KSYL Local News Archives for 2011-10

News For Monday 10/31/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 103111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS DECLINED TO END THE CRIMINAL BRIBERY TRIAL OF FORMER RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JUROR STEVE BORDELON. DEFENSE ATTORNEYS MADE THE REQUEST FRIDAY AFTER THE PROSECUTION RESTED ITS CASE, SAYING PROSECUTORS HAD NO PROOF OF A BRIBE. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE DEE DRELL SAID THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONTINUE. THE TRIAL WILL RESUMES TODAY. IF CONVICTED, BORDELON COULD FACE A FINE AND A MAXIMUM SENTENCE OF 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON.

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE REMIND PARENTS THAT NOT EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO TAKE PART IN TONIGHT'S TRICK-OR-TREAT FESTIVITIES. STATE LAW PROHIBITS CONVICTED OR REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY WAY. TROOPER RUSSELL GRAHAM SAYS THE LAW IS VERY SPECIFIC. GRAHAM REMINDS PARENTS TO GO ON LINE AND
CHECK THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY, ON THE LOUISIANA STATE POLICE WEBSITE.
GRAHAM SAYS THE LAW PROHIBITS REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS FROM WEARING ANY
KIND OF COSTUME THAT WOULD CONCEAL THEIR IDENTITY.

A STATUE OF EVANGELINE WAS UNVEILED SATURDAY IN FRONT OF THE EVANGELINE PARISH COURTHOUSE DURING THE PARISH’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. THE PARISH TOOK ITS NAME FROM THE FAMOUS HEROINE IN HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW’S “EVANGELINE. OFFICIALS SAY THE STATUE WILL BE A FOCAL POINT FOR TOURISTS TRAVELING TO THE AREA IN SEARCH OF EVANGELINE AND EVANGELINE PRODUCTS.

STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY AND DEMOGRAPHER ELLIOTT B. STONECIPHER WILL BE IN TOWN TOMORROW FOR THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA REAL ESTATE & ECONOMIC FORUM, AT THE COUGHLIN-SAUNDERS PERFORMING ARTS. THE PROGRAM IS SPONSORED BY THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA BOARD OF REALTORS. ADMISSION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. A RECEPTION WILL FOLLOW ACROSS THE STREET AT RIVER OAKS SQUARE ARTS CENTER. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. FOR DETAILS, CALL (318) 473-8324.

A LOUISIANA MAN ACCUSED OF BLUDGEONING, DECAPITATING AND DISMEMBERING HIS DISABLED 7-YEAR-OLD SON HAS BEEN MOVED TO A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY NORTH OF BATON ROUGE. THIRTY-YEAR-OLD JEREMIAH LEE WRIGHT WAS SENT TO THE EASTERN LOUISIANA STATE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM IN JACKSON FROM THE LAFOURCHE PARISH DETENTION CENTER IN THIBODAUX ON FRIDAY. WRIGHT WAS FOUND NOT COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL OCT. 18. AND COMMITTED TO THE FACILITY. THE JUDGE ALSO ORDERED MONTHLY REPORTS ON THE PROGRESS OF HIS TREATMENT. THE FIRST STATUS CONFERENCE IS SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 31.

IN ORDER TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING LSU POST-SEASON TICKETS. FOR THIS YEAR, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO MAKE A DONATION TO IMPROVE YOUR POSITION ON THE PRIORITY POINT LIST. TIGER ATHLETIC FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICK PERRY SAYS THE MORE MONEY YOU DONATE, THE HIGHER YOU ARE ON THE PRIORITY LIST. PERRY SAYS THE HIGHER YOU ARE ON THE PRIORITY LIST, THE BETTER CHANCE YOU HAVE AT GETTING TICKETS FOR BOWL GAMES OR THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP. HE SAYS WHILE TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO MAKE DONATIONS, NOVEMBER 12TH IS THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR TICKETS.

CASES OF INFLUENZA ARE TURNING UP ACROSS LOUISIANA, AS STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT THIS YEAR. DR. JIMMY GUIDRY HEADS THE STATE OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH. HE SAYS DOCTORS' OFFICES STATEWIDE ARE BEGINNING TO REPORT CASES OF COMMON FLU IN SMALL NUMBERS. HE SAYS GETTING FLU VACCINE NOW COULD HELP KEEP THOSE NUMBERS LOW. GUIDRY ADVISES TAKING THE SHOT SOONER THAN LATER.

A HALF-SCALE REPLICA OF THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL WILL BE IN LAFAYETTE DURING NOVEMBER. VOLUNTEERS ARE BEING SOUGHT TO HELP HONOR THE MORE THAN 58,000 VETERANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE WAR. TOM GROTE, AN ARMY VETERAN OF THE WAR, SAYS ALL OF THE NAMES WILL BE READ ALOUD AROUND THE CLOCK. THE REPLICA IS A TRAVELING EXHIBIT CALLED "THE WALL THAT HEALS" AND WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT GREENLAWN MEMORIAL GARDENS IN LAFAYETTE NOV. 17-21.

SAPA EXTRUSIONS, ONE OF THE NORTHEASTERN LOUISIANA DELTA'S LARGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYERS, WILL CREATE UP TO 30 NEW JOBS AND OPEN A SECOND FACILITY IN DELHI EARLY NEXT YEAR. PLANT MANAGER RON BALLMAN SAID FRIDAY THE MOVE INVOLVES THE RELOCATION OF A PLANT FROM MAGNOLIA, ARK.

A ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CATHEDRAL MUSIC DIRECTOR IS BEING SOUGHT AFTER MISSOURI AUTHORITIES ACCUSED HIM OF STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD. ACCORDING TO AUTHORITIES IN ST. LOUIS, MAXIMILLIAN TENNEY FACES ONE COUNT OF THEFT IN EXCESS OF $25,000 AND AN ADDITIONAL 15 COUNTS OF FORGERY. THE TOWN TALK REPORTED OVER THE WEEKEND THAT LOCAL AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN ASKED TO LOCATE TENNEY. AN AUDIT CONDUCTED IN JULY 2010 REVEALED NUMEROUS IMPROPER DISBURSEMENTS FROM THE CATHEDRAL CHOIR BANK ACCOUNT. TWELVE CHECKS WERE WRITTEN PAYABLE TO TENNEY'S FATHER AND DEPOSITED IN A BANK IN HIS FATHER'S NAME.

JOHNNY RILEY, THE FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS FOR THE CITY OF MONROE, HAS ANNOUNCED HE WILL BE CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR IN 2012. RILEY MADE HIS FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT SATURDAY. RILEY, PRESIDENT OF RILEY PITTS GROUP LLC, WAS HIRED IN 2005 BY CURRENT MAYOR JAMIE MAYO. HE LEFT THE CITY JOB IN 2008. RILEY SAYS HE WANTS TO RUN BECAUSE HE FELT A DESIRE TO MOVE THE CITY AND ITS RESIDENTS IN THE "RIGHT DIRECTION."

AN EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH MAN CLAIMS HE SUFFERED HALLUCINATIONS AND INJURIES LAST FALL AFTER SMOKING A PRODUCT LABELED "POTPOURRI/INCENSE." JOHN ALEXANDER RADFORD HAS SUED THE OWNERS OF THE STORE WHERE HE ALLEGEDLY BOUGHT THE PRODUCT. HIS LAWSUIT ALLEGES THAT WHILE THE PRODUCT WAS LABELED 'POTPOURRI/INCENSE,' IT WAS BEING SOLD AS, MARKETED AS AND INTENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER AND SELLER TO BE USED AS A SYNTHETIC VERSION OF MARIJUANA.
AN ATTORNEY FOR BATON ROUGE BUSINESSMAN HAS CALLED THE SUIT FRIVOLOUS AND SAID RADFORD "NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS."



SPORTS..

STEVEN JACKSON SCORED TWO TOUCHDOWNS AND HAD HIS FIRST 100-YARD RUSHING GAME IN THREE SEASONS AS THE ST. LOUIS RAMS UPSET THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 31-21 FOR THEIR FIRST WIN ON SUNDAY. THE NFC SOUTH-LEADING SAINTS (5-3) AVERAGE AN NFL-BEST 35 POINTS BUT NEVER GOT GOING AGAINST A DEFENSE RANKED NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE LEAGUE.



News For Friday 10/28/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 102811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

SOME STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE UPSET THAT LOUISIANA FAILED TO ACT ON AN $80-MILLION FEDERAL GRANT TO HELP BRING BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS TO RURAL AREAS. AMONG THEM SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU AND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER FOSTER CAMPBELL. CAMPBELL SAYS BRINGING BETTER INTERNET SERVICE TO REMOTE AREAS WOULD BE GOOD FOR BUSINESS, EDUCATION...EVERYONE; BUT THE STATE DIDN'T USE THE MONEY AND SO IT WAS RESCINDED BY THE FEDS. HE SAYS GOVERNOR JINDAL SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE TO KEEP THE MONEY FROM FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS. COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER SAYS WHILE THE GRANT LOOKS GREAT ON PAPER, THERE WERE SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH ITS IMPLEMENTATION.

A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER IS MAKING ITS WAY ACROSS THE STATE TODAY. THE LATEST COLD FRONT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GIVE US SOME OF THE COOLEST TEMPERATURES OF THE SEASON. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS LOOK FOR THE MERCURY TO START FALLING THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THE CANADIAN AIR MASS WILL GIVE US LOWS OVER THE WEEKEND RAGING FROM THE MID TO UPPER 30'S IN NORTH LOUISIANA AND IN THE MID 40'S FARTHER SOUTH. BUT KEIM SAYS DAYTIME TEMPS THIS WEEKEND WILL BE PLEASANT...

THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION IS URGING MOTORISTS AND TRICK-OR-TREATERS TO PLAY IT SAFE ON THE ROADS THIS HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COL. JOHN LEBLANC SAYS THERE WERE 755 CRASHES DURING THE 100 HOURS SURROUNDING HALLOWEEN LAST YEAR. LEBLANC SAYS PLAN A SAFE WAY HOME BEFORE FESTIVITIES BEGIN. LEBLANC SAYS HALLOWEEN IS RANKED SECOND BEHIND MARDI GRAS IN THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CRASHES THAT INVOLVED DEATHS OR INJURIES.

ONLINE TICKET BROKERS SAY DEMAND FOR TICKETS TO THE LSU-ALABAMA MATCHUP ON NOVEMBER 5TH IS BREAKING RECORDS. FANSNAP.COM IS ONE WEBSITE THAT CONNECTS CONSUMERS WITH TICKET SELLERS. CEO MIKE JAMES SAYS TICKETS FOR THE TIGERS-TIDE GAME ARE GOING FOR THE HIGHEST PRICES FANSNAP'S EVER RECORDED FOR A COLLEGE GAME. JAMES SAYS TICKETS ARE GOING FOR AS MUCH AS $5000 EACH FOR PRIME SEATS, WITH AVERAGE PRICES JUST OVER $800. HE SAYS THE CHEAPEST TICKETS ARE SELLING FOR $385. JAMES SAYS THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE TICKETS IS ACTUALLY RISING, AS THE GAME GROWS CLOSER.

TEXAS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, RICK PERRY, MADE A FUNDRAISING STOP AT A PRIVATE RESIDENCE IN LAFAYETTE LAST NIGHT. SUPPORTERS PAID A MINIMUM OF A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO HEAR PERRY SPEAK AND 25-HUNDRED DOLLARS TO HAVE THEIR PICTURE TAKEN WITH THE TEXAS GOVERNOR.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION WON'T RELEASE THE NAMES OR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE APPLIED TO BE ON THE BOARD FOR A NEW CORPORATION TO RUN ALL STATE HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. CHRISTINA STEPHENS, A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE GOVERNOR'S DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION, SAID THE APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AND ONCE THERE, WERE EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FORMALLY REQUESTED THE INFORMATION, BUT STEPHENS SAID IT CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC.

A LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY INMATE HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER FOR THE STABBING DEATH OF A PRISON GUARD DURING A RIOT BACK IN 1999. THE JURY OF EIGHT WOMEN AND FOUR MEN DELIBERATED JUST OVER AN HOUR THURSDAY BEFORE DELIVERING THE UNANIMOUS VERDICT AGAINST DAVID BROWN, 38. PROSECUTORS ARE SEEKING THE DEATH PENALTY AGAINST BROWN, WHO IS SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE FOR A 1992 MURDER IN JEFFERSON PARISH. TESTIMONY IS EXPECTED FRIDAY IN THE PENALTY PHASE OF BROWN'S TRIAL AS THE JURY DECIDES WHETHER TO GIVE HIM THE DEATH PENALTY. A UNANIMOUS VERDICT IS REQUIRED FOR A DEATH SENTENCE.

TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY IS ASKING LAWMAKERS FOR PERMISSION TO BUY A NEW VEHICLE WITH STATE TAXPAYER DOLLARS, TO REPLACE HIS 10-YEAR-OLD SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE. KENNEDY'S OFFICE BOUGHT A USED 2002 YUKON NINE YEARS AGO. NOW, THE SUV HAS MORE THAN 335,000 MILES ON IT, SO THE TREASURER IS SEEKING A REPLACEMENT.
STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE ALLOWED TO BUY VEHICLES ON THE STATE'S DIME OR RECEIVE A CAR ALLOWANCE. BUT THEY MUST FIRST GET APPROVAL FROM THE LEGISLATURE'S JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE BEFORE USING STATE CASH TO BUY VEHICLES, UNDER A 2005 LAW. THE LAW WAS TRIGGERED BY THEN-INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ROBERT WOOLEY'S PURCHASE OF A $40,000 HARLEY DAVIDSON-EDITION PICKUP, LOADED WITH A SERIES OF EXTRAS AT STATE EXPENSE. IT WAS HIS SECOND STATE VEHICLE IN TWO YEARS

A FORMER LAKE CHARLES CASINO DEALER AND A FORMER CUSTOMER HAVE PLEADED GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO DEFRAUD THE CASINO BY RIGGING ROULETTE GAMES. THE TWO FACE A MAXIMUM OF FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWING THEIR GUILTY PLEAS THURSDAY TO CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY DEALERN ALLOWED THE CUSTOMER TO PLACE BETS AT THE ROULETTE WHEELS AT L'AUBERGE DU LAC CASINO AFTER THE BALL HAD FALLEN INTO THE WINNING NUMBERS. TWO OTHER DEFENDANTS WERE CHARGED WITH PARTICIPATING IN THE PLOT, WHICH COST THE CASINO MORE THAN $1 MILLION.

KEN FEINBERG, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE 20-BILLION DOLLAR FUND TO COMPENSATE BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS HURT BY THE BP OIL SPILL, HAS CHANGED THE RULES TO MAKE MORE GENEROUS PAYOUTS TO LOUISIANA SHRIMPERS. CLINT GUIDRY, HEAD OF THE LOUISIANA SHRIMPERS ASSOCIATION SAYS HE'S GRATIFIED THAT FEINBERG IS STARTING TO SEE THINGS THEIR WAY. FEINBERG SAYS HE EXPECTS TO HAVE THE NEW RULES IN PLACE WITHIN TWO WEEKS. FINEBERG HAS BEEN UNDER FIRE FROM SEAFOOD PRODUCERS IN LOUISIANA FOR DENYING MANY CLAIMS AND THE SLOW PACE OF PAYMENTS. SO FAR THE FUND HAD PAID OUT ONLY 5.5-BILLION DOLLARS. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS SCHEDULED AN AUDIT OF THE CONTROVERSIAL PROGRAM.

A WEBSTER PARISH STUDENT IS BEHIND BARS FOR PUNCHING HIS COACH IN THE FACE DURING FOOTBALL PRACTICE. AUTHORITIES SAY 17-YEAR-OLD JEFFERY WALKER WAS FIGHTING ANOTHER PLAYER DURING NORTH WEBSTER HIGH SCHOOL'S FOOTBALL PRACTICE WHEN THE INCIDENT OCCURRED. THE BOY IS CHARGED WITH MISDEMEANOR BATTERY ON A SCHOOL TEACHER AND IS BEING HELD ON 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND. THE BOY HAS BEEN EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL.

THE ASSUMPTION PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS SEARCHING FOR A MAN WHO ROBBED AN 88-YEAR-OLD CEMETERY GROUNDSKEEPER AND SHOVED HIM INTO A TOMB. SHERIFF MIKE WAGUESPACK SAYS THE VICTIM HAD FINISHED HIS WORK FOR THE DAY AND WAS LOADING EQUIPMENT INTO HIS TRUCK WHEN HE WAS ATTACKED. THE MAN WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL AND HAS BEEN RELEASED AFTER BEING TREATED FOR INJURIES TO HIS ARM AND
NECK.

AUTHORITIES HAVE FOUND THE BODY OF A NORTH PARK EMPLOYEE IN A TRUCK THAT WAS SUBMERGED IN A POND ON THE GROUNDS OF THE DENHAM SPRINGS PARK. A LIVINGSTON PARISH SHERIFF'S SPOKESMAN SAYS THE CAUSE OF DEATH IS UNKNOWN, BUT THE VICTIM'S WIFE TOLD DEPUTIES THAT HER HUSBAND WAS ON A SEIZURE MEDICATION AND HE MAY HAVE HAD A SEIZURE BEFORE DRIVING INTO THE POND.

AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LIBRARIAN IN EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH IS ACCUSED OF CHOKING A 9-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, WHO WAS REPORTEDLY MISBEHAVING. THE ALLEGED INCIDENT HAPPENED IN EARLY SEPTEMBER. POLICE IN BAKER HAVE CHARGED 67-YEAR-OLD MAXINE GRAY WITH CRUELTY TO A JUVENILE. GRAY SAYS SHE DISCIPLINED THE CHILD, BUT DID NOT STRIKE OR CHOKE HIM.

OUTGOING TERREBONNE PARISH SHERIFF VERNON BOURGEOIS' NEXT JOB WILL BE ON TELEVISION. BOURGEOIS WILL BE PART OF "CAJUN BLUE", A NEW REALITY SHOW FOCUSING ON TERREBONNE PARISH DEPUTIES. THE A&E CABLE CHANNEL WILL BEGIN AIRING THE SHOW LATE THIS YEAR OR EARLY NEXT.

SCIENTISTS HAVE DETERMINED WHAT KILLED SOME OF THE HUNDREDS OF DOLPHINS ALONG THE GULF COAST OVER THE PAST YEAR, BUT HAVE FOUND NO SOLID LINK TO LAST YEAR'S BP OIL SPILL. DR. TERI ROWLES IS A MARINE MAMMAL PATHOLOGIST FOR THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION. SHE SAYS A DEADLY BACTERIA WAS FOUND IN SOME CARCASSES TESTED. ROWLES SAYS THE BACTERIA BRUCELLA WAS FOUND IN FIVE DOLPHINS TESTED. IT CAN LEAD TO ILLNESS AND FAILED PREGNANCIES IN MAMMALS, WHICH SHE SAYS WOULD EXPLAIN THE HIGH NUMBER OF DOLPHIN INFANTS FOUND DEAD. ROWLES IS NOT RULING THE OIL SPILL OUT AS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE DEATHS OF OVER 500 DOLPHINS SINCE FEBRUARY 2010.

AN 18-YEAR-OLD HARVEY MAN THURSDAY REMAINED IN THE JEFFERSON PARISH CORRECTIONAL CENTER ON $1 MILLION BOND AFTER HE WAS BOOKED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY. AUTHORITIES SAY DANIEL WRIGHT TORTURED DOMESTIC AND WILD ANIMALS FOR FUN. WRIGHT WAS BOOKED WITH 10 COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED ANIMAL CRUELTY ON WEDNESDAY, AFTER A TIP FROM RESIDENTS LED AUTHORITIES TO SEVERAL TORTURED CATS.

PORT ALLEN POLICE CHIEF FRED SMITH WAS CONVICTED THURSDAY OF RACKETEERING AND FRAUD CHARGES STEMMING FROM ALLEGATIONS HE SOLICITED BRIBES FROM AN UNDERCOVER FBI OPERATIVE. SMITH HAS BEEN ORDERED TO RESIGN BY FRIDAY, FOLLOWING HIS CONVICTIONS BY A FEDERAL JURY IN BATON ROUGE. SMITH WAS ONE OF SEVERAL LOUISIANA OFFICIALS CHARGED IN AN FBI STING OPERATION. FORMER PORT ALLEN MAYOR DEREK LEWIS AND FORMER CITY COUNCILMAN JOHNNY L. JOHNSON SR. HAD PLEADED GUILTY TO RELATED CHARGES. FORMER ST. GABRIEL MAYOR GEORGE GRACE IS SCHEDULED FOR TRIAL IN JANUARY ON CHARGES STEMMING FROM THE FBI PROBE.

News For Thursday 10/27/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 102711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

IT WILL TAKE A JURY TO DECIDE IF A FORMER RAPIDES PARISH GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL RECEIVED A SWEETHEART DEAL IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS VOTE ON A RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION OR WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS THE VICTIM OF A SMEAR CAMPAIGN BY THE SUBDIVISION'S DEVELOPERS. STEVE BORDELON'S BRIBERY TRIAL IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN ALEXANDRIA FINALLY GOT UNDER WAY YESTERDAY, AFTER TWO DAYS OF JURY SELECTION. THAT JURY SET WITH THE TASK OF DECIDING IF BORDELON SOLD HIS VOTE WHEN HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY. BORDELON WAS INDICTED IN APRIL OF LAST YEAR ON ONE COUNT OF BRIBERY. HE FACES UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON AND A FINE IF THE JURY FINDS HIM GUILTY.

THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA HUMAN SERVICES DISTRICT, A NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION CREATED TO TAKE OVERSIGHT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ISSUES IN CENLA AWAY FROM THE STATE'S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS, HELD ITS FIRST PUBLIC FORUM AT KEES PARK IN PINEVILLE YESTERDAY. THE FORUM WAS USED AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCED THE BOARD MEMBERS TO THE PUBLIC AND ALSO TOUCHED ON SOME OF THE ISSUES THE DISTRICT WILL OVERSEE. THE BOARD IS EXPECTED TO BE CERTIFIED AS READY IN DECEMBER, CLEARING THE WAY FOR THE HIRING OF AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO OVERSEE THE DISTRICT.

STATE POLICE REPORT A GLENMORA MAN WAS KILLED IN A TWO-VEHICLE CRASH TUESDAY ON LA. HIGHWAY 121 NEAR HINESTON. 80 YEAR OLD FLOYD GOLEMAN WAS A PASSENGER IN VEHICLE BEING DRIVEN BY A 16-YEAR-OLD BOY. THE BOY WAS DRIVING SOUTH ON LA. 121 WHEN HE ATTEMPTED TO MAKE A LEFT TURN NORTH ONTO LA. 112. THE VEHICLE COLLIDED WITH AN 18 WHEELER BEING DRIVEN BY DAVID CARROLL OF HINESTON. GOLEMAN WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT RAPIDES REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER. THE JUVENILE DRIVER WAS NOT INJURED. TROOPERS CHARGED THE BOY WITH IMPROPER TURNING AND NO DRIVER'S LICENSE.

AN ALEXANDRIA WOMAN WAS SERIOUSLY HURT WEDNESDAY MORNING IN A SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH ON U.S. HIGHWAY 167 NEAR WILLIANA THAT INJURED FOUR OTHERS. THE CRASH, SHORTLY BEFORE 11AM. TROOPERS SAY A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY 20 YEAR OLD ANDREA BENNETT LEFT HIGHWAY 167 AND HIT SOME TREES. FOUR PASSENGERS IN THE VEHICLE RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES

STATE POLICE SAYS A JAIL ESCAPEE, WHO IS ALSO ACCUSED OF ROBBING A BANK IN EVANGELINE PARISH TUESDAY MORNING, HAS BEEN CAPTURED IN OKLAHOMA. 42-YEAR-OLD BRIAN KEITH SOILEAU WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER A POLICE CHASE IN SUBURBAN OKLAHOMA CITY. SOILEAU TRIED TO FLEE THE OFFICERS AND ALSO EXCHANGED GUNFIRE, BEFORE HE WAS EVENTUALLY SHOT. SOILEAU ESCAPED FROM THE PINE PRAIRIE DETENTION CENTER ON OCTOBER 13TH.

AUTHORITIES FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH THE WASHINGTON PARISH ESCAPEE WHO HAS ELUDED CAPTURE SINCE OCTOBER 12TH. KAUNDA MAGEE WAS SHOT AND CAPTURED JUST OFF A RURAL ROAD IN PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI. STATE POLICE SAYS IT BEGAN WHEN A PROPERTY OWNER ASKED POLICE TO CHECK AN ABANDONED MOBILE HOME ON THE BACK OF HIS PROPERTY. THERE THEY FOUND MAGEE. EVEN THOUGH THE ESCAPEE WAS FOUND IN MISSISSIPPI, IT WAS A LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER WHO MADE THE ARREST.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE HAS RESCINDED AN $80 MILLION GRANT AWARDED TO LOUISIANA LAST YEAR THAT WOULD HAVE EXPANDED THE REACH OF BROADBAND INTERNET TO RURAL AND POOR AREAS OF THE STATE. U.S. SEN. MARY LANDRIEU ON WEDNESDAY WAS DISAPPOINTED, SAYING THE "STATE WAS UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO MEET THE NECESSARY DEADLINES" TO MOVE THE PROJECT FORWARD. LANDRIEU SAYING, "DESPITE RECEIVING THE GREEN LIGHT FOR MORE THAN $80 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS, THE STATE FUMBLED THE BALL AND WAS EITHER UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT.”

