KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 081111


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 081111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE RAPIDES PARISH DA’S OFFICE IS ASKING LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION OF FIRED ALEXANDRIA HOUSING AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WANDA DAVIS, WHO STATE AUDITORS SAID MAY HAVE CRIMINALLY PADDED HER INCOME WITH UNAUTHORIZED FUNDS FROM THE AUTHORITY. DISTRICT ATTORNEY JAMES DOWNS SAID THE AUDIT, DONE BY THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR’S OFFICE WAS NOT A FULL-BLOWN INVESTIGATION INTO CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. DOWNS SAID YESTERDAY, UPON RECEIPT OF THE COMPLETED INVESTIGATIONS, APPROPRIATE ACTION WILL BE TAKEN BASED ON THE DOCUMENTS.

LOUISIANA SAW OVERALL GROWTH IN AVERAGE PERSONAL INCOMES FROM 2009 TO 2010. THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS. SHREVEPORT LED ALL LOUISIANA METRO AREAS WITH A 4.1 PERCENT INCREASE IN OVERALL PERSONAL INCOME. LAFAYETTE POSTED THE SECOND LARGEST INCOME GROWTH RATE IN THE STATE AT 3.4%. NEW ORLEANS HAD THE THIRD BEST GROWTH IN THE STATE AT 3.3 PERCENT. LAKE CHARLES HAD THE LOWEST CHANGE IN PERSONAL INCOME AT 1.1%. ALEXANDRIA WAS SECOND TO LAST AT 1.5 PERCENT. PERSONAL INCOME IN THE NATION GREW AS A WHOLE AROUND 2.9 PERCENT

LOUISIANA FOLLOWED THE NATIONAL PATTERN IN HOME FORECLOSURES LAST MONTH, SEEING A SHARP DECLINE FROM JULY 2010. BUT FORECLOSURE TRACKING FIRM REALTYTRAC SAID MUCH OF THE DROP IS DUE TO DELAYS ON CLEARING OUT THE STACK OF TROUBLED HOUSING LOANS AND WILL EXTEND THE CURRENT HOUSING CRISIS.
IN JULY, 1,704 LOUISIANA PROPERTIES WERE TARGETED FOR SOME SORT OF FORECLOSURE ACTION. THOSE RANGED FROM AN INITIAL NOTICE OF DEFAULT TO REPOSSESSION BY A LENDER. THE COUNT WAS DOWN 17.7 PERCENT FROM JUNE AND 22.6 PERCENT FROM JULY 2010.

STATE REP. RICK GALLOT JR. WILL BE IN ALEXANDRIA ON MONDAY TO ANNOUNCE HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE STATE SENATE DISTRICT 29 SEAT. JOE MCPHERSON IS THE CURRENT DISTRICT 29 SENATOR, BUT HE CANNOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION DUE TO TERM LIMITS.
SENATE DISTRICT 29, WHICH WAS HEAVILY REVISED BY THE LEGISLATURE EARLIER THIS YEAR, IS NOW A MAJORITY-BLACK DISTRICT WHICH RUNS FROM SOUTH RAPIDES PARISH TO RUSTON AND INCLUDES PARTS OF ALEXANDRIA AND PINEVILLE.

THE STOCK MARKET CONTINUES TO MOVE UP AND DOWN IN RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY HERE AND ABROAD. LOUISIANA'S SENIOR SENATOR, MARY LANDRIEU AGREES THAT THE RECENT DEBT DEAL FAILED TO GO FAR ENOUGH TO AVOID STANDARD & POORS' DOWNGRADING OF THE NATION'S CREDIT RATING. SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS THE STOCK MARKET IS SIMPLY REACTING TO THE DISMAL STATE OF THE ECONOMY. VITTER WAS ALSO CRITICAL OF THE RECENT DEBT DEAL PASSED IN CONGRESS. HE SAYS WE MUST DO BETTER AS A NATION TO GET OUR BOOKS IN ORDER.

WITH PREP FOOTBALL PRACTICE UNDERWAY AND SEASONS STARTING SOON, NEW STATE LAWS TAKE EFFECT TO HELP PROTECT YOUNG ATHLETES FROM COMPLICATIONS OF SPORTS INJURIES, LIKE CONCUSSIONS. THE BILL PROHIBITS INJURED PLAYERS FROM GOING BACK INTO ACTION WITHOUT BEING CLEARED BY A MEDICAL PROVIDER OR ATHLETIC TRAINER.

A BURN BAN TOOK EFFECT IN WINN PARISH AT NOON WEDNESDAY AND WILL LAST UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. VIOLATIONS MAY RESULT IN A $500 FINE, SIX MONTHS IN JAIL OR BOTH.

A FEDERAL JUDGE IS WEIGHING A BID TO DISMISS A LAWSUIT CHALLENGING A LOUISIANA LAW THAT HAS REQUIRED PEOPLE CONVICTED OF SOLICITING ORAL OR ANAL SEX TO REGISTER AS SEX OFFENDERS. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE MARTIN FELDMAN DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY RULE WEDNESDAY AFTER HEARING THE STATE'S REQUEST TO THROW OUT THE LAWSUIT OVER ITS 200-YEAR-OLD "CRIMES AGAINST NATURE" LAW. CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEYS WHO FILED THE SUIT CLAIM THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND DISCRIMINATORY AND UNFAIRLY CONDEMNS SEX ACTS TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH HOMOSEXUALITY.

