KSYL Local News

News For Monday 04/30/2012


NEWS FOR MONDAY 043012
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO MAKE ANOTHER ATTEMPT TODAY TO GET THE HOUSE TO APPROVE MORE THAN 50-MILLION DOLLARS IN LONG-TERM TAX BREAKS FOR THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS. THE WOULD GRANT THE NBA TEAM A 3-POINT-65 MILLION DOLLAR ANNUAL TAX BREAK THROUGH THE STATE'S QUALITY JOBS PROGRAM THROUGH THE DURATION OF THE HORNETS' CONTRACT WITH THE STATE FOR THE USE OF THE NEW ORLEANS ARENA. CURRENTLY, THE STATE PAYS THE HORNETS FOR UNFILLED SEATS.

TODAY IS LOUISIANA'S 200TH BIRTHDAY. LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE SAYS LAWMAKERS ARE COMMEMORATING TODAY WITH A JOINT SESSION OF THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE IN THE HOUSE CHAMBER THIS AFTERNOON. HE SAYS SPECIAL CELEBRITY GUESTS FROM LOUISIANA WILL BE THERE TO RECOGNIZE THE BICENTENNIAL. DARDENNE SAYS QUEBEC'S MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS WILL PRESENT LOUISIANA WITH A BIRTHDAY GIFT. HE SAYS THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE WILL ALSO DEDICATE LOUISIANA'S BICENTENNIAL STAMP WHICH GOES ON SALE TODAY.

AS STATE LAWMAKERS RETURN TO WORK TODAY, THEY MUST DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO USE LOUISIANA'S "RAINY DAY FUND" TO FILL A $211-MILLION BUDGET GAP FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR. LAKE CHARLES REP. BRETT GEYMANN IS ON THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. HE SAYS WITH 2 MONTHS LEFT IN THE FISCAL YEAR, THAT DECISION MUST COME QUICKLY.

STATE POLICE REPORT 47 YEAR OLD PAULA THERIOT OF MARKSVILLE WAS KILLED SATURDAY NIGHT WHEN THE VEHICLE SHE WAS DRIVING LEFT GUM RIDGE ROAD AND STRUCK A TREE. THERIOT WAS NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. A FIVE YEAR OLD PASSENGER WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN THE CRASH.

AN 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL FROM HAMMOND WAS IN FAIR CONDITION THREE DAYS AFTER A PAIR OF PIT BULLS MAULED HER FACE, ARMS AND LEGS. THE CHILD UNDERWENT NEARLY EIGHT HOURS OF SURGERY ON SATURDAY, FOR WHAT WAS DESCRIBED AS A NEARLY SEVERED LED AND MAJOR FACIAL LACERATIONS. THE OWNERS OF THE DOGS WERE RELEASED ON BOND AFTER BEING BOOKED FRIDAY WITH NEGLIGENT INJURY. THE GIRL AND A FRIEND WERE PLAYING FRIDAY WHEN THE DOGS ATTACKED.

38 YEAR OLD KELLIE GEISEL OF PINEVILLE, WHO WAS DRUG-IMPAIRED WHEN SHE DROVE OFF COLISEUM BOULEVARD AND KILLED AN INMATE WORKER IN OCTOBER WAS SENTENCED FRIDAY TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR VEHICULAR HOMICIDE. GEISEL ALSO WAS SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS FOR INJURING A CITY OF ALEXANDRIA EMPLOYEE WHO WAS SITTING IN A CITY TRUCK ASSISTING THE PRISON ROADSIDE CLEANUP CREW. THE SENTENCES ARE TO RUN CONCURRENT. GEISEL PLEADED GUILTY TO VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND VEHICULAR NEGLIGENT INJURY CHARGES ON APRIL 8. SHE HAD FACED A MAXIMUM JAIL SENTENCE OF 35 YEARS. GEISEL WAS HIGH ON FIVE DIFFERENT DRUGS AND USING HER CELLPHONE WHEN SHE VEERED OFF THE ROADWAY, STRIKING THE WORKERS.

STATE POLICE REPORT A 58-YEAR-OLD ROBERT WILLIS WAS KILLED FRIDAY AFTERNOON WHEN HIS MOTORCYCLE STRUCK ANOTHER VEHICLE WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO ELUDE POLICE. WILLIS WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE OF THE CRASH ON LA. HIGHWAY 112, THREE MILES EAST OF DERIDDER. TROOPERS REPORT THE DRIVER OF THE SUV THAT WAS STRUCK BY WILLIS WAS NOT PHYSICALLY INJURED. POLICE REPORT WILLIS WAS DRIVING A 2008 SUZUKI EAST ON LA. 112 AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED WHEN HE STRUCK THE REAR OF AN SUV AND LOST CONTROL OF HIS MOTORCYCLE. AFTER IMPACT, THE MOTORCYCLE TRAVELED 616 FEET BEFORE COMING TO REST. WILLIS WAS ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE OFFICERS FROM THE DERIDDER POLICE DEPARTMENT.