FEDERAL REGULATORS HAVE GIVEN THEIR PERMISSION TO BP TO START DRILLING A NEW DEEPWATER WELL IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THIS IS THE FIRST PERMIT GIVEN TO BP SINCE LAST YEAR'S DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER. REGULATORS SAY BP HAS MET ALL THE NEW, STRICT SAFETY REQUIREMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED SINCE THE SPILL.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL PUBLICLY ANNOUNCES HIS SUPPORT FOR LAKE CHARLES REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK KLECKLEY TO BECOME THE NEXT SPEAKER OF THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. JINDAL CALLS KLECKLEY A TRUE CONSERVATIVE. KLECKLEY, WHO’S CURRENTLY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE, WILL NEED 53 VOTES FROM FELLOW HOUSE MEMBERS TO BECOME THE NEXT SPEAKER. LAFAYETTE REPUBLICAN JOEL ROBIDEAUX CLAIMS JINDAL IS PRESSURING LAWMAKERS TO SUPPORT KLECKLEY, BUT THE GOVERNOR SAYS THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

LOUISIANA'S EMPLOYMENT PICTURE BRIGHTENED IN SEPTEMBER AS THE STATE REGISTERED ITS LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SINCE APRIL 2010, THE STATE WORKFORCE COMMISSION REPORTED WEDNESDAY. ON A SEASONALLY ADJUSTED BASIS, THE STATE'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN SEPTEMBER ALSO WAS 6.9 PERCENT, DOWN FROM 7.2 PERCENT IN AUGUST. THE NATIONAL JOBLESS RATE WAS 9.1 PERCENT FOR BOTH MONTHS.

MEMBERS OF A LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION HAVE DISCUSSED MAKING "TWEAKS" TO THE STATE'S HIGHER EDUCATION GOVERNING STRUCTURE, WHILE SPEAKING OUT AGAINST CONSOLIDATING INTO ANY TYPE OF "SUPERBOARD" FOR COLLEGES. EDUCATION CONSULTANT AIMS MCGUINNESS TOLD THE GOVERNANCE COMMISSION TUESDAY THAT THE HIGHER EDUCATION BOARDS AND SYSTEMS COULD USE MORE STATUTORY CLARITY IN THEIR ROLES, BUT THAT WHOLESALE CHANGES ARE NOT NEEDED. THE GOVERNANCE COMMISSION IS THE RESULT OF HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 184, APPROVED IN JUNE AS A COMPROMISE AFTER LEGISLATION FAILED THAT WOULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE STATE'S COLLEGE BOARDS AND SYSTEMS AND FORMED A MERGED HIGHER EDUCATION SUPERBOARD WITH ADDITIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES.

SPEAKING OF THE BAMA GAME, THOUSANDS OF LSU FANS WILL BE HEADED TO TUSCALOOSA THE WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 5TH TO WITNESS THE GAME OF THE CENTURY BETWEEN THE TIGERS AND THE CRIMSON TIDE. ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON EDITH PARTEN SAYS HOTELS ARE ALL BOOKED UP IN TUSCALOOSA, BUT FANS ARE ENCOURAGED TO COME OUT TO BRYANT DENNY STADIUM TO EXPERIENCE THE ATMOSPHERE. PARTEN SAYS BIRMINGHAM IS A GOOD SPOT FOR LAST MINUTE TRAVELERS TO FIND A HOTEL ROOM AND IT'S A SHORT DRIVE FROM TUSCALOOSA.

A SHREVEPORT BUSINESSMAN HAS BEEN INDICTED ON CHARGES HE CONCEALED NEARLY $2 MILLION FROM HIS CREDITORS AND LAUNDERED THE MONEY TO BUY A BOAT AND A STAKE IN A PRIVATE JET. A FEDERAL GRAND JURY ON WEDNESDAY INDICTED 55-YEAR-OLD HAROLD ROSBOTTOM JR. ON CHARGES THAT INCLUDE FOUR COUNTS OF CONCEALMENT OF ASSETS FROM CREDITORS AND TWO COUNTS OF MONEY LAUNDERING.

THE STATE FAIR OF LOUISIANA KICKS OFF IN SHREVEPORT TODAY. STATE FAIR PRESIDENT CHRIS GIORDANO SAYS THIS YEAR'S FAIR FEATURES CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD WHICH IS A FREE CIRCUS EVERYDAY IN A BIG TOP. THE MIDWAY FEATURES OVER 60 RIDES INCLUDING A BRAND NEW FERRIS WHEEL. THE FAIR WILL RUN THROUGH NOVEMBER 13TH.




News For Wednesday 10/26/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 102611
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

HURRICANE RINA NEARED CATEGORY 3 STRENGTH OVER THE CARIBBEAN ON TUESDAY ON A TRACK TOWARD MEXICO’S YUCATAN PENINSULA RESORTS AND AWAY FROM THE MAJOR OIL REGIONS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO. RINA’S TOP SUSTAINED WINDS ARE110 MPH. THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SAYS THE ENVIRONMENT APPEARS FAVORABLE FOR SOME ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS THE CYCLONE MOVES OVER VERY WARM WATERS. THE AGENCY FORECASTS THAT WINDS WILL PEAK AT 115 MPH THE STORM TRACK CALLS FOR RINA STORM TO CLOSE IN ON COZUMEL AND CANCUN IN TWO DAYS BEFORE TURNING AWAY FROM THE GULF AND SKIRTING WESTERN CUBA.

GOVERNOR JINDAL BACKS WESTWEGO STATE SENATOR JOHN ALARIO TO BE THE NEXT SENATE PRESIDENT, AND ONE POLITICAL OBSERVER SAYS THE CHOICE MAKES SENSE. POLITICAL ANALYST CLANCY DUBOS SAYS ALARIO HAS BEEN A STATE LAWMAKER SINCE 1972, AND JINDAL IS TAPPING INTO HIS VAST EXPERIENCE AND HIS MANY CONNECTIONS. ALARIO IS A LONG-TIME DEMOCRAT, BUT JOINED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN 2010. AT 68, ALARIO IS THE DEAN OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE; HAVING BEEN THERE LONGER THAN ANY OTHER SEATED LAWMAKER. HE SERVED TWICE AS HOUSE SPEAKER, ONCE ON THE 80'S AND AGAIN IN THE 90'S.

ONE OF THE CONTENDERS VYING TO BE LOUISIANA'S NEXT HOUSE SPEAKER SAID GOV. BOBBY JINDAL IS IMPROPERLY PUSHING LAKE CHARLES REP. CHUCK KLECKLEY FOR THE POST. REP. JOEL ROBIDEAUX OF LAFAYETTE SAID TUESDAY THAT JINDAL IS TRYING TO PRESSURE HOUSE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT KLECKLEY. BUT ROBIDEAUX SAID KLECKLEY DOESN'T HAVE THE SUPPORT OF 52 OTHER REPRESENTATIVES, THE MAJORITY OF THE 105-MEMBER CHAMBER NEEDED TO BE ELECTED TO THE POSITION IN JANUARY. BOTH ROBIDEAUX AND KLECKLEY ARE REPUBLICANS. ROBIDEAUX IS THE HOUSE'S NUMBER TWO RANKING OFFICIAL, WHILE KLECKLY IS CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE.

THE DEFEAT OF A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN LAST SATURDAY'S ELECTION THAT WOULD HAVE CHANGED THE REPAYMENT RULES FOR LOUISIANA'S "RAINY DAY" FUND RESTARTS A LAWSUIT THAT HAD BEEN ON HOLD, WITH POSSIBLE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR IMPLICATIONS ON THE STATE BUDGET. IN THE LAWSUIT A FORMER STATE LAWMAKER CLAIMS LEGISLATORS VIOLATED THE STATE CONSTITUTION BY NOT REFILLING THE RAINY DAY FUND AFTER USING IT TO HELP CLOSE A DEFICIT IN THE 2009-10 FISCAL YEAR. THE AMENDMENT DEFEATED OVER THE WEEKEND WOULD HAVE REWORKED THE REPAYMENT RULES FOR THE BUDGET STABILIZATION FUND, SO MONEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO BE REIMBURSED IN THE YEAR IT IS USED OR THE FOLLOWING YEAR. THE REPAYMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH YEARS, ONE-THIRD AT A TIME. FIFTY-ONE PERCENT OF THOSE WHO WENT TO THE POLLS IN THE PRIMARY VOTED AGAINST THE PROPOSAL.

THE ST. LANDRY PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING WHAT APPEARS TO BE A MURDER-SUICIDE THAT OCCURRED NEAR THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON. A WOMAN WAS FATALLY WOUNDED MONDAY IN THE INCIDENT. THE GUNMAN, WHO HAD BEEN DRIVING WITH THE FEMALE VICTIM, DIED MONDAY EVENING AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL. NEITHER VICTIM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED PENDING NOTIFICATION OF NEXT OF KIN.

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE AND OTHER AGENCIES ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR AN EVANGELINE PARISH JAIL ESCAPEE WHO ALLEGEDLY ROBBED A VIDRINE BANK YESTERDAY MORNING. TROOPER JAMES ANDERSON SAYS 42-YEAR-OLD BRIAN SOILEAU ESCAPED THE PINE PRAIRIE DETENTION CENTER ON OCTOBER 13TH. ANDERSON SAYS SOILEAU WAS DOING STATE TIME FOR AGGRAVATED BURGLARY AND OTHER PENDING CHARGES. HE SAYS THE SUSPECT'S CURRENT LOCATION IS UNKNOWN..

A 23-YEAR-OLD MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN THE DEATH OF A BATON ROUGE TODDLER WHO WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE OVER THE WEEKEND. AUTHORITIES SAY RANDY PARKER WAS BOOKED MONDAY ON A COUNT OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE FATAL BEATING OF NEARLY 2-YEAR-OLD DEMARCUS STOKES. POLICE SAY PARKER IS ACCUSED OF HITTING THE BABY SEVERAL TIMES IN THE HEAD, THROAT AND ON THE EXTREMITIES BECAUSE HE WOULDN'T SIT STILL FOR A HAIRCUT. MCKNEELY SAYS AN AUTOPSY SHOWS THE CHILD DIED OF BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA. PARKER, WHO IS NOT THE BABY'S FATHER BUT LIVED IN THE HOME, WAS BOOKED INTO THE PARISH JAIL. THE CHILD'S22 YEAR OLD MOTHER WAS BOOKED TUESDAY ON A CHARGE OF ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT TO FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AND SECOND-DEGREE CRUELTY TO A JUVENILE.

RAPIDES PARISH ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHNNY GIORDANO HAS BEEN APPOINTED THE NEW DIRECTOR OF PROJECT 50. PROJECT 50 IS A 9TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT EFFORT TO "IDENTIFY AND SWIFTLY" PROSECUTE DEFENDANTS WITH PRIOR CONVICTIONS AND RECENT ARRESTS THAT "SHOW THEM TO BE A CONTINUING DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY," DA JAMES DOWNS NAMED GIORDANO TO TAKE THE PROJECT 50 POST THAT HAD BEEN HELD BY LOREN LAMPERT, A FORMER PROSECUTOR WHO RECENTLY BECAME ALEXANDRIA POLICE CHIEF.

PECAN LOVERS MAY NOTICE THAT THEIR FAVORITE NUT WILL BE A LITTLE SMALLER AND MORE EXPENSIVE THIS SEASON, BUT EXPERTS SAY THE QUALITY WILL STILL BE GOOD. LSU AGCENTER PECAN SPECIALIST RANDY SANDERLIN SAYS BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT THIS YEAR IN LOUISIANA, PECANS WEREN'T ABLE TO REACH FULL SIZE.

A NEW REPORT BY THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL COUNCIL SAYS EXPANDING SOURCES OF NATURAL GAS COULD PRODUCE MORE THAN 35-THOUSAND NEW JOBS IN LOUISIANA. LOUISIANA CHEMICAL ASSOCIATION SPOKESPERSON DAN BORNE SAYS SHALE GAS PROJECTS IN LOUISIANA ARE A MAJOR SOURCE OF INVESTMENT. BORNE SAYS INVESTMENTS SUCH AS THE NUCOR STEEL MILL IN ST. JAMES PARISH AND SIMILAR PROJECTS IN THE LAKE CHARLES AREA, ARE BASED ON THE AVAILABILITY OF CHEAP NATURAL GAS. HE SAYS THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHALE GAS HAS CHANGED THE ECONOMIC MODEL FOR LOUISIANA.

THE TANGIPAHOA PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE BODY OF A 65-YEAR-OLD MAN, HIS HANDS TIED BEHIND HIS BACK, WAS FOUND IN HIS BURNING HOME. AUTHORITIES SAY THE FIRE WAS REPORTED MONDAY NEAR HAMMOND. INVESTIGATORS ARE WAITING ON AUTOPSY REPORTS AND HAVE NOT RELEASED THE MAN'S NAME.

SOME FOLKS LIKE BEER WITH THEIR OYSTERS. HOW ABOUT OYSTERS IN YOUR BEER? ST. TAMMANY PARISH-BASED ABITA BREWING ROLLS OUT ITS LATEST SELECT BREW --MADE WITH FRESH LOUISIANA OYSTERS. ABITA BREW MASTER MARK WILSON SAYS THE NEW IMPERIAL LOUISIANA OYSTER STOUT IS THE RECIPE OF LAST YEAR'S ABITA HOME BREWING COMPETITION WINNER. THE OYSTER STOUT IS THE RECIPE OF HOME-BREWER KERRY YOES, OF ZACHARY. AS PART OF HIS BREWING CONTEST PRIZE, ABITA BREWED AND DISTRIBUTED HIS RECIPE. WILSON SAYS JUST 400 KEGS OF OYSTER STOUT WERE BREWED, AND WHEN THEY'RE GONE, THEY'RE GONE. HE SAYS THE SELECT BREW IS AVAILABLE ON TAP ONLY,
AND ONLY AT SELECT ABITA TAP LOCATIONS.

News For Tuesday 10/25/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 102511
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

BEGINNING TODAY, THE INTERSTATE 49 NORTHBOUND AND SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS THAT LEAD ONTO U.S. HIGHWAYS 165/71, NEAR THE BASE OF THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE, WILL BE REALIGNED. THE EXISTING U.S. 165/71 WILL REMAIN IN PLACE, ACCORDING TO THE STATE DOTD. THE WORK ON THE OFF-RAMPS IS RELATED TO THE ONGOING CONSTRUCTION TO REPLACE THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE. THE REVISED CONFIGURATION WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AS EXPECTED MAINTAINS A MAJORITY IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE AFTER THE OCTOBER 22ND PRIMARY. JOHN MAGINNIS, OF LA-POLITICS-DOT-COM, SAYS THE G-O-P PICKED UP TWO MORE SEATS IN THE SENATE AND NOW HAVE 24. HE SAYS THE REPUBLICANS COULD HAVE A STRONG MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE.

REPUBLICAN JIM TUCKER SAYS HE'LL WAIT UNTIL THE VOTING MACHINES ARE OPENED AND THE RESULTS ARE DOUBLE-CHECKED TUESDAY BEFORE CONCEDING HIS LOSS IN THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S RACE TO FELLOW GOP CONTENDER AND CURRENT OFFICEHOLDER TOM SCHEDLER. TUCKER OFFERED HIS CONGRATULATIONS TO SCHEDLER IN A FACEBOOK POSTING AND THANKED HIS SUPPORTERS. BUT IN A PHONE INTERVIEW, TUCKER SAYS THAT WASN'T A CONCESSION. SCHEDLER DEFEATED TUCKER BY FEWER THAN 8,500 VOTES, GARNERING JUST OVER 50 PERCENT. TUCKER SAYS HE'S DOUBTFUL THE OUTCOME WILL CHANGE, BUT HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE NO ANOMALIES SHOW UP WHEN THE VOTING MACHINES ARE OPENED BY LOCAL ELECTIONS OFFICIALS. TUCKER, SPEAKER OF THE LOUISIANA HOUSE, SAYS HE WILL REMAIN POLITICALLY ACTIVE AFTER HIS TERM ENDS IN JANUARY AND MAY RUN FOR ANOTHER OFFICE IN THE FUTURE.

ONE POLITICAL ANALYST SAYS ELECTION NIGHT WASN'T VERY GOOD FOR DAVID VITTER. THE REPUBLICAN US SENATOR BACKED SEVERAL CANDIDATES WHO LOST ON SATURDAY NIGHT INCLUDING PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER AND OUTGOING HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER. CLANCY DUBOS SAYS VITTER'S MESSAGE DIDN'T RESONATE WITH VOTERS. DUBOS ALSO SAYS THAT ALL OF THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS THAT VITTER TRIED TO UNSEAT, WERE RE-ELECTED. DUBOS SAYS VITTER WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED IN LOUISIANA POLITICS AND ELECTIONS. HE SAYS VITTER WILL LOOK AT WHAT WENT WRONG THIS TIME AND TRY TO DO BETTER. DUBOS SAYS IT'S NOT LIKE VITTER TO SIT ON THE SIDELINES.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS CONTINUED EDUCATION REFORMS WILL BE A FOCUS OF HIS SECOND TERM IN OFFICE. MR. JINDAL SAYS DESPITE MANY ACHIEVEMENTS OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS, LOUISIANA STILL TRAILS MOST STATES FOR K THRU 12 EDUCATION. JINDAL SAYS HE WANTS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS MORE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR PERFORMANCE, AND TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PARENTS TO KNOW HOW THEIR KIDS' SCHOOLS ARE DOING. JINDAL SAYS BRINGING LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM TO A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD WILL HAVE WIDE-REACHING POSITIVE EFFECTS...:
LOUISIANA RANKS NEAR THE BOTTOM AMONG STATES FOR STUDENT GRADES AND HIGH DROPOUT RATES.

THERE ARE THREE RUNOFFS FOR STATE SENATE SEATS FEATURING FORMER LAWMAKERS WHO ARE SEEKING TO GET THEIR OLD JOB BACK. IN ACADIANA, OPELOUSAS SENATOR ELBERT GUILLORY IS BATTLING OPELOUSAS MAYOR DONALD CRAVINS SR, WHO SERVED IN THE STATE SENATE FOR 16 YEARS. IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA, LEESVILLE SENATOR JOHN SMITH IS IN A RUN-OFF AGAINST THE OUT SPOKEN JAMES DAVID CAIN OF BEAUREGARD PARISH. CAIN SERVED IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE FROM 1972 TO 2008, BEFORE TERM LIMITS FORCED HIM OUT.. AND IN SHREVEPORT...STATE SENATOR LYDIA JACKSON WILL BATTLE FORMER LEGISLATOR GREG TARVER IN A RUN-OFF ON NOVEMBER 19TH.

LAFAYETTE PARISH VOTERS HAVE DECIDED AGAINST DISMANTLING THE COMBINED CITY-PARISH GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE 1996. A BALLOT MEASURE THAT WOULD HAVE UNDONE THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT FAILED SATURDAY.
CITY-PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMAN KENNETH BOUDREAUX, WHO SUPPORTED THE SEPARATION, SAID HE WILL NOW SEEK TO WIN CHANGES IN THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT SETUP TO GIVE THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE MORE AUTONOMY A CHIEF ISSUE IN THE DEBATE OVER SATURDAY'S BALLOT ISSUE.

HURRICANE RINA HAS FORMED IN THE CARIBBEAN, BUT IT MAY BE DAYS YET BEFORE WE KNOW IF IT WILL ENTER THE GULF AND APPROACH LOUISIANA'S COAST. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS RINA IS LOCATED SOUTHEAST OF BELIZE AND MEXICO'S YUCATAN PENINSULA; PACKING 75 MILE-AN-HOUR WINDS. COMPUTER MODELS VARY ON RINA'S POSSIBLE COURSE; SOME TAKING IT INTO MEXICO'S MAINLAND & SOME SHOWING IT TURNING NORTHEAST TOWARD FLORIDA. KEIM SAYS LOUISIANA'S CURRENT WEATHER SHOULD HELP TO STEER RINA AWAY.

BATON ROUGE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF A 1-YEAR-OLD CHILD WHO WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE EARLY SUNDAY. EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AND POLICE ARRIVED AT THE CHILD'S HOME ABOUT 6 A.M. SUNDAY AND NOTICED UNUSUAL BRUISING ON THE CHILD. AN AUTOPSY IS PENDING POLICE SAY THERE WERE THREE OTHER CHILDREN, TWO OF WHOM HAD SIGNS OF GROSS NEGLECT, IN THE HOME. ALL THREE HAVE BEEN PLACED IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY.

A SHREVEPORT MAN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS FOR GAY BASHING. WILLIAM PAYNE WAS SENTENCED MONDAY IN STATE DISTRICT COURT, JUST DAYS AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO ATTACKING A MAN WITH A POOL CUE. PAYNE APOLOGIZED FOR ATTACKING JOHN SKAGGS INSIDE A DOWNTOWN SHREVEPORT CLUB IN JANUARY. HE TOLD THE COURTROOM HE WAS HIGH AND DRUNK THE NIGHT HE WHACKED SKAGGS IN THE HEAD WITH A PLASTIC POOL CUE. SKAGGS SUFFERED HORRIFIC FACIAL INJURIES. PAYNE WAS SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS FOR AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND FIVE YEARS FOR THE HATE CRIME.

A BOSSIER CITY FAMILY IS MAKING FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR A TEENAGED BOY KILLED IN A BIZARRE BICYCLE ACCIDENT OVER THE WEEKEND. WITNESSES TOLD POLICE 13-YEAR-OLD MARCUS GRIFFIN WAS RIDING HIS BICYCLE ON SUNDAY, WHEN IT APPEARED THE CHAIN ON HIS BIKE LOCKED UP, THROWING HIM OVER THE HANDLEBARS. POLICE SAY HE STRUCK HIS HEAD ON THE PAVEMENT. HE WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH HAS AWARDED THE LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS A 5-YEAR, 9 MILLION GRANT TO DEVELOP A VACCINE TO FIGHT A MAJOR CAUSE OF PNEUMONIA IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE HIV. DR. JUDD SHELLITO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ON THIS PROJECT AND HE SAYS PNEUMONIA IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR PEOPLE WITH LOW IMMUNITY. SHELLITO SAYS A VACCINE WOULD LOWER THE COST OF TREATING HIV AND IMPROVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH HIV. HE SAYS THE VACCINE COULD ALSO BE USEFUL IN PROTECTING REGULAR INDIVIDUALS FROM DEVELOPING PNEUMONIA.
 

News For Monday 10/24/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 102411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

INCUMBENT SHERIFF CHUCK WAGNER AND HIS PREDECESSOR, WILLIAM EARL HILTON, WILL FACE OFF AGAIN IN THE NOV. 19 RUNOFF ELECTION HILTON RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 272 VOTES MORE THAN WAGNER. BUT, NEITHER MAN WAS ABLE TO GET THE MAJORITY NEEDED TO WIN THE RACE OUT RIGHT. THE SPOILER IN THE RACE, MARK BADEN, AS A THIRD CANDIDATE, HE PULLED ENOUGH VOTED TO KEEP WAGNER OR HILTON FROM WINNING OUTRIGHT. EARLY VOTING FOR THE RUNOFF WILL BE NOV. 5-12.

RICK DUCOTE, THE FORMER CHIEF DEPUTY IN THE ASSESSOR’S OFFICE , DEFEATED BRODIE PAUL WITH NEARLY 70 PERCENT OF THE VOTE TO WIN THE RAPIDES ASSESSOR’S RACE.

DISTRICT 27 REP. CHRIS HAZEL WAS A BIG WINNER OVER THE WEEKEND. WINNING RE-ELECTION OVER RANDY WIGGINS BY GRABBING 61 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. DURING THE CAMPAIGN, HAZEL’S PEOPLE ACCUSED RANDY WIGGINS OF BEING A CAREER POLITICIAN. UPON ENTERING HIS SECOND TERM HAZEL WILL ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING WIGGINS NEVER DID, A SECOND TERM.

IN THE RAPIDES CLERK OF COURT RACE, ROBIN L. HOOTER HELD A LARGE LEAD BUT NOT ENOUGH TO AVOID A RUNOFF. HOOTER, TOOK 45.53 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN SATURDAY’S PRIMARY. SHE WILL RUN OFF AGAINST LINDA “LIN” DYESS STEWART, WHO FINISHED SECOND WITH 30.59 PERCENT.

IN THE ALEXANDRIA CITY MARSHAL’S RACE TERENCE GRINES, PLACED FIRST BUT FACES A RUNOFF. GRINES FINISHED FIRST IN SATURDAY’S PRIMARY WITH 46.28 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. IN THE RUNOFF, HE WILL FACE T.A. MESSINA, WHO EDGED THIRD-PLACE JEROME HOPEWELL BY 89 VOTES. MESSINA FINISHED WITH 27.13 PERCENT TO HOPEWELL’S 26.59 PERCENT.

IT WAS WHAT THEY CALL A SQUEAKER.. STATE REP. RICK GALLOT OF RUSTON BEAT TWO OPPONENTS BY A WIDE-ENOUGH MARGIN TO WIN OUTRIGHT THE ELECTION FOR SENATE DISTRICT 29, A NEW MAJORITY-MINORITY DISTRICT THAT COVERS PARTS OF SEVEN PARISHES INCLUDING RAPIDES. IF GALLOT HAD RECEIVED 71 FEWER VOTES, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED INTO A RUNOFF.

SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER NOTCHED A RAZOR-THIN VICTORY OVER HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER IN HIS BID TO KEEP AN OFFICE HE HAS HELD FOR LESS THAN A YEAR.
TUCKER REFUSED TO CONCEDE DEFEAT AND WILL WAIT FOR THE VOTES TO BE OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE.

