KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 06/05/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 060512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

YOU WILL WANT TO AVOID THE O.K. ALLEN BRIDGE BETWEEN ALEXANDRIA AND PINEVILLE TODAY. THE BRIDGE WILL BE CLOSED FROM 9 A.M. UNTIL 3 PM FOR WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICIALS SAY IS A ROUTINE INSPECTION.

CENLA BROADCASTING WELCOMES MEMBERS OF THE FFA TO TOWN FOR THEIR 83RD ANNUAL LOUISIANA FFA CONVENTION. THE EVENT WILL RUN TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY AT THE ALEXANDRIA RIVERFRONT CENTER. THE FFA IS A NATIONWIDE ORGANIZATION OF OVER A HALF MILLION AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, INCLUDING MORE THAN 9,500 FROM LOUISIANA ALONE.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY VOTED UNANIMOUSLY AT ITS COMMITTEE MEETINGS MONDAY TO PLACE AN ITEM ON THE NOV. 6 ELECTION BALLOT FOR A $23 MILLION BOND ISSUE TO COMPLETELY REDO THE COLISEUM AND A 20-YEAR, ONE-MILL MAINTENANCE TAX TO FUND ITS OPERATIONS. THE FACILITY BUILT BACK IN 1964 IS COMING UP ON IT’S 50 ANNIVERSARY. ACCORDING TO BILL TUDOR AN ARCHITECT WITH ALLIANCE DESIGN GROUP WHO HAS WORKED WITH THE COLISEUM STUDY COMMITTEE TO DEVELOP PLANS FOR RENOVATIONS, BY BUILDING ON THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE COLISEUM, THE PARISH CAN FOR A $23 MILLION INVESTMENT GET WHAT WOULD COST $45 MILLION TO $50 MILLION TO BUILD FROM SCRATCH.

STATE LAWMAKERS IN THE FINAL HOURS OF THE 2012 LEGISLATIVE SESSION APPROVED PLANS TO CREATE CENTRAL LOUISIANA TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE BY COMBINING SIX TECHNICAL COLLEGES IN THE REGION AND CALLING FOR INCREASED COURSE OFFERINGS.
SENATE BILL 247 BY SEN. GERALD LONG, R-WINNFIELD, WENT THROUGH SOME LAST-DAY MANIPULATIONS THAT ASSURED FUNDING FOR THE ALEXANDRIA, AVOYELLES, HUEY P. LONG, LAMAR SALTER, OAKDALE AND SHELBY M. JACKSON CAMPUSES OF THE LOUISIANA TECHNICAL COLLEGE WHILE THE TRANSITION TAKES PLACE. GAINING ACCREDITATION AS A COMMUNITY COLLEGE SO STUDENTS CAN QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE COULD TAKE UPWARDS OF FIVE YEARS.

STATE POLICE REPORT 54-YEAR-OLD BRENDA JOHNSON OF ALEXANDRIA DIED SUNDAY NIGHT IN A CRASH INVOLVING THREE VEHICLES IN AVOYELLES PARISH ON HIGHWAY1.
BRENDA JOHNSON WAS A PASSENGER IN A PICKUP TRUCK BEING DRIVEN BY 57 YEAR OLD LONNIE JOHNSON. TROOPERS SAY JOHNSON WAS ATTEMPTING TO PASS IN A NO-PASSING ZONE WHEN HE STRUCK TWO OTHER VEHICLES, ONE OF THE HEAD ON.

LOUISIANA LAWMAKERS SHUT DOWN THEIR REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION MONDAY, ENDING THREE MONTHS OF BITTER DISPUTES OVER BUDGETS, EDUCATION AND RETIREMENT. THE SESSION GAVE GOV. BOBBY JINDAL SIGNIFICANT WINS ON HIS MASSIVE REVAMP OF LOUISIANA'S EDUCATION SYSTEM. BUT IT ALSO HIGHLIGHTED DEEP DIVISIONS BETWEEN THE GOP GOVERNOR AND A BLOC OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO QUESTION HIS CONSERVATIVE CREDENTIALS ON SPENDING MATTERS. JINDAL ALSO LOST HIS PUSH TO CHANGE THE STATE'S PENSION PLANS AND COSTS FOR EXISTING WORKERS, INSTEAD ONLY GETTING THROUGH TO FINAL PASSAGE A MEASURE TO CREATE A NEW RETIREMENT PLAN FOR RANK-AND-FILE WORKERS HIRED IN 2013 AND BEYOND. IN THE FINAL HOURS OF THE SESSION, LAWMAKERS COMPLETED WORK ON A $4 BILLION MULTIYEAR CONSTRUCTION BUDGET AND GAVE FINAL PASSAGE TO A $3.4 BILLION ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL SAYS THE 2012 LEGISLATIVE SESSION WAS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND TRANSFORMATIVE IN LOUISIANA'S MODERN HISTORY. MR. JINDAL SAYS LAWMAKERS ARE TO BE COMMENDED FOR PASSING HIS PACKAGE OF EDUCATION REFORMS, LIKE TEACHER TENURE REFORM, A PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS BILL AND OTHERS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE SECOND-MOST IMPORTANT LEGISLATION PASSED CHANGED THE STATE WORKERS' RETIREMENT TO SOMETHING MORE AKIN TO A 401-K. HE SAYS THIS WILL HELP THE STATE PAY DOWN OVER $18-BILLION IN STATE RETIREMENT DEBT. JINDAL SAYS HE WILL INSPECT EACH BILL THAT CROSSES HIS DESK, INDIVIDUALLY AND GIVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION BEFORE HE EITHER SIGNS IT, VETOES IT, OR ALLOWS IT TO BECOME LAW WITHOUT HIS SIGNATURE. JINDAL SAYS MANY OF THE THE BILLS WILL HELP MAKE LOUISIANA A BETTER PLACE.

