News for Tuesday January 6th 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria Police, along with the FBI, were involved in what was being called a “court-authorized law enforcement activity” on Mac Arthur Drive at Elliot last night. As with other investigations in the area over the past week, all we are being told is further comment on the nature of the activity or investigation is not available at this time. What we do know is the undisclosed activity continued for several hours during the evening.
After information requests over the weekend and throughout the day Monday from local media and the public, Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall released a statement yesterday afternoon addressing the suspension of the city’s police chief Jerrod King, basically saying nothing. In the statement the Mayor said no further comments would be made until the city’s internal processes for reviewing such matters have been completed and a determination has been made about whether further action, if any, is necessary. That, according to Mayor Hall, could take up to a month to complete. Members of the city council saying yesterday they were not made aware of the plan to place Jerrod King on administrative leave.
Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton came out publicly yesterday in support Chief King, saying he is one of the best chiefs of police that Alexandria could possibly have at this time. The Sheriff told KALB yesterday that the matter had been brewing between city hall and the police department since Chief King was confirmed to the position just before former Mayor Jacques Roy left office.
The City of Alexandria's finance director, David Crutchfield, announced yesterday that he was moving on to new challenges. Crutchfield, who has been with the city for the better part of 14 years, gave the city just two weeks’ notice.
A spokesperson with the Lafayette Police Department has confirmed that Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard has resigned. Aguillard has resigned the same day that Mayor-President Josh Guillory was sworn into office. Guillory had previously stated his intent to replace the incumbent police chief with a new candidate. Lt Scott Morgan was announced as the interim police chief.
A just released U.S. Census report shows Louisiana’s population declined by nearly 11,000 residents from 2018 to 2019. 26,000 people moved out of Louisiana to another state last year, the 6th highest number in the nation despite Louisiana’s relatively small total population. Demographer Greg Rigamer says blame the local economy. Texas was the biggest recipient of Louisiana’s ex-pats and led the nation in total population growth at 367,000 new residents. Rigamer says a lack of good-paying jobs is the number one factor driving people out of the state. He notes the median household income here in Louisiana is only just above 46,000 dollars. The national median household income sits at 63,000 dollars.
There’s concerns Louisiana could be heading for a second peak in the flu season sometime in late January/early February as cases continue to climb. Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Alex Billioux says if we do get hit with another peak, it’ll likely be because a new strain of flu is beginning to pick up steam in Louisiana.
Flu A is more adaptive and mutates more frequently than Flu B. Billioux says the most important thing is to get vaccinated.
The GOP spent 34 million on the recent governor’s race, but were topped by Democrats who spent a whopping 39 million between the Edwards campaign, and pro-Edwards super PACs. The combined 73 million spent was a record for a Louisiana election.
With events the size of the College Football Championship Game happening in the state comes the opportunity for fraudulent tickets to end up in fans’ hands. Attorney General Jeff Landry warns to be on the lookout for red flags. One good one is tickets selling below the asking price. Landry adds if the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers that is usually a good sign they are a legit source for tickets. A reminder, there will be no print-at-home PDF tickets that will be valid for entry to the game.
Borden Dairy company can use some cash as it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing also covers the Borden Dairy Company of Louisiana which operates a milk processing plant in Lafayette. There are an estimated 220 people who work for Borden and a company spokesperson says there are no plans for plant closures or personnel implications.
Louisiana Health Secretary Doctor Rebekah Gee is resigning effective January 31st. Gee received criticism from GOP lawmakers, including US Senator John Kennedy, who called for her firing last year on the heels of an audit that showed the state misspent 85-million dollars on ineligible Medicaid recipients.
Two horses are dead following Saturday’s opening day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racetrack in Bossier City. Both horses fell on the track and had to be euthanized. Animal Wellness Action Executive Director Marty Irby says deaths of this nature will not end until federal lawmakers pass the Horseracing Integrity Act which would end doping and provide greater safety for horses. Irby says it is vital to flag the deaths because no member of the Louisiana Congressional delegation has come forward in support of the bill yet.
Mortgage rates are expected to remain low in 2020 with the national average mortgage rate currently at 3.86 percent and dropping. Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride says we could see rates stay below four percent, a critical threshold.
The DASH diet has been ranked as one of the top popular diets by US News and World Report. The diet was developed by researchers at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Chief of dietary assessment Catherine Champagne says the diet puts more focus on plant-based foods, including most fruits and vegetables. The DASH diet ranked only behind the Mediterranean diet. The Keto Diet, ranked last of the 35 diets listed.