KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 05/22/13

News for Wednesday 052213

By Dave Graichen


Roy O. Martin announces a $20-million expansion at its Chopin  (Sho-pan) plywood facility in Natchitoches Parish. The project will  retain nearly 700 jobs at the plant and produce 80 new direct and  indirect jobs. Company president Roy O. Martin III says

during this expansion, they'll upgrade their drying  equipment and add a production line.  Martin says construction will begin this summer, with the majority  of hiring taking place shortly before production begins on the new  timber line next year.


The Rapides Parish School Board voted 7-2 Tuesday to approved a plan brought, forward by Incoming Superintendent Tony Authement,  that will restructure the school district. The restructuring plan calls for the elimination of 44 central office positions. But,  the creation of 36 positions, plus changes to some existing positions. Authement says  the plan accomplishes three things,  streamlines the district, places “intense focus” on support for schools and provides targeted professional development opportunities for all schools. The plan’s initial cost to the district’s budget is an overall increase of about $680,000. The school board gave it’s stamp of approval to the plan at a special meeting last night.


A $3.5 billion spending plan for public schools was rejected by a Senate committee Tuesday morning, which may kill the measure for the session. The proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 23, was sharply criticized for proposed changes in how the state would fund special education students. A move to shelve the proposal won approval in the Senate Education Committee without objection. Unless there is a sudden change, the action means that the state’s 2011-12 public school financing plan will be in effect for the 2013-14 school year. That aid package did not include any changes in special education.


A 34-member Cleco team is expected to arrive today in Oklahoma City to  help Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company get their system back online.  Cleco spokeswoman Robbyn Cooper says (OGE called to request help because  they believe their entire electric grid was destroyed by the massive  deadly tornado.  Cooper says Cleco is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange's  mutual assistance program where member utilities offer power  restoration assistance after major weather events. She says) OGE serves  801,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas but at this time it  is impossible to say exactly how many people are without power.


Teams of  volunteers  from  the Red Cross in Louisiana left yesterday to help  those  affected  by  the  tornado   in   Oklahoma.  Red  Cross spokeswoman  Nancy  Malone says their workers will  help  distribute food and supplies to  the storm victims and first responders and are prepared to stay for at least two weeks..


Proposed gun bills met with mixed success on the Senate floor. A House  bill to assure that concealed weapon permit holders' identities remain  private won Senate passage.  The bill was amended to allow publishing a name, if the CCP holder  commits a crime with a handgun. The bill passed and goes back to the House for amendment concurrence.  The Senate delayed voting on a House-passed bill that would defy any  possible future federal ban on semi-automatic weapons.  But,one gun bill is on its way to Governor Jindal's desk. HB 265 would allow  concealed weapon permit holders the option of buying a lifetime permit,  rather than renewing every five years.


Law  enforcement  statewide  is  increasing patrols and  checkpoints through June second as part of the state's largest-ever concentrated effort to increase seat belt usage  through the "Click It or Ticket" campaign.  Colonel John LeBlanc with the  Louisiana  Highway  Safety Commission says  the  campaign  coincides with the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. LeBlanc also reminds motorists all  occupants  of  the  vehicle must wear their seat belts. Not just the front seat passenger.


The  bill  that  would prohibit drivers from posting to Facebook  or Tweeting while behind the wheel gets final legislative passage Tuesday  in the Senate. Also heading to the Governor's desk for his signature is the bill by Shreveport  Representative  Barbara  Norton that says drivers  of  Elio,  the three wheeled vehicle to be manufactured  in

Shreveport won't have to wear helmets.


The state revokes Explo Systems  license  to  operate  in  Louisiana after the company failed to properly store millions of pounds  of  a military  propellant.  Explo was renting out space at Camp Minden, a Louisiana  National  Guard  Base  in  Webster  Parish  to  dismantle military propelling charges.  State  Police Lt. Julie Lewis says all the  improperly  stored  material  is  now  in  appropriate  storage magazines at Camp Minden and Explo has surrendered  its  keys to the facility.


State Police say a 10-year-old  child  is dead after a car driven by her unlicensed 15-year-old sister crashed  on  their way to baseball practice  in  Tangipahoa  Parish.  Spokesman  Nick Manale  says  the 15-year-old was driving the car with her three  siblings: ages 9, 10 and 12. The 10-year-old died from her injuries; the driver and the other two juvenile passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries.




The LSU Tigers face Alabama this afternoon in the SEC Tournament. The  Tigers took two out of three from the Crimson Tide during the regular  season.


God Bless America & Our Home Louisiana


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