Report from Louisiana: Roundup

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Report from Louisiana: Roundup

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – As your hum­ble cor­re­spon­dent is recov­er­ing from a vicious round of food-​poisoning, I’m going to give you a quick round-​up of Louisiana head­lines today as any thought deeper than that is sim­ply not hap­pen­ing today.

The Governor’s Race: The
money reports are in
. There are no real sur­prises on the fundrais­ing
front. Incum­bent John Bel Edwards has
hoards of cash ($8.4 mil­lion) while chal­lengers Eddie Rispone has $5.5 mil­lion
and late-​comer Ralph Abra­ham has $350,000. Keep in mind though, that’s three
weeks of fundrais­ing; Abra­ham did not announce his can­di­dacy until Decem­ber 6
and the cut-​off for this report­ing period was Decem­ber 31. The Democ­rats are scoff­ing at Abraham’s
num­bers claim­ing the pub­lic just isn’t inter­ested in his cam­paign, but $350,000
in three weeks isn’t too bad. He’s got a
lot of ground to cover, however.

Shoot-​Out in NOLA: Dur­ing the peak of Mardi Gras sea­son, and
high-​tourist activ­ity, the last thing any­one wants to see is a
shootout in down­town NOLA,
but that’s what hap­pened this week­end with one
dead and five inno­cent bystanders wounded. Gun­fire broke out when police attempted to
appre­hend a sus­pect at a bus stop for ques­tion­ing. Mayor
LaToya Cantrell
said that “these things do hap­pen” but reas­sured the pub­lic
that the city “is pre­pared for Mardi Gras.”

Fish­ing for Mardi
Gras Beads:
Unin­tended con­se­quences
of Mardi Gras include beads float­ing in the Mis­sis­sippi River which fish then
ingest, caus­ing great harm to the ecosys­tem.
LSU sci­en­tists are tak­ing steps
to study and alle­vi­ate this prob­lem. Last
year, lit­er­ally tons
of beads
were pulled from NOLA drainage basins.

Fes­ti­val Sea­son: On a lighter note, spring fes­ti­val sea­son is
right around the cor­ner and one of the most pop­u­lar statewide fes­ti­vals
(out­side of Mardi Gras!) is the Books Along the Teche
Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val
which is once again the first week­end in April and is held
in New Iberia. The fes­ti­val is expanded
by one day this year and fea­tures author Rebecca Wells as the Great South­ern
Writer. In Louisiana we will have a
fes­ti­val for every­thing from red­buds to pirates. The Louisiana Travel page has thirty-​one pages of fes­ti­vals
in our state.

Right to Vote: On March 1, a large group of 36,000 con­victed
felons will be eli­gi­ble to regain their right to vote under a
new law that barely passed the Repub­li­can con­trolled house.
The num­bers of those affected are expected to
grow as inter­pre­ta­tions for eli­gi­bil­ity vary from those who were incar­cer­ated
to those who were sim­ply on pro­ba­tion.
There are lots of loop­holes in this one.

I’m off to con­tinue recov­ery, drink Sprite, and sleep. Peace out.

Pat Becker blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cam­mie Henry and Her Cir­cle at Mel­rose Plan­ta­tion. Fol­low her on Insta­gram @patbecker25 and Twit­ter @paustin110.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As your humble correspondent is recovering from a vicious round of food-poisoning, I’m going to give you a quick round-up of Louisiana headlines today as any thought deeper than that is simply not happening today.

The Governor’s RaceThe money reports are in. There are no real surprises on the fundraising front.  Incumbent John Bel Edwards has hoards of cash ($8.4 million) while challengers Eddie Rispone has $5.5 million and late-comer Ralph Abraham has $350,000. Keep in mind though, that’s three weeks of fundraising; Abraham did not announce his candidacy until December 6 and the cut-off for this reporting period was December 31.  The Democrats are scoffing at Abraham’s numbers claiming the public just isn’t interested in his campaign, but $350,000 in three weeks isn’t too bad.  He’s got a lot of ground to cover, however.

Shoot-Out in NOLA:  During the peak of Mardi Gras season, and high-tourist activity, the last thing anyone wants to see is a shootout in downtown NOLA, but that’s what happened this weekend with one dead and five innocent bystanders wounded.  Gunfire broke out when police attempted to apprehend a suspect at a bus stop for questioning. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that “these things do happen” but reassured the public that the city “is prepared for Mardi Gras.”

Fishing for Mardi Gras Beads:  Unintended consequences of Mardi Gras include beads floating in the Mississippi River which fish then ingest, causing great harm to the ecosystem. LSU scientists are taking steps to study and alleviate this problem. Last year, literally tons of beads were pulled from NOLA drainage basins.

Festival Season:  On a lighter note, spring festival season is right around the corner and one of the most popular statewide festivals (outside of Mardi Gras!) is the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival which is once again the first weekend in April and is held in New Iberia.  The festival is expanded by one day this year and features author Rebecca Wells as the Great Southern Writer.  In Louisiana we will have a festival for everything from redbuds to pirates.  The Louisiana Travel page has thirty-one pages of festivals in our state. 

Right to Vote:  On March 1, a large group of 36,000 convicted felons will be eligible to regain their right to vote under a new law that barely passed the Republican controlled house.  The numbers of those affected are expected to grow as interpretations for eligibility vary from those who were incarcerated to those who were simply on probation.  There are lots of loopholes in this one.

I’m off to continue recovery, drink Sprite, and sleep.  Peace out.

Pat Becker blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and Her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.