News for Friday 013015
By Dave Graichen
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that Wednesday’s fire in Calhoun, where two bodies were recovered, was a murder suicide. Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they believe the situation began with a domestic dispute between 52-year-old Larry Lisotta and his wife, 57-year-old Diane Lisotta. Browning says they have determined that Larry Lisotta shot his wife in the head and then set the home on fire. They believe he then turned the gun on himself. Browning says this appears to be an isolated incident and do not believe anyone else was involved
Abortion rights activists testified Thursday The state Department of Health and Hospitals has gone too far in its proposed rules governing the operation of abortion clinics in the state.
About 80 people attended the DHH hearing to take public testimony on rules and regulations updated after the Louisiana Legislature passed several laws about the licensing and operation of abortion clinics. Nobody spoke in favor of the rules.
Lawyers on both sides of a same-sex marriage case urged Louisiana’s Supreme Court on Thursday to rule soon on the matter even though the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to do so by late June. Louisiana voters approved a 2004 amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex marriages in the state and forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions. In September, state District Judge Edward Rubin, of Lafayette, ruled the ban unconstitutional.
The Louisiana Lottery says we’ve now hit the biggest Powerball jackpot of 2015 with tomorrow’s drawing worth a whopping $298 million dollars. Spokeswoman Kimberly Chopin says the current jackpot has been running since the end of November. She says the last big jackpot winner in Louisiana was from a May 2013 drawing so we’re due. Chopin says the current jackpot has a cash value of about $198.4 million dollars.
A new study ranks Louisiana third nationally on a per-capita basis for inappropriate teacher-student relationships. Terry Abbott, a former chief of staff at the US Department of Ed and now chair of Drive West Communications, says he found 23 reported cases in 2014, and six cases so far this year. In many situations, social media advanced a teacher-student relationship to an inappropriate level. Another interesting aspect to the study, there’s also a higher percentage of inappropriate relationships involving female teachers than the national average.
After more Louisianians have been hospitalized and even died as a result of synthetic marijuana, Governor Bobby Jindal has announced the ban of multiple new synthetic marijuana compounds. The new banned compounds are called “PX 1″, PX 2″, and “MDMB-CHMICA” (chimika).
Sometimes made in china can be a pain. A lot of Mardi Gras Krewes are getting nervous as most of their custom throws have not arrived yet and Fat Tuesday is just around the corner. There was an ongoing labor dispute at a Los Angeles port which held up thousands of signature Mardi Gras product, but Beads By the Dozen President Dan Kelly says tensions have calmed. Kelly says almost every Carnival Krewe was affected by the delay. He says now all of the Mardi Gras containers are being taken off ships and hopefully will be put on trains over the next two days.
So how likely would it be that former KKK leader and Louisiana lawmaker David Duke would be elected again here? Not very likely according to political analyst Bernie Pinsonat. Duke challenged Congressman Steve Scalise to step down for apologizing about speaking to a white supremacist group in 2002. Pinsonat says Duke is only milking this for attention
Duke took it a step further and said that he would consider challenging the House Majority Whip in the next election for the 1st District Seat. Pinsonat says Duke is just trying to get publicity and he will probably never get re-elected in Louisiana if he chooses to run.
The legal drama between the Benson family over ownership of the Saints and Pelicans could drag on for a year or more. The scene will play out in courtrooms in New Orleans and San Antonio. Legal analyst Tim Meche says an Orleans Civil District Court Judge could rule whether or not Tom Benson is physically and mentally fit to handle his business affairs by spring. Meche says the real litigation will take place in San Antonio involving whether or not Tom Benson can transfer the teams out of the family trust. He says, thus far, Benson has been unsuccessful in his attempts to do so.
A Louisiana inmate at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court debate over leniency for juvenile criminals had his life sentence cancelled Thursday after spending more than three decades in prison. George Toca, convicted in New Orleans of second-degree murder in 1985. Under the agreement, the 47 year old Toca enter a plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter and plead guilty to two counts of attempted armed robbery. Police said Toca accidentally shot his 16 year old friend while they were robbing a couple at gunpoint in April of 1984.