KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 080911


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 080911
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE ALEXANDRIA HOUSING AUTHORITY. A RECENT STATE AUDIT, THAT WAS MADE PUBLIC YESTERDAY SAYS FORMER ALEXANDRIA HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR WANDA DAVIS MADE UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENTS OF MORE THAN HALF A MILLION DOLLARS TO HERSELF AND OTHER AHA EMPLOYEES OVER NINE YEARS. INVESTIGATORS WITH THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S OFFICE FOUND DAVIS PAID HERSELF MORE THAN $185,000 ABOVE HER BOARD-APPROVED SALARY FROM 2002 UNTIL THIS YEAR, WHEN SHE WAS FIRED. THE INVESTIGATION ALSO FOUND THAT FROM 2003 TO 2009, DAVIS AUTHORIZED PAYMENTS OF ALMOST $350,000 TO HERSELF AND OTHER AHA EMPLOYEES. THE REPORT HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND THE RAPIDES PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR REVIEW.

GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS ORDERED FLAGS TO FLY AT HALF-STAFF UNTIL SUNDOWN FRIDAY, TO HONOR TWO SHREVEPORT NATIVES WHO WERE AMONG THE 22 NAVY SEALS KILLED WHEN ENEMY FIRE BROUGHT DOWN THEIR HELICOPTER LAST WEEK. LT. COMMANDER JONAS KELSALL AND CPO ROBERT JAMES REEVES WERE BOTH GRADUATES OF CADDO MAGNET HIGH IN SHREVEPORT. US AND STATE FLAGS AT THE CAPITOL AND ALL STATE BUILDINGS AND INSTITUTIONS WILL FOLLOW THE GOVERNOR'S ORDER.

STATE HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER HAS ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY FOR SECRETARY OF STATE THIS FALL. THE REPUBLICAN TUCKER JOINS A FIELD THAT INCLUDES NEW ORLEANS GOP REP. WALKER HINES, DEMOCRAT CAROLINE FAYARD AND CURRENT SECRETARY TOM SCHEDLER, A REPUBLICAN WHO WAS APPOINTED TO THE OFFICE, WHEN JAY DARDENNE BECAME LT. GOVERNOR LAST YEAR.

FEDERAL OFFICIALS GAVE CLEARANCE MONDAY TO REDESIGNED MAPS FOR LOUISIANA'S TOP EDUCATION BOARD, WRAPPING UP THE FINAL OUTSTANDING STATEWIDE REDISTRICTING PLAN AWAITING APPROVAL. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DIDN'T OBJECT TO THE EIGHT ELECTED DISTRICTS FOR THE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, CLEARING THE MAPS TO BE USED IN THE OCT. 22 ELECTION.

THE VANGUARD SYNFUELS BIODIESEL PLANT IN POLLOCK HAS STARTED BACK UP AGAIN. THE FACILITY IS ALL READY BACK TO PRODUCING SYNTHETIC FUELS. THE GOOD NEWS IS, THE FACILITY IS SUPPLYING 25 GOOD JOBS TO AN AREA THAT DESPERATELY NEEDS THEM.

A FAMILY COURT JUDGE HAS SET A CASH BOND OF $500,000 EACH FOR THREE 15-YEAR-OLD BOYS ACCUSED OF PLOTTING TO SHOOT TWO SPECIFIC PEOPLE AND ANYONE ELSE IN THEIR WAY ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS AT THEIR SUBURBAN NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL. THE TEENS WERE ARRESTED LAST WEEK. SHERIFF JACK STRAIN SAYS THE TRIO APPARENTLY SPENT THE SUMMER MAKING DETAILED PLANS TO SHOOT A STUDENT, A FACULTY MEMBER, AND POLICE. INDISCRIMINATE SHOOTING ALSO WAS PLANNED.

ALEXANDRIA POLICE SAY 23-YEAR-OLD LOCAL MAN FACES SHOPLIFTING AND BATTERY CHARGES, AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY BIT A LOSS PREVENTION OFFICER AT A TARGET STORE, WHILE TRYING TO ABSCOND WITH OVER $600 IN MERCHANDISE. LINDSAY JAMES IS IN CUSTODY. THE MERCHANDISE WAS RETURNED. THE TARGET EMPLOYEE WAS TREATED FOR THE BITE. DID THEY CHECK FOR RABIES? NOT SURE.

