a place where they can give up a child less than 60 days old. If a mother or parent is not able to locate a facility, call 911 and an emergency responder can transport the child to a facility. Michelli says it’s important to remember a mother faces no legal recourse if she follows the Safe Haven laws.

     

    Waitr is looking to help feed needy families. Starting this week, when customers order food service from the Lake Charles based app, they can donate between two and ten dollars and Waitr along with participating restaurants will match a customers’ donation.  Chief Marketing Officer Sonny Mayugba (MY-ooh-buh) says the “Share Thanksgiving” food drive will be conducted in all 130 markets, including Alexandria.

     

    Detectives in Baton Rouge are investigating a fatal shooting last Sunday that left a 26-year-old dead after a homeowner claims he brandished a firearm and charged at him. BRPD Sgt. Don Coppola says the 36-year-old homeowner told police he was standing in his yard when he shot Clayton Bradford after a verbal altercation. Coppola says the homeowner is cooperating and no arrests have been made as of yet.

     

    State Police say a 4-year-old was killed over the weekend after being struck by a vehicle in Iberia Parish. They say Raylen Jones of New Iberia had wandered outside of his home Saturday night without detection and ended up in the street. The investigation is continuing.

     

    A major story line heading into Saturday’s SEC West matchup between LSU and Ole Miss is the return of head coach Ed Orgeron to Oxford. Orgeron was the Rebels head coach from 2005 to 2007 and won just ten games. During his Monday press conference, Coach O downplayed the trip back to Oxford.

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  • News for Monday 101617

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A significant cold front moved through the Bayou State leaving us with some much needed relief. State Climatologist Barry Keim says this front has brought in much cooler and drier Canadian air and pushed out the warm Gulf of Mexico air. He says the afternoon highs will be in the 70s in northern parishes and low 80s in the coastal zone. Keim says this cool weather will stick around all week long. Keim says even as temperatures in the 90s subside, expect a warmer than usual autumn.

     

    After Three days, the trial is over. Antonio Boyd, the so called head of the Triple M Murder Team,  took a plea deal during the lunch recess of his trial Friday. The 32 year old Boyd pleaded guilty to racketeering and attempted first-degree murder, receiving sentences at hard labor of 50 years and 35 years, respectively. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

     

    An oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday evening (Oct. 15) near St. Charles Parish and north Kenner, according to Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor. Seven people were injured in the explosion, according to Kenner Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kriss Fortunato, and authorities believe an eighth person is still missing.

     

    Former state Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, is headed to a Nov. 18 runoff against New Orleans attorney Derrick Edwards to choose Louisiana's next treasurer. Edwards received more votes in the primary, but experts indicated he got into the runoff mostly because he was the only Democrat in the race. Schroder is expected to win a Nov. 18 runoff election and become the next state treasurer of Louisiana.

     

    Louisiana residents voted in favor of three more changes to the state constitution Saturday. Voters decided to prevent ongoing construction from counting toward a property's value for tax purposes. Practically speaking, the change will mostly benefit owners of industrial properties.  A property tax exemption was approved for spouses of first responders and a wider swath of law enforcement officers killed while on the job.

    Voters also consented to a new restriction on gasoline and fuel taxes. At this point, the restriction is hypothetical since the Louisiana Legislature had refused to implement a new gas or fuel tax in recent years.

     

    City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and former judge Desiree Charbonnet earned spots in a runoff for New Orleans mayor, guaranteeing the city will elect its first woman mayor in the Nov. 18 runoff.

     

    Police have identified the suspect involved in the shooting death of a New Orleans Police Officer.  30-year-old Darren Bridges, a convicted felon, faces a charge of first degree murder in the shooting death Friday of 29-year-old officer Marcus McNeil.  Chief Michael Harrison says they are still investigating what exactly happened.

     

    State health officials are reminding Louisianans it’s time to get your annual flu vaccination. The flu season has begun and doctors are starting to see a small number of cases. The Louisiana Department of Health will host flu vaccination clinics until December in all parts of the state and residents can visit LDH’s website for locations and dates. The flu shot is free for individuals with insurance and 10 dollars for those without insurance.

