KSYL Local News

News For Friday 12/02/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 120211
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

YESTERDAY’S MEETING BETWEEN THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR JACQUES ROY AND HIS STAFF PERTAINING TO THE CITY’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE DOWNTOWN ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL, CONSISTED OF LITTLE MORE THAN LEGAL POSTURING. THE ATTORNEYS FOR MAYOR ROY AND HIS STAFF, SPENT MUCH OF THURSDAY ATTEMPTING TO QUASH SUBPOENAS ISSUED BY THE COUNCIL FOR THE ADMINISTRATION MEMBERS TO TESTIFY AT THURSDAY AFTERNOON'S FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING. IN THE END THOUGH, CITY COURT JUDGE RICHARD STARLING RULED HE DIDN'T HAVE JURISDICTION TO DO SO. THE MEETING TOOK PLACE AND THE COUNCIL’S QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED. AS THE DAY CAME TO AN END, MAYOR ROY SAID HE FELT THE MEETING WAS A "WASTE OF TIME," BUT, IF IT HELPED TO HEAL THE FRACTURED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATION AND COUNCIL, THEN IT WAS "WORTH IT."

LOUISIANA'S OLDEST CITY, NATCHITOCHES, IS READY TO HOST ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR HOLIDAY EVENTS IN THE STATE--KICKING OFF THIS WEEKEND. IT'S THE 85TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL; PART OF ITS YEARLY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENT LASTS FROM TOMORROW RIGHT UP THROUGH CHRISTMAS AND FEATURES A BIG PARADE, LIVE MUSIC AND FIREWORKS EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT AND AT MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE.

ALL NINE JUDGES OF THE 21ST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT HAVE BEEN RECUSED FROM HEARING THE CASE OF A FORMER ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $1 MILLION FROM THE FLORIDA PARISHES JUVENILE JUSTICE COMMISSION.
BRENDA BICKFORD, 61, OF HAMMOND, IS AWAITING TRIAL ON CHARGES THAT SHE CREATED INVOICES FOR A BOGUS COURT REPORTING SERVICE AND SHIFTED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A YEAR INTO HER PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT.

US SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU IS HOPING A BILL THAT WOULD DEDICATE 80% OF BP PENALTY MONEY TO THE GULF COAST WILL PASS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. LANDRIEU SAYS THE BILL WAS INTRODUCED IN RESPONSE TO THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER THAT CAUSED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN DAMAGE. SHE SAYS MOST OF BP'S FINES SHOULD GO BACK TO WHERE THE DAMAGE WAS DONE.

EARLIER IN THE WEEK, WE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE EFFORTS OF STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY TO RETURN MILLION OF UNCLAIMED DOLLARS TO LOUISIANA RESIDENTS. TODAY, IT’S THE IRS. LOUISIANA TAXPAYERS ARE OWED $1.3 MILLION IN UNDELIVERED TAX REFUNDS
THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE IS LOOKING TO RETURN THE MONEY TO THE NEARLY 1,400 LOUISIANA TAXPAYERS WHO ARE DUE REFUND CHECKS THIS YEAR THAT COULD NOT BE DELIVERED BECAUSE OF MAILING ADDRESS ERRORS. THE REFUNDS AVERAGE $965.
TAXPAYERS WHO BELIEVE THEIR REFUND CHECK MAY HAVE BEEN RETURNED TO THE IRS AS UNDELIVERED SHOULD USE THE "WHERE'S MY REFUND?" TOOL ON THE IRS WEBSITE, WWW.IRS.GOV. THE TOOL WILL PROVIDE THE STATUS OF THEIR REFUND AND, IN SOME CASES, INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO RESOLVE DELIVERY PROBLEMS.

OFFICIALS SAY POLICE FOUND A FAKE BOMB IN A CAR ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE PARKING GARAGE AT THE BATON ROUGE METROPOLITAN AIRPORT. AIRPORT SPOKESMAN JIM CALDWELL SAYS THE FAKE BOMB WAS A GROUP OF STICKS WRAPPED IN TAPE WITH A CLOCK ON TOP. POLICE WERE CALLED OUT TO THE AIRPORT AT 7:30 A.M. THURSDAY AFTER AIRPORT POLICE SAW THE OBJECT INSIDE A VEHICLE DURING A ROUTINE PATROL. CALDWELL SAID FLIGHT OPERATIONS WERE NOT AFFECTED AS A RESULT OF THE INVESTIGATION.

