The Air Force's oldest bomb wing, located in Bossier City, is now being
commanded by its first ever female bomb wing commander. Col. Kristen
Goodwin is taking command of the 2nd Bomb Wing based out of Barksdale
Air Force Base. Retired Master Sgt. and military archivist at LSUS
Shawn Bohannon says first and foremost, it's about a qualified officer
getting a well earned promotion.
"She is a highly skilled, and highly trained professional, and she has earned this promotion through merit."
The Air Force began training it's first female pilots in 1976, and began
training it's first female fighter pilots in 1993. Bohannon says those
first graduates are beginning to move into upper level commands.
"The Air Force has a history of allowing women into flying positions, starting in the 1970s. We're starting to see the fruition of the 1970's graduates."
Goodwin is now commanding the dozen squadrons that make up the 2nd Bomb Wing. Bohannon says it's one of the best jobs in the Air Force.
"Over the years, i have worked with many Wing Commanders, and many of them were all fond of saying that holding a wing command in the Air Force is one of the best jobs an officer can hope to have."
Today is the last day that anyone will be allowed to smoke at public college campuses in Louisiana. In 2013 the state legislature passed a law requiring all public institutions of higher education to go smoke free by August 1st, 2014. Many schools have chosen to go tobacco free like LSU according to Vice Chancellor for student life Kurt Keppler.
"Governor Jindal created a Well Spot initiative recently indicating he wanted all institutions to be considered such a spot go tobacco free," said Keppler. "So that's what we've decided to do."
Keppler says these tobacco free policies that campuses are adopting all throughout the state rely on the courtesy, respect and cooperation of all members of the university community.
He says the ultimate goal of the implementation of the smoke free policy is to change people's behavior.
"We're not caught up in trying to fine or sanction or punish people," said Keppler. "We're trying to get other people to get people to stop..so we'll be using signage to help with that."
Keppler says these smoke-free policies are becoming a national trend as colleges want to send the message that smoking cigarettes are chewing tobacco is seen as a habit they're trying to stop.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says of the Common Core debate that it's very unfortunate teachers and students are left hanging so close to the start of school. He calls the situation between the Jindal Administration and BESE and the Department of Education a Washington D.C. style political game that does not belong in Louisiana.
"Here at the last minute before school starts, we're embroiled in this legal debate and the question about what standards and tests should be in place," says Dardenne. "It's very unfair to the students and teachers of Louisiana."
Dardenne says whether you agree with Common Core or not, children and teachers should not be used as pawns in a political chess match. He says from his point of view the legislature has already said they want to keep Common Core which, in his mind, is the right thing to do.
"The legislature has spoken and we're in the process of trying to implement these standards and to make the test consistent with those standards," said Dardenne. "To have all of this discussion before school starts is very unfortunate."
Both sides of the dispute will have hearings in mid August.
Dardenne says Jindal's act of trying to do away with the will of the legislature with an executive order is wrong.
He says three weeks before school starts is not the time to start using political games to change the course of the Louisiana education system and lawmakers have spoken.
"They've made, in my view, the right decision going forward with the standards that have been in place," Dardenne said.