KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 05/29/12


LOUISIANA SENATORS MONDAY REWROTE THE STATE'S $25 BILLION OPERATING BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR, REJECTING DEEP CUTS PUSHED BY HOUSE REPUBLICANS. THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE ADDED MORE THAN $350 MILLION TO THE 2012-13 SPENDING PLANS, RESTORING ALL THE ONE-TIME MONEY REMOVED BY A BLOC OF CONSERVATIVE GOP LAWMAKERS IN THE HOUSE. IN WHAT MANY ARE SAYING IS POLITICAL RETRIBUTION, THE PANEL ALSO CUT HALF A MILLION DOLLARS AND FOUR POSITIONS FROM THE OFFICE OF TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY, WHO HAS SIDED WITH THE BLOC OF CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE DURING THIS YEAR'S BUDGET DEBATE. A THURSDAY FLOOR DEBATE IS EXPECTED IN THE SENATE ON THE SPENDING PROPOSALS, WHICH INCLUDE THE PROPOSED USE OF NEARLY $205 MILLION FROM LOUISIANA'S "RAINY DAY" FUND TO OFFSET A DEFICIT IN THE CURRENT YEAR THAT ENDS JUNE 30.

POLICE IN BLOOMINGTON SAY THEY HAVE CONTACTED AUTHORITIES IN LOUISIANA ABOUT THEIR SEARCH FOR A COLLEGE STUDENT WHOSE DISAPPEARANCE HAS SIMILARITIES TO THAT OF AN INDIANA UNIVERSITY STUDENT WHO HAS BEEN MISSING FOR NEARLY A YEAR. UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA STUDENT MICHAELA "MICKEY" SHUNICK HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE MAY 19. JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE HER 22ND BIRTHDAY. HER BICYCLE WAS FOUND SUNDAY IN A REMOTE, SWAMPY AREA UNDER A HIGHWAY BRIDGE IN IBERVILLE PARISH, ABOUT 25 MILES FROM WHERE SHE WAS LAST SEEN. AUTHORITIES SAY THEY ARE CONTINUING THEIR INVESTIGATION.

THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS SAYS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AND DOZENS OF OTHER CANDIDATES CAME FROM "STRAW MAN ENTITIES" LINKED TO AN EMBATTLED LANDFILL COMPANY. THE GOVERNOR RECEIVED $40,000 IN 2007 FROM COMPANIES LINKED TO RIVER BIRCH INC. THE BOARD OF ETHICS ALLEGES THAT THE DONATIONS VIOLATE A $5,000 CAP FROM ONE COMPANY, IF ALL THE MONEY CAME FROM RIVER BIRCH. SINCE 2003, THE SEVEN FIRMS IDENTIFIED IN THE LAWSUIT AS CONDUITS FOR ILLEGAL CONTRIBUTIONS GAVE MONEY TO ABOUT 60 CANDIDATES. THE BOARD SAYS RECIPIENTS HAVEN'T BEEN ACCUSED OF WRONGDOING AND DON'T HAVE TO RETURN THE MONEY. TIMMY TEEPELL, JINDAL'S 2007 CAMPAIGN MANAGER, SAID DONATIONS WERE ACCEPTED "IN GOOD FAITH AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW."

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SAY A 24-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET WAS THROWN FROM HIS ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE AND DIED AFTER HE LOST CONTROL AND THE ATV HIT A BIG BRICK MAILBOX. TROOPER SCOTT MOREAU SAYS MATTHEW LOUIS EVANS OF FERRIDAY WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT RIVERLAND MEDICAL CENTER AFTER THE ACCIDENT, WHICH OCCURRED SHORTLY BEFORE 6AM SUNDAY.
LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SAY A 75-YEAR-OLD VERNON PARISH WOMAN DIED WHEN HER SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE RAN OFF BOTH SIDES OF SOUTHBOUND LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 117 AND HIT TREES. RUBY MURRAY OF ANACOCO WAS NOT WEARING HER SEATBELT WHEN HER SUV RAN OFF THE ROAD SOUTH OF LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 6 ON SATURDAY IN NATCHITOCHES PARISH.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES IS REMINDING FISHERS AND HUNTERS THAT 2011-2012 LICENSES EXPIRE AT THE END OF JUNE. LICENSES FOR THE 2012-2013 SEASONS BECOME AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON JUNE 1 AND ARE VALID UNTIL JUNE 30, 2013. RECREATIONAL FISHING AND HUNTING LICENSES CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT WWW.WLF.LOUISIANA.GOV, BY PHONE AT 1-888-765-2602, AT LOCAL LICENSE VENDORS OR AT THE DEPARTMENT'S OFFICES IN BATON ROUGE, OPELOUSAS, LAKE CHARLES, PINEVILLE AND MONROE.

