KSYL Local News

News For Monday 080111


NEWS FOR MONDAY 080111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN


STATE POLICE REPORT THAT PINEVILLE MAYOR CLARENCE FIELDS WAS INVOLVED IN A FATAL ACCIDENT LAST NIGHT ON HIGHWAY 28 EAST. THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED NEAR TRINITY CHURCH ROAD AROUND 9PM. TROOPERS SAY FIELDS STRUCK A PEDESTRIAN, 29 YEAR OLD ERICA TERRELL OF PINEVILLE. THE MAYOR’S VEHICLE WAS WEST BOUND IN THE RIGHT LANE ON LA HWY 28 EAST WHEN IT COLLIDED WITH TERRELL. TERRELL WAS WALKING IN THE RIGHT LANE. THE MAYOR RELEASED A STATEMENT TODAY EXTENDING CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF WOMAN.


THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO THE BLAZE THAT TORE THROUGH THE SELECT 10 MOTEL ON MAC ARTHUR DRIVE FRIDAY AFTERNOON. FIRE OFFICIALS SAY THE BLAZE STARTED IN THE CENTER OF THE COMPLEX AND WORKED IT’S WAY OUT FROM THERE. AT ONE POINT 24 FIRE TRUCKS WERE FIGHTING THE FIRE. MIRACULOUSLY, NOW ONE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED. THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE FROM THE FIRE HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED. ALTHOUGH, THOSE AT THE SCENE SAY IT WAS EXTENSIVE.

STATE POLICE SAY A 23-YEAR-OLD ZWOLLE MAN DIED SUNDAY WHEN HIS CAR OVERTURNED NEAR LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 191. TROOPERS SAY THE CRASH THAT KILLED JEFFERY EZERNACK IS BEING INVESTIGATED.

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO DECIDE WHETHER TO CLEAR LOUISIANA'S NEW MAPS FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, WHICH LAWMAKERS DREW IN A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION EARLIER THIS YEAR. THE PLAN WILL SHRINK THE NUMBER OF LOUISIANA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS FROM SEVEN TO SIX, STARTING WITH 2012 ELECTIONS, BECAUSE OF THE STATE'S ANEMIC POPULATION GROWTH IN THE LATEST FEDERAL CENSUS. THE PLAN PRESERVES ONE MAJORITY BLACK DISTRICT. HOWEVER, BLACK LAWMAKERS VOTED IN A NEAR BLOC AGAINST THE PLAN, CALLING IT DISCRIMINATORY BECAUSE IT DOESN'T GIVE MINORITY VOTERS ENOUGH INFLUENCE IN OTHER DISTRICTS.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S TOP FINANCIAL OFFICIAL SAID OVER THE WEEKEND, NO ACTION ON PRIVATIZING INSURANCE POLICIES CURRENTLY HANDLED BY THE STATE OFFICE OF GROUP BENEFITS WOULD BE CONSIDERED UNTIL 2012 AND CHANGES, IF ANY, WOULD NOT GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 2013,. COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER SAY CHANGES WILL ONLY BE MADE IF A FINANCIAL ADVISER CURRENTLY LOOKING AT OGB OPERATIONS BELIEVES IT WOULD BE BEST FOR "THE STATE, STATE EMPLOYEES AND TAXPAYERS," RAINWATER SAYS "IT'S A SLOW-MOVING PROCESS," AND IT'S NEVER BEEN A FOREGONE CONCLUSION" THAT OGB WOULD BE PRIVATIZED.

THE MONTH OF AUGUST MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE PEAK OF THE HURRICANE SEASON. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE CHANGING IN THE ATLANTIC AND THE GULF OF MEXICO MAKING IT EASIER FOR HURRICANES TO DEVELOP.
Q: HURRICANES TO OCCUR. HURRICANE PREDICTORS HAVE FORECAST A BUSIER THAN NORMAL SEASON FOR 2011. KEIM SAYS WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN OUR FOURTH NAMED STORM OF THE SEASON AND THAT PUTS US WELL AHEAD OF THE AVERAGE.

FORMER GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS HOLDS HIS FIRST FORMAL NEWS CONFERENCE SINCE BEING RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON. EDWARDS WAS CONVICTED OF CORRUPTING THE STATES GAMING LICENSE PROCESS AND HE BLAMES HIS CONVICTION ON A FEDERAL JUDGE AND FRIENDS HE SAYS THE STATE PERSUADED TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIM. EDWARDS SAYS HE WENT TO PRISON FOR EXTORTION, NOT FOR SELLING RIVERBOAT LICENSES. HE SAYS HE NEVER TOOK ANY MONEY FROM ANYONE. EDWARDS ALSO TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE HIS 32-YEAR-OLD NEW BRIDE, TRINA GRIMES SCOTT, WHOM HE MET WHILE HE WAS IN PRISON. HE SAYS SCOTT WROTE TO HIM AFTER READING HIS BOOK AND ASKED TO MEET HIM.

