KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 01/09/12

News for Wednesday 010913

By Dave Graichen


Most of south Louisiana to northeast Louisiana is under a flash flood  watch through Thursday. State climatologist Barry Keim says a warm front  colliding with a cold front will bring the chance of large amounts of  rain throughout the state. That along with  the already drenched surfaces could lead to flooding. Keim says the warm front will most likely create only drizzly conditions  today, but says Thursday might be worse, with thunderstorms likely and  the possibility of hail and even tornadoes.


The Alexandria City Council voted Tuesday evening to take the next step in answering the $150 million question: Should the city become its own power supplier or not?  The ordinance  allows the city administration to go forward and decide which of two scenarios -- the city generating its own power or renegotiating a new agreement with Cleco -- is the best choice for long-term rate stability for the city and its ratepayers.


From the who’s watching the store department, The Rapides Parish School Board has so far paid more than $20,000 to the private firm it hired to aid its search for a permanent superintendent of schools. Invoices from the firm were released and presented to School Board members on Monday. That’s for work done to this point. The companies new contract has kicked in and more charges will be rung up over the next 4 month. Those charges are expected to be close to an additional $7,000. The most current timeline shows the Board naming the next superintendent of Rapides schools on April 9.


According to an education policy organization known as StudentsFirst,  Louisiana tops the nation for policies that prioritize the interests  of children. State Superintendent of education John White says the

state earned the highest grade in policies involving teacher  development, school choice and turning around low performing schools.  White says Louisiana is in the middle of a great turnaround in the education system. He says they've recognized that students test  scores are some of the lowest in the country and that's  unacceptable.


After a one-month delay, Louisiana’s top school board is expected to approve a proposal by state Superintendent of Education John White that would give local school districts more flexibility.

The changes, among other things, would let districts set their own academic calendars and give them new authority over awarding credit hours. The board is set to take up the issue on Jan. 15th.


An advisory panel that will offer guidance to the LSU System board about ways to reorganize the system and its campuses started its work yesterday with a tight timeline. The group is expected to provide its first  recommendations by March. The 10-person group will talk to higher education experts, comb through previous studies and look at other university models as it suggests restructuring proposals to the Board of Supervisors. LSU’s system-wide reorganization comes after five years of state budget cuts across Louisiana colleges and universities.


The  man  who  pled  guilty  to  the murders of UL-Lafayette student Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate is asking  a  judge  to void the pleas. Brandon  Scott  Lavergne alleges he felt pressured to  plead  guilty

because he faced  the  death  penalty.  It's being reported Lavergne filed hand-written court motions seeking to not only void the pleas, but also the life sentence.


Washington Parish authorities report  three people are facing  two counts of first degree murder in connection with the murders of two men over the weekend. Brandon Alexander and Denzell Wise were killed in the shooting that took place near the village of Varnado. Authorities says they are still trying  to determine a motive, but there's speculation the men were arguing over  a four-wheeler that was possibly stolen.


A new poll by Public Policy Polling ranks Congress pretty unpopular. How unpopular? Respondents  had higher opinions of cockroaches, root canals, traffic jams, used car salesmen and brussel sprouts.


L-S-U's  Pennington  Biomedical Research Center is studying whether a smart phone  can  help  a  woman control her weight during pregnancy.  Study  co-leader  Dr.  Leanne  Redman  says  the  weight management program is called "Smart  Moms".  She  says two-thirds of pregnant women exceed the recommended weight gain guidelines  by  30 to 50 pounds. Redman  says  if  the study shows that "Smart Moms" is successful in helping pregnant women  control  their  weight,  the  app could help

thousands of soon-to-be mothers around the country.


State Police say a 33-year-old Jeanerette man  is dead after his car struck a loaded sugarcane cart. They say Wilbur  Alexander,  who was not  restrained,  was northbound on La Highway 85 when the collision

occurred...and pronounced dead later at a local hospital.


Police in Slidell  are investigating the shooting death of a 21-year old man who was discovered  in  a  parking  lot Monday  night. They say Warren Pryor appears to have been shot twice  in  the  head  and was pronounced  dead at the scene. New Orleans police apparently have  a suspect in custody  and  the  victim's  car  was also located in New Orleans after it was burned.



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