KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 06/08/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 060811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A STANDOFF ENDED IN VILLE PLATTE SHORTLY AFTER 7 P.M. LAST NIGHT WITH A SHOOTING SUSPECT DEAD, HOURS AFTER TWO LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE FRAUD INVESTIGATORS WERE SHOT AND KILLED. INVESTIGATORS WILL TRY TODAY TO DETERMINE WHAT MADE 67-YEAR-OLD INSURANCE AGENT MELVIN LAVERGNE SHOOT THE AGENTS AND BARRICADED HIMSELF INSIDE THE LAVERGNE'S INSURANCE AGENCY OFFICE AT 135 COURT ST. SHOT WERE INVESTIGATORS KIM SLEDGE AND RHETT JEANSONNE, BOTH FROM THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE'S PROPERTY AND CASUALTY TASK FORCE. . , AFTER A LONG STAND-OFF, TROOPERS STORMED THE BUILDING AND FOUND LAVERGNE DEAD FROM A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND.

THE STATE SENATE HAS VOTED APPROVAL OF A BILL TO CREATE A STUDY COMMISSION TO LOOK AT REPEALING STATE INCOME TAXES. BILL SPONSOR ROB MARIONNEAUX OF LIVONIA SAYS ENDING INCOME TAX IS SOMETHING THE STATE CAN DO, IF IT'S WILLING TO CUT SOME OF IT'S BILLIONS IN TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY. HIS BILL STARTED AS A STRAIGHT REPEAL OF INCOME TAXES, BUT WAS SUCCESSFULLY AMENDED BY MANDEVILLE SEN. JACK DONAHUE TO CREATE A STATE COMMISSION ON REVENUE AND EXPENSE, TO STUDY THE PROPOSAL. THE MEASURE, AS AMENDED, PASSED BY A 35-4 VOTE AND NOW GOES TO THE HOUSE.

A BILL BY THIBODAUX REPRESENTATIVE DEE RICHARD WHICH WOULD TRIM 5000 EMPLOYEES FROM THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS, IS HEADING FOR THE HOUSE FLOOR. THE BILL IS INSPIRED BY A PLAN TO SHRINK STATE GOVERNMENT BY STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY. IN TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE KENNEDY POINTED OUT THAT UNDER HIS PLAN LARGE SECTIONS OF STATE GOVERNMENT WOULD NEED TO REORGANIZE TO BECOME MORE EFFICIENT. HE SAYS THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS TOP HEAVY WITH UPPER AND MIDDLE MANAGERS.

A HOUSE-APPROVED BILL THAT WOULD REQUIRE 20-PERCENT OF WELFARE RECIPIENTS TO BE SUBJECT TO RANDOM DRUG TESTING RECEIVES A HEARING IN THE SENATE HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE TODAY. THIS IS METAIRIE REP. JOHN LABRUZZO'S THIRD ATTEMPT TO PASS THIS BILL.

PROPOSALS BACKED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL TO RAISE COLLEGE TUITION AND FEES AT FOUR-YEAR UNIVERSITIES HAVE RUN INTO TROUBLE IN THE LOUISIANA HOUSE.
A MEASURE BY REPUBLICAN REP. FRANK HOFFMANN TO INCREASE AN "OPERATIONAL FEE" CHARGED TO STUDENTS, SO THAT THE 4 PERCENT FEE GROWS AS TUITION RISES EACH YEAR, WAS OVERWHELMINGLY DEFEATED TUESDAY ON THE HOUSE FLOOR. LAWMAKERS VOTED 82-10 AGAINST IT. AFTER THAT VOTE, REPUBLICAN REP. HOLLIS DOWNS DELAYED ACTION ON A SECOND JINDAL-BACKED PROPOSAL TO REWORK THE WAY STUDENTS ARE CHARGED TUITION, WHICH WOULD GENERATE MORE MONEY FOR THE CAMPUSES.
THE TUITION AND FEE HIKES REQUIRE A TWO-THIRDS VOTE FOR PASSAGE.

