KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 080411


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 080411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF’S RACE IS NOW OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY AND YOU DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD BE CIVIL DID YA? A FORMER SHERIFF'S DETECTIVE'S IS CLAIMING RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF CHUCK WAGNER STOPPED A 2010 PROBE INTO THE SHOOTING AND KILLING OF A DOG BECAUSE THE SHOOTER IS A CLOSE FRIEND OF THE SHERIFF. THAT FORMER DETECTIVE, RANDY COOPER, HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS “A VERY DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE” WHO IS SUPPORTING SHERIFF WAGNER’S OPPONENT, WILLIAM EARL HILTON. THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT REPORTS THAT COOPER WAS FIRED LAST YEAR AND THAT ANIMAL PORNOGRAPHY WAS DISCOVERED ON HIS OFFICE COMPUTER. THE DEPARTMENT ALSO IS SAYING COOPER’S WIFE STOLE A POT-BELLIED PIG AND SHERIFF WAGNER'S PET DOG. THE STATE POLICE WILL LOOK INTO THE ACCUSATIONS.

A FLORIDA MAN’S PLANS TO MAKE A QUICK BUCK WENT UP IN SMOKE YESTERDAY AFTER TWO OF HIS SUITCASES FULL OF MARIJUANA WERE SEIZED AT ALEXANDRIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THE MAN’S PRIVATE PLANE MADE A FUEL STOP AT THE AIRPORT, THAT’S WHEN A SHERIFF’S DEPUTY DISCOVERED THE 46 POUNDS OF POT. 37 YEAR OLD RAIMONDI SALVATORE ROSARIO WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE.

ERICA TERRELL OF PINEVILLE WILL BE LAID TO REST TODAY. TERRELL IS THE YOUNG WOMAN WHO WAS STRUCK AND KILLED LATE SUNDAY NIGHT WHILE WALKING ALONG HIGHWAY 28 EAST. PINEVILLE MAYOR CLARENCE FIELDS, WHO WAS DRIVING THE VEHICLE THAT STRUCK THE WOMAN WAS PLANNING TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL SERVICES, BUT HAS NOW DECIDED IT WOULD BE A DISTRACTION TO GRIEVING FAMILY MEMBERS. MAYOR FIELDS KNEW THE WOMAN AND HER FAMILY WELL. THE STATE POLICE HAS YET TO RELEASE A REPORT ON THEIR INVESTIGATION OF THE FATAL ACCIDENT. BUT, MOST, AT THIS POINT BELIEVE IT WAS AN UNAVOIDABLE TRAGEDY.

JUST A REMINDER, THE STATE D.O.T.D. IS ASKING MOTORISTS TO AVOID THE INTERSECTION OF U.S. HIGHWAY 71 AND UPPER THIRD STREET, AT THE FOOT OF THE OK ALLEN BRIDGE, TIL FURTHER NOTICE. WORK CREWS ARE IN THE PROCESS OF CHANGING THE LANES OF TRAFFIC OVER FOR THE NEW CONSTRUCTION OF THE FORT BUHLOW BRIDGE THAT WILL REPLACE THE O.K. ALLEN OVER THE RED RIVER. TRAFFIC IS EXPECTED TO BE BACKED UP, EVEN MORE THAN NORMAL .

POWER PROVIDER CLECO CORP. SAID WEDNESDAY THAT IT NEARLY DOUBLED ITS SECOND-QUARTER PROFIT AFTER SELLING A POWER GENERATING UNIT TO ENTERGY CORP.
THE COMPANY ALSO RAISED ITS 2011 EARNINGS FORECAST. FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDING JUNE 30, CLECO EARNED $70.2 MILLION, OR $1.15 PER SHARE. CLECO POSTED A ONE-TIME 63-CENT-PER-SHARE GAIN FROM THE SALE OF ONE OF THE TWO GENERATING UNITS AT THE ACADIA POWER STATION.

