KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday Morning 11/16/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 111611
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A PINEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER AND COACH ACCUSED OF HAVING SEX WITH A STUDENT WILL BE UP FOR DISMISSAL AT THE NEXT RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD MEETING.
TIM RODRIGUEZ WAS SUSPENDED LAST WEEK AFTER HIS ARREST. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT CONDUCTED AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AFTER THE ARREST AND ON TUESDAY, THE BOARD'S PERSONNEL COMMITTEE PASSED ON TO THE FULL BOARD A MOTION TO DISMISS RODRIGUEZ. THE BOARD WILL TAKE ACTION ON THE MOTION AT ITS DECEMBER MEETING.

AT YESTERDAY’S ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL MEETING, FIVE RESIDENTS OF THE LOWER THIRD STREET NEIGHBORHOOD SPOKEN OUT AGAINST ANOTHER POTENTIAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT. ONE RESIDENT PRODUCED A PETITION WITH 18 SIGNATURES ASKING THE COUNCIL TO STOP THE PROJECT. THE COUNCIL WAS CONSIDERING CHANGING THE ZONING OF 46.6 ACRES ON LOWER THIRD STREET FROM AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT TO MULTI-FAMILY TO ALLOW FOR THE DEVELOPMENT. THE COUNCIL VOTED 7-0 AGAINST THE REZONING. THE RESIDENTS OBJECT TO THE MULTI-FAMILY DESIGNATION BECAUSE THEY FELT IT WOULD DEVALUE THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, ALTHOUGH THE PROJECT’S DEVELOPER TOLD THE ASSEMBLED THE HOUSES ACTUALLY WOULD HAVE BEEN SINGLE-FAMILY MODULAR COTTAGE HOMES, WITH A PRICE TAG OF 55,000 TO $65,000.

THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE IS PREDICTING A LOW TURNOUT FOR SATURDAY'S ELECTION AFTER FEWER THAN 4 PERCENT OF LOUISIANA'S REGISTERED VOTERS CAST BALLOTS IN EARLY VOTING. THE FINAL TOTALS SHOWED ABOUT 101,000 OF THE STATE'S 2.9 MILLION VOTERS VOTED IN ADVANCE. ONLY 36 PERCENT OF VOTERS SHOWED UP FOR THE OCT. 22 PRIMARY, WHEN FIVE STATEWIDE OFFICES WERE ON THE BALLOT. FIRST ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE KYLE ARDOIN SAYS THAT SATURDAY'S TURNOUT COULD BE AS LOW AS 18 PERCENT TO 20 PERCENT.

SOME STATE LAWMAKERS WANT TO CHANGE LEGISLATION SAYING SOLDIERS WHO SERVE MORE THAN ONE TOUR OF DUTY ARE NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR THE TOPS SCHOLARSHIP. BENTON STATE SENATOR ROBERT ADLEY SAYS THE LAW STATES ANY SOLDIERS WHO APPLY FOR TOPS HAVE TO DO SO WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF ENLISTING. THE BATON ROUGE ADVOCATE REPORTS A 27-YEAR-OLD VETERAN IS INELIGIBLE FOR TOPS AID AFTER SPENDING NINE YEARS IN THE MARINE CORPS.

INCASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, OUR KIDS HERE IN LOUISIANA ARE GETTING FATTER.. OFFICIALS SAY THE PERCENTAGE OF OBESE KIDS IN LOUISIANA HAS NEARLY DOUBLED SINCE 1999, AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE STATE'S SCHOOLCHILDREN GET LESS THAN 20 MINUTES OF VIGOROUS ACTIVITY A DAY. STATE HEALTH SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN SAYS THE OBESITY RATE WAS 17.7 PERCENT IN 1999 AND IS NOW NEARLY 34 PERCENT. HE SAYS THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS WORKING ON A WEBSITE TO TRACK EXERCISE AND GOALS, LETTING FAMILIES WORK TOGETHER AND CHALLENGE OTHERS. THE 2011 FITNESS REPORT CARD FOR LOUISIANA'S CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS WAS RELEASED TUESDAY.

FANS OF THE LOTTERY ARE GETTING A NEW OPTION TODAY AS LOUISIANA IS TAKING PART IN THE MULTI-STATE MEGA MILLIONS DRAWINGS. KIMBERLY CHOPIN WITH THE LOUISIANA LOTTERY SAYS MEGA MILLIONS TICKETS COST $1 PER PLAY BY SELECTING FIVE NUMBERS FROM A FIELD OF 56 AND ONE YELLOW MEGA BALL NUMBER FROM A FIELD OF 46. CHOPIN SAYS MEGA MILLIONS IS A LOT LIKE THE POWERBALL AND FEATURES A STARTING JACKPOT OF $12 MILLION THAT KEEPS GROWING IF IT'S NOT HIT. CHOPIN SAYS MEGA MILLIONS IS PLAYED IN 41 STATES AND DRAWINGS ARE HELD ON TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS.

