KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 07/10/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 071012
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IS CALLING FOR A CHANCE OF RAIN AT FIFTY-PERCENT OR BETTER OVER MOST OF THE STATE FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LAKE CHARLES, STEPHEN CARBONI, SAYS THE GOOD NEWS IS THE RAIN WILL GIVE THE STATE A BREAK FROM THE RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES WE'VE BEEN SUFFERING THROUGH FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. HE SAYS THERE IS AN ISOLATED THREAT OF SEVERE WEATHER WITH THIS SYSTEM.

ALEXANDRIA MAYOR JACQUES ROY TOLD MEMBERS OF THE RAPIDES PARISH POLICE JURY LAST NIGHT THAT THE CITY IS WILLING TO WORK WITH THE PARISH TO IMPROVE THE RAPIDES COLISEUM. ROY SPOKE MONDAY TO THE JURY AT ITS MONTHLY MEETING ABOUT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS THE CITY SENT OUT ON JULY 3 FOR COMPANIES INTERESTED IN OPERATING VARIOUS MEETING SPACES AND OTHER VENUES IN THE AREA. INCLUDED IN THE RFP WAS THE COLISEUM AND ITS EXHIBITION HALL, OWNED BY THE PARISH. THE JURY TOOK NO ACTION RELATING TO THE RFP MONDAY.

THE TRIALS MONDAY FOR FOUR YOUNG RAPIDES PARISH MEN, INCLUDING TWO 16-YEAR-OLDS, ON MULTIPLE ATTEMPTED-MURDER CHARGES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL OCTOBER. THE FOUR ARE ACCUSED OF RANDOMLY SHOOTING AT HOMES IN BOYCE AND AT VEHICLES ON INTERSTATE 49 AND LA. HIGHWAY 1 IN SEPTEMBER. NO ONE WAS INJURED IN THE SHOOTINGS. THE FOUR DEFENDANTS WILL REMAIN OUT OF JAIL ON BONDS. THE RAPIDES PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE AND ATTORNEYS FOR THE DEFENDANTS AGREED TO DELAYS.

GREYHOUND IS BACK IN TOWN. THE BUS COMPANY HAS FOUND A NEW LOCATION IN ALEXANDRIA AT THE QUICK WASH LAUNDROMAT, 1705 E. TEXAS AVE. GREYHOUND OFFICIALS SAID THEY WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FOUR DAILY SCHEDULES.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM, RANDY MOFFETT, ANNOUNCED MONDAY THAT HE IS RETIRING FROM THE JOB HE'S HELD FOR FOUR YEARS. MOFFETT'S RETIREMENT THIS FALL COMES AFTER A TENURE MARKED BY REPEATED BUDGET CUTS THAT HAVE STRIPPED MORE THAN $426 MILLION IN ANNUAL STATE FINANCING FROM HIGHER EDUCATION IN LOUISIANA. THE UL SYSTEM HAS LOST NEARLY 46 PERCENT OF ITS STATE FUNDING SINCE 2008 AND HAS REPEATEDLY RAISED TUITION ON ITS STUDENTS TO FILL SOME OF THE GAP. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UL SYSTEM GOVERNING BOARD, WAYNE PARKER, SAID THE BOARD WILL MOVE QUICKLY TO START THE PROCESS FOR CHOOSING MOFFETT'S SUCCESSOR. MOFFETT WILL HELP WITH THE SEARCH BEFORE HE LEAVES.

FATHER OF FORMER GOVERNOR BUDDY ROEMER, AND TOP AID TO EDWIN EDWARDS; CHARLES ROEMER HAS PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 89. CHARLES ROEMER WAS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN STATE GOVERNMENT DURING EDWIN EDWARDS' FIRST
ADMINISTRATION IN THE EARLY TO MID SEVENTIES. ROEMER PASSES AWAY SUNDAY AFTER A 10-YEAR LONG BATTLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S.

THE SOUTH LOUISIANA-BASED HEALTH DRINK CHAIN SMOOTHIE KING IS BEING SOLD TO A SOUTH KOREAN BUSINESS. FOUNDED IN 1973, SMOOTHIE KING OPERATES OVER 600 LOCATIONS IN 32 STATES, THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND IN SOUTH KOREA. VP OF MARKETING BOBBY WILLIAMS SAYS THE COMPANY IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY A LONGTIME SMOOTHIE KING FRANCHISEE.

SEVERAL BLACK LOUISIANA ELECTED OFFICIALS ON MONDAY ASKED THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION TO INTERVENE IN A DISPUTE OVER WHETHER STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE BERNETTE JOHNSON IS LEGALLY ENTITLED TO BECOME THE COURT'S NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE. A LETTER SENT TO THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT'S VOTING SECTION ACCUSES JOHNSON'S COLLEAGUES OF TRYING TO DILUTE THE RIGHTS OF BLACK VOTERS BY UNILATERALLY CREATING A NEW PROCESS FOR DECIDING WHICH JUSTICE HAS THE MOST SENIORITY AND IS THEREFORE ENTITLED TO THE POSITION. THE LETTER SAYS THE COURT SHOULD HAVE CONSULTED THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BEFORE DECIDING TO DEBATE AND VOTE ON WHETHER JOHNSON, THE COURT'S ONLY BLACK JUSTICE, OR JUSTICE JEFFREY VICTORY SHOULD SUCCEED CHIEF JUSTICE CATHERINE "KITTY" KIMBALL, WHO RETIRES EARLY NEXT YEAR.

