News for Wednesday 022719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
17 year old John Owens of Robeline was killed in a one vehicle accident yesterday afternoon on LA Hwy 485 North of Robeline. Evidence at the scene indicated that Owens lost control, at a high rate of speed, and exited the left side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with several trees. He died a short time later at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.
A Rapides grand jury has indicted three people for second-degree murder and other charges in the suspected murder case of a 25-year-old woman who suffered from cerebral palsy. 47 year old Karen Harrison, the mother of Cyra Harrison, is charged with second degree murder, conspiracy to commit second degree murder, cruelty to the infirmed, and cruelty to a juvenile. A couple that Harrison was living with, Glen and Marilyn Maricle, were also indicted on the same charges.
30 year old Dmarcus Hinkston of Alexandria was arrested in Grant Parish yesterday after he allegedly dropped a bag of cocaine on the floor of a business. Hinkston was charged with Possession of C.D.S. II (cocaine) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He also had outstanding warrants from the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Alexandria Police Department.
Governor John Bel Edwards is celebrating the news that Louisiana set another record high for total GDP in the third quarter of 2018. The state’s GDP rose to 252 billion in the third quarter, up 2.3 billion from the second. Department of Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says it’s part of a continued string of success stories for the state economy. Pierson says the numbers are even more impressive when you consider the negative impact a series of trade wars have had on Louisiana’s agricultural and export/import based economy.
Senator John Kennedy lit into the Louisiana Department of Health, demanding to know exactly how much money has been spent on Medicaid recipients who were found to be ineligible for the program. Kennedy says he would like the Legislator Auditor to find out how much was spent, but admits in the end the state may be unable to recoup the costs. 37,000 people were found income ineligible after a new computer system ran a check of the entire Medicaid database. The usual turnover in a given month is 18,000.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open over 30 bays on Bonnet Carrie Spillway in St. Charles Parish this morning and the flood control structure could remain open for the next month to relive pressure as the Mississippi River swells, threatening the New Orleans levee system. Colonel Michael Clancy says they’ve been in a flood fight since November 2nd. When the Spillway opens, it diverts a portion of the Mississippi’s flow into a seven mile long empty plain that drains into Lake Pontchartrain.
An attorney for the former LSU student charged with negligent homicide in the alleged hazing death of Maxwell Gruver has submitted new court filings that paint Gruver as a party animal who consumed alcohol and marijuana willingly on a daily basis. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Matthew Naquin’s lead attorney John McLindon latest filings argue that Gruver is responsible for his own death, adding a filing of this nature is likely admissible in this case.
Superintendent of Education John White slammed the governor’s budget for failing to include additional funding for early childhood education. Early childhood education has seen a rise in interest as a national movement has brought the issue into the limelight. White says expanding childcare assistance benefits the most vulnerable, working class families in the state. The waiting list for childcare assistance is 3,300 kids long, and could balloon to 9,800 if a federal subsidy expires this year.
Preliminary notifications have been sent out to representatives of both Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller and LSU basketball coach Will Wade that they will be subpoenaed for the April 22 federal basketball corruption trial following the FBI’s wide-ranging investigation into college basketball. The FBI has audio of both coaches in conversations with Christian Dawkins, a former agent who has since been implicated in paying players.
Northeast Louisiana has seen a 44 percent drop in the violent crime rate since 2016. The Western District of the US Attorney’s Office credits that drop with a new policy that busts criminals for firearms offenses, before they end up using that gun to commit a violent crime. Attorney David Joseph says most of those targeted under the new policy are drug dealers.
The 32-year-old mother of an Acadiana High student was arrested last week for posting a video on social media of two children fighting at the school will not be prosecuted. DA Keith Stutes says he has reviewed the case, and is not accepting the charges. Legal analyst Franz Borghardt says The charge of Unlawful Posting of Criminal Activity for Notoriety and Publicity is a relatively new law and has not been constitutionally challenged.
A Rodessa man has been arrested and faces multiple charges for sex crimes involving children following an investigation by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. 47-year-old Darin Chandler is accused of committing the offenses upon children ages 5 and 6. The total bond is set at a quarter million dollars. Chandler is charged with one count of first degree rape, two counts of sexual battery, and two counts of indecent behavior with juveniles.
The NFL’s competition committee was unable to reach a consensus on possible changes to the league’s replay system during a meeting in Indianapolis. New York Giants owner John Mara says there’s not a lot of support among committee members to expand reviewable calls, but that could change when the league’s owners get together next month in Phoenix. The Saints and even Governor John Bel Edwards have asked the league to change the rules, so that a blown no call would never cost a team a chance at playing for the Super Bowl.
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