KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 02/07/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 020712
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A MOTORCYCLIST WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED LAST NIGHT WHEN HE BROADSIDED A MINIVAN AT THE INTERSECTION OF JACKSON STREET EXT. AND VERSAILLES BLVD IN ALEXANDRIA. THE IDENTITY OF THE DRIVER HAS NOT RELEASED. THE MINIVAN TOOK SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE ON ITS PASSENGER SIDE. DEBRIS FROM THE MOTORCYCLE WAS STREWN ON JACKSON STREET EXTENSION, AND TRAFFIC WAS BACKED UP AS ALEXANDRIA POLICE OFFICERS WORKED TO CLEAR THE SCENE. IT IS UNKNOWN IF ANYONE IN THE MINIVAN WAS INJURED.

THE FATHER OF A 22-YEAR-OLD ALEXANDRIA MAN WHO DIED IN POLICE CUSTODY IN FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR, HAS FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST A LONG LAUNDRY LIST OF LOCAL OFFICIALS. ROBERT RICKS DIED AFTER BEING TASERED. A CORONER'S REPORT AND A LOUISIANA STATE POLICE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT EXONERATED OFFICERS INVOLVED IN THE CASE, SAYING THAT RICKS DIED OF "EXCITED DELIRIUM" FROM HAVING A LETHAL AMOUNT OF COCAINE IN HIS SYSTEM. ACCORDING TO THE 16-PAGE LAWSUIT, LAWRENCE RICKS IS SEEKING DAMAGES FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH, DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS AND NEGLIGENCE THAT HE ALLEGES LED TO HIS SON'S DEATH

9TH DISTRICT JUDGE HARRY RANDOW RULED MONDAY , ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY CAN REVIVE HIS DORMANT LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY COUNCIL,. THIS TIME, HOWEVER, THE MAYOR ISN'T AIMING AT A MAJORITY OF THE CITY COUNCIL. INSTEAD, THE SUIT FOCUSES ON JUST ONE COUNCILMAN, ROOSEVELT JOHNSON. THE ORIGINAL SUIT FILED BY ROY IN AUGUST 2007 SOUGHT TO BLOCK FIVE COUNCIL FROM HIRING ATTORNEYS FOR THE COUNCIL. JOHNSON IS THE ONLY REMAINING DEFENDANT WHO HASN'T BEEN DISMISSED FROM THAT SUIT. JOHNSON’S ATTORNEY, SAID THAT REVIVING THE OLD LAWSUIT AND FOCUSING ONLY ON JOHNSON "SMACKS OF POLITICS" BECAUSE JOHNSON IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION LATER THIS YEAR.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY HAS DECIDED TO GET INVOLVED IN A D.O.T.D. DECISION TO CLOSE AN INTERSECTION IN WOODWORTH. JURORS VOTED IN COMMITTEE MONDAY TO APPROVE A RESOLUTION AGAINST A LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT'S DECISION TO CLOSE A CROSSOVER ON U.S. HIGHWAY 165 WHERE IT INTERSECTS WITH COULEE CROSSING ROAD. THE MOTION WAS PASSED WITHOUT OPPOSITION. THE RESOLUTION, AND OTHER MOTIONS PASSED MONDAY, WILL COME UP FOR OFFICIAL APPROVAL AT THE REGULAR POLICE JURY MEETING NEXT MONDAY.

GOVERNMENT RETIREMENT ISSUES WILL KEEP LAWMAKERS' BUSY DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION THAT STARTS NEXT MONTH. LOUISIANA'S FOUR STATEWIDE RETIREMENT SYSTEMS ARE A COMBINED 18-POINT-5 BILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT. HOUSE RETIREMENT CHAIRMAN KEVIN PEARSON SAYS THE DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY CREATED A GAP BETWEEN MONEY ON HAND AND WHAT THE STATE MUST PAY OUT. GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL IS PROPOSING A SERIES OF CHANGES TO THE PENSION PLAN THAT COVERS MANY STATE WORKERS. IT WOULD RESULT IN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES PAYING MORE INTO THEIR RETIREMENT, WOULD HAVE TO WORK LONGER AND END UP WITH SMALLER PENSION CHECKS

THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSION BEGINS A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TODAY, ABOUT THE DANGERS OF OVER INDULGING AND GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL DURING CARNIVAL SEASON. LHSC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COL. JOHN LEBLANC SAYS MARDI GRAS IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS HOLIDAYS TO BE ON THE ROADS IN LOUISIANA. LEBLANC SAYS THAT AS WITH MOST HOLIDAYS IN LOUISIANA, THE LHSC HAS PROVIDED FUNDING GRANTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE TO INCREASE PATROLS IN AN EFFORT TO REMOVE DRUNK DRIVERS FROM THE ROADS THIS MARDI GRAS.

A RARE FEBRUARY TROPICAL DISTURBANCE HAS MOVED INTO THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO NEAR THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. JACK BEVAN WITH THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, SAYS THEY DON'T EXPECT THIS AREA OF LOW-PRESSURE TO DEVELOP INTO A NAMED STORM. BEVAN SAYS THE MAIN EFFECT OF THIS SYSTEM WILL BE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER SOUTHERN FLORIDA.

A LOUISIANA MAN HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN A PLOT TO SUBMIT MORE THAN $21 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CLAIMS TO THE MEDICARE PROGRAM. FORTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD RODNEY TAYLOR FACES A MAXIMUM SENTENCE OF 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWING HIS GUILTY PLEA MONDAY IN BATON ROUGE TO CONSPIRACY CHARGES. FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY TAYLOR WORKED AS A RECRUITER FOR LOUISIANA-BASED COMPANIES THAT FRAUDULENTLY BILLED MEDICARE FOR UNNECESSARY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT BETWEEN 2004 AND 2009.

U.S. SEN. DAVID VITTER HEDGED MONDAY WHEN ASKED IF HE WAS CONSIDERING A RUN FOR LOUISIANA GOVERNOR IN THREE YEARS, SAYING HE HASN'T BEEN "FOCUSING ON THAT," BUT STOPPING SHORT OF DISCARDING THE POSSIBILITY OF A BID FOR THE JOB. SINCE GOV. BOBBY JINDAL WILL BE TERM-LIMITED AND UNABLE TO RUN AGAIN FOR GOVERNOR IN 2016, SPECULATION IS FLOURISHING ABOUT WHO MIGHT RUN TO REPLACE HIM.IN MORE IMMEDIATE POLITICAL RACES, VITTER DECLINED TO ENDORSE A GOP CONTENDER FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HE SAID HE'LL SUPPORT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE, WHOEVER THAT IS, THOUGH HE ACKNOWLEDGED HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SEN. RICK SANTORUM.

WITH VALENTINE'S DAY JUST A WEEK AWAY, THE DEADLINE IS APPROACHING TO NOMINATE LOUISIANA'S LONGEST MARRIED COUPLE. LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GENE MILLS SAYS HIS GROUP BESTOWS THE HONORS EACH YEAR. MILLS SAYS THERE ARE STILL TWO DAYS TO NOMINATE COUPLE WHO'VE BEEN HAPPILY MARRIED A LONG TIME. HE SAYS THE COUPLE PROCLAIMED LOUISIANA'S LONGEST-MARRIED COUPLE WILL BE HONORED AT A VALENTINE'S DAY EVENT AT THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION IN BATON ROUGE.
FOR INFORMATION CALL 800-606-6470.

THE 14-PARISH ATCHAFALAYA HERITAGE AREA IS GETTING NEW SIGNS TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHEN THEY'VE TRAVELED INTO THE SPECIALLY-DESIGNATED REGION. LT. GOV. JAY DARDENNE, WHO OVERSEES TOURISM EFFORTS IN LOUISIANA, SAID MONDAY THAT 264 HIGHWAY SIGNS ARE BEING INSTALLED AROUND THE ATCHAFALAYA REGION.
THE MARKERS, PAID WITH $165,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDS, DEFINE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE HERITAGE AREA, WHICH WAS DESIGNATED BY CONGRESS AS ONE OF 49 NATIONAL HERITAGE AREAS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE SIGN INSTALLATION WORK SHOULD BE FINISHED IN THE SPRING.







God Bless America!

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