KSYL Local News

News for Friday 020714

By Dave Graichen


A teacher in Monroe facing possible dismissal stemming from Governor Bobby Jindal's tenure law is filing a lawsuit in Monroe to fight it. That's not the only one.  The Louisiana  Federation  of Teachers has filed  a  lawsuit claiming the bill is unconstitutional.  Wednesday, the governor hinted he might make some changes to soften the current law.


Heroin  addiction  and  heroin  related deaths are reaching epidemic levels in Louisiana and throughout  the  country. Dr. Ken Roy is the founder and medical director of Addiction  Recovery Resources in New Orleans. He says between 60-80% of people that  come  in  for  detox these   days   are  intravenous  heroin  users. Roy says he hopes  high  profile  heroin  deaths,  such  as  Phillip Seymour  Hoffman's,  will  encourage  more  people  to  get help and treatment before it's too late.


Nobody  won  the  Powerball last night. The jackpot  for  Saturday's drawing now goes to $247 million.


An Utterly ridiculous story.. After about a year of record high prices for milk, Louisiana consumers can expect to see those prices go down soon because of the Farm Bill that President Barack Obama is prepared to sign today. Most dairies are predicting prices will go down between 35 and 50 cents..


Louisiana businesses could pay substantial tax penalties starting in 2015 because of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rejection of Medicaid expansion, according to a new report by a national tax preparation firm. Jackson Hewitt estimated that the penalties could range between $41 million and $62 million  annually.  The study found, “States that do not expand Medicaid for adults leave their large employers exposed to higher employer ‘shared responsibility’ tax penalties” that are part of the federal Affordable Care Act.


Officials with the Texas Motor Speedway announce "The Duck Commander" as  the new title-sponsor of its annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series  race. The largest-attended, single-day sporting event in Texas will now  be called "The Duck Commander 500." Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie  Gossage says the race, which will be held April 6th, draws crowds in excess of 150,000 people.


A federal judge in Missouri has ruled drivers have a First Amendment right to flash their lights to alert oncoming motorists that a speed trap is up the road. But State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey says that  ruling  has  no  impact  on  Louisiana's law, which says it is illegal  to  flash  your  lights,  unless   it's   for  a  hazardous purpose. She  says if you flash your lights to warn other drivers  there  are officers nearby, you could be issued a citation.


The state Department of Health and Hospitals is unrolling a Parents as  Teachers program in North Louisiana which matches parents with trained  professionals who provide in-home support to families from the start of  a mother's pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten. Amy Zapata, the Director of the Bureau of Family Health with DHH says the goal of the PAT program is to support healthy  pregnancies and early child development for low income families who  qualify. She says the parent educators teach families how to stimulate  their child's early learning by facilitating activities that encourage  language development, intellectual growth and motor skills.


The  New  Orleans Arena has  officially  become  the  Smoothie  King Center.  Governor  Bobby  Jindal,  Mayor  Mitch Landrieu, Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, along with Smoothie  King  owner  Wan Kim made  that  announcement  Thursday  morning.  They  say timing is right, because the NBA All-Star game is next weekend in  New  Orleans.


With  65 billion dollars coming to Southwest Louisiana  in  expected growth  including  the  massive Sasol engergy complex, local business leaders and public officials  want  answers  on how they can prepare for it.  Calcasieu Police Juror, Hal McMillin  says  2  studies  are being  conducted  and  the  reseachers  will also look at what local government can do in advance of the tremendous economic growth. McMillin says the studies should be completed in June.


An electrocution  at Cyprus Black Bayou Park in Benton Wednesday has killed one man, and  injured  two  others.  Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Lt. Bill Davis told  the Louisiana Radio Network electrical  workers  were  doing  some  maintenance  work  when  the accident took place.  The names of the men have not been released as of yet.


The new Ouachita Parish Bridge project just got more expensive.  The Army Corps of Engineers says DOTD should find  three other locations to consider because of environmental concerns.



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