KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 09/29/11


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 092911
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THEY SAY THEY ARE ONLY IN THE TALKING STAGE NOW, BUT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THE STATE COULD SHUT DOWN CENTRAL LOUISIANA STATE HOSPITAL IN PINEVILLE IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE.. THE POSSIBILITY OF CLOSING CENTRAL IS PART OF THE STATE'S GRAND PLAN, NOW BEING IMPLEMENTED, TO CHANGE THE WAY LOUISIANA PROVIDES HEALTH CARE. THAT INCLUDES TAKING SOME PATIENTS OUT OF INSTITUTIONS LIKE CENTRAL, PLACING THEM INTO COMMUNITY HOMES AND PROVIDING MEDICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC CARE ON AN OUTPATIENT BASIS. ACCORDING TO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN, "SHUTTING DOWN CENTRAL IS NOT A FOREGONE CONCLUSION."

AN ALEXANDRIA FAMILY MANAGED TO ESCAPE THEIR BURNING HOME YESTERDAY WITH NO SERIOUS INJURIES. AN 88-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN THE HOME SUFFERED FROM SMOKE INHALATION, BUT OTHER THAN THAT, EVERYONE MADE IT OUT OK. FIREFIGHTERS THINK THE BLAZE MAY HAVE STARTED IN THE KITCHEN. ALEXANDRIA FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO THE BLAZE AROUND 11 A.M. WEDNESDAY AT 2220 CARR ST. THE FIRE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION AT THIS TIME.

AN ALEXANDRIA MAN WHO WAS FOUND ON THE GROUND ON EAST TEXAS AVENUE WEDNESDAY MORNING DIED IN A LOCAL HOSPITAL, ALEXANDRIA POLICE SAID. JOE MARZETT, 55, OF ALEXANDRIA WAS FOUND AFTER AUTHORITIES RECEIVED A CALL OF A MAN DOWN IN THE 2200 BLOCK OF EAST TEXAS AVENUE AROUND 1 A.M. DETECTIVES HAVE NO MOTIVE OR EXACT CAUSE OF DEATH. THE CASE IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

ALEXANDRIA POLICE OFFICERS ARE INVESTIGATING SEPARATE SHOOTINGS THAT OCCURRED WEDNESDAY ON MONROE AND NINTH STREETS. A VICTIM RECEIVED A NON-LIFE-THREATENING WOUND AFTER SHOTS WERE FIRED IN THE 1800 BLOCK OF MONROE STREET AROUND 12:23 A.M. THE VICTIM WAS TREATED AT A HOSPITAL AND RELEASED. NO ONE WAS INJURED WHEN SHOTS WERE FIRED IN THE 2700 BLOCK OF NINTH STREET AROUND 12:52 A.M.. IT’S NOT KNOWN IF THE INCIDENTS WERE RELATED, AND THEY REMAIN UNDER INVESTIGATION.

TWO ALEXANDRIA MEN WERE ARRESTED TUESDAY ON JUVENILE-SEX CRIMES AFTER A TWO-WEEK INVESTIGATION, ALEXANDRIA POLICE SAID. MALCOM JOSHUA AND JERI QUINNEY, BOTH 24 OF ALEXANDRIA, WERE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING JUVENILES, COMPUTER-AIDED SOLICITATION OF A MINOR AND ENTICING PERSONS INTO PROSTITUTION AFTER AN INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED SEXUAL ALLEGATIONS, AUTHORITIES SAID. JOSHUA WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH INDECENT BEHAVIOR WITH JUVENILES. THE CASE IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

A GRAND JURY HAS REDUCED CHARGES AGAINST JORDAN JEFFERSON TO A MISDEMEANOR FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN A BAR FIGHT AND THE QUARTERBACK'S ATTORNEY SAYS HIS SUSPENSION FROM THE TOP-RANKED TIGERS HAS BEEN LIFTED. JEFFERSON IS NOW CHARGED WITH SIMPLE BATTERY. HIS ATTORNEY, LEWIS UNGLESBY, SAYS THERE IS NO WAY HIS CLIENT WILL BE CONVICTED IF THE CASE GOES TO TRIAL. THE GRAND JURY WEDNESDAY ALSO CLEARED RESERVE LINEBACKER JOSH JOHNS OF CHARGES. JEFFERSON AND JOHNS WERE ARRESTED AND BOOKED WITH SECOND-DEGREE BATTERY IN THE AUG. 19 FIGHT, AFTER WHICH FOUR MEN SOUGHT TREATMENT AT HOSPITALS.

