KSYL Local News

News For Friday 12/09/11


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 120911
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE RUMORS HAVE BEEN CIRCULATING FOR A WHILE. BUT, NOW IT IS OFFICIAL, HUEY P. LONG MEDICAL CENTER IN PINEVILLE WILL SOON BE SHUT DOWN. GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANNOUNCED THAT THE HOSPITAL WILL MOVE TO ENGLAND AIRPARK BY THE SUMMER OF 2014. HUEY P’S NEW HOME WILL BE IN THE CURRENT LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER BUILDING ON VANDENBURG DRIVE. THE CENTER NOW SERVES AS AN OUTPATIENT FACILITY, BUT IT WILL BE RENOVATED TO TAKE OVER MEDICAL SERVICES NOW PROVIDED AT THE HOSPITAL IN PINEVILLE. A NEARBY BUILDING IN THE AIRPARK, THE FORMER SITE OF ST. RITA SCHOOL, WILL HOUSE THE OUTPATIENT SERVICES. THE GOVERNOR ESTIMATED THE COST TO MODERNIZE THE AIRPARK BUILDINGS IS $30 MILLION. THE ENGLAND AUTHORITY HAS PLEDGED $5 MILLION. THE GOVERNOR ALSO SAID THE CURRENT FACILITY IN PINEVILLE COULD POSSIBLY BE USED BY LOUISIANA COLLEGE FOR THEIR NEW MEDICAL SCHOOL.

THE CITY OF PINEVILLE WILL CLOSE SEVERAL STREETS TO ACCOMMODATE ITS CHRISTMAS PARADE, WHICH BEGINS TONIGHT AT 7. HUDSON BOULEVARD AND CLAIBORNE, BEALL, PAYNE AND FAIRMOUNT STREETS WILL CLOSE AT 5 P.M. BEALL, PAYNE AND FAIRMOUNT STREETS WILL BECOME ONE-WAYS FOR DROP-OFFS AT PINEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL. TRAFFIC ON MAIN STREET AND MILITARY HIGHWAY WILL HAVE DELAYS STARTING AT 5 P.M. UNTIL THE START OF THE PARADE, OFFICIALS SAID. BOTH WILL BE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC IN THE PARADE AREA STARTING AT 6:30 P.M. THE PARADE WILL BEGIN ON MILITARY HIGHWAY, TRAVEL ONTO CLAIBORNE STREET AND CONTINUE SOUTH AND END AT THE INTERSECTION OF MAIN STREET AND NAPOLEON BOULEVARD.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SAYS POOR PERFORMING TEACHERS WHO WANT TO IMPROVE SHOULD GET INTENSIVE ATTENTION FROM THE STATE, WHILE THOSE WHO RESIST CHANGE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE CLASSROOM. JINDAL SPOKE THURSDAY AT THE COUNCIL FOR A BETTER LOUISIANA MEETING ABOUT HIS PUSH TO IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY, WHICH HE SAYS WILL BE ONE OF HIS MAIN INITIATIVES IN THE 2012 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE GOVERNOR SAID LOUISIANA'S CONTINUING LOW EDUCATION PERFORMANCE HINDERS THE STATE'S ECONOMIC GROWTH.

STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATED A SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH ON U.S. HIGHWAY 190 EAST OF EUNICE THAT CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A 33-YEAR-OLD MAN. TROOPERS SAY RUSSELL FONTENOT OF EUNICE WAS EASTBOUND THURSDAY WHEN HIS CAR RAN OFF THE ROAD AND STUCK A UTILITY POLE. FONTENOT DIED A SHORT TIME LATER AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL. THE CRASH REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

PROSECUTORS HAVE FILED ADDITIONAL CHARGES AGAINST A WEST FELICIANA PARISH POLICE JUROR AND A MINISTER IMPLICATED IN AN ALLEGED SCHEME TO DIVERT A NONPROFIT'S MONEY TO PRIVATE HANDS. JUROR JOHN COBB PLEADED NOT GUILTY THURSDAY TO FIVE COUNTS OF FORGERY AND ONE COUNT OF CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY.
THE REV. GEORGE VEAL PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO ONE COUNT OF CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY.
COBB WAS INDICTED LAST YEAR ON THREE FELONY THEFT COUNTS, WHILE VEAL WAS INDICTED ON ONE THEFT COUNT.

