KSYL Local News

News For Friday 11/4/11


\NEWS FOR FRIDAY 110411
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

NOW FOR THE LATEST CHAPTER IN THE ONGOING BATTLE BETWEEN THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL AND THE ADMINISTRATION. CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT JOHNSON HAS SUBPOENAED MAYOR JACQUES ROY AND KEY MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF, ORDERING THEM TO APPEAR BEFORE THE COUNCIL AT A SPECIAL MEETING DECEMBER 1ST AND PRODUCE DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO THE OPERATION OF THE ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL. IN ADDITION TO THE SUBPOENAS, JOHNSON SENT A COPY OF SECTION 2-08 OF THE CITY'S HOME RULE CHARTER, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE COUNCIL TO INVESTIGATE ANY CITY DEPARTMENT AND THE OVERALL "AFFAIRS OF THE CITY," AS WELL AS A COPY OF A RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE COUNCIL ON OCT. 18 THAT AUTHORIZED THE COUNCIL'S FINANCE COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL'S FINANCIAL STATUS. JOHNSON SAYS HE BECAME CONCERNED OVER A TOTAL OF ROUGHLY $200,000 THAT THE CITY HAS SPENT IN RECENT MONTHS FOR CAPITAL REPAIRS AT THE HOTEL, SOMETHING THAT "RAISED A RED FLAG.

IT’S OVER FOR NOW, THE FEDERAL BRIBERY TRIAL OF FORMER RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JUROR STEVE BORDELON ENDED IN A MISTRIAL LAST NIGHT WHEN THE JURY COULD NOT REACH A UNANIMOUS DECISION AFTER 2½ DAYS OF DELIBERATION. THE 72 YEAR OLD BORDELON FACED UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON AND A FINE IF HE HAD BEEN CONVICTED ON THE ONE COUNT OF BRIBERY. BUT, BORDELON’S TROUBLES ARE NOT OVER YET, THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WANTS A RETRIAL. THE JUDGE GAVE THE GOVERNMENT 120 DAYS TO DO SO.

SOME ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS STILL WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY'S TRASH PICKUP SERVICE IMPROVED. COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT JOHNSON HAS CONTINUED TO PUSH FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A CITYWIDE TRASH PICKUP SCHEDULE, SIMILAR TO WHAT THE CITY DOES WHEN IT PICKS UP HOUSEHOLD GARBAGE. HOWEVER, MAYOR JACQUES ROY AND HIS STAFF MEMBERS, INCLUDING PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR T.W. THOMPSON, HAVE SAID A SIMILAR SCHEDULE IS NOT FEASIBLE. UNLIKE GARBAGE, IT'S NOT POSSIBLE TO SET A SCHEDULE BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T CUT TREE LIMBS OR DO MAJOR CLEANING PROJECTS ON A REGULAR BASIS. THE CITY RUNS FIVE LIMB TRUCKS PER WEEK, WITH AN ADDITIONAL FOUR TRUCKS OUT OF COMMISSION FOR REPAIRS. THOSE TRUCKS ROAM NEIGHBORHOODS THROUGHOUT THE CITY PICKING UP DEBRIS, AND THOMPSON SAID THE AVERAGE PICKUP TIME IS BETWEEN NINE AND 10 DAYS AT THIS POINT.

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHERE THE TEMPERATURES ARE UP ONE WEEK AND DOWN THE NEXT. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS ANOTHER COOL FRONT HAS SETTLED OVER THE STATE BRINGING IN SOME CHILLY DRY AIR TODAY. KEIM SAYS THIS IS PACIFIC AIR MOVING IN RATHER THAN CANADIAN AIR SO IT'S NOT QUITE AS COLD AS IT WAS LAST WEEK AND HE DOESN'T EXPECT FREEZING TEMPERATURES. KEIM SAYS IT'S GOING TO BE A DELIGHTFUL WEEKEND. KEIM SAYS NOT ONLY IS THE WEATHER GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL THIS WEEKEND FOR US HERE WATCHING THE LSU/BAMA GAME OUTDOORS ON TV, BUT THOSE TRAVELING TO BRYANT DENNY STADIUM WILL GET SOME NICE WEATHER TOO. HE SAYS MORNING TEMPERATURES IN TUSCALOOSA SATURDAY WILL BE IN THE LOW 40S, AND BY KICKOFF TEMPS WILL BE AROUND 55.