     

    Sasol announces they have hired their 500th employee to support its new 11 billion dollar ethane cracker and derivatives project in Calcasieu Parish and plans to hire at least 200 new employees over the next two years. Kim Cusimano with Sasol says they’ve been working towards this goal for several years. 93-percent of those hired are Louisiana residents and 83-percent are Calcasieu Parish residents. Sasol partnered with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles to help fill positions. These careers have an average salary of 80-thousand dollars.

     

    Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garret Graves authored legislation seeking to protect Cajuns, saying they are endangered, because of coastal land loss.  He is pushing for them to be protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Graves believes the federal government has been mismanaging the Mississippi River system for years, endangering the Cajun’s way of life. Following discussion on the floor and some good natured jabbing, Graves withdrew his amendment from consideration.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards says 100 pallets of donated goods will be sent to Puerto Rico.  Parishes across the state have been collecting the items for the past couple of weeks.  Over 400-thousand packaged items including diapers and baby wipes will be sent to help Hurricane Maria survivors.  300 members of the Louisiana National Guard have been sent to Puerto Rico.

     

    Two Baton Rouge school students are in trouble after a BB gun they allegedly brought to school discharged Friday.  Police say the incident happened after students were traveling back to School following a field trip.  The male 9th grader who brought the weapon tossed it to a female 9th grade student, that’s when the weapon sischarged striking another student. Both were charged with Negligent Injury and Illegal Carry of a Weapon on school property.

     

    Halloween is only two weeks away and Louisiana residents are rushing to find the hottest costume. Store manager for Halloween Express in Baton Rouge DeMarcus Cox says the most popular costume this year is Pennywise the Clown from the movie It.

     

    The LSU Tigers are once again ranked in the Top 25 polls after their historic come from behind win over Auburn. LSU trailed by 20 points, but roared back to beat their SEC West rival 27-23. The defense held Auburn to 64 yards in the 2nd half. It’s the Tigers largest come from behind win at home since 1949. LSU is now 5-2, 2-1 in the SEC.

     

    The Saints nearly blew a 35-point lead, but an opportunistic Black and Gold defense preserved a 52-38 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Saints defense, which looked very bad at the beginning of the season, forced five turnovers and scored a franchise record three touchdowns in one game. The Saints have won three in a row and for the first time since 2013 they have a winning record at 3-2.

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  • News for Friday 101317

    By Dave Graichen

     

    A serial killer in Louisiana?  Police have arrested a Clinton man whom they believe is responsible for the deaths of three men and the injuring of yet another in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes since July.  Police say 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe is expected to be charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. The big question now is what led Sharp to killing the men and what if anything they have in common other than their age. 

     

    Investigators are seeking answers in the death of an eight month old child left in a car for several hours.    Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dawn Panepinto says the child’s guardian never dropped off the child to a day care center and when they returned to the daycare to pick up the toddler, it was discovered the infant was still in the vehicle. She says the guardian is cooperating with police.

     

    Tomorrow is Election Day in Louisiana and the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Secretary of State Tom Schedler predicts about a 15-percent turnout statewide. He expects turnout in Orleans Parish to be a little higher, as New Orleans has a big mayoral election. 13 parishes in the state only have the treasurer’s race and three constitutional amendments on the ballot.  In Rapides parish, Fire Protection Dists. No. 4 and 7 have 10 year Rededications. In Road Dist. No. 2B (Ward 11) - 10 Mills tax for 10 Years.

     

    With all the destruction due to numerous fires in California, people can become concerned in Louisiana about the threat for wildfires. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says Caddo, Desoto, Webster and West Carroll Parishes are currently under burn bans with much of the state in moderate danger of fires. He warns if you have to burn, do so only if necessary.

     

    Members of the Louisiana House met Thursday to learn about budget issues.  Louisiana faces a fiscal cliff when one-point-38-billion-dollars in temporary revenue ends July 1.  Minden Representative Gene Reynolds says they all know what the problem is and they know there are no easy solutions.  Alexandria Representative Lance Harris says they had a very positive response from members.  Over half of the 103 members attended the meeting.

