KSYL Local News

News For Friday 10/07/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 100711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE DESIRE OF A GERMANY-BASED TIRE MAKER TO EXPAND NEAR ITS EAST COAST DOMESTIC HEADQUARTERS WAS A FACTOR IN LOUISIANA LOSING OUT AMONG THREE FINALISTS FOR A $500 MILLION TIRE PLANT EXPECTED TO CREATE 1,600 JOBS. CONTINENTAL TIRE THE AMERICAS LLC ANNOUNCED THURSDAY THAT IT WILL CONSTRUCT THE PLANT IN SUMTER, S.C., WHILE EXPANDING ITS U.S. HEADQUARTERS IN LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C.
LOUISIANA HAD BEEN PUSHING A SITE AT ENGLAND AIRPARK IN ALEXANDRIA FOR THE PROJECT. NORTH CAROLINA WAS THE OTHER FINALIST FOR THE PLANT. STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SEC. STEPHEN MORET SAID THE STATE WAS WORKING ON OTHER MAJOR PROJECTS CONSIDERING LOCATIONS IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA.

EARLY VOTING FOR THE OCTOBER 22ND ELECTION STARTS TOMORROW. STATE COMMISSIONER OF ELECTIONS ANGIE ROGERS SAYS EARLY VOTING GIVES VOTERS 7 DAYS OF OPPORTUNITIES TO VOTE AT THEIR OWN CONVENIENCE. VOTERS CAN CAST EARLY BALLOTS AT THEIR PARISH REGISTRAR'S OFFICE. ROGERS SAYS SHE EXPECTS FAIRLY BRISK BUSINESS AT EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS.

HERE’S SOMETHING YOU DON’T HEAR EVERY DAY.. AN ACCIDENT YESTERDAY INVOLVING TWO TRACTORS HAS LEFT ONE MAN INJURED. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON ON OVERTON STREET IN ALEXANDRIA, WHEN ONE OF TWO LARGE TRACTORS PULLING LAND LEVELING EQUIPMENT STOP AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT. PROBLEM IS, THE SECOND TRACTOR DIRECTLY BEHIND HIM, DID NOT. BOTH TRACTORS WERE PULLING EQUIPMENT FROM A JOB SITE IN LECOMPTE HEADING TO VIDALIA. THE ACCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS DECLINED AN INVITATION TO ATTEND A CANDIDATES DEBATE SCHEDULED NEXT WEDNESDAY AT LSU. THE EVENT IS HOSTED BY THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS. JINDAL AND HIS NINE CHALLENGERS ARE ALL INVITED. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE TURNED DOWN THE EVENT BECAUSE IT HAS NO STATEWIDE TV COVERAGE. JINDAL'S WIDE MARGIN IN THE POLLS AND THE LACK OF NAME RECOGNITION FOR THE NINE CHALLENGERS MAKES A TELEVISED DEBATE UNLIKELY.

JINDAL SAYS THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WILL HELP SECURE OVER $47 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR TOPS AND OVER TIME THAT WILL INCREASE TO $100 MILLION. JINDAL SAYS IF THE AMENDMENT IS APPROVED BY VOTERS, A PORTION OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT DOLLARS WILL GO TO THE POPULAR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM . THE RENEWAL OF A FOUR CENT CIGARETTE TAX IS ALSO PART OF AMENDMENT 1. JINDAL OPPOSES THE CIGARETTE TAX, BUT SUPPORTS THE AMENDMENT, BECAUSE HE BELIEVES SECURING FUNDING FOR TOPS IS THAT IMPORTANT.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE BILLY NUNGESSER SAYS HE WANTS TO EXPAND THE OFFICE BEYOND ITS TOURISM OVERSIGHT AND GET THE STATE'S NUMBER TWO POST INVOLVED IN LOBBYING WASHINGTON FOR STATE NEEDS AND WORKING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. INCUMBENT JAY DARDENNE SAYS THE OFFICE ALREADY IS A FULL-TIME JOB, OVERSEEING NEARLY $100 MILLION IN SPENDING AND PROMOTING THE STATE AROUND THE NATION AS LOUISIANA'S CHIEF AMBASSADOR. THE DIFFERENCES IN PHILOSOPHY CAME AS THE TWO CANDIDATES, BOTH REPUBLICANS, SQUARED OFF THURSDAY NIGHT IN A DEBATE — HOSTED BY THE BATON ROUGE TEA PARTY, THAT FOCUSED MORE ON POLICY THAN THE EXCHANGED ATTACKS OF THE CAMPAIGN SO FAR. DARDENNE AND NUNGESSER DIFFERED ON HOW TO ATTRACT RETIREES TO LOUISIANA, HOW TO MARKET THE STATE AND WHAT THE OFFICE'S ROLE SHOULD BE IN STATE GOVERNMENT.

