News for Thursday 100914
By Dave Graichen
A trial date has been set for the lawsuit which challenges the controversial law in Louisiana which requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The case is scheduled to be heard on March 30th of next year but until then a temporary restraining order barring the state from penalizing doctors who are applying to have admitting privileges remains in effect.
Governor Bobby Jindal issues an executive order to protect a teachers’ right to freedom of speech after hearing a teacher in Rapides Parish was “written up” by school administrators, because she criticized Common Core on her Facebook page. Louisiana Federation of Teachers spokesperson Les Landon supports Jindal’s action . The Alexandria Town Talk published the story that claims a teacher was reprimanded for voicing her concerns over Common Core. Another teacher in the story says some teachers are scared to speak up. But Landon says they have not heard of local school officials using intimidation tactics to keep teachers quiet.
Some 40,000 classified Civil Service employees will see an increase in their paychecks this month, some for the first time in years. Funding for the 4 percent boost is included in the Jindal administration’s budget that went into effect July 1.
The raise comes as the administration is preparing to implement state health insurance program changes which include increased out-of-pocket expenses for many of the same employees. The state budget included more than $60 million to cover the cost of the so-called “performance adjustments.”
A preliminary deal has been reached with 12 Louisiana municipalities to build a new natural-gas pipeline from Winnsboro to Natchez that would replace the existing 90-year-old Midla pipeline. Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland is a member of the Louisiana Municipal Gas Authority. He says they are elated this agreement was made in principle with Midla. Copeland says this new pipeline will ensure that future economic growth is possible to areas that have been hindered in the past by the low pressure and resulting low capacity available through the existing pipeline. The agreement must be signed off now by all parties in the negotiations.
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System launches a 6 year plan designed to meet the state’s growing workforce demand. President Monty Sullivan says the goal is to double the number of graduates a year to 40,000 graduates a year. Officials say tens of thousands of workers will be needed to fill the number of jobs that are expected to be created over the next five to ten years. Sullivan says they have put together a bold plan that will help the state address its workforce challenges.
The fall festival season continues in Louisiana as the 39th annual Zwolle Tamale Fiesta kicks off today in the Sabine Parish town. The festival is an annual celebration of Zwolle’s rich Spanish and Native American heritage. Here in Rapides Parish, it’s The Rapides Parish Fair at it’s new location on Highway 71 by LSUA. Finally, in Evangeline Parish it the Cotton Festival, one of the state’s oldest festivals. All continue through the weekend.
American Horror Story: Freak Show, the FX anthology series which was shot in New Orleans, debuted Last Night. This season the show is about a traveling carny sideshow troupe of “mistakes of nature” as the script says. Louisiana Entertainment Executive Director Chris Stelly expects this one will be as successful as American Horror Story: The Coven which was also shot in The Big Easy . This American Horror Story season includes Academy Award winner Kathy Bates playing a bearded lady, and Sarah Paulson with two heads.
It’s a tragedy that hit hard yesterday morning in Kenner, as a father accidently ran over and killed his one year-old baby in the driveway of his home. Unbeknown to the father, the little girl had crawled under the car through the open front door as his wife was helping him set his GPS