IBERIA PARISH OFFICIALS ARE INVESTIGATING THE POSSIBLE SIGHTING OF A SUSPECT WANTED FOR ABDUCTING AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A LITTLE GIRL. SURVEILLANCE CAM VIDEO OF A PURSE SNATCHING AT A LOCAL BAR MAY SHOW 27-YEAR-OLD BRET THOMPSON, WHO'S WANTED IN DENVER. IBERIA SHERIFF'S SPOKESMAN RYAN TURNER SAYS INVESTIGATORS ARE GOING OVER THAT FOOTAGE TO DETERMINE IF THE MAN ON THE SCREEN IS THOMPSON. TURNER SAYS DEPUTIES ARE SHARING INFORMATION WITH THE FBI AND DENVER POLICE.

THE FULL HOUSE HAS PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD LET CERTAIN ELDERLY PRISON INMATES APPLY FOR AN EARLY PAROLE. BATON ROUGE REP. PATRICIA SMITH SPONSORS THE BILL. SHE SAYS THE BILL WOULD LET ONLY NON-VIOLENT & NON-SEX OFFENDERS, THAT ARE 60 OR OLDER, APPLY FOR A PAROLE HEARING. HER BILL IS NO GUARANTEE OF EARLY RELEASE; THAT'S UP TO THE PAROLE BOARD. SMITH SAYS HER BILL CAN HELP REHABILITATE ELDERLY INMATES AND MOTIVATE OTHERS TO GOOD BEHAVIOR. SMITH WAS SUPPORTED BY NEW ORLEANS REP. WALT LEGER III, WHO SAYS ANGOLA WARDEN BURL CAIN LIKES THE LEGISLATION. NO ONE SPOKE IN OPPOSITION. THE HOUSE VOTED 65-25 IN FAVOR OF THE BILL. IT WILL NOW MOVE TO THE SENATE.

LOUISIANA CONGRESSMEN AND STATE OFFICIALS SEEK EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR DREDGING OPERATIONS ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. THE RECORD LEVELS HAVE BROUGHT DOWN MORE SEDIMENT WHICH MAKES BARGE TRAVEL ON THE RIVER MORE DIFFICULT. STATE AG COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS THEY ARE CALLING ON CONGRESS TO GIVE THE CORPS AND ADDITIONAL $66-MILLION TO DREDGE THE RIVER.

THE LOUISIANA SENATE HAS BACKED A JINDAL ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL TO CREATE A NEW CORPORATION TO RUN ALL STATE HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. THE NONPROFIT LOUISIANA HOUSING CORPORATION WOULD TAKE OVERSIGHT OF PROGRAMS CURRENTLY SPREAD ACROSS FIVE AGENCIES AND DEVELOP A UNIFIED HOUSING POLICY FOR THE STATE. AN 11-MEMBER BOARD WITH EIGHT GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTEES WOULD RUN THE CORPORATION. THE CORPORATION WOULD OVERSEE RENTAL ASSISTANCE, HOME OWNERSHIP PROMOTION PROGRAMS, HOMELESS PREVENTION, HOUSING-RELATED CHILD CARE AND HURRICANE RECOVERY DOLLARS FOR REBUILDING RENTAL HOUSING.

A BATON ROUGE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CAUSING A FIERY INTERSTATE 10 CRASH THAT KILLED FIVE MEMBERS OF A GEORGIA FAMILY, INCLUDING A 2-YEAR-OLD, IN 2009. 31-ONE-YEAR-OLD DWAYNE LEGGETT HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO MULTIPLE VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CHARGES. LEGGETT WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.

A SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVES HOUSE-PASSED LEGISLATION TO BAN ALL SALES OF SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA, AND THE SO CALLED "BATH SALTS." GRETNA REPRESENTATIVE RICKY TEMPLET SAYS HIS BILL HAS LANGUAGE THAT WILL HOPEFULLY STAY AHEAD OF CHEMISTS, WHO CIRCUMVENTED LAST YEAR'S "SYNTHA-WEED" LAW BY SIMPLY CHANGING THEIR FORMULA. TEMPLET SAYS HIS BILL ALSO ENCOMPASSES THE SALES OF EXOTIC "BATH SALTS" THAT PEOPLE USE LIKE COCAINE OR CRYSTAL METH. THE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO REPORT TEMPLET'S BILL FAVORABLY AND SEND IT TO THE SENATE FLOOR FOR FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE.

