KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 07/13/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 071311
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUED LOUISIANA ON TUESDAY FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT OF 1993. FEDERAL OFFICIALS ALLEGED IN THE SUIT THAT MOST PEOPLE RECEIVING FOOD STAMPS, DISABILITY PAYMENTS AND MEDICAID AREN’T ROUTINELY OFFERED VOTER REGISTRATION AT THEIR PROVIDER AGENCIES.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEYS WROTE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES J. BRADY, OF BATON ROUGE, THAT THE LOUISIANA SECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS, AND DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHOULD BE ORDERED INTO COMPLIANCE. STATE OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW.

A BAZAAR TREND IS SURFACING ACROSS THE COUNTRY, DRIVERS THROWING KITTENS ONTO THE ROAD WHILE THEIR CAR IS IN MOTION AND IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT HERE AT HOME. LOUISIANA HUMANE SOCIETY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JEFF DORSON SAYS UNFORTUNATELY, THIS ISN'T UNCOMMON. DORSON BELIEVES THESE PEOPLE ARE DISTURBED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE POSING A HUGE RISK TO OTHER MOTORISTS. NEW ORLEANS POLICE RECENTLY STOPPED A TRUCK AFTER CALLERS TO THE 911 CENTER REPORTED SEEING THEM DROP SEVERAL KITTENS ON THE CAUSEWAY. THE INCIDENT NEARLY CAUSED A TRAFFIC PILEUP.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SIGNS INTO LAW LEGISLATION THAT ALLOWS THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS TO TRANSFER FROM THE L-S-U SYSTEM TO THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM. JINDAL SAYS THE GOVERNING BODIES OF THE TWO UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS HAVE ALREADY SET UP A 14-MEMBER TEAM THAT WILL MAKE SURE THE UNIVERSITY REMAINS ACCREDITED. THE LEGISLATION STARTED OUT AS A BILL TO MERGE U-N-O WITH SOUTHERN
UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS. BUT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR THAT
PROPOSAL TO PASS THE LEGISLATURE.

LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC COLLEGES WILL HAVE FREEDOM FROM CONTRACTING, PURCHASING AND BUDGETING RULES THAT GOVERN OTHER STATE AGENCIES, IF THEY MEET CERTAIN PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS TO IMPROVE GRADUATION AND STUDENT RETENTION RATES.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SIGNED THE NEW PROVISIONS INTO LAW TUESDAY AT LSU, SURROUNDED BY LAWMAKERS, UNIVERSITY LEADERS AND BUSINESS EXECUTIVES WHO PUSHED THE BILL.

FORMER GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS MAKES HIS FIRST PUBLIC COMMENTS SINCE HIS RELEASE FROM FEDERAL PRISON WHILE ATTENDING A BANQUET IN BATON ROUGE. EDWARDS AND HIS BIOGRAPHER LEO HONEYCUTT WERE BEING HONORED BY THE LOUISIANA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION. EDWARDS SAYS IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK. EDWARDS ONLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT HIS BIOGRAPHY AND IS EXPECTED TO MAKE MORE COMMENTS ABOUT HIS FUTURE PLANS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON JULY 30TH. HE SAYS THE BOOK OFFERS A LOOK INTO LOUISIANA'S PAST AND BY THE WAY, HE SAYS HE PLANS TO WRITE A SEQUEL TO HONEYCUTT'S BOOK.

LOUISIANA IS MOVING INTO THE HOTTEST TIME OF THE SUMMER AND THE DROUGHT IS ONLY MAKING IT WORSE. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THIS SUPER HOT PERIOD WILL LIKELY LAST THROUGH MID-AUGUST. KEIM SAYS THE HUMIDITY IS ADDING TO TRIPLE DIGIT HEAT INDEXES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE STATE. HE SAYS DURING THESE HOT SUMMER MONTHS, IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE SMART AND STAY HYDRATED.

A 29-YEAR-OLD MOTHER AND HER THREE DAUGHTERS ,THE YOUNGEST 6 MONTHS OLD, WERE FOUND SHOT TO DEATH TUESDAY IN THEIR HOME IN A QUIET NEW ORLEANS SUBURB.
THE BODIES OF NADIA BRAXTON AND HER CHILDREN WERE ON ONE BED AND A GUN WAS AT THE FOOT OF THE BED, KENNER POLICE CHIEF STEVE CARAWAY SAID. UNLESS AN AUTOPSY CHANGES THE EVIDENCE, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THE CASE IS A MURDER-SUICIDE

MARK BADEN MADE IT OFFICIAL YESTERDAY, THE PINEVILLE RESIDENT ANNOUNCED THAT HE IS ENTERING THE RACE FOR RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF. BADEN'S ENTRY MAKES IT A THREE-WAY RACE, SO FAR. INCUMBENT SHERIFF CHUCK WAGNER AND FORMER SHERIFF WILLIAM EARL HILTON HAVE ANNOUNCED THEIR CANDIDACIES. QUALIFYING FOR THE SHERIFF'S RACE WILL BE SEPT. 6-8. THE PRIMARY WILL BE HELD ON OCT. 22. A RUNOFF ELECTION, IF NECESSARY, WILL BE NOV. 19.

