News for Friday 101218
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The Town Talk reports an agreement has been reached to strengthen the area of the Red River levee in Pineville that's eroding. The Red River Waterway Commission, the Red River Atchafalaya & Bayou Boeuf Levee District and the city of Pineville are pooling resources to fix the levee, which is eroding to the point where officials are worried that it could cause a collapse of Riverside Drive. All parties involved say it is not a perfect plan, but it is at least a temporary fix to a serious problem.
Vidalia’s Police Chief says he is not ready yet to upgrade charges against a man who’s large dogs brutally attacked a 74-year-old woman. Malinda Nation died Sunday almost a month after the attack. Chief Joey Merrill says he wants to know for sure the cause of the woman’s death before making any changes to the charges. 53 year old Leslie Jones has been charged with negligent injuring and letting dogs run at large.
Over the past two weeks, sheriff’s detectives from the Deville and Kolin Substation have been investigating several burglaries in the Deville area. Yesterday around 5 a.m., detectives located a suspect's vehicle on Nation Road. It’s believed that the suspect, Shane Evans, fled into the woods in the area of Ida Wells. After searching for several hours, authorities called off the search and began securing warrants for Evan's arrest. The RPSO says If you see Evans, please call 911.
The APD reports the arraignment for Kayla Giles has been delayed a week. Giles is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, in the Walmart parking lot on Coliseum Boulevard on September 8, Giles will now be arraigned on October 22, the same date as a bond reduction hearing and when several standard court motions will be heard.
The State Fire Marshal’s team is on the scene just east of Panama City, where the eyewall of Hurricane Michael came ashore, bringing untold amounts of devastation. Fire Marshal Butch Browning says much of the work is just getting people out of their storm surge ravaged homes and over to shelter. The team is working with a task force comprised of first responders from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.
Tiger Stadium is sold out as LSU and Georgia meet for the first time since 2008. Georgia has sold all of its 6,000-ticket allotment for the game making Saturday one of the largest game day crowds ever on campus. LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette recommends fans arrive early in the morning to reduce traffic. The showdown between the Tigers and Bulldogs will kick off at 2:30 PM.
The Corp of Engineers is about to be on the path to some major changes under new legislation that’s nearly been set into law. The America’s Water Infrastructure act reforms the Corp, and gives states the option to take more direct controls of flood prevention and hurricane protection projects. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says this could speed up nearly 100 billion in backlogged projects. The law has been sent to the President’s desk, and he’s expected to sign it soon.
The Secretary of State’s office is appealing the decision by The Office of State Procurement voiding a multi-million dollar contract that would have replaced the state’s aging voting machines. Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says the Edwards administration rejected the contract, because a lobbyist for a losing bidder is a supporter of the governor. Ardoin is one of nine candidates seeking election to the Secretary of State’s post. The election is November sixth.
A meter reader for Entergy has been fired after falsifying meter readings and now about four-thousand Entergy customers in southeast Louisiana are experiencing sticker shock with their latest bills. Entergy Vice President of Distribution Melonie Stewart says they are giving customers many months to pay the heavy bill.
LSU President F. King Alexander is defending the university’s decision to use a holistic admission standards, in the wake of reports that 7.5 percent of the freshman class did not meet traditional GPA or ACT requirements. Alexander says while the new policy will help high out of state achievers make it to Baton Rouge, it won’t keep out locals. Previously the board of regents allowed for four percent of students to fall below the requirements.
Governor John Bel Edwards is taking a trip to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in partnership with the National Governor’s Association. The governor will be taking Bayou businessmen, researchers, and other officials on a trip to try and spur some economic development with the small Mediterranean nation. A major aim of the trip is cyber security, an industry that Israel is known for. The governor will leave for the trip on October 26th.
New Medicare cards will be on their way to Louisianan who get their healthcare from the feds. The new cards come with a few changes to better protect beneficiary’s identities and fight fraud. Regional Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services Jeff Hinson says when the new card comes in, the old card needs to be destroyed.
Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone says he will run for governor next year. The founder of an industrial contracting company has long been a prominent state Republican donor, and Jeremy Alford of La-Politics-dot-com says around the state capitol, he’s shown great interest in education issues. Rispone plans to make a full campaign announcement soon.
Louisiana State Police have arrested a Baton Rouge man after he threatened to kill troopers and other law enforcement officers during a traffic stop. 42-year-old Melvin Amar, Jr. was pulled over when he was observed driving a pickup truck with no tag and he was not wearing a seatbelt. Trooper Bryan Lee says during the course of the stop, Amar started making threats against law enforcement by referencing the 2016 Baton Rouge Police shooting that left three officers dead during an ambush. Amar was transported to the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail and was found to be in possession of marijuana and Xanax.
LSU looks to knock off unbeaten Georgia on Saturday. Georgia leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 245 yards a game. Coach O says it will be a tough task trying to slow them down, but he say it can be done.
The Ragin Cajuns host New Mexico State on Saturday for homecoming. The Aggies are coming off a bye week and they have won their last two games, after dropping their first four games of the season.