KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 10/11/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 101111
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY ON MONDAY AUTHORIZED ADVERTISING FOR BIDS FOR THE REPAIR OF THE RED RIVER LEVEE. THE MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR PROJECT IS BEING FUNDED THROUGH DISASTER-RELIEF FUNDS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY EARMARKED FOR DRAINAGE PROJECTS. ALSO AT MONDAY'S JURY MEETING, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM GILCHRIST CONSTRUCTION SAID THE RIGOLETTE ROAD BRIDGE WILL BE OPEN TO TRAFFIC IN JANUARY, IF ALL GOES WELL. THE BRIDGE HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE IT WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN A FIRE IN MARCH. GILCHRIST WILL START WORK NEXT WEEK ON REPLACING THE BRIDGE.

LAFAYETTE AUTHORITIES ARE INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE HOMICIDE AFTER FINDING A BODY IN THE TRUNK OF A BURNING CAR IN A RURAL PART OF THE PARISH. LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE SPOKESMAN CAPT. CRAIG STANSBURY SAYS OFFICERS RESPONDED TO A VEHICLE FIRE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND FOUND A BODY WHEN THEY OPENED THE TRUNK..
HE SAYS THE INCIDENT IS BEING INVESTIGATED AS A HOMICIDE, AND THE VICTIM HAS NOT YET BEEN POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED.

RAPIDES PARISH GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED A MARKSVILLE POLICE OFFICER WHO LIVES IN ALEXANDRIA ON TWO COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED RAPE, WHICH WAS FIRST REPORTED BY THE ALLEGED VICTIM IN FEBRUARY. 28 YEAR OLD DERRICK STAFFORD IS BEING HELD ON $300,000 BOND. STAFFORD TURNED HIMSELF IN ON FRIDAY AFTER HE WAS INDICTED.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS MADE FOUR ARRESTS FOLLOWING THE INVESTIGATION OF NUMEROUS VEHICLE BURGLARIES IN THE PINEVILLE, BALL AND TIOGA AREAS. CONAN BORDELON, MISTY MASTERS, ADAM NORRIS AND TRAVIS WOOLEY, ALL OF PINEVILLE, WERE CHARGED IN THE STRING OF BURGLARIES THAT OCCURRED BETWEEN SEPT. 27 AND OCT. 2. SHERIFF'S DETECTIVES UNCOVERED THE RING WHEN THE SUSPECTS ATTEMPTED TO PAWN SEVERAL STOLEN ITEMS AT A LOCAL PAWNSHOP. THE SUSPECTS ALSO ALLEGEDLY FORGED AND CASHED SEVERAL STOLEN CHECKS AT LOCAL BANKS.

GAS PRICES IN LOUISIANA ARE NOW DOWN 30 CENTS FROM A MONTH AGO. DON REDMAN, FUEL ANALYST WITH THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, SAYS THE CURRENT STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GAS IS $3.21. HE SAYS AS WE MOVE INTO NEXT MONTH, WE CAN EXPECT THE GAS PRICES TO DROP ANOTHER DIME, IF NOT MORE. REDMAN SAYS THE LOWER GAS PRICES MEAN CONSUMERS COULD BE SAVING BETWEEN $50-$60 A MONTH. HOWEVER, HE SAYS WE'RE STILL PAYING ABOUT 60 CENTS MORE THAN WE WERE A YEAR AGO. REDMAN ATTRIBUTES THE RAPID DECLINE IN GAS PRICES TO A SLOW ECONOMY AND DEMAND BEING DOWN GLOBALLY.

LAFAYETTE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT HAS GOVERNED THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE AND THE UNINCORPORATED PORTIONS OF THE PARISH FOR 15 YEARS. ON OCT. 22, VOTERS WILL DECIDE IF THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD CONTINUE OR IF IT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED IN FAVOR OF SEPARATE GOVERNMENTS FOR BOTH THE CITY AND THE PARISH. DECONSOLIDATION PROPONENTS SAY A "YES" VOTE WILL GIVE THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE MORE AUTONOMY AND CONTROL OF ITS OWN DESTINY WHILE GIVING THE PARISH A GOVERNMENT DEDICATED TO ITS NEEDS. OPPONENTS ARGUE THAT VOTING "NO" LETS A SUCCESSFUL GOVERNMENT CONTINUE, AVOIDING A PAINFUL AND COSTLY GOVERNMENTAL SPLIT.

