KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 11/29/12

News for Thursday 112912

By Dave Graichen


LSU head  coach  Les  Miles  says he's staying in Baton Rouge for as long as he's welcome. Reports surfaced Tuesday  that Miles had been offered a deal to coach at Arkansas  for  a  hefty  sum.  At a press conference  yesterday, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva confirmed  Miles has agreed to a contract extension with a bump in his base salary. Miles had been making slightly less than $3.9 million a year. No details of his new pay rate have been released yet.


The Twelve Nights of Christmas officially kick off tonight in downtown Alexandria. Today, it’s  Holiday Magic Downtown. Activities begin at 5 p.m. in the Alexander Fulton Mini Park and  includes the official lighting of downtown and an appearance by Santa Clause. Tonight’s event is free and open to the public.


The trial over the constitutionality  of  the  Jindal school voucher plan   is  under  way  in  Baton  Rouge.  The  Governor  and   State Superintendent of Education, John White, claim the plan is perfectly legal. State teacher's unions and a large number of school boards from across the state argue the plan is both illegal and bad for public education. The Baton Rouge Judge hearing the case said Wednesday that he expects to rule this week on a lawsuit. Whatever Judge Kelley rules is expected to be appealed by the losing side.


Dedication ceremonies were held yesterday for a 34.5 acre industrial park adjacent to union tank car off of highway 1 at England air park. The plot of land has been certified by Cleco through it’s “SmartSites” program , the aim of which is to find if there is a red flag out there and get it corrected to make the property more marketable. Local economic development officials are hoping Union Tank Car soon has some company.


State police report a Marksville woman died Tuesday evening in a single-vehicle crash on La. Highway 1 at La. Highway 1195, when she lost control of her vehicle and it ran off the road and overturned. 32 year old Loraine Paul was pronounced dead after the crash. Troopers say she was not wearing a seatbelt.


The Food Bank of Central Louisiana has been forced to reschedule today’ telethon. It will now be held  Thursday Dec. 13 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those who would like to volunteers can schedule a time to help by calling (318) 445-2773.


Two weeks after BP agreed to plead guilty to charges surrounding the deaths  of  11  workers  on  the  Deepwater  Horizon  oil  rig,  the Environmental  Protection  Agency  says  the  oil giant is now being

temporarily  suspended  from new contracts with the  US  government. They say the suspension is  due to BP's lack of "business integrity" surrounding the explosion, spill and response after the disaster.


Three BP employees have been arraigned on criminal charges related to  the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the company's response to  the ensuing oil spill. BP well site leaders Bob Kaluza and Donald  Vidrine are charged with manslaughter.  Kaluza and Vidrine are accused of ignoring high pressure readings that  indicated trouble with the well before it blew out. Prosecutors say that  negligence cost 11 men their lives.


A company that plans to convert seafood waste into a range of commercial products will move into an empty bottling plant in Opelousas, creating 50 new jobs over five years. AgraTech International said Wednesday it will spend $10 million to renovate the old Yoo-Hoo plant. The company will process shrimp, crawfish and crab shells to get chitosan, which is used in everything from water-repellant glass coatings to sunscreen lotion and from dental membranes to nasal sprays to treat nosebleeds. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of $50,000, plus benefits.


The official start to the flu season began last month and state  officials say they're already starting to see cases pop up around  Louisiana. DHH Asst. State Health Officer Dr Takeisha Davis says  Louisiana has fewer cases right now than the national average which  is a good sign. Davis says the flu season in Louisiana runs through April and tends  to peak in February. She says they recommend everyone over the age  of 6 months get a flu vaccination.


The LSU governing board's decision to merge two of the system's top jobs has raised concerns from the organization that accredits Southern colleges, which is pressing for more details about the changes.

Leaders of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools questioned whether LSU officials are in compliance with accreditation standards. They outlined concerns in emails and a letter to LSU officials, documents that were released to The Associated Press by the university system in response to a public records request. At issue are the appointment of William Jenkins as both interim chancellor of LSU's flagship campus and as interim president of the LSU System and the board's plan to consolidate the two positions. SACS officials said a merger needs approval from its Commission on Colleges before it can be done. They've also asked for more information about Jenkins' role leading both the university system and the flagship school in Baton Rouge, to explain how he avoids conflicts of interest.


After the October 15th explosion on property leased by Explo Systems at  Camp  Mindin,  a  search warrant was executed in that area where investigators  say  they  found  at  least  one  million  pounds  of

gunpowder in the open  and  in  other  unapproved  locations.  State police  is assessing the situation and say currently this is not  an immediate threat to the surrounding area.


The Lafourche  Parish coroner's office confirms the body pulled from the Gulf Monday  is  that of a 28-year-old rig worker; one of two workers blown off the  Black  Elk Energy oil rig when it exploded on

November 16th. His body was found about 25 miles away from the rig's location.


The Alabama fan who plead guilty to obscenity charges for rubbing  his genitals on the head of a passed out LSU fan after the BCS  National Championship game will be formally sentenced today. Brian  Downing's attorney, Michael Kennedy, says today's proceedings will  be simple.  In exchange for a guilty plea, the sexual battery charged was  dropped against Downing and he will not be required to register as a  sex offender.  As part of the plea deal, Downing is expected to be sentenced to 2 years in prison, but Kennedy thinks he'll only have to serve 10  months.


Homeowner Sarah Henderson's holiday display on  the roof of her home in Denham Springs raised a few eyebrows before she was asked to take it  down  or  face charges of public obscenity. Henderson  says  the display, featuring a hand in lights with a raised middle finger, was a part of an ongoing  dispute  with some of her neighbors. The state chapter of the ACLU has jumped in  with an open letter to the Denham

Springs Police Department claiming Henderson's  constitutional right to free speech was violated. Denham Springs Police Chief Scott Jones denies  his department pressured Henderson or made  threats  against her to coerce  her  to  take  down  the  display.  Jones  insist the decision to remove the display was made by Henderson on her own.


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