     

    Former Monroe TV children’s show personality Frank Selas will stand trial on child molestation charges on February 5th. That’s the word from his attorney Mike Small. Selas, also known as Mr. Wonder, allegedly raped a child during a 1979 camping trip in Rapides Parish. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

     

    University of Louisiana at Monroe has made a statement concerning offensive comments made on a private internet group exchange.  President Nick Bruno says they have suspended the fraternity Kappa Sigma Pledge for the comments.  Bruno says, he is quote “angry and embarrassed that students of the institution chose to conduct themselves in this manner.”  He adds that a thorough investigation will be conducted and appropriate actions will be taken.

     

    The Boy Scouts of America have made the decision to allow girls into the organization and allow them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of Southeast Louisiana Ernesto Carballo says this is a great opportunity for females but isn’t much of a change from what they’ve already been doing. Carballo says many people don’t know that girls are already included in many Boy Scout programs. He says the only change now will be that parents don’t have to run between meetings for their daughters and sons.

     

    With the Louisiana black bear population increasing, the likelihood of bear-versus-human encounters grows. State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries bear expert Maria Davidson says there’s a new website called bear-wise-dot-org, which helps people who have never had to deal with bears before. The black bear was officially moved from the protected list in April of 2016.

     

    Former LSU Head Coach Les Miles says he’s looking forward to his return to Tiger Stadium this weekend as the 10-year-anniversary of the 2007 National Championship team is honored. He says he’ll be honored to stand with that team again. The reunion will be Miles’ first return to Tiger Stadium since his firing in September of last year. The Hat says when LSU called and invited him to be part of the celebration, he immediately said yes. Kickoff for LSU vs. Auburn is scheduled for 2:30pm.

     

    A victory this Sunday over the Detroit Lions will give the Saints a winning record for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. Sunday’s game could be high scoring. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has nine touchdown passes, while Brees has thrown for eight.

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  • News for Thursday 101217

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The State AG’s office reports two Rapides Parish men have been charged with child pornography offenses. 35 year old Gabriel Gunter of Lecompte and 57 year old Michael Wayne Tipton of Alexandria remain in the Rapides Parish Detention Center after their arrests by the AG's Cyber Crime and Fugitive Apprehension units.

     

    Opening statements were heard yesterday in the trial of Antonio Boyd, the so called head of the Triple M Murder team. Boyd is charged with second-degree murder, racketeering, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Because of the complexities surrounding the case, it is expected the trial will last more than two weeks.

     

    Louisiana House members will hold a closed door retreat today in order to try to find a fix for a one-billion-dollar plus state budget gap.  Alexandria Representative and GOP House Leader Lance Harris says he and Democratic chairman Gene Reynolds thought it would be a good idea to discuss their options. Harris hopes that a bi-partisan plan can be approved.  He says this retreat is just one step in what will be many toward a solution. A temporary one-cent sales tax will expire in July 2018, which will leave the state with a budget deficit of over one billion dollars. 

     

    Ten current and former LSU students were booked on charges Wedbesday in connection with the suspected hazing death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver. All of the individuals are facing a misdemeanor hazing charge and one of them, 18-year-old Matthew Naquin of Texas, also faces a negligent homicide charge

     

    Sean Pennison is one of the ten LSU students arrested as part of the investigation into Max Gruver’s death. His Attorney Franz Borghardt says it’s extremely hard for these students as Max was their friend. He says Pennison is not being charged with Gruver’s death, only hazing. If found guilty of the misdemeanor, Pennison and the others could serve up to 30 days in jail.

     

    Four fraternities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have been suspended in the wake of LSU student Maxwell Gruver’s death. ULL Dean of Students Margarita Perez says after Gruver’s death, more students are willing now to come forward and report hazing. ULL suspended the four fraternities for an investigation but no word has been released on what occurred. During the summer, Kappa Sigma, was expelled from the UL-Lafayette campus.

