News for Friday 020819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Alexandria, the fourth Catholic diocese in Louisiana to release names of clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing minors was, according to many, the least open among them in disclosing the work histories of those clerics, but perhaps the most forthcoming about the abuse allegations themselves. The Diocese this week named 27 clergy members that it deemed credibly accused of sexual abuse, bringing the state's total count of clerics outed in such announcements to 135. Diocesan officials say their decision to exclude any information about the parishes where the former clerics served was meant to protect the flocks who worship in those parishes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped a law that threatened to shutter Louisiana abortion clinics from taking effect this week, but the fight over whether abortion providers should be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is likely far from over. In a brief late-night, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the admitting privileges law be put on hold pending a "timely filing" of a petition for the high court to act on the law itself. It would immediately expire if that doesn't happen. If a timely petition is filed, then the stay remains in effect until the high court rules on the law.
The Rapides Parish School Board has put on hold a decision on whether to hire an outside company to manage its social media. On the agenda at last Tuesday’s Board Meeting was an item that would have contracted with a private company to provide "social media management services" for about $1,700 per month. The board decided instead to pass a substitute motion to determine whether such services are even needed. If at a later time the board decides it is, they will look at a justifiable cost for the services and at that time request proposals from vendors.
Here’s a switch.. State Farm, Louisiana's largest auto insurer, will cut auto insurance rates starting in April by an average of 3.2 percent for its roughly 1 million Louisiana policyholders. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced the rate decrease Thursday. It represents the third rate decrease by State Farm in the past nine months, totaling a drop of 7.7 percent. The change, which will vary by policy, will go into effect April 1, and be applied to policies as they are renewed by customers.
The man accused of killing five people in suburban Baton Rouge last month was indicted on first-degree murder charges by a grand jury in Livingston Parish on Thursday. The three-count indictment was the first set of formal charges filed against 21-year-old Dakota Theriot. The first-degree murder charges open up the possibility that Theriot could face the death penalty, although prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek to execute him.
Congressman Garret Graves legislation that would revive the National Scenic Byways program flew through the House with little opposition, potentially reopening a program that would protect and promote two iconic wilderness trails in Louisiana. Graves says reopening the program will help drum up more interest in Louisiana for nature tourists.
Louisiana hosts two scenic byways, the Creole Nature Trail that winds through the wetlands of the southwest, and the Great River Road that accompanies the Mississippi River. Graves says by reopening the program, they’ll have the opportunity to hopefully get additional areas of the state designated and protected.
Senator John Kennedy says to avoid another government shutdown, he thinks President Trump will declare a national emergency if negotiations fail to provide adequate funding for additional physical wall at the southern border by the February 15th funding deadline. Presidential allies have stated declaring a national emergency would allow the president to use disaster relief and military construction funds to begin constructing a wall. However, it would most certainly end up in the courts.
While illuminated by a portrait of his smiling family, law enforcement officers remembered the late Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Shane Totty as a motor man, family man and man of honor, someone driven by compassion and a warrior’s spirit. The 31 year old police officer died last Friday when the police motorcycle he was riding during a funeral procession collided with a truck.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrest an Opelousas man for igniting a fire inside his family’s home. Investigators say 26 year old Amad Redding was the sole occupant of the home at the time of the blaze and was injured in the incident. Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says Redding had been making threats as recently as the week leading up to the fire of burning the home down. Rodrigues says not only was the family’s home damaged, but a business next to the home, resulting in multiple charges for Redding.
A rideshare driver for Lyft has been arrest and accused of kidnapping and raping an intoxicated passenger in Jefferson Parish. Authorities say 30 year old Yousef Hamed picked up the victim from a bar and instead of taking her to her home; he then took her to his home in Harvey and raped the woman.
A wanted criminal from Arkansas is now behind bars in Caddo Parish after allegedly threatening to beat a man with a bat, shooting a moving car, crashing into that car, and later leading a high speed chase after the law finally caught up to him. Sherriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says 33-year-old James Shultz day began by attacking his neighbor, and then leading police on a high-speed chase that involved wrecking not one, but two cars.
The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Pelicans have decided not to take the Los Angeles Lakers trade offer for forward Anthony Davis, who will remain on the team at least until the summer after requesting a trade last week. The Pels did ship off Nicola Mirotic to the Bucks for Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson. New Orleans is now faced with the question of what to do with their star big man, start him, or sit him for the rest of the year to insure he is not injured.