KSYL Local News

news For Tuesday 03/20/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 032012
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AN INTENSE STORM THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE LOCAL FLOODING WILL MOVE INTO THE STATE LATER TODAY. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS A COLD FRONT ALSO HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING SEVERE WEATHER TO THE BAYOU STATE. KEIM SAYS THIS WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO STALL OVER LOUISIANA, WHICH COULD RESULT IN FLOODING CONDITIONS. A PORTION OF THE ACADIANA REGION HAD A MAJOR FLOODING EVENT LAST WEEK. KEIM SAYS THIS WEATHER FORECAST IS NOT GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE FOLKS, AS MORE FLOODING IS A REAL POSSIBILITY.

ON THE EVE OF HIS TRIAL ON 13 CHARGES OF SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, FORMER PINEVILLE CHURCH YOUTH MINISTER ANGELO "DOOGIE" GOLATT PLEADED GUILTY MONDAY TO FOUR COUNTS OF FORCIBLE RAPE. NINTH DISTRICT JUDGE TOM YEAGER SENTENCED GOLATT TO FOUR CONCURRENT PRISON TERMS OF 40 YEARS. GOLATT WAS A YOUTH MINISTER AT DONAHUE FAMILY CHURCH IN PINEVILLE DURING MUCH OF THE PERIOD FROM 2003 TO 2007, WHEN HE WAS SUSPECTED OF MOLESTING AND RAPING BOYS WHOSE FAMILIES WERE MEMBERS OF THE NOW DEFUNCT CHURCH.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY YESTERDAY APPROVED RESOLUTIONS AGAINST CLOSING CENTRAL LOUISIANA STATE HOSPITAL AND THE DABADIE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, BOTH IN PINEVILLE. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS PLANS CALL FOR CLOSING THE CENTRAL FACILITIES AT THE CURRENT SITE AND RELOCATING IN-PATIENT MENTAL HEALTH-CARE SERVICES TO A $6 MILLION BUILDING TO BE BUILT ON A SITE ADJACENT TO PINECREST SUPPORTS AND SERVICES CENTER IN PINEVILLE. DABADIE HAS BEEN TARGETED FOR CLOSURE BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL. THE RESOLUTIONS, THOUGHT THEY MAKE THE JURY’S THOUGHTS CLEAR, CARRY LITTLE IF ANY WEIGHT.

THREE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE SCHEDULED TO VISIT CENTRAL LOUISIANA THIS WEEK IN ADVANCE OF SATURDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY THIS SATURDAY. NEWT GINGRICH WILL HOLD A TOWN HALL-STYLE MEETING AT 9 A.M. TOMORROW IN GRANBERRY CONFERENCE CENTER AT LOUISIANA COLLEGE. AT 7 P.M. WEDNESDAY, RICK SANTORUM WILL VISIT THE PENTECOSTALS OF ALEXANDRIA. THEN ON FRIDAY, RON PAUL IS SCHEDULED TO VISIT LOUISIANA COLLEGE AT 1 P.M. AND SANTORUM IS SCHEDULED TO VISIT LC AT 7 P.M. OFFICIALS AT LOUISIANA COLLEGE SAY THEY ARE ALSO IS ATTEMPTING TO HAVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY VISIT THIS WEEK. LOUISIANA’S PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WILL BE HELD THIS SATURDAY.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ON MONDAY TURNED DOWN LOUISIANA'S BID TO RECOVER THE CONGRESSIONAL SEAT TAKEN FROM THE STATE AS A RESULT OF THE 2010 CENSUS.
THE COURT DID NOT COMMENT ON ITS ORDER PREVENTING THE STATE FROM PURSUING A LAWSUIT THAT CLAIMS THE CENSUS UNFAIRLY INCLUDED UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN EACH STATE'S POPULATION COUNT. LOUISIANA SAID CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, TEXAS AND OTHER STATES WITH LARGE POPULATIONS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS GAINED SEATS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AT THE EXPENSE OF LOUISIANA AND A HANDFUL OF OTHER STATES. LOUISIANA WENT FROM SEVEN TO SIX SEATS IN THE HOUSE BASED ON THE CENSUS. THE LAWSUIT, FILED BY LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL, ASKED THE COURT TO ORDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RE-CALCULATE HOUSE SEATS BASED ONLY ON LEGAL RESIDENTS.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANNOUNCED THE CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR, WHICH INCLUDES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FUNDING FOR PROJECTS IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA. THE PROPOSAL WAS SUBMITTED YESTERDAY TO THE LEGISLATURE IN THE FORM OF HOUSE BILL 2. UNDER THE BILL $6.8 MILLION WOULD BE EARMARKED FOR RENOVATIONS TO THE ENGLAND AIR PARK HOSPITAL AND CONVERTING THE SCHOOL TO AN OUTPATIENT FACILITY, WITH $18 MILLION IN PRIORITY 5 FUNDING FOR A TOTAL INVESTMENT OF $24.5 MILLION. $1 MILLION WOULD ALSO GO TOWARDS RELOCATING CENTRAL LOUISIANA STATE HOSPITAL, WITH $15 MILLION IN PRIORITY 5 FUNDING, FOR A TOTAL INVESTMENT OF $16 MILLION. THE BILL WILL BE DEBATED IN THE CURRENT LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

