KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 02/14/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 021412
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AFTER SAYING THEY WOULD, MEMBERS OF THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY HAS DECIDED NOT TO PROTEST THE CLOSURE OF AN INTERSECTION IN WOODWORTH, AFTER ALL.
JURORS VOTED IN COMMITTEE MEETINGS LAST WEEK IN FAVOR OF A RESOLUTION OBJECTING TO A D.O.T.D. DECISION TO CLOSE A CROSSOVER ON U.S. HIGHWAY 165 WHERE IT INTERSECTS WITH COULEE CROSSING ROAD. BUT, WHEN THE MOTION CAME UP FOR APPROVAL AT THE JURY'S MONTHLY MEETING YESTERDAY, THE JURY ADOPT A RESOLUTION "IN FAVOR OF SAFETY OVER CONVENIENCE," AND SUPPORT WHATEVER SOLUTION THE DOTD DEEMS THE SAFEST. DOTD OFFICIALS SAY THE CROSSOVER IS BEING CLOSED FOR SAFETY REASONS. TRAFFIC IN THE AREA IS EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY BECAUSE OF NEARBY DORMON JUNIOR HIGH, WHICH WILL OPEN NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAS RELEASED THE IDENTITY OF A BODY THAT WAS FOUND LAST WEEK IN THE RED RIVER AS THAT OF 56 YEAR OLD FOSTER BONTON. THE GRUESOME DISCOVERY WAS MADE ON FEB. 9 BY AN EMPLOYEE AT THE OVERTON LOCK AND DAM NO. 2 NEAR THE POLAND COMMUNITY IN RAPIDES PARISH. SHERIFF CHUCK WAGNER SAID YESTERDAY THAT RPSO OFFICIALS ARE STILL INVESTIGATING HOW THE MAN’S BODY ENDED UP IN THE RIVER. HOWEVER, FOUL PLAY IS NOT SUSPECTED IN HIS DEATH.

A STATE LAWMAKER HAS FILED A BILL THAT WOULD GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS LEGAL AUTHORITY TO PULL DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC DRUGS OFF THE SHELVES. SENATOR FRED MILLS OF ST. MARTINVILLE SAYS IF A NEW DANGEROUS DRUG GOES ON THE MARKET, THE LEGISLATURE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT WHILE OUT OF SESSION. HE SAYS HIS BILL FIXES THAT PROBLEM. MILLS SAYS IT'S NOT UNPRECEDENTED TO GIVE POWER SUCH AS THIS TO A STATE AGENCY BETWEEN SESSIONS.

LOUISIANA'S SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS ARE ASKING THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION TO REQUIRE THAT PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS THAT ACCEPT STUDENTS WHO GET STATE AID ALSO RECEIVE AN ANNUAL LETTER GRADE LIKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. IN ADDITION, MICHAEL FAULK, PRESIDENT OF THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS SAY STUDENTS WHO GET THE AID SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE SAME STATE SKILLS TESTS AS STUDENTS DO IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. BOTH REQUESTS STEM FROM GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S PROPOSAL TO GREATLY EXPAND THE AID, WHICH JINDAL CALLS SCHOLARSHIPS AND WHICH OPPONENTS CALL VOUCHERS. UNDER THE GOVERNOR'S PLAN, LOW-INCOME STUDENTS ATTENDING A "C," ''D" OR "F'' SCHOOL, AS RATED BY THE STATE, WOULD HAVE THE OPTION OF GETTING THE AID. JINDAL SAYS THE CHANGE WOULD GIVE FAMILIES A WAY OUT OF FAILING CLASSROOMS.

A REPORT FROM THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S OFFICE CONFIRMS WHAT GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS SAID MANY TIMES ABOUT HIS REDUCTIONS IN THE STATE WORKFORCE. NICOLE EDMONSON, WITH THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE, SAYS THE DECREASE IN STATE WORKERS FROM 2005 TO 2011 IS SIGNIFICANT, CLOSE TO 12-THOUSAND EMPLOYEES. THE AUDITOR'S REPORTS NUMBERS WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE RELEASED LAST WEEK BY THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION. EDMONSON SAYS THE NUMBERS DIFFER BECAUSE THEY'RE FROM 2005-2011, WHEN THE GOVERNOR'S FIGURES ONLY LOOK AT HIS TIME IN OFFICE SINCE 2008. EDMONSON SAYS, HOWEVER, THAT WHILE THE NUMBER OF STATE WORKERS IS
DECREASING. THE AMOUNT SPENT PAYING THEM HAS GONE UP.

