KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 072011


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 072011
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

DISTRICT 25 STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS ROY ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY HE ISN'T RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION THIS FALL. ROY, A DEMOCRAT, IN OFFICE SINCE 2008, CALLED HIS TIME IN THE LEGISLATURE AN INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE, BUT SAYS THE CONSTANT TRAVEL HAS KEPT HIM AWAY FROM HIS FAMILY AND LAW PRACTICE. IN A STATEMENT, HE SAID, "HE DIDN’T WANT TO LOOK BACK IN A FEW YEARS AND REGRET MISSING SOME OF A FATHER'S MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES BECAUSE HE WAS IN BATON ROUGE ATTENDING A SUB-COMMITTEE HEARING." THE LAWMAKER, WHOSE TERM ENDS IN JANUARY, SAYS HE'LL STAY INVOLVED IN PUBLIC SERVICE, BUT AT A LOCAL LEVEL.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS 22 YEAR OLD ALEXANDER MACIVER OF BALL, HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND IS FACING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES. MACIVER WAS CHARGED WITH PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING JUVENILES AFTER AUTHORITIES DISCOVERED THAT HE DISTRIBUTED CHILD PORNOGRAPHY THROUGH THE INTERNET. THE ARREST FOLLOWED A JOINT INVESTIGATION WITH THE RAPIDES SHERIFF'S DETECTIVES DIVISION AND THE U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. MACIVER IS BEING HELD IN THE RAPIDES PARISH JAIL, AND NO BOND HAS BEEN SET.

GOVERNOR JINDAL ANNOUNCES A $6-BILLION PROJECT TO BUILD ONE OF THE NATION'S FIRST NATURAL GAS LIQUEFACTION PLANTS...IN CAMERON PARISH. JINDAL SAYS CHENIERE ENERGY WILL EXPAND ITS EXISTING SABINE PASS TERMINAL TO PRODUCE LNG AND SHIP IT WORLDWIDE. THE GOVERNOR SAYS CHENIERE'S HUGE EXPANSION WILL MEAN THOUSANDS OF CONSTRUCTION JOBS, PLUS CREATE 148 NEW JOBS; WITH PAY AND BENEFITS TOTALING ABOUT $100K A YEAR. HE SAYS CONSTRUCTION AT CHENIERE WILL BEGIN EARLY NEXT YEAR.

THE PRICES WE PAY FOR GASOLINE IN LOUISIANA CONTINUE TO SLOWLY RISE. LOUISIANA AAA FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS BLAME AN INTERNATIONALLY WEAK U.S. DOLLAR, AND THE ONGOING DEBT-CEILING DISAGREEMENT IN WASHINGTON DC. HE SAYS THOSE TWO FACTORS HAVE HAD CRUDE OIL AND RETAIL PUMP PRICES ON A ROLLER COASTER. THERE ARE ALREADY OVER 7 STATES WHERE GAS IS OVER $4 A GALLON. THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR REGULAR GAS IS $3.58. UP A PENNY FROM MONDAY, AND UP A NICKEL IN 7 DAYS.

WITH THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR FAST APPROACHING, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS IS REMINDING PARENTS TO MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD'S SHOTS ARE UP TO DATE. WELCH SAYS STATE LAW REQUIRES THAT CHILDREN 4 YEARS OR OLDER WHO ARE ENTERING SCHOOL OR DAY-CARE PROGRAMS IN LOUISIANA FOR THE FIRST TIME, MUST HAVE THE PROPER VACCINATIONS. HE SAYS THERE ARE OPTIONS FOR FAMILIES WHO DON'T HAVE THE MEANS TO SEE A PERSONAL PEDIATRICIAN. STEP ONE, CONTACT YOUR PARISH HEALTH UNIT.

POLICE HAVE ARRESTED A 52-YEAR-OLD LAFAYETTE MAN SUSPECTED IN THE MONDAY MORNING BANK ROBBERY AND BOMB THREAT AT A REGIONS BANK BRANCH. LAFAYETTE POLICE ARRESTED MICHAEL A. MENARD AT HIS HOME MONDAY NIGHT AFTER CONDUCTING SURVEILLANCE AT THE HOME FOR SEVERAL HOURS. A DETECTIVE RECOGNIZED MENARD FROM PHOTOS TAKEN AT THE BANK MONDAY.

THE NUMBER OF DWI ARREST IN LOUISIANA HAS RISEN SHARPLY OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS. IN 2010 LAW ENFORCEMENT MADE 31,065 DWI ARREST, AN AN INCREASE OF OVER 5-THOUSAND FROM 2005. LT. COL. JOHN LEBLANC, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION CREDITS A GREATER EMPHASIS ON ENFORCEMENT. MONEY PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION IS BEING USED AS GRANTS TO PAY OFFICERS OVERTIME TO FOCUS ON DWI AND SEATBELT ENFORCEMENT, ESPECIALLY ON HEAVILY TRAVELED HOLIDAYS. HERE IS AN INTERESTING FACT, WHILE REPEAT OFFENDERS ARE A PROBLEM, THE VAST MAJORITY OF ALL DWI DRIVERS INVOLVED IN FATAL CRASHES HAD NO PRIOR ARREST FOR DWI.

