KSYL Local News

News For Monday 062011


NEWS FOR MONDAY 062011
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS SAYS IT WILL CLOSE THE LAST BAYS ON THE BONNET CARRE SPILLWAY TODAY. THE CORPS BEGAN OPENING THE SPILLWAY ON MAY 9 TO DIVERT FLOODWATERS IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AWAY FROM NEW ORLEANS AND INTO LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. ULTIMATELY, 330 OF THE SPILLWAY'S 350 BAYS WERE OPENED. THE CORPS STARTED CLOSING BAYS JUNE 12 AS RIVER LEVELS BEGAN TO FALL AFTER THE OPENING OF MORGANZA SPILLWAY. ONE BAY REMAINS OPEN ON THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY.

AS THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION PREPARES TO CLOSE THE NEXT POLITICAL SEASON IS GETTING UNDERWAY. PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY HE WILL RUN FOR LT. GOVERNOR. POLITICAL ANALYST CLANCY DUBOS SAYS NUNGESSER CAME CLOSE TO RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE IN 2009. DUBOS SAYS NUNGESSER IS A STRONG CANDIDATE, BUT INCUMBENT LT. GOVERNOR, JAY DARDENNE, IS THE ODDS ON FAVORITE TO WIN RE-ELECTION. HE SAYS DARDENNE HAS THE DEEP POCKETS NEEDED TO RUN. THERE'S ALSO BEEN REPORTS THAT NEW ORLEANS BUSINESSMAN JOHN GEORGES IS CONSIDERING A RUN AT LT. GOVERNOR.

LOUISIANA SENATORS ARE TAKING THEIR TURN AT CRAFTING A $25 BILLION BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR, WITH FEWER CUTS THAN THE HOUSE SOUGHT. THE FULL SENATE WAS DEBATING THE SPENDING PLAN SUNDAY. SENATE LEADERS ARE HOPING THEY CAN SWAY THE HOUSE ON THEIR IDEAS, WHICH INCLUDE $200 MILLION MORE IN SPENDING THAN THE HOUSE PROPOSED. SENATORS SAY THEY TRIED TO WORK WITHIN THE SPIRIT OF NEW HOUSE RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF ONE-TIME MONEY ON ONGOING STATE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES. THEY SAY THEY MATCHED UP ONE-TIME MONEY WITH ONE-TIME EXPENSES AND THEN STAYED WITHIN THE CONFINES SET BY THE HOUSE. HOUSE LEADERS ARE STILL COMBING THROUGH THE SENATE PLANS.

STATE HOUSE MEMBERS FIND OUT TODAY IF THE FEDERAL JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVES REDISTRICTING PLANS FOR THEIR CHAMBER. HOUSE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN RICK GALLOT, OF RUSTON, SAYS HE'S NOT SURE THE HOUSE PLAN WILL PASS FEDERAL MUSTER, BECAUSE SOME OF THE NEW DISTRICTS LACK RACIAL DIVERSITY. GALLOT SAYS PACKING MINORITIES--WHICH HE SAYS HAPPENED IN SHREVEPORT AND OTHER AREAS--USUALLY RESULTS IN LOPSIDED REPRESENTATION. THE HOUSE WILL FIND OUT TODAY WHETHER THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AGREES. IF THE FEDS REJECT THE PLAN, WHAT ARE LAWMAKERS' OPTIONS? GALLOT SAYS THERE ARE OTHER DISTRICT MAP PLANS TO FALL BACK ON.

THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK OF THE 2011 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. WHAT HAVE LAWMAKERS ACCOMPLISHED AND WHAT'S YET TO BE DONE? JOHN MAGINNIS, PUBLISHER OF "LAPOLITICS.COM," SAYS THE STATE BUDGET IS THE BIGGEST PRIORITY. MAGINNIS SAYS THERE'S A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO CHAMBERS OVER A COUPLE OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS DOLLARS. THE FISCAL YEAR THAT STARTS JULY 1ST HAS BEEN CALLED A "CLIFF YEAR" BY MANY; A YEAR IN WHICH MILLIONS IN FEDERAL MEDICAID AND DISASTER RECOVERY DOLLARS QUIT FLOWING TO THE STATE. MAGINNIS SAYS, CONSIDERING THE SESSION STARTED WITH A BILLION-DOLLAR DEFICIT, A SPAT BETWEEN CHAMBERS OVER SPENDING $200-MILLION IS NOT SO BAD.

