News for Thursday February 20th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Three people are under arrest after over $600,000 in drugs are found during a traffic stop on US Highway 165 near Woodworth. Trooper Casey Wallace says the collection had a lot of fentanyl and heroin in it, two drugs that are fairly new to the area. He says the price on those two narcotics are beginning to spike.
Pineville City Marshal Sarah Smith announced Wednesday that she intends to retire and will not seek re-election at the end of this year. Marshal Smith has spent 30 years in service to the Pineville Marshal Office.
A Rapides Parish grand jury has indicted 64 year old Leo Laird of Oakdale in connection with a cold case murder. Laird has been charged with first degree murder, first degree rape, and aggravated kidnapping for the 1980 death of 18-year-old Donna Brazzell in Gardner. Brazzell's remains were found back in Nov. 1980, but went unidentified until last year when the LSU FACES Lab in Baton Rouge and a relative were able to make a positive identification. The grand jury returned a true bill on Tuesday.
Senator Bill Cassidy officially announces his run for a second term. So far, Cassidy does not face any major Democratic challengers, but U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Cassidy will probably have to put together a little bit of a campaign. Cross says he foresees Cassidy holding on to his seat for many years to come. While it is possible that another Republican challenger could pop up, Cross says Cassidy has solidified himself with party establishment and they don’t have a reason to desert him.
Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the Corps’ New Orleans office announced yesterday with the Mississippi River now forecast to crest at 16.5 feet in New Orleans on March 4, a half-foot below official flood stage, the Army Corps of Engineers does not foresee a need to open either the Bonnet Carre Spillway just north of New Orleans or the Morganza Floodway above Baton Rouge in the foreseeable future. Last year, the spillway was opened twice for a record 143 days
Governor Edwards addressed the controversy over his decision not to include a specific teacher pay raise in his budget, saying he is confident there will ultimately be a raise in this year’s legislative session. Edwards says he has not deprioritized K-12 education, noting his budget includes 39 million dollars in new education spending. Edwards says his plan to get teachers to the southern regional average by the end of the term hasn’t changed..
Louisiana is ranked in the bottom third of states for internet connectivity and infrastructure, and lobbying group 5G Action Now says the Trump Administration’s plan to expand nationwide 5G would fix that. Spokesperson Ian Prior says nearly 40 percent of state residents surveyed complain about the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas.
A 77-year-old Baton Rouge man turned himself in to authorities Tuesday once autopsy results revealed his special needs son died as a result of internal bleeding on Valentine’s Day. Ellsworth Hull is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of his son 40-year-old Derrick Christophe. Baton Rouge authorities say Hull confessed to beating his son.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is offer a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person who threw a dog food bag containing eight puppies from a bridge in in St. Martin Parish on Sunday. A fisherman reportedly retrieved the bag, thinking it was litter, but he found the 3 to 5-day-old puppies inside. The puppies are currently receiving treatment and are expected to be okay.