News for Monday 121712
By Dave Graichen
Another major part of Governor Jindal's education reform package faces a court challenge today. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan says ACT 1, which changes teacher tenure rules, is illegal because it has many separate and distinct purposes. Monagahn says thestate's constitution says a law must have one single intent. Act I prohibits districts from using seniority as the primary factor in teacher layoff decisions and compensation would be tied to student achievement.
State Police is asking for the public's help in tracking down the driver of a car they believe struck and killed a five year old autistic child over the weekend in West Baton Rouge Parish. Authorities say for unknown reasons, the child wandered away from a church Christmas party Saturday night onto a highway in Port Allen. An investigation revealed that the child traveled on foot approximately two miles from the location of the Christmas Party and was found just before 1am Sunday in the grass beyond the westbound shoulder of Hwy 190. The child had been struck and killed. Police say, so far they have little to go on.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff's office announced Friday that an arrest has been made in the murder of Dorothy Rosier whose remains were recently found after nearly three years. Lt. Tommy Carline says 61-year-old Paul Jackson of Alexandria was arrested Thursday night. Jackson is charged with 2nd degree murder and obstruction of justice. Carnline says the investigation is still ongoing and no further information as to cause of death or motive is available at this time. Rosier and Jackson were family friends.
The Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services receive the largest cuts in a midyear budget cutting plan released by the Jindal administration. A total of 165-million dollars in cuts will occur as result of lower than expected revenues.
Louisiana elects not to create its own insurance exchange that's part of the new federal health care law. It means the federal government will control the marketplace where uninsured Louisiana residents can choose a health plan. The exchanges will work much the same way some people use certain internet sites to purchase airplane tickets. There will be a website with a list various health plans. Friday was the deadline for states to accept the Obama administration's invitation to run their own health insurance market. Open enrollment plans for the exchange plans start next October.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, says birth control should be sold over the counter in part because his party has “been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue.” In an online article published by The Wall Street Journal, the governor is quoted as saying adults 18 and older should be allowed to buy contraceptives over the counter and that people who have religious or other objections to birth control should not be “forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others.”
The after-effects of Hurricane Isaac are still being felt in the citrus groves of Plaquemines Parish. LSU AgCenter county agent Alan Vaughn says growers expect to be able to harvest only 10 percent of navels and only 20 percent of satsumas this year.
A federal judge has refused to let a Monroe doctor withdraw her guilty plea to a charge stemming from a plot to smuggle and illegally sell human growth hormones. Dr. Linda Bunch’s attorney said he plans to appeal Friday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote. Bunch claims her former attorneys pressured her into pleading guilty in December 2011 and failed to investigate evidence in her favor. Prosecutors argued she failed to give a valid reason for withdrawing her plea. Bunch, who is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 24, is one of three people charged in the case. An indictment accused them of conspiring to import and distribute HGH from China that wasn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Saints finally put it all together on Sunday and recorded an impressive 41 to 0 victory over division rival Tampa Bay. Quarterback Drew Brees led the way with 307 yards passing and four touchdowns.