KSYL Local News

News For Friday 072211


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 072211
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AN ENERGY RESEARCH GROUP PREDICTED THAT AN INCREASE IN DRILLING ACTIVITY IN THE GULF OF MEXICO COULD CREATE 230,000 JOBS AND ADD $44 BILLION TO THE ECONOMY NEXT YEAR. IHS ON THURSDAY SAID THAT THE U.S. WOULD PRODUCE MORE JOBS, MORE TAX REVENUE AND ANOTHER 411,000 BARRELS OF OIL PER DAY IF THE INDUSTRY WAS ALLOWED TO OPERATE AT FULL SPEED IN THE GULF. THE GOVERNMENT ESSENTIALLY SHUT DOWN OFFSHORE DRILLING FOR SEVERAL MONTHS LAST YEAR AFTER BP'S MASSIVE OIL SPILL WHILE IT PUT NEW SAFETY REGULATIONS IN PLACE.

SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU HAS CO-AUTHORED A BIPARTISAN BILL THAT WOULD DEDICATE A MAJORITY OF ANY FEDERAL FINES PAID BY BP FOR THE 2010 OIL SPILL TO RESTORING THE GULF COAST. LANDRIEU, A DEMOCRAT, SAYS SHE CO-WROTE THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION WITH ALABAMA REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY. LANDRIEU SAYS BP COULD FACE FINES FOR VIOLATING THE FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT OF ANYWHERE FROM $5-BILLION TO $20-BILLION. SHE SAYS THE BILL WILL ESTABLISH A GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL, TO DIRECT THE SPENDING OF MOST OF THE FUNDS. CONGRESSMAN STEVE SCALISE, OF METAIRIE, HAS FILED SIMILAR BILLS IN THE U.S. HOUSE.

A LONG LIST OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS APPROVED THURSDAY BY THE STATE BOND COMMISSION CONTAINS ONLY OLD ON-GOING WORK AND NOTHING NEW. ," JERRY JONES OF THE OFFICE OF FACILITY PLANNING AND CONTROL TOLD THE STATE BOND COMMISSION YESTERDAY SOME OF THE MONEY IS PART OF A $2.5 BILLION BACKLOG DATING BACK TO 2005. SOMETHING THE STATE HAS BEEN WORKING ON FOR YEARS. JONES WENT ON TO SAY IN SOME CASES, THE PROJECT MAY HAVE EVEN BEEN COMPLETED AND THE STATE HADN’T SOLD BONDS ON IT."

A COMPANY THAT MANAGES EMERGENCY MEDICINE SERVICES FOR HOSPITALS SAYS IT WILL SPEND $19 MILLION TO EXPAND ITS LAFAYETTE HEADQUARTERS, CREATING 600 NEW JOBS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS IN AN ECONOMIC SECTOR THAT IS ONE OF THE FASTEST-GROWING IN LOUISIANA. SCHUMACHER GROUP ALSO SAID THURSDAY IT WILL RETAIN 389 CURRENT JOBS IN LAFAYETTE. THE COMPANY EMPLOYS ABOUT 1,200 PEOPLE AND HAS CONTRACTS WITH ABOUT 2,500 DOCTORS AND 180 HOSPITALS IN 24 STATES. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SAID THAT SCHUMACHER WILL GET UP TO $9 MILLION FROM A STATE FUND FOR MAJOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. THE COMPANY ALSO WILL GET REBATES FOR CREATING HIGH-PAYING JOBS, ALONG WITH CREDITS FROM THE STATE'S SOFTWARE TAX CREDIT PROGRAM. THE COMPANY PLANS TO COMPLETE THE EXPANSION IN 2014.

RAND MCNALLY HAS NAMED LAFAYETTE THE BEST CITY FOR FOOD IN ITS “BEST OF THE ROAD” COMPETITION. THE AWARD, ANNOUNCED THURSDAY, MEANS LAFAYETTE WILL BE FEATURED IN TODAY’S EDITION OF USA TODAY, IN THE 2013 RAND MCNALLY ROAD ATLAS, AND ON THE WEBSITE HTTP://WWW.BESTOFTHEROAD.COM. LAFAYETTE BEAT OUT FIVE OTHER AMERICAN CITIES IN THE “BEST FOR FOOD” CATEGORY. LAFAYETTE WAS THE ONLY CITY IN LOUISIANA NOMINATED.

ONE INDICATION OF A RECOVERING ECONOMY IS A STEADY RISE IN CASINO REVENUES ACROSS THE STATE. DONNA JACKSON WITH THE AUDIT SECTION OF THE LOUISIANA STATE POLICE REPORTED THAT LOUISIANA'S 13 RIVERBOAT CASINOS TOOK IN OVER 137-MILLION DOLLARS. SHE SAYS THAT'S A SIZABLE INCREASE FROM A YEAR AGO. HARRAH'S LAND-BASED CASINO IN NEW ORLEANS SAW A SIMILAR INCREASE IN BUSINESS FROM A YEAR AGO, GENERATING OVER FOUR-MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE STATE.

