KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 01/23/13

News for Thursday 012314

By Dave Graichen


Snow is a rare thing in Louisiana but there is a possibility that  portions of the state might see some snowflakes tonight and Friday.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says the chance of snow is only twenty  percent even though temperatures will surely be frosty enough.  Regardless of whether or not snow crops up in parts of Louisiana, Keim  says we're looking at a hard freeze that should last for more than a few  days.


Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has delayed , for at least a year,  $6.6 million in funding for the construction of three Central Louisiana outpatient health clinics. The construction of the clinics is part of the state’s plan to replace services currently provided by Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville. Huey P. Long, which is part of the state charity hospital system, is scheduled to be closed sometime before July 1, when the state’s new fiscal year begins. The $6.6 million in state funding is designated to build permanent structures for the clinics. Funding to operate the three facilities that are open or will be soon, is already in place.


Five people are in jail in Natchitoches Parish charged with faking a home  invasion  where  two people were supposedly beaten and robbed. The reason the suspects gave during questioning with authorities, is that one of them needed money to pay their rent.  All five have been booked awaiting bond.


Governor Jindal has weighed in on the debate over whether to legalize pot. The governor says he's opposed to the legalization of marijuana,  but Jindal says he's willing to look at the issue of medical marijuana  more closely.  State lawmakers discussed the pro and cons of legalizing medical  marijuana during a committee hearing this week. Jindal says he will veto any legislation that attempts to legalize  recreational use of pot.


Governor  Bobby Jindal says it's too early to endorse anyone for the governor’s race  in  2015  in response to David Vitter throwing his hat into the ring. However The Governor did praise Vitter's work in D.C. and  also  pointed  out  that  the  US  Senator  supported  Jindal's education reforms. Jindal is term-limited so he can't run in 2015.


There's   already   been  response  to  US  Senator  David  Vitter's announcement to run for governor in 2015.  Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards says that  the  senator  -quote-  "has  excelled  in two things:   obstruction  and  division."  Political  experts  say this election should be very entertaining.


Higher education leaders are  pleased  to hear Jindal's proposing to increase  state funding for Louisiana's colleges  and  universities. Jindal's proposed  budget  for  next fiscal year will contain a $142 million  dollar  increase  in funding  for  higher  ed.  LSU  System President F . King Alexander says that's welcomed news after so many years of budget cuts.


Gov. Bobby Jindal is asking lawmakers to include $60 million in next year’s budget to give pay raises to state workers. The governor will include dollars for the raises in his 2014-15 budget proposal,  which will be presented to lawmakers Friday. If lawmakers agree to the funding, the raises would be doled out to workers who receive a good rating on their annual evaluations in the fiscal year that begins July 1.


Governor Bobby Jindal announced the  grand opening of the Pennington Biomedical Center's Childhood Obesity  Clinic  in Baton Rouge Wednesday. The administration is also pledging $6.4 million  dollar  in funding for  a  newly renovated building to help fight childhood obesity  in

the state,  which  he  says has reached epidemic proportions. Nearly 50% of all children in Louisiana are overweight or obese.


Officials with the Ascension Parish plant that had a fatal explosion in Geismar last summer is disputing  the  safety violations found by the  US  Occupational  Safety  and  Health Administration.  Williams Olefins  is  also  contesting  almost $100,000  in  civil  penalties proposed by federal regulators.  The blast on June 13 killed two and injured 114.


Major drug busts hit Acadiana last week. Law enforcement officials report  nearly 97 thousand dollars in narcotics were seized and two hundred  fifty one people were arrested.  Captain John Babin of the Lafayette Metro Task Force  says 17 area agencies focused on drug criminals to put a dent in over- all crime.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer  rates are down in Louisiana and state health officials attribute the  decline to the 2007 Smoke Free Air Act. The CDC report shows newly  diagnosed lung cancer cases between 2005-09 dropped 8.4 percent in women ages 35-44. The numbers in Louisiana for women of all ages showed a 1 percent drop  in reported lung cancer cases and the drop for men of all ages was 2.8  percent.



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