AN ARBITRATOR RULED MONDAY THAT NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DISCIPLINE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS FOR THEIR ROLE IN A BOUNTY SYSTEM. THE NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION CHALLENGED GOODELL'S POWER TO IMPOSE PENALTIES FOR WHAT THE LEAGUE SAYS WAS A THREE-YEAR BOUNTY PROGRAM THAT TARGETED SPECIFIC PLAYERS. STEPHEN BURBANK, A UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW PROFESSOR, TOOK ONLY FIVE DAYS TO DETERMINE THAT GOODELL HAS THE POWER TO PUNISH THE PLAYERS UNDER THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT REACHED LAST AUGUST TO END THE LOCKOUT.

THE GREENSBURG MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING FIVE PEOPLE IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH LAST WEEK IN THE TOWN OF SLAUGHTER HAS BEEN ARRESTED AGAIN. ONE OF TWO TEENS THAT WERE CRITICALLY INJURED IN THAT FATAL WRECK HAS DIED, MEANING 30-YEAR-OLD BRETT GERALD NOW FACES SIX COUNTS OF VEHICULAR HOMICIDE. GERALD'S PICKUP WAS DRIVING DOWN THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD AND RAN HEAD-FIRST INTO THE SEDAN, CARRYING SEVEN PEOPLE ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM CHURCH.
THE SOLE SURVIVOR OF THE CRASH, A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY IS SHOWING IMPROVEMENT.

NEW LOUISIANA SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO REACH THE JOB PROTECTION STATUS CALLED TENURE, UNDER A BILL GIVEN FINAL PASSAGE MONDAY.
CURRENTLY, SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS HAVE A PROBATIONARY TERM OF THREE YEARS. IF THEY ARE NOT DISMISSED OR FOUND UNSATISFACTORY DURING THAT TIME, THEY REACH TENURE, WHICH GIVES THEM A PERMANENT JOB STATUS AND MAKES IT HARDER FOR THEM TO BE FIRED. LOUISIANA IS IN THE ONLY STATE IN THE NATION THAT HAS TENURE FOR BUS DRIVERS.

LOUISIANA'S PAROLE AND PARDON BOARDS WILL BE MERGED, UNDER A BILL (HOUSE BILL 518) THAT WAS SENT TO THE GOVERNOR WITH UNANIMOUS HOUSE AND SENATE VOTES SUNDAY. THE DUTIES OF THE PAROLE BOARD WILL BE MOVED UNDER THE OVERSIGHT OF THE PARDON BOARD, AS A COST-CUTTING MOVE. THE MEASURE ALSO ADDS NEW EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE MERGED BOARD.

AS THE 2012 HURRICANE SEASON GETS UNDERWAY, THE STATE'S DISASTER MANAGER IS FORMING PUBLIC & PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO PROVIDE ABUNDANT SHELTER SPACE FOR STORM EVACUEES. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY & EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KEVIN DAVIS SAYS THE STATE HAS ARRANGED ABOUT 50-THOUSAND EVACUATION SHELTER SPACES, BUT STILL NEEDS UP TO 20-THOUSAND MORE. HE SAYS GOHSEP IS TAKING A "WHOLE COMMUNITY APPROACH"; ENCOURAGING EVACUATING COMMUNITIES TO SHELTER TOGETHER IN GROUPS, WITH MEDICAL, POLICE AND OTHER ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL SHELTERING WITH THEM. HE SAYS AGREEMENTS OF THIS NATURE ARE ALREADY IN PLACE WITH ABOUT 14 PARISHES.

CALCASIEU PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES HAVE RECOVERED THE BODY OF A MAN FROM WATER BEHIND L'AUBERGE CASINO RESORT IN LAKE CHARLES. AUTHORITIES SAY THE BODY WAS THAT OF 23 YEAR OLD RORY MCDONAGH OF NEW YORK, WHO WENT MISSING FRIDAY NIGHT. SURVEILLANCE VIDEO SHOWS MCDONAGH IN THE CASINO PARKING GARAGE FRIDAY MORNING AROUND 2:30 A.M. VERY INTOXICATED AND DISORIENTED. THAT WAS THE LAST TIME HE WAS SEEN ALIVE. IT’S BELIEVED HE FELL IN THE WATER AND DROWN.

God Bless America!

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