VOTERS AGREED SATURDAY TO RENEW A 4-CENT SALES TAX ON CIGARETTES AND TO DEDICATE AN ANNUAL STREAM OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT MONEY TO THE STATE'S FREE COLLEGE TUITION PROGRAM CALLED TOPS. LAWMAKERS CONNECTED THE TWO TO GET AROUND A VETO FROM GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, WHO OPPOSED THE TAX RENEWAL BUT PRESSED HARD FOR THE TOPS FUNDING BALLOT INITIATIVE. BACKERS SAID THE AMENDMENT WILL SOLIDIFY FUNDING FOR THE TOPS PROGRAM ENSURING THAT AT LEAST A PORTION OF IT WILL BE PROTECTED FROM ANY POSSIBILITY OF BUDGET CUTS. OPPONENTS SAID IT WILL STRIP FUTURE DOLLARS PLANNED FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES AND OTHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS. THE MEASURE TAKES A SLICE OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT MONEY CURRENTLY SET TO BE DIVIDED BETWEEN HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION TRUST FUNDS, ABOUT $40 MILLION PER YEAR, AND DEDICATES IT TO TOPS, A PROGRAM THAT COSTS ABOUT $150 MILLION.

THE STATE'S WORKFORCE COMMISSION SAYS LOUISIANA'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS AT ITS LOWEST PERCENTAGE IN OVER TWO YEARS. THE COMMISSION'S LABOR ANALYST, PATTY GRANIER, SAYS THEY RECORDED AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF SIX POINT-NINE PERCENT IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER. THE STATE ADDED 47,100 PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS OVER THE LAST YEAR. GRANIER SAYS THEY ARE OPTIMISTIC THE STATE'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WILL
CONTINUE TO GO DOWN. THE STATE'S RATE OF 6.9 PERCENT WAS THE 13TH LOWEST IN THE NATION AND THIRD LOWEST IN THE SOUTHERN REGION.

HUNDREDS OF SOLDIERS FROM THE PATRIOT BRIGADE BASED AT FORT POLK ARE RETURNING TO LOUISIANA AFTER A YEARLONG DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN. FORT POLK SPOKESWOMAN KIM REISCHLING SAYS IT'S AMONG THE LAST BIG GROUPS FROM THE 4TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION TO RETURN. THEY'RE EXPECTED AT ALEXANDRIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

THE DROUGHT IN NORTHWEST LOUISIANA IS RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT WATER LEVELS IN THE CANE RIVER. CANE RIVER PATROL OFFICER BETTY FULLER SAID THE RIVER IS AT HOLDING AT A GOOD OXYGEN LEVEL BUT WATER DEPTH IS TROUBLING. FROM THE NATCHITOCHES NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY HEADING NORTH, THE CANE RIVER LAKE IS ONLY 1 FOOT DEEP WITH SOME POCKETS OF DEEPER WATER. THE CANE RIVER WATERWAY COMMISSION IS STUDYING THE SITUATION TO DETERMINE A COURSE OF ACTION, SHE SAID.
AMONG PROPOSALS IS TO RESTRICT IRRIGATION ON THE CANE.

THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION IS PREDICTING ANOTHER LA NINA WINTER. LA NINA IS CAUSED BY COOLER THAN NORMAL WATER TEMPERATURES IN THE EASTERN PACIFIC AND HAS FAR REACHING EFFECTS ON PATTERNS. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THIS IS NOT GOOD NEW FOR LARGE PORTIONS OF LOUISIANA STILL DEALING WITH DROUGHT CONDITIONS. EVEN WITH SPRING FLOODING ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND A MAJOR RAIN EVENT LIKE TROPICAL STORM LEE, MUCH OF THE STATE IS STILL RUNNING FAR BEHIND NORMAL RAINFALL TOTALS FOR THE YEAR. KEIM SAYS THE REASONS FOR OUR EXTENDED DROUGHT CAN BE TRACED BACK TO LA NINA CONDITIONS THAT BEGAN LAST WINTER.

SHREVEPORT POLICE HAVE MADE AN ARREST IN THE CASE OF A MISSING 2-YEAR-OLD CHILD WHO WAS FOUND DEAD IN A STORAGE ROOM AT HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE. SHREVEPORT POLICE SAY THE INVESTIGATION BEGAN WHEN THE MOTHER FILED A MISSING PERSON'S REPORT FOR HER SON. AUTHORITIES SAY THE TODDLER WAS FOUND DEAD BY POLICE DURING A WELFARE SEARCH OF THE HOME. POLICE DETERMINED THAT THE CHILD WAS LAST SEEN IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MOTHER’S LIVE IN BOYFRIEND. HE HAS NOW BEEN CHARGED WITH THE MURDER. AT THIS POINT, POLICE ARE NOT SURE WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED. AN AUTOPSY WILL DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF LOUISIANA'S VOTERS BOTHERED TO CAST VOTES IN THE ELECTION TO CHOOSE THEIR STATE LEADERS FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. UNOFFICIAL FIGURES FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE PEG VOTER TURNOUT AT LESS THAN 36 PERCENT FEWER PEOPLE THAN SEVERAL ELECTIONS LEADERS PREDICTED. ONE MILLION OF LOUISIANA'S 2.8 MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS WENT TO THE POLLS, THE FEWEST NUMBER OF VOTERS TO CAST BALLOTS IN A GOVERNOR'S RACE SINCE LOUISIANA SWITCHED TO THE OPEN PRIMARY SYSTEM IN 1975.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL WON A DECISIVE VICTORY TO EARN A SECOND TERM AS THE STATE'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE. POLITICAL ANALYST BERNIE PINSONAT SAYS IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS THE GOVERNOR WILL FACE SOME OF THE SAME CHALLENGES HE'S FACED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS, BEGINNING WITH CUTTING THE RED INK IN THE STATE BUDGET. JINDAL SAYS OVERHAULING PUBLIC EDUCATION WILL BE ANOTHER TOP PRIORITY FOR THE GOVERNOR. PINSONAT SAYS THE BIGGEST AND MOST HEATED BATTLES IN THIS ELECTION WERE NOT FOR THE TOP SPOTS IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT, BUT FOR SEATS ON THE
BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION. HE SAYS WE CAN LOOK FOR A
FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF EDUCATION, BETWEEN ESTABLISHED EDUCATORS AND THE
GOVERNOR AND HIS SUPPORTERS.

U-S SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU AND SEVERAL LOUISIANA ENERGY-RELATED BUSINESSES ARE IN ISRAEL TO MEET WITH KEY COMPANIES IN ISRAELI ENERGY SECTORS. LANDRIEU SAYS THE TRADE MISSION IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR COMPANIES IN THE STATE TO MEET WITH ISRAELI OIL AND GAS EXECUTIVES. LANDRIEU, WHO IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATIONAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, SAYS LOUISIANA AND ISRAEL CAN FIND MANY WAYS TO COLLABORATE. SHE SAYS NEARLY 18 TRILLION CUBIC FEET OF NATURAL GAS HAS BEEN DISCOVERED IN ISRAEL.


News For Friday 102111


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 102111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

TODAY IS THE LAST FULL DAY OF CAMPAIGNING FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO SNARE VOTES AND SUPPORT IN SATURDAY'S ELECTION. FIVE STATEWIDE RACES ARE ON THE BALLOT, DOZENS OF LEGISLATIVE RACES, LOCAL CONTESTS AND FIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL IS EXPECTED TO EASILY WIN A SECOND TERM, WITH NO WELL-FUNDED CHALLENGERS WITH STATEWIDE NAME RECOGNITION. COMPETITIONS FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND SECRETARY OF STATE HAVE BECOME REPUBLICAN BATTLES, WITH NO DEMOCRATS SIGNED UP TO RUN. LT. GOV. JAY DARDENNE IS TRYING TO KEEP HIS SEAT AGAINST A CHALLENGE FROM PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER. SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER FACES OPPOSITION FROM HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER. MEANWHILE, REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO EXPAND THEIR MAJORITIES IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE, WHILE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING NOT TO LOSE GROUND AND CLOUT.

THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE IS PROJECTING A VOTER TURNOUT BETWEEN 35 AND 40 PERCENT FOR TOMORROW'S ELECTION. THERE WAS A CONCERN TURNOUT WOULD BE DOWN FOR THIS STATEWIDE ELECTION, BECAUSE ITS EXPECTED GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL WILL EASILY BE RE-ELECTED. BUT SECRETARY OF STATE SPOKESPERSON SAILOR JACKSON SAYS THERE ARE SOME HEATED LOCAL RACES. JACKSON SAYS THERE ARE SOME BIG FOOTBALL GAMES AROUND THE STATE ON SATURDAY, INCLUDING THE LSU GAME IN BATON ROUGE. HE EXPECTS MOST VOTERS WILL CAST THEIR BALLOT EARLY IN THE DAY.

AMONG AMENDMENTS TO BE DECIDED TOMORROW BY VOTERS, ONE TO ASSURE A REVENUE STREAM FOR TOPS COLLEGE GRANTS IS DRAWING CHEERS...AND JEERS. THE AMENDMENT WOULD DIVERT TOBACCO SETTLEMENT DOLLARS FROM A DEDICATED TRUST FUND TO TOPS. HOWEVER, THE WATCHDOG GROUP THE LOUISIANA BUDGET PROJECT FEELS VOTERS SHOULD SAY "NO" TO AMENDMENT ONE. LBP SPOKESMAN TIM MATHIS APPROVING AMENDMENT ONE WILL RESULT IN TAKING DOLLARS AWAY FOR EDUCATION MATERIALS AND IMPROVEMENTS AT K THROUGH 12 SCHOOLS. MATHIS SAYS THE AMENDMENT IS NOT SOUND FISCAL POLICY. AMENDMENT ONE ALSO PERMANENTLY ADDS A 4-CENT PER PACK TAX ON CIGARETTES.

IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS, MANY STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' PAYCHECKS WILL SHRINK TO ABSORB A RATE INCREASE IN THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS. THE 5 PERCENT INCREASE IS GOING INTO EFFECT DEC. 2 DESPITE OPPOSITION FROM OFFICE OF GROUP BENEFITS BOARD MEMBERS WHO SAY THE INCREASE IS NOT JUSTIFIED SINCE THE BOARD HAS $500 MILLION IN THE BANK. THE RATE INCREASE, WHICH FOLLOWS A 5.6 PERCENT HIKE EARLIER THIS YEAR, COMES AS THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION EXPLORES HIRING A PRIVATE COMPANY TO MANAGE ONE OF THE OFFICE'S HEALTH PLANS. CRITICS HAVE ACCUSED THE ADMINISTRATION OF PLUMPING UP THE OFFICE'S CASH RESERVES TO MAKE THE PLAN MORE ATTRACTIVE TO PRIVATE COMPANIES.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ON THURSDAY ANNOUNCED STEPS AIMED AT ASSURING THAT THE PUBLIC IS INFORMED OF WHAT CHEMICALS ARE USED IN THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS FOR EXTRACTING NATURAL GAS FROM SHALE AND THAT PRODUCTION WASTEWATER IS DISPOSED IN A SAFE MANNER. LOUISIANA COMMISSIONER OF CONSERVATION JAMES WELSH SAID NEW STATE MEASURES PROVIDE FOR MORE DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION AND ALLOW THE OFFICE TO COLLECT TECHNICAL DATA NOT REQUIRED BEFORE. THE NEW RULES INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION PROSPECTIVE DRILLERS MUST DISCLOSE BEFORE OBTAINING A "WORK PERMIT," FORMERLY REFERRED TO AS A DRILLING PERMIT.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY IS ASKING RURAL RESIDENTS TO OBSERVE HALLOWEEN ON MONDAY, OCT. 31. THE POLICE JURY APPROVED A RESOLUTION, OFFERED BY STEVE COCO AND SECONDED BY OLLIE OVERTON, TO HOLD HALLOWEEN TRICK-OR-TREATING ON THE TRADITIONAL OCT. 31 DATE IN THE RURAL PART OF THE PARISH.

LOUISIANA'S LOTTERY PLAYERS WILL HAVE ANOTHER OPTION NEXT MONTH WHEN THE STATE BEGINS OFFERING CHANCES IN THE MULTISTATE GAME MEGA MILLIONS. ON NOV. 16, MEGA MILLIONS SALES BEGIN FOR DRAWINGS ON TUESDAYS AND FRIDAY. THE STATE CURRENTLY OFFERS THE MULTISTATE POWERBALL GAME AND LOUISIANA LOTTO ON WEDNESDAYS AND SATURDAYS AND DAILY GAMES OF EASY 5, PICK 4 AND PICK 3.
THE NEW GAME COSTS $1 PER PLAY BY SELECTING FIVE NUMBERS AND ONE MEGA BALL NUMBER. MEGA MILLIONS IS CURRENTLY PLAYED IN 41 STATES, PLUS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

YESTERDAY MORNING A LOUISIANA TRUCK DRIVER WAS HURT AND INTERSTATE 20 AT VICKSBURG WAS TIED UP FOR HOURS AFTER AN 18-WHEELER ROLLED ONTO THE MEDIAN AND CAUGHT FIRE. THE DRIVER OF THE FEDEX TRUCK TOLD VICKSBURG POLICE HE WAS WESTBOUND WHEN HE HEARD A POP AND LOST CONTROL OF THE TRUCK. THE TRUCK ROLLED ACROSS THE MEDIAN, ALMOST REACHING THE EASTBOUND LANES, AND BURST INTO FLAMES. THE DRIVER OF THE TRUCK WAS TREATED AND RELEASED FROM A LOCAL HOSPITAL.

THE $400 MILLION MOJITO POINTE RIVERBOAT CASINO AND RESORT PLANNED FOR LAKE CHARLES WILL BE AFFILIATED WITH THE MGM BRAND. MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND CREATIVE CASINOS LLC ANNOUNCED THE PARTNERSHIP PLAN THURSDAY, AS CREATIVE CASINOS ALSO RECEIVED UNANIMOUS APPROVAL FROM STATE GAMBLING REGULATORS FOR THE DESIGN PLANS FOR MOJITO POINTE. THE DEAL INVOLVES MGM PUTTING CASH INTO THE PROJECT, IN EXCHANGE FOR AN EQUITY INTEREST IN CREATIVE CASINOS AND A MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT TO OPERATE MOJITO POINTE. CONSTRUCTION ON MOJITO POINTE IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN THIS YEAR, WITH AN OPENING PLANNED FOR MID-2013.
MOJITO POINTE WILL BE THE FOURTH CASINO IN LAKE CHARLES.

SHREVEPORT POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING AN ATTEMPTED HOME INVASION THAT ENDED WHEN THE BURGLAR SHOT HIS ACCOMPLICE. SERGEANT BILL GOODIN SAYS SHOTS WERE FIRED, WHEN THE HOMEOWNER CAME OUTSIDE AFTER HEARING THE CROOKS TRYING TO BREAK INTO HIS HOUSE. GOODIN SAYS 37-YEAR-OLD CORI YARBOROUGH WAS SHOT ONE TIME IN THE ARM. HE WAS TREATED FOR HIS INJURY AND HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON COUNT OF ATTEMPTED SIMPLE BURGLARY. HE SAYS THEY ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR THE GUNMAN. GOODIN SAYS YARBOROUGH AND HIS UNIDENTIFIED ACCOMPLICE ARE PROBABLY EMBARRASSED OVER THE INCIDENT.

THE 75TH INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL KICKED OFF YESTERDAY IN CROWLEY. FESTIVAL CHAIRMAN GLYNN MAYARD SAYS THE ANNUAL EVENT BRINGS PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO CELEBRATE THE HARVEST OF THE RICE CROP. HE SAYS THE CITY OF CROWLEY IS KNOWN AS THE RICE CAPITOL OF THE WORLD. MAYARD SAYS THE FREE EVENT WILL FEATURE DELICIOUS FOOD, CARNIVAL RIDES, ARTS AND CRAFTS AND BIG NAME ENTERTAINMENT FROM FOLKS LIKE WAYNE TOUPS, THE MOLLY RINGWALDS AND BAG OF DONUTS. HE SAYS THERE WILL ALSO BE A PARADE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND FORMER GOVERNOR AND CROWLEY NATIVE EDWIN EDWARDS WILL BE THE GRAND MARSHAL. MAYARD SAYS THEY'RE EXPECTING A HUGE TURNOUT.

DID YOU KNOW A NEW STATE LAW MAKES YOU A CRIMINAL FOR USING OR ACCEPTING CASH PAYMENT FOR A SECOND HAND PURCHASE? THE LAW SAYS SALE OF SUCH GOODS MUST HAVE THE KIND OF PAPER TRAIL THAT COMES FROM USING A CHECK, DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD. THE LAW APPLIES TO PRIVATE, CITIZEN-TO-CITIZEN TRANSACTIONS, GARAGE SALES, JUNK STORES...EVERYTHING. ITS INTENT IS TO CURB SALES OF STOLEN GOODS.

A SCHOOL TEACHER IN BAKER HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR CHOKING AND DRAGGING A SIX-YEAR-OLD STUDENT. BAKER POLICE CHIEF MIKE KNAPPS SAYS 65-YEAR-OLD MILDRED RUSS DRAGGED THE LITTLE GIRL BY HER SWEATER THAT WAS WRAPPED AROUND HER NECK FROM THE PLAYGROUND TO THE OFFICE. HE SAYS THE SCHOOL CONDUCTED AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MATTER AND DECIDED TO CONTACT THE POLICE. THE CHILD WAS BRUISED AROUND HER NECK. SHE TOLD POLICE SHE'D BEEN TALKING IN LINE, WHEN RUSS TOOK ACTION.

SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON WILL BE IN SUPERDOME ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOR HIS TEAM'S GAME AGAINST THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS. BUT PAYTON, WHO HAD SURGERY ON HIS LEFT KNEE ON MONDAY, WILL BE IN THE COACHES BOX. THE HEAD COACH SAYS HE WILL CALL THE PLAYS FROM THE BOOTH DOWN TO OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR PETE CARMICHAEL, WHO WILL THEN RADIO THEM TO QUARTERBACK DREW BREES. PAYTON WILL NOT BE ON THE FIELD DURING PRE-GAME WARM-UPS AND DOES NOT PLAN ON GOING TO THE LOCKER ROOM AT HALFTIME. THE HEAD COACH HAS SEVERAL WEEKS OF RECOVERY BEFORE HIM,




News For Thursday 10/20/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 102011
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

ALEXANDRIA CITY ATTORNEY CHUCK JOHNSON YESTERDAY PROVIDED THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL WITH INVOICES FROM ALL OF THE CITY'S CONTRACT ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE DONE WORK SINCE THE 2011-12 FISCAL YEAR BEGAN ON MAY 1. HALFWAY THROUGH THE YEAR, JOHNSON’S DEPARTMENT IS ALMOST OUT OF MONEY. OF THE $500K BUDGETED, BETTER THAT $473K HAS BEEN SPENT FOR PROFESSIONAL FEES AND SERVICES.
JOHNSON, HOWEVER, TOLD COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT SLIGHTLY MORE THAN $200,000 OF THOSE FEES HAS BEEN ALLOCATED TO OTHER DIVISIONS AND WILL BE PAID FOR BY FUNDS OUTSIDE OF THE CITY'S LEGAL DIVISION. THAT LEAVES JOHNSON WITH A BALANCE OF JUST OVER $222K FOR THE REST OF THE FISCAL YEAR, WHICH RUNS THROUGH APRIL 30, 2012.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT JOHNSON ASKED THE CITY ATTORNEY IF HE THOUGHT THE LEGAL DIVISION COULD MAKE IT UNTIL THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR WITH ITS CURRENT BUDGET, AND CHUCK JOHNSON SAID HE EXPECTS TO ASK FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS DURING THE COUNCIL'S MAJOR BUDGET AMENDMENT, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.

THAT INMATE WHO WAS CRITICALLY INJURED FRIDAY WHILE WORKING ALONG COLISEUM BLVD. HAS DIED. AUTHORITIES SAY 38 YEAR OLD SYLVESTER MILLER WAS STRUCK BY A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY 38 YEAR OLD KELLY TUTTLE OF PINEVILLE. POLICE SAY TUTTLE’S VEHICLE SWERVED OFF THE ROADWAY FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON AND STRUCK MILLER. THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED SHORTLY BEFORE NOON ON FRIDAY. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED YET BECAUSE INVESTIGATORS ARE AWAITING TOXICOLOGY AND OTHER TEST RESULTS. REPORTS FROM THE SCENE INDICATE THAT TUTTLE MAY HAVE BEEN TEXTING AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.

LOUISIANA IS EXPERIENCING THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES OF THE SEASON TODAY. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THIS AIR IS MOVING IN FROM CANADA AND DIRECTLY INTO LOUISIANA. KEIM SAYS HIGHS TODAY ARE ONLY EXPECTED TO MAKE IT TO THE MID TO
UPPER 60'S STATEWIDE. HE SAYS TOMORROW WILL BE SIMILAR. KEIM SAYS THE WEATHER THIS WEEKEND WILL BE PERFECT FOR TAILGATING. HE SAYS THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS WEATHER PATTERN IS THAT THERE IS NO RAIN WHICH ONLY MAKES DROUGHT CONDITIONS WORSE.

LSU FOOTBALL COACH LES MILES IS NOT CONFIRMING REPORTS THAT THREE OF HIS STARTERS ARE SUSPENDED FOR SATURDAY'S GAME AGAINST AUBURN. MILES MET WITH THE MEDIA AFTER YESTERDAY'S PRACTICE AND TOLD REPORTERS HE'S NOT GIVING INFORMATION ON THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE TEAM. ACCORDING TO SEVERAL MEDIA OUTLETS, RUNNING BACK SPENCER WARE AND CORNERBACKS TYRAN MATHIEU AND THAROLD SIMON WILL MISS SATURDAY'S GAME FOR ALLEGEDLY FAILING A DRUG TEST. MILES SAYS REPORTS OF PLAYERS FAILING DRUG TESTS ARE LEFT OF CENTER.

FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2009, SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS WILL BE GETTING A 3.6 PERCENT INCREASE IN BENEFITS STARTING IN JANUARY. EARL WILLIAMS WITH THE AARP OF LOUISIANA SAYS THERE WAS NO COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE (COLA) IN 2010 OR 2011 BECAUSE INFLATION WAS TOO LOW. WILLIAMS SAYS MANY PEOPLE RELY ON SOCIAL SECURITY FOR MORE THAN 90% OF THEIR INCOME. BUT, BEFORE YOU GET TOO EXCITED, REMEMBER, MEDICARE PREMIUMS ARE DEDUCTED FROM SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS, AND SOME OF THE JANUARY INCREASE WILL BE LOST TO HIGHER MEDICARE PREMIUMS.

A NEW IBERIA MAN IS ARRESTED FOR MAKING DEADLY THREATS ON THE INTERNET. DETECTIVES FROM THE IBERIA PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTED 26-YEAR-OLD DEL RICHARD WHO POSTED A THREAT TO GO ON A KILLING SPREE IN NEW IBERIA ON A SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITE. RICHARD WILL UNDERGO PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION.

A 78-YEAR-OLD MAN HAS DIED AFTER A FIRE INSIDE HIS MOBILE HOME IN EVANGELINE PARISH. STATE FIRE MARSHAL H. "BUTCH" BROWNING SAYS AN ELECTRIC SPACE HEATER MAY HAVE SPARKED THE BLAZE REPORTED ABOUT 1 A.M. WEDNESDAY. WHEN FIREFIGHTERS FROM THE VILLE PLATTE FIRE DEPARTMENT ARRIVED, THE ENTIRE HOME WAS ENGULFED BY FLAMES. BROWNING SAYS ONCE IT WAS SAFE TO ENTER THE STRUCTURE, FIREFIGHTERS FOUND THE BODY OF ANDREW GARLOW. THE PARISH CORONER'S OFFICE PRONOUNCED GARLOW DEAD AT THE SCENE. AUTHORITIES DO NOT EXPECT FOUL PLAY.

U.S. SEN. MARY LANDRIEU SAID WEDNESDAY SHE IS "DISAPPOINTED AND CONCERNED" THAT GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION REFUSED TO APPLY FOR A FEDERAL GRANT THAT COULD HAVE BROUGHT $60 MILLION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FUNDING TO LOUISIANA. LANDRIEU SAID EDUCATION EXPERTS ACROSS THE STATE SPENT MONTHS WORKING ON A GRANT APPLICATION TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FOR THE MONEY EARMARKED TO HELP LOW-INCOME AND DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN. SHE NOTED THAT ONE-THIRD OF CHILDREN IN LOUISIANA UNDER THE AGE OF 5 LIVE IN POVERTY. THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT IT WOULD NOT SEEK THE GRANT MONEY, SAYING THAT THE STATE'S SYSTEM FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IS INEFFICIENT AND MIRED IN BUREAUCRACY.

SOME LOUISIANA CITY MAYORS SAY LT. GOVERNOR CANDIDATE BILLY NUNNGESSER IS TAKING CREDIT FOR ENDORSEMENTS FROM THEM THAT THEY NEVER ACTUALLY GAVE. ONE IS CARENCRO MAYOR GLENN BRASSEAUX, WHO SAYS IT STARTED WHEN HE ATTENDED A NUNGESSER SPEAKING EVENT DAYS AGO. HE SAYS HIS PRESENCE WAS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT AND THAT HE NEVER MAKES ENDORSEMENTS. BRASSEAUX SAYS OTHER MAYORS--FROM BREAUX BRIDGE, NEW IBERIA AND OTHER CITIES--WERE AT THE EVENT AND WERE ALSO LISTED AS HAVING ENDORSED NUNGESSER'S RUN FOR OFFICE.

