KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 080311


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 080311
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LOUISIANA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION IS SPLIT OVER THE PLAN TO RAISE THE FEDERAL DEBT CEILING. CONGRESSMEN BILL CASSIDY, CHARLES BOUSTANY, CEDRIC RICHMOND, RODNEY ALEXANDER AND SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU VOTED FOR THE BILL. REPUBLICAN SENATOR DAVID VITTER AND LOUISIANA HOUSE MEMBERS STEVE SCALISE, JOHN FLEMMING AND CHRIS LANDRY ALL VOTED AGAINST THE BILL. SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS THE DEBT CEILING BILL WILL STILL LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE OF THE NATION'S CREDIT RATING.

MUCH OF THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE STATE IS UNDER AN EXCESSIVE HEAT ADVISORY UNTIL SEVEN O' CLOCK TONIGHT. HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO CLIMB PAST THE CENTURY MARK AND THE HEAT INDEX WILL RANGE BETWEEN 110 AND 118 DEGREES. BRANDI RICHARDSON WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SHREVEPORT SAYS THE EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING WILL LIKELY EXTEND INTO TOMORROW AS WELL.

THE TOP LAW OFFICER IN WINN PARISH IS AMONG 11 PEOPLE FACING FEDERAL CHARGES RELATED TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF METHAMPHETAMINE IN NORTHWESTERN LOUISIANA.
U.S. ATTORNEY STEPHANIE FINLEY SAYS SHERIFF ALBERT LITTLE AND FOUR OTHER PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED TUESDAY AND TAKEN TO SHREVEPORT FOR INITIAL COURT APPEARANCES.
FINLEY SAYS THREE OTHER PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED IN LATE JUNE, ONE PERSON IS IN CUSTODY ON UNRELATED STATE CHARGES AND TWO DEFENDANTS ARE BEING SOUGHT BY AUTHORITIES. A BREAKOUT OF THE CHARGES AGAINST EACH DEFENDANT WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, ONE OF THE CHARGES, CONSPIRING WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE, CARRIES A POSSIBLE LIFE PRISON SENTENCE AND $10 MILLION FINE.

PART OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NEW HEALTH CARE PLAN WOULD REQUIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PAY FOR BIRTH CONTROL AS PREVENTIVE CARE FOR WOMEN, WITH NO CO-PAYS. THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE SOME WOMEN ARE TURNED OFF TO USING BIRTH CONTROL BECAUSE OF THE COST. STUDIES SHOW ABOUT HALF OF ALL U-S PREGNANCIES ARE UNPLANNED. LOUISIANA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON SAYS REQUIRING INSURANCE COMPANIES TO COVER BIRTH CONTROL WILL NOT BE COST EFFECTIVE AND WILL LEAD TO HIGHER PREMIUMS.

TROPICAL STORM EMILY CONTINUES TO GATHER STRENGTH IN AN AREA JUST SOUTH EAST OF PUERTO RICO. FORECASTER SCOTT STRIPLING WITH THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SAYS EMILY HAS WINDS OF ABOUT 45 MILES PER HOUR. HE SAYS, AS OF NOW, EMILY IS NOT EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE ANYTIME SOON. THE LATEST FORECAST MODELS SHOW EMILY MOVING SLOWLY UP THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA.

MORE ACCOLADES FOR LOUISIANA'S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, AS THE TRADE JOURNAL "BUSINESS FACILITIES" RANKS THE BAYOU STATE #2 IN THE COUNTRY FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL. LOUISIANA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY, STEPHEN MORET, SAYS THAT IS AN ALL-TIME HIGH RATING FOR THE STATE FROM THAT PUBLICATION. IN ADDITION, THE MAGAZINE ALSO RANKED LOUISIANA 7TH OUT OF 50 STATES FOR BEST BUSINESS CLIMATE.

A STATE LAWMAKER FROM CARENCRO WHO WAS ARRESTED LAST YEAR FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING SAYS HE ISN'T RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION THIS FALL. DEMOCRATIC REP. BOBBY BADON ANNOUNCED HIS DECISION TUESDAY, SAYING HE WILL LEAVE THE STATE HOUSE IN JANUARY AFTER ONE TERM IN OFFICE. BADON SAYS THE EXPANSION OF HIS BUSINESS AND FARMING INTERESTS IS TAKING TIME AWAY FROM HIS ABILITY TO REPRESENT CONSTITUENTS IN OFFICE. THE LAWMAKER'S DISTRICT COVERS LAFAYETTE, ST. LANDRY AND ST. MARTIN PARISHES. BADON WAS ARRESTED IN 2010 FOR A FIRST-OFFENSE DWI. POLICE SAID HIS BREATH SAMPLE SHOWED A BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT ABOVE THE LEGAL LIMIT. HE HAD BEEN STOPPED FOR IMPROPER LANE USAGE. THE CHARGE WAS THROWN OUT EARLIER THIS YEAR BY A JUDGE WHO RULED THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR THE TRAFFIC STOP.

