KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 09/01/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 090111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

STATE POLICE REPORT A DEADLY CRASH ON HIGHWAY 121 AT VALENTINE ROAD IN RAPIDES PARISH YESTERDAY AFTERNOON CLAIMED THE LIFE OF AN OAKDALE MAN. TROOPERS SAY A LOGGING TRUCK BEING DRIVEN BY 41 YEAR OLD STACY DICKENS CROSSED THE CENTER LINE OF THE HIGHWAY AND STRUCK AN ONCOMING PICKUP TRUCK. THE LOGGING TRUCK OVERTURNED SEVERAL TIMES EJECTING DICKENS. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. THE DRIVER OF THE PICKUP 27 YEAR OLD TORI THACKER OF HINESTON RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL. NEITHER DRIVER WAS WEARING A SEATBELT.

THE DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THREE LAWYERS WILL GET PAID FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN REPRESENTING THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN IT’S CASE AGAINST CLECO IS NOW IN THE HANDS OF JUDGE DEE DRELL. MUCH OF WEDNESDAY'S TESTIMONY IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT CAME FROM CITY ATTORNEY CHUCK JOHNSON, AS HE WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY ATTORNEYS FOR BRIDGETT BROWN, BATON ROUGE ATTORNEY CRAIG DAVIDSON AND JOHN SHARP, A FORMER ATTORNEY WHO LIVES NEAR BATON ROUGE. DRELL GAVE ATTORNEYS FOR ALL FOUR PARTIES 15 DAYS TO FILE AMENDMENTS TO THEIR FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW PERTAINING TO THE CASE, ALTHOUGH HE ASKED THAT NO ADDITIONAL BRIEFS BE FILED. THE JUDGE SAYING HE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS PROMPTLY AS HE CAN.

HURRICANE KATIA IS CONTINUING ITS TREK ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH. KATIA HAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS EARLY THURSDAY NEAR 75 MPH (120 KPH). THE U.S. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IN MIAMI SAYS SOME STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED AND KATIA COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY THE WEEKEND.
IT'S CENTERED ABOUT 1,065 MILES EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND MOVING WEST NEAR 20 MPH.

FORECASTERS ARE ALSO WATCHING AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE SITUATED BETWEEN MEXICO'S YUCATAN PENINSULA AND THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER FORECASTERS SAYS THE SYSTEM HAS A 30% CHANCE OF DEVELOPING INTO A TROPICAL STORM WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. IF THAT HAPPENS, IT WILL BE NAMED "LEE".

THE LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD IS SENDING MORE TRUCKS OF WATER TO FERRIDAY AS THE TOWN REMAINS WITHOUT CLEAN DRINKING WATER. CONCORDIA PARISH EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER DIRECTOR MORRIS WHITE SAYS FERRIDAY'S WATER SYSTEM NEEDS NEW FILTERS, WHICH THEY'LL GET BY THE END OF THE WEEK. HOWEVER IT COULD BE ANOTHER THREE TO FOUR WEEKS BEFORE RESIDENTS CAN DRINK THE WATER.

LOUISIANA'S "SECOND AMENDMENT TAX HOLIDAY" WEEKEND IS COMING UP THIS WEEKEND. FOR THREE DAYS, THE STATE SALES TAX ON GUNS, AMMO, ARCHERY GEAR AND A NUMBER OF HUNTING-RELATED ITEMS WILL BE SUSPENDED. IN MANY LOCATIONS LOCAL SALES TAXES WILL APPLY, THOUGH.

THE SAINTS WRAP UP THE PRESEASON TONIGHT BY HOSTING THE TENNESSEE TITANS. QUARTERBACK DREW BREES AND SEVERAL OTHER STARTERS WILL NOT PLAY AS COACH SEAN PAYTON WILL USE THE GAME TO HELP HIM MAKE FINAL ROSTER CUTS.

BOSSIER CITY POLICE SAY A 45-YEAR-OLD MAN GUNNED DOWN HIS ESTRANGED WIFE AS SHE WAS WALKING OUT OF A CHURCH DAYCARE CENTER, THEN TURNED THE GUN ON HIMSELF. SPOKESMAN MARK NATALE SAYS ALLAN HALTOM SHOT 44-YEAR-OLD ANGELA HALTOM OUTSIDE OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. HE SAYS THERE HAD BEEN DOMESTIC ISSUES BETWEEN THE TWO.