DEMOCRATIC STATE LAWMAKERS UNSUCCESSFULLY PRESSED GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION AND HIS LEGISLATIVE ALLIES MONDAY TO SLOW DOWN DEBATE OVER THE GOVERNOR'S EDUCATION PROPOSALS. THE BILLS WOULD MAKE SWEEPING CHANGES TO THE WAY EDUCATION IS FINANCED IN LOUISIANA AND TO JOB PROTECTIONS AND SALARIES FOR TEACHERS. THE MEASURES WOULD MAKE IT EASIER TO OPEN CHARTER SCHOOLS AND WOULD CREATE A STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM THAT USES TAX DOLLARS TO SEND STUDENTS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS. DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SAID JINDAL IS TRYING TO STEAMROLL THE ISSUE, WITHOUT ALLOWING ENOUGH DEBATE AND PUBLIC INPUT ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND PROGRAM STRUCTURES.

FOURTH AND EIGHTH GRADE PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE BEGIN LEAP TESTING TODAY. SCOTT NORTON IS THE ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION. HE SAYS ANY STUDENT ENTERING FIFTH OR NINTH GRADE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR MUST PASS THE LEAP TEST. NORTON SAYS TODAY BEGINS PHASE ONE. NORTON ALSO SAYS A GRADUATION EXIT EXAM WILL ALSO BE GIVEN TODAY FOR 11TH GRADERS. HE SAYS PHASE TWO IS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 12-13.

ANOTHER LOUISIANA COMPANY BRANCHES OUT. REGIONAL BANKER IBERIABANK CORP., WHICH HAS BEEN RAPIDLY EXPANDING ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, AGREED MONDAY TO ACQUIRE FLORIDA GULF BANCORP INC. IN A DEAL VALUED AT UP TO $43.7 MILLION. IBERIABANK SAID THE BOARDS OF BOTH COMPANIES HAD APPROVED THE DEAL. THE BUYOUT STILL REQUIRES THE APPROVAL OF FLORIDA GULF BANCORP SHAREHOLDERS AND BANKING REGULATORS. IBERIABANK SAID IT HOPED TO CLOSE THE DEAL DURING THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2012.

LOUISIANA'S COMMISSIONER OF ELECTIONS SAYS THE NUMBERS OF RESIDENTS WHO VOTED EARLY FOR THE MARCH24 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY DOUBLED OVER THE SAME ELECTION FOUR YEARS AGO. 41-THOUSAND PEOPLE CAST EARLY BALLOTS. COMMISSIONER ANGIE ROGERS IS HOPING FOR AN EQUALLY STRONG TURNOUT FOR THIS SATURDAY'S ELECTION. SHE SAYS THE TURNOUT IN 2008 WAS ABOUT 25-PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS.

