KSYL Local News

News For Monday 12/12/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 121211
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

NEWLY ELECTED STATE LAWMAKERS WILL BE IN BATON ROUGE THIS WEEK FOR ORIENTATION AND TO DISCUSS PREFERENCES FOR HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERSHIP ROLES. REPUBLICAN FRESHMAN SHREVEPORT SENATOR BARROW PEACOCK SAYS HE CANNOT SUPPORT GOVERNOR JINDAL'S CHOICE OF JOHN ALARIO FOR SENATE PRESIDENT. PEACOCK SAYS HE'S LET GOVERNOR JINDAL KNOW HE MUST VOTE AGAINST ALARIO, AND HOPES SOME SENATE COLLEAGUES WILL FOLLOW HIS LEAD. PEACOCK SAYS ALARIO REPRESENTS THE LOUISIANA OF THE PAST, AND THE STATE CANNOT PROGRESS WITH "OLD GUARD" LEADERSHIP. GOVERNOR JINDAL REPORTEDLY RESPONDED TO PEACOCK, SAYING THERE WERE PLENTY OF VOTES TO MAKE ALARIO SENATE PRESIDENT WITHOUT HIM.

BY NOW YOU’VE HEARD OF GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL PLANS TO CLOSE THE HUEY P LONG MEDICAL CENTER IN PINEVILLE AND OPEN A NEW PUBLIC HOSPITAL AT ENGLAND AIRPARK IN ALEXANDRIA. PINEVILLE MAYOR CLARENCE FIELDS SAYS EVEN THOUGH HIS CITY IS LOSING A HOSPITAL, THIS ACTUALLY STRENGTHENS HEALTHCARE TO THE POOR IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA. THE MODERNIZED FACILITY WILL BE OPEN 12 HOURS A DAY MONDAY THRU FRIDAY. THE PINEVILLE HOSPITAL IS ONLY OPEN DURING WORKING HOURS. JINDAL SAYS THE EXPANDED HOURS WILL CUT DOWN ON COSTLY EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS. FIELDS SAYS THE HOSPITAL WILL ALSO PROVIDE MORE UP TO DATE HEALTH CARE TO THE COMMUNITY.

PERHAPS IT WAS THE COLD WEATHER, MAYBE IT WAS FOOT BALL ON THE TV, IT’S ANYBODY’S GUESS. BUT, DESPITE THE SLIGHTLY SMALLER CROWD, THE STREETS WERE STILLED LINED FOR THE ALEXANDRIA CHRISTMAS PARADE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. THE EVENT GOING OFF WITHOUT A HITCH.. TEMPERATURES IN THE LOW 40S DIDN'T STOP A BIG CROWD FROM ATTENDING THE PINEVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE ON FRIDAY NIGHT. BIG CROWDS ALSO TURNED OUT FOR PARADES IN POLLOCK, BALL, BOYCE, BUNKIE, AND LEESVILLE.

AN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING FIRE IN PITKIN KILLED ONE MAN AND INJURED HIS WIFE.
THE VERNON PARISH FIRE DISTRICT NO. 1 AND PITKIN VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT TO FIND THE HOME ENGULFED IN FLAMES. UPON ARRIVING, FIREFIGHTERS DISCOVERED THAT A WOMAN HAD ESCAPED THE FIRE WITH ONLY MINOR BURNS. THE UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN'S HUSBAND, 84 YEAR OLD DELTON BAILEY WAS NOT SO LUCKY. HE DIED IN THE FIRE. THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE SAYS THE HOME DID HAVE A WORKING SMOKE ALARM.

THE LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION RE-LAUNCHES ITS WEB PORTAL TODAY; MAKING IT EASIER FOR JOB SEEKERS TO USE. LWC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CURT EYSINK SAYS LOUISIANA VIRTUAL ONE-STOP, OR LAVOS, HAS BEEN WHOLLY REDESIGNED, WITH A FOCUS ON BEING STREAMLINED AND USER-FRIENDLY. EYSINK SAYS VISITORS TO THE WEBSITE WILL SPEND LESS TIME SEARCHING FOR SERVICES AND FEATURES, AND MORE TIME ACCESSING THEM. HE SAYS THE NEW WEBSITE IS INTENDED TO BE EQUALLY USEFUL TO EMPLOYERS WHO ARE SEEKING NEW WORKERS. THE WEB SITE CAN BE ACCESSED AT "LAWORKS.NET".

THE LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD HAS A NEW COMMANDER, BRIG. GEN. GLENN H. CURTIS.
CURTIS TOOK OVER THE COMMAND AS THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE GUARD DURING A LARGE CEREMONY AT CAMP BEAUREGARD IN PINEVILLE SATURDAY. THE CEREMONY MARKED THE BEGINNING OF NEW LEADERSHIP FOR THE GUARD AND COMMEMORATED THE RETIREMENT OF MAJ. GEN. BENNETT C. LANDRENEAU AFTER 42 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE. CURTIS IS A NATIVE OF BUCKEYE AND HAS NEARLY 30 YEARS OF MILITARY EXPERIENCE.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES IS TELLING HUNTERS THAT PARKING ON SHOULDERS AND GRASSY AREAS ALONG HIGHWAYS IS ILLEGAL. LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SAY THEY ARE ENCOUNTERING MORE VEHICLES PARKED ON SHOULDERS AND ADJACENT AREAS, PARTICULARLY ON INTERSTATE 10 BETWEEN BATON ROUGE AND NEW ORLEANS, DURING HUNTING SEASON. AUTHORITIES SAY VEHICLES FOUND PARKED IN THESE AREAS MAY BE TOWED AND OWNERS FACE FINES.

