KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 02/23/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 022312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

POWER PROVIDER CLECO CORP. HAS POSTED A 49 PERCENT INCREASE IN FOURTH QUARTER PROFIT. FOR THE OCTOBER-THROUGH-DECEMBER PERIOD, PINEVILLE-BASED CLECO SAID WEDNESDAY THAT IT EARNED $30.6 MILLION, OR 51 CENTS PER SHARE. IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2010, CLECO EARNED $20.6 MILLION, OR 34 CENTS PER SHARE.

FORMER GOV. "BUDDY" ROEMER IS GIVING UP HIS ATTEMPT TO WIN THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT. BUT HE'S NOT GIVING UP HIS BID FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, INSTEAD TRYING TO RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE. ROEMER SAID HE WILL MAKE A FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT THURSDAY IN CALIFORNIA. THE 68-YEAR-OLD FORMER CONGRESSMAN WHO BARELY REGISTERED IN POLLING ON THE GOP RACE SAID HE WILL TRY TO BECOME THE NOMINEE OF AMERICANS ELECT. THE NONPARTISAN GROUP IS PUSHING FOR A THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE TO RUN AGAINST PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND THE EVENTUAL GOP NOMINEE. ALSO, ROEMER SAID HE'LL SEEK THE NOMINATION OF THE REFORM PARTY.

21 PEACE OFFICERS RECEIVED AWARDS YESTERDAY FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PROGRAM. CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION WERE GIVEN TO OFFICERS OF THE ALEXANDRIA AND PINEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENTS; THE RAPIDES, LASALLE AND SABINE PARISH SHERIFFS' DEPARTMENTS; STATE POLICE AND A NORTH LOUISIANA CRIME LAB. THE CEREMONY WAS HELD IN THE ALEXANDRIA PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX'S COMMUNITY ROOM. CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU TO ALL INVOLVED.

WINNFIELD POLICE CHIEF JOHNNIE RAY CARPENTER WILL BE HONORED DURING A PARADE SATURDAY IN WINNFIELD. WHILE THAT, IN AND OF ITSELF, ISN’T UNUSUAL, THE FACT THAT THIS IT’S HAPPENING SHORTLY AFTER THE CHIEF HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM JAIL IS. THE PARADE WILL BE PART OF A BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION AND WILL, ACCORDING TO SOME, HELP SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. IN JULY, CARPENTER WAS SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN PRISON FOR HIS ROLE IN IMPEDING FEDERAL OFFICERS WHO WERE TRYING TO ARREST A FUGITIVE IN 2009. HE BEGAN SERVING THE SENTENCE IN AUGUST.

LOUISIANA'S PROPERTY INSURER OF LAST RESORT IS OFFERING NEARLY $103 MILLION TO SETTLE DISPUTES OVER ITS HANDLING OF CLAIMS AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA MORE THAN SIX YEARS AGO. THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE LOUISIANA CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORP. AGREED TO THE LATEST OFFER WEDNESDAY, BUMPING UP ITS PREVIOUS SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL OF $80 MILLION. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON SAYS HE DOESN'T THINK PLAINTIFFS' LAWYERS WILL AGREE TO THE NEW CITIZENS' OFFER BECAUSE IT INCLUDES A $25 MILLION CAP ON ATTORNEYS' FEES. STATE COURTS HAVE RULED CITIZENS MOVED TOO SLOWLY ON HANDLING CLAIMS FOR THE 2005 STORMS. A JUDGMENT AGAINST THE COMPANY HAS GROWN TO NEARLY $104 MILLION WITH INTEREST.
THE SETTLEMENT PROPOSED WEDNESDAY WOULD COVER THAT CLASS-ACTION JUDGMENT AND A SECOND SET OF CITIZENS CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE PENDING CLAIMS.

INDEPENDENT PETROLEUM PRODUCER STONE ENERGY CORP. NEARLY DOUBLED ITS FOURTH QUARTER PROFIT ON SHARPLY HIGHER OIL PRICES THAN A YEAR AGO. LAFAYETTE-BASED STONE SAID WEDNESDAY THAT IT EARNED $45.5 MILLION, OR 93 CENTS PER SHARE, DURING THE QUARTER THAT ENDED DEC. 31. THAT'S UP FROM $23.8 MILLION, OR 49 CENTS PER SHARE, A YEAR AGO. REVENUE ROSE TO $221.8 MILLION FROM $170 MILLION.

