KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 06/27/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 062712
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LAFAYETTE POLICE REPORT AN 11-MONTH-OLD INFANT WAS DECLARED DEAD AFTER BEING LEFT IN A HOT VEHICLE THROUGH AN ENTIRE WORK DAY. THE CHILD WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN;S HOSPITAL MONDAY. DETAILS ARE UNAVAILABLE AT THIS TIME, BUT POLICE REPORT AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH IS ONGOING.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HAD IT’S FIRST DISCUSSIONS ON THE MATTER OF REAPPORTIONMENT YESTERDAY, THAT AFTER A PRESENTATION FROM JOHN MILLER, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE RAPIDES AREA PLANNING COMMISSION. MILLER WENT OVER SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THE DISTRICT WILL FACE IN REDRAWING DISTRICTS TO MATCH POPULATION CHANGES IN THE PARISH. MILLER HOPES TO HAVE A COMPLETED PLAN TO SUBMIT TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BY THE END OF THE YEAR.

ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY TOLD THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL'S UTILITY COMMITTEE YESTERDAY THE HE WOULD LIKE THE CITY TO CONSIDER BUILDING THE CITY'S OWN NATURAL GAS INTERCONNECT. THE PROJECT WOULD COST ABOUT $5.5 MILLION. THE SAVINGS FOR THE CITY WOULD BE ABOUT $400,000 A YEAR, WITH THE PROJECT PAYING FOR ITSELF IN ABOUT 12 YEARS. CURRENTLY THE CITY'S NATURAL GAS SUPPLY IS NEGOTIATED THROUGH THE LOUISIANA MUNICIPAL GAS AUTHORITY AND IS TRANSPORTED THROUGH A PIPELINE OWNED BY LOUISIANA INTRASTATE GAS CORP. THE NEW PIPELINE WOULD CONNECT THE CITY WITH A LARGER SUPPLY LINE, CUT OUT TRANSPORTATION FEES AND GIVE IT MORE SUPPLY CHOICES FROM WHICH TO NEGOTIATE. THE UTILITY COMMITTEE AGREED TO PUT THE DISCUSSION ON THE AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING.

THE FBI ARREST NEARLY 30 PEOPLE IN THE SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER AREA FOR TRAFFICKING IN UNDERAGE GIRLS FOR PROSTITUTION. A LARGE NUMBER OF CHILDREN WERE ALSO RECOVERED. AGENTS SAYS THE PIMPS ARRESTED TOOK ADVANTAGE OF RUNAWAYS AND GIRLS FROM BROKEN HOMES TO COERCE THEM INTO HAVING SEX FOR MONEY. MORE ARRESTS ARE EXPECTED.

THE MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING 7 PEOPLE IN A HEAD-ON DRUNK DRIVING CRASH IN EAST FELICIANA PARISH LAST MONTH HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO ALL CHARGES. STATE POLICE SAY BRETT GERALD BLEW A .15 BREATHALYZER RESULT AFTER THE CRASH--NEARLY TWICE THE LEGAL LIMIT. THE SEVEN PEOPLE KILLED IN THE MAY 30TH CRASH WERE ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM EVENING BIBLE STUDY.

FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER JOE SALTER HAS A NEW JOB AS UNDERSECRETARY FOR MANAGEMENT AND FINANCE AT THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE, WHICH OVERSEES ELECTIONS AND CORPORATE REGISTRATIONS ACROSS LOUISIANA. SALTER WILL RECEIVE A SALARY OF $115.000 ALMOST TWICE AS HIGH AS HIS PREDECESSOR. SALTER RECENTLY LEFT HIS JOB AS DIRECTOR FOR GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WHERE HE WAS PAID $125,000 ANNUALLY.

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE LOUISIANA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IS FRIDAY. ELIGIBLE STUDENTS IN GRADES K THRU 12 FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR MUST SUBMIT THEIR APPLICATIONS AT A QUALIFYING SCHOOL BY THAT TIME. NICK BOLT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAYS RESPONSE FROM THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. BOLT SAYS
A FINAL TOTAL OF THE AVAILABLE SCHOLARSHIPS WILL DEPEND THE NUMBER OF QUALIFYING SCHOOLS AND THE NUMBER OF PLACES THEY OFFER. IN CASES WHERE THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS EXCEED THE NUMBER OF OPENINGS AT A PARTICULAR SCHOOL, A RANDOM LOTTERY WILL BE HELD.