AVOYELLES PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SAY A 34-YEAR-OLD MAN SHOT AND KILLED A WOMAN HE WAS LIVING WITH AND THEN SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HEAD AND DIED. 27 YEAR OLD NIKI GARLINGTON AND 34 YEAR OLD BRANDON BONNETTE WERE FOUND DEAD IN THEIR HOME AFTER A FAMILY MEMBER ALERTED THE AVOYELLES PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE. INVESTIGATORS SAID THE COUPLE FOUGHT AND THEN BONNETTE SHOT GARLINGTON IN THE TORSO WITH A .357 CALIBER REVOLVER. THEY SAID BONNETTE THEN TURNED THE GUN ON HIMSELF. OFFICIALS SAY THE COUPLE HAD NOT BEEN SEEN IN DAYS, WHICH PROMPTED FAMILY MEMBERS TO GO TO THE HOME.

LSU SYSTEM PRESIDENT JOHN LOMBARDI WAS FIRED FRIDAY BY THE SYSTEM'S GOVERNING BOARD, A MOVE LOMBARDI SUPPORTERS SAID WAS ORCHESTRATED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AFTER CONTINUED CLASHES BETWEEN LOMBARDI AND THE ADMINISTRATION OVER HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY. THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS VOTED 12-4 TO REMOVE LOMBARDI, PUTTING HIM ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE UNTIL HIS CONTRACT ENDS AT THE START OF THE NEW YEAR. ALL OF JINDAL'S APPOINTEES, ALONG WITH FOUR OTHER BOARD MEMBERS, VOTED FOR LOMBARDI'S OUSTER.

THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS PLANS TO REVIEW A PROPOSAL BY AT&T TO END AUTOMATIC DELIVERY OF THE RESIDENTIAL PHONE BOOK. INSTEAD, CONSUMERS WHO WANT TO GET THE WHITE PAGES WOULD HAVE TO REQUEST IT. PSC MEMBER LAMBERT BOISSIERE SAYS IT SHOULD BE LEFT UP TO THE CONSUMER TO DECIDE. HE SAYS IT COULD CUT DOWN ON WAIST AND UNNECESSARY EXPENSE IF A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTIAL PHONE BOOKS WERE NO LONGER PRINTED. PROPONENTS OF MAKING THE SWITCH TO OPTIONAL DELIVERY SAYS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING THE SAME INFORMATION THROUGH THEIR COMPUTER OR SIMILAR ON-LINE DEVICES. PSC CHAIRMAN FOSTER CAMPBELL SAYS THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO AREN'T COMFORTABLE WITH BEING ON-LINE AND WHO STILL DEPEND ON THEIR PHONE BOOKS.

FIRST-TIME CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DROPPED BY MORE THAN 14 PERCENT LAST WEEK IN LOUISIANA. THE LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION REPORTS 3,076 INITIAL CLAIMS FOR THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 21. THAT'S DOWN FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK'S TOTAL OF 3,606. INITIAL CLAIMS FOR THE COMPARABLE WEEK ENDING APRIL 23, 2011, TOTALED 3,388.

A GRAND JURY HAS DECLINED TO INDICT A BATON ROUGE MAN WHO WAS ARRESTED AND BOOKED ON A MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE LAST YEAR AFTER HE CHASED AN ALLEGED BURGLAR FROM HIS HOME AND FATALLY SHOT HIM IN THE DRIVEWAY. AN EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH GRAND JURY CHOSE NOT TO CHARGE RICHARD ALEXANDER THURSDAY WITH MANSLAUGHTER IN THE KILLING OF KEITH BROWN. DISTRICT ATTORNEY HILLAR MOORE III SAID HE AGREED WITH THE GRAND JURY'S DECISION. POLICE SAY ALEXANDER WAS INSIDE HIS HOME JAN. 28, 2011, WHEN BROWN KICKED DOWN THE DOOR AND WENT INSIDE.
ALEXANDER CONFRONTED BROWN AND CHASED HIM THROUGH THE HOUSE, OUT THE BACK DOOR AND DOWN THE DRIVEWAY. ALEXANDER TOLD POLICE WHEN HE SAW BROWN PULL AT THE WAISTLINE OF HIS PANTS, HE BEGAN SHOOTING.

LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION IS INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF TELEMARKETERS CIRCUMVENTING THE DO NOT CALL PROGRAM AND TRYING TO OBTAIN PERSONAL INFORMATION THAT COULD BE USED IN IDENTITY THEFT. P-S-C MEMBER LAMBERT BOISSIERE SAYS THEY'VE RECEIVED COMPLAINTS THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE DO NOT CALL PROGRAM ARE GETTING CALLS FROM TELEMARKETERS. BOISSERIE SAYS IF YOU ARE ON THE DO NOT CALL LIST, BUT STILL RECEIVING CALLS FROM TELEMARKETERS, CONTACT THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