     

    CenturyLink’s next chief executive tells the USA Today Network he will not live in Louisiana, but plans to keep the company’s headquarters in Monroe for now. Jeff Storey takes over as the leader of the Fortune 500 telecommunications company in 2019. The company and the state have a contract that requires Centurylink to remain headquartered in Louisiana through at least 2020. Centurylink employs over 27-hundred people in Louisiana.

     

    The CDC reports Louisiana had the second highest rate of HIV in 2016. Deputy Director for the Louisiana STD/HIV Program Chaquetta Johnson says they are aggressively tackling this epidemic. She says they have partnered with each office of public health and also with community and parish leaders to educate the public on these diseases. Louisiana is ranked second in the country when it comes to the high rates of STDs for the third year in a row.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Transportation has received an additional 60-million-dollars from the federal government for highway projects. Each year, the Federal Highway Administration allocates road repair funds not used by other states or national programs.  DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the money will be used to fix several bridges

     

    Former Saints and LSU star Tracy Porter has been arrested on drug and domestic battery charges.  Sgt. Don Coppola with the Baton Rouge Police Department says the victim visited Porter trying to get her keys back.  That’s when an argument started.

    Porter was arrested on charges of battery of dating partner, possession of marijuana and distribution of schedule II drugs.

     

    The 2007 LSU championship team will be honored at halftime this Saturday in Death Valley during the game between the Tigers and Auburn. Members of the ’07 squad and former Coach Les Miles are all slated to attend the reunion on the field. About 65-70 former team members have also agreed to come.

     

    The Ragin Cajuns play in front of a national television audience tonight when they host Texas State in a Sun Belt contest. The Bobcats are 1-and-5 and winless in league play. But Louisiana Coach Mark Hudspeth says Texas State has played better than what their record indicates. The Cajuns struggled on defense in their first four games, but looked much better in the win over Idaho last Saturday.

     

    Saints Coach Sean Payton calls the trade of running back Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals a “win-win” situation. Payton says the emergence rookie running back Alvin Kamara made it difficult to get Peterson the number of snaps he needs to be successful. The Saints will receive a conditional draft pick in next year’s draft from Arizona in exchange for Peterson. Payton says the Saints still have enough running backs on the roster to get through the season. The Saints host the Lions on Sunday.

     

    Thursday night NFL tonight. It’s the Carolina Panthers and The Philadelphia Eagles. Here the game starting at 7 on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

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  • News for Wednesday 101117

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Alexandria Police arrested an employee at Rapides Regional Medical Center for allegedly raping a patient who is suffering from dementia. It’s been reported another employee caught 27-year-old Juantavies White of Alexandria in the act. White has been charged with first-degree rape. The investigation is ongoing.

     

    The Rapides Parish Fair officially gets underway today and will continue through Sunday. As of right now, the weather looks perfect for the entire run. The hours today will be from  4-11, Thursday 3-11, Friday and Saturday the fair will run til 11:30 each evening and until 8pm Sunday.. Discount tickets are still available at the Cenla Broadcasting Studios at 1115 Texas avenue $25 (cash only) for 50 Tickets. That’s 50% off. The hours 9 to 4 today and tomorrow.

     

    The Morning Consult group says that President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have dropped some, but only two percent in Louisiana.  U-L-M  Political Science professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says the drop from a 59 percent approval in January to 57 percent now is not a big deal… The president’s approval rating in Louisiana is still the fourth highest in the country.

     

    Champion Home Builders announces a manufactured housing production facility will be established in the Vernon Parish town of Leesville. Mayor Rick Allen says these jobs are desperately needed and will provide good wages and benefits to employees. He says the project will create 200 direct jobs and 218 indirect jobs.

     

    As a result of criminal justice reform measures passed in the last legislative session, 14-hundred inmates in Louisiana will be released early from prison in November. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said last week that some extremely dangerous criminals could be back on our streets. But Criminal Justice Reform Field Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center John Burkhardt says no one convicted of sex crimes, manslaughter or murder will be released early as a result of the legislation approved earlier this year. He says the new sentencing laws accelerate the release mechanism for inmates on good time parole.

