KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 07/05/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 070512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

NOBODY WON THE MAJOR JACKPOTS IN THE LOUISIANA LOTTO AND MULTISTATE POWERBALL DRAWINGS WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE POWERBALL WILL RISE TO AN ESTIMATED $70 MILLION FOR SATURDAY.

RESIDENTS CELEBRATED MORE THAN AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE WEDNESDAY AS GAS PRICES IN THE ALEXANDRIA METRO AREA DIPPED BELOW THE $3 MARK. (JUST BARELY, 299.9 A GAL) BUT, RECENT HIKES IN THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL HAS RAISED SPECULATION THAT THE PRICE AT PUMP FOR MAY SOON BE HEADED UP AGAIN. SENIOR PETROLEUM ANALYST FOR GAS-BUDDY DOT-COM, PATRICK DEHAAN, SAYS THE SAME MARKET FORCES THAT FORCED THE PRICES OF GAS BELLOW THE THREE DOLLAR A GALLON MARK ARE CHANGING. EARLIER THIS YEAR GAS BUDDY PREDICTED PUMP PRICES TO HOVER SOMEWHERE IN THE THREE-FIFTY TO THREE-SEVENTY-FIVE RANGE THIS SUMMER. BUT SLUMPING OIL PRICES AND A SLOW GLOBAL ECONOMY CUT THE RISE SHORT. DEHAAN SAYS BY THE END OF SUMMER GAS MAY BE CLOSER TO THEIR ORIGINAL PREDICTION.

A STORY IN THE MONROE NEWS-STAR REVEALS THAT IN A SERIES OF E-MAILS SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE AND MEMBERS OF THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION CONCOCTED A SCHEME TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONS FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE SCHOOLS APPROVED FOR THE VOUCHER PROGRAM. THE STORY REVOLVES AROUND ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS DEVISED BY WHITE AS A PART OF THE SCHOOL VOUCHER APPROVAL PROCESS. ACCUSATIONS OF FAILURE WERE RAISED WHEN A CHURCH SCHOOL IN RUSTON, THAT DID NOT EVEN EXIST AT THE TIME, WAS APPROVED FOR OVER THREE-HUNDRED VOUCHERS. DURING THE DEBATE ON SCHOOL REFORM, LAWMAKERS CALLED FOR SOME SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO BE ENFORCED ON SCHOOLS THAT WERE APPROVED FOR STATE VOUCHERS. THE REPORT SAYS THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION DECEIVED THE LEGISLATURE AND THE PEOPLE IN ORDER TO GET ITS AGENDA PASSED.

THE LEADER OF THE CONCORDIA PARISH SCHOOL SYSTEM SAYS HE BACKS A LAWSUIT AGAINST LOUISIANA'S NEW PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION VOUCHER PROGRAM. PAUL NELSON, THE CONCORDIA SCHOOLS' INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT, WAS NOT ONBOARD WHEN THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD VOTED IN JUNE TO JOINED 33 OTHER SCHOOL BOARDS AND LOUISIANA'S TWO MAJOR TEACHER UNIONS IN THE LAWSUIT. NONETHELESS, NELSON SAYS HE SUPPORTS THE DECISION. NELSON SAYING THEY WILL BE TAKING MONEY DIRECTLY OUT OF OUR POCKETS AND GIVING IT TO A SCHOOL THAT COULD HAVE NO ACCOUNTABILITY. ARE WE ASSUMING A PRIVATE SCHOOL IS BETTER THAN A PUBLIC SCHOOL SIMPLY BECAUSE IT HAS ACADEMY IN ITS TITLE? "THERE'S NO REASON TO ASSUME A PRIVATE SCHOOL IS BETTER THAN A PUBLIC SCHOOL.

