News for Thursday 052313
By Dave Graichen
State Police say a 76-year-old man from Pollock is dead after crashing his truck late Tuesday night. They say Coy Kirtland was northbound on Hwy 165 in Grant Parish when he left the roadway and slammed into two culverts before over turning. Kirtland was not wearing his seat-belt and was pronounced dead on scene.
The House Appropriations Committee approves a Senate-passed bill calling for $263-million in construction of community and technical college buildings. The bill is sponsored by Benton Senator Robert Adley, who says enrollment at Louisiana's 2-year schools has doubled in recent years. Adley's bill calls for selling bonds to finance the building plan. The committee passed the bill--sending it to the House floor for
what could be final passage.
Plans to wrestle tuition-setting authority away from lawmakers and put it in the hands of educators fizzled and died in the state House of Representatives this week, representing a major blow to Louisiana’s higher education community. Currently, two-thirds of the state Legislature must sign off before colleges and universities can raise tuition. It is the toughest threshold in the country to overcome. At the same time, Louisiana is near the bottom nationwide in funding colleges while keeping tuition at some of the lowest rates in the country.
Good news for Louisiana public school education as this year's LEAP and iLEAP test results show an increase of students in grades 3 through 8 performing at or above their grade level. State Superintendent of Education John White says this reduces the number of students performing below grade level by nearly 5000.
In Central Louisiana, Evangeline Parish was listed as one of the most improved districts in the state, while Vernon Parish ranked as one of the top performing districts. Overall the performance of the voucher-supported students in private schools in the state scholarship program improved by less than a percentage point.
Legislation is moving through both chambers of the state legislature that attempts to make it difficult for Planned Parenthood to build a new facility in New Orleans. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny has a resolution that was passed by the Senate, which urges the state not to provide any tax incentives for the construction of the four
million dollar building. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast spokesperson Julie Mickelberry says the new health center in New Orleans is not just a place where women
can receive assistance to terminate their pregnancy. She says women and men will also be able to receive reproductive health care, including breast exams and cancer screening. Planned Parenthood doesn't currently operate an abortion clinic in
A watered-down “Equal Pay for Women” measure cleared the Louisiana Senate on Wednesday. The state Senate voted 23-13 for the legislation after making it apply only to women who work for state government. Senate Bill 153 originally applied to women whether they worked in the private or public sector.
The Louisiana Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a year’s delay in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new pension plan for future state employees. The Senate voted 35-0 for a Louisiana House-passed resolution suspending the law scheduled to go into effect July 1. The Jindal administration originally opposed the delay, but reversed course with the filing of the special resolution that can suspend a law without the governor’s approval. The administration has filed what it calls a “clean up” bill to fix flaws.
Louisiana’s judges would get steady pay raises over the next five years under legislation approved late Wednesday by the Louisiana Senate. The Senate voted 27-9 to accept the recommendation of the Judicial Compensation Commission which is embodied in Senate Bill 188. The bill now heads to the House for debate.
Consumers looking to pick up meat for this weekend's cook-out will see beef prices are higher than normal at the grocery store. LSU AgCenter livestock economist Ross Pruitt says that's because wholesale beef prices are at historically high levels. Pruitt says beef is not the only meat seeing higher prices this year, the same can be said for chicken and pork as well.
A federal court has approved a class-action lawsuit for the people effected by the Assumption Parish sink-hole. The now 15-acres sinkhole apparently caused by work performed by Texas Brine has left about 350 people forced out of their homes for nearly a year with no buyouts offered. WAFB is reporting a spokesman for the company said
they only just found out that their insurance carriers were not in support of the buyout process.
Another suspect in the fatal shooting of two St. John Parish sheriff’s deputies has pleaded guilty. Derrick Smith is the third suspect to enter a guilty plea in the
case. He agrees he is guilty of accessory after the fact to attempted first degree murder and possession of a firearm by an convicted felon. The suspected gunman
Brian Smith, Derrick's older brother and Kyle Joekel are both charged with first degree murder.
Deputies in Lafourche Parish have charged a Mexican national - in the country illegally - with 2nd degree murder for the death of his girlfriend's 20-month-old son. Sheriff Craig Webre says the baby died from being shaken. 24-year-old Emmanuel Hernandez is being held pending a million dollar bond. The investigation into the baby's death is ongoing.
A bill that would consider coercing a minor-aged girl into having an abortion a form of child abuse has moved closer to final passage. Denham Springs Rep. Valarie Hodges' bill has already passed the House and this week was approved by a Senate Judiciary Committee. She says her bill is to protect young mothers who want to carry their baby to full term. That bill now goes to the Senate floor.
LSU shut out Alabama yesterday in the SEC tournament. Today, they’ll be facing the razorbacks at 4pm.
Once again the LSU/Arkansas game will be played on its traditional Friday after Thanksgiving time slot in 2013. The Southeastern Conference and CBS made the announcement today. LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette says since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, the Tigers and Razorbacks have played 21 times with 16 of those games coming on a Friday. He says some of the other dates announced also makes it look like the LSU/Bama game in Tuscaloosa on November 9th will be in prime-time.