     

    The N-F-L has been more about the National Anthem than the game itself recently.   Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams, specifying that all players and coaches quote – “should stand for the National Anthem.”  N-F-L analyst Mike Detellier says it’s sad team owners didn’t force the issue prior to Goodell’s memo. Detellier says President Donald Trump’s remarks about the N-F-L helped to keep the controversy alive and has proved to be problematic for the league

     

    Lafayette police say they have arrested a Baton Rouge man in connection with the death of a woman injected with silicone.  23-year-old Brionna Guillory died after allegedly receiving the injections from 33-year-old Vincent Jamal Boles. Lafayette Police Corporal Karl Ratcliff says the silicone traveled throughout Guillory’s body to her heart and lungs.

     

    Monroe-based Flying Tiger Brewery will donate a portion of the revenues from their latest brew, War Hawk, to scholarships through the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation. Flying Tiger Co-owner Robert Brewer says they want to help ULM because the school doesn’t get the credit it deserves, aside from academics.

     

    High school students from across the state will be designing the new Louisiana Seafood logo.  The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education to let students design the new logo.  Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says it’s a good way for students to use the creative skills they have learned. Submissions will be accepted through December 15th and is open to all high school students in Louisiana.  The winner will be announced in April 2018.

     

    The father for wounded East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tullier says his son is making remarkable progress.  Tullier was seriously injured during a police ambush in Baton Rouge in July 2016.   James Tullier says his son has been moved from a rehab facility in Houston to the Transitional Learning Center in Galveston, Texas, marking an important point in his recovery. James Tullier says his son is continuing to beat the odds so much so that doctor’s predictions on the final outcome have long been surpassed…

     

    Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is alerting parents, guardians and consumers there are several child products that have been recently recalled. Landry has a list on his website. Among the items that are listed…Strollers by Delta, Activity Toys by Manhattan Toy, Children’s Pajamas by Sweet Bamboo and Nightlight Soothers by Skip Hop.

     

    Future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson is no longer a Saint. New Orleans has traded the veteran to Arizona for a conditional draft pick. Peterson had trouble fitting in with the Saints as he only ran the ball 27 times for 81 yards, while the Cardinals have been looking for a running back since losing David Johnson to a wrist injury in the season opener.

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  • News for Tuesday 101017

    By Dave Graichen

     

    State Police are investigating a fatal crash on I-10 eastbound near Butte La Rose in St. Martin Parish, where an 18-wheeler was engulfed in flames Monday morning. State Police say the driver of the big rig drove off the interstate into a bridge and traveled down the road before the truck overturned and burst into flames. Master Trooper Brooks David says emergency crews needed several hours to clean up the mess which included a load of potatoes. Officials confirmed the driver of the truck was killed in the crash.

     

    Baton Rouge-area law enforcement are investigating a shooting Monday that killed a camp ranger at the Avondale Scout Reservation in Clinton and its possible link to three other shootings over the last four months. The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Brad DeFrancheschi (De-Fran Chess-Key). Authorities say the man was close to the road when he was shot multiple times in front of his home. The Monday shooting happened on the same road less than 10 miles away from where a Sept. 12 drive-by shooting injured, but didn't kill a 47-year-old man who was exercising near the roadside on his property.

     

    The formation of Tropical Storm Ophelia in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean makes it 15 named storms during this very active Atlantic hurricane season. The good news is, the storm is moving away from the U.S. mainland.

     

    Election Day is less than a week away for the special election to select a new State Treasurer. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says usually we see numerous ads in the days leading up to an election, but this quiet race to remain quiet. The state treasurer’s race features three Republican candidates, who have been able to raise some money. There’s also a Democrat, but he has failed to receive the endorsement of his own party. Pinsonat says none of these candidates have enough money to make a huge push before election day.

