KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 06/14/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 061412
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

GOVERNOR JINDAL SIGNS INTO LAW A MEASURE THAT CREATES THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE. THE AUTHOR OF THE LEGISLATION, WINNFIELD SENATOR GERALD LONG, SAYS THEY ARE FORMING THE NEW COMMUNITY COLLEGE BY COMBINING SIX TECHNICAL SCHOOLS IN THE REGION. LONG SAYS THE NEW TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE WILL PROVIDE MORE COLLEGE COURSES FOR RESIDENTS LIVING IN THE AREA. LONG SAYS CREATING THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMES AT A GOOD TIME AS THEY EXPECT THIS AREA OF THE STATE TO SEE A GROWTH IN OIL-RELATED JOBS.

GOVERNOR JINDAL SAYS HE EXPECTS HIS EDUCATION REFORMS, PASSED BY STATE LAWMAKERS, WILL WITHSTAND LEGAL CHALLENGES POSED BY TWO TEACHERS UNIONS.
MR. JINDAL CALL LAWSUITS FILED BY THE LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AN ATTEMPT TO PRESERVE THE "STATUS QUO" IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. BUT, THE LFT SAYS THE STATE CONSTITUTION CLEARLY SAYS PUBLIC SCHOOL FUND DOLLARS GO TO THE SCHOOLS, AND GIVING ANY OF THAT MONEY TO PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS INTENDS TO FILE ITS OWN SUIT; CHALLENGING THE SCHOOL VOUCHERS PLAN, TEACHER TENURE REFORMS AND TEACHER EVALUATION RULES PASSED LAST YEAR.

MURPHY PAINTER, THE FORMER COMMISSIONER OF THE LOUISIANA OFFICE OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO CONTROL, ENTERED A NOT GUILTY PLEA WEDNESDAY IN THE CASE WHERE HE'S ACCUSED OF USING HIS POWER AND ACCESS TO SPY ON PEOPLE, MOSTLY WOMEN. LAST WEEK, A JUDGE RELEASED PAINTER ON HIS OWN RECOGNIZANCE, ALLOWING HIM TO REMAIN FREE THROUGHOUT HIS TRIAL. A GRAND JURY LAST MONTH INDICTED THE 59-YEAR-OLD ON CHARGES OF COMPUTER FRAUD, MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT.

LAWMAKERS SEEKING TO CURTAIL DRUNKEN DRIVING BACKED A STRING OF PROPOSALS THAT TOUGHEN PENALTIES, GIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MORE METHODS TO TEST FOR DRIVER IMPAIRMENT AND CRACK DOWN ON REPEAT OFFENDERS. SIX BILLS ADDRESSING INTOXICATED DRIVERS HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL. CLOSE TO 300 PEOPLE DIED IN ALCOHOL-RELATED CRASHES IN THE STATE LAST YEAR. AS HIGH AS THAT NUMBER IS, THE DEATH RATE IS DOWN SUBSTANTIALLY FROM JUST A FEW YEARS AGO.

CONSTRUCTION TO WIDEN AND INSTALL LEFT TURN LANES ON HORSESHOE DRIVE AT MASONIC DRIVE IN ALEXANDRIA WILL BEGIN MONDAY AND WILL LAST ABOUT 60 DAYS. HORSESHOE DRIVE WILL BE WIDENED FROM PRESCOTT ROAD TO ABOUT 600 FEET EAST OF MASONIC DRIVE TO ALLOW FOR LEFT TURN LANES TO BE INSTALLED. THERE WILL BE SOME LANE RESTRICTIONS WITHIN THE WORK AREAS; HOWEVER MINIMAL AMOUNTS OF ROAD CLOSURES AND DETOURS ARE ANTICIPATED, ACCORDING TO CITY OFFICIALS.