THE ST. TAMMANY PARISH CORONER'S OFFICE SAYS THE BODY FOUND IN AN ICE CHEST IN A SLIDELL WOMAN'S HOME WAS THAT OF 83-YEAR-OLD CHARLES FISHER. ST. TAMMANY PARISH CORONER, DR. PETER GALVAN, SAID MONDAY THEY USED DNA TO IDENTIFY THE BODY. NO CAUSE OF DEATH HAS YET BEEN DETERMINED. CHARLES FISHER IS BELIEVED TO BE THE FATHER OF DEBRA FISHER, WHO WAS ARRESTED FOR UNLAWFUL DISPOSAL OF REMAINS AND MUTILATING HUMAN REMAINS. AUTHORITIES SAY THE BODY MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIDDEN INSIDE A 160-QUART ICE CHEST FOR AS LONG AS TWO YEARS. THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE POSSIBILITY THAT FISHER CONCEALED HER FATHER'S DEATH TO CONTINUE RECEIVING HIS SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME.

STATE LAWMAKERS STARTED TO MOVE AHEAD MONDAY WITH PROPOSALS TO CREATE SEVERAL NEW SPECIALIZED LICENSE PLATES IN LOUISIANA. HEADED TO THE HOUSE FLOOR WERE MEASURES THAT WOULD ESTABLISH PLATES TO HELP THE STATE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION, TO AID WILDFIRE FIGHTING EFFORTS AND TO HONOR CERTAIN KOREAN WAR VETERANS. THE HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE BACKED ALL THE BILLS WITHOUT OBJECTION.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL IS NOW STEERING CLEAR OF ENDORSEMENTS IN THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL COMPETITION, BUT LT. GOV. JAY DARDENNE IS JUMPING INTO THE ENDORSEMENT GAME IN ADVANCE OF LOUISIANA'S PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, BACKING MITT ROMNEY. ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN MONDAY ANNOUNCED THE SUPPORT OF DARDENNE AND AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN. IN A STATEMENT, DARDENNE SAID HE SUPPORTS ROMNEY'S ECONOMIC AND ENERGY PLANS IN HIS BID TO BE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S NOMINEE AGAINST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN THE FALL ELECTION. LOUISIANA'S PRIMARY IS SATURDAY.

TEXTRON MARINE & LAND SYSTEMS HAS BEEN AWARDED A U.S. ARMY CONTRACT FOR 64 MOBILE STRIKE FORCE VEHICLES FOR THE AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL ARMY. THE CONTRACT HAS A MAXIMUM VALUE OF $71.7 MILLION. TEXTRON SAID MONDAY THAT THE ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS WILL BE BUILT AT TEXTRON'S PLANTS IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA. DELIVERIES ARE SCHEDULED BY FEBRUARY 2013.

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS REFUSED TO DISMISS A LAWSUIT THAT THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF LOUISIANA FILED ON BEHALF OF A MAN WHO CLAIMS HE WAS ARRESTED FOR CRITICIZING A POLICE CHIEF IN AN EMAIL TO A NEWSPAPER. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE ELIZABETH FOOTE RULED LAST WEEK THAT MAMOU POLICE CHIEF GREG DUPUIS AND AN OFFICER AREN'T ENTITLED TO IMMUNITY FROM CLAIMS THEY VIOLATED THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF BOBBY FELIX SIMMONS, WHO WAS ARRESTED IN 2008 AND CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL DEFAMATION. SIMMONS, A FORMER POLICE OFFICER IN ABBEVILLE AND FRANKLIN, LA., WAS HELD OVERNIGHT AT THE MAMOU POLICE DEPARTMENT BEFORE HE WAS RELEASED ON BOND.