LOUISIANA HAS A NEW 24-HOUR HOTLINE FOR PEOPLE TO REPORT ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT. THE TOLL-FREE STATEWIDE NUMBER IS 1-855-4-LA-KIDS. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SAID TUESDAY THAT IT WILL REPLACE 25 REGIONAL AND PARISH PHONE NUMBERS IT HAS BEEN USING TO TAKE CHILD ABUSE REPORTS. CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SECRETARY RUTH JOHNSON SAYS THE HOTLINE IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE A CENTRALIZED SYSTEM FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS AND FOR ENSURING THEY ARE HANDLED UNIFORMLY. THE OLD NUMBERS WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE NEW HOTLINE, WHICH WILL BE HANDLED BY TRAINED CHILD WELFARE WORKERS.

STUDENTS AT BUNKIE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WILL HAVE THEIR SUMMER BREAK CUT SHORT THIS YEAR AS CLASSES START FOR THE 2011/12 SCHOOL YEAR ON MONDAY. THE MONDAY START IS WELL AHEAD OF MOST SCHOOLS IN THE STATE. SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY IT IS PART OF AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF THE PUPILS. THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR WILL BEGIN AUG. 15 FOR OTHER AVOYELLES PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS.

A BATON ROUGE MAN IS BEHIND BARS ACCUSED OF BEATING HIS MOTHER AND FATHER WITH A HAMMER AND AUTHORITIES ALSO BELIEVE HE MAY HAVE SET HIS PARENTS HOME ON FIRE. BATON ROUGE POLICE SPOKESPERSON CPL. LJEAN MCKNEELY SAYS 28-YEAR-OLD JORDAN SMITH GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT WITH HIS MOTHER PRIOR TO THE INCIDENT. MCKNEELY SAYS SMITH'S PARENTS WERE BOTH TRANSPORTED TO AN AREA HOSPITAL WITH NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES. POLICE SAY SMITH HAS A DRUG PROBLEM.

PRICES FOR DAIRY PRODUCTS ARE RISING AT A STEEPER THAN EXPECTED RATE THIS YEAR. USDA RESEARCH ECONOMIST RICKY VOLPE SAYS ITS A SIMPLE MATTER OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND. VOLPE SAYS PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO RISE BETWEEN FIVE AND SIX PERCENT THIS YEAR.

A SUSPECT HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN THE CASE OF THE HAMMOND PRIEST WHO WAS DISCOVERED DEAD AT A SUMMER HOME IN MISSISSIPPI. WAVELAND POLICE CHIEF JAMES VARNELL SAYS 31-YEAR-OLD JEREMY MANIERI IS BEHIND BARS FOR THE DEATH OF 71-YEAR-OLD FATHER ED EVERITT. VARNELL SAYS THERE WERE SIGNS OF A STRUGGLE AND ROBBERY IN THE HOME, AND EVERITT'S CAR WAS MISSING. VARNELL SAYS, MANIERI, WHO IS A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER IN MISSISSIPPI, WAS APPREHENDED AT A HOTEL IN POLK COUNTY, FL. VARNELL SAYS MANIERI IS A MAINTENANCE WORKER ON THE GROUNDS OF THE RESORT WHERE EVERITT WAS STAYING.

MISSISSIPPI'S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID TUESDAY HIS OFFICE IS SUING THE ADMINISTRATOR OF BP'S $20 BILLION OIL SPILL FUND TO GET ACCESS TO CLAIMS FILED BY COASTAL RESIDENTS. JIM HOOD SAID TUESDAY THAT HE HAS TRIED TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE FUND'S ADMINISTRATOR, WASHINGTON LAWYER KENNETH FEINBERG. HE SAYS HE'S SEEKING TO MAKE THE PROCESS MORE TRANSPARENT SO PEOPLE WILL KNOW IF FEINBERG IS LOOKING OUT FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF OIL SPILL VICTIMS OR BP.

SPORTS..

FORMER LSU ALL-AMERICAN JERRY STOVALL IS GEARING UP TO RECEIVE THE ULTIMATE HONOR IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. STOVALL WILL BECOME THE 12TH LSU PLAYER OR COACH TO BE ENSHRINED INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME. CEREMONIES ARE SET FOR THIS WEEKEND IN SOUTH BEND, INDIANA. STOVALL SAYS THIS IS AN HONOR FOR ALL OF HIS FORMER COACHES AND TEAMMATES AS WELL.













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