KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 09/21/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 092111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

IF YOU WANT TO CAST A BALLOT FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND ELECTION, THEN TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE. COMMISSIONER OF ELECTIONS, ANGIE ROGERS, SAYS MOST LOUISIANA RESIDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. SHE SAYS IN FACT 82-PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS ARE REGISTERED, WHICH IS THE FOURTH HIGHEST PERCENTAGE IN THE COUNTRY. ANALYSTS SAY THE GOVERNOR'S RACE IS A FORGONE CONCLUSION, WHICH HAS KEPT INTEREST DOWN FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND STATEWIDE PRIMARY. BUT ROGERS SAYS THEY ARE STILL ANTICIPATING A VOTER TURNOUT OF 40 TO 50-PERCENT, BECAUSE OF THE LOCAL ISSUES ON THE BALLOT.

A GRAND JURY HEARS EVIDENCE TODAY IN THE CASE AGAINST LSU QUARTERBACK JORDAN JEFFERSON AND RESERVE LINEBACKER JOSH JOHNS. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY HILLAR MOORE WILL PRESENT POLICE EVIDENCE IN CONNECTION WITH A FIGHT THAT TOOK PLACE AUGUST 19TH. LEGAL ANALYST TIM MECHE SAYS DNA TEST ON MATERIAL COLLECTED FROM JEFFERSON AND JOHNS HAVE BEEN INCONCLUSIVE, SHOWING NO DIRECT CONNECTION BETWEEN THE PLAYERS AND THE FOUR VICTIMS. WITNESS TESTIMONY HAS BEEN CONTRADICTORY. MECHE SAYS THE CASE COULD BE OVER IN AS LITTLE AS A WEEK.

TROPICAL STORM OPHELIA HAS FORMED IN THE OPEN ATLANTIC OCEAN BUT IT IS FAR FROM LAND. THE U.S. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SAYS OPHELIA FORMED LATE TUESDAY WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 40 MPH. THE STORM IS MOVING WEST. THE CENTER OF THE STORM IS ABOUT 1,585 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

ALEXANDRIA-AREA SCHOOLS MAY HAVE SOME ADDITIONAL DISTRICT 62 MAINTENANCE FUNDS AVAILABLE THIS YEAR. THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD'S DISTRICT 62 COMMITTEE VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TUESDAY TO PASS ON TO THE FULL BOARD A MOTION TO ALLOCATE $25 ADDITIONAL PER WEIGHTED STUDENT. IF APPROVED BY THE BOARD, THE FUNDS WOULD BE BASED ON THE OCT. 1 STUDENT COUNT. THE $25 ALLOCATION, WHICH WOULD BE ON TOP OF THE NORMAL DISTRICT 62 ALLOCATION.

WORK HAS BEGUN ON A PROJECT TO INSTALL A TURN LANE ON U.S. HIGHWAY 71 AT THE VA MEDICAL CENTER IN PINEVILLE. DIAMOND B CONSTRUCTION CO. OF ALEXANDRIA IS HANDLING THE PROJECT, AND WORK IS PROJECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 60 DAYS, WEATHER PERMITTING. THE TURN LANE WILL BE ON U.S. 71 AT ITS INTERSECTION WITH THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE VA MEDICAL CENTER AND THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE OFFICE.

GOOD OLD FASHIONED POLICE WORK HAS LED TO THE ARRESTS OF 17 PEOPLE IN AVOYELLES PARISH, MOST OF THEM ON DRUG CHARGES. FURTHER ARRESTS TO BE MADE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INVESTIGATIONS. FIFTEEN OF THE 17 SUSPECTS FACE DRUG CHARGES.