A CAR INSURANCE WEBSITE'S REPORT INDICATES THAT LOUISIANA HAS THE WORST DRIVERS IN THE NATION, OVERALL. THE STUDY COMPILED STATE-BY-STATE DATA ON TRAFFIC DEATHS, TICKETS ISSUED, DWIS, CARELESS OPERATION AND DISREGARD FOR TRAFFIC LAWS. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON SAYS POOR DRIVING HABITS ARE WHY OUR CAR INSURANCE RATES ARE SO HIGH. THE WEBSITE CAR INSURANCE COMPARISON.COM" SHOWS LOUISIANA FINISHING IN THE BOTTOM 10 STATES IN EACH CATEGORY. ONLY MONTANA HAS MORE ANNUAL TRAFFIC DEATHS.

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S INVESTIGATION INTO YESTERDAY'S ACCIDENT AT THE STATE FAIR IN SHREVEPORT IS FOCUSING ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT SOMEONE MAY HAVE RESTARTED THE RIDE THAT SENT A 4-YEAR-OLD CHILD TO THE HOSPITAL IN CRITICAL CONDITION. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS THEY ELIMINATED MECHANICAL OR ELECTRICAL FAILURE AS THE CAUSE. WITNESS ACCOUNTS REPORTED THE RIDE SUDDENLY RESTARTED AS CHILDREN, INCLUDING FOUR-YEAR-OLD SHELDON LEWIS, WERE GETTING OFF. HE WAS PINNED UNDER ONE OF THE CARS. SHELDON REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.

CALCASIEU PARISH SHERIFF'S INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY'VE TURNED UP NO EVIDENCE THAT CYBERBULLYING LED TO THE OCTOBER 25TH SUICIDE OF A LAKE CHARLES TEEN. SPECIALISTS COMBED THROUGH 15-YEAR-OLD HANNAH PAULEY'S COMPUTER AND CELL PHONE FOR E-MAILS, TEXT MESSAGES, ANY EVIDENCE. THEY ALSO SAYS IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE SHE WAS VICTIM OF VERBAL OR FACE-TO-FACE BULLYING, UNLESS SOMEONE COMES FORWARD.

LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD MAJOR GENERAL BENNETT LANDRENEAU IS RETIRING, AFTER 40 YEARS IN MILITARY SERVICE--THE LAST 14 AS THE LNG'S ADJUTANT GENERAL. LANDRENEAU LED THE GUARD'S RESPONSES TO KATRINA, RITA, GUSTAV AND IKE. AS HE EXITS, BRIGADIER GENERAL GLENN CURTIS TAKES OVER, AND LANDRENEAU SAYS THE GUARD IS IN GOOD HANDS.

A TEENAGE MOM IN TALLULAH IS JAILED FOR 2ND-DEGREE MURDER FOR THE JULY DEATH OF HER 2-MONTH OLD BABY GIRL. STATE POLICE TROOPER MARK DENNIS SAYS 16-YEAR-OLD AMANDA LEE WILL BE TRIED AS AN ADULT. DENNIS SAYS THE BABY DIED OF PNEUMONIA, CAUSED BY A BROKEN RIB THAT PUNCTURED HER LUNG. HE SAYS THE BABY HAD OTHER EVIDENCE OF PHYSICAL ABUSE.

