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News for Thursday 032317

By Dave Graichen

 

The defense will present its case today in the Derrick Stafford trial. He’s the former Marksville City Marshal who is accused of fatally shooting a six-year-old autistic boy during a chase in 2015. Jurors heard Wednesday from a ballistics expert who said three of the four bullets in the boy’s body came from Stafford’s issued gun.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards announces Maj. Kevin Reeves will act as interim superintendent of Louisiana State Police. Reeves says his goal is to earn the trust and confidence of his peers, as well as their public safety partners and the citizens. Reeves has more than 26 years of service at LSP, and he says working for State Police has been his life’s passion. Reeves says he would stay on as the permanent superintendent if the governor asked him to.

 

A study by LSU finds Louisiana could face huge economic losses if nothing is done to protect our vanishing coast. But researcher Stephen Barnes says if the state follows through with its coastal restoration masterplan, it will create jobs and boost the economy. Without that investment, Louisiana stands to lose $8 billion in wages and consumer spending along with the coast.

 

The widow of one of the officers killed in the Baton Rouge police ambush last year has given birth to his son. Dechia Gerald was the wife of BRPD Officer Matthew Gerald, and yesterday afternoon she delivered a healthy 6 pound 8 ounce baby named Falyn Matthew Gerald. He’s already taken on his father’s nickname Buttons, as people are calling Falyn Baby Buttons.

 

A senate committee said no to an Edwards administration plan to close a Medicaid program that provides mental health services to over 47-thousand children. The program was on the chopping block as part of the budget cuts approved in last month’s special session. Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow says there must be other ways to cut spending without eliminating such a vital service. With the program now restored, L-D-H still has to make 10-million dollars in cuts.

 

A bill has been filed for the upcoming legislative session that would require same sex couples to face equal penalties for domestic violence. Author of the measure Marrero Rep. Patrick Connick says Louisiana and South Carolina are the only two states with the opposite sex distinction on the books. He says after speaking with the DA’s it was obvious something had to be done to protect all couples. Homosexuals report domestic abuse at a rate equal to or higher than heterosexuals, according to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

 

A little girl with a big heart is spreading love in Bossier Parish with her Geaux Show Love initiative. Ten-year-old Julianna Gouthiere (Go-thee-ay) donated 150 stuffed animals to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office so patrol deputies can give them to children coping with traumatic events. Julianna has been collecting stuffed animals for her “Bear Share” for the past four years, and she’s donated over 12-thousand in more than 6 states.

 

A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a law which states people must have a birth certificate in order to get married. A suit was filed on behalf of a man who didn’t have proof of birth because he was born in an Indonesian camp, but has lived in Louisiana his entire life. The judge said the mandate denies the man the fundamental right to marry. The proposal was originally brought to crack down on people marrying only to obtain visas.

 

A measure has been filed for the legislative session that would require driver’s education courses to provide training on how a driver should act when stopped by a police officer. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says says the issue of anxiety when being pulled over is one everyone faces. He says it’s best to know how to properly handle the situation so both the driver and law enforcement officer stay safe. Gatti says the etiquette component would add a few hours to the course.

 

Monster Moto unveils its new facility in Ruston after the company relocated from Dallas, Texas. CEO Alex Keechle says they wanted to move their assembly plant from overseas and house it at their new headquarters in the US. Keechle says when they started, they made 200 minibikes in a day in the 100-thousand square foot facility, and now those same men and women can make that many by lunchtime. Keechle says they are on track to do more than 70-thousand unit sales this year, and they’re planning to release three new vehicles this year.

 

Sports..

 

A good night last night for LSU Tiger Baseball. They Defeated South Eastern Louisiana By a score of 8 to 2. Up Next.. The Tigers will head to Gainesville, Fla., Friday for a pivotal three-game SEC series versus the Florida Gators.

 

New LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade was introduced to the public Thursday and the 34-year-old says he can make the Tigers a consistent winner. Wade says you can expect to see an aggressive style of basketball on the floor next season.

 

The NFL announces plans to reduce down time during football games. Commissioner Roger Goodell says they’ll ask owners to give their approval to an idea that would have centralized video reviews, no more sideline booth for the referee. Goodell says he’s also working with their TV partners to have fewer commercial breaks, but they would last longer. Instead of five breaks per quarter, having only four.

 

The Saints have announced the signing of linebacker Mati Te’o (Tay-O) to a two-year deal. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says if Te’o stays healthy, it’s a good signing for the Black and Gold. Te’o starred at Notre Dame and was a runner-up for the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

 

Robbie Martin stepped down as the Pineville Rebels' coach yesterday after serving over eight years in that capacity and as the school's athletic director. Martin's record was 29-58 with one playoff appearance. Martin simply said "It was time". Pineville assistant Dan Christman has been promoted as interim coach and athletic director while the school searches for a new coach.

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News for Wednesday 032217

By Dave Graichen

 

It was a very good day for our family here at  Cenla Broadcasting yesterday at the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters “Prestige Awards”.  KRRV received the Large Market Radio station of the year award. Congratulations to Melissa Frost and her crew. Shy and Cathy, the Q93 morning crew took home the trophy for “The State’s Best Radio Team” and Production Manager Rich Joyce won the award for “ The State’s Best Radio Promotion”. While we believe everyone who works at Cenla Broadcasting is a winner, it’s nice when our fellow broadcasters say they agree.

 

The father of a slain 6-year-old in Marksville boy testified yesterday in the murder trial of former police officer Derrick Stafford, who is accused of fatally shooting 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis after a car chase in 2015. Christopher Few testified that he never heard a warning before officers open fired at his car, where his son was sitting in the front seat. Few was also critically wounded in the shooting. The trial continues today.

 

The funeral for the slain East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy will be held on Thursday. 43-year-old Sgt. Shawn Anderson was shot and killed while conducting a rape investigation at a barbershop in Baton Rouge. The suspect, 30-year-old Brandon Wiley, who was also shot in the incident, died of his injuries yesterday.

 

The US Department of Education would face a $9 billion budget reduction under President Trump’s budget proposal and one of the state’s major teacher unions is not happy about it.  Les Landon with the Louisiana Federation for Teachers says it would devastate public education. And he says dollars for private and religious schools would increase by $1.4 billion to help pay for vouchers. Landon says under the proposed budget, Louisiana would lose more than $51 million in funds used to recruit, train, support, and pay teachers.

 

Rental property owners in Louisiana are stepping up to help flood victims struggling to find housing. Governor John Bel Edwards says one in four flood victims are renters. He says federal dollars will be available to help these people get back into rental properties. HUD says 373 flood victims are still living in hotels.

 

Two suspects are in critical condition after they tried to rob a house in Breaux Bridge and left with gunshot wounds courtesy of the homeowner. Major Ginny Higgins with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office says the two were also involved in a similar crime a few hours earlier.

 

Louisiana’s film tax credit program could be on its last reel, as Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau plans to file legislation that would cut the program. Luneau says in these tough budget times, lawmakers need to assess the return on investment of state funded programs. He says a recent study by LSU economist Loren Scott shows that return isn’t there when it comes to film tax credits.

 

Children who grow out of the foster care system at age 18, are not adequately prepared to enter the real world. That’s a major concern for the Department of Children and Family Services. Manager of the foster care program Toni Buxton says the DCFS is urging legislation to be filed that would increase and extend services up to the age of 21. Buxton says these children who are age out of the foster care system are more likely to face homelessness, drug addiction and incarceration. She says they don’t have the resources to turn to.

 

Today and tomorrow, LSU will offer the mumps vaccine to all students, faculty, and staff, after the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed at least dozen cases of mumps, several of them on the Baton Rouge campus. Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Fred Lopez with LSU Health New Orleans says two doses of the MMR vaccine can significantly reduce the chances of a major outbreak.

 

Former Louisiana Congressman John Fleming has found a job within the Trump Administration. Fleming has been hired as deputy assistant secretary for health technology within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fleming will seek ways to improve how doctors can use technology to practice medicine.

 

A 16-year-old Benton teen has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of a 91-year-old family member. The Bossier Parish DA says Donzell Hogan could be in jail until he’s 31. Hogan killed Ludella Scott last July and stole her social security payment after Scott refused to give him 20 dollars.

 

A teacher at Slaughter Elementary School, in East Feliciana Parish, has reportedly been suspended after a picture of her sleeping in class surfaced on social media. In the photo, Susie Smith can be seen her neck cocked back and eyes closed with students in the background.

 

Sports…

 

New LSU basketball coach Will Wade is on his way to Baton Rouge after agreeing to become the next head coach of the Tigers. It’s been reported Wade agreed to a six-year deal. Tiger Rag Editor Cody Worsham says the Clemson grad has a reputation as someone who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball. Wade led VCU to the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons.

 

LSU and McNeese will play each other in football in 2021. The two schools are scheduled to play on September 11th in Tiger Stadium. LSU opens that season by playing UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

 

Southern Football Coach Dawson Odums has signed a contract extension through 2019 and he received a modest pay raise.

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News for Tuesday 032117

By Dave Graichen

 

On the first day of the murder trial for former-Marksville police officer Derrick Stafford, jurors watched the 14 minute long body cam video of the encounter that resulted in the death of a 6-year-old autistic boy. Several jurors were reportedly seen wiping away tears, as the footage showed the shooting that killed the boy and critically wounded his father after a car chase in 2015. Stafford is one of two officers accused in the death of Jeremy Mardis.

 

The APD issued a warrant for the arrest of 33 year old Daniel Williams in connection with charges that he allegedly illegally charged thousands of dollars to a city credit card, including a ski trip.  Williams,  turned himself in and was booked in the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Williams has been director of Alexandria's Community Services division for four years.

 

After years of midyear budget cuts, Jonesboro Senator Jim Fannin has filed a bill for the regular session that seeks to limit the amount of money lawmakers can spend each year. The proposal would limit the budget to only 98-percent of the revenue forecast for that year. Fannin says he expects some opposition. Fannin says Governor Edwards supports the plan.

 

Forty-four percent of children under 5 in New Orleans are living in poverty, according to the latest census data. Demographer Greg Rigamer says that’s because the median household income is very low. He says improving education could help solve this problem. Rigamer says living in extreme poverty makes it hard for these children to get ahead in life.

 

State Police announced today that the suspected shooter in the death of East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy Shawn Anderson is 30-year-old Brandon Wiley of Baton Rouge. The shooting took place Saturday night at a barber shop and deputies went there to talk with Wiley, because he is a suspect in the rape of a 15-year-old girl. A struggle ensued between Wiley and Anderson. Both men were shot, Wiley remains in critical condition, while Anderson was pronounced dead at a hospital.