A NEW REPORT CONDUCTED BY LSU FINDS THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED CHILDREN IN LOUISIANA CONTINUED TO DECLINE WHILE THE NUMBER OF ADULTS WITHOUT INSURANCE ROSE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. THE 2011 LOUISIANA HEALTH INSURANCE SURVEY, RELEASED TUESDAY, FOUND 16,190 FEWER UNINSURED CHILDREN THAN IN 2009 — BRINGING THE PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED CHILDREN DOWN TO 3.5 PERCENT STATEWIDE. MEANWHILE, THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED ADULTS AGE 19 TO 64 HAS INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. BASED ON SURVEY RESULTS, THE PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED ADULTS JUMPED FROM 20.1 PERCENT IN 2009 TO 22.7 PERCENT IN 2011.

COPS IN SHREVEPORT ARE INVESTIGATING A CAR FOUND YESTERDAY MORNING IN THE RED RIVER. IT WAS DISCOVERED BY A CONSTRUCTION CREW WORKING ON THE RIVERFRONT. OFFICERS NOW WANT TO KNOW WHO THE LIGHT-COLORED OLDSMOBILE BELONGS TO, AND HOW IT GOT THERE.

LOUISIANA WILL REINSTATE AND PAY ABOUT $36,600 IN BACK WAGES TO A WOMAN FIRED AFTER MISSING WORK BECAUSE OF A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM. THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES ILLEGALLY KEPT THE WOMAN FROM RETURNING TO WORK AFTER AN EARLIER MEDICAL ABSENCE, CUTTING HER HOURS BELOW THE NUMBER REQUIRED TO GET UP TO 12 WEEKS OF UNPAID LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT.

THE CADDO PARISH COMMISSION HAS VOTED TO REMOVE THE "PAJAMA PANTS" ORDINANCE FROM THE REGULAR AGENDA, AND ONE COMMISSIONER EVEN WORE HER PJ'S TO THE MEETING IN PROTEST. JOYCE BOWMAN SAYS THE IDEA OF MAKING IT ILLEGAL FOR SOMEONE TO WEAR PAJAMA PANTS IN PUBLIC, IS CRAZY. THE COMMISSION VOTED THE MEASURE DOWN ON AN 8-4 VOTE, BUT MICHAEL WILLIAMS WHO PROPOSED THE ORDINANCE SAYS HE'S NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. BOWMAN CALLS THE NATIONWIDE ATTENTION THIS MATTER HAS GOTTEN, EMBARRASSING.

ACCORDING TO AAA THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GAS HAS TOPPED THE THREE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENT MARK. AAA SPOKESPERSON MIKE RIGHT SAYS WE'VE SEEN A STEADY RISE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR AND THE INCREASE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN. RIGHT SAYS WE ARE ALREADY SEEING THE HIGHEST MONTHLY AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF GAS FOR ANY JANUARY AND FEBRUARY ON RECORD. HE SAYS AS WE GET INTO THE PEAK DRIVING MONTHS HE EXPECTS TO AVERAGE PRICE TO REACH AN ALL TIME HIGH.

TWO NATCHITOCHES POLICE OFFICERS WILL BE FEATURED ON THE TELEVISION REALITY SHOW THIS SUNDAY. POLICE OFFICERS JONATHAN ROBERTS AND FLOYD EVANS WILL MAKE THEIR TELEVISION DEBUT ON THE SHOW, WHICH IS FEATURED ON THE ANIMAL PLANET CHANNEL. BOTH OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF NATCHITOCHES' SWAT TEAM, WERE INVITED BY PRODUCERS OF THE SHOW TO TRY FISHING BY HAND IN TENNESSEE. THEIR EXPERIENCE IS DOCUMENTED IN AN EPISODE KNOWN AS "HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN': PUTTING THE CUFFS ON A CATFISH." ACCORDING TO THE ANIMAL PLANET WEBSITE, THE SHOW PROVIDES "THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME FOR FISH-OUT-OF-WATER ADVENTURE SEEKERS." PARTICIPANTS JOIN TWO HOSTS AS THEY TEACH "EVERYDAY FOLKS" HOW TO CATCH MASSIVE CATFISH WITH THEIR HANDS AND FEET.





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