KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 10/12/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 101211
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

MANY ARE SAYING THEY PLAN TO IGNORE THE NEW ALEXANDRIA SMOKING LAWS WHEN THEY TAKE EFFECT NEXT YEAR. BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT, YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE JUST ANNOUNCED FINES IF YOU ARE CAUGHT. ANYONE LIGHTING UP IN A BAR OR WITHIN 25 FEET OF CITY PROPERTY WILL BE FINED $100 FOR A FIRST OFFENSE. THE FINES WILL INCREASE TO $250 FOR A SECOND OFFENSE WITHIN A YEAR AND $500 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL OFFENSE. THE SAME FINES WILL APPLY TO BUSINESS OWNERS WHO ALLOW SMOKING IN THEIR FACILITIES. THE ORDINANCE BANS SMOKING IN ALL ENCLOSED PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT "WITHOUT EXCEPTION," AS WELL AS WITHIN 25 FEET OF ENTRANCES AND WINDOWS OF THOSE BUILDINGS, CITY PROPERTY AND OUTDOOR PLAYGROUNDS. SMOKING ALSO IS FORBIDDEN IN ALL OUTDOOR ARENAS, STADIUMS AND AMPHITHEATERS, AS WELL AS ALL OUTDOOR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT.

A RECENT RASH OF CAR BURGLARIES HAS THE ALEXANDRIA POLICE ASKING RESIDENTS TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT AND TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM. MOST OF THE ADVICE IS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE. DON'T LEAVE VEHICLES UNLOCKED, DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING OF VALUE IN A VEHICLE. IF ONE CAN'T REMOVE ITEMS OF VALUE FROM A VEHICLE WHILE IT'S PARKED, REMOVE THEM FROM VIEW.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTS HEARING AN APPEAL BY TWO GAY MEN WHO WANT BOTH THEIR NAMES ON THEIR ADOPTED CHILD'S LOUISIANA BIRTH CERTIFICATE. LEGAL ANALYST TIM MECHE SAYS STATE LAW DOESN'T PERMIT ADOPTION BETWEEN UNMARRIED COUPLES, AND ALSO DOESN'T RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. MECHE SAYS THE SUPREME COURT WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO TACKLE THE SUBJECT. MECHE SAYS THE GAY COUPLE HAVE NO FURTHER LEGAL RECOURSE IN THIS CASE, BUT THAT DOESN'T AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO BE GOOD PARENTS TO THEIR CHILD.

SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS A TUESDAY MEETING WITH FEDERAL DRILLING REGULATORS, TO DISCUSS THE SLOW PACE OF ISSUING PERMITS TO DRILL IN THE GULF, WASN'T SATISFACTORY. VITTER SAYS HE AND CONGRESSMAN JEFF LANDRY WANTED TO KNOW WHY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE LETTING RIGS LEAVE THE GULF RATHER THAN ISSUE THEM DRILLING PERMITS. VITTER SAYS HE AND LANDRY MET WITH BUREAU OF SAFETY & ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROMWICH AND OTHERS TUESDAY, BUT GOT WHAT HE CALLS "THE SAME OLD COMPANY LINE" THAT PERMITTING IS PROCEEDING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. VITTER SAYS 14 RIGS HAVE LEFT THE GULF; EACH TAKING 500 JOBS WITH IT.

WORK BEGAN TUESDAY TO REPAIR JIMMY BROWN ROAD, WHICH SOME LOCAL RESIDENTS HAVE COMPLAINED IS ONE OF THE WORST, IF NOT THE WORST, ROAD IN RAPIDES PARISH.
GILCHRIST CONSTRUCTION STARTED WORK TUESDAY TO RESURFACE THE ROAD, WHICH WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN TWO PARTICULAR SECTIONS. IT’S EXPECTED IT WILL TAKE TWO TO THREE WEEKS TO COMPLETE. THE ROAD IS A VITAL LINK BETWEEN (INTERSTATE 49) AND (LA. HIGHWAY 28 WEST) A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND THE BOYCE AND LENA AREAS UTILIZE THE ROAD TO HEAD TO TOWN.

THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS HAS ENDORSED DEMOCRAT TARA HOLLIS IN HER BID FOR GOVERNOR. LAE PRESIDENT JOYCE HAYNES CALLS HOLLIS A QUICK STUDY WHO WILL SUPPORT IDEAS AND CHANGES TO IMPROVE EDUCATION IN LOUISIANA. SHE SAYS HOLLIS WOULD BE A GOVERNOR WITH AN OPEN DOOR WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE INSTEAD OF OUTSIDE INTEREST. HAYNES SAYS SHE STILL BELIEVES IT'S POSSIBLE FOR HOLLIS TO DRAW ENOUGH VOTES TO FORCE A RUNOFF.

