KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 09/15/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 091511
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LOUISIANA WILL SEE A RETURN TO COOLER AUTUMN-LIKE TEMPERATURES OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS A FRONT WILL START MOVING INTO LOUISIANA TODAY. THE COOL FRONT WILL MOVE IN; BRINGING SOME CLOUDS TODAY, AND A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN...BUT BEHIND THAT, COOLER AND MORE PLEASANT WEATHER. KEIM SAYS THE WEEKEND SHOULD BE MOSTLY CLEAR AND MILD.

LOUISIANA PAID OUT $497 MILLION IN IMPROPER UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, CLOSE TO HALF OF ALL CLAIMS FILED. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN RELEASED THE FIGURES TUESDAY IN ANNOUNCING THE ADMINISTRATION’S EFFORTS TO CRACK DOWN ON GOVERNMENT FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REPORTED THAT LOUISIANA HAD THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF IMPROPER EMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS IN THE NATION AT 43.6 PERCENT, OR ALMOST ONE OUT OF TWO CLAIMS FILED IN THE PAST THREE YEARS.

ACCORDING TO US NEWS & WORLD REPORT'S 2012 BEST COLLEGES LIST, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER LOUISIANA TECH HAS MADE A FIRST TIER RANKING AMONG NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES. TECH SPOKESPERSON DAVE GUERIN SAYS LOUISIANA TECH WAS THE ONLY UNIVERSITY IN THE STATE TO BE ELEVATED TO A HIGHER TIER AND ONLY THE BULLDOGS AND LSU-BATON ROUGE HAVE A FIRST TIER RANKING. GUERIN SAYS THE BEST COLLEGES RANKINGS ARE BASED ON FACULTY ASSESSMENT, RETENTION AND GRADUATION RATES.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S REPORT ON THE CAUSES OF THE MACONDO DISASTER PLACES BLAME ON POOR MANAGEMENT DECISIONS BY BP AND OTHERS. ERIC SMITH, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE TULANE ENERGY INSTITUTE SAYS THE FEDERAL REPORT ULTIMATELY PUTS THE BLAME ON B-P FOR CREATING THE WORST OFFSHORE OIL SPILL IN US HISTORY. SMITH SAYS THE REPORT POINTS OUT SEVERAL DECISIONS THAT THE OIL GIANT MADE THAT COMPLICATED CEMENTING OPERATIONS ON THE RIG. BUT HE SAYS THE REPORT DOES NOT MENTION A SPECIFIC CAUSE FOR THE DISASTER...

MARKETS ANALYSTS REPORT THAT AS MANY AS 20 MORE OIL & GAS RIGS MAY LEAVE THE GULF OF MEXICO, UNLESS FEDERAL PERMITS FOR DRILLING PICK UP SPEED. THE FBR CAPITAL MARKETS REPORT INDICATES 11 HAVE ALREADY LEFT. LOUISIANA MID-CONTINENT OIL & GAS PRESIDENT CHRIS JOHN SAYS MORE LOSSES ARE PROBABLE, IF FEDERAL REGULATIONS DON'T EASE. JOHN SAYS FEDERAL PERMITS TO DRILL IN THE GULF HAVE SLOWED TO A TRICKLE, AND THE BACKLOG OF UNAPPROVED APPLICATIONS CONTINUES TO GROW. HE SAYS LOSING MORE RIGS WILL MEAN MANY LOST JOBS. JOHN SAYS EACH ACTIVE RIG IN THE GULF EMPLOYS ABOUT 250 PEOPLE, AND CREATES SUPPORT JOBS ON A 3-TO-1 RATIO.

NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN THE OCT. 22 ELECTION, ABOUT A QUARTER OF LOUISIANA'S LAWMAKERS WON'T RETURN IN JANUARY TO THEIR SAME POSTS. WHILE SOME ARE FORCED OUT BY TERM LIMITS, MORE THAN A DOZEN CHOSE NOT TO SEEK RE-ELECTION. TWENTY-FIVE OF THE 105 HOUSE MEMBERS WILL BE LEAVING WITH THE NEW TERM, INCLUDING 12 WHO ARE HEADING OUT VOLUNTARILY. EIGHT OF 39 SENATORS WON'T RESUME THEIR POSTS IN JANUARY, INCLUDING TWO WHO CHOSE NOT TO SEEK RE-ELECTION IN THE QUALIFYING PERIOD THAT ENDED LAST WEEK. SOME FACED DIFFICULT RE-ELECTION BIDS IF THEY TRIED IT, AND SOME ARE RUNNING FOR OTHER OFFICES.

STATE EDUCATION OFFICIALS SAY THE NUMBER OF LOUISIANA PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS EARNING A QUALIFYING SCORE ON ADVANCED PLACEMENT TESTS FOR COLLEGE HAS INCREASED FOR THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW — FROM 5,140 LAST YEAR TO 5,662 THIS YEAR.
SINCE 2007, THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS QUALIFYING FOR ADVANCED PLACEMENT HAS GROWN BY 54 PERCENT. THE FIGURES COME FROM THE COLLEGE BOARD, WHICH ADMINISTERS THE STANDARDIZED ADVANCED PLACEMENT AND SAT COLLEGE EXAMS.

A SECRETARY OF STATE DEBATE WILL BE HELD TODAY BETWEEN THE INCUMBENT TOM SCHEDLER AND HIS CHALLENGER, HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS PRESIDENT JEAN ARMSTRONG SAYS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DEBATE. ARMSTRONG SAYS THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE HOLDER IS 3RD IN SUCCESSION TO THE GOVERNOR WHICH IS WHY THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ELECTION TO FOLLOW. ARMSTRONG SAYS THE DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE ARE ALSO VITAL. SUCH AS OVERSEEING THE STATES ELECTIONS. THE DEBATE WILL ONLY BE BROADCAST IN BATON ROUGE.

RESEARCHERS AT LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS MAY HAVE DISCOVERED A REAL BREAKTHROUGH IN TREATING BREAST CANCER. THEY DETERMINED THAT A NATURALLY-OCCURRING PROTEIN, CALLED NISCHARIN (NISH-UH-RIN), CAN INHIBIT BREAST CANCER CELLS. ONCE THEY UNDERSTAND THE MECHANISM THAT PRODUCES NISCHARIN IN THE BODY, IT'S POSSIBLE A THERAPY COULD BE DEVELOPED TO STOP BREAST TUMORS FROM DEVELOPING. THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE ESTIMATES THAT OVER 39-THOUSAND WOMEN WILL DIE OF BREAST CANCER OVER THE NEXT YEAR.

God Bless America!

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