     

    Financial help is being provided for the family of a slain Lafayette Police Officer. 44-year-old Corporal Michael Middlebrook was killed last week in the line of. Community Foundation of Acadiana President Raymond Hebert says the support towards the family has been incredible. Donations may be made through the website cfacadiana.org

     

    Former LSU and pro Hall of Fame quarterback, Y.A. Tittle, passed away Sunday night at the age of 90, the school confirmed today. Tittle was a two-time All SEC quarterback when he played for LSU. He enjoyed his greatest team success by leading the Giants to three straight Eastern Conference titles, passing for 86 touchdowns between 1961 and 1963.

     

    The University of Louisiana System has set a goal to graduate 150-thousands students by 2025. U-L System President Jim Henderson says if this can be accomplished by the nine universities in the system, these students will be the most educated generation in Louisiana history. Henderson says it’s time Louisiana started to invest more in its students. He says we need to focus more on the outcomes of investments, rather than what it costs on the front end.

     

    Iberville Parish leaders will discuss a proposed law on October 17th that would prevent an individual from damaging or defacing the nation’s or the state’s flag. Councilman Matthew Jewell says last Veterans Day, a group of people ripped down and burned an American flag. He says the veterans were extremely upset about it so he decided to take action. Jewell says strong penalties would come along with the ordinance.

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  • News for Monday 100917

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Early voting for the October 14th election, which ended on Saturday, was very light. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says the turnout for the election this Saturday might be even lower than 20-percent. The ballot includes a special election for state treasurer, a south Louisiana Public Service Commission seat, three constitutional amendments and the general New Orleans mayoral race, where 18 candidates are running. 

     

    Hurricane Nate steered east of New Orleans after making a double landfall Saturday night, first in Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River then again nearby just outside Biloxi. The storm's winds never reached the Category 2 strength that forecasters had suggested could happen, and New Orleans was spared the storm's brunt. But, we’re not out of the woods yet. A Tropical disturbance formed Sunday in Atlantic. Forecasters say it has a 70 percent chance of developing.

     

    Now that Hurricane Nate is a memory for Louisiana, what will that mean for gas prices?  Oil rigs from Louisiana to Alabama were shut down and the industry hasn’t fully recovered from Hurricane Harvey in August.  Don Redman from Triple-A says any increase in prices we see will be short lived. Refineries are also gearing up to switch from the summer blend to winter grade gasoline, which Redman says could affect prices. Despite the storm, Redman says drivers are paying more on average than we have for the past several years.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has identified A body found in Buhlow Lake as that of 62 year old Philip Brandt III of Alexandria. Boaters found Brandt's body around 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Brandt was pronounced dead at the scene. A red kayak and a paddle that belonged to Brandt were found about 100 yards away from his body. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

     

    With the decline in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, any hope of exporting Louisiana goods is shrinking.  A year ago, Governor John Bel Edwards and State Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain led a delegation from Louisiana to Cuba to strength the relationship between the Bayou State and the island nation. Strain says if the trade embargo with Cuba is lifted it could mean millions of dollars for the state and the ag industry, so he’s hopeful the diplomatic relations can be restored.

     

    The Florida Gators paid tribute to Tom Petty during Saturday's 17-16 home loss to LSU.

    Petty's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down" played over the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium sound system between the third and fourth quarters on Saturday. To the dismay of some Florida fans, that was also the same time the LSU band started playing. Gators fans were not amused. Petty , who died last week, was born and raised in Gainesville, Petty once worked as a groundskeeper at the University of Florida as he tried to make it in the music industry.

     

    After suffering the program’s first loss against a team from the Sun Belt Conference, the LSU Tigers bounced back with a 17-16 win victory over Florida in the Swamp. It was a hard fought victory for the Tigers, who finished with three freshmen on the offensive line because of injuries.

     

    Louisiana Tech also suffered a tough loss on Saturday as UAB blocked a 30-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to preserve a 23-22 win over the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech was a big favorite to win the game.

     

    The Ragin Cajuns snapped a three-game losing streak by going on the road and beating Idaho 21-16

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