News for Thursday 013119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since one of the darkest days in the history of Louisiana sports, the NFC Championship loss against the LA Rams now known as the Bayou Burglary. Payton says teams encounter disappoints throughout the season, but as tough as this one is, they’ll get past it.
NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell addressed the controversial NFC Championship no-call yesterday at a press conference, saying he understands the fans’ frustrations, and that it was a “play we want to have called”. But, admitting it was a missed call, Goodell says he’s confident officiating in the NFL is better now than it has ever been.
A Pineville woman accused of voter intimidation of a U.S. Marshal has been found "not guilty" by a Rapides Parish jury. Linda Paul was indicted back in November of 2017 for allegedly intimidating U.S. Marshal Glenn Belgard as he was preparing to vote. However, Paul told the jury she had approached Belgard to discuss her son. Wednesday afternoon the jury agreed with Paul and found her not guilty.
The Pineville Police Department has arrested a Pineville man after a late night domestic violence incident that turned into a standoff between the suspect and police Tuesday night. Dennis is charged with aggravated domestic abuse battery, aggravated assault domestic abuse, aggravated assault with a firearm, 2nd degree kidnapping, domestic abuse strangulation, and resisting an officer.
According to the American Gaming Association, 1-in-6 viewers of the Super Bowl will have money on the game, with 52 percent betting on the Rams, and 48 percent betting on the Patriots. AGA spokesperson Sara Slane says that means there’s plenty of money up for grabs this Sunday. Legislation is likely to be introduced this year to have sports betting legalized in Louisiana. Slane says across the nation, eight out of ten people support the legalization of sports betting in their state.
Louisiana receives a failing grade on the American Lung Association’s Tobacco Control Report Card. One of the biggest reasons, Louisiana’s below average cigarette tax that sits at 1.08 cents a pack. Director of Advocacy Ashley Lyerly says if Louisiana were to double that per pack tax, the state would see a notable drop in the number of smokers.
The average national cigarette tax is 1.79 per pack of 20. The report notes 23 percent of Louisianans smoke, a habit that comes with a 1.89 billion dollar price tag, and over seven thousand deaths a year for the state.
Tulane researchers say current models estimating the level of sea level rise in low lying coastal areas are underestimating how quickly we’re sliding into the sea. Wetland scientist and grad student Molly Keogh says at the moment they believe we’re losing about a half inch of relative sea level every year, but it may be more than that, a problem that could have profound implications. Keogh says the general sea level is on the rise due to the usual suspects related to climate change, but Louisiana and other marshlands are particularly susceptible.
Gueydan High School in Vermilion Parish reopened today following a two-day closure for a bat infestation. The initial bat sightings lead school leaders to believe it was a small problem, but Vermilion Schools Superintendent Jerome Puyau says they learned there were about 600 bats inhabiting the school. Puyau says an expert had to be brought in to identify how the bats got into the area, as well as to execute a protocol for getting the bats out, as these types of bats are endangered.
28-year-old former Rayne High School coach Caitlyn Miceli has been cited for having sex with three of her students. But, because the students were all over the age of 18, the citation is a misdemeanor, Prohibited Sexual Conduct between an educator and student. The law is one that comes into effect when teachers sleep with a student who is of the legal age of consent.
There are reports LSU and head football coach Ed Orgeron are working on a contract extension. Sources say the precise details are still being finalized. Orgeron’s current deal runs through the 2021 season, guaranteeing Coach O $3.5 million yearly. Orgeron’s current base pay makes him the 36th highest paid head coach in college football, putting him in the bottom half of the SEC head coaches.