KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 7/5/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 070511
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

CLECO CORP.'S PURCHASE OF $609,000 WORTH OF LOUISIANA HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDITS WILL ALLOW THE CONTINUED CONSTRUCTION AT THE HISTORIC HEADQUARTERS OF THE CENLA AMERICAN RED CROSS. LEE ANN MURPHY WITH THE RED CROSS SAYS THEY PLAN TO BUILD OUT THE SECOND FLOOR AND PURCHASE AN ELEVATOR WITH THE FUNDS GENERATED FROM THE CREDITS. THE 1920S-ERA BUILDING ON BOLTON AVENUE IN ALEXANDRIA ONCE HOUSED THE COTTON BROTHERS BAKERY AND LATER THE MORGAN WALKER BUS LINE.

IT WILL BE AT THE MINIMUM AT LEASE ANOTHER YEAR BEFORE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE SUGARHOUSE ROAD EXTENSION PROJECT IN SOUTH ALEXANDRIA. THE PROJECT HAS BEEN ON THE WAITING LIST FOR CLOSE TO FIFTY YEARS AND FOR A WHILE IT LOOKED LIKE THE PROJECT THAT WOULD CONNECT HIGHWAY 1 AND I-49 WAS FINALLY GOING TO COME TO LIFE. HOWEVER. LOUISIANA'S JUST-COMPLETED CAPITAL OUTLAY BILL KEEPS $6.7 MILLION IN STATE MONEY TO HELP PLAN AND BUILD THE EXTENSION AT PRIORITY 5 -- THE LOWEST PRIORITY. SO THE WAITING GAME WILL CONTINUE.

FIVE RAPIDES PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BEGIN THE 2011-12 ACADEMIC YEAR IN AUGUST WITH NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE HELM. NEW PRINCIPALS ARE BEING APPOINTED AT BUCKEYE AND OAK HILL HIGH SCHOOLS, AND RUBY-WISE, LESSIE MOORE AND NORTH BAYOU RAPIDES ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. THE NEW PRINCIPAL AT BUCKEYE HIGH WILL BE JONATHAN GARRETT, WHO LAST SCHOOL YEAR WAS APPOINTED AS PRINCIPAL OF RUBY-WISE ELEMENTARY. ALYSON JOHNSON, WHO MOST RECENTLY HEADED LESSIE MOORE ELEMENTARY IN PINEVILLE, WILL TAKE OVER AS PRINCIPAL OF NORTH BAYOU RAPIDES ELEMENTARY IN ALEXANDRIA. JACKIE TROTTIE, WHO WAS PRINCIPAL OF NORTH BAYOU RAPIDES, IS BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE POSITION OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT LIAISON TITLE I. EMILY WEATHERFORD, WHO WAS PRINCIPAL AT OAK HILL HIGH, IS MOVING TO THE POSITION OF SECONDARY SUPERVISOR OF ENGLISH AND SOCIAL STUDIES. PRINCIPALS HAVE NOT BEEN ANNOUNCED YET FOR OAK HILL HIGH AND LESSIE MOORE ELEMENTARY.

A MARKSVILLE MAN HAS BEEN KILLED IN A SINGLE-CAR CRASH IN AVOYELLES PARISH SATURDAY NIGHT. STATE POLICE REPORT 46-YEAR-OLD PATRICK M. COUNTEE WAS EJECTED FROM HIS VEHICLE AFTER CRASHING INTO A TREE WHILE DRIVING ALONG LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 1192 IN AVOYELLES PARISH. POLICE SAY COUNTEE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT AVOYELLES HOSPITAL IN MARKSVILLE. THE CRASH REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

A WOULD BE HERO WAS KILLED OVER THE WEEKEND. AUTHORITIES SAY 47 YEAR OLD LOUIS MORALES DROWNED OFF A GRAND ISLE BEACH AFTER BEING DRAGGED OUT BY A STRONG CURRENT ON SUNDAY. WITNESSES TOLD AUTHORITIES, A YOUNG GIRL AND ANOTHER MAN WERE FISHING ON THE ROCKS WHEN THE GIRL FELL IN. BOTH MEN JUMPED IN TO RESCUE THE GIRL. THE OTHER MAN MADE IT OUT WITH HER, BUT MORALES WAS DRAGGED OFF BY THE CURRENT.

GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS SIGNED INTO LAW A BILL THAT RETURNS LOUISIANA'S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES TO THE MONTH OF MARCH. THE BILL WAS CO-SPONSORED BY CHALMETTE REP. NITA HUTTER AND SHREVEPORT REP. ALAN SEABAUGH. SEABAUGH SAYS THE BILL UNDOES CHANGES MADE A FEW YEARS BACK. LOUISIANA'S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES WERE HELD IN FEBRUARY. SEABAUGH SAYS BOTH PARTIES PENALIZED STATES THAT MOVED THEIR PRIMARIES EARLIER, BY LIMITING THEIR DELEGATES AT THE NATIONAL CONVENTIONS. STARTING IN 2012, PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES WILL BE HELD IN LATE MARCH.

A SURVEY IS UNDER WAY TO SEE HOW MOTORISTS WOULD FEEL ABOUT PAYING TOLLS TO HELP COMPLETE I-49 SOUTH FROM LAFAYETTE TO NEW ORLEANS. LAFAYETTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT ROB GUIDRY IS ALSO ON THE EXPRESSWAY COMMISSION. HE SAYS HIS INFORMAL POLLING HAS INDICATED FOLKS ARE WILLING TO PAY TOLLS FOR BETTER ROADS. GUIDRY SAYS STATE FUNDING TO BUILD AN ELEVATED I-49, FROM I-10 TO THE
SOUTHEAST TOWARDS THE CRESCENT CITY, WON'T BE COMING ANY TIME SOON. HE SAYS CHARGING TOLLS TO USE I-49 COULD GENERATE THE REVENUE TO START CONSTRUCTION.
GUIDRY SAYS CONSULTANTS ARE CONDUCTING THE SURVEY, TO DETERMINE IF A TOLL ROAD WOULD BE AN ACCEPTABLE METHOD OF FUNDING I-49 SOUTH. HE SAYS THEIR REPORT IS DUE IN EARLY FALL.

MEMBERS OF A STATE TEACHERS' UNION SPENT THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND AT A NATIONAL EDUCATORS CONVENTION IN CHICAGO; DISCUSSING CHALLENGES IN PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING AND TEACHER EVALUATIONS. LA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS PRESIDENT JOYCE HAYNES SAYS PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN LOUISIANA ARE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP WITH STATE REFORMS. HAYNES SAYS LAE MEMBERS ARE UPSET THAT--FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR THE STATE HAS KEPT FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS STATIC. SHE SAYS COSTS HAVE GONE UP, WHILE BUDGETS REMAIN FLAT. SHE SAYS LAE TEACHERS RESENT NEW
EVALUATIONS THAT TIME STUDENTS' STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES AS HALF OF
TEACHERS' ANNUAL REVIEW. HAYNES SAYS GOOD TEACHERS WILL FACE TERMINATION BECAUSE SOME OF THEIR STUDENTS PERFORM POORLY ON THE ANNUAL STANDARDIZED TESTS.

STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS A LAPLACE HOUSE FIRE OVER THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY WAS STARTED WHEN SOMEONE DELIBERATELY SHOT FIREWORKS INTO THE HOME.
BROWNING SAYS IT MAY HAVE BEEN INTENDED AS A SIMPLE PRANK, BUT SOMEONE COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN HURT OR KILLED. BROWNING SAYS 8 PEOPLE WERE IN THE HOME. SOME WERE TREATED FOR SMOKE INHALATION, BUT NO ONE WAS SERIOUSLY HURT.

God Bless America!

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