 

Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey is once again bringing back his proposal to the legislature that would allow non-felons over the age of 21 to carry a concealed gun without a permit. He says the Constitution guarantees our right to carry guns, and it doesn’t dictate how they should be carried. This is the third time Ivey has proposed similar legislation. Opponents say the bill would eliminate certain safeguards. Ivey adds that prohibited persons like convicted felons would still be barred from carrying under his proposal.

 

Today is the first full day of Spring and it’s certainly in the air. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it looks to be a hot and wet few months. He says we’ve been in warm conditions throughout the winter, and the rainy spring weather has already started. He says another freeze in Louisiana isn’t likely, but residents can expect an early start to the growing season.

 

Confirmation hearings are underway for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch. U.S. Senator John Kennedy supports the president’s pick and says Gorsuch is especially qualified to be a justice. He says he’s read a number of Gorsuch’s opinions on cases he’s ruled on as a federal appeals judge, and it’s apparent he is extremely intelligent. Democrats are pushing back against Gorsuch because of his conservative stance on social issues and because republicans failed to even consider President O Bama’s pick for the seat.

 

A state audit examining a missing 22-thousand dollars in student activity funds from West Ridge Middle School in West Monroe has been turned over to law enforcement. Roger Harris with the Legislative Auditor’s Office says over 11-thousand dollars was collected from eighth graders between 2013 and 2014 for a trip to Disney World. That money and another 10-thousand dollars in unaccounted money never made it to the bank.

 

Sports..

 

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans play host to the Memphis Grizzlies. You can hear the game on ESPN1410 and 93.1 HD3.

 

THE LSUA Generals got a last second attempt stolen away last night and that was the end of their season. LSUA fell in the FabFour 65-63. However, their season ends with a 34-1 record. Congratulations..

 

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News for Monday 032017

By Dave Graichen

 

Opening arguments in the Derrick Stafford trial are set for 9 a.m. in Marksville. The former deputy marshal faces murder and attempted murder charges after he and another officer allegedly shot at a vehicle killing a 6-year-old boy and injuring his father. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says the main issue is whether the shooting was justified. The defense is expected to argue there was another shooter involved, possibly with testimony from experts and video simulation. Legal analyst Bryan Jeansonne says how it’s presented will make a difference.

 

A veteran East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy who served high-risk warrants and earned accolades in his career became the fourth law enforcement officer to die here in the line of duty over the last eight months after he was fatally shot Saturday night at a strip-mall hair salon while trying to question a rape suspect. 43 year old Sgt. Shawn Thomas Anderson a father of two and an East Baton Rouge Parish deputy for 18 years, died after being rushed to a nearby hospital. The rape suspect, who hasn't been identified, was also shot during the struggle. He remained hospitalized Sunday evening.

 

A Rapides Parish man will spend 21 months behind bars after authorities say he stole more than $100-thousand in Veterans Affairs benefits. 51-year-old Tracy Marler of Ball withdrew more than $100-thousand from a deceased woman’s account between 2008 and 2014. He was sentenced for one count of theft of government property. The judge also sentenced Marler to two years supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution.

 

As Gov. John Bel Edwards looks for his next State Police superintendent, his options are limited by a little-known statute that precludes external candidates for the job, requiring that the next chief be chosen "from the ranks of sworn, commissioned State Police officers who have graduated from the State Police training academy."  The law has drawn scrutiny in law enforcement and state government circles following Edmonson's announcement last week that he will step down at the end of this week after nine years at the helm of his agency.

 

As federal lawmakers work to repeal and replace the affordable care act, US Senator John Kennedy says he’ll vote for anything that’s better than Obamacare, even if it’s not perfect. He says one change he’d like to see in the House bill is more healthcare assistance for those that need it. Kennedy says he also wants more flexibility for states to run Medicaid.

 

Despite a national focus on the individual insurance markets, the Republican health plan being debated in Washington could have far more sweeping impact in Louisiana for other provisions that curb federal spending on Medicaid. That redesign is estimated to come with deep spending cuts. The implications would be major for Louisiana, where more than one-third of residents get health services through the Medicaid program, financed jointly by the state and federal government.

 

The Office of Community Development is seeking new offers from companies that want to oversee the homeowner assistance program for flood victims. The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Julie Baxter Payer, says there won’t be any delay in getting assistance to those who need it. She says they’re reopening the bidding process because they weren’t pleased with the initial offers. They expect a contractor to be in place within a month.  As of right now, the federal government has yet to give the state access to the federal dollars made available for homeowners, so the only delay is in Washington.

 

There are 12 confirmed cases of the mumps and it will likely keep rising, according to Dr. Frank Welch with the state Department of Health. He says the viral infection and is spread by saliva. So, kissing, coughing and sneezing are how it is usually spread. He says know the symptoms, such as headache, fever, fatigue, and jaw swelling just below your ear.

 

Three arrests have been made after a noose was hung at the baseball field of Westminster Christian Academy following an argument between three black boys and three white boys. Maj. Eddie Thibodaux with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office says even though it was meant as a joke, a noose is humiliating and hateful. Two juveniles and one 18-year-old are charged with public display of a noose with intent to intimidate. The school says all three students are no longer enrolled at Westminster.

 

20-year-old Armande Stephen Tart faces four counts of first degree murder. Jefferson Parish investigators believe he’s the man who killed four people at a Metairie apartment complex last week. Three of the victims were fatally shot and the fourth victim was reportedly stabbed over 40 times. Sheriff Newell Normand calls Tart a cold-blooded killer, who murdered these people over drugs.

 

Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana expands their KIDLINE services to 24 hours a day. The hotline services parents, victims of child abuse, and others who need a listening ear. PCA Louisiana Executive Director Amanda Brunson says a grant from the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement provided dollars to have counselors available around the clock. Brunson says the KIDLINE also connects families to local counselors and community services. She says that includes help meeting basic needs with resources like food banks and local shelters. The 24 hour hotline is 1-800-CHILDREN

 

An effort to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni has unsuccessfully ended. Attorney Robert Evans the Third had six-months to get 90-thousand signatures to force a recall and three weeks before the deadline he only had 55-thousand signatures. Evans sought a recall after Yenni reportedly sent sexually explicit texts to a 17-year-old boy.

 

A Washington Parish man is behind bars after police say he shot and killed five abandoned puppies. Chief Deputy Mike Haley with the Sheriff’s Office says a concerned citizen contacted the Humane Society after seeing the abandoned puppies on the side of the road.

25-year-old Shawn Jones faces animal cruelty charges.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards is seeking to give the Louisiana tax system a facelift during the upcoming legislative session. Port Allen Senator Rick Ward supports the effort to repeal many business tax exemptions, so that large companies are paying taxes to the state, instead of getting a big refund. Ward says the plan to eliminate more corporate tax breaks is a much more fair approach. But Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh is skeptical. He says if the state cuts exemptions and credits that businesses currently benefit from, then that will hurt economic development efforts.

 

Sports..

 

In a span of three innings Sunday, the LSU baseball team scored six runs on just two hits. The Tigers rode those innings to a 7-6 win against Georgia, clinching a series sweep at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers have a few days off returning to action on Wednesday against Southeastern Louisiana.

 

It was a good weekend for the New Orleans Pelicans. Starting with a 128 to 112 whooping of the Houston Rockets on Friday night and finishing up with a 123 to 109 win over the Timberwolves Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow night the Pelicans will face the Memphis Grizzlies a the nest.

 

LSU women fell 55-52 to Cal in the first round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night ending their season.

 

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News for Friday 031717

By Dave Graichen

 

All 12 jurors have reportedly been sworn in for the murder trial of Derrick Stafford, which begins Monday in Avoyelles Parish. Stafford is a former Marksville City Marshall accused of fatally shooting a 6-year-old autistic boy during a 2015 traffic stop. It’s been reported that both the prosecution and defense are challenging some of the jury selections, reportedly over race, which is expected to be a big issue in the case of a black cop allegedly shooting white child.

 

A group commissioned by Governor Edwards has released its recommendations to reduce Louisiana’s highest-in-the-world incarceration rate. Department of Corrections Secretary James Leblanc says they are presenting 26 ideas borrowed from other states that reflect compromise and innovation. The proposals will be debated by lawmakers in the upcoming regular session.

 

The conservative political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, is pushing back against proposals to increase the state’s gasoline tax. State Director John Kay says they stand against any increase on the gasoline tax, no matter how big or small, because Louisiana taxpayers have already seen their taxes go up enough. There’s talk of increasing the state’s gasoline tax between 17 to 23-cents to generate more money to fix Louisiana’s lousy roads.

 

A new record has been set in the Pelican State for seat belt usage. Based on a study from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, 88-percent of drivers and passengers are buckled up, which is up two-percent from the previous year. Usage rates were up in each region of the state, except for the Alexandria and Monroe areas.

 

Ya gotta wonder, are we taking things a little too far.. A Walker police sergeant has been suspended for three days without pay after hanging a noose in the department’s squad room. Walker Police Capt. John Sharp said it was a piece of twine that had a cookie tied to it. He says there’s a law on the books that prohibits the display of a noose in public to intimidate a person or persons. Chief David Addison requested the Attorney General’s office to investigate.

 

Federal charges have been filed against an illegal immigrant who is accused of fatally shooting a Baton Rouge teen on his birthday. 49-year-old Octavio Posados was picked up in Lake Charles after allegedly shooting 16-year-old Darius Plummer in his home. The federal complaint is reportedly for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and illegal reentry into the country by a removed person, Posados is also facing a murder charge in Easton Baton Rouge Parish.

 

Catholics can eat meat this Friday because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Fr. Frank Coens says that’s because of the old Irish tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage during the feast of St. Patrick. But he says if you’re going to eat meat, it’s good to find another way to do penance.

He says the exception doesn’t just apply to Irish Catholics.

 

The Hammond Police Department says a man is behind bars for allegedly beating his grandmother with a hammer. They say 53-year-old Jerome Johnson is also accused of stealing the victim’s vehicle following the assault. 86-year-old Emma Richburg is in critical condition.

 

Sports..

