KSYL Local News

News For Monday 03/03/14

News for Monday 030314

By Dave Graichen


12 Years a Slave,” the historical drama filmed in the New Orleans area, earned three Academy Awards on Sunday, including the night’s top honor, best picture.


State police report  43-year-old William Antee of Boyce  is facing vehicular homicide and other charges after he lost control of a utility task vehicle Saturday night. The vehicle overturned and  killed a 4-year-old Texas girl and injured two other girls who were riding in the vehicle. Authorities say that alcohol use is suspected in the crash. Antee was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center, charged with vehicle homicide, vehicular negligent injuring and careless operation. The investigation continues.


One man is dead and another is fighting for his life after a crash early Sunday on La. 35 inLandry Parish. State police say 31 year old Curtis Wheeler of Church Point died in the single-vehicle wreck after he was ejected from a pickup that struck a culvert and rolled over several times. Troopers believe the driver of the vehicle, 25 year old Brad Wheeler of Church Point , may have been drunk at the time of the crash. Wheeler is listed in critical condition.


Louisiana college president Dr.Joe Aguillard, could soon receive a contract extension to remain at the private Baptist school in Pineville.  Board of Trustee Chair, Tommy French, says work began on the new contract and will continue over the next few weeks. If a contract extension is offered to Aguillard, it must be approved by the full board, which is scheduled to meet in April. French said he couldn’t speak for the committee or the board, but he saw no reason Aguillard would not receive a new contract.


City of Pineville water service has been restored to residents along La. Highway 3128 (old Paper Mill Road), including the Whispering Pines subdivision, but a boil advisory remains in effect for affected residents. On Saturday, an 8-inch water main burst, leading to disruption of service in that area. The main was replaced later Saturday with a temporary 2-inch line. Replacement of close to 300 feet of the original water main will take place this week. A water boil advisory remains in effect until this repair project is complete.


Mother nature cooperated and large crowds turned out yesterday for the Alexandria Mardi Gras parade. The parade featured 23 floats and five bands. Becky Deville, president of the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association, called the parade a success thanks to the work of the association and the city.


A  new  pediatric  death  from  influenza in Central  Louisiana  has been reported by the Centers for Disease  Control  and  Prevention.  This new death brings the total of pediatric flu deaths so  far  this flu season  to  four.   Since  October  2013, lab tests confirmed 66 flu deaths in Louisiana of various ages.   However, state health officials say the number may be as high as 200 to 400 deaths. Since many deaths are caused by complications from the flu. Officials  say  a flu shot is your best protection.


A three-year-old child in Slidell died on Sunday by drowning in a  neighbor's pool. Authorities say it appears the three-year-old left his parents’ home Sunday morning through a window in his bedroom. It appears the child fell into the pool.


Louisiana taxpayers who were concerned  about a delay in their state tax  refunds  can  expect  to get their refunds  quite  soon.  Byron Henderson of the Louisiana Department of Revenue says one reason the state refunds are a bit late was the federal shutdown which delayed the I.R.S. processing schedule. Henderson says the first batch  of  four  hundred and forty thousand refund checks has been issued and promises  a steady output of state tax refunds will continue.


This Mardi Gras holiday  the  Louisiana  Highway  Safety  Commission handed  out grants to law enforcement agencies to fund overtime  and extra shifts  for  officers throughout the state.  Their goal is to  remove  impaired  drivers   from  Louisiana  roadways.  In Louisiana, the first offense of  Driving While Intoxicated can carry a thousand dollar fine and possibly  jail  time, plus the suspension of a driver's license for up to 2 years.


We're now one week away from the legislative session and once again  lawmakers will talk about proposed changes to the popular TOPS  scholarship program. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has weighed in and  they think higher standards should be set to receive the award. BRAC  COO Erin Monroe Wesley says TOPS is becoming too costly. Currently to be eligible for TOPS, you have to have a 2.5 GPA and a  minimum ACT Score of 20. Wesley says an increase in those requirements would better align TOPS to comparable merit-based programs.


A  Baton Rouge man will face life in prison for killing three women. A jury  found  24-year-old  Courtney Williams, guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and two others  during  a shooting spree in 2011.  Williams  will be formally sentenced to life in  prison  at  Angola, March 28th.


A Gonzales  man  was arrested for holding his parents captive inside their home for five  days.   The  Ascension  Parish Sheriff's office says  44  year  old  Richard  Miley  held them against  their  will,

beginning on February 20th.  They  were  freed  when the imprisoned couple's granddaughter visited the home and got them out.  Miley told deputies he had stopped taking his medication which  he  says caused the  incident.   He  is  being held in Ascension Parish jail without bond.


Even though there has been an excess of snow in northern states  surrounding the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, it is not expected to cause  floods in Louisiana. National Weather Service hydrologist Jeff Graschel says even with seasonal rainfalls, we shouldn't see many problems with the lower part of the river. In 2011, record level rainfalls in the Midwest led to flooding issues  along the Mississippi, forcing the Army Corps of Engineers to open the Morganza Spillway to prevent major flooding in southeast Louisiana  Graschel says they don't expect anything like that this year.


Now that we are in March, allergy season is right around the corner.  Doctor Ken Paris, with the LSU Health Sciences Center, says tree pollen  in the spring time causes nasal congestion, coughing and wheezing  for thousands in the bayou state, but this year's allergy season may  start a little later, because of our cold winter.  Paris says if you have allergy issues, there are things you can do now

to minimize the symptoms once the pollen count escalates. He says  prescription and over-the-counter nasal sprays can be effective. But, if allergy season makes you feel miserable, then go see a doctor now and get a head start.

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