THE STATE IS ASKING THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO POSTPONE A NEW REGULATION REQUIRING LOUISIANA'S POWER PLANTS TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE EMISSIONS. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MEMBER JIMMY FIELD SAYS THE RULE CHANGE COULD LEAD TO HIGHER UTILITY BILLS AND A SHORTAGE OF ELECTRICITY, BECAUSE THE STATE'S POWER PLANTS ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO LOWER EMISSIONS BY NEXT SUMMER. THE NEW EMISSION STANDARDS ARE SET TO GO INTO EFFECT NEXT MAY. BUT FIELD SAYS THE POWER PLANTS NEED MORE TIME TO MEET THE NEW STANDARDS.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE ASKING WHY THEY WERE NOT TOLD SOONER ABOUT THE THREAT FROM CONTAMINATED CANTALOUPES. THE NATIONWIDE DEATH TOLL FROM THE LISTERIA OUTBREAK HAS REACHED 19, INCLUDING AN ELDERLY BATON ROUGE WOMAN WHO DIED LAST WEEKEND. STATE MEDICAL DIRECTOR DR. JIMMY GUIDRY SAYS LISTERIA IS NOT DEADLY TO MOST PEOPLE BUT IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE ELDERLY, THE VERY YOUNG AND PEOPLE WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS. HE SAYS THE CONTAMINATED PRODUCE IS OFF THE SHELVES BUT THE THREAT REMAINS.

VILLE PLATTE IS SUSPENDING ENFORCEMENT OF ITS CONTROVERSIAL 10PM PEDESTRIAN CURFEW. THE LOUISIANA ACLU FILED SUIT TO BLOCK THE CITY FROM ENFORCING THE ORDINANCE, WHICH ONLY APPLIES TO WALKERS. VILLE PLATTE'S CITY COUNCIL WILL DISCUS THE FUTURE OF THE CURFEW NEXT TUESDAY.

STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS A DENHAM SPRINGS MAN DIED EARLY YESTERDAY IN A HOUSE FIRE, BUT A QUICK-THINKING POLICE OFFICER PREVENTED THE LOSS OF MORE LIFE. BROWNING SAYS, WHEN DENHAM SPRINGS OFFICER JARED KREAMER ARRIVED AND SAW THE HOUSE IN FLAMES, HE RAN INSIDE AND PULLED AN ELDERLY WOMAN SUFFERING FROM SMOKE INHALATION OUT. KREAMER WAS UNABLE TO RE-ENTER THE HOME, AND FIREFIGHTERS LATER FOUND THE REMAINS OF 63-YEAR-OLD WILLIE ROBERTSON INSIDE. BROWNING SAYS HE'S RECOMMENDED OFFICER KREAMER BE RECOGNIZED FOR HIS HEROISM.

THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION IS EXPECTING A MODEST INCREASE OF 3% IN HOLIDAY SALES THIS YEAR OVER 2010. HERE LOCALLY, RETAIL ANALYST JIM RUTLEDGE THINKS LOUISIANA CAN DO BETTER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. RUTLEDGE ALSO SAYS A STRONG HOUSING MARKET AND GOOD WEATHER WILL FACTOR INTO A CONSUMERS SPENDING HABITS THIS HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON. HE SAYS SHOPPERS HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THINGS LIKE HIGH FOOD AND GAS PRICES AND ARE BETTER PREPARED HEADING INTO THE HOLIDAYS.

STATE AND LOCAL FIRST RESPONDER STAGED A MOCK TRAIN WRECK YESTERDAY MORNING IN PORT MANCHAC IN TANGIPAHOA PARISH TO MARK RAILROAD SAFETY WEEK. STATE POLICE SPOKESPERSON CORDELL WILLIAMS SAYS ACCIDENTS AT RAIL CROSSINGS LAST YEAR INJURED 65 PEOPLE AND KILLED 13. WILLIAMS SAYS TRAINS ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY. YA THINK?


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