KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 01/25/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 012512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL BALANCED ITS BUDGETS YESTERDAY, TAKING MONEY LEFT OVER FROM THE PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR AS WELL AS INCREASED SALES TAX REVENUES AND PUTTING THEM TOWARD OVERTIME FOR EMPLOYEES, CONTRACT LABOR AND AGING INFRASTRUCTURE. AMONG THE ITEMS ADDED TO THE BUDGET WERE OVERTIME FOR THE POLICE, FIRE AND PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENTS; THE ADDITION OF CONTRACT PUBLIC WORKS LABOR; THE PURCHASE OF POLICE CARS; AND ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE CITY'S LEGAL DEPARTMENT. THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS RECEIVED $232,000 IN EXTRA OVERTIME TO BE AWARDED OVER THE REMAINING MONTHS OF THE FISCAL YEAR, WHICH ENDS APRIL 30.

FOUL PLAY IS NOT SUSPECTED IN THE DEATH OF A MAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND TUESDAY MORNING AT THE ALEXANDRIA TEEN ACTIVITY CENTER CASSON ST IN THE CITY. THE MAN'S IDENTITY WAS NOT RELEASED PENDING NOTIFICATION OF NEXT OF KIN, BUT WE ARE TOLD HE WAS A 62-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM ALEXANDRIA. OFFICIALS BELIEVE THE MAN DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES, BUT THEY ARE AWAITING AUTOPSY REPORTS AND CLINICAL TESTING.

LOUISIANA ADDED 47,400 NON-FARM JOBS IN 2011 AS THE STATE POSTED A 2.5 PERCENT GROWTH RATE DURING A YEAR WHEN THE NATIONAL ECONOMY CONTINUED A SLOW RECOVERY FROM THE GREAT RECESSION. THE STATE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED JOBLESS RATE FELL TO 6.8 PERCENT IN DECEMBER FROM 6.9 PERCENT IN NOVEMBER AND 7.7 PERCENT IN DECEMBER 2010. HERE IN ALEXANDRIA FROM NOVEMBER TO DECEMBER WE SAW 400 NEW JOBS. THE COUNT WAS 1,400 FROM DECEMBER OF 2010.

STATE AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS HE'S CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN 2015. STRAIN IS GETTING AN EARLY START ON WHAT WILL PROBABLY BE A CROWDED FIELD SEEKING TO REPLACE TWO- TERM GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL. DR. STRAIN SAYS A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE TOLD HIM THEY THINK HE SHOULD RUN. STRAIN SAYS HE’S NOT READY TO FIRMLY COMMIT TO RUNNING FOR THE GOVERNOR'S
MANSION, BUT ADMITS - YES - HE WOULD LIKE TO BE GOVERNOR SOMEDAY. HE SAYS HE LOVES HIS CURRENT JOB, AND LOVES SERVING THE PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA.

LOUISIANA HAS BEEN GIVEN AN OVERALL GRADE OF C-MINUS BY A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION IN ITS LATEST RANKING OF U.S. TEACHER QUALITY. THE REPORT, BEING RELEASED WEDNESDAY BY THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON TEACHER QUALITY, ALSO TAKES AIM AT TENURE AND SENIORITY PRACTICES ALREADY UNDER FIRE BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL. IT DOES CITE SOME STRENGTHS, AMONG THEM EFFORTS TO EXPAND THE POOL OF AVAILABLE TEACHERS BY OPENING THE PROFESSION TO EXPERTS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. THE REPORT SAID THE STATE DOES TOO LITTLE TO KEEP EFFECTIVE TEACHES AND GET RID OF INEFFECTIVE ONES.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HAS ANNOUNCED THAT ALEXANDRIA IS AGAIN ON THEIR TOP 100 "BEST ADVENTURE TOWNS" IN THE COUNTRY LIST. IT IS THE SECOND TIME IN JUST OVER TWO YEARS ALEXANDRIA MADE THE LIST. THE MAGAZINE ALSO SINGLED OUT TUNK'S CYPRESS INN ON KINCAID LAKE AS A GOOD PLACE TO EAT IN ALEXANDRIA AND THE FAIRMOUNT PLANTATION BED & BREAKFAST IN COLFAX AS A GOOD PLACE TO STAY. THE ONLY OTHER CITY IN THE STATE TO MAKE THE LIST.. A NO BRAINER HERE.. NEW ORLEANS..


