KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 12/07/11


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 120711
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

TODAY BEGINS THREE DAYS OF QUALIFYING FOR CANDIDATES TO RUN IN LOUISIANA'S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTIONS IN MARCH. THE CURRENT TOP GOP CANDIDATES INCLUDE MITT ROMNEY, NEWT GINGRICH, RICK PERRY AND MICHELLE BACHMANN. TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE MARCH 24TH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES, CAMPAIGNS MUST FILE QUALIFYING PAPERWORK AT THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL DISTRICT IS OWED NEARLY $60,000 IN UNPAID STUDENT LUNCH BALANCES FROM THIS SCHOOL YEAR, THAT ACCORDING TO FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES DIRECTOR ERMA DAVIS. AT THE REQUEST OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, DAVIS GAVE A REPORT AT THE BOARD'S MONTHLY MEETING ABOUT OUTSTANDING MEAL BALANCES, SAYING THEY TRY EVERY POSSIBLE TO COLLECT THE MONEY FROM PARENTS, SENDING LETTERS, MAKING PHONE CALLS AND EVEN MAKING VISITS TO THE CHILD’S HOME. DAVIS SAYS THOUGH, MANY OF THE CHILDREN QUALIFY FOR FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE LUNCHES UNDER A FEDERAL PROGRAM. BUT PARENTS EITHER DON'T FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK OR FILL IT OUT INCORRECTLY. DAVIS SHARED STORIES OF PARENTS WHO DON'T FILL OUT A CHILD'S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR EVEN THEIR BIRTH NAME ON AN APPLICATION, OR FILL OUT APPLICATIONS FOR THREE DIFFERENT CHILDREN WITH THREE DIFFERENT PHONE NUMBERS, OR USE AS A HOME ADDRESS AN ABANDONED BUILDING OR A VACANT LOT.

LOUISIANA AGAIN RANKS NEAR THE BOTTOM IN RANKINGS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH BY STATE. THE REPORT, DONE BY UNITED HEALTH FOUNDATION RANKS STATES FOR OBESITY, SMOKING NUMBERS, CHILD MORTALITY, PREVENTABLE HOSPITALIZATIONS AND OTHER FACTORS. STUDY RESEARCHER DR. CATHERINE PALMIER SAYS NEARLY 1 IN 4 IN THE STATE ARE OBESE, WHICH LEADS TO MORE SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS, LIKE DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, EVEN CANCER. SHE SAYS WE STILL HAVE A FAIRLY HIGH RATE OF SMOKERS AS
WELL. ON A POSITIVE NOTE, PALMIER SAYS LOUISIANA DOES RANK HIGHLY FOR PRENATAL DOCTOR CARE.

THE AVOYELLES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS NOT RELEASING DETAILS ABOUT THE DEATH OF A MARKSVILLE WOMAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND IN HER HOME EARLY MONDAY AFTERNOON. YESTERDAY, SHERIFF DOUG ANDERSON WOULD NOT SAY HOW 61 YEAR OLD CHRISTINE MAYEAUX DIED. NOR WOULD HE DIVULGE ANY SUSPECTED MOTIVE. THE SHERIFF DID SAY FOUL PLAY WAS INVOLVED.

DEPUTIES IN ST. MARY PARISH HAVE ARRESTED A MAN IN CONNECTION WITH HUMAN REMAINS FOUND IN A FIELD LAST MONTH. 38-YEAR-OLD DARBY FRICKEY IS CHARGED WITH 2ND-DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATH OF MARK BERTHELOT, OF BAYOU VISTA. BERTHELOT'S BODY WAS FOUND IN A CANE FIELD NEAR CENTERVILLE. HE'D BEEN MISSING SINCE NOVEMBER 10TH.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR, A LOUISIANA RESIDENT HAS DIED AFTER IMPROPERLY USING A NETI POT. A NETI POT IS USED TO IRRIGATE SINUSES, BUT DHH'S DR. DAVID HOLCOMBE, SAYS INSTEAD OF USING SALINE OR DISTILLED WATER, THE VICTIMS APPARENTLY USED TAP WATER TO FLUSH OUT THEIR SINUSES, WHICH CAUSED PROBLEMS WITH THE BRAIN. A 51-YEAR-OLD DESOTO PARISH WOMAN DIED RECENTLY AFTER USING TAP WATER IN A NETI POT TO IRRIGATE SINUSES AND BECAME INFECTED WITH A DEADLY AMOEBA. A 20-YEAR-OLD ST. BERNARD PARISH MAN DIED IN JUNE UNDER THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION HAS DECIDED HOW IT WILL TIE TEACHER EVALUATIONS TO STUDENT PERFORMANCE SCORES. A BESE PANEL TUESDAY BACKED A PLAN FOR SETTING THE SCORING STANDARDS STATEWIDE, TO COMPLY WITH A LAW PASSED TWO YEARS AGO AND STARTED WITH A PILOT PROGRAM. A SECOND VOTE WAS SCHEDULED TODAY, BUT A MAJORITY OF BESE MEMBERS ALREADY HAD AGREED TO THE PLAN. PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS WILL HAVE HALF THEIR REVIEW PEGGED TO STUDENT PERFORMANCE DATA, NOT THE FLAT STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES, BUT THE GROWTH IN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ON THOSE TESTS.

