KSYL Local News

News for Tuesday 08/30/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 083011
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE DOTD WILL REDUCE THE TWO NORTHBOUND LANES ON U.S. HIGHWAYS 165/71 IN PINEVILLE, BETWEEN THE RAILROAD OVERPASS AND CLAIBORNE STREET, TO ONE LANE TODAY. THE EXISTING EAST LANE OF THE HIGHWAY WILL BE CLOSED AS TRAFFIC IS SHIFTED TO THE WEST LANE. AS MOTORISTS PROCEED PAST THE CLAIBORNE STREET INTERSECTION, TRAFFIC WILL BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO TWO LANES. THE LANE CLOSURE IS RELATED TO ONGOING WORK TO REPLACE THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE AND WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR. YOU CAN EXPECT LONG BACKUPS.

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY AT ALEXANDRIA UNVEILED THE NEW "CENTERPIECE" OF ITS CAMPUS YESTERDAY WITH THE GRAND OPENING OF THE MULTI-PURPOSE ACADEMIC CENTER. THE 70,000-SQUARE-FOOT BUILDING INCLUDES 58 FACULTY OFFICES, FOUR DEPARTMENTAL SUITES, 17 CLASSROOMS, COMPUTER LABS, VISUAL ARTS AND MUSIC SPACES, AND A BLACK BOX THEATER THAT SEATS 175. CONSTRUCTION, WHICH BEGAN IN 2009, COST MORE THAN $10 MILLION.

THE RAPIDES PARISH REGISTRAR OF VOTER'S OFFICE IS HOSTING VOTER-REGISTRATION DRIVES AT SEVERAL SITES THIS WEEK. DURING THE DRIVES, PEOPLE CAN REGISTER TO VOTE, AND VOTERS CAN CHANGE THEIR ADDRESSES OR POLITICAL PARTIES. REGISTRAR PERSONNEL WILL ALSO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS. THE SITES AND LOCATIONS OF THE DRIVES THE REST OF THIS WEEK ARE: TODAY, 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M., PINEVILLE CITY HALL. WEDNESDAY, 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M., CHRISTUS ST. FRANCES CABRINI HOSPITAL IN ALEXANDRIA. THURSDAY, 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M., GLENMORA TOWN HALL. FRIDAY, 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M., BALL MUNICIPAL BUILDING. THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN THE OCT. 22 PRIMARY ELECTIONS IS SEPT. 21. ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE AT WWW.GEAUXVOTE.COM.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANNOUNCES ST. JOHN ENTERPRISES, A BARGE MAKER BASED IN GARYVILLE, LOUISIANA, WILL OPEN A NEW FACILITY IN THE FORMER NORTHRUP GRUMMAN PLANT AT THE MADISON PARISH PORT IN TALLULAH. ST. JOHN WILL INVEST 32-MILLION DOLLARS TO RENOVATE AND UPGRADE THE PLANT WHICH HAD FORMERLY BUILT BOAT PARTS. ST. JOHN EXPECTS TO HIRE 100 NEW EMPLOYEES IN THE INITIAL YEAR, EXPANDING THE WORKFORCE TO OVER 400 BY THE YEAR 2016.

AFTER YEARS OF OUT-OF-STATE TRIPS BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR HIS FELLOW REPUBLICANS, A HIGH-PROFILE POLITICIAN IS GETTING READY TO RETURN THE FAVOR. CHRIS CHRISTIE IS COMING TO BATON ROUGE ON SEPT. 29, WHERE HE WILL JOIN JINDAL AT A PRIVATE EVENT TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR THE REPUBLICAN VICTORY FUND. THE FUND, ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY, HELPS RAISE AND DISTRIBUTE MONEY FOR LEGISLATIVE RACES. CHRISTIE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A RISING STAR WITHIN THE GOP SINCE HE KNOCKED OFF AN INCUMBENT DEMOCRAT IN 2009 TO BECOME GOVERNOR OF THE GARDEN STATE. JINDAL TRAVELED TO NEW JERSEY TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHRISTIE DURING THE CLOSING WEEKS OF THE 2009 RACE.

THE STATE SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT HAS POSTED AN ONLINE SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF PARENTS WHO ARE BEHIND ON THEIR CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES LAUNCHED THE DATABASE MONDAY, ALLOWING PEOPLE TO SEARCH NEARLY 53,000 DELINQUENT CHILD SUPPORT CASES BY NAME, CITY, AMOUNT OWED OR PARISH WHERE THE COURT ORDER WAS ISSUED.
THE WEBSITE IS LOCATED AT WWW.DCFS.LA.GOV/DELINQUENT . DEPARTMENT SECRETARY RUTH JOHNSON SAYS THE DATABASE WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO REPORT TO HER AGENCY WHEN THEY KNOW THE LOCATIONS OF PARENTS WITH BACK-OWED CHILD SUPPORT DEBTS. THE AMOUNTS OWED RANGE FROM HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. AT LEAST 81 PEOPLE OWE $100,000 OR MORE. THE TOTAL AMOUNT OWED TO LOUISIANA'S CHILDREN IS ABOUT $1.2 BILLION.

