KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 10/25/11


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 102511
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

BEGINNING TODAY, THE INTERSTATE 49 NORTHBOUND AND SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMPS THAT LEAD ONTO U.S. HIGHWAYS 165/71, NEAR THE BASE OF THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE, WILL BE REALIGNED. THE EXISTING U.S. 165/71 WILL REMAIN IN PLACE, ACCORDING TO THE STATE DOTD. THE WORK ON THE OFF-RAMPS IS RELATED TO THE ONGOING CONSTRUCTION TO REPLACE THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE. THE REVISED CONFIGURATION WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AS EXPECTED MAINTAINS A MAJORITY IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE AFTER THE OCTOBER 22ND PRIMARY. JOHN MAGINNIS, OF LA-POLITICS-DOT-COM, SAYS THE G-O-P PICKED UP TWO MORE SEATS IN THE SENATE AND NOW HAVE 24. HE SAYS THE REPUBLICANS COULD HAVE A STRONG MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE.

REPUBLICAN JIM TUCKER SAYS HE'LL WAIT UNTIL THE VOTING MACHINES ARE OPENED AND THE RESULTS ARE DOUBLE-CHECKED TUESDAY BEFORE CONCEDING HIS LOSS IN THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S RACE TO FELLOW GOP CONTENDER AND CURRENT OFFICEHOLDER TOM SCHEDLER. TUCKER OFFERED HIS CONGRATULATIONS TO SCHEDLER IN A FACEBOOK POSTING AND THANKED HIS SUPPORTERS. BUT IN A PHONE INTERVIEW, TUCKER SAYS THAT WASN'T A CONCESSION. SCHEDLER DEFEATED TUCKER BY FEWER THAN 8,500 VOTES, GARNERING JUST OVER 50 PERCENT. TUCKER SAYS HE'S DOUBTFUL THE OUTCOME WILL CHANGE, BUT HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE NO ANOMALIES SHOW UP WHEN THE VOTING MACHINES ARE OPENED BY LOCAL ELECTIONS OFFICIALS. TUCKER, SPEAKER OF THE LOUISIANA HOUSE, SAYS HE WILL REMAIN POLITICALLY ACTIVE AFTER HIS TERM ENDS IN JANUARY AND MAY RUN FOR ANOTHER OFFICE IN THE FUTURE.

ONE POLITICAL ANALYST SAYS ELECTION NIGHT WASN'T VERY GOOD FOR DAVID VITTER. THE REPUBLICAN US SENATOR BACKED SEVERAL CANDIDATES WHO LOST ON SATURDAY NIGHT INCLUDING PLAQUEMINES PARISH PRESIDENT BILLY NUNGESSER AND OUTGOING HOUSE SPEAKER JIM TUCKER. CLANCY DUBOS SAYS VITTER'S MESSAGE DIDN'T RESONATE WITH VOTERS. DUBOS ALSO SAYS THAT ALL OF THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS THAT VITTER TRIED TO UNSEAT, WERE RE-ELECTED. DUBOS SAYS VITTER WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED IN LOUISIANA POLITICS AND ELECTIONS. HE SAYS VITTER WILL LOOK AT WHAT WENT WRONG THIS TIME AND TRY TO DO BETTER. DUBOS SAYS IT'S NOT LIKE VITTER TO SIT ON THE SIDELINES.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS CONTINUED EDUCATION REFORMS WILL BE A FOCUS OF HIS SECOND TERM IN OFFICE. MR. JINDAL SAYS DESPITE MANY ACHIEVEMENTS OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS, LOUISIANA STILL TRAILS MOST STATES FOR K THRU 12 EDUCATION. JINDAL SAYS HE WANTS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS MORE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR PERFORMANCE, AND TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PARENTS TO KNOW HOW THEIR KIDS' SCHOOLS ARE DOING. JINDAL SAYS BRINGING LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM TO A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD WILL HAVE WIDE-REACHING POSITIVE EFFECTS...:
LOUISIANA RANKS NEAR THE BOTTOM AMONG STATES FOR STUDENT GRADES AND HIGH DROPOUT RATES.