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS DECIDED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF LOUISIANA CAN MOVE AHEAD WITH ITS PLAN FOR THE SIZE OF ITS GOVERNING BODY. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES BRADY SAYS THE GOP WON'T BE REQUIRED TO SHRINK THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE REPUBLICAN STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, AS A STATE JUDGE HAD PREVIOUSLY ORDERED. BRADY RULED LATE WEDNESDAY THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE SHOULD FOLLOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S PLAN WHEN THE SIGN-UP PERIOD FOR THE COMMITTEE SEAT ELECTIONS IS HELD NEXT WEEK. WITH THE FEDERAL JUDGE'S DECISION, THE GOP CENTRAL COMMITTEE WILL STAY AT 230 SEATS FOR THE 2012-16 TERM, RATHER THAN DROP TO 144.
THE STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARGUED THE STATE JUDGE'S RULING WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, VIOLATING THE PARTY'S RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION.

ALL 265 EMPLOYEES AND MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL AT A LAFAYETTE CALL CENTER WILL BE LAID OFF IN EARLY 2012. THE NOTICES WERE GIVEN TO TRANSCOM EMPLOYEES EARLIER THIS WEEK. COMPANY SPOKESWOMAN CAROLINE SPIVAK SAID THEIR LAST DAY OF WORK WILL BE JAN. 29. SPIVAK SAID THE TRANSCOM LAFAYETTE OFFICE SERVICES ONE LARGE CLIENT WHO NOTIFIED THE COMPANY IT NO LONGER NEEDED THEIR SERVICES. ACCORDING TO ITS WEBSITE, TRANSCOM OPERATES CENTERS IN 27 COUNTRIES AND HAS A TOTAL OF 53 SITES, INCLUDING 18 IN NORTH AMERICA. IN LATE 2009, TRANSCOM ANNOUNCED PLANS TO ADD AS MANY AS 700 JOBS TO ITS LAFAYETTE CENTER.

EUNICE POLICE REPORT A 5-YEAR-OLD DOUBLE HOMICIDE "COLD CASE" HAS BEEN SOLVED. EUNICE POLICE CHIEF RONALD DIES (DEE-EZ) SAYS TWO EUNICE MEN HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. ON JANUARY 10, 2006, 84-YEAR-OLD YOURIC "HUEY" COURVILLE AND HIS 70-YEAR-OLD WIFE MARY ANNE WERE FOUND STABBED TO DEATH INSIDE THEIR HOME. POLICE SAY ROBBERY OF CASH AND MEDICATIONS WAS THE MOTIVE. DIES SAYS A MULTI-AGENCY TASK FORCE TURNED UP NEW WITNESS TESTIMONY LAST SEPTEMBER THAT GOT THE CASE MOVING AGAIN. BOTH MEN HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH 1ST DEGREE MURDER.

A 20-YEAR-OLD FROM OUACHITA PARISH SAYS SHE HAS NEVER SEEN SUCH HATRED IN HER YOUNGER BROTHER'S EYES AS SHE DID THE NIGHT HE SHOT AND KILLED THEIR PARENTS.
ASHLEIGH FLETCHER TOLD A STATE COURT JURY IN BENTON THAT SHE HEARD HER MOTHER SAY "DALTON, DON'T!" AND THEN SAW HER 15-YEAR-OLD BROTHER PULL THE TRIGGER AND KILL HER. SHE TESTIFIED WEDNESDAY IN THE SECOND-DEGREE MURDER TRIAL OF DALTON FLETCHER, WHO IS NOW 16 AND BEING TRIED AS AN ADULT. HE HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY TO KILLING HIS PARENTS JOHN AND TAMMY FLETCHER.

THE SHREVEPORT POLICE PASTORS, A GROUP OF VOLUNTEER CLERGYMEN, WILL BE HITTING THE STREETS WITH THE CITY'S PATROL OFFICERS AS PART OF A NEW PROGRAM. THE MINISTERS ARE NOT SWORN AND HAVE NO POWERS OF ARREST, BUT ON FRIDAY WILL BE ASSISTING REGULAR OFFICERS IN A SUPPORT CAPACITY. MEMBERS OF THE PROGRAM ATTEND THE PATROL ROLL CALL AT THE SHREVEPORT POLICE COMPLEX AND THEN ACCOMPANY THE OFFICERS AS THEY GO OUT ON PATROL.








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