News for Thursday 101719
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s office has charged a 71-year-old Alexandria man with two counts of first-degree murder for the 1989 deaths of his wife and her friend. Lt Stephen Phillips says Robert Blair was responsible for the disappearances of 34-year-old Isabelle Blair and 31-year-old Marian Coutee after finding a vehicle in a pond on a piece of property that once belonged to Robert Blair… Phillips says a detective assigned to the case 30 years ago received some new information about two months ago, which led to a search of the pond that turned up the vehicle. On Tuesday, Robert Blair was taken into custody without incident. His bond has been set at two-million dollars.
An area of low pressure just off the southern Mexican coast has a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression and possibly a storm according to the National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service Slidell Meteorologist Michael Hill says forecasts show the system moving away from Mexico, and heading towards the central Gulf coast this weekend. And Hill says depending on which way the storm tilts over the next two days, we could be looking at a very wet weekend.
Ville Platte City Marshal Ronald "Big T" Doucet has died. Doucet started his political career over 20 years ago when he was elected to the Evangeline Parish Police Jury. There he served the citizens of Evangeline Parish for 13 years. In 2008 Big T decided to run for Ville Platte City Marshal where he became the first African American to hold that position. Doucet led the Marshal's office for 11years. Doucet was 51-years-old.
Bill pay scammers are back in action taking advantage of Cleco customers through fraudulent phone calls that demand immediate payment and threaten disconnection of power. Individuals who appear knowledgeable of a customer's account call demanding payment of an electric bill using a pre-paid card. The caller will even tell customers where to buy the cards. Cleco says they would never require a customer to purchase a Pre-Paid card to pay their bill. Cleco says if you receive a call that raises doubt, hang up the phone immediately, and call Cleco's toll free number not the number given by the caller.
The aunt of a two year that died after being left in a vehicle on October 4th in St. Charles Parish has been charged with negligent homicide. Police say the woman told them she thought someone else took her niece inside, but the child was left in the car in Destrehan while the aunt was shopping in Metairie.
New Orleans officials are racing against the clock to bring down damaged cranes attached to the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel before the possible arrival of a tropical system this weekend. Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s meeting with his modified unified command group in New Orleans at 1 o’clock to figure out what to do about the two cranes that are dangerously close to collapsing. New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell says if they can’t get the cranes down in time, the heavy winds and rains from the system could send them careening into nearby structures.
A video posted on Facebook by a local contractor purports to show the concrete slab above an upper level of the since-collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans sagging to the point of bending the temporary posts supporting it. Randy Gaspard, a local concrete contractor, said the video was shot by a worker on Oct. 10, two days before the structure pancaked from the top Saturday morning, killing at least two workers. Gaspard said he received the video from the worker who took it. That worker, who narrated in Spanish, had some choice words for the engineering work as he panned across the open floor to show signs of failure. And fail it did.
KALB reports a former deputy is suing the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office for allegedly suggesting he retire when he asked for a health accommodation, and firing him when he refused to retire. Jerry McKinney, who worked for RPSO for twenty years at the Rapides Parish Courthouse metal detector station, suffered a stroke in November 2017. He had some impairment but he continued to work his 8-hour shifts at the Courthouse til the following November. That’s when McKinney was transferred to a 12-hour shift at the Rapides Parish Detention Center. When McKinny wrote a formal request for accommodation, requesting another job with an 8-hour shift, Allegedly, Sheriff Hilton replied that there were no other positions McKinney was qualified for and that they feel it is time for him to retire. When he refused, he was fired, five days before Christmas. McKinney filed a suit in federal court, saying that RPSO violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.
High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the education field can now take a special progression of courses focused on building the skills needed for the job. Assistant Superintendent of Student Opportunities with the Department of Education Ken Bradford says students can take classes that are a part of collegiate level teacher prep programs. Bradford hopes the pre-education pathway will elevate education profession as a career option.
A report says coastal southeastern parishes could see significant economic benefits from the planned construction of the mid-Barataria and mid-Breton sediment diversion projects. The study, by Dr. Loren Scott and Associates, says the projects will generate three billion dollars in regional sales and support 4,000 new jobs. Restore the Mississippi Delta Director Steve Cochran says it’s a win-win. The two projects will cost 1.8 billion dollars to complete.
Polling data conducted for a foundation that aims to improve the quality of life in and around East Baton Rouge show that only 8% of area parents want their children to stay in the parish when they are adults, with many saying they don't believe there are enough job opportunities to make it worth sticking around. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation released its annual City Stats data Tuesday.
Game Four of the American League Championship Series rained out last night in the New York. The Astros and the Yankees will meet tonight to continue the series. Here that game starting at 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN. Last night’s game will be made up Friday night. If necessary, games six and seven will be played in Houston this weekend. The Astros lead the series 2 to 1.
Freshman LSU cornerback Derek Stingley has emerged as one of LSU’s best players on defense. He received SEC Freshman of the Week honors after coming up with a crucial interception against Florida.
The Ragin Cajuns face the Arkansas State Red Wolves tonight in a battle between two teams in the Sun Belt Conference.