KSYL Local News

News For Friday 070811


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 070811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A THREE VEHICLE CRASH YESTERDAY MORNING CLAIMED THE LIFE OF AN ELDERLY WOMAN FROM POLLOCK. TROOPERS SAY THE CRASH OCCURRED ON US HWY 165 AT AIRBASE ROAD AND CLAIMED THE LIFE OF 94 YEAR OLD JESSIE CARPENTER. THE DRIVER OF ONE OF THE OTHER VEHICLES RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES.

SENTENCING IS SET FOR JULY 28 FOR 53-YEAR-OLD THOMAS STEVEN SANDERS, WHO PLEADED GUILTY TO THE KIDNAPPING AND MURDER OF A 12-YEAR-OLD LAS VEGAS GIRL. SANDERS PLEADED GUILTY JUNE 28 TO FEDERAL CHARGES IN THE DEATH OF LEXIS ROBERTS, WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND IN CATAHOULA PARISH LAST OCT. 8. SANDERS, WHO WAS LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD IN MISSISSIPPI IN 1994, HAD BEEN LIVING WITH ROBERTS AND HER MOTHER, SUELLEN ROBERTS, FOR SEVERAL MONTHS IN LAS VEGAS. SUELLEN ROBERTS' BODY WAS FOUND IN NORTHWESTERN ARIZONA LAST NOVEMBER AND IDENTIFIED IN DECEMBER.

A NEW REVIEW OF DISTRACTED DRIVING DATA BY THE GOVERNOR'S HIGHWAY SAFETY ASSOCIATION REVEALS SOME SURPRISING RESULTS. JAMIE AINSWORTH, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION SAYS DRIVERS REPORT THEY ARE ON THEIR CELL PHONES ABOUT 66-PERCENT OF THE TIME, BUT SHE SAYS, SO FAR, ANTI-CELL PHONE LAWS HAVE NOT SHOWN TANGIBLE RESULTS. AINSWORTH SAYS ONLY ABOUT ONE PERCENT OF ALL FATAL CRASHES IN THE STATE INVOLVE THE USE OF CELL PHONES. SHE SAYS THAT FIGURE IS A FRACTION OF THE 25% OF ALL CRASHES WHERE SOME FORM OF DISTRACTION IS BELIEVED TO BE RESPONSIBLE.

LOUISIANA HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY A NEW STUDY RATING THE STATE THE 5TH MOST OBESE IN AMERICA IS UNFORTUNATE, BUT LIKELY RIGHT ON TARGET. STATE HEALTH OFFICER DR. JIMMY GUIDRY SAYS THE STUDY BY THE TRUST FOR AMERICA'S HEALTH CONFIRMS WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HOSPITALS ALREADY KNEW--THAT THE SITUATION IS GETTING WORSE. THE REPORT SHOWS THAT 3 OF EVERY 10 LOUISIANA ADULTS ARE OVERWEIGHT TO THE POINT OF OBESITY. GUIDRY SAYS LOUISIANANS LOVE TO EAT GOOD FOOD AND, WHEN THAT COUPLES WITH TODAY'S MORE SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES, PEOPLE PACK ON UNHEALTHY POUNDS.

RETAIL GASOLINE PRICES ARE ON THE RISE AGAIN IN LOUISIANA. THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRICE FOR REGULAR GAS IS $3.44; UP 2-CENTS IN JUST ONE DAY. LOUISIANA AAA FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS THE RECENT DIP IN PUMP APPEARS TO BE OVER. REDMAN SAYS INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS' POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS DRIVING PART OF THE PRICE INCREASES AND HE SAYS THERE'S NO REASON TO THINK ANOTHER HEFTY DROP IN CRUDE OIL PRICES WILL TRIGGER DISCOUNTS AT THE FUEL PUMP ANYTIME SOON.

