News For Wednesday 103112
By Dave Graichen
A record number of Louisiana voters have cast ballots in advance of the Nov. 6 election, as early voting wrapped up Tuesday. The Secretary of State's Office said more than 280,000 people, out of 2.9 million registered voters have voted for next week's election, which includes the presidential race, six congressional races, constitutional amendments, judgeships and local contests around the state. Meg Casper, spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said early voting turnout has been nearly 25 percent higher than it was for the last presidential election in 2008.
The Alexandria City Council at it’s regular meeting last night, voted to add $200,000 to the renovation budget for upgrades to Frank O. Hunter Park. The move allows the park's improvement project to move forward. Frank O. Hunter Park is on Willow Glen River Road and is one of the oldest parks in the city. It is one of six parks included as part of a master plan improvement project developed by Lose & Associates. The company, which was hired to study the city's parks, recommended in August 2009 that the city invest $60 million in its parks and recreation systems.
At a special meeting of the Rapides Parish School Board last night, members approved a $128,000 increases in cost for two ongoing repair projects in the district. The Board approved a $53,000 increase to the contract to re-roof Peabody Montessori Elementary, which followed the Oct. 16 approval of a $75,000 increase in the contract in the Pineville High School track project. Contractors in both cases found, upon the start of work, needed repairs were more extensive than anticipated.
State Police say an elderly man was struck and killed by an elderly motorist on state highway 121 in Vernon Parish early yesterday morning. Troopers say a 78-year-old woman driving a small SUV hit 88-year-old Eddard Morrison as he was sitting on the edge of the southbound lane. The woman drove on, apparently unaware she'd hit someone. She was located later. A toxicology test is pending and authorities say she may be charged with hit & run, vehicular homicide or both--pending the results of an investigation.
Former LSU Quarterback Jordan Jefferson is behind bars. Yesterday morning, a District Judge in Baton Rouge ruled that, due to his arrest last week on drug charges, he violated the terms of his bond related to a bar fight last year. Word is Jefferson may have to remain in jail until his next court hearing on December 12th.
The demand for tickets to Saturday night's LSU-Alabama game is just as high as last year's game in Tuscaloosa, which was dubbed as the "Game of the Century." That's according to Stubhub spokesperson Joellen Ferrar, who says two tickets fairly close to the field will likely cost you over one-thousand dollars. However, Ferrar says nosebleed seats are going for as little as 165-dollars. She expects strong sales leading up to kick-off.
State Police is reminding parents of trick or treaters to put safety first this evening. Captain Doug Cain says trick or treaters should bring a flashlight and wear reflective clothing if possible. He says you should also be mindful of adult to child ratio to make sure one adult is handling too large a group of children.
We should know later today if LSUA chancellor Dr. David Manuel will be Leaving Cenla To take the chancellor’s job at Drury university. Drury is expected to announce which of the two finalists for the job, Manuel being one of them, will get the position. It is believed Dr. Manuel will be the announced winner. LSUA has made no official announcement on the matter, other than say Manuel would be out of the office until Friday.
A Mansura man is facing a long list of charges after investigators from the Avoyelles parish sheriff’s department raided his home on a tip and found a marijuana farm inside. 50 year old Blaine Roy was arrested and charged with the manufacturing and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Deputies reportedly found a hydroponic system with growing tents, lighting, ventilation and watering systems. Investigators seized 36 suspected marijuana plants, along with several pounds of harvested marijuana valued at about $45 Grand. Deputies also seized 19 rifles, one semi-automatic handgun, an all-terrain vehicle and a boat.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has some good news, seat-belt use in Louisiana reached a record high of 79.3 percent this year. Officials believe this high number of motorists buckling up is contributing to the state's declining highway death rate. Preliminary crash statistics for 2011 indicate that Louisiana's highway death toll declined for the fourth year in a row. Lake Charles leads the state in seat belt use, followed by Lafayette, New Orleans and Houma.
It's official; Leucadia Corporation will locate a $2.5-billion gasification plant at the Port of Lake Charles. The plant will gasify petroleum coke, a refining by-product, to extract useful gases, like methanol, hydrogen and carbon dioxide for sale. Construction is set to get underway early next year, bringing over a thousand construction jobs and over 150 full-time jobs once complete.
A growing, 5.5-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish swamps gobbled up an another strip of land Tuesday. The 80-by-20-foot section on the eastern side of the sinkhole fell in, or sloughed off. So far, the growing sink hole has cost the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources more than $2-million for response efforts. And, there's no estimate of when emergency response needs in Assumption Parish will end. 150 families have been evacuated from their homes since August 3rd and it doesn’t look like they’ll be going home anytime soon.
Cruise ships are big business for Louisiana; bringing in millions in revenue and supporting thousands of jobs. Port of New Orleans president Gary LaGrange says cruise ship spending in our state topped $280-million in 2011. That figure is up 35% from 2010. To give you an idea of how big the industry has become to the state, The port of New Orleans over 730-thousand cruise ship passengers in 2011.
News For Tuesday 103012
By Dave Graichen
Today is the last day to cast early votes for the November 6th election, and state officials say expect more long lines at early voting places. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says it's easy to see that more people are early voting than in previous election cycles. Schedler says, as of noon Monday, nearly 227-thousand registered voters have cast early votes. You have until 6pm tonight to cast your early ballot.
A dump truck being towed lost a rear wheel yesterday morning on Interstate 49, which caused both a fire and a Bobcat skid it was carrying to fall from the elevated road onto Murray Street below. Miraculously No one was injured in the incident. According to the APD, the driver of the wrecker was ticketed for having an expired driver's license and for having an unsecured load.
LSU hosts the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday in Death Valley, and the Baton Rouge area is preparing for a big weekend. Paul Arrigo (uh-REE-go) with the Greater Baton Rouge Convention and Visitors Bureau says this will be a big weekend for the hospitality industry. Arrigo says thousands of Alabama fans will be flocking to Baton Rouge, and with them comes TV networks, sport writers, photographers all coming to see the matchup between two legendary SEC coaches and programs. Arrigo says hotels are booking up quickly, and what rooms are available are going at premium rates.
The November 6th ballot has a number of constitutional amendments covering everything from term limits to taxes. Public Affairs Research Council President Robert Scott says Amendment number eight will extend industrial property tax breaks, enjoyed by manufacturers, in the state to a narrow range of non-manufacturing businesses. Among the arguments for the amendments is that it would put Louisiana on the same footing with competing states for new white collar and high tech jobs. Scott says one argument against it is that it could cut into local tax revenues. Under the amendment each parish would have the option to agree to the tax breaks.
The Alexandria District Probation and Parole Office will conduct an education session Halloween night for all registered sex offenders in the area. The Alexandria District serves Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle and Rapides parishes. The session, will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at 1534 Lee St. in Alexandria. All supervised cases are required to attend. All unsupervised cases are invited to attend. The aim is to keep all sex offenders, especially those that are under supervision, away from any contact with children on Halloween, as well as to update offenders on any new and/or revised laws and to review compliance issues with them.
Gas prices in Louisiana continue the downward spiral as the cooler weather moves in. The current statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.39 cents a gallon which is down almost 20
cents from last month. Analysts expect the price to dip even more as we get further into winter.
Two UL-Lafayette Football players have been dismissed from the team and placed under arrest for allegedly fondling a female student without her consent. University Police Sgt Billy Abrams says after questioning the victim officers determined they were dealing with a sexual battery case. 20-year-old Darrell Green and 22-year-old Eric Ferguson are each charged with one count of sexual battery.
A Monroe man faces assault charges after letting his large vicious dog attack two Ouachita Parish Sheriff's deputies. OPSO Chief Deputy Marc Mashaw says officers responded to a domestic disturbance last night to find 26-year-old Coy Williams at the door. He says Williams let the large Mastiff-mix dog loose at them. One deputy had to shoot the dog twice, when it charged them. Mashsaw says Williams will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law officer, and with a leash law violation for letting the dog attack the officers.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is sending response teams to Pennsylvania and Maryland to help authorities there with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Both states sent over a hundred National Guard personnel each to Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Gustav in 2008
A woman driving on I-49 in Shreveport survives a 60 foot fall at the 70th Street overpass Sunday. Shreveport Police say it appears the woman was attempting to avoid a mattress on the on the road. They say the she lost control and fell 60 feet to ground below. She had to be cut out of the vehicle, but, police say, she had only minor injuries.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the case of a former Natchitoches man scheduled to be executed this week for the murder of an East Texas woman nine years ago. 41 year old Donnie Lee Roberts Jr.is scheduled to die by lethel injection tomorrow night at the Texas state prison in Huntsville for the 2003 murder of Vicki Bowen at her home on Lake Livingston. The 44 year old Bowen was found shot twice in the head. Roberts confessed to her killing and while in custody, also confessed to the March 1992 murder of Archie Crow Jr. in Natchitoches Parish. Until that confession, Natchitoches Parish authorities had not considered Crow's death a homicide.
News For Monday 102912
By Dave Graichen
It appears, imprisoned Former Ball Mayor Roy Hebron, will be losing his retirement account. In court papers filed last week, federal authorities say they plan to garnish his municipal retirement account to pay the remaining $68,237 he owes for overcharging the federal government after hurricane Gustav and using the money to fill holes in the town budget. Hebron pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government and was sentenced in May of 2011 to 48 months in federal prison, he’s due to be released in December of 2014. The 58-year-old six-term mayor is serving the sentence at a minimum-security facility in Pensacola, Florida.
An attempt has failed to get Louisiana lawmakers into special session to consider reversing Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent cuts to health-care programs and a state prison. State senators blocked the effort, and the lawmaker leading the charge could not meet a Friday deadline to garner enough votes. State Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, an independent from Thibodaux, needed 13 senators to sign onto supporting the idea, the threshold for triggering a mail-in balloting of the Legislature, only nine signed the petition.
A federal grand jury has indicted two St. Landry Parish School Board members for conspiring to extort money in exchange for their votes for a new school superintendent. U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says indictments were handed up Wednesday against 50-year-old Quincy Richard Sr. and 71-year-old John Miller, both of Opelousas. From mid-July until Sept. 24, the defendants each accepted $5,000 from a superintendent candidate who was cooperating with the FBI. If convicted, both men face up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison on the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in prison for the bribery counts.
State Police and Livingston Parish sheriff's investigators want to know how and why a funeral home employee managed to accidentally cremate the fetus that was cut from its mother’s womb last week,
before the baby could be autopsied. 31-year-old Jeffrey Reynolds has been arrested for 1st degree feticide in that crime, and for attempted murder for the attack on the mother.
State health officials report another 17 confirmed cases of West Nile virus among Louisiana residents, bringing the total infected this year to 338. The Department of Health & Hospitals also confirms
another person has died from the neuro-invasive form of the disease, also called West Nile Encephalitis. So far 13 people in the state have died from West Nile this year.
A new commanding officer is on his way to Central Louisiana to take charge of Fort Polk and the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center located there. Brig. Gen. Bill Hickman, who until Friday was deputy commanding general for support of the famed 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., will replace Brig. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn as the commanding officer at Fork Polk.
Lake Charles Clean Energy is expected to announce today a new project to produce clean energy from gasified petroleum coke. Development partner Hunter Johnston says about 1500 construction jobs will result, with nearly 200 full-time permanent jobs at the finished plant. Johnston says the plant will produce methanol, hydrogen, argon and sulfuric acid; all of which will be sold to eager users. Johnston says, when completed, the plant will use state-of-the-art technology to capture 90% of the cardon dioxide released by gasification to sell for use in enhanced oil recovery techniques. He says the plant
will be clean, efficient and will provide needed jobs in southwestern Louisiana.
There are nine Constitutional amendments on the November 6th ballot. Today, we spotlight proposed Amendment Five, which would let lawmakers pass laws to deprive public officials the state-paid part of their retirement, if they're convicted of corruption. Metairie Rep. Tony Ligi authored the original legislation. A "yes" vote on Amendment Five will give the Legislature authority to enact state laws for the forfeiture of state-paid retirement benefits to those found guilty of public corruption.
A three day paid "business trip" to Venice by several members of the Louisiana House is being called a "fishing trip" by some. Lawmakers were paid $149 a day in per diem and .55 cents per mile so they could
meet at a popular fishing site near the Gulf of Mexico. Political watchdog CB Forgotston says this was a costly trip for taxpayers. Some lawmakers who attended the retreat reportedly say the trip included several productive meetings and discussions. Forgotston says there was a clear effort to keep this trip quiet which seems fishy. Some lawmakers admit they were looking for a getaway where they could be candid with each other outside of the public's eye.
The LSU Board of Supervisors have approved the merger of the positions of president of the LSU System and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus into a single position. The board's unanimous vote Friday created the new position, "President of LSU." LSU is currently managed by interim president and chancellor, William Jenkins who replaced John Lombardi as president in April and then assumed the chancellor's responsibilities when Michael Martin departed in May.
A recent U-S-D-A survey forewarns of a potential crisis in the ag industry, because of the lack of young people involved in agriculture. According to the survey, only 5-percent of the nation's farm operators
are under the age of 35. Louisiana's Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says society needs to do more to get young people involved. Strain hopes more younger people consider a career in ag. He says there are plenty of excellent opportunities. Some people may steer away from agriculture, because of manual labor. But Strain says there's plenty of lucrative positions within the ag industry that do not require work in the field.
According to the state’s attorney general, significant rate increases for state-sponsored wind and hail property insurance policies that Citizens Property Insurance Corp. approved earlier this year were legal. Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell issued the opinion last week. The rate increases brought the cost of insurance up more than 100 percent in some coastal parishes. State Treasurer John Kennedy had attacked the rate increases, saying he believed they were illegal.
The New Orleans Saints are now 2 and 5, after an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Broncos last night in Denver. Interim head coach Joe Vitt says he made mistakes and the team made mistakes, and failed to manage Payton Manning and the Broncos offense. The Saints were plagued with missed cues, incomplete passes and dropped balls. Vitt takes responsibility for the teams lack of preparation for
matchup in Denver. Vitt says there's a lot of work ahead to get the team tightened up in time for next week's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The week Purple and Gold fans have been waiting for has arrived. Some are calling the LSU-Alabama rematch Saturday the biggest in college football this season and ESPN Magazine is even dedicating an entire issue to the contest.
News For Friday 102612
By Dave Graichen
Another cool front is moving across Louisiana, bringing the coldest temperatures seen so far this season. State Climatologist Barry Keim says you'll want to have a coat or at least a sweater ready this weekend, especially in the overnight hours. Keim says parts of the state may see some rain today, as the cold front pushes through. He says, by early Sunday morning, we can expect lows in the 30's in northern and central parishes, and in the mid-to-upper 40's nearer to the coast.
Police say they arrested four former LSU football players, including one-time Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, after finding them with marijuana at Mathieu’s apartment. Baton Rouge police on Thursday said they also arrested ex-LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, and former defensive backs Derrick Bryant and Karnell Hatcher. Police say Mathieu, Jefferson and Hatcher were booked on charges of marijuana possession while Bryant faces a charge of possession with intent to distribute. Police say they were called to the apartment complex after receiving a complaint from a neighbor of Mathieu.
Gannett newspapers report a yet-unnamed steel manufacturer will locate a plant in the Caddo-Bossier area--creating hundreds of new jobs. An official announcement is scheduled for this afternoon at the Caddo- Bossier Port. The steel mill project could mean 800 new jobs and even more indirect
Rapides and 51 other Louisiana parishes are about to share $68.8 million in windfall tax money that has accumulated in escrow during a long-running court battle with three pipeline companies. Rapides will receive the seventh-largest share of the purse, and now is figuring out how to disperse almost $2.57 million among its taxing districts, including the School Board and Police Jury. The case, which has been ongoing for close to 17 years, has to do with the amount of taxes several pipelines pay and have paid over the years, to travel through the state.
It’s what you call a win win negotiation ,The England Authority Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Thursday that will transfer land to St. Mary's Residential Training School in return for the cancellation of a lease on land that is part of England Airpark. The authority recently purchased 149 acres from the state with the intention of using some of that property to extend a Runway. The Diocese of Alexandria and St. Mary's held lease rights on that land, renewable for more than 150 years. In exchange for cancelling the lease, the authority is donating 47 of the 149 acres to St. Mary's. When the transfer is complete, the airpark will have 102 of the 149 acres to do with as they see fit, while St. Mary's will take ownership of 62 acres of land.
The RPSO Reports an investigation into a Tuesday armed robbery and battery resulted in the arrests of two Hineston men living across the street from the crime scene. 30 year old Brandon Stokes and 23 year old Jarret Dryden were both charged with one count of armed robbery, one count of aggravated second-degree battery, one count of criminal conspiracy and two counts of false imprisonment while armed with a dangerous weapon. Both were booked into the Rapides parish jail.
The American Dream; get married, start a family, buy a home and retire at 65, right? Now a survey by Pew Research says fewer of us believe we'll be able to retire at so young an age. Over 30% of the 1000 surveyed don't think they'll be able to retire until 80. Good luck with that. The average life expectancy in the US. is 78 & a half.
The Walker man charged with first degree feticide and attempted second-degree murder could face a first degree murder charge if autopsy evidence of the baby he cut out of his pregnant wife shows that the fetus began to breathe after being removed from the womb. District Attorney Scott Perriloux says they're awaiting autopsy results on the baby and toxicology tests for 31-year-old Jeffrey Reynolds.
An abandoned pipe that is believed to be the source of an oil sheen spotted near the site of the 2010 Gulf Oil spill has now been capped and plugged according to BP. The company announced yesterday that the Coast Guard says no oil has been seen leaking out of that container since it was capped and plugged. Reports of the sheen in the Gulf started in September.