A FEDERAL AUDIT IS CHARGING LOUISIANA'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT WITH MISMANAGING A $50 MILLION POST-HURRICANE KATRINA GRANT INTENDED TO RESTORE HEALTH CARE ACCESS TO THE NEW ORLEANS REGION. THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RECOMMENDS THAT THE STATE PAY BACK $13.6 MILLION OF THE MONEY PAID TO DOCTORS AND OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AS INCENTIVES TO PRACTICE IN AND AROUND THE CITY.

LOUISIANA IS NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET, NEARLY 15-MONTHS AFTER THE B-P RIG EXPLOSION AND OIL SPILL AND LOUISIANA STILL HAS 265 MILES OF STATE SHORELINE REMAINS OILED. THAT'S ACCORDING TO GARRET GRAVES, DIRECTOR OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF COASTAL ACTIVITIES, WHO SAYS ABOUT 40 MILES OF THE STATE'S SHORELINE IS EITHER MODERATE OR HEAVILY OILED. GRAVES SAYS OIL CONTINUES TO BUBBLE UP FROM THE GROUND ALONG LOUISIANA'S COAST. THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF LAST YEAR'S OIL SPILL REMAINS AN UNKNOWN. GRAVES SAYS HE EXPECTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ASSESSMENT TO TAKE 10 TO 15 YEARS.

THE THIRD ANNUAL BAYOU COUNTRY SUPERFEST HAS COMMITTED TO RETURN TO L-S-U'S TIGER STADIUM MAY 26TH AND 27TH OF 2012. AFTER THE BATON ROUGE METRO COUNCIL REMOVED A 300-THOUSAND DOLLAR SUBSIDY FOR THE FESTIVAL FROM MAYOR KIP HOLDEN'S BUDGET LAST DECEMBER. LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE SAYS THE COUNCIL AND THE OFFICE OF TOURISM CAME UP WITH A PLAN B. THE CITY AND PARISH WILL USE PART OF IT’S BP OIL SPILL MONEY TO HELP FUND THE EVENT. DARDENNE SAYS THE CONCERT IS AN ECONOMIC WINDFALL THAT FAR EXCEEDS ANY INVESTMENT BY THE CITY/PARISH. HE SAYS AS LONG AS THE FESTIVAL DRAWS THE QUALITY OF PERFORMERS ITS HAS FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS IT SHOULD CONTINUE TO FLOURISH.

A MAN HAS BEEN KILLED AND A WOMAN IS INJURED IN BOSSIER CITY AS THE RESULT OF A BOATING ACCIDENT MONDAY NIGHT ON THE RED RIVER. BOSSIER CITY POLICE SPOKESPERSON MARK NATALE SAYS THE WOMAN MADE CONTACT WITH A MAN WHO WAS JOGGING ALONG THE LEVEE AND HE CALLED 911.THE WOMAN SUFFERED SEVERE TRAUMA TO HER FACE, BUT HER INJURIES WERE NON-LIFE THREATENING. THE MAN WHO WAS DECEASED WAS FOUND NEAR A JETTY. INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE THE BOAT STRUCK A
JETTY AS IT WAS TRAVELING DOWN THE RIVER.

SEARCH TEAMS HAVE FOUND THE BODY OF A GIRL WHO WAS THROWN INTO SHELL BEACH BAYOU BY A BOAT COLLISION LAST WEEKEND. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES SAYS THE BODY OF 12-YEAR-OLD SAMANTHA VINTURELLA OF MANDEVILLE WAS FOUND TUESDAY.

SPORTS..

THE NCAA PLACES THE LSU FOOTBALL PROGRAM ON ONE-YEAR PROBATION AND AND IMPOSES RECRUITING RESTRICTIONS AS A RESULT OF MAJOR VIOLATIONS THAT OCCURRED BETWEEN FORMER ASSISTANT COACH DJ MCCARTHY AND 2009 SIGNEE AKIEM HICKS. CHAIRMAN OF THE NCAA COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS, DENNIS THOMAS, ANNOUNCED THE VIOLATIONS DURING A TELECONFERENCE. THOMAS SAYS THE NCAA ALSO ACCEPTED LSU'S SELF-IMPOSED PENALTIES, WHICH INCLUDED THE LOSS OF TWO SCHOLARSHIP LAST FOOTBALL SEASON AND THE ABILITY TO ONLY SIGN 23 PLAYERS LAST FEBRUARY. HE ALSO APPLAUDED LSU FOR BEING PROACTIVE BY NOT ALLOWING HICKS TO PLAY. MCCARTHY ALSO RESIGNED AFTER THE 2009 SEASON.


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