KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday Morning 11/23/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 112311
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LOCAL AND STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT BIOFUELS COMPANY SUNDROP FUELS, INC. WILL BUILD ITS FIRST PRODUCTION FACILITY NEAR ALEXANDRIA. THE APPROXIMATELY $450 MILLION PLANT WILL SIT ON MORE THAN 1,200 ACRES OF LAND JUST OFF INTERSTATE 49 NORTHWEST OF ALEXANDRIA, ADJACENT TO COWBOY TOWN IN THE RAPIDES STATION AREA. ONCE UP AND RUNNING, THE FACILITY WILL EMPLOY ABOUT 150 PEOPLE WITH AN AVERAGE SALARY OF $58,000 A YEAR. CONSTRUCTION ON THE PLANT IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN NEXT YEAR. PRODUCTION IS EXPECTED TO START BY THE END OF 2014. THE FACILITY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE UP TO 50 MILLION GALLONS OF FUEL PER YEAR. THE COMPANY PLANS TO OPEN NEW FACILITIES YEARLY AND HAVE A TOTAL PRODUCTION CAPACITY OF MORE THAN ONE BILLION GALLONS ANNUALLY BY 2020.

GOVERNOR JINDAL SAYS MARITIME INTERNATIONAL, A COMPANY THAT MAKES MOORING COMPONENTS FOR HARBORS, IS MOVING ITS PRODUCTION FACILITIES FROM CHINA TO BROUSSARD, IN LAFAYETTE PARISH. THE MOVE MEANS 90 DIRECT JOBS AND 150 NEW INDIRECT JOBS. MARITIME WILL START BUILDING THEIR FACILITY EARLY NEXT YEAR.

AN ALEXANDRIA TEENAGER WHO WAS SHOT AND WOUNDED MONDAY WAS ARRESTED AFTER HE WAS RELEASED FROM A LOCAL HOSPITAL, CHARGED IN A ROBBERY THAT OCCURRED DURING THE WEEKEND. 17 YEAR OLD ROBERT TAYLOR WAS SHOT IN THE LEG WHILE IN THE 400 BLOCK OF BENNETT STREET JUST AFTER 5 P.M. MONDAY. FOLLOWING HIS RELEASE FROM THE HOSPITAL, TAYLOR WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY APD DETECTIVES AND ARRESTED ON A WARRANT FOR ONE COUNT OF ARMED ROBBERY, THAT OCCURRED SATURDAY IN THE 3600 BLOCK OF THIRD STREET. THE CASE REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

LOUISIANA'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE ROSE SLIGHTLY IN OCTOBER, BUT THE OUTLOOK WAS BETTER COMPARED TO THE SAME MONTH LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO FIGURES RELEASED TUESDAY. THE LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION SAID THE STATE'S PRELIMINARY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN OCTOBER WAS 7.1 PERCENT, UP FROM SEPTEMBER'S REVISED RATE OF 6.9 PERCENT. BUT LAST MONTH'S RATE WAS LOWER THAN THE OCTOBER 2010 RATE OF 7.5 PERCENT. OVER THE YEAR, THE GOODS-PRODUCING SECTOR GAINED 12,800 JOBS, WHILE THE SERVICE-PROVIDING SECTOR ADDED 31,300 JOBS. GOVERNMENT JOBS FELL BY 600 OVER THE SAME PERIOD. UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FELL IN THREE-QUARTERS OF U.S. STATES LAST MONTH, A SIGN THAT MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY ARE EXPERIENCING MODEST JOB GAINS.

