KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 06/21/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 062112
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FORMER LEESVILLE SHERIFF BOBBY HICKMAN HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM WITH AN OBLITERATED SERIAL NUMBER. HICKMAN ENTERED THE PLEA IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT ON WEDNESDAY. SENTENCING WILL BE AT A LATER DATE. DURING THE HEARING BEFORE JUDGE RICHARD HAIK, HICKMAN AGREED TO FORFEIT THREE WEAPONS INCLUDING A SAWED-OFF SHOTGUN. FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS POSSESSION OF FIREARMS ON WHICH THE SERIAL NUMBERS HAVE BEEN ALTERED OR DESTROYED. HICKMAN WAS FIRED IN JANUARY 2011 FOR FAILURE TO COOPERATE WITH AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION BY THE CITY OF LEESVILLE. THE WEAPONS WERE FOUND DURING A SEARCH OF HIS HOME. HICKMAN FACES A MAXIMUM OF FIVE YEARS IN PRISON AND UP TO $250,000 IN FINES.

IF SHE SHOULD DEVELOP INTO SOMETHING MORE, HER NAME WOULD BE DEBBIE.. A WIDESPREAD TROPICAL SYSTEM IS SPREADING CLOUDS, WIND AND RAIN FROM CUBA TO THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SAYS THE SYSTEM HAS A 20-PERCENT CHANCE OF BECOME A TROPICAL STORM. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS HE WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THIS TROPICAL WAVE EVENTUALLY BECAME A TROPICAL STORM, OR WORSE.

A DAY AFTER ELECTING THEIR FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT IN A HISTORIC MOVE THAT STRIVES TO ERASE ITS LEGACY OF RACISM, SOUTHERN BAPTISTS PASSED A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE IDEA THAT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE.
THOUSANDS OF DELEGATES AT THE DENOMINATION'S ANNUAL MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS ON WEDNESDAY WERE NEARLY UNANIMOUS IN THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE RESOLUTION THAT AFFIRMS THEIR BELIEF THAT MARRIAGE IS "THE EXCLUSIVE UNION OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN" AND THAT "ALL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, GAY OR STRAIGHT, IS SINFUL."

THE NATION'S LARGEST PROTESTANT DENOMINATION HAS VOTED TO ADOPT AN ALTERNATIVE NAME FOR CHURCHES THAT FEEL THE TITLE "SOUTHERN BAPTIST" COULD BE A TURN-OFF TO POTENTIAL BELIEVERS. ALTHOUGH THE DENOMINATION'S NAME WILL OFFICIALLY REMAIN SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION, MANY DELEGATES STILL OPPOSED THE OPTIONAL "GREAT COMMISSION BAPTISTS." THOSE WHO SUPPORTED THE NEW NAME ARGUED THAT IT WOULD HELP MISSIONARIES AND NEW CHURCHES TO REACH MORE PEOPLE. FIFTY-THREE PERCENT OF DELEGATES VOTED IN FAVOR WHILE 46 PERCENT VOTED AGAINST.

A HIGH-RANKING SENATOR IS CALLING OFF A PROPOSED HEARING ON BOUNTIES IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS BECAUSE HE IS SATISFIED WITH NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL'S RESPONSE TO THE ISSUE. SEN. DICK DURBIN OF ILLINOIS, THE NO. 2 SENATE DEMOCRAT, MET WITH GOODELL WEDNESDAY. THE MEETING CAME ABOUT THREE MONTHS AFTER DURBIN FIRST SAID HE WANTED CONGRESS TO EXAMINE WHETHER FEDERAL LAW SHOULD MAKE IT A CRIME TO HAVE A BOUNTY SYSTEM SUCH AS THE ONE THE NFL SAYS THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS RAN FROM 2009-11.

IN A RELATED STORY…. ESPN IS REPORTING THAT INTERIM HEAD COACH JOE VITT CALLED GOODELL TO TELL HIM HE NEVER OFFERED ANY BOUNTY MONEY AND THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM ARE UNTRUE. VITT IS ALSO REPORTEDLY WILLING TO TAKE A LIE-DETECTOR TEST.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S FIRST AUCTION OF OFFSHORE PETROLEUM LEASES IN THE SAME AREA WHERE THE DEEPWATER HORIZON EXPLODED IN 2010 BROUGHT IN $1.7 BILLION IN WINNING BIDS WEDNESDAY, PROMPTING INTERIOR DEPARTMENT SECRETARY KEN SALAZAR TO DECLARE GREAT STRIDES ARE BEING MADE TO GET DRILLING BACK ON TRACK IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. SALAZAR CALLED THE SALE ROBUST AND SAID IT DEMONSTRATED THAT THE DRILLING INDUSTRY WAS RETURNING TO LEVELS SEEN BEFORE BP’S CATASTROPHIC OIL SPILL FORCED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SCALE BACK PRODUCTION IN THE GULF AND IMPOSE A SWEEP OF NEW SAFETY MEASURES AND REQUIREMENTS.

