KSYL Local News

News For Monday 04/02/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 040212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY TWO YEARS, THE U-S DROUGHT MONITOR DOES NOT LIST ANY AREA IN LOUISIANA SUFFERING FROM DROUGHT. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS YOU CAN THANK ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR 2012. KEIM SAYS LA NINA WEATHER CONDITIONS HELPED PUT LOUISIANA IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS. HE SAYS THAT A LA NINA IS WEAKENING, WHICH MEANS THE STATE CAN EXPECT REGULAR RAINFALL. KEIM SAYS MARCH WAS ONE OF THE WETTEST MONTHS LOUISIANA HAS SEEN IN AWHILE.

A MAN CHARGED WITH TRYING TO KIDNAP A 2-MONTH-OLD BABY AT THE RAPIDES WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL HAS AN EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL RECORD AND MENTAL TROUBLES. AUTHORITIES ARRESTED 29 YEAR OLD ORLANDO JONES WEDNESDAY OF LAST WEEK AFTER HE WAS SEEN WALKING AROUND ON THE PEDIATRIC FLOOR OF THE RAPIDES WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. POLICE SAY JONES TOLD A CHILD'S MOTHER THAT HE WAS THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN AND THAT HE HAD TO REMOVE THE 2-MONTH-OLD FROM THE HOSPITAL ROOM. LUCKILY THE MOTHER SUSPECTED HE WASN'T A DOCTOR AND ALERTED THE NURSES' STATION. JONES WAS ARRESTED A SHORT TIME LATER.

INCASE YOU HAVE NOT HEARD, TWO RAPIDES PARISH BUSINESSMAN HAVE BOUGHT THE COWBOY TOWN AT RAPIDES STATION. THE FACILITY, WHICH WAS BUILT TO HOST RODEOS, CONCERTS AND OTHER EVENTS, HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE SHORTLY AFTER IT’S OPENING BACK IN 2001. THE NEW OWNERS, JAMES GREER, THE OWNER OF D&J TIRES AND D&J CUSTOM HOMES AND DAN KYLE, THE OWNER OF KYLE'S COLLISION CENTER. PURCHASED THE FACILITY FOR $1.5 MILLION. IN ADDITION TO THE 200,000-SQUARE-FOOT BUILDING THE PURCHASE INCLUDES 27 ACRES OF LAND. GREER SAID, AS OF RIGHT NOW, HE AND KYLE DON'T HAVE DEFINITE PLANS FOR THE PROPERTY.

AN NFL SPOKESMAN SAYS THE LEAGUE EXPECTS TO HOLD HEARINGS THIS WEEK ON APPEALS FILED IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTIGATION OF THE SAINTS' BOUNTY SYSTEM.
WORD IS, THOUGH NOT OFFICIAL THAT HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON IS APPEALING HIS SEASON-LONG SUSPENSION. GENERAL MANAGER MICKEY LOOMIS IS APPEALING HIS EIGHT-GAME SUSPENSION, ASSISTANT HEAD COACH JOE VITT IS APPEALING HIS SIX-GAME SUSPENSION AND THE CLUB IS APPEALING ITS $500,000 FINE AND LOSS OF SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PICKS IN 2012 AND 2013. THE APPEALS WILL BE HEARD BY COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL IN NEW YORK. ESPN REPORTED SUNDAY PAYTON AND LOOMIS WOULD MEET WITH THE COMMISSIONER ON TUESDAY.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS SAYS "THOUSANDS" OF TEACHERS ARE EXPECTED TO PROTEST AT THE STATE CAPITOL ON APRIL 4TH -- THE DAY GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL'S EDUCATION REFORMS HIT THE SENATE FLOOR. STEVE MONAGHAN SAYS THE PROTEST THAT DAY WILL BE THE VERY DEFINITION OF "HUGE". PROPOSED CHANGES TO TEACHER TENURE LAWS ARE EXPECTED TO BE DEBATED ON THE SENATE FLOOR ON WEDNESDAY. A TUITION VOUCHER MEASURE GETS A HEARING IN SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE TODAY. BOTH BILLS HAVE ALREADY CLEARED THE HOUSE. MONAGHAN SAYS HE'S HEARD THAT EITHER ONE OR BOTH OF THESE BILLS WILL BE VOTED ON BY THE SENATE THE DAY OF THE PROTEST. MONAGHAN SAYS MANY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE ON EASTER BREAK THIS WEEK, SO HE'S EXPECTED A CROWD OF BETWEEN 3,000 TO 5,000 TEACHERS.

