News for Monday 122313
By Dave Graichen
Storms rolled across the state Saturday bringing with them heavy rand and strong gusty winds. In the Monroe area, those winds escalated to tornado force, downing trees and knocking out power to thousands. Several business were damaged as well. The good news is, No injuries have been reported.
The Saints no longer control their own fate when it comes to winning the NFC South. New Orleans suffered a gut wrenching 17-13 loss to Carolina Sunday. For the Saints to win the NFC South, they'll need to beat Tampa Bay, and the Panthers will have to lose at Atlanta next Sunday.
Christmas is Wednesday, and many are already on the highways – traveling to their holiday destinations. State Police remind us that last Christmas & New Year's holiday 12 people were killed and more than 1300 were hurt in traffic crashes. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says alcohol played a role in more than half the fatal wrecks that occurred during the Christmas & New
Year's holiday period last year. The other two other factors in holiday traffic crashes are
haste and impatience. Law enforcement efforts as well as manpower have been beefed up through the end of the year.
Louisiana's employment picture is ending the year on a good note. Louisiana Workforce Commission spokesperson Tom Guarisco says based on the latest data, the state's unemployment rate is down to 6.3 percent after holding steady at seven-percent earlier this year. Louisiana's private sector employers also added 26-thousand jobs in the last 12 months leading up to November. Guarisco says that's 39 consecutive months the state has experienced over-the-year gains in private sector growth.
Governor Jindal and State Police announce a successful conclusion to a seven-week crackdown on crime that has netted over $6-million in illegal drugs and over a thousand arrests. The massive statewide operation resulted in 1025 arrests for crimes ranging from drug possession to human trafficking. Over $340-thousand in suspected drug money was seized, 112 illegal weapons confiscated and thousands of pounds of marijuana was taken off the streets. The Governor credits the seamless cooperation of LSP and local lawmen.
An organization called "Faith Driven Consumer" has started an online petition urging supporters of Phil Robertson to sign demanding he be reinstated to Duck Dynasty by A&E. Founder Chris Stone says they are looking for signatures on the website "IStandWithPhil.com", to express citizen support for The Duck Commander. The "I Stand With Phil Robertson" Facebook page has well over 1-million "likes" and indicates the petition already had over 300,000 signatures as of the start of the weekend. Stone says they will hand deliver the petitions to A&E starting today.
Lieutenant governor Jay Dardenne says the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV show is important to state tourism and he could help connect the Robertson family with new producers if they cannot reach agreement with the A&E network. Dardenne authored the state’s film and TV tax credit program. He says he’d use his influence in the state’s industry to help the Robertsons.
In case you need to be reminded. Today is the last day before Christmas eve, which means holiday shoppers who have been procrastinating need to get on the ball. LSU Ag Center family economist Jeanette Tucker says it's sometimes difficult finding that perfect gift at this late hour. However, there is a benefit to waiting to the last minute and that is good deals.