KSYL Local News

NEWS FOR TUESDAY 05/17/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 051711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

HE IS CALLING IT THE PERFECT COMPROMISE. ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY PRESENTED YET ANOTHER PROPOSAL TO BALANCE THE CITY BUDGET. THE MAYOR SPOKE DURING THE COUNCIL'S SPECIAL FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING LAST NIGHT. HIS NEW PROPOSAL WOULD GENERATE ROUGHLY $775,000 MORE REVENUE THAN LAST YEAR. APPROXIMATELY $525,000 LESS THAN THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL. THE DIFFERENCE WOULD BE MADE UP BY A PROJECTION THAT SALES TAX REVENUES WON'T PLUMMET AS MUCH AS ORIGINALLY ANTICIPATED, AS WELL AS THE USE OF ABOUT $915,000 IN SURPLUS FUNDS. IN ADDITION, THE MAYOR SAID HE PLANS TO SAVE ABOUT $100,000 BY CUTTING HIS ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET BY 8 PERCENT THROUGH ATTRITION AND THE REDUCTION OF THREE POSITIONS. MAYOR ROY AND COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE HOPING TO REACH SOME TYPE OF AGREEMENT BEFORE TODAY'S COUNCIL MEETING IN ORDER TO INTRODUCE A NEW BUDGET ORDINANCE.

GOVERNMENT FORECASTERS PREDICT RECORD MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRESTS WILL REACH NORTH AND CENTRAL LOUISIANA IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. JEFF GRASCHEL WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS BECAUSE THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY IS OPEN, THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER HAS CRESTED OR IS NEAR CREST LEVEL IN BATON ROUGE AND NEW ORLEANS. GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS WATER RUSHING THROUGH THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY INTO THE ATCHAFALAYA BASIN IS MOVING SLOWER THAN EXPECTED. JINDAL SAYS ELEVEN-HUNDRED GUARDSMEN HAVE BEEN ACTIVATED. HE SAYS SEVERAL OTHER AGENCIES ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS. THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS HAS OPENED TWO MORE FLOOD GATES ON THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A FLOOD WARNING FOR LOWER ST MARTIN PARISH. MAJOR GINNY HIGGINS WITH THE ST MARTIN PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS SO FAR THEY HAVEN'T SEEN MAJOR FLOODING BUT THEY KNOW MORE WATER IS ON ITS WAY. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, A SLOW AND STEADY RISE IN
WATERS IS EXPECTED THROUGH THE END OF MAY AND POSSIBLY INTO JUNE. HIGHWAY 70 IS EXPECTED TO BE ONE OF THE STREETS TO FLOOD.

TWENTY-SIX FAMILIES HAVE MOVED INTO THE ENCLAVE IN SIMMESPORT, INFORMALLY KNOWN AS CANADAVILLE BECAUSE THEIR TOWNS WERE THREATENED BY FLOODING FROM THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND SMALLER RIVERS THAT SPRING FROM IT. THE HAVEN CREATED BY A CANADIAN INDUSTRIALIST HAD A ONETIME POPULATION OF AROUND 200 HURRICANE-DISPLACED RESIDENTS, BUT IT HAD DWINDLED TO JUST A HANDFUL BY THE TIME PEOPLE FROM NEARBY TOWNS BEGAN LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO WAIT OUT THE FLOOD.

THE RISING FLOOD WATERS ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI AND IN THE ATCHAFALAYA BASIN IS PUSHING WILDLIFE OUT OF THEIR NORMAL HABITATS TO HIGHER GROUND. KENNY RIBBECK, CHIEF OF WILDLIFE DIVISION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ASK CURIOUS ONLOOKERS TO KEEP THEIR DISTANCE AND LET THE ANIMALS SEEK SANCTUARY. THE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOS ARE FORCING SOME ANIMALS BACK INTO THE WATER TO AVOID THE PEOPLE. EXPERTS SAY IN THE PROCESS THE ANIMALS ARE DYING OF EXHAUSTION. RIBBECK SAYS DISPLACED DEER ARE CROSSING ROADS AND HIGHWAYS IN SEARCH OF SHELTER CAUSING THE NUMBERS OF ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DEER TO RISE.

