KSYL Local News

News For Monday 06/11/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 061112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE IMPASSE CONTINUES BETWEEN KALB AND THE DISH NETWORK. DISH HAS NOW STOPPED CARRYING FIVE HOAK MEDIA STATIONS ACROSS THE STATE. DISH INSISTS THAT WANTED A 200 PERCENT INCREASE IN CHARGES TO AIR BROADCASTS AND DEMANDED THAT DISH DROP A COMMERCIAL-SKIPPING FEATURE OF ITS DIGITAL RECORDERS KNOWN AS AUTOHOP. RICH ADAMS, HOAK MEDIA'S C.O.O. SAYS, THAT DISH'S ACCOUNT OF THE DISPUTE IS "A LIE." HOWEVER, IT WASN’T LONG AGO THAT HOAK WAS DROPPED FROM SUDDENLINK CABLE. AT THAT TIME, HOAK PLAYED DISH NETWORK AND DIRECT TV AGAINST SUDDENLINK. IN THAT CASE, SUDDENLINK BLINKED. HOWEVER, WHEN FACED WITH A SIMILAR STAND OFF IN BATON ROUGE, DISH STOOD IT’S GROUND. MANY MEDIA INSIDERS BELIEVE THE BIGGER ISSUE IN THIS CASE, AND WILL BE IN OTHER MARKETS IN WEEKS TO COME, IS THE NEW “AUTO HOP” FEATURE THAT ALLOWS DISH USERS TO SKIP OVER LOCAL COMMERCIALS.

FORMER LSU QUARTERBACK JORDAN JEFFERSON IS SCHEDULED IN COURT TODAY, FOR A MOTIONS HEARING RELATED TO HIS ARREST LAST AUGUST FOR A FIGHT OUTSIDE A BATON ROUGE BAR. LEGAL ANALYST TIM MECHE SAYS PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WILL HAVE THE CHANCE ASK THE JUDGE TO CONSIDER REQUESTS FOR TRIAL CONDITIONS. JEFFERSON IS CHARGED WITH SIMPLE BATTERY FOR HIS ROLE IN A FIGHT OUTSIDE SHADY'S BAR NEAR THE LSU CAMPUS. JEFFERSON'S CASE WILL BE DECIDED BY THE JUDGE, NOT A JURY. BECAUSE HE'S CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR. MECHE DOUBTS JEFFERSON WILL SERVE ANY FURTHER JAIL TIME FOR THE CHARGE

TWO WEEKS AGO, MOST PEOPLE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW STONY BROOK HAD A BASEBALL TEAM. BUT LSU BASEBALL FANS ARE WELL AWARE OF THE SEAWOLVES AFTER THEY DEFEATED THE TIGERS SEVEN TO TWO LAST NIGHT TO WIN THE BATON ROUGE SUPER REGIONAL SERIES. LSU COACH PAUL MAINIERI SAYS HE WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF STONY BROOK WON THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES.

56 YEAR OLD ELMER SYKES OF BROUSSARD WAS KILLED IN GRANT PARISH SATURDAY AFTER NOON, WHEN HIS VEHICLE LEFT HIGHWAY 500 NEAR GEORGETOWN AND STRUCK A TREE. STATE POLICE SAY, SYKES, WHO WAS NOT WEARING HIS SEATBELT, WAS EJECTED FROM THE VEHICLE. ROUTINE TOXICOLOGY TESTS ARE PENDING.

A TEENAGE BOY WHO IS THE SEVENTH VICTIM OF A MAY 30 HEAD-ON CRASH IN EAST FELICIANA PARISH DIED SUNDAY. 13 YEAR OLD ROGERICK JOHNSON JR. DIED AT ABOUT 3 P.M. AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN NEW ORLEANS. JOHNSON IS ONE OF SEVEN PEOPLE TO DIE AFTER A GREENSBURG MAN ACCUSED OF DRUNKEN DRIVING CRASHED HIS PICKUP INTO THEIR VEHICLE AS THEY WERE HEADING HOME FROM CHURCH .

THE AVOYELLES SOCIETY FOR THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED MAY CLOSE BECAUSE IT CAN'T PAY ITS STATE LICENSING FEE. THE MARKSVILLE, LA., GROUP CARES FOR 47 DISABLED ADULTS DURING THE DAY. AN OFFICIAL WITH THE ORGANIZATION SAYS THEY FACE A JUNE 30 DEADLINE TO RAISE OR BORROW $50,000 TO RENEW THE SOCIETY'S STATE LICENSE. BOARD PRESIDENT TROY GUILBEAUX SAYS IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, BOARD MEMBERS MAY HAVE TO SIGN FOR A PERSONAL LOAN TO RAISE THE MONEY. HOWEVER AT THIS TIME SOME BOARD MEMBERS SEEM UNWILLING TO TAKE THE RISK. GUILBEAUX SAYS 14 EMPLOYEES COULD LOSE THEIR JOBS IF THE ORGANIZATION CLOSES. HE SAID THE SITUATION, IS SCHEDULED TO BE DISCUSSED, AT BOARD MEETING TODAY.

