News for Friday 052518
By Dave Graichen
The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fatality that occurred Thursday morning at the Proctor and Gamble Plant in Pineville. Officials say an explosion involving a fork truck claimed the life of the driver and injured 6 other people. The man killed in the accident has been identified as 56 year old Allen Kendrick of Jena. It's the first fatal accident in the plant's 49-year history.
There’s now a 70-percent chance over the next 24 to 48 hours we can see our first tropical system of the year. Invest 90L, the low-pressure system in the west Caribbean, is starting to get a narrower prediction track, and more confidence that it will grow into a tropical depression or storm. State Climatologist Barry Keim says nasty weather could start to pop up nearby as early as Saturday, but Keim says they expect the system to really hit starting next week.
NOAA says their forecast for the upcoming hurricane season calls for a near-normal or above normal hurricane season and that means anywhere between 10 and 16 named storms. The federal government’s lead forecaster, Doctor Gerry Bell, says the severity of Atlantic hurricane seasons have been increasing since 1995.
Amidst increased Memorial Day weekend travel, Louisiana Troopers are partnering with Mississippi Highway Patrol in a new highway safety initiative called “Line to Line.” Trooper Dustin Dwight says more troopers on the road will hopefully reduce the number of crashes and help respond time. Trooper Dwight says the goal of the program is to keep motorists safe during increased travel times.
House GOP Caucus Chairman Lance Harris’s tax bill passed House Ways and Means and is on it’s way to the floor. The proposal would retain one third of the expiring penny sales tax, as well as a few other sales tax breaks, and cut government spending by 126 million dollars. Harris’s legislation would raise 366 million dollars in revenue.
Harris says the proposal does not fill the 648 million dollar budget gap that has brought legislators into the second special session of the year. The Alexandria Republican says it’s time to start cutting government spending.
House Republicans voted down the administration’s favored plan, New Iberia representative Terry Landry’s tax bill, would have raised 543 million dollars. The special session ends June 4th.
The state Board of Regents has approved a license for a new medical school on the ULM campus. President Nick Bruno says its great news for northeast Louisiana and the entire state, because there’s a projected 19-percent shortfall in the number of physicians needed in the coming years.
An America’s Health Rankings has Louisiana ranked dead last in the nation for the quality of senior’s health. The report detailed the particularly perilous situation that many of Louisiana’s rural seniors find themselves in, relative to urban based elderly. Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says after identifying two major problem areas, social isolation and obesity, she hopes the report can spur people into action. In the six years the report has been released, Louisiana has never ranked higher than 47th.
Red Snapper season is now underway, with a two fish bag limit and 16 inch catch minimum in place for anglers looking to head out on the waters. This season should be even more convenient than past years, as federal waters have been ceded to the state. The season will run seven days a week until 743,000 pounds are harvested.
In LSU Baseball, The Tigers beat South Carolina last night to advance in the SEC tournament. They will play next this evening around 6p, the looser of the Arkansas / Florida game, which will take place earlier in the day.
The Boston Celtics could wrap up the NBA eastern Conference finals tonight with a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gametime 6 pm on 94.7 ESPN
Last Night, it was the Houston Rockets coming alive and taking a 3 game to 2 advantage in the NBA West Finals. That series could be decided tomorrow night.