KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 01/31/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 013112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE WIFE OF FORMER GOVERNOR EDWIN EDWARDS SAYS HER HUSBAND IS NOW HOME AND RESTING. TRINA SCOTT EDWARDS SAYS THE FORMER GOVERNOR WAS ADMITTED THIS WEEKEND WITH A CASE OF PNEUMONIA. TRINA SAYS WHEN THEY GOT TO THE HOSPITAL SATURDAY MORNING, EDWARDS HAD A FEVER OF 104.7 AND WAS PLACED IN THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. BUT, DOCTORS SAID HE WAS WELL ENOUGH TO RETURN HOME YESTERDAY AFTERNOON.

A NEW STUDY SHOWS SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN SEVERELY IMPACTED IN LOUISIANA BY THE SLOWDOWN OF DRILLING PERMITS IN THE GULF. GREATER NEW ORLEANS INC PRESIDENT MICHAEL HECHT SAYS THEY SURVEYED 102 COMPANIES IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY AND 41-PERCENT SAY THEY ARE NOT MAKING A PROFIT. HECHT SAYS THEY SPOKE WITH COMPANIES THAT BUILD SHIPS, OPERATE BOATS, CATERERS AND EVEN FOLKS IN REAL ESTATE. HE SAYS 50-PERCENT OF THE SURVEYED COMPANIES HAVE LAID OFF EMPLOYEES AND 76-PERCENT HAVE LOST CASH RESERVES.

THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS OUT IN FULL FORCE, SEARCHING FOR THE SUSPECT IN A DOUBLE HOMICIDE WHO ESCAPED FROM THEIR OFFICES IN HANDCUFFS FRIDAY NIGHT. DEPUTIES ARE SEARCHING FOR 30-YEAR-OLD READO NARGO WHO WALKED OUT AN UNATTENDED DOOR AFTER HE HAD BEEN LEFT ALONE FOR A MOMENT. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION TO NARDO'S WHEREABOUTS TO CALL THE NATCHITOCHES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE. NARGO WAS LAST SEEN WEARING A BLACK JACKET WITH A HOOD, BLUE JEANS, BLACK BOOTS AND A BABY BLUE T-SHIRT.

OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS, ODDS ARE YOU’LL SEE SMOKE IN FORESTED AREAS OF THE KISATCHIE AS FOREST MANAGERS CONDUCT PRESCRIBED BURNS. PRESCRIBED BURNS HAVE SEVERAL POSITIVE EFFECTS ON THE FOREST. THE FIRE REDUCES DANGEROUS FOREST FUELS, PREVENTS THE SPREAD OF INSECT PESTS AND DISEASE, IMPROVES THE HABITAT FOR VARIOUS WILDLIFE SPECIES AND PROVIDES FOR A QUICK RELEASE OF MINERALS AND NUTRIENTS. HOWEVER, ALL OF THESE BURNS ARE CONTROLLED BY FORESTRY PERSONNEL. IF YOU SEE ONE THAT IS UNATTENDED, CALL 911 TO REPORT THE FIRE.

RESIDENTS FROM RANDOLPH ROAD TO FOREST HILL AND SURROUNDING AREAS ON U.S. HIGHWAY 165 ARE UNDER A WATER BOIL ADVISORY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THE FOREST HILL WATER SYSTEM HAS EXPERIENCED PROBLEMS DUE TO A BREAK IN THE MAIN WATER LINE, LEADING TO THE BOIL ADVISORY.

THE GOVERNOR'S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF SAYS POLLING OF LOUISIANANS SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR BOBBY JINDAL'S PROPOSED EDUCATION REFORMS. TIMMY TEEPELL SAYS HIS NEW EMPLOYER, ONMESSAGE CONSULTANTS, DID A STATEWIDE SURVEY OF 800 VOTERS. HE SAYS 60% POLLED WANT "BOLD REFORMS" OF PUBLIC EDUCATION. TEEPELL SAYS 29% FAVORED FOCUSING MORE ATTENTION ON FIXING FAILING SCHOOLS. TEEPELL SAYS, OTHER POLLS SUGGEST WIDESPREAD SUPPORT FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND OTHER PROPOSALS THAT JINDAL IS PUSHING.