A MEMBER OF LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY'S GOVERNING BOARD SAYS IT MAY BE WISE FOR THE SYSTEM TO AVOID ACROSS-THE-BOARD BUDGET CUTS. FACED WITH A 6.8 PERCENT CUT TO STATE FUNDS, BOARD MEMBER STEPHEN PERRY OF NEW ORLEANS SAID IT MIGHT BE BETTER TO CUT SPECIFIC PROGRAMS DEEPLY, INSTEAD OF JUST LEAVING SPECIFICS TO INDIVIDUAL CAMPUSES. PERRY GOT SUPPORT FROM INTERIM LSU SYSTEM PRESIDENT WILLIAM JENKINS. JENKINS WARNED THE SYSTEM IS "ON THE POINT OF IMPLOSION" WITHOUT A NEW STRATEGY. OVERALL, HIGHER EDUCATION IS EXPECTING A $66 MILLION CUT IN STATE FINANCING NEXT Y EAR WITH LSU BEARING $28 MILLION OF THOSE REDUCTIONS. THE BUDGET PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE ALSO REQUIRES ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TO TRIM ANOTHER $15 MILLION. THOSE REDUCTIONS MAY FALL ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS VETOED A BILL THAT WOULD HAVE CREATED A TAX REBATE FOR DONATIONS TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. HOUSE BILL 1106 WOULD HAVE CREATED A TAX REBATE FOR THOSE WHO GIVE TO LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS. THE SIZE OF THE REBATE WOULD HAVE DEPENDED ON THE SCHOOL'S PERFORMANCE GRADE. JINDAL WROTE IN HIS VETO LETTER FRIDAY THAT THERE WAS NO PROVISION IN THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE REBATES.
THE BILL WAS SPONSORED BY REP. KATRINA JACKSON, D MONROE. SHE DESCRIBED ITS REJECTION AS "TRULY A BLOW TO PUBLIC EDUCATION." THE MEASURE WAS FRAMED AS A RESPONSE TO A BILL THAT JINDAL ALREADY SIGNED, CREATING REBATES FOR THOSE WHO DONATE TO NONPROFIT GROUPS THAT THEN PROVIDE PRIVATE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS SPENDING MORE THAN $132.9 MILLION WITH TWO OUT-OF-STATE COMPANIES FOR STANDARDIZED TESTS USED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
THE DEPARTMENT HAS 70 CURRENT CONTRACTS TOTALING $282 MILLION, MORE THAN HALF OF WHICH GOES TO CONTRACTORS OUTSIDE OF LOUISIANA. THE NUMBER OF CONTRACTS AWARDED BY THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT DOESN'T SIT WELL WITH STATE TREASURER JOHN KENNEDY, WHO SAYS THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IS "RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE LIST" WHEN IT COMES TO STATE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS THAT "ABUSE" CONTRACTS.

THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS SAYS IT, TOO, WILL FILE A LAWSUIT TO THROW OUT A SET OF EDUCATION CHANGES PUSHED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AND PASSED BY LAWMAKERS. DIRECTORS OF THE TEACHERS UNION HAVE ALSO ENDORSED AN EFFORT TO RECALL JINDAL. THE UNION VOTED SATURDAY TO SUE OVER CHANGES TO THE STATE'S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA THAT WILL PAY FOR A STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM, ONLINE SCHOOLS, COLLEGE TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS AND AN EXPANSION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS. THE UNION SAYS THE CHANGES VIOLATE THE STATE CONSTITUTION AND ILLEGALLY TRANSFER LOCAL TAX MONEY FROM ONE DISTRICT TO ANOTHER.

A FORMER STATE SENATOR SAYS A JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH TOWN MAY BE BREAKING STATE LAW BY SETTING TICKET QUOTAS FOR ITS OFFICERS. THE WELSH POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS FACED CRITICISM FROM TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS FOR HIRING OFF-DUTY OFFICERS TO ENFORCE TRAFFIC LAWS ON INTERSTATE 10. FORMER STATE SEN. JOE MCPHERSON SAYS THAT THE ACTIVITY APPEARS TO VIOLATE A STATE LAW HE SPONSORED BEFORE LEAVING THE LEGISLATURE. WELSH POLICE CHIEF TOMMY CHAISSON INSISTED THE TRAFFIC DETAIL DOESN'T USE THEM. HOWEVER, CHAISSON TOLD THE WELCH TOWN COUNCIL IN MARCH THAT IF OFFICERS AREN'T WRITING ONE TICKET PER HOUR, THEY AREN'T BEING PRODUCTIVE. THE COUNCIL REFUSED THAT MONTH TO ALLOW CHAISSON TO LENGTHEN SHIFTS FROM SIX HOURS TO 12 HOURS.

SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU EXPRESSED HER DISAPPOINTMENT THAT THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT, WHICH SHE SUPPORTED, FAILED IN THE U.S. SENATE ON A 52 TO 47 VOTE, ON PARTY LINES. LANDRIEU SAYS THE BILL WOULD HAVE HELPED LOUISIANA WOMEN OVERCOME PAY DISCRIMINATION, WHICH HAS THEM EARNING LESS THAN MEN DOING THE SAME JOBS. THE BILL WOULD HAVE PLUGGED LOOPHOLES IN THE 50 YEAR OLD EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1963. LANDRIEU SAYS LOUISIANA WOMEN ARE EARNING LESS THAN MEN IN 264 OUT OF 265 OCCUPATIONAL FIELDS. SHE SAYS BECAUSE WOMEN BRING IN 40-PERCENT OF THEIR FAMILY'S INCOME, PAYCHECK DISCRIMINATION HAS BECOME AN ISSUE HOLDING BACK THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

WITH THE HEAT OF SUMMER COMING ON, STATE OFFICIALS REMIND PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS THAT IT'S NEVER SAFE TO LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN & FAMILY SERVICES SPOKESMAN TREY WILLIAMS SAYS, ON HOT SUMMER SAYS, THE TEMPERATURE INSIDE A CAR CAN RISE 20 DEGREES IN A MATTER OF JUST MINUTES. IN LOUISIANA, 21 KIDS HAVE DIED OF HEAT STROKE FROM BEING LEFT ALONE IN A CAR SINCE 1989.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE ENCOURAGING RESIDENTS TO PRACTICE SAFE FOOD HANDLING AND FREQUENT HAND WASHING AS A RESULT OF A E COLI OUTBREAK THAT SICKENED PEOPLE IN SIX STATES INCLUDING LOUISIANA. THERE'S BEEN FOUR CASES IN THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA AND THE OUTBREAK RECENTLY CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A CHILD. ASSISTANT STATE HEALTH OFFICER DR. TAKESHI DAVIS SAYS THIS CURRENT OUTBREAK IS MOST LIKELY COMING FROM A FOOD SOURCE, BUT AT THIS POINT, HEALTH OFFICIALS DON’T KNOW WHICH FOOD.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS GIVEN GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA $1 MILLION TO OFFER JOB TRAINING AND OTHER HELP TO RELEASED PRISONERS.
THE GRANT WILL PAY FOR TRAINING 250 TO 300 EX-OFFENDERS IN A 10-MONTH PROGRAM. THEY WILL BE TRAINED IN BROADBAND TECHNOLOGY, CULINARY ARTS OR THE BIO-DIESEL INDUSTRY. THEY ALSO WILL GET MENTORING AND INSTRUCTION IN "SOFT SKILLS" SUCH AS ANGER MANAGEMENT. THE FORMER PRISONERS ALSO WILL BE SET UP WITH HOUSING ASSISTANCE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS AND MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT AS NEEDED. MANY OF THE 15,000 PEOPLE RELEASED FROM LOUISIANA PRISONS EACH YEAR DO NOT RECEIVE ANY VOCATIONAL TRAINING OR RE-ENTRY ASSISTANCE. GOODWILL IS ONE OF 18 ORGANIZATIONS NATIONWIDE THAT RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE LABOR DEPARTMENT'S REINTEGRATION OF EX-OFFENDER ADULTS PROGRAM.

ALARMING STATISTICS FROM THE PENTAGON SHOW THAT SUICIDES AMONG MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE SHARPLY RISING. THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORTS 154 SUICIDES AMONG ACTIVE-DUTY TROOPS IN THE FIRST 155 DAYS OF THIS YEAR. LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD COLONEL SCOTT ADAMS SAYS THE GUARD HAS PROGRAMS IN PLACE TO SPOT POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AND INTERVENE. ADAMS SAYS IT HAS BEEN ABOUT NINE MONTHS SINCE THE LAST SUICIDE OF A LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD MEMBER, BUT THAT IS STILL NOT ACCEPTABLE. HE SAYS GETTING GUARDSMEN TO OPEN UP ABOUT THEIR INNER FEELINGS IS KEY TO INTERVENTION.







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