A Baton Rouge mother is under arrest accused of putting her baby inside of a plastic box then leaving her alone inside her house. Apparently 26-year-old Sharesse Joseph was walking down the street when the 16 month old baby's grandmother notified the apartment manager that the child may be left inside alone. Police reportedly found the baby inside a Rubbermaid container with an empty bottle and wearing a soiled diaper.
For the seventh time in the past 30 days, Governor Bobby Jindal has traveled out of state to attend campaign or other functions. His office announced that he was in Iowa stumping for Mitt Romney Wednesday and in Jacksonville last night to attend the first coast women's services pro-life dinner. He returned home after that.
The earth is moving again at the site of that giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish near Bayou Corne. The U.S. Geological Survey confirms a sharp tremor Wednesday around 9. The tremor was located about 500 meters deep, near the underground salt cavern under the sinkhole. The sinkhole now covers about 4 acres in area. Nearby residents were evacuated in early August, and haven't been able to return home since.
Long-time northeast Louisiana philanthropist Kitty DeGree passed away this morning at the age of 90. DeGree made millions of dollars in real estate and gave much of it back to the community. She was ULM's largest benefactor and the university's director of development, Anne Lockhart, says DeGree touched every aspect of Louisiana-Monroe. DeGree's foundation has given away over $4-million to worthy causes.
The Thibodaux man accused of beheading and dismembering his disabled 7-year-old son last year has had a key hearing delayed again. 31-year-old Jeremiah Wright was originally scheduled for a mental competency hearing in September. It was delayed until November, but then delayed again until January 3rd. Wright reportedly told authorities he killed the boy because he was tired of taking care of him. He remains in jail pending a $5-million bond.
Downtown Houma will be full of Halloween fun tonight with the first ever Rougarou Festival. Jonathan Foret is the development director of the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center. He says the festival will feature a parade, a costume contest, an obstacle course in involving zombies and swamp monsters and lots of Cajun-themed food. Foret says the festival kicks off at 5 o'clock this afternoon with live music in Courthouse Square. He says the festival aims to capitalize on renewed interest in Cajun culture thanks to shows like "Swamp People."
Former LSU track star LoLo Jones is has landed a spot on the United States bobsled team. The 2-time Olympic hurdler was one of 24 athletes selected for the team and 1 of 6 women's push athletes selected. The skeleton roster for the national team will be announced next week after team selection races take place in Utah.
The Saints seek their third win in a row on Sunday night when they meet the Denver Broncos. After an 0-and-4 start, New Orleans has been playing better, but interim head coach Joe Vitt says the Broncos are getting better too. Vitt says Denver Q-B Peyton Manning is looking more comfortable with his new team. Sunday marks Vitt's first game with the Saints since serving a six-game suspension as a result of the NFL's bounty investigation. Vitt says it's been a great week.
NEWS FOR THURSDAY 102512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
VOTERS IN LOUISIANA ARE SETTING RECORDS FOR EARLY VOTING. SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER SAYS HIS OFFICE IS ANTICIPATING A TOTAL VOTER TURNOUT JUST SHORT OF 70-PERCENT, WHICH IS AHEAD OF THE 67-PERCENT VOTER TURNOUT IN 2008. HE CREDITS WIDE SPREAD EXCITEMENT AMONG VOTES WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THE CAMPAIGNS CLOSELY. THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE REPORTS THAT ROUGHLY 40-THOUSAND BALLOTS WERE CAST ON THE OPENING DAY OF EARLY VOTING. ABOUT 2,000 PEOPLE HAVE CAST EARLY BALLOTS IN THE PAST TWO DAYS HERE IN RAPIDES PARISH ALONE.
VOTING IN THE NOV. 6 ELECTIONS THAT WAS TO BE DONE AT MARTIN PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAS BEEN MOVED TO NEWMAN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN ALEXANDRIA.
MARTIN PARK ELEMENTARY, LOCATED ON LISA STREET IN ALEXANDRIA, WAS DAMAGED BY A FIRE ON OCT. 12, FORCING ITS CLASSES TO BE RELOCATED TO THE FORMER LEAD CENTER ON LINCOLN ROAD. NEWMAN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IS LOCATED AT 5700 ORAN ST. IN ALEXANDRIA. THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY APPROVED THE RELOCATION OF THE POLLING PLACE FOR VOTING PRECINCT C21 AT A SPECIAL MEETING TUESDAY. THE NEW POLLING PLACE MUST STILL RECEIVE CLEARANCE FROM THE STATE AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY WAS DIVIDED ON, BUT APPROVED, $7,500 IN FUNDS TO BE USED TO SEND PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL TO CITIZENS ABOUT THE UPCOMING VOTE ON THE RAPIDES COLISEUM. VOTERS WILL DECIDE ON NOV. 6 WHETHER TO SUPPORT A $23 MILLION BOND ISSUE TO RENOVATE AND UPGRADE THE AGING COLISEUM AND A ONE MILL PROPERTY TAX TO PAY FOR ITS OPERATIONS OVER 20 YEARS.
LOUISIANA GETS ANOTHER FAILING GRADE IN THE ANNUAL PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL CENTER REPORT CARD ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH. THE REPORT MEASURED THINGS LIKE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, SCREEN TIME, SPORTS INVOLVEMENT, OBESITY AND OVERALL PHYSICAL WELL BEING.
ALL NINE SCHOOLS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM WILL SOON OFFER A BACHELOR OF ARTS ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM IN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP. THE PROGRAM IS IS AIMED AT FORMER COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO DID NOT COMPLETE THEIR DEGREES. STATE HIGHER ED OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THERE'S 600 THOUSAND ADULTS IN LOUISIANA WITH SOME COLLEGE CREDIT AND NO DEGREE.
LSU'S SIX YEAR GRADUATION RATE HAS HIT AN ALL TIME HIGH OF 67 PERCENT. IT'S THE FIRST TIME IN LSU’S HISTORY, THE GRADUATION RATE IS HIGHER THAN THE AVERAGE OF ITS PEERS IN THE SOUTH. LSU'S GRADUATION RATE HAS NEARLY DOUBLED OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE IN PINEVILLE HAS BEEN NAMED NO. 12 ON THE “MOST CONSERVATIVE COLLEGE” LIST, ACCORDING TO NEWSWEEK AS PART OF ITS “2012’S BEST COLLEGES FOR YOU" REPORT. ON THE LIST OF 25 CONSERVATIVE COLLEGES, LC, A PRIVATE BAPTIST COLLEGE, WAS RANKED JUST AHEAD OF BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY IN IDAHO AND JUST BEHIND HARDING UNIVERSITY OF SEARCY, ARK. AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA WAS RANKED AS THE MOST CONSERVATIVE SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE IS EMBARKING ON A $50 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, ASKING FOR $12 MILLION FROM LOUISIANA BAPTIST CONVENTION CHURCHES.. THE $12 MILLION WILL BE USED TO IMPROVE STUDENT HOUSING. LC PRESIDENT JOE AGUILLARD SAID EVERY HOUSING UNIT ON CAMPUS IS TO BE COMPLETELY RENOVATED, FROM NEW HVAC SYSTEMS TO NEW ROOFS.
THE SAINTS ARE PREPARING FOR THEIR NATIONALLY TELEVISED GAME THIS SUNDAY AGAINST THE DENVER BRONCOS. QUARTERBACK DREW BREES HAS PLAYED IN DENVER FOUR TIMES AND HIS TEAM HAS NEVER WON. THE HIGH ALTITUDE IS A CONCERN, BUT BREES SAYS PLAYING A MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL DOESN'T IMPACT HIS GAME. BUT, TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE THE SAINTS ARE LEAVING ON FRIDAY TO GET ACCUSTOMED TO THE HIGH ALTITUDE.
A NEIGHBOR TELLS THE BATON ROUGE ADVOCATE THAT THE LIVINGSTON PARISH MAN ACCUSED OF CUTTING THE FETUS OUT OF HIS SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT WIFE SAID HE SWALLOWED BATH SALTS. LIVINGSTON PARISH SHERIFF JASON ARD SAYS THEY ARE STILL AWAITING TOXICOLOGY RESULTS ON 31-YEAR-OLD JEFFREY REYNOLDS OF WALKER, WHO ALLEGEDLY STABBED HIS WIFE IN THE ABDOMEN AND PULLED OUT THE BABY. ARD SAYS PARAMEDICS WERE NOT ABLE TO SAVE THE BABY, BUT THE MOM IS THANKFULLY IN STABLE CONDITION.
A DOMESTIC DISPUTE HAS TAKEN THE LIVES OF TWO PEOPLE IN CADDO PARISH. THE INCIDENT INCLUDED A POLICE CHASE AND A SHOOTOUT WITH OFFICERS. SHREVEPORT POLICE RECEIVED A CALL YESTERDAY MORNING ABOUT A MAN THREATENING A WOMAN WITH A GUN. SHERIFFS OFFICE SPOKESPERSON CINDY CHADWICK SAYS WHEN OFFICERS ARRIVED ON THE SCENE A HIGH SPEED CHASE ENSUED. SHE SAYS THE CHASE ENDED WITH THE SUSPECT FIRING AT OFFICERS AND POLICE RETURNING FIRE, KILLING THE MAN. CHADWICK SAYS THEY BELIEVE THE SUSPECT SHOT AND KILLED THE FEMALE RIDING WITH HIM DURING THE CHASE.
THE CEO OF ENTERGY LOUISIANA TOLD THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TODAY THEY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO RESTORE POWER TO ITS CUSTOMERS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE FOLLOWING HURRICANE ISAAC . BILL MOHL DID SAY THE UTILITY COMPANY NEEDS TO DO A BETTER JOB OF GETTING MORE INFORMATION OUT TO CUSTOMERS AND BETTER SET EXPECTATIONS ABOUT HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE TO RESTORE ELECTRICITY.
LSU'S FACES LAB WILL ASSIST IN IDENTIFYING A HUMAN SKULL FOUND IN BEAUREGARD PARISH TUESDAY. OTHER HUMAN BONES WERE ALSO FOUND IN THE AREA, JUST WEST OF MERRYVILLE. LSU'S DR. MARY MANNHEIN AND HER TEAM WILL TRY TO DETERMINE WHO THE PERSON WAS AND HOW THEY DIED.
FOUR CONTRACTORS WHO HELPED TO BUILD BATON ROUGE'S NEWEST GAMBLING CASINO RESORT HAVE FILED LIENS AGAINST THE COMPLEX--SAYING THEY HAVEN'T BEEN PAID FOR MORE THAN $3-MILLION IN WORK DONE. PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT, WHO OWNS THE L'AUBERGE BATON ROUGE, REFERRED ALL QUESTIONS TO THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR, MANHATTAN CONSTRUCTION. THAT COMPANY CAN'T BE REACHED FOR COMMENT.
THE 106TH LA STATE FAIR KICKS OFF TODAY IN SHREVEPORT. THIS YEAR'S FAIR WILL RUN THROUGH NOVEMBER 11TH AND IS CLOSED ON MONDAY'S AND TUESDAY'S. STATE FAIR PRESIDENT CHRIS GIORDANO SAYS THIS YEAR'S FAIR FEATURES LOTS OF NEW EXCITING ATTRACTIONS. MORE INFORMATION ON THE FAIR IS ONLINE AT STATEFAIROFLOUISIANA.COM.
news for wednesday 102412
by dave graichen
an investigation by the rapides parish sheriff’s department into what is being described as a major brawl at the bolton / grant game last friday night has been concluded. RPSO deputies who were working security for the game, were told of a large disturbance on the field while they were escorting the officials off the field. Deputies then responded to the scene, breaking up the disturbance and separating the individuals involved. After the subjects were interviewed from both sides, it was determined none of the people involved wanted to pursue any criminal action.
the rapides parish sheriff’s department reports Three people face drug charges in connection with a drug operation, including a Deville man who has been arrested six times since January. 37 year old Richard Schweiger was charged Friday with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. Also arrested on drug charges were 32 year old Jeremy Allinson and 30 year old Amber Allinson, both from pineville.
lsua Chancellor dr. David Manuel should know this week whether he will be the next president of Drury University. the 65 year old manuel is one of two finalists for the job. the other name on the list, 71 year old dr. David Steele, who is currently the dean of the College of Business at San Jose State.
john white, the state’s education chief has been summoned to federal court in new orleans to testify in a case involving the state's new school voucher law and a 47-year-old desegregation case. The Tangipahoa school system argues that the voucher law, which pays private school tuition for some lower-income students from low-performing schools, diverts state money from the local school district. And they say that affects the system's ability to comply with orders in the desegregation case. Those orders include construction of four elementary schools and the continuation of magnet school programs. a second lawsuit, brought by the state’s two teacher’s unions and dozens of school boards across the state, is scheduled to be heard late next month.
new information is coming out about the attack that critically injured a winnsboro woman. on sunday night, 20 year old sharmeka moffitt told police she was attacked and set on fire while walking through city park. kkk was painted on the hood of her vehicle and racial slurs under that. a candlelight vigil was held last night in winnsboro for moffitt, who remains in critical condition. but, here’s the twist, Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said during a press conference at the Franklin Parish Courthouse yesterday afternoon that all forensic evidence pointed toward Sharmeka Moffitt concocting the story and setting herself on fire.
Long lines could be seen in some early voting locations yesterday as the doors opened to kick off a week of early ballot punching for the November 6th Presidential election. Early voting is from 8:30 until 6 now through October 30th, except of course this Sunday. Voters can find the location in their district online a sos.la.gov.
440 schools will receive about 10-thousand dollars each for achieving or exceeding goals established by the state. Overall thirty-seven-percent of Louisiana public schools received an "A" or "B" grade, according to school performance scores released by the state dept. of ed earlier this week. State Superintendent of Education John White says He is also encouraged be the number of "D" and "F" schools dropping from 44-percent in 2011 to 36-percent this year.
The calendar says the 2012 hurricane season should be winding down, but the activity in the tropics says something different. The National hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Storm Sandy in the Caribbean and Tropical Depression 19, which is in the middle of the Atlantic. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Sandy is not a threat to the Gulf. Sandy is the 18th named storm of the hurricane season and Keim says 2012 will go down as one of the most active seasons in history.
The state House of Representatives has gathered enough member signatures to support calling a special session to possibly overturn recent deep cuts to health care services made by the Jindal Administration. The Special Session Call has until Thursday to amass enough State Senate signatures to make the session happen. If it does happen, it would be after Thanksgiving.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has a new dog in the fight against synthetic marijuana. ATC used money it raised from fines and penalties to buy a two-year-old German Shepard, specifically trained to sniff out the illegal drug. The K-9 was brought in from Holland and is currently undergoing additional training in Acadiana.
A man stabbed his pregnant wife and cut the fetus from her body Tuesday afternoon in livingston parish. The woman, who was seven months pregnant, is in stable condition, but the child is dead. Sheriff’s deputies took Jeffrey Reynolds into custody and were testing him for drugs. Investigators issued warrants against Reynolds on felony counts of feticide and attempted second-degree murder.
A pair of Baton Rouge area pee wee football coaches are suspended after a passerby recorded a halftime rant, in which the coaches loudly and angrily berate the pre-teen team. The organizers of Baton Rouge youth sports say the coaches are out for the rest of this season and may not be asked back at all.
NEWS FOR TUESDAY 102312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS LOOKING FOR THE PERSON OR PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING UP TO $15,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE TO GRAVES AT A CEMETERY. THEY SAY SOME OF THE TOMBSTONES WERE POSSIBLY ABOUT 100 YEARS OLD AND WERE OVERTURNED AND CRACKED.
EARLY VOTING FOR THE NOVEMBER 6TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OPENS TOADY AND RUNS THROUGH NEXT TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH. SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER SAYS THEY ARE EXPECTING A VERY HIGH VOTER TURNOUT AND EARLY VOTING IS A GOOD WAY TO AVOID THE RUSH. SCHEDLER SAYS VOTING EARLY IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE POPULAR IN LOUISIANA. HE SAYS THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR ELECTIONS LIKE THIS ONE THAT FALL ON A WEEKDAY RATHER THAT A SATURDAY. SCHEDLER SAYS VOTING EARLY IS EASY AND SIMPLE.
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE IS APPLAUDING THE EFFORTS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS AFTER ANNOUNCING THAT 36-PERCENT OF SCHOOLS EARNED AN AN A OR B LETTER GRADE, WHICH IS A 28-PERCENT INCREASE FROM LAST YEAR. WHITE SAYS A HIGHER GRADUATION RATE AMONG HIGH SCHOOLS HELPED MANY SCHOOLS RECEIVE HIGHER GRADES. BUT THE RELEASE OF YESTERDAY’S SCHOOL PERFORMANCE SCORES ALSO SHOWS MORE SCHOOLS RECEIVED "F" LETTER GRADE. 157 SCHOOLS RECEIVED AN "F" THIS YEAR COMPARED TO 115 LAST YEAR. WHITE SAYS MORE "F" GRADES WERE GIVEN OUT, BECAUSE SCHOOLS HAD TO SCORE HIGHER TO RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE. UNDER THE OLD GRADING SYSTEM ONLY 70 SCHOOLS WOULD HAVE HAD A FAILING GRADE.
