KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 06/12/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 061212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE NEWLY APPOINTED RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD ADVISORY COMMITTEE HELD ITS FIRST MEETING LAST NIGHT AND EVEN THOUGH BOARD MEMBER STEVE BERRY WAS CHAIRED THE MEETING, IT WAS CLEAR WHO WAS IN CHARGE. BOARD MEMBER JANET DIXON TOLD COMMITTEE MEMBERS SHE MET WITH LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT SHELTON COBB THIS PAST FRIDAY TO FIND OUT HOW THAT BOARD APPROACHED ITS RECENT SEARCH FOR A NEW SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT. DIXON INFORMED THE BOARD SHE WAS DEVELOPING A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION OUTLINING WHAT LAFAYETTE DID DIFFERENTLY FROM THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD'S LAST SEARCH IN 2003 WHICH RESULTED IN THE HIRING OF CURRENT SUPERINTENDENT DR. GARY JONES. THE BOARD AS YOU KNOW HAS DECIDED NOT TO RENEW DR. JONES CONTRACT WHICH EXPIRES AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY VOTED UNANIMOUSLY MONDAY TO PUT AN ELECTION ON THE NOV. 6 BALLOT FOR A $23 MILLION BOND ISSUE TO UPGRADE THE COLISEUM AND A ONE MILL PROPERTY TAX TO FUND ITS OPERATIONS FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS. IN ADDITION TO MAJOR RENOVATIONS TO THE COLISEUM, MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS ARE ALSO PLANNED FOR THE EXHIBITION HALL, AGRICULTURE FACILITIES AND PARKING AREAS. JAMES GREER, WHO RECENTLY PURCHASED COWBOY TOWN, ASKED THE JURY TO CONSIDER BUYING THE VACANT FORMER ENTERTAINMENT VENUE OFF INTERSTATE 49 AND MAKING IT THE PARISH'S ARENA. BUT, JURORS FEEL THAT FACILITY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE MANY OF THE EVENTS CURRENTLY HELD AT THE COLISEUM.

A PINEVILLE MAN AND A DRY PRONG WOMAN PLEADED GUILTY YESTERDAY TO ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ROBBERY CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH AN INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN JANUARY OF LAST YEAR. DURING THE ROBBERY A MAN WAS SHOT. 20 YEAR OLD QUINN SONNIER AND 28 YEAR OLD TABITHA MCGLOTHLIN WERE SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON AT HARD LABOR FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER, AND 15 YEARS AT HARD LABOR FOR ROBBERY. THE SENTENCES ARE TO RUN CONCURRENT. HOWEVER, BOTH RECEIVED CREDIT FOR TIME SERVED. THAT WILL KNOCK ABOUT A YEAR OFF THE 30 YEAR SENTENCES.

THE LEADER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM SAID MONDAY HE'S ASKED THE STATE'S TOP HIGHER EDUCATION BOARD TO SCRAP ITS METHOD FOR DIVVYING UP DOLLARS AMONG LOUISIANA'S PUBLIC COLLEGES, SAYING THE FORMULA IS INAPPROPRIATE TO USE WITH BUDGET CUTS. UL SYSTEM PRESIDENT RANDY MOFFETT SAID THE PERFORMANCE-BASED FORMULA DEVISED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS WAS DESIGNED WHEN STATE FUNDING FOR HIGHER EDUCATION WAS INCREASING, TO CREATE INCENTIVES FOR CAMPUSES TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCE. HE SAID IT WASN'T DESIGNED TO STRIP FUNDING FROM SCHOOLS. SINCE JULY 2008, GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION AND LAWMAKERS HAVE STRIPPED NEARLY $427 MILLION IN STATE GENERAL FUNDS FROM HIGHER EDUCATION. ANOTHER $66 MILLION HAS BEEN CUT FROM THE BUDGET YEAR THAT STARTS JULY 1ST.

VOTERS WILL FACE A HEFTY LIST OF QUESTIONS IN THE FALL ELECTION WHEN THEY SEE THE CHANGES PUSHED BY LAWMAKERS FOR THEM TO CONSIDER. NINE PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE LOUISIANA CONSTITUTION WILL BE ON THE NOV. 6 BALLOT AFTER THE ACTION OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION THAT ENDED LAST WEEK. A TERM LIMIT QUESTION ALSO WILL APPEAR, TIED TO OTHER NEWLY PASSED LEGISLATION. IN THE MOST ATTENTION-GRABBING ITEM, VOTERS WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO SET A TOUGHER STANDARD FOR RESTRICTING THE USE OF WEAPONS AND WHETHER TO REMOVE A PROVISION THAT GIVES THE LEGISLATURE EXPLICIT AUTHORITY TO LIMIT CONCEALED HANDGUNS.

