News for Wednesday 021418
By Dave Graichen
The State Police report an accident yesterday morning on Highway 28 east of Gardner killed 79-year-old Imogene Jones of Ball. Troopers say she was traveling in the wrong lane when she struck a pickup truck head on. The driver of the truck, 45-year-old Joseph Bordelon of Alexandria sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Rapides Regional Trauma Center.
The Louisiana Family Forum is honoring the top ten Louisiana couples married the longest on this Valentine’s Day. For the third year in a row, the longest married couple is Lawrence and Varrie (Very) Player of Benton, married for 83 years. The second longest married couple is Wallace and Gladys Menard of Duson married for 79 years.
A survey ranks Louisiana 49th in well-being. The Bayou State only finished ahead of West Virginia in the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. Researcher Dan Witters says their survey found many in Louisiana are not proud of where they live or believe they are living in the good place. Witters says the Bayou State also ranks low in their index, because about a quarter of those surveyed admit not having enough money to buy food for their family. Witters says they asked Louisiana residents if they felt safe and secure in their community and most said no.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses says the Small Business Optimism Index set a record in January, with small business owners saying now is a good time to expand. Louisiana NFIB Director Dawn Starns says they have found owners are enthusiastic about investing the extra money they are getting from federal tax reform into their business. Starns says while it might be a good time to expand because of less federal taxes and regulations, small business owners are concerned about finding qualified workers for open positions.
A survey by offers-dot-com finds the average consumer will spend 55-dollars on Valentine’s Day this year. Spokesperson Sarah Hollenbeck says many will get their sweetheart something for their sweet tooth.
Chronic wasting disease in deer has been detected in Mississippi and Louisiana wildlife officials are concerned the fatal disease will end up in the Bayou State. A four-year-old buck was found dead of C-W-D near the Louisiana border. State Wildlife Veterinarian, Doctor Jim LaCour says East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parish landowners should curtail supplemental feeding of deer. C-W-D is similar to mad cow disease and L-D-W-F is working with Mississippi wildlife officials on sampling and containment. LaCour says there’s no evidence C-W-D can infect humans, but there are concerns about eating deer that had the disease.
Global sports entertainment leader Topgolf is coming to Baton Rouge in late 2018. The ten-million-dollar entertainment venue will feature 15-hundred square feet of private event space and 72 climate controlled hitting bays. Spokesperson Caroline Jerome says it is the ultimate family experience. It will bring 325 jobs to Baton Rouge.
The Baldwin Police Department was heavily damaged and a prisoner was injured after a fire yesterday afternoon. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says it will be a while before normal operations can resume as the police department sustained quite a bit of damage. Browning says they continue to conduct interviews and will talk with the jailed man when he has sufficiently recovered.
Panola Pepper and Providence Foods founder Grady Wyly “Bubber” Brown Sr. will be laid to rest today. The 83-year-old from Lake Providence died Saturday. Panola Pepper was founded in 1983 so that Brown’s farmhands would have work through the winter. Lake Providence Mayor Bobby Amacker says he made the first batch on his mother’s stovetop. Amacker says Brown’s death leaves a big hole in the community