News for Monday 021819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says Louisiana flood control and prevention project funding will not be effected by the President’s declaration of a national emergency. The declaration allows funds to be redirected from military construction projects towards building up the southern border wall. Graves says they convinced the White House to take money from other projects. 3.6 billion of the reported eight billion dollars the President is seeking to pool for the wall will come from construction projects.
But, Graves says progress on projects like the Comite River Diversion and other vital flood protection efforts will proceed as usual despite the national emergency.
President Trump is taking up Senator Bill Cassidy’s plan to fund additional border wall construction using money seized from drug and cartel busts at the border. This comes as a national emergency has been declared to raise additional money for wall construction. Cassidy says his legislation is good public policy. The President is seeking to raise 8 billion dollars for the wall, and 600 million of that reportedly comes from the Treasury’s Forfeiture Fund, which is made up of seized funds from illicit activities. Cassidy says his solution to the ongoing border wall funding battle is a long term fix that is self-funding…
FBI and IRS investigators had enough information to convince a federal grand jury that a Baton Rouge accountant allegedly stole almost 2 million dollars from the New Orleans firefighters pension fund. The Advocate newspaper reports that Wayne Triche of American Pension Consultants, now faces a 38 count indictment. The federal grand jury indictment states that Triche used the money for gambling, credit card debts, various living expenses and home improvements. If convicted Triche could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' plan to boost teacher pay to the regional average is facing headwinds before the legislative debate even begins on April 8. Governors in at least eight other states that Louisiana is compared have proposed raising pay for their own teachers this year, that according to the Southern Regional Education Board, which sets the average. Those plans include raises of $3,000 in Georgia, $1,000 in Arkansas and $1,200 in Oklahoma. In addition, six rival states raised teacher pay last year while Louisiana remained bogged down in a budget crisis that sparked seven special sessions.
The Ethics Board has reversed a November decision to bar a Baton Rouge woman who was running for office from using campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses. There was a public outcry over the decision, due to the board previously allowing men to do it.
The recent high profile hazing case that that resulted in the arrest of 9 LSU students from incidents in the Fall of 2018 has many wondering what it will take to end the hazing culture on college campuses. Founder of HazingPrevention.org Tracy Maxwell says it is important to remember the elimination of hazing will take time. Maxwell says the swift action taken to address the situation is a step in the right direction.
Ouchita (WASH-IT-AW) Correction Center officials inspecting letters discovered synthetic marijuana had been sprayed on a page they think was intended to reach inmates. Among the seven people arrested was 25 year old Andriana Massey who faces charges of taking contraband to a penal institution and criminal conspiracy.
The Monroe News Star reports that correction officials reviewed a February 7th phone call conversation Massey had with 27 year old inmate Michael Warren. Another Ouchita Corrections inmate, Ashton Finely also called Massey to request a letter be sent to him.
After three and a half days in the courtroom, a jury has found a 19 year old man not guilty of murder in the stabbing death of a St. Amant High School Student. Jacob Westbrook was 16 at the time when he got into altercation that would leave 18-year old Todd TJ Toups Jr. dead. Westbook’s attorney says the jury agreed that Westbrook acted in self-defense.
Drivers in the Shreveport-Bossier City area can expect intermittent lane closures for both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Texas Street Bridge starting Wednesday. OTD spokesperson Erin Buchanan says the bridge which is part of US 80 was built in the 1930s and is in need of rehabilitation. Buchanan warns drivers to expect delays in their commute for at least the next year as the project continues.
There was a shooting death in New Orleans Saturday morning about 4:30 am beneath the Interstate 10 bridge near the Central Business District. The Advocate newspaper reported another man was killed by gunfire earlier in February at the same intersection. Also Two teen age boys were shot Friday night on the porch of home on Louisiana Avenue Parkway. Both injuries were non-life threatening.
An ATM technician was arrested by Louisiana State Police after allegedly stealing over $41,000 from ATMs across eight parishes. NOLA.com reports that 32 year old Christian Washington of Harvey, was placed under arrest and faces charges in parishes including Jefferson, Orleans, Washington, St. Tammany, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa and Lafourche parishes. Washington’s job was to service those ATMs.
Three people were shot at a rap party that was under law enforcement supervision early Saturday morning in Ascension Parish. About 250 people were at a dance studio in Donaldsonville for the party when a fight broke out about 1 a.m. Shortly after the fight started and deputies rushed in to break it up, multiple shots "coming from all directions" rang out and people began to flee the scene. The Sheriff’s office says no one received life threatening injuries.
The New Orleans Pelicans made a dramatic cut to their roster… the team’s General Manager Dell Demps. Bourbon Street Shots writer Jesse Brooks says Demps was on borrowed time after the Anthony Davis demanded to be traded off the team a few weeks ago. Owner Gayle Benson released a statement saying “I would like to assure our fans that I am prepared to provide any, and all, resources required to compete for championships.”
The LSU Tiger Baseball Team is off to a good start after finishing it’s opening weekend undefeated. Up next, Tuesday night the Tigers meet Southeastern LA 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The three main sports of LSU are seeing a really great year. Football finished last season ranked in the top ten and recently scored the 5th ranked recruiting class, while basketball is seeing a promising season and things are looking promising on the diamond, as baseball started their season with top ranking. Tiger Rag Associate Editor Tyler Nunez says it’s a rare occurrence for the planets to align for so much athletic success. Nunez says the credit for such success is definitely spread all throughout the athletic department.