A BAIL HEARING IS BEING HELD TODAY FOR A MAN ACCUSED OF DRIVING DRUNK NEAR SLAUGHTER AND SMASHING INTO A CAR HEAD-ON KILLING SEVEN PEOPLE. THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY SAYS 30-YEAR-OLD BRETT GERALD WILL BE CHARGED WITH SEVEN COUNTS OF VEHICULAR HOMICIDE. ON MAY 30TH WHEN THE HORRIBLE ACCIDENT OCCURRED, STATE POLICE SAY GERALD HAD A BLOOD-ALCOHOL CONTENT OF .15 PERCENT. MEDIA REPORTS SAY HE'S ALSO BEEN ARRESTED AT LEAST THREE OTHER TIMES FOR DRUNK DRIVING. A SINGLE VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CONVICTION CARRIES A SENTENCE OF BETWEEN FIVE AND THIRTY YEARS.

GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS SIGNED INTO LAW A BILL MAKING MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTIONS NECESSARY EVERY TWO YEARS, INSTEAD OF THE CURRENT ANNUAL INSPECTIONS. DRIVERS WILL STILL PAY THE SAME HOWEVER, AND DRIVERS WILL STILL, IF THEY LIKE, BE ABLE TO GET THEIR VEHICLE INSPECTED ANNUALLY AND PAY THE CURRENT $10 FEE. THE NEW OPTION WILL ALLOW DRIVERS TO PAY $20 AND ONLY BRING THEIR VEHICLE IN EVERY OTHER YEAR. THE NEW LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO DRIVERS IN THE FIVE PARISH CAPITAL AREA, THEY WILL STILL HAVE TO GET YEARLY INSPECTIONS, DUE TO FEDERAL POLLUTION COMPLIANCE. THE NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT SEPTEMBER 1ST..

GAS PRICES HAVE FALLEN ANOTHER PENNY OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR A GALLON
OF REGULAR GAS IS $3.28.

AMID SPECULATION THAT GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL MAY BE ASKED TO BE MITT ROMNEY'S VICE-PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING MATE...LT. GOVERNOR JAY DARDENNE SAYS HE'S PREPARED TO STEP UP. IF JINDAL WAS TAPPED TO RUN WITH ROMNEY AND IF THE GOP RECLAIMS THE WHITE HOUSE, DARDENNE WOULD BECOME THE STATE'S NEXT CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND HE SAYS HE'S PREPARED FOR THAT POSSIBILITY.

GOOD MORNING AMERICA ANCHOR AND FAMOUS SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY ALUM ROBIN ROBERTS ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY MORNING SHE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A RARE BLOOD AND BONE MARROW DISORDER CALLED MDS. ROBERTS SAYS THE DISEASE IS THE RESULT OF COMPLICATION FROM THE SUCCESSFUL CANCER TREATMENT SHE RECEIVED IN 2007. ROBERTS WILL RECEIVE A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT FROM HER SISTER SALLY ANN ROBERTS OF WWL-TV.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED AN EL NINO WATCH, WHICH MEANS THERE IS A 50-PERCENT CHANCE OF AN EL NINO FORMING IN THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC BY THE END OF THE YEAR. AN EL NINO BY THIS SUMMER WOULD CHANGE THE WIND CURRENTS IN THE HURRICANE BREEDING GROUNDS OF THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC MAKING IT HARDER FOR STORMS TO FORM AND GROW. IT WOULD ALSO MAKE FOR CHANGES TO OUR WEATHER PATTERNS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. AN EL NINO PATTERN USUALLY MEANS COOLER AND WETTER WINTERS FOR LOUISIANA, WHICH, ACCORDING TO STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM, WOULD BE AS WELCOME HERE AS FEWER HURRICANES. KEIM DESCRIBES AN EL NINO AS A HUGE POOL OF WARMER THEN NORMAL WATER IN THE TROPICAL PACIFIC BETWEEN SOUTH AMERICA AND TAHITI.

SWEDISH DEVELOPER SKANSKA AND JOINT VENTURE PARTNER MAPP CONSTRUCTION, A BATON ROUGE-BASED CONSTRUCTION FIRM, HAVE SECURED THE SECOND PIECE OF THE STATE CONTRACT FOR THE NEW UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS. SKANSKA SAID THE SECOND PORTION OF THE CONTRACT IS FOR $130 MILLION AND SKANSKA'S SHARE IS $118 MILLION. THE COMPANY SAYS THE CONTRACT INCLUDES A 258,000 -SQUARE-FOOT AMBULATORY CARE FACILITY AND A 1,300-SPACE PARKING GARAGE. THE HOSPITAL IS EXPECTED TO OPEN IN FEBRUARY 2015.

A CONSTRUCTION WORKER HAS DIED AFTER AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT AT THE SITE OF A NEW JAIL IN CAMERON PARISH. THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAID THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED SHORTLY AFTER 9 ON MONDAY, WHEN A LOAD OF MATERIALS FELL ONTO A CONSTRUCTION WORKER.

TERREBONNE PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SAY A HOUMA MAN INJURED THREE POLICE OFFICERS IN A SCUFFLE AT THE CITY'S WAL-MART SATURDAY, THEN COLLAPSED AND DIED. AN OFF-DUTY OFFICER SAID 41-YEAR-OLD RANDOLPH BONVILLIAN WAS SHOUTING LOUDLY IN THE STORE AND GREW VIOLENT WHEN THE OFFICER APPROACHED HIM. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY.






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