AN EVANGELINE PARISH JUDGE SENTENCED A ST. LANDRY PARISH SEWAGE TREATMENT COMPANY PRESIDENT ON WEDNESDAY TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON AND TOLD HIM TO STAY OUT OF THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT BUSINESS. DISTRICT JUDGE THOMAS FUSELIER ORDERED JOSEPH L. JONES OF PLAISANCE, ON WEDNESDAY TO PAY AN $80,000 FINE, AND FINED HIS PLAISANCE DEVELOPMENT CORP. $150,000. DEQ INVESTIGATORS ACCUSED HIM IN FEBRUARY 2010 OF VIOLATING WASTEWATER PERMITS BY FAILING TO ENSURE THAT SIX TREATMENT PLANTS IN EVANGELINE PARISH WERE PROPERLY OPERATED AND MAINTAINED, FAILING TAKE WATER SAMPLES OR SEND IN MONITORING RESULTS, AND CAUSING OR ALLOWING DISCHARGES THAT VIOLATED HIS PERMITS. THE PLANTS TREAT WASTEWATER FOR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISIONS IN EVANGELINE PARISH.

ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THE PARISH'S EMBATTLED SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT HAS TAKEN AN EXTENDED LEAVE FROM THE POST. CENTRAL OFFICE STAFF AND EMPLOYEES ARRIVED AT WORK WEDNESDAY TO FIND MICHAEL NASSIF'S OFFICE EMPTY WITH NO EXPLANATION. THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IS THE ONLY DISTRICT IN THE AREA TO RECEIVE A "D'' RATING FROM THE STATE, AND PROTESTERS HAVE BEEN DEMANDING NASSIF'S RESIGNATION FOR AT LEAST TWO MONTHS. THE ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOL BOARD WILL CALL A SPECIAL MEETING SOON TO CHOOSE AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT.





News For Tuesday 10/18/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 101811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

YESTERDAY THE APD REPORTED THAT INMATE WHO WAS STRUCK BY ONCOMING TRAFFIC ON COLISEUM BLVD FRIDAY IS STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION. 38 YEAR OLD SYLVERTER MILLER OF NEW ORLEANS WAS CRITICALLY INJURED WHEN HE WAS STRUCK BY A JEEP BEING DRIVEN BY 38 YEAR OLD KELLY TUTTLE OF PINEVILLE. TUTTLE’S VEHICLE ALSO STRUCK A CITY SANITATION TRUCK, INJURING IT’S DRIVER AS WELL. POLICE SAY THEIR INVESTIGATION CONTINUES AND THAT CHARGES MAY BE FORTH COMING.

ANOTHER COOL FRONT IS MOVING THROUGH THE STATE, BRINGING US THE COOLEST WEATHER OF THE SEASON. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS WHILE THE COLD FRONT MOVES IN TODAY, THE CANADIAN AIR WILL SETTLE IN LATER IN THE WEEK. KEIM SAYS NORTHERN PARISHES WILL SEE LOW TEMPERATURES IN THE UPPER 30S THURSDAY MORNING, BUT A FREEZE IS NOT EXPECTED. FOR THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE STATE, THE COLD FRONT WILL PRODUCE DRY AND WINDY WEATHER CONDITIONS RESULTING IN A FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA. KEIM SAYS WE COULD USE SOME MUCH NEEDED RAIN. BUT, IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE THAT’S IN THE CARDS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DECLARES THE ENTIRE STATE OF LOUISIANA AS AN AGRICULTURE DISASTER AREA FOR 2011. STATE AG COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS LOUISIANA RECEIVED THE DESIGNATION FROM THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AG, BECAUSE OF THE MANY CHALLENGES FARMERS FACED THIS YEAR. STRAIN SAYS THE DECLARATION IS BASED ON COMBINED EFFECTS OF FLOODING, THE HEAT, DROUGHT AND TORNADOES. HE SAYS THIS WILL ALLOW FARMERS TO RECOUP THEIR FINANCIAL LOSSES BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER. THE DECLARATION COVERS ALL 64 PARISHES IN LOUISIANA.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANNOUNCES LOUISIANA'S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE HAS INCREASED ALMOST 4 PERCENT IN THE PAST YEAR. JINDAL ALSO SAYS THAT THE DROPOUT RATE HAS DECREASED FROM 17 PERCENT TO 14.6 PERCENT BETWEEN THE 2009 AND 2011 SCHOOL YEARS. JINDAL SAYS THESE NUMBERS ARE PROOF THAT EDUCATION REFORMS ARE WORKING. THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY CAME A FEW DAYS AFTER PAR RELEASED A REPORT SAYING ONE AND SIX HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN FAIL TO GRADUATE, AND OFFERED WAYS TO FIX THE PROBLEM.

ROUGHLY 160,000 LOUISIANA RESIDENTS HAVE CAST BALLOTS IN EARLY VOTING FOR THE OCT. 22 ELECTIONS, A 12 PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION FOUR YEARS AGO. KYLE ARDOIN OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE SAYS AT LEAST 159,542 EARLY VOTES WERE CAST BY SATURDAY'S DEADLINE. THE NUMBER, WHICH DOESN'T INCLUDE PLAQUEMINES PARISH, WILL RISE AS MAILED BALLOTS FROM MILITARY AND DISABLED VOTERS ARE COUNTED. ARDOIN SAID COLLEGE FOOTBALL LIKELY WAS A KEY FACTOR IN THE INCREASED NUMBER OF EARLY VOTES.

ROBERT "BOB" WAGNER, WHO HELPED FOUND THE KISATCHIE-DELTA REGIONAL PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND LATER SERVED AS ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HAS DIED.. WAGNER PASSED SATURDAY IN WEST MONROE. SERVICES WILL BE AT 1 P.M. WEDNESDAY IN THE WORSHIP CENTER OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WEST MONROE.
WAGNER WAS EMPLOYED AS KISATCHIE-DELTA'S FIRST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNER FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS AND LATER SERVED AS ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS. WAGNER WAS ALSO A BROADCASTER, OWNING RADIO STATIONS IN JENA AND IN PINEVILLE. WAGNER ALSO PLAYED IN THE CENLA BIG BAND. BOB WAGNER WAS 78 YEARS OLD.

A MEMBER OF THE EAST BATON ROUGE ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD IS UNDER ARREST. RALPHEAL JOHNSON WAS ARRESTED MONDAY. HE'S ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING A BRIBE TO REVERSE HIS OPPOSITION TO THE ISSUANCE OF A LIQUOR PERMIT. ACCORDING TO THE WARRANT JOHNSON, WHO'S ALSO THE VICE PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MELROSE EAST COMMUNITY CENTER ASSOCIATION AGREED TO DROP HIS OPPOSITION IN EXCHANGE FOR A $1,500 LUMP SUM CONTRIBUTION AND $150 MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO THE ASSOCIATION.

AFTER SIX YEARS OF WAITING AND 275-MILLION DOLLARS IN REPAIRS AND RENOVATION THE NEW ORLEANS HYATT REGENCY HOTEL REOPENS TODAY. KELLY SCHULZ WITH THE NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU SAYS THE HYATT REGENCY WAS THE ONLY HOTEL IN THE CITY THAT HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE KATRINA. SHE SAYS THE REOPENING IS IMPORTANT ON MANY LEVELS. THE REBUILT HOTEL WILL OFFER NEW MEETING SPACE FOR SMALLER CONVENTIONS. THE MAIN ENTRANCE WAS RELOCATED TO LOYOLA AVENUE TO MAKE IT EASIER TO GET TO AND FROM THE SUPERDOME. SCHULZ SAYS THE REOPENING COME AT A CRITICAL TIME BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OF BIG EVENTS IN NEW ORLEANS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

ST. MARTIN PARISH DEPUTIES ARREST TWO MEN FOR ALLEGEDLY KIDNAPPING TWO 13-YEAR-OLD GIRLS FROM THE BREAUX BRIDGE AREA. THE GIRLS WERE LOCATED BY OFFICERS AND RETURNED HOME SAFELY. THE TWO MEN--AGES 44 AND 31--FACE MULTIPLE KIDNAP CHARGES. THEY'RE IN THE PARISH JAIL.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON MAY FACE UP TO 3 MONTHS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY AFTER SUSTAINING A SERIOUS KNEE INJURY DURING SUNDAY'S GAME AGAINST TAMPA BAY. LSU ORTHOPEDICS PROFESSOR KEITH MELANCON SAYS PAYTON TORE THE MEDIAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT (MCL) AND BROKE HIS KNEE. HE SAYS THAT BREAK COMPLICATES THINGS FOR THE COACH. MELANCON SAYS, BASED ON WHAT HE KNOWS ABOUT SUCH INJURIES, PAYTON IS LIKELY TO BE IN A WHEELCHAIR, OR AT LEAST ON CRUTCHES FOR AT LEAST 2 MONTHS. PAYTON UNDERWENT SURGERY ON THE KNEE MONDAY. HE SAYS HE EXPECTS TO BE BACK AT WORK FOR SUNDAY'S INDIANAPOLIS COLTS GAME.

A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER IN ACADIA PARISH IS ARRESTED ON CHARGES HE REPEATEDLY RAPED A CHILD--A FEMALE FAMILY MEMBER--OVER AN 8-YEAR PERIOD THAT, ALLEGEDLY, STARTED WHEN SHE WAS 5. 40-YEAR-OLD STONEY LAPOINTE FACES AGGRAVATED RAPE CHARGES. HE HAS TWO PRIOR CONVICTIONS GOING BACK TO 1982. HIS BOND IS SET AT A MILLION DOLLARS.

PSYCHIATRISTS ARE SCHEDULED TO TELL A LOUISIANA JUDGE WHETHER THEY BELIEVE A 30-YEAR-OLD MAN CAN HELP HIS LAWYERS DEFEND HIM AGAINST CHARGES THAT HE BLUDGEONED AND BEHEADED HIS DISABLED 7-YEAR-OLD SON AND PUT THE BOY'S HEAD IN THE YARD. IF LAFOURCHE PARISH JUDGE JOHN LEBLANC RULES THAT JEREMIAH WRIGHT OF THIBODAUX ISN'T COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL, WRIGHT WOULD GO TO A STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT. POLICE SAY WRIGHT WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY AND CONFESSED THE SAME DAY OF THE MURDER

DID YOU LOOSE A FEW HORSES? THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS LOOKING FOR THE OWNERS OF THREE STRAY HORSES FOUND IN SOUTH CADDO PARISH. SPOKESWOMAN CINDY CHADWICK SAYS DEPUTIES FOUND A STALLION NEAR KEITHVILLE, A MARE IN KEITHVILLE, AND A GELDING NEAR THE AMERICAN ROSE CENTER. IF THE ANIMALS ARE NOT CLAIMED THEY WILL BE SOLD AT AUCTION.

SPEAKING OF HORSES, TWO ST. LANDRY PARISH TEENS ARE JAILED FOR HORSE THEFT. THE PAIR ALLEGEDLY STOLE SEVEN HORSES DURING FIVE BREAK-INS AT THE PARISH ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER, OVER THE LATE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL.

News For Monday 10/17/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 101711
DAVE GRAICHEN

DOZENS OF PEOPLE RALLIED IN SHREVEPORT AGAINST WHAT THEY SEE AS CORPORATE GREED. ABOUT 125 GATHERED AT THE STATE CAPITOL TO SUPPORT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S EFFORTS TO CREATE MORE JOBS AND INCREASE TAXES ON THE NATION'S VERY RICH. THE RALLY SATURDAY IN SHREVEPORT, LIKE DOZENS IN OTHER CITIES NATIONWIDE AND IN EUROPE, WAS PART OF THE GROWING ANTI-WALL STREET MOVEMENT.

WORK WILL BEGIN TODAY ON CONCRETE PATCHING AND RELATED WORK ALONG INTERSTATE 49 IN RAPIDES AND NATCHITOCHES PARISHES. THE CONSTRUCTION WILL TAKE PLACE BETWEEN THE INTERSECTIONS OF LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 181 AND LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 485 ON BOTH NORTHBOUND AND SOUTHBOUND LANES. THE PROJECT WILL TAKE ABOUT SIX MONTHS TO COMPLETE. LANES WILL BE CLOSED FROM TIME TO TIME.

IT WAS YET ANOTHER ORGANIZATIONAL MASTER PIECE.. THIS PAST SATURDAY’S SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE BROUGHT CLOSE TO 6,000 PEOPLE TO DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRIA. THE EVENT, THE SECOND FOR THE CITY, WENT OFF WITHOUT A HITCH. THE LONGEST ENDURING BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR WAS BELIEVED TO BE AN 82-YEAR-OLD WOMAN FROM BUNKIE, WHO WALKED THE 3.2-MILE RACE. THE YOUNGEST SURVIVOR, A 17 YEAR OLD FROM TOIGA.

A LACK OF PARKING, DIRT AND DUST AND EVER INCREASING PRICES DIDN’T SLOW DOWN THE CROWDS OVER THE WEEKEND AT THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR. THE ANNUAL EVENT SAW SOME OF IT’S HIGHEST ATTENDANCE IN YEARS. THE NEAR PERFECT WEATHER DIDN’T HURT EITHER..

A NEW POLL, PAID FOR BY THE NUNGESSER CAMPAIGN, SHOWS PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER IN A VIRTUAL TIE WITH INCUMBENT JAY DARDENNE IN THE RACE FOR LT. GOVERNOR. POLLSTER VERNE KENNEDY SAYS RIGHT NOW THE RACE IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL. KENNEDY SAYS SUPPORT FOR NUNGESSER HAS RISEN 10-PERCENT SINCE THE START OF THE CAMPAIGN WILE DARDENNE HAS SEEN HIS NUMBERS ERODE BY TWO-PERCENT. HE SAYS DARDENNE'S FALLING NUMBERS ARE PART OF A STATEWIDE TREND.

A NEW POLL PAID FOR BY A W-W-L-T-V IN NEW ORLEANS SHOWS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING AT 37-PERCENT. THE PRESIDENT RECEIVED 40-PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN LOUISIANA IN 2008, WHEN HE DEFEATED REPUBLICAN JOHN MCCAIN. CLARUS RESEARCH GROUP PRESIDENT RON FAUCHEUX SAYS THE POLL OF 600 LIKELY VOTERS ALSO GAVE REPUBLICAN SENATOR DAVID VITTER A 53-PERCENT APPROVAL RATING, WHILE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU WAS AT 50-PERCENT. FAUCHEUX SAYS VITTER AND LANDRIEU SHOULD BE PLEASED.

A POLLSTER SAYS HIS SURVEYS OF LEGISLATIVE RACES INDICATE SOME STATE LAWMAKERS SEEKING RE-ELECTION COULD BE VOTED OUT. POLLSTER VERNE KENNEDY SAYS THIS SATURDAY'S ELECTION HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CHANGE THE FACE OF THE LEGISLATURE.
KENNEDY SAYS MANY VOTERS ARE ANGRY WITH CONGRESS AND HIS POLL SEEMS TO INDICATE AN ANTI-INCUMBENT SENTIMENT HERE AT HOME AS WELL.

STATEWIDE ELECTIONS ARE THIS SATURDAY, BUT WITHOUT A MARQUEE MATCHUP AT THE TOP OF THE BALLOT ANALYSTS ARE PREDICTING A VERY LOW VOTER TURNOUT. LSU POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, DOCTOR WAYNE PARENT, SAYS LT. GOVERNOR IS THE HIGHEST PROFILE RACE AND IT'S BEEN A VERY NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN. HE SAYS THAT COULD DRIVE VOTER TURNOUT EVEN LOWER. HOWEVER, EARLY VOTING IN MOST PARISHES HAS BEEN FAIRLY HIGH.

TWO NEWCOMERS TO THE WORLD OF AGRICULTURE POLITICS ARE TRYING TO UNSEAT COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY MIKE STRAIN. THE 52 YEAR OLD STRAIN IS WELL-LIKED AMONG FARMERS, FORESTERS AND OTHERS REGULATED BY HIS OFFICE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED ABOUT $40,000 TO HIS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN THE PAST THREE MONTHS. NONE HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO HIS CHALLENGERS, BELINDA ALEXANDRENKO, A LIBERTARIAN FROM PINEVILLE AND LAFAYETTE, AND JAMIE LABRANCHE, A DEMOCRAT FROM LAPLACE. THE ONLY ISSUES IN THE CAMPAIGN ARE THE CHALLENGERS SAYING THEY HAVE BETTER IDEAS FOR RUNNING THE OFFICE.

A COMPANY IS STUDYING THE POSSIBILITY OF BASING A $30 MILLION BIODIESEL REFINERY CAPABLE OF PRODUCING 30 MILLION GALLONS OF FUEL PER YEAR AT THE PORT OF GREATER BATON ROUGE. PORT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JAY HARDMAN SAYS ALABAMA RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS ASKED THE PORT FOR A SIX-MONTH OPTION ON A VACANT FACILITY ONCE USED FOR A SPECIALTY CHEMICAL PLANT. HARDMAN SAID HE EXPECTS THE COMPANY TO SEEK A 10-YEAR INITIAL LEASE ON THE PROPERTY. HE SAID THE COMPANY CONSISTS OF TWO "VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE, WELL-HEELED" ENGINEERS. ACCORDING TO THE PORT, THE PLANT WOULD COST $30 MILLION TO BUILD AND WOULD EMPLOY 40 PEOPLE WITH AN ANNUAL PAYROLL OF $3.9 MILLION. HARDMAN SAID THE SITE WOULD ALLOW THE COMPANY TO SHIP FUEL BY TRUCK, RAIL OR PIPELINE.

THE OPELOUSAS BOARD OF ALDERMEN IS TAKING A TOUGH LOOK AT THE COST OF PAYING POLICE TO STAFF FESTIVAL PARADES. THE BOARD HAS NOT YET ADOPTED A CITY BUDGET. ITS FISCAL YEAR BEGAN ON SEPT. 1. POLICE CHIEF PERRY GALLOW TOLD THE BOARD HE CANNOT PROVIDE OFFICERS TO POLICE PARADES IF THE CITY OR ORGANIZATIONS SPONSORING PARADES DO NOT REIMBURSE HIS DEPARTMENT. POLICING PARADES TRADITIONALLY IS FUNDED BY OVERTIME AND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. GALLOW SAID DEPARTMENT FUNDING ONLY PERMITS IT TO PAY FOR HANDLING SERVICE CALLS.
ACCORDING TO GALLOW, OTHER CITIES HAVE A LINE ITEM DEVOTED TO PAYING FOR SPECIAL EVENT-PATROLLING,. ALONG WITH FALL FESTIVALS, PATROLLING THE OPELOUSAS CHRISTMAS PARADE, MARDI GRAS AND MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY WILL COST $20,000 ANNUALLY.

THE VERMILION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HAS AGREED TO EXTEND ITS SUSPENSION OF SINGLE-GENDER CLASSES FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT WITH THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. LOUISIANA ACLU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARJORIE ESMAN SAYS THERE ARE SERIOUS LEGAL PROBLEMS WITH THE SEGREGATION OF STUDENTS BY GENDER IN CLASSROOMS. THE VERMILION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HAS AGREED TO SUSPEND SINGLE SEX CLASSES AT ROST MIDDLE SCHOOL IN KAPLAN THROUGH THE 2015-2017 SCHOOL YEAR. ESMAN SAYS THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THE SINGLE SEX CLASS PROGRAM IS THAT IT WAS NOT VOLUNTARY. VERMILION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD SUPERINTENDENT RANDY SCHEXNAYDER SAYS ACLU PRESSURE DID NOT RESULT IN THE SUSPENSION OF SINGLE SEX CLASSES, IT WAS THE LACK OF INTEREST.

A STATEWIDE CONTRACTORS' GROUP CHALLENGES THE LEGALITY OF A NEW STATE LAW REQUIRING THOSE SEEKING PUBLIC CONTRACTS TO USE THE FEDERAL E-VERIFY PROGRAM TO ASSURE THE CITIZENSHIP OF ALL THEIR CURRENT EMPLOYEES. LA. ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS CEO KEN NAQUIN (NAH-CAN) SAYS THE STATE LAW CONTRADICTS FEDERAL USE OF E-VERIFY. THE NEW STATE LAW, ACT 376 OF THE LEGISLATURE, GOES INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1ST, 2012. NAQUIN SAYS THE CONTRADICTION COULD POTENTIALLY "WREAK HAVOC" IN ISSUING PUBLIC CONTRACTS. HE SAYS LAGC IS SEEKING CLARITY ON
THE NEW LAW, BEFORE IT TAKES EFFECT. THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE SAYS THE LAW HAS "STRONG LEGAL STANDING".

AS HALLOWEEN DRAWS CLOSER, COSTUME SHOPS REPORT DRESSING LIKE ONE OF THE WALKING DEAD IS THE TOP TREND THIS YEAR. MICHELLE MEIER, WITH PARTY CITY SHOPS, SAYS ZOMBIE MOVIES AND THE TV SHOW "THE WALKING DEAD" ARE DRIVING THE POPULARITY OF DRESSING LIKE A RE-ANIMATED CORPSE.

SPORTS..

LSU IS RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE INITIAL BCS STANDINGS THAT WERE RELEASED LAST NIGHT. THE 7-AND-0 FIGHTING TIGERS WERE RANKED AHEAD OF SEC RIVAL ALABAMA, OKLAHOMA, OKLAHOMA STATE AND BOISE STATE. LSU HOSTS 19TH RANKED AUBURN ON SATURDAY AT 2:30 PM.

A BRUTAL LOSS FOR THE SAINTS YESTERDAY AGAINST A DIVISION RIVAL. COACH SEAN PAYTON WENT DOWN WITH A SERIOUS KNEE INJURY WHEN A COUPLE OF PLAYERS COLLIDED WITH HIM ON THE SIDELINES AND THE SAINTS WENT DOWN 26 TO 20. QUARTERBACK DREW BREES SAYS PAYTON'S INJURY DIDN'T COST THEM THE GAME IT WAS THE FOUR TURNOVERS BY THE TAMPA BAY DEFENSE. THE LOSS MOVES THE SAINTS INTO A FIRST PLACE TIE IN THE NFC SOUTH WITH TAMPA BAY. ATLANTA IS JUST ONE GAME BACK. BREES SAYS HE'S PROUD OF HIS TEAM, BUT IT WAS A DISAPPOINTING LOSS.

News For Friday 10/14/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 101411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

ANOTHER AUTUMN COOL FRONT HAS SETTLED IN OVER LOUISIANA, BRINGING BEAUTIFUL WEATHER FOR THE WEEKEND. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS TEMPERATURES DROPPED INTO THE 50'S AND 60'S STATEWIDE LAST NIGHT; AND AND THE NEXT 3 TO 4 DAYS SHOULD BE PRETTY PLEASANT. KEIM SAYS THIS SHOULD BE A GREAT WEEKEND FOR YARD WORK, COOKOUTS AND ATTENDING FALL FESTIVALS ACROSS THE STATE AND OH YES.. A GREAT WEEKEND FOR THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR.

BETTER THAN 5300 PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED IN DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRIA SATURDAY FOR THE ALEXANDRIA SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE, A 5K RUN/WALK AND ONE-MILE FUN RUN. THAT NUMBER BY THE WAY IS ABOUT A 25% INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR. THE RACE, WHICH IS A NATIONWIDE EFFORT TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER, RECEIVED MORE SPONSORS THIS YEAR, AND MANY OF THE RETURNING SPONSORS INCREASED THEIR SUPPORT. APPROXIMATELY 75 PERCENT OF ALL FUNDS RAISED FROM THE ALEXANDRIA RACE FOR THE CURE WILL BE USED TO FUND LOCAL PROGRAMS WITH THE REMAINING 25 PERCENT GOING TOWARD NATIONAL BREAST-CANCER RESEARCH.

A STATE ELECTION OFFICIAL SAYS OVER 83,000 LOUISIANA RESIDENTS HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD AND CAST THEIR BALLOT FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND PRIMARY. FIRST ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE KYLE ARDOIN SAYS THIS EXCEEDS THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION IN 2007 BY ABOUT 20,000 VOTERS. ARDOIN SAYS, SO FAR, THE PARISHES WITH THE HIGHEST EARLY VOTER TURNOUT HAVE BEEN TANGIPAHOA, ST TAMMANY, EAST BATON ROUGE AND JEFFERSON. EARLY VOTING ENDS TOMORROW AT 6:30 PM.

FALL MEANS FESTIVAL SEASON IS IN FULL SWING IN LOUISIANA. JACQUES BERRY WITH THE LT GOVERNORS OFFICE SAYS THERE ARE AT LEAST 21 FESTIVALS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE STATE THIS WEEKEND ALONE. HE SAYS THE FESTIVALS ARE GOOD FOR LOUISIANA'S ECONOMY. GRAND REVEIL ACADIEN HAS BEEN GOING ON IN LAFAYETTE WHICH IS A CELEBRATION OF THE FRENCH INFLUENCE IN LOUISIANA. BERRY SAYS THAT'S BROUGHT IN LOTS OF FRENCH TOURISTS. OTHER NOTABLE FESTIVALS ARE THE WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL IN MADISONVILLE, THE OYSTER FESTIVAL IN ST. BERNARD, HOLLYDAYS IN BATON ROUGE, THE NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL AND OF COURSE, THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR. BERRY SAYS THE FULL LIST OF FESTIVALS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT LOUISIANATRAVEL.COM.

AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS OF DECLINING PRICES, THE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF GAS HAS SHOT UP BETWEEN FIFTEEN AND TWENTY CENTS IN LESS THAN A WEEK. DON REDMAN, FUEL ANALYST FOR THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION SAYS THE RAPID RISE CAUGHT EVERYONE BY SURPRISE. REDMAN BELIEVES THE SUDDEN RISE IN THE WHOLESALE PRICE IS TIED A JITTERY GLOBAL GAS MARKET. HE SAYS, IN HIS OPINION, THE MARKET MAY BE RESPONDING TO A POTENTIAL CONFLICT BETWEEN THE US AND IRAN. REDMAN SAYS THERE MAY BE ROOM FOR THE PRICE TO RISE EVEN HIGHER, BEFORE MARKET PRESSURES FORCE IT DOWN AGAIN.

