KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 08/24/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 082411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

PLANS ARE OFF FOR A PROPOSAL FOR RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT THE FORMER HODGES STOCKYARD SITE IN SOUTH ALEXANDRIA. THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL YESTERDAY AFTERNOON REJECTED A PROPOSAL FOR NEW HORIZONS DEVELOPMENT TO ADD A SECOND GATED APARTMENT COMPLEX AND BUILD A STRIP MALL ON THE CITY-OWNED PROPERTY, ON LOWER THIRD STREET. FIVE OF SEVEN COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTED AGAINST THE PROJECT AFTER HEARING FROM RESIDENTS AND OFFICIALS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE DURING A NEARLY TWO-HOUR COMMITTEE MEETING. EIGHT RESIDENTS, INCLUDING THREE WHO DON'T LIVE IN THE LOWER THIRD STREET AREA, SPOKE IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROJECT, WHILE FIVE AND THE DEVELOPER OF THE PROJECT SPOKE IN FAVOR. MOST OF THE OPPONENTS SAID RESIDENTS IN THE AREA DIDN'T WANT ANY MORE RENTAL HOUSING AND WANTED THE REMAINING EIGHT ACRES OF THE PROPERTY RESERVED FOR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.

DRY WEATHER IS PROMPTING STATE OFFICIALS TO ORDER A BURN BAN IN 29 PARISHES.
PRIVATE BURNING IN THOSE PARISHES WILL BE ALLOWED ONLY BY PERMISSION OF THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THE BAN ANNOUNCED BY STATE FIRE MARSHALL BUTCH BROWNING AND AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN TAKES EFFECT WEDNESDAY AT 9 A.M. AND LASTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. RAPIDES PARISH HAS BEEN UNDER A BURN BAN FOR OVER A WEEK NOW.

YESTERDAY WAS THE 50TH DAY THIS SUMMER THAT TEMPERATURES IN SHREVEPORT HIT 100 DEGREES OR HOTTER. JASON HANSFORD, WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SHREVEPORT, SAYS THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 47 DAYS OF 100-PLUS DEGREE TEMPERATURES, WHICH WAS SET IN THE 1880S...

LSU STARTING QUARTERBACK JORDAN JEFFERSON AND THREE TEAMMATES MET TUESDAY WITH INVESTIGATORS LOOKING INTO A BAR FIGHT THAT INJURED FOUR PEOPLE, AND POLICE SAY THEY WERE COOPERATIVE. BATON ROUGE POLICE CHIEF DEWAYNE WHITE REPORTS THROUGH THE INTERVIEW PROCESS INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED THAT HAS LED TO ADDITIONAL WITNESSES. POLICE SAY THE INTEND TO RUN THE WITNESSES DOWN AND GET THEIR STATEMENTS. THE MOST SERIOUSLY INJURED VICTIM HAS THREE BROKEN VERTEBRAE. SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN NO ARRESTS AND NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED, BUT WHITE STRESSED THAT POLICE HOPE TO GATHER ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO ARREST WHOEVER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VICTIMS' INJURIES.

ENTERGY CORPORATION IS PUTTING UP ONE-MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP ELDERLY AND DISABLED WHO HAVE SEEN THEIR ELECTRIC BILLS RISE WITH THE RECORD SETTING HEAT. ENTERGY OF LOUISIANA PRESIDENT AND CEO, BILL MOHL SAYS THIS IS ENTERGY'S WAY OF GIVING SOMETHING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY. HALF OF THE FUNDS WILL COME DIRECTLY FROM ENTERGY WHILE THE OTHER HALF WILL BE RAISED THROUGH CUSTOMER DONATIONS THROUGH THE POWER TO CARE FUND. QUALIFIED SENIORS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A ONE TIME PAYMENT OF UP TO TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS IN ASSISTANCE ON THEIR ELECTRICAL BILLS. ANYONE NEEDING HELP SHOULD CONTACT THEIR LOCAL COUNCIL ON AGING OFFICE.

TWO FIRMS HAVE DROPPED THEIR PROTESTS OF THE AWARD OF A LUCRATIVE STATE CONTRACT FOR MEDICAID CLAIMS PROCESSING TO A COMPANY WITH TIES TO LOUISIANA'S HEALTH CHIEF. ACS STATE HEALTHCARE AND MOLINA MEDICAID SOLUTIONS NOTIFIED COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER THEY WILL NOT PURSUE FURTHER APPEALS OF THE CONTRACT AWARD TO CLIENT NETWORK SERVICES INC. STATE HEALTH CHIEF BRUCE GREENSTEIN IS A FORMER EXECUTIVE OF THE COMPANY. CONTROVERSY SURROUNDED ITS SELECTION. BUT, GREENSTEIN INSISTS HE WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE SELECTION PROCESS.