TROPICAL STORM OPHELIA IS EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN INTO A HURRICANE AS IS MOVES AWAY FROM THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF DOMINICA. OPHELIA HAS CAUSED FLOODING AND CUT OFF COMMUNITIES ON DOMINICA. ABOUT 1,600 PEOPLE WERE STRANDED ON THE ISLAND AND NEARLY A DOZEN CARS HAVE WASHED AWAY. THE U.S. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IN MIAMI SAID OPHELIA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE FRIDAY. THE STORM HAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 60 MPH (97 KPH) AND IS MOVING NORTHWARD AWAY FROM THE LEEWARD ISLANDS. ITS FORECAST TO HEAD GENERALLY PAST BERMUDA THIS WEEKEND. AND AWAY FROM THE US MAIN LAND.

LOUISIANA'S YEAR-LONG BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION GETS STARTED TWO MONTHS FROM TODAY. BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION CHAIRMAN LT. GENERAL RUSSELL HONORE (US ARMY RET.) SAYS THE FIRST OFFICIAL BICENTENNIAL EVENTS WILL BE IN RAPIDES PARISH, THEN IN SHREVEPORT, AT THE LOUISIANA STATE FAIR. HONORE SAYS A PARTY AT THE HISTORIC KENT PLANTATION IN ALEXANDRIA ON NOVEMBER 29TH BEGINS A YEAR OF FESTIVITIES. AFTER THAT, A BIG EVENT IS PLANNED AT THE LOUISIANA STATE FAIR IN SHREVEPORT, PLUS HAPPENINGS IN LAKE CHARLES AND MORE. HE SAYS NO STATE OR FEDERAL DOLLARS ARE BEING SPENT ON THE PLANNED EVENTS

STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF A MAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND INSIDE A CAR AT A REST STOP ON INTERSTATE 49, NORTH OF WASHINGTON. ACCORDING TO THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE, THE CAR PARKED AT THE REST AREA WAS REPORTED STOLEN FROM A HOMICIDE VICTIM IN LAFAYETTE. THE DEAD MAN WAS CONSIDERED A PERSON OF INTEREST IN CONNECTION TO THE DEATH OF A 46-YEAR-OLD WOMAN EARLIER WEDNESDAY. TROOPERS BELIEVE THE MAN'S DEATH WAS A SUICIDE.

WE'RE JUST NOW FINDING OUT THAT NATCHITOCHES PARISH DRUG TASK FORCE AGENTS MADE A SWEEP OF THREE PARISH HIGH SCHOOLS WITH DRUG DOGS ON THE 16TH. AGENTS SAY THE SWEEPS WERE FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, AND SOME CONTRABAND WAS FOUND. STUDENTS ARE BEING DEALT WITH BY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. NO ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE.

A STATE HOUSE CANDIDATE HAS BEEN DISQUALIFIED FROM THE OCT. 22 RACE FOR THE DISTRICT 2 SEAT IN SHREVEPORT. A STATE APPEALS COURT WEDNESDAY UPHELD A JUDGE'S RULING THAT RAYMOND HICKS HAS NOT LIVED IN THE DISTRICT FOR A YEAR AS REQUIRED BY STATE LAW. HICKS' ATTORNEY, JOHN SETTLE SAYS THAT THEY HAVEN'T DECIDED WHETHER TO APPEAL TO THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT. HICKS IS THE ONLY CHALLENGER TO INCUMBENT STATE REP. ROY BURRELL, WHOSE CAMPAIGN MANAGER, AS YOU MAY SUSPECT, FILED THE SUIT.

A FORMER ACADIANA HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 27 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ALLOWING TEENAGE STUDENTS TO USE HIS APARTMENT TO HAVE SEX WHILE HE SECRETLY FILMED THEM. THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY TOOK PLACE OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING IN 2005 UNTIL MARCH OF 2010. US DISTRICT JUDGE RICHARD HAIK COULD HAVE SENTENCED 38-YEAR-OLD STEPHEN MCKAY HURST TO A MAXIMUM OF LIFE IN PRISON AFTER HE PLEADED GUILTY IN FEBRUARY. STEPHANIE FINLEY, US ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, SAYS THE GREATEST VIOLATION HURST COMMITTED WAS A VIOLATION OF TRUST.