AND NOW THERE’S FOUR… A JUVENILE HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN THE ONGOING CASE OF TWO BOYCE MEN AND ANOTHER JUVENILE WHO WERE ARRESTED SUNDAY IN CONNECTION WITH A SERIES OF SHOOTINGS AIMED AT HOMES AND VEHICLES IN THE BOYCE AREA. THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE 16-YEAR-OLD JUVENILE WILL BE CHARGED WITH CRIMES RELATED TO DAMAGE OF PROPERTY AND HOMES

TODAY A U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER THE RESTORE ACT, WHICH WOULD DIRECT FEDERAL FINES LEVIED FOR THE GULF OIL SPILL TO REBUILDING THE COAST. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU CO-SPONSORS THE BILL WITH ALABAMA SEN. RICHARD SHELBY. SENATOR LANDRIEU SAYS IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. THE BILL WOULD DEDICATE 80% OF FINES BP MAY PAY FOR VIOLATING THE CLEAN WATER ACT, WITH THE 2010 DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER AND SPILL. BP COULD FACE FINES OF BETWEEN $5-BILLION AND $21-BILLION. LANDRIEU'S RESTORE ACT GOES BEFORE THE SENATE ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE TODAY. SHE SAYS SHE BELIEVES THE BILL WILL CLEAR THE COMMITTEE AND GO ON TO THE FULL SENATE, WHERE SHE HOPES FOR STRONG SUPPORT...: A COMPANION HOUSE BILL IS SPONSORED BY REPUBLICAN STEVE SCALISE.

SPEAKING OF SENATOR LANDRIEU, THE SENATOR SAYS SHE IS ENCOURAGED BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S PLAN TO CUT THE U-S DEFICIT BY MORE THAN THREE TRILLION DOLLARS. MR. OBAMA IS PROPOSING HIGHER TAXES ON WEALTHY AMERICANS, ALONG WITH SPENDING CUTS. LANDRIEU SAYS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN'T DIG ITSELF OUT OF THIS HOLE WITHOUT DOING BOTH.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL WILL RUN UNOPPOSED ON THE OCTOBER 22ND BALLOT AND BEGIN SERVING A SECOND FOUR-YEAR TERM NEXT JANUARY. THAT'S BECAUSE HIS ONLY CHALLENGER, FELLOW REPUBLICAN AND FORMER NEW ORLEANS CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH CAO, (GOW) HAS BOWED OUT OF THE RACE. CALDWELL SWITCHED TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY EARLIER THIS YEAR AND HE RECEIVED ENDORSEMENTS FROM BOTH SENATOR DAVID VITTER AND GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL IS BACKING UP HIS CAMPAIGN ENDORSEMENTS WITH CASH. SITTING ON A HEFTY CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT NEARING $8 MILLION AND WITH LITTLE CHANCE OF LOSING HIS RE-ELECTION BID, JINDAL HAS SPREAD HIS CAMPAIGN DOLLARS TO A LIST OF LAWMAKERS AND STATE EDUCATION BOARD MEMBERS FOR THE OCT. 22 ELECTION. THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR CONTRIBUTED $190,500 TO CANDIDATES AROUND LOUISIANA, GIVING MORE THAN 70 LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES THE MAXIMUM $2,500 CONTRIBUTION. THE GOVERNOR HAS ALSO DOLED OUT ANOTHER $67,500 TO CANDIDATES AND CONTENDERS FOR THE STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION.

ONE MAN WAS INJURED IN AN EARLY MORNING FLASH FIRE AT A BEAUREGARD PARISH OIL WELL SITE. TUESDAY'S FIRE STARTED BEFORE 6:30 IN THE MORNING AT A NEW OIL WELL SITE LOCATED ABOUT FIVE MILES WEST OF U.S. HIGHWAY 171 IN BEAUREGARD PARISH. THE FIRE WAS QUICKLY BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. THERE WAS ONE MINOR INJURY TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS WORKING AT THE LOCATION. HE WAS TREATED AT THE SCENE FOR MINOR BURNS AND RELEASED. THE LOUISIANA STATE POLICE EMERGENCY SERVICES UNIT WILL CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION.

ST. TAMMANY PARISH SHERIFF JACK STRAIN SAYS A COUPLE IN THEIR 80S, BOTH SUFFERING FROM MULTIPLE MEDICAL PROBLEMS, DIED IN AN APPARENT DOUBLE SUICIDE. INVESTIGATORS FOUND NO TRACE OF FORCED ENTRY TUESDAY INTO THE COUPLE'S LACOMBE HOME, AND THERE WAS NO SIGN OF VIOLENCE INSIDE.

