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News for Friday 072718
Compiled By Dave Graichen
A federal judge’s ruling allows for the removal of a confederate monument in front of the Caddo Parish courthouse. Judge Robert James dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Daughters of the Confederacy, who said the parish couldn’t remove the monument because it sat on private property. Caddo Parish Commissioner Steven Jackson says placing the monument in front of a courthouse was highly inappropriate because of the effect it could have had on the proceedings taking place inside court of law.
Louisiana has hit a rough patch for weather this summer, but the state’s had a much needed heat reprieve these last few days after a brutal weekend, but forecasts say that’s about to change. State Climatologist Barry Keim says humidity levels are set to spike coming up soon. Portions of the state are also suffering from a drought.
The US House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act which provides the largest pay raise for troops in nine years. Congressman Ralph Abraham says the pay raises doesn’t just help soldiers, but communities that house military bases too.
The legislation also contains 295-million dollars to update B-52 bombers, which frequently take off at Barksdale Air force Base. There’s also 12-million dollars for a new entrance to Barksdale, so a nuclear weapons storage facility can be built there.
The preparation is underway for the next voice of the Saints as Zach Strief transitions from the playing field to the press box. Strief, who has no previous broadcasting experience, spent a more than a decade as an offensive tackle with the black and gold. Strief says he looks forward to working with Deuce McAllister on commentary and says his hope is that this is something truly special to be shared with the Who Dat Nation.
Two Rookie New Orleans Police Officers who were fired from their jobs after allegedly severely beating a regular at a mid-city bar in New Orleans could be facing some stiff charges as a result of the incident. Spencer Sutton and John Galman were initially booked on one count of simple battery in relation to the act, where they allegedly harassed George Gomez about his citizenship, accusing him of being a “fake American”. Gomez says he is American, and has served in the Louisiana National Guard. NOPD says those charged could be upgraded.
After initial reports began to surface on the case of a body being discovered with the hands and feet bound together with rope in a bayou on Sunday, the death seemed suspicious. However, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office representative .Lt. Brennan Matherne says it appears self-inflicted with a lack of evidence that ties anyone else to his death because he did not appear to be robbed.
The physical and psychological abuse of an autistic woman held captive for a year in Tangipahoa Parish included forcing her to eat both dog feces and her mother's ashes, attempted sex trafficking and numerous beatings, that according to charges issued Thursday against five Amite residents in federal court in New Orleans. When officers found the 22-year-old woman, identified in the court documents only as D.P., in June 2016 she was malnourished, covered in insect bites and living in a 6-by-8-foot chicken-wire cage outside a Rushing Lane home.
The Louisiana state trooper who opened fire on a teenager in Baton Rouge this month had been wearing a "defective" body camera that did not record the shooting, that according to a release from trooper's on Thursday. The attorney, Floyd Falcon, contends that body-camera footage would help to exonerate Trooper Kasha Domingue.
The Attorney insists Domingue had "reported it as not working" to her supervisors.
The New Orleans Saints violated federal labor law by failing to pay overtime wages to the former personal assistant of late owner Tom Benson, according to an NFL arbitrator who this week ordered the team to cough up nearly $400,000. The arbitrator ordered the Saints to pay $100,000 in overtime to the ex-aide, Rodney Henry, as well as a fee of about $105,000 that Henry's contract guaranteed him if he was dismissed by someone other than Benson. Arbitrator Harold Henderson also tacked on nearly $190,000 to cover Henry’s attorneys’ fees during a legal battle that began three years ago when Henry was fired.
Fifty years ago, there wasn’t a single brown pelican to be found in the pelican state. The demise of the population can be traced back to the use of the pesticide DDT. But the population of the bird has since rebounded with more than 100,000 throughout Louisiana. LDWF Nongame Bird Biologist Michael Seymour says the rejuvenation effort began in the late 1960s and he credits the successful repopulation of the species in major part to the Endangered Species Act.
In Beauregard Parish officials began performing homestead audits this week to weed out unqualified exemptions. On Monday, DeRidder City Council members voted unanimously to enter a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Sheriff’s Office, Police Jury, town of Merryville and the School Board to execute a homestead exemption mapping system. The initiative will seek to identify properties erroneously designated as exempt and to facilitate the collection of property taxes.
The Saints began training camp today with Super Bowl aspirations. Last year, New Orleans struggled on punt returns. Coach Sean Payton says that will be a point of emphasis, plus there are new kick-off rules to learn.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has a new look as he’s wearing a helmet designed to reduce concussions. Brees says the helmet he wore last year is not up to NFL standards. The veteran Q-B says the change is no big deal.
High school sports officials from around Louisiana are getting ready to meet up in the Big Easy, in what is estimated to be the largest event of its type in the state’s history. LHSAA Director of Officials Lee Sanders says Officiate Louisiana’s goal is to add more sports officials to their rankings, adding they are looking for younger talent as the average age of officials has been on the rise the last two decades.
On the air…
The Houston Astros begin a three game series against the Texas Rangers tonight. Airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.