KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 02/16/2012


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 021612
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LOUISIANA RANKS THIRD FOR THE HIGHEST SALES TAX IN THE NATION. THAT'S ACCORDING TO A REPORT PUBLISHED BY WASHINGTON-BASED TAX FOUNDATION. TENNESSEE HAS THE HIGHEST SALES TAXES. ARIZONA IS RANKED NUMBER TWO AHEAD OF LOUISIANA. STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY SAYS THESE RANKINGS SUGGEST LOUISIANA HAS ENOUGH MONEY AND CAN CUT TAXES.

A NEW REPORT ON PUBLIC CORRUPTION SHOWS LOUISIANA HAS THE NATION'S HIGHEST PER CAPITA CONVICTION RATE FOR CORRUPTION CASES. THE REPORT WAS DONE BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC AFFAIRS, USING DATA FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. LOUISIANA RACKED UP MORE CORRUPTIONS CONVICTIONS--FOR ITS POPULATION, THAN ANY OTHER STATE.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS HE'D LIKE TO CHANGE THE STATE'S TOPS PROGRAM TO ALLOW SOLDIERS WHO RE-ENLIST TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR POPULAR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM WHEN THEY LEAVE THE MILITARY. UNDER CURRENT LAW, STUDENTS WHO IMMEDIATELY ENTER SERVICE AFTER THEY GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TOPS FOR FIVE YEARS, BUT IT DOESN'T ALLOW A VETERAN TO RE-ENLIST AND RECEIVE TOPS AFTER A SECOND ROUND OF SERVICE. JINDAL'S PROPOSED CHANGE WOULD ALLOW A VETERAN TO GET TOPS AS LONG AS THEY ENROLL IN COLLEGE WITHIN A YEAR OF COMPLETING
SERVICE.

RESIDENTS IN FOREST HILL, FROM RANDOLPH ROAD TO INTERSTATE 49, ARE UNDER A WATER BOIL ADVISORY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. A WATER MAIN BREAK IS THE CULPRIT. AGAIN, THAT’S RESIDENTS OF FOREST HILL WHO LIVE ANYWHERE FROM RANDOLPH ROAD TO INTERSTATE 49, BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE YOU USE IT.

YOU HEAR OF BOMB THREATS BEING CALLED IN ALL THE TIME TO COURT HOUSES, SCHOOLS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES. BUT, TO THE SALVATION ARMY? ALEXANDRIA POLICE HAVE ARRESTED 25 YEAR OLD BRANDON ORTEGO OF BUNKIE AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY CALLED IN A BOMB THREAT TO THE LOCAL SALVATION ARMY CENTER. IT HAPPENED LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON. THE FACILITY WAS CHECKED TOP TO BOTTOM AND NO DEVICE WAS FOUND. ORTEGO HAS BEEN BOOKED INTO THE PARISH DETENTION CENTER.

PINEVILLE POLICE OFFICERS ARE SEARCHING FOR A JUVENILE WHO RAN AWAY FROM CAMP BEAUREGARD. 16 YEAR OLD DALTON BAKER, A YOUTH CHALLENGE PROGRAM STUDENT, WAS LAST SEEN ON JAN. 27 WEARING A GRAY SWEAT SUIT. IF ANYONE HAS INFORMATION ON THE BOY’S WHEREABOUTS IS ASKED TO CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

A POLICE OFFICER IN ABBEVILLE HAS BEEN FIRED FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN A SHOOTING LAST DECEMBER. THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO TERMINATE WILLIAM PROCTOR FOR OPENING FIRE ON A VEHICLE THAT REFUSED TO PULL OVER. A GRAND JURY HAS FOUND THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO INDICT PROCTOR IN THE INCIDENT.

STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS CONFIRM THE LAST SO-CALLED FEMA TRAILER HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM NEW ORLEANS. THE MOBILE HOME AND CAMPER TRAILER UNITS DOTTED THE CITYSCAPE IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE KATRINA IN 2005. PAT FORBES, WITH THE STATE OFFICE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, SAYS THE FEMA TRAILER ERA IS COMING TO A CLOSE AND IT'S A SYMBOLIC MILESTONE FOR NEW ORLEANS RECOVERY. FORBES IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OCD'S DISASTER RECOVERY UNIT. HE
SAYS 230 OF THE TEMPORARY SHELTERS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE CITY
IN THE LAST 14 MONTHS, AND THERE ARE ONLY 6 REMAINING IN THE ENTIRE STATE.

READY FOR YOUR CLOSE UP?? A MOVIE STARING TOM CRUISE AND MORGAN FREEMAN THAT'S SET TO FILM IN THE NEW ORLEANS AND BATON ROUGE AREAS, IS LOOKING FOR ADULT EXTRAS. THE CASTING COMPANY SAYS ANYONE INTERESTED CAN SEND A PHOTO TO UTCPCASTING@GMAIL.COM.

