News for Thursday 062118
By Dave Graichen
A vote on the House floor is expected today on three different sales tax bills that raise different amounts of money and they renew up to a half-cent of an expiring one-cent sales tax. Governor John Bel Edwards remains optimistic one of those bills will reach his desk, if not significant cuts will occur. The fiscal cliff arrives on July 1st and this third special session must conclude Wednesday. It will take 70 votes on the House floor today for these sales tax bills to advance to the Senate.
US Representative Ralph Abraham of Richland Parish has cosponsored legislation to expand I-14 into Central Louisiana and Mississippi. I-14 currently ends a few miles west of Temple, Texas. Abraham says the legislation is waiting for a hearing in a House committee and it has the support of congressmen from Texas and Mississippi.
Students held a rally outside the State Capitol on Wednesday evening to demand that legislators provide adequate state aid for colleges and universities. The gathering took place on the third day of a 10-day special session aimed at solving Louisiana's latest budget crisis, this one a $648 million shortfall. Many of the students wore t-shirts with the names of schools they could have attended, or might attend, if the Legislature fails to resolve money problems.
The separation of families coming into the United States illegally is causing a firestorm of controversy across the nation. President Trump has signed an executive order to allow children to stay with parents attempting to cross the border unlawfully. US Representative Ralph Abraham says he supports President Trump’s efforts. Abraham says he co-sponsored the Goodlatte-McCaul Bill. While he believes it could solve many of the border issues, he feels that there may not be enough support to pass the bill.
State utility regulators Wednesday allowed a northwest Louisiana electric company to purchase part of the nation’s largest wind-power project. The $4.5 billion “Wind Catcher” project in the Oklahoma panhandle began construction last December and is expected to start generating electricity in 2020. The PSC allowed Shreveport-based SWEPCO, to increase customers’ monthly bills to pay for a portion of the wind farm’s power.
59-year-old Gerald Manning is a free man today after spending 41 years in prison for the 1977 murder of Vonda Harris. Manning was just 17 years old at the time of the homicide and his attorney Kristen Wenstrom says recent DNA testing has exonerated him of the murder that even the victim’s family doesn’t think he committed. Manning plans to live with his mother in Monroe.
After many years as the nation’s leading jailer, Louisiana has ceded that title to Oklahoma. The Sooner State now incarcerates 719 people per 100,000 residents, compared with 712 per 100,000 residents in Louisiana. Both states remain solidly above all others in prisoners per capita. Mississippi, Arizona and Arkansas rounded out the top five incarcerating states as of 2016, according to federal Bureau of Justice figures.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has paid more than a half-million dollars to settle claims that a longtime deacon and teacher repeatedly raped an altar boy at Holy Rosary School in New Orleans more than three decades ago. The settlement, paid this month, brought a swift conclusion to a lawsuit filed earlier this year that accused the archdiocese of allowing a "sexual predator" to work among children in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and doing "nothing to intervene and prevent such misconduct from occurring."
A State Police trooper has been arrested on allegations that he raped a 16-year-old girl in New Orleans. Thirty-six-year-old Lander Journee was booked on third-degree rape and posted a 25-thousand dollar bond. He’s been placed on administrative leave.
A 34 year old Baton Rough father of four died at the hospital Tuesday from gunshot injuries that police say were the result of an argument over a dice game that took a violent turn. A warrant has been issued for a 22 year old man in connection with the shooting.
RPSO Detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a suspect in a church burglary. On June 16, a suspect burglarized the Church of God located off of Alabama Drive in Pineville. Multiple electronic items were taken. The suspect in the surveillance images is described as a black male, approximately 5’7” tall, with multiple tattoos. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities. You can find the video images on the KALB TV5 website.
A Florida man has been convicted of attempted manslaughter in the stabbing of his passenger on I-49 last summer. On Wednesday, opening arguments wrapped and the first witnesses were called in the trial of Edwin Paul Frinks, Jr., who was arrested last July and indicted on a charge of attempted second degree murder. He will be sentenced July 23.
Five star cornerback and the nation’s number one recruit according to Rivals-dot-com, Derek Stingley Junior of Baton Rouge, announced today he plans on signing with LSU in in December. Instead of holding a press conference, with hats of different schools in front of him, the Dunham High football star announced his decision with a video message on Twitter.
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