 

The LSU baseball team begins SEC play tonight as they host Georgia, but the Tigers go into league action without its closer. Senior right hander Hunter Newman is out with a bad back and could miss at least a couple of weeks. Coach Paul Mainieri says other pitchers will have to step up. Alex Lange will start on the mound tonight for the Tigers and then Saturday it will be Jared Poche. Hear the game tonight starting at 6:30 on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD3

 

After losing to Miami Wednesday night, the pelicans are in the nest tonight playing host to Georgia. Airtime tonight at 6:30 on ESPN 1410 & 93.1 HD3

 

The LSUA Generals advanced yesterday as they defeated the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 104-80 win over the Drovers Thursday afternoon in the first round of the 2017 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament. The generals will take on Westmont College this afternoon.

 

The LSU lady Tigers will face California tomorrow evening in the NCAA Tournament. That game can be heard on KSYL 970 and 100.3 HD3. Airtime 7:30

 

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News for Thursday 031617

By Dave Graichen

 

Yesterday was day three and more tentative jurors were selected for the Derrick Stafford murder trial, bringing the day's total to 11. Both sides must agree on 12 jurors and two alternates before opening statements in the trial can begin. Stafford, a former Marksville Ward 2 deputy marshal accused of fatally shooting 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and wounding his father in November 2015, also faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder. Jury selection will continue today.

 

Four people are dead and another critically injured in Metairie, and police are still trying to piece together what happened. Police say three of the deceased victims and one wounded were found with gunshot wounds in an apartment, and another victim with a stab wound to the head was discovered in a different unit in the complex. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand says it’s too early to speculate about what exactly happened.

 

Amid investigations into Louisiana State Police’s travel spending, Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson announces his retirement, effective March 24. Edmonson says he wouldn’t have done anything differently because problems are always going to arise. Edmonson says he will work with the governor and his successor to make the transition as smooth as possible. During his monthly call-in radio show yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards thanked Edmonson for his more than three and a half decades of service.

 

The state’s credit rating has been downgraded for the third time since February of last year. The dip comes as a result of continued financial uncertainty, and it will make it more expensive for the state to borrow money for highway construction. Governor Edwards says the downgrade demonstrates the need for structural tax reform in the regular session.

 

With the legislative session approaching, lawmakers are still working on a bill that would seek to raise the state’s gasoline tax for the first time in 30 years. Democratic Representative Sam Jones of Franklin says lawmakers need to put something on the ballot to improve deteriorating roads and bridges. But he says it’s still unclear how many cents the tax would go up.

 

Bars on Bourbon Street will not have to close their doors at 3 am. The proposal has been tabled by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, but he still plans to tighten security in the city. French Quarter Business League president Alex Fein says they are encouraged by the other recommendations to make New Orleans safer.

 

Former Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany has a new job. The Republican doctor has joined the Capitol Counsel Washington D-C lobbying firm, which focuses on health care, tax and trade issues. The 61-year served in the U.S. House of Representative for 12 years and had an unsuccessful run for U-S Senate last year.

 

Former state lawmaker Elbert Guillory has been chosen by the Louisiana Republican Party to lead an outreach effort to bring more minorities to the GOP. Guillory became the first black Republican state senator in 2013 when he switched from the Democratic Party. He says his hope is to convince African-American voters the Republican Party has their interest in mind.

 

A 33-year-old New Iberia man has pleaded guilty to sending threatening letters to government offices, including one that was sent to Governor John Bel Edwards. Prosecutors say Kyle Dore put white powder in several of the letters and implied the substance was toxic, but tests showed it wasn’t. He’ll be sentenced on June 9th.

 

Another contractor has been arrested for defrauding flood victims. Baton Rouge Police Sergeant Don Coppola says one of the victims was 70-years-old. Andrew Darian is facing several charges including home improvement fraud.

 

A Caddo Parish mother has pleaded guilty to all charges related to the wreck that ejected her 5-month-old from her SUV. Cops believe 31-year-old Lindsey Logan was on drugs when she got into a crash that sent her baby through the front windshield of her vehicle. Logan pleaded guilty to 2 counts of first-degree vehicular negligence stemming from the wreck in June 2016 since her 7 year old was also in the vehicle. Both children are recovering.

 

With March Madness officially kicking off today, a staffing firm finds that nearly one in four companies organize activities tied to sporting events and it actually boosts morale. Office Team District President Brandi Britton says managers who do things like hold a bracket competition tend to have happier employees. Britton said they found only 14 percent of employers felt the tournament was a distraction.

 

Sports..

 

Patriots restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler is set to meet with the Saints today at their headquarters in Metairie. There’s been a lot of talk that New Orleans would like to acquire the 27-year-old who intercepted four passes last season. NFL analyst Mike Detillier says Butler would be a good fit on the Black and Gold.

 

The first round of the 80th Annual Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament gets underway today with the top seeded LSUA Generals meeting The University of Science and Arts Of Oklahoma. The game will be broadcast beginning at 12:30 on Magic 100.9 and 93.1 HD2.

 

In a game that no one seemed to want to win, the LSU baseball team left with a loss.

In a 15-inning game, tied for the longest nonconference game LSU’s played since 1989, the Tigers lost to the University of New Orleans, 7-4 last night.. the tigers begin a three game weekend series against Georgia this Friday.

 

The Pelican’s lost to the Miami Heat last night 120 to 109. The Pels take the night off tonight before meeting the Houston Rockets Friday. ..

 

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News for Wednesday 031517

By Dave Graichen

 

The trial of James Gilbert Jr the man accused in the armed robbery of an armored truck last year has been continued. Gilbert Jr. was scheduled to go to trial this week, but the trial was continued to July 24. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of armed robbery in connection to a February 2015 robbery of an armored truck outside the Walmart on Coliseum Boulevard in Alexandria.

 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics finds Louisiana’s unemployment rate has seen little change overall in the past year, but manufacturing and the oil and gas industry continue to see big losses. LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says Houma lost 6,000 jobs over the year, and Lafayette lost 9,000. Louisiana’s unemployment rate is just under 6-percent statewide.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards has sent a letter to federal leaders urging them to keep Medicaid expansion, as discussions are ongoing about plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. The governor’s spokesperson Richard Carbo says their biggest concern is that the thousands of Louisianans who gained coverage will lose it. Carbo, says in addition to saving lives, the expansion is good for the state’s economy and budget.

 

Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham of Richland Parish says federal lawmakers are heading in the right direction of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He says they can’t leave Obamacare as it is because it’s driving up premiums and people are losing coverage. Abraham says the bill is still in its early form with a long way to go.

 

The Legislative Auditor has launched an investigation into Louisiana State Police’s travel spending. The probe comes amid inquiries by LSP and the Governor’s Office after four troopers made taxpayer funded side trips on their way to a training conference in California.

 

There has been a large outbreak of mumps cases in Arkansas and we’re starting to see cases in Louisiana now. Medical Director of the state Immunization Program Dr. Frank Welch says they’ve been able to confirm at least six cases on the LSU campus. He says mumps is relatively mild but can cause some serious complications. He says the disease is spread through saliva, so it’s important to wash your hands, cover your mouth when coughing and avoid sharing utensils.

 

Arrests are anticipated in the case of a Westminster Christian Academy student who hung a noose at the school’s baseball field. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says three black boys were arguing with three white boys at the ball field last week when things escalated. He says all 6 of the boys are friends who play on the same baseball team, and the argument just got out of hand. Guidroz says fashioning a hangman’s noose is a felony that carries a penalty of a $5-thousand fine and at least a year in jail.

 

The investigation is ongoing into what may have caused the fire that destroyed the home of Tyler Perry’s father. Authorities say Emmitt Perry reported hearing popping sounds coming from the attic at his home in St. Helena Parish before the fire broke out. The Sheriff’s Office says crews had to let the fire burn itself out because there was nothing they could do.

 

Rising sea levels are threatening the western side of Louisiana’s coast, according to a Tulane study. Co-author Torbjorn Tornqvist (Tor-bee-on Torn-quist) says they used data from the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority to determine how fast the sea level is rising.

Tornqvist says if nothing is done, more than 60-percent of the sites they track in the westernmost coast will go under water. He says significant coastal restoration is the only hope. But he says even those efforts might not be enough.

 

Southeastern Louisiana University revamps its offerings for the summer semester by lowering tuition cost and adding high demanded courses. Director of Marketing and Admissions Mike Rivault says they wanted to have a wider variety of classes available for current students and students home for the summer from other universities. Rivault says with an anticipated net cost of less than 900-dollars for three-credit hour course, Southeastern’s summer semester will provide the highest education value with the lowest cost of four-year colleges in south Louisiana.

 

Sports…

 

UNO’s dream season ended in heartbreaking fashion yesterday in the NCAA Tournament as they lost to the Mount St. Mary Mountaineers  67-66.

 

The Pelicans came alive last night and defeated the Portland Trailblazers 100 to 77. Tonight the birds are on the road in Miami to play the Heat. Airtime 6p on ESPN1410 & 93.1 HD3

 

LSU blanked Louisiana College by a score of 13-0 on Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Zack Hess earned the win for the Tigers, allowing no runs and only one hit, striking out seven in six innings of work. LSU, which has won four straight games, will return to action tonight against New Orleans Airtime 6pm on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD3

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News for Tuesday 031417

By Dave Graichen

 

Drunk driving is suspected in a crash that claimed the life of a ball man over the weekend.

Troopers responded to the crash around 3:40 a.m. Saturday Morning on LA Hwy 107 north of Marksville. Police say 21-year-old Jonathan Harvey of Cloutierville lost control of the vehicle he was driving, crossing into the northbound lane and colliding with a vehicle driven by Nicholas Stroud. Stroud, who was only 22, died as a result of his injuries. State Police say Harvey is suspected of driving drunk. However, Toxicology tests and charges are pending

 

Jury selection continues today in the murder trial of Derrick Stafford, a Marksville City Marshal, accused of fatally shooting a six-year-old in 2015. Stafford is one of two officers accused in the shooting. Legal Analyst Tim Meche expects Stafford’s defense attorney to bring up the possibility of a third shooter. Six jurors have been seated and eight more are needed before the trial can begin.

 

A Baton Rouge Judge yesterday reaffirmed that More than 70,000 Louisiana residents on probation or parole for felony crimes will remain unable to vote. State District Judge Tim Kelley called it unfair to keep thousands of people from voting if they’re working, paying taxes and following the law. But he said Louisiana’s constitution and a four-decades-old state law required him to continue denying the voting rights.

 

A bill that’s been filed for next month’s regular session calls for a possible prison sentence and-or fine for a student who brings toy gun to school. Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington says he requested the bill after a scare in his parish last year when students brought a fake and a real gun to school. If the legislation is approved, the penalty would be a 250-dollar fine or as much as six months in jail.