THREE YEARS AGO TODAY, BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.; TAKING 53% OF THE POPULAR VOTE. DR. PEARSON CROSS, HEAD OF UL- LAFAYETTE'S POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT, SAYS THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST THREE YEARS IN OFFICE HAVE BEEN A ROLLER COASTER. CROSS SAYS OBAMA'S BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR HAS BEEN PASSING HIS HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION. HE SAYS LOW POINTS FOR OBAMA HAVE BEEN LESS-THAN-SUCCESSFUL STIMULUS PLANS, HIGH FEDERAL DEBT, THE POOR ECONOMY AND HIS SEEMING INABILITY TO WORK WITH CONGRESS SINCE THE 2010 ELECTION. LOOKING TO NEXT FALL, WHAT ARE THE PRESIDENT'S CHANCES OF A SECOND TERM? CROSS SAYS IF THE ECONOMY DOESN'T IMPROVE, OBAMA'S CHANCES AT 4 MORE YEARS DIMINISH.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS HE AND ALABAMA GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY HAVE A GENTLEMAN'S WAGER ON SATURDAY'S LSU-BAMA GAME. IF THE TIGERS WIN, BENTLEY WILL PROVIDE FOR MR. JINDAL TUSCALOOSA'S FAMOUS "MAMMOTH" SANDWICH, FROM THE RAMA JAMA RESTAURANT; WHICH FEATURES 13 STRIPS OF BACON. A CRIMSON TIDE WIN MEANS JINDAL PROVIDES A NICE BIG LOUISIANA SEAFOOD DINNER. JINDAL SAYS HE'S STOKED FOR THE GAME OF THE CENTURY.

STATE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES HAS RESTOCKED THE PEARL RIVER WITH FISH, FOLLOWING THE AUGUST POLLUTION DISCHARGE THAT KILLED OVER A HALF-MILLION FISH AND FRESHWATER MUSSELS. LDWF RELEASE 30-THOUSAND CHANNEL CATFISH AND ABOUT 24-THOUSAND YOUNG BLUEGILL INTO THE RIVER YESTERDAY.

BIG CHANGES ARE COMING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA – LAFAYETTE CAMPUS. OFFICIALS ARE PUTTING THE FINAL TOUCHES ON A MASTER PLAN THAT WOULD PROVIDE THE BLUEPRINT FOR FUTURE GROWTH. LEAD ARCHITECT, STEVEN OUBRE, SAYS THE PLAN CALLS FOR MORE GREEN SPACES, IMPROVED TRANSIT AND HOUSING, AND REMODELED PEDESTRIAN PATHS. PLUS HE SAYS THE CAMPUS WILL BE BIKE FRIENDLY. THE PLAN ALSO FEATURES AN EXPANSION OF THE CAJUNDOME.

A PRAIRIEVILLE MAN HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO A CHARGE HE SHOT AND WOUNDED TWO HISPANIC MEN IN WHAT FEDERAL PROSECUTORS CALL A RACIALLY MOTIVATED ATTACK.
FIFTY-YEAR-OLD MARK GAUTREAU FACES UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON AND A $250,000 FINE FOLLOWING HIS GUILTY PLEA THURSDAY TO ONE COUNT OF ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON. PROSECUTORS SAY GAUTREAU FIRED A SINGLE SHOTGUN BLAST AT FOUR HISPANIC MEN WHO WERE FISHING ON THE BONNET CARRE SPILLWAY IN ST. CHARLES PARISH ON AUG. 20, 2006. TWO OF THE MEN WERE WOUNDED AND HOSPITALIZED.
BEFORE THE SHOOTING, GAUTREAU ALLEGEDLY TOLD A BYSTANDER THAT HE INTENDED TO "SHOOT SOME MEXICANS." PROSECUTORS SAID THE VICTIMS DIDN'T THREATEN GAUTREAU IN ANY WAY. GAUTREAU WAS CHARGED IN SEPTEMBER. HIS SENTENCING IS SET FOR FEB. 9.

STATE HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN SAID THURSDAY HIS OFFICE IS LAUNCHING A STATEWIDE OUTREACH CAMPAIGN TO TELL MEDICAID RECIPIENTS ABOUT CHANGES THAT WILL RUN MUCH OF THE MEDICAID PROGRAM THROUGH MANAGED CARE NETWORKS. ABOUT 865,000 LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS WHO GET MEDICAL TREATMENT THROUGH MEDICAID, MOSTLY CHILDREN, WILL BE STEERED INTO THE "COORDINATED CARE NETWORKS," WHICH WILL BE A LARGELY INSURANCE-BASED MODEL WHEN FULLY PHASED IN BY MID-2012. THE PROGRAM IS BEING CALLED BAYOU HEALTH. THE CHANGES WILL BEGIN FIRST IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA FEB. 1

God Bless America!

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