KSYL Local News

News For Monday 12/19/11


NEWS FOR MONDAY 121911
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS ITS PLAN TO ADDRESS A 251-MILLION DOLLAR MID-YEAR BUDGET SHORTFALL. THE DEFICIT IS THE RESULT OF LOWER THAN EXPECTED TAX REVENUES AND NOT HAVING ENOUGH DOLLARS TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION. COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER SAYS STRATEGIC CUTS WERE MADE TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT TO PUBLIC COLLEGES AND HEALTH CARE. AS A RESULT OF JINDAL'S BUDGET CUTTING PLAN, HIGHER ED FUNDING WILL BE CUT 50-MILLION DOLLARS. RAINWATER SAYS THE BUDGET CUTTING PLAN ALSO CALLS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF NEARLY 300 FULL-TIME POSITIONS WITHIN STATE GOVERNMENT.

STATE POLICE AND LOCAL LAWMEN WARN MOTORISTS THEY WILL HAVE ENHANCED PATROLS ON HIGHWAYS NOW THROUGH NEW YEARS--SEEKING OUT DRUNK DRIVERS. STATE POLICE LT. DOUG CAIN SAYS, IN ADDITION TO CHECKPOINTS, THERE WILL BE SATURATION PATROLS AIMED AT CATCHING DRIVERS WHO TRY TO AVOID THEM. HE SAYS IT'S PART OF THE NATIONAL "DRIVER SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER" CAMPAIGN; AIMED AT CRACKING DOWN ON DRUNK DRIVERS AND SAVING LIVES. (CAIN SAYS CHECKPOINTS COULD BE ANYWHERE, NOW THROUGH NEW YEARS.

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL SAYS RESCUE WORKERS WERE UNABLE TO REVIVE A CHURCH POINT WOMAN WHOSE NEIGHBOR HAD PULLED HER FROM A FIRE IN HER HOME.MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS TRIED TO RESUSCITATE 47-YEAR-OLD ELAINE THIBODEAUX FAUL, WHO WAS LYING IN HER YARD WHEN RESPONDERS ARRIVED ABOUT 3 P.M. SATURDAY. .BROWNING'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE FIRE. INVESTIGATORS FOUND A SMOKE ALARM IN THE MOBILE HOME BUT IT DID NOT HAVE A BATTERY INSIDE

THE JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH POLICE JURY IS CONSIDERING A COMPANY'S REQUEST TO REZONE NEARLY 23 ACRES NEAR THE LACASSINE INDUSTRIAL PARK FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A RUM DISTILLERY. LOUISIANA SPIRITS WANTS TO REZONE THE LAND NEAR INTERSTATE 10 FROM LIGHT INDUSTRIAL TO HEAVY INDUSTRIAL TO ALLOW IT TO MAKE RUM. PARISH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR MARION FOX SAID THE COMPANY PLANS TO OPERATE THE DISTILLERY JUST NORTH OF THE SYRUP MILL NEAR THE INDUSTRIAL PARK. LOUISIANA SPIRITS HOPES TO BE OPEN BY APRIL AND SAID IT WILL EMPLOY 35 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION TO MAKING RUM, THE DISTILLERY WILL BE OPEN FOR PUBLIC TOURS.

THE AVOYELLES PARISH SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS SATISFIED ONE OF SIX REQUIREMENTS TOWARD LIFTING THE FEDERAL DESEGREGATION ORDER IT'S UNDER. U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DEE DRELL RULED ON FRIDAY THAT AVOYELLES HAS DONE ENOUGH TO DESEGREGATE TRANSPORTATION IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. THAT IS ONE OF SIX AREAS THE DISTRICT MUST IMPROVE TO MEET TO BE DECLARED "UNITARY." THE DISTRICT STILL MUST PROVE IT HAS ACHIEVED UNITARY STATUS IN FIVE OTHER AREAS, FACILITIES, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSIGNMENTS, FACULTY ASSIGNMENTS, EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS.

A RECENT GALLUP POLL ON GUN OWNERSHIP SHOWS THE NUMBER OF WOMEN REPORTING THEY OWN FIREARMS IS AT NEW HIGH; 43%. THAT'S UP 19% FROM 2010. GUN SHOP OWNER’S SAYS THAT'S CERTAINLY THE CASE HERE IN LOUISIANA. THE GALLUP POLL ALSO SHOWS THAT ONLY 26% OF MEN AND WOMEN SURVEYED SUPPORT A NATIONAL HANDGUN BAN.

THE STRAWBERRY CROP IN LOUISIANA IS COMING IN EARLIER THAN USUAL THIS SEASON. LSU AGCENTER HORTICULTURE AGENT SANDRA BENJAMIN SAYS THERE'S A NEW VARIETY OF THE FRUIT BEING PLANTED BY GROWERS CAUSING THE CROP TO COME IN SEVERAL MONTHS EARLIER. BENJAMIN ALSO SAYS THE WARMER WEATHER PROMPTED FARMERS TO PLANT EARLIER HENCE THE EARLY HARVEST.

AN ULTRA-LIGHT, TWO-SEAT AIRCRAFT HAS CRASHED IN A FIELD IN IBERIA PARISH. SHERIFF LOUIS ACKAL SAYS THE CRASH OCCURRED A LITTLE PAST 2 SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE PLANE WAS OCCUPIED BY TWO PEOPLE, BOTH OF WHOM RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES AND WERE TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL. THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH WILL BE INVESTIGATED BY THE FAA.



SPORTS..

THE SAINTS TOOK ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS AN NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP WITH A 42 TO 20 THRASHING OF MINNESOTA VIKINGS. QUARTERBACK DREW BREES THREW FIVE TOUCHDOWN PASSES. THE OFFENSE HAD A COUPLE OF EARLY TURNOVERS AND IT WAS 14-13 GAME IN THE SECOND QUARTER, BUT THE BREES AND THE OFFENSE WOULD SCORE THE NEXT FOUR TOUCHDOWNS. THE SAINTS ARE NOW 11-AND-3 ON THE SEASON. IT'S THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE SEASON NEW ORLEANS HAS WON 11 OR MORE GAMES. THE SAINTS HOST ATLANTA A WEEK FROM TONIGHT ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.

THE RAGIN CAJUNS WON THEIR FIRST BOWL GAME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN DRAMATIC FASHION ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME. BRETT BAER NAILED A 50-YARD FIELD GOAL AS TIME EXPIRED TO GIVE U-L-L A THRILLING 32 TO 30 VICTORY OVER SAN DIEGO STATE.

THE LOUISIANA TECH FOOTBALL TEAM IS IN SAN DIEGO, GETTING READY TO FACE 15TH RANKED T-C-U IN THE POINSETTIA BOWL ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE DAWGS ARE RIDING A SEVEN-GAME WINNING STREAK WHICH LED TO A WAC CHAMPIONSHIP. THE GAME WILL BE NATIONALLY TELEVISED ON ESPN WEDNESDAY AND KICKOFF IS AT 7 P-M.

God Bless America!

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