KSYL Local News

News For Monday 01/30/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 013012
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FORMER GOV. EDWIN EDWARDS REMAINED HOSPITALIZED WITH PNEUMONIA SUNDAY.
AS OF LATE SUNDAY EVENING HE WAS MOVED FROM INTENSIVE CARE TO A REGULAR HOSPITAL ROOM. HIS WIFE, TRINA EDWARDS SAID EARLIER IN THE DAY, SHE EXPECTED HIM TO RETURN TO THEIR HOME IN GONZALES POSSIBLY TODAY OR TOMORROW. MS EDWARDS WENT ON TO SAY THE 84 YEAR OLD FORMER GOVERNOR IS TIRED, BUT DOING WELL OVERALL. WITH A LITTLE REST SHE SAYS, HE SHOULD BE AS GOOD AS NEW. EDWARDS WAS TAKEN BY AMBULANCE SATURDAY TO OUR LADY OF THE LAKE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER IN BATON ROUGE.

FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE IN LOUISIANA FOR THE WEEK ENDING JAN. 21 DECREASED FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK'S TOTAL. THE STATE LABOR DEPARTMENT FIGURES RELEASED FRIDAY SHOW THE INITIAL CLAIMS DECREASED TO 3,343 FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK'S TOTAL OF 3,969. THE FIGURE WAS LOWER THAN IT WAS THE SAME WEEK, LAST YEAR.

THE LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION IS SPONSORING A MASSIVE JOB FAIR IN KINDER TODAY FOR COUSHATTA CASINO, WHICH IS LOOKING TO HIRE EMPLOYEES FOR ITS NEW HOTEL. LWC SPOKESPERSON TIFFANY DICKERSON SAYS COUSHATTA IS LOOKING TO HIRE BETWEEN 200-250 PEOPLE FOR A VARIETY OF POSITIONS. DICKERSON SAYS THE COUSHATTA CASINO RESORT'S HOTEL WILL OPEN IN JUNE, BUT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYEES TO START WORKING IMMEDIATELY. DICKERSON SAYS THE EVENT WILL BE HELD TODAY AT THE COUSHATTA CASINO RESORT BANQUET ROOM FROM 11AM-7PM AND IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. SHE SAYS COUSHATTA WOULD BE A GREAT PLACE TO WORK.

US SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU ANNOUNCED, LATE FRIDAY, THE ARMY IS BUYING 4,900 ACRES OF LAND SOUTH OF FORT POLK. THE MOVE COMES AS MAJOR CUTS ARE BEING ANNOUNCED IN THE NATIONAL DEFENSE BUDGET. LANDRIEU'S NEWS RELEASE SAYS THIS IS CURRENTLY THE ONLY LAND ACQUISITION THAT THE U.S. ARMY IS ACTIVELY PURSUING IN THE COUNTRY AND A MOVE THAT LANDRIEU SAYS POINTS TO CONTINUED EXPANSION OF THE BASE.

ABOUT 800 PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED AT AN EDUCATION-CENTERED MEETING TODAY IN BATON ROUGE THAT WILL INCLUDE SPEECHES BY STATE AND NATIONAL LEADERS, INCLUDING FORMER FLORIDA GOV. JEB BUSH, SCHOOLS CHOICE ADVOCATE HOWARD FULLER AND FORMER NEW YORK CITY EDUCATION CHANCELLOR JOEL KLEIN. THE "LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGE" SESSION ALSO WILL INCLUDE TALKS BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, U.S. SEN. MARY LANDRIEU, D-LA., AND STATE EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT JOHN WHITE. THE AIM OF THE SUMMIT IS TO BRING TOGETHER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE MADE SUCCESSFUL EDUCATION REFORMS IN THEIR AREAS.

A STATE TEACHERS' UNION PROPOSES ITS OWN PROPOSALS FOR EDUCATION REFORMS, INCLUDING TEACHER TENURE AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS PRESIDENT JOYCE HAYNES SAYS USING STANDARDIZED STUDENT TEST SCORES AS HALF A TEACHER'S REVIEW IS IMPROPER. THE LAE FEELS STUDENT TEST SCORES SHOULD BE A SMALLER PERCENTAGE OF TEACHER REVIEWS, WITH OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED AS WELL. HAYNES SAYS LAE OPPOSES GOVERNOR JINDAL'S PROPOSED TEACHER TENURE REFORMS. SHE SAYS THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO WEED UNDER-PERFORMING TEACHERS OUT OF THE CLASSROOM. HAYNES SAYS THEY'D LIKE TO DISCUSS THE COUNTER-PROPOSAL WITH MR. JINDAL FACE-TO-FACE.