A NON PARTISAN RESEARCH GROUP RELEASES SEVERAL SUGGESTIONS ON IMPROVING THE STATE'S DISMAL DROPOUT RATE. THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL SAYS 17-PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO ENTERED HIGH SCHOOL IN 2006 FAILED TO GRADUATE. PAR PRESIDENT ROBERT SCOTT SAYS ONE SOLUTION IS FOR THE STATE AND LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FUND DROPOUT PROGRAMS THAT WORK. THE LEGISLATURE HAS SET A GOAL OF A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE OF 80-PERCENT BY 2014. SCOTT CALLS THAT A TALL ORDER, CONSIDERING THE STATE'S RATE HAS BEEN ABOUT 67-PERCENT IN RECENT YEARS.

LOUISIANA'S OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES SAYS THAT SOME INCORRECT REFUNDS WERE SENT OUT ON VEHICLE RENEWAL LATE FEE ASSESSMENTS BECAUSE AN IMPROPERLY FORMATTED DATA FILE WAS SENT TO THE BANK. OFFICE SPOKESWOMAN MICHELLE RAYBURN SAYS IN A NEWS RELEASE THAT AS SOON AS THE PROGRAMMERS REALIZED THE MISTAKE, THEY NOTIFIED THE BANK AND SENT A CORRECTED FILE. BUT SHE SAYS THAT SOME INCORRECT CHECKS WERE SENT OUT. SHE DID NOT SAY HOW MANY WERE SENT, WHETHER THEY WERE TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL, OR BY HOW MUCH THEY WERE OFF.
RAYBURN SAYS THE BANK WON'T HONOR THOSE CHECKS, AND HAS AGREED TO ABSORB ANY COSTS CAUSED BY THE ERROR. SHE SAYS CORRECTED CHECKS COULD BE MAILED AS SOON AS THIS WEEK.

A BATON ROUGE WOMAN IS SUING FACEBOOK OVER ALLEGATIONS THAT THE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE COLLECTS INFORMATION ON USERS' INTERNET HABITS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION. FORMER LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL RICHARD IEYOUB HAS FILED THE SUIT ON BEHALF OF JANET SEAMON. IEYOUB SAYS FACEBOOK EVEN TRACKS ITS USERS' ONLINE ACTIVITY WHEN THEY ARE NOT LOGGED IN. IEYOUB SAYS THE RECORDING OF DATA WHEN A USER IS NOT LOGGED IN TO FACEBOOK IS A VIOLATION OF WIRETAP LAWS. IEYOUB IS ASKING A JUDGE TO CERTIFY THE SUIT AS CLASS ACTION. A FACEBOOK SPOKESPERSON SAYS THE LAWSUIT IS WITHOUT MERIT AND THEY WILL FIGHT IT VIGOROUSLY. IEYOUB SAYS HE CONSIDERS THIS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER BECAUSE CITIZENS CHERISH THEIR RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE SAYS A NATCHITOCHES STORE MANAGER AND AN EMPLOYEE ARE CHARGED WITH INTENTIONALLY SETTING THE STORE ON FIRE. NATCHITOCHES FIREFIGHTERS FOUND A DOOR ENGULFED IN FLAME AT THE DOLLAR GENERAL STORE, WHICH THEY QUICKLY BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. AN INVESTIGATION LED THEM TO 21-YEAR-OLD STORE MANAGER KIERSTEN MARTIN AND 32-YEAR-OLD MELISSA TUCKER. BOTH ARE CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ARSON; THEIR MOTIVE UNKNOWN YET.

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE NBA SEASON HAVE BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE
PLAYER LOCKOUT, AND GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS THIS COMES AT A BAD TIME FOR THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS. THE STATE SUBSIDIZES THE NBA FRANCHISE, BUT WILL NOT HAVE TO MAKE ANY PAYMENTS TO THE TEAM DURING THIS LOCKOUT. BUT, THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE'S THINKING ABOUT THOSE WHO DEPEND ON THE HORNETS PLAYING. HE HOPES THE TEAM AND PLAYERS CAN REACH AN AGREEMENT SOON.

STATE POLICE IN LAKE CHARLES SAY THEY WILL TICKET BIG RIG DRIVERS WHO IGNORE SIGNS TELLING THEM TO DETOUR AROUND THE CITY ON I-210, AND STAY OFF THE I-10 BRIDGE OVER THE CALCASIEU RIVER. DOTD WILL BE CLOSING LANES WHILE REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS ARE DONE, AND THEY SAY KEEPING TRACTOR TRAILERS OFF THE BRIDGE WILL LESSEN CONGESTION. LSP SAYS MOTORISTS ARE REPORTING TRUCKS ON THE BRIDGE FREQUENTLY, DESPITE THE DETOUR.