 

All three of Louisiana’s US Attorneys have resigned or retired after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for mass resignations last week. US Attorney Walt Green of Louisiana’s middle district is the latest to step down.  East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says it’s typical for a new administration to want a change of leadership, but he still sent a letter to President Trump asking him to keep Green in office. Moore is also concerned Green’s departure can slow down the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling.

 

A spokesperson for the governor’s office calls it just a rumor that the leader of Louisiana State Police, Colonel Mike Edmonson, will step down. Speculation is building Edmonson will resign as several State Troopers are being subpoenaed as part of a federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions and there’s also a probe into taxpayer funded side trips by four state troopers.

 

The Louisiana Lottery says the drawing show for the Sunday Pick 3 and Pick 4 contained incorrect numbers. A legislative auditor and lottery official verified the official drawing results which were posted on the Lottery’s website. They say for players who rely on the TV show, recheck your Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets from the March 12th drawing.

 

Louisiana car insurance rates are on the rise again and one big culprit could be the smartphone. The National Highway Safety Administration finds distracted driving is the cause for 20-percent of crashes in the state. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the Bayou State’s auto insurance rates have been rising for the last five years with the biggest jump of an 8 percent increase last year. A report by the LSU Highway Safety Group finds from 2011 to 2015, the number of motor vehicle accidents rose by over 12 percent.

 

Baton Rouge police say a teenage boy is dead after he was fatally shot at an apartment complex on his birthday. The victim is identified as 16-year-old Darius Plummer of Baton Rouge. Authorities say a suspect is behind bars in connection with the shooting. It’s been reported that the unnamed man was picked up on I-10 in Lake Charles, and it’s believed he was trying to flee the state.

 

A Haughton woman with a fatal pregnancy is making a selfless contribution to science with the help of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. Kirsten Heintz with LOPA says at 18 weeks pregnant, Brittney Walls found out her baby suffers from a fatal disease that causes the brain and skull to be underdeveloped. She says Walls will carry her child to term. Doctors say she may live a few hours or a couple of days, but no more than that. Heintz says Walls’ baby is not eligible to be an organ donor, but with research donation she can help millions of people, instead of just one.

 

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is promoting the Bayou State to travelers from Germany, as Condor Airlines prepares to offer direct flights to New Orleans this summer. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says representatives from his office spent the last week in Berlin promoting Louisiana’s food, culture, and history to the German-speaking market.

 

A study out of LSU attempts to help solve the problem of childhood obesity. Dr. Amanda Staiano with Pennington Research Center says one in two Louisiana kids struggle with their weight. She says the goal is to learn how much physical activity kids are getting, what they’re eating, and what can be done to improve their health.

 

Sports..

 

The UNO men’s basketball team is in Dayton, Ohio that’s where the Privateers will play Mount St. Mary’s tonight in the first game of the NCAA Tournament. The Privateers are the only Louisiana University to get an invite.

 

Tonight, the LSU tigers will play host to Louisiana College. The Tigers are feeling good coming off of a three game sweep of Wichita state over the weekend. LSU leads the all-time series with Louisiana College, 20-2. The LSU-Louisiana College game was scheduled after last week’s game between the Tigers and San Diego was rained out.  You can hear tonight’s game starting at 6p on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD3.

 

The Pelicans are at home tonight playing host to the Portland Trailblazers. Airtime 6:30p on ESPN1410 & 93.1 HD3.

 

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News for Monday 031317

By Dave Graichen

 

The Orleans Parish Coroner has identified the victims, including children, in a crime that left three dead and one wounded at a home in the Gentilly area of New Orleans early Friday. Authorities report the victims were a 30-year-old woman and her 6 and 10 year old sons. Police Chief Michael Harrison says currently, no one is in custody and urges anyone with information about this crime to come forward.

 

Jury selection is expected to begin Today in the Derrick Stafford trial. Stafford, a former Marksville ward 2 Marshall’s deputy, faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2015, shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and the wounding of Christopher Few. Stafford has pleaded not guilty. Norris Greenhouse Jr., Stafford’s partner that fateful night will go on trial on June 12.

 

A Loyola law professor releases a report on ways Louisiana can reduce its highest-in-the-world incarceration rate. Professor Bill Quigley says the first step is admitting there’s a problem.

He says Louisiana is one of only two states that allows people to be convicted with less than a unanimous jury. He says sentencing reform is needed as well, particularly for repeat offenders.

Quigley says classifying drug offense as victimless crimes is another step Louisiana could take to reduce prison populations. Governor John Bel Edwards has said criminal justice reform will be a key issue in the upcoming regular session.

 

Gambling addiction has become a growing problem in Louisiana as it affects an estimated 180-thousand people statewide. Executive Director of the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling Janet Miller says directly asking if someone has a problem is the best method to tackle the addition. To raise awareness about Louisiana’s services for those experiencing problems with gambling, Governor John Bel Edwards has declared March, “National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” Miller advises anyone affected by gambling to contact the Problem Gambler’s Helpline at 1-877-770-STOP for free assistance.

 

Attorney General Jeff Landry says he’s secured indictments against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa on a bribery scheme in which he allegedly tried to have a candidate drop out of a city council race in exchange for political favors. A businessman is also accused along with Matassa of offering a Gonzales City Council candidate money and a government job if he withdrew from the election.

 

Early voting for the March 25th elections are underway. Four candidates in northwest Louisiana are on the ballot in the District 8 state House race to fill the seat vacated by US Rep Mike Johnson. There are four judicial elections, and Lake Charles will be choosing a new mayor.

 

The Louisiana State Troopers Association is reportedly the subject of a federal investigation alleging the nonprofit made illegal campaign contributions. That’s according to Louisiana Voice publisher Tom Aswell, who says the association’s board funneled the money through its executive director David Young.

 

Community leaders around the state are teaming up with Keep Louisiana Beautiful for the fight against litter. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says Leaders Against Litter are leading the way to a cleaner Louisiana. He says officials gathered Friday for a statewide litter-a-thon to kick off the campaign. Nungesser says litter costs the state money, hurts communities, and even hurts tourism.

 

Admitted rapist and former Saints star Darren Sharper’s lawyers are arguing that a judge didn’t properly explain the details of a “global” plea agreement which put their client behind bars 18 years. Sharper plead guilty to drugging and raping women in four states. An appeal was filed Friday.

 

A 500-acre expansion has been announced for a planned liquefied natural gas plant in Cameron Parish. The Baton Rouge-based company announced in October 2015 that it planned to build an $11 billion LNG plant on 766 acres in Cameron. Once the land for the expansion is secured, the facility will cover 1,266 acres on the west side of the Calcasieu Ship Channel. The company’s president, Thomas Hudson, said last week that construction is expected to start in 2018. He said the first delivery of LNG is expected in late 2022.

The project is expected to generate roughly 3,500 construction jobs and more than 250 permanent jobs.

 

The Lake Charles founded food delivery platform Waitr is expanding thanks to a $10 million investment from an investor group led by Saints Quarterback Drew Brees. President and CEO Chris Meaux says Waitr is currently in 18 cities in four states, and this new funding will allow them to open 24 new markets this year. Meaux says Alexandria and Monroe are next to get Waitr, and maybe Houma after that. He says they hire a lot of people in the state, which is something that attracted Brees to work with them.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says a 25-year-old Oakdale man died as a result of injuries suffered in a residential fire earlier this month. They say Joey Hampton Jr sustained third-degree burns to 70% of his body and was being treated at a Lafayette hospital where he died. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

 

 

Sports..

 

Entering this weekend’s series against Wichita State, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri changed up the top three spots in his order in an attempt to get his offense going.

The early returns were promising as LSU completed a series sweep of the Shockers. Up next, the Tigers Face Louisiana College Tuesday Night.

 

After 5 seasons, Johnny Jones is no longer the head coach of the LSU men’s basketball team. The Tigers lost a school record 15 in a row in Jones’ final season. All of Jones’ assistants have been fired as well. The coaching search is on for the LSU men’s basketball team and Athletic Director Joe Alleva says he’ll be looking for someone who can put the excitement back into the program.

 

The Saints have finally made a move with Brandin Cooks. The wide receiver is off to New England as the Saints made a deal with the Patriots for draft picks.

 

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News for Friday 031017

By Dave Graichen

 

In response to the financial changes facing the state, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is consolidating eight of their rural campuses. President of the system, Dr. Monty Sullivan, says they want to maintain and sustain the mission of two year colleges.

For example, the Northwest Louisiana Technical College in Natchitoches will become part of the Central Louisiana Technical Community College on July 1st. Sullivan says the mergers will allow them to focus on these rural campuses and ensure their two-year colleges can stay open.

 

Louisiana is set to benefit from ExxonMobil’s $20 billion investment in the Gulf Coast. Baton Rouge Refinery Manager Mark Northcutt says the Grow the Gulf initiative will strengthen and grow Exxon facilities in the Capitol City. He says Baton Rouge is home to one of the world’s largest refineries, as well as world scale chemical operations.

 

Today, the Governor’s Office hosts an equal pay summit in downtown Baton Rouge. Co-chair of the summit Aprill Springfield says equal pay is good for families, businesses, and the state. She says women make up about half of Louisiana’s workforce but live in the second highest rate of poverty in the US. Springfield says Louisiana’s wage gap equates to more than $16-thousand a year.

 

Out of four judicial races in Louisiana this year, every candidate running in the March 25 election is a woman. A Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University study, authored by Sally Kenney, finds even though the Bayou State ranks fairly low when it comes to women in the legislature, on the Bench, some real progress has been made. The study finds that in 2016, 31-percent of judges in the Louisiana were women, up from 27-percent in 2011. Kenney says in three out of the four races, a female candidate will replace a male.

 

Non-custodial parents who pay child support can now use MoneyGram at retail stores. Director of Child Support Enforcement with DCFS Lydia Scales says parents do need a few things in order to send support to their children through MoneyGram. She says this is a more convenient way for parents who do not have a bank account to pay child support.

 

The author of the stripper age requirement bill says he plans to present a similar version in the upcoming legislative session. The law was recently blocked by a federal judge in New Orleans for being unconstitutional as written. Johns says he plans to alter the language in the bill so that it’s legal, but keep the intent of requiring strippers to be at least 21-years-old. He’s confident they can find a legal way to accomplish this because other laws impose age restrictions. The bill was originally presented as a means of curbing human trafficking in the state.

