KSYL Local News

News For Monday 03/05/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 030512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

IT WAS A CASE OF BEING IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME, AN ALEXANDRIA MAN DIED SATURDAY MORNING AFTER A TWO-VEHICLE ACCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 3170 THE CRASH HAPPENED AROUND 8:30 WHEN A PICKUP DRIVEN BY 21 YEAR OLD JOSHUA MICHEL OF SIMMESPORT, CROSSED THE CENTER LINE OF THE HIGHWAY AND HIT ANOTHER PICKUP HEAD ON. 32 YEAR OLD DEMETRIUS GRIMES OF ALEXANDRIA WAS THE DRIVER OF THAT ONCOMING PICKUP. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. MICHEL WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL WITH SERIOUS INJURIES. THE CRASH IS UNDER INVESTIGATION, AND ROUTINE TOXICOLOGY TESTS ARE PENDING.

IT’S BELIEVED AN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING CRASH WAS THE RESULT OF ALCOHOL. STATE POLICE SAY THE CRASH TOOK PLACE SHORTLY BEFORE 4AM ON HIGHWAY 107 NEAR DUPONT. A 2005 FORD PICKUP DRIVEN BY 21 YEAR OLD NICHOLAS TURNER PLAUCHEVILLE WAS SOUTH BOUND ON LA. HIGHWAY 107 WHEN TURNER LOST CONTROL AND EXITED THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROADWAY. AFTER EXITING THE ROADWAY, THE VEHICLE COLLIDED WITH A MAILBOX AND SEVERAL TREES BEFORE OVERTURNING. TURNER SUSTAINED MODERATE INJURIES. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO OPELOUSAS GENERAL. HIS ONLY PASSENGER, IDENTIFIED AS 21 YEAR OLD PHILLIP PEPITON SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO LAFAYETTE GENERAL.

THE NORTHWESTERN STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM HAS BEEN SHAKEN BY THE SUDDEN DEATH OF THE INFANT TWIN SONS OF STAR CENTER WILLIAM MOSLEY. JAYDEN AND KAYDEN MOSLEY DIED SATURDAY EVENING IN A HOUSTON HOSPITAL. THE TWINS WERE BORN MARCH 20 OF LAST YEAR AND HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED SINCE BIRTH WITH RESPIRATORY ISSUES.

THE SAINTS WERE UNABLE TO WORK OUT A LONG-TERM DEAL WITH QUARTERBACK DREW BREES, THEREFORE THEY HAD TO PLACE THE FRANCHISE TAG ON HIM. SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR NEW ORLEANS OTHER SOON TO BE UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS. NFL ANALYST MIKE DETILLIER SAYS THE SAINTS WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO USE THE FRANCHISE TAG ON ALL-PRO OFFENSIVE GUARD CARL NICKS. WIDE RECEIVER MARQUES COLSTON IS THE SAINTS OTHER HIGH-PROFILE PLAYER THAT HAS AN EXPIRED CONTRACT. DETILLIER BELIEVES THE SAINTS HAVE A GOOD CHANCE AT RE-SIGNING COLSTON. THE SAINTS AND BREES ARE A REPORTED FIVE-MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR A PART ON A LONG-TERM CONTRACT. THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS-FRANCHISE TAG MEANS BREES CAN'T TALK WITH ANY OTHER TEAMS AND WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO AGREE ON A ONE-YEAR DEAL THAT WILL PAY HIM AT LEAST 14.4 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. DETILLIER SAYS BOTH SIDES WILL KEEP TALKING ABOUT A LONG-TERM DEAL...

FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW, THE STATE IS NOT GOING TO FUND CADET CLASSES TO TRAIN NEW STATE TROOPERS. STATE POLICE CAPTAIN DOUG CAIN SAYS THE REQUEST FOR MONEY TO PAY FOR THE CLASSES WAS WITHDRAWN BECAUSE OF THE STATE'S LOOMING BUDGET ISSUES. HE SAYS IT COMES DOWN TO A CHOICE BETWEEN HOLDING A CLASS OR CUTTING STAFF. STATE POLICE FIGURES SHOW THERE WERE 727 TROOPERS IN 2009 AND NOW THERE ARE 674. CAIN SAYS EVEN THOUGH THE OVERALL NUMBERS DECREASED THE NUMBER OF TROOPERS ON THE ROAD IS UP.

