KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 061411


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 061411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LOREN LAMPERT, A RAPIDES PARISH ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WILL SERVE AS ALEXANDRIA PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER WHILE THE CITY SEARCHES FOR A NEW POLICE CHIEF. THE APPOINTMENT WAS ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY BY MAYOR JACQUES ROY DURING PRESS BRIEFING. ROGER TULLY RESIGNED AS POLICE CHIEF LAST WEEK AFTER 10 MONTHS ON THE JOB. MAYOR ROY HAS PROMISED “QUICK AND DECISIVE ACTION TO REPLACE HIM." CHIEF TULLY CITED PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES FOR HIS IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION.

THE SENATE HAS DEFEATED A BILL THAT WOULD REQUIRE MORE TRANSPARENCY OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. THE BILL, BY BENTON SEN. ROBERT ADLEY, WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THE GOVERNOR TO MAKE HIS SCHEDULE AND SOME MEETING CONTENT AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC SCRUTINY.

AN ATTEMPT TO REPEAL STATE INCOME TAXES WAS REVIVED BY THE HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE. THE PROPOSAL BY LIVONIA SEN. ROB MARIONNEAUX PASSED OUT OF THE SENATE AS A MEASURE TO STUDY A POSSIBLE REPEAL. POLITICAL ANALYST JOHN MAGINNIS, WITH "LAPOLITICS.COM" SAYS THE HOUSE COMMITTEE RESTORED THE REPEAL AND NARROWED THE FOCUS OF THE BILL. THE BILL WOULD BEGIN A PHASE OUT OF PERSONAL INCOME TAXES, OVER A 10-YEAR PERIOD, BEGINNING IN 2014. HE SAYS THAT WOULD GIVE LAWMAKERS PLENTY OF TIME TO MAKES BUDGET CUTS OR FIND WAYS TO REPLACE THE LOST REVENUES.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SEEMS TO BE HAVING A TOUGH TIME PUSHING HIS POLITICAL AGENDA THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION. ULL POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR PEARSON CROSS SAYS LEGISLATORS ARE NOT AS WILLING TO GIVE IN TO THE GOVERNOR AS THEY HAVE IN PAST SESSIONS. HE SAYS THE HOUSE, AS A WHOLE, IS GENERALLY MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN JINDAL IS. THE UNO/SUNO MERGER, COLLEGE FEE HIKES, AND THE SELLING OF STATE PRISONS ARE EXAMPLES OF JINDAL BACKED LEGISLATION THAT FAILED TO PASS.

LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN PARTY MEMBERS ARE FEELING PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THE RE-ELECTION OF GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL THIS FALL. REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE PRESIDENT CHARLIE DAVIS, OF BATON ROUGE, SAYS CONFIDENCE IS RUNNING HIGH RIGHT NOW. SO FAR ONLY ONE PERSON, HAYNESVILLE DEMOCRATIC SCHOOL TEACHER TARA
HOLLIS, HAS DECLARED THE INTENT TO CHALLENGE JINDAL. DAVIS SAYS THE GOP HAS A SUPPORT STRATEGY FOR JINDAL'S CAMPAIGN, WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE RESTING ON THEIR LAURELS.

CLAIBORNE PARISH PUBLIC-SCHOOL TEACHER AND DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE TARA HOLLIS LAUNCHES AN ONLINE-AD CAMPAIGN AGAINST GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL. IN THE COMMERCIAL HOLLIS ACCUSES JINDAL OF SACRIFICING THE FUTURE OF LOUISIANA FOR HIS OWN POLITICAL AGENDA AND RAISING THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. THE ADS ARE CURRENTLY ONLY RUNNING ON HOLLIS'S WEBSITE AND ON YOUTUBE WHILE SHE AWAITS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. THE ADS ALSO TAKE A SHOT A JINDAL FOR BEING THE SO-CALLED, "TRAVELING GOVERNOR".

