News for Thursday 111419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Prosecutors still are debating on whether to pursue the death penalty against a woman accused of burning her girlfriend’s baby to death, at the girlfriend’s request. News outlets report prosecutors debated the move Tuesday at hearing for 27 year old Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith. Smith has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 6-month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe, whose mother now faces the death penalty on the same charge.
President Trump is once again in Louisiana tonight, where he’ll rally Republicans at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City to vote for Eddie Rispone in Saturday’s run-off.
Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Rispone won’t win unless he can get enough conservative votes in north Louisiana, and this is his last chance to get it done. It’s the President’s third trip to the Bayou State for the campaign, having previously visited Lake Charles before the primary in October, and Monroe last week.
A poll of 660 likely voters puts the Governor’s race at a dead heat 49-49 tie between Governor Edwards and GOP challenger Eddie Rispone with just four days until the polls open in the run-off. Edgewater Research pollster Doctor Edward Chervenak says the poll shows there is a lot of partisan loyalty. Polls are open on Saturday from 7 AM to 8 PM.
A New Orleans judge has ordered an anti-Edwards ad to be taken off the air after a suit from the Edwards campaign alleged the TV spot was “demonstrably false”. The ad alleged Edwards gave a fellow West Point alum a substantial state contract. The Edwards campaign is celebrating, calling the ad disgraceful, but the spots’ backers say they plan to appeal the restraining order, claiming the ad is “100 percent truthful.”
The Legislative Auditor warns 18 towns, cities, and villages on this year’s list of Fiscally Distressed Municipalities are on the edge of budgetary disaster. Director of Local Government Services Brad Cryer says unless these 18 locations change course, they could be headed for bankruptcy and state-run Fiscal Administration of their finances.
It’s not just small villages that have been named. Grambling, Tallulah, Jonesboro, Winnsboro, Baldwin, Clinton, Ball, and others made the list. Cryer says difficult decisions in those places will have to be made.
The Advisory Council on Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education releases a report showcasing Louisiana’s progress in fighting the opioid epidemic. Council chair Dr. James Hussey says Louisiana doctors wrote 90,000 fewer opioid prescriptions in 2018 compared to the previous year. Overdoses involving prescribed opioids are down for the first time in five years.
A federal judge has refused to set bond for a Louisiana man accused of threatening President Donald Trump via social media posts last week. KTBS-TV reports 31-year-old Friedrich Ishola was arrested Nov. 6 and accused of making "threats against (the) president and successors to the presidency." Details were not released.
A movie called “Christmas in Louisiana” showcases New Iberia to a national audience this Saturday night on the Lifetime Channel. Mayor Freddie Decourt says tonight they are having an event to premiere the film for locals. Production from the movie took place in August. The plot involves a young woman who returns home to New Iberia from Boston for the Sugar Cane Christmas Festival and has a romantic twist with an old flame. Decourt says the many of the locals were cast as extras in the production and it stimulated the economy of the area.
The state Department of Environmental Quality has two new Mobile Air Monitoring Labs. Assistant secretary for environmental assessment Roger Gingles says the units have all the bells and whistles to help sample and analyze air quality data on-site and in real-time. Settlements from civil penalties helped pay for the new mobile air monitoring laboratories.
A Baton Rouge police officer is receiving no citations or criminal charges, not even a speeding ticket, after investigators found he was driving 94 mph on Airline Highway, at almost twice the speed limit, when he caused a 2017 wreck that killed an infant and severely injured several other people. Christopher Manuel was arrested on negligent homicide after the crash, which occurred while he was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle. The child's mother was also arrested on the same charge because detectives determined the baby likely wouldn't have died if her car seat had been properly strapped in. Manuel remains an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department after charges were dropped against him and the child’s mother.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 60-year-old man for allegedly throwing nails and screws on his neighbors’ driveway. Sheriff’s office spokesperson Glen Springfield says apparently Prentice Lamar Tedeton could not get along with his neighbors. He has been charged with three counts of stalking and four counts of criminal mischief.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office seeks the public’s help in solving a four-year-old missing person’s case where a man seemingly disappeared into thin air. 33-year-old Kenneth Cole was reported missing November 21st, 2015, and spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says Cole’s family last spoke to him a few days before. Cole’s vehicle was recovered days after he was reported missing, but Chadwick says there was no evidence of foul play in it, and friends and family say he gave no indication he was set to disappear…
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Saints offensive guard Andrus Peat will miss the next six weeks after undergoing surgery for a broken arm. With seven games left, Peat will miss most of the rest of the season. The Saints offensive line is coming off a bad performance where they gave up six sacks.
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said on Wednesday’s SEC teleconference that offensive tackle Austin Deculus is questionable for Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. Defensive back Kary Vincent is also questionable.
The Ragin Cajuns will head to Mobile to face South Alabama on Saturday. Quarterback Levi Lewis is coming off his best game in a Cajun uniform. He threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another in a blowout win over Coastal Carolina. U-L Lafayette Coach Billy Napier says Lewis’ hard work is paying off…
cut 18 (13) “….the team”
LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady and U-L Lafayette defensive coordinator Ron Roberts are among the 41 nominees for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach. The Tigers are fourth in scoring offense, while the Cajuns are 11th in scoring defense.