KSYL Local News

News for Thursday 022813

By Dave Graichen


Governor Bobby Jindal has announced three legislative proposals he plans to get behind in support of Louisiana  Veterans.  Jindal  says he'll  pursue  legislation  that  creates  penalties  for anyone who fraudulently  takes  advantage  of  a  veterans business incentives, protects   veterans'   funerals  by  establishing   a   protest-free perimeter, and ensuring  active  military  and  vets  have  improved access to specialized treatment.


Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to take $100 million from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to help fund higher education in next year’s state budget. However, with roughly four months left in the current state fiscal year, the convention center has yet to transfer $20 million the governor put into this year’s state budget. The state expects to be $1.3 billion short of the money needed to keep state government services at their current levels in the budget year that begins July 1.


A new report shows Louisiana and four other states as the example in how to reduce juvenile confinement. All five states in the Justice Policy Institute study released today had a 50 percent or more reduction in the number of juveniles incarcerated from 2001 to 2010. Other states in the report were Connecticut, Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona. Louisiana had nearly a 53 percent drop in the number of juvenile confinements going from a rate of 505 youth per 100,000 in 2001 to 239 in 2010.


Louisiana is bucking a national trend in a good way. Data  from  the Governors Highway Safety association shows deaths of 16-and-17-year-old drivers increased sharply nationwide in the first six  months  of   2012,  reversing  a  decade-long  trend.  However, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Elaine Rougeau says those numbers did  not rise in .


Having a rough time making ends meet? You are not alone. Gas  prices, for one, have  been  on  a  steady  rise  over  the  last few weeks. According to Triple-A, the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline  is  $3.66,  which is 45-cents more than a month  ago.  UNO economist Janet Speyrer  (spier)  says  food  prices are also up and rising   medical   costs  are  also  making  it  tougher   on   many consumers. Another problem is that people have less disposable income, because the end of the payroll tax holiday at the start of the year, means less take home pay.


Louisiana lawmakers are set to meet today to discuss the investigation  into the company Explo at Camp Minden and 10 millions of pounds of improperly  stored explosives. Bossier City Representative Jeff Thompson is on the  House Committee on Homeland Security. He says they  want to ensure that tax payers aren't footing  the bill for the cost of cleaning up the material. He says they also need to identify the source of the oversight and make sure this never  happens again.


The Public Service Commission has pulled the plug on an "energy  efficiency" program that they approved last December. The program would  encourage consumers to become more energy efficient, but it would also  add a line item charge on monthly bills.  PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta says they will look at ways to improve the  program and bring it back for another vote in four or five months.


U.S. Sen. David Vitter filed a comprehensive bill Wednesday to increase offshore oil production revenue sharing with Louisiana and other affected states, to expand offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to expedite other permitting for projects such as the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Vitter, R-La., said the Energy Production and Project Delivery Act is intended to boost domestic energy production and economic development while also helping the “host” states that would share in the increased federal revenues.


State Police are investigation the case of two  K-9 officers  who went missing  and  were later found in shelters Tuesday  night. They say  the two dogs disappeared from the Bent Tree area from Marrero. Both were unharmed.


18  year  old  Seth Fontenot of Lafayette will not have to face  the death penalty for  the  alleged murder of 15-year-old Austin Rivault and the attempted murders  of  two of Rivault's 15-year-old friends. Court documents indicate the Lafayette  Parish DA agreed to take the death penalty off the table. Fontenot is  accused of opening fire on the three teenagers as they were riding by his home.


In efforts to help  the New Orleans Saints get under the salary cap, quarterback Drew Brees  commented  to  WWL  Radio  that  he would be willing  to  consider  anything that would help the team or its  cap situation. But ESPN is reporting  it  wouldn't  matter  because  the wording  of Brees' contract makes it difficult to provide salary cap relief.



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