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY SEEN GASOLINE PRICED BELOW THREE DOLLARS A GALLON, YOU PROBABLY WILL IN THE NEAR FUTURE. LOUISIANA AAA SPOKESMAN DON REDMAN SAYS THERE ARE ALREADY GAS STATIONS AROUND THE STATE WHERE A SUB-THREE DOLLAR PRICE CAN BE FOUND. HE SAYS THAT MAY BE THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE SOON. THE CURRENT STATEWIDE AVERAGE IS AROUND $3.16 A GALLON. REDMAN SAYS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR GAS PRICES DEPENDS ON WHICH ANALYST YOU'RE TALKING TO. HE SAYS INSTABILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, WHICH COULD PUSH PRICES HIGHER, IS BEING OFFSET BY A WEAK GLOBAL ECONOMY.

DEPUTIES IN LIVINGSTON PARISH SAY THE WEEKEND DROWNING DEATH OF A 4-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS AN ACCIDENT AND NOTHING MORE. IT WAS THE FOURTH DROWNING OF A CHILD UNDER 10 IN LOUISIANA IN THE PAST WEEK.

THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT WON'T REVIEW RULINGS THAT REQUIRE LOUISIANA'S PROPERTY INSURER OF LAST RESORT TO PAY AN ESTIMATED $110 MILLION TO INDIVIDUALS WHOSE CLAIMS WERE NOT TIMELY ADDRESSED AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA.
MONDAY'S U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING IS ONE OF THE LAST HURDLES BEFORE POLICYHOLDERS COULD START RECEIVING THEIR MONEY FROM THE JUDGMENT.

ALLEN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER KEITH WELCH HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO ONE COUNT OF MISDEMEANOR THEFT, AS PART OF THE GUILTY PLEA. THE 46-YEAR-OLD WELCH MUST RESIGN FROM HIS SCHOOL BOARD POSITION AND PAY $2,000 IN RESTITUTION. ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL SAID TUESDAY'S PLEA WAS THE RESULT OF AN INTERNAL THEFT FROM COUSHATTA RESORT CASINO, WHERE WELCH WAS FORMERLY EMPLOYED.

ST. LANDRY PARISH'S NEWEST CHARTER SCHOOL, J.S. CLARK LEADERSHIP ACADEMY, IS ON SCHEDULE TO OPEN AUG. 1 WITH 180 STUDENTS AND A WAITING LIST OF AT LEAST 60.
THE SCHOOL'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TIFFANIE LEWIS SAYS SHE EXPECTS INTEREST IN THE SCHOOL TO GROW NEXT YEAR AFTER PARENTS LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL'S APPROACH TO LEARNING, WHICH INCORPORATES TECHNOLOGY AND PROJECT-BASED LESSONS. THE SCHOOL, OPERATED BY THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION OUTREACH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP., OPENS WITH GRADES FIFTH THROUGH SEVENTH AND WILL EXPAND EACH YEAR THROUGH GRADE 12.

A BATON ROUGE COUPLE IS COUNTING THEIR BLESSINGS AFTER HAVING THEIR BOAT SINK IN ALLIGATOR INFESTED WATERS LAST WEEKEND. ASSUMPTION PARISH SHERIFF MIKE WAGUESPACK SAYS THEY FOUND GERALD AND LISA TRICHE EARLY MONDAY WAY UP IN CYPRESS TREES ON LAKE VERRETT, SCREAMING FOR HELP. WAGUESPACK SAYS ONCE DEPUTIES RESCUED THE COUPLE FROM THE TREE, THE TWO EXPLAINED THAT THEIR BOAT HAD BROKEN DOWN, THEN CAPSIZED. ONCE THEY WERE IN THE WATER, THEY SAW GATORS SWIMMING TOWARDS THEM. WAGUESPACK SAYS THE ADRENALIN RUSH MUST HAVE BEEN WHY THEY WERE ABLE TO CLIMB 15 FEET AND TIE THEMSELVES TO A CYPRESS TREE. WAGUESPACK SAYS THEY WERE ABLE TO LOCATE THE COUPLE AFTER THEY HAD BEEN UP THERE FOR SEVEN HOURS.

ACCORDING TO A NEW SCIENTIFIC STUDY, PUBLISHED BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, AREAS AROUND BARATARIA BAY, THAT WERE INUNDATED BY OIL FROM THE B-P SPILL, LOST TWICE AS MUCH GROUND TO EROSION AS OTHER AREAS OF THE COAST. UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA RESEARCHER, DR. BRIAN SILLIMAN, SAYS THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RECLAIM THE EDGES OF THE MARSH BY REPLANTING GRASSES ANYWHERE THEY COULD FIND A PLACE TO PLANT. HE SAYS THEIR EFFORTS HAVE STABILIZED THE EDGE OF THE MARSH AND AT LEAST STOPPED THE INCREASED RATE OF EROSION. SILLIMAN SAYS EFFORTS TO REBUILD THE MARSH ARE ONGOING, BUT WHAT HAS BEEN LOST TO THE GULF IS GONE FOREVER.









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