A TRAGIC OVERNIGHT FIRE IN HOLDEN HAS CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTER. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS THE FAMILY WOKE UP TO SMOKE IN THE TRAILER AND FATHER BARELY ESCAPED WITH THREE OTHER CHILDREN. HE SAYS THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE HOW THE FIRE STARTED. BROWNING SAYS ONE OF THE CHILDREN ESCAPED BY "CRAWLING LOW IN SMOKE", A LESSON SHE LEARNED IN SCHOOL. IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING, BROWNING SAYS THERE WERE NO WORKING SMOKE DETECTORS IN THE HOME.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS NEARLY $4 MILLION IN HIS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT, EVEN AFTER WRAPPING UP HIS ELECTION COSTS AND TALLYING MUCH OF HIS INAUGURATION CEREMONY SPENDING, ACCORDING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS FILED WEDNESDAY. THE GOVERNOR HAS NO ANNOUNCED POLITICAL PLANS FOR USING THE CASH. HE'S BARRED FROM A THIRD CONSECUTIVE TERM AS GOVERNOR AND HAS SAID HIS ONLY PLANS CURRENTLY ARE TO FINISH HIS TERM, WHICH RUNS UNTIL 2016. THE MONEY COULD BE USED FOR DONATIONS TO OTHER CAMPAIGNS, CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS AND CONTINUING POLITICAL CONSULTING, ADVERTISING AND MAILER EXPENSES.

A PROPOSED $185 MILLION CONTRACT WITH A FIRM TO HANDLE LOUISIANA'S MEDICAID CLAIMS PROCESSING HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S HEALTH AGENCY. STATE HEALTH AGENCY OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MONTHS FOR THE U.S. CENTER FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES TO AGREE TO LOUISIANA'S DEAL WITH CNSI, THE MARYLAND COMPANY THAT WON THE BID. CNSI AT ONE TIME EMPLOYED BRUCE GREENSTEIN, THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY THAT WOULD OVERSEE THE WORK CONTRACTED BY THE STATE. THE GOVERNOR STILL HAS TO SIGN OFF ON THE DEAL. THAT IS EXPECTED IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

LESS THAN A DAY AFTER INITIATING A POLICY OF PUTTING SIGNS ON HOUSES INVESTIGATED FOR DRUGS AS A RESULT OF A CRIMESTOPPERS TIP, NEW ORLEANS POLICE SUPERINTENDENT RONAL SERPAS RETHOUGHT THE IDEA AND CANCELED IT. THE PLACARDS THAT WERE TO BE PLACED ON HOUSES READ, "THE NOPD HAS SERVED A NARCOTICS-RELATED WARRANT OR CHECKED THIS RESIDENCE AS A RESULT OF A CRIMESTOPPERS HOTLINE CITIZEN'S TIP." SERPAS SAYS THE PLACARDS INITIATIVE WAS PUT IN PLACE WHEN HE OVERSAW THE NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND IT WORKED WELL THERE. BUT CRITICS ARGUED THE PROPOSED CRIME-FIGHTING TOOL MIGHT TARGET INNOCENT PEOPLE.
ON WEDNESDAY, SERPAS SAID HE WOULD LOOK FOR OTHER WAYS TO NOTIFY NEIGHBORHOODS OF EFFORTS TO GET RID OF DRUGS.

PROSECUTORS HAVE RESTED THEIR CASE IN THE FRAUD TRIAL OF JAILED TEXAS TYCOON R. ALLEN STANFORD. THE FINAL WITNESS FOR PROSECUTORS WRAPPED UP HIS TESTIMONY IN HOUSTON FEDERAL COURT WEDNESDAY. PROSECUTORS SPENT THREE WEEKS PRESENTING MORE THAN A DOZEN WITNESSES IN SUPPORT OF THEIR CLAIMS STANFORD BILKED INVESTORS OUT OF MORE THAN $7 BILLION IN A PONZI SCHEME CENTERED ON THE SALES OF CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT FROM HIS CARIBBEAN BANK ON THE ISLAND NATION OF ANTIGUA.
STANFORD'S DEFENSE ATTORNEYS BEGAN PRESENTING THEIR CASE LATE YESTERDAY.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS HAS REACHED A SETTLEMENT RESOLVING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CLAIMS THAT THE DEPARTMENT FAILED TO PROPERLY RESPOND TO AN EMPLOYEE'S COMPLAINTS THAT A SUPERVISOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTED HER. THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT FILED WEDNESDAY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA CALLS FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO MODIFY ITS POLICIES AND TRAINING FOR PREVENTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE. THE AGREEMENT ALSO RESOLVES A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION.



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