A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO DEDICATE MORE DOLLARS TO MERIT-BASED TOPS SCHOLARSHIPS IS CLOSER TO FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE; APPROVED YESTERDAY BY THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. WESTWEGO SEN. JOHN ALARIO SPONSORS THE BILL THAT WOULD DEDICATE A PORTION OF FUTURE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT DOLLARS TO TOPS. THE MEASURE NOW GOES TO THE HOUSE FLOOR.

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR GOVERNOR JINDAL TO EITHER SIGN OR VETO A BILL THAT RENEWS A 4-CENT TAX ON CIGARETTES THAT EXPIRES A YEAR FROM NOW. THE GOVERNOR CONSIDERS THE MEASURE A NEW TAX AND VOWS TO USE HIS VETO PEN. POLITICAL ANALYST BERNIE PINSONAT EXPECTS MR. JINDAL WILL BE AS GOOD AS HIS WORD. IF MR. JINDAL VETOES, AND LAWMAKERS SUCCESSFULLY OVERRIDE...IT WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THAT'S HAPPENED IN LOUISIANA IN 20 YEARS.

A BELLE CHASSE LEGISLATOR HAS WITHDRAWN A BILL THAT WOULD MOUNT A WIDE RANGING ATTACK ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AFTER QUESTIONS AROSE ABOUT THE COST OF ENFORCING IT. INDEPENDENT REP. ERNEST WOOTON SAYS HIS BILL WOULD HELP SECURE THE BORDERS BY PROMPTING FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO BETTER ENFORCE IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS. CRITICS SAY HIS MEASURE'S $11 MILLION ESTIMATED COST WOULD STRAIN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND LEAD TO RACIAL PROFILING.

DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE LED TO CAMPFIRES AND COOKING FIRES BEING BANNED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE IN THE KISATCHIE NATIONAL FOREST EXCEPT IN OFFICIAL U.S. FOREST SERVICE RECREATION SITES. PROPANE AND COLEMAN-TYPE STOVES ARE ALLOWED IN OFFICIAL RECREATION SITES. OTHERWISE, NO FIRES OF ANY KIND ARE ALLOWED.

A STRETCH OF THE ATCHAFALAYA BASIN IN ST. MARTIN PARISH HAS BEEN REOPENED TO BOAT TRAFFIC AFTER OFFICIALS DETERMINED IT WAS SAFE TO USE AGAIN. THE 4-MILE STRETCH WAS REOPENED MONDAY BY THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES. THE AREA WAS CLOSED DUE TO THE FLOODING ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER THAT FORCED THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO OPEN THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY.

THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE NARROWLY AGREED MONDAY TO ADD NEW ROADBLOCKS TO BUILDING A PUBLIC MEDICAL CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS. THE PROPOSAL HEADED TO THE HOUSE FOR DEBATE WOULD REQUIRE ANOTHER LAYER OF LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FROM BOTH THE FULL HOUSE AND SENATE BEFORE DOLLARS COULD BE BORROWED OR CONTRACTS COULD BE MADE TO BUILD THE HOSPITAL. THE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER TEACHING AND RESEARCH FACILITY PROPOSED BY LSU AND BACKED BY REPUBLICAN GOV. BOBBY JINDAL WOULD COST AN ESTIMATED $1.2 BILLION, WHILE U.S. SEN. DAVID VITTER AND OTHER REPUBLICAN LEADERS ARE PITCHING A SCALED-BACK PROPOSAL THEY SAY WOULD COST ABOUT $800 MILLION.

ADVOCATES OF A LESS COSTLY PLAN FOR CREATING A WORLD-CLASS TEACHING HOSPITAL IN NEW ORLEANS SAY GOVERNOR JINDAL IS AGREEABLE TO CONSIDERING THEIR PROPOSAL. THE PLAN WAS SUBMITTED BY SEN. DAVID VITTER, HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER AND STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY. KENNEDY SAYS THE MEETING WITH THE JINDAL AND THE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CTR. BOARD WENT WELL. KENNEDY, TUCKER AND VITTER PROPOSED A PLAN TO ESTABLISH A UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IN COOPERATION WITH TULANE'S AREA HOSPITALS. THE PLAN WOULD CALL FOR BUILDING A NEW FACILITY TOO, BUT AT A CHEAPER COST THAN THE $1.2-BILLION PLAN PREFERRED BY LSU. KENNEDY SAYS THE ALTERNATE PLAN WOULD SPARE THE STATE HAVING TO BORROW $400-MILLION FOR CONSTRUCTION. A CONSULTANT STUDY SAYS THE CURRENT PLAN, PUT FORWARD BY LSU AND THE GOVERNOR, IS UNSUSTAINABLE.