THE STATE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S OFFICE HAS RELEASED A SCATHING COMPLIANCE AUDIT OF THE TOWN OF JONESBORO'S FINANCES. IN THE AUDIT, STATE AUDITORS FOUND THAT THE TOWN'S FINANCES WERE IN DISARRAY AND THAT THE TOWN MAY HAVE VIOLATED STATE LAWS RELATING TO SEVERAL AREAS OF MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS, INCLUDING THE FAILURE TO COLLECT DELINQUENT UTILITY ACCOUNTS, FAILURE TO FOLLOW STATE BID LAW AND SPENDING MORE THAN $2,500 ON A CATERED INAUGURATION CEREMONY. MAYOR LESLIE THOMPSON SAYS TOWN OFFICIALS HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TAKING STEPS TO CORRECT THE AUDIT FINDINGS.

SPORTS..

THE N-B-A FINALS ARE TIED AT TWO GAMES A PIECE AFTER THE MAVERICKS RALLIED FROM A SEVEN-POINT DEFICIT TO BEAT MIAMI 86-83. FORMER HORNET TYSON CHANDLER HAD A BIG GAME AS THE VETERAN CENTER HAD 13 POINTS AND 16 REBOUNDS. GAME FIVE IS TOMORROW NIGHT IN DALLAS.

THE MAN CURRENTLY APPOINTED BY THE NBA TO HEAD THE HORNETS BASKETBALL TEAM SAYS THE NBA STANDS FIRM ON EFFORTS TO KEEP THE TEAM IN NEW ORLEANS. JAC SPERLING SAYS HE'S BEEN IN TALKS WITH A HANDFUL OF POTENTIAL BUYERS WHO WOULD KEEP THE CLUB IN NEW ORLEANS FOR THE LONG TERM IF REVENUE STREAMS ARE STRONG ENOUGH.

THE NFL AND PLAYERS REPORTEDLY HAVE RESUMED TALKS IN SECRET MEETINGS THIS WEEK TO WORK TOWARD A RESOLUTION THAT WOULD END THE THREE MONTH-OLD LOCKOUT.

THREE LSU PLAYERS WERE SELECTED TUESDAY DURING DAY 2 OF THE 2011 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DRAFT. JUNIOR RIGHT HANDED PITCHER TYLER JONES WAS CHOSEN IN THE 11TH ROUND BY MINNESOTA, JUNIOR RIGHT HANDED PITCHER MATTY OTT WAS CHOSEN IN THE 13TH ROUND BY BOSTON AND SENIOR RIGHT HANDED PITCHER BEN ALSUP WAS CHOSEN IN THE 18TH ROUND BY COLORADO.

LOUISIANA TECH'S LEFT HANDED PITCHER KYLE ROLIARD WAS CHOSEN WITH THE 408TH OVERALL PICK IN THE DRAFT'S 13TH ROUND BY THE COLORADO ROCKIES.

TECH PITCHER MIKE JEFFERSON WAS SELECTED WITH THE 662ND OVERALL PICK IN THE DRAFTS 22ND ROUND BY THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES.

TECH'S THIRD BASEMAN MARK THRELKELD WAS SELECTED WITH THE 756TH OVERALL PICK IN THE 25TH ROUND BY THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS.

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY SHORTSTOP JUSTIN BOUDREAUX WAS SELECTED IN THE 14TH ROUND BY THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS.

ROUNDS 2-30 OF THE MLB DRAFT WERE COMPLETED ON TUESDAY. THE DRAFT CONCLUDES TODAY WITH ROUNDS 31-50.

LOUISIANA TECH HAS HAD ITS BEST FINISH EVER IN THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COMMISSIONER'S CUP THIS YEAR PLACING 6TH OUT OF NINE TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE. TECH GARNERED A TOTAL OF 61.75 POINTS AND WAS ONLY 2.25 POINTS SHY OF TYING NEVADA FOR 6TH PLACE...BEHIND BULLDOG CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCES BY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL, WOMEN'S INDOOR & OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD.





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