News for Thursday 041119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A 28-year-old Opelousas man is accused of stabbing his mother to death. St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux says Cody James Arceneaux and his mother were involved in an argument when the mother grabbed a knife. When deputies arrived they found Arceneaux curled up on the floor with a bloody towel in his hands.
A Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputy suffered minor injuries in a crash late Tuesday night after a high speed chase through Alexandria and Pineville. Two suspects were later caught and arrested.
Rodney Bailey Jr. was sentenced yesterday, in a Leesville Courtroom, to 80 years in prison in connection with the May 2016 death of 2 year old Willow Rain Renteria-Molina of Hornbeck. Judge Tony Bennett gave Bailey the maximum sentences of 40 years for one count of obstruction of justice and another 40 years for second-degree cruelty of a juvenile. The 36-year-old had been babysitting the toddler when she was reported missing. Bailey initially told police he had taken Willow to the Office of Child Services and said she was 'in a better place' before asking for an attorney. The child’s body was found a short time later.
An early Wednesday morning fire in Alexandria on Masonic Street is under investigation. The blaze, at the old Mike’s Auto Sales, broke out shortly after 4 yesterday morning. Firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control.
After failing for five months to recognizing additional revenues, the four member Revenue Estimating Conference adopted an income forecast that will give lawmakers an additional 110-million dollars in this year’s budget to spend and another 119-million dollars in next year’s budget. The Yes Vote By House Speaker Taylor Barras broke the gridlock, The Speaker had previously blocked attempts to raise the forecast earlier this year because he was concerned the state may not collect as much money as projected. The House Speaker relented on Wednesday after hearing revenue projections from two different economists…
House Republican lawmakers grilled state health officials about the growing Medicaid budget yesterday and whether the state is doing enough to prevent waste or misspending. Health Secretary Rebekah Gee says mistakes will be made with a large government program, but they are trying to control spending and pointed to the recent removal of 30-thousand people from Medicaid, because they made too much money to be on the program. It was revealed during the hearing that 16-hundred people making at least 100-thousand dollars a year were covered by Medicaid.
Democrat Charlie Greer of Natchitoches Parish is running for Agriculture Commissioner against incumbent Mike Strain, touting his 20 year career in the Ag Department, and time in law enforcement. Greer says if elected, he would push hard for the regulated production of industrial hemp, and hemp adjacent products to revitalize the state’s lagging Ag industry. Greer also ran in 2015 and received 30 percent of the vote.
Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham is touting over 100 endorsements from elected officials in 26 parishes in his run to unseat Governor Edwards in fall. The list features five district attorneys, two state reps, and a number of mayors, sheriffs, and others. Abraham is one of two Republicans, the other being Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, hoping to eliminate the Gulf Coast’s only Democratic governor.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation is observing Work Zone Awareness Week. The week is meant to bring attention to the need for drivers to be extra careful when traveling through work zones. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says in the most recent numbers, eleven people were killed in 2017 in Louisiana, while about 800 were killed on the national level. Mallett adds in most cases, the deaths were preventable.
In addition to the deaths, many others were injured on the job.
LSU President F. King Alexander is touting the performance of the 2018 freshman class, a portion of who were admitted under the new “holistic admissions” policy where some applicants are admitted despite not meeting the GPA or ACT requirements.
King says opening up the admissions process has not sacrificed performance or achievement. The average GPA was the same as 2017, at 2.8. The freshman class brought in 5,812 freshman, topping a record set in 2012.
A study prepared for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development recommends that two riverboat casinos in Bossier City relocate. The study found if the two casinos moved, both revenue and taxes paid to the state would increase. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says with increased competition from Oklahoma, the findings are not surprising. The study recommended that Boomtown Bossier City move to the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain while Diamond Jacks should relocate to northeast Louisiana.
Over a thousand students packed the lawn for UL Systems Yesterday to call attention to the needs of the 92,000 students studying at one of nine system colleges. U-L System President Jim Henderson celebrated the fact that this year’s event was certainly more upbeat than last year’s.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the three children from Avoyelles Parish that were ejected from their church van in a fiery crash on Florida Highway in January were wearing seat belts. The Center for Auto Safety says while seatbelts remain an indispensable safety tool, they are not infallible.
The Senate has gone home for the week and won’t be back until Monday.
Louisiana Tech’s winning streak is up to eight games after an 11 to 3 victory over UL-Lafayette Wednesday night.
Four-star cornerback Lorando Johnson from Texas has committed to LSU’s 2020 recruiting class. 24-7 sports ranks Johnson as the 11th best cornerback prospect in the country.
A huge offseason begins now for the Pelicans as the team wrapped up the regular season wednesday night with a 112 to 103 loss to Golden State.
Louisiana Tech’s DaQuan Bracey has declared for the NBA draft. Bracey led the Bulldogs in scoring and assists last season.