KSYL Local News

News For Friday 11/18/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 111811
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE ALEXANDRIA HOUSING AUTHORITY IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO HIRING A NEW DIRECTOR. THE AUTHORITY BOARD YESTERDAY ASKED IT’S ATTORNEY TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS WITH BOBBY COLLINS, THE CURRENT WINFIELD HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR. THE 40 YEAR OLD COLLINS WAS ONE OF 26 APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITY AFTER A NATIONWIDE SEARCH EARLIER THIS YEAR. NO WORD YET AS TO WHAT THE JOB WILL PAY.

TOMORROW IS ELECTION DAY ACROSS LOUISIANA, BUT BASED ON TOTALS FOR EARLY VOTING, THIS THE TURNOUT IS EXPECTED TO BE VERY LOW. SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER SAYS HIS OFFICE IS PREDICTING AS FEW AS 20-PERCENT OF REGISTERED VOTERS WILL TAKE PART IN TOMORROW'S ELECTION. THERE IS ONLY ONE STATEWIDE BALLOT ISSUE AND NO STATEWIDE OFFICES TO BE SETTLED. SCHEDLER SAYS THERE WILL BE HIGHER POCKETS OF ACTIVITY DEPENDING ON A VARIETY OF LOCAL RACES.

THE CHRISTMAS SEASON OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF IN NATCHITOCHES THIS WEEKEND WITH THE 85TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. NATCHITOCHES CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRIS HARPER SAYS WHEN THE LIGHTS TURN ON AT 6:30 SATURDAY NIGHT, THE 45 NIGHTS OF CELEBRATIONS WILL BEGIN. HARPER SAYS THE FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE LOTS OF ENTERTAINMENT, GREAT FOOD---INCLUDING THE STAPLE NATCHITOCHES MEAT PIES, FIREWORKS SHOWS AND OF COURSE, SANTA. ABOUT 100,000 PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THIS YEAR’S FESTIVITIES,

A MARKSVILLE MAN WAS FOUND GUILTY OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER THURSDAY IN THE KILLING OF A DRUG-ADDICTED MAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND BURNING OFF A LONELY AVOYELLES PARISH ROAD IN JANUARY. MATTHEW CONWAY, WHO WAS 22 AT THE TIME OF THE SLAYING, WAS CONVICTED BY AN EIGHT-WOMAN, FOUR-MAN JURY WHICH DELIBERATED FOR ABOUT AN HOUR. CONWAY WAS CONVICTED OF KILLING 27-YEAR-OLD DEREK J. DESSELLE OF VICK. THE JURY'S VERDICT THURSDAY WAS UNANIMOUS, AND CONWAY WILL SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE IN PRISON.

FEDERAL HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE GIVEN LOUISIANA THE GREEN LIGHT TO IMPLEMENT A BRAND NEW MODEL FOR DELIVERING HEALTH CARE VIA THE MEDICAID SYSTEM. STATE HEALTH & HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN SAYS IT'S THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN THE HISTORY OF LOUISIANA MEDICAID. GREENSTEIN SAYS BAYOU HEALTH WILL PHASE IN OVER THE NEXT 7 MONTHS, AND WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL MEDICAID AND LACHIP ENROLLEES.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY HAS DONATED 13,456 POUNDS OF PET FOOD TO FIVE LOUISIANA ANIMAL SHELTERS. COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS THE FOOD, GIVEN TO THE STATE BY NATIONAL PET FOOD PRODUCER HILL'S PET NUTRITION, WAS UNUSED FROM THE STATE'S EMERGENCY PET SHELTERING RESPONSE TO THIS YEAR'S SPRING FLOOD EVENT. HE SAYS BECAUSE THE FLOODING DIDN'T CAUSE A LARGE SCALE PET EVACUATION, THE COMPANY AGREED TO LET THE STATE DONATE THE FOOD TO ANIMAL SHELTERS BEFORE ITS USE-BY DATE EXPIRES. ONE OF THE SHELTERS GETTING THE FOOD IT THE ALEXANDRIA ANIMAL SHELTER.


THE STATE POLICE'S CRIME LAB HAS WIPED OUT THE BACKLOG OF DNA CASES, AFTER YEARS OF STRIVING TO CHIP AWAY AT THE THOUSANDS OF UNTESTED SAMPLES.
THE LOUISIANA STATE POLICE AND GOV. BOBBY JINDAL ANNOUNCED THE ACHIEVEMENT THURSDAY, SAYING THE STATE CRIME LAB IS PROCESSING DNA SAMPLES AS THEY COME IN NOW, TO ASSIST LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. THE DNA SAMPLES ARE COLLECTED, ANALYZED AND CATALOGUED IN THE HOPES THAT THEY COULD HELP LINK PEOPLE TO UNSOLVED CRIMES.

A ST. MARTIN PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES HAVE RECOVERED THE BODY OF A BREAUX BRIDGE WOMAN FROM LAKE MARTIN. THE BODY OF 83-YEAR-OLD JESSIE MESSEX WAS DISCOVERED BY A DEPUTY ON ROUTINE PATROL EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. THE CAUSE OF DEATH REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

WHEN A TAX-FREE RECOVERY BOND PROGRAM TO HELP SPUR PRIVATE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA ENDS NEXT MONTH, THE STATE WILL HAVE DOLED OUT NEARLY EVERY DOLLAR OF THE $7.8 BILLION BOND CAPACITY. WHIT KLING, DIRECTOR OF THE BOND COMMISSION, WHICH OVERSEES THE PROGRAM, TOLD THE PANEL THURSDAY THAT ONLY $181 IN BOND CAPACITY REMAINS IN LOUISIANA'S GULF OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROGRAM. THE PROGRAM, SET UP BY CONGRESS, EXPIRES AT YEAR'S END.
GO ZONE BONDS WERE AVAILABLE TO PROJECTS IN 31 HURRICANE-AFFECTED PARISHES. THE PROJECTS ARE GIVEN A SPECIAL BORROWING STATUS TO ENABLE BUSINESSES TO BORROW MONEY MORE CHEAPLY. A PORTION OF THE MONEY WAS SET ASIDE FOR PARISHES MOST HEAVILY DAMAGED BY THE STORMS. BUT SOME COULDN'T USE THEIR FULL ALLOCATIONS AND GAVE THEM TO LESS-DAMAGED AREAS.

AN ESCAPEE FROM A LOUISIANA PRISON IS ACCUSED OF ABDUCTING AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A 12-YEAR-OLD COLORADO SPRINGS GIRL AS SHE WALKED TO A BUS STOP. COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE THURSDAY ANNOUNCED THAT DNA COLLECTED IN THE INVESTIGATION MATCHED THAT OF 22-YEAR-OLD LEONARD WAYNE PALMER. PALMER AND FELLOW INMATE CHARLES MAGURN ESCAPED FROM THE WEST CARROLL DETENTION CENTER IN EPPS, LA., ON OCT. 14. AUTHORITIES CAPTURED MAGURN ON OCT. 24 WITH PALMER CAPTURED THE NEXT DAY, HOURS AFTER THE GIRL REPORTED BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. POLICE SAY PALMER QUICKLY BECAME A PERSON OF INTEREST AFTER AN ALERT PATROLMAN RECOGNIZED PALMER FROM THE DESCRIPTION PROVIDED BY THE GIRL. PALMER FACES CHARGES OF KIDNAPPING AND SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A CHILD. PALMER HAD BEEN SERVING TIME FOR BURGLARY, FORGERY AND ESCAPE.






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