IBERIA PARISH AUTHORITIES ARRESTED A NEW IBERIA TEENAGER YESTERDAY MORNING IN THE FATAL SHOOTING OF A 57-YEAR-OLD MAN, WHO WAS BOUND TO A WHEELCHAIR. SHERIFF'S OFFICE SPOKESMAN CAPTAIN RYAN TURNER SAYS THEY BELIEVE 18-YEAR-OLD JOEY ROGERS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF ROBERT JAMES BUTLER SENIOR. TURNER SAYS ROGERS WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY SHORTLY AFTER THE SHOOTING AND WAS ARRESTED.

DEPUTIES IN SEVERAL PARISHES ARE SEEKING A GROUP THAT HAVE TEAMED TO STEAL IPAD COMPUTERS FROM WAL-MART STORES IN EUNICE, JENNINGS, DERIDDER AND LEESVILLE. ONE PERSON ASKS TO BUY TWO OF THE DEVICES, BUT ASKS THE CLERK TO STOW THEM UNDER THE COUNTER FOR A FEW MINUTES WHILE HE GETS ANOTHER ITEM. THEN AN ACCOMPLICE WALKS UP AND GRABS THE IPADS, SWIFTLY EXITING THE STORE. THEY'RE IMAGES HAVE BEEN CAUGHT ON SECURITY CAMS.

BATON ROUGE'S PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER HAS WON A $6-MILLION U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT GRANT TO LOOK INTO HOW NUTRITION CAN BE USED TO INCREASE PERFORMANCE OF AMERICAN BATTLEFIELD TROOPS. PROJECT LEAD PROFESSOR JENNIFER ROOD SAYS THE TEAM WILL STUDY WHICH NUTRITIONAL REGIMES ARE MOST BENEFICIAL TO OPTIMIZING SOLDIER READINESS AND PERFORMANCE.

LAST YEAR IT WAS THE OIL SPILL THAT FOULED THE BEACHES. THIS YEAR, GRAND ISLE BEACHGOERS ARE ADVISED TO SWIM AT THEIR OWN RISK BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF BACTERIA IN WATERS ALONG THE PUBLIC BEACH AND IN THE STATE PARK. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TESTS BEACHES COAST-WIDE FOR TWO KINDS OF BACTERIA FOUND IN HUMAN AND ANIMAL WASTE, AND POSTS SIGNS AT THOSE WHERE HIGH LEVELS ARE FOUND.

CARENCRO MAYOR GLENN BRASSEAUX HAS BEEN INSTALLED AS PRESIDENT OF THE LOUISIANA MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION. BRASSEAUX SUCCEEDS CULLEN MAYOR BOBBY WASHINGTON. THE LMA IS A LOBBYING GROUP FOR LOUISIANA VILLAGES, TOWNS AND CITIES. THE GROUP ALSO NAMED NEW IBERIA MAYOR HILDA DAIGRE CURRY AS FIRST VICE PRESIDENT AND STERLINGTON MAYOR VERN BRELAND AS SECOND VICE PRESIDENT.

RICE AND SUGAR CANE FARMERS ARE CLOSELY WATCHING FOR SIGNS OF THE MEXICAN RICE BORER, A NASTY BUG THAT FEEDS ON CROPS. LSU AGCENTER ENTOMOLOGIST DR. GENE REAGAN SAYS THE BUGS HAVE, SO FAR, ONLY BEEN CONFIRMED IN ONE RICE FIELD NEAR VINTON. HE SAYS RICE BORERS CAN BE TREATED WITH PESTICIDES, WHEN FOUND ON RICE, BUT ON SUGAR THEY BORE INTO THE CANE, WHERE PESTICIDES CANNOT REACH.

A DOCUMENTARY THAT TELLS THE STORY OF LSU FOOTBALL FROM 1893 THROUGH TODAY PREMIERES AT THE LSU UNION THEATER TONIGHT. PRODUCER JOHN HAYNES SAYS "OLE WAR SKULE: STORIES OF LSU FOOTBALL" IS A BEHIND THE SCENES GLIMPSE INTO THE HEART OF THE TIGER FOOTBALL PROGRAM AND A LOOK AT WHAT’S INVOLVED IN STAGING A SATURDAY NIGHT AT TIGER STADIUM. HAYNES SAYS THE FILM RUNS ABOUT 2 AND A HALF HOURS AND IS NARRATED BY AVID LSU FAN JOHN GOODMAN. HAYNES DOCUMENTARY WILL BE AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR FANS TO PURCHASE ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH.

JEFFERSON PARISH DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING A MURDER AT METAIRIE HOTEL RIGHT NEXT TO INTERSTATE 10; THE SECOND MURDER THERE IN TWO MONTHS. STAFF AT THE LA QUINTA INN CALLED AUTHORITIES, WHO FOUND AN UNIDENTIFIED BLACK FEMALE LYING DEAD ON THE HOTEL ROOM FLOOR. AN AUTOPSY WILL DETERMINE HOW SHE DIED, BUT INVESTIGATORS SAY IT WAS CLEARLY FOUL PLAY. JUST LAST MONTH THERE WAS DOUBLE HOMICIDE AT THE SAME LA QUINTA INN; IN THE PARKING LOT.

God Bless America!

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