KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 02/01/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 020112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

TWO CENTRAL LOUISIANA TRUCK DRIVERS DIED IN VERNON PARISH YESTERDAY MORNING WHEN THEIR RIGS COLLIDED ON LA. HIGHWAY 28 AT LA. HIGHWAY 8. THE EAST AND WEST LANES OF LA. 28 NEAR THE CRASH SITE WERE CLOSED MOST OF THE DAY AFTER THE WRECK, BUT REOPENED JUST BEFORE 3 P.M., THIRTEEN HOURS AFTER THE CRASH OCCURRED. TROOPERS SAY 54 YEAR OLD HAROLD DURAND OF POLLOCK WAS DRIVING A LOGGING TRUCK ON HIGHWAY 8. AND FAILED TO STOP AT THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 28 WEST. HE THEN ENTERED THE HIGHWAY AND STRUCK ANOTHER 18 WHEELER BEING DRIVEN BY 29 YEAR OLD JOSEPH WINFORD OF DERIDDER. WINFORD DIED AT THE SCENE OF THE CRASH. DURAND DIED A SHORT TIME LATER AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL.

A GOOD CROWD SHOWED UP YESTERDAY FOR A MEETING IN PINEVILLE AIMED AT GETTING PUBLIC INPUT ON LOUISIANA'S HIGHWAY NEEDS. IN THE END THOUGH, MUCH OF THE MEETING WAS JUST LIP SERVICE TO FRUSTRATED RESIDENTS, BECAUSE THE STATE DOESN’T HAVE THE MONEY NECESSARY TO ADDRESS THEIR PROBLEMS. ACCORDING THE STATE D.O.T.D. THE STATE CURRENTLY HAS MORE THAN $12 BILLION IN HIGHWAY NEEDS AND ONLY $757 MILLION BUDGETED FOR THE 2012 / 2013 FISCAL YEAR.

35 YEAR OLD MARCUS HOWARD HAS BEEN INDICTED BY A RAPIDES PARISH GRAND JURY ON ONE COUNT OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER AND ONE COUNT OF POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON, IN CONNECTION WITH THE NOVEMBER SLAYING OF MICHAEL HUDSON BREW, WHO WAS SHOT TO DEATH IN HIS FOURTH STREET HOME IN ALEXANDRIA.
HOWARD IS ONE OF FIVE PARISH RESIDENTS INDICTED YESTERDAY. ALL FIVE ACCORDING TO THE PARISH DA’S OFFICE, CAREER FELONS.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS DENIED A REQUEST BY THE STATE'S INSURER OF LAST RESORT TO BLOCK A RAID ON ITS ASSETS TO PAY OFF A STATE COURT JUDGMENT.
JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA THREW OUT THE STATE'S LEGAL REQUEST TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
THE LOUISIANA CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE BOARD ON TUESDAY HIRED A WASHINGTON, D.C., ATTORNEY TO APPEAL A LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT RULING THAT CALLS FOR CITIZENS TO PAY $93 MILLION, PLUS INTEREST, TO POLICYHOLDERS WHO SUED BECAUSE CITIZENS DID NOT MEET A DEADLINE FOR STARTING TO PROCESS CLAIMS AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA.

LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE IS OFF TO THE BIG APPLE. DARDENNE WILL HELP PROMOTE LOUISIANA TOURISM WITH THE HELP OF THE HISTORY CHANNEL, WHO CARRY "SWAMP PEOPLE". CHEF JOHN FOLSE WILL ALSO BE THERE, SERVING UP DELICIOUS LOOZIANA CUISINE.