FIVE SCHOOLS IN RAPIDES PARISH ACED THEIR 2012 SCHOOL PERFORMANCE SCORES, ACCORDING TO DATA RELEASED MONDAY BY THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
TWO HIGH SCHOOLS -- ALEXANDRIA SENIOR HIGH AND PINEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL -- RECEIVED AS FROM THE STATE, ALONG WITH THREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS -- PHOENIX MAGNET, PEABODY MONTESSORI AND J.I. BARRON. PHOENIX MAGNET ELEMENTARY MAINTAINED THE HIGHEST SCORE IN THE DISTRICT AGAIN THIS YEAR,
AMONG THE NINE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO BE DECIDED ON THE NOVEMBER 6TH BALLOT, ONE SEEKS TO MAKE IT HARDER TO TAMPER WITH GUN RIGHTS ASSURED UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT. THE ORIGINAL BILL WAS SPONSORED BY COLUMBIA SENATOR NEIL RISER, WHO SAYS THE AMENDMENT WILL HELP PROTECT INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO POSSESS AND BEAR FIREARMS. THE COUNCIL FOR A BETTER LOUISIANA FEELS IT'S A BAD IDEA TO VOTE FOR THE AMENDMENT. CABL PRESIDENT BARRY ERWIN SAYS THEY WORRY IT COULD LEAD TO PLACES CURRENTLY DESIGNATED "GUN-FREE ZONES" PERMITTING WEAPONS ON THE PREMISES.
LOUISIANA HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERS HAVE AGAIN ASKED LEGISLATORS TO HAND OVER AUTHORITY TO SET TUITIONS AND OTHER FEES TO THEM. STATE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSIONER JIM PURCELL SAYS THEY'VE ASKED LAWMAKERS TO CONSIDER GIVING OVER SOME CONTROL TO THE FOUR UNIVERSITY SYSTEM BOARDS. PURCELL SAYS COLLEGES SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SET THEIR OWN TUITIONS AND FEES, TO BECOME MORE IN LINE WITH THE SOUTHERN REGIONAL EDUCATION BOARD AVERAGE. HE SAYS THE $426-MILLION HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS SINCE 2008 MAKE IT HARD TO MAINTAIN ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AND RETAIN FACULTY.
JOE VITT IS BACK WITH THE SAINTS AFTER SERVING HIS SIX-GAME SUSPENSION FOR HIS ROLE IN THE TEAM'S BOUNTY SCANDAL. VITT WILL SERVE AS THE TEAM'S INTERIM HEAD COACH FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. THE SAINTS HAVE A 2-AND-4 RECORD, BUT VITT IS NOT PLANNING ON MAKING ANY MAJOR CHANGES.
A WINNSBORO WOMAN IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER SHE WAS SET ON FIRE BY THREE ASSAILANTS SUNDAY NIGHT. STATE POLICE TROOPER ALBERT PAXTON SAYS THE VICTIM, 20-YEAR-OLD SHARMIKA MOFFITT, WAS ON A WALKING TRAIL IN A LOCAL PARK, WHEN THE MEN ATTACKED. PAXTON SAYS THE MEN THREW SOME KIND OF ACCELERANT ON THE WOMAN AND SET THE WOMAN ON FIRE. MOFFITT SUSTAINED SERIOUS BURNS OVER A LARGE PART OF HER BODY, AND WAS TAKEN TO LSU HOSPITAL IN SHREVEPORT. K-K-K WAS REPORTEDLY WRITTEN ON HER CAR AS WELL.
NUCOR STEEL ANNOUNCES THEY ARE LOOKING FOR APPLICANTS FOR 150 NEW FULL TIME JOBS AT THEIR ST. JAMES PARISH FACILITY. NUCOR IS COLLABORATING WITH LED FAST START, THE STATE'S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, TO FILL THE POSITIONS. FAST START EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JEFF LYNN SAYS THE MAJORITY OF THE JOBS ARE ENTRY LEVEL PRODUCTION AND MAINTENANCE POSITIONS PAYING UP TO 75-THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR PLUS BONUSES. LYNN SAYS THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS STRAIGHT FORWARD...
THE WEBSITE IS WWW.NUCORJOBSLOUISIANA.COM.
AREA DEVELOPMENT MAGAZINE'S 2012 TOP STATES FOR DOING BUSINESS SURVEY PUTS LOUISIANA AT NO 6 IN THE NATION AS A PRIME PLACE FOR BUSINESS INVESTMENT, JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THE MAGAZINE'S EDITORS SAY THE STATE'S PROGRESS IS REMARKABLE AS LOUISIANA HAD NOT RANKED IN THE TOP 10 BEFORE 2011.
ONE TEENAGER IS DEAD AND ANOTHER IS FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE AFTER THE CAR THEY WERE TRAVELING IN CRASHED AND SANK INTO BAYOU TERREBONNE. STATE POLICE TROOPER EVAN HARRELL SAYS THE 16-YEAR-OLD FRONT SEAT FEMALE PASSENGER WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE TO SAFETY THROUGH AN OPEN WINDOW, BUT ANOTHER 15-YEAR-OLD FEMALE IN THE BACK SEAT WAS TRAPPED UNTIL FIRST RESPONDERS ARRIVED. SHE IS REPORTED TO BE IN CRITICAL CONDITION. THE DRIVER, 18-YEAR-OLD JUSTIN NAQUIN, WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.
News for monday 102212
by dave graichen
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Alexandria saturday was another major success. large crowds turned out not only to participate, but to cheer on friends who were taking part in the race. survivors ranged from one who had been cancer free to another who was on day 80. crowds were somewhat smaller this year due to the fact the alexandria event is now a local rather than a regional race, as is has been in the past. Seventy-five percent of the money raised stays local to be granted out through non-profit organizations. Twenty-five percent goes to research.
Unemployment in Louisiana fell to 7% in September, according to federal Labor Department numbers. That's down from 7.4% in August and lower than it was one year ago. LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says he believes upturns in the chemicals and oil & gas industries are largely behind the surge.
Sundrop Fuels Inc. has hired some plant managers and has started preliminary site work north of Alexandria, where construction on the company's $450 million synthetic gasoline plant is to begin early next year with completion in 2014. The Colorado company, which chose Central Louisiana for its first commercial plant, continues financing negotiations with lenders. The company, plans to use natural gas and woody biomass to produce car-ready synthetic gasoline.
We know the New Orleans Times Picayune is now only delivering three days a week, but now Newsweek magazine has announced it will stop printing all together in order to concentrate on online publication. Is print becoming a thing of the past? LSU Mass Comm Dean Jerry Ceppos he isn't at all surprised by the Newsweek move. Ceppos says, though it depends on the situation, but using paper journalism as a legitimate news source is essentially dead. in big and struggling markets like New Orleans, scaling back daily delivery is what makes the most economic sense. However he says smaller market newspapers are still steady on their feet.
Ten years ago today, former Governor Edwin Edwards woke up to his first full day as a federal prisoner, after his conviction for conspiring to fix casino licenses. U.L.-Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross says a decade ago, it must have seemed like rock-bottom for Edwards...but things have dramatically changed for him. While in federal prison Edwards met Trina Scott, who is some 50 years younger than he. The two were married in 2011, and are planning to have a child. Cross says Edwards has found happiness in his senior years. Edwards served 8 & 1/2 years of his ten-year sentence, and was released in early 2011, with time off for good behavior.
Sixth ranked LSU enters the bye week with just one loss after a come from behind win over Texas A-and-M, 24-19.
Louisiana-Monroe is all alone in first place in the Sun Belt Conference after a dramatic 43-to-42 overtime victory over Western Kentucky. U-L-M is 3-and-0 in the Sun Belt and the Warhawks will host South Alabama this Saturday.
After starting the season with a four-game losing streak, the Saints have now won two in a row. New Orleans fell behind 21-7 to Tampa Bay yesterday, but rallied for a 35 to 28 victory.
news for friday 101912
by dave graichen
the rapides parish sheriff’s department has arrested a Pineville man after several complaints that he was taking advantage of a 92 year old man. Detectives arrested Delane clark and charged him with burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, criminal damage greater than $500 and possession of stolen items. More charges are pending, as the investigation unfolds.
authorities are still looking for a Woodworth man who fled into some woods yesterday morning after what appears to have been a domestic dispute. the Rapides Parish Sheriff's department believes 48 year old john mcneal was picked up in a car by a third party. woodworth police were called to a Bayou Clear Road home shortly before 9 yesterday morning to find a victim who had been battered and had suffered a small neck laceration. the victim was treated and released from a local hospital.
44 year old therand thacker of deville has been found guilty of nine sex crimes and obstruction of justice in a case involving two sisters, one now 20, the other is 16. thacker’s defense was that he was being framed by the girls and these was no physical evidence, only the testimony of the girls. but, the jury did not buy the argument. thacker, who is disabled with just one arm, will be sentenced november 2nd, he could be facing up to 230 years in prison.
a construction worker on the O.K. Allen Bridge replacement project was seriously injured yesterday when is leg was caught in a piece of. The worker, 26-year-old Robert Williams, suffered a partially severed leg in the accident.
Two New Orleans toddlers are dead, and their mother is charged with their murder. The 3 and 4-year-old boy & girl were found last night by their grandmother; both dead in the bathtub. Police say the mother, 23-year-old Chelsea Thornton, reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder and other mental troubles, and had quit taking her meds. Thornton faces two counts of 1st degree murder.
Could local control of the BP settlement be lost. According to reports out of Alabama unnamed officials have said settlement talks are now favoring putting money toward the Natural Resources Damage Assessment. That program would put dollars solely into making up for natural resources damage by the spill. While the long fought for Restore Act had allowed the direct fines to be spent more freely on locally chosen projects. A bipartisan group of Gulf Coast senators, including Louisiana's U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, to send a letter of objections to the Justice Department and the President. Our other U.S. Sen. David Vitter, did not sign the letter
The state Bond Commission has given approval to a Jindal Administration plan to borrow $350-million for needed repairs and upgrades of rural Louisiana roads. The list of targeted project spreads across 37 parishes. The roads in question don't qualify for any federal matching highway money. The debt will be paid over a 22-year term, with money from license & registration fees ad taxes on commercial vehicles.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center anticipates wetter than average conditions across the Gulf Coast states during the winter months. But long-range forecaster Mike Halpert says they had trouble producing a winter outlook for the United States this year, because an El Nino weather pattern did not show up as expected. He says if an El Nino intensifies, then we can expect cooler than normal temperatures for this winter.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says someone in Winn Parish is setting fires intentionally and he's determined to catch them. He says there have been over 80 suspicious wildfires in the area over the past three years in at around the St. Maurice community. He says the Arson Task force will eventually catch those responsible with the public's help. He says the Confidential Arson Tip line is 225-922-1458.
Budget cuts to the LSU hospital system have impacted E.A Conway Medical Center in Monroe. Administrators sent out layoff notices to 38 employees. The hospital's emergency room capacity has also been cut by 25%. Intensive Care by 6 beds and surgical by 12 beds.
The state's coastal protection agency says Hurricane Isaac brought 565- thousand pounds of oil to the surface. Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority Chairman Garrett Graves says they have told B-P and the Coast Guard the oil clean-up in the Gulf is not complete and this is proof they are right. About four-point-nine million barrels of oil spilled into the gulf during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Graves estimates there's still a million barrels unaccounted for.
The 2013 LSU football schedule was released today. It has the Tigers playing Alabama on November 9th, with an open date between and after the game with the Crimson Tide. LSU will still close out the regular season with Arkansas Thanksgiving weekend and Texas A&M is scheduled to visit Baton Rouge on November 23rd.
If the Saints want to get back into the N-F-C playoff picture, a win at Tampa Bay this Sunday is a must. New Orleans enters the game with a 1-and-4 record and the odds of getting into the playoffs are not good. Tampa Bay comes into the game with a two and three record.
News for thursday 101812
by dave graichen
Following Tuesday's evacuation at alexandria senior high school and Rumors circulated Wednesday about a second threat, About 100 students decided not to chance it and checked out of school the day, others simply were no shows. school officials say they had not received any word of yet another threat and that Tuesday's threat remains under investigation by the Alexandria Police Department. In the meantime, extra precautions are being taken at the school. Two Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office detectives manned metal DETECTORS and checked students as they entered the building Wednesday morning.
The Rapides Parish School Board has declared a public emergency for damages caused by a recent fire at Martin Park Elementary, allowing for quicker action in signing contracts to repair the building. The declaration, which came at a special School Board meeting Tuesday night, authorizes the interim superintendent or assistant superintendent of administration to negotiate required construction and repairs with costs to be paid from special reserve funds and with insurance proceeds. Roy Rachal, coordinator of risk management for the district, said the school is a "significant loss" after Friday's fire burned classrooms, collapsed a portion of the roof and covered the school's contents with smoke and soot.
The U.S. Department of Energy says it needs more time to consider an environmental group's objections to a Texas company's plans to build an export terminal for liquefied natural gas in southwest Louisiana. Earlier this year regulators approved a permit allowing Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. to build the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish. The project was the first large-scale natural gas export facility to be approved in the U.S. In September, the Sierra Club objected and asked DOE to block the project. The group said a more in-depth environmental analysis should be done to examine whether building the facility would result in an increase in natural gas production and environmental damage. no word as to when a ruling may come from the feds.
Police say a woman who drove off the parking garage at the Boomtown Casino in Bossier city is fighting for her life at LSU-Hospital in Shreveport. Bossier City Police Spokesperson Mark Natale says the woman drove from the top floor of the garage and fell about 60 feet. the car landed on its roof onto a concrete exit ramp and pinned the woman inside. natale says police do believe alcohol to be a factor.
Lafayette Police report an arrest in the case of a murder in downtown Lafayette. The body of 24-year-old Michael Luke Darby was found Monday afternoon behind a shrub, next to a business. The U-S Marshal's office arrested 26-year-old Kyle James Toups of Carencro last night near Beaumont. Lafayette Police Corporal Paul Mouton says Toups was arrested in Texas, because that's where he was working. Mouton says investigators do not believe Darby and Toups knew each other prior to the murder.
The president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents calls the state's new anti-bullying law an administrative nightmare. Michael Faulk says the new rules, as established by BESE, will pile on multiple layers of new bureaucratic procedures. BESE drafted the rules in response to a new anti-bullying law passed by the legislature. Faulk says school administrators will work on recommendations to make the process easier.
The Federal Aviation Administration is in Vernon Parish trying to determine the cause of a single-engine plane crash that killed an assistant church pastor. Authorities say James Roberts' plane went down in a wooded area near Simpson on Sunday. Stormy weather may have been a factor.
New federal campaign finance numbers show Charles Boustany with a sizable cash-on-hand lead over fellow republican Jeff Landry in the race for the newly redrawn 3rd Congressional District. According to the report Boustany raised a half million dollars between July 29th and September 30th, compared to Landry who raised nearly 380-thousand dollars during that same period. The F-E-C report shows the lone democratic in the race, Ron Richard,
with 15-thousand dollars in cash. Two other candidates, Libertarian Jim Stark and republican Bryan Barilleaux, did not report any cash funds.
Six parishes in southeast Louisiana have banded together to improve flood protection and storm response in the region. The Storm Defense Compact includes the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Tangipahoa, St. Charles and Jefferson. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister says the idea arose after Hurricane Isaac. The six parishes in the compact were all on the receiving end of severe flooding in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. There is speculation that some of the flooding there was the result of runoff due to beefed up flood protection in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish after Katrina.
Capitol Area Congressman Bill Cassidy is up for re-election on November 6th, but already talking about a run for Senate in two years. Cassidy says he'd be honored to be asked to run against Senator Mary Landrieu. Cassidy made the comment to the Baton Rouge Business Report. He says he's not necessarily running in 2014. Cassidy says he'd want to have his family's approval, plenty of campaign cash and support of big donors and organizers in order to even enter the 2014 Senate race.
State Police say 20 people have been arrested and nearly 150 pounds of illegal drugs have been seized in a narcotics investigation that started over a year ago. Troop C spokesman Trooper Evan Harrell says The people arrested are all from Houma, Lockport or Bourg. Trooper Harrell says officers seized over 5 pounds of methamphetamine, 130 pounds of marijuana, three guns, 2 vehicles and over tens of thousands of dollars in cash. He says the group was bringing the dope in from Texas and California.
The number of people who identify themselves as being a part of a particular religion is on the decline according to a Pew Research Center study. Dr. Tom Ryan is the director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry. He believes that churches need to put a stronger focus on attracting young adults. The study also indicates nearly 20% of Americans say they aren't affiliated with a denomination which is up 5% from five years ago. But Ryan says nearly 2/3 of "non-religious" are spiritual people who believe in God. The study shows that most unaffiliated people are not looking to be associated with a religion.
news for wednesday 101712
by dave graichen
A threatening Internet tweet sent Alexandria Senior High students to the football stadium during their first hour class yesterday. Bill Morrison, Rapides Parish School District assistant superintendent of administration, said the school was evacuated to allow authorities to conduct a room-to-room search of the building. the all clear was sounded about 9:30 a.m., and students were returned to class.
More information has surfaced about the man convicted of killing UL-Lafayette student Mickey Shunick. A search of 33-year-old Brandon Scott Lavergne's home during the investigation of Shunick revealed a driver's license of a still missing Texas woman. A case file revealed detectives tracked down the brother of that woman who says he kicked her out of his house because she had too many personal issues. The brother told investigators he was putting money in the account of Madeline Aumiller but that it had not been accessed since April.
A new contract between the city of alexandria and british PETROLEUM energy will save residents about $262,000 a year. The Council adopted an ordinance authorizing the mayor to execute a base contract to buy natural gas from bp. that natural gas delivered to the city by Crosstex LIG, which is the company that currently delivers the natural gas to the city. the city had been looking at the possibility of building it’s own gas pipeline. however, it appears now that crosstex has decided to reduce what it charges the city to deliver the gas. under the new agreement, bp is offering to provide natural gas at 3 cents per MBTU. the current charge is more than three time as high.
more on that fire last friday at martin park elementary school. we told you yesterday A 12-year-old student was under arrest for setting the school on fire last week and has been charged with simple arson. you may wonder how authorities were able make an arrest so quickly. Larry King with the Alexandria Fire Department says they had video evidence of the boy going into the school shortly before 5 Friday morning and setting the fire. king says the fire itself affected three classrooms and he's unsure how long it's going to take to clean everything up.