THE PRICE AT THE GAS PUMP CONTINUES TO SLOWLY FALL. TRIPLE-A FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS HOW FAR PRICES WILL DROP DEPENDS ON WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEWS AND IN THE TROPICS. HE SAYS IF GOOD CONDITIONS HOLD WE COULD SEE SUBSTANTIAL RELIEF. STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GASOLINE IS $3.55, DOWN 25-CENTS FROM A MONTH AGO. BUT, IT STILL COSTS ABOUT A DOLLAR A GALLON MORE TO FILL UP YOUR VEHICLE THAN A YEAR AGO.

ANOTHER SEASON FOR THE WEST NILE VIRUS IS SET TO BEGIN IN LOUISIANA. THERE WERE 18 HUMAN CASES OF THE MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE IN THE BAYOU STATE LAST YEAR. KYLE MOPPERT, MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGIST WITH THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYS THEY ARE HOPING TO ONLY SEE A HANDFUL OF CASES THIS YEAR. WEST NILE SEASON USUALLY RUNS FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER, WITH PEAK ACTIVITY IN LATE JULY AND EARLY AUGUST. MOPPERT SAYS THE DRY WEATHER SHOULD KEEP MOSQUITO NUMBERS DOWN.

SHUTTERFLY ANNOUNCES ITS TEN MOST JOYOUS CITIES IN AMERICA LIST FOR 2011, AND THREE LOUISIANA CITIES MADE THE TOP 10. BEHIND NEW YORK, BATON ROUGE AND NEW ORLEANS CAME IN AT #2 AND #3 ON THE JOY LIST, AND LAFAYETTE CAME IN AT #7. SHUTTERFLY CHIEF STORYTELLER HEATHER MADDEN SAYS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY WAS TO SPOTLIGHT LOCATIONS THAT HAVE A GREAT STORY.

THE FEDERAL PROGRAM THAT HAS OFFERED FREE MEALS FOR DECADES TO SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN DURING THE SUMMER BREAK IS SUFFERING A GRADUAL DEMISE IN RAPIDES PARISH BECAUSE OF LOW PARTICIPATION. TWO LOCATIONS OF THE 33 IN RAPIDES PARISH HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF LOW TURNOUT. THE TWO DISTRIBUTION SITES CLOSED WERE AT JULIUS PATRICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN ALEXANDRIA AND ANOTHER THAT SERVED THE TOWN OF CHENEYVILLE. SOME OFFICIALS BELIEVE THE DAYS OF THE REMAINING LOCATIONS MAY BE NUMBERED, UNLESS ATTENDANCE INCREASES.

A NEW FLOOD MAP FOR LAFAYETTE PARISH IS EXPECTED TO OFFER A MIXED BAG, SHRINKING FLOOD ZONES IN SOME AREAS WHILE MAKING LARGE TRACTS OF VACANT LAND MORE DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP. THE FINAL VERSION OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY FLOOD MAP, THE FIRST UPDATE FOR THE PARISH SINCE 1996, HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, BUT CITY-PARISH OFFICIALS SAY IT SHOULD BE IN THEIR HANDS WITHIN A FEW WEEKS AND COULD BE IN PLACE BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.
THE MAP IS USED TO DETERMINE FLOOD INSURANCE RATES, TO SET ELEVATIONS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION IN FLOOD ZONES AND TO REGULATE DEVELOPMENT TO REDUCE FLOODING IMPACTS.