 

The Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association launches a campaign to urge lawmakers to change to the state’s film tax credit program. Board member Jim Hornbeak says the “Fight for Film” effort is all about putting faces to those Louisianans who thrive when a movie is filmed here. To learn more about the campaign, visit FilmLouisiana.com

 

The mother accused of giving birth and leaving the baby in a New Rhodes Wal-Mart bathroom has been indicted. 34-year-old Kyandrea Thomas is charged with attempted second-degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile by a Pointe Coupee Parish Grand Jury.

 

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 near Sorrento will be closed over the weekend as crews with the state Department of Transportation will remove a damaged bridge. DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says the two lane closure will begin tonight at 9 and the highway will reopen Monday at 5 a.m.. He recommends checking multiple alternative routes to avoid big delays.

 

Sports..

 

The Pelicans new center, All-Star Demarcus Cousins, has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for cussing at fans during two different games. It happened in the Pels victory over the Lakers on March 5th, then the next night in Utah. Cousins joined New Orleans last month in a huge trade with Sacramento. The Pels are At Houston Saturday Night. You can hear that game on ESPN1410 & 93.1 HD3

 

The new NFL calendar year officially began at 3 yesterday afternoon and moves are being made all over the place. The Saints have reportedly resigned defensive tackle Nick Fairley to a four year contract worth almost $30 million dollars. Fairley joined New Orleans last season and finished with 6 1/2 sacks and 22 quarterback hits.

 

It's LSU Baseball this weekend at the Box. Tonight the Tigers kick off a three game weekend series against Wichita State. All three games can be heard on KSYL 970AM / 100.3 HD3FM

 

 

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News for Thursday 030917

By Dave Graichen

 

It’s the end of an era. Yesterday the owners of the Town Talk, Gannett, announced that the paper will cut back publication to three days a week, Sunday, Wednesday & Friday beginning April 5. The President of the Town Talk, Judi Terzotis, says many more people are reading the paper on line now, whether it be on the Town Talk website or on their Cell phones and tablets. Terzotis also said, While the frequency of the print edition is changing, their commitment to covering the news, sports, events, and stories that define our community remains a 24/7 priority for our staff and journalists. No word yet as to how many newsroom positions, if any, will be eliminated.

 

A proposal approved by BESE means K-12 schools in Louisiana won’t be seeing an increase in state funding. Executive Director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, Scott Richard, says federal funding is also in a decline, which leaves local school districts to pick up the lion’s share of the costs. BESE blames budget problems for the lack of funding hikes.

 

There’s a renewed sense of optimism for the oil industry, according to the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, who host their annual summit today in Lake Charles. LOGA Vice President Gifford Briggs says 2017 is a critical year for the oil and gas industry. Briggs says that’s because the industry is starting to rebound after a two year recession. Briggs says Exxon’s commitment to make a $20 billion investment in the Gulf and the plans for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline are promising signs for the industry as a whole.

 

The rate of babies born with syphilis is rising in Louisiana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC found the rate of congenital syphilis rose by 6-percent nationwide between 2014 and 2015. Director of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases for the Office of Public Health, Dr. DeAnn Gruber, says the problem is even worse in Louisiana than the rest of the country. According to the CDC, nationwide 83 out of every 100-thousand babies born has congenital syphilis.

 

A recent study shows fewer fat people are trying to lose weight. A report from Georgia Southern University found that overweight people who said they are trying to lose weight fell from 55-percent down to 49-percent. Executive Director of the Louisiana Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Rudy Macklin, says people may be getting discouraged because they aren’t seeing results right away. The nationwide study found the obesity rate is highest for black women with 55-percent being obese. Macklin says here in Louisiana, income and family environment play a big role in many of these women’s lives, leaving little time for exercise and cooking healthy meals.

 

Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish says the proposal the House GOP has laid out to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law will put patients back in charge of their health care decisions. Representative Ralph Abraham of Richland Parish says Obamacare must be repealed, but significant questions have been raised about the replacement plan.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to cut the red tape so Louisiana can get started on coastal restoration projects. Executive Director of the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority, Johnny Bradberry, says the projects are part of the coastal restoration masterplan. Bradberry says the projects will be funded through BP’s restoration payments to the state over the next few years. He says the President is looking for projects that are ready to go and having funding methods in place. He says they’re hoping Mr. Trump can help fast track the federal approval process.

 

A federal judge in New Orleans once again blocks a state law that makes the minimum age to be an exotic dancer 21-years-old. Three strippers filed suit after the state legislature passed the legislation last year. Their attorney, Harry Rosenberg, says  the ruling ensures the law will not go into effect until this case goes to trial.

 

A Baton Rouge homeowner who killed an intruder at his home will not face charges. Police say 40-year-old Anthony Gordon was armed with a gun when he entered the home and was shot by the homeowner. DA Hillar Moore says Louisiana law allows homeowners to use lethal force to defend themselves. Gordon was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Officials in Ascension Parish say they are looking for the man seen on surveillance video at a Walgreens crawling his way through a drink cooler in order to steal 11 cartons of cigarettes. Another person is standing watch while the suspect made his way into the fridge then crawled to the storage area in the back to snatch the smokes. Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact authorities.

 

Sports..

Home advantage apparently no advantage last night for the Pelicans as they fell to the Raptors 94 to 87. The Pelicans play next at Houston on Saturday..

 

The season is over for LSU men’s basketball. The tigers ended a terrible season with barely a whimper as they lost to the Mississippi state Bulldogs last night 79 to 52 in the SEC tournament . It’s expected it was also the last game for Coach Johnny Jones. Officials notice could come as early as today.

 

Louisiana Tech begins play in the Conference USA Tournament at 5:30 today as the one of the hottest teams in the league. They’ve won eight of their last nine. Bulldogs head coach Eric Konkol believes his young team can win this tournament and receive automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

 

NFL teams can begin signing unrestricted free agents this afternoon and for the first time in several years, the Saints have some salary cap space to work with. Sideline reporter on the Saints Radio Network, Kristan Garic, doesn’t anticipate the Black and Gold making a huge splash, but they will look to bolster the offensive line.

 

 

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News for Wednesday 030817

By Dave Graichen

 

One year ago today, heavy rains began pouring down on the northern half of the state causing the worst flood the area has seen in hundreds of years. The flood prompted a federal disaster declaration for 37 parishes. Richland Parish Congressman Ralph Abraham says he’s frustrated no state or federal money has been handed out to help flood victims rebuild their homes. He says many flood victims are paying for repairs out of pocket or getting help from other organizations.

 

Authorities across the state are warning residents of telephone scammers claiming to be the IRS and requesting money. Sgt. Brian Griffith with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s department  says they’ve received multiple reports of phone calls stating a payment needs to be made over the phone or an arrest warrant will be issued for the individual. He says the IRS will never ask for personal information or take payments over the phone. Griffith says anytime someone receives a call from the IRS asking for credit card or banking information, it’s a scam. He  advises anyone who receives a similar call to immediately hang up the phone.

 

US House Republicans have presented their plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act. The new plan scraps fines imposed on taxpayers who do not purchase insurance and instead offers tax credits to those who purchase coverage in the open market. However, Chief Healthcare Economist for Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana Mike Bertaut says Under the new proposal, people who let their policy lapse would face penalties, including a potential premium hike of 30-percent for up to a year. Bertaut says under Obamacare, tax credits are based on income. But he says under this new proposal, by 2020 credits will be based on age.

 

New Orleans city officials are expected to move quickly to take down Confederate monuments around the city, after a court approved their removal. Take Em Down NOLA coordinator Malcolm Suber says they are elated the monuments are coming down. But, it may not be that simple, Pro-monument advocates are exploring new legal options.

 

It doesn’t look like public schools will see an increase in state funding next fiscal year. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education says they are ready to approve a three-point-seven billion dollar financing formula, which is the same as this year. Education leaders want more money to cover rising expenses, but BESE says continued state budget problems will make it difficult to receive an increase in state funding.

 

A Jennings woman is facing additional charges for allegedly lying about how her 4-year-old niece was set on fire. State Fire Marshal’s office spokesman Brant Thompson says 29-year-old Gail Brown is accused of having sex for money at a home while her 6-year-old daughter and the 4-year-old niece were in a vehicle. He says Brown is booked for prostitution, child desertion, and false swearing.

 

The U.S. Department of the Interior announces they will offer 73 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico up for sale for exploration in the oil and gas industry. Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute Eric Smith does not expect energy companies to have much interest. The lease sale includes about 14-thousand blocks in all areas of the Gulf.

 

A cadet at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St Gabriel was arrested and fired for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs and a cell phone into the prison. The state Department of Corrections says 29-year-old Jomar Jackson had hidden the contraband in Pringles cans in his lunch box. His charge is a felony.

 

A gorilla at the Audubon zoo in New Orleans threw a large block of wood at a guest and injured a pregnant women according to officials. They are investigating how the incident happened and “will address any necessary concerns.”

 

Sports..

 

Spring football begins Saturday for the LSU Tigers and Head Coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday  there will be an open competition for starting quarterback. Danny Etling is the clear front-runner, after starting 10 games last season. But Orgeron says the other QBs on the roster look good as well. The spring game will be April 22nd at 7pm in Tiger Stadium.

 

Tonight could be the final game for Johnny Jones as head coach of the LSU Tigers. Tiger-rag-dot-com reports Athletic Director Joe Alleva is expected to hand Jones his pink slip shortly after the Tigers are eliminated from the SEC Tournament. LSU faces Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament tonight. That broadcast can be heard on KSYL 970AM & 100.3 HD3FM Starting at 5:30p

 

The LSU Tiger baseball game against San Diego was rained out last night. Tonight, the Tigers play host to McNeese. However, That game will not be heard on the radio tonight. As it will be pre-empted by the LSU SEC Basketball game. Friday night, the Tigers begin a 3 game series against Wichita State.

 

After a tough loss to Utah Monday night, the Pelicans are back in the nest tonight playing host to the Toronto Raptors. You can hear the game beginning at 6:30p on ESPN 1410 & 93.1 HD3

 

The Sun Belt Men’s basketball tournament begins today in New Orleans. 12th seeded ULM faces Arkansas State this afternoon and then at 5:00 UL Lafayette will take on Little Rock.

 

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News for Tuesday 030717

By Dave Graichen

 

The RPSO reports a Pineville man who called 911 now faces a murder charge after a woman injured in a domestic violence incident died. The incident occurred on March 2nd. Deputies  responded to the call to find an unresponsive woman and the man who made the call. Once deputies began to assess and investigate the situation, it was evident that a crime of domestic violence had occurred. 56-year-old Connie Patterson of Pineville later died of her injuries. 59-year-old Douglas Ponthieux Sr. has now been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree battery. He remains in the Rapides Parish jail.