THE LAWYER FOR THE LSU QUARTERBACK CHARGED WITH FELONY BATTERY IN AN OFF-CAMPUS BAR FIGHT WANTS POLICE TO CLEAR HIS CLIENT. JORDAN JEFFERSON IS REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY LEWIS UNGLESBY, WHO SAYS NEW WITNESSES HAVE COME FORWARD THAT COULD CLEAR HIS CLIENT OF WRONG-DOING. UNGLESBY SAYS THE CHARGES AGAINST JEFFERSON ARE UNWARRANTED, BECAUSE THE ALLEGED VICTIMS AREN'T HURT THAT BADLY. LAWYER MIKE BIENVENU REPRESENTS THE FOUR VICTIMS. HE SAYS HIS CLIENTS SUFFERED FRACTURED BONES, BRUISES, CUTS, HAD TEETH KNOCKED OUT AND ONE MAY HAVE A HAD A CONCUSSION. HE SAYS THOSE THAT DOWNPLAY THE INCIDENT AS A SIMPLE BAR FIGHT ARE OFF-BASE. BIENVENU SAYS HE FEELS MORE ARRESTS RELATED TO THE BRAWL ARE COMING.

THE NATIONAL GUARD IS ASSISTING IN EFFORTS TO CONTROL THE MARSH FIRE THAT HAS CONSUMED 23-HUNDRED ACRES OF DRY SWAMPLAND JUST EAST OF NEW ORLEANS. GUARD HELICOPTERS ARE DROPPING WATER ON HOT SPOTS IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONTAIN THE BLAZE. DEQ SPOKESMAN RODNEY MALLET SAYS A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE THE AIR. MALLETT WARNS THE SMOKE MAY BE IRRITATING TO BREATHE FOR FOLKS WITH SENSITIVE RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS.

A BODY BELIEVED TO BE THAT OF THE 22-YEAR-OLD VACHERIE MAN, WANTED FOR ATTACKS ON A NUMBER OF WOMEN, HAS BEEN FOUND FLOATING IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. KENNER POLICE SAY THEY BELIEVE THE BODY IS THAT OF KYLAN LAURENT BUT ARE WAITING ON AUTOPSY RESULTS FOR A POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION. LAURENT JUMPED FROM THE VETERANS MEMORIAL BRIDGE NEAR GRAMERCY ON AUGUST 23RD TO ELUDE POLICE FOLLOWING A HIGH SPEED CHASE.

STATE AUTHORITIES ARE CRACKING DOWN ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD AND,
SO FAR, 47 ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE SINCE APRIL. LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CURT EYSINK SAYS MOST OF THE CASES INVOLVE PEOPLE WHO'VE CONTINUED TO COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT EVEN AFTER THEY'VE GOTTEN A JOB. EYSINK SAYS NEW EFFORTS ARE BEING PUT IN PLACE IN ORDER TO CATCH PEOPLE WHO ARE DEFRAUDING THE SYSTEM AND HOPING THE STATE DOESN'T FIND OUT ABOUT IT. HE SAYS THE NEW METHODS WILL QUICKLY UNCOVER QUESTIONABLE ACTIVITIES.

THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION ENDORSES GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL FOR A SECOND TERM IN OFFICE. AT AN EVENT WEDNESDAY AT CABELLA'S OUTDOORS STORE IN GONZALES, NRA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND CHAIRMAN CHRIS COX PRAISED MR. JINDAL'S SUPPORT FOR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

TWO MOSS BLUFF MEN ARE CHARGED WITH THE ARMED ROBBERY OF THE LUCKY STAR CASINO ON MONDAY. CALCASIEU PARISH DEPUTIES SAY 29-YEAR-OLD BENJAMIN WEAVER AND 36-YEAR-OLD DAGIEL MATTHEWS ENTERED THE CASINO AT AROUND 3:30 AM, AND HELD EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS AT BAY WHILE THEY STOLE AN UNDISCLOSED AMOUNT OF CASH. BOTH ARE NOW IN THE PARISH PRISON.

THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS A DRIVER SWERVED TO MISS A DOG, LOST CONTROL OF HIS PICKUP TRUCK, AND BROKE AN ABOVE-GROUND NATURAL GAS LINE.
A NEWS RELEASE SAYS NOBODY WAS HURT IN THE ACCIDENT WEDNESDAY. DEPUTIES AND FIREFIGHTERS CORDONED OFF AN AREA THREE-QUARTERS OF A MILE AROUND THE BREAK


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