News for Monday 093019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s office along with the GPSO reports an 18 year old was killed Saturday in a motor vehicle accident at Louisiana Mudfest just outside of Colfax. While No other details have been made available, KALB is reporting the victim was struck by another vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.
Early voting began Saturday for the October 12th election and more people went in person to cast ballots on the first day than have since early voting began, with the exception of the 2016 presidential campaign. The Secretary of State reported Sunday morning that 77,059 people voted Saturday on the first day of early voting. It’s the second highest first day in history. But Saturday’s numbers are more than twice the 37,611 who early voted on the first day in the 2015 gubernatorial race.
A We Ask America poll of the governor’s race has Governor Edwards at 47 percent, Eddie Rispone at 23 percent, and Ralph Abraham at 17 percent. Pollster Andrew Weissert says Edwards continues to sit just shy of avoiding a run-off because while he has a 56 percent approval ratings, voters still aren’t confident he’s righted the ship. The poll did have one encouraging bit of news for Edwards, 61 percent of independents have a favorable view of him. It’s the second independent poll to show Rispone climbing ahead of Abraham.
We’re two weeks from the primary and recent independent polls show the biggest question remaining is whether Governor Edwards can avoid a run-off with top polling Republican Eddie Rispone. Ralph Abraham used to be the Republican favorite, but that’s changed. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Abraham’s fundraising woes finally caught up to him. This month’s campaign finance report shows Rispone with 6.3 million on hand, Governor Edwards with 5.7 million, and Abraham with 1.4 million.
Rispone appears to have vaulted Abraham thanks to a series of attack ads calling Abraham disloyal to the President. Pinsonat says the attacks were effective.
Voters casting their ballots early can expect to do so with new voting equipment. Voters will receive a card to insert into the machines that will pull up their ballot on a touchscreen. The machines are not connected to the internet and store the voting data to memory sticks inside the computer. It’s expected that the operation on the new machines will be easy for voters. But, just in case each poll site will have a person to assist in the voting process if necessary.
October is typically quiet time for hurricane activity for Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says historical data reflects favorably for the month as the average is having two named storms to make landfall on the Bayou state. Keim says once the state makes it through Halloween, the chances of a named storm drops significantly.
Coastal parishes have reached a $100 million settlement with one of the oil and gas companies accused of causing damage and land loss along the coast. Attorney John Carmouche calls the settlement with Freeport McMoRan Inc. a huge victory for those that live in coastal parishes. Carmouche says nearly all of the money goes toward restoration efforts for coastal marshes and wetlands, which often serve as a buffer from hurricanes and flooding. The settlement could set the standard on future litigation with other oil and gas firms.
Attorneys in the Middle District of Louisiana are charging two men for their connection to a Medicare scheme that defrauded the federal government of more than $1.7 billion.
The feds in Louisiana have charged 42-year-old Prairieville resident Kevin Hanley and 51-year-old South Carolina resident Mark Allen for their alleged roles in the scheme.
Allen and co-conspirators ran companies that solicited unnecessary DNA tests from elderly and low-income Medicare recipients. The tests were approved by tele-medicine doctors who did not know the patients they were recommending tests for.
State Police report former Louisiana Sen. Heulette "Clo" Fontenot Jr. was killed in a car wreck Sunday morning after he drove into the path of another car. Fontenot, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered fatal injuries and died after being brought to the hospital. Fontenot, a Republican, served 12 years in the Legislature until he retired from state politics in 2007.
U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise joined NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning to defend President Donald Trump from the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. Scalise told host Chuck Todd "The Framers did not put the power of impeachment in the Constitution so that you could stop somebody from getting reelected”. Scalise insisted people have misinterpreted the transcript and that Trump was seeking Ukraine’s help in continuing to probe Russian’s attempted meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
After receiving a tip from a concerned citizen, Jennings Police report they stopped a 10-year-old who was driving a school bus today Sunday. When officers arrived they found a 10-year-old driving a Jeff Davis Parish School bus and determined he had driven the bus all the way across town from Jennings High. The juvenile was taken into custody and the bus was released back to the school board.
One woman is dead and another is critical after the ATV they were riding hit a trailer in the dark. Iberia Sheriff's deputies were called about midnight after two women, who had left their home at about 10 p.m., didn't come back. The women had gone for a ride on the cane field headlands on a four-wheeler. Deputies began searching for them, and found them about 5 a.m. one of the women was pronounced dead at the scene. Her companion had suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Police arrested a Baton Rouge man who they say was among three people who robbed a man at gunpoint in his yard before riding away on bicycles. The victim told officers four people approached him Saturday afternoon at his home and pointed handguns in his face and demanded that he empty his pockets. The victim told officers he recognized some of the assailants from the neighborhood. Police later arrested on of the four. The search continues for the remaining three.
The Saints’ defense shuts down an explosive Cowboys offense to give the Black and Gold a 12-10 win in front of the home crowd.