SENATOR DAVID VITTER IS SAYING "I TOLD YOU SO". THE SENATOR SAYS HE'S NOT SURPRISED THAT THE BIPARTISAN SUPER COMMITTEE IN CONGRESS FAILED TO AGREE ON A TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEFICIT REDUCTIONS. HE SAYS THE PANEL HAD TOO MANY EXTREME PARTISANS WHO WERE UNWILLING TO COMPROMISE. VITTER SAYS, HE WILL SEEK DEFICIT CUTS LEGISLATIVELY INSTEAD. VITTER SAYS HE VOTED AGAINST CREATING THE SUPER COMMITTEE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THE LONGTIME DIRECTOR OF THE MONROE REGIONAL AIRPORT HAS BEEN FIRED TODAY. NO OFFICIAL REASON FOR CLEVE NORRELL'S TERMINATION WAS GIVEN. THE NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL, WHICH OPENED LAST MONTH IS PLAGUED WITH PROBLEMS. JETWAYS ARE THE WRONG HEIGHT TO LINK WITH PLANES, A DE-ICER UNIT WAS INSTALLED IMPROPERLY AND THE OBSERVATION DECK DOESN'T GIVE A VIEW OF PLANES COMING AND GOING; IT LOOKS AT ANOTHER BUILDING.

WITH THE LEGISLATIVE RUNOFFS NOW DECIDED, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS TAKEN COMFORTABLE MAJORITIES IN BOTH THE STATE HOUSE AND SENATE. 58 REPUBLICANS IN THE 105-MEMBER HOUSE, AND 24 REPUBLICANS IN THE 39-MEMBER SENATE. POLITICAL ANALYST CLANCY DUBOS SAYS THE GOP HOPED FOR A SUPER MAJORITY IN ORDER TO WIN VOTES THAT REQUIRE A TWO-THIRDS VOTE. BUT, THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN. DUBOS SAYS HE EXPECTS TO SEE SOME DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS GIVEN COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIPS, FOR THE SAKE OF BALANCE AND POLITICAL FAIR PLAY.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF LOUISIANA HAS FILED A FEDERAL LAWSUIT SEEKING TO STOP A STATE JUDGE'S RULING THAT COULD SHRINK ITS GOVERNING BODY. A BATON ROUGE-BASED JUDGE RULED THIS MONTH THAT A PLAN FOR THE REPUBLICAN STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE'S MEMBERSHIP FOR THE 2012-2016 TERM DIDN'T COMPLY WITH STATE LAW. THE DECISION REQUIRES THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE TO SHRINK FROM 230 SEATS TO 144.
IN RESPONSE, THE GOP FILED A FEDERAL LAWSUIT MONDAY SEEKING TO STOP THE RULING FROM TAKING EFFECT AND CALLING THE STATE LAWS GOVERNING THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE'S MEMBERSHIP UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE LAWSUIT SAYS THE STATE LAWS VIOLATE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION. THE TIMELINE FOR RESOLVING THE DISPUTE IS SHORT. QUALIFYING FOR THE COMMITTEE SEAT ELECTIONS IS SCHEDULED FOR DEC. 7-9.

BAYOU CLASSIC FANS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO TAKE A FREE HIV TEST WHILE IN NEW ORLEANS FOR THE ANNUAL FOOTBALL MATCHUP BETWEEN ARCH RIVALS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND GRAMBLING STATE. ON GAME DAY, BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 1 P.M., FREE HIV TESTING WILL BE AVAILABLE OUTSIDE THE SUPERDOME AT THE LOUISIANA STD/HIV PROGRAM HEALTH FAIR TENT. TESTING WILL CONSIST OF A QUICK, PAINLESS SWAB OF THE MOUTH, AND RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JUST 20 MINUTES.

AS THANKSGIVING NEARS, CONSUMERS WITH A TASTE FOR OYSTER SOUP AND OYSTER DRESSING WITH THEIR HOLIDAY MEALS ARE DISCOVERING THE DELECTABLE SHELLFISH ARE STILL IN SHORTER SUPPLY AND MORE EXPENSIVE THAN BEFORE LAST YEAR'S GULF OIL SPILL. BUT MOST DON'T SEEM TO MIND. MIKE VOISIN, OWNER OF AN OYSTER PROCESSING AND SALES BUSINESS SOUTHWEST OF NEW ORLEANS, SAID GULF OYSTER PRODUCTION IS AT THE LOWEST LEVEL IT'S BEEN IN DECADES. OYSTER HARVESTERS TOOK A BASHING LAST YEAR DURING THE GULF OIL SPILL WHEN MUCH OF THE CROP WAS KILLED OFF IN COASTAL WATERS OF LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA.