A WOMAN FROM MANY HAS BEEN KILLED AFTER SHE WAS RUN OVER AND DRAGGED UNDERNEATH A PICKUP TRUCK ALLEGEDLY DRIVEN BY HER UNCLE. STATE POLICE SPOKESPERSON TROOPER SCOTT MOREAU SAYS 28-YEAR-OLD TRESA FOY WAS HIT BY THE DRIVER, JACKIE BENNETT AROUND MIDNIGHT SATURDAY. MOREAU SAYS BENNETT WAS CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND FIRST OFFENSE DWI. MOREAU SAYS THE SPEED WHICH BENNETT WAS TRAVELING HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED, BUT FOY WAS DRAGGED ABOUT 50 FEET DOWN THE ROAD UNDERNEATH THE TRUCK. MOREAU SAYS ALL THIS HAPPENED WHILE THERE WERE OTHER PASSENGERS IN THE TRUCK.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY GIVES THE BOGALUSA PAPER MILL RESPONSIBLE FOR A MASSIVE FISH KILL THE GREEN LIGHT TO RESUME OPERATIONS. DEQ SPOKESPERSON RODNEY MALLETT SAYS TEMPLE-INLAND HAS PROMISED ADDITIONAL MONITORING AND ADDED SAFEGUARDS TO AVOID A REPEAT OF AN UNAUTHORIZED DISCHARGE. AN AUTHORIZED DISCHARGE BY THE PAPER MILL KILLED THOUSANDS OF FISH IN
THE PEARL RIVER EARLIER THIS MONTH. MALLETT SAYS THEY ARE CONFIDENT TEMPLE-INLAND WON'T REPEAT THEIR PAST MISTAKE.

JORDAN JEFFERSON'S NEW ATTORNEY LEWIS UNGLESBY SAYS THE MAIN FOCUS FOR HIS CLIENT IS TO GET HIM REINSTATED ON THE LSU FOOTBALL TEAM. JEFFERSON HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE BATTERY FOR HIS ROLE IN A BAR FIGHT. UNGLESBY SAYS JEFFERSON'S CRIMINAL CASE WILL LIKELY BE A LONG DRAWN OUT PROCESS. THE LSU FOOTBALL SEASON KICKS OFF IN JUST UNDER A WEEK AND COACH LES MILES HAS SAID JEFFERSON IS SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY. UNGLESBY SAYS THIS BREAK FOR JEFFERSON WILL GIVE EVERYONE TIME TO LOOK AT THE FACTS OF THE CASE.

JEFFERSON PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SAY A MAN SHOT HIS WIFE IN THE PARKING LOT OF AN APARTMENT COMPLEX WHERE THEY LIVED IN METAIRIE BEFORE TURNING THE GUN ON HIMSELF. THE MAN WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE OF MONDAY'S SHOOTING, WHILE THE WOMAN WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD LATER AT A NEARBY HOSPITAL.

THE OWNER OF A HELICOPTER THAT CRASHED IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA, KILLING EIGHT PEOPLE IN 2009, IS ACCUSING THE AIRCRAFT'S MANUFACTURER OF HIDING A DAMNING INTERNAL REPORT TO CONCEAL ITS LIABILITY.
IN A COURT FILING, PHI INC. CLAIMS SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORP. WITHHELD A REPORT BY ONE OF ITS ENGINEERS THAT CONCLUDED SIKORSKY'S DESIGN CAUSED THE HELICOPTER TO CRASH NEAR MORGAN CITY. PHI ASKED A FEDERAL JUDGE TO IMPOSE MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST SIKORSKY. PHI SAYS IT WOULDN'T HAVE PAID AS MUCH LAST YEAR TO SETTLE PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMS IF IT HAD SEEN THE ENGINEER'S REPORT. A SIKORSKY SPOKESMAN SAID THE COMPANY DENIES PHI'S ALLEGATION AND WILL "DEFEND AGAINST IT STRENUOUSLY." A BIRD STRUCK THE SIKORSKY S-76C BEFORE IT CRASHED, KILLING BOTH PILOTS AND SIX PASSENGERS. ONE PERSON SURVIVED.

THE STATE OF LOUISIANA IS ASKING A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT TO RULE THAT THE STATE'S PRISONS CAN BAN INMATES FROM RECEIVING COPIES OF THE FINAL CALL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY THE NATION OF ISLAM. THE STATE WANTS THE 5TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS TO OVERTURN A JUDGE'S RULING THAT THE DAVID WADE CORRECTIONAL CENTER MUST DELIVER COPIES OF THE NEWSPAPER TO HENRY LEONARD, A CONVICTED MURDERER WHO CLAIMED THE HOMER PRISON VIOLATED HIS RIGHT TO FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION. A THREE-JUDGE PANEL IS SCHEDULED TO HEAR THE CASE TODAY. ATTORNEY GENERAL JAMES "BUDDY" CALDWELL'S OFFICE SAYS THE NEWSPAPER CONTAINS RACIST RHETORIC THAT POSES A SECURITY THREAT.

A LAFOURCHE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE K-9 OFFICER COLLAPSED AND DIED WHILE SEARCHING FOR A SUSPECT OVER THE WEEKEND. SHERIFF CRAIG WEBRE SAYS THAT "POSSUM" DIED DURING THE SEARCH FOR A SUSPECT WHO POLICE SAID WAS FIGHTING WITH A STATE TROOPER SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT SATURDAY. THE DOG SUFFERED A MAJOR SEIZURE, WHICH CAUSED HIS BODY TEMPERATURE TO SPIKE IN THE HOT TEMPERATURES. WEBRE SAYS POSSUM DIED EN ROUTE TO THE VETERINARIAN.


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