State safety officials say they're not certain why, but the number of people killed on motorcycles, bicycles and on foot is going up, while overall traffic deaths are declining. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission director John LeBlanc says PEDESTRIAN fatalities were up almost 18% in 2011. Overall, 676 people died in highway crashes in 2011; down over 6% from 2010. Motorcycle deaths increased by over 8%. LeBlanc says 2011 was the fourth straight year reflecting that trend. He hopes the increased number of motorcycle fatalities is not the start of trend.
For nearly two hours an American Airlines plane from Miami was held on the tarmac monday at the New Orleans' Armstrong airport after a passenger showed symptoms of what was feared to be typhoid fever. The sick passenger was taken to a local hospital and the other passengers were told to go home and wash their clothes. Officials have not been able to confirm from what illness the passenger in question was suffering.
According to a poll by Shreveport pollster Elliot Stonecipher the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is too close to call. Stonecipher is predicting the results will be similar to 2004, when George W. Bush won by a margin of less than two percent. He also adds a clear sign voters have made up their minds early will be the turnout for early voting. LOUISIANA’S early voting begins on the 23rd.
Officials say a Lafayette man admitted in federal court to writing racial slurs on two churches with predominately black congregations, then trying to pin it on his white ex-girlfriend. They say 34-year-old Brian Crimiel, who is black, plead guilty to one count of damage to religious property and making a false statement. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Folks in Webster Parish can breathe easy after authorities confirm the explosion monday night that shook several homes was an underground bunker that exploded at Camp Minden. They say the military will investigate exactly what happened, but the bunker did hat it was supposed to do. the blast was so strong, some nearby residents reported their windows were broken. one man told police the blast knocked him from his bed.
The Louisiana Supreme Court rules Bernette Johnson will be the court's next chief justice. The decision ends a dispute between Johnson and Justice Jeffrey Victory over who would succeed Kitty Kimball. some say Race may have been a factor as Johnson is black. but, Lapolitics.com publisher John Maginnis says the legal argument was over who had more seniority. This issue was heard by a federal judge, who ruled in Johnson's favor last month. Maginnis says the Louisiana Supreme Court eventually ruled on its own today, making Johnson the state's first black chief justice..
A Sports Illustrated cover story on former LSU football star Tyrann Mathieu indicates the Honey Badger might have broken NCAA rules which could keep him from returning to the Tigers next year. The Sports Illustrated article says starting defensive Anthony Johnson's image also appeared in a poster, along with Mathieu, to promote an event at a Baton Rouge nightclub. Tiger Rag.com Editor Cody Worsham says Johnson may have also violated an NCAA rule.
news for tuesday 101612
by dave graichen
Four people are in custody after a Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer at Acadian Elementary New Vision Academy in Alexandria heard what sounded like gunshots near the school yesterday afternoon. The incident did not happen on Acadian's grounds, but officials from the Rapides Parish School District are working with law enforcement to piece together what happened. School officials delayed the release of Acadian's students because of the shooting. No firearm has been discovered, and the investigation is ongoing.
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the fire at Martin Park elementary school friday that forced the closure of the facility and the relocation of students and staff. The juvenile, a student at Martin Park, was charged with one count of simple arson. fire officials do not expect to be making any more arrests in the case. after a busy few day of preparation, students will start classes today at the former Hadnot-Hayes Elementary. Martin Park staff spent Monday cleaning the building on Lincoln Road, moving desks, addressing wiring for technology and sorting school supplies among classrooms.
A state district judge Monday sentenced a Deville man to three years supervised probation for killing his male companion in 2007 and hiding the body in a box until it was found the following year. But Rapides Parish prosecutor Thomas "Rocky" Wilson said Monday afternoon that Judge Thomas Yeager was reconsidering the sentencing he meted out to Bobby Christopher Lucas, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in June for killing Kerry anthony Lane. the 39 year old Lucas sat in the rear of the court gallery with his wife yesterday. his attorney telling the judge "He's married. He's changed his lifestyle" and he's a manager at an Alexandria fast food restaurant. Lucas could have received up to 40 years in prison at hard labor. judge Yeager said he reviewed Lucas' case and the circumstances of the killing. He sentenced Lucas to 10 years at hard labor, then suspended the sentence and imposed probation.
President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney meet tonight for the second Presidential Debate. Many felt that, during their first debate two weeks ago, the President was subdued.. and handed in a lackluster performance. LSU political science professor Robert Hogan says expect to see a different Barack Obama tonight. Tonight's debate is in a "town hall" format, with a number of undecided voters posing questions of the two candidates. Hogan says both should do just fine in this less formal debate setting.
State Education Superintendent John White is proposing new rules for private schools who want to take on public school students via the new vouchers program. Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE) President Penny Dastugue says schools recognized for their excellence would be readily approved to receive the vouchers. BESE will consider Superintendent White's proposal during its meeting today. Dastugue says the plan puts private and religious schools in the voucher program under a microscope, to assure state education dollars are wisely spent.
Two people on a MOTORCYCLE were killed early Sunday morning, in an accident on US 190 in St. Landry Parish. State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons says 52-year-old Ronald Bellard of Eunice and his passenger died in the wreck. Hammons says they were on a three-wheeled motorcycle that hit a truck pulling a horse trailer that apparently pulled out in front of them. The truck driver is not hurt. Hammons says an investigation is underway.
it’s sorta like that movie “the Blob”, The giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish continues to grow. The hole full of muddy slurry is now about 4 acres in area. Nearby residents have been evacuated from their homes since August 3rd, when the hole first appeared--taking land and trees with it.
they may have gotten away with it in “porky’s” but not at tiger stadium. Baton Rouge Police arrested a South Caroline Gamecocks fan for allegedly mooning LSU fans during saturday’s game. the man was spotted with his pants down below his knees and uttering loud vulgarities. Officers took 34-year-old charles Hattaway in for obscenity. He later posted bail.
New Orleans Police arrest a woman for child desertion, after her twin 6-year-old girls were left home alone while the mother went to work. fire fighters were able to rescue the girls after their apartment caught fire. however, they had to use CPR to revive the girls. it’s believed The fire started as a result of the girls playing with matches.
Voters in all but two parishes will see an item on the November 6th election ballots, asking their preference in imposing term limits on local school board members. The vote is a parish-by-parish referendum, and will not mean such limits imposed on a statewide basis. Jefferson and Lafayette parishes already have school board term limits. early voting starts this saturday.
A Bossier City accountant is charged with stealing from the Minden construction company where he worked, and blowing the money on strippers. Webster Parish Sheriff's detective Scott Tucker says 36-year old Murlin Graham is suspected of taking at least $360-thousand from his employer and living it up with the cash. Tucker says Graham was an accountant with the construction company, and was creating phony supplier and vendor companies, whose names closely resemble those of his company's actual suppliers and vendors. Graham's been booked with four counts of felony theft by fraud
The LSU football team's first trip to College Station, Texas, since 1995 is more challenging for the fans because of the 11 A-M kick-off this Saturday. LSU Travel Expert Jim Dumigan says many Tiger fans are staying in the Houston Area on Friday, which means an early wake-up call is needed to get to Kyle Field in time for kick-off. Dumigan says the Tiger Athletic Foundation travel party is at the same hotel where the team will stay, which is in Montgomery, Texas. He says they will leave before the sun rises.
NEWS FOR MONDAY 101512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
MOTHER NATURE BEHAVED AND THE CROWDS CAME TO THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR THIS PAST WEEKEND. LARGE CROWDS FILLED THE MIDWAY EACH EVENING AND PARKING CONTINUED TO BE A MAJOR CONCERN. AT TIMES CARS LINED THE SIDES AND CENTER OF THE ROADWAY ALL THE WAY FROM MENARD HIGH SCHOOL TO THE NEW WALMART. THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE WERE NO MAJOR INJURIES REPORTED AND ALL SEEMED TO HAVE A GREAT TIME.
FIRE OFFICIALS SAY, IT WILL BE A WHILE BEFORE ANYONE KNOWS THE CAUSE OF THE BLAZE THAT BROKE OUT EARLY FRIDAY MORNING AT MARTIN PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. A JANITOR ARRIVING AT THE SCHOOL AROUND 5:30 IN THE MORNING SPOTTED SMOKE BILLOWING OUT OF ONE OF THE DOORS. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS ON THE SCENE A FEW MINUTES LATER. 72 MINUTES LATER THE FIRE WAS UNDER CONTROL. SCHOOL OFFICIALS AT THIS POINT BELIEVE THE BUILDING IS NOT A TOTAL LOSS. BUT, THE WILL BE DETERMINED AFTER A FULL INVESTIGATION IS CONDUCTED. BEST CASE SCENARIO, 3 TO 5 MONTHS OF REPAIR WORK LIES AHEAD. IN THE INTERIM, STUDENTS AND SCHOOL STAFF WILL BE MOVED TO THE FORMER HADNOT-HAYES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON LINCOLN ROAD.
WITH ONE NEW WEST NILE VIRUS DEATH AND NINE NEW INFECTION CASES, STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL TO 12 DEATHS THIS YEAR AND 312 CONFIRMED CASES. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS' REPORT SHOWS FIVE OF THE NEW CASES ARE OF THE MORE SERIOUS STRAIN OF THE DISEASE WITH TWO CASES REPORTED IN CALCASIEU AND ONE EACH IN IBERIA, LAFAYETTE AND ORLEANS PARISHES. RESIDENTS ARE REMINDED WEAR MOSQUITO REPELLENT AND TO DRAIN STAGNANT WATER TO PREVENT MOSQUITOES FROM BREEDING.
ACCORDING TO A LETTER FROM THE LSU SYSTEM’S OUTSIDE COUNSEL, GOV. BOBBY JINDAL’S EXECUTIVE COUNSEL SUGGESTED LSU REJECT PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS FOR DOCUMENTS RELATED TO BUDGET CUTS AND PRIVATIZATION EFFORTS AT LSU’S PUBLIC HOSPITALS. THE LETTER TO LSU SYSTEM PRESIDENT WILLIAM JENKINS, OBTAINED FRIDAY BY THE BATON ROUGE ADVOCATE, CONTRADICTS EARLIER ASSERTIONS BY JINDAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS THAT LSU DECIDED ON ITS OWN HOW TO RESPOND TO REQUESTS TO MAKE THE RECORDS AVAILABLE PUBLICLY. JINDAL’S OFFICE, THROUGH SPOKESMAN KYLE PLOTKIN, ASSERTED LAST WEEK THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH LSU INVOKING THE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS PRIVILEGE ON REQUESTS FILED BY THE ADVOCATE IN LATE SEPTEMBER.
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES WANTS TO REDUCE WAIT TIMES AT YOUR LOCAL D-M-V. STEPHEN CAMPBELL SAYS THERE ARE PROCESSES BEING PUT IN PLACE AT ALL 82 DMV OFFICES THAT WOULD IMPROVE EFFICIENCY. CAMPELL SAYS ANOTHER WAY TO CUT DOWN ON WAIT TIMES IS TO ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR BASIC OMV NEEDS ONLINE AT EXPRESS-LANE-DOT-ORG.
EARLY VOTING GETS UNDERWAY ON SATURDAY AND A NON-PARTISAN PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH GROUP SAYS NOW IS THE TIME TO GET FAMILIAR WITH THE NINE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON THE BALLOT. PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL
PRESIDENT ROBERT TRAVIS SCOTT ENCOURAGES VOTERS TO CHECK OUT PAR'S WEBSITE LOUISIANAPAR.ORG FOR AN IN DEPTH ANALYSIS OF EACH PROPOSED AMENDMENT...
TAXPAYERS, VENDORS AND CONTRACTORS OWE THE STATE OF LOUISIANA HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAXES AND THE STATE, TRADITIONALLY HAS HAD PROBLEMS COLLECTING. BUT NOW, THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS LAUNCHING A NEW PROGRAM THAT WILL HELP THEM COLLECT MONEY OWED TO THE STATE. STATE OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THAT THEY CAN COLLECT 11-MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR BY INTERCEPTING PAYMENTS THAT GO FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THOSE VENDORS OR CONTRACTORS WHO OWE LOUISIANA MONEY.
FEDERAL OFFICIALS APPROVE A PLAN PRESENTED BY BP AND TRANSOCEAN THAT'S DESIGNED TO FIGURE OUT THE SOURCE OF AN OIL SHEEN IN THE GULF OF MEXICO THAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH THE 2010 DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL. ANALYSTS SAY THE OIL COULD BE FROM THE DRILLING WRECKAGE LYING ON THE BOTTOM OF THE GULF OF MEXICO FLOOR.
A 43-PAGE PRIMER WRITTEN BY THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION ON LOUISIANA’S STATE TAX STRUCTURE SUGGESTS A RECIPE FOR IMPROVING THE PERCEPTION OF THE STATE’S BUSINESS CLIMATE. IN ESSENCE, IT IS A SWAP: SHED EXEMPTIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR ADOPTING LOWER TAX RATES. THE GOVERNOR MADE EDUCATION HIS PRIMARY PUSH DURING THIS YEAR’S 2012 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. DURING THE 2013 SESSION, HE WANTS THE THEME TO BE A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE STATE’S TAX CODE. AS THE GOVERNOR TOLD SUPPORTERS IN AUGUST, HE WANTS TO “MAKE LOUISIANA’S TAX CODE FAIRER, FLATTER AND LOWER FOR LOUISIANA FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES.”
IF THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION APPROVES THIS WEEK, NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL HAVE NEW STANDARDS TO MEET TO BE CERTIFIED TO RECEIVE STATE AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE. THE NEW REQUIREMENTS, WHICH WOULD GO INTO EFFECT FOR THE 2013-14 SCHOOL YEAR, ACCORDING TO STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE, WOULD ELIMINATE MUCH OF THE RED TAPE IN THE CURRENT APPLICATION PROCESS. UNDER THE PLAN, SCHOOLS THAT CURRENTLY HAVE RECOGNIZED NATIONAL OR REGIONAL ACCREDITATION THROUGH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OR THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS WOULD IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE FIVE-YEAR APPROVAL, PROVIDED THEY PRESENT YEARLY PROOF THAT THEY RETAIN ACCREDITATION. CURRENTLY 200 NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY.
NEW IBERIA CONGRESSMAN JEFF LANDRY IS CALLING ON LAFAYETTE CONGRESSMAN CHARLES BOUSTANY TO PARTICIPATE IN A DEBATE BEFORE THE NOVEMBER SIXTH ELECTION. THE TWO ARE THE MAIN CANDIDATES IN THE THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE. A DEBATE WAS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, BUT IT WAS CANCELLED FOR A REASON THAT HAS NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY SPELLED OUT. NO WORD FROM BOUSTANY'S CAMP ON IF THERE WILL BE A DEBATE.
STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A FATAL CRASH INVOLVING A POLICE CAR. THE INCIDENT HAPPENED IN THE VERMILION PARISH TOWN OF MAURICE. OFFICER WILLIS THOMAS WHO WAS RESPONDING TO AN EMERGENCY CALL WAS DRIVING ON U-S HIGHWAY 167 WITH HIS EMERGENCY LIGHTS AND SIREN ON WHEN HE SAYS 83-YEAR-OLD PAUL SUIRE PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF HIM. SUIRE DIED UPON IMPACT, THE POLICE OFFICER SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES.
AFTER JANUARY 15TH, LOUISIANANS COULD FIND THEMSELVES NEEDING A PASSPORT FOR THINGS LIKE BOARDING A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER OR ENTERING A FEDERAL BUILDING, BECAUSE OUR STATE WON'T COMPLY WITH THE NEW FEDERAL REAL ID PROGRAM. STATE MOTOR VEHICLES COMMISSIONER STEPHEN CAMPBELL SAYS THE LEGISLATURE PASSED A LAW IN 2008 TO THAT EFFECT. THE FACT THAT THE ID’S WILL REQUIRE A RF ID CHIP IS WHAT LED OUR LAWMAKERS TO VOTE AGAINST WHAT THEY CALLED BIG BROTHERISM. CAMPBELL HOPES THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY WILL PUT ENOUGH PRESSURE ON HOMELAND SECURITY THAT THEY WILL AGAIN ALLOW LOUISIANA DRIVERS LICENSES.
NEWS FOR FRIDAY 101212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
FANS OF THE HISTORIC HOTEL BENTLEY IN ALEXANDRIA CAN BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF. A DEAL TO PURCHASE THE HOTEL CLOSED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. MICHAEL JENKINS, A LOCAL BUSINESSMAN WITH SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS IN DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRIA, IS NOW THE NEW OWNER BENTLEY. JENKINS PLANS TO REFURBISH THE PROPERTY, INSIDE AND OUT. ANNOUNCED PLANS HAVE THE SEVEN-STORY TOWER, THE NEWER PART OF THE HOTEL, TO BE TURNED INTO 28 LUXURY CONDOMINIUMS. THE OLDER PART OF THE PROPERTY WOULD RENOVATED INTO A BOUTIQUE HOTEL. THE BENTLEY HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE DECEMBER 2004.
THE NORTHBOUND LANES OF I-49 BETWEEN WOODWORTH AND THE HIGHWAY 71 SOUTH EXIT WAS CLOSED THE BETTER PART OF THE DAY YESTERDAY AFTER AND EARLY MORNING CRASH BETWEEN TWO 18 WHEELERS. THE CRASH CAUSED ONE OF THE TRUCKS TO SPILL IT’S LOAD OF COFFEE AND COFFEE CANS. STATE POLICE REPORT ONE OF THE DRIVERS RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL.
A YEAR-LONG UNDERCOVER DRUG INVESTIGATION HAS NETTED 44 ARRESTS IN SABINE PARISH. SABINE SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WORKED IN COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL DEA AND STATE POLICE TO MAKE THE BUSTS. THE INDIVIDUALS WILL ALL FACE CHARGES RELATED TO GROWING AND SELLING MARIJUANA AND WITH COOKING AND SELLING CRYSTAL METH.