LOUISIANA LEGISLATORS ARE GETTING $3 A DAY LESS WHEN THEY ATTEND LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS OR ARE ON OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS. HOUSE CLERK ALFRED SPEER SAYS THE PER DIEM FOR LAWMAKERS WENT FROM $152 TO $149 AS OF OCT. 1, THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW THE ALLOWANCE HAS FALLEN. THE PER DIEM, PAID TO LAWMAKERS FOR EVERY DAY IN SESSION, IN MEETINGS BETWEEN SESSIONS OR ON OFFICIAL STATE BUSINESS, IS BASED ON THE RATE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS TO ITS EMPLOYEES TO TRAVEL. LAWMAKERS ALSO ARE PAID 51 CENTS A MILE TO TRAVEL, UNLESS THEY LIVE IN THE SAME PARISH WHERE THEY ATTEND MEETINGS. THEY ALSO GET A SALARY OF $16,800 A YEAR AND A $6,000 ANNUAL UN-VOUCHERED EXPENSE ALLOWANCE.

VEGETATION THAT HAD GROWN UP IN THE LAKE BED OF TOLEDO BEND CAUGHT FIRE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. AUTHORITIES SAY WORKERS WITH THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY ARRIVED WITH A BULLDOZER AND WERE ABLE TO DIG A FIRE LINE TO HELP CONTAIN THE BLAZE.AS OF YESTERDAY, THE FIRE HAD BEEN CONTAINED.
DESOTO FIRE DISTRICT 5 CHIEF TODD KRAMER SAYS THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE IS UNKNOWN. THE AREA, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR. AT THE PEAK OF THE FIRE THREAT, UP TO 35 FIREFIGHTERS FROM SEVERAL FIRED DISTRICTS BATTLED THE BLAZE.

HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO STEM THE RISING NUMBER OF SYPHILIS CASES IN NORTHWEST LOUISIANA. THERE WERE 142 CASES OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SYPHILIS IN ADULTS IN CADDO PARISH IN 2010 AND 141 IN 2009. STATEWIDE, SYPHILIS CASES MORE THAN DOUBLED BETWEEN 2005 AND 2009 ..

LSU FOOTBALL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ARE NOW ABLE TO REQUEST TICKETS FOR POTENTIAL POSTSEASON GAMES, LIKE THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE BCS NATIONAL TITLE CONTEST. LSU TICKET OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, BRIAN BROUSSARD, SAYS SEASON TICKET HOLDERS CAN GO TO THE WEBSITE L-S-U-TIX-DOT-NET AND PUT IN THEIR REQUESTS, WHICH ALLOWS HIS OFFICE GAUGE POTENTIAL INTEREST. NOVEMBER 21ST IS THE DEADLINE FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TO REQUEST THEIR TICKETS FOR THE POSTSEASON. BROUSSARD SAYS ONCE LSU KNOWS ITS POSTSEASON FATE, THEY WILL DECIDE WHO WILL GET TICKETS AND HOW MANY BASED ON DONATIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY.

AMONG OFFICES AND AMENDMENTS TO DECIDE ON THE OCTOBER 22ND BALLOT, VOTERS MUST CONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TWO, WHICH APPLIES TO LOUISIANA'S STATE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM (LASERS). EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CINDY ROUGEOU SAYS THE AMENDMENT PROVIDES FOR 5% OF ANY SURPLUS NON-RECURRING STATE REVENUES TO BE APPLIED TO LASERS ESTIMATED $18-BILLION UNFUNDED ACCRUED LIABILITY FOR RETIREMENT PAYMENTS TO STATE WORKERS. SHE SAYS THE DEBT GOES BACK DECADES, BUT THIS AMENDMENT WILL CREATE A MECHANISM TO PAY IT OFF.