JANUARY HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MILDEST, AND WARMEST IN RECENT HISTORY. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS THE PACIFIC LA NINA IS MOSTLY TO BLAME - OR THANK - FOR THAT. HE SAYS EVEN THOUGH THIS WINTER HAS BEEN WARMER THAN NORMAL, WE CAN STILL EXPECT SOME CHILLY DAYS IN FEBRUARY. KEIM SAYS USUALLY WE GET A LOT OF CANADIAN AIR IN JANUARY; THIS YEAR IT'S BEEN COMING IN MOSTLY FROM THE PACIFIC.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SOMEWHAT PUZZLED BY THE LOW NUMBERS OF REPORTED FLU CASES IN LOUISIANA THIS SEASON. DR. FRANK WELCH IS DIRECTOR OF IMMUNIZATION PROGRAMS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HOSPITALS. HE SAYS THERE'S A "FLU INDEX" BY WHICH HEALTH OFFICIALS GRADE INFLUENZA SEASONS' SEVERITY...AND THIS YEAR IT'S VERY LOW. WHY MIGHT THIS BE? WELCH SAYS DHH IS NOT SURE, BUT HE THINKS IT MAY BE DUE TO EFFECTIVE FLU SHOT PUBLIC AWARENESS ADS ON RADIO AND TV.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL HAS APPOINTED FORMER STATE LAWMAKER RICKEY HARDY, OF LAFAYETTE, TO THE PARDON BOARD -- ONE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT BOARDS THAT PAYS ITS MEMBERS A SALARY; ABOUT $36K A YEAR. THE FIVE-MEMBER BOARD MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR ABOUT CLEMENCY APPLICATIONS.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL'S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF BELIEVES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IS IN GOOD SHAPE TO BE REELECTED THIS NOVEMBER. TIMMY TEEPELL, WHO IS NOW A PARTNER WITH ON-MESSAGE, A NATIONAL POLITICAL FIRM, SAYS OBAMA WILL LIKELY WIN THE SAME BASE STATES THAT SENATOR JOHN KERRY WON EIGHT YEARS AGO, LEAVING HIM JUST A FEW ELECTORAL VOTES AWAY FROM RE-ELECTION. BUT TEEPELL SAYS A LIKELY OBAMA VICTORY COULD MEAN REPUBLICANS WILL DO WELL IN COMPETITIVE CONGRESSIONAL RACES. TEEPELL SAYS THE LACK OF OPTIMISM SHOWED BY VOTERS IN THEIR POLLING, SUGGESTS THAT THE G-O-P CAN TAKE CONTROL OF THE SENATE...

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING THE SHOOTING DEATHS OF TWO MEN--FOUND LYING IN THE ROAD IN THE CITY'S GLEN OAKS AREA. THE MEN HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED, AND SO FAR DETECTIVES HAVE NO SUSPECT OR MOTIVE IN THE KILLINGS. BATON ROUGE STILL RANKS IN THE TOP TEN US CITIES FOR ANNUAL MURDERS PER CAPITA.

THE FORMER SHREVEPORT CITY OFFICIAL CONVICTED LAST WEEK OF RAPE AND ABUSE OF OFFICE WILL BE SENTENCED TODAY. RICK SEATON COULD GET 45 YEARS IN PRISON. SEATON WAS FOUND GUILTY OF BRINGING AN 18 YEAR OLD WOMAN--DRUNK AND DISTRAUGHT OVER HER BOYFRIEND'S ARREST--TO CITY OFFICE'S WHERE HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HER CONDITION. THE INCIDENT HAPPENED ON THE DAY OF THE 2010 INDEPENDENCE BOWL.

A CRASH INVOLVING THREE PONCHATOULA HIGH TEENAGERS HAS LEFT THE DRIVER DEAD, AND THE TWO PASSENGERS INJURED. STATE POLICE SAY 17-YEAR-OLD KRISTINA BERNARD’S VEHICLE DRIFTED OFF OF I-12 AND CRASHED. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE DISTRACTED DRIVING MAY HAVE BEEN A FACTOR.

A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED TUESDAY THAT HALLIBURTON CAN AVOID PAYING MOST OF THE POLLUTION CLAIMS THAT RESULTED FROM THE CATASTROPHIC 2010 GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL BECAUSE IT WAS SHIELDED IN A CONTRACT WITH WELL-OWNER BP. STILL, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE CARL BARBIER SAID THAT HALLIBURTON IS NOT EXEMPT FROM PAYING PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND CIVIL PENALTIES THAT ARISE FROM THE APRIL 20, 2010, BLOWOUT OFF THE LOUISIANA COAST. THOSE PENALTIES COULD AMOUNT TO BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

IT'S BEEN THREE MONTHS SINCE IT HAPPENED LAST TIME, BUT A COUPLE IN OUACHITA PARISH HAS FOUND ANOTHER DEAD HORSE ROTTING NEAR THEIR PROPERTY. THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE INCIDENT AND BELIEVE THEY HAVE A SUSPECT WHO THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE. THE SAME COUPLE FOUND THREE DEAD HORSES ON ANOTHER NEIGHBOR'S LAND AROUND THANKSGIVING.

A 17-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AT A BATON ROUGE SCHOOL FOR GIFTED STUDENTS IS UNDER ARREST FOR MULTIPLE COUNTS OF IDENTITY THEFT. AUTHORITIES ALLEGE THAT AMELIA BUCKLES STOLE THE NAMES, BIRTH DATES AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS OF OVER A HUNDRED FELLOW STUDENTS; USING SOME TO FILE BOGUS FEDERAL TAX RETURNS AND GET REFUND CHECKS.

God Bless America!

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