FORMER PORT ALLEN MAYOR DEREK LEWIS HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 40 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR HIS GUILTY PLEA TO A CHARGE OF RACKETEERING. THE JUDGE ALSO ORDERED LEWIS TO REPAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CLOSE TO $19 GRAND FOR CASH AND OTHER BRIBES HE AND FORMER PORT ALLEN POLICE CHIEF FRED SMITH ACCEPTED DURING A FBI STING AGAINST CORRUPT MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS. SMITH WAS CONVICTED AT TRIAL IN OCTOBER ON RELATED RACKETEERING AND FRAUD CHARGES. ALL IN ALL, SIX OFFICIALS IN WHITE CASTLE, ST. GABRIEL, NEW ROADS AND PORT ALLEN WERE CONVICTED AS A RESULT OF THE STING.

US SENATOR DAVID VITTER IS DEMANDING ANSWERS FROM THE CENSUS BUREAU REGARDING ALLEGED ERRORS DURING THE COUNT OF RESIDENTS IN MONROE IN 2010. OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THAT THE CITY HAS ACCOUNTED FOR ABOUT 2,000 MORE PEOPLE LIVING IN MONROE THAN THE CENSUS COUNTED.

THE STATE'S BOARD OF PAROLE WILL BE ELIMINATED AND ITS DUTIES GIVEN TO THE PARDON BOARD UNDER A COST-CUTTING BILL SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL. THE PARDON BOARD CURRENTLY MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHICH PRISONERS SHOULD BE GRANTED A COMMUTED SENTENCE BY THE GOVERNOR. UNDER ITS EXPANDED ROLE, THE PANEL ALSO WILL GAIN THE RESPONSIBILITY TO RECOMMEND WHEN AN INMATE DESERVES PAROLE.

A UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT ATTENDANT REMAINS IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER BEING INJURED BY TURBULANCE THAT FORCED THE PLANE TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN LAKE CHARLES. THE SUDDEN LURCHING OF THE PLAN TOSSED FLIGHT ATTENDANTS ABOUT THE CABIN LIKE DOLLS; ONE WAS HURT PRETTY BADLY. THE PLANE WAS EN ROUTE FROM HOUSTON TO NEW YORK CITY. AFTER REPLACING INJURED CREW, THE PLANE CONTINUED ON ITS ROUTE AFTER A DELAY OF MORE THAN 5 HOURS.

A WESTLAKE MAN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 120 YEARS IN PRISON FOR COMMITTING SEX CRIMES ON YOUNG BOYS. BERGERSON PLEADED GUILTY IN DECEMBER TO 12 COUNTS OF ORAL SEXUAL BATTERY, 12 COUNTS OF INDECENT BEHAVIOR AND ONE COUNT OF SEXUAL BATTERY. PROSECUTOR CYNTHIA GUILLORY SAID BERGERON WOULD INVITE YOUNG BOYS INTO HIS HOME AND GIVE THEM DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL UNTIL THEY PASSED OUT. HE WOULD THEN PERFORM ORAL SEX ON THEM. GUILLORY CALLED BERGERON "THE SICKEST OF THE SICK".

A BATON ROUGE COUPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND BOOKED WITH SECOND-DEGREE MURDER AND CRUELTY TO A JUVENILE FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THEIR 8-YEAR-OLD SON.
DEPUTIES SAY MICHAEL ROBERTSON AND LAVAUGHN RILEY WERE ARRESTED TUESDAY NIGHT AFTER BRUISES AND BITES WERE DISCOVERED ON 8-YEAR-OLD XZAYVION RILEY.
THE CHILD WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT A HOSPITAL. DEPUTIES SAY THE MEDICAL STAFF DOCUMENTED 56 BRUISES, CUTS AND ABRASIONS ON THE CHILD, INCLUDING AN ADULT-SIZE BIGHT MARK ON HIS STOMACH.

A SHREVEPORT MAN HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO CHARGES ARISING FROM THE DEATH OF HIS INFANT SON IN 2007 AND RECENT INJURIES TO ANOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN.
TWENTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD KENNETH R. WILLIS ENTERED THE PLEAS TUESDAY. HE FACES A CHARGE OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATH OF ZAMIAN WILLIS, WHO WAS A MONTH OLD WHEN HE DIED OF HEAD INJURIES IN 2007. HE ALSO HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE CHILD CRUELTY CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE INJURIES TO HIS 3-MONTH-OLD SON. A PROSECUTOR SAID TUESDAY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WILL SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE 2007 CASE.

