News for Wednesday 010919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
President Trump addressed the nation last night to lay out his case for increased funding for border security in the midst of a government shutdown over the President’s demand for 5.7 billion in funding for a physical border wall. Republican Congressman Garret Graves says we do not need another Great Wall, but additional physical structures would decrease illegal border crossings. Democratic New Orleans Congressman Cedric Richmond says with illegal immigration at the lowest point it’s been in decades, the wall would be a waste of money.
Governor John Bel Edwards re-election campaign announces it has 8-point-three million dollars in the bank after raising three-point-eight million dollars during 2018. The campaign says 87-percent of the money came from in-state donors. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Edwards will remain hot on the campaign fundraising trail. One of Edwards’ announced challengers, Eddie Rispone’s gubernatorial campaign says the Baton Rouge Republican has 5.5 million dollars in his campaign account. No word yet from the other Republican challenger Ralph Abraham.
The RPSO is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a man who robbed the Fred’s store in Tioga Monday night. Capt. Tommy Carnline reports a black male, approximately 6’-6’2” wearing a mask and a gray hoodie, entered the store, produced a semi-automatic handgun and robbed the cashier of an undetermined amount of money. Anyone with information is asked to the Sheriff’s office or Crime Stoppers..
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke with the press in an effort to answer questions of how the food stamps program will be impacted by the government shutdown. In an effort to extinguish as much confusion and anxiety as possible, Perdue says SNAP benefits should be okay through March, which he says he’s hopeful should give ample time to resolve the issues with the government shutdown.
The United Way ALICE report shows in 2016, 48 percent of all households in the state did not make enough to meet their basic needs, up six percent from 2014. Louisiana United Way President Sarah Berthelot says 29 percent make above the poverty level, but still not enough to reliably pay the bills. The report shows a single adult needs to make 19,548 dollars a year to pay the bills, and the average family needs 54,000. Lead researcher Stephanie Hoopes says with 66 percent of all jobs paying under 20 dollars an hour, it’s clear this economy with the recent economic growth isn’t benefiting most workers.
Tangipahoa Sherriff Daniel Edwards has increased the reward for information related to a December 23rd double murder that claimed the lives of a mother and son in their Independence Home. The office is now offering 10,000 dollars, and Crime Stoppers have increased their offering to 2,500 dollars. The Sheriff is asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.
After rising through the ranks for 28 years in the New Orleans Police Department, Superintendent Michael Harrison is leaving for Baltimore to take the reins as its Police Commissioner. New Orleans only recorded 146 murders in 2018, the lowest number of murders since 1971. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says Harrison’s departure is a loss for the city. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has plans to announce a replacement soon.
The Monroe Police are investigating the death of a United States Postal worker that was electrocuted Tuesday afternoon. The incident happened outside of the Shannon Street Post Office in Monroe. According to investigators, 47-year-old Paul Wesley Gammill was electrocuted while changing a lightbulb.
South Louisiana Methanol has announced its plans to pursue a $2.2 billion project in St. James Parish. Preliminary work began last year at a 1500 acre Mississippi River site. Construction could begin later this year. Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson initially there will be thousands of construction jobs that go into the project, followed by 75 new direct jobs.
Congressman Garret Graves supports pending legal action against several federal agencies for refusing to distribute RESTORE funds to families who fall into the “duplication of benefits” loophole after the 2016 floods. Graves says the agencies had 45 days to write policy for the money to be distributed, but departments, like HUD, have ignored the Congressional mandate passed in October.