ON WHAT'S OFTEN THE BUSIEST TRAVEL DAY OF THE YEAR, SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ENSURE AIR TRAVELERS OF THEIR BASIC RIGHTS. LANDRIEU CALLS HER MEASURE THE AIRLINE PASSENGER BASICS ACT. SHE SAYS BASICS STANDS FOR BASIC AIRLINE STANDARDS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. LANDRIEU SAYS MORE AND MORE AIRLINES ARE "NICKEL AND DIMING" TRAVELERS; CHARGING THEM EXTRA FEES FOR THINGS LIKE CHECKED LUGGAGE LANDRIEU SAYS HER BILL WOULD ASSURE FLYERS THAT--FOR THE COST OF THEIR AIRLINE TICKET--THEY GET A SEAT, DRINKING WATER, ACCESS TO A RESTROOM, ONE CHECKED BAG AND ONE CARRY-ON BAG. SHE SAYS CONSUMERS DESERVE NO LESS.

CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING A FATAL CRASH THAT OCCURRED ON I-49 AT SOUTHERN LOOP SOUTH OF SHREVEPORT. DEPUTIES SAY A 24-YEAR-OLD SHREVEPORT MAN WAS DRIVING AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED NORTHBOUND ON I-49 WHEN HE LOST CONTROL OF THE CAR, RAN OFF THE ROAD INTO A DITCH, HIT A CULVERT, AND ROLLED THE VEHICLE SEVERAL TIMES. A PASSENGER WAS EJECTED FROM THE CAR BEFORE IT BURST INTO FLAMES. THE DRIVER WHO WAS NOT EJECTED, DIED AT THE SCENE. THE PASSENGER WAS AIRLIFTED TO LSU SHREVEPORT.

AN AMERICAN FARM BUREAU THANKSGIVING SURVEY SAYS YOUR TURKEY DINNER FOR TEN WILL COST - ON AVERAGE - JUST UNDER $50 THIS YEAR; AN INCREASE OF BETWEEN 5 AND 6 BUCKS. STILL, THAT'S ABOUT $5 PER PERSON.

ACADIA PARISH DEPUTIES ARREST A RAYNE MAN FOR ALLEGEDLY RAPING A 4-YEAR-OLD. 29-YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER P. BELLARD FACES AGGRAVATED RAPE CHARGES. HID BAIL SET AT A MILLION DOLLARS. IF CONVICTED, BELLARD COULD FACE LIFE BEHIND BARS.

A TRIAL HAS BEEN POSTPONED FOR ONE OF THREE BOYS ACCUSED OF PLOTTING A SHOOTING RAMPAGE AT A SUBURBAN NEW ORLEANS HIGH SCHOOL. A TRIAL FOR THE BOY, WHO WAS 15 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST IN AUGUST, WAS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN TUESDAY IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH STATE COURT. BUT THE JUDGE HEARING THE CASE AGREED TO RESCHEDULE THE TRIAL FOR DEC. 21.EARLIER THIS MONTH, ANOTHER TEEN ADMITTED HIS ROLE IN THE ALLEGED PLOT AT LAKESHORE HIGH SCHOOL IN COVINGTON AND WAS SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN JUVENILE PRISON. THE TEENAGERS ARE ACCUSED OF PLANNING THE ATTACK FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. THEY ALLEGEDLY ARRANGED TO STEAL GUNS FROM A FRIEND'S HOUSE THE NIGHT BEFORE.





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