KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 06/04/14


News for Wednesday 060414

By Dave Graichen

 

Funeral arrangements have been set for Friday in Ruston for the little  girls from West Monroe who were killed apparently by their mother over  the weekend. Ari Forbis is the father of the 3 and 4 year olds who were  found dead along with their mom on Saturday. Forbis's friend Ryan Dieck  (Dyke) has set up a donation fund for the family.  The GoFundMe.com account, which is in Forbis's name, had grew to almost  $30,000 just 35 hours after it was started.

 

After less than a year, Rodney Alexander has stepped down as Secretary  of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.  Alexander accepted  Governor Jindal's appointment to the position last September after  resigning from Congress.   A spokesperson for the LDVA says Alexander is not planning to run for  congress and will pursue something in the private sector. Governor Jindal has appointed former Deputy Secretary David LaCerte  as Alexander's successor. 

 

A court petition filed Tuesday in Baton Rouge is seeking to block the state’s plan to close Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville. The petition claims the process for an April 2 Senate committee hearing on Senate Concurrent Resolution 48 violated the state Open Meetings Law and thus should be declared Null and Void. The Resolution, which was approved by the House and the Senate during the recently concluded legislative session, endorses the state’s plan to close Huey P. Long and supports the already-in-effect privatization of many health-care services that previously had been offered at HPL.

 

Governor Jindal is looking at his options when it comes to ending  Louisiana's involvement with Common Core. Attempts to end the state's  participation with the new math and English standards were unsuccessful  in the legislative session. Jindal says he may be able to remove  Louisiana from Common Core with executive action.  State Superintendent of Education John White says Jindal doesn't have  legal authority to end the state's participation with Common Core.  Jindal used to be a supporter of Common Core, but he's not anymore.

 

The  2014 legislative session ended Monday evening at 6. Governor Bobby  Jindal says he's happy with the way things went this year. He likes  the  passage  of  bills  aimed  at  cracking  down  on  human trafficking  and  domestic  violence. He also says he's glad nothing passed that would have expanded  government  funded  health care for lower income residents. Many  say  the  2014 legislative session will be remembered  as  one where mostly nothing happened.

 

The State Democratic Party of Louisiana  released  a statement calling this  year's legislative session a disaster for Louisiana's  working families  accusing  Republican  leadership  of  not listening to the

people of the state who they say want the Medicaid expansion and the minimum wage raised.

 

The state legislature passed a bill that would move up the date of the  state's presidential primary by two weeks. If signed by Governor Jindal,  the primary election would be held on March 5, 2016, which would be  during "Super Tuesday" week.  Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the  move will add importance to the Louisiana primary. Currently the Louisiana primary is scheduled for March 19 making the  Bayou State the 25th state to hold a primary. 

 

A bill that would require doctors  to  keep  a  brain  dead pregnant woman  on life support got final legislative passage on Monday.  The measure  would mandate that woman must be kept alive until her child is born. The provision only applies though if the woman doesn't have a living will  and  it also includes compromise language that allows family members to have final say in end of life decisions.

 

The  state  Department  of  Environmental Quality has concerns about President  Obama's  plan  to reduce  carbon  emissions  coming  from existing power plants.  The  US  EPA  wants  Louisiana to cut carbon dioxide by 40-percent.  That could mean tighter  controls  on  power plants.  DEQ Press Secretary Greg Landry says they are still looking over the proposed regulations, but there is some level of skepticism over whether the new rules will achieve the desired results.

 

A legislative auditor’s report finds problems with how LSU's Board of  Supervisors awards scholarships. LSU's board is required to file an  annual report of who receives scholarships. But  Auditor Ernie  Summerville says the report does not show what specific criteria was  reached to receive the scholarship.  The audit found no specific criteria being used to award scholarships.

For the 2012-2013 school year, the reported value of scholarships  handed out was $1.35 million. 

 

Before  the  session  ended  Monday   the  Louisiana  Legislature approved a bill that would put harsher penalties  on  repeat Peeping Toms. The bill would increase the punishment from $500 and up to six months in prison for any violation of the state's Peeping Tom law up to $750 and six years in prison on second violations.

 

Starting  in August, a public school teacher may legally  receive  a gift valued up to $25 from a student. Act 172 was signed into law by Gov. Bobby  Jindal  last  week.  Gonzales  Rep.  John Berthelot says currently  public  servants are prohibited from getting  gifts  from those they serve but he thought this would be a fair exception. He says a student could give a $25 gift to their teacher up to three times a year.

 

As the weather heats  up,  so  does  the battle to cool death-row at Angola.  Three  death-row inmates sued the  state  citing  the  heat conditions on death  row  as cruel and unusual punishment. A federal judge has ordered Angola to  implement  a  cooling  plan.

 

 

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