KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 07/27/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 072711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE IS CONSIDERING THE CLOSURE OF 51 OFFICES IN LOUISIANA.
THE AGENCY'S LIST RELEASED TUESDAY INCLUDES TWO IN ALEXANDRIA , THE SOUTH PARK AND DOWNTOWN BRANCHES, TWO BRANCHES IN NEW ORLEANS AND ONE EACH IN BATON ROUGE, LAFAYETTE AND LAKE CHARLES. THE REST OF THE CLOSURES WOULD HIT SMALLER COMMUNITIES. THE FINANCIALLY-TROUBLED POSTAL SERVICE ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL STUDY 3,653 LOCAL OFFICES, BRANCHES AND STATIONS FOR POSSIBLE CLOSING. BUT MANY OF THOSE MAY BE REPLACED BY VILLAGE POST OFFICES IN WHICH POSTAL SERVICES ARE OFFERED IN LOCAL STORES, LIBRARIES OR GOVERNMENT OFFICES. BEING ON THE STUDY LIST DOES NOT MEAN NECESSARILY THAT A POST OFFICE WILL CLOSE.

THE NUMBER OF LOUISIANA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CONSIDERED FAILING , OR "ACADEMICALLY UNACCEPTABLE", UNDER THE STATE'S ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRAM JUMPED FROM 48 LAST YEAR TO 135 THIS YEAR. BUT THAT NUMBER DOESN'T MEAN THE SCHOOLS ARE GETTING WORSE. THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT SAID TUESDAY THAT, OVERALL, SCHOOLS IMPROVED THEIR PERFORMANCE SCORES. HOWEVER, THE HIGHER NUMBER OF FAILING SCHOOLS IS DUE TO HIGHER PERFORMANCE STANDARDS THAT TOOK EFFECT THIS YEAR.
ALSO, THIS YEAR'S FIGURES INCLUDE "ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS" THAT SERVE STUDENTS WITH ACADEMIC OR BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS. THOSE SCHOOLS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN LAST YEAR'S RANKINGS.

STATE LAWMAKERS WON'T BE RETURNING TO THE LOUISIANA CAPITOL NEXT WEEK TO TRY TO OVERRIDE GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S VETOES. HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT, AS EXPECTED, A MAJORITY OF HOUSE MEMBERS VOTED TO SCRAP THE AUG. 2 VETO SESSION THAT WAS AUTOMATICALLY SET WHEN JINDAL REJECTED BILLS FROM THE RECENT LEGISLATIVE SESSION. A SENATE SPOKESWOMAN SAYS SENATORS ALSO VOTED AGAINST THE SESSION. LAWMAKERS HAVE NEVER HELD A VETO SESSION SINCE THE CURRENT STATE CONSTITUTION WAS ENACTED NEARLY 40 YEARS AGO. GOVERNOR JINDAL REJECTED 18 BILLS IN THE RECENT SESSION. ALL THOSE VETOES WILL STAND.

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS KEEPING ITS EYE ON A TROPICAL WAVE SOUTH OF CUBA THAT'S BECOMING BETTER ORGANIZED. COMPUTER MODELS HAVE THE DISTURBANCE CROSSING THE TIP OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND HEADING TOWARDS THE TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER.

ABBEVILLE POLICE SAY THEY'VE POSITIVELY ID'D THE REMAINS OF A MAN FOUND INSIDE THE CHIMNEY OF THE BANK OF ABBEVILLE WEEKS AGO. POLICE SAY THE SKELETAL REMAINS ARE THOSE OF JOHN SCHEXNIDER, WHO WAS LAST SEEN IN JANUARY OF 1984. SCHEXNIDER HAD A HISTORY OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, BUT OFFICERS SAY IT WAS UNKNOWN IF HE WAS TRYING TO ROB THE BANK WHEN HE GOT STUCK IN THE CHIMNEY 27 YEARS AGO.

