At the corner of Plank Rd. and Scenic Highway sits a Chevron gas station. It's off I-110 near Memorial Stadium. Around 10 p.m.Sunday, a family stopped here to get gas. "Upon our arrival, we located threeMore >>
A man said he, his wife and his daughter were all punched because they were in the "wrong neighborhood" when they stopped to get gas at night. More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:37 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:37:45 GMT
An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition after being hit by a car on Perkins Road near Seigen Lane Sunday morning.The accident happened around 11:30am not far from Siegen Lane. State Police investigatorsMore >>
An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition after being hit by a car on Perkins Road near Siegen Lane Sunday morning.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:59 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:59:26 GMT
A man was shot in the leg Saturday night inside of BREC's Hooper Road Park, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. The injury is not considered life-threatening. The victim told investigatorsMore >>
A man was shot in the leg Saturday night inside of BREC's Hooper Road Park, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. The injury is not considered life-threatening. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:37 AM EDT2013-05-17 15:37:38 GMT
MANOR, TX (KEYE/CBS) – A weapons company began this week rolling out a groundbreaking "smart" rifle that can target and track a moving object from long distance. Trackingpoint began shipping the guns toMore >>
The rifle is precision guided with "lock and launch" technology similar to a fighter jet.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:39 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:39:50 GMT
A 12-year-old boy accidentally shot his 8-year-old brother in the shoulder Saturday afternoon, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. The injury is not life-threatening. The accidentMore >>
A 12-year-old boy accidentally shot his 8-year-old brother in the shoulder Saturday afternoon.More >>
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) -
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is designed to help elevate homes in flood-prone areas. At a meeting in New Orleans Wednesday Night, tempers flared as questions were raised about why seven contractors have now been suspended from doing work and making money.
"Your processes continue to be flawed and unfair," said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson & Hurricane Recovery Committee Chairwoman.
Pat Forbes, Office of Community Development's Disaster Recovery Unit executive director, took the hot seat blasted by committee members on several issues -- one being how a handful of contractors were recently suspended.
"It is highly suspect that for a company like Orleans Shoring to have been under that kind of scrutiny, for them to conduct this activity and then for the state to rely on that as the basis for seven contractors to be suspended," said Peterson.
Orleans Shoring, a major home elevating company in New Orleans, ran a private undercover sting operation last month. They claim they caught seven contractors violating various rules for the federally-funded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Those secret recordings were then handed over to OCD, which is in charge of the $750 million program. That very same day, Nov. 18th, OCD suspended all seven contractors.
"When you're dealing with a company that obviously has a financial interest in trying to push other companies out of the market, you have to have those tapes verified as being legitimate tapes," said Sen. JP Morrell.
"You felt what you were seeing had not been doctored with? You could determine? You're an expert I guess at looking at video tape that it had not been doctored with?," asked Sen. Ed Murray.
"No, I can't say that. I'm not an expert in that," answered Forbes.
"Well then how can you take the action you did without having someone look at it to make sure it was authentic?" asked Murray.
"To say that we simply turned around and suspended them without a thought to the effect on these contractors is mischaracterizing what we did," said Forbes. "We thought long and hard about what we did about what we needed to do and what was the safe thing. What was the fair thing, and we had to land on the side of suspension."
Forbes said he and a staff member from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness watched the recordings and then made the decision to suspend the seven contractors.
The tapes have since been handed over to the Louisiana Attorney General's office.
Peterson, who is a lawyer by trade, said the state has opened itself up to lawsuits by failing to notify the seven contractors of the state's action against them.
"Why would you not notify them in email, phone call or writing on the day you suspended them?" asked Peterson.
"My mistake. It was a terrible mistake," replied Forbes.
"None of them are my clients. If they were my clients, I promise you they have a case. I promise you," said Peterson.
The biggest complaint - allowing a private company, with a vested interest, to conduct an unsupervised undercover sting.
"You have one company who has an interest in garnering as much of the market as possible," said Morrell. "When you get information from a company that is obviously a competitor of the companies it's tattling on, that should give everyone a degree of pause. The concern I have going forward now is now that we've shown this kind of behavior is acceptable, I can only imagine what we're going to look at in the future."
The state has stopped any new payments to a Orleans Shoring effective Dec. 1st.
The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors has called Christian Cancienne of Orleans Shoring to a Dec. 15th meeting. They're looking into a violation that could even get the company's license revoked.