FAMILY MEMBERS OF A MAN WHO DIED AFTER A WEEKEND FIGHT WITH POLICE IN A HOUMA WAL-MART SAY THEY HAVE MET WITH THE TERREBONNE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO DISCUSS THE INVESTIGATION INTO HIS DEATH. THE DEAD MAN WAS 41-YEAR-OLD RANDOLPH BONVILLIAN JR. OF HOUMA. POLICE SAID AN OFFICER WORKING A SECURITY DETAIL AT THE STORE HEARD A MAN SCREAMING SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT SATURDAY. THE OFFICER APPROACHED BONVILLIAN AND A FIGHT BEGAN THAT EVENTUALLY INVOLVED SEVERAL POLICE OFFICERS. THREE OFFICERS WERE INJURED. BONVILLIAN DIED SHORTLY AFTER THE STRUGGLE. FAMILY MEMBERS SAY A TASER GUN WAS USED, HOWEVER, POLICE WILL NOT CONFIRM OR DENY THAT. AN AUTOPSY IS PENDING.

A FORMER NEW ORLEANS GROUP HOME RESIDENT IS ACCUSED OF KILLING THE HOME'S CARETAKER. POLICE SAY 31-YEAR-OLD RICKY RUSSELL HIT THE 74-YEAR-OLD WOMAN OVER THE HEAD WITH A WINDOW UNIT AIR CONDITIONER AND PUT A PLASTIC BAG OVER HER HEAD. HE THEN STOLE HER CAR AND DROVE IT INTO LAKE PONCHARTRAIN.

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION SAYS THE STATE COULD SAVE MILLIONS IF IT WOULD RELEASE NON-VIOLENT PRISON INMATES WHO ARE OVER 50. ACLU-LA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARJORIE ESMAN SAYS THE COST OF HOUSING AND CARING FOR OLDER INMATES IS NEARLY DOUBLE THAT OF THE AVERAGE PRISONER, AND MOST ARE NOT A PUBLIC SAFETY RISK. THE ACLU FEELS CAREFUL INDIVIDUAL REVIEW OF EARLY PAROLE CASES IS CALLED FOR, TO ASSURE NO ONE WHO IS STILL DANGEROUS IS RELEASED. ESMAN SAYS LOUISIANA CURRENTLY HAS ABOUT 6600 STATE PRISONERS WHO ARE OVER 50. LAST YEAR THET STATE PASSED A LAW ALLOWING SOME ELDERLY PRISONERS AN EARLY PAROLE HEARING.

A PINEVILLE FAMILY, WHOSE HOME BURNED DOWN LAST WEEKEND, SAYS THEY WOULD HAVE DIED IN THAT FIRE IF NOT FOR THE FAMILY DOG. THE EVANS FAMILY SAYS THEIR LITTLE POOCH GOT ON THE HEAD OF THEIR BED AS THEY SLEPT AND BARKED THEM AWAKE. THEY MADE IT OUT OF THE SMOKE-FILLED HOUSE ALIVE. THE FIRE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION. FIREFIGHTERS THINK IT STARTED AT THE WATER HEATER.

TEXTRON MARINE & LAND SYSTEMS HAS GOTTEN AN ORDER FOR 71 MOBILE STRIKE FORCE VEHICLES FOR THE AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL ARMY, WITH A COST CAP OF JUST UNDER $79.2 MILLION. THE ORDER BRINGS THE TOTAL MADE FOR AFGHANISTAN, INCLUDING TEST VEHICLES, TO 499. TEXTRON SAYS THE DELIVERIES ARE SCHEDULED THROUGH OCTOBER 2013.

A FORMER IBERIA PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTY HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS IN PRISON FOR RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE RICHARD T HAIK ALSO SENTENCED DANIEL J. BOURQUE JR., OF ERATH ON WEDNESDAY TO 15 YEARS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE FOLLOWING THE PRISON SENTENCE. THE 33-YEAR-OLD BOURQUE PLEADED GUILTY IN FEBRUARY TO RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.












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