THOUGH THE MULTIBILLION DOLLAR PRICE TAGS WOULD CUT THE STATE'S GENERAL FUND INCOME NEARLY IN HALF, THE HOUSE TAX COMMITTEE BACKED TWO PROPOSALS MONDAY TO ELIMINATE LOUISIANA'S CORPORATE AND PERSONAL INCOME TAXES. THE MEASURES (HOUSE BILLS 633 AND 634) BY REP. HUNTER GREENE, R-BATON ROUGE, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, WOULD ELIMINATE $3.1 BILLION BY THE 2012-13 BUDGET YEAR AND NEARLY $15 BILLION OVER FIVE YEARS. THEY WOULD SLICE A LARGE CHUNK OUT OF THE STATE'S INCOME EACH YEAR AND WOULD FORCE HEFTY BUDGET CUTS IF THE DOLLARS WEREN'T REPLACED. BACKED 9-5 BY THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, THE BILLS AREN'T EXPECTED TO GAIN FINAL PASSAGE IN THE LEGISLATURE BECAUSE OF THEIR STEEP IMPACT ON STATE REVENUE. THE PROPOSALS HEAD NEXT TO THE FULL HOUSE FOR DEBATE.

THE HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE WILL HEAR TWO BILLS TODAY REGARDING THE USE OF CELL PHONES WHILE DRIVING. ONE BILL PROPOSES THE BANNING OF HANDHELD CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING ALL TOGETHER, THE OTHER WOULD MAKE IT A SECONDARY OFFENSE. HIGHWAY SAFETY ANALYST COL JIM CHAMPAGNE SAYS THE PASSING OF EITHER BILL WOULD BENEFIT OUR STATE.

A BILL CALLING FOR RANDOM DRUG TESTING OF 20% OF APPLICANTS FOR WELFARE CASH BENEFITS IS SCHEDULED FOR DEBATE ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY. THE BILL IS SPONSORED BY METAIRIE REP. JOHN LABRUZZO, WHO SAYS HIS BILL'S INTENT IS TO HELP DRUG USERS GET HELP OR AT THE VERY LEAST, NOT HELP SUPPORT THEIR HABIT.
LABRUZZO DEFENDS THE PRICE TAG FOR HIS LEGISLATION. HE SAYS THE TOTAL COST CAN EASILY BE ABSORBED INTO THE BUDGET; EVEN IN THESE TOUGH FISCAL TIMES. THE BILL WOULD APPLY TO A RANDOMLY SELECTED 20% OF THOSE APPLYING FOR FAMILY INDEPENDENCE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; ABOUT $200 IN MONTHLY DEBIT CARD SPENDING.

THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES AMENDMENTS TO THE STATE BUDGET BILL, THAT CAPS THE SALARIES OF THE NEXT EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT AND OTHERS. THE AMENDMENTS WERE BROUGHT BY JEANERETTE REP. SIMONE CHAMPAGNE (SHOM-PINE). SHE SAYS TO REMEMBER THAT FORMER EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT PAUL PASTOREK WAS PAID OVER $377-THOUSAND A YEAR. CHAMPAGNE'S AMENDMENTS WOULD BRING THE NEXT EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT'S COMPENSATION MORE IN LINE WITH WHAT'S PAID IN NEIGHBORING STATES. CHAMPAGNE SAYS HER AMENDMENT WOULD LIMIT THAT SALARY TO ABOUT $195 THOUSAND A YEAR. THE COMMITTEE APPROVED CHAMPAGNE'S AMENDMENT, PLUS ONE THAT PLACES A SIMILAR PAY LIMIT ON THE HEAD OFF THE STATE RECOVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT.

A PROPOSAL TO CREATE A REDEMPTION SYSTEM FOR RECYCLABLE BEVERAGE CONTAINERS WAS REJECTED BY THE HOUSE COMMERCE COMMITTEE AFTER FACING RESISTANCE FROM THE SOFT DRINK INDUSTRY, THE BEER INDUSTRY AND CONVENIENCE STORE OWNERS.
REP. EDDIE LAMBERT, R-GONZALES, SAID HE WAS TRYING TO ENCOURAGE RECYCLING WITH HIS BILL (HOUSE BILL 412), BECAUSE, HE WAS TIRED OF SEEING LITTER ALONG LOUISIANA'S ROADWAYS AND WATERWAYS. OPPONENTS SAID THE BILL WOULD PUT ADMINISTRATIVE AND REPORTING BURDENS ON BUSINESSES THAT SELL THE BOTTLED BEVERAGES AND WOULD CREATE A NEW BUREAUCRACY WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. THE COMMITTEE VOTED 14-3 AGAINST THE PROPOSAL, STALLING IT IN COMMITTEE.

THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE VOTED 13-1 AGAINST A PROPOSAL (HOUSE BILL 609) BY REP. HERBERT DIXON, D-ALEXANDRIA, TO INCREASE THE STATE INCOME TAX FOR MIDDLE- AND UPPER-INCOME RESIDENTS WHO ITEMIZE THEIR TAX DEDUCTIONS. IT WOULD HAVE RAISED $166 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE STATE BY CUTTING IN HALF THE EXCESS FEDERAL ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS LOUISIANIANS COULD DEDUCT ON STATE INCOME TAX FORMS AND WOULD HAVE DEDICATED THE MONEY TO HIGHER EDUCATION. AFTER THE VOTE, DIXON WAS QUOTED AS SAYING, "I GOT ONE VOTE. I THINK I NEED TO TAKE MY MARBLES AND GO HOME."

THE CONTROVERSIAL 70-CENT CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE HAS BEEN VOLUNTARILY DEFERRED BY THE AUTHOR OF THE BILL. THE MEASURE IS STILL ALIVE FOR THE SESSION, BUT BOGALUSA REPRESENTATIVE HAROLD RITCHIE WANTS TO WAIT UNTIL HE HAS VOTES TO PASS IT. A SEPARATE PROPOSAL TO RENEW A CURRENT FOUR-CENT TOBACCO TAX WAS APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE AND HEADS TO HOUSE FLOOR FOR FURTHER DEBATE. RENA THOMAS FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE SAYS THE GOVERNORS OFFICE STILL CONSIDERS THE RENEWAL A TAX INCREASE.

STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY STEPHEN MORET SAYS A LONG-IDLED PLANT IN ASCENSION PARISH WILL RESTART, BRINGING HUNDREDS OF NEW JOBS AT GOOD PAY. MORET SAYS THE ORMET CORPORATION TOOK ADVANTAGE OF TAX INCENTIVES TO RE-OPEN THE ALUMINA PLANT. HE SAYS IT'S A BIG BOOST FOR ASCENSION AND THE WHOLE CAPITAL REGION. MORET SAYS ORMET IS MAKING A $21-MILLION INVESTMENT IN RESTARTING THE PLANT. IT WILL CREATE NEARLY 1300 DIRECT AND INDIRECT JOBS. HE SAYS THE PROJECT WILL RESULT IN $20-MILLION IN NEW STATE TAX REVENUE AND OVER $10-MILLION IN LOCAL TAX REVENUE OVER SEVERAL YEARS. MORET SAYS LED'S FAST START TRAINING PROGRAM WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN ASSURING ORMET HAS A TRAINED WORKFORCE IN PLACE. HE SAYS THE PLANT WILL REOPEN IN A MATTER OF MONTHS

THERE'S GONNA BE ANOTHER CASINO IN LOUISIANA THAT'S GOING TO BE CALLED L'AUBERGE. PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT SAYS THE CASINO AND HOTEL IT PLANS TO BUILD WILL BE CALLED L'AUBERGE CASINO & HOTEL BATON ROUGE.

 

God Bless America!

970 KSYL On Air Now
CBS Weekend Roundup
12:00pm - 1:00pm
CBS Weekend Roundup
iheart Radio

Talkradio 970

Now A Member Of The

I Heart Radio Family!

Click The Logo To Listen!

KSYL News

The KSYL Morning Report

Monday Thru Friday 7:10a

Host

Dave Graichen

Click Player To Listen


 

The CBS World News Roundup

Click The Logo to listen

 

State Wire
On Twitter
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Kim Komando, The "Weekend" Roundup, Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy!), Art Bell, The Real Estate Show, Bill Handel, Chef John Folse "Stirin' It Up" , Doug Stephan's Weekend, The Pet Show & When Radio Was!.

Resources
Chef John Folse

Chef John Folse & Company

"Stirin' It Up"

Saturday At Noon!

 

 

 

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services