THE SHERIFF OF WINN PARISH IS DUE IN A SHREVEPORT COURTROOM TODAY, WHERE A FEDERAL JUDGE WILL DETERMINE IF HE CAN REMAIN FREE ON BAIL, WHILE HE AWAITS TRIAL ON DRUG DISTRIBUTION CHARGES. SHERIFF D.A. "BODI" LITTLE IS REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY TAYLOR TOWNSEND, WHO SAYS HIS CLIENT HAS BEEN FRAMED BY POLITICAL ENEMIES. IF CONVICTED, SHERIFF LITTLE COULD FACE ANYWHERE FROM 10 YEARS TO
LIFE IN PRISON.

THE STATE REVENUE DEPARTMENT REMINDS BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPERS TO HANG ON TO THOSE RECEIPTS, BECAUSE SOME OF THE ITEMS PURCHASED COULD BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. L-D-R SPOKESPERSON BYRON HENDERSON SAYS MANY SCHOOL SUPPLIES CAN BE WRITTEN OFF, WHEN YOU FILL OUT YOUR 2011 TAX FORMS...

TROPICAL STORM EMILY CONTINUES TO SLOWLY DRIFT TOWARD THE ISLAND OF HISPANIOLA. COMPUTER MODELS TAKE EMILY UP THE EAST COAST, BUT FORECASTERS SAY IF THE STORM LINGERS A FEW MORE DAYS IN THE CARIBBEAN WITHOUT GAINING STRENGTH, THERE'S A CHANCE ITS PATH COULD CHANGE AND IT COULD HEAD INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO. SO, IT BEARS WATCHING.

THE COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY HURRICANE FORECASTING TEAM HAS CONFIRMED THEIR PRE-SEASON FORECAST OF 16 NAMED STORMS FOR 2011. CSU FORECASTERS SAYS THERE IS A 45-PERCENT CHANCE OF A HURRICANE HITTING THE LOUISIANA COAST AND AN 18-PERCENT CHANCE WE'LL SEE A MAJOR HURRICANE THIS SEASON.

ACCORDING TO THE STATE'S CLIMATOLOGIST, THE RECORD HEAT THAT LOUISIANA IS EXPERIENCING THIS WEEK IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL. BARRY KEIM SAYS THE HUMIDITY LEVELS ACROSS THE STATE HAVE BEEN DRIVEN UP TO DANGEROUS PROPORTIONS. KEIM SAYS THE COMBINATION OF THE HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY ARE CAUSING OUTDOOR CONDITIONS TO BE BRUTAL. HE SAYS TEMPERATURES ARE GOING TO REMAIN HOT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND, THOUGH THE HUMIDITY MIGHT BACK DOWN A BIT. KEIM SAYS THESE CONDITIONS ARE CAUSED BY A STEAMING HOT GULF OF MEXICO.

AN 18-PERSON PANEL HAS BEEN CHOSEN TO STUDY THE STATE'S FOUR COLLEGE SYSTEM GOVERNING BOARDS AND THE POSSIBLE VIRTUES OF MERGING THEM INTO ONE. ONE OF THOSE SELECTED FOR THE COMMISSION IS COUNCIL FOR A BETTER LOUISIANA (CABL) PRESIDENT BARRY ERWIN. ERWIN SAYS THE COMMISSION WILL SEEK WAYS THAT HIGHER EDUCATION BOARDS COULD OPERATE MORE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY, AND ONE OF THOSE WAYS WOULD INVOLVE MERGING THE BOARDS INTO ONE. LEGISLATION TO FORM JUST ONE COLLEGE BOARD FAILED TO GAIN TRACTION WITH STATE LAWMAKERS THIS SPRING.

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS IN DERIDDER ARE CONSIDERING AN ORDINANCE TO BAN SMOKING IN ALL CITY PARKS. THE TOWN HAS ALREADY PROHIBITED CIGARETTE SMOKING AT BALL FIELDS AND STADIUMS. NON-SMOKERS ARE ANXIOUS TO SEE THE ORDINANCE PASS, BUT SMOKERS FEEL THEY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIGHT UP IN AN OUTDOOR PARK THAT THEY PAY TAXES TO MAINTAIN. THAT ITEM IS ON THE COUNCIL'S AGENDA NEXT MONDAY.