WITH SOME COLD NIGHTS AHEAD, STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING URGES CAUTION WHEN USING SPACE HEATERS. BROWNING SAYS ABOUT HALF OF LOUISIANA HOUSE FIRES DURING COLD WEATHER ARE CONNECTED TO PORTABLE ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS. HE SAYS THAT'S A LOT OF LIVES LOST, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. BROWNING SAYS HE CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING WORKING SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME--ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE USING SPACE HEATERS. HE ALSO SUGGESTS, IF POSSIBLE, TO USE ONE OF THE NEWER, SAFER MODELS OF SPACE HEATER.

GOVERNOR JINDAL IS IN TEXAS TODAY FOR A FUNDRAISING EVENT FOR TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. PERRY HAS SLIPPED IN POLLS AFTER SOME RECENT DEBATE APPEARANCES.

A 22-YEAR-OLD WESTLAKE MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED BY CALCASIEU PARISH DEPUTIES FOR FORCIBLE RAPE. DARIN LAWSON IS ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING AN 18-YEAR-OLD MENTALLY HANDICAPPED GIRL. HE'S CURRENTLY IN THE PARISH JAIL.

THE PRESIDENT OF ST. BERNARD PARISH IS GOING TO BE LEADING LOUISIANA'S HAZARD MITIGATION EFFORTS FOR GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION. CRAIG TAFFARO, WHO LOST HIS RE-ELECTION BID LAST MONTH, WILL BEGIN HIS STATE JOB THIS MONTH. THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT TAFFARO WILL BE DIRECTOR OF HAZARD MITIGATION AND RECOVERY COORDINATION. HE'LL OVERSEE A PROGRAM THAT DOLES OUT MONEY FOR ELEVATING HOMES AND MAKING OTHER IMPROVEMENTS TO HOUSES AND PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE TO PROTECT AGAINST FUTURE STORMS.

A FEDERAL JUDGE ALLOWED A GROUP OF OCCUPY PROTESTERS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE TO RETURN TO A NEW ORLEANS PARK ABOUT 12 HOURS AFTER POLICE EARLY TUESDAY PEACEFULLY EVICTED THEM. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JAY ZAINEY'S ORDER ALLOWS THE GROUP, OCCUPY NOLA, TO RETURN FOR SEVEN DAYS TO THE SITE WHERE THEY'VE BEEN CAMPED SINCE OCTOBER. ABOUT 150 OFFICERS MARCHED INTO THE ENCAMPMENT ACROSS FROM CITY HALL BEFORE DAWN, FORCING AN ESTIMATED 150 OCCUPANTS OUT AND REMOVING TENTS IN A PEACEFUL EVICTION THAT SOMETIMES DREW LOUD COMPLAINTS BUT DID NOT RESULT IN VIOLENCE.

HALLIBURTON DEFENDED ITSELF TUESDAY AGAINST ACCUSATIONS IT INTENTIONALLY DESTROYED EVIDENCE ABOUT THE QUALITY OF CEMENT SLURRY IN AN OIL WELL THAT BLEW OUT IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE CEMENT JOB ON THE MACONDO WELL IS EXPECTED TO PLAY A BIG ROLE IN THE COURT BATTLE OF WHO SHOULD BEAR THE BLAME FOR THE BLOWOUT THAT KILLED 11 WORKERS AND LED TO THE NATION'S WORST OFFSHORE OIL SPILL.

A SECOND GROUP OF JUVENILE WHOOPING CRANES HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO THE WHITE LAKE AREA OF VERMILION PARISH AS THE STATE CONTINUES ITS EFFORT TO BUILD THE POPULATION OF THE NATIVE BIRD.

DOTD SAYS THE CONTRACTOR THAT'S EXPANDING A SECTION OF I-10 IN BATON ROUGE IS MONTHS BEHIND SCHEDULE, SO THEY'RE SEEKING A NEW ONE TO FINISH THE JOB. AUSTIN BRIDGE AND ROAD IS OVER A YEAR BEHIND SCHEDULE ON THE SECTION OF I-10 THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE BY YEAR'S END.

AVOYELLES PARISH DETENTION CENTER OFFICER HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH BRINGING DRUGS INTO THE JAIL. AUTHORITIES SAY JAWORSKI TOUSSAINT ALLEGEDLY BROUGHT SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA INTO THE DETENTION CENTER. SHE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS ADDITIONAL CHARGES ARE EXPECTED.

A WOMAN IN OUACHITA PARISH WHO IS UNDER ARREST FOR ALLEGEDLY BITING A MAN HAS REPORTEDLY TOLD DEPUTIES THE VICTIM'S CAT OR DOG BIT HIM. THE VICTIM SAYS HIS GIRLFRIEND, TERRA TAYLOR, BIT HIM ON THE FACE AND HIT HIM ON THE BACK OF THE HEAD SEVERAL TIMES WITH A METAL STICK. DEPUTIES BELIEVE THE VICTIMS BITE MARKS ARE IN FACT HUMAN. TAYLOR IS CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED BATTERY WITH A WEAPON.


SPORTS..

ULL FOOTBALL FANS ARE PLEASED WITH THE NEWS MARK HUDSPETH IS STAYING AS THE HEAD COACH OF THE RAGIN CAJUNS. HUDSPETH HAS BEEN RUMORED AS A CANDIDATE AT SEVERAL OTHER HEAD COACHING VACANCIES, BUT THE COACH OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE SAYS HE'LL DEFINITELY BE BACK NEXT SEASON. HUDSPETH HAS LED THE CAJUNS TO AN EIGHT-WIN SEASON AND THE PROGRAM'S FIRST TRIP TO A BOWL GAME IN 41 YEARS.

God Bless America!

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