News for Wednesday 112818
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Pineville High School was evacuated for a short period of time yesterday, after what school officials called an “electrical malfunction” in the Heating and A/C unit in one classroom. Parents were notified and students returned to classes after an short period of time.
Two proposed ordinances on the Alexandria City Council agenda that sparked controversy on social media have been removed just hours before they were to be voted on yesterday. The first ordinance would have broadened the definition of retired unclassified employees specifically for health insurance plans. Essentially, the change would have allowed employees, who meet certain criteria and are no longer employed with the city, to stay on the city’s health insurance plan with no employer contributions. That means former employees would have to pay 100 percent of the cost to stay on the health plan. A second item was also removed from the agenda. It was an ordinance that would keep current rules in place for the city’s 457 retirement plan.
Governor Edwards’ plans to fund 43 million dollars in additional projects for the year are on hold after Representative Cameron Henry put a stop to the Revenue Estimating Committee’s plans to improve the state’s revenue forecast at a Committee meeting. Henry says he disagreed with the REC’s projections that the state’s revenue situation has improved. The Edwards’ administration was hoping to use a better forecast to authorize tens of millions in additional spending for Corrections, Sheriffs, and Juvenile Justice, among other items.
Time is running out for Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance will lapse if a sought after six month extension is not passed by Friday. Senator John Kennedy says they’re working towards an extension, but there’s some lawmakers who are trying to kill the program, permanently. Kennedy says the opposition is not partisan, but geographical, comprised of leaders from non-flood-prone states.
Former Congressional candidate and Democrat Justin DeWitt was fired less than two days after his failed attempt to unseat Garret Graves in Louisiana’s 6th District. DeWitt worked as a surveyor for Baton Rouge based SJB Group, which a report says is owned by Republican Wilfred Barry. DeWitt says after receiving a performance raise in July, and a performance bonus in October, the decision came as a shock. The Democrat says he’s approached the DA about criminal charges.
Early voting for the Secretary of State’s election run-off set for December 8th is off to a slow start. JMC Analytics Pollster John Couvillon says the 31,000 early votes in the first two days are likely due to the fact that most folks aren’t even aware that there is an election less than two weeks away. The run-off features Republican Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin and Democratic Minister Gwen Collins-Greenup.
The West Monroe Police Department have arrested a person of interest during the course of a suspicious death investigation. 31-year-old Shomari Clemons facing charges of mutilating, disinterring the human remains of his grandmother. Why? Authorities aren’t saying anything yet.
The Supreme Court sides with a St. Tammany landowner who argued a portion of his land was wrongfully deemed critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, by forcing the lower courts to re-evaluate their previous decision. The landowner’s lawyer, Mark Miller says they’ll get to state their case that making the land livable for the frog would be an undue burden. Wildlife and Fisheries argues that the land, which is just across the border from where the frogs currently reside in Mississippi, will be crucial for the future survival of the species.
Louisiana sees many productions around the state for television shows and motion pictures. Now a recently released film, Green Book, is getting attention for possibly being an Oscar contender.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. The headline says its time to rethink Drew Brees and it also says please stop calling Brees an underdog. Writer Greg Bishop calls Brees one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest, who’s ever lived.
The Pelicans lost their fourth straight last night as they fell to Boston 124 to 107 Monday night. New Orleans hosts Washington tomorrow night. You can hear the game beginning at 6:30 on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron says some unprofessional acts occurred after the seven overtime loss to Texas A-and-M. Coach O spoke with the 94.6 ESPN Radio show Off the Bench. Video shows a credentialed member of the Aggies staff shoving Kragthorpe during what should have been a postgame hand shake. Kragthorpe has Parkinson’s Disease and a pacemaker and Orgeron says that should not have happened.