THE SEARCH FOR SMALL PLANE STOLEN FROM AN ALABAMA AIRSTRIP TUESDAY HAS BEEN CALLED OFF. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE PLANE WENT DOWN IN THE GULF SOMEWHERE SOUTHEAST OF VENICE, WITH THE PILOT, 68-YEAR-OLD GEORGE CONWAY, ON BOARD. SEARCHERS HAVE FOUND NO FUEL SLICK OR DEBRIS FIELD IN THOSE WATERS.

FEDERAL AUTHORITIES CHARGE 72 PEOPLE WITH TAKING PART IN AN INTERNATIONAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY RING WITH TIES TO LAFAYETTE. THERE HAVE BEEN 52 ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH A WEBSITE CALLED DREAMBOARD, WHICH ALLEGEDLY CATERS TO CHILD PREDATORS. AT LEAST ONE DEFENDANT, A VIRGINIA MAN WILL FACE TRIAL IN LAFAYETTE, WHERE THE CASE GOT STARTED. IT'S STILL UNCLEAR HOW LAFAYETTE FIGURES INTO THE CASE OR WHY IT STARTED THERE.

A 34-YEAR-OLD HOUMA MAN WAS ELECTROCUTED WHILE ALLEGEDLY BREAKING IN TO STEAL COPPER WIRING. ACCORDING TO TERREBONNE PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, ELECTRIC COMPANY WORKERS FOUND TIMOTHY LEWIS'S BODY AFTER GETTING A CALL, EARLY WEDNESDAY, ABOUT LOST POWER. LEWIS WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.
POLICE REPORT LEWIS BROKE THROUGH A FENCE AT A SUBSTATION IN HOUMA, AND WAS KILLED WHEN HE CUT A GROUND LINE WITH A PAIR OF WIRE CUTTERS.

AN ALEXANDRIA MAN IS ACCUSED OF STEALING COPPER FROM A RESIDENCE ON MARTIN STREET. 24 YEAR OLD LONNIE JOSEPH HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH THEFT OF A USED BUILDING COMPONENT AFTER AUTHORITIES SAID THEY RECEIVED A TIP THAT COPPER WAS BEING STOLEN FROM A VACANT RESIDENCE IN THE 3100 BLOCK OF MARTIN STREET.

IN A SPEECH TO A NATIONAL CONSERVATIVE GROUP WEDNESDAY, GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SAID IT WAS PARAMOUNT TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA OVER BUDGET ISSUES AND SEEK TO GET A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT ATTACHED TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. JINDAL, A FIRST-TERM REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, SPOKE WEDNESDAY TO THE AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL, A GROUP OF STATE LEGISLATORS FROM AROUND THE NATION WHO FAVOR LIMITED GOVERNMENT AND FEDERALISM. THEY ARE MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS.

THE PRODUCERS OF HISTORY CHANNEL'S HIT SHOW "SWAMP PEOPLE" ARE LOOKING FOR NEW CAST MEMBERS FOR SEASON THREE. CASTING DIRECTOR JASON SKWERES SAYS THEY'RE LOOKING FOR ALL TYPES OF CHARACTERS, NOT JUST GATOR HUNTERS. THE SHOW'S SECOND LOUISIANA CASTING IS SET FOR FRIDAY IN HOUMA.

82-YEAR-OLD ALZHEIMER'S PATIENT, WALTER HARTMAN OF SHREVEPORT, HAS BEEN FOUND, SAFE AND SOUND, IN NORMAN, OKLAHOMA. HARTMAN WAS REPORTED MISSING FROM HIS HOME MONDAY NIGHT. SHREVEPORT POLICE SGT. BILL GOODIN SAYS HARTMAN JUST DECIDE TO TAKE A BUS TRIP TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER WHO LIVES THERE.

CADDO PARISH JURORS CONVICT ERIC MICKELSON OF STRANGLING A WORLD WAR II VETERAN WHOSE BODY WAS DISMEMBERED AND LEFT IN TRASH CONTAINERS. THEY MUST NOW DECIDE WHETHER HE SHOULD DIE FOR THE FIRST-DEGREE MURDER OF 86-YEAR-OLD CHARLES MARTIN.







God Bless America!

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