CARGILL ANNOUNCED THE RECALL THIS WEEK OF TWO BRANDS OF DOG FOOD PRODUCED AT ITS LECOMPTE PLANT DUE TO CONCERNS THEY MAY CONTAIN UNSAFE LEVELS OF TOXIN.
AFLATOXIN LEVELS ABOVE THE ACCEPTABLE LIMIT WERE DETECTED IN CORN USED TO MAKE SOME KINDS OF RIVER RUN AND MARKSMAN BRAND DRY DOG FOODS. AFLATOXIN IS A FUNGAL TOXIN THAT COMMONLY CONTAMINATES CROPS DURING SEVERE HEAT AND DROUGHT. EXPOSURE TO EXCESSIVE LEVELS OF AFLATOXIN, ESPECIALLY OVER EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME, CAN LEAD TO LIVER FAILURE. NO ILLNESSES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE RECALLED PRODUCTS. RETAILERS HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED TO TAKE THE PRODUCTS OFF THEIR SHELVES.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL IS ASKING CONGRESS TO REJECT A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW SO-CALLED "ROBO-CALLS" TO YOUR CELL PHONE. SAM PLEASANT IS DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC PROTECTION DIVISION OF CALDWELL'S OFFICE. SHE SAYS CURRENT LAW ALLOWS AUTOMATED SEQUENTIAL ADVERTISING CALLS TO LAND LINES, BUT CELL USERS HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR OUTGOING AND INCOMING CALLS. CALDWELL HAS JOINED AG'S IN THE OTHER 49 STATES, PLUS GUAM, PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, TO ASK FEDERAL LAWMAKERS TO OPPOSE THE MOBILE INFORMATION CALL ACT (H.R. 3035). PLEASANT SAYS CALDWELL AND HIS PEERS ARE CONCERNED THAT THE BILL WILL NOT ONLY BE COSTLY FOR CELLULAR USERS, BUT AN INVASION OF THEIR PRIVACY.

TULANE UNIVERSITY BELIEVES A HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
THE SCHOOL ON THURSDAY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO BUILD A $60 MILLION STADIUM ON CAMPUS. THE GREEN WAVE HAS PLAYED MOST OF ITS HOME FOOTBALL GAMES IN THE SUPERDOME SINCE 1975. TULANE'S OLD STADIUM WAS DEMOLISHED IN 1980. TULANE, WHICH HASN'T HAD A WINNING SEASON IN A DECADE, HIRED NEW ORLEANS SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER COACH CURTIS JOHNSON TO LEAD THE PROGRAM ON DEC. 5.

FOUR MORE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAVE SIGNED UP FOR LOUISIANA'S MARCH 24 PRIMARY BALLOT. THE CAMPAIGNS OF U.S. REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, FORMER UTAH GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, FORMER U.S. SEN. RICK SANTORUM AND FORMER LOUISIANA GOV. BUDDY ROEMER SUBMITTED PAPERWORK TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE ON THURSDAY. QUALIFYING FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CONTINUES UNTIL FRIDAY. THE ELECTION IS CLOSED PRIMARY, SO DEMOCRATS CAN VOTE ONLY FOR DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS CAN VOTE ONLY FOR GOP CANDIDATES.

A NONPARTISAN GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG GROUP IS SUGGESTING LAWMAKERS SHOULD SET UP A SPECIAL COMMISSION TO MONITOR THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION'S PLANS TO RUN PART OF THE STATE MEDICAID PROGRAM THROUGH PRIVATE MANAGED CARE NETWORKS.
THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS RESEARCH COUNCIL MADE ITS RECOMMENDATIONS THURSDAY. THE ORGANIZATION SAYS THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD MAINTAIN STRONG OVERSIGHT OF THE MEDICAID REVAMP AND THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR SHOULD REVIEW EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHANGES. HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN SAYS HE DOESN'T SEE THE NEED FOR ANOTHER COMMITTEE. HE SAYS THE LEGISLATURE HAS BEEN HEAVILY INVOLVED IN CRAFTING THE MEDICAID OVERHAUL AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED.

NEW PROGRAMS ARE BEING LAUNCHED THROUGHOUT THE STATE WITH THE GOAL OF TARGETING THE ON-GOING PROBLEM OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY. LSU'S EXTENSION SERVICE IS IMPLEMENTING THE SESSIONS AND CATHY AGAN WORKS IN FAMILY NUTRITION AT THE LSU AG CENTER. SHE SAYS AT LEAST ONE IN FOUR AMERICAN CHILDREN IS OVERWEIGHT AND MOST OF THEM WILL BECOME OVERWEIGHT ADULTS. SHE SAYS THE PROGRAMS WILL TEACH PARENTS AND STUDENTS THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING HEALTHY AND BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.