ELECTION OFFICIALS SAY EARLY STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATIONS SHOW AT LEAST 2.9 MILLION LOUISIANIANS WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE NOVEMBER 6TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THEY SAY THE STATISTICS SHOW THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED DEMOCRATS IN THE STATE IS ON THE DECLINE, WHILE REPUBLICAN AND OTHER PARTY REGISTRATIONS HAS INCREASED BETWEEN 2008 AND 2012.
SAMPLES TAKEN FROM AN OIL SHEEN THAT'S TURNED UP IN THE GULF MATCH UP WITH OIL FROM THE 2010 BP MACONDO WELL SPILL. LSU COASTAL SCIENTIST DR. ED OVERTON SAYS THE SHEEN IS PRETTY SMALL, AND THE OIL LIKELY CAME FROM WRECKAGE OF THE DEEPWATER HORIZON RIG THAT BURNED AND SANK. OVERTON SAYS THE LACK OF ANY SERIOUS VOLUME TO THE SHEEN WOULD SUGGEST THE WELL ITSELF IS STILL SEALED.
AUTHORITIES IN CANADA ARE SEARCHING FOR A 71-YEAR-OLD BATON ROUGE WOMAN REPORTED MISSING FROM A CRUISE SHIP OCTOBER 4TH. SARAH POWELL WAS A PASSENGER ON BOARD A HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE SHIP LEAVING BOSTON, HEADING TO NOVA SCOTIA. POLICE DON'T SUSPECT FOUL PLAY, BUT BELIEVE SHE BY PASSED SECURITY AT ONE OF THE STOPS WITH NO INTENTION OF RETURNING.
POLICE IN BOSSIER CITY ARREST A FIRED APARTMENT COMPLEX HANDYMAN FOR ALLEGEDLY MURDERING HIS FORMER BOSS. SPOKESMAN MARK NATALE SAYS 54-YEAR-OLD ROBERT EARL WALTER WAS LET GO WEDNESDAY MORNING, BUT RETURNED TO HIS JOB AND SHOT APARTMENT MANAGER APRIL FULGHUM TO DEATH IN HER OFFICE. TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES PRESENT WERE NOT HURT, BUT THEY WERE EYEWITNESSES TO THE CRIME. WALTERS FLED, BUT LATER TURNED HIMSELF IN TO FACE 2ND DEGREE MURDER CHARGES.
A DEBATE BETWEEN CANDIDATES FOR LOUISIANA DISTRICT THREE CONGRESS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. DUE TO REDISTRICTING LAST YEAR, CURRENT REPRESENTATIVES CHARLES BOUSTANY AND JEFF LANDRY MUST RUN AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR THE ONE AVAILABLE SEAT. THE DEBATE, WHICH WAS TO BE HOSTED BY UL-LAFAYETTE, REPORTEDLY RAN INTO SOME COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS WHICH FORCED IT TO BE CANCELLED.
SAINTS QUARTER BACK DREW BREES IS MAKING HEADLINE AGAIN, FOR CRITICAL COMMENTS ABOUT NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL AND THE ONGOING BOUNTYGATE SCANDAL AND SUSPENSIONS. BREES TOLD ESPN'S MIKE & MIKE SHOW THAT HE AGREES WITH FORMER SAINT SCOTT FUJITA THAT GOODELL IS ABUSING HIS POWER AS COMMISSIONER AND THE SUSPENSIONS ARE A "BIG SHAM".
THE MAN ACCUSED OF CALLING IN THE BOMB THREAT LAST MONTH THAT FORCED THE EVACUATION OF THE ENTIRE LSU CAMPUS HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN STATE DISTRICT COURT. 42-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM BOUVAY JR. ENTERED THE SAME PLEA IN FEDERAL COURT EARLIER THIS WEEK.
LOUISIANA SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN C. WHITE HAS DELAYED PLANS TO GIVE HIS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GRADING LOUISIANA'S FRAGMENTED SYSTEM OF PUBLICLY FUNDED PRE-KINDERGARTEN AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS. WHITE WAS EXPECTED TO DISCUSS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARD FRAMEWORK WITH THE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION NEXT WEEK. BUT HE SAID WEDNESDAY HE'S PUSHING THAT BACK UNTIL THE BOARD'S DECEMBER MEETING BECAUSE HE WANTS MORE TIME TO MEET WITH PEOPLE AND WORK ON THE PLANS. A NEW LAW PUSHED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AND PASSED BY LAWMAKERS EARLIER THIS YEAR REQUIRED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON ASSESSMENT AND GRADING SYSTEM FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS THAT ARE SCATTERED ACROSS AGENCIES. IT IS TO BE FULLY PHASED IN BY THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR. A PLAN IS DUE TO LAWMAKERS BY MARCH 1.
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE ANNOUNCED HIS EXECUTIVE STAFF THURSDAY AND SAID THAT, EVEN WITH THE SIX-FIGURE SALARIES, DEPARTMENT COSTS HAVE DROPPED AND THE AGENCY HAS FEWER EMPLOYEES. THE SALARIES ON THE SUPERINTENDENT’S TEAM RANGE FROM $110,000 PER YEAR TO $225,000 ANNUALLY.
WHITE, WHO IS PAID $275,000 PER YEAR, SAID DEPARTMENT SPENDING HAS BEEN TRIMMED BY NEARLY 11 PERCENT AMID STATE REVENUE PROBLEMS AND THAT PAYROLL HAS BEEN REDUCED BY ABOUT 50 POSITIONS. DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS ALSO SAID THAT THE DEPARTMENT’S RANKS HAVE DROPPED FROM 659 FROM MID-2008 TO 446 FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR, A 32 PERCENT DROP.
NEWS FOR THURSDAY 101112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
THE APD REPORTS TWO JUVENILES WERE ARRESTED TUESDAY IN CONNECTION WITH A CAR THEFT. OFFICERS SPOTTED THE VEHICLE AROUND 8 P.M. ON WHITE STREET. WHEN THEY ATTEMPTED TO STOP THE CAR, THE DRIVER SPED OFF. AS POLICE FOLLOWED THE CAR, IT HIT ANOTHER VEHICLE IN THE BROADWAY AND LEE STREETS AREA, AND THEN RAN INTO A BUILDING. ONE JUVENILE, A 14-YEAR-OLD FROM ALEXANDRIA BELIEVED TO BE THE DRIVER, WAS CHARGED WITH THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AND AGGRAVATED FLIGHT. THE SECOND JUVENILE, A 16 YEAR OLD, WAS A PASSENGER IN THE CAR AND WAS CHARGED WITH ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT.
J. MICHAEL JOHNSON, WHO RECENTLY RESIGNED AS THE FOUNDING DEAN OF LOUISIANA COLLEGE'S LAW SCHOOL, HAS BECOME SENIOR COUNSEL FOR THE LIBERTY INSTITUTE.
JOHNSON RESIGNED FROM LC ON SEPT. 18 BECAUSE HE HAD WHAT LC PRESIDENT JOE AGUILLARD CALLED A "GREAT JOB OFFER." THE LIBERTY INSTITUTE RECENTLY POSTED A NEWS RELEASE ON ITS WEBSITE ANNOUNCING JOHNSON AS ITS NEW SENIOR COUNSEL.
THE INSTITUTE IS A NONPROFIT LEGAL ORGANIZATION THAT ADVOCATES FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. IN THE RELEASE, JOHNSON SAID HE CHOSE THE INSTITUTE FOR ITS "IMPECCABLE REPUTATION IN THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT."
THE BATON ROUGE ECONOMY IS PROJECTED TO ADD 9,000 JOBS BY THE END OF 2014, THANKS TO THE BOOMING PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY. AND THAT FORECAST COULD BE EVEN BRIGHTER, IF SOME POTENTIAL PROJECTS COME THROUGH. THAT’S ACCORDING TO THE “LOUISIANA ECONOMIC OUTLOOK. THE FORECAST, RELEASED WEDNESDAY, SAYS THERE IS AT LEAST $4.1 BILLION IN ONGOING OR ANNOUNCED PETROCHEMICAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN METRO BATON ROUGE. THE REPORT ALSO SAYS AN UPTICK IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY WILL LEAD TO GROWTH IN THE LAFAYETTE AND LAKE CHARLES AREAS AS WELL.
THIBODAUX POLICE HAVE A MAN IN CUSTODY BELIEVED TO HAVE MADE THE THREATING 9-1-1 CALL TUESDAY THAT CAUSED THE EARLY DISMISSAL OF THIBODAUX SCHOOLS AND THE EVACUATION OF THE DISTRICT AND CITY COURT HOUSES. POLICE SAY 45-YEAR OLD DONALD BROOKS OF THIBODAUX IS CHARGED WITH TERRORIZING AND COMMUNICATING FALSE INFORMATION OF PLANNED ARSON. DETECTIVES SAY BROOKS WAS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT TUESDAY OVER CHILD SUPPORT. THEY WERE ABLE TO LINK THE PHONE USED BY THE ANONYMOUS CALLER TO BROOKS.
LIVINGSTON PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARREST A DENHAM SPRINGS MAN FOR NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE, FOR THE DEATH OF HIS NEIGHBOR'S CHILD LAST MONTH. SHERIFF JASON ARD SAYS AN INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT DETERMINED THAT 32-YEAR-OLD BRAD WELCH WAS DISTRACTED BY TALKING ON HIS CELL PHONE, WHEN HE HIT THE BOY WHILE PULLING INTO HIS DRIVEWAY. ARD SAYS WELCH TOLD INVESTIGATORS HE FELT A BUMP AFTER ENTERING HIS DRIVEWAY. WHEN HE EXITED HIS CAR HE FOUND THE CHILD LYING BEHIND HIS VEHICLE. THE MAN’S BOND IS SET AT $25,000. ARD SAYS THE ACCIDENT IS A TRAGEDY FOR BOTH FAMILIES, AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.
AH YES, LOVE IS BLIND.. OR IN THIS CASE DEADLY. POLICE IN SHREVEPORT SAY A MAN IS UNDER ARREST AFTER GETTING INTO A SHOOTOUT WITH HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND. INVESTIGATORS SAY LOVELL ELLIS FIRED SEVERAL SHOTS AT THE WOMAN WHO THEN RETURNED FIRE. ELLIS WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY WITHOUT INCIDENT, THE WOMAN WAS NOT CHARGED.
THE WASHINGTON PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS A MOTHER HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON FIRST DEGREE MURDER CHARGERS OF HER 15-MONTH-OLD SON. THEY SAY THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN NEW ORLEANS SAID THE CASE WAS NON-ACCIDENTAL AND THAT THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF DEATH WAS SEVERE TRAUMA CAUSED BY INJURY TO THE BRAIN. INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY TODDLER'S INJURIES DID NOT MATCH THE EXPLANATION PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY.
SCHOLARS ARE SAYING IT’S A MAJOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TEST CASE. YESTERDAY, THE US SUPREME COURT BEGAN HEARING A CASE OF AN LSU GRADUATE WHO FILED SUIT AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN CLAIMING SHE WAS DENIED ADMISSION BECAUSE OF HER RACE. ABIGAIL FISHER, WAS REJECTED FROM UT AUSTIN IN 2008. SHE IS WHITE.
CITY LEADERS IN WEST MONROE HAVE EXTENDED THEIR NO SMOKING POLICY TO INCLUDE PUBLIC PARKS. THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE ORDINANCE BY A VOTE OF FOUR "YEAS" AND ONE ABSTAINED. WEST MONROE MAYOR DAVE NORRIS SAYS A NUMBER OF PARENTS PUSHED THE IDEA OF ELIMINATING SECOND-HAND SMOKE FOR PLACES THEIR CHILDREN FREQUENT. OBEYING THE BAN WILL BE ON THE HONOR SYSTEM ONCE SIGNS ARE POSTED.
THE LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED TO A FIRE EARLY WEDNESDAY WHERE THEY BELIEVE A WOMAN DIED FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED FROM A FIRE STARTED FROM A LIT CIGARETTE. THEY SAY THE FIRE LIKELY STARTED AS 77-YEAR-OLD GENEIVE MCZEAL WAS ATTEMPTING TO LIGHT THE CIGARETTE WHILE WEARING AN OXYGEN NASAL TUBE.
THE PILOT OF A HELICOPTER THAT CRASHED INTO A RADIO TOWER AROUND NOON WEDNESDAY IN ACADIA PARISH, HAS DIED OF HIS INJURIES. SEVERAL WORKERS ON THE GROUND NEARBY WITNESSED THE CRASH BUT WERE NOT HURT. THE PILOT'S NAME HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED.
THE ST. TAMMANY PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE ANNOUNCES THEY ARE THE FIRST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE STATE TO USE IRIS SCANNING IDENTIFICATION. SHERIFF JACK STRAIN SAYS THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY IS ABLE TO ESTABLISH A POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION VIRTUALLY INSTANTANEOUSLY, UNLIKE FINGERPRINTING. HE SAYS MOST INMATES IN THE PARISH JAIL ARE ALSO UNDERGOING AN IRIS SCAN.
NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 100912
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
ALTHOUGH THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD WILL NOT IMPLEMENT A HIRING FREEZE, IT APPEARS OVERSTAFFING WILL RESULT IN CURRENT FACULTY BEING USED TO FILL POSITIONS LEFT VACANT BY THOSE RETIRING OR LEAVING FOR ANY REASON NEXT YEAR. ACCORDING TO INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT GERALD WOODARD THERE ARE 1,733 POSITIONS FILLED IN THE DISTRICT FOR THE 2012-13 SCHOOL YEAR -- 32 MORE THAN LAST YEAR'S TOTAL. THE 32 ADDED POSITIONS INCLUDE SIX CURRICULUM SPECIALISTS FUNDED BY TITLE I AND 14 POSITIONS FOR THE NEWLY BUILT CAROLINE DORMON JR. HIGH IN WOODWORTH. THAT LEAVES AN INCREASE OF 12 OTHER NEW POSITIONS. ALTHOUGH THE DISTRICT SAYS IT IS OVERSTAFFED, SOME HIRING FOR THE CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR REMAINS UNDERWAY. THE DISTRICT IS IN THE PROCESS OF HIRING TEACHERS FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE UNDERSTAFFED.
A STATE APPELLATE COURT HAS UPHELD THE RAPIDES PARISH CONVICTION OF A DRIVER WHO RAN A STOP SIGN ON HORSESHOE DRIVE IN 2008, HITTING ANOTHER CAR AND KILLING A WOMAN AND HER UNBORN BABY. 58 YEAR OLD PAUL HEIDER FROM ALEXANDRIA, WAS CONVICTED IN A BENCH TRIAL OF VEHICULAR HOMICIDE. HEIDER APPEALED. HE CONTENDED THAT THE EXPERT WITNESS WHO TESTIFIED HEIDER WAS HIGH ON MARIJUANA AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT , WAS WRONG. HEIDER REASONED THAT BECAUSE HE WAS A CHRONIC MARIJUANA SMOKER, "THE LEVEL IN HIS BLOOD COULD BE PRESENT FROM PAST USE WITHOUT THE DEFENDANT BEING PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED ... AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. THE APPEALS JUDGES REJECTED THAT ARGUMENT.
STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY SAYS HE CANNOT COMPLY WITH GOVERNOR JINDAL'S PLAN TO USE SURPLUS REVENUE FROM THE FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED JUNE 30TH TO HELP FILL A HUGE HEALTH CARE BUDGET GAP. KENNEDY SAYS STATE LAW REQUIRES THE SURPLUS CASH BE PUT BACK INTO THE STATE'S RAINY DAY FUND. COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER SAYS KENNEDY MISINTERPRETS THE LAW, AND THE LANGUAGE THEREIN APPLYING TO THE RAINY DAY FUND HAS EXPIRED. KENNEDY SAYS NOTHING ABOUT THAT LANGUAGE INDICATES AN EXPIRATION DATE. THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WANTS TO SHIFT $94-MILLION IN TO THE HEALTH CARE BUDGET, TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER MID-YEAR BUDGET CUTS.
STATE HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS SAY THERE IS NO NEED FOR A SPECIAL SESSION TO ADDRESS RECENT MID-YEAR BUDGET CUTS MADE BY THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. THE CALL FOR A SPECIAL COMES FROM THIBODAUX REP. DEE RICHARD, WHO'S UPSET ABOUT THE CLOSURE OF A CALCASIEU PARISH PRISON AND DEEP CUTS TO LSU HOSPITALS--ALL WITH NO APPARENT INPUT FROM LAWMAKERS. BUT SENATE PRESIDENT JOHN ALARIO SAYS RICHARD HAS NO ALTERNATIVES TO OFFER, WHERE THE BUDGET COULD BE CUT. BOTH ALARIO AND HOUSE SPEAKER CHUCK KLECKLY FEEL A SPECIAL SESSION COULD LEAD TO NEW TAXES AND THAT THERE'S NO NEED OF A SPECIAL SESSION.
THE SINKHOLE IN ASSUMPTION PARISH IS STILL GROWING. A 10 BY 50-FOOT CHUNK SLOUGHED OFF INTO THE HOLE TUESDAY MORNING. 150 HOMES HAVE BEEN EVACUATED SINCE AUGUST 3RD, WHEN THE SINKHOLE FIRST APPEARED. THE HOLE SITS ATOP A SALT DOME DEEP UNDERGROUND. DRILLERS ARE ATTEMPTING TO RELIEVE PRESSURE FROM GASSES WITHIN THAT CAVERN.
THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS SAYS SEPTEMBER WAS ANOTHER MONTH OF LOW EXPECTATIONS FROM SMALL BUSINESSES. RENEE AMAR IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE NFIB OF LOUISIANA. SHE BELIEVES THAT LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS ARE RELUCTANT TO HIRE OR EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION. AMAR SAYS SINCE SMALL BUSINESSES DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE ELECTION, THEY AREN'T SPENDING MONEY UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
MIDSOUTH BANK OF LAFAYETTE HAS ANNOUNCED IT WILL MERGE WITH PEOPLES STATE BANK, BEFORE THE END OF THIS YEAR. OFFICIALS SAY THE MERGER WILL GIVE CUSTOMERS OF BOTH BANKS BETTER SERVICE AND MORE LOCATION OPTIONS.
A THREATENING PHONE CALL TO THE THIBODAUX POLICE DEPARTMENT LEAD TO THE EARLY CLOSE OF SCHOOL IN LAFOURCHE PARISH AND THE EVACUATION OF STUDENTS AND SEVERAL PARISH GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS. AN ANONYMOUS MALE CALLER MADE THE THREAT AROUND 8:45 YESTERDAY MORNING. ONCE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WAS NOTIFIED SCHOOLS WERE LOCKED DOWN AND EVENTUALLY STUDENTS WERE SENT HOME. THIBODAUX POLICE DETECTIVE DAVID MELANCON SAYS THEY FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT THE MAN WHO CALLED IN THE THREAT ACTUALLY PLANNED TO CARRY OUT AN ATTACK ON A SCHOOL OR GOVERNMENT BUILDING. THE SEARCH IS NOW ON FOR THAT MAN.
A BOIL WATER ADVISORY IS OUT FOR ...NEW ORLEANS. THAT MEANS ABOUT 300-THOUSAND PEOPLE ON THE CITY'S "EAST BANK" MUST BOIL WATER BEFORE DRINKING OR COOKING WITH IT. THE ORDER IS DUE TO A PROBLEM AT THE CITY'S MAIN SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT.
A WESTLAKE WOMAN ACCUSED OF SEDUCING A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY DURING SUMMER CHURCH CAMP HAS PLEADED GUILTY IN CALCASIEU AND BEAUREGARD PARISHES TO FELONY CARNAL KNOWLEDGE OF A JUVENILE. 29-YEAR-OLD HEATHER DAUGHDRILL WILL SERVE AT LEAST ONE YEAR IN PRISON AND HAVE NO FURTHER CONTACT WITH ANYONE UNDER 17. SHE MUST ALSO PAY RESTITUTION TO THE BOYS FAMILY.
CAJUN & CREOLE FOODMAKER TONY CHACHERE'S ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST NEW SEASONING BLEND IN OVER TWENTY YEARS. CELESTE CHACHERE IS ONE OF THE FAMILY, AND MARKETING DIRECTOR. SHE SAYS THE NEW BOLD SEASONING WAS A RESPONSE TO FANS WHO TOLD THEM THEY'D LIKE SOMETHING EVEN SPICIER THAN TRADITIONAL TONY’S
CAJUN AND CREOLE SEASONING. BOLD WILL BE IN MOST SUPERMARKETS BY LATER
THIS MONTH, BUT THOSE WHO CANNOT WAIT CAN ORDER IT ONLINE AT "TONYCHACHERE.COM".
THE BEARDS ARE BACK. THE SECOND SEASON OF A&E'S DUCK DYNASTY FEATURING THE WEST MONROE ROBERTSON FAMILY BEGINS TONIGHT AT 9PM. SHELIA SNOW FROM THE MONROE-WEST MONROE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU SAYS IT ALL STARTED WITH PHIL "THE DUCK COMMANDER" ROBERTSON AND HIS FAMOUS DUCK CALL EMPIRE THAT HE'S GROWN WITH HIS SON AND CEO WILLIE. SNOW SAYS THE POPULARITY OF THE SHOW, AND THE DUCK CALL, HAS SHINED A HUGE SPOTLIGHT ON WEST MONROE. SHE SAYS SINCE THE SHOW STARTING AIRING LAST SPRING, PEOPLE STOP IN TO THEIR OFFICE ALMOST DAILY LOOKING FOR THE DUCK COMMANDER...:
NEWS FOR TUESDAY 100912
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
WEYERHAUSER CORP. SAYS IT WILL INVEST $6-MILLION IN MODERNIZING ITS PLANT IN NATCHITOCHES. THE WORK IS SET TO BEGIN EARLY NEXT YEAR AND FINISH BY THE END OF 2013. THE UPGRADE WILL ALSO MEAN AROUND 30 NEW JOBS AT THE PLANT.
STATE POLICE SAY AN 84-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM VERNON PARISH IS DEAD AFTER HE WAS RUN OVER BY A CAR EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING. THEY SAY ROBERT MICHALK OF HORNBECK WAS WALKING IN THE MIDDLE OF HWY 171 WHEN HE WAS RUN OVER BY 40-YEAR-OLD MAYNARD SMITH OF ANACOCO. THE ELDERLY PEDESTRIAN WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.
THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY WASTED NO TIME GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS YESTERDAY AS THEY WADED THROUGH A 55-ITEM AGENDA IN 24 MINUTES WITH NO DISCUSSION AND WITHOUT A DISSENTING VOTE FROM THE NINE-MEMBER PANEL. THE POLICE JURY AWARDED TWO CONTRACTS WORTH $373,620 FOR LEVEE WORK. ONE TO CONTRACTOR DON M. BARRON, ANOTHER TO RYLEE CONSTRUCTION. JURORS WERE SCHEDULED TO HEAR FROM RAPIDES COLISEUM AUTHORITY BOARD MEMBER JIMBO THIELS ON THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE UPCOMING PROPERTY TAX VOTE ON NOV. 11, BUT THIELS WAS A NO-SHOW FOR THE MEETING. HE WAS HOSTING THE RAPIDES PARISH FAIR PARTY FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA AND COMMUNITY. A FULL LIST OF ITEMS PASSED CAN BE FOUND AT THETOWNTALK.COM
23 YEAR OLD GREGORY NASH OF ALEXANDRIA HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE MURDER IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEATH OF A 14TH STREET MAN OVER THE WEEKEND. APD REPORTS A CALL TO THE 300 BLOCK OF 14TH STREET SUNDAY AFTERNOON LED TO THE DISCOVERY OF AN UNIDENTIFIED 24 YEAR OLD MAN HOW HAD BEEN SHOT AND KILLED. LATER THAT NIGHT ABOUT 10PM NASH TURNED HIMSELF INTO POLICE AND WAS CHARGED. THE INCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.
WITH GOV. BOBBY JINDAL POISED TO SNAG A PLUM POLITICAL ROLE IN NATIONAL CIRCLES, A POLL RELEASED MONDAY DELVES INTO WHO MIGHT SUCCEED HIM AS GOVERNOR IN THREE YEARS. THE POLL, PREPARED BY MAGELLAN STRATEGIES, PUTS U.S. SEN. DAVID VITTER, R-LA., SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF DEMOCRATIC NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU IN A SLATE OF POSSIBLE CANDIDATES FOR THE 2015 GOVERNOR’S RACE. LANDRIEU’S SISTER, U.S. SEN. MARY LANDRIEU, D-LA., FARED LESS FAVORABLY IN THE SURVEY, WITH 50.8 PERCENT RESPONDING THAT THEY WOULD PREFER SOMEONE DIFFERENT SHOULD SHE TRY TO HANG ONTO HER JOB. SEN. LANDRIEU, WHO IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2014, DECLINED COMMENT ON THE POLL MONDAY. THE SENATOR, JUST LAST WEEK ACCORDING TO YET ANOTHER POLL, HAD THE HIGHEST APPROVAL RATE OF ANY STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL. EXACTLY WHO UNDERWROTE THIS POLL IS UNCLEAR.
NEW TRAFFIC SAFETY DATA SHOWS THE NUMBER OF REAR-SEAT PASSENGERS KILLED IN LOUISIANA CRASHES FELL TO A LONG-TIME LOW LAST YEAR. LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION DIRECTOR COL. JOHN LEBLANC SAYS THE NUMBERS WERE COMPILED BY AN LSU RESEARCH GROUP, AND THE NUMBERS ARE SIGNIFICANT. IN 2009, THE STATE LEGISLATURE PASSED A LAW REQUIRING ALL OCCUPANTS OF ANY MOTOR VEHICLE TO WEAR THEIR SEAT BELT. LEBLANC SAYS THE NUMBERS COLLECTED SINCE THEN SHOW THAT THE LAW IS WORKING.
A TEENAGER ARRESTED IN CALDWELL PARISH FACES NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES BECAUSE AT FIRST HE SAID HE WASN'T DRIVING A VEHICLE INVOLVED IN A FATAL CRASH. TROOPER ALBERT PAXTON SAYS 17-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL WOODS OF COLUMBIA WAS KILLED INSTANTLY IN THE CRASH ON HWY 849 EARLY SATURDAY MORNING, AND THE DRIVER 17-YEAR-OLD EUGENE WILLIAMS, LIED AND TOLD POLICE WOODS WAS DRIVING. PAXTON SAYS WILLIAMS AND ANOTHER 16-YEAR-OLD PASSENGER ENDED UP COMING CLEAN. WILLIAMS COULD FACE UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON.
CNN IS REPORTING THAT LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL COULD BE THE NEXT CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION THROUGH THE NEXT TWO ELECTION CYCLES. THE REPORT SAYS THE ARRANGEMENT APPEARS TO HAVE THE BLESSING OF RGA MEMBER GOVERNORS.
STATE SENATOR DAN CLAITOR OF BATON ROUGE SAYS A LAW THAT'S BEEN ON THE BOOKS SINCE THE 90'S COULD PUT SOME EXTRA DOLLARS IN STATE COFFERS. THAT LAW GIVES THE STATE THE RIGHT TO REQUIRE ANYONE WHO DEALS IN MARIJUANA TO PURCHASE TAX STAMPS FROM THE STATE, EVEN THOUGH THEIR PRODUCT IS ILLEGAL. CLAITOR SAYS THE LAW COULD BE USED TO GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE THE POWER TO STEP INTO LOCAL DRUG BUST AND ASK FOR THE STATE'S SHARE FROM THE DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY THAT IS FREQUENTLY SEIZED AT THE TIME OF THE ARREST.
ST. MARTIN PARISH DEPUTIES SAY A DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE LED THE THE FATAL STABBING OF A BREAUX BRIDGE MAN. DEPUTIES REPORT THEY RESPONDED TO A DOMESTIC CALL EARLY SUNDAY TO FIND A 38-YEAR-OLD MAN, DEAD FROM AN APPARENT STAB WOUND. HIS 39 GIRLFRIEND WAS BOOKED WITH 2ND DEGREE MURDER.
NEWS FOR MONDAY 100812
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
DREW BREES GOT SUSPENDED COACH SEAN PAYTON IN THE BUILDING, BROKE A PRESTIGIOUS NFL PASSING RECORD AND LED NEW ORLEANS TO A DESPERATELY NEEDED FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON. FOR ONE MEMORABLE NIGHT, AT LEAST, THE ENTIRE BELEAGUERED SAINTS ORGANIZATION AND ITS FRUSTRATED FANS COULD CELEBRATE A SPECIAL MOMENT IN FOOTBALL HISTORY AND RECAPTURE THAT WINNING FEELING THAT HAD BECOME COMMONPLACE BEFORE AN OFFSEASON OVERSHADOWED BY THE NFL'S BOUNTY INVESTIGATION. BREES BROKE HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK JOHNNY UNITAS' HALF-CENTURY-OLD RECORD BY THROWING A TOUCHDOWN PASS IN HIS 48TH STRAIGHT GAME, AND THE SAINTS DEFEATED THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 31-24 ON SUNDAY NIGHT.
JUST A REMINDER, IF YOU HAVEN’T REGISTERED TO VOTE YET FOR THE NOVEMBER 6TH ELECTION, TOMORROW IS YOUR LAST DAY TO DO SO. YOU CAN REGISTER AT THE PARISH REGISTRAR OF VOTERS OR ONLINE AT WWW.SOS.LA.GOV OR WWW.GEAUXVOTE.COM. EARLY VOTING IS FROM OCT. 23 THROUGH OCT. 30 WITH NO VOTING ON SUNDAY.
THE CLOSURE OF THE PHELPS CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN DEQUINCY IS PROCEEDING. AS OF FRIDAY, THE PRISON HAS ABOUT HALF ITS FORMER POPULATION. 461 PHELPS INMATES HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANGOLA STATE PRISON THIS WEEK, LEAVING FEWER THAN 400 REMAINING AT PHELPS. THE STATE PLANS TO CLOSE PHELPS BY NOVEMBER 1ST, FOR A SAVINGS OF NEARLY $14-MILLION OVER THE NEXT TWO FISCAL YEARS.
STATE LAWMAKERS ARE BEING ASKED TO CALL THEMSELVES INTO A SPECIAL SESSION TO LOOK AT RECENT BIG BUDGET CUTS MADE WITHOUT THEIR INPUT. THIBODAUX REP. DEE RICHARD MADE THE SESSION CALL, AND IS WAITING TO SEE IF ENOUGH FELLOW LAWMAKERS VOTE TO HAVE ONE. RICHARD SAYS HE AND OTHER LAWMAKERS WERE BLIND-SIDED BY THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION TO CLOSE THE PHELPS STATE PRISON IN DEQUINCY, AND WITH RECENT DEEP CUTS TO LSU HOSPITALS. RICHARD SAYS HE'S RECEIVED BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR CALLING A SPECIAL SESSION TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION TO OVERSEE SUCH BUDGET CUTS. HE SAYS HE HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR A SPECIAL SESSION. STILL, IT'S BEEN OVER 50 YEARS SINCE THE LEGISLATURE CALLED ITSELF INTO SPECIAL SESSION. USUALLY THE GOVERNOR DOES THAT.
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORT 25 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN LOUISIANA RESIDENTS; SEVEN ARE THE POTENTIALLY DEADLY WEST NILE ENCEPHALITIS. NO NEW DEATHS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. SO FAR, 11 PEOPLE HAVE SUCCUMBED TO THE DISEASE IN OUR STATE THIS YEAR.
FORMERLY CONSIDERED ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S WORST, LOUISIANA'S OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE HAS RECEIVED NATIONAL HONORS FOR INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS UNDERWAY. OJJ DEPUTY SECRETARY DR. MARY LIVERS (PRONOUNCED LYE-VERS) SAYS WHAT'S DIFFERENT IS THAT NOW EACH NEW CASE IS HANDLED BY JUST ONE CASE WORKER, TO FOLLOW EACH
CHILD--MAKING SURE THAT INDIVIDUAL'S CASE IS BEING HANDLED PROPERLY AND
WITH COMPASSION. UNDER THE SYSTEM, FEWER JUVENILES ARE INCARCERATED AND FEWER ARE ON PROBATION. HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAS RECOGNIZED LOUISIANA’S "BRIGHT IDEAS" PROGRAM FOR BEING INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE.
A BOSSIER CITY MAN IS MAKING A 250-MILE JOURNEY ACROSS THE STATE ON A HAND-OPERATED BICYCLE, TO PROMOTE INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR DISABLED PERSONS. 41-YEAR-OLD SCOTT WELLS SUFFERED A SPINAL CORD INJURY 13 YEARS AGO. HE PLANS TO USE HIS ARMS TO TAKE HIM TO THE STATE CAPITOL BY FRIDAY. WELLS IS COVERING 40 MILES ON HIS HANDBIKE EACH DAY NOW THROUGH THURSDAY. ON FRIDAY HE'LL COMPLETE THE LAST FEW MILES TO BATON ROUGE. WELLS WON'T BE ALONE. HE SAYS TWO OTHER PARAPLEGIC HANDCYCLISTS WILL BE BY HIS SIDE.
THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DIRECTOR FOR ASSUMPTION PARISH SAYS WELLS ARE BEING DUG TO VENT AND INVESTIGATE NATURAL GAS TRAPPED BENEATH A COMMUNITY NEAR A 4-ACRE SINKHOLE. AN UNKNOWN AMOUNT OF GAS IS TRAPPED BELOW BAYOU CORNE. THE WATER-BEARING SANDS ARE UNDER A LAYER OF CLAY. JOHN BOUDREAUX TOLD THE ADVOCATE THERE ARE WORRIES THE GAS MIGHT BUILD UP PRESSURE UNDER THAT CLAY. HE SAYS CONTRACTORS BEGAN DRIVING CASING ON SATURDAY FOR THREE VENT WELLS TO GET A BETTER IDEA ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING UNDERGROUND. HE SAID CREWS ALSO HAVE BEGUN INSTALLING UNDERGROUND DEVICES CALLED GEOPROBES TO MONITOR GAS LEVELS. BAYOU CORNE'S 150 HOUSEHOLDS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED SINCE THE SINKHOLE APPEARED AUG. 3. IT IS JUST OFF THE EDGE OF THE NAPOLEONVILLE DOME, A 1-MILE-BY-3-MILE UNDERGROUND SALT DEPOSIT.
DEER HUNTERS IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA FACE A CURTAILED HUNTING SEASON THIS YEAR, DUE TO THE IMPACT OF HURRICANE ISAAC. STATE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES BIOLOGIST KENNY RIBBECK SAYS AGENTS DID AERIAL AND GROUND INSPECTIONS FOR DEER KILLED BY THE STORM, AND MADE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION. HUNTING SEASON IN THOSE AREAS WILL BE SHORTENED AND RESTRICTED TO BUCKS ONLY THIS YEAR. HUNTERS CAN FIND ALL THE DETAILS ONLINE AT "DWF.LOUISIANA.GOV".