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS REPORTS IT'S GRADUATION RATE HAS JUMPED FROM 20-PERCENT IN 2010 TO 38-PERCENT THIS YEAR. THE LATEST GRADUATION RATE REPRESENTS A 90-PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE CLASS THAT ENROLLED BEFORE KATRINA. MIKE RIVAULT (REE/VO), CHIEF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION OFFICER FOR UNO SAYS THE IMPROVEMENT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO A MORE QUALIFIED AND MORE DEDICATED CLASS OF INCOMING STUDENTS.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY LOUISIANA IS INCLUDED AMONG STATES WITH CASES OF SALMONELLA THAT ARE LINKED TO GROUND TURKEY PRODUCTS. HOWEVER, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HOSPITALS RETAIL FOODS ADMINISTRATOR CAROLYN BOMBET SAYS ONLY ONE PERSON IN OUR STATE HAS THE ILLNESS, AND IT'S UNCERTAIN IF THAT PERSON EVEN ATE ANY GROUND TURKEY. BOMBET SAYS THE USDA HAS ISSUED A SALMONELLA ALERT FOR GROUND TURKEY, AFTER SALMONELLA CASES TURNED UP IN 25 STATES...BUT DECLINES TO NAME THE GROUND TURKEY PRODUCT OR ISSUE A RECALL. SHE CHARACTERIZES THE
FEDERAL ACTION AS "ALARMIST".BOMBET SAYS IF YOU COOK TURKEY, USE A MEAT THERMOMETER AND MAKE SURE THE INSIDE REACHES AT LEAST 165 DEGREES.

STATE POLICE SAY A MORGAN CITY TEEN, ARRESTED ON SEXUAL MOLESTATION CHARGES, HAD THREE PIPE BOMBS IN HIS POSSESSION WHEN HE WAS TAKEN IN. A SEARCH WARRANT OF HIS HOME TURNED UP THE BOMBS. THE DEVICES WERE REMOVED FROM THE HOME AND BLOWN UP UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS. 17-YEAR-OLD THOMAS BREAUX NOW FACES A LIST OF CHARGES INCLUDING SEXUAL BATTERY OF A MINOR AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.

LT GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE ANNOUNCES THE RESULTS OF A STUDY CONDUCTED SHOWS JUST OVER HALF OF LOUISIANA RESIDENTS VOLUNTEER IN THEIR COMMUNITIES. DARDENNE SAYS IN A SURVEY OF OVER 720 PEOPLE, 51 PERCENT SAY THEY ARE INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES. HE SAYS MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS ALSO SAY THEY WILL VOLUNTEER AGAIN NEXT YEAR. DARDENNE SAYS THEY CONDUCTED THE STUDY IN THE HOPES OF INCREASING VOLUNTEERISM IN THE STATE. HE SAYS THEIR RECENTLY LAUNCHED "ALL WE NEED IS U" CAMPAIGN IS DESIGNED TO MOVE VOLUNTEERISM RATES WELL ABOVE 51 PERCENT. POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS CAN GO TO WWW.VOLUNTEERLOUISIANA.GOV WHICH LISTS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES.

REGIONAL BANKER IBERIABANK CORP. PLANS TO BUY BACK UP TO 900,000 SHARES OF ITS OUTSTANDING COMMON STOCK. LAFAYETTE-BASED IBERIABANK SAID TUESDAY THAT THE REPURCHASE COVERS UP TO 3 PERCENT OF ITS OUTSTANDING SHARES. THE COMPANY SAID IT WILL MAKE THE PURCHASES ON THE OPEN MARKET OR IN PRIVATELY NEGOTIATED TRANSACTIONS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE AFTER FINANCIAL MARKETS CLOSED. IN TUESDAY TRADING, IBERIABANK SHARES WERE DOWN 96 CENTS TO CLOSE AT $50. THE SHARES HAVE TRADED IN A 52-WEEK RANGE OF $48.31 TO $61.30.

TICKETS FOR THE LSU SEASON OPENER AGAINST OREGON IN DALLAS ARE THE HOTTEST IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS YEAR. JOELLEN FERRAR, WITH TICKET BROKER WEBSITE "STUBHUB.COM", SAYS LSU WAS ALLOTTED 37-THOUSAND TICKETS FOR THE SEPTEMBER 3RD SEASON OPENER, AND THEY ARE REPORTEDLY SOLD OUT. THAT MEANS GOING TO 2ND MARKET SOURCES, LIKE STUBHUB, TO FIND TICKETS. FERRAR SAYS THEY HAVE ABOUT 2000 TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE--STARTING AS LOW AS $65...AND GOING WAY UP. BECAUSE LSU PLAYS ONLY 6 HOME GAMES THIS YEAR, AND DALLAS ISN'T TOO FAR AWAY, FANS ARE LIKELY TO TREAT THIS AS A "HOME GAME" AND FEEL ATTENDING IS A "MUST".

LSU TIGERS REPORT FOR PRESEASON CAMP TODAY WITH THE INTENTIONS OF PLAYING FOR THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. WITH 16 STARTERS RETURNING, THE BAYOU BENGALS ARE CONSIDERED A TITLE CONTENDER, DESPITE A DIFFICULT SCHEDULE.





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