THE DRAWDOWN OF CATAHOULA LAKE, NORMALLY DONE DURING JUNE AND JULY, IS BEING EXTENDED INTO AUGUST THIS YEAR AS A RESULT OF HISTORIC FLOODING ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI AND ATCHAFALAYA RIVERS. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ANNOUNCED THE ALTERED WATER-LEVEL MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE LAKE, INCLUDING DRAWING THE LAKE DOWN A MONTH LATER THAN USUAL.

A WATER-SUPPLY EMERGENCY COULD BE AHEAD FOR MANY AND OTHER SABINE PARISH WATER CUSTOMERS BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT-STARVED TOLEDO BEND RESERVOIR AND A LACK OF SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL. MANY MAYOR KEN FREEMAN IS CALLING FOR VOLUNTARY WATER CONSERVATION AS HE SEEKS A PARISHWIDE EMERGENCY DECLARATION FROM THE SABINE PARISH HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICE. ALDERMEN MET IN EMERGENCY SESSION THURSDAY TO PUT A TEMPORARY ORDINANCE IN PLACE TO EVENTUALLY ALLOW FOR FINES AND PUNISHMENT OF VIOLATORS IF MORE SEVERE RESTRICTIONS ARE ENACTED.

WE MENTIONED YESTERDAY THAT FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BUDDY ROEMER IS HOLDING A PUBLIC RALLY TOMORROW IN BOSSIER CITY WHERE IT'S EXPECTED HE'LL ANNOUNCE HIS PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS. ULM POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR JOSHUA STOCKLEY SAYS HE DOESN'T FEEL LIKE ROEMER HAS MUCH OF A CHANCE AT RECEIVING THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT. ROEMER HAS SAID HE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY DONATIONS MORE THAN $100 PER VOTER. STOCKLEY SAYS HE DOESN'T SEE HOW ROEMER CAN BUILD A SUCCESSFUL WARCHEST WITH SUCH SMALL DONATION CONTRIBUTIONS.

THE HEAD OF THE LOUISIANA AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION EXPECTS SOLID CAR SALES FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2011. BOB ISRAEL SAYS HIGH GAS PRICES DURING THE SPRING AND THE DEVASTATING TSUNAMI IN JAPAN MADE IT DIFFICULT TO MOVE NEW VEHICLES OFF THE LOT, BUT HE EXPECTS AUTO SALES WILL ACCELERATE. ISRAEL SAYS JAPANESE IMPORTS CONTINUE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF A LACK OF INVENTORY, BUT CAR SALES ARE GOING WELL FOR KOREAN IMPORTS AND DOMESTIC VEHICLES ARE ALSO DOING FINE. HE SAYS DOMESTICS ARE COMPETING WELL WITH IMPORTS.

GOVERNOR JINDAL WENT TO SHREVEPORT TODAY, TO SIGN LEGISLATION THAT SETS UP A FUNDING MECHANISM FOR THE COMPLETION OF I-49 NORTH TO ARKANSAS. THE BILL WAS SPONSORED BY REP. JANE SMITH, WHO SAYS MR. JINDAL'S SIGNATURE PUTS INTO MOTION THE FINAL LEG OF CONNECTING THE INTERSTATE TO OUR NORTHERN NEIGHBOR. SMITH'S HB370 WILL USE OVER $7-MILLION FROM THE STATE'S UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FUND TO LEVY THE SALE OF OVER $85-MILLION IN BONDS TO PAY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION.

TWO BILLS SIGNED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL WILL LET TAXPAYERS DIRECT THEIR REFUND MONEY TO FOOD BANKS OR LOUISIANA'S BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS. THE FIRST MEASURE WILL ALLOW TAXPAYERS TO SIGN AWAY ALL OR PART OF THEIR REFUNDS TO THE LOUISIANA FOOD BANK ASSOCIATION TO HELP FINANCE OPERATIONS OF FINANCIALLY-STRAPPED FOOD BANKS AROUND THE STATE. THE SECOND MEASURE ALLOWS TAXPAYERS TO CHECK OFF A BOX DONATING ALL OR SOME OF THEIR REFUNDS TO THE LOUISIANA BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, WHICH IS PLANNING STATE ACTIVITIES COMMEMORATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOUISIANA STATEHOOD, OR TO THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION.

