News for Wednesday 013118
By Dave Graichen
The State Health Department is making available free flu shots at more than 60 parish health units between 1 and 4:30pm today. The vaccinations are in response to one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. The flu shots will be available at Parish Health units in Rapides, Grant, Natchitoches, La Salle and Avoyelles parishes.
Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras provides Governor John Bel Edwards with budget cutting proposals as part of the negotiations to solve a nearly billion dollar shortfall. House Republican delegation chairman Lance Harris says in an effort to reduce health care spending, they would like to see work requirements for certain people who receive Medicaid. Governor Edwards responded to the proposals saying while none of these measures accomplish fixing the fiscal cliff, he views them as a positive development in their ongoing discussions.
A TOPS task force will vote on a series of recommendations today they hope will bring long-term sustainability to the popular scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says under his proposal many TOPS students would not have their tuition fully paid for anymore. Morrish proposes a 4,000 dollar stipend for TOPS Opportunity recipients, those are incoming freshman that have a C average high school grade. He says students that have a higher GPA and ACT score will receive higher financial awards. Morrish’s proposal would need legislative approval during the regular session. He says if enacted, it would save the state 20-million dollars a year.
A 14-year-old Lafayette girl who is battling cystic fibrosis got the thrill of a lifetime, being a special guest in attendance at the State of the Union address last night. Bella Reed was a guest of St. Landry Parish Congressman Clay Higgins. He says having Bella in attendance hopefully will bring more awareness to the disease as he introduces legislation supporting ongoing research.
New Orleans city officials are getting ready for Mardi Gras. Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced today NOPD will be on the streets at 100% capacity. He also says there is a ban on closed tents along parade routes. The Mayor says it’s because someone fired a gun from inside a port-a-potty last year. They won’t be allowed on parade routes either and anyone with a port-a-potty will be fined 250 dollars.
Members of the Lafayette Cajun band The Lost Bayou Ramblers are back in Louisiana today after a couple of days of celebrating their Grammy in New York City. “Kalenda” won the group a gramophone for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Co-founder Andre Michot says they’ve been playing non-stop for almost two decades, and now the guys would like to take a vacation. A Louisiana artist has won the Regional Roots award six times in the 7-year-old category.
The state Department of Revenue is suing three companies for tax evasion for not withholding and remitting appropriate payroll taxes from employee earnings. The companies are Elliott Roofing Services in Metairie, Antunez Painting in Baton Rouge and Extreme Cars and Trucks in Monroe. LDR Spokesperson Byron Henderson says fraud robs the state.
The port of New Orleans set a record in 2017 for cruise passengers as 1.1 million moved through the Big Easy last year alone. Spokesman Donnell Jackson says this marks the fourth consecutive year of more than a million passengers at their terminals. They are expecting additional growth this year, with Norwegian Cruise Line replacing the Norwegian Pearl. Jackson says these yearend results validate the continued appeal of cruising from The Crescent City.
The mother of the woman who went overboard a Carnival cruise ship says she has yet to hear from her son-in-law. KLFY TV says Marilyn Winfrey has not heard from Scott Brooks since her daughter Juwanna Brooks fell from the ship on January 21st. Witnesses says the couple was observed fighting just before she went missing. The Mexican Navy has since called off the search for Juwanna.
A group in New Orleans which fought the removal of Confederate monuments created a Mardi Gras bead to commemorate the Robert E. Lee statue which was taken down last May. But they are now gone as Forever Lee Circle said on Facebook that the beads bearing their name are sold out.
State Police has arrested an animal control officer in West Feliciana Parish for allegedly charging Entergy for performing his job duties while he was being paid by the sheriff’s office at the same time. 57-year-old Daniel Klein of St. Francisville is charged with four counts of abuse of office and one count of malfeasance in office — all felonies.
After losing by 25 points to 11th ranked Auburn on Saturday, LSU gets another chance at a ranked team tonight when they visit 18th ranked Tennessee. LSU is 3-5 in the SEC, while the Volunteers are 5-3. You can hear the game this afternoon starting at 5 on KSYL 970am & 100.3fm.