LOUISIANA TECH HAS RECEIVED A ONE-MILLION DOLLAR DONATION FROM HUMANA INC. TO HELP FUND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FACILITIES FOR TECH ATHLETICS AND COLLEGE OF BUSINESS. DR. JAMES LUMPKIN, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AT TECH, SAYS HUMANA CEO MIKE MCCALLISTER HAS SHOWN GENEROUS SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY AT TECH. HALF THE MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSITY'S COLLEGE OF BUSINESS BUILDING AND HALF WILL GO TOWARDS TECH'S ATHLETICS
FACILITY CAMPAIGN. LUMPKIN SAYS THEY ARE RELYING ON DONATIONS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THEIR COLLEGE OF BUSINESS BUILDING.

THE LINEUP FOR THE 2012 BAYOU COUNTRY SUPERFEST WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS TODAY. THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND CONCERTS WILL BE HELD IN LSU'S TIGER STADIUM ON MAY 26TH & 27TH. BATON ROUGE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU PRESIDENT PAUL ARRIGO SAYS THE FESTIVAL HAS BECOME A SIGNATURE ECONOMIC EVENT FOR BATON ROUGE AND LOUISIANA.

STATE WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES AGENTS SAY TWO RARE WHOOPING CRANES—THAT WERE PART OF A GOVERNMENT RE-POPULATION PROGRAM--WERE FOUND SHOT DEAD IN JEFF DAVIS PARISH. LDWF SPOKESMAN ADAM EINCK SAYS AGENTS BELIEVE TWO TEENAGE BOYS ARE RESPONSIBLE. EINCK SAYS AGENTS WERE ABLE TO LOCATE THE TWO JUVENILE SUSPECTS MONDAY, BASED ON EYEWITNESS INFORMATION. HE SAYS THEY WERE SPOTTED SHOOTING AT THE CRANES FROM THE ROADWAY, JUST SOUTH OF JENNINGS. THE CRANES WERE PART OF A GROUP OF TEN THAT WERE RELOCATED TO LOUISIANA, AS PART OF A
PLAN TO REINTRODUCE THEM TO THE LOUISIANA MARSH.

SPORTS..

TOP RANKED LSU FACES TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY. NO ONE WILL FORGET LAST YEAR'S GAME BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS. IT LOOKED LIKE LSU HAD LOST TO THE VOLUNTEERS, BUT TENNESSEE HAD TOO MANY MEN ON THE FIELD FOR THE FINAL PLAY. THAT GAVE THE TIGERS A CHANCE TO SCORE THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN. LSU SAFETY ERIC REID HOPES THERE'S LESS DRAMA THIS SATURDAY. THE GAME SATURDAY IN KNOXVILLE KICKS OFF AT 2:30.

LSU CORNERBACK TYRANN MATHIEU CAN ADD ANOTHER AWARD TO HIS EVER GROWING LIST. MATHIEU WAS NAMED THE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD BY THE LOUISIANA SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION. THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME THIS SEASON THAT MATHIEU HAS RECEIVED THE HONOR.

IT'S HOMECOMING ON THE CAMPUS OF UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE.
THE FIVE-AND-ONE RAGIN CAJUNS CONCLUDE A THREE-GAME HOMESTAND BY HOSTING NORTH TEXAS. COACH MARK HUDSPETH SAYS STOPPING MEAN GREEN RUNNING BACK LANCE DUNBAR WILL BE A BIG KEY. THE CAJUNS ARE COMING OFF A HUGE WIN OVER SUN BELT PERENNIAL CHAMPION TROY, BUT HUDSPETH SAYS THE TEAM IS DONE CELEBRATING THAT VICTORY.

THE ULM WARHAWKS WILL BE LOOKING FOR A WIN AT TROY THIS WEEKEND. IN THE SIX MEETINGS AT THE TROJANS' HOME, THE WARHAWKS HAVE LOST EACH TIME. ULM WILL LIKELY NEED A WIN SATURDAY IF THEY WANT TO REMAIN IN CONTENTION IN THE SUNBELT.

THE LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS ARE OFF THIS WEEKEND, BUT IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THEIR NOVEMBER 5TH GAME AGAINST FRESNO STATE WILL BE TELEVISED AT
9:30 CENTRAL TIME ON ESPNU.

IN THE SWAC, AFTER AN OPEN DATE FOR GRAMBILNG, THEY'RE LOOKING TO SNAP A FOUR-GAME SLIDE WITH HOMECOMING AGAINST CONCORDIA SATURDAY.

God Bless America!

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