KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 05/31/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 051312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE IN SHOCK AFTER A 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND HER 10-YEAR-OLD COUSIN WERE SHOT WHEN A TRIO OF GUNMEN FIRED INTO THE LITTLE BOYS BIRTHDAY PARTY TUESDAY NIGHT IN NEW ORLEANS. THE SHOOTINGS WERE PART OF A STRING OF VIOLENCE THAT ROCKED THE CRESCENT CITY, LEAVING FOUR PEOPLE DEAD. NOPD REPORT AN 18 YEAR OLD MAN TURNED HIMSELF IN WEDNESDAY MORNING AS POLICE CLOSED IN ON HIM. HE WAS ARRESTED ON TWO COUNTS OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER. AUTHORITIES ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR THE OTHER TWO SUSPECTS.

53 YEAR OLD JOSEPH CHEHARDY HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON, WITHOUT PAROLE, FOR THE DEATHS OF HIS WIFE AND FATHER IN LAW IN THEIR TIOGA HOME BACK IN 2010. CHEHARDY WAS ALSO SENTENCED TO TWO CONSECUTIVE 10-YEAR TERMS IN THE AGGRAVATED BATTERY OF TWO RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WHO TRIED TO STOP HIM AFTER HE SHOT HIS WIFE MULTIPLE TIMES. CHAHARDY WAS CONVICTED EARLIER THIS MONTH AFTER A JUST DELIBERATED ONLY ABOUT AN HOUR TO COME UP WITH THEIR VERDICT.

IN THE RETRIAL OF FORMER RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JUROR STEVE BORDELON, TWO RAPIDES PARISH MEN WHO WERE POLICE JURORS IN 2005 TESTIFIED WEDNESDAY THEY WOULDN'T HAVE VOTED TO APPROVE CANNON SUBDIVISION HAD THEY KNOWN STEVE BORDELON HAD A FINANCIAL INTEREST IT. AN FBI AGENT ALSO TOOK THE STAND AND SAID, CANNON DEVELOPER DON PLAUCHE IN 2006 TOLD INVESTIGATORS THAT BORDELON PROMISED PLAUCHE AND HIS PARTNER THEY WOULD "NEVER SEE A BILL" FROM THE POLICE JURY TO REPAIR A ROAD DAMAGED BY SUBDIVISION CONSTRUCTION. BORDELON FACES UP TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON IF HE'S CONVICTED OF BRIBERY. BORDELON, WHO IS NOW 72, SERVED FOUR TERMS ON THE POLICE JURY.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL WON HIS FIRST SIGNIFICANT VICTORY WEDNESDAY IN HIS BID TO REVAMP STATE RETIREMENT, WHEN BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE AGREED TO CREATE A NEW PENSION PLAN FOR FUTURE RANK-AND-FILE STATE WORKERS. THE BILL SENT TO THE GOVERNOR'S DESK WOULD CREATE AN INVESTMENT ACCOUNT SIMILAR TO A 401(K) PLAN FOR STATE EMPLOYEES HIRED AFTER JULY 1, 2013, INSTEAD OF A MONTHLY RETIREMENT PAYMENT BASED ON THEIR SALARIES AND YEARS OF EMPLOYMENT.

CONGRESS HAS GIVEN ITSELF TWO MORE MONTHS TO COME UP WITH LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS FOR THE DEBT-BURDENED NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM.
A VOICE VOTE IN THE HOUSE HAS EXTENDED THE LIFE OF THE PROGRAM FOR 60 DAYS, ASSURING THAT PEOPLE IN FLOOD-RISK AREAS WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE FLOOD INSURANCE THEY NEED TO CLOSE ON MORTGAGES OR OBTAIN REFINANCING. THE SENATE APPROVED THE EXTENSION LAST WEEK.