 

The APD reports a Boyce woman died alongside Interstate 49 Sunday afternoon after she became trapped under a car on the shoulder that had been hit. The unidentified 48-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Two injured pedestrians were also taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards is defending his executive order that aimed to protect the rights of LGBT people in state government, saying in an appeal filed Monday that a judge erred in deciding the governor overstepped his legal authority.

 

Three confederate monuments will be taken down in New Orleans, after a federal appeals court sides with the city. The City Council ordered the removal of statues of Robert e Lee, PGT Beauregard and Jefferson Davis after 9 African Americans were murdered at a South Carolina church, but the Monumental Task Committee filed a suit to block their removal. But after the court’s ruling, the statues are coming down.

 

A Muslim civil rights group wants the Rapides DA to cancel a law enforcement training seminar today in Alexandria on investigating Jihadi operations in the US. They call it a misuse of taxpayer money, and aren’t happy the man offering the sessions is former FBI agent John Guandolo who they say is a known anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist. But the DA says the training is to talk about the potential of terrorism faced by the nation. The Louisiana Interchurch Conference also on Monday issued a plea to Terrell to postpone the session.

 

President Donald Trump signed a revised version of the travel ban prohibiting new visas for citizens from six Middle Eastern countries. Congressman Ralph Abraham says America has to be cautious these days. He says he does not support open boarders because we need to protect our country first. But Executive Director of the Louisiana ACLU Marjorie Esman says the president issued an order that indirectly bans Muslims from entering the country. She says keeping members of that religion out of the US is the president’s priority. Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are included in the ban.

 

The Tensas Parish town of St. Joseph is finally getting a new water system, as ground was broken Monday to replace the old system that has lead in it. The governor’s deputy chief of staff, Julie Baxter Payer, says they will supply clean drinking water for residents until the project is completed in September. The system will have 12 miles of new pipe and 525 new meters.

 

Recent state budget cuts to the Department of Agriculture means Louisiana might not have the necessary resources to fight wildfires. That’s according to Ag Commissioner Mike Strain  midyear cuts lawmakers levied against the Department of Agriculture are over $1.2 million. He says he only has 53 firefighting teams for the entire state.  Strain says those 53 teams are responsible for 14 million acres of forests.

 

Former Klu Klux Klan leader and Louisiana U.S. Senate candidate David Duke had his twitter account suspended for a brief time Monday. The social media site has taken an active role in recent months to take action against those who use hate speech. They claim Duke did just that.

 

The American Cancer Society has set a goal of 80-percent of Americans to be screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. That means 417-thousand people in Louisiana need to be screened to reach that number. Tulane Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Jordan Karlitz says colorectal cancer is a major health issue in Louisiana. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Louisiana has one of the highest rates of the development and mortality from colorectal cancer.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed this week as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Louisiana. GOHSEP urges the public to Get a Game Plan to protect themselves, their families, pets and homes in the event of severe weather.

 

The contractor who has been arrested for multiple charges of fraud was arrested again after using false receivables as collateral for his bond when he was in the Ascension Parish Jail. Sheriff Jeff Wiley says 39-year-old Matthew Morris, owner of Complete Construction Contractors, was booked back into their jail after detectives discovered issues with Morris’ cash bond. Morris is also facing charges in Baton Rouge, Walker, and Denham Springs in addition to Ascension Parish. Wiley says Morris took advantage of flood victims by inflating fraudulent estimates for home repairs and never completing the job.

 

 

Sports..

 

The New Orleans Pelicans had a tough night last in Utah. They lost to the Jazz 83 to 88. Up next, the Birds play host to the Raptors Wednesday night.

 

Weather permitting, the 7th ranked LSU Tigers are set to host San Diego at Alex Box Stadium. It would be the first ever meeting between the two teams. You can hear the game tonight starting at 6p on KSYL 970am and 100.3 HD3fm.

 

Louisiana Tech is ranked 24th in the USA Today Coaches poll. It’s the first Top 25 ranking for the Bulldogs baseball program in three decades as the team is off the school’s best start at 11-1 under First-year head coach Lane Burroughs. Tonight, Louisiana Tech begins a four-game road trip at Mississippi State.

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News for Monday 030617

By Dave Graichen

 

The budget bill that was passed during the special session has been signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. The governor says they knew closing a $304 million shortfall would be challenging, but lawmakers found a solution that did not adversely impact higher education, public schools, hospitals, or the department of children and family services.

 

Nearly 300 airmen in the Louisiana National Guard have been deploying to Europe, and a farewell ceremony was held in their honor on Saturday in New Orleans. The airmen will participate in critical training missions during the 90 day deployment. Here in Cenla, more than a dozen Airmen with the Louisiana National Guard bid farewell to their families and friends at the Camp Beauregard in Pineville over the weekend.

 

With a warmer winter than usual, the mosquito population has exploded in Louisiana. LSU Assistant Professor of Entomology Kristen Healy says temperature plays a lot into mosquito development. Healy says with the increased mosquito population, there is also an increased risk for contacting mosquito borne illnesses. Healy advises everyone to be wary of West Nile Virus and protect yourself with EPA approved repellents. She also recommends reducing standing water in your backyard to ward off infectious mosquitos.

 

Louisiana is on track to become one of the top states for computer science graduates. State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says by using a digital media incentive, Louisiana was able to attract major players in the IT business to the state. He says all corners of the Bayou State are seeing growth in this department. Louisiana has invested over 38 million dollars in the computer science and engineering departments at universities.

 

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain will speak before the Baton Rouge Press Club today and continue his push for resuming trade with Cuba. Strain spoke at the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction and said next year the island nation is going to buy two billion dollars’ worth of food products from somebody, it might as well be Louisiana. Strain says one in three acres of America’s agricultural production is sold offshore, and in Louisiana over $8.3 billion in ag production is sold to a foreign country.

 

A Baton Rouge woman has been arrested after police say she let her 15-year-old son and his friend hide a stolen Mercedes and golf cart in her garage. Authorities say they executed a search warrant at the home of 38-year-old Erica Bergeron, and that’s when they found the stolen vehicles. Bergeron is booked on charges of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles and accessory after the fact.

 

An East Baton Rouge Parish motorcycle deputy has been injured after he was struck by another vehicle just after noon Friday. The deputy was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital where he is in stable condition but has a broken shoulder. Authorities have not said whether the other driver will be cited in the incident.

 

A 29-year-old woman is in custody a month after her 4-year-old niece was critically burned while in her care. Brant Thompson, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s chief deputy, said Saturday that Gail Marie Brown was arrested late Friday on five charges including negligent injuring, obstruction of justice and prostitution. Thompson said Brown lied about how the child was burned. The child remains hospitalized at a pediatric burn unit in Galveston.

 

Sports..

 

It was a late west coast game. But, it didn’t seem to slow down the New Orleans Pelicans as they defeated the Lakers last night 105 – 97 The Birds travel to Utah tonight to play the Jazz. Airtime 7:30p on ESPN1410 & 93.1 HD3.

 

The 2nd ranked LSU baseball team won one, lost two at the Shriners Classic in Houston. The Tigers finished the weekend with a hard fought loss 5-4 defeat to 10th ranked Texas Tech. On Friday, LSU lost to top ranked TCU and beat Baylor on Saturday. Up next, the Tigers play host to San Diego Tuesday Night.

 

Beginning today, 48 teams vying for 12 state titles are in southwest Louisiana for the 2017 LHSAA boys’ state basketball tournament. Before the split playoffs between select and non-select schools, 28 teams competed for 7 titles. All games will be played at Burton Coliseum.

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News for Friday 030317

By Dave Graichen

 

The Governor was in town yesterday afternoon visiting with local ministers and elected officials. Governor Edwards also made an appearance at Pineville High School and the Cenla Broadcasting studios. The Governor saying, despite budget challenges, he looks to put more money in education, health care, infrastructure. The Governor also said, at some point, we have to stop looking for new and better ways to cut, and start looking to invest in the things that give people opportunities.

 

President Donald Trump has signed Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham’s bill that provides gun rights for certain disabled individuals who receive Social Security. It ends a regulation implemented by the Obama administration that required the Social Security Administration to automatically report any beneficiary who receives assistance managing their finances due to a mental disability.

 

U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond of New Orleans is receiving criticism for a joke he made about Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to President Donald Trump. Richmond said Conway looked kind of familiar in that position, as he referenced a photo of Conway kneeling on a sofa in the Oval office. Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says Richmond made the statement while trading jokes with a Senator from South Carolina in a very public setting. But the Louisiana Republican Party is not laughing. They believe an apology from the Democratic lawmaker is necessary and Governor John Bel Edwards believes Richmond should apologize as well.

 

Over 20-thousand Louisiana taxpayers are due a refund from the federal government and time is running out to claim them. I-R-S spokesperson Bill Brunson says these individuals have not received their refund, because they didn’t file a 2013 federal income tax return. The median potential refund is $763. The IRS estimates more than $21 million in unclaimed refunds may be available to Louisiana taxpayers.

 

A program that covers most of the cost of private and charter school tuition for low income students is growing rapidly, giving students zoned for failing schools an option other than taxpayer funded vouchers. The money to support this tuition program comes from corporations and private donors and it helps pay for a significant portion of a child’s tuition, with parents covering the remaining costs. Another plus, the way the program is set up, local schools do not lose state funding and companies who donate receive rebates, so they lose very little as well.

 

A Spirit of America Rally will be held on the steps of the State Capitol tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to show support for President Donald Trump. Similar rallies have taken place throughout the week, leading up to this event. Leader of Gator PAC Col. Rob Maness says Trump supporters will address what they hope will be a large gathering. Tickets are not required to attend. Maness encourages everyone to wear their “Make America Great Again” attire. For more information visit Tea-Party-of-Louisiana-dot-net

 

A former choir director at Neville High School in Monroe is facing additional charges today related to his arrest on allegations of sexual misconduct with students and providing his victims with marijuana. BESE member Gary Jones says they will attempt to have 25-year-old Christian Amos’ teaching license revoked.

 

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says two people from Leesville are under arrest for allegedly leaving their 2 year old child in a vehicle alone while they went into a casino and gambled. The 23-year-old mother and 30-year-old father were booked with child desertion.