LEGISLATORS ARE PROPOSING NEARLY DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF NEW “CHECKOFF” BOXES THIS YEAR FOR THE STATE’S INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURNS. THE INCREASE IN DONATION OPTIONS FOR TAXPAYERS’ DOLLARS COMES AMID A MULTI-YEAR BUDGET CRUNCH THAT IS LIMITING STATE FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS. MOVING THROUGH THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE ARE PROPOSALS TO GIVE TAXPAYERS THE OPTION OF DONATING MONEY ON THEIR STATE TAX RETURNS TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, FOOD STAMP FRAUD PREVENTION, UNITED WAY, A STATE PARK, DREAMS COME TRUE, AN AUTISM CENTER, WELFARE RECIPIENT DRUG TESTING AND HOSPICE EDUCATION. TAXPAYERS MAKE THE DONATIONS BY PUTTING DOLLAR AMOUNTS INTO CHECKOFF BOXES BESIDE AN ORGANIZATION’S NAME ON THEIR STATE TAX RETURNS.

THE FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL IN LAFAYETTE HAS WON THE TITLE OF BEST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE 2012 WORLD MUSIC READERS' CHOICE AWARDS ON ABOUT.COM. THE FIVE-DAY LONG FESTIVAL PULLED IN 48 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DANA BAKER SAYS THEY ARE THRILLED AT THE NEWS. SHE SAYS THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL WILL KICK OFF ON APRIL 25TH AND THEY ARE ANTICIPATING MORE LARGE CROWDS. BAKER SAYS THEY AVERAGE A CROWD OF ABOUT 350,000 EACH YEAR.

THE STATE'S COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION AUTHORITY RELEASES PHOTOS THAT SHOW BP OIL HAS RE-SURFACED IN AREAS ALONG THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER THAT WERE DECLARED CLEAN BY THE COAST GUARD AND BP. AUTHORITY DIRECTOR GARRETT GRAVES SAYS UNFORTUNATELY THERE'S NO EFFORT TO RE-CLEAN THESE AREAS. THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE B-P RIG EXPLOSION IS NEXT MONTH AND GRAVES SAYS THERE'S BETWEEN 15 TO 20 MILES OF HEAVILY TO MODERATE OILED SHORELINE. HE SAYS TAR BALLS AND TAR MATS ARE STILL EMERGING. GRAVES SAYS THE STATE IS DOCUMENTING WHERE NEW OIL IS FOUND AND THEY ARE URGING B-P AND THE COAST GUARD TO SEND CLEAN-UP CREWS TO THOSE AREAS.

NOBODY WON THE TOP PRIZES IN POWERBALL, LOTTO OR EASY 5, SO THOSE JACKPOTS ALL ARE GOING UP. THE LOUISIANA LOTTERY CORP. SAYS ESTIMATED JACKPOTS FOR WEDNESDAY'S BIG-MONEY DRAWINGS ARE $70 MILLION FOR POWERBALL, $425,000 FOR LOTTO AND $100,000 FOR EASY 5.