A SHREVEPORT LAWMAKER IS CALLING FOUL ON THE NEW WAY TEACHER'S IN LOUISIANA ARE BEING EVALUATED. REPRESENTATIVE ALAN SEABAUGH SAYS SOME TEACHERS AT HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOLS ARE RECEIVING POOR MARKS BECAUSE EVEN A SLIGHT DROP FROM A HIGH PERFORMING STUDENT COULD REFLECT NEGATIVELY ON THAT TEACHER. STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE SAYS THIS IS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED AT A HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL, BUT THE CURRENT TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM STILL WORKS.
THE VERMILION PARISH SHERIFF'S IS INVESTIGATING A FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH FRIDAY IN THE INTRACOASTAL AREA. SPOKESMAN RON SONNIER SAYS THE PILOT IS FROM TEXAS AND WITNESSES NEAR THE HELIPORT THOUGHT FOG MAY HAVE PLAYED A FACTOR IN THE CRASH. SONNIER SAYS THEY CAN CONFIRM THE PILOT OF THE HELICOPTER DIED IN THE CRASH, AND HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON ABOARD.
LSU'S 18-GAME REGULAR SEASON WINNING STREAK ENDED ON SATURDAY WITH A DISAPPOINTING 14-6 LOSS TO THE UNDEFEATED FLORIDA GATORS. THE TIGERS PASSING GAME AGAIN LACKED CONSISTENCY AND FLORIDA HELD LSU TO 42 RUSHING YARDS. ON THE LSU SPORTS RADIO NETWORK, COACH LES MILES EXPRESSED HIS DISAPPOINTMENT.
NEWS FOR FRIDAY 100512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS ONE OF THEIR DEPUTIES FATALLY SHOT A 69-YEAR-OLD ALEXANDRIA MAN AFTER A LENGTHY STANDOFF WEDNESDAY NIGHT. LT. TOMMY CARNLINE SAYS OFFICERS WERE CALLED TO ROBERT VAUGHN'S HOME, AFTER HE FIRED A WEAPON DURING AN ARGUMENT WITH FAMILY MEMBERS. HE SAYS SEVERAL HOURS LATER, VAUGHN WAS SHOT AND KILLED WHEN HE EXITED THE RESIDENCE AND PRODUCED A FIREARM. NO ONE ELSE WAS HURT IN THE INCIDENT. CARNLINE SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE WHY VAUGHN WAS SO ANGRY. HE SAYS THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE DID NOT HAVE ANY PREVIOUS RUN-INS WITH THE VAUGHN. BY ALL ACCOUNTS VAUGHN WAS A FAMILY MAN.
ALEXANDRIA POLICE HAVE CHARGED A 17-YEAR-OLD AND AN 18-YEAR-OLD IN CONNECTION WITH THE HIT-AND-RUN OF TWO SCHOOL CHILDREN WAITING FOR THEIR BUS WEDNESDAY MORNING. 17 YEAR OLD KENDRICK DIXON JR. OF ALEXANDRIA, WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF HIT AND RUN, ONE COUNT OF UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE, ONE COUNT OF RECKLESS OPERATION OF A VEHICLE AND ONE COUNT OF HAVING NO DRIVER'S LICENSE. 18 YEAR OLD SANTANA SANDERS WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF BEING AN ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. THE TWO CHILDREN - AGES 7 AND 10 - WERE WAITING FOR THEIR BUS WHEN A VEHICLE RAN UP ON A CURB AND HIT THEM. APD REPORTS THE OCCUPANTS OF THE VEHICLE RAN FROM THE SCENE. THE CHILDREN SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES.
A 26-YEAR-OLD MAN WAS SHOT AND KILLED WHILE SITTING IN HIS CAR WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN A PARKING LOT, IN AN APPARENT ROBBERY ATTEMPT. ALEXANDRIA, CITY POLICE REPORT THE SHOOTING TOOK PLACE SHORTLY AFTER 8 IN THE EVENING 3723 MACARTHUR DRIVE. THE VICTIM WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL, WHERE HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD.
LSUA CHANCELLOR DAVID MANUEL IS ONE OF THREE FINALISTS SET TO INTERVIEW FOR THE POST OF PRESIDENT AT DRURY UNIVERSITY IN SPRINGFIELD, MO. MANUEL AND THE OTHER TWO CANDIDATES WILL MAKE MULTI-DAY VISITS TO THE DRURY CAMPUS THIS WEEKEND. REACHED BY THE TOWN TALK IN MISSOURI, MANUEL PREFERRED TO WITHHOLD COMMENT UNTIL HE RETURNS TO ALEXANDRIA. MANUEL HAS BEEN CHANCELLOR AT LSUA SINCE MARCH 2008. HE SUCCEEDED ROBERT CAVANAUGH
A RAPIDES PARISH GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED SIX ALEXANDRIA RESIDENTS, INCLUDING A 16-YEAR-OLD, IN THE LATE AUGUST ATTACKS ON TWO PRIESTS IN THE ST. RITA CATHOLIC CHURCH RECTORY. FIVE OF THE SIX HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE HOME INVASION WHERE THE REV. CRAIG SCOTT WAS SHOT AND THE REV. MAREK NORJEK WAS PISTOL-WHIPPED. BOTH PRIESTS SURVIVED THE AUG. 29 ATTACK, THE NIGHT HURRICANE ISAAC BLEW ASHORE.
GET READY FOR ANOTHER COUPLE DAYS OF COOL AUTUMN WEATHER ARRIVING THIS WEEKEND. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THE WEATHER CHANGE BEGINS WITH A FRONT MOVING THROUGH LOUISIANA TODAY AND TOMORROW. KEIM SAYS TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN TO FALL BEHIND THE FRONTAL SYSTEM SATURDAY, TAKING SUNDAY MORNING LOWS INTO THE 50'S ACROSS MOST OF THE STATE. MONDAY MORNING WILL BE THE COOLEST, WITH MORNING LOW TEMPERATURES IN THE 40'S IN NORTHERN PARISHES, THE LOW 50'S IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA AND THE UPPER 50'S NEAR THE COAST.
THE MAN ACCUSED OF PHONING IN A BOMB THREAT THAT SHUT DOWN THE LSU CAMPUS LAST MONTH WILL BE ARRAIGNED TODAY. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY HILLAR MOORE SAYS WILLIAM BOUVAY JR. WAS ARRESTED AFTER THE BOMB SCARE CALL TO 9-1-1 WAS TRACED TO A CELL PHONE IN HIS POSSESSION. MOORE SAYS BOUVAY IS KNOWN TO AREA LAWMEN, WITH A LONG RECORD OF ARRESTS FOR CHARGES RANGING FROM PETTY CRIMES, TO TERRORIZING, TO ATTEMPTED 2ND DEGREE MURDER. MOORE SAYS BOUVAY COULD GET UP 40 YEARS IN JAIL IF CONVICTED.
LSU'S BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAS AGREED TO AN ADDITIONAL $152-MILLION IN CUTS TO THE UNIVERSITY'S PUBLIC HOSPITALS SYSTEM FOR THE POOR AND UN-INSURED. LSU HEALTH SCIENCE CHIEF FRANK OPELKA SAYS THE CUTS WILL BE SPREAD ACROSS SEVEN LOUISIANA HOSPITALS, WITH THE INTENT TO KEEP AS MANY FACILITIES OPEN AS POSSIBLE. OPELKA OUTLINED THE BUDGET CUTS TO LSU'S BOARD THURSDAY MORNING, AND THEY GAVE THEIR APPROVAL WITHOUT OBJECTION. HE SAYS SEVERAL DOZEN IN-PATIENT BEDS WILL BE CUT STATEWIDE, AND THERE WILL BETWEEN 1400 AND 1500 JOBS LOST.
TWO GAS STATION CASHIERS IN ST. MARY PARISH WERE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY SELLING DRUGS OUT OF THE CONVENIENCE STORE WHERE THEY WORKED. SHERIFF'S OFFICE SPOKESPERSON TRACY LANDRY SAYS 29-YEAR-OLD HOLLY RHODES AND 20- YEAR-OLD DARYAN PARVINO FACE NUMEROUS DRUG CHARGES. LANDRY SAYS NARCOTICS AGENTS HAD RECEIVED NUMEROUS TIPS ABOUT ILLEGAL DRUG ACTIVITY AT THE STORE.
MANY PURPLE AND GOLD FANS ARE HEADED OUT TO FLORIDA YESTERDAY GETTING READY TO CHEER ON LSU AS THEY FACE THE GATORS SATURDAY AFTERNOON. VICE PRESIDENT OF ALUMNI RELATIONS JASON RAMEZAN SAYS THE TRIP TO THE SUNSHINE STATE IS NOT ALL ABOUT FOOTBALL. HE SAYS SOME LSU FANS WILL GET THE CHANCE TO VISIT DISNEY WORLD. RAMEZAN SAYS THE TRIP WITH ABOUT 150 FANS NEARLY SOLD OUT THIS YEAR.
LSU'S FACULTY RECEIVES A ONE-POINT-FIVE MILLION DOLLAR GRANT TO INVESTIGATE HOW BOTH THE ENVIRONMENT AND HUMANS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO COASTAL LAND LOSS. LSU ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, NINA LAM, SAYS THIS STUDY WILL ALSO INVESTIGATE WHETHER SOUTHERN COASTAL LOUISIANA HAS BECOME TOO COSTLY TO SUSTAIN.
NEWS FOR THURSDAY 100412
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
A 21-YEAR-OLD DEVILLE MAN DIED AND A 59-YEAR-OLD PINEVILLE MAN WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED AS A RESULT OF A VEHICLE COLLISION WEDNESDAY MORNING NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF LA. HIGHWAY 28 EAST AND SANDIFER LANE IN PINEVILLE. POLICE IDENTIFIED THE DRIVERS AS 59 YEAR OLD LLOYD IVY OF PINEVILLE AND 21 YEAR OLD WESLEY DAVENPORT OF DEVILLE. BOTH WERE TAKEN TO RAPIDES REGIONAL, WHERE DAVENPORT DIED. AS OF LATE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON IVY WAS IN GUARDED CONDITION.
A GARBAGE TRUCK REAR-ENDED A SCHOOL BUS WEDNESDAY IN MONROE, BUT NO MAJOR INJURIES WERE REPORTED. THE BUS HAD JUST DROPPED OFF A CHILD WHEN THE GARBAGE TRUCK STRUCK THE BUS. STATE POLICE SAY THEY ARE NOT SURE HOW MAN CHILDREN WERE ON THE BUS. HOWEVER, THEY DO REPORT NONE OF THE CHILDREN WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED.
A PANEL OF STATE LAWMAKERS MEETS TODAY TO DISCUSS RECENT CUTS TO LOUISIANA'S SYSTEM OF HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR AND UNINSURED. CHARITY HOSPITALS ARE UNDER THE LSU HEALTH SYSTEM, AND HAVE RECENTLY BORNE THE BRUNT OF $329-MILLION IN CUTS. ABITA SPRINGS REP. SCOTT SIMON CHAIRS THE HOUSE HEALTH & WELFARE COMMITTEE. HE SAYS TODAY'S MEETING IS "A FACT-FINDING MISSION", TO DETERMINE WHAT LSU WILL DO AND HOW THEY'LL HANDLE THE MANDATE TO TRIM THE BUDGET.
FIVE PARISHES IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA ARE GETTING MILLIONS IN FEDERAL MONEY TO PLUG GAPS IN HIGH SPEED MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS IN THE REGION. DAN HOPKINS, WITH CELLULAR ONE, SAYS THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATION COMMISSION HAS AWARDED THEM $3.35-MILLION FOR THE UPGRADE. HOPKINS SAYS CELLULAR ONE'S PARENT COMPANY, CENTRAL LOUISIANA CELLULAR, WILL GET THE GRANT TO PROVIDE MORE COMPLETE "3G" AND "4G" COVERAGE. HE SAYS IT WILL MEAN A GENERALLY BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR CELL CUSTOMERS IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA. THE FCC GRANT COVERS FIVE PARISHES; GRANT, NATCHITOCHES, RAPIDES, SABINE AND VERNON.
LOUISIANA'S LONE DEMOCRATIC STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL PULLS IN GOOD NUMBERS IN A NEW POLL BY SOUTHERN MEDIA AND OPINION RESEARCH. IN A SURVEY OF SIX-HUNDRED LOUISIANA VOTERS, 61-PERCENT APPROVE OF SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU'S JOB PERFORMANCE, WHICH IS THE HIGHEST OF ANY ELECTED STATEWIDE OFFICIAL. POLLSTER BERNIE PINSONAT SAYS HE'S NOT SURPRISED. BATON ROUGE CONGRESSMAN BILL CASSIDY HAS BEEN MENTIONED AS A POSSIBLE CHALLENGER TO LANDRIEU. BUT THE POLL SHOWS NEARLY 63-PERCENT OF THE STATE'S VOTERS ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH CASSIDY.
A FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS NINE MEN, INCLUDING TWO LAFAYETTE LAWYERS AND A LOCAL BUSINESS FOR ALLEGEDLY PARTICIPATING IN A MULTISTATE SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING RING. PROSECUTORS ALLEGE THAT THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED EARNED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY SELLING SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA OVER A TEN-MONTH PERIOD. THE TWO LAFAYETTE LAWYERS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS 54-YEAR DANIEL STANFORD AND 52-YEAR-OLD BARRY DOMINGUE (DO-MAIN).
THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES HAS HANDED OUT NEARLY 104-MILLION-DOLLARS IN DISASTER FOOD STAMPS AS A RESULT OF HURRICANE ISAAC. DCFS SPOKESPERSON TREY WILLIAMS SAYS THEY ACCOMPLISHED A LOT IN A VERY SHORT TIME. WILLIAMS SAYS THE STATE HAS LEARNED A LOT SINCE PAST STORMS AND AS A RESULT THE PACE OF THE DELIVERY OF BENEFITS FOLLOWING ISAAC WAS MUCH
TRAFFIC WAS BACKED UP YESTERDAY MORNING ON I-10 EAST NEAR VINTON AFTER A PEDESTRIAN, WHO WAS STOPPED FOR A TRAFFIC VIOLATION, WAS STRUCK AND KILLED BY AN 18-WHEELER. STATE POLICE SGT. JAMES ANDERSON SAYS THE THE INCIDENT OCCURRED AROUND 8:00 THIS MORNING, WHEN THE CALCASIEU PARISH ANTI-DRUG TASK FORCE PULLED OVER A VEHICLE. ANDERSON SAYS THEY HAVE NOT PUBLICLY IDENTIFIED THE VICTIM. HE SAYS THEY ARE NOT SURE IF THE INDIVIDUAL INTENTIONALLY PUT HIMSELF IN FRONT OF THE 18-WHEELER OR JUST DIDN'T SEE THE SEMI COMING.
REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN TWO-THIRDS OF THE PARISHES IN THE NEWLY-DRAWN 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SAY THEY SUPPORT US REPRESENTATIVE JEFF LANDRY OVER THE CONGRESSMAN CHARLES BOUSTANY. THE LANDRY ENDORSEMENTS COME FROM GOP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES IN ACADIA, IBERIA, ST. MARTIN, ST. MARY AND VERMILION PARISHES. SCIENCE PROFESSOR PEARSON CROSS SAYS THIS IS A STRONG SHOWING OF
SUPPORT FOR LANDRY. LANDRY AND BOUSTANY ARE FORCED INTO A RUN-OFF AFTER LOUISIANA LOST A CONGRESSIONAL SEAT.
A NEW ORLEANS CITY PROSECUTOR IS IN TROUBLE AFTER A MARIJUANA CIGARETTE DROPPED FROM HIS POCKET, WHILE TALKING WITH A POLICE OFFICER IN A CITY COURT ROOM. 43-YEAR-OLD JAMES CALDWELL WAS CITED FOR SIMPLE POSSESSION AND RELEASED, UNDER A NEW CITY POLICY FOR LOW-LEVEL OFFENSES.
RESEARCH FROM PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL CENTER IN BATON ROUGE SUGGESTS THAT CHILDREN LIVING IN HIGH POVERTY AND CRIME AREAS HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF DEVELOPING HEART DISEASE. DOCTOR STEPHANIE BROYLES SAYS UNTIL NOW, RESEARCH MAINLY FOCUSED ON THE CONNECTION THAT OBESITY HAS WITH DIFFERENT DISEASES. BROYLES SAYS THIS NEW FINDING PROVIDES EVIDENCE THAT WHERE WE LIVE CAN IMPACT OUR HEALTH STATUS. BROYLES SAYS RESULTS SHOW THAT NEARLY 19-PERCENT OF THE CHILDREN LIVING IN HIGHER LEVELS OF POVERTY OR CRIME HAD ELEVATED LEVELS OF A PROTEIN THAT'S A MARKER FOR HEART DISEASE IN ADULTS.
NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 100312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
A NEW POLL BY SOUTHERN MEDIA AND OPINION RESEARCH HAS GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, MITT ROMNEY, CARRYING LOUISIANA BUT NOT BY A HEFTY MARGIN. THE SURVEY OF 600 LIKELY VOTERS HAD ROMNEY WITH 45-PERCENT OF THE VOTE, WHILE PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS 39-PERCENT IN WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE A HEAVILY RED STATE. TONIGHT'S FIRST OF THREE SCHEDULED TELEVISED PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES WILL BE AIMED SQUARELY AT UNDECIDED VOTERS IN A FEW KEY STATES.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT A NEW POLL THAT SHOWS HIS APPROVAL RATING HAS DROPPED. ACCORDING TO SOUTHERN MEDIA AND OPINION RESEARCH, 51-PERCENT APPROVE OF JINDAL'S PERFORMANCE, COMPARED TO 61- PERCENT IN A SURVEY DONE IN THE SPRING. JINDAL SAYS HE DOESN'T USE POLLS TO JUDGE HIS PERFORMANCE, INSTEAD HE LOOKS TO THE STATE'S ECONOMY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. THE POLL, TO SOME, SUGGESTS THE GOVERNOR’S POPULARITY IS DROPPING BECAUSE OF CONTINUOUS BUDGET CUTS AND CONCERNS WITH THE FUTURE OF THE LSU HOSPITAL SYSTEM. JINDAL SAYS AS GOVERNOR HE HAS TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS THAT ARE SOMETIMES UNPOPULAR.