THE SENATE AND HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES BEGIN A SERIES OF MEETINGS TODAY TO GET PUBLIC INPUT ON WHICH HIGHWAY PROJECTS SHOULD RECEIVE FUNDING. SENATE TRANSPORTATION CHAIRMAN ROBERT ADLEY SAYS THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, THE STATE HAS FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE INTERSTATE SYSTEM. ADLEY SAYS THERE'S MORE FOCUS ON STATE HIGHWAYS THIS YEAR. THE "ROAD SHOW" AS ITS CALLED, BEGINS THIS MORNING IN PINEVILLE AT 10:30 AT CITY HALL. THERE'S ANOTHER HEARING THIS AFTERNOON IN BOSSIER CITY.

A STATE DISTRICT JUDGE RULED MONDAY, LOUISIANA'S LAWMAKERS WON'T BE FORCED TO REFILL THE STATE "RAINY DAY" FUND TO ITS CAP, PREVENTING A NEW BUDGET SHORTFALL THAT COULD HAVE TOPPED $150 MILLION. AT ISSUE WAS WHETHER LAWMAKERS NEEDED TO REFILL THE BUDGET STABILIZATION FUND AFTER USING IT TWO YEARS AGO. FORMER STATE LAWMAKER RON GOMEZ AND LOCAL TEA PARTY LEADER BOB REID CLAIMED LEGISLATORS VIOLATED THE STATE CONSTITUTION BY NOT REPLENISHING THE RAINY DAY FUND AFTER TAPPING IT TO HELP CLOSE A DEFICIT IN THE 2009-10 FISCAL YEAR. THE LEGISLATURE AND GOV. BOBBY JINDAL’S ADMINISTRATION ARGUED THAT A MORE RECENT STATUTE POSTPONED ANY NEED TO PUT MONEY BACK INTO THE FUND.

A STATE JUDGE ORDERS A STOP TO EFFORTS TO SEIZE OVER $100-MILLION WON BY HOMEOWNERS WHO SUED LOUISIANA'S LAST-RESORT PROPERTY INSURER FOR ADJUSTING 2005 HURRICANE CLAIMS TOO SLOWLY. STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON SAYS PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEY TRIED TO SEIZE THE FUNDS MONDAY, BUT A GRETNA JUDGE STOPPED THEM. DONELON SAYS THE SEIZURE OF CITIZENS' ASSETS IS ON HOLD, BY JUDICIAL ORDER, WHILE CITIZENS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE EXPLORE EVERY AVENUE OF APPEAL.

AN ATTORNEY FOR A LOUISIANA MAN FIGHTING LIFETIME SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION SAYS HE IS CONSIDERING AN APPEAL TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT RULED LAST WEEK THAT JIMMY L. SMITH MUST REGISTER WITH STATE AUTHORITIES AS A SEX OFFENDER AND COMPLY WITH OTHER PROVISIONS SUCH AS HAVING "SEX OFFENDER" PRINTED IN ORANGE LETTERS ON HIS DRIVER'S LICENSE. SMITH RECEIVED TWO PRISON SENTENCES IN 1995 FOR SEX OFFENSES INVOLVING JUVENILES. AT THE TIME, SMITH WAS REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR 10 YEARS AFTER HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON. HE WAS DISCHARGED FROM THE REQUIREMENT IN 2005. THE DISPUTE BEGAN WHEN LOUISIANA AUTHORITIES TOLD SMITH IN 2009 THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER UNDER A REVISED STATE LAW.

