KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 12/12/13

News for Thursday 121213

By Dave Graichen


Some Rapides parish school officials say they believe it is time for the school district to break down and buy some new school busses.  Rapides’ Director of Transportation Velt Edwards said he surveyed the 13 surrounding parishes and learned, “We have the oldest fleet by far, some dating back to the mid 90’s. Director of Finance Liz Domite said the school system has received $3.5 million in certificates of indebtedness. In January, she will ask board members for permission to seek bids to buy newer buses. The bids will be for the purchase of 10 to 15 new special education buses, which cost more than $100,000 each, and about 35 used regular buses


The  state health report card is out, and Louisiana is no longer the second  most unhealthy state.  It's now the third most unhealthy for many of the  same  reasons  as  before.  United Health Senior Health Advisor  Dr. Rhonda Randall says Even though progress is being made, there's  still  a long way to go in obesity and smoking. High  immunization  coverage  among adults and rising

high school graduation rate are some of the state's strengths.


An  ordinance  called  "Be  Fair  Shreveport", which protects people against discrimination based on sexual  orientation,  was  passed by the city council Tuesday night. Adrienne Critcher is the Communications Director  for  "People  Acting for Change." She says the passing  of  this ordinance is great news  for  the  city  of Shreveport, because young talented and creative people, especially  in high tech fields, look at a city's openness as a way to determine whether  or not it's a place they would like to move to. The council's vote was 6-1 in favor of Be Fair.


The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office  says  two security guards at the  jail  there have been released and are now under  investigation for allegedly  abusing  a child prisoner. They say videotapes of the

alleged incident have been  sent  to  the  DA's  office for possible criminal indictments. In the meantime the officers  are  no  longer employed at the jail.


The  good news for Obamacare sign-up is that nearly five  times  the original  number  of  Louisiana  residents have been able to sign up online since the computer glitches were fixed.  The bad news is that number is a little over 2,000 people,  and  that's  still  less than projected  at the end of November. Enrollment continues until  March 31st.


The state Department  of  Insurance says property owners who have to resort to the state-run insurance  company of last resort now are at record low levels. Over 14-thousand  property owners have transferred their  policies  from  Louisiana  Citizens  Property  Insurance  to private market carriers. Citizens customers  now  make up only 2.7% of the state homeowners marketplace.


Veronica LaBeaud, of New Orleans, has made history within the Louisiana  National Guard. LaBeaud has been promoted to Command Sgt. Maj. of the  256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, becoming the first African American  woman to achieve this status. LaBeaud says she never planned on  this high rank during her 32 years in the National Guard.  LaBeaud wants to be an inspiration for females in the military.


The  state's  Motorist Assistance Patrol  service,  offered  in  New Orleans, Baton  Rouge  and  Shreveport,  has  picked  up a corporate sponsor. State Farm Insurance will pay a quarter-million  dollars  a year to assist in keeping the roadside help service running.


Federal  authorities  cite an Ascension Parish  chemical  plant  for safety violations that  caused  an explosion and fire last June that killed two workers and injured dozens  of  others.  OSHA  recommends $99-thousand in fines against the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar.


The woman who last year won the case regarding  her  first amendment right to display a middle finger in Christmas lights on  the roof of her  Denham Springs home is at it again. This year Sarah Childs  has put a  two  middle finger light display on her roof. Neighbors claim Childs thinks  someone  stole her dog which is why she is upset with them.


Police in Hammond are looking for two men who allegedly attempted to rob  an  ATM  using a blowtorch. It happened at a Capital  One bank branch  and  the  incident  was  caught  on  surveillance cameras. The  suspects  were  not  able to get the cash inside using this method. Anyone with information  on  this  crime  is  urged  to contact law enforcement.