THE STATE IS OFFICIALLY STARTING THE CLOSURE OF THE SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA MENTAL HOSPITAL NEAR MANDEVILLE THIS WEEK. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS DEPUTY SECRETARY KATHY KLIEBERT (CLEE-BEAR) SAYS THE RELOCATION OF ALL PATIENTS TO OTHER HOSPITALS IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE YEAR. DHH ANNOUNCED IN JULY THE HOSPITAL WOULD BE CLOSED DUE TO REDUCED FEDERAL MONEY FOR MEDICAID. YESTERDAY, 23 FEMALE PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS ARRIVED AT CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL IN PINEVILLE. NEXT WEEK 37 MALE PATIENTS ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE. THE TRANSFERS WILL DOUBLE THE PATIENT COUNT TO 120 AT CENTRAL.
AFTER A LENGTHY DISCUSSION MONDAY NIGHT, THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD EDUCATION COMMITTEE WILL REVIEW A MOTION TO ABOLISH THE DISTRICT'S NO RETENTION POLICY FOR KINDERGARTEN THROUGH THIRD GRADE. THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTED TO SEND THE MOTION TO THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE AFTER PASSIONATE COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS AND EDUCATORS IN THE AUDIENCE. SOME BOARD MEMBERS AND TEACHERS COMPLAINED THAT SOME STUDENTS ARE GETTING TO THE FOURTH GRADE WITHOUT BEING AT GRADE LEVEL. HOWEVER, ONE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DISAGREED SAYING 10-15 STUDENTS PER YEAR WOULD HAVE BEEN RETAINED SINCE 2006 BUT VERY FEW WERE. HE SAID ONLY A FEW HAD TO ATTEND LEAP SUMMER SCHOOL AND ALL PASSED.
THE BATON ROUGE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS WORKING AN UNSOLVED KIDNAPPING AND RAPE CASE. LT. DON KELLY SAYS THE 20-YEAR-OLD VICTIM REPORTED THE INCIDENT OCCURRED MONDAY AFTERNOON IN BROAD DAYLIGHT AROUND 2PM. KELLY SAYS THE VICTIM STATED THE MAN PUT AN OBJECT TO HER BACK, FORCED HER INTO A VAN, THEN DROVE TO A NEARBY WOODED AREA AND RAPED HER. KELLY SAYS THE VICTIM SAID AFTER THE MAN RAPED HER, HE DROVE HER BACK TO THE APARTMENT COMPLEX WHERE SHE WAS ORIGINALLY ABDUCTED. HE SAYS THE MAN IS DESCRIBED AS A 30-35 YEAR OLD WHITE MALE. AUTHORITIES ARE SEEKING THE PUBLIC'S HELP.
THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SAYS THEY'VE DISTRIBUTED $96 MILLION IN AID TO HURRICANE ISAAC VICTIMS. HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS HAVE RECEIVED 78-MILLION FOR HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND 17-MILLION HAS GONE OUT FOR OTHER TYPES OF AID. FEMA SPOKESPERSON RAY PEREZ SAYS THE HARDEST HIT PARISHES BY ISAAC ARE GETTING THE MOST HELP. PEREZ SAYS 191-THOUSAND HAVE REGISTERED FOR FEMA HELP, WITH 28-THOUSAND PEOPLE RECEIVING HOUSING ASSISTANCE.
THE ALABAMA FAN, ACCUSED OF RUBBING HIS GENITALS ON AN UNCONSCIOUS LSU FAN LAST JANUARY IN NEW ORLEANS, REACHED A LAST MINUTE PLEA DEAL WITH PROSECUTORS. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, 33-YEAR-OLD BRIAN DOWNING WILL SERVE TWO YEARS IN PRISON ON OBSCENITY CHARGES. THE DEAL EMERGED TUESDAY MORNING AFTER NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN DOWNING'S LAWYERS AND ORLEANS PARISH PROSECUTORS. UNDER THE AGREEMENT DOWNING WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS A CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER.
A FIRE MONDAY NIGHT IN JENNINGS HAS TRAGICALLY CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A HANDICAPPED MAN. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS OFFICIALS WERE CALLED OUT TO THE BLAZE SHORTLY BEFORE MID-NIGHT. BROWNING SAYS TWO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE HOME WERE ABLE TO ESCAPE THE FIRE, BUT WERE UNABLE TO RESCUE THE MAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR.
GOVERNOR JINDAL ANNOUNCES A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO RENOVATE AND EXPAND LSU'S ENGINEERING EDUCATION COMPLEX. THE 100-MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT IS SLATED TO BEGIN NEXT FALL AND BE COMPLETE IN THE FALL OF 2016 RICHARD KOUBEK, DEAN OF THE LSU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING SAYS THE FACILITY IS NEEDED TO MEET THE RISING DEMAND FOR QUALIFIED ENGINEERS. SO FAR THE SCHOOL HAS RAISED EIGHT-MILLION DOLLARS TOWARDS THE $50 MILLION IN PRIVATE DONATIONS IT NEEDS. THE GOVERNOR HAS THROWN HIS SUPPORT TOWARDS ANOTHER 50-MILLION IN TAX DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THE PROJECT.
THE LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED A MISDEMEANOR WARRANT FOR SIMPLE BATTERY AGAINST A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ACCUSED OF PLACING PAINTERS TAPE OVER THE MOUTH OF A 9-YEAR-OLD WHO REFUSED TO BE QUIET IN CLASS. AUTHORITIES SAY THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED MONDAY FOR 52 YEAR OLD CURLEY HENRY OF LAFAYETTE, STEMMING FROM AN INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED SEPT. 12. POLICE SAY THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED AFTER HENRY FAILED TO COME IN AND COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATORS.
NEWS FOR TUESDAY 100212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD WILL NOT VOTE ON CREATING A POSITION MEANT TO HELP INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT GERALD WOODARD BECOME ACCLIMATED TO THE DISTRICT AND HIS NEW POSITION. AT THE REQUEST OF WOODARD, BOARD PRESIDENT WILTON BARRIOS SAID HE WILL PULL THE MOTION TO CREATE A DEPUTY ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT POSITION FROM THE AGENDA TONIGHT. BARRIOS SAYS THE POSITION WAS DESIGNED TO HELP ACCLIMATE (WOODARD), AND HE SAID HE'S FINE AND DOESN'T NEED. AFTER HAVING MET THE STAFF DURING HIS FIRST WEEK AS INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT, BARRIOS SAYS WOODARD IS COMFORTABLE WITH THE SITUATION.
STEVE ROGGE, THE DIRECTOR OF THE RAPIDES PARISH LIBRARY, LAST NIGHT ASKED MEMBERS OF THE POLICE JURY TO SUPPORT RENEWAL OF A 7.08-MIL TAX THAT SUPPORTS THE DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS OF THE PARISH’S LIBRARIES.IN THE COMING WEEKS LEADING UP TO NOVEMBER’S ELECTION, ROGGE SAYS THEY PLAN AN ADVERTISING BLITZ AND A MAIL OUT CAMPAIGN TO REMIND RESIDENTS TO GET OUT AND VOTE.
LSUA WILL HOLD A RIBBON CUTTING WEDNESDAY AT 11 A.M. TO CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION OF THE CAMPUS WALKING TRAIL AT THE CAMPUS' BASEBALL/SOFTBALL COMPLEX. THE RIBBON CUTTING AND WALKING TRAIL ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
WALKERS WILL BE ABLE TO CHOOSE PATHS RANGING FROM ¼ MILE TO FOUR MILES. THE WALKING TRAIL WAS FUNDED IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE RAPIDES FOUNDATION.
JUDGE CARL E. STEWART BECAME THE FIRST BLACK CHIEF JUDGE OF THE 5TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS ON MONDAY. THE SHREVEPORT RESIDENT SUCCEEDED JUDGE EDITH H. JONES, WHO STEPPED DOWN FROM THE POST SHE HAD HELD SINCE JANUARY 2006.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON APPOINTED STEWART TO THE COURT IN 1994. BEFORE THAT, THE 62-YEAR-OLD SERVED AS A STATE JUDGE IN CADDO PARISH AND WAS ELECTED TO LOUISIANA’S 2ND CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL.
ACCORDING TO A 2012-2013 COLLEGE SALARY REPORT BY PAYSCALE.COM LOUISIANA TECH RANKS NO. 1 AMONG LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN STARTING SALARIES FOR RECENT GRADS. TECH SPOKESMAN DAVE GEURIN SAYS THE RANKING SHOWS THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION A STUDENT RECEIVES AT LOUISIANA TECH. THE REPORT SHOWS TECH GRADUATE'S WITH A BACHELOR'S DEGREE, EARN AN AVERAGE OF $45,900 PER YEAR AFTER TWO YEARS OF WORK EXPERIENCE. LSU WAS SECOND WITH $44,100 AND TULANE WAS THIRD WITH $43,800.
STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE CASE OF AN OFFICER INVOLVED IN A SHOOTING OF A SUSPECTED BANK ROBBER. TROOPERS SAY THE LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS IN PRESUIT OF 41-YEAR-OLD THOMAS HELVIK OF PORT ALLEN AFTER IT WAS REPORTED THE MAN HAD JUST ROBBED A BANK. THEY SAY HELVIK DROVE OFF THE ROAD AND WAS SHOTS WERE FIRED BY ONE OF THE PERUSING OFFICERS. HELVIK WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE AND THE CASE REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION. HELVIK WAS ALSO A SUSPECT IN SEVERAL OTHER BANK ROBBERIES INCLUDING AN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY HERE IN ALEXANDRIA.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL’S CHIEF OF STAFF, STEPHEN WAGUESPACK IS LEAVING HIS POST TO TAKE A PRIVATE SECTOR JOB. ITS IS REPORTED THAT PAUL RAINWATER, THE CURRENT COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION WILL MOVE UP TO FILL WAGUESPACK'S
POSITION. ITS IS PROJECTED THAT KRISTY NICHOLS, THE GOVERNORS CURRENT DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, WILL TAKE OVER THE COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION POSITION.
THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER 6TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS ONE WEEK FROM TODAY. OF THE TWO-POINT-NINE MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE STATE, ONE-POINT-FOUR MILLION ARE REGISTERED AS DEMOCRATS, 801-THOUSAND ARE REPUBLICANS AND 705-THOUSAND ARE INDEPENDENT.
CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR AN OPEN SEAT ON THE STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAVE VARYING VIEWPOINTS ON TAKING CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM UTILITY COMPANIES THEY WOULD REGULATE. REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES SCOTT ANGELLE AND BATON ROUGE REP. ERICH PONTI BOTH SAID HAVE TAKEN SUCH DONATIONS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO . . REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE SARAH HOLLIDAY, OF BATON ROUGE, AND THIBODAUX BUSINESSMAN GREG GAUBERT, A NO-PARTY CANDIDATE, BOTH VOWED TO NEVER TAKE MONEY FROM COMPANIES THEY WOULD REGULATE AS A MEMBER OF THE PSC. THE RACE'S LONE DEMOCRAT IS FORREST WRIGHT, OF NEW ORLEANS. HE SAYS HE WILL NOT ACCEPT CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ANY COMPANY THAT THE PSC WOULD REGULATE.
THE ALABAMA FOOTBALL FAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY SEXUALLY ASSAULTING AN LSU FAN FOLLOWING THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME LAST JANUARY 9TH, GOES TO TRIAL TODAY. BRIAN DOWNING WAS CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY AND OBSCENITY AFTER A VIDEO OF THE ASSAULT APPEARED ON YOUTUBE. DOWNING REPORTEDLY REJECTED A DEAL ALLOWING HIM TO PLEA GUILTY TO OBSCENITY AND SERVE TWO YEARS BUT WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER.
NEWS FOR MONDAY 100112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN
H. ROUSE CAFFEY, WHO SERVED TWO TENURES AS THE CHANCELLOR OF LSUA, DIED SATURDAY AT THE AGE OF 83. CAFFEY WAS CHANCELLOR OF LSUA FROM 1981 THROUGH 1984. HE RETURNED TO THE SCHOOL AS INTERIM CHANCELLOR FOR THE FALL SEMESTER IN 2007 AND SERVED UNTIL CURRENT CHANCELLOR DAVID MANUEL WAS HIRED THE FOLLOWING SPRING. FUNERAL SERVICES ARE SCHEDULED FOR 11 A.M. TUESDAY AT CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN ALEXANDRIA. VISITATION IS 4-8 P.M. TODAY AT HIXSON BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME IN ALEXANDRIA.
OCTOBER IS HERE; MEANING WE'RE INTO THE LAST WEEKS OF THE 2012 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS, THOUGH THE TROPICS APPEAR TO CALMING DOWN, WE SHOULDN'T PUT AWAY OUR EMERGENCY STORM SUPPLIES JUST YET. SINCE MANY TIMES IN THE PAST NAMED STORMS HITTING LOUISIANA AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. HURRICANE MATTHEW IN 2004, LILY IN 2002, AND JUAN BACK IN 1985. KEIM SAYS A PACIFIC EL NINO IS STILL EXPECTED TO DEVELOP, WHICH WILL GREATLY LESSEN THE CHANCES OF NAMED STORMS FORMING IN THE ATLANTIC.
OCTOBER MEANS FLU SEASON WILL BE STARTING SOON IN LOUISIANA, AND HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY IT'S TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT THIS YEAR'S FLU SHOT. BILL SCHAFFNER, WITH THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, SAYS THERE ARE AMPLE SUPPLIES OF FLU VACCINE AVAILABLE THIS YEAR...AND MOST ALL OF US SHOULD GET VACCINATED. HE SAYS PARISH HEALTH CENTERS WILL HAVE FREE FLU SHOTS AVAILABLE TO THOUSANDS, OR THEY CAN BE EASILY OBTAINED THROUGH YOUR DOCTOR'S OFFICE OR, IN MANY CASES AT YOUR LOCAL PHARMACY, AT MINIMAL COST.
A TEACHER AT A PRIVATE SCHOOL HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF CALLING IN A BOMB THREAT AT THREE PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN OUACHITA PARISH LAST WEEK. 30 YEAR OLD DAVID REYNA WHO TEACHES SPANISH AT RIVER OAKS SCHOOL, WAS BOOKED INTO THE OUACHITA CORRECTIONAL CENTER ON FRIDAY AFTER HE WAS ARRESTED BY SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATORS. HE’S BEING HELD WITHOUT BOND PENDING A COURT HEARING. HE WAS BOOKED WITH ONE COUNT OF COMMUNICATING FALSE INFORMATION OF A PLANNED BOMBING OF SCHOOL PROPERTY. THE HEADMASTER AT RIVER OAKS SCHOOL SAYS REYNA WAS A QUIET MAN, GIVING NO INDICATION OF A TROUBLED LIFE.
THE LSU TIGERS ARE RANKED FOURTH IN THE COUNTRY, BUT THEY ARE NOT PLAYING THE LIKE THE FOURTH BEST TEAM IN THE NATION. THE BAYOU BENGALS WERE UNIMPRESSIVE IN THEIR 38-22 VICTORY OVER TOWSON. THE TIGERS WERE ONCE AGAIN HAMPERED BY TURNOVERS AND PENALTIES. COACH LES MILES IS DISAPPOINTED HIS TEAM DIDN'T SHOW SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT.
THE SAINTS LOST A HEARTBREAKER YESTERDAY, 28-27 TO THE GREEN BAY PACKERS AT LAMBEAU FIELD ON SUNDAY.
IN A MONTH, THE PHELPS CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN DEQUINCY IS SET TO CLOSE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO COME UP WITH IDEAS TO MAKE SURE WORKERS AT THE PRISON CONTINUE TO RECEIVE A PAY CHECK AFTER NOV. 1ST. DEQUINCY MAYOR LAWRENCE HENAGAN SAYS OVER TWO-HUNDRED PEOPLE WILL SOON BE UNEMPLOYED. THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED LAST MONTH ITS CLOSING THE PHELPS CORRECTIONAL CENTER AND MOVING THE INMATES TO ANGOLA. SOME WORKERS AT PHELPS COULD BE HIRED AT ANGOLA AS WELL. BUT HENAGAN SAYS HE AND OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA DON’T WANT TO SEE THE 269 PRISON WORKERS LEAVE THE AREA. THEY ARE NOW LOOKING AT OTHER USES FOR THE SOON TO BE CLOSED PRISON.
A LOUISIANA DEATH ROW INMATE IS A FREE MAN AFTER DNA TESTS EXONERATED HIM OF THE MURDER AND RAPE OF HIS STEP-COUSIN. THIRTY-EIGHT- YEAR-OLD DAMON THIBODAUX OF MARRERO SPENT 15 YEARS ON DEATH ROW. LOUISIANA ACLU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARJORIE ESMAN SAYS THIBODEAUX GAVE A FALSE CONFESSION WHICH LED TO THE WRONGFUL CONVICTION. THIBODEAUX WAS WRONGFULLY CONVICTED IN THE MURDER OF HIS 14-YEAR-OLD STEP COUSIN, CRYSTAL CHAMPAGNE. HER BODY WAS FOUND IN JULY OF 1996. ESMAN SAYS SIX PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXONERATED FROM LOUISIANA'S DEATH ROW SINCE 2000.
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