KSYL Local News

News For Monday 05/14/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 051312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

MOTHER NATURE COOPERATED SATURDAY FOR THE ORGANIZERS AND TEAMS TAKING PART IN THE DRAGON BOAT RACES ON THE RED RIVER. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE LINED THE BANKS OF THE RIVER TO SUPPORT THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES WHO MADE UP THE 41 BOAT TEAMS. THE EVENT, IN ITS SECOND YEAR, BENEFITED THE ALEXANDRIA MUSEUM OF ART.

IT'S THE SENATE'S TURN TO HAGGLE OVER THE PROPOSED 25-BILLION DOLLAR SPENDING PLAN FOR THE FISCAL YEAR THAT STARTS JULY 1ST. THE STATE HOUSE APPROVED THE BUDGET LAST FRIDAY, BUT TOOK 278-MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE-TIME FUNDING OUT. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN JIM FANIN SAYS THE LOSS OF THESE DOLLARS WILL MEAN MORE DRASTIC CUTS TO STATE SERVICES. FISCAL CONSERVATIVES ARGUED FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE ONE-TIME DOLLARS AND THEY WERE ABLE TO PASS AN AMENDMENT THAT LEAVES IT UP TO THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION ON WHERE THE CUTS WILL BE MADE. THE STATE SENATE IS EXPECTED TO AMEND THE BUDGET. LAWMAKERS HAVE UNTIL JUNE 4TH TO APPROVE A SPENDING PLAN.

SEVERAL CENTRAL LOUISIANA LAWMAKERS AUTHORED AN AMENDMENT TO THE STATE BUDGET BILL THAT WOULD KEEP DABADIE CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN PINEVILLE OPEN. IT IS EXPECTED THE GOVERNOR’S ADMINISTRATION WILL DO IT’S BEST TO SEE IT STRIPPED FROM THE FINAL BILL.

SECRETARY OF STATE TOM SCHEDLER AND THE STATE'S REGISTRARS OF VOTERS ARE ENCOURAGING ALL LOUISIANA RESIDENTS WHO ARE AT LEAST 17 YEARS OLD TO REGISTER TO VOTE, IF THEY'RE NOT ALREADY REGISTERED. LOUISIANA'S ANNUAL VOTER REGISTRATION WEEK BEGINS TODAY. REGISTRARS THROUGHOUT THE STATE WILL HOST REGISTRATION EVENTS THROUGH FRIDAY. THEY ALSO WILL EDUCATE RESIDENTS ABOUT THE ELECTIONS PROCESS, INCLUDING PROVIDING INFORMATION ON THIS FALL'S ELECTIONS.
THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE FOR THE NOV. 6 CONGRESSIONAL AND PRESIDENTIAL OPEN PRIMARY IS TUESDAY, OCT. 9. CITIZENS CAN ALSO REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.GEAUXVOTE.COM , AT THE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES, THROUGH PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AGENCIES, PUBLIC SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND LIBRARIES; OR BY MAIL.

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SAY 26-YEAR-OLD TWINS FROM ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH DIED WHEN THEIR CAR SWERVED ACROSS U.S. 61 AND FLIPPED INTO A BAYOU. STATE POLICE SAY THE BODIES OF THE TWO MEN WERE FOUND SHORTLY AFTER THEIR VEHICLE WAS PULLED FROM THE BAYOU SUNDAY. THE MEN HAD BEEN MISSING SINCE SATURDAY MORNING.

AS THE SUMMER VACATION DRIVING SEASON APPROACHES, STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICIALS ARE URGING YOU TO BE SURE TO FASTEN YOUR SAFETY BELT. LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMISSIONER JOHN LEBLANC SAYS 15 PEOPLE DIED IN TRAFFIC CRASHES DURING THE LAST MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, AND ABOUT HALF OF THEM MAY HAVE LIVED IF THEY'D BEEN BELTED IN. LEBLANC SAYS SEAT BELTS DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF SURVIVING A SERIOUS TRAFFIC CRASH. LAW ENFORCEMENT IN LOUISIANA WILL LAUNCH ITS ANNUAL "CLICK IT OR TICKET" SEAT BELT CAMPAIGN & CRACKDOWN A WEEK FROM TODAY.

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA WAS GOING WILD THIS WEEKEND WHEN AMERICAN IDOL BROUGHT TOP 3 FINALIST JOSHUA LEDET BACK TO WESTLAKE TO GET FOOTAGE FOR THIS WEDNESDAY'S HOMECOMING SHOW. A PARADE WAS HELD WITH JOSH ON SATURDAY IN WESTLAKE AND THE STREETS WERE PACKED. HE ALSO PERFORMED AT A SOLD-OUT CONCERT THAT NIGHT WHERE LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE SURPRISED HIM WITH PAPERS NAMING JOSH AMBASSADOR OF LOUISIANA.

TERMITES ARE SWARMING IN LOUISIANA. LSU AGCENTER ENTOMOLOGIST DR. GREGG HENDERSON SAYS TEST RESULTS FROM APRIL 30TH, USING "LIGHT TRAPS" THAT ATTRACT TERMITES, INDICATE THIS MAY BE AN ABOVE-AVERAGE YEAR FOR THE WOOD-EATING PESTS. TERMITES SWARM AS A SORT OF MATING DANCE AND THEY ARE EASY TO SPOT WHEN THEY ARE "ON THE WING", BECAUSE THEY TEND TO SWARM AROUND BRIGHT LIGHTS, LIKE STREET LIGHTS. HENDERSON SAYS IF YOU SUSPECT TERMITES IN AND AROUND YOU HOME, IT’S BEST TO CONSULT PROFESSIONALS FOR INSPECTION OR TREATMENT.

THE LAFAYETTE CITY-PARISH COUNCIL IS SET TO VOTE TUESDAY ON WHETHER TO DO AWAY WITH THE CITY’S TRAFFIC CAMERA ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, BUT EVEN IF IT’S KEPT ALIVE, SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE PUSHING FOR CHANGES IN THE SCOPE OF THE PROGRAM AND HOW IT IS MANAGED. THREE COUNCILMEN HAVE PROPOSED ENDING THE AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, WHICH BEGAN IN 2007 AND IS TOUTED BY SUPPORTERS AS A CRITICAL TOOL TO IMPROVE DRIVER BEHAVIOR. OPPONENTS DISPUTE SOME OF THE SAFETY CLAIMS AND ARGUE THAT THE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM’S MAIN GOAL IS TO RAISE MONEY FOR CITY-PARISH GOVERNMENT. THE CAMERAS SNAP PHOTOS OF A DRIVER AND LICENSE PLATE WHEN A VEHICLE SPEEDS THROUGH A MONITORED INTERSECTION OR RUNS A RED LIGHT. THE ALLEGED VIOLATOR IS MAILED A CITATION. THE PROGRAM ALSO EMPLOYS TWO “SPEED VANS,” VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH RADAR AND CAMERAS THAT ARE DISPATCHED THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE FRIDAY MORNING DEATH OF A 33-YEAR-OLD BALDWIN MAN WHO WAS SHOT WITH A STUN GUN BY A BALDWIN POLICE OFFICER AFTER HE ESCAPED FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT THERE. STATE POLICE SPOKESMAN TROOPER STEPHEN HAMMONS SAID THE MAN’S IDENTITY IS BEING WITHHELD PENDING NOTIFICATION OF HIS NEXT OF KIN. BALDWIN POLICE CHIEF GERALD MINOR REQUESTED STATE POLICE INVESTIGATE THE MAN’S DEATH SHORTLY AFTER BEING SHOT FRIDAY MORNING.






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