A SCHOOL BOARD AGREED THURSDAY TO TEMPORARILY END SINGLE-SEX CLASSES AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL, RESOLVING A LAWSUIT FILED BY THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION.
THE SETTLEMENT CALLS FOR THE VERMILION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD TO SUSPEND SINGLE-SEX CLASSES AT A PARISH MIDDLE SCHOOL THROUGH AT LEAST THE 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR. THE ACLU CLAIMS THE KAPLAN SCHOOL ILLEGALLY SEGREGATED MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS WITH A PROGRAM BASED ON FLAWED DATA AND GENDER STEREOTYPES. SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT RANDY SCHEXNAYDER DENIES THE SCHOOL BOARD BUCKLED UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE ACLU. HE SAID THE PROGRAM WAS HALTED BECAUSE AN INSUFFICIENT NUMBER OF PARENTS WANTED THEIR CHILDREN TO PARTICIPATE.

SUNDAY MARKS THE START OF NATIONAL TEEN DRIVER SAFETY WEEK, AND LOUISIANA SAFETY OFFICIALS ARE HOPING TO RAISE AWARENESS OF TEEN DRIVING DANGERS, AND SAVE LIVES. STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION DIRECTOR COL. JOHN LEBLANC SAYS TRAFFIC CRASHES ARE AMERICA'S NUMBER ONE KILLER OF TEENS.

DRIVERS OVERCHARGED $3.00 IN FINES WHEN RENEWING THEIR LICENSE TAGS WERE SENT OUT REFUND CHECKS, AND MANY OF THOSE CHECKS WERE MISTAKENLY MADE OUT FOR $300. STATE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES COMMISSIONER NICK GAUTREAUX SAYS 26-THOUSAND PEOPLE WERE SENT REFUNDS BUT THEY AREN'T SURE HOW MANY INCORRECT CHECKS WENT OUT HE SAYS IF YOU GOT A CHECK FOR $300, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO CASH IT AND NEW CHECKS ARE GOING OUT. GAUTREAUX SAYS PEOPLE WITH THE $300.00 CHECKS SHOULD SHRED THE CHECKS..

THE LISTERIA OUTBREAK THAT'S BLAMED FOR THE DEATH OF TWO LOUISIANA WOMEN IS NOW THE BIGGEST FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS EVENT IN THE U.S. IN 25 YEARS. THE TWO WOMEN FROM OUR STATE WERE THE 22ND AND 23RD PEOPLE TO DIE OF LISTERIA FROM TAINTED CANTALOUPE. OVER A HUNDRED CASES ARE REPORTED IN 25 STATES.

THE HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS, DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE KATRINA IN 2005, REOPENS TUESDAY AFTER A $275 MILLION REBUILD THAT CREATES A NEW BUSINESS MODEL FOR THE DOWNTOWN HOTEL. SPORTS FANS WHO SWARM THE ADJACENT SUPERDOME AND NEW ORLEANS ARENA STILL FIGURE IN THE MODEL, BUT THE HOTEL'S REBUILD ALSO ENVISIONS CARVING A NICHE IN THE CITY'S CONVENTION BUSINESS. DEVELOPERS SAY THEY WILL TARGET SMALLER CONVENTIONS THAT DON'T NEED THE SPACE OFFERED AT THE CITY'S GIANT RIVERFRONT CONVENTION CENTER.

A GROUP OF SHREVEPORT-AREA CIVIC LEADERS HAS COMMISSIONED A STUDY ON THE POSSIBILITY OF MERGING LSU-SHREVEPORT AND LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY. THE COMMITTEE OF 100 OF SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER RECENTLY RETAINED A VIRGINIA-BASED CONSULTANT TO LOOK AT WHETHER THE TWO SCHOOLS CAN BE REORGANIZED INTO A SINGLE RESEARCH-BASED ENTITY. THE $115,000 STUDY IS TO BE DONE BY THE END OF THE YEAR. LOUISIANA TECH, PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM, IS IN RUSTON, ABOUT 70 MILES EAST OF LSU-SHREVEPORT. ANY MERGER WOULD FACE STRONG RESISTANCE FROM THE LSU SYSTEM. ITS PRESIDENT, JOHN LOMBARDI, HAS ADVISED SHREVEPORT CAMPUS LEADERS NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY. A MERGER ALSO WOULD REQUIRE SUPPORT FROM THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE.

LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE AND HIS CHALLENGER, PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER DEBATED AGAIN TODAY IN BATON ROUGE. THE EVENT WAS SPONSORED BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS. BOTH CANDIDATES WERE ASKED IF IT'S OK TO QUESTION AN OPPONENT'S CHARACTER, PERHAPS DELVING INTO THEIR PERSONAL LIVES. DARDENNE SAID, IF THERE'S A PERCEIVED PROBLEM THERE...YES... NUNGESSER AGREED WITH DARDENNE ON THIS ONE TOPIC. HE SAYS VOTERS DESERVE TO KNOW IF THERE ARE MORAL OR ETHICAL ISSUES WITH CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. DARDENNE SAYS HIS INTEGRITY & EXPERIENCE IN STATE GOVERNMENT MAKES HIM THE RIGHT CHOICE. NUNGESSER SAYS IT'S TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH TO THE STATE'S NUMBER TWO JOB.

THE ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAS ARRESTED TWO PEOPLE THEY BELIEVE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR UP TO 30 BURGLARIES IN THREE DIFFERENT PARISHES. SPOKESPERSON MAXINE TRAHAN SAYS THEY CAUGHT UP WITH THE TWO SUSPECTS THURSDAY WHILE THEY WERE ROBBING A RESIDENCE IN RAYNE, AND ARRESTED THEM WITHOUT INCIDENT. SHE SAYS FURTHER INVESTIGATION LINKS THE PAIR, JOSEPH DUPLECHIN AND JEREMY MOUTON BOTH OF RAYNE, TO THE OTHER CRIMES.

A CADDO PARISH 3RD GRADER WAS SUSPENDED FOR BRINGING A KNIFE AND A BB GUN TO SCHOOL IN HIS BACKPACK. THE 8-YEAR-OLD SHOWED CLASSMATES THE WEAPONS WHILE WAITING FOR THE BUS; ONE OF THEM ALERTED SCHOOL OFFICIALS. THE BOY MAY OR MAY NOT BE EXPELLED FROM FOREST HILL ELEMENTARY.

A NEW ORLEANS MAN CONTINUED TO COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS MEANT FOR HIS MOTHER, 26 YEARS AFTER HER DEATH. COURT RECORD SHOW HE DEFRAUDED THE GOVERNMENT OF OVER 175-THOUSAND DOLLARS. 66-YEAR-OLD BERTRAND TAYLOR PLEADED GUILTY TO THEFT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS AND FACES UP TO TEN YEARS IN JAIL AND A 250-THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE.

THE HEAD OF THE U.S. OFFSHORE DRILLING SAFETY AGENCY IS TELLING CONGRESS CURRENT FINES FOR OFFSHORE VIOLATIONS NEED TO BE MUCH STIFFER. MICHAEL BROMWICH, HEAD OF THE BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT, SAYS THE MAXIMUM CIVIL PENALTY FOR A VIOLATION OFFSHORE SHOULD BE "WELL INTO THE SIX FIGURES" PER DAY, PER INCIDENT. THE MAXIMUM FINE WAS $35,000 PER DAY AT THE TIME OF THE GULF OF MEXICO BLOWOUT. BROMWICH CALLED THAT AMOUNT "TRIVIAL" FOR PROFITABLE COMPANIES SPENDING UP TO $1 MILLION A DAY LEASING AN OFFSHORE RIG.
BROMWICH'S STATEMENT COMES A DAY AFTER BP WAS CITED FOR SEVEN VIOLATIONS, AND ITS CONTRACTORS TRANSOCEAN AND HALLIBURTON, FOUR APIECE, STEMMING FROM THE GULF SPILL. DEMOCRATIC REP. EDWARD MARKEY SAYS BASED ON HIS CALCULATIONS, THE MOST BP COULD BE FINED IS $21 MILLION.

LOUISIANA'S HEALTH CHIEF SAYS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S HEALTH-CARE PROGRAM WILL RESULT IN THE "CANNIBALIZATION" OF PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE BY 2014. STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN SAID THE NATIONAL HEALTH-CARE REVAMP WOULD INCREASE LOUISIANA'S MEDICAID ROLLS BY 467,000 PEOPLE


SPORTS..

THE SAINTS SEEK THEIR FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN ON SUNDAY WHEN THEY VISIT NFC SOUTH RIVAL TAMPA BAY. THE BUCCANEERS WON 10 GAMES LAST SEASON AND THEY ARE 3-AND-2 THIS YEAR.

TOP RANKED LSU LEAVES FOR TENNESSEE WHERE THEY'LL PLAY THE VOLUNTEERS TOMORROW AFTERNOON ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. COACH LES MILES SAYS HE PLANS TO USE TWO QUARTERBACKS AGAIN...JARRETT LEE AND JORDAN JEFFERSON.



News For Thursday 10/13/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 101311
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

WEATHER FOR THIS YEARS RAPIDES PARISH FAIR DOESN’T GET MUCH NICER.. CLEAR SKIES AND COOLER TEMPS.. JUST A REMINDER.. VISITORS DONATING CANNED FOOD ITEMS AT THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR CAN GET DISCOUNTS ON ARMBANDS FOR FAIR RIDES FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY. THE THOMAS CARNIVAL WILL OFFER A $3 DISCOUNT TO THOSE BRINGING NONPERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS TO BENEFIT THE FOOD BANK OF CENTRAL LOUISIANA. FOOD SHOULD BE TAKEN TO THE TICKET BOOTH AT THE FAIRGROUNDS AT THE RAPIDES PARISH COLISEUM. ARMBANDS MAY BE USED FROM 3-7 P.M. FRIDAY; 11 A.M.-5 P.M. SATURDAY; AND NOON-8 P.M. SUNDAY. ALSO, THE EXCHANGE CLUB WILL DONATE $1 TO THE FOOD BANK FOR EVERY BAG OF COTTON CANDY SOLD BETWEEN 6 AND 9 P.M. TODAY.

CENLA BROADCASTING WELCOMES THE FEDERATION OF FIRE CHAPLAINS TO TOWN FOR THEIR 33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE. ABOUT 150 TO 200 FIRE CHAPLAINS AND 50 TO 80 OF THEIR SPOUSES ARE EXPECTED. THE CONFERENCE, WHICH BEGINS TOMORROW WILL INCLUDE A BANQUET, REGIONAL SPEAKERS AND A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE LINE OF DUTY. THE EVENT IS BEING HELD DOWNTOWN AT THE ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL.

ALSO, THE LOUISIANA INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION WILL CONTINUE TODAY, WITH SEMIFINALIST PERFORMING IN THE COUGHLIN-SAUNDERS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER DOWNTOWN. THE FINALS WILL BE HELD SATURDAY BEGINNING AT 6 P.M. FOR MORE INFORMATION LOG ON TO WWW.LAPIANOINTERNATIONALCOMPETITION.ORG/

AN INDEPENDENT POLL COMMISSIONED BY WWL-TV SHOWS LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE HOLD A DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD OVER PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER. CLARUS RESEARCH GROUP PRESIDENT, RON FAUCHEUX, SAYS 33-PERCENT OF RESPONDERS REMAIN UNDECIDED. FAUCHEUX SAYS FOR NUNGESSER TO BEAT DARDENNE HE'LL HAVE TO GET THE LION'S SHARE OF THOSE VOTERS. THE POLL GAVE DARDENNE A 40 TO 27-PERCENT LEAD OVER NUNGESSER.

THE CITY OF VILLE PLATTE SAYS IT WILL REWRITE IT'S LATE-NIGHT WALKING CURFEW FOR ADULTS. THE REVISIONS COME IN THE FACE OF A LAWSUIT BY THE ACLU, PROTESTING THE ORDINANCE WHICH PROHIBITS ADULTS FROM WALKING OUTSIDE THEIR HOMES AFTER 10PM. CITY ATTORNEY ERIC LA FLEUR SAYS THE ADULT WALKING CURFEW WENT INTO EFFECT LAST FEBRUARY. HE SAYS THE EVANGELINE PARISH CITY WAS DEALING WITH AN ELEVATED CRIME RATE. LA FLEUR SAYS THERE IS STILL STRONG SUPPORT FOR SOME KIND OF CURFEW IN THE COMMUNITY.

THE IBERIA PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT CAUSED THE EXPLOSION OF A CONTAINER THAT SEVERELY BURNED A ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD. THE LITTLE GIRL WAS HOSPITALIZED. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE EXPLOSION WAS ACCIDENTAL.

FROM THE “SOMEONE DIDN’T DO THEIR HOMEWORK” DEPARTMENT, SOME OF THE PASSENGER BRIDGES AT MONROE REGIONAL AIRPORT'S NEW $36 MILLION TERMINAL CAN'T CONNECT TO AIRPLANES. OFFICIALS LEARNED OF THE PROBLEM TUESDAY, THE DAY THE NEW TERMINAL OPENED FOR FLIGHTS. THE AIRPORT’S DIRECTOR SAYS "IT LOOKS LIKE SOME OF THEM WILL FIT AND SOME WON'T FIT.” CLEVE NORRELL SAYS, AT THIS POINT THEY ARE NOT SURE WHAT WILL FIX THE PROBLEM RIGHT NOW, BUT WORKING TO FIND A SOLUTION. NORRELL SAID OFFICIALS WERE ALSO WORKING TO LEARN WHETHER THE PROBLEM WAS A CONSTRUCTION DESIGN FLAW OR THE CITY'S ERROR.

OVER 5,000 LOUISIANA HOMES WERE TARGETED FOR SOME KIND OF FORECLOSURE ACTION DURING THE THIRD QUARTER, WITH MOST OF THE OWNERS EITHER LOSING THEIR HOMES OR BEING SCHEDULED FOR A FORECLOSURE SALE. THAT'S ACCORDING TO IRVINE, CALIF.-BASED REALTYTRAC, WHICH TRACKS FORECLOSURES NATIONWIDE. REALTYTRAC SAYS 5,139 PROPERTIES WERE HIT BY A FORECLOSURE ACTION RANGING FROM AN INITIAL DEFAULT NOTICE TO OUTRIGHT REPOSSESSION BY A LENDER. FORECLOSURE ACTIONS AFFECTED ONE IN EVERY 382 LOUISIANA HOUSING UNITS, RANKING THE STATE 29TH IN THE REALTYTRAC COUNT. FORECLOSURE ACTION DID SLOW IN THE STATE — DROPPING JUST UNDER 9 PERCENT FROM THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2010 AND 2.5 PERCENT FROM THE THIRD QUARTER A YEAR AGO.

THE CANDIDATES FOR LT. GOVERNOR WILL MEET IN A DEBATE IN BATON ROUGE TODAY. A RECENT POLL SHOWS CHALLENGER BILLY NUNGESSER TRAILING INCUMBENT JAY DARDENNE BY 13 PERCENT. U-L MONROE POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR JOSHUA STOCKLEY SAYS NUNGESSER NEEDS TO INCREASE HIS NAME RECOGNITION TO REACH UNDECIDED VOTERS. THE LATEST POLL SHOWS 33-PERCENT OF VOTERS ARE UNDECIDED IN THE LT. GOVERNOR'S RACE.

IN THEIR LATEST CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT THE JINDAL RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN SAYS IT HAS SPENT MORE THAN 1.3-MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE LAST MONTH. THAT COMES ON TOP OF 1.9-MILLION SPENT BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 13TH AND OCTOBER 2ND. THE REPORT SAYS JINDAL STILL HAS 6-MILLION DOLLARS IN HIS WAR CHEST. JINDAL FACES 9 OTHER CANDIDATES, NONE ARE CONSIDERED SERIOUS CONTENDERS.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL IS POISED TO WIN BY A LANDSLIDE IN THE OCT. 22 ELECTION, ACCORDING TO A NEW POLL THAT SHOWS THE GOVERNOR WITH 57 PERCENT SUPPORT FROM THE VOTERS SURVEYED. THAT'S COMPARED TO 15 PERCENT FOR ALL NINE OF HIS OPPONENTS COMBINED.

A STATE APPELLATE COURT HAS UPHELD THE SECOND-DEGREE MURDER CONVICTION OF A NATCHITOCHES WOMAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED A TEENAGER WHO WAS SLEEPING IN THE HOME OF THE WOMAN'S FORMER GIRLFRIEND IN OCTOBER 2009. THE 3RD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL REJECTED TANESHA HARDY'S ARGUMENT THAT SHE SHOT 16-YEAR-OLD WALTER "DINKIE" JOHNSON WITH A .45-CALIBER HANDGUN IN SELF-DEFENSE. WITNESSES AT THE 10TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL TESTIFIED THAT JOHNSON WAS UNARMED AND LAY ASLEEP ON A SOFA WHEN HARDY ENTERED THE HOME. A CORONER'S INVESTIGATION DETERMINED JOHNSON DIED FROM A GUNSHOT TO THE NECK. THE JUDGE SENTENCED HARDY TO LIFE IN PRISON.

FEDERAL REGULATORS HAVE CITED OIL COMPANY BP PLC AND TWO OTHER COMPANIES — TRANSOCEAN LTD. AND HALLIBURTON — FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS STEMMING FROM LAST YEAR'S RIG EXPLOSION AND MASSIVE OIL SPILL IN THE GULF. THE COMPANIES HAVE 60 DAYS TO APPEAL WEDNESDAY'S CITATIONS ISSUED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT'S BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT.
THE BUREAU SAYS THE ALLEGED REGULATORY VIOLATIONS COULD RESULT IN CIVIL PENALTIES ONCE THE APPEAL PERIOD HAS ENDED.

IN A RELATED STORY…

PROSECUTORS HAVE FILED A CIVIL COMPLAINT AGAINST THE OWNER OF THE RIG THAT EXPLODED LAST YEAR IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND LED TO A MASSIVE OIL SPILL, ACCUSING IT OF REFUSING TO HONOR SUBPOENAS FROM A FEDERAL BOARD INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT. THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN HOUSTON ON WEDNESDAY FILED THE COMPLAINT IN FEDERAL COURT AGAINST TRANSOCEAN LTD. THE COMPLAINT ALLEGES THE COMPANY HAS NOT FULLY COMPLIED WITH FIVE SUBPOENAS THE U.S. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD HAS ISSUED. THE BOARD IS ONE OF SEVERAL AGENCIES INVESTIGATING THE APRIL 20, 2010, EXPLOSION. A SPOKESMAN FOR TRANSOCEAN SAID WEDNESDAY THE SAFETY BOARD DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION IN THE PROBE.

A TEXAS COMPANY THAT OWNS A REFINERY IN SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA PLEADED GUILTY WEDNESDAY TO FELONY VIOLATIONS OF THE FEDERAL CLEAN AIR ACT AND OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE AND AGREED TO PAY A RECORD FINE. ACCORDING TO A PLEA AGREEMENT REACHED IN FEDERAL COURT, PELICAN REFINING LLC WILL PAY $12 MILLION IN CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS AT ITS LAKE CHARLES REFINERY, INCLUDING $2 MILLION FOR AIR POLLUTION MONITORING AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS IN THE STATE. A JUDGE MUST APPROVE THE AGREEMENT. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAID THE CRIMINAL FINES WOULD BE THE LARGEST EVER IN LOUISIANA FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT.

A LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OFFICIAL SAID GRAPHIC PACKAGING'S WEST MONROE PAPER MILL WOULD HAVE TO TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN IN AS FEW AS 30 DAYS IF THE OUACHITA RIVER'S FLOW RATE ISN'T INCREASED. SAM PHILLIPS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEQ, WAS AMONG AS MANY AS 20 ARKANSAS AND LOUISIANA OFFICIALS ON A CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TUESDAY TO DISCUSS THE PROBLEM OF THE OUACHITA'S SLOW FLOW. GEORGIA PACIFIC HAS ALREADY CURTAILED SOME OPERATIONS AT ITS PAPER MILL IN CROSSETT, ARK . BOTH PAPER MILLS RELY ON RELEASING MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF TREATED WASTEWATER INTO THE RIVER EACH DAY, BUT THE CURRENT FLOW, WHICH IS JUST ABOVE 300 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND, ISN'T ENOUGH TO MEET THEIR DILUTION REQUIREMENTS FROM ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATORS.

THE FORMER MAYOR OF WHITE CASTLE HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HIS RACKETEERING AND FRAUD CHARGES. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAID MAURICE BROWN WAS CAUGHT AS THE RESULT OF A LENGTHY FBI STING OPERATION KNOWN AS "OPERATION BLIGHTED OFFICIALS." THE STING USED UNDERCOVER FBI AGENTS TO SEEK MUNICIPAL CONTRACTS IN THE BATON ROUGE AREA FOR A FAKE COMPANY OFFERING CLEANING SERVICE FOR GARBAGE CANS. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE BRIAN JACKSON ORDERED BROWN TO REPORT TO PRISON ON NOV. 14. DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRUCE CRAFT SAID BROWN WILL APPEAL THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCE.

A STATE DISTRICT JUDGE SAYS JURORS FROM OUTSIDE OUACHITA PARISH MUST HEAR THE SECOND-DEGREE MURDER CASE AGAINST A WEST MONROE TEENAGER ACCUSED OF SHOOTING HIS PARENTS WHEN HE WAS 15 YEARS OLD. DEFENSE ATTORNEY CHARLES KINCADE SAYS ATTORNEYS WILL MEET WITH JUDGE DANIEL ELLENDER NEXT WEEK TO DECIDE WHEN AND WHERE THE TRIAL WILL BE HELD. ELLENDER APPROVED THE CHANGE OF VENUE WEDNESDAY. DALTON FLETCHER IS CHARGED AS AN ADULT. HE HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY. CONVICTION WOULD REQUIRE A LIFE SENTENCE.
KINCADE SAYS ALMOST EVERY POTENTIAL JUROR KNEW ABOUT THE CASE, MANY AT FIRST HAND, MAKING IT CLEAR THAT FLETCHER COULD NOT GET A FAIR TRIAL IN THE FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT.

THE MINNESOTA REAL ESTATE INVESTOR WHO BOUGHT THE MONROE MOTOR SPEEDWAY PLANS ON KEEPING IT AN AUTO RACETRACK. THE SPEEDWAY WAS BUILT IN 2008 BUT IT HASN'T HOSTED A RACE SINCE JUNE OF 2010. THE FORMER OWNERS OF THE RACETRACK DEFAULTED ON THE PROPERTY, AND VICTOR SCOTT BOUGHT IT OVER THE PHONE DURING AN AUCTION FOR $726,000. SCOTT THINK IT'S A GOOD DEAL. THE SPEEDWAY IS ON 55 ACRES NEAR I-20. SCOTT SAYS HE PLANS TO REVIVE THE RACETRACK. SCOTT SAYS HE HAS NEVER BEFORE PURCHASED A PROPERTY WITHOUT SEEING IT WITH HIS OWN EYES. BUT, IN THIS CASE, HE SAYS HE HAD NEVER EVEN BEEN TO MONROE PRIOR TO THE PURCHASE.

BATON ROUGE-BASED BILLBOARD GIANT LAMAR ADVERTISING ROLLS OUT A NEW SMARTPHONE APP TODAY, DESIGNED TO PROVIDE USEFUL INFORMATION TO MOTORISTS. LAMAR CEO SEAN REILLY SAYS THE ROAD NINJA APP IS A FREE DOWNLOAD AT THE APPLE STORE ONLINE. REILLY SAYS BY USING ROAD NINJA, YOUR SMARTPHONE WILL INFORM YOU OF WHAT'S AHEAD AT THE NEXT EXIT. REILLY SAYS ROAD NINJA'S DATABASE HAS RESTAURANT, FUEL, HOTEL AND EVEN ATTRACTION INFO FOR EVERY INTERSTATE HIGHWAY EXIT IN THE U.S. THE ROAD NINJA APP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR IPHONES AND ANDROID PHONES STARTING TODAY. REILLY SAYS IT EVEN INTERFACES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE
FACEBOOK OR TWITTER, SO THAT YOU CAN ADD YOUR OWN REVIEWS, RATINGS OR PHOTOS OF LISTED BUSINESSES. HE SAYS ROAD NINJA IS THE HUNGRY TRAVELER'S FRIEND.


 

News For Wednesday 10/12/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 101211
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

MANY ARE SAYING THEY PLAN TO IGNORE THE NEW ALEXANDRIA SMOKING LAWS WHEN THEY TAKE EFFECT NEXT YEAR. BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT, YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE JUST ANNOUNCED FINES IF YOU ARE CAUGHT. ANYONE LIGHTING UP IN A BAR OR WITHIN 25 FEET OF CITY PROPERTY WILL BE FINED $100 FOR A FIRST OFFENSE. THE FINES WILL INCREASE TO $250 FOR A SECOND OFFENSE WITHIN A YEAR AND $500 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL OFFENSE. THE SAME FINES WILL APPLY TO BUSINESS OWNERS WHO ALLOW SMOKING IN THEIR FACILITIES. THE ORDINANCE BANS SMOKING IN ALL ENCLOSED PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT "WITHOUT EXCEPTION," AS WELL AS WITHIN 25 FEET OF ENTRANCES AND WINDOWS OF THOSE BUILDINGS, CITY PROPERTY AND OUTDOOR PLAYGROUNDS. SMOKING ALSO IS FORBIDDEN IN ALL OUTDOOR ARENAS, STADIUMS AND AMPHITHEATERS, AS WELL AS ALL OUTDOOR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT.

