KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 01/26/2012


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 012612
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

35 YEAR OLD KIMBERLY DEVILLE, 19 YEAR OLD BILLY JOHNSON, AND 55 YEAR OLD DEBORAH PRICE, ALL FROM PINEVILLE, HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH STEALING OVER 600 FLOWER VASES FROM A CEMETERY IN BALL. EACH WERE CHARGED THIS WEEK WITH 612 COUNTS OF THEFT FROM A RELIGIOUS BUILDING, CEMETERY OR GRAVEYARD AND CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY IN CONNECTION WITH THE THEFT. DEVILLE HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED ON OTHER CHARGES IN THE CASE BEFORE BEING ARRESTED AGAIN ON THE HUNDREDS OF NEW CHARGES. BOND HAS BEEN SET AT OVER $300K FOR EACH OF THE THREE.

FROM THE, JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THEY WERE ALL PLAYING NICE DEPARTMENT.. ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY AND CITY COUNCILMAN ROOSEVELT JOHNSON ARE HEADED BACK TO COURT. A HEARING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR THE MORNING OF FEBRUARY THE 6TH IN 9TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT. THE CASE DATES BACK TO AUGUST 2007, WHEN MAYOR ROY FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST FIVE MEMBERS OF THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL, AFTER THEY VOTED TO OVERRIDE HIS VETO OF AN ORDINANCE THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED THE COUNCIL TO HIRE ITS OWN ATTORNEYS. JOHNSON IS THE ONLY ONE OF THOSE FIVE MEMBERS STILL ON THE COUNCIL.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS CENTRAL LOUISIANA RECEIVED OVER AN INCH OF RAIN YESTERDAY, AS A STORM FRONT MOVED IT’S WAY ACROSS THE STATE. THERE WERE REPORTS OF STRONG WINDS AND VERY HEAVY RAIN, EVEN A REPORT OF A TORNADO BEING SITED IN THE FT. POLK AREA. THE GOOD NEWS IS, OTHER THAN A FEW INCONVENIENCES, THERE WERE NO REPORTS OF ANY SERIOUS INJURIES. WITH THE FRONT THROUGH, THE WEATHER SERVICE SAYS WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO A NICE WEEKEND.

WELL-GROOMED DOGS WILL COMPETE IN THE MARDI GRAS CLUSTER ALL-BREED DOG SHOWS TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT THE RAPIDES PARISH COLISEUM IN ALEXANDRIA.
THE BATON ROUGE KENNEL CLUB'S MARDI GRAS CLUSTER AKC DOG SHOW IS SET FOR TODAY AND FRIDAY, BEGINNING AT 8:30 A.M. EACH DAY. THE ALEXANDRIA KENNEL CLUB'S MARDI GRAS CLUSTER AKC DOG SHOW IS SET FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, BEGINNING AT 8 A.M. EACH DAY. MORE THAN 160 BREEDS OF DOGS WILL BE COMPETING, INCLUDING SIX NEW BREEDS RECENTLY RECOGNIZED BY THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB. HERE’S THE BEST PART, ADMISSION IS FREE.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL PROPOSED WEDNESDAY A PACKAGE OF PENSION CHANGES THAT WOULD SHRINK RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR THOUSANDS OF CURRENT STATE WORKERS, BOOST THEIR COSTS AND PUSH BACK THE AGE FOR COLLECTING BENEFITS. NEW STATE EMPLOYEES HIRED AFTER THE CHANGES WOULDN'T RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF A SET MONTHLY RETIREMENT PAYMENT, AND INSTEAD WOULD GET A CHEAPER, 401(K)-TYPE OF ACCOUNT WHERE RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS ARE INVESTED AND A RETIREE GETS A LUMP SUM PAYMENT WHEN LEAVING WORK. JINDAL SAID THE STATE MUST REIN IN THE COSTS OF ITS RETIREMENT PROGRAMS, WHICH ARE $18.5 BILLION SHORT OF THE MONEY THEY NEED TO BE FULLY FUNDED AND ARE EATING MORE AND MORE INTO STATE FINANCES.

YESTERDAY, A DAY AFTER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH, PETROLEUM INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES CALLED WEDNESDAY FOR A MORE-AGGRESSIVE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT POLICY, SAYING THE UNITED STATES COULD TAKE CARE OF MORE OF ITS PETROLEUM NEEDS WHILE CUTTING DEPENDENCE ON UNSTABLE FOREIGN OIL SUPPLIES. DURING THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE LOUISIANA MID-CONTINENT OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION, INDUSTRY OFFICIALS SAID THE FORMULA SHOULD INCLUDE SHALE OIL PRODUCTION, OFFSHORE DRILLING IN MORE AREAS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE THAT WOULD BRING OIL FROM CANADA TO TEXAS.

A NEW ORLEANS LAWMAKER FILES LEGISLATION TO MAKE FAILING TO REPORT KNOWN INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL CHILD ABUSE A FELONY. STATE SENATOR J.P. MORRELL SAYS CURRENT LOUISIANA LAW STATES THAT WILLINGLY & KNOWINGLY FAILING TO REPORT SUCH CONDUCT IS A MISDEMEANOR, CARRYING A MINIMAL PENALTY. MORRELL'S BILL WOULD UPGRADE THE OFFENSE; MAKING FAILURE TO REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD TO LAW ENFORCEMENT A FELONY, WITH FINES UP TO $10-THOUSAND AND UP TO 5 YEARS IN PRISON. HE SAYS HIS BILL WILL HELP ASSURE PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING, WHEN THEY'RE AWARE OF SEX CRIMES AGAINST KIDS.

THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT HAS PUBLICLY CENSURED STATE DISTRICT JUDGE ROBERT BURGESS FOR VIOLATING THE JUDICIAL CONDUCT CODE AND ORDERED HIM TO PAY $1,738 IN COSTS. BURGESS, ONE OF TWO JUDGES SERVING THE 42ND JUDICIAL DISTRICT IN DESOTO PARISH, WAS CITED FOR INTERVENING ON BEHALF OF HIS NIECE IN HER 2008 ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN A PROTECTIVE ORDER AGAINST HER ESTRANGED HUSBAND. THE COURT SAYS BURGESS' CONTACT WITH THE JUDGE WHO SIGNED THE PROTECTIVE ORDER CREATED "AN OBVIOUS APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY." IT ALSO NOTED THAT BURGESS HAD STIPULATED FAULT AND EXPRESSED REMORSE FOR HIS ACTIONS.

A GOOD SAMARITAN LOOSES HIS LIFE. NEW ORLEANS POLICE SAY A MAN TRYING TO STOP A CARJACKING WAS SHOT AND KILLED. THE GUNMAN FLED AFTER THE SHOOTING AND TWO SCHOOLS IN THE AREA WERE PLACED ON LOCKDOWN WEDNESDAY MORNING.
POLICE SAY A 44-YEAR-OLD MAN WAS SHOT SEVERAL TIMES. HIS IDENTITY HAS NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC.

A 57-YEAR-OLD EUNICE MAN, ARRESTED IN NOVEMBER FOR IMPERSONATING A POLICE OFFICER, IS BACK IN JAIL AGAIN AND FACING THE SAME CHARGE. EUNICE POLICE CHIEF RONALD DIES SAYS MICHAEL ROLAND WASHINGTON JR., WHO IS BEING HELD WITHOUT BAIL, HAS BEEN BOOKED WITH THEFT, FALSE IMPERSONATION OF A PEACE OFFICER AND THREE COUNTS OF THREATENING A PUBLIC OFFICIAL. DIES SAYS WASHINGTON WAS ARRESTED ON A CHARGE OF SHOPLIFTING AT A LOCAL STORE. HE SAYS WASHINGTON IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS A ST. LANDRY PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE DEPUTY SEVERAL TIMES AT THE SCENE AND THREATENED TO HAVE THE OFFICERS' JOBS. DIES SAYS WASHINGTON WAS EMPLOYED BY THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE BRIEFLY IN 2005.

A FORMER BP EMPLOYEE HAS FILED A WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COMPANY, CLAIMING HE WAS FIRED FOR AIRING CONCERNS ABOUT THE CLEANUP OF MISSISSIPPI'S SHORELINE AFTER THE GULF OIL SPILL. IN A FEDERAL SUIT FILED LAST FRIDAY IN NEW ORLEANS, AUGUST WALTER CLAIMS ONE OF HIS BP BOSSES MANIPULATED DATA ON SHORELINE CLEANUP AND DIDN'T GIVE THE COAST GUARD "THE TRUE STATUS" OF WHAT SUBSTANCES NEEDED TO BE CLEANED. WALTER, A COVINGTON, LA., RESIDENT WHO HELPED DEVELOP BP'S CLEANUP PLANS IN MISSISSIPPI AFTER THE 2010 SPILL BEGAN, CLAIMS IN THE SUIT THAT HE WAS FIRED LAST MONTH IN RETALIATION FOR COMPLAINING THAT BP WASN'T FOLLOWING ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS AND WAS "PICKING AND CHOOSING WHAT OIL TO PICK UP."

NARCOTICS AGENTS HAVE ARRESTED TWO MISSISSIPPI MEN AFTER LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES AGENTS ALLEGEDLY FOUND THEM WITH THE MATERIALS FOR A METHAMPHETAMINE LAB IN A VEHICLE IN THE RUSSELL SAGE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA.
THE TWO MEN, BOTH OF VICKSBURG, MISS., WERE BOOKED MONDAY INTO OUACHITA CORRECTIONAL CENTER ON CHARGES OF CREATION AND OPERATION OF A CLANDESTINE LAB. ACCORDING TO ARREST AFFIDAVITS, WILDLIFE AGENTS CONTACTED NARCOTICS AGENTS AFTER THEY FOUND THE PAIR ON A ROADWAY IN RUSSELL SAGE. AGENTS SAID THE MEN TOLD THEM THEY DROVE TO MONROE FROM VICKSBURG TO BUY PSEUDOEPHEDRINE TO MANUFACTURE METHAMPHETAMINE.

A NEW ORLEANS AREA LAWMAKER WANTS THE PEOPLE TO VOTE ON WHETHER ELECTED AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO ARE CONVICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES SHOULD HAVE THEIR PUBLICLY FUNDED RETIREMENT BENEFITS TAKEN AWAY. METAIRIE REP. TONY LIGI HAS OFFERED THIS PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN THE PAST WITH NO LUCK. LIGI SAYS NEW MEMBERS ON THE HOUSE AND SENATE RETIREMENT COMMITTEES SHOULD GIVE HIS LEGISLATION A BETTER CHANCE OF PASSING AND GOING TO THE PUBLIC FOR A VOTE. HE SAYS HIS LEGISLATION FAILED TO PASS IN THE PAST, BECAUSE OPPONENTS WOULD RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT THE FINANCIAL IMPACT IT WOULD HAVE ON THE FAMILIES OF CONVICTED POLITICIANS AND STATE WORKERS.




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