THE CABLE TV PHENOMENON KNOWN AS "SWAMP PEOPLE" WRAPPED UP ITS SECOND SEASON LAST NIGHT. THE REALITY SHOW FOLLOWS THE EXPLOITS OF CAJUN GATOR HUNTERS IN THE MARSHES OF SOUTH LOUISIANA. "SWAMP PEOPLE" IS EASILY THE HISTORY CHANNEL'S HIGHEST-RATED PROGRAM, AND HAS EVEN INSPIRED A LOUISIANA LOTTERY SCRATCH-OFF GAME CALLED "CHOOT 'EM!"

BOSSIER CITY DA SCHUYLER MARVIN HAS DROPPED MURDER CHARGES AGAINST 30-YEAR-OLD GERALD NEEDHAM. NEEDHAM WAS BEING HELD AS A SUSPECT IN A TRIPLE SHOOTING AT AN APPLIANCE STORE IN BOSSIER STORE. NEEDHAM'S ATTORNEY RANDAL FISH SAYS THE BIG BREAK IN THE CASE CAME WHEN DETECTIVES WERE INVESTIGATING AN ARMED ROBBERY WITH THE SAME M.O. THAT OCCURRED WHILE NEEDHAM WAS BEHIND BARS.

LOUISIANA IS WORKING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PUT THE POVERTY POINT STATE HISTORIC SITE IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA ON THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE LIST.
LT. GOV. JAY DARDENNE SAID THURSDAY THAT THE OFFICE OF STATE PARKS AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR HOPE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION BY 2013.

SHREVEPORT POLICE SAYS CHARGES ARE UNLIKELY AGAINST A MAN WHO SHOT TWO MEN LAST NIGHT IN A CASINO PARKING GARAGE. SPD SPOKESMAN BILL GOODIN SAYS INVESTIGATORS HAVE INTERROGATED THE ALLEGED SHOOTER WHO TURNED HIMSELF IN. GOODIN SAYS DETAILS OF THE CASE ARE STILL EMERGING BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THE MAN WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF FROM THE OTHER TWO. THOSE MEN--20-YEAR-OLD RYAN CALDWELL AND AN UN-NAMED JUVENILE--ARE AT THE LSU SHREVEPORT HOSPITAL WITH LIFE-THREATENING GUNSHOT WOUNDS.

A STANDING-ROOM ONLY CROWD FILLED THE MAIN CHAPEL AT THE LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY TO WATCH "SERVING LIFE," LISA R. COHEN'S DOCUMENTARY ON THE HOSPICE PROGRAM AT THE PRISON. BY THE TIME THE MOVIE, WHICH FOLLOWS FOUR NEW HOSPICE CARE WORKERS AND THE DYING INMATES THEY CARE FOR, FINISHED SEVERAL SOUNDS OF CRYING FILLED THE LARGE AUDITORIUM. AND, WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT UP, MANY PRISONERS WERE STILL WIPING THEIR EYES. THE MOVIE, NARRATED BY ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTOR FOREST WHITTAKER, WILL BE AIRED ON THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK ON JULY 28. BUT ON THURSDAY, IT BELONGED TO THE MEN AT ANGOLA, MANY OF WHOM WILL END UP IN THE PRISON'S HOSPICE PROGRAM THEMSELVES. MORE THAN 90 PERCENT OF THOSE INCARCERATED IN THE PENITENTIARY WILL DIE THERE.

THE SEARCH FOR A NEW LEADER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS HAS STARTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM, WHICH IS TAKING OVER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE SCHOOL. THE UL SYSTEM BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ANNOUNCED THE SEARCH PLANS THURSDAY.

AN ORDER OF MONKS AND ANYONE ELSE CAN SELL CASKETS IN LOUISIANA WITHOUT HAVING A STATE FUNERAL HOME LICENSE, A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED THURSDAY.
ACTING ON A SUIT FILED BY THE MONKS OF ST. JOSEPH ABBEY IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH IN AUGUST, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE STANWOOD DUVAL SAID "THERE IS NO RATIONAL BASIS" FOR THE LICENSING REQUIREMENT TO BE APPLIED TO THOSE ONLY WANTING TO SELL CASKETS, SUCH AS THE 38 MONKS. THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF EMBALMERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS HAD BLOCKED THE MONKS FROM SELLING CASKETS WITH SIMPLE WHITE CLOTH INTERIORS FOR $1,500 TO $2,000, SAYING THE ABBEY HAD NEITHER A FUNERAL DIRECTOR'S LICENSE NOR A FUNERAL HOME LICENSE AS REQUIRED BY STATE LAW. BUT THE JUDGE SAID "THE SOLE REASON FOR THESE LAWS IS THE ECONOMIC PROTECTION OF THE FUNERAL INDUSTRY" AND THAT THE MONKS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WERE BEING VIOLATED BY THE BAN.

A RETIRED ARCHITECTURE PROFESSOR WHO WAS LSU'S FIRST BLACK FACULTY MEMBER HAS DIED OF CANCER. JULIAN WHITE WAS 73 YEARS OLD. LSU ANNOUNCED THURSDAY THAT WHITE DIED THIS WEEK. WHITE TAUGHT AT SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY BEFORE JOINING LSU'S FACULTY IN 1971. HE RETIRED FROM THE UNIVERSITY IN 2003.





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