POLICE SAY TWO PEOPLE IN A VEHICLE DIED AFTER IT COLLIDED WITH AN AMTRAK TRAIN IN KENNER. AMTRAK SPOKESMAN MARC MAGLIARI (MAG-LEE-AIR E) SAID NOBODY ON THE NEW ORLEANS-BOUND TRAIN WAS INJURED IN THE TUESDAY AFTERNOON ACCIDENT. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE KENNER POLICE DEPARTMENT SAID BOTH OCCUPANTS OF THE VEHICLE DIED UPON IMPACT. MAGLIARI SAID THE TRAIN HAD DEPARTED CHICAGO ON MONDAY NIGHT AND WAS CARRYING ROUGHLY 59 PASSENGERS AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION.

THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD PROMOTION AND MARKETING BOARD MIGHT USE SOME OF THE $30 MILLION IT GOT FROM BP PLC TO BUY NAMING RIGHTS FOR THE NEW ORLEANS ARENA, WHERE THE NBA'S HORNETS PLAY. EWELL SMITH, THE BOARD'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAID TUESDAY THAT HE AND OTHER BOARD OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH JACK SPERLING, WHO WAS APPOINTED BY NBA COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN TO OVERSEE THE HORNETS WHEN THE LEAGUE BOUGHT THE CLUB IN LATE 2010. THE NAME CHANGE TO THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD ARENA WOULD BE ONLY A SMALL PART OF A CAMPAIGN TO BOLSTER GULF OF MEXICO SEAFOOD IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2010 OIL SPILL. SMITH SAID HE WOULD ALSO LIKE VENDORS' BOOTHS FOR LOUISIANA SEAFOOD IN OTHER NBA ARENAS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH THAT KILLED A 42-YEAR-OLD WOMAN. THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED AROUND 6 P.M. MONDAY ON LA HIGHWAY 3180 JUST WEST OF VIDALIA. TROOPERS SAY CAROLYN WILLIAMS OF VIDALIA WAS EASTBOUND WHEN HER CAR RAN OFF THE ROAD AND OVERTURNED. WILLIAMS WAS NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND WAS EJECTED FROM THE VEHICLE. SHE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

AN 11-YEAR-OLD SHADY GROVE ELEMENTARY STUDENT HAS BEEN ARRESTED AFTER THREATENING TO STAB ANOTHER STUDENT AT SCHOOL. OUACHITA PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WERE CALLED TO THE SCHOOL MONDAY AFTER A 12-YEAR-OLD FEMALE STUDENT REPORTED THE THREATS. POLICE SAID THE MALE STUDENT DID NOT PRODUCE THE WEAPON WHEN HE MADE THE THREAT, BUT INVESTIGATING DEPUTIES DISCOVERED A POCKET KNIFE IN HIS BACKPACK. THE STUDENT WAS BEING HELD AT GREEN OAKS DETENTION CENTER.

THE ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS SIGNED ON TO NIXLE, A COMPANY THAT SENDS NEIGHBORHOOD-LEVEL PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMMUNITY EVENT NOTIFICATIONS BY WEB, EMAIL AND CELLPHONE. MAXINE TRAHAN, A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE FREE SERVICE ALLOWS AUTHORITIES TO SEND ALERTS ON ANYTHING FROM ROAD CLOSURES TO UPCOMING PUBLIC EVENTS. TRAHAN SAID THE SERVICE PROVIDES "INSTANT" INFORMATION SINCE VIRTUALLY EVERYONE CARRIES THEIR CELLPHONES WITH THEM AT ALL TIMES.

A SHREVEPORT HOMEOWNER - ARMED WITH A GUN - SURPRISED A BURGLAR WHO WAS RANSACKING HIS HOME. MR. PHIL WILSON SAYS HE CAME FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE SUSPECT, WHO TRIED TO JUMP IN HIS TRUCK AND FLEE. WILSON SHOT OUT THE TRUCK'S REAR TIRE, THEN A FRONT TIRE. THE MAN FLED ON FOOT, BUT WAS CAUGHT A SHORT TIME LATER AND TAKEN TO JAIL. 23-YEAR-OLD MATTHEW MOSES IS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.

FANS OF THE MAN CALLED THE BOSS ARE HAPPY TO KNOW THAT THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL HAS ADDED BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E-STREET BAND TO THE LINEUP FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH.

MOONBOT MOVIE STUDIOS OF SHREVEPORT HAS HAD THEIR FIRST EVER ANIMATED PROJECT NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR. BRANDON OLDENBURG, CO-DIRECTOR OF HE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE, SAYS HE AND AWARD WINNING AUTHOR WILLIAM JOYCE OF SHREVEPORT HAVE BEEN COLLABORATING ON PROJECTS FOR YEARS. THE MOVIE HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM.




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