TWO PARENTS WITH CHILDREN IN A NEW ORLEANS VOUCHER PROGRAM AND TWO PRO-VOUCHER GROUPS ARE ASKING TO JOIN THE STATE IN FIGHTING A LAWSUIT THAT SEEKS TO BLOCK A STATEWIDE PROGRAM USING TAX DOLLARS TO SEND CHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS. THE INTERVENTION PETITION WAS FILED IN BATON ROUGE DISTRICT COURT MONDAY FOR THE BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS, THE ALLIANCE FOR SCHOOL CHOICE AND THE NEW ORLEANS PARENTS. THEY ARE REPRESENTED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE, A LAW FIRM THAT'S DEFENDED VOUCHER PROGRAMS IN OTHER STATES. TWO TEACHER UNIONS AND LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS WANT TO STOP THE VOUCHER PROGRAM PUSHED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, CALLING ITS PASSAGE UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

A COMPANY THAT MAINTAINS VACANT PROPERTIES FOR MORTGAGE SERVICING FIRMS PLANS TO OPEN A PROCESSING CENTER IN RUSTON, ALONG INTERSTATE. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S OFFICE SAID MONDAY THAT MORTGAGE CONTRACTING SERVICES, OR MCS, WILL CREATE 90 NEW JOBS WITH THE PROJECT BY 2019. FORTY WORKERS WILL BE HIRED BY THE END OF 2013. AS PART OF THE INCENTIVES TO LURE THE COMPANY, LOUISIANA IS GIVING MCS A $250,000 FORGIVABLE LOAN AND HELP WITH WORKER TRAINING.

THE MOTHER OF THE MAN CHARGED WITH MURDERING MISSING UL-LAFAYETTE STUDENT MICKEY SHUNICK HAS RELEASED A STATEMENT APOLOGIZING TO THE SHUNICK FAMILY. IN IT SHE OFFERS HER CONDOLENCES. HER SON 33-YEAR OLD BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE WAS ARRESTED THURSDAY AND CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING AND FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF SHUNICK WHO'S STILL MISSING.

NOW THAT AN ARREST HAS BEEN MADE IN THE CASE OF THE MISSING ULL CO-ED MICKEY SHUNICK, THE QUESTION REMAINS, "WHERE IS SHE?" LAFAYETTE POLICE SPOKESMAN CPL PAUL MOUTON SAYS PROMISING TIPS ARE POURING IN. BUT, MOUTON SAYS THIS IS A SEARCH AND RECOVERY EFFORT AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE THEY HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT LEADS THEM TO BELIEVE MICKEY IS NO LONGER ALIVE.

ACCORDING TO A JUST RELEASED REPORT, THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY DIDN'T HAVE PROPER CONTROLS OVER A STATE PROGRAM MEANT TO KEEP TIRES FROM BEING DUMPED ILLEGALLY, ALLOWING OVERPAYMENTS. THE REPORT FROM THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S OFFICE SAYS DEQ ALLOWS WASTE TIRE PROCESSORS TO WEIGH THEIR OWN TIRE SHIPMENTS, RATHER THAN CONFIRMING THE WEIGHT THROUGH A THIRD PARTY. THE PAYMENTS ARE BASED ON WEIGHT. THE PROGRAM PAID OUT $10.5 MILLION IN THE 2010-11 BUDGET YEAR AND $41 MILLION OVER FOUR YEARS FROM 2008-2011, ACCORDING TO THE AUDIT. FIVE WASTE TIRE PROCESSORS PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM.

ONE PERSON WAS KILLED IN A TWO-VEHICLE ACCIDENT ON U.S. HIGHWAY 165 IN FENTON.
AUTHORITIES REPORT THE VICTIM WAS A PASSENGER IN A CAR WHICH HIT AN 18-WHEELER SHORTLY AFTER 5 YESTERDAY MORNING. POLICE INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED WHEN THE NORTHBOUND CAR VEERED LEFT, HITTING THE SOUTHBOUND 18-WHEELER.

TWO RESEARCHERS AT ULM HAVE RECEIVED A PATENT FOR A NEW DRUG DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF PROSTATE CANCER. THE PROFESSORS IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT SAY THE DRUG WAS DEVELOPED FROM A COMPOUND IN A RED SEA SPONGE.

WEST MONROE POLICE SAY A MAN ARRESTED ON HIS FOURTH DUI CHARGE HAS HAD HIS BOND SET TO $54,000. OFFICERS WERE CONDUCTING A SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT WHEN THEY SAY 29-YEAR-OLD DONALD ATKINS TURNED THE WRONG WAY ONTO THE ROAD. ARRESTING OFFICERS SAID THE MAN GAVE A FALSE NAME AND BIRTHDAY. HE WAS CHARGED WITH DWI-4, NO DRIVER'S LICENSE, DRIVING THE WRONG WAY AND RESISTING AN OFFICER.

THERE IS A VERY HAPPY MAN IN SLIDELL, WHO HIT THE LOTTO JACKPOT SATURDAY NIGHT FOR ONE-POINT SEVEN-MILLION DOLLARS. LOUISIANA LOTTERY SPOKESPERSON KIMBERLY CHOPIN SAYS THIS IS ACTUALLY THE SECOND TIME 29-YEAR-OLD EVAN BAUER WON THE LOTTERY IN LESS THAN A WEEK. CHOPIN SAYS BAUER TOLD THEM THE SECRET TO WINNING THE LOTTERY IS TO STICK TO THE SAME NUMBERS YOU ALWAYS PLAY. SHE SAYS THIS JACKPOT HAS BEEN ROLLING OVER SINCE MARCH 10TH AND IS THE LARGEST JACKPOT SINCE JUNE 2009. THE JACKPOT WILL NOW START OVER AGAIN AT 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS.










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