DEPUTIES SAY A DEQUINCY MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN THE ALLEGED RAPE AND BEATING OF A 94-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, WHO SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK AFTER THE ASSAULT.
48-YEAR-OLD GABE MCKEEL JR. WAS BOOKED SATURDAY IN THE CALCASIEU CORRECTIONAL CENTER ON CHARGES OF AGGRAVATED RAPE, AGGRAVATED BURGLARY AND SECOND-DEGREE BATTERY. POLICE SAY MCKEEL WAS ARMED WITH A KNIFE WHEN HE ENTERED THE VICTIM'S HOME AND ALLEGEDLY ATTACKED AND RAPED HER. POLICE SAY THE VICTIM IS IN STABLE CONDITION AT A LAKE CHARLES HOSPITAL. MCKEEL'S BOND HAS BEEN SET AT $1.6 MILLION.

SOME SEAFOOD INDUSTRY PEOPLE ARE OPPOSED TO A PLAN BY THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD PROMOTION AND MARKETING BOARD TO BUY NAMING RIGHTS TO THE NEW ORLEANS ARENA. THE PROPOSAL WOULD USE MONEY BP GAVE THE BOARD TO HELP OFFSET THE NEGATIVE IMPRESSION OF LOUISIANA SEAFOOD AFTER THE 2010 GULF OIL SPILL. SOME SAY THAT MONEY SHOULD BE SPENT ON OUT-OF-STATE ADVERTISING AND MARKETING TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT THAT OUR SEAFOOD IS SAFE TO EAT.

ARTWORK DRAWN BY CONVICTED SERIAL KILLER DERRICK TODD LEE IS BEING SOLD ONLINE. THE WEBSITE, SERIAL KILLERS INK .NET. ANGOLA PRISON AND WARDEN BURL CAIN CALLS THE WEBSITE "SICK" AND SAYS IT IS PROFITING OFF LEE'S AND OTHER SERIAL KILLERS ART. CAIN SAYS THE PRISONER RECEIVED MONEY FROM THE FOUNDER OF THE WEBSITE, JESSIKA GEIN, BUT IT WAS NOT SOLICITED. LEE IS ON DEATH ROW AT ANGOLA STATE PRISON.

WITH A TRIAL OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL PENDING, BP PLC IS ASKING A FEDERAL JUDGE TO BLOCK TWO KEY PLAINTIFFS' EXPERTS FROM TESTIFYING ABOUT AN ALLEGED DISREGARD FOR SAFETY THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY THAT THOSE EXPERTS SAY CAUSED THE BLOWOUT OFF LOUISIANA'S COAST, LEADING TO THE NATION'S LARGEST OFFSHORE OIL SPILL. BP'S LEGAL MANEUVER TO LIMIT THE TWO CALIFORNIA EXPERTS FROM TESTIFYING ABOUT A LACK OF A SAFETY CULTURE AT BP WAS MADE PUBLIC MONDAY AFTER U.S. MAGISTRATE SALLY SHUSHAN UNSEALED 30 COURT MOTIONS TO LIMIT AND BLOCK EXPERT TESTIMONY.

NED SIMMONS, THE GREAT-GRANDSON OF TABASCO SAUCE INVENTOR E. MCILHENNY, AND LONGTIME CEO OF MCILHENNY CO. PASSED AWAY OVER THE WEEKEND. A NATIVE OF NEW ORLEANS AND TULANE GRADUATE. SIMMONS WAS 83.

A TERREBONNE PARISH MAN THAT'S BEEN MISSING SINCE LAST MONDAY, WAS FOUND DEAD YESTERDAY; ONLY A FEW HUNDRED YARDS FROM HIS HOME. 37-YEAR-OLD HERB JOHNSON JR. SUFFERED FROM MENTAL ILLNESS, AND LEFT HIS HOUSE A WEEK AGO COMPLAINING HE WAS HOT. THE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH IS NOT APPARENT. AN AUTOPSY IS SCHEDULED.

God Bless America!

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