 

Congressman Clay Higgins visited the I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles to discuss and inspect the structure due to some travelers’ concerns about its safety. The freshman representative met with DOTD engineers to tour the bridge. Higgins says, even though the bridge is sound, he along with DOTD feel it needs a major overhaul. A video of the tour is posted on Higgins’ Facebook page.

 

Sad story, out of Livingston Parish. A Denham Springs a 15 year old boy died after being hit by a vehicle on his way to school yesterday. The family has identified the victim’s name as Bryce Edling. While the incident is still under investigation, the driver has not been cited.

 

 

 

Sports..

 

Tonight, the Pelicans host the top team in the Southwestern Division as they welcome the  San Antonio spurs to the nest. You can hear that game on ESPN1410 and 93.1 HD3 starting at 6:30.

 

LSU gets a chance to face some of the best teams from the Big 12 this weekend when they compete in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Tonight, LSU faces top ranked TCU, on Saturday it’s undefeated Baylor and Sunday its 21st ranked Texas Tech. You’ll be able to hear tonight’s and Sunday’s games on KSYL 970AM and 100.3 HD3. Tonight’s game starts at 6:30p

 

This evening, the LSU Alexandria Generals enter RRAC tourney, at the Rapides Parish Coliseum with 29-0 record. LSUA will play at 5:30 p.m. in the first of the two men’s semifinal games. The winners of the two semi’s plays tomorrow afternoon.

 

Chloe Jackson powered LSU with a double-double of 22 points and a career-high 14 rebounds as LSU advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament with a 65-49 win over Ole Thursday evening. With the win, LSU improved to 20-10 overall. The Lady Tigers face No. 2 seeded Mississippi State This afternoon at 5 p.m.

 

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News for Thursday 030216

By Dave Graichen

 

Governor John Bel Edwards plans to present a criminal justice reform plan to lawmakers that looks at reducing minimum sentences for some nonviolent offenses. Edwards says the state is looking at proven strategies that have worked to reduce the prison population in other southern conservative states. Edwards says we have to find a way to lower the state’s incarceration rate, because Louisiana spends $600 million a year on the Department of Corrections, which is a costly number during these tough budget times. It will be a tough sell since many district attorneys across the state oppose reducing minimum sentences.

 

Sources say Louisiana native Paul Rainwater is one of two candidates to become the next director of the Federal Disaster Management Agency. Rainwater has an extensive background when it comes to disaster recovery from his time as a city administrator in Lake Charles to when he was former Governor Bobby Jindal’s Chief of Staff. The other candidate is reportedly Mark Merritt, a private consultant from Atlanta. A final decision on who Trump will nominate to direct FEMA may not be made until April or May.

 

Louisiana’s Republican delegation believes President Donald Trump sent the right message in Tuesday night’s address in front of Congress. Mr. Trump laid out his plans to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, increase military spending and create jobs. Early national polls indicate that a majority of viewers approved of the speech and more optimistic about the future of the country.

 

Grambling President Rick Gallot is back from his trip to Washington where he met with President Trump on making historically black colleges and universities a priority. Gallot says, from a funding standpoint, it makes a huge difference when the White House has promised to be involved. HBCU Presidents are calling for a $25 billion investment.

 

A man is dead following an officer involved shooting in Houma on Tuesday night. State Trooper Jesse Lagrange says the Houma Police Department was involved in an incident with a barricaded subject when the shooting occurred. Lagrange says they are not releasing the any details about the deceased man or what led to the incident at this time.

 

An escaped work release inmate is once again behind bars after a high speed chase in Webster Parish that ended with a vehicle going airborne. Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton says deputies set up a roadblock to catch 18-year-old Kevonte Austin. Sexton says the woman was not hurt, and Austin was apprehended.

 

A Baton Rouge man convicted of killing his 5-year-old son will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Last month 38-year-old Vernell Day, Jr. was found guilty of second degree murder for beating his son to death in 2014. Police say the child was taken to the hospital after suffering multiple blows, and the child died two days later.

 

Two Sulphur residents are dead after a fire broke out in their home early Wednesday morning. Sulphur Fire Chief Dan Selph says the fire was called in by a neighbor and a witness who saw it from the interstate. He says when crews arrived it was evident that entering the home was not an option. The victims were a 58 year old woman and a 68 year old man.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the case of a man who died in a house fire in St. Mary Parish on Mardi Gras Day. They say initial indications are that the deadly blaze was caused by an electrical wall outlet in the wood-framed home, and claimed the life of 79-year-old Lionel Bonin Jr. The victim’s wife told investigators that her husband saved her first, then ran back into the residence.

 

The Department of Corrections and the Louisiana Department of Health are teaming up to get health coverage for newly released inmates. DOC Medical Director Dr. Raman Singh says they are helping incarcerated inmates enroll in Medicaid so that once they are released, they can continue to receive the care they need. Singh says DOC is all about reentry and making sure released offenders succeed in their communities.

 

Sports..

 

The LSU Tigers broke their 15 game losing streak last night with an 99-82 win over Tennessee at the P-Mac. LSU will finish the regular season and try to make it two in a row at Mississippi Saturday afternoon.

 

Big win for the Pelicans last night as they defeated Detroit 109 to 86. Up next, San Antonio, Friday night.

 

2017 GEICO Red River Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament officially gets underway today and continues through Saturday at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. The tournament, with a six-team single elimination bracket, has the #1 Ranked LSUA Generals scheduled to play the  lowest remaining seed at 5:30 Friday afternoon. Tournament tickets are available, free of charge, first come first served, from 9 to 4 today at the Cenla Broadcasting studios on Texas avenue. Saturday afternoon is the Championship Game starting at 4:30p

 

Making the rounds on a social media is a claim by Saints running back Mark Ingram that he and several other New Orleans’ players were turned away from a club in London for being, “too urban.” Ingram said they had reservations, but the establishment issued a statement saying they would never dismiss anyone based on race, however they’re an exclusive members club where entry is not guaranteed to anyone.

 

At the NFL Scouting Combine, former LSU running back Leonard Fournette weighed in at 240 pounds. During his time at LSU, Fournette’s listed weight was 235 pounds. He’ll run the 40 and perform in other skill drills on Friday.

 

The Saints are reportedly set to release high-priced safety Jairus Byrd. Byrd has three years left on a six-year, 54-million dollar contract. The move will save the Saints a reported three-point-two million dollars in cap space.

 

 

 

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News For Wednesday 030117

By Dave Graichen

 

Another person is calling for State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson to resign. Lloyd Grafton has recently resigned from the State Police Commission, and in his resignation letter to Governor John Bel Edwards, Grafton says Edmonson does whatever he chooses to do. He says when the commission approved a pay raise for LSP, they believed it would go to the troopers on the ground. But he says instead some of the highest ranking officials received $40-thousand pay increases.

 

US News and World Report’s finds Louisiana comes in dead last on the new best state’s ranking. Analyst Lindsey Cook says Louisiana did poorly in the areas of economy, government, crime and opportunity. She says education is also a big category and the Bayou State came in 46th.

 

Bankrate.com ranks Louisiana the fourth worst state for first time home buyers. Analyst Claes Bell says one reason for the low ranking is the tightness of the housing market. He says there are fewer homes on the market in Louisiana because construction isn’t keeping up with demand. Bell says first time buyers in a tight housing market have a hard time competing for a home that has multiple offers, because they tend to put less money down.

 

The accused drunk driver in the Endymion (En Din Mion) New Orleans parade crash is facing more and more charges and the victim count rises. Neilson Rizzuto has been charged with an additional 22 counts of negligent vehicular injury. Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says that number could still go up because the victim count is up to 32. The 25-year-old was originally booked on four charges, including two counts of negligent vehicular injury, hit and run causing serious injury, and careless operation. Ciolino expects Rizzuto to be sentenced to at least 10 years behind bars.

 

It’s Ash Wednesday and that means the start of the Lenten season, so many people will be lining up to get their share of seafood over the next 40 days. Chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Chalin (Shal-in) DeLaune (De-lawn) says the supply of Louisiana oysters and crawfish is excellent. But DeLaune says unfortunately the crab harvest is struggling in Louisiana, as there is a 30 day closure on commercial crabbing. DeLaune also says shrimp is on the downside in the Bayou State this season, as the size of the prawns are relatively small.

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents arrested a man on charges of trafficking children for sex after fishing from an unregistered boat. LDWF says 26-year-old Jean Luc Williams of New Orleans was stopped to be checked for boating regulations and authorities discovered the boat was not registered and Williams had not completed the boating education class. That’s when they discovered Williams the outstanding warrant for his arrest from Orleans Parish.

 

The Texas agriculture commissioner has approved a poison that farmers and ranchers can use to kill destructive feral hogs, so when will Louisiana get on board? Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says Kaput Feral Hog Lure could become available here in a month or two, but it will only be sold to those individuals who receive proper training. It’s estimated there are 500-thousand feral hogs in Louisiana and they are known for destroying fields and pastures.

 

A picture has surfaced of a white candidate for the state legislature wearing blackface as part of a Tiger Woods costume. Robert Gatti, a Republican running for Congressman Mike Johnson’s open seat, said it’s a 15 year old photo and he had no idea it was offensive. Gatti apologized and said he feels his opponents are behind the leak.

 

The Pelicans will look for their first win with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the starting line-up tonight when New Orleans hosts Detroit. Despite all the buzz the trade created, New Orleans is 0-3 since acquiring Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. Head Coach Alvin Gentry is optimistic the victories will come soon. Cousins also feels good about the future of his new team, but it will take time… That game can be heard tonight beginning at 6:30 on ESPN 1410 and 93.1 HD3

 

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News for Friday 022417

By Dave Graichen

 

It’s a big parade weekend all across Louisiana and it looks like Mother Nature will corporate. Here in Alexandria it all begins this afternoon with the Hixson Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade at 4:30. That will be followed by the Taste Of Mardi Gras in the River Front Center. Saturday it’s the 21st Annual Children's Parade starting at 10am. That will be followed by the Alexandria Zoo’s Mardi Gras Party from 2 to 4. Weekend festivities wrap up with the  24th Annual Krewes Parade Sunday at 2p. The complete schedules and routs can be found at cenlabroadcasting.com. just click on the events tab..

 

Sad news yesterday for many here in Alexandria with the word that Jeff Phillips, the owner of Tamp and Grind, had died. Phillips opened his unique coffee shop back in 2010, a period where most businesses were either closing or moving out of the downtown area. The shop became not only a popular stop for coffee, but also a hub for cultural and other activities. Funeral services for Jeff Philips are pending.