A RECENT RASH OF CAR BURGLARIES HAS THE ALEXANDRIA POLICE ASKING RESIDENTS TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT AND TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM. MOST OF THE ADVICE IS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE. DON'T LEAVE VEHICLES UNLOCKED, DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING OF VALUE IN A VEHICLE. IF ONE CAN'T REMOVE ITEMS OF VALUE FROM A VEHICLE WHILE IT'S PARKED, REMOVE THEM FROM VIEW.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTS HEARING AN APPEAL BY TWO GAY MEN WHO WANT BOTH THEIR NAMES ON THEIR ADOPTED CHILD'S LOUISIANA BIRTH CERTIFICATE. LEGAL ANALYST TIM MECHE SAYS STATE LAW DOESN'T PERMIT ADOPTION BETWEEN UNMARRIED COUPLES, AND ALSO DOESN'T RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. MECHE SAYS THE SUPREME COURT WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO TACKLE THE SUBJECT. MECHE SAYS THE GAY COUPLE HAVE NO FURTHER LEGAL RECOURSE IN THIS CASE, BUT THAT DOESN'T AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO BE GOOD PARENTS TO THEIR CHILD.

SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS A TUESDAY MEETING WITH FEDERAL DRILLING REGULATORS, TO DISCUSS THE SLOW PACE OF ISSUING PERMITS TO DRILL IN THE GULF, WASN'T SATISFACTORY. VITTER SAYS HE AND CONGRESSMAN JEFF LANDRY WANTED TO KNOW WHY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE LETTING RIGS LEAVE THE GULF RATHER THAN ISSUE THEM DRILLING PERMITS. VITTER SAYS HE AND LANDRY MET WITH BUREAU OF SAFETY & ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROMWICH AND OTHERS TUESDAY, BUT GOT WHAT HE CALLS "THE SAME OLD COMPANY LINE" THAT PERMITTING IS PROCEEDING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. VITTER SAYS 14 RIGS HAVE LEFT THE GULF; EACH TAKING 500 JOBS WITH IT.

WORK BEGAN TUESDAY TO REPAIR JIMMY BROWN ROAD, WHICH SOME LOCAL RESIDENTS HAVE COMPLAINED IS ONE OF THE WORST, IF NOT THE WORST, ROAD IN RAPIDES PARISH.
GILCHRIST CONSTRUCTION STARTED WORK TUESDAY TO RESURFACE THE ROAD, WHICH WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN TWO PARTICULAR SECTIONS. IT’S EXPECTED IT WILL TAKE TWO TO THREE WEEKS TO COMPLETE. THE ROAD IS A VITAL LINK BETWEEN (INTERSTATE 49) AND (LA. HIGHWAY 28 WEST) A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND THE BOYCE AND LENA AREAS UTILIZE THE ROAD TO HEAD TO TOWN.

THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS HAS ENDORSED DEMOCRAT TARA HOLLIS IN HER BID FOR GOVERNOR. LAE PRESIDENT JOYCE HAYNES CALLS HOLLIS A QUICK STUDY WHO WILL SUPPORT IDEAS AND CHANGES TO IMPROVE EDUCATION IN LOUISIANA. SHE SAYS HOLLIS WOULD BE A GOVERNOR WITH AN OPEN DOOR WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE INSTEAD OF OUTSIDE INTEREST. HAYNES SAYS SHE STILL BELIEVES IT'S POSSIBLE FOR HOLLIS TO DRAW ENOUGH VOTES TO FORCE A RUNOFF.

A NON PARTISAN RESEARCH GROUP RELEASES SEVERAL SUGGESTIONS ON IMPROVING THE STATE'S DISMAL DROPOUT RATE. THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL SAYS 17-PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO ENTERED HIGH SCHOOL IN 2006 FAILED TO GRADUATE. PAR PRESIDENT ROBERT SCOTT SAYS ONE SOLUTION IS FOR THE STATE AND LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FUND DROPOUT PROGRAMS THAT WORK. THE LEGISLATURE HAS SET A GOAL OF A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE OF 80-PERCENT BY 2014. SCOTT CALLS THAT A TALL ORDER, CONSIDERING THE STATE'S RATE HAS BEEN ABOUT 67-PERCENT IN RECENT YEARS.

LOUISIANA'S OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES SAYS THAT SOME INCORRECT REFUNDS WERE SENT OUT ON VEHICLE RENEWAL LATE FEE ASSESSMENTS BECAUSE AN IMPROPERLY FORMATTED DATA FILE WAS SENT TO THE BANK. OFFICE SPOKESWOMAN MICHELLE RAYBURN SAYS IN A NEWS RELEASE THAT AS SOON AS THE PROGRAMMERS REALIZED THE MISTAKE, THEY NOTIFIED THE BANK AND SENT A CORRECTED FILE. BUT SHE SAYS THAT SOME INCORRECT CHECKS WERE SENT OUT. SHE DID NOT SAY HOW MANY WERE SENT, WHETHER THEY WERE TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL, OR BY HOW MUCH THEY WERE OFF.
RAYBURN SAYS THE BANK WON'T HONOR THOSE CHECKS, AND HAS AGREED TO ABSORB ANY COSTS CAUSED BY THE ERROR. SHE SAYS CORRECTED CHECKS COULD BE MAILED AS SOON AS THIS WEEK.

A BATON ROUGE WOMAN IS SUING FACEBOOK OVER ALLEGATIONS THAT THE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE COLLECTS INFORMATION ON USERS' INTERNET HABITS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION. FORMER LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL RICHARD IEYOUB HAS FILED THE SUIT ON BEHALF OF JANET SEAMON. IEYOUB SAYS FACEBOOK EVEN TRACKS ITS USERS' ONLINE ACTIVITY WHEN THEY ARE NOT LOGGED IN. IEYOUB SAYS THE RECORDING OF DATA WHEN A USER IS NOT LOGGED IN TO FACEBOOK IS A VIOLATION OF WIRETAP LAWS. IEYOUB IS ASKING A JUDGE TO CERTIFY THE SUIT AS CLASS ACTION. A FACEBOOK SPOKESPERSON SAYS THE LAWSUIT IS WITHOUT MERIT AND THEY WILL FIGHT IT VIGOROUSLY. IEYOUB SAYS HE CONSIDERS THIS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER BECAUSE CITIZENS CHERISH THEIR RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE SAYS A NATCHITOCHES STORE MANAGER AND AN EMPLOYEE ARE CHARGED WITH INTENTIONALLY SETTING THE STORE ON FIRE. NATCHITOCHES FIREFIGHTERS FOUND A DOOR ENGULFED IN FLAME AT THE DOLLAR GENERAL STORE, WHICH THEY QUICKLY BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. AN INVESTIGATION LED THEM TO 21-YEAR-OLD STORE MANAGER KIERSTEN MARTIN AND 32-YEAR-OLD MELISSA TUCKER. BOTH ARE CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ARSON; THEIR MOTIVE UNKNOWN YET.

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE NBA SEASON HAVE BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE
PLAYER LOCKOUT, AND GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS THIS COMES AT A BAD TIME FOR THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS. THE STATE SUBSIDIZES THE NBA FRANCHISE, BUT WILL NOT HAVE TO MAKE ANY PAYMENTS TO THE TEAM DURING THIS LOCKOUT. BUT, THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE'S THINKING ABOUT THOSE WHO DEPEND ON THE HORNETS PLAYING. HE HOPES THE TEAM AND PLAYERS CAN REACH AN AGREEMENT SOON.

STATE POLICE IN LAKE CHARLES SAY THEY WILL TICKET BIG RIG DRIVERS WHO IGNORE SIGNS TELLING THEM TO DETOUR AROUND THE CITY ON I-210, AND STAY OFF THE I-10 BRIDGE OVER THE CALCASIEU RIVER. DOTD WILL BE CLOSING LANES WHILE REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS ARE DONE, AND THEY SAY KEEPING TRACTOR TRAILERS OFF THE BRIDGE WILL LESSEN CONGESTION. LSP SAYS MOTORISTS ARE REPORTING TRUCKS ON THE BRIDGE FREQUENTLY, DESPITE THE DETOUR.

LOUISIANA TECH HAS RECEIVED A ONE-MILLION DOLLAR DONATION FROM HUMANA INC. TO HELP FUND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FACILITIES FOR TECH ATHLETICS AND COLLEGE OF BUSINESS. DR. JAMES LUMPKIN, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AT TECH, SAYS HUMANA CEO MIKE MCCALLISTER HAS SHOWN GENEROUS SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY AT TECH. HALF THE MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSITY'S COLLEGE OF BUSINESS BUILDING AND HALF WILL GO TOWARDS TECH'S ATHLETICS
FACILITY CAMPAIGN. LUMPKIN SAYS THEY ARE RELYING ON DONATIONS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THEIR COLLEGE OF BUSINESS BUILDING.

THE LINEUP FOR THE 2012 BAYOU COUNTRY SUPERFEST WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS TODAY. THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND CONCERTS WILL BE HELD IN LSU'S TIGER STADIUM ON MAY 26TH & 27TH. BATON ROUGE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU PRESIDENT PAUL ARRIGO SAYS THE FESTIVAL HAS BECOME A SIGNATURE ECONOMIC EVENT FOR BATON ROUGE AND LOUISIANA.

STATE WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES AGENTS SAY TWO RARE WHOOPING CRANES—THAT WERE PART OF A GOVERNMENT RE-POPULATION PROGRAM--WERE FOUND SHOT DEAD IN JEFF DAVIS PARISH. LDWF SPOKESMAN ADAM EINCK SAYS AGENTS BELIEVE TWO TEENAGE BOYS ARE RESPONSIBLE. EINCK SAYS AGENTS WERE ABLE TO LOCATE THE TWO JUVENILE SUSPECTS MONDAY, BASED ON EYEWITNESS INFORMATION. HE SAYS THEY WERE SPOTTED SHOOTING AT THE CRANES FROM THE ROADWAY, JUST SOUTH OF JENNINGS. THE CRANES WERE PART OF A GROUP OF TEN THAT WERE RELOCATED TO LOUISIANA, AS PART OF A
PLAN TO REINTRODUCE THEM TO THE LOUISIANA MARSH.

SPORTS..

TOP RANKED LSU FACES TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY. NO ONE WILL FORGET LAST YEAR'S GAME BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS. IT LOOKED LIKE LSU HAD LOST TO THE VOLUNTEERS, BUT TENNESSEE HAD TOO MANY MEN ON THE FIELD FOR THE FINAL PLAY. THAT GAVE THE TIGERS A CHANCE TO SCORE THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN. LSU SAFETY ERIC REID HOPES THERE'S LESS DRAMA THIS SATURDAY. THE GAME SATURDAY IN KNOXVILLE KICKS OFF AT 2:30.

LSU CORNERBACK TYRANN MATHIEU CAN ADD ANOTHER AWARD TO HIS EVER GROWING LIST. MATHIEU WAS NAMED THE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD BY THE LOUISIANA SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION. THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME THIS SEASON THAT MATHIEU HAS RECEIVED THE HONOR.

IT'S HOMECOMING ON THE CAMPUS OF UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE.
THE FIVE-AND-ONE RAGIN CAJUNS CONCLUDE A THREE-GAME HOMESTAND BY HOSTING NORTH TEXAS. COACH MARK HUDSPETH SAYS STOPPING MEAN GREEN RUNNING BACK LANCE DUNBAR WILL BE A BIG KEY. THE CAJUNS ARE COMING OFF A HUGE WIN OVER SUN BELT PERENNIAL CHAMPION TROY, BUT HUDSPETH SAYS THE TEAM IS DONE CELEBRATING THAT VICTORY.

THE ULM WARHAWKS WILL BE LOOKING FOR A WIN AT TROY THIS WEEKEND. IN THE SIX MEETINGS AT THE TROJANS' HOME, THE WARHAWKS HAVE LOST EACH TIME. ULM WILL LIKELY NEED A WIN SATURDAY IF THEY WANT TO REMAIN IN CONTENTION IN THE SUNBELT.

THE LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS ARE OFF THIS WEEKEND, BUT IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THEIR NOVEMBER 5TH GAME AGAINST FRESNO STATE WILL BE TELEVISED AT
9:30 CENTRAL TIME ON ESPNU.

IN THE SWAC, AFTER AN OPEN DATE FOR GRAMBILNG, THEY'RE LOOKING TO SNAP A FOUR-GAME SLIDE WITH HOMECOMING AGAINST CONCORDIA SATURDAY.

News For Tuesday 10/11/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 101111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY ON MONDAY AUTHORIZED ADVERTISING FOR BIDS FOR THE REPAIR OF THE RED RIVER LEVEE. THE MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR PROJECT IS BEING FUNDED THROUGH DISASTER-RELIEF FUNDS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY EARMARKED FOR DRAINAGE PROJECTS. ALSO AT MONDAY'S JURY MEETING, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM GILCHRIST CONSTRUCTION SAID THE RIGOLETTE ROAD BRIDGE WILL BE OPEN TO TRAFFIC IN JANUARY, IF ALL GOES WELL. THE BRIDGE HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE IT WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN A FIRE IN MARCH. GILCHRIST WILL START WORK NEXT WEEK ON REPLACING THE BRIDGE.

LAFAYETTE AUTHORITIES ARE INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE HOMICIDE AFTER FINDING A BODY IN THE TRUNK OF A BURNING CAR IN A RURAL PART OF THE PARISH. LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SPOKESMAN CAPT. CRAIG STANSBURY SAYS OFFICERS RESPONDED TO A VEHICLE FIRE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND FOUND A BODY WHEN THEY OPENED THE TRUNK..
HE SAYS THE INCIDENT IS BEING INVESTIGATED AS A HOMICIDE, AND THE VICTIM HAS NOT YET BEEN POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED.

RAPIDES PARISH GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED A MARKSVILLE POLICE OFFICER WHO LIVES IN ALEXANDRIA ON TWO COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED RAPE, WHICH WAS FIRST REPORTED BY THE ALLEGED VICTIM IN FEBRUARY. 28 YEAR OLD DERRICK STAFFORD IS BEING HELD ON $300,000 BOND. STAFFORD TURNED HIMSELF IN ON FRIDAY AFTER HE WAS INDICTED.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS MADE FOUR ARRESTS FOLLOWING THE INVESTIGATION OF NUMEROUS VEHICLE BURGLARIES IN THE PINEVILLE, BALL AND TIOGA AREAS. CONAN BORDELON, MISTY MASTERS, ADAM NORRIS AND TRAVIS WOOLEY, ALL OF PINEVILLE, WERE CHARGED IN THE STRING OF BURGLARIES THAT OCCURRED BETWEEN SEPT. 27 AND OCT. 2. SHERIFF'S DETECTIVES UNCOVERED THE RING WHEN THE SUSPECTS ATTEMPTED TO PAWN SEVERAL STOLEN ITEMS AT A LOCAL PAWNSHOP. THE SUSPECTS ALSO ALLEGEDLY FORGED AND CASHED SEVERAL STOLEN CHECKS AT LOCAL BANKS.

GAS PRICES IN LOUISIANA ARE NOW DOWN 30 CENTS FROM A MONTH AGO. DON REDMAN, FUEL ANALYST WITH THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, SAYS THE CURRENT STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GAS IS $3.21. HE SAYS AS WE MOVE INTO NEXT MONTH, WE CAN EXPECT THE GAS PRICES TO DROP ANOTHER DIME, IF NOT MORE. REDMAN SAYS THE LOWER GAS PRICES MEAN CONSUMERS COULD BE SAVING BETWEEN $50-$60 A MONTH. HOWEVER, HE SAYS WE'RE STILL PAYING ABOUT 60 CENTS MORE THAN WE WERE A YEAR AGO. REDMAN ATTRIBUTES THE RAPID DECLINE IN GAS PRICES TO A SLOW ECONOMY AND DEMAND BEING DOWN GLOBALLY.

LAFAYETTE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT HAS GOVERNED THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE AND THE UNINCORPORATED PORTIONS OF THE PARISH FOR 15 YEARS. ON OCT. 22, VOTERS WILL DECIDE IF THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD CONTINUE OR IF IT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED IN FAVOR OF SEPARATE GOVERNMENTS FOR BOTH THE CITY AND THE PARISH. DECONSOLIDATION PROPONENTS SAY A "YES" VOTE WILL GIVE THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE MORE AUTONOMY AND CONTROL OF ITS OWN DESTINY WHILE GIVING THE PARISH A GOVERNMENT DEDICATED TO ITS NEEDS. OPPONENTS ARGUE THAT VOTING "NO" LETS A SUCCESSFUL GOVERNMENT CONTINUE, AVOIDING A PAINFUL AND COSTLY GOVERNMENTAL SPLIT.

LOUISIANA LEGISLATORS ARE GETTING $3 A DAY LESS WHEN THEY ATTEND LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS OR ARE ON OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS. HOUSE CLERK ALFRED SPEER SAYS THE PER DIEM FOR LAWMAKERS WENT FROM $152 TO $149 AS OF OCT. 1, THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW THE ALLOWANCE HAS FALLEN. THE PER DIEM, PAID TO LAWMAKERS FOR EVERY DAY IN SESSION, IN MEETINGS BETWEEN SESSIONS OR ON OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS, IS BASED ON THE RATE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS TO ITS EMPLOYEES TO TRAVEL. LAWMAKERS ALSO ARE PAID 51 CENTS A MILE TO TRAVEL, UNLESS THEY LIVE IN THE SAME PARISH WHERE THEY ATTEND MEETINGS. THEY ALSO GET A SALARY OF $16,800 A YEAR AND A $6,000 ANNUAL UN-VOUCHERED EXPENSE ALLOWANCE.

VEGETATION THAT HAD GROWN UP IN THE LAKE BED OF TOLEDO BEND CAUGHT FIRE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. AUTHORITIES SAY WORKERS WITH THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY ARRIVED WITH A BULLDOZER AND WERE ABLE TO DIG A FIRE LINE TO HELP CONTAIN THE BLAZE.AS OF YESTERDAY, THE FIRE HAD BEEN CONTAINED.
DESOTO FIRE DISTRICT 5 CHIEF TODD KRAMER SAYS THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE IS UNKNOWN. THE AREA, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR. AT THE PEAK OF THE FIRE THREAT, UP TO 35 FIREFIGHTERS FROM SEVERAL FIRED DISTRICTS BATTLED THE BLAZE.

HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO STEM THE RISING NUMBER OF SYPHILIS CASES IN NORTHWEST LOUISIANA. THERE WERE 142 CASES OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SYPHILIS IN ADULTS IN CADDO PARISH IN 2010 AND 141 IN 2009. STATEWIDE, SYPHILIS CASES MORE THAN DOUBLED BETWEEN 2005 AND 2009 ..

LSU FOOTBALL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ARE NOW ABLE TO REQUEST TICKETS FOR POTENTIAL POSTSEASON GAMES, LIKE THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE BCS NATIONAL TITLE CONTEST. LSU TICKET OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, BRIAN BROUSSARD, SAYS SEASON TICKET HOLDERS CAN GO TO THE WEBSITE L-S-U-TIX-DOT-NET AND PUT IN THEIR REQUESTS, WHICH ALLOWS HIS OFFICE GAUGE POTENTIAL INTEREST. NOVEMBER 21ST IS THE DEADLINE FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TO REQUEST THEIR TICKETS FOR THE POSTSEASON. BROUSSARD SAYS ONCE LSU KNOWS ITS POSTSEASON FATE, THEY WILL DECIDE WHO WILL GET TICKETS AND HOW MANY BASED ON DONATIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY.

AMONG OFFICES AND AMENDMENTS TO DECIDE ON THE OCTOBER 22ND BALLOT, VOTERS MUST CONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TWO, WHICH APPLIES TO LOUISIANA'S STATE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM (LASERS). EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CINDY ROUGEOU SAYS THE AMENDMENT PROVIDES FOR 5% OF ANY SURPLUS NON-RECURRING STATE REVENUES TO BE APPLIED TO LASERS ESTIMATED $18-BILLION UNFUNDED ACCRUED LIABILITY FOR RETIREMENT PAYMENTS TO STATE WORKERS. SHE SAYS THE DEBT GOES BACK DECADES, BUT THIS AMENDMENT WILL CREATE A MECHANISM TO PAY IT OFF.

NEW IBERIA CONGRESSMAN JEFF LANDRY IS SCHEDULED TO HOLD A MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS TODAY WITH OBAMA OFFICIALS WHO OVERSEE DRILLING REGULATION IN THE GULF. SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS HE PLANS TO JOIN LANDRY FOR THE MEETING. LANDRY SAYS THEY ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO RETURN GULF DRILLING BACK TO PRE-SPILL LEVELS. LANDRY HAS BEEN SEEKING A MEETING WITH OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OIL AND GAS REGULATORS FOR MONTHS. HE'S HOPING THE END RESULT IS AFFORDABLE DOMESTIC ENERGY AND JOBS IN SOUTH LOUISIANA.

THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL IS RELEASING A REPORT TODAY ON LOUISIANA'S HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT PROBLEM. PAR PRESIDENT ROBERT SCOTT WILL PRESENT THE REPORT'S FINDINGS AND DISCUSS WAYS TO FIX THE PROBLEM. SCOTT SAYS ONE IN SIX STUDENTS WHO ENTER HIGH SCHOOL IN LOUISIANA, WILL DROP OUT BEFORE THEIR SENIOR YEAR. SCOTT SAYS THE REPORT CAN BE USED AS A WIDE-RANGING RESOURCE FOR THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE AND SHOW WHICH DISTRICTS HAVE THE HIGHEST DROPOUT RATE. HE SAYS LOUISIANA HAS ONE OF THE WORST DROPOUT RATES IN THE NATION.



SPORTS..

THE SAINTS ARE ALONE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE N-F-C SOUTH WITH A 4-AND-1 RECORD AFTER FIVE GAMES. NEW ORLEANS CAN WIDEN ITS LEAD BY BEATING SECOND PLACE TAMPA BAY THIS SUNDAY. THE BUCCANEERS ARE 3-AND-2, AFTER SUFFERING AN EMBARRASSING 45-POINT LOSS TO THE 49ERS LAST WEEKEND.

FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK, THE TOP RANKED TIGERS WILL FACE A TEAM THAT WILL HAVE TO PLAY ITS BACK-UP QUARTERBACK. LSU IS AT TENNESSEE THIS SATURDAY AND THE VOLUNTEERS STARTING Q-B TYLER BRAY IS OUT, AFTER INJURING HIS THUMB AGAINST GEORGIA. BUT HEAD COACH LES MILES SAYS TENNESSEE HAS AN EXPERIENCED BACK-UP IN MATT SIMS. LSU AND ALABAMA ARE RANKED FIRST AND SECOND IN THE LATEST A-P TOP 25 POLL. THE TWO TEAMS ARE SET TO MEET ON NOVEMBER FIFTH IN TUSCALOOSA. FANS ARE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT THE MATCH-UP, BUT MILES SAYS THE PROGRAM'S FOCUS IS ON THE VOLS.

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE NBA SEASON HAS BEEN CANCELED BY COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN AFTER OWNERS AND PLAYERS WERE UNABLE TO REACH A NEW LABOR DEAL TO END THE LOCKOUT. NEGOTIATORS FOR BOTH SIDES MET FOR MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS YESTERDAY.

LSU FOOTBALL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ARE NOW ABLE TO REQUEST TICKETS FOR POTENTIAL POSTSEASON GAMES, LIKE THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE BCS NATIONAL TITLE CONTEST. LSU TICKET OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, BRIAN BROUSSARD, SAYS NOVEMBER 21ST IS THE DEADLINE FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TO REQUEST THEIR TICKETS FOR THE POSTSEASON THEY WILL DECIDE WHO WILL GET TICKETS AND HOW MANY BASED ON DONATIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY. REQUESTS CAN BE MADE AT L-S-U-TIX-DOT-NET.

UL-LAFAYETTE SENIOR QUARTERBACK CHRIS MASSON WAS NAMED THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK. MASSON STEPPED IN FOR AN INJURED BLAINE GAUTIER ON THE FIRST SERIES OF THE GAME AND LED THE CAJUNS TO A 31-17 WIN OVER TROY SATURDAY.

LOUISIANA TECH PUNTER RYAN ALLEN WAS NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK. ALLEN PUNTED TEN TIMES FOR A 48-YARD AVERAGE IN THE BULLDOGS FIRST CONFERENCE WIN OF THE YEAR AGAINST IDAHO.



News For Monday 10/10/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 101011
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HOSPITALS CONFIRMS A SECOND LISTERIA DEATH; AN 81-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO DIED IN A SHREVEPORT HOSPITAL. DHH HAS DETERMINED THE LISTERIA SHE HAD IS THE SAME STRAIN THAT WAS FOUND IN RECALLED CANTALOUPES PRODUCED BY JENSEN FARMS IN COLORADO.

THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL IS EXPECTED TO VOTE NEXT MONTH TO ADOPT NEW BOUNDARIES FOR THE CITY'S FIVE COUNCIL DISTRICTS. JONATHAN GOINS, CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, REQUESTED THAT AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE NEW BOUNDARIES BE INTRODUCED NOV. 15 WITH THE FINAL ADOPTION COMING TWO WEEKS LATER AND AFTER PUBLIC HEARINGS. COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE BEEN REVIEWING DATA AND HAVE MET WITH OFFICIALS OF THE RAPIDES AREA PLANNING COMMISSION TO DISCUSS CHANGES IN THE DISTRICTS. THE COUNCIL MUST REDRAW DISTRICTS ONCE A DECADE AFTER THE RELEASE OF UPDATED U.S. CENSUS BUREAU INFORMATION. THE FINAL BOUNDARIES, WHICH MUST BE APPROVED LOCALLY BEFORE BEING SENT TO THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOR REVIEW, MUST BE IN PLACE BY AUG. 8 OF NEXT YEAR.