A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN THE ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING OF HIS 9-YEAR-OLD STEPSISTER. BATON ROUGE POLICE REPORT THE SHOOTING HAPPED ABOUT 3:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY, WHEN THE BOY TOOK A GUN FROM HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE. POLICE SAY THE BOY STARTED PLAYING WITH THE GUN, WHICH DISCHARGED. A BULLET HIT THE GIRL IN THE HEAD. SHE'S LISTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION.

THE HOUSE HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE APPROVES AN ABORTION BILL THAT'S ALREADY PASSED THE STATE SENATE. THIS MEASURE BY SENATE PRESIDENT JOHN ALARIO WOULD BAN ABORTIONS IN LOUISIANA AFTER 20 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY. SIX OTHER STATES HAVE SIMILAR LAWS. WEST MONROE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK HOFFMAN, THE HOUSE SPONSOR OF THE BILL, SAYS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT BILL FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT. NO ONE SPOKE IN OPPOSITION AND THE PANEL UNANIMOUSLY SENT THE BILL
TO THE FULL HOUSE FOR ITS APPROVAL.

THE HOUSE APPROVES LEGISLATION REQUIRING DOCTORS TO PROVIDE THE SOUND OF A FETUS' HEARTBEAT FOR A WOMAN CONSIDERING AN ABORTION. CURRENT LAW ALREADY REQUIRES ABORTION CLINICS TO PROVIDE AN ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS TO THE MOTHER. THE BILL BY SENATOR SHARON WESTON BROOME HEADS BACK TO THE SENATE, TO SEE IF THEY AGREE TO MINOR CHANGES MADE BY THE HOUSE.

THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS WILL HAVE A LIMITED RIGHT OF APPEAL WHEN IT LOSES CASES IT BRINGS AGAINST PUBLIC OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF VIOLATING THE STATE ETHICS CODE. UNDER A WATERED DOWN BILL THAT RECEIVED FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE WEDNESDAY, ONLY INTERPRETATIONS OF LAW CAN BE APPEALED TO CLARIFY MATTERS THAT ETHICS BOARD MEMBERS FEEL HAVE BEEN WRONGLY INTERPRETED. AN APPEAL CAN ONLY BE CONSIDERED IF THE VOTE TO DO SO IS UNANIMOUS. IF THE BOARD APPEALS AND LOSES, HOWEVER, THE COURT COSTS MUST BE PAID BY THE ETHICS BOARD. . THE BILL NOW HEADS TO THE GOVERNOR'S DESK, WHERE IT FACES AN UNCERTAIN FATE.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS SIGNED INTO LAW A 10-YEAR, $37 MILLION TAX BREAK FOR THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS, PART OF THE STATE'S DEAL TO KEEP THE NBA TEAM IN LOUISIANA.
THE BILL BY JEFFERSON PARISH REP. CAMERON HENRY EXTENDS AN EXISTING TAX BREAK THAT SAVES THE HORNETS $3.7 MILLION A YEAR THROUGH LOUISIANA'S QUALITY JOBS PROGRAM. THE REBATE WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGH THE 2024 NBA SEASON.
SUPPORTERS SAID THE HORNETS HAVE A STRONG ECONOMIC IMPACT ON NEW ORLEANS AND THE STATE. CRITICS ARGUED IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE TO GIVE A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TAX BREAK WHILE ALSO LEVYING CONTINUED BUDGET CUTS ON COLLEGES.

IN WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A HEARING ON HIS CREDENTIALS TO BE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION, JOHN WHITE WEDNESDAY WAS REPEATEDLY QUESTIONED ABOUT HIS DEPARTMENT'S DECISION TO ACCEPT A RUSTON PRIVATE SCHOOL'S OFFER TO ACCEPT 315 VOUCHER STUDENTS AT A FACILITY THAT HAS NO ROOM FOR THE STUDENTS IT CURRENTLY SERVES. NEW LIVING WORD SCHOOL CURRENTLY HAS 122 STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PRE-KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 11TH GRADE AND UTILIZES SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES. THE REV. JERRY BALDWIN, CHURCH PASTOR AND PRINCIPAL OF THE SCHOOL, SAID HE IS STARTING A CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM FOR CLASSROOMS TO ACCOMMODATE THE NEW STUDENTS.

