KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 03/13/13

News for Wednesday 031313

By Dave Graichen


It was 1980 when a law was passed to make the sale of alcohol in Pineville illegal. Since then a lot has changed in the city. But, many believe, for the city to make it to the next level of growth, the sale of alcohol will need to be approved. With that in mind, members of the Pineville City Council have scheduled a town hall meeting on the issue. The Council passed a resolution,  suggested by Mayor Clarence Fields,  to hold a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. March 26 at City Hall.


Sheriff William Earl Hilton speaking before the Alexandria Rotary Club yesterday, reminded those attending that a 9.6-mill property tax will be up for renewal on May 4. He said that tax accounts for about $6.6 million of his office’s  $36 million budget. Hilton said the Sheriff's Office operates on budget funded by millage taxes and a half-cent sales tax.


A state judge hands down a 70-year sentence to a St. Helena Parish man  who was driving nearly twice the legal limit when he crashed into a car  head-on and killed seven people as they were returning home from church.  Brett Gerald was sentenced to ten years for each count of vehicular  homicide. Judge William Carmichael also ruled Gerald must serve 35 years before  the possibility of parole.


An Avoyelles Parish priest was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after he was accused of misconduct with a minor. The Rev. Jamie Medina-Cruz, pastor of St. Mary's Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport was relieved of his duties by the Rev. Ronald Herzog, the bishop of the diocese, pending an investigation by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office. So far, no charges against Medina-Cruz had been filed.


Lawmakers on the House budget-writing  committee  are starting their work  on  next  year's  spending plans. Governor Jindal's  executive budget proposal calls for  spending $24.7-billion in the fiscal year

that  starts  July  1st.  His  spending   recommendations   rely  on anticipated  savings  from  the privatization of most LSU-run public hospitals, which hasn't yet happened.


An Iberville Parish lawmaker says she'll try again this year to pass  term limits for ALL statewide elected officials. Rep. Simone Champagne  Erath proposes the same limits for these  officials that lawmakers are subject to.  Champagne's bill would place limits of three 4-year terms on the lt. governor, state treasurer, attorney general, ag commissioner, insurance  commissioner, and secretary of state.


Members of the state House and Senate committees on insurance meet today  to discuss the possible expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, and the  health insurance exchange contained in the federal law. Jennings Senator  Dan Moorish, who chairs the Senate Insurance Committee says he wants an open public discussion to help the public grasp  how they can access health care under the federal exchange.  Moorish hopes the meeting can shed some light on how the health care  reforms will work, and how to best use the federal health care exchange.


The State Fire Marshall’s office reported yesterday that Former Louisiana state Fire Marshal Henry Hillary Fry died Friday at his home in Covington. Fry served as fire marshal under Gov. Kathleen Blanco from 2004 to 2007 Funeral services are set for Thursday in New Orleans. Fry was 68.


According to a new study by the UNO Hospitality  Research  Center, a record  $6  billion was spent by visitors in New Orleans last  year. The study also says the number of tourists and business travelers to

the Big Easy  in  2012  was  the highest since Hurricane Katrina and second highest ever.


Some students at Shreveport's Calvary Baptist Church are apologizing for the Harlem Shake video they  posted  on  the Internet. The video shows  some  unsavory  behavior for Christian school  students.  The

boys' apology came in the  form of, you guessed it, another Internet video.


Governor Bobby Jindal will meet with officials from Texas Brine today to  push for expedited buyouts for residents displaced in Assumption Parish  because of the sinkhole.  In an email press statement, Jindal says it's time for Texas Brine to  step up and do the right thing for the 350 residents affected by the

Sinkhole.  Scientists believe the sinkhole was caused by the failure of a nearby  Texas Brine salt cavern and is reportedly now 400 square feet  spanning over 9 acres. Nearly 350 residents were ordered  to evacuate their homes and camps on August 3rd of last year. Texas Brine has been paying their living expenses.


A north Louisiana lawmaker files legislation that would prohibit outdoor  smoking within 25 feet of an entrance to a state building. West Monroe  Representative Frank Hoffmam had a similar bill last year, but that  proposed law pertained to any public building. The bill passed the house, but failed to make it out of the senate before the session ended. Hoffman says this year  he's only seeking a smoke free zone around state buildings. Hoffman says he'll make sure his bill amended so the Superdome and New  Orleans Arena are NOT included, but all other state buildings will be.


Four Lafayette Teachers who  call themselves the "Fearless Foursome" say they're working to get people  talking  about educational issues in the state through Facebook. The group's page  is called "Teachers

Standing  for  Solutions"  and expresses multiple concerns  such  as discipline systems, large amounts  of  standardized  tests  and  the state's teacher evaluation system.


The  St.  Tammany Parish sheriff's office says a Covington area  man who was booked  for a DUI after he struck a pedestrian Sunday is now facing vehicular  homicide  charges  because the victim passed away.

They say 21-year-old William Seither Jr  is being held on a $100,000 bond.  The  woman  he allegedly hit, 51-year-old  Lisa  Pitre,  died Monday afternoon.


Shreveport  Police  continue sifting through evidence collected at a stolen car chop shop.  More  vehicles  are  turning  up  - most with serial  numbers  obliterated.  Investigators  said  parts  in the  two

warehouses could belong to as many as a hundred different cars.




Linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith are staying with  the Saints. The two have agreed to restructure their contracts, which  allows the team to give them more bonus money, so less of their salary  is counted against the 123-million dollar salary cap.  While Vilma and Smith are staying, the Saints lost starting left tackle  Jermon Bushrod and back-up quarterback Chase Daniel. Both men signed  free-agent deals with other teams.





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