A BUNKIE MAN DIED SATURDAY MORNING IN A SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH ON LA. HIGHWAY 1176. STATE POLICE SAY 32-YEAR-OLD THOMAS MCNABB’S PICKUP LEFT THE ROADWAY IN A CURVE AND HIT A TREE, CAUSING THE TRUCK TO OVERTURN. HE WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT AND WAS PARTIALLY EJECTED. MCNABB WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

EARLY VOTING FOR THE OCT. 22 ELECTIONS BEGAN OVER THE WEEKEND AND CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY. EARLY VOTING TAKES PLACE IN PARISH REGISTRARS OF VOTERS' OFFICES FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 6 P.M. EACH VOTER SHOULD BRING A PHOTO ID, SUCH AS A DRIVER'S LICENSE, OR BRING A SIGNATURE ON A VOTER AFFIDAVIT.

AUTHORITIES IN DESOTO PARISH SAY, A TODDLER WAS KILLED IN AN ACCIDENT SATURDAY NIGHT. THE CHILD RAN TO THE OPEN DOOR OF HIS GRANDMOTHER'S MOVING CAR FOR ONE LAST KISS BEFORE SHE LEFT, BUT FELL AND WAS KILLED WHEN SHE PANICKED AND HIT THE GAS INSTEAD OF THE BRAKE. THE 2-YEAR-OLD FROM STONEWALL WAS FLOWN TO LSU HOSPITAL IN SHREVEPORT, WHERE HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD.

STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY SHARES HIS VISION FOR LOUISIANA'S FUTURE BY PUBLISHING HIS FIVE LOUISIANA GOALS FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. KENNEDY PUSHES THE IDEA OF CREATING A NEW NORTH-SOUTH TRADE CORRIDOR BY COMPLETING ALL OF I-49. HE ALSO SAYS WE NEED TO CUT WASTEFUL SPENDING IN HE STATE BUDGET AND USE THE MONEY SAVED TO RAISE TEACHER PAY AS A PART OF OVERALL EDUCATION REFORM. AMONG HIS GOALS FOR LOUISIANA KENNEDY SAYS WE NEED REDUCE POVERTY BY LOWERING THE RATE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK. PROJECTIONS SHOW THAT NEARLY HALF OF ALL CHILDREN BORN IN LOUISIANA WILL BE BORN WITHOUT MARRIED PARENTS. KENNEDY SAYS THE FIRST STEP IN FINDING ANSWERS IS ENDING THE SILENCE.

STATE, LOCAL AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS WILL BE IN MONROE TODAY, TO CUT THE RIBBON ON A BRAND NEW TERMINAL AT THE MONROE REGIONAL AIRPORT. THE NEW TERMINAL HAS MANY FEATURES THE OLD ONE LACKED, LIKE A NEWSTAND, GIFT SHOP COCKTAIL LOUNGE AND MORE. AIRPORT DIRECTOR CLEVE NORRELL SAYS HE'S WAITED 25 YEARS FOR THIS DAY. THE NEW , 59-THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT TERMINAL WAS BUILT AT A COST OF $35-MILLION. NORRELL SAYS THE AIRPORT'S OLD TERMINAL HAD BECOME CRAMPED EVER SINCE THE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ESTABLISHED POST-9/11 SCREENING CHECKPOINTS.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS FROM ACROSS THE STATE WILL GATHER LATER THIS MONTH IN ALEXANDRIA TO DISCUSS WAYS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION. THE LOUISIANA EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION WILL HOLD ITS 45TH ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE FROM OCT. 20-22 AT THE SAI CONVENTION CENTER. THE CONFERENCE'S THEME IS "CREATING BRIGHT FUTURES FOR LOUISIANA'S CHILDREN." AT THE CONFERENCE, EARLY CHILDHOOD PRACTITIONERS WILL CONDUCT HOURLY SESSIONS ON A VARIETY OF SUBJECTS PERTAINING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. THERE ARE 49 TOTAL SESSIONS SCHEDULED

THE STATE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES DEPARTMENT SAYS THE 2011-2012 OYSTER SEASON WILL BE DELAYED. MIKE VOISIN (VWAH-ZAN) IS ON THE LOUISIANA OYSTER TASK FORCE. HE SAYS MORE TIME IS NEEDED TO COLLECT TESTING SAMPLES, AS PART OF THE NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOLLOWING THE 2010 BP OIL SPILL. LDWF SECRETARY BOB BARHAM SAYS THE OPENING OF THE OYSTER SEASON COULD BE DELAYED UNTIL OCTOBER 31ST; RATHER THAN THE SCHEDULED OCTOBER 17TH OPEN. VOISIN EXPECTS OYSTER VOLUME TO BE ABOUT 65% OF WHAT IT USUALLY IS DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF THE OIL SPILL.

MODERN DAY CATTLE RUSTLING.. WELL SORT OF.. AUTHORITIES SAY A 55-YEAR-OLD NATCHITOCHES MAN IS ACCUSED OF SELLING A CALF BORN TO A STRAY COW THAT WANDERED INTO HIS PASTURE, AND HAS BEEN BOOKED WITH LIVESTOCK THEFT.
COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS THE STRAY'S OWNER HAD TOLD JAMES KELLY THAT HIS PREGNANT COW WAS IN KELLY'S PASTURE, AND ASKED PERMISSION TO COME GET HER. ACCORDING TO STRAIN, KELLY PROMISED TO RETURN THE STRAY WHEN HE PENNED HIS HERD, BUT RETURNED THE COW IN SEPTEMBER WITHOUT HER CALF. STRAIN SAYS THE CALF ALLEGEDLY WAS SOLD IN AUGUST.

SPORTS..

THE NUMBER ONE RANKED LSU FOOTBALL TEAM FINISHED OFF THE FIRST HALF OF THE REGULAR SEASON WITH AN IMPRESSIVE 41-11 TO VICTORY OVER 17TH RANKED FLORIDA. THE TIGERS ARE NOW 6-AND-0, WINNING ALL SIX GAMES BY DOUBLE DIGITS. LSU VISITS TENNESSEE THIS SATURDAY.

QUARTERBACK DREW BREES LED THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS ON A LATE 4TH QUARTER DRIVE TO GIVE THE SAINTS A COME FROM BEHIND 30-27 VICTORY OVER THE CAROLINA PANTHERS SUNDAY AFTERNOON. BREES TOUCHDOWN PASS TO PIERRE THOMAS WITH 57 SECOND LEFT WAS THE WINNING SCORE. THE SAINTS HAD A 23-13 LEAD IN THE 3RD QUARTER BUT THE MOMENTUM CHANGED WHEN THE SAINTS WERE PENALIZED ON A QUESTIONABLE CALL FOR ROUGHING THE PASSER.








News For Friday 10/07/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 100711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE DESIRE OF A GERMANY-BASED TIRE MAKER TO EXPAND NEAR ITS EAST COAST DOMESTIC HEADQUARTERS WAS A FACTOR IN LOUISIANA LOSING OUT AMONG THREE FINALISTS FOR A $500 MILLION TIRE PLANT EXPECTED TO CREATE 1,600 JOBS. CONTINENTAL TIRE THE AMERICAS LLC ANNOUNCED THURSDAY THAT IT WILL CONSTRUCT THE PLANT IN SUMTER, S.C., WHILE EXPANDING ITS U.S. HEADQUARTERS IN LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C.
LOUISIANA HAD BEEN PUSHING A SITE AT ENGLAND AIRPARK IN ALEXANDRIA FOR THE PROJECT. NORTH CAROLINA WAS THE OTHER FINALIST FOR THE PLANT. STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SEC. STEPHEN MORET SAID THE STATE WAS WORKING ON OTHER MAJOR PROJECTS CONSIDERING LOCATIONS IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA.

EARLY VOTING FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND ELECTION STARTS TOMORROW. STATE COMMISSIONER OF ELECTIONS ANGIE ROGERS SAYS EARLY VOTING GIVES VOTERS 7 DAYS OF OPPORTUNITIES TO VOTE AT THEIR OWN CONVENIENCE. VOTERS CAN CAST EARLY BALLOTS AT THEIR PARISH REGISTRAR'S OFFICE. ROGERS SAYS SHE EXPECTS FAIRLY BRISK BUSINESS AT EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS.

HERE’S SOMETHING YOU DON’T HEAR EVERY DAY.. AN ACCIDENT YESTERDAY INVOLVING TWO TRACTORS HAS LEFT ONE MAN INJURED. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON ON OVERTON STREET IN ALEXANDRIA, WHEN ONE OF TWO LARGE TRACTORS PULLING LAND LEVELING EQUIPMENT STOP AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT. PROBLEM IS, THE SECOND TRACTOR DIRECTLY BEHIND HIM, DID NOT. BOTH TRACTORS WERE PULLING EQUIPMENT FROM A JOB SITE IN LECOMPTE HEADING TO VIDALIA. THE ACCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS DECLINED AN INVITATION TO ATTEND A CANDIDATES DEBATE SCHEDULED NEXT WEDNESDAY AT LSU. THE EVENT IS HOSTED BY THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS. JINDAL AND HIS NINE CHALLENGERS ARE ALL INVITED. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE TURNED DOWN THE EVENT BECAUSE IT HAS NO STATEWIDE TV COVERAGE. JINDAL'S WIDE MARGIN IN THE POLLS AND THE LACK OF NAME RECOGNITION FOR THE NINE CHALLENGERS MAKES A TELEVISED DEBATE UNLIKELY.

JINDAL SAYS THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WILL HELP SECURE OVER $47 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR TOPS AND OVER TIME THAT WILL INCREASE TO $100 MILLION. JINDAL SAYS IF THE AMENDMENT IS APPROVED BY VOTERS, A PORTION OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT DOLLARS WILL GO TO THE POPULAR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM . THE RENEWAL OF A FOUR CENT CIGARETTE TAX IS ALSO PART OF AMENDMENT 1. JINDAL OPPOSES THE CIGARETTE TAX, BUT SUPPORTS THE AMENDMENT, BECAUSE HE BELIEVES SECURING FUNDING FOR TOPS IS THAT IMPORTANT.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE BILLY NUNGESSER SAYS HE WANTS TO EXPAND THE OFFICE BEYOND ITS TOURISM OVERSIGHT AND GET THE STATE'S NUMBER TWO POST INVOLVED IN LOBBYING WASHINGTON FOR STATE NEEDS AND WORKING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. INCUMBENT JAY DARDENNE SAYS THE OFFICE ALREADY IS A FULL-TIME JOB, OVERSEEING NEARLY $100 MILLION IN SPENDING AND PROMOTING THE STATE AROUND THE NATION AS LOUISIANA'S CHIEF AMBASSADOR. THE DIFFERENCES IN PHILOSOPHY CAME AS THE TWO CANDIDATES, BOTH REPUBLICANS, SQUARED OFF THURSDAY NIGHT IN A DEBATE — HOSTED BY THE BATON ROUGE TEA PARTY, THAT FOCUSED MORE ON POLICY THAN THE EXCHANGED ATTACKS OF THE CAMPAIGN SO FAR. DARDENNE AND NUNGESSER DIFFERED ON HOW TO ATTRACT RETIREES TO LOUISIANA, HOW TO MARKET THE STATE AND WHAT THE OFFICE'S ROLE SHOULD BE IN STATE GOVERNMENT.

THE STATE IS ASKING THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO POSTPONE A NEW REGULATION REQUIRING LOUISIANA'S POWER PLANTS TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE EMISSIONS. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MEMBER JIMMY FIELD SAYS THE RULE CHANGE COULD LEAD TO HIGHER UTILITY BILLS AND A SHORTAGE OF ELECTRICITY, BECAUSE THE STATE'S POWER PLANTS ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO LOWER EMISSIONS BY NEXT SUMMER. THE NEW EMISSION STANDARDS ARE SET TO GO INTO EFFECT NEXT MAY. BUT FIELD SAYS THE POWER PLANTS NEED MORE TIME TO MEET THE NEW STANDARDS.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE ASKING WHY THEY WERE NOT TOLD SOONER ABOUT THE THREAT FROM CONTAMINATED CANTALOUPES. THE NATIONWIDE DEATH TOLL FROM THE LISTERIA OUTBREAK HAS REACHED 19, INCLUDING AN ELDERLY BATON ROUGE WOMAN WHO DIED LAST WEEKEND. STATE MEDICAL DIRECTOR DR. JIMMY GUIDRY SAYS LISTERIA IS NOT DEADLY TO MOST PEOPLE BUT IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE ELDERLY, THE VERY YOUNG AND PEOPLE WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS. HE SAYS THE CONTAMINATED PRODUCE IS OFF THE SHELVES BUT THE THREAT REMAINS.

VILLE PLATTE IS SUSPENDING ENFORCEMENT OF ITS CONTROVERSIAL 10PM PEDESTRIAN CURFEW. THE LOUISIANA ACLU FILED SUIT TO BLOCK THE CITY FROM ENFORCING THE ORDINANCE, WHICH ONLY APPLIES TO WALKERS. VILLE PLATTE'S CITY COUNCIL WILL DISCUS THE FUTURE OF THE CURFEW NEXT TUESDAY.

STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS A DENHAM SPRINGS MAN DIED EARLY YESTERDAY IN A HOUSE FIRE, BUT A QUICK-THINKING POLICE OFFICER PREVENTED THE LOSS OF MORE LIFE. BROWNING SAYS, WHEN DENHAM SPRINGS OFFICER JARED KREAMER ARRIVED AND SAW THE HOUSE IN FLAMES, HE RAN INSIDE AND PULLED AN ELDERLY WOMAN SUFFERING FROM SMOKE INHALATION OUT. KREAMER WAS UNABLE TO RE-ENTER THE HOME, AND FIREFIGHTERS LATER FOUND THE REMAINS OF 63-YEAR-OLD WILLIE ROBERTSON INSIDE. BROWNING SAYS HE'S RECOMMENDED OFFICER KREAMER BE RECOGNIZED FOR HIS HEROISM.

THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION IS EXPECTING A MODEST INCREASE OF 3% IN HOLIDAY SALES THIS YEAR OVER 2010. HERE LOCALLY, RETAIL ANALYST JIM RUTLEDGE THINKS LOUISIANA CAN DO BETTER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. RUTLEDGE ALSO SAYS A STRONG HOUSING MARKET AND GOOD WEATHER WILL FACTOR INTO A CONSUMERS SPENDING HABITS THIS HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON. HE SAYS SHOPPERS HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THINGS LIKE HIGH FOOD AND GAS PRICES AND ARE BETTER PREPARED HEADING INTO THE HOLIDAYS.

STATE AND LOCAL FIRST RESPONDER STAGED A MOCK TRAIN WRECK YESTERDAY MORNING IN PORT MANCHAC IN TANGIPAHOA PARISH TO MARK RAILROAD SAFETY WEEK. STATE POLICE SPOKESPERSON CORDELL WILLIAMS SAYS ACCIDENTS AT RAIL CROSSINGS LAST YEAR INJURED 65 PEOPLE AND KILLED 13. WILLIAMS SAYS TRAINS ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY. YA THINK?


News For Thursday 10/06/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 100611
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

NEW LETTER-GRADE PERFORMANCE SCORES FOR LOUISIANA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE
RELEASED, AND THEY FEATURE A LOT OF D'S AND F'S. 44% OF THE STATE'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS GOT FAILING GRADES AT PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THEIR NEXT GRADE, FOR COLLEGE AND FOR CAREERS. HERE IN RAPIDES PARISH, FOUR SCHOOLS RECEIVED AN A; NINE A B; 16 A C; 17 A D; AND TWO AN F. THE DISTRICT AS A WHOLE RECEIVED A C.

THE ACLU HAS FILED A SUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF VILLE PLATTE SAYING THEIR 10PM "WALKING CURFEW" IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. THE ORDINANCE THAT APPLIES TO PEDESTRIANS, NOT TO DRIVERS, WAS ENACTED LAST YEAR AND HAS BEEN RE-NEWED FOR SHORT TERM INTERVALS. ACLU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARJORIE ESMAN SAYS VILLE PLATTE HAS BEEN ARRESTING, CITING AND FINING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FOR VIOLATING THE CURFEW. SO FAR, NO COMMENT ON THE SUIT FROM THE VILLE PLATTE CITY GOVERNMENT.

ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY YESTERDAY DURING HIS WEEKLY BRIEFING, CREDITED THE WORK OF THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL, PARTICULARLY PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT JOHNSON AND DISTRICT 4 COUNCILMAN HARRY SILVER, FOR PUSHING THROUGH THE CITY’S NEW EXPANDED SMOKING BAN. THE MAYOR SAYING THE ORDINANCE PROTECTS "INNOCENT THIRD PARTIES" FROM SECOND-HAND SMOKE AT BARS. THE MAYOR ALSO SAID HE BELIEVES OTHER CITIES ACROSS THE STATE WILL FOLLOW SUIT AND THAT WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO A STATEWIDE BAN.

A NATCHITOCHES WOMAN WHOSE SECOND-DEGREE MURDER CONVICTION IN HER HUSBAND'S 1997 DEATH WAS OVERTURNED BY A FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT WALKED OUT OF JAIL WEDNESDAY AFTER POSTING BAIL OF $100,000. 49 YEAR OLD PRINCESS LACAZE HAD BEEN IN JAIL SINCE 1998 WHEN SHE WAS CONVICTED IN 10TH DISTRICT COURT OF PERSUADING HER LOVER TO KILL HER HUSBAND. THE KILLER, MERYLAND ROBINSON, IS NOW SERVING A 40-YEAR SENTENCE. NO WORD AS TO WHEN A NEW TRIAL WILL BEGIN.

A GROUP OF US HOUSE MEMBERS, REPRESENTING GULF COAST STATES, HAVE REACHED AN AGREEMENT ON HOW MONEY FROM BP CLEAN WATER ACT FINES FROM THE 2010 OIL SPILL WILL BE DIVIDED AMONG THE AFFECTED STATES. CONGRESSMAN STEVE SCALISE SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE LEGISLATION IN PLACE BEFORE THE FINES ARE LEVIED. THE AGREEMENT IS WRITTEN TO INSURE AT LEAST 80-PERCENT OF THE BP FINES WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MOST AFFECTED STATES. SCALISE SAYS THAT WILL MEAN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR COASTAL RESTORATION IN LOUISIANA.

QUITMAN CONGRESSMAN RODNEY ALEXANDER SAYS HE ENDORSES FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. ALEXANDER SAYS ROMNEY IS "STRONG AND STABLE WITH A GOOD BUSINESS BACKGROUND".

WITH A POSSIBLE DOUBLE-DIP RECESSION THREATENING THE NATION, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY ECONOMISTS PREDICT WEAK JOB GROWTH FOR LOUISIANA IN 2012-2013.
ALTHOUGH NEW ECONOMIC PROJECTS ARE STARTING TO TAKE ROOT, QUESTIONS REMAIN ABOUT PETROLEUM DRILLING IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE PENDING CLOSURES OF THE HUNTINGTON-INGALLS INDUSTRIES INC.'S SHIPYARD AT AVONDALE NEAR NEW ORLEANS AND THE GENERAL MOTORS CO. PLANT IN SHREVEPORT, ALONG WITH THE DISAPPEARANCE OF $1.6 BILLION IN OIL SPILL DISASTER PAYMENTS. THE FORECAST PREDICTS 13,700 NEW JOBS FOR THE STATE IN 2012, FOLLOWED BY 14,800 IN 2013 ANNUAL GROWTH RATES OF 0.8 PERCENT AND 0.9 PERCENT.

TIGER FANS CAN HELP OUT LSU RUNNING BACK ALFRED BLUE WHO HAS LOST HIS ST. CHARLES PARISH HOME AND ALL OF HIS BELONGINGS TO A DEVASTATING HOUSE FIRE. LSU ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR HERB VINCENT SAYS FANS CAN MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS TO A SPECIAL FUND BY GOING TO LSUTAF.ORG. VINCENT SAYS RESPONSE TO HELPING BLUE AND HIS FAMILY HAS BEEN QUICK AND ENTHUSIASTIC.

PLAQUEMINES PARISH SHERIFF JIFF HINGLE HAS RESIGNED AMID A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED CORRUPTION IN HIS OFFICE. HINGLE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE MISUSED PUBLIC FUNDS AND RECEIVED SOME GIFTS THAT WERE NOT APPROPRIATE. PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER SAYS IT'S A SAD DAY FOR HIS PARISH, AND VOWS TO PUBLISH ALL PARISH SPENDING ACTIVITY ONLINE BY JANUARY.

THE HEAD OF A DEFUNCT MOVIE STUDIO WAS SENTENCED WEDNESDAY TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR SELLING NEARLY $2 MILLION IN NONEXISTENT TAX CREDITS TO NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES, HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON AND OTHER TEAM MEMBERS. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE MARTIN FELDMAN ALSO ORDERED WAYNE READ TO PAY BACK ALL THE MONEY THAT SAINTS PLAYERS AND COACHES LOST IN THE SCAM. MORE THAN $650,000 OF THE RESTITUTION HE OWES ALREADY HAS BEEN RECOVERED THROUGH BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS.

TWO YEARS AFTER COREY "C-MURDER" MILLER WAS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING A TEENAGE FAN IN 2002, HIS LAWYERS APPEARED BEFORE A PANEL OF APPEALS COURT JUDGES IN GRETNA TO ARGUE THAT HE DESERVES A NEW TRIAL. WEDNESDAY'S ARGUMENT RANGED FROM ALLEGATIONS THAT THE TRIAL JUDGE PRESSURED JURORS TO REACH A VERDICT TO PROSECUTORS USING UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS THAT THE NEW ORLEANS-BORN RAPPER THREATENED WITNESSES TO REMAIN SILENT.

A 65-YEAR-OLD MONTEGUT MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND ACCUSED OF RAPING A 12-YEAR-OLD AFTER PAYING THE TWO WOMEN WHO HANDED HER OVER. TERREBONNE SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SAY TERRY LEBOEUF PAID BRITTANY MARTIN, AND HER MOTHER, SHERYL LEE MARTIN, $100 TO HAVE SEX WITH THE CHILD.




News For Wednesday 10/05/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 100511
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE VOTE WAS UNANIMOUS, THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL ON TUESDAY PASSED AN AMENDED VERSION OF AN EXPANDED SMOKING ORDINANCE THAT WILL PREVENT SMOKING AT BARS AND GAMING ESTABLISHMENTS IN CITY LIMITS, AS WELL AS WITHIN 25 FEET OF CITY PROPERTY AND ATHLETIC ARENAS AND BALLPARKS. ONE MAJOR CHANGE FROM THE ORIGINAL ORDINANCE, SMOKERS CAN CONTINUE TO LIGHT UP IN HOTEL AND MOTEL ROOMS IN THE CITY. THE ORDINANCE WILL GO INTO EFFECT JAN. 2ND OF NEXT YEAR.

THOUGH THE OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING WILL BE LATER THIS MONTH, THE DOORS OF THE NEW ALEXANDRIA BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OPENED YESTERDAY. CLUB OFFICIALS HAVE ENTERED INTO AN INTERAGENCY AGREEMENT WITH THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT ALLOWS THE CLUB TO OPERATE AT THE OLD HADNOT-HAYES ELEMENTARY BUILDING ON LINCOLN ROAD IN ALEXANDRIA. ON IT’S FIRST DAY YESTERDAY 19 CHILDREN SHOWED UP. THAT NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN THE COMING DAYS.

A NEW STUDY BY THE TAX FOUNDATION SHOWS LOUISIANA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST COMBINED SALES TAX RATES IN THE NATION. TAX FOUNDATION ANALYST SCOTT DRENKARD SAYS LOUISIANA'S STATE SALES TAX IS AMONG THE LOWEST. BUT, HE SAYS, ITS CITY AND PARISH TAXES THAT PUSH THE COMBINED RATE TO 8.84-PERCENT.

STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF A 37-YEAR-OLD OPELOUSAS MAN WHO WAS FOUND LYING ON LA HIGHWAY 182 IN ST. LANDRY PARISH EARLY THIS MORNING. HENRY BOBB WAS FOUND SEVERELY INJURED AND WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE LATER DIED. POLICE HE WAS THE VICTIM OF A HIT-AND-RUN.

ALEXANDRIA POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A SINGLE CAR ACCIDENT THAT CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A 56-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AUTHORITIES REPORT DEBRA JONES OF ALEXANDRIA WAS THE ONLY OCCUPANT OF A CAR THAT LEFT THE ROAD MONDAY NIGHT AND STRUCK THE PORCH OF A HOUSE. INVESTIGATORS SAY JONES WAS TAKEN TO A NEARBY HOSPITAL AND LATER PRONOUNCED DEAD.

THE WIFE OF EDWIN EDWARDS IS FURIOUS OVER RECEIVING A LETTER FROM US SENATOR DAVID VITTER THAT SAYS HE DOES NOT SUPPORT A PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR THE FORMER GOVERNOR. TRINA SCOTT EDWARDS SAYS SHE'S SUPPORTING AN ONLINE CAMPAIGN ASKING THE PRESIDENT TO PARDON HER HUSBAND, AND SHE RECEIVED THE EMAIL FROM VITTER. IN THE EMAIL, VITTER SAYS HE DOESN'T THINK A PARDON FOR GOVERNOR EDWARDS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE SINCE HE WAS CONVICTED FOR A CRIME THAT OCCURRED WHILE HE WAS IN OFFICE. MRS. EDWARDS SAYS SHE'S UPSET BECAUSE SHE NEVER ASKED FOR VITTER'S SUPPORT IN THE FIRST PLACE. VITTER'S OFFICE DECLINED ANY COMMENT.

THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS DRUNK DRIVING IS DOWN NATIONWIDE; HITTING A TWO DECADE LOW LAST YEAR. THE CDC'S TELEPHONE SURVEY SHOWS THAT IMPAIRED DRIVING IS DOWN ABOUT 30% OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS. LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSIONER JOHN LEBLANC SAYS OUR STATE HAS SEEN SIMILAR REDUCTIONS. THE CDC SURVEY SHOWS THAT 1 IN 50 ADULTS ADMITTED TO DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED AT LEAST ONCE IN THE PAST 30 DAYS. BASED ON THAT, THE CDC ESTIMATES 112-MILLION DWI EPISODES LAST YEAR; DOWN FROM 161-MILLION IN 2006. LEBLANC SAYS, DESPITE THE REDUCTIONS, WE STILL HAVE FAR TOO MANY DRIVING AFTER DRINKING.

