KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 09/28/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 092811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

TESTIMONY RESUMES TODAY BEFORE AN EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH GRAND JURY CONSIDERING THE CASE AGAINST TWO SUSPENDED LSU PLAYERS INVOLVED IN A BAR FIGHT. JORDAN JEFFERSON'S ATTORNEY, LEWIS UNGLESBY, SAYS HIS CLIENT WILL TESTIFY. JEFFERSON AND LINEBACKER JOSH JOHNS EACH FACE A COUNT OF 2ND-DEGREE BATTERY. ITS POSSIBLE THE GRAND JURY COULD MAKE A DECISION BY THE END OF TODAY.

THEY SAY THEY ARE ASKING FOR SUPPORT FROM THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE SERVED FOR OVER A CENTURY. CURRENT AND FORMER U.S. POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES RALLIED ON TUESDAY AT TWO ALEXANDRIA POST OFFICES IN HOPES OF DRUMMING UP PUBLIC SUPPORT TO "SAVE AMERICA'S POSTAL SERVICE. POSTAL UNIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TEAMED UP TO HOLD MORE THAN 500 RALLIES TO BRING AWARENESS TO POSTAL WORKERS FIGHTING TO KEEP THEIR JOBS.

28 YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER SHEPHERD HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES AFTER AUTHORITIES FOUND DRUGS IN AND OUTSIDE OF HIS WILLIAMS STREET HOME. SHEPHERD WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE II WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND RESISTING ARREST AFTER AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ALLEGED SALE OF NARCOTICS AT HIS RESIDENCE. SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATORS ALSO FOUND COCAINE PACKAGED FOR SALE AND ITEMS USED FOR PACKAGING IN HIS RESIDENCE AND BACKYARD.

A NATCHITOCHES MAN WHO WAS CAUGHT SELLING MARIJUANA OUT OF HIS GRANDFATHER'S HOME HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON. 22 YEAR OLD RANDY AARON JR., PLEADED GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE LAST WEEK.

THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT WILL APPOINT A JUDGE TO OVERSEE THE CASE OF PRINCESS LACAZE AFTER THE NATCHITOCHES JUDGE WHO WAS TO PRESIDE OVER LACAZE'S BOND HEARING AND POSSIBLE TRIAL TOOK HIMSELF OFF THE CASE. JUDGE ERIC HARRINGTON OF THE 10TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT THIS WEEK SIGNED THE RECUSAL PAPERS, BECOMING THE SECOND 10TH DISTRICT JUDGE TO BOW OUT. THE JUDGE CITED PRIOR EXPOSURE TO THE CASE THAT COULD HAVE AN INFLUENCE ON HIS DECISION MAKING. EARLIER THIS YEAR, JUDGE DEE HAWTHORNE RECUSED HERSELF. IN 1998, LACAZE WAS CONVICTED OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IN THE 1997 DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, MICHAEL LACAZE. SHE WAS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE, BUT SUCCESSFULLY APPEALED HER CASE TO FEDERAL JUDGES ON THE 5TH CIRCUIT.

A HIGH-RANKING MORGAN CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 30 DAYS WITHOUT PAY, AFTER HE SENT A RACIST TEXT MESSAGE TO THE FORMER FIRE CHIEF. IN THE TEXT MESSAGE, CAPTAIN ANDREW RADCLIFFE JR MADE A JOKE ABOUT A CARLOAD OF BLACK PEOPLE GETTING RUN-OVER BY A SEMI-TRUCK. CURRENT FIRE CHIEF MORRIS PRICE, SAYS RADCLIFFE IS VERY SORRY. THERE ARE SOME, INCLUDING THE FORMER FIRE CHIEF, RICHARD ANDERSON, WHO FEEL THE PUNISHMENT IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH. BUT PRICE SAYS RADCLIFFE SHOULD NOT LOSE HIS JOB OVER A DUMB MISTAKE.

A PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN AVERTED, AS THE U.S. SENATE PASSES A BIPARTISAN SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL TO KEEP GOVERNMENT AFLOAT FOR ABOUT 7 WEEKS. THE MEASURE WAS SUPPORTED BY BOTH LOUISIANA SENATORS, MARY LANDRIEU AND DAVID VITTER. THE HOUSE TAKES UP THE MEASURE WHEN
THEY RETURN FROM RECESS NEXT WEEK. DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING FOR FEMA WAS A STICKING POINT IN THE BILL.

A 13-YEAR-OLD SEVENTH-GRADE HAS BEEN BOOKED WITH TWO COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY SHOT A GUN AT A VEHICLE DRIVING AWAY FROM AN APPARENT DRUG DEAL AT A GROCERY STORE. THE EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE BOY ALLEGEDLY TOOK THE GUN FROM ANOTHER 13-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, AN EIGHTH GRADER, WHO APPARENTLY TOOK HIS FATHER'S .380-CALIBER HANDGUN TO SCHOOL WITHOUT HIS FATHER'S KNOWLEDGE. DEPUTIES SAID TUESDAY THAT THE ADULT DISCOVERED THE GUN WAS MISSING MONDAY.

FROM THE “WE THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW DEPARTMENT” AS OF TUESDAY, SEPT. 27, 2011, AT LEAST 1,670 MEMBERS OF THE U.S. MILITARY HAD DIED IN AFGHANISTAN AS A RESULT OF THE U.S.-LED INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN. AT LEAST 1,400 MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS HAVE DIED IN AFGHANISTAN AS A RESULT OF HOSTILE ACTION. OUTSIDE OF AFGHANISTAN, THE DEPARTMENT REPORTS AT LEAST 99 MORE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. MILITARY DIED IN SUPPORT OF OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. OF THOSE, 10 WERE THE RESULT OF HOSTILE ACTION.

A DESOTO PARISH FIREFIGHTER IS RECOVERING FROM INJURIES HE SUSTAINED EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING WHEN HIS FIRE TRUCK FLIPPED OVER ON THE WAY TO A HOUSE FIRE. STATE POLICE SPOKESPERSON CORDELL WILLIAMS SAYS THE TRUCK WAS DRIVEN BY 54 YEAR OLD VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER GREG BAKER, WHO IS ALSO A DESOTO PARISH POLICE JUROR. WILLIAMS SAYS LOST CONTROL IN THE CURVE. WILLIAMS SAYS BAKER SUSTAINED ONLY MINOR INJURIES IN THE CRASH. WILLIAMS SAYS THE CAUSE OF THE HOUSE FIRE HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED, BUT EVERYONE INSIDE AT THE TIME ESCAPED UNHARMED

CONTRARY TO PUBLIC PERCEPTION THAT LAST SUMMER'S BP OIL SPILL DID LITTLE DAMAGE TO MARINE LIFE IN LOUISIANA, A NEW STUDY SAYS A COMMON FISH IN THE MARSHES WAS HURT SEVERELY BY THE SPILL AND NOW IS TURNING UP DEFORMED AND MAY BE UNABLE TO REPRODUCE PROPERLY. THE STUDY, LED BY A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS FROM LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, FOUND WHAT SCIENTISTS CALL "SUB-LETHAL" EFFECTS TO KILLIFISH, A SMALL BUT ABUNDANT SPECIES FOUND IN LOUISIANA'S MARSHES AND USED AS BAIT BY FISHERMEN. SUB-LETHAL EFFECTS ARE THOSE THAT POP UP AS ANIMALS GROW.

THE COAST GUARD SAYS A SERIES OF "SHEEN SIGHTINGS" HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE AREA WHERE THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DRILLING RIG EXPLODED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO LAST YEAR, BUT BP'S CAPPED WELL ISN'T THE SUSPECTED SOURCE OF THE SUBSTANCE.
A STATEMENT ISSUED TUESDAY BY THE COAST GUARD SAYS THE SHEENS COULD HAVE COME FROM THE SUNKEN RIG'S RISER PIPE OR FROM OTHER UNDERWATER DEBRIS. THE COAST GUARD SAYS RECENT VIDEO FOOTAGE SHOWS NO EVIDENCE OF A LEAK FROM THE BLOWN-OUT WELL THAT WAS CAPPED LAST YEAR. AUTHORITIES HAVEN'T DETERMINED WHETHER THE SHEENS COULD BE FROM OIL, DIESEL OR ANOTHER SUBSTANCE

