In May 1973, Bean, a U.S. Army officer, was piloting Marine One, the helicopter that transported President Nixon. After Bean flew Nixon to Key Biscayne, Fla., the craft developed problems and crashed in the water. Bean was able to dive and help save six of the seven people still aboard the chopper, ingesting jet fuel that led to numerous health conditions.
Bean served three terms in the Senate, and Hainkel was a lawmaker for 38 years. Hainkel was the legislative force behind the TOPS plan, which was pushed by oilman Pat Taylor to help needy children go to college. The program didn't quite work as planned; Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance indicates most recipients of the scholarship program are in higher income brackets. The figures show that 40 percent of TOPS recipients are in families with incomes exceeding $75,000 annually. Thirty-four percent of the students are from families with incomes between $35,000 and $75,000. Only 23 percent of TOPS scholarships go to families earning below $35,000.
Rep. Bryant Hammett Jr., a state lawmaker closely tied to the Blanco Administration, has filed three bills calling for new local taxes on NFL tickets, Superdome concessions, rental cars and hotels. The measures are designed to pay for a Dome renovation and for annual state subsidies to the New Orleans Saints.
Gov. Blanco and team owner Tom Benson have been at odds over an agreement that former Gov. Mike Foster reached with Benson. Foster agreed to pay the team $186 million over 10 years, but the state was forced to borrow more than half of last year's $15 million payment.
Ferriday Democrat Hammett Jr. is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee where the bills would be reviewed first in the legislative process.
AIMING AT ODOM
Some Republican lawmakers are taking aim at embattled Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom in the session. A bill proposed by Republicans would strip the agricultural finance agency of $12 million in gambling money it receives annually. Another measure would require the agency to follow the public bid process to buy goods or services.
A senate panel has already voted to strip Odom of his authority to regulate a state law requiring gas stations to mark up their prices by at least 6 percent.
VITTER'S DAMAGE CONTROL
Sen. David Vitter informed the Federal Elections Commission last week that he failed to pay the expenses for a fund-raiser organized for him by Indian gambling lobbyist Jack Abramoff. A congressional panel is probing Abramoff's association with tribal clients, which resulted in $80 million dollars in fees. Melanie Sloan, who is executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is accusing Vitter of a cover-up to conceal his association with Abramoff. "I think he's lying," Sloan said in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Vitter became the first elected Republican U.S. senator from Louisiana last November. Throughout his career, he has been a staunch gambling foe, a distinction that raised eyebrows when Abramoff's name appeared on an invitation to a Vitter fund-raiser in September of 2003.
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
When LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe quit as NASA chief earlier this year, he tripled his income. O'Keefe has now taken on a new and potentially lucrative additional responsibility. He's joining the board of the Sensis Corporation for an undisclosed sum. Sensis is located near Syracuse, N.Y., where O'Keefe once lived. The company provides sensors and information technology to airports, airlines, civil aviation authorities and the military. The chancellor says his duties in Syracuse won't interfere with his assignments at LSU.
JEFFERSON SWEET ON CAFTA
Louisiana's congressional delegation voted unanimously to get rid of the so-called death tax, which affects few residents of the state. But the delegation is splitting on the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The pact with five Central American nations would allow 2 million metric tons of sugar into the United States free of tariffs.
State sugar producers say the measure will depress their profits. Their concerns have made an impression on most members of the Louisiana delegation, but Congressman Bill Jefferson, D-New Orleans, says his district and the state will benefit from CAFTA.
Jefferson is backing CAFTA even though sugar accounts for 27,000 state jobs. He says his constituents will benefit from free trade, noting that port traffic in his district has quadrupled since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Visualize Lafayette’s next great thing from 3,000 feet.
A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.
Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.
As the courts hash out the attempts to preserve and shelve Common Core in Louisiana, a group of six state lawmakers are planning an Aug. 22 trip to Oklahoma to meet with their counterparts and strategize for the 2015 regular session.
While hopes are high for turnout this fall, a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate suggests that Louisiana's midterm face-offs may amount to nothing special in terms of votes cast.
The attorney hired by the Lafayette Parish School Board for a special investigation of Superintendent Pat Cooper has submitted his final report, though it may be another week before the findings are made public.
Poachers killing elephants at increasing rates; independent autopsy on Brown; Gaza truce continues and more national and international news for Tuesday, August 19, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Tea Party of Louisiana is calling Sen. David Vitter a “turncoat” for his newfound embrace of Common Core educational standards.
An annual report evaluating Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of Medicaid lacked important financial information and presented rosy performance reviews not corroborated by data, according to a review released Monday.
Lafayette attorney Michelle Meaux-Breaux has announced her plans to seek the Division E seat for judge in the 15th Judicial District.
A card-carrying member of Lafayette’s “tribe,” Milton “Spider” Guidry died over the weekend. IND music writer Nick Pittman remembers the character and the man.
As tensions continue to escalate in Ferguson, Mo., between law enforcement and residents protesting the shooting death of a local teen by police, we’re reminded of the peculiar circumstances surrounding the in-custody death earlier this year of a New Iberia man.
A group of teachers and parents who support Common Core is asking a state judge to invalidate Gov. Bobby Jindal's actions against the multi-state education standards.
Drew Brees walked up to the line of scrimmage early Sunday, taking a snap during the New Orleans Saints' pre-practice walk-through.
A state judge Friday refused a temporary injunction sought against state education officials in an effort to block implementation of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana.
UL was the consensus pick in a coaches' preseason poll to win the league, and experience has a lot to do with that.
The price tag has nearly doubled for Gov. Bobby Jindal's hiring of an outside consulting firm to recommend new ways to balance the state budget.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is under scrutiny for billing private chartered planes to her Senate office when she used the flights to attend campaign fundraisers.
Many people found not guilty by reason of insanity are being held in Louisiana jails, where they cannot get the treatment they need, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
In a just-released audio recording, City Prosecutor Gary Haynes claims Mike Harson had direct dealings with the alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme in the DA’s office.
C-P councilmen sponsor a resolution in support of the notion that one should subscribe to Tea Party ideas about civics before being allowed to seek public office.
Russel Honoré, the retired U.S. Army general known for his role in restoring order to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and most recently for his involvement in the Green Army movement to stop environmental abuses of Louisiana, has now weighed in on the police response to protestors in Ferguson, Mo.
More than three dozen restaurants, bars, convenience stores and supermarkets in Lafayette Parish are facing fines in connection with the state office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control’s 2014 “Summer Crackdown.”
The grim news, delivered to the joint legislative budget committee, barely raised eyebrows at the committee hearing, after more than six years of such disappointing financial forecasts.