TIES BETWEEN OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS COMPANIES AND THE AGENCY THAT REGULATES THEM PERSIST, NEARLY A YEAR AFTER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED AN OVERHAUL OF ETHICS RULES TO DETER SUCH COZY RELATIONSHIPS, DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SHOW. ABOUT 1 OF EVERY 5 EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN OFFSHORE INSPECTIONS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO HAS BEEN RECUSED FROM SOME DUTIES BECAUSE THEY COULD COME IN CONTACT WITH A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND WORKING FOR A COMPANY THEY REGULATE.

THE LOUISIANA CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS IS URGING CONGRESS NOT TO USE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AS BARGAINING CHIPS IN THE FIGHT OVER THE DEBT CEILING. BRENDA HATFIELD, STATE VOLUNTEER PRESIDENT FOR AARP SAYS TALKS OF CUTS TO BOTH PROGRAMS HAVE HER MEMBERS UPSET. HATFIELD SAYS NEARLY 800-THOUSAND LOUISIANA CITIZENS RELY ON SOCIAL SECURITY. FOR MANY IT IS THEIR ONLY MEANS OF SUPPORT. SHE SAYS 677- THOUSAND RESIDENTS ARE MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES. SHE SAYS THESE ARE PROGRAMS THAT HER MEMBERS HAVE PAID INTO, MOST FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. HATFIELD SAYS HER ORGANIZATION IS MADE UP OF PEOPLE FROM ALL POLITICAL BELIEFS SO THEIR STANCE IS NOT BASED ON A POLITICAL AGENDA.

AN LSU AGCENTER NUTRITIONIST APPLAUDS MCDONALD'S DECISION TO SERVE A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE WITH EVERY HAPPY MEAL SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES. THE FAST FOOD CHAIN IS ALSO REDUCING THE SERVING SIZE OF ITS FRIES IN A HAPPY MEAL. DR. BETH REAMES SAYS THIS IS A GREAT MOVE BY MCDONALDS. REAMES SAYS THE ADDITION OF APPLE SLICES TO THE HAPPY MEAL WILL HOPEFULLY PROMOTE HEALTHY EATING AMONG MORE CHILDREN. REAMES SAYS MCDONALD'S CHANGE TO THE HAPPY MEAL WILL LIKELY CONVINCE
OTHER RESTAURANTS AND EVEN PARENTS TO PROVIDE CHILDREN WITH HEALTHIER
FOOD OPTIONS.


SPORTS..

THE SAINTS WILL REPORT TO TRAINING CAMP TOMORROW AND THEN HIT THE PRACTICE FIELD ON FRIDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE PLAYOFF LOSS TO SEATTLE. NEW ORLEANS WILL NOT HAVE ITS FULL TEAM UNTIL AUGUST 4TH. THAT'S BECAUSE FREE AGENTS WHO SIGN, CAN'T PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE UNTIL THEN. DREW BREES HOPES THE SAINTS SIGN A MAJORITY OF THEIR FREE AGENTS. BREES SAYS YOUNG PLAYERS WILL HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULT ADJUSTMENT TO MAKE ONCE TRAINING CAMP STARTS. BREES IS ENTERING THE FINAL YEAR OF HIS CONTRACT, BUT THE FRANCHISE Q-B SAYS A NEW CONTRACT IS NOT A PRIORITY RIGHT NOW.

LSU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JOE ALLEVA SAYS HE'S STAYING AT LSU DESPITE OVERTURES FROM TENNESSEE. IN A STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE UNIVERSITY, ALLEVA SAYS HE DID NOT PURSUE THE VACANCY AT TENNESSEE AND IS HAPPY WITH THE SUPPORT HE IS RECEIVING FROM LSU CHANCELLOR MICHAEL MARTIN AND THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
EARLIER ON TUESDAY, LSU OFFICIALS SAID MARTIN WAS AWARE OF TENNESSEE'S INTEREST IN ALLEVA AND THAT HE CUT SHORT A TRIP TO NEW MEXICO AND TRAVELED BACK TO BATON ROUGE TO DEAL WITH THE MATTER. ALLEVA HAS BEEN LSU'S ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SINCE APRIL 2008, WHEN HE LEFT THE SAME JOB AT DUKE.


 

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