LOUISIANA IS FACING THE LOSS OF MORE THAN HALF A BILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MEDICAID MONEY IN ABOUT A YEAR. BUT STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE CALCULATION IS WRONG. THE PROJECTED LOSS OF $567 MILLION IS BASED ON WHAT LOUISIANA HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN AND SEN. MARY LANDRIEU SAY IT IS A MISINTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISION LANDRIEU ADDED TO THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL LAW. THE PROVISION WAS DESIGNED TO PROTECT LOUISIANA FROM SUFFERING SUCH A LOSS BECAUSE OF A FEDERAL FORMULA THAT EFFECTIVELY PUNISHED LOUISIANA FOR THE INFLUX OF REBUILDING DOLLARS AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA. THE QUESTION NOW IS WHETHER THE SPECIAL BREAK SHOULD CONTINUE TO APPLY IN THE 2013 FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR THAT BEGINS OCT. 1, 2012.

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS ARE GETTING $17 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO STUDY HOW TO TURN SUGAR CANE AND SORGHUM INTO BIOFUELS. THE MONEY, FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AIMS TO FUND RESEARCH TO INCREASE BIOMASS PRODUCTION FROM SUGAR CANE AND SORGHUM. THE PROJECT IS ONE OF FIVE BEING FUNDED WITH $136 MILLION IN USDA FUNDS ACROSS THE NATION OVER FIVE YEARS. USDA SAYS THE PROJECTS WILL FOCUS ON DEVELOPING AVIATION BIOFUELS FROM TALL GRASSES, CROP RESIDUES AND FORESTS. U.S. SEN. MARY LANDRIEU SAYS FINDING NEW AND INNOVATIVE USES OF SUGAR CANE AND ITS RESIDUE WILL STRENGTHEN LOUISIANA'S SUGAR INDUSTRY. THE MONEY COMES FROM THE 2008 FARM BILL, WHICH SOUGHT TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY.

A BILLBOARD IN A NEW ORLEANS NEIGHBORHOOD THAT CRITICIZES PRESIDENT OBAMA IS DRAWING THE IRE OF FOLKS WHO LIVE NEARBY. THE SIGN IS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND DEPICTS OBAMA AS A CRYING BABY IN DIAPERS--BLAMING THE POOR ECONOMY ON ANYTHING BUT HIMSELF. THE OWNER'S BEEN ASKED TO TAKE IT DOWN. HE'S NOT TALKING WITH REPORTERS.

LOUISIANA TECH HAS STARTED A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN FOR A NEW ENGINEERING BUILDING IN ORDER TO EXPAND THE PROGRAM. STAN NAPPER IS THE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE. HE SAYS SO FAR THE CAMPAIGN HAS ALREADY RAISED $3.1-MILLION IN GIFTS AND PLEDGES. NAPPER SAYS HE HOPES TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE BUILDING THROUGH ALUMNI AND DONOR SUPPORT.

A COUSHATTA WOMAN WAS SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON AS PART OF A PLEA AGREEMENT FOR THE DEATHS OF HER TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. 30-YEAR-OLD JANEL BRADFORD PLEAD GUILTY TO TWO COUNTS OF NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE. HER CHILDREN WERE FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN A VEHICLE PARKED OUTSIDE HER FATHER'S HOME LAST SEPTEMBER.

A 26-YEAR-OLD INDEPENDENCE MAN HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH EXTORTION AFTER PRETENDING TO BE A WOMAN ON FACEBOOK TO SOLICIT SEX FROM DOZENS OF VICTIMS. HAMMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON LT. VINCE GIANNOBILE SAYS ADAM KOLB HACKED INTO A WOMAN'S FACEBOOK ACCOUNT AND USED IT ASK OTHER WOMEN FOR SEX. GIANNOBILE SAYS KOLB WOULD START A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VICTIMS, OBTAIN COMPROMISING PHOTOS OF THEM THEN THREATEN TO SEND THOSE IMAGES TO FAMILY MEMBERS OR EMPLOYERS IF THEY DIDN'T SLEEP WITH HIM. GIANNOBILE URGES ANY OTHER VICTIMS TO COME FORWARD IF THEY KNEW KOLB.






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