KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 081711


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 081711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

SCHOOL OFFICIALLY GETS UNDERWAY HERE IN RAPIDES PARISH TODAY AND WITH THAT, COMES THE ANNUAL WARNING FROM OFFICIALS WHO ARE URGING MOTORISTS TO USE CAUTION WHEN DRIVING THROUGH SCHOOL ZONES. POLICE WILL BE PATROLLING SCHOOL ZONES TO MAKE SURE DRIVERS FOLLOW POSTED SPEED LIMITS. STATE AND LOCAL POLICE SAY THEY WILL ALSO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR DRIVERS WHO DON’T STOP WHEN THE SCHOOL BUS DOES.

LOUISIANA ONCE AGAIN RANKS 49TH IN THE NATION WHEN IT COMES TO THE WELLBEING OF ITS CHILDREN, ACCORDING TO THE ANNUAL KIDS COUNT SURVEY. IT’S THE 10TH YEAR IN A ROW LOUISIANA HAS RANKED SECOND-TO-LAST ON THIS ANNUAL SURVEY OF INDICATORS COLLECTED BY THE ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION. MISSISSIPPI HAS CONTINUED AS 50TH WHILE NEW HAMPSHIRE ONCE AGAIN RANKS FIRST.

A LAKE CHARLES WOMAN HAS STARTED AN ONLINE FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN ASKING PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO ISSUE FORMER GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS A FULL PARDON. BRENDA DOLAN IS A RETIRED HOUSEWIFE WHO SAYS IN TWO WEEKS THERE ARE ALREADY 400 MEMBERS OF THE PAGE "ASK OBAMA TO PARDON EDWIN EDWARDS” DOLAN SAYS SHE'D LIKE TO SEE PRESIDENT OBAMA PARDON THE CAJUN PRINCE BECAUSE A PARDON MEANS FORGIVENESS AND FORGIVENESS MEANS IT'S IN THE PAST. IF THE PRESIDENT SHOULD ISSUE THE FORMER GOVERNOR A PARDON, IT WOULD MEAN HE COULD VOTE AND EVEN RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE AGAIN. DOLAN SAYS IF EDWARDS FEELS UP TO IT, SHE'D LIKE TO SEE HIM RUN FOR GOVERNOR AGAIN.

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN’S VOTERS IS UPSET WITH THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION AFTER NO ONE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP FOR A FORUM DEALING WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF PRIVATIZING THE STATE BENEFIT SYSTEM. JEAN ARMSTRONG THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE SAYS SHE SENT NUMEROUS INVITATIONS AND MADE SEVERAL PHONE CALLS TO TOP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, INCLUDING GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, BUT GOT NO CONFIRMATION FROM ANY. GOVERNOR JINDAL WAS AT A NORTHWEST LOUISIANA BAPTIST CHURCH ANNOUNCING FUNDING FOR LA. HIGHWAY 3276 IN STONEWALL. WHILE PAUL RAINWATER, THE GOVERNOR’S COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION, WAS ADDRESSING THE ALEXANDRIA ROTARY CLUB AT THE TIME AND COULDN'T ATTEND THE FORUM.

IT SAD WHEN LIFE IS SO HARD ON YOU THAT YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN A STORAGE BUILDING. BUT, WHAT’S WORSE IS GETTING ARRESTED FOR DOING SO. 21 YEAR OLD JOSEPH LAIRD WAS CHARGED WITH UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OF A BUSINESS AFTER AUTHORITIES SAID HE WAS LIVING IN A STORAGE FACILITY AT DANTLZER'S FLEA MARKET ON MASONIC DRIVE. LAIRD TOLD OFFICERS HE WAS LIVING IN THE STORAGE UNIT BECAUSE HE HAD NO OTHER PLACE TO LIVE. LAIRD WAS BOOKED INTO THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE DETENTION CENTER.

LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE TARA HOLLIS WILL DISCUSS HER PLATFORM AT A RAPIDES CHAPTER OF LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF DEMOCRATIC WOMEN MEETING TODAY AT 11:30 A.M. IN THE ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL IN ALEXANDRIA. RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF CHUCK WAGNER, WHO IS SEEKING RE-ELECTION, ALSO WILL SPEAK. THE MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

SOON SOUTH LOUISIANA RESIDENTS CAN ENJOY NON-STOP FLIGHTS FROM LAFAYETTE TO LAS VEGAS. LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT SPOKESPERSON ROBERT CALLAHAN SAYS LAS VEGAS BASED ALLEGIANT AIRLINES HAS BEEN INTERESTED FOR A LONG TIME IN DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN LAFAYETTE AND VEGAS. THE FLIGHTS WILL START ON NOVEMBER 3RD AND WILL RUN ON THURSDAYS AND SUNDAYS. CALLAHAN SAYS THERE WILL BE AN INTRODUCTORY FARE OF $89.99 FOR A ONE WAY TICKET.