A SMALL GATHERING OF UNEMPLOYED WORKERS WENT TO BATON ROUGE CONGRESSMAN BILL CASSIDY'S OFFICE TODAY WITH A LETTER ASKING HIM TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SET TO EXPIRE DECEMBER 31ST WITHOUT APPROVAL FROM CONGRESS. AFL-CIO SPOKESPERSON ERNEST STEPHENS SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS HELP FAMILIES AND ARE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY.

ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY THE SHAW GROUP INC. HAS BEEN REFUSED EARLY PERMISSION TO SELL ITS MINORITY INVESTMENT IN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT COMPANY WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CO. LLC BACK TO TOSHIBA CORP. SHAW ANNOUNCED THE SALE ON SEPT. 6, SAYING IT WANTED GET RID OF ABOUT $1.7 BILLION IN DEBT. SHAW'S NUCLEAR SUBSIDIARY OBTAINED THE 20 PERCENT STAKE IN WESTINGHOUSE IN OCTOBER 2006 FOR $1.08 BILLION, BUT THE STRENGTHENING YEN NEGATIVELY AFFECTED THE INVESTMENT THAT SHAW MADE WITH THE JAPANESE CURRENCY. ON THURSDAY, SHAW SAID THE BONDHOLDER TRUSTEE REFUSED TO ALLOW AN EARLY SALE.

AN HISTORIC MANSION AND A TAVERN THAT HAS OPERATE FOR DECADES IN DOWNTOWN NATCHEZ HAVE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION FROM FORECLOSURE. WORD IS THAT BOTH MONMOUTH PLANTATION AND KING'S TAVERN REMAIN OPEN. MONMOUTH CO-OWNER RON RICHES SAYS THE BUSINESS FILED CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY LAST WEEK TO AVOID THE FORECLOSURE SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEK. SHAWYN MARS, A CO-OWNER OF KING'S TAVERN, SAYS THE TAVERN FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY IN SEPTEMBER AT THE ADVICE OF THEIR ATTORNEY SO THEY COULD KEEP THEIR DOORS OPEN. HE SAYS THE BUSINESS WAS AFFECTED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOOD AND THE LULL BETWEEN THE SPRING PILGRIMAGE AND FALL PILGRIMAGE. THE RESTAURANT HAS BEEN AT THE LOCATION FOR 40 YEARS.

SPORTS..

THE HONEY BADGER HEADS TO NEW YORK TODAY FOR TOMORROW NIGHT'S HEISMAN TROPHY PRESENTATION. LSU DEFENSIVE BACK TYRANN MATHIEU IS ONE OF FIVE FINALISTS. THE ONLY OTHER HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER IN LSU'S HISTORY IS BILLY CANNON.

THE STATE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS KICKOFF TODAY AT THE MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 29 YEARS, THE WINNFIELD HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM IS COMPETING FOR A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. THE CLASS 2A TIGERS WILL FACE JOHN CURTIS SATURDAY AT 11AM IN THE DOME. WINNFIELD HIGH PRINCIPAL JANE GRIFFIN SAYS THEY'VE SOLD 2,000 TICKETS WHICH IS AMAZING CONSIDERING THE TOWN'S POPULATION IS ABOUT FIVE-THOUSAND.

THE NBA'S DECISION TO REJECT A PROPOSED TRADE INVOLVING ALL-STAR GUARD CHRIS PAUL SET THE STAGE FOR AN AWKWARD OPENING TO TRAINING CAMPS ON FRIDAY IN NEW ORLEANS, LOS ANGELES AND HOUSTON. THE NBA-OWNED HORNETS THOUGHT THEY HAD WORKED OUT A THREE-TEAM DEAL TO SEND PAUL TO LOS ANGELES IN A DEAL THAT ALSO WOULD HAVE SENT LAMAR ODOM TO NEW ORLEANS AND FOUR-TIME ALL-STAR PAU GASOL TO HOUSTON. THE LEAGUE, HOWEVER, DECLINED TO APPROVE THE TRADE, MEANING PAUL WAS EXPECTED TO REPORT TO HORNETS CAMP, WHILE ODOM AND GASOL WERE EXPECTED TO SHOW UP WHEN THE LAKERS OPENED PRACTICE UNDER NEW HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN.
AFTER DEAL FELL THROUGH, PAUL SIMPLY WROTE, "WOW," ON HIS TWITTER PAGE.
ODOM, TOO, TOOK TO TWITTER TO SHARE HIS FEELINGS: "WHEN A TEAM TRADES U AND IT DOESN'T GO DOWN? NOW WHAT?" THE FALLOUT FROM THE TRADE THAT NEVER WAS CAUSED THE NBA TO DENY REPORTS THAT DEAL WAS NIXED BECAUSE A NUMBER OF TEAM OWNERS COMPLAINED ABOUT IT TO NBA COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN.






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