News for Wednesday January 22nd, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Alexandria City Council voted on Tuesday night to move forward with an outside consultant to look at the city's current utilities system. Mayor Jeff Hall says work with Kyte Consulting could take upwards of several months, then requests for proposals will be sent out. Mayor Hall says the system evaluation is no different than what other administrations have done in the past.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office announced yesterday that scammers are at it again and this time the scammers are impersonating members of the RPSO. The scammer will pretend that they have active warrants for your arrest. The caller will likely identify themselves using the name of a known RPSO deputy, complete with a number associated with the department. Bottom line, RPSO says law enforcement will never contact you by phone and threaten arrest in lieu of payment. Nor will they inquire about personal information such as your date of birth, social security number, home address, etc. If you receive such a call, hang up and report it to the Sheriff’s Department.
An Alexandria man has been arrested after a nine-month-old was found unresponsive Monday. The infant was transported to Rapides Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead at the hospital. 21 year old Devonte Stafford was arrested and charged with first degree murder and booked into the Rapides Parish Jail. The APD says the investigation is ongoing..
Northwest Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson is named to President Trump’s impeachment defense team in the ongoing Senate removal trial. The Congressman expects the President will be swiftly acquitted of the two impeachment charges.
Governor John Bel Edwards signals support for splitting the vacant LSU Presidency back into two jobs of leadership, one governing the Baton Rouge campus, and one running the other campuses. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says former President F. King Alexander’s expanded responsibilities happened in 2012 and were as a result of consolidation during the Jindal years. Erwin says if the old model is brought back, it’s a chance to hire people with different skillsets for both Chancellor and President, as each job caters to different students and facilities.
Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign loads up on renowned Louisiana political operatives for its push to win the state’s April 4th primary. Former Edwards Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Carbo is now the campaign’s State Director. He says the team will have a substantial presence in Louisiana. Bloomberg is currently polling 5th in the race nationally after a late entry. No Louisiana primary polls exist yet.
News yesterday from ESPN that Joe Burrow will be represented by Creative Arts Agency Sports. The Heisman winner and likely Number one NFL draft pick will be represented by the same agency that represents Drew Brews and Zion Williamson.
Zion Williamson is set to make his long-awaited NBA debut tonight when the Pelicans host the San Antonio Spurs. Williamson was expected to return six to eight weeks after undergoing his surgery in October. But he has missed half of the season as the trainers used the time to get Zion’s entire body ready for the NBA grind. New Orleans has won 10 of its last 14, and is only 3.5 games out of the playoffs. Hear the game beginning at 8 tonight on 94.7 ESPN.
Despite a pay raise for teachers last year, the average salary for a Louisiana educator remains below the southern regional average. Governor John Bel Edwards has indicated it may take the rest of his term to hit that target. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says teachers can’t wait that long. The LFT will pressure lawmakers for an additional pay bump. Louisiana’s average teacher pay is just over $50,000, about $1,800 shy of the regional average and Carter says it is important to close that gap now. The state has about 50,000 public school teachers.
Former New Orleans State Senator Wesley Bishop pleads guilty to making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development about renting out his property when he received a post-Katrina Road Home grant in 2012. Bishop received 188,000 dollars from HUD for renting the property at low rates, but evidence arose that no one had lived at the property since at least 2013.
The US Environmental Protection Agency announces a regulatory program aimed at reducing emissions from heavy-duty engines and vehicles, the first update to standards in nearly two decades. Regional administrator Ken McQueen says this is an opportunity to modernize the heavy-duty program. The changes will take place with the 2027 model year.