GAS PRICES HAVE BEEN STEADLY RISING DURING 2012, BUT WILL IT CONTINUE? AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION FUEL ANALYST DON REDMAN SAYS THE PRICE AT THE PUMP TRADITIONALLY GOES UP AS WE MOVE INTO SPRING AND HE SAYS THEY'RE ADVISING THEIR MEMBERS OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT GAS WILL COST FOUR-DOLLARS A GALLON IN MAY. BUT, IN ANY CASE, REDMAN SAYS THEY DON'T SEE A SCENARIO WHERE GAS PRICES WILL FALL BACK TOWARDS $2.50 A GALLON IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

A MEMBER OF LOUISIANA'S "FIRST FAMILY OF POLITICS" IS CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN 2015, WHEN BOBBY JINDAL'S SECOND TERM ENDS. WINNFIELD STATE SENATOR GERALD LONG JOKES THAT ALL LONG'S IN PUBLIC OFFICE EVENTUALLY LOOK AT RUNNING FOR THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION. LONG IS RELATED TO FORMER GOVERNORS HUEY AND EARL LONG, FORMER CONGRESSMAN GILLIS LONG, FORMER U.S. SENATOR RUSSELL LONG AND FORMER STATE HOUSE MEMBER JIMMY LONG. HE SAYS PUBLIC SERVICE IS IN THE FAMILY BLOOD. LONG SAYS HE'LL DECIDE WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO, WHETHER TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR OR RUN AGAIN FOR SENATE DISTRICT 31 IN 2015.

FORMER STATE TROOPER JAY SANDIFER WILL BE SENTENCED MARCH 8 ON FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES. SANDIFER, WHO PLEADED GUILTY IN OCTOBER, HAD BEEN SCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING THIS PAST WEEK. HOWEVER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE DEE DRELL DELAYED THE PROCEEDING BECAUSE OF A SCHEDULING CONFLICT INVOLVING SANDIFER'S LAWYER. THE 41 YEAR OLD SANDIFER, FACES FIVE TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON AND A FINE UP TO $250,000. THE FORMER TROOPER, WHO ALSO FACES STATE CHILD-SEX CHARGES IN THREE CENTRAL LOUISIANA PARISHES, WAS WITH STATE POLICE FOR 15 YEARS. HE WAS FIRED IN JULY 2010.

THE TRIAL OF VILLE PLATTE HIGH SCHOOL HEAD FOOTBALL COACH ROY SERIE ON VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CHARGES HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH. THE 45 YEAR OLD SERIE WAS SCHEDULED FOR TRIAL THIS PAST WEEK, BUT THE CASE WAS POSTPONED BECAUSE OF COURT SCHEDULING CONFLICTS. SERIE WAS ARRESTED IN AUGUST 2010 AFTER AUTHORITIES SAID TESTS SHOWED HE HAD ILLEGAL DRUGS IN HIS SYSTEM AT THE TIME OF A MAY CAR CRASH THAT KILLED HIS WIFE AND A LAKE CHARLES WOMAN WHO WAS DRIVING THE VEHICLE HE STRUCK.

BY NOW YOU HAVE HEARD THE STORY OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE STEALING OVER 600 IRON FLOWER VASES FROM A BALL CEMETERY. NOW ANOTHER THEFT ALONG THAT SAME VEIN. FOUR PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY THE LIVINGSTON PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE FOR STEALING STORM DRAIN GRATES. THAT AFTER A DEPUTY NOTICED THEIR LOW-RIDING MINIVAN IN DENHAM SPRINGS. AUTHORITIES SAY THE DEPUTY PULLED IT OVER AND FOUND SIX METAL STORM DRAIN GRATES, WHICH WEIGH ABOUT 250 POUNDS EACH. THE GRATES ARE VALUED AT ABOUT $300 EACH. CURRENT SCRAP VALUE IS ABOUT $28 EACH.

STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT DATA SHOW THAT, FOR THE PAST TWO FISCAL YEARS, LOUISIANA HAS SPENT ABOUT $1.7 MILLION A YEAR ON EMERGENCY ROOM TREATMENT AND PAIN RELIEF FOR MEDICAID PATIENTS WHO HAD DENTAL PROBLEMS. THE PATIENTS GOT PAIN RELIEF ONLY, NO CURE, BECAUSE MEDICAID PAYS FOR ER VISITS FOR ADULT DENTAL EMERGENCIES BUT DOESN'T COVER DENTAL CARE FOR MOST ADULTS, OR THE COST OF AN EXTRACTION. MOST FEDERALLY REQUIRED DENTAL COVERAGE UNDER MEDICAID ENDS WHEN RECIPIENTS TURN 18. IN LOUISIANA, DENTAL CARE FOR MEDICAID ENROLLEES ENDS AT 21. A FEDERAL REPORT LAST YEAR FOUND LOUISIANA AMONG 10 STATES THAT DON'T OFFER DENTAL BENEFITS TO ADULTS UNDER MEDICAID.







God Bless America!

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