FACING BUDGET CONSTRAINTS, STATE OFFICIALS ARE MOVING AHEAD WITH A PLAN TO SHUT DOWN TWO PRISONS. THE FIRST TO GO WAS THE WADE CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN THE CADDO PARISH COMMUNITY OF KEITHVILLE, WHICH CLOSED JULY 1. LATER THIS MONTH, THE DABADIE CORRECTIONAL CENTER AT PINEVILLE IN RAPIDES PARISH WILL SHUT DOWN. STATE LAWMAKERS WHO OPPOSED THE CLOSINGS COMPLAIN THAT MORE THAN 100 JOBS WILL BE LOST AT DABADIE ALONE. LOUISIANA INCARCERATES MORE PEOPLE PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER STATE, WITH ALMOST 40,000 PEOPLE BEHIND BARS IN 2010, 12 STATE RUN FACILITIES AND AN OPERATING BUDGET OVER $665 MILLION. STATE CORRECTIONS SECRETARY JIMMY LEBLANC SAID THE CLOSINGS ARE PART OF COST-CUTTING MOVES.

THE HEAD OF LOUISIANA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY BLASTS GOVERNOR JINDAL FOR REFUSING TO IMPLEMENT PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR (AND STATE SENATOR) KAREN CARTER PETERSON SAYS CONGRESS HAS PASSED IT, AND NOW THE SUPREME COURT HAS UPHELD ITS VALIDITY. THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS TO EXPAND MEDICAID OR SET UP A HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE, AS CALLED FOR IN THE NEW LAW. PETERSON SAYS, BY NOT COMPLYING WITH THE HEALTH CARE LAW, OVER 350-THOUSAND UNINSURED LOUISIANANS WILL REMAIN UNCOVERED AND AT RISK. HOWEVER, STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN ROGER VILLERE SAYS MR. JINDAL MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE, TO RESIST CHANGES THAT LOUISIANA SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL SOON START OFFERING A NEW WAY TO WARN AMERICANS ABOUT SEVERE WEATHER IF THEY'RE IN THE PATH OF A DANGEROUS STORM. AMY STOREY IS WITH AN INDUSTRY TRADE GROUP THAT HELPED SET UP THE SYSTEM. SHE SAYS WHEN A WARNING IS ISSUED, SPECIAL TONED MESSAGE APPROVED BY FEMA WILL BE SENT TO CELL PHONES. NOTIFICATIONS LIKE APPROACHING TORNADOES, HURRICANES AND OTHER THREATS WILL BE SENT TO WIRELESS PROVIDERS TO SEND TO CUSTOMERS. SHE SAYS YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE ALERTS. YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THEM. STOREY SAYS NOT EVERYONE IS IN FRONT OF A TV OR LISTENING TO A
RADIO WHEN AN IMMEDIATE THREAT TO THEM IS POSED, BUT SHE SAYS MOST PEOPLE HAVE THEIR CELL PHONE WITH THEM CONSTANTLY.

A LOUISIANA SHERIFF IS DECLARING WAR ON UNDERAGE DRINKING, AND ON THE VENDORS WHO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE. ST. LANDRY PARISH SHERIFF BOBBY GUIDROZ SAYS UNDERAGE DRINKING HAS BECOME A HUGE PROBLEM. THE SHERIFF SAYS HE'S DEPLOYING UNDERCOVER DEPUTIES AND UNDERAGE OPERATIVES. GUIDROZ SAYS MOST UNDERAGE DRINKING INVOLVES BINGE DRINKING THAT COULD LEAD TO INCREASED SEXUAL ACTIVITY, VIOLENT CRIME AND UNINTENDED INJURIES. HE SAYS THEIR MAIN CRACKDOWN FOCUS WILL BE ON RURAL AREAS WHERE THEY'VE BROUGHT IN OPERATIVES BEFORE. GUIDROZ SAYS HE'S RECEIVED NUMEROUS CALLS FROM CITIZENS WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT OUTLETS THAT SELL ALCOHOL TO PERSONS YOUNGER THAN 21.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP'S ANNUAL LOOK AT WATER QUALITY AT THE NATION'S VACATION BEACHES RATES LOUISIANA'S AMONG THE MOST CONTAMINATED. THE REPORT BY THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL SAYS 29 PERCENT OF WATER SAMPLES TAKEN AT LOUISIANA BEACHES SHOWED ELEVATED BACTERIAL LEVELS. THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS 8 PERCENT. AN ANALYSIS OF THE REPORT BY THE TIMES-PICAYUNE SHOWS HIGH BACTERIA LEVELS WERE FOUND IN 44 PERCENT OF WATER SAMPLES COLLECTED AT FIVE CAMERON PARISH BEACHES. CAMERON PARISH WAS LISTED AMONG THE 15 WORST "REPEAT OFFENDERS" FOR PERSISTENT CONTAMINATION PROBLEMS FROM STORM WATER RUNOFF AND SEWAGE POLLUTION. THE NATIONAL STUDY WAS BASED ON BEACH WATER TESTING AT 3,000 LOCATIONS FOR BACTERIA FOUND IN HUMAN OR ANIMAL WASTE.