AN ALLEN PARISH JURY HAS CONVICTED JEREMY LEE BROWN IN THE 2008 DEATHS OF HIS MOTHER AND HER HUSBAND. THE JURY CONVICTED BROWN ON TWO COUNTS OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATHS OF 67-YEAR-OLD GRETTA ELLZEY AND HER HUSBAND, 79-YEAR-OLD BENJAMIN . AUTHORITIES SAY THE ELLZEYS' BATTERED BODIES WERE FOUND IN THEIR HOME ON JUNE 20, 2008. BROWN ALSO WAS CONVICTED OF THEFT OF A VEHICLE AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. HE FACES LIFE IN PRISON. SENTENCING WILL BE AT A LATER DATE.

A WEEK AFTER FIRE GUTTED A LA TECH FRAT HOUSE, THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL SAYS PLANS ARE AFOOT TO INSPECT ALL OFF-CAMPUS FRATERNITY & SORORITY HOUSES STATEWIDE. FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS INSPECTIONS ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY IN RUSTON. BROWNING SAYS IT'S BELIEVED THAT STUDENTS BURNING TEST PAPERS AND OTHER STUDY MATERIALS IN A FIREPLACE LED TO THE BLAZE THAT DESTROYED THE PI KAPPA ALPHA FRAT HOUSE. HE SAYS OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, HIS OFFICE WILL LOOK AT ALL SUCH BUILDINGS, TO ASSESS THEIR FIRE SAFETY.

AS WE DRAW CLOSER TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, ONE POLITICAL EXPERT FEELS GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL HAS A GOOD CHANCE OF BEING ASKED TO BE MITT ROMNEY'S RUNNING MATE. VETERAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT ROY FLETCHER PUTS JINDAL'S ODDS AT 1-IN-2, BECAUSE OF ROMNEY'S FOCUS ON FEDERAL EDUCATION REFORMS. FLETCHER FEELS THAT JINDAL'S SUCCESS AT PASSING BOLD EDUCATION REFORMS DURING THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION MAKES HIM A GOOD MATCH FOR ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN. HE SAYS MR. JINDAL'S ETHNICITY AND HIS EXCELLENT TRACK RECORD WITH FUND-RAISING ALSO MAKE HIM AN ATTRACTIVE PROSPECT FOR THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WILL HOST ANOTHER LIVE "VIRTUAL TOWN HALL" MEETING TONIGHT, TO ANSWER PARENTS' QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS PROGRAM. DOE SPOKESPERSON RENE GREER SAYS PARENTS CAN LOG ON TO "LOUISIANASCHOOLS.NET" TONIGHT AT 7, TO SEEK THOSE ANSWERS. AGAIN THAT WEBSITE WWW.LOUISIANASCHOOLS.NET LOG IN AT 7.

TWO LOUISIANA SCHOOLS ARE IN THE NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT AND THEY'LL MEET FRIDAY NIGHT IN BATON ROUGE. LSU WILL HOST LOUISIANA-MONROE AT ALEX BOX STADIUM. FOR THE TIGERS, THEY ARE BACK IN THE NCAA TOURNEY AFTER FAILING TO BE ONE OF 64 TEAMS IN THE FIELD LAST YEAR. LSU IS ALSO SEEDED SEVENTH NATIONALLY THIS YEAR.

THE STATE LEGISLATURE PASSED SEVERAL BILLS WORTH FOCUSING ON YESTERDAY, MEMORIAL DAY THAT BENEFIT VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL. ONE BILL SIGNED INTO LAW, EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY FOR MILITARY FAMILY ASSISTANCE. THE FUND HELPS FAMILIES WHO FACE A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP WHILE A GUARDSMAN OR RESERVIST IS ON ACTIVE DUTY. THE GOVERNOR HAS ALSO SIGNED INTO LAW A MEASURE THAT EXTENDS THE PERIOD OF TIME A STUDENT CAN BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE TOPS SCHOLARSHIP, IF THAT PERSON RE-ENLISTED INTO THE U-S ARMED FORCES.

LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS VOTED TO ALLOW ENTERGY TO JOIN A REGIONAL COALITION OF POWER COMPANIES THAT SUPPORTERS SAY WILL LEAD TO LOWER UTILITY COSTS FOR CUSTOMERS. PSC MEMBER LAMBERT BOISSIERE SAYS BY ALLOWING ENERTGY TO TURN CONTROL OF ITS TRANSMISSION FACILITIES TO AN INDEPENDENT OPERATOR, SEVERAL ENERGY PROVIDERS CAN SHARE THE COSTS. THE P-S-C SAYS CUSTOMERS WILL NOT SEE THE SAVINGS UNTIL DECEMBER OF 2013.

GOVERNOR JINDAL PROCLAIMS THIS WEEK HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK. THE OFFICIAL START OF HURRICANE SEASON IS THIS FRIDAY, BUT WE'VE ALREADY SEEN TWO NAMED STORMS. THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DIRECTOR, KEVIN DAVIS, SAYS NOW IS THE TIME TO GET PREPARED IN CASE A BIG STORM HITS. DAVIS SAYS NOAA PREDICTS THAT THIS HURRICANE SEASON, WHICH LASTS UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH, WILL BE "NEAR-NORMAL" WITH ANYWHERE FROM NINE TO 15 NAMED STORMS.













 

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