LOUISIANA RESIDENTS WILL NO LONGER NEED A STATE LICENSE TO SHOOT OR TRAP WILD PIGS. THE NEW LAW, SPONSORED BY NEW ROADS REP. MAJOR THIBAUT, IS DESIGNED TO CONTROL THE POPULATION OF FERAL HOGS, WHICH HAVE DESTROYED CROPS, TORN UP GARDENS AND DAMAGED PROPERTY IN RURAL AND SUBURBAN AREAS. THE TIMES-PICAYUNE REPORTED THAT THE BILL, SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, SAYS THE HOGS CAN BE TRAPPED OR SHOT ANY TIME AND WITH ANY TYPE OF WEAPON WITHOUT A LICENSE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES. THE LAW TAKES EFFECT AUG. 15.
THE ONLY RESTRICTION ON FERAL HOG HUNTING WILL BE THAT THE HUNTER MUST GIVE THE LOCAL SHERIFF'S OFFICE 24 HOURS' NOTICE OF THE HUNTING PLANS.

A LAFAYETTE MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER ARE ARRESTED AFTER POLICE RECEIVED REPORTS OF A LITTLE GIRL EATING OUT OF TRASH CANS. MOSS BLUFF RESIDENTS REPORTED SEEING THE CHILD DOING THAT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. THE GIRL AND HER SISTER TOLD STATE AND LOCAL INVESTIGATORS THEY HAD BEEN PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSED BY THEIR MOTHER, 56-YEAR-OLD VERNA A. KENNERSON. THE INVESTIGATION ALSO REVEALED KENNERSON'S MOTHER, 77-YEAR-OLD MARY KENNERSON, WHO LIVED WITH THE FAMILY, HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE ALLEGED ABUSED AND FAILED TO
REPORT THE INCIDENTS.

ASCENSION PARISH DEPUTIES DIDN'T HAVE TO LOOK FAR FOR A SUSPECT IN A WEDNESDAY NIGHT MURDER. OFFICERS ARRIVED AT THE DONALDSONVILLE CRIME SCENE TO FIND THE ALLEGED SHOOTER, 32-YEAR-OLD JEREMY WASHINGTON HANGING AROUND THE CRIME SCENE; CARRYING A HANDGUN BELIEVED TO BE THE MURDER WEAPON. DEPUTIES SAY THE SHOOTING SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A DRUG DEAL GONE BAD.

GS FINANCIAL CORP. SAYS ITS SHAREHOLDERS HAVE APPROVED OVERWHELMINGLY THE BANKING COMPANY'S $26.2 MILLION DEAL TO BE ACQUIRED BY HOME BANCORP INC. LAFAYETTE-BASED HOME BANCORP WILL GET GS FINANCIAL'S FIVE OFFICES IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA, ALONG WITH A LOAN PRODUCTION OFFICE.

THE MANAGEMENT BOARD OVERSEEING PLANS TO BUILD A NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC MEDICAL CENTER ON THURSDAY WITHDREW ITS REQUEST FOR FEDERAL FINANCING TO BACK DEBT INVOLVED IN THE HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION. THE WITHDRAWAL CAME AS LSU LEADERS SIGNALED A NEW, PHASED-IN APPROACH THAT COULD AVOID BORROWING ALTOGETHER.

THE FINAL GATE ON THE MORGANZA SPILLWAY IS BEING CLOSED THURSDAY BY THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. AT THE HEIGHT OF THE THREAT OF FLOODING FROM THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, 17 GATES WERE OPEN TO DIVERT HIGH WATER INTO THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER. THE CORPS STARTED OPENING THE FLOODWAY, LOCATED ABOUT 35 MILES NORTHWEST OF BATON ROUGE, ON MAY 15 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1973.
THE CORPS SAYS SOME GATES HAD BEEN KEPT OPEN TO DRAIN THE STRUCTURE, WHICH ALLOWED CREWS TO INSPECT FOR DAMAGE.







God Bless America!

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