A NEW TOBACCO USE POLICY GOES INTO EFFECT TODAY FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE CAMPUS. STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT BROOKE DUGAS SAYS NEARLY THE ENTIRE CAMPUS WILL BE SMOKE-FREE, EXCEPT FOR A VERY FEW AREAS. DUGAS SAYS THE IDEA WAS SPEARHEADED BY THE FACULTY SENATE WHO DRAFTED A PROPOSAL. SHE SAYS ONLY A SMALL PORTION OF U-L-M OPPOSE THE NEW POLICY.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AND HOUSE SPEAKER CHUCK KLECKLEY HAVE BECOME TARGETS OF RECALL EFFORTS AS A RESULT OF JINDAL'S PROPOSALS TO REVAMP PUBLIC EDUCATION.
CALCASIEU PARISH TEACHER ANGIE BONVILLAIN IS ONE OF FIVE TEACHERS WHO STARTED THE RECALL EFFORT. SHE DESCRIBED HERSELF AS "FED UP." SHE SAID NO ONE WAS LISTENING TO TEACHERS, WHO SHE SAID KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT'S NEEDED TO IMPROVE PUBLIC EDUCATION THAN JINDAL AND OTHERS FAST-TRACKING THE CHANGES THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE. TO TRIGGER A RECALL ELECTION, ONE-THIRD OF THE STATE'S 2.86 MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS WOULD HAVE TO SIGN PETITIONS WITHIN 180 DAYS. GOVERNOR JINDAL’S PRESS SEC. SAID IN AN EMAILED STATEMENT, "WE'RE NOT CONCERNED."

THE TOWN COUNCIL IN GRAND ISLE IS WITHHOLDING A PERMIT FOR ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FISHING TOURNAMENTS IN LOUISIANA, THE 84-YEAR-OLD TARPON RODEO, OVER COMPLAINTS THAT THE EVENT DOES NOT DO ENOUGH FOR LOCAL VENDORS AND PAY OVERTIME FOR FIREFIGHTERS. THE COUNCIL VOTED 3-2 THIS PAST WEEK TO WITHHOLD THE PERMIT UNTIL THE RODEO REACHES AGREEMENTS WITH TWO LOCAL VENDORS FOR BEER AND DAIQUIRI BOOTHS AND REIMBURSES THE TOWN'S FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR OVERTIME EXPENSES. RODEO ORGANIZERS SAID THE TOURISM-DEPENDENT ISLAND RECEIVES PLENTY OF BENEFITS FROM THE EVENT. THE RODEO DRAWS ABOUT 15,000 PEOPLE.

DIRECTV INC. SUBSCRIBERS IN 19 U.S. MARKETS HAVE LOST ACCESS TO CERTAIN PROGRAMMING, AFTER TRIBUNE BROADCASTING SAID IT FAILED TO REACH A SETTLEMENT WITH THE SATELLITE TELEVISION PROVIDER IN THEIR CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS. ALL AND ALL 23 TRIBUNE STATIONS WERE DROPPED. TWO OF WHICH WERE IN NEW ORLEANS. WGNO
AND NOLA38.

SHREVEPORT POLICE SAY OFFICERS SHOT A 29-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO DROVE HIS TRUCK INTO AT LEAST TWO PARKED CARS, THEN ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO RUN OVER TWO MOUNTED PATROL OFFICERS. CHRISTOPHER DUGGAN OF BOSSIER CITY WAS IN CRITICAL CONDITION SUNDAY AND FACED CHARGES OF DRUNK DRIVING, RECKLESS DRIVING, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER AND FLIGHT.

SPORTS..

IT WAS A VERY SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND FOR THE 12TH RANKED LSU TIGERS AS THEY SWEPT THIRD RANKED ARKANSAS BY WINNING THREE TO TWO IN ELEVEN INNINGS ON SUNDAY. THE TIGERS ARE OFF TODAY AND THEY'LL PLAY LOUISIANA COLLEGE TOMORROW NIGHT. ON THURSDAY, LSU BEGINS A THREE-GAME SERIES AGAINST TOP-RANKED FLORIDA IN GAINESVILLE.

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