LOUISIANA WILL PAY AS MUCH AS $1 MILLION TO COVER THE COSTS OF A TAX CREDIT EXPANSION THAT WAS RESCINDED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AMID COMPLAINTS IT COULD DAMAGE THE STATE BUDGET, AND THE PRICE TAG FOR THE MORE LIMITED TAX CREDIT HAS FAR EXCEEDED INITIAL ESTIMATES. THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ISSUED A LITTLE-NOTICED RULE IN APRIL GOVERNING THE STATE'S ALTERNATIVE FUEL TAX CREDIT, WHICH EXPANDED THE LIST OF QUALIFYING VEHICLES. JINDAL SCRAPPED THE RULE LAST WEEK, AND REVENUE SECRETARY CYNTHIA BRIDGES ABRUPTLY RESIGNED WITH NO EXPLANATION. REVENUE SPOKESMAN BYRON HENDERSON SAID WEDNESDAY THAT 372 CLAIMS FOR THE ALTERNATIVE FUEL TAX CREDIT WERE FILED WHEN THE EXPANDED LIST WAS IN EFFECT, INCLUDING 286 AMENDED TAX RETURNS. HENDERSON SAID THOSE $1.1 MILLION IN CLAIMS FILED BETWEEN APRIL 30 AND LAST WEEK WILL BE GRANTED, EVEN IF THEY WERE TIED TO THE NOW-REJECTED LIST.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF WORK DONE TO REPAIR AND RENOVATE THE MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME SINCE HURRICANE KATRINA. THE STORMS FIERCE WINDS TORE A HOLE IN THE DOME'S ROOF, RESULTING IN SERIOUS DAMAGES. FEMA HAS ALLOCATED AN ADDITIONAL MILLION DOLLARS TO REPAIR NEWLY DISCOVERED DAMAGE. FEMA SPOKESPERSON MANUEL BROUSSARD SAYS SEVERAL OUTSIDE STRUCTURES CONNECTED TO THE DOME WERE ALSO DAMAGED AND THIS MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS REPAIRING TICKET BOOTS AND PARKING GARAGE NUMBER SIX. BROUSSARD SAYS EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEEN SIX AND A HALF YEARS SINCE KATRINA, THERE ARE OCCASIONS WHERE DAMAGE FROM A STORM IS NOT
NOTICED FOR YEARS.

LAWMAKERS ARE FUNNELING MORE MONEY INTO PUBLIC DEFENDERS' OFFICES, KEEPING SOME FROM SHUTTERING THE PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE LAWYERS TO THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD THEIR OWN. A BILL BY REP. JEFF ARNOLD, D-NEW ORLEANS, WILL INCREASE CRIMINAL COURT FEES BY $10 IN MOST DISTRICT COURTS TO HELP SHOULDER THE COSTS OF DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WHO ARE REQUIRED BY LAW. LOUISIANA PUBLIC DEFENDER BOARD CHAIRMAN FRANK NEUNER ESTIMATES THE INCREASE COULD BRING IN AS MUCH AS $7 MILLION A YEAR.

FOUR PROPOSED BUDGET PLANS PRESENTED BY MONROE CITY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT KATHLEEN HARRIS COULD RESULT IN 50 TO 100 TEACHERS BEING CUT NEXT YEAR.
ACCORDING TO HARRIS, CUTS NECESSARY TO BRING THE 2012-13 BUDGET IN LINE MUST COME FROM CLASSROOM TEACHERS IN A DISTRICT SHE SAID HAS BEEN CALLED "TOP HEAVY" WITH INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL. BOARD MEMBERS DISAGREED. HARRIS HAD PREVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED A BUDGET THAT DECREASED THE DISTRICT'S SURPLUS BY $5 MILLION, BUT BOARD MEMBERS DIRECTED HER TO PROVIDE A BUDGET THAT DID NOT SPEND MORE THAN THE DISTRICT TAKES IN EACH YEAR. ON TUESDAY, HARRIS DID JUST THAT AND PRESENTED FOUR DIFFERENT BUDGETS THAT DID NOT INCLUDE DEFICIT SPENDING, BUT INCLUDED SIGNIFICANT CUTS TO CLASSROOM TEACHERS.

STATE POLICE SAY A DERIDDER MAN WAS KILLED IN A SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK ON HIGHWAY 464 IN VERNON PARISH. THIRTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD RICKY CHARLES KEEL LOST CONTROL OF HIS FORD TAURUS AND THE VEHICLE COLLIDED WITH A TREE AND BURST INTO FLAMES.

A BOSSIER CITY FAMILY IS GRIEVING TODAY OVER THE DEATH OF A ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD. POLICE SERGEANT MARK CAVANAUGH SAYS THE INFANT GIRL DROWNED IN FAMILY'S BACKYARD POOL. CAVANAUGH SAYS DESPITE THE EFFORT OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND DOCTORS AT THE HOSPITAL, THE CHILD WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. HE SAYS THE TODDLER'S MOTHER WAS HOME AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, BUT DIDN'T
REALIZE HER CHILD FELL INTO THE POOL.

THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY SAYS A 41-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO OWNS A COMPANY THAT TRANSPORTS WASTE TIRES WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH NUMEROUS COUNTS IN CONNECTION WITH A SCHEME TO ALLEGEDLY CHEAT THE STATE'S WASTE TIRE FUND. ANNA GUILLORY WAS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY. SHE IS THE OWNER AND OPERATOR OF REDS TRANSPORT. SHE WAS CHARGED WITH 34 COUNTS OF FORGERY, 34 COUNTS OF FILING A FALSE PUBLIC RECORD, ONE COUNT OF THEFT OF ABOUT $3,930 AND ONE COUNT OF DEFRAUDING THE LOUISIANA WASTE TIRE MANAGEMENT FUND.
DEQ ACCUSED GUILLORY OF INFLATING THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE TIRES AND FORGING NAMES SO THAT SHE COULD BE REIMBURSED BY A WASTE TIRE PROCESSOR UNDER THE STATE PROGRAM.






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