THE RENOVATION OF NEW ORLEANS' MAJOR CONVENTION CENTER MAY BE DELAYED UNTIL THE TIME OF THE 2013 SUPER BOWL IN THE CITY. THE CENTER'S GOVERNING BOARD SAYS CONSTRUCTION COSTS ARE ABOUT $1.4 MILLION OVER THE INITIAL CONTRACT PRICE AND THE WORK IS ALREADY MORE THAN A MONTH BEHIND SCHEDULE. THE TIMES-PICAYUNE REPORTS THE PROJECTED COMPLETION DATE IS FEB. 2 — ONE DAY BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL AND WELL INTO THE WEEKLONG SERIES OF EVENTS THE CENTER WILL HOST FOR THE NFL. THE NFL HAS RESERVED THE BUILDING FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. A NEARLY THREE-DECADES-OLD PORTION OF THE MEETING HALL THAT FIRST WAS USED AS THE GREAT HALL OF THE 1984 WORLD'S FAIR AND HOUSED ITS FIRST CONVENTION IN JANUARY 1985. IT HAS NOT BEEN RENOVATED SINCE.

ANN CARRUTH HAS BEEN NAMED DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY. HER APPOINTMENT WAS CONFIRMED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND IS EFFECTIVE ON MONDAY.
CARRUTH HAS BEEN A FACULTY MEMBER IN THE COLLEGE SINCE 1990. SHE HAD SERVED AS INTERIM DEAN SINCE JANUARY 2011.

U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE PATRICIA MINALDI HAS SENTENCED A FEDERAL PRISON INMATE TO FIVE YEARS FOR WRITING A THREATENING LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.
FEDERAL COURT DOCUMENTS SAY CARLTON NEIL NORAH WAS INCARCERATED AT THE OAKDALE CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX WHEN HE WROTE THE LETTER. NORAH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY ASKED THE COURT THURSDAY TO CONSIDER THE "BIZARRE" NATURE OF THE LETTER. SHE SAID NORAH IS MENTALLY ILL, AND WROTE THE LETTER KNOWING HE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACT ON ANY OF THE THREATS SINCE HE WAS INCARCERATED. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY JOHN WALKER SAID IT WAS THE MOST DISTURBING LETTER HE'S EVER READ.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT PLANS MORE THAN $208 MILLION IN BRIDGE REPLACEMENT AND REPAIRS, PROVIDED THE LEGISLATURE APPROVES THE MONEY. STATEWIDE, THE DEPARTMENT EXPECTS TO BEGIN 65 REPLACEMENTS AND REPAIRS. ONE OF THE MAJOR PROJECTS ON THE LIST, THE $82.9 MILLION REPLACEMENT OF THE OK ALLEN BRIDGE THAT CROSSES THE RED RIVER ON U.S. HIGHWAY 71 BETWEEN ALEXANDRIA AND PINEVILLE. COMPLETION IS PROJECTED FOR JANUARY 2014.

SIX LOGANSPORT BOYS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF CYBER-BULLYING AND BATTERY, FOR ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTING A 10-YEAR-OLD BOY, PARTIALLY STRIPPING HIM AND VIDEOTAPING THE INCIDENTS. DESOTO PARISH SHERIFF'S SPOKESMAN SGT. CHATO ATKINS SAYS THE DISTURBING VIDEO SHOWS THE BOYS COMMITTING SEXUAL BATTERY ON THE VICTIM. ATKINS SAYS THE SIX BOYS - AGES 11 TO 15 - ATTACKED THE CHILD ON AT LEAST THREE OCCASIONS; VIDEOTAPING THE ABUSE AND SHOWING IT TO CLASSMATES. ATKINS SAYS TEACHERS HEARD ABOUT IT AND REPORTED IT TO AUTHORITIES, WHO SEIZED THE YOUTH'S CELL PHONE CAMERAS.

SPORTS..

THE THIRD RANKED LSU BASEBALL TEAM HAD ITS 14-GAME HOME WINNING STREAK SNAPPED YESTERDAY. GEORGIA HELD ON TO BEAT THE TIGERS FIVE TO THREE. DESPITE SUNDAY'S LOSS, THE TIGERS STILL TOOK TWO OUT OF THREE FROM GEORGIA. THE TIGERS ARE 14-AND-7 IN THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE AND TIED WITH KENTUCKY FOR THE BEST RECORD IN THE LEAGUE.

THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS ARE BRINGING DEFENSIVE TACKLE AKIEM HICKS BACK TO LOUISIANA, THREE YEARS AFTER HIS CHANCE TO PLAY MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOR LSU FIZZLED BEFORE IT HAD EVEN BEGUN. THE SAINTS TOOK THE 6-FOOT-5, 318-POUND HICKS, IN FRIDAY NIGHT'S THIRD ROUND OF THE NFL DRAFT, ADDING DEPTH TO AN INTERIOR LINE THAT NEEDED IT. TAKEN 89TH OVERALL, HICKS WAS THE FIRST PLAYER CHOSEN BY NEW ORLEANS, WHICH DID NOT HAVE A PICK IN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. THE SAINTS HAD NO FIRST-ROUND CHOICE BECAUSE IT WAS TRADED TO NEW ENGLAND LAST YEAR SO NEW ORLEANS COULD DRAFT MARK INGRAM. THEIR SECOND-ROUND PICK WAS ELIMINATED AS PART OF THE CLUB'S BOUNTY PUNISHMENT.



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