THERE ARE THREE RUNOFFS FOR STATE SENATE SEATS FEATURING FORMER LAWMAKERS WHO ARE SEEKING TO GET THEIR OLD JOB BACK. IN ACADIANA, OPELOUSAS SENATOR ELBERT GUILLORY IS BATTLING OPELOUSAS MAYOR DONALD CRAVINS SR, WHO SERVED IN THE STATE SENATE FOR 16 YEARS. IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA, LEESVILLE SENATOR JOHN SMITH IS IN A RUN-OFF AGAINST THE OUT SPOKEN JAMES DAVID CAIN OF BEAUREGARD PARISH. CAIN SERVED IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE FROM 1972 TO 2008, BEFORE TERM LIMITS FORCED HIM OUT.. AND IN SHREVEPORT...STATE SENATOR LYDIA JACKSON WILL BATTLE FORMER LEGISLATOR GREG TARVER IN A RUN-OFF ON NOVEMBER 19TH.

LAFAYETTE PARISH VOTERS HAVE DECIDED AGAINST DISMANTLING THE COMBINED CITY-PARISH GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE 1996. A BALLOT MEASURE THAT WOULD HAVE UNDONE THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT FAILED SATURDAY.
CITY-PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMAN KENNETH BOUDREAUX, WHO SUPPORTED THE SEPARATION, SAID HE WILL NOW SEEK TO WIN CHANGES IN THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT SETUP TO GIVE THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE MORE AUTONOMY A CHIEF ISSUE IN THE DEBATE OVER SATURDAY'S BALLOT ISSUE.

HURRICANE RINA HAS FORMED IN THE CARIBBEAN, BUT IT MAY BE DAYS YET BEFORE WE KNOW IF IT WILL ENTER THE GULF AND APPROACH LOUISIANA'S COAST. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS RINA IS LOCATED SOUTHEAST OF BELIZE AND MEXICO'S YUCATAN PENINSULA; PACKING 75 MILE-AN-HOUR WINDS. COMPUTER MODELS VARY ON RINA'S POSSIBLE COURSE; SOME TAKING IT INTO MEXICO'S MAINLAND & SOME SHOWING IT TURNING NORTHEAST TOWARD FLORIDA. KEIM SAYS LOUISIANA'S CURRENT WEATHER SHOULD HELP TO STEER RINA AWAY.

BATON ROUGE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF A 1-YEAR-OLD CHILD WHO WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE EARLY SUNDAY. EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AND POLICE ARRIVED AT THE CHILD'S HOME ABOUT 6 A.M. SUNDAY AND NOTICED UNUSUAL BRUISING ON THE CHILD. AN AUTOPSY IS PENDING POLICE SAY THERE WERE THREE OTHER CHILDREN, TWO OF WHOM HAD SIGNS OF GROSS NEGLECT, IN THE HOME. ALL THREE HAVE BEEN PLACED IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY.

A SHREVEPORT MAN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS FOR GAY BASHING. WILLIAM PAYNE WAS SENTENCED MONDAY IN STATE DISTRICT COURT, JUST DAYS AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO ATTACKING A MAN WITH A POOL CUE. PAYNE APOLOGIZED FOR ATTACKING JOHN SKAGGS INSIDE A DOWNTOWN SHREVEPORT CLUB IN JANUARY. HE TOLD THE COURTROOM HE WAS HIGH AND DRUNK THE NIGHT HE WHACKED SKAGGS IN THE HEAD WITH A PLASTIC POOL CUE. SKAGGS SUFFERED HORRIFIC FACIAL INJURIES. PAYNE WAS SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS FOR AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND FIVE YEARS FOR THE HATE CRIME.

A BOSSIER CITY FAMILY IS MAKING FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR A TEENAGED BOY KILLED IN A BIZARRE BICYCLE ACCIDENT OVER THE WEEKEND. WITNESSES TOLD POLICE 13-YEAR-OLD MARCUS GRIFFIN WAS RIDING HIS BICYCLE ON SUNDAY, WHEN IT APPEARED THE CHAIN ON HIS BIKE LOCKED UP, THROWING HIM OVER THE HANDLEBARS. POLICE SAY HE STRUCK HIS HEAD ON THE PAVEMENT. HE WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH HAS AWARDED THE LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS A 5-YEAR, 9 MILLION GRANT TO DEVELOP A VACCINE TO FIGHT A MAJOR CAUSE OF PNEUMONIA IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE HIV. DR. JUDD SHELLITO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ON THIS PROJECT AND HE SAYS PNEUMONIA IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR PEOPLE WITH LOW IMMUNITY. SHELLITO SAYS A VACCINE WOULD LOWER THE COST OF TREATING HIV AND IMPROVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH HIV. HE SAYS THE VACCINE COULD ALSO BE USEFUL IN PROTECTING REGULAR INDIVIDUALS FROM DEVELOPING PNEUMONIA.
 

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