News for Friday 092019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Rapides superintendent of schools Jeff Powell says he believes residents of the parish are healing, that in the wake of a viral Snapchat video featuring members of Buckeye's football team using racial slurs, but that there may be safety concerns. For that reason and after consulting Sheriff Hilton tonight’s football game between Buckeye and Tioga High School has been cancelled.
The first gubernatorial debate of the race is in the books and the candidates took turns tearing at each other during an occasionally lively night of discussion, with one new revelation from the Governor. Governor Edwards made news, saying he does not support abortion exceptions for rape or incest. He voiced his full support for every part of the abortion ban he passed last session. Top polling Republican Ralph Abraham spent most of the night swinging at the Governor over the state of the Louisiana economy. Edwards shot back that Abraham’s contention was “absurd” saying the state economy is the biggest it’s been in state history. Republican Eddie Rispone stayed mostly out of the fray, instead using his time to sell himself as a businessman and outsider.
The Cajun Navy has volunteers heading to Texas as the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda has forced numerous water rescues in an area east of Houston. United Cajun Navy founder Todd Terrell says they are receiving frantic phone calls and Facebook messages from those that are stranded. The heavy rainfall also closed a part of I-10 in Texas.
A new poll on the governor’s race has Governor Edwards receiving 41-percent of the vote, Ralph Abraham at 24-percent and Eddie Rispone garnering 16-percent. JMC Analytics Pollster John Couvillon says two main questions in this governor’s race, can Edwards gain additional support from undecideds and can Rispone catch Abraham and get in a November run-off with the incumbent.
A Mansura man died Wednesday following a single-vehicle crash on HWY 361 near HWY 71 in St. Landry Parish. State Police say 61 year old Steven Lambert was driving a tractor-trailer when he failed to negotiate a curve and traveled off the right side of the roadway. The truck struck a tree and burst into flames.
A Webster Parish woman who ran a non-profit that oversaw a program to help feed low-income children has admitted to stealing one-point-one million dollars from the federal government. 59-year-old Myrna Thomas Quarles of Cotton Valley faces up to 10 years in prison. U-S Attorney David Joseph says Quarles deposited checks from a federal feeding service program into her own banking account. Joseph says Quarles also used the Greater Horizons credit card to the tune of 370-thousand dollars on herself.
Governor Edwards says the estimated 500-million-dollar surplus for the last fiscal year is evidence state’s economy is doing well. Critics say the surplus is evidence that the .45 percent sale tax pushed by the governor in 2018 was not necessary, but Edwards countered, saying at the time estimates underrated the state economy, but that changed.
The Board of Regents is hosting Hazing Prevention Summit today in Baton Rouge. Board spokesperson Meg Casper Sunstrom says the event is an opportunity for state’s highest-level leaders to continue the conversation about eliminating hazing culture.
Sunstrom says bringing awareness to the dangers of hazing is just the first step in the fight against the activity, but what is really important is seeing a culture shift.
Next week is National Hazing Prevention week.
Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone’s attacks on the 2017 Legislative criminal justice reform package are off-base, and not true. Rispone’s TV ads claim “John Bel Edwards’” criminal justice reform put dangerous criminals back on the street, but Martiny, A Republican, says no criminal convicted of a violent crime got out early. The Department of Corrections reported 17.8 million dollars in savings in the last fiscal year due to the reforms. Martiny says Rispone’s attacks disrespect the bipartisan support for the reforms which were rolled out over ten different bills. He says seven of those bills were authored by Republicans.
A Bossier City man who was also a former high school band director has been arrested for “revenge porn.” Bossier Sherriff Julian Whittington says they arrested 43-year old Patrick Neff Wednesday on two separate charges of Obscenity and Unauthorized Disclosure of a Private Image. Whittington says their investigation found that Neff disclosed several nude photos of his former dating partner with a student at Airline High School without the partner’s permission.
Statewide West Nile virus cases are down from this same time last year. So far, Department of Health stats have only recorded twelve cases, compared to seventy-nine, this week last year. State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says the weather in the spring has proven to have lingering effects in mitigating impacts on the mosquito population. Ratard says regardless of a year’s infection rate, it is important to always safeguard yourself and other from mosquitos, because it takes just one bite to make it a bad West Nile season for you.
LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow should be able to do well Saturday when the fourth-ranked Tigers visit Vanderbilt. The Commodores rank last in total defense, as they’ve given up nearly eight yards a play in their first two games this season. Vandy Head Coach Derek Mason has high praise for Burrow, who has emerged as a Heisman candidate. Mason compared Burrow to a great quarterback who plays in Louisiana, Drew Brees. Kick off on Saturday is at 11 AM. Airtime 9am. On 96.9 KZMZ & KSYL 970am /104.9FM.
The Pelicans announced Thursday that Fox Sports New Orleans will broadcast 72 regular-season games this year, plus a preseason game at the Smoothie King Center on October 11th versus the Utah Jazz. The 10 regular-season games not being televised by Fox Sports New Orleans are already set to air on national television. You can hear the games in Cenla on 94.7 ESPN.
Louisiana Tech plays a rare Friday night home game tonight against F-I-U. Bulldogs Coach Skip Holtz understands Friday is reserved for high school football, but he’ll take the national TV exposure they’ll get on the CBS Sports Network…Airtime 5:30p on 94.7 ESPN.