KSYL Local News

News For Friday 06/29/12


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 062912
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

POLICE IN PINEVILLE PULLED A VEHICLE FROM FT. RANDOLPH LAKE YESTERDAY MORNING. THE VEHICLE WAS FOUND CLOSE TO WHERE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW FT. RANDOLPH BRIDGE IS TAKING PLACE. AT THIS POINT, NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE WHERE THE 70’S VINTAGE VEHICLE CAME FROM. THE GOOD NEWS IS, IT APPEARS THE VEHICLE HAD BEEN THERE FOR QUITE A WHILE AND POLICE SAY NO BODY WAS FOUND INSIDE.

AFTER GOING WITHOUT FOR TWO YEARS, PINEVILLE CITY EMPLOYEES WILL GET A 2 PERCENT RAISE. THE PINEVILLE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED MAYOR CLARENCE FIELDS' PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013 DURING A SPECIAL MEETING AT NOON THURSDAY. THE NEW YEAR BEGINS JULY 1 THE CITY HAS 280 EMPLOYEES IN 17 DEPARTMENTS. THE RAISE, WILL NOT INCLUDE ELECTED OFFICIALS.

NO ONE IS SAYING HOW THE BLAZE STARTED, BUT A FIRE YESTERDAY MORNING IN THE RAPIDES PARISH JAIL HAD DOWNTOWN BUZZING FOR A WHILE. THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT REPORTS NO ONE WAS INJURED AND DAMAGE WAS MINIMAL.

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR PARENTS TO APPLY FOR LOUISIANA'S NEW PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS PROGRAM. THE SCHOOL CHOICE PLAN OFFERS STUDENTS IN FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS A CHANCE TO ATTEND A PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOL; THE TUITION PAID BY THE STATE. NICK BOLT, WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, SAYS TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR THE FALL SEMESTER. BOLT SAYS THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS AWARE OF OVER 6000 APPLICATIONS TO STATE PRIVATE SCHOOLS SO FAR, BUT HE EXPECTS THE FINAL NUMBER TO BE CONSIDERABLY HIGHER.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO RESIST ENACTING THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL IN LOUISIANA, EVEN THOUGH THE LAW WAS UPHELD THURSDAY BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. INSTEAD, THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR SAID HE WILL FOCUS ON PUSHING FOR A FULL REPEAL OF THE PRESIDENT’S HEALTHCARE PACKAGE, RATHER THAN IMPLEMENTING IT. THE GOVERNOR CALLED THE HIGH COURT DECISION A "BLOW TO OUR FREEDOMS."

TWO-THIRDS OF STATE SENATORS HAVE TURNED IN PAPERWORK SEEKING TO SCRAP A PLANNED JULY 14 VETO SESSION, MORE THAN ENOUGH TO CANCEL THE SESSION. BUT THE DECISION ISN'T FINAL YET. BRENDA HODGE, A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE LOUISIANA SENATE, SAID THURSDAY THAT 26 OF 39 SENATORS ALREADY HAD SENT IN BALLOTS TO CANCEL THE SESSION, WELL BEFORE THE JULY 9 DEADLINE TO MAKE A DECISION. THE VETO SESSION WAS AUTOMATICALLY SET WHEN GOV. BOBBY JINDAL REJECTED BILLS FROM THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION. IT TAKES A MAJORITY WRITTEN VOTE OF EITHER THE HOUSE OR SENATE TO CANCEL THE SESSION. LAWMAKERS HAVE NOT HELD A VETO SESSION SINCE THE CURRENT LOUISIANA CONSTITUTION WAS ENACTED FOUR DECADES AGO.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S FORMER REVENUE SECRETARY, WHO ABRUPTLY RESIGNED AFTER A DISPUTE OVER A TAX BREAK INTERPRETATION, HAS A NEW JOB IN CALIFORNIA. CYNTHIA BRIDGES HAS BEEN NAMED THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, AN ELECTED BODY THAT ADMINISTERS SALES AND USE TAXES IN THE STATE AND HEARS BUSINESS AND INCOME TAX APPEALS. THE BOARD ANNOUNCED BRIDGES' HIRING THURSDAY. SHE'LL BEGIN THE NEW JOB AUG. 1.

THE BOARD GOVERNING LOUISIANA'S PROPERTY INSURER OF LAST RESORT AGREED THURSDAY TO DROP RATES BY 10 PERCENT ACROSS A DOZEN SOUTH LOUISIANA PARISHES RETROACTIVE TO JUNE 7, WHEN THE REDUCTION WAS SIGNED INTO LAW. THE REDUCTION WAS REQUIRED UNDER A BILL WORKED OUT IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. CITIZENS CUSTOMERS WON'T LIKELY SEE A CHANGE ON THEIR BILLS UNTIL NOVEMBER, AFTER THE COMPLEX PROCESS FOR CHANGING RATES IS COMPLETE. THEY'LL GET REBATES FOR ANY MONEY THEY PAID ABOVE WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE.

POLICE SAY A CITY OF OPELOUSAS EMPLOYEE ALLEGEDLY DEPOSITED 14 CITY CHECKS TOTALING NEARLY $12,000 INTO HER PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR. 29-YEAR-OLD RACHEAL ST. ROMAIN OF OPELOUSAS WAS ARRESTED AND BOOKED THIS WEEK WITH THREE COUNTS OF THEFT, 11 COUNTS OF FELONY THEFT, MONETARY INSTRUMENT ABUSE AND MALFEASANCE. POLICE SAY ST. ROMAIN HAS BEEN EMPLOYED IN THE CITY'S ACCOUNTS PAYABLE DEPARTMENT FOR 5 1/2 YEARS.