STATE POLICE AND LOCAL LAWMEN IN OUACHITA PARISH BUST 13 BUSINESSES FOR ILLEGAL SALES OF BANNED SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA AND "EXOTIC BATH SALTS". TROOPER MARK DENNIS SAYS A JOINT INVESTIGATION BY LSP AND MONROE POLICE LED TO SEARCH AND ARREST WARRANTS FOR THE SHOPS. HE SAYS MANY WERE TOBACCO SPECIALTY STORES. DENNIS SAYS TROOPERS AND MONROE NARCOTICS COPS SEIZED SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA PRODUCTS, BATH SALTS, WHICH ARE A SYNTHETIC FORM OF COCAINE, PLUS GLASS PIPES AND OTHER DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. TROOPER DENNIS SAYS SOME SHOPS WEREN'T EVEN TRYING TO HIDE THE ILLEGAL ITEMS. DENNIS SAYS THE INVESTIGATION IS STILL UNDERWAY, AND THERE MAY BE MORE SEARCHES, SEIZURES AND ARRESTS TO COME.

THE CHIEF OF THE SPRINGHILL POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT HAS A BLACK EYE TODAY. WILL LYND SAYS ONE OF THEIR RESERVE OFFICERS WAS ARRESTED BECAUSE HE ALLEGEDLY HAD SEX WITH A FEMALE INMATE WHILE TRANSPORTING HER TO ANOTHER JAIL. LYND SAYS 27-YEAR-OLD OFFICER CHARLES BLANKS WAS TRANSFERRING THE FEMALE INMATE WHO WAS BEING EXTRADITED TO ARKANSAS WHERE SHE WAS FACING SOME CHARGES. UPON ARRIVING, THE INMATE INFORMED AUTHORITIES OF THE ENCOUNTER. BLANKS ADMITTED TO HAVING SEX WITH THE WOMAN AND WAS BOOKED ON A CHARGE OF MALFEASANCE IN OFFICE BY ENGAGING IN SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH AN INMATE.

A 32-YEAR-OLD HOUMA MAN IS ACCUSED OF BURNING HIS STEP-SON IN THE FACE WITH A CIGARETTE. TERREBONNE PARISH AUTHORITIES SAY THE SIX-YEAR-OLD TOLD THEM HIS STEP FATHER, JAMES WELLS WOULD BURN HIS FACE WITH A CIGARETTE WHEN HE WAS BAD. POLICE SAY WELLS IS CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE CRUELTY TO A JUVENILE AND ALSO DOMESTIC ABUSE BATTERY AFTER HE ADMITTED HITTING HIS WIFE AS WELL.

THE ENERGY COMPANY PLANNING TO BUILD A $120 MILLION WOOD PELLET PLANT IN PORT ALLEN SAYS IT HAS SIGNED A CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT, AND THE CONTI GROUP IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN WORK IN MARCH. WILLIAM NEW IS CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF POINT BIO ENERGY LLC. HE SAYS CONSTRUCTION IS TO START AT THE END OF THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2012, AND POINT BIO PLANS TO BEGIN DELIVERIES IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2013.
HE SAYS HE HAS CONTRACTS WITH EUROPEAN UTILITIES WHICH PLAN TO BURN THE PELLETS WITH COAL TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF CARBON RELEASED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. HE WOULDN'T IDENTIFY THE UTILITIES. THE PELLETS ARE MADE FROM PULPWOOD AND SMALL TREES THINNED OUT OF FORESTS TO LET OTHER TREES GROW FASTER.

BP HAS LOST TWO BIG RULINGS IN ITS FIGHT TO SHIELD ITSELF FROM POTENTIALLY HAVING TO PAY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE IN DAMAGES RELATED TO THE WORST OFFSHORE OIL SPILL IN U.S. HISTORY. A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED TUESDAY THAT BP PLC IS NOT ENTITLED TO COVERAGE FOR THE SPILL UNDER INSURANCE POLICIES TOTALING $750 MILLION HELD BY TRANSOCEAN LTD., OWNER OF THE DEEPWATER HORIZON RIG THAT BP WAS LEASING AT THE TIME OF LAST YEAR'S GULF OF MEXICO DISASTER. THE SAME JUDGE RULED MONDAY THAT ALABAMA AND LOUISIANA CAN PURSUE PUNITIVE DAMAGES AGAINST BP AND OTHER COMPANIES.

LT. GOV. JAY DARDENNE SAYS LOW-WATER LEVELS ARE NO REASONS FOR TOURISTS AND LOCALS ALIKE TO STAY AWAY FROM THE TOLEDO BEND RESERVOIR. DARDENNE SAID TUESDAY THAT THE WATERWAY REMAINS OPEN FOR FISHING AND OTHER TYPES OF WATER RECREATION, DESPITE LOW WATER LEVELS. DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE FORCED CLOSURE OF MANY OF THE RESERVOIR'S BOAT LAUNCHES, BUT DARDENNE SAYS DREDGING AND CYPRESS STUMP REMOVAL ARE EASING NAVIGATION IN THE BOAT LANES. BUT ONCE INSIDE THE RESERVOIR, HE SAYS THE FISHING IS SPECTACULAR.




 

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