LAWMAKERS AGREED TO BAN DEATH ROW INMATES FROM SELLING ITEMS SUCH AS PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES FOR PROFIT, IF THOSE ITEMS ARE TIED TO THEIR CRIMES.
UNDER THE BILL THAT RECEIVED FINAL PASSAGE WEDNESDAY WITH A 95-0 VOTE OF THE HOUSE, ANY PROCEEDS RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF SUCH ITEMS WILL BE REDIRECTED TO AN ACCOUNT OVERSEEN BY THE STATE TREASURER, WITH THE PROCEEDS PAYABLE TO THE VICTIM OR THE VICTIM'S FAMILY. CONTRACTS FOR BOOKS AND MOVIES ARE, IN MOST CASES, EXEMPT FROM THE PROHIBITION.

LIMITS WILL BE SET ON THE NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS IT TAKES MOST LOUISIANA PUBLIC COLLEGE STUDENTS TO GET A DEGREE. THE MEASURE (SENATE BILL 103) WILL CAP THE REQUIREMENT AT 120 HOURS OF CREDIT, WITH AN EXCEPTION FOR DEGREES THAT NEED MORE HOURS TO MEET ACCREDITATION RULES, LIKE ENGINEERING PROGRAMS.

LOUISIANA WON'T REQUIRE A RANDOM SAMPLE OF WELFARE RECIPIENTS TO SUBMIT TO DRUG TESTS, AFTER A SENATE COMMITTEE REFUSED TO SUPPORT THE IDEA. THE PROPOSAL BY REPUBLICAN REP. SHERMAN MACK, OF LIVINGSTON, HAS BEEN CRITICIZED AS BEING THE EQUIVALENT OF CLASS WARFARE. A SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE VOTED 3-1 WEDNESDAY AGAINST THE BILL. THOUGH THE IDEA HAS FAILED REPEATEDLY, MACK SAID HE WILL TRY TO REVIVE THE BILL NEXT YEAR.

LAFAYETTE POLICE HAVE NARROWED THEIR SEARCH FOR DRIVERS IN THE AREA WHERE A MISSING LAFAYETTE WOMAN SHOWED UP ON VIDEO EARLY MAY 19TH. POLICE SAY INVESTIGATORS HAVE SPOKEN WITH DRIVERS AND OCCUPANTS OF TWO OF THE THREE VEHICLES SHOWN ON THE VIDEO SHOWING 21-YEAR-OLD MICHAELA "MICKEY" SHUNICK RIDING HER BICYCLE. IT APPEARS NO ONE IN THE CAR OR A PICKUP TRUCK HAD INFORMATION ABOUT OR A CONNECTION TO THE CASE INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT A NEWER MODEL, FOUR-DOOR, WHITE CHEVROLET Z-71 PICKUP TRUCK THAT WAS HEADING THE SAME DIRECTION AS SHUNICK.

WEEKS AFTER GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SIGNED AN UNCAPPED TAXPAYER REBATE PROGRAM THAT WILL FINANCE PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION VOUCHERS, THE SENATE HAS ENDORSED A MORE LIMITED BILL THAT WOULD GRANT PARTIAL REBATES FOR DIRECT CONTRIBUTIONS TO CERTAIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE VOTE CAME AFTER APPROVAL OF AN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE SCHOOLS THAT RECEIVE DONATIONS TO ISSUE A DETAILED PUBLIC REPORT THAT INCLUDES THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER OF DONORS. THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT OPPOSED THE OVERALL CONCEPT, BUT THE GOVERNOR'S AIDES SAY THE STATE'S BUDGET BILLS MUST MAKE ROOM FOR THE PAYOUTS. THEY CURRENTLY DON'T.





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