AS SHREVEPORT'S GENERAL MOTORS ASSEMBLY PLANT CONTINUES TO WIND DOWN TO ITS EVENTUAL SHUTDOWN, EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO TRY TO KEEP THAT FACILITY ALIVE. NORTH LOUISIANA ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP PRESIDENT CARL FOREMAN SAYS THERE ARE PLANS AFOOT FOR THE PLANT AFTER ITS SCHEDULED CLOSE NEXT SUMMER. FOREMAN SAYS A TRUST HAS BEEN FORMED TO SELL GM'S INACTIVE ASSEMBLY PLANTS--INCLUDING SHREVEPORT. CURRENTLY ABOUT 800 PEOPLE STILL WORK THERE; BUILDING CHEVY COLORADO AND GMC CANYON PICKUPS. FOREMAN SAYS GM MAY EVEN CHANGE ITS MIND AND DECIDE TO RETASK THE PLANT TO BUILD SOME OTHER MODELS. THE COMPANY HAS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30TH THE DECIDE. FOREMAN SAYS THE STATE-OF-THE-ART PLANT IS GM'S NEWEST AND IS ALREADY DRAWING SOME INTEREST.

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY HAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT. GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL HAS NOTHING BUT PRAISE FOR HIS FELLOW CONSERVATIVE GOVERNOR. JINDAL SAYS HE AND PERRY HAVE TAKEN SIMILAR PATHS TO GOVERNING THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES. HE SAYS THE COUNTRY NEEDS SOMEONE WITH THAT SORT OF EXPERIENCE IN MAKING TOUGH DECISIONS TO CUT THE DEBT AND GROW THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. HOW ABOUT A VP POSITION?? EVEN THOUGH HE'S FRIENDS AND A POLITICAL ALLY OF GOVERNOR PERRY, JINDAL SAYS HE'S HAPPY IN HIS CURRENT JOB.

FORMER STATE ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO CONTROL COMMISSIONER MURPHY PAINTER CLAIMS HE WAS FIRED IN AUGUST 2010 FOR NOT BOWING TO A DEMAND FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE TO GRANT A LIQUOR LICENSE FOR AN ENTERTAINMENT SQUARE OUTSIDE THE LOUISIANA SUPERDOME. PAINTER, WHO WANTS TO BE REINSTATED, IS SUING THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AND ATC FOR WRONGFUL TERMINATION. PAINTER SAYS HE DID NOT RESIGN. HE ALSO IS SUING STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL STEPHEN STREET AND THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR DEFAMATION. PAINTER ALLEGES THAT "IMPROPERLY-CONDUCTED INVESTIGATIONS, LEAKS TO THIRD PARTIES, AND INCESSANT REPORTS TO THE MEDIA" HAVE DEFAMED AND DAMAGED HIS REPUTATION AND CHARACTER.

A NEW STATE LAW HAS GONE INTO EFFECT THAT ALLOWS LOUISIANA RESIDENTS WITH A VALID HUNTING LICENSE TO HUNT QUADRUPEDS LIKE COYOTES AND FERAL HOGS AT NIGHT. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES SPOKESPERSON ADAM EINCK SAYS THE HUNTING OF SUCH ANIMALS AT NIGHT CAN ONLY OCCUR FROM MARCH TO AUGUST ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITH A LEGAL FIREARM AND A SOUND SUPPRESSOR. EINCK SAYS ANYONE TAKING PART IN THESE ACTIVITIES AT NIGHT IS REQUIRED TO NOTIFY THE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.

THE FEDERAL TREASURY DEPARTMENT HAS APPROVED LOUISIANA'S ENTRY INTO A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE STATE. THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT ABOUT $132 MILLION IN PRIVATE LENDING. LOUISIANA IS GETTING $13.2 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FROM THE SMALL BUSINESS JOBS ACT THAT BECAME LAW LAST FALL. THE GOAL IS TO ATTRACT $10 IN PRIVATE LENDING FOR EACH DOLLAR IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE PROGRAM. THE STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY SAID TUESDAY THE FUNDING WILL BE USED TO SUPPORT A STATE PROGRAM TO GUARANTEE LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND A VENTURE CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR STARTUP BUSINESSES.

THERE WON'T BE ANY RAISES AGAIN AT THE LSU MEDICAL, HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH COMPLEX IN SHREVEPORT. LSU HEALTH SHREVEPORT SAYS FOREGOING RAISES FOR A THIRD YEAR IS AMONG STEPS TO DEAL WITH A $12.8 MILLION BUDGET SHORTFALL. THE COMPLEX ALSO MUST COME UP WITH NEARLY $9 MILLION TO COVER THE STATE SHARE OF EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE AND RETIREMENT COSTS. ADMINISTRATORS ARE WORKING ON A PLAN TO ADDRESS THE SHORTFALL, WHICH EQUALS ABOUT 5 PERCENT OF ITS BUDGET.

LOUISIANA FUNERAL REGULATORS ARE APPEALING A FEDERAL JUDGE'S DECISION ALLOWING 38 MONKS, AND ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER, TO SELL CASKETS IN THE STATE WITHOUT HAVING A FUNERAL HOME LICENSE.ON JULY 21, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE STANWOOD DUVAL, ACTING ON A SUIT FILED BY THE MONKS OF ST. JOSEPH ABBEY IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH, RULED THE LICENSE REQUIREMENT UNCONSTITUTIONAL. DUVAL SAID "NO RATIONAL BASIS" EXISTED FOR THE REQUIREMENT TO BE APPLIED TO THOSE ONLY WANTING TO SELL CASKETS. IN A NOTICE FILED MONDAY, THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF EMBALMERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS SAID THE DECISION WOULD BE TAKEN TO THE 5TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. AN ATTORNEY FOR THE MONKS, SCOTT BULLOCK, HAS PREDICTED THE CASE LIKELY WILL LAND BEFORE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT.


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