AN 8-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS DRIVING A PICKUP TRUCK DOWN AN INTERSTATE WHILE HIS DRUNKEN FATHER SLEPT IN THE PASSENGER SEAT AND THE MAN'S 4-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WAS IN THE BACK SEAT, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SAY. THE TRUCK WAS STOPPED SATURDAY MORNING IN LIVINGSTON PARISH, TROOPERS SAID. THE CHILD'S DRIVING WAS SO ERRATIC THAT IT ALARMED MOTORISTS, WHO CALLED AUTHORITIES. THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN HANDED OVER TO LOUISIANA CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

THE FEDERAL AGENCY THAT OVERSEES OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING SAYS OPERATORS ARE RESTORING PRODUCTION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF TROPICAL STORM DON. THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DOWNGRADED DON TO A DEPRESSION FRIDAY NIGHT AS THE WEAK DISTURBANCE CAME ASHORE OVER RANCH LANDS NEAR BAFFIN BAY IN TEXAS. THE BUREAU ESTIMATED THAT APPROXIMATELY 10.9 PERCENT OF THE CURRENT OIL PRODUCTION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO WAS SHUT-IN, AND ABOUT 6.6 PERCENT OF NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION.

A FORMER CORRECTIONS OFFICER WHO PLEADED GUILTY TO HAVING SEX WITH A PRISONER HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 10 MONTHS IN PRISON. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY 32-YEAR-OLD JOSEPH TAUNTON, OF JONESVILLE, ENTERED THE VICTIM'S CELL AT THE LASALLE DETENTION FACILITY IN JENA ON DEC. 16, 2010, AND ENGAGED IN A SEXUAL ACT.

THE ANNUAL LOW-OXYGEN AREA OFF LOUISIANA'S COAST IS LARGER THAN AVERAGE, BUT NOWHERE NEAR THE RECORD PREDICTED BECAUSE OF RECORD MISSISSIPPI RIVER SPRING FLOODS. NANCY RABALAIS OF THE LOUISIANA UNIVERSITIES MARINE CONSORTIUM SAYS IT'S SMALLER THAN EXPECTED BECAUSE TROPICAL STORM DON WHIPPED UP WINDS AND WAVES IN THE GULF, MIXING OXYGEN BACK INTO LOWER WATERS. RABALAIS HAS STUDIED THE SO-CALLED "DEAD ZONE" SINCE 1985. SHE REPORTS THAT IT COVERS ABOUT 6,765 SQUARE MILES OF THE GULF OF MEXICO. BECAUSE IT'S FED BY FERTILIZER AND RUNOFF FROM ACROSS AMERICA'S HEARTLAND, SCIENTISTS HAD EXPECTED IT TO COVER 8,500 TO 9,400 SQUARE MILES. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT THE SIZE OF LAKE ERIE.

THE TOP NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS RELEASED A REPORT MONDAY CRITICIZING LSU FOR ITS TREATMENT OF FACULTY AND ITS “ACADEMIC FREEDOM VIOLATIONS.” THE 30-PAGE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS REPORT FOCUSES ON THE 2009 FIRING OF OUTSPOKEN LSU COASTAL RESEARCHER IVOR VAN HEERDEN AND THE 2010 REMOVAL OF BIOLOGY PROFESSOR DOMINIQUE HOMBERGER FROM A CLASS FOR ALLEGEDLY GRADING TOO HARSHLY. THE CRITICISMS COULD LEAD TO THE AAUP PLACING LSU ON ITS “CENSURE LIST” IF THE UNIVERSITY FAILS TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CORRECTIVE ACTIONS, SAID JORDAN KURLAND, AAUP ASSOCIATE GENERAL SECRETARY. CENSURE STATUS IS GENERALLY SEEN AS A BLACK EYE AGAINST A SCHOOL THAT HAMPERS FACULTY RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION.

THE STATE IS DIVERTING DISASTER PAYMENTS FROM THE BP OIL LEAK TO CHIP AWAY AT A $1.2 BILLION BACKLOG IN UNPAID CHILD SUPPORT. LISA ANDRY, EXECUTIVE PROGRAM DIRECTOR OVER THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES’ CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT, SAID THAT THE AGENCY HAS INTERCEPTED $5.5 MILLION IN PAYMENTS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE BEHIND ON THEIR CHILD SUPPORT. THE AGENCY ALSO IS GEARING UP PLANS TO BEGIN TAKING CASINO WINNINGS FROM PEOPLE WHO FAILED TO PAY THEIR COURT-ORDERED SUPPORT TO THEIR CHILDREN.






 

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