THE LONE SURVIVOR OF A HOME INVASION AND ROBBERY LAST MONTH IN ASCENSION PARISH HAS DIED. AUTHORITIES SAY 72-YEAR-OLD SHIRLEY ANN MARCHAND DIED FRIDAY AT A HOSPITAL, TURNING THE CASE INTO A TRIPLE HOMICIDE. MARCHAND WAS DISCOVERED FEB. 18 BESIDE THE BODIES OF HER HUSBAND AND HER SON. AUTHORITIES SAID THE THROATS OF ALL THREE HAD BEEN SLASHED. ROBBERY OF A RARE COIN COLLECTION IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE MOTIVE.

THE CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATED A TRAIN ACCIDENT THAT CLAIMED A WOMAN'S LIFE SUNDAY EVENING. OFFICIALS SAY THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED ABOUT 6:30 P.M. ON A UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD TRACK THAT CROSSES BERT KOUNS INDUSTRIAL LOOP. THE WOMAN, POSSIBLY BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 25 YEARS OLD, WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. FIREFIGHTERS REPORT THE SOUTHBOUND TRAIN TRAVELED ABOUT A MILE BEYOND THE POINT WHERE IT HIT THE PEDESTRIAN BEFORE IT WAS ABLE TO STOP. THE WOMAN'S IDENTITY WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE.

NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY IS OFFERING THE STATE'S FIRST MASTER'S DEGREE IN HOMELAND SECURITY STARTING THIS SUMMER. IT'S AN EXPANSION OF AN ADULT EDUCATION COURSE CURRENTLY OFFERED THAT HAS A "CONCENTRATION" IN HOMELAND SECURITY.
JOE MORRIS, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, SAYS THE UNIVERSITY STARTED DEVELOPING THE PROGRAM AFTER THE SEPT. 11, 2001, ATTACKS. COURSES WILL COVER A VARIETY OF SECURITY ISSUES SUCH AS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND COVERT OPERATIONS, VENUE AND EVENT SECURITY, DOMESTIC TERRORISM PREVENTION AND ANALYSIS, CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES AND GLOBAL SECURITY, CYBER-TERRORISM, COUNTER-TERRORISM, ADVANCED CYBER-FORENSICS AND CYBER-WARFARE ISSUES.

A LOUISIANA COTTON FARMER'S BIGGEST ENEMY HAS BEEN WIPED OUT. AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS AFTER A LONG BATTLE AGAINST THE BOLL WEEVIL, THE PEST HAS FINALLY BEEN ERADICATED. HE SAYS TRAPS MONITORED BY HIS DEPARTMENT DID NOT CAPTURE ANY BOLL WEEVILS IN 2011, AFTER CATCHING JUST ONE IN 2010. THE BOLL WEEVIL IS A NASTY PEST THAT CAN DESTROY A COTTON CROP. STRAIN SAYS TAXPAYERS AND FARMERS HAVE SPENT OVER 175-MILLION DOLLARS SINCE 1997 TO ERADICATE THE INSECT.

A PARADE AND VICTORY BASH HONORING MOONBOT STUDIOS WILL BE HELD IN SHREVEPORT TODAY TO CELEBRATE THE OSCAR WINNING DUO WILLIAM JOYCE AND BRANDON OLDENBURG. THE TWO WON AN ACADEMY AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM FOR THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE. ORGANIZERS SAY THE OSCAR IS BRINGING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF THE ARTS IN SHREVEPORT AND HOW IMPORTANT IT'S BEEN FOR THE COMMUNITY.