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS DISMISSED A WRONGFUL TERMINATION AND RETALIATION CASE AGAINST THE SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, A BOARD MEMBER AND A FORMER INTERIM PRESIDENT OF THE SYSTEM. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES BRADY RULED WEDNESDAY THAT JOSEPH SHELTON, SOUTHERN'S FORMER ALUMNI AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATOR, DID NOT PROVE HIS CASE DURING THE THREE-DAY TRIAL. SHELTON HAD ALLEGED THAT HE WAS FIRED IN 2009 BECAUSE HE TESTIFIED ON BEHALF OF FORMER SOUTHERN PRESIDENT RALPH SLAUGHTER IN A RETALIATION SUIT SLAUGHTER FILED AGAINST THE BOARD.

GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY'S ACCREDITATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED BY THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, BUT THE REGIONAL ACCREDITING AGENCY PLACED THE SCHOOL ON WARNING FOR SIX MONTHS. DEBRA A. JOHNSON, GRAMBLING'S DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI AND PUBLIC RELATIONS SAYS THE WARNING INVOLVED TWO ISSUES.
THE FIRST ISSUE INVOLVED THE SCHOOL'S FINANCES RELATES TO FINANCIAL AID. THE OTHER ISSUE CONCERNS THE SCHOOL'S MOVEABLE PROPERTY, SUCH AS COMPUTERS AND CALCULATORS. JOHNSON SAID THE WARNING IS NOT EXACTLY A PROBATION OR SUSPENSION. SHE SAID THE UNIVERSITY HAS SIX MONTHS TO COME UP WITH A PLAN TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES.

A NEW IBERIA FATHER HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH CHILD DESERTION AFTER HIS 2-YEAR-OLD BABY WAS FOUND WALKING DOWN A HIGHWAY ALONE. 29-YEAR-OLD JONATHAN PENLEY AND 68-YEAR-OLD DELLA BEARD, THE CHILD'S GRANDMOTHER, HAVE BOTH BEEN CHARGED IN THE CASE

AFTER ALMOST 24 HOURS OF SWELTERING HEAT, RESIDENTS OF MORGAN CITY WERE ABLE TO COOL OFF WHEN POWER CREWS WERE ABLE TO RESTORE ELECTRICITY TO MOST OF MORGAN CITY. A PLANT EXPLOSION TUESDAY BLEW OUT A TRANSFORMER, PUTTING ALMOST THE ENTIRE CITY IN THE DARK FOR CLOSE TO 24 HOURS. THE CAUSE OF THE EXPLOSION THAT DAMAGED THE MAIN TRANSFORMER IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

LAFAYETTE PARISH DEPUTIES SAY THE FATHER WHO'S 11-MONTH-OLD CHILD DIED THIS WEEK, AFTER BEING FORGOTTEN ALL DAY IN A HOT CAR, WILL LIKELY NOT FACE ANY CHARGES. THEY SAY THIS INCIDENT IS APPARENTLY A TRAGIC ACCIDENT, AND NOT THE RESULT OF WILLFUL NEGLIGENCE.

MOTORISTS ARE FINDING GASOLINE AT BELOW $3 A GALLON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN QUITE A WHILE. ACCORDING TO "LOUISIANAGASPRICES.COM", ONE STATION IN WESTWEGO, ON THE NEW ORLEANS WESTBANK, HAS REGULAR AT $2.79. SEVERAL OTHER SPOTS IN JEFFERSON PARISH ARE PRICED AT $2.83 OR $2.85. TODAY'S STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRICE IS $3.13, DOWN 26-CENTS FROM ONE MONTH AGO.




SPORTS..

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS GENERAL MANAGER MICKEY LOOMIS SAYS THE CLUB AND THIRD-ROUND DRAFT CHOICE AKIEM HICKS HAVE AGREED ON FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT. HICKS, A 6-FOOT-5, 324-POUND DEFENSIVE TACKLE, WAS THE TOP OVERALL DRAFT PICK BY THE SAINTS. HICKS, WHO BRIEFLY TRANSFERRED TO LSU FROM JUNIOR COLLEGE BUT NEVER PLAYED FOR THE TIGERS, FINISHED HIS COLLEGE CAREER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF REGINA IN CANADA.

SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES CRACKED A FEW JOKES ON THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW LAST NIGHT, BUT HIS CONVERSATION WITH DAVE GOT SERIOUS WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT THE NFL'S BOUNTY INVESTIGATION. BREES USED THE CBS LATE NIGHT SHOW TO URGE THE LEAGUE TO SHOW ITS EVIDENCE THAT THE SAINTS RAN A PROGRAM THAT PROVIDED MONEY TO PLAYERS FOR INJURING OPPONENTS.

AS EXPECTED, THE HORNETS SELECTED FORMER KENTUCKY STAR ANTHONY DAVIS WITH THE NUMBER ONE OVERALL PICK IN LAST NIGHT'S NBA DRAFT. THE 6-FOOT- 10 FORWARD AVERAGED 14 POINTS A GAME AS HE HELPED THE WILDCATS WIN THE NATIONAL TITLE LAST SEASON.



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