THERE'S A LOT OF SPECULATION AS TO HOW GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL WILL ULTIMATELY HANDLE THE WEEKEND DWI ARREST OF HIS COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER. JINDAL'S OFFICE HAS SAID THE GOVERNOR WILL STAND BY RAINWATER. POLLSTER AND POLITICAL ANALYST BERNIE PINSONAT SAYS THAT'S WHAT HE EXPECTED THE GOVERNOR TO SAY. RAINWATER WAS PULLED OVER BY BATON ROUGE POLICE EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. THEY REPORT HE WAS DRIVING ERRATICALLY, RAN A STOP SIGN & AND BLEW A .17 BREATHALYZER RESULT; TWICE THE LEGAL LIMIT. PINSONAT SAYS RAINWATER IS JINDAL'S CHIEF BUDGET ARCHITECT AND DISMISSING HIM OVER THE INCIDENT IS FAIRLY UNLIKELY.

STATE OFFICIALS SAY A TEST FOR FOURTH- AND EIGHTH-GRADERS THAT BECAME A SYMBOL OF LOUISIANA'S BID TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BE PHASED OUT. THE EXAM, WHICH IS CALLED LEAP, AND OTHERS WILL BE SCRUBBED IN THREE YEARS BECAUSE NEW TESTS WILL BE LAUNCHED IN CONNECTION WITH A NATIONAL DRIVE TO MAKE PUBLIC SCHOOL COURSES MORE RIGOROUS. UNDER CURRENT RULES, FOURTH- AND EIGHTH-GRADERS HAVE TO PASS LEAP, AND MEET OTHER STANDARDS, TO MOVE TO THE FIFTH AND NINTH GRADES.
WHETHER A SIMILAR RULE WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR PASSAGE WHEN THE NEW EXAMS BEGIN FOR THE 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR IS UP TO THE STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, WHICH SETS POLICIES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS STATEWIDE.

LSU, SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND OTHER COLLEGES ARE BEGINNING TO ADD NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS NOW THAT THE STATE'S TWO-YEAR MORATORIUM ON CREATING NEW DEGREES IS OVER. THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF REGENTS HAS APPROVED A NEW BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN ATHLETIC TRAINING AT LSU. THE REGENTS ALSO APPROVED THREE NEW DOCTORATE OF NURSING PRACTICE PROGRAMS AT SOUTHERN, THE LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS AND A JOINT DEGREE OFFERING WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE AND SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY.

LSU HAS SENT CEASE AND DESIST LETTERS TO VENDORS SELLING T-SHIRTS AND OTHER MERCHANDISE USING THE LIKENESS OF TYRANN MATHIEU WITH A HONEY BADGER, SAYING IT'S A VIOLATION OF NCAA RULES. TULANE SPORTS LAW PROFESSOR GABE FELDMAN SAYS UNIVERSITIES AND PLAYERS HAVE TO ASK PEOPLE SELLING SUCH UNLICENSED ITEMS, TO STOP. FELDMAN SAYS THIS IS JUST LSU IS COVERING ITS BASES TO ENSURE THAT THE NCAA CAN'T COME AFTER THEM OVER CONCERNS THAT MATHIEU WAS SOMEHOW MAKING A PROFIT FROM THE SALE OF THIS MERCHANDISE. HE SAYS NOBODY THINKS THAT'S THE CASE HERE. THE LETTERS DON'T SAY THE MERCHANTS ARE BREAKING ANY LAWS, THEY JUST SAY THE SELLING OF PARAPHERNALIA WITH VARIATIONS OF MATHIEU'S NAME AND THE PHRASE "HONEY BADGER" COULD IMPACT THE PLAYER'S ELIGIBILITY.

IT WAS ANOTHER DEADLY WEEKEND IN AND AROUND NEW ORLEANS.. AUTHORITIES SAY THREE MEN HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THREE SEPARATE SHOOTINGS. THE MEN WERE SHOT TO DEATH IN THE EARLY HOURS OF SUNDAY. THE KILLINGS TOOK PLACE IN THE HOLLYGROVE NEIGHBORHOOD OF NEW ORLEANS AND IN TERRYTOWN AND KENNER IN JEFFERSON PARISH.

IT’S SAD THERE SHOULD HAVE TO BE SUCH QUESTIONS, BUT THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF STEVE PRATOR SAYS HIS OFFICE IS OFFERING A FREE COURSE FOR RESIDENTS COVERING THE RIGHTS HOMEOWNERS HAVE WHEN SOMEONE BREAKS INTO THEIR HOME OR CAR, ATTEMPTS A BURGLARY, OR ENTERS THEIR PROPERTY ILLEGALLY. THE ONE NIGHT COURSE IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.


SPORTS..

THE SAINTS HAVE CLINCHED A PLAYOFF SPOT AS RESULT OF THEIR VICTORY OVER TENNESSEE AND DENVER'S COME FROM BEHIND OVERTIME VICTORY AGAINST THE CHICAGO BEARS. NEW ORLEANS WIN IN NASHVILLE WASN'T EASY. THE SAINTS NEEDED TWO TOUCHDOWN PASSES FROM DREW BREES TO BEAT THE TITANS 22-17. BREES DELIVERED.. THE SAINTS ARE NOW 10-AND-3 AND TIED WITH SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE SECOND SEED IN THE N-F-C PLAYOFFS.

WITH CHRISTMAS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, AND ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT SURROUNDING THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, LSU MERCHANDISE IS FLYING OFF THE SHELVES. LSU ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR HERB VINCENT SAYS PURPLE AND GOLD GEAR ALWAYS SELLS WELL THIS TIME OF YEAR, BUT THEY HAVEN'T SEEN NUMBERS LIKE THIS IN YEARS. VINCENT SAYS SALES FROM LSU MERCHANDISE ARE SPLIT 50/50 BETWEEN THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT AND THE UNIVERSITY.





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