LOUISIANA'S LONGEST KNOWN MARRIED COUPLE FOR 2012 HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED BY THE LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GENE MILLS SAYS 101 YEAR-OLD NORMAN BURMAH AND 98-YEAR-OLD NORMA BURMAH OF MARKSVILLE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 81 YEARS. HE SAYS THE TWO MET ON THE ROOF GARDEN DANCE HALL IN NEW ORLEANS. MILLS SAYS THE COUPLE LIVED IN NEW ORLEANS UNTIL 2005 WHEN THEY TRAGICALLY LOST THEIR HOME DURING HURRICANE KATRINA. HE SAYS THAT'S WHEN THE BURMAH'S MOVED TO MARKSVILLE. THE COUPLE WILL BE HONORED TODAY AT THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION DURING A SPECIAL CEREMONY THIS AFTERNOON.

A PRESCRIBED BURN IS UNDERWAY AT KISATCHIE NATIONAL FOREST IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA AND THE U-S FOREST SERVICE'S GOAL IS TO BURN 130-THOUSAND ACRES. KISATCHIE SPOKESPERSON JIM CALDWELL SAYS INTENTIONALLY BURNING TREES AND BUSHES CAN LATER PREVENT OUT OF CONTROL WILD FIRES. CALDWELL SAYS THE PRESCRIBED BURNS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THIS SPRING AND INTO THE EARLY SUMMER.

A THIBODAUX MAN REPORTED MISSING SATURDAY WAS FOUND YESTERDAY, INSIDE HIS PICKUP TRUCK, SUBMERGED IN A SWAMP. LAFOURCHE DEPUTIES SAY CHAD TABOR'S TRUCK APPARENTLY SKIDDED OFF THE ROADWAY AND INTO THE WATER. TABOR HAD NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE FRIDAY NIGHT. HIS JOB REPORTED HIM MISSING SATURDAY.

ANOTHER ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING IN BATON ROUGE. BRPD SPOKESMAN SGT. L'JEAN MCKNEELY SAYS SOME TEENS WERE PARTYING, AND GOOFING AROUND WITH A PISTOL SUNDAY AFTERNOON, AND WHEN ONE HANDED THE GUN TO ANOTHER, IT WENT OFF--STRIKING 19-YEAR-OLD DONTA YOUNG. YOUNG DIED FROM THE INJURIES. A 16-YEAR-OLD IS NOW IN CUSTODY, CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE.

THE SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA TOWN OF WELSH IS SEEKING HELP FROM STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL IN SOLVING THREE UNSOLVED MURDERS. THREE YOUNG MEN HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE LAST YEAR, WHICH IS UNUSUAL FOR WELSH. POLICE CHIEF TOMMY CHAISSON WOULDN'T SAY THE MOTIVE FOR THESE KILLINGS, BUT HE SAYS THE JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH TOWN HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN VIOLENT CRIMES. HE SAYS HIS SMALL POLICE DEPARTMENT DOESN'T HAVE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION INTO THESE MURDERS.

A FARMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER IS ARRESTED; ACCUSED OF HAVING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A MALE STUDENT. 29-YEAR-OLD XAVIER FRAZIER FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES; HIS BOND SET AT $105-THOUSAND. POLICE SUSPECT FRAZIER HAD CONTACT WITH OTHER STUDENTS AS WELL, SO THEY'RE INVESTIGATING.

THE JEFFERSON PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SAYS THREE TEENAGE INMATES AT THE BRIDGE CITY CENTER FOR YOUTH TRAPPED AN EMPLOYEE INSIDE THEIR DORM, MANHANDLED HER AND THREATENING HER WITH RAPE. SHERIFF NEWELL NORMAND SAID MONDAY THE TEENS, AGES 14, 15 AND 16, WILL BE CHARGED WITH FALSE IMPRISONMENT, BATTERY ON A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, CRIMINAL DAMAGE AND OBSCENITY. IN ADDITION, HE SAYS THEY WILL FACE FURTHER PUNISHMENT BY THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM.


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