A NONPARTISAN LOBBYING ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING A GROUP OF LOUISIANA BUSINESS LEADERS IS PUSHING A NEW PACKAGE OF LEGISLATION FOR THE UPCOMING TERM THAT WOULD REWORK TEACHER TENURE, CRIMINAL SENTENCING LAWS AND RETIREMENT PROGRAMS FOR GOVERNMENT WORKERS. BLUEPRINT LOUISIANA OUTLINED ITS AGENDA TUESDAY AND PLANS TO SPEND ABOUT $100,000 ON A MARKETING CAMPAIGN INCLUDING BILLBOARDS, NEWSPAPER ADS AND ONLINE ADS TO PROMOTE THE PROPOSALS. JIM HARRIS, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE ORGANIZATION, SAID THE PACKAGE OF RECOMMENDATIONS ALSO WILL BE SENT TO LAWMAKERS, ASKING THEM TO SUPPORT THE IDEAS. YOU CAN READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS ON LINE AT WWW.BLUEPRINTLOUISIANA.ORG.

STEAMBOAT CRUISES ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM BATON ROUGE, LONG A STAPLE OF THE CITY'S SCENE, WILL BE RETURNING IN APRIL. THE RIVERBOAT CRUISE BUSINESS, ONCE DOMINATED BY THE AMERICAN QUEEN, MISSISSIPPI QUEEN AND DELTA QUEEN, ENDED IN 2008 WHEN THE BOATS' OPERATOR, MAJESTIC AMERICA LINE, SHUT DOWN. THE CRUISES ARE EXPECTED ALSO TO MAKE STOPS IN NEW ORLEANS, ST. FRANCISVILLE, VICKSBURG, MISS., MEMPHIS, TENN., ST. LOUIS, MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, CINCINNATI AND PITTSBURGH

THE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED A $340,000 GRANT TO BATON ROUGE TO IMPROVE ITS AIRLINE SERVICE. THE AGENCY SAID TUESDAY THAT THE GRANT WILL BE USED TO PROVIDE A REVENUE GUARANTEE TO ADD SERVICE BETWEEN BATON ROUGE AND WASHINGTON, D.C. EITHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL $68,000. THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT SAYS BATON ROUGE IS ONE OF 29 CITIES RECEIVING $15 MILLION FROM A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP SMALLER AIRPORTS DEAL WITH AIR SERVICE NEEDS.

BREAKING WITH TRADITION, ONE OF LOUISIANA'S TOP TWO TEACHER UNIONS WON'T ENDORSE A CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR BEFORE THE OCT. 22 ELECTION. THE LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS HAS ENDORSED DEMOCRATS FOR THE STATE'S TOP OFFICE FOR YEARS AND HAS CLASHED REPEATEDLY WITH REPUBLICAN GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, WHO IS RUNNING FOR A SECOND TERM. BUT DEMOCRATS FAILED TO FIELD ANY HIGH-PROFILE CONTENDERS FOR GOVERNOR THIS TIME.

THE ELECTION FOR SECRETARY OF STATE IS A TWO-IN-ONE RACE FOR THE CANDIDATES AND VOTERS. WHEN VOTERS CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO REPUBLICANS, TOM SCHEDLER AND JIM TUCKER, THEY WILL BE ELECTING SOMEONE TO FILL WHAT'S LEFT OF THE CURRENT TERM OF OFFICE AS WELL AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, A TERM THAT BEGINS IN JANUARY. THE WINNER ON OCT. 22 COULD BE SWORN IN AS THE STATE'S CHIEF ELECTIONS OFFICER AS SOON AS NOV. 1 TO COMPLETE THE CURRENT TERM. THE ELECTED OFFICE BECAME VACANT WHEN JAY DARDENNE WON THE RACE FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR LAST YEAR. BY LAW, SCHEDLER, WHO WAS DARDENNE'S THEN-FIRST ASSISTANT, TOOK OVER UNTIL AN ELECTION COULD BE HELD.






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