KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 05/15/14

News for Thursday 051514

By Dave Graichen


It's mid-May but believe it or not, Louisiana is experiencing yet  another cold front. State climatologist Barry Keim says the cool  weather blew through yesterday causing many of us in Sportsman's Paradise to break out the jackets a little over a month before  summer.  Keim says morning temperatures ranged from  the 40s across northern  parishes and 50s along the southern half of the state.  He says we  can expect daily minimum temperature records to fall all across the  state today and tomorrow.


The  House  has approved legislation the will lead to the closure of Huey P. Long  hospital  in  Pineville.  The move will force patients who use Huey P. Long to receive  medical  care at two nearby private hospitals  as  part of Governor Bobby Jindal's  privatization  plan. Marksville Representative Robert Johnson says the proposal will make it difficult for some to receive affordable health care. But Alexandria Representative  Lance  Harris says citizens will have plenty of options to obtain the health care they need.  The House voted 65-29 to shut down Huey P. Long.


A bill that would mandate sex education in public schools was killed Wednesday by the House Education Committee. The vote was three in favor and 10 opposed. State Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, pleaded with the panel to approve her bill to help combat Louisiana’s high rate of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.  Opponents questioned the need for the proposal.


Today is the final day for Louisianans to file their individual  state income tax returns for 2013. LA-Department of Revenue spokesman  Byron Henderson says the majority of taxpayers have already done  their state returns likely when they did their federal, but many  still have not. Henderson says if you need more time to prepare your Louisiana taxes,  you must at least file an extension by midnight tonight.


Legislation   that  requires  abortion  clinics  to  have  admitting privileges at  a hospital within 30 miles of their facility receives overwhelming support  in  the  state  Senate.   The  requirement  is

similar  to what Texas recently passed.  Supporters say it will make sure abortion  patients  receive proper care if something goes wrong during or after the procedure.   But pro-choice organizations say it closes  three  of  the states five abortion  clinics. the bill, now  heads back to the House floor for final legislative passage.


Governor Bobby Jindal's approval ratings are on the rise.  A poll by Southern  Media  and  Opinion Research shows the Governor's positive job performance rating  is at 48%.  Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says to appreciate that, you need  to  look  back to the Spring of 2013 when Jindal's approval rating was at an all-time low of 38-percent. However,  Jindal's  negative  rating  remains   slightly  above  his

positive  at  51%.   Jindal's  positive rating has not  exceeded  his negative rating since September 2012.


Lawmakers have decided to raise the retirement age for public school teachers and rank and file state  workers  who are hired on or after July 1st, 2015. Currently those state workers  can retire at the age of 60 with five years of service. The legislation  that now heads to Jindal's desk would move that to 62 starting next summer.


Optometrists  got  another  win  yesterday as a Senate panel agreed they should be allowed to perform certain surgeries.  HB 1065 has already cleared the House and now heads to the Senate floor.  Representative Rogers Pope says the bill does not require people to do anything and

they could still go anywhere they wanted to get eye treatment. In  opposition is Pamala Williams,  a  pediatric  ophthalmologist  in Baton  Rouge.   She  says 90% of people polled in Louisiana say they

have the eye care they need available to them. In spite of the opposition, the bill advanced 7-to-1.


With the beginning of hurricane season just around the corner, another  below average prediction has been released.  Accuweather.com predicts  10 named tropical storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes for  the Atlantic Basin this year.  Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski says however, you shouldn't let down your guard because of the low numbers. It is expected that the onset of El Nino will increase wind shear and  suppress the development of tropical activity this year.  


The state Senate tackled the politically charged issue of payday loans Wednesday night, spurning attempts to create databases and to limit borrowing. Debate on House Bill 766 triggered a flurry of amendments as legislators made one last effort to put limits on an industry that makes thousands of small loans each year in Louisiana.  Each effort died, although not quietly. On a 28-10 vote, the Senate returned HB766 to the House for concurrence on minor changes. The measure would force online lenders to play by the same rules as lenders with brick-and-mortar locations in Louisiana, making them subject to state regulations.


A 27-year old Eunice  man  has  been  charged with third offense DWI after crashing into the back of a school  bus  in  Allen Parish that injured  two  children and the bus driver.  Dustin McGowen  ran  his pickup truck into  the  rear  of  the  school  bus that was lawfully stopped to drop off children Tuesday.  The injured  were  taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.


A Central Lafourche High School  student  is in custody after making threats to set off a bomb at the school Wednesday.   The  school was placed  on  lockdown for a short time.  The student has admitted  to sending emails about the threat, but detectives deemed the threat to not be credible.





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