REPUBLICAN ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL'S RE-ELECTION BID HAS GOTTEN THE BACKING OF U.S. SEN. DAVID VITTER. VITTER CITED CALDWELL'S OPPOSITION TO THE NEW FEDERAL HEALTH CARE LAW AND HIS SUPPORT FOR TOUGHER IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT LAWS AMONG THE REASONS FOR THE ENDORSEMENT. FORMER U.S. REP. "JOSEPH" CAO, A REPUBLICAN FROM NEW ORLEANS, HAS ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL CHALLENGE CALDWELL IN THE OCT. 22 PRIMARY. QUALIFYING FOR THE RACE IS SEPT. 6-8.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S CAMPAIGN HAS LAUNCHED A NEW TELEVISION COMMERCIAL, TOUTING PRIVATE INDUSTRY JOBS CREATED AROUND THE STATE SINCE THE GOVERNOR'S BEEN IN OFFICE. THE AD, WHICH BEGAN AIRING STATEWIDE TUESDAY, IS THE SECOND TV SPOT OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR'S FALL RE-ELECTION BID. IT FEATURES NEWS CLIPS OF JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS. JINDAL REMAINS LARGELY UNCHALLENGED FOR RE-ELECTION. HE HAS NO WELL-FUNDED COMPETITION WITH TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE OCT. 22 PRIMARY, AND HE'S SITTING ON A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST.


AFTER THE SLAYING OF TWO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE INVESTIGATORS IN VILLE PLATTE EARLIER THIS YEAR, STATE OFFICIALS SAY THOSE AGENTS WILL NOW HAVE POLICE ESCORTS. LOUISIANA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON SAYS THE DEATHS OF AGENTS KIM SLEDGE AND RHETT JEANSONNE CONVINCED HIM NOT TO TAKE ANY CHANCES. DONELON SAYS AGENTS NOW TAKE A POLICE ESCORT--EVEN ON ROUTINE VISITS AND CHECKUPS. THE IDEA OF ARMING INSURANCE INVESTIGATORS IS BEING LOOKED AT. DONELON SAYS WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IS RESONATING ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THE U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT HAS CITED NEW IBERIA-BASED ESTIS WELL SERVICE LLC FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS STEMMING FROM THE DEATH OF A WORKER NEAR BAYOU SORREL. THE DEPARTMENT'S OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT IT HAS PROPOSED MORE THAN $132,000 IN PENALTIES FOLLOWING ITS PROBE OF SKYE SONNIER'S DEATH. OSHA SAID A RIG MOUNTED ON A BARGE TIPPED OVER AND CRUSHED SONNIER TO DEATH ON MARCH 9.


THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE PORT OF LAKE CHARLES HAS AGREED TO REFUND A $5 MILLION DEPOSIT TO A NEW RIVERBOAT CASINO ON THE DAY IT OPENS. THE BOARD AGREED TO THE REQUEST BY CREATIVE CASINOS CHIEF EXECUTIVE DAN LEE. EARLIER THIS MONTH, THE BOARD AGREED TO CUT THE DEPOSIT FROM $15 MILLION TO $5 MILLION SO THE COMPANY COULD GET MORE-FAVORABLE FINANCING TERMS. THE $485 MILLION MOJITO POINTE CASINO-RESORT IS BEING BUILT ON PORT PROPERTY. CONSTRUCTION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN OCTOBER, WITH A COMPLETION DATE POSSIBLY IN 2013.

LOUISIANA LAGS BEHIND OTHER STATES IN THE DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY EIGHT-STATE REGION WHEN IT COMES TO MOM-AND-POP BUSINESSES SECURING SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION START-UP LOANS, A NEW STUDY SHOWS. ELEVEN OF THE 13 CENTRAL LOUISIANA PARISHES ARE SERVED BY THE DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY. THE ONLY TWO CENLA PARISHES NOT INCLUDED ARE VERNON AND SABINE PARISHES. SEMINARS TOOK PLACE TUESDAY IN HOUMA AND BASTROP TO TRY TO TURN THOSE FIGURES AROUND BY PROVIDING MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO SECURE SBA ASSISTANCE AND PROGRAMS OFFERED THROUGH THE DRA,

OPELOUSAS MAYOR DON CRAVINS MADE IT OFFICIAL THIS WEEK, FIRST DECLARING ON HIS SUNDAY RADIO SHOW THAT HE WAS "99 PERCENT" CERTAIN HE WOULD RUN FOR THE STATE SENATE AND CONFIRMING IT WITH THE DAILY WORLD OF OPELOUSAS ON TUESDAY. CRAVINS SERVED IN THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE FOR 15 YEARS, AND RESIGNED AS STATE SENATOR OF DISTRICT 24 IN 2006 AFTER HE WON HIS CURRENT MAYORAL POSITION.

God Bless America!

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