THIS WEEK, LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS RECEIVE LETTER GRADES INSTEAD OF GIVING THEM. SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN GETTING PERFORMANCE SCORES FOR YEARS UNDER AN ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN ADOPTED IN THE 1990S. AND SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN AWARDED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF "STARS" BASED ON THEIR SCORES. BUT BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION MEMBERS VOTED LAST DECEMBER TO ADOPT THE LETTER GRADE SYSTEM — THE IDEA BEING THAT PARENTS CAN MORE EASILY GAUGE HOW A SCHOOL IS DOING IF IT GETS AN A, B, C ,D OR F. THE GRADES ARE TO BE ISSUED THIS WEEK, POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS TODAY.

THE SAINTS HOME STADIUM IS NOW CALLED THE MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME. A TEN-YEAR AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED BETWEEN THE SAINTS, THE STATE AND THE FOREIGN AUTO MANUFACTURER. OWNER TOM BENSON, MERCEDES BENZ OFFICIALS AND GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL WERE ON HAND FOR THE AFTERNOON'S ANNOUNCEMENT INSIDE THE DOME. THE DOME WILL HOST SOME BIG EVENTS IN THE COMING MONTHS, LIKE THE B-C-S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, THE FINAL FOUR AND THE SUPER BOWL IN 2013.

THE DEAL MADE TO GIVE MERCEDES BENZ NAMING RIGHTS TO THE LOUISIANA SUPERDOME WILL MEAN AN END TO ANNUAL SUBSIDIES PAID BY THE STATE TO THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. SUPERDOME COMMISSION CHAIRMAN RON FORMAN SAYS THAT WAS ONE OF THE PURPOSES OF SELLING NAMING RIGHTS TO THE FACILITY. THE STATE CURRENTLY PAYS THE SAINTS ABOUT $20-MILLION ANNUALLY, IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM IN THE CRESCENT CITY. FORMAN SAYS THE DEAL WITH MERCEDES, COUPLED WITH RECENT RENOVATIONS TO THE DOME, WILL MAKE THOSE PAYMENTS UNNECESSARY.

A TERREBONNE PARISH WOMAN, WHO CLAIMED SHE WAS RAPED BY A SHERIFF'S DEPUTY, HAS RECANTED HER STORY. 27-YEAR-OLD ATHENA VIDRANO ADMITTED TO INVESTIGATORS SHE LIED ABOUT THE INCIDENT, AND THE EXTRA-MARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OFFICER WAS CONSENSUAL. SHE'S BEEN ARRESTED AND IS NOW CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL MISCHIEF.

A PARKING TICKET HAS BEEN ISSUED TO A DESOTO PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTY BECAUSE OF A PICTURE THAT WAS POSTED ON FACEBOOK. CHIEF DEPUTY PATRICK COBBS SAYS SOMEONE POSTED A PICTURE OF DEPUTY CLARENCE DAVIS' PATROL CAR PARKED IN A HANDICAPPED PARKING SPACE. COBBS SAYS DAVIS WAS FINED $300. HE SAYS SHERIFF RODNEY ARBUCKLE HIMSELF SAW THE PHOTOGRAPH ON FACEBOOK AND ISSUED THE CITATION.

IN-HOME HEALTH PROVIDERS WHO TAKE CARE OF LOUISIANA MEDICAID PATIENTS SAY THEY HAVE BEEN UNFAIRLY TARGETED BY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AUDITS THAT CLAIMED THEY OWED $4.2 MILLION IN OVERPAYMENTS AND FINES. NEARLY EVERY PROVIDER SANCTIONED BY THE AUDITS IS APPEALING THE DECISION. FORTY-ONE COMPANIES WERE REVIEWED BY AN ACCOUNTING FIRM. DHH OFFICIALS SAY THOSE REVIEWS TURNED UP INSUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION FOR WORKER TRAINING, A LACK OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ON EMPLOYEES, TIMESHEET DISCREPANCIES AND, IN ONE INSTANCE, OUTRIGHT FRAUD. THEY SAY HOME HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS HAVEN'T BEEN CHARGED THE PENALTIES YET AND CAN SHRINK THE MONEY OWED IF THEY CAN PROVIDE MISSING DOCUMENTATION.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS ORDERED FLAGS AT STATE BUILDINGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF STAFF THURSDAY, THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL OF ARCHBISHOP PHILIP HANNAN. HANNAN DIED LAST WEEK AT AGE 98 AND WILL BE BURIED IN RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES AT ST. LOUIS CATHEDRAL ON THURSDAY.

A TASK FORCE APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYS COASTAL STATES MUST WORK TOGETHER TO RESTORE ELEMENTS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO THAT HAVE MADE IT A BACKBONE OF THE U.S. ECONOMY BEFORE THE ECOSYSTEM BECOMES SO DEGRADED AND POLLUTED IT IS NO LONGER HABITABLE FOR ANIMALS OR PEOPLE. THE REPORT IS FROM THE GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION TASK FORCE. EPA ADMINISTRATOR LISA JACKSON, WHO HEADS THE TASK FORCE, SAYS IT IS KEY TO RESTORE SEDIMENT AND STOP THE FLOW OF FERTILIZERS FROM THE MIDWEST INTO THE GULF. THE TASK FORCE IS ASKING CONGRESS TO DEDICATE "SIGNIFICANT PORTIONS" OF OIL SPILL PENALTIES TO RECOVERY EFFORTS.

News For Tuesday 10/04/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 100411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

ALEXANDRIA'S CITY COUNCIL IS POISED TO VOTE ON A PROPOSED CITYWIDE BAN ON SMOKING IN BARS, CASINOS AND HOTELS. CARRIE BROUSSARD, WITH THE LOUISIANA CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO FREE LIVING, IS IN FULL SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE, BECAUSE IT WILL SPARE MORE WORKERS FROM THE HAZARDS OF SECOND-HAND SMOKE..
THE COUNCIL WILL VOTE ON THE MATTER LATER TODAY. SOME PROPRIETORS WORRY THAT THEIR BUSINESS WILL SUFFER IF PATRONS AREN'T ALLOWED TO SMOKE ON THE PREMISES. BROUSSARD SAYS THAT'S BEEN PROVEN NOT TO BE THE CASE.. CHRIS YOUNG IS A LAWYER AND LOBBYIST FOR THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF BEVERAGE ALCOHOL LICENSEES--BAR OWNERS. HE SAYS THE ALEXANDRIA COUNCIL SHOULD REJECT THE PROPOSAL.

THE FORMER PASTOR OF THE PARADISE BAPTIST CHURCH HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON. THAT AFTER HE PLED GUILTY TO SEXUALLY ABUSING AN UNDERAGE RELATIVE. THE SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS STARTED WHEN THE GIRL WAS 11 AND ENDED WHEN SHE WAS 14. HOLLAND FARRELL MCMORRIS WILL MOST LIKELY REMAIN IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

MEMBERS OF THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL ARE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE SOME FAVORABLE NEWS TODAY REGARDING THE FINANCIAL STATUS OF THE CITY. DURING TODAY'S MEETING, THE COUNCIL WILL RECEIVE THE FIRST QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT COMPILED BY ACTING FINANCE DIRECTOR DAVID JOHNSON, AS WELL AS AN ADDITIONAL WRITTEN REPORT DETAILING THE CITY'S FINANCIAL STATUS, INCLUDING A $4.3 MILLION POSITIVE SURPLUS VARIANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010-11.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY IS SET TO TAKE ONE OF THE FINAL STEPS TOWARD REBUILDING THE RIGOLETTE ROAD BRIDGE. THE JURY UNANIMOUSLY PASSED A MOTION AWARDING THE CONTRACT FOR THE NEW BRIDGE TO GILCHRIST CONSTRUCTION AT ITS COMMITTEE MEETINGS MONDAY. THE JURY MUST STILL MAKE THE MOTION OFFICIAL AT ITS REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING NEXT MONDAY. THE GILCHRIST BID WAS FOR $830,075, SLIGHTLY BELOW THE LATEST ESTIMATES AND WELL BELOW THE MORE THAN $1 MILLION PARISH OFFICIALS THOUGHT IT WOULD TAKE MONTHS AGO. THE STATE HAS PLEDGED $740,000 TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION COSTS, WITH THE PARISH FUNDING THE REST.

A 9-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS KILLED OVER THE WEEKEND WHEN THE ATV HE WAS OPERATING FLIPPED. JASON PAUL ROSS OF PINEVILLE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE BY PARAMEDICS WHO RESPONDED TO THE ACCIDENT, AROUND MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, AT THE LITTLE PINE HUNTING CLUB OFF LA. HIGHWAY 3128.

AS PART OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH, THE LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION WILL HOLD A SERIES JOB FAIRS STATEWIDE TO HELP DISABLED PERSONS CONNECT WITH POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS. THERE'S AN ESTIMATED 295-THOUSAND DISABLED ADULTS IN LOUISIANA WHO ARE NOT IN THE WORKFORCE. L-W-C DEPUTY DIRECTOR JAY AUGUSTINE SAYS DISABLED LOUISIANA WORKERS REPRESENT A DIVERSITY THAT'S ENTIRELY NEEDED IN THE JOB MARKET. THE FIRST JOB FAIR IS TODAY, IN BATON ROUGE, AND OTHERS ARE SCHEDULED AROUND THE STATE. FOR INFO: WWW.WORK-PAYS.ORG

AN 87-YEAR-OLD BATON ROUGE WOMAN HAS DIED FROM LISTERIA, AND BAD CANTALOUPE IS BLAMED. MS. ELAINE BABCOCK PASSED AWAY SATURDAY. STATE AG COMMISSIONER DR. MIKE STRAIN SAYS WE SHOULD CHECK OUR REFRIGERATORS FOR OLD CANTALOUPE AND DISCARD THEM. LISTERIA FROM BAD CANTALOUPES IS LINKED TO AT LEAST 16 DEATHS NATIONWIDE. STRAIN SAYS LISTERIA SYMPTOMS CAN TAKE WEEKS TO SHOW
THEMSELVES. IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE EATEN ANY BAD MELON, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.

REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE JAMES DAVID CAIN HAS RAISED HIS PARTY'S IRE AND LOST ITS BACKING BY CRITICIZING THE GOVERNOR IN A CAMPAIGN AD. CAIN, A FORMER STATE SENATOR FROM SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA, IS TRYING TO RETURN TO HIS OLD SEAT BY OUSTING INCUMBENT JOHN SMITH, A REPUBLICAN FROM LEESVILLE WHO WON THE POSITION AFTER CAIN WAS TERM-LIMITED FOUR YEARS AGO. AFTER A TELEVISION AD IN WHICH HE CRITICIZED REPUBLICAN GOV. BOBBY JINDAL FOR ENDORSING SMITH, CAIN NO LONGER HAS HIS PARTY'S BACKING. JASON DORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN PARTY SAYS IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE TO DISPLAY THE PARTY'S ENDORSEMENT ON A TV AD ATTACKING A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR.

OCTOBER IS AN APPROPRIATE MONTH FOR ULL TO INTRODUCE A GHOST HUNTING 101 CLASS. BRAD DUPLECHIEN IS THE FOUNDER OF LOUISIANA SPIRITS AND PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. HE SAYS THE THREE-PART CLASS WILL DIVE INTO THE MYSTERIES OF THE PARANORMAL. DUPLECHIEN SAYS THE FIRST PART OF THE CLASS IS AN INTRODUCTION AND LECTURE. DUPLECHIEN SAYS THEY'LL BE TAKING STUDENTS TO THE SOUTHERN HERITAGE FORESTRY MUSEUM SOUTH OF ALEXANDRIA. DUPLECHIEN SAYS THE COURSE WILL BE HELD OCTOBER 6TH-9TH AND THE COST IS $69. HE SAYS THERE ARE STILL SPOTS AVAILABLE. DUPLECHIEN SAYS IF YOU'D LIKE TO REGISTER FOR THE COURSE, CALL ULL CONTINUING
EDUCATION AT 337-482-6386.

A GANG OF VANDALS HAS DONE OVER $10-THOUSAND IN DAMAGE TO THE LOUISIANA STATE FAIRGROUNDS IN SHREVEPORT. POLICE BELIEVE JUVENILES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SMASHED WINDOWS, BROKEN FENCE SECTIONS AND A STOLEN GOLF CART. FESTIVAL OFFICIALS SAY THE FAIR WILL STILL OPEN ON TIME, IN JUST THREE WEEKS.

OPELOUSAS HAD ITS FIRST MURDER OF 2011 SATURDAY NIGHT, AND POLICE HAVE A SUSPECT BEHIND BARS. 19-YEAR-OLD MARKELL ROBERTS IS CHARGED WITH THE STABBING DEATH OF 20-YEAR-OLD CHADRICK KENNERSON. DETECTIVES SAYS THE STABBING WAS THE RESULT OF AN ARGUMENT BETWEEN THE TWO MEN THAT ESCALATED. ROBERTS IS CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER.

WITH JUST 19 DAYS REMAINING UNTIL THE OCTOBER 22ND ELECTION LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE AND HIS CHALLENGER, BILLY NUNGESSER CONTINUE TRADING BARBS. NUNGESSER, THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT OF PLAQUEMINES PARISH, CRITICIZES DARDENNE'S VOTING RECORD WHILE A STATE LAWMAKER. HE SAYS DARDENNE SUPPORTED PRO-CHOICE BILLS, TAX INCREASES AND RAISING LEGISLATORS' PAY. JAY DARDENNE, ALSO A REPUBLICAN, SAYS NUNGESSER'S ACCUSATIONS AREN'T ACCURATE.
HE SAYS HE HAD LEFT THE LEGISLATURE, AND WAS SECRETARY OF STATE IN 2008, WHEN LAWMAKERS LAST VOTED TO RAISE THEIR OWN PAY. EARLY VOTING FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND PRIMARY OPENS THIS SATURDAY.

JEFFERSON PARISH DEPUTIES RESPONDED TO A ROBBERY CALL TO FIND IT WAS FAKED; PART OF A LOW-BUDGET MUSIC VIDEO BEING SHOT AT THE CONVENIENCE STORE. THE STORE'S CLERK AND 7 OTHERS WERE ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AND CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS ILLEGALLY.

SPORTS..

FLORIDA COACH WILL MUSCHAMP SAYS THE GATORS WILL BE WITHOUT STARTING QUARTERBACK JOHN BRANTELY FOR THE LSU GAME THIS WEEKEND. MUSCHAMP SAYS BRANTLEY HAS A LOWER LEG INJURY THAT WILL KEEP HIM SIDELINED AT LEAST A WEEK. TRUE FRESHMAN JEFF DRISKEL WILL GET THE START IN TIGER STADIUM SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

A SPOKESMAN FOR THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS SAYS THE HOME OF THE BLACK AND GOLD IS GETTING A NEW NAME. IT'S EXPECTED TO BE OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED THIS AFTERNOON THAT THE LOUISIANA SUPERDOME WILL SOON BE KNOWN AS THE MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME.

THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS MAINTAIN A FIRST-PLACE TIE IN THE NFC SOUTH WITH THE SAINTS AFTER THEIR 24-17 MONDAY NIGHT WIN OVER THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS. THIS IS THE FIRST THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK FOR THE BUCS SINCE 2008.

U-L LAFAYETTE IS RIDING A FOUR-GAME WINNING STREAK AND THE OFFENSE HAS BEEN CLICKING THE LAST TWO WEEKS UNDER QUARTERBACK BLAINE GAUTIER. GAUTIER SPEND THE FIRST PART OF THE SEASON SHARING SNAPS WITH CHRIS MASSON, BUT COACH MARK HUDSPETH SAYS PLAYING JUST ONE Q-B HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL. U-L-L CAN PUT ITSELF IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT FOR A SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP, IF THEY CAN KNOCK OFF TROY AT HOME THIS SATURDAY.

THIS WEEK'S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL POLLS ARE OUT AND ST. PAUL'S IS FIRST PLACE IN 5A, ST. THOMAS MORE GOT THE TOP SPOT IN CLASS 4A, NUMBER ONE IN 3A IS ST. CHARLES, 2A'S TOP RANKED TEAM THIS WEEK IS JOHN CURTIS AND OUACHITA CHRISTIAN IS NUMBER 1 IN CLASS 1A.





News For Monday 10/03/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 100311
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

STATE POLICE SAY THERE ARE A LOT OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF WILDLIFE & FISHERIES AGENT SGT. PAUL STUCKEY, WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND FRIDAY MORNING--A SHOTGUN WOUND TO HIS CHEST. LSP SAYS IT DOESN'T APPEAR THAT ANYONE ELSE WAS PRESENT WITH STUCKEY WHEN THE INCIDENT TOOK PLACE. THAT WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE IT WAS EITHER AN ACCIDENT OR SUICIDE. THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

IF YOU ARE A SMOKER AND YOU FEEL YOU CAN NOT KICK THE HABIT, YOU MAY WANT TO START LOOKING FOR A NEW LINE OF WORK IF YOU WORK AT CABRINI HOSPITAL. CHRISTUS ST. FRANCES CABRINI HOSPITAL IN ALEXANDRIA WILL IMPLEMENT AN ANTI-TOBACCO POLICY FOR ITS ENTIRE CAMPUS STARTING JULY 1 OF NEXT YEAR, EXPANDING THE POLICY PUT IN PLACE TWO YEARS AGO FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S AREAS.
THE POLICY WILL PROHIBIT THE USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY EMPLOYEES WHILE ON THEIR SHIFTS, INCLUDING WHEN THEY ARE ON BREAKS. IT ALSO WILL NOT ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO WORK IF THEIR CLOTHING SMELLS LIKE SMOKE.

THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL WILL TAKE UP FOR VOTE ON TUESDAY AN ORDINANCE THAT WOULD ELIMINATE ALL SMOKING IN PUBLIC WORKPLACES IN THE CITY. THE COUNCIL'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE WILL DISCUSS THE ORDINANCE DURING ITS 3 P.M. MEETING, WHILE THE FULL COUNCIL IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON THE ORDINANCE DURING ITS MEETING AT 5. THE ORDINANCE, WHICH WAS PROPOSED BY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT JOHNSON AND HAS BEEN ENDORSED BY THE LOUISIANA CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE LIVING, WOULD DO AWAY WITH ALL SMOKING IN ALEXANDRIA BARS, GAMING ESTABLISHMENTS, HOTELS AND OUTDOOR CITY PROPERTY. THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA WAS AMONG THE FIRST MUNICIPALITIES TO BAN SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS, DOING SO IN 2006.


A 62-YEAR-OLD MOREAUVILLE MAN DIED SATURDAY IN A SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH ON LA. HIGHWAY 451 IN BORDELONVILLE. STATE POLICE TROOP REPORT, A MOTORCYCLE, DRIVEN BY LARRY MARTIN LEFT THE ROADWAY AND STRUCK SOME TREES. MARTIN WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

LOUISIANA MOTORISTS SAW GASOLINE PRICES DROP ALL LAST WEEK, BUT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FURTHER PRICE REDUCTIONS? LOUISIANA AAA FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRICE OF REGULAR GAS IS ABOUT $3.25; DOWN 10-CENTS FROM A WEEK AGO, AND DOWN 22-CENTS FROM A MONTH AGO AND SAYS MANY OUTLETS ARE SELLING GAS FOR WELL BELOW AVERAGE. REDMAN SAYS, BARRING SOME INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT, OR A SCENARIO WHERE THE US DOLLAR "COMPLETELY TANKS"--HE EXPECTS WE'LL ALL SEE CONTINUED SAVINGS WHEN WE FILL UP. MAYBE EVEN A GAS PRICE OF $3 BY HALLOWEEN.

A LAKE CHARLES TEEN IS CHARGED WITH MURDERING HIS AUNT. LAKE CHARLES POLICE CHIEF DON DIXON SAYS OFFICERS FOUND 40-YEAR-OLD SUSAN DOISE DEAD INSIDE HER HOME; HER SUV AND LIVE-IN NEPHEW, JEFFREY DOISE, MISSING. DIXON SAYS RESPONDING OFFICERS FOUND ONE OTHER DISTURBING THING. THE BOY WAS THE VICTIM'S SON. HE'D BEEN HIDING IN THE HOUSE ALL NIGHT LONG...WITH HIS MOTHER'S BODY NEARBY. THE NEPHEW HAS BEEN APPREHENDED. HE'S CHARGED WITH 2ND-DEGREE MURDER.

BOND IS SET AT HALF A MILLION DOLLARS FOR AN EPPS WOMAN, WHO WALKED INTO RICHLAND PARISH SHERIFF'S HEADQUARTERS THIS WEEK AND CONFESSED TO KILLING HER EX-GIRLFRIEND AND THAT WOMAN'S NEW PARTNER. 44-YEAR-OLD TINA MCINTYRE FACES TWO 2ND-DEGREE MURDER CHARGES.

LOUISIANA'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS SOMEONE WHO ATE CANTALOUPE ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH LISTERIA. DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN LISA FAUST SAID SUNDAY THAT EPIDEMIOLOGISTS ARE INVESTIGATING WHETHER THE CANTALOUPE CAN BE LINKED DIRECTLY TO THE ILLNESS. SHE SAID SHE CANNOT IDENTIFY THE PERSON CANTALOUPE FROM JENSEN FARMS IN COLORADO HAS BEEN LINKED TO MORE THAN 80 ILLNESSES AND AS MANY AS 17 DEATHS IN 19 STATES. LOUISIANA'S AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER SAID FRIDAY THAT JENSEN FARMS HAD ADDED LOUISIANA TO ITS RECALL LIST FOR CANTALOUPES SHIPPED BETWEEN JULY 29 AND SEPT. 10.

WITH OCTOBER HERE, WE'RE ON THE DOWNSIDE OF THE 2011 HURRICANE SEASON. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THE ODDS OF A BIG STORM HITTING US GOES DOWN FROM HERE ON OUT. TROPICAL STORM PHILLIPPE IS ON A PATH THAT COULD TAKE IT INTO THE GULF, ALTHOUGH COMPUTER MODELS HAVE IT TURNING NORTHEAST AND BACK OUT TO SEA. KEIM SAYS OCTOBER HURRICANES ARE A RARE OCCURRENCE FOR LOUISIANA. BUT, LATE HURRICANES DO HAPPEN. HE CITES HURRICANE JUAN, WHICH DUMPED OVER 11 INCHES OF RAIN ON LOUISIANA OVER HALLOWEEN IN 1985.

ALTHOUGH THE GOVERNOR HAS ENDORSED NO CANDIDATE FOR THE LT. GOVERNOR'S RACE, CHALLENGER BILLY NUNGESSER SAYS HE ENTERED THE RACE AT BOBBY JINDAL'S URGING.. GOVERNOR JINDAL'S OFFICE SAYS MR. JINDAL ENCOURAGED ANYONE WHO WAS INTERESTED IN PUBLIC OFFICE TO RUN, BUT HE HAS GIVEN NO OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT TO NUNGESSER FOR LT. GOVERNOR. NUNGESSER SAYS HE INTENDS TO SEEK THAT ENDORSEMENT BEFORE THE OCTOBER 22ND ELECTION. THE GOVERNOR HAS GIVEN NO OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT TO NUNGESSER, BECAUSE HE WILL HAVE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH WHOEVER WINS THAT RACE, AND WANTS TO AVOID HARD FEELINGS.

THE PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER IN BATON ROUGE RECEIVES A $3.5 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH TO RESEARCH AN EFFECTIVE WAY FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO MANAGE THEIR WEIGHT. DR. LEANNE REDMAN IS THE HEAD OF THE WOMEN'S HEALTH LABA AND CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR OF THE STUDY. REDMAN REDMAN SAYS MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF PREGNANT WOMEN ARE GAINING WEIGHT IN EXCESS OF THE RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES AND SHE SAYS EXCESS WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY HAS HUGE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. REDMAN SAYS THE STUDY WILL LAST FIVE YEARS AND THEY WILL BEGIN RECRUITING WOMEN NEXT SUMMER.

SPORTS..

LSU TIGERS ARE STILL RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE A-P POLL AFTER BEATING KENTUCKY 35 TO 7. THE BIG STORY FROM THE GAME WAS THE RETURN OF QUARTERBACK JORDAN JEFFERSON, WHO WAS GREETED WITH BOOS BEFORE SCORING ON A ONE-YARD TOUCHDOWN RUN. JEFFERSON WAS NOT MADE AVAILABLE TO THE MEDIA AFTERWARDS.

THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS MOVED TO 3-AND-1 ON THE SEASON WITH A 23 TO 10 WIN OVER JACKSONVILLE.

Archives:

2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07 | 2011-06 | 2011-05


God Bless America!

970 KSYL On Air Now
Bob & Fred
Bob & Fred
7:15am - 8:00am
Talkback Pre-Show
iheart Radio

Talkradio 970

Now A Member Of The

I Heart Radio Family!

Click The Logo To Listen!

KSYL News

The KSYL Morning Report

Monday Thru Friday 7:10a

Host

Dave Graichen

Click Player To Listen


 

The CBS World News Roundup

Click The Logo to listen

 

State Wire
On Twitter
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Kim Komando, The "Weekend" Roundup, Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy!), Art Bell, The Real Estate Show, Bill Handel, Chef John Folse "Stirin' It Up" , Doug Stephan's Weekend, The Pet Show & When Radio Was!.

Resources
Chef John Folse

Chef John Folse & Company

"Stirin' It Up"

Saturday At Noon!

 

 

 

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services