 

Shortly before noon yesterday, the APD responded to a report of a shooting in the 4000 block of Lee Street. Upon arrival, police found a man who had been shot in the head, over the next several hours police arrested multiple people in connection with the incident. The condition of the victim and the names of those who were arrested has not been released.

 

TOPS is not fully funded under the governor’s spending plan for next fiscal year. Officials say it will take more than 80 million additional dollars to pay for the scholarship program. The Board of Regents meets today to discuss possible changes to TOPS. The recommendations will go into a bill by Baton Rouge Senator Sharon Hewitt that will be taken up in the regular session.

 

In addition to TOPS being funded at 70 percent, » Safety net hospitals across the state saw a cut of $30.5 million or, roughly 6%. Rural hospitals cut were $6 million, there will be no increase for public education and that will Delay the opening of new Acadiana Youth Facility in Bunkie and there will be no merit raises for state employees. Finally,  $120 million of $304 million midyear cuts were made permanent.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards will be in Washington D-C this weekend as he’ll have a chance to meet with President Donald Trump. Edwards and other governors will have a chance to talk with the President on Monday. Before that the governor will visit with FEMA officials and discuss flood and tornado relief. Currently, the state is requesting an additional two billion dollars in assistance.

 

US Senator Bill Cassidy held another town hall meeting Thursday morning in Thibodaux and the crowd was not as raucous as what the senior senator faced Wednesday in Metairie. Cassidy is one of several Republican Congressional members who has faced furious constituents upset over health care and public education.

 

Grambling State University is one step closer to reinstating their undergraduate nursing program after it was closed in 2015. University President Rick Gallot says they have the support of the University of Louisiana System Board, and now they need approval from the Board of Regents and the state Board of Nursing. He says their target date to open the new program is fall of 2018.

 

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz is seeking more information from FEMA about an 84-year-old Baton Rouge man who died in an overheated mobile home issued by the federal government. Chaffetz says when authorities investigated the M-H-U the temperature inside reached 138-degree even though the air conditioning control unit read 50-degrees.

 

LSU Health Shreveport will launch a Pediatric Chronic Ventilator Clinic in April to care for children who require mechanical ventilation. Director of the Pediatric Ventilator Unit Dr. Keith Scott says currently, families have to travel 300 miles for a one-hour visit, but the new clinic will be more convenient for patients.

 

The LSU baseball team begins a three-game series tonight against Maryland, who is a favorite to win the Big 10. The Terrapins are off to 1-2 start as they lost two games to Ball State. But Tigers Coach Paul Mainieri says don’t be fooled by Maryland’s slow start. Maryland has recently appeared in the Super Regionals in both 2014 and 2015. LSU is 3-1 on the season and Mainieri says the Tigers are still a work in progress… you can hear the game tonight starting at 6:30 on KSYL 970 am and 100.3 HD3 fm.

 

 

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News for Thursday 022317

By Dave Graichen

 

After 10 days of what became some heated debates, the special session ended with lawmakers agreeing to use $99 million from the rainy day fund to address a $304 million midyear deficit. Governor John Bel Edwards originally asked legislators to use the full $119 million available to minimize cuts to state agencies. But budget cuts are still coming to state agencies. The Department of Health will take the biggest hit with a 36-million dollar cut. Statewide elected officials will have their budget cuts and there will be a reduction in spending on roadwork.

 

Now that the special session is over, attention turns to the fiscal session that begins in April. The Louisiana Budget Project has released its tax reform blueprint. Senior Policy Analyst Nick Albares says we need a tax system that is fair, adequate, competitive, timely, and sustainable. He says one way to do that is to eliminate the federal income tax deduction, which is a credit only two other states offer. Albares says this credit costs the state nearly $1 billion a year, while only those at the top of the income spectrum benefit from it. He says they’re calling for a reduction in the state sales tax from 5-percent to 4-percent and a broadening of the sales tax base.

 

The winning ticket for Wednesday's Powerball drawing, worth an estimated $435.3 million, was sold in Indiana yesterday. It's the first time that the jackpot topped $400 million in nearly three months, and it's the seventh largest jackpot win in Powerball history. The numbers drawn Wednesday were 52, 10, 61, 28, and 13. The Powerball is 2

 

A report from Tulane has found that 17-hundred public school teachers have left their profession since the legislature passed a law in 2012 that made it more difficult for educators to achieve tenure. Co-author of the report, Nathan Barrett, says many of the educators that left were close to retirement and teachers who left under-performing schools rose by 27-percent.

Student achievement became a major factor in a teacher receiving tenure as part of the 2012 law.

 

With the rising cost of college tuition, many students are looking towards the internet to find ways to pay for school. GoFundMe Spokesperson Bobby Whithorne says nationally over the last three years, they’ve had over 130-thousand campaigns on their website raise over 60 million dollars for kids in college. Whithorne says the majority of the donations come from friends and family, as students share their GoFundMe campaign on Facebook and other social media sites. But he says there are complete strangers who contribute.

 

The Safety Net for Abused Persons for the greater New Iberia area announce they’re closing because of financial struggles. Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Mariah Wineski says they are working on plans for a new permanent facility. She says last year they provided over 90-thousand shelter nights to domestic violence victims around the state.

 

How are you planning to spend your tax refund? Well according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation, most people, especially millennials, won’t be spending returns, but instead saving. Denham Springs financial planner Matt Kennedy says younger people saw their parents suffer in the 2008 crash and don’t want to risk it. The survey says of 66-percent of those getting a refund, only 21-percent plan to spend it on everyday expenses.

 

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is reminding pet owners to be vigilant about your animal’s physical and emotional well-being when celebrating Mardi Gras. Dr. Nancy Welborn with the school advises parade goers to leave their pets at home because most dogs and cats aren’t used to those situations. Welborn says be mindful of what you’re feeding your pets. She says king cakes, jambalaya, and fired foods are not pet friendly snacks.

 

Sports..

 

After suffering their first loss of the season Tuesday night against UNO,  the LSU Tiger Baseball team Posted an 8-1 Win Over Hofstra last night. Coming up, the tigers face off against Maryland at the box this weekend.

 

Demarcus Cousins, aka Boogie, was officially introduced Wednesday as one of the newest members of the New Orleans Pelicans. The All-Star comes to The Big Easy from Sacramento and practiced with the Pels for the first time yesterday. Cousins says he’s excited about the opportunity to hit the court with fellow All-Star Anthony Davis. Cousins will suit up with the Pelicans for the first time tonight against Houston in the Smoothie King Center. Airtime 6:30 on ESPN1410 and 93.1 HD3.

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News for Wednesday 022217

By Dave Graichen

 

The City Of Alexandria says is was an equipment failure at the Willow Glen substation that caused a power outage that cut power to a large area of the city yesterday afternoon. The outage knocked out power to both Rapides Regional Medical Center and Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital.

 

23 year old Joseph James, one of the three Avoyelles Parish inmates who escaped late Saturday was caught early yesterday in Lafayette. James was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on a hold for Avoyelles Parish. He also was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon. James along with two other men, 22 year old Andre Stewart and 31 year old Blake Reine escaped around 10:30 p.m. Saturday from the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center #2 in Bunkie after they broke through a shower wall in their dormitory. James and Steward were serving time for armed robbery, while Reine was serving time for manslaughter.

 

It’s the final day of the special session and the major sticking point is how much of the rainy day fund to tap to resolve a $304 million midyear deficit. Governor Edwards and the Senate proposes using $99 million from the state’s savings account, but LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says House Republicans want the Senate to pass a bill that frees up statutory dedications in future budgets. Alford says it’s a possibility lawmakers will fail to pass a budget cutting plan by midnight. He says if that happens, the governor could call them back for yet another special session.

 

Tonia Cain, the wife of former Avoyelles Correctional Center warden, Nate Cain, turned herself in to authorities Tuesday. It’s alleged Tonia ordered the destruction of records after 30-thousand dollars from prison concession sales went missing. Cain’s attorney says her client is cooperating with the investigation.

 

Tonight’s Powerball jackpot has reached a whopping 403 million dollars, with a cash value of 244 million dollars. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kimberly Chopin says the last time the Powerball jackpot was won in Louisiana was in May 2013, where the jackpot was split between two other states.

 

Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, announces it’s purchasing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for one-point-eight billion dollars. Tulane Business Professor Mark Rosa believes Restaurant Brands will aggressively expand Popeyes to get a big return on their investment. Popeyes was founded in New Orleans in 1972.

 

The state Office of Group Benefits is considering a 50 dollar a month surcharge on health insurance premiums for state employees who use tobacco products. OGB chief executive officer Tommy Teague says individuals who receive health insurance through the state would be required to self-report if they are a smoker. The proposal would need to receive approval from a legislative oversight committee. Teague says this type of surcharge is already being used in the private sector. Teague says they are considering a surcharge because the Office of Group Benefits is facing a shortfall and they don’t want to raise premiums on all employees.

 

Senate President John Alario announces the special election to fill the District 2 seat vacated by former Senator Troy Brown has been set for April 29th. Brown resigned after some fellow members filed resolutions seeking to expel him over physical violence convictions against a girlfriend and wife. The qualifying period for the special election will be March 15-17.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards orders a full investigation into trips made by State Police officers, amid a report 4 troopers took side excursions during a business trip on the taxpayer’s dime. The Division of Administration’s auditor will conduct the probe. In response to the allegations, Col Mike Edmonson announced a number of disciplinary actions and policy changes.

 

A Baton Rouge contractor is now facing a slew of charges in multiple parishes after allegedly scamming dozens of August flood victims. Baton Rouge Police say the owner of Complete Construction, Matthew Morris, was booked on offenses including home improvement fraud, theft of assets of an aged person, and exploitation of the infirmed. Tuesday’s arrest comes less than two weeks after Morris was booked in Ascension Parish amid allegations he scammed 13 flood victims.

 

 

 

Sports.

 

The Tigers suffer their first loss of the season to UNO. The final score 11 to 8.  LSU returns to action tonight at home against Hofstra.  Airtime 6:30p on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3

 

In LSU Basketball, At the P-Mac last night LSU lost to Auburn 98 – 75 They’ll play next at Georgia Saturday Afternoon.

 

New Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins has arrived in New Orleans and is expected to begin practicing with his new team today. Jake Madison, who writes for the blog Bourbon Street, says the trade means Anthony Davis can move back to power forward, a position he’s more comfortable with.. The new look Pelicans will host Houston on Thursday night in a game that can be heard on espn1410 & 93.1 HD3. Airtime 6:30p

 

 

 

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