KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 062811


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 062811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO THE DEATH OF A BALL POLICE OFFICER OVER THE WEEKEND. STATE POLICE TROOPER SCOTT MOREAU SAYS 47-YEAR-OLD RUSSELL GEORGE WAS KILLED WHEN HE HIT AN ABANDONED BICYCLE IN THE ROAD WITH HIS CAR. HE APPARENTLY LOST CONTROL AND COLLIDED WITH SEVERAL TREES. THE VEHICLE THEN BECAME ENGULFED IN FLAMES. AUTHORITIES SAY THEY BELIEVE IT WAS A FREAK ACCIDENT.

STATE POLICE SAY A PICKUP TRUCK THAT CRASHED IN LOCKPORT ON MONDAY CONTAINED 10 PIPE BOMBS. THE ONE-VEHICLE ROLLOVER CRASH HAPPENED AROUND 7:30 A.M. ON LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 308. TROOPERS SAID THAT WHEN EMERGENCY CREWS WERE TRYING RIGHT THE TRUCK, THEY NOTICED THE DEVICES. TROOPERS SAID NINE OF THEM WERE MADE WITH PLASTIC PIPE AND ONE WAS MADE WITH GALVANIZED METAL PIPE. OFFICERS BURIED THE BOMBS IN AN EMPTY FIELD AND DETONATED THEM MONDAY AFTERNOON. A STRETCH OF THE HIGHWAY, LOCATED IN A REMOTE AREA OF LAFOURCHE PARISH, WAS CLOSED FOR SEVERAL HOURS. THE DRIVER WAS TAKEN TO A HOSPITAL. AUTHORITIES WOULD NOT RELEASE HIS IDENTITY OR SPECULATE ON WHAT THE BOMBS WERE INTENDED FOR.

GAS PRICES ARE ON THE DECLINE AS WE MOVE TOWARDS ONE OF THE BUSIEST TRAVELING WEEKENDS OF THE YEAR. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GASOLINE IS BELOW $3.45. TRIPLE-A FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS GAS PRICES HAVE FALLEN NEARLY A QUARTER IN THE LAST MONTH.

THE SEVERE DROUGHT ACROSS THE STATE IS IMPACTING EVENTS AND THE ECONOMY. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS IF WE DON'T RECEIVE SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL THIS WEEK THE STATE WILL SET A NEW RECORD FOR THE DRIEST FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR EVER, SURPASSING THE PREVIOUS RECORD SET IN 1963. SO FAR THIS YEAR, JANUARY THROUGH JUNE, THE STATE HAS SEEN 17.2 INCHES OF RAIN. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 17.9 INCHES. THE DROUGHT HAS ALREADY PUT THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF CROPS IN JEOPARDY AND PUT A HUGE STRAIN ON FARMERS BUDGETS TO PAY FOR
IRRIGATION AND HAY FOR LIVESTOCK.

COULD FORMER GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS SOON HAVE HIS OWN REALITY TV SHOW? THE CAJUN PRINCE MADE A POST ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE SUNDAY SAYING THAT EARLY NEGOTIATIONS ARE BEING MADE WITH A PRODUCER TO DO A SHOW AROUND EDWARDS' PERSONAL LIFE. LSU MEDIA PROFESSOR BOB MANN BELIEVES AN EWE REALITY SHOW WOULD MAKE FOR AN INTERESTING SERIES. AFTER ALL, MANN SAYS, IF THE CAKE BOSS CAN GATHER RATINGS, THEN SO CAN GOVERNOR EDWARDS.

THE SUPREME COURT WILL LEAVE ALONE A STATE COURT ORDER REQUIRING TOBACCO COMPANIES TO PAY $270 MILLION FOR A SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAM IN LOUISIANA.
THE JUSTICES ON MONDAY TURNED AWAY AN APPEAL FROM CIGARETTE MAKERS IN A LONG-RUNNING CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT FIRST FILED BY LOUISIANA SMOKERS IN MAY 1996.
THE SMOKERS PREVAILED AT EVERY STEP IN STATE COURTS, BUT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA TEMPORARILY BLOCKED PAYMENT OF THE MONEY IN SEPTEMBER, CITING CONCERNS THAT THE CIGARETTE MAKERS MIGHT HAVE BEEN DEPRIVED OF THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS.

A BATON ROUGE MAN HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO CHARGES STEMMING FROM THE 2007 SLAYING OF TWO LSU STUDENTS FROM INDIA. DEVIN PARKER PLEADED GUILTY TO ARMED ROBBERY AND ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT IN THE KILLING OF 33-YEAR-OLD FOREIGN STUDENT. HE IS ALSO CHARGED WITH THE SECOND DEGREE MURDER OF ANOTHER STUDENT.

RENOVATIONS TO THE LOUISIANA SUPERDOME ARE DUE TO BE COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND. 336-MILLION DOLLARS IN RENOVATIONS HAVE BEEN DONE TO THE SUPERDOME SINCE HURRICANE KATRINA, 85-MILLION TO RECONFIGURE THE LOWER BOWL ALONE. ROM FOREMAN, CHIEF OF THE GOVERNING BOARD THAT OVERSEES THE SUPERDOME SAYS WILL CREWS WILL WORK RIGHT UP TO THE DEADLINE THIS WEEKEND.

WITH THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY APPROACHING, FIREWORKS HAVE BEEN BANNED WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF MANSFIELD. MONDAY'S BAN BY THE CITY'S BOARD OF ALDERMEN STAYS IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. FIRE CHIEF LEE SHAVER ASKED FOR THE BAN, CITING DRY CONDITIONS AND THIS WEEK'S FORECAST OF 100-PLUS DEGREE TEMPERATURES. SHREVEPORT AND BOSSIER CITY HAVE BANNED FIREWORKS SALES THROUGH THE END OF JUNE BECAUSE OF DRY CONDITIONS

A MEMBER OF THE OPELOUSAS BOARD OF ALDERMEN HAS FILED A LAWSUIT SEEKING TO OVERTURN HIS OUSTER THIS MONTH AS MAYOR PRO TEM. ALDERMAN REGINALD TATUM IS SEEKING REINSTATEMENT TO THE POSITION, UNSPECIFIED DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY FEES IN A LAWSUIT FILED FRIDAY IN STATE COURT IN ST. LANDRY PARISH. THE LAWSUIT ALLEGES THAT THE VOTE TO REMOVE TATUM FROM THE PRO TEM POSITION WAS NOT LEGAL AND THAT OPELOUSAS MAYOR DONALD CRAVINS SR. HAD IMPROPERLY MET WITH THREE ALDERMEN TO DISCUSS TATUM’S REMOVAL. TATUM SAID IN THE LAWSUIT THAT HE WAS “EMBARRASSED AND HUMILIATED” BY THE REMOVAL, WHICH CAME AFTER TATUM JOINED AN INFORMAL GROUP THAT IS LOOKING INTO ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES AT THE OPELOUSAS HOUSING AUTHORITY AND THE MAYOR’S OFFICE.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SAYS A 33-YEAR-OLD AIRMAN FROM LOUISIANA HAS DIED IN AFGHANISTAN. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS SAID TUESDAY THAT TECH. SGT. DANIEL L. DOUVILLE, OF HARVEY, DIED SUNDAY AS A RESULT OF INJURIES SUFFERED FROM AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE IN HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN. DOUVILLE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 96TH CIVIL ENGINEER SQUADRON, EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLA.


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