FLOODWATERS HAVE FALLEN ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA TO A POINT WHERE PROPERTY OWNERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO GO BACK TO THEIR PROPERTY TO ACCESS THE DAMAGE AND BEGIN THE REBUILDING PROCESS. MEANWHILE, FIFTH LOUISIANA LEVEE DISTRICT PRESIDENT REYNOLD MINSKY SAYS RECORD RIVER LEVELS WEAKENED LEVEES AND ITS GOING TO TAKE ABOUT 700-MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MONEY TO REPAIR THEM.

THE LAFOURCHE PARISH COUNCIL IS TAKING A VOTE TONIGHT WHICH MAY IMPOSE A BAN THE SALE AND USE OF FIREWORKS OVER THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY BECAUSE OF WIDESPREAD DROUGHT CONDITIONS. PARISH PRESIDENT CHARLOTTE RANDOLPH SAYS SHE HAS HEARD THE CONCERNS OF FIRE OFFICIALS FROM ACROSS THE PARISH.

THE EVANGELINE PARISH POLICE JURY ON MONDAY APPROVED ADOPTING A MASTER PLAN FOR THE JURY’S ROAD BUILDING PROCESS KNOWN AS “CHIP SEALING.” THE CHIP SEALING PROGRAM BEGAN FOUR YEARS AGO AND SINCE HAS BEEN USED TO HARD SURFACE ABOUT 70 MILES OF PARISH ROADS. THE PROCESS INVOLVES THREE LAYERS OF TAR AND LIMESTONE ALONG WITH A SEALER. THE PROCESS IS ECONOMICAL COMPARED WITH ASPHALT. CHIP SEALING A MILE OF ROAD COSTS $50,000 COMPARED WITH $220,000 FOR ONE MILE OF ASPHALT ROAD.

SHREVEPORT POLICE ARE RED-FACED , AFTER ONE OF THEIR PATROL CARS WAS FOUND YESTERDAY MORNING UP ON CINDER BLOCKS--ALL FOUR WHEELS AND TIRES STOLEN. THE UNIT WAS PARKED ALL WEEKEND AT A BUSINESS AWAITING SOME WORK TO BE DONE. THEY THINK THIEVES COMMITTED THE CRIME SOMETIME LATE LAST NIGHT.

THE CONCORDIA PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS PARISH RESIDENTS HAVE LOST THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO SCAMMERS WHO PRETEND TO BE RELATIVES WHO ARE ABROAD AND NEED CASH IN A HURRY. AUTHORITIES SAY THAT THE CON ARTISTS USE THE INTERNET TO LEARN FAMILY NAMES TO USE FOR THEIR STORIES.

A CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTY SHOT HIMSELF IN THE LEG OUTSIDE THE PARISH JAIL AS HE WAS PUTTING HIS GUN INTO THE HOLSTER. DEPUTIES SAY NO PRISONERS WERE NEARBY WHEN THE ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING HAPPENED AND NO ONE ELSE WAS INJURED.

A BELLE CHASSE LEGISLATOR HAS WITHDRAWN A BILL THAT WOULD MOUNT A WIDE-RANGING ATTACK ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AFTER QUESTIONS AROSE ABOUT THE COST OF ENFORCING IT. INDEPENDENT REP. ERNEST WOOTON SAYS HIS BILL WOULD HELP SECURE THE BORDERS BY PROMPTING FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO BETTER ENFORCE IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS. CRITICS SAY HIS MEASURE'S $11 MILLION ESTIMATED COST WOULD STRAIN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND LEAD TO RACIAL PROFILING.



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