A WARM WINTER HAS LEAD TO AN EARLY ALLERGY SEASON WITH TREES AND FLOWERS PUMPING POLLEN INTO THE AIR EARLIER THEN NORMAL. DR. KEN PARIS WITH THE LSU HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS SAYS THE WARMER WEATHER HAS FOOLED THE TREES INTO FLOWERING EARLY WHICH IS BAD NEW FOR ANYONE WHO SUFFERS FROM ALLERGIES. PARIS SAYS THE EXTENDED ALLERGY SEASON WILL BE PARTICULARLY HARD ON PEOPLE DIAGNOSED WITH SEVERE POLLEN ALLERGIES.

A LAFAYETTE WOMAN WAS ARRESTED FOR MAKING THREATS AGAINST ST. THOMAS MORE HIGH SCHOOL ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE. LAFAYETTE POLICE SPOKESPERSON CPL. PAUL MOUTON SAYS 20-YEAR-OLD JENNIFER CORNAY WAS BOOKED ON ALLEGATIONS OF TERRORIZING. HE SAYS THE FACEBOOK POSTINGS REFERENCED THE COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. MOUTON SAYS CORNAY WAS A FORMER STUDENT AT ST. THOMAS MORE. HE SAYS INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF EXPERIENCE SHE HAD WHILE SHE WAS THERE AND WHY SHE WOULD POST SUCH DISTURBING MESSAGES ON FACEBOOK.

A SETTLEMENT THAT BP IS HAMMERING OUT WITH VICTIMS OF THE MASSIVE GULF OIL SPILL FINALLY PROVIDES A SYSTEM FOR MONITORING HEALTH CONCERNS AND COMPENSATING PEOPLE WHOSE ILLNESSES ARE FOUND TO HAVE A LINK TO THE DISASTER. GOVERNMENT AND UNIVERSITY DOCTORS STUDYING LOCALS' HEALTH HAVEN'T FOUND SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE OF SPILL-RELATED ILLNESSES, BUT PROBLEMS YEARS FROM NOW REMAIN A QUESTION MARK.

FORMER ST. GABRIEL MAYOR GEORGE GRACE HAS BEEN JAILED AFTER HIS CONVICTION ON RACKETEERING AND OTHER CHARGES RESULTING FROM AN FBI STING CALLED "OPERATION BLIGHTED OFFICIALS." PROSECUTORS SAID HE MIGHT FLEE TO UGANDA BEFORE HIS SENTENCING JULY 2. GRACE WAS CONVICTED SATURDAY EVENING ON SEVEN OF 13 FELONY CHARGES, INCLUDING BRIBERY, FRAUD AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. GRACE IS THE SIXTH BATON ROUGE-AREA OFFICIAL CONVICTED IN THE STING. FORMER WHITE CASTLE MAYOR MAURICE BROWN IS SERVING 10 YEARS AND FORMER NEW ROADS MAYOR TOMMY NELSON IS SERVING AN 11-YEAR TERM. FORMER PORT ALLEN MAYOR DEREK LEWIS, FORMER PORT ALLEN POLICE CHIEF FRED SMITH AND FORMER PORT ALLEN COUNCILMAN JOHNNY JOHNSON SR. HAVE YET TO BE SENTENCED. WHITE CASTLE POLICE CHIEF MARIO BROWN WAS ACQUITTED.

THE ASCENSION PARISH COUNCIL HAS ASKED STATE CONSERVATION COMMISSIONER JAMES WELCH TO CALL A HEARING ON GROUND WATER PUMPING FROM AN AQUIFER THAT SUPPLIES DRINKING WATER TO BATON ROUGE AND PART OF ASCENSION PARISH.
THE COUNCIL WANTS EXPERT TESTIMONY ON WHETHER EXCESSIVE PUMPING IS ACCELERATING SALTWATER INTRUSION INTO THE SOUTHERN HILLS AQUIFER. ACCORDING TO EXPERTS, THE BATON ROUGE AQUIFER IS UNDER SIEGE BY SALT WATER. THE HEARING WOULD BE AN INITIAL STEP TOWARD STEPS TO PROLONG THE AQUIFER'S USABLE LIFE.


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