News for Tuesday 071619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
People around Louisiana spent Monday surveying the aftermath of Hurricane Barry. Many are feeling they dodged a bullet. The main issue facing homes and businesses in the Southern part of the state is power outages. Entergy has 24,000 customers without power, down from 89,000. Cleco, who at one point had over 63,000 customers without power, now has less than 12,000. Cleco spokesperson Jennifer Cahill says crews are working feverishly to get power back to 100%
Governor Edwards is praising the state’s level of readiness in the face of Barry but wants to remind folks that “This is just the beginning of Hurricane Season, and we have a long way to go.” The Governor singled out some impressive feats, such as a record breaking 900,000 sandbags distributed statewide. Edwards says one thing that really inspired confidence for the next storm was how well the state’s levee systems held up. He says not a single levee was breached, with only a few even being overtopped.
President Trump is taking some heat for a statement he tweeted over the weekend suggesting four minority members of congress, who have openly criticized his policies, go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Well, For three of the congresswomen, that place would be the USA. Despite that 5th District Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, who is running for Governor, jumped on board and announced yesterday, he would pay their way. Abraham is the only republican member of congress, so far, who has supported the Presidents comments.
A jury recommends the death penalty for 57-year-old Kevin Daigle, convicted in the “cold blooded”2015 ambush shooting death of a State Trooper in Calcasieu Parish. Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier says the murder was so shocking that it’s the first time in his 14 years as DA that he’s stuck with a death penalty request. Daigle was caught on dashcam footage blasting Trooper Steven Vincent with a sawed-off shotgun after the officer responded to what appeared to be a person in duress.
New details released by the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office Monday suggest beloved Baton Rouge activist 75-year-old Sadie Roberts-Joseph, whose body was found in the trunk of her own vehicle Friday, died by asphyxiation. Despite the storm, detectives spent the weekend chasing possible leads and conducting interviews. Investigators still have no possible suspects nor a motive in the killing.
Louisiana is beginning the 60-million-dollar process of replacing two 70-100-year-old youth prisons with newer, “Therapeutic Model” buildings. Deputy Secretary for the Office of Juvenile Justice Dr. James Bueche says they think they can pay for the new facilities by applying for bonds and paying those bonds with future savings. Bueche says the older facilities are falling apart and in constant need to repair, which costs a lot of money. He says the new buildings will be smaller, safer, and more efficient. The plan is to replace the Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe, and The Center for Youth outside of New Orleans.
A new program called Compete Louisiana aims to ease the burden of returning to college for those that may have finished school without receiving a degree. President of the University of Louisiana system Jim Henderson says many of those adults are now finding it harder to compete for jobs and they need to finish what they started. One in five adults in the state, just over 650,000, started college but never got a degree.
The optimism of small business owners has seen a modest downturn, slipping 1.7 points. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says business owners are becoming more cautious with spending and credits the end of the legislative session for a reason for the droop. Starns says at the end of the day, optimism is still historically high, but there’s just a general slowdown.
State police are investigating an officer involved shooting in Houma that occurred yesterday afternoon. Authorities say two Houma officers were conducting storm damage assessments, when multiple shots were fired near the officers, emanating from a still unknown direction. During the incident one of the officers fired their weapon, but no officer were harmed during the event. No suspects have been identified yet.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Mattassa is getting some flak for riding out Hurricane Barry in Las Vegas. Mattassa flew out of town for a previously scheduled conference in the desert, one day after declaring a state of emergency in his parish. Mattassa defended the decision saying The only thing he could have done was fill sandbags, which he really couldn’t do because of back problems.
LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron told hundreds of reporters at SEC Media Days that the Tigers will be running a spread offense. On the defensive side of the ball, Orgeron says the Tigers have the best group of defensive backs he’s ever coached in 35 years. And the old D-Line coach plans to work more with the defensive line this season. LSU is coming off a 10-win season and the Tigers will likely start the 2019 season ranked in the top ten in the preseason polls.
Longtime Ruston Daily Leader sports editor Buddy Davis passed away over the weekend at the age of 72. Davis was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and enshrined into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. The press box at Joe Aillet Stadium is named after him. Davis spent five decades covering sports in Lincoln Parish. Davis covered icons like Terry Bradshaw and Karl Malone, the great Louisiana Tech women’s basketball teams and Grambling State’s coach Robinson.