KSYL Local News

News For Monday 03/19/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 031912
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

ALEXANDRIA HAS A DEAL TO SELL THE ALEXANDER FULTON HOTEL FOR $4 TO THE NOBLE HOSPITALITY INC., WHICH HAS MANAGED THE HOTEL SINCE LAST SUMMER. NOBLE WOULD PAY $4 MILLION, AND THE CITY WOULD PUT IN ABOUT $2 MILLION WORTH OF REPAIRS TO THE HOTEL AND THE CONNECTED ALEXANDRIA RIVERFRONT CENTER. THE CITY WOULD GIVE UP TO FIVE YEARS OF UTILITY AND TAX BREAKS, AND OFFER UP TO $2 MILLION MORE IN BREAKS ON THE PURCHASE PRICE. UNDER THE PLAN NOBLE WOULD NEED TO MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS TO GET THE PRICE BREAKS. ALONG WITH THE NOBEL WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SPEND ABOUT $8 MILLION TO IMPROVE THE HOTEL TO THE STATUS OF A HOLIDAY INN OR HILTON DOUBLETREE. THE CITY COUNCIL IS TO CONSIDER THE PROPOSAL TUESDAY.

A SATURDAY AFTERNOON A SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH HAS LEFT AN ALEXANDRIA WOMAN WITH SERIOUS INJURIES. STATE POLICE SAY A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY 44 YEAR OLD SHERRY ELIAS LEFT LA457 AND FLIPPED OVER SEVERAL TIMES. ELIAS WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT AND WAS EJECTED FROM THE VEHICLE.

THE ISSUE OF WOMEN'S PAY WILL BE BROUGHT UP ONCE AGAIN DURING THE ONGOING LEGISLATIVE SESSION. ACCORDING TO DATA FIGURES FROM THE 2010 US CENSUS, LOUISIANA RANKS 50TH IN THE NATION IN THE RATIO OF PAY OF MEN AND WOMEN. RETIRED TULANE LAW PROFESSOR BETH WILLINGER SAYS THE DIFFERENCE IN WHAT MEN MAKE AND WHAT WOMEN MAKE IN LOUISIANA IS HORRIFIC. WILLINGER SAYS THE WAGES FOR MEN IN LOUISIANA ARE ABOUT AVERAGE FOR THE COUNTRY WHILE THE WAGES FOR WOMEN ARE WELL BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. NEW ORLEANS SENATOR KAREN PETERSON HAS FILED A BILL THAT WOULD EQUALIZE PAY. SHE SAYS WOMEN AND MEN DESERVE TO EARN THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THE SAME KIND OF WORK THAT'S DONE

MORE LSU MEDICAL SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE CHOOSING TO REMAIN IN LOUISIANA TO PRACTICE MEDICINE; GOOD NEWS FOR THE STATE. DR. STEVE NELSON IS DEAN OF THE LSU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN NEW ORLEANS. HE SAYS 108 OF 171 MED STUDENTS GRADUATING THIS YEAR HAVE ELECTED TO STAY, AND BE DOCTORS HERE. DR. NELSON SAYS THE MED STUDENTS TOOK PART IN A NATIONAL PROGRAM THAT MATCHES RESIDENTS WITH POSITIONS AT TEACHING HOSPITALS NATIONWIDE, BUT OVER 60% CHOSE TO COMPLETE THEIR MEDICAL TRAINING IN LOUISIANA. HE SAYS THAT'S GREAT NEWS, BECAUSE NEW DOCTORS ARE IN DEMAND.

THE I-R-S IS WARNING SENIOR CITIZENS AND OTHER TAXPAYERS ABOUT A FEDERAL TAX REFUND SCAM THAT'S EMERGED IN LOUISIANA PROMISING FRAUDULENT REFUNDS. I-R-S SPOKESPERSON DEE HARRIS STEPTER SAYS PROMOTERS OF THE SCAM ARE TELLING SENIORS THEY CAN RECEIVE A TAX REFUND BASED ON THE AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT. HARRIS SAYS TAXPAYERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF ANYONE WHO OFFERS FREE MONEY WITH NO DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. HARRIS SAYS THIS BOGUS REFUND SCAM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED IN LOUISIANA AND FIVE OTHER STATES. MOST OF THE VICTIMS ARE SENIOR CITIZENS.

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THAT MORE THAN 1,200 HOMES IN FIVE PARISHES RECEIVED SOME DEGREE OF FLOOD-RELATED DAMAGE FROM HEAVY RAINS LAST WEEK. SOME OF THE HEAVIEST DAMAGE WAS SEEN IN NORTHERN LAFAYETTE PARISH AND SOUTHERN ST. LANDRY PARISH. IN CARENCRO, AN ESTIMATED 454 RESIDENCES TOOK ON WATER. IN RURAL AREAS OF NORTHERN LAFAYETTE PARISH OUTSIDE OF CARENCRO, ABOUT 390 HOMES WERE AFFECTED.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY PLANS TO FORECLOSE ON A COMPANY THAT WAS PURCHASING A CANE SYRUP MILL IN LACASSINE. AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS THE STATE HAS OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS ON THE MILL WORTH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. THE CONTROVERSIAL MILL WAS BUILT BY FORMER AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER BOB ODOM, USING STATE LABOR, AT A COSTS OF 16.2 MILLION DOLLARS. STRAIN SAYS LAKE CHARLES CANE LLC, THE COMPANY BUYING THE MILL FROM THE STATE, DEFAULTED ON A CRITICAL PAYMENT TO ONE OF THE BANKS. STRAIN SAYS THE MILL IS STILL A VALUABLE PROPERTY. HE SAYS EVEN THOUGH THE STATE MAY TAKE A SHORT-TERM LOSS ON THE PROJECT HE SEES A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR THE FACILITY.

THE STATE OF LOUISIANA AND THE HORNETS HAVE REACHED AN AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE THAT WILL KEEP THE NBA FRANCHISE PLAYING BASKETBALL IN NEW ORLEANS THROUGH 2024. HORNETS CHAIRMAN JAC SPERLING THE NEW LEASE DOES NOT ALLOW THE TEAM TO RE-LOCATE TO ANOTHER CITY. LOUISIANA WILL NO LONGER SUBSIDIZE THE TEAM UNDER THE NEW LEASE AGREEMENT, BUT THE STATE LEGISLATURE WILL HAVE TO APPROVE A FUNDING PLAN TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE HORNETS ARENA. THE NEW LEASE AGREEMENT IS ALSO CONTINGENT ON A PRIVATE GROUP BUYING BUYING THE TEAM. SPERLING SAYS THERE ARE TWO PARTIES INTERESTED IN THE TEAM.


SPORTS..

13TH RANKED LSU FAILED TO COMPLETE A SWEEP OF MISSISSIPPI STATE AS THEY
LOST TO THE BULLDOGS 7 TO 1 ON SUNDAY.

God Bless America!

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