KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 11/15/12

News for Thursday 111512

By Dave Graichen


Louisiana has been experiencing below-average  temperatures the last couple of days and that cool weather is expected  to  remain  in the bayou  state  for  the  rest of the week. State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect high temperatures to remain in the 60s for the rest of the week.


The Public Service Commission takes up a call to lower the rates prisoners pay for phone calls. Public Service  Commission Chairman Foster Campbell calls it a scam. He says the service  provider is allowed to charge 15 times the national rate and the state  piles additional charges on top of that. Campbell says local sheriffs and state prisons require prisoners to set  up phone accounts with 50 dollars, then charge seven dollars to set up  the account. Providers then charge 30 cents a minute, with 70-percent of  that going to the prisons.  Campbell says communicating with family is important to rehabilitating prisoners, but these high phone charges effectively cut off that  communication.


Tigerrag.com  is  reporting  two  LSU  football  players  could have violated  an  NCAA  rule  by appearing in a promotional video for  a party at a Baton Rouge night club. The party took place in March and it celebrated a mixtape release for former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu's rap group. Tiger Rag editor  Cody  Worsham  says the two players in the video are defensive  tackle  Anthony  Johnson and running back Spencer Ware.  Worsham says its against NCAA rules for a student-athlete to promote or recommend a commercial product or service of any kind.


According to a just released report from the Center on Budget and Policy and the economic policy institute, Louisiana ranks sixth among states for the size of the income gap separating rich residents from poor residents in recent years. That ranking is based on the difference in income between the 20 percent of people with the highest incomes and the 20 percent with the lowest incomes between 2008 and 2010. The report also showed, Louisiana also had the tenth-largest income gap between the top 20 percent and the middle 20 percent. In Louisiana, the average income of people in the bottom 20 percent increased 1.7 percent, or $282, between the late 1990s and mid 2000s. Those in the top fifth saw their incomes rise an average 17 percent, or $21,967. Average income for those in the middle fifth increased 7.8 percent, or $3,791. Since the late 1970s, income in Louisiana has increased by 61.9 percent for those in the top fifth and 9.6 percent for those in the bottom fifth. Similar trends are apparent in other states.


Remember that Bonnie & Clyde movie that was supposed to be made here in Central Louisiana. Well, we haven’t heard much about it lately. The reason? It has never begun production. Yesterday, Alexandria Mayor Jacques  Roy told the  Cypress Moon Productions out of Alabama  to honor its agreement to film a movie in Central Louisiana or give back the $50,000 the city put up in 2009 for the project. The production company  also received $25,000 from the Alexandria Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau and $25,000 from the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA). Tanya Holly the owner of Cypress Moon says filming is set to begin in January.


U.S. Attorney Don  Cazayoux  says  federal  charges  against the man accused  of calling in a bomb threat at LSU in September  have  been dropped. The  campus was evacuated that day, causing traffic lockups all over Baton Rouge. 42-year-old William Bouvay Jr was arrested for the crime. Cazayoux  says  a  conviction on state charges would give Bouvay a stiffer sentence, so he’s  letting the state handle the case.


House Speaker  Chuck  Kleckley, of Lake Charles, is asking the state Ethics Board to waive fines  for  two Calcasieu school teachers that led an effort to recall him this year.  The  women  were fined $1000 each  for failing to file a report on their recall effort  on  time. Kleckley  says  that's  a lot of money on a school teacher's salary, and  he'd  like  to  see them  get  a  break.  Kleckley  says  Angie Bonvillian and Brenda Romero acted in good faith within their rights as Louisiana voters in starting the recall effort, which did fail to get the needed signatures.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved nearly $116 million in individual aid for Louisiana homeowners and renters who experienced damage from Hurricane Isaac. According to a just released FEMA report, nearly 32,000 people have received housing assistance, which totals $95 million. Another $21 million has been provided for other types of individual assistance. Isaac made landfall Aug. 28 and caused significant flooding in southeast Louisiana. Eight FEMA disaster recovery centers are still open, providing aid.


New  Orleans has been named the best city in the country to visit by Travel  and  Leisure  Magazine.  The  top ranked categories for NOLA include  fine dining, music, people watching  and  unique  shopping. Kelly Schulz  with  the  New  Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau says this award is a huge marketing  tool  for not only New Orleans, but for the entire state. The magazine even called The Big Easy "the clear winner"  based on a survey of travelers.


Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is hosting a two day training session in  New Orleans with law enforcement from around Louisiana on ways to spot,  prevent and prosecute cases of human trafficking. Assistant Attorney  General Katherine Green says the sessions will feature experts from all across the country. Green says one of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement is the  invisible nature of the crime.

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