A BATON ROUGE BASED COMPANY HAS CREATED A DEVICE THAT WOULD STOP MOTORISTS BEHIND THE WHEEL FROM TEXTING WHILE THEIR CAR IS IN MOTION. THE DEVICE IS CALLED CELL CONTROL AND SPOKESPERSON TRACY ARDOIN SAYS IT'S ACTUALLY A TWO PART SOLUTION. SHE SAYS THERE'S AN APP FOR YOUR PHONE AND A HARDWARE DEVICE THAT PLUGS INTO YOUR CAR. ARDOIN SAYS IF THE DEVICE "TELLS" THE SOFTWARE ON YOUR PHONE THAT THE CAR IS IN MOTION, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO ACCESS CERTAIN FUNCTIONS BASED ON HOW YOU SET IT UP. ARDOIN SAYS DISTRACTED DRIVING CAUSES MORE THAN 28% OF ALL ACCIDENTS AND IS THE LEADING KILLER OF TEENAGE DRIVERS. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS DEVICE CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR WEBSITE WHICH IS CELLCONTROL.COM.

AN ASCENSION PARISH COUPLE ARE FACING ANIMAL CRUELTY AND DOGFIGHTING CHARGES. SHERIFF JEFF WILEY SAYS, AFTER AN INVESTIGATION, A WARRANT WAS ISSUED FOR 24 YEAR-OLD BRITTANY WARD. HE SAYS A WARRANT IS ALSO OUT FOR WARD'S LIVE-IN BOYFRIEND, 28-YEAR-OLD JOSEPH DUNCAN. HE'S ACCUSED OF DOGFIGHTING, AGGRAVATED ANIMAL CRUELTY & MORE. WILEY SAYS ONE DOG WAS FOUND DEAD; ITS JAWS TAPED SHUT. WILEY SAYS THIS WAS APPARENTLY A PRACTICE KILL ANIMAL FOR THE FIGHTING DOGS.

LSU HAS BROUGHT TOGETHER SIX OF ITS SCHOOLS TO CREATE A NEW COLLEGE OF HUMAN SCIENCES & EDUCATION. TOGETHER, THE SCHOOLS THAT MAKE UP THE NEW COLLEGE OFFER 7 UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS AND 18 GRADUATE PROGRAMS.
ON THE NEW COLLEGE'S WEBSITE, DEAN LAURA LINDSAY SAYS THE MOVE FOLLOWS A DECADE OF CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE NEED TO REALIGN LSU ACADEMIC PROGRAMS THAT FOCUS ON EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES. LSU SAYS THE NEW COLLEGE, WHICH OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED JULY 1, CONSISTS OF SIX SCHOOLS: THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION; THE SCHOOL OF HUMAN RESOURCE EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; THE SCHOOL OF KINESIOLOGY; THE SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; THE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK AND THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORY SCHOOL.

God Bless America!

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