NEW IBERIA CONGRESSMAN JEFF LANDRY IS SCHEDULED TO HOLD A MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS TODAY WITH OBAMA OFFICIALS WHO OVERSEE DRILLING REGULATION IN THE GULF. SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS HE PLANS TO JOIN LANDRY FOR THE MEETING. LANDRY SAYS THEY ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO RETURN GULF DRILLING BACK TO PRE-SPILL LEVELS. LANDRY HAS BEEN SEEKING A MEETING WITH OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OIL AND GAS REGULATORS FOR MONTHS. HE'S HOPING THE END RESULT IS AFFORDABLE DOMESTIC ENERGY AND JOBS IN SOUTH LOUISIANA.

THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL IS RELEASING A REPORT TODAY ON LOUISIANA'S HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT PROBLEM. PAR PRESIDENT ROBERT SCOTT WILL PRESENT THE REPORT'S FINDINGS AND DISCUSS WAYS TO FIX THE PROBLEM. SCOTT SAYS ONE IN SIX STUDENTS WHO ENTER HIGH SCHOOL IN LOUISIANA, WILL DROP OUT BEFORE THEIR SENIOR YEAR. SCOTT SAYS THE REPORT CAN BE USED AS A WIDE-RANGING RESOURCE FOR THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE AND SHOW WHICH DISTRICTS HAVE THE HIGHEST DROPOUT RATE. HE SAYS LOUISIANA HAS ONE OF THE WORST DROPOUT RATES IN THE NATION.



SPORTS..

THE SAINTS ARE ALONE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE N-F-C SOUTH WITH A 4-AND-1 RECORD AFTER FIVE GAMES. NEW ORLEANS CAN WIDEN ITS LEAD BY BEATING SECOND PLACE TAMPA BAY THIS SUNDAY. THE BUCCANEERS ARE 3-AND-2, AFTER SUFFERING AN EMBARRASSING 45-POINT LOSS TO THE 49ERS LAST WEEKEND.

FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK, THE TOP RANKED TIGERS WILL FACE A TEAM THAT WILL HAVE TO PLAY ITS BACK-UP QUARTERBACK. LSU IS AT TENNESSEE THIS SATURDAY AND THE VOLUNTEERS STARTING Q-B TYLER BRAY IS OUT, AFTER INJURING HIS THUMB AGAINST GEORGIA. BUT HEAD COACH LES MILES SAYS TENNESSEE HAS AN EXPERIENCED BACK-UP IN MATT SIMS. LSU AND ALABAMA ARE RANKED FIRST AND SECOND IN THE LATEST A-P TOP 25 POLL. THE TWO TEAMS ARE SET TO MEET ON NOVEMBER FIFTH IN TUSCALOOSA. FANS ARE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT THE MATCH-UP, BUT MILES SAYS THE PROGRAM'S FOCUS IS ON THE VOLS.

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE NBA SEASON HAS BEEN CANCELED BY COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN AFTER OWNERS AND PLAYERS WERE UNABLE TO REACH A NEW LABOR DEAL TO END THE LOCKOUT. NEGOTIATORS FOR BOTH SIDES MET FOR MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS YESTERDAY.

LSU FOOTBALL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ARE NOW ABLE TO REQUEST TICKETS FOR POTENTIAL POSTSEASON GAMES, LIKE THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE BCS NATIONAL TITLE CONTEST. LSU TICKET OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, BRIAN BROUSSARD, SAYS NOVEMBER 21ST IS THE DEADLINE FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TO REQUEST THEIR TICKETS FOR THE POSTSEASON THEY WILL DECIDE WHO WILL GET TICKETS AND HOW MANY BASED ON DONATIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY. REQUESTS CAN BE MADE AT L-S-U-TIX-DOT-NET.

UL-LAFAYETTE SENIOR QUARTERBACK CHRIS MASSON WAS NAMED THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK. MASSON STEPPED IN FOR AN INJURED BLAINE GAUTIER ON THE FIRST SERIES OF THE GAME AND LED THE CAJUNS TO A 31-17 WIN OVER TROY SATURDAY.

LOUISIANA TECH PUNTER RYAN ALLEN WAS NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK. ALLEN PUNTED TEN TIMES FOR A 48-YARD AVERAGE IN THE BULLDOGS FIRST CONFERENCE WIN OF THE YEAR AGAINST IDAHO.



God Bless America!

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