MAKING THE LOUISIANA DELTA A MORE ATTRACTIVE DESTINATION IS THE GOAL OF THE MISS-LOU TOURISM SUMMIT, WHICH KICKS OFF TODAY IN OAK GROVE. LOUISIANA CENTER FOR RURAL INITIATIVES DIRECTOR JAMES BARNES SAYS REPRESENTATIVES FROM 17 LOUISIANA PARISHES AND 16 MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES WILL DISCUSS HOW TO TIE TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN THE AREA TOGETHER.

WORRIES OVER THE DEBT CRISIS AND THE DOWNGRADING OF THE U.S. CREDIT RATING BY STANDARD AND POOR DROVE THE STOCK MARKET DOWN OVER 600 POINTS YESTERDAY ALONE. THE MARKET IS DOWN 2-THOUSAND POINTS FROM IT'S HIGH EARLIER THIS YEAR. TULANE BUSINESS PROFESSOR DR. MARK ROSA SAYS GIVEN BUSINESS BALANCE SHEETS NOW COULD BE THE TIME TO BUY.

A MAN CONVICTED OF AN ASSAULT AND KIDNAPPING OF A WOMAN 17 YEARS AGO IN OPELOUSAS FACES SENTENCING THIS WEEK IN STATE DISTRICT COURT. ALMOST TWO DECADES AFTER THE ASSAULT, THE VICTIM IDENTIFIED JOSEPH SAVOY AS THE MAN WHO TIED HER UP, BRUTALLY BEAT AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTED HER JUNE 23, 1994. THE WOMAN'S CASE WAS COLD UNTIL 2008, WHEN SAVOY WAS IDENTIFIED AS A POSSIBLE SUSPECT, HAVING BEEN CONVICTED FOUR YEARS EARLIER OF A SIMILAR CRIME IN LAFAYETTE. THE ACADIANA CRIME LAB CONFIRMED A DNA SAMPLE FROM SAVOY MATCHED EVIDENCE INITIALLY SUBMITTED IN 1994. SAVOY FACES UP TO LIFE IN PRISON ON TOP OF THE 60 YEARS HE'S CURRENTLY SERVING.

A MAN WHO WORKED FOR A NEW ORLEANS ART DEALER HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO A FRAUD CHARGE FOR HIS ROLE IN A PLOT TO SELL FORGED PAINTINGS HE CLAIMED TO BE THE WORK OF A RENOWNED LOUISIANA FOLK ARTIST. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY ROBERT E. LUCKY JR. CONSPIRED WITH A BATON ROUGE COUPLE TO SELL FAKE CLEMENTINE HUNTER PAINTINGS TO UNSUSPECTING ART COLLECTORS. LUCKY’S LUCK HAS RUN OUT, HE FACES UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWING HIS GUILTY PLEA MONDAY IN ALEXANDRIA TO ONE COUNT OF MAIL FRAUD. HUNTER, WHO DIED IN 1988 AT AGE 101, TAUGHT HERSELF TO PAINT WHILE LIVING IN NATCHITOCHES PARISH. HER PAINTINGS DEPICT SCENES OF PLANTATION LIFE AND CAN SELL FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS APIECE.

THERE IS SAD NEWS OUT OF THE ST. MARTIN PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE AS ONE OF THEIR K-9'S PASSED AWAY IN THE LINE OF DUTY. MAJOR GINNY HIGGINS SAYS HATOS WAS ONE OF THE DOGS BEING USED TO LOCATE TWO JUVENILES WHO HAD ESCAPED FROM THE ST. MARTIN PARISH JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER. AUTHORITIES SAY THE DOG DIED FROM HEAT STROKE.

WEST MONROE POLICE HAVE ARRESTED LARRY BAKER OF CHATAM ON HIS 4TH OFFENSE DWI AFTER HE SALUTED A FELLOW MOTORIST ON I-20 BY RAISING AN OPEN BEER BOTTLE. WEST MONROE POLICE SPOKESPERSON JERRY STANSBURY SAYS BAKER WAS DRIVING WILDLY DOWN THE INTERSTATE.

God Bless America!

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