THE NAME OF THE NEWLY OPENED BRIDGE BETWEEN ST. FRANCISVILLE AND NEW ROADS WILL REMAIN NAMED AFTER JOHN JAMES AUDUBON RATHER THAN TWO U.S. MARINE CORPS GENERALS. THE LOUISIANA HOUSE ACCEPTED CHANGES MADE BY THE STATE SENATE ON A VOTE 80 TO 11. STATE REP. TOM MCVEA, R-ST. FRANCISVILLE, PUSHED HOUSE BILL 200 THAT WOULD NAME THE BRIDGE AFTER JOHN A. LEJEUNE AND ROBERT H. BARROW. MCVEA SAID HE WANTED TO HONOR TWO OF THE NATION’S MOST-DECORATED SOLDIERS WHO HAPPENED TO GROW UP ON EITHER SIDE OF THE $409 MILLION BRIDGE. BUT THE STATE SENATE AMENDED THE LEGISLATION TO NAME THE PARKWAY APPROACHES AFTER THE GENERALS AND REQUIRE MONUMENTS TO BE ERECTED TO THEIR MEMORIES, BUT TO LEAVE THE BRIDGE AFTER AUDUBON.

SPORTS…

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS ARE 3-AND-0 IN THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES.
LAST NIGHT. SOUTH CAROLINA RALLIED FROM A 4-0 DEFICIT TO BEAT TEXAS A-AND-M FIVE TO FOUR. SCOTT WINGO'S BASES LOADED SINGLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH WAS THE GAME WINNER FOR THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. SOUTH CAROLINA ADVANCES TO A BRACKET 2 WINNERS GAME AGAINST VIRGINIA ON TUESDAY NIGHT.

FLORIDA AND VANDERBILT BOTH WON ON SATURDAY AND THEY'LL FACE EACH OTHER TONIGHT IN A WINNER'S BRACKET CONTEST. IT WILL BE THE FIFTH TIME THESE TWO TEAMS HAVE MET THIS YEAR. THE GATORS WON THREE OF THE PREVIOUS FOUR MEETINGS THIS SEASON, INCLUDING THE SEC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, FORMER NEW ORLEANS ZEPHYRS MANAGER EDWIN RODRIGUEZ ANNOUNCED HIS RESIGNATION AS THE SKIPPER OF THE FLORIDA MARLINS. FLORIDA WON ONLY ONE GAME IN THE MONTH OF JUNE. EIGHTY-YEAR-OLD JACK MCKEON WILL REPORTEDLY TAKE OVER AS AN INTERIM MANAGER. HE GUIDED THE MARLINS TO A 2003 WORLD SERIES TITLE.

ALSO IN THE BIG LEAGUES...FORMER LSU PITCHER LOUIS COLEMAN GAVE UP A HOME RUN TO ALBERT PUJOLS, BUT PUJOLS (PULL-HOS) WOULD LATER LEAVE THE GAME AFTER INJURING HIS WRIST IN A COLLISION AT FIRST BASE. PUJOLS WILL BE REEVALUATED TODAY, BUT WILL LIKELY BE PUT ON THE D-L. THE CARDINALS ENDED UP WINNING THE GAME, FIVE TO FOUR OVER THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS.

TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD RORY MCILROY (MAC-IL-ROY) CRUISED TO AN EASY WIN AT THE U-S OPEN. MCILROY DOMINATED THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLF COURSE AND FINISHED AT 16-UNDER-PAR FOR THE FOUR DAY TOURNAMENT. FORMER LSU GOLFER DAVID TOMS FAILED TO MAKE THE CUT.

LOSING STREAKS ARE RARE FOR MICHAEL PHELPS BUT THE MOST RECOGNIZED SWIMMER IN THE WORLD LOST FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT TIME FINISHING A TENTH OF A SECOND BEHIND AUSTRALIA'S NICHOLAS D'ARCY IN THE 200 METER BUTTERFLY SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE SANTA CLARA INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX.

DENNY HAMLIN RACED TO HIS FIRST NASCAR SPRINT CUP VICTORY OVER THE YEAR SUNDAY AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY. HAMLIN WON EIGHT TIMES LAST YEAR AND WAS CONTENDED FOR THE SERIES TITLE BUT WAS UNABLE TO MATCH JIMMIE JOHNSON. HE WAS THUS FAR, WINLESS THIS SEASON AND ENTERED THE RACE 12TH IN THE POINTS STANDINGS. THE VICTORY MOVES HIM UP TO NINTH.




 

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