A LAKE CHARLES COUPLE WILL SPEND YEARS BEHIND BARS FOR LYING TO POLICE ABOUT A TEENAGE SON'S PART IN A DRIVE-BY SHOOTING THAT KILLED A 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN 2009.
FORTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD NINA LAMBERT NEWTON AND 48-YEAR-OLD RODNEY BERNARD NEWTON WERE CONVICTED IN MAY OF ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT; NINA NEWTON ALSO WAS CONVICTED OF OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE. SHE WAS SENTENCED MONDAY TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON; HER HUSBAND GOT THREE YEARS.

THE SUGAR BOWL ACKNOWLEDGED IT MADE SEVERAL CAMPAIGN DONATIONS TO THEN-GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO OF LOUISIANA IN THE MID-2000S ,IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL TAX LAW, AND A GROUP HAS FILED A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE MATTER WITH THE IRS. SUGAR BOWL SPOKESMAN JOHN SUDSBURY SAID TUESDAY THAT BOWL REPRESENTATIVES MISTAKENLY BOUGHT TICKETS FOR FUNDRAISING DINNERS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR IN 2004 AND 2006, TOTALING $3,000. HE SAID THE BOWL FOUND RECORDS OF THE DONATIONS, WHICH WERE FIRST DOCUMENTED BY HBO'S "REAL SPORTS," PART OF A SEGMENT ON THE "BOWL GAME MONEY TRAIL" SET TO AIR TUESDAY NIGHT. BUT LOUISIANA CAMPAIGN RECORDS REVIEWED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LIST SUGAR BOWL DONATIONS TO BLANCO IN 2004, 2005 AND 2006, TOTALING $5,000. THE BOWL SAID THAT ITS AUDITORS HAVE CONCLUDED THE REPORT OF THE 2005 DONATION IS INACCURATE.

WILLIAMS COMPANIES INC. SAID TUESDAY IT WILL SPEND UP TO $400 MILLION TO EXPAND AN ETHYLENE PRODUCTION FACILITY IN BATON ROUGE, LA. THE TULSA, OKLA. NATURAL GAS COMPANY SAID THE EXPANSION AT THE GEISMAR FACILITY WILL INCREASE PRODUCTION CAPACITY 44 PERCENT TO 1.95 BILLION POUNDS PER YEAR. IT'S EXPECTED TO BE IN SERVICE IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2013.

STATE POLICE ARREST A 24-YEAR-OLD HAMMOND MAN, WHO'S CHARGED WITH HIS 7TH DWI OFFENSE. AUTHORITIES SAY DONALD MURPHY JR. LED LSP UNITS ON A CHASE ALONG I-12 THROUGH TANGIPAHOA & ST. TAMMANY PARISHES. AS YOU MAY SUSPECT, MURPHY FACES A SLEW OF CHARGES.

A 43-YEAR-OLD HOUMA WOMAN WAS SHOCKED TO BE TOLD BY ER DOCTORS THAT SHE WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY. MARJORIE RODRIGUE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL WITH SEVERE ABDOMINAL CRAMPS AND CHEST PAINS. RODRIGUE SAYS SHE HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS PREGANT, AS HER DOCTORS HAD TOLD HER YEARS EARLIER SHE WAS INFERTILE. HER BABY WAS BORN ABOUT A MONTH PREMATURE, BUT DOCTORS THINK HE'LL BE OK.

AN AUBURN UNIVERSITY STUDY IS REPORTING THERE COULD BE LARGE MATS OF OIL LEFT OVER FROM THE B-P OIL SPILL SUBMERGED ON THE SEABED IN THE GULF AND THE OIL IS NOT BREAKING DOWN AS QUICKLY AS ONCE THOUGHT. A STUDY OF TAR BALLS THAT LANDED ON BEACHES FOLLOWING TROPICAL STORM LEE SHOW THEM TO BE FRESH AND UNCHANGED FROM WHEN THE OIL FIRST APPEARED AFTER THE SPILL.









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