THE PERSON ACCUSED OF DRIVING THROUGH THE FRONT OF A LAFAYETTE SPORTS BAR LAST WEEK HAS COME FORWARD. AFTER SURVEILLANCE VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT WAS SHOWN ON LOCAL TV, A WOMAN CAME FORWARD AND ADMITTED SHE WAS DRIVING THE CAR THAT CRASHED INTO THE OASIS BAR. THE BAR OWNERS JUST WANT THE REPAIRS TO BE PAID FOR, AND THE WOMAN HAS INSURANCE.

A SENATE COMMITTEE IS HEARING DEBATE TODAY ON A BILL THAT WOULD MAKE IT A CRIME TO FAIL TO REPORT A MISSING OR DEAD CHILD. SLIDELL SENATOR A.G. CROWE AUTHORED THE BILL WHICH WAS IN RESPONSE TO THE DISAPPEARANCE AND DEATH OF CAYLEE ANTHONY IN FLORIDA. CROWE SAYS HIS BILL WOULD NOT ONLY MAKE IT A CRIME TO FAIL TO REPORT A MISSING CHILD BUT WOULD INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR INTENTIONALLY GIVING FALSE INFORMATION TO POLICE ABOUT A MISSING CHILD.

THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT IS OPENING A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR TWO PROPOSED OFFSHORE PETROLEUM LEASE SALES IN THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO. NO FIRM DATES HAVE BEEN SET FOR THE SALES, BUT FEDERAL PLANS CALL FOR THE SALES TO BE HELD BETWEEN 2012 AND 2017. THE AREA OF THE PROPOSED SALES INCLUDES ABOUT 658,000 ACRES MORE THAN 120 MILES OFFSHORE OF ALABAMA AND FLORIDA. OTHER AREAS OF THE EASTERN GULF — INCLUDING THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA — ARE NOT INCLUDED. THOSE AREAS ARE UNDER A LEASING MORATORIUM MANDATED BY CONGRESS UNTIL JUNE 30, 2022.

A BOUNTY HUNTER WHO TRACKS NEW ORLEANS CRIMINALS WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF A NEW REALITY TV SHOW BEING LAUNCHED NEXT MONTH BY SPIKE TV. "BIG EASY JUSTICE" WILL CENTER ON THE GRITTY CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD OF NEW ORLEANS AND A BOUNTY HUNTER KNOWN AS TAT-2, WHO HUNTS DOWN SOME OF THE CITY'S MOST ELUSIVE CRIMINALS.
TAT-2, WHOSE REAL NAME IS GENE THACKER, IS A MILITARY VETERAN AND FORMER DEPUTY WITH THE JEFFERSON PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE. THACKER'S 12-YEAR BOUNTY HUNTING CAREER HAS HELPED PUT AWAY THOUSANDS OF CRIMINALS CHARGED WITH ARMED ROBBERY, DRUG POSSESSION, DOMESTIC ABUSE AND MURDER. "BIG EASY JUSTICE" PREMIERES APRIL 10 AT 9 P.M. CDT.

BEAUREGARD PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICIALS ARRESTED A LONGVILLE MAN AND ARE SEEKING A GLENMORA MAN IN CONNECTION WITH A KIDNAPPING AND BEATING THAT TOOK PLACE SATURDAY NIGHT. 19-YEAR-OLD JUSTIN ALEXANDER OF LONGVILLE WAS ARRESTED EARLY MONDAY MORNING FOLLOWING A REPORT THAT A MAN WAS TAKEN FROM HIS LONGVILLE HOME BY TWO ARMED MEN, WHO DROVE THE VICTIM TO A WOODED AREA AND BEAT THE MAN SEVERELY. THE VICTIM WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE WAS TREATED AND RELEASED. THE SECOND SUSPECT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS MARCUS ELLIOT OF GLENMORA. SHERIFF'S OFFICIALS ASKED THAT ANYONE WITH INFORMATION AS TO ELLIOT'S WHEREABOUTS CONTACT BEAUREGARD PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE.


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