KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 07/12/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 071212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES BY ALEXANDRIA POLICE INTO WHAT IS BEING DESCRIBED AS A SUSPICIOUS DEATH. THE BODY OF A MALE WAS FOUND IN A CAR ON BROWN’S BEND ROAD YESTERDAY MORNING. THE BODY INITIALLY SPOTTED BY A PASSING MOTORIST WHO CALLED AUTHORITIES. AN AUTOPSY HAS BEEN ORDERED TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH. THE VICTIM'S IDENTITY ALSO HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, PENDING NOTIFICATION OF NEXT OF KIN.

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED MORE THAN 10,000 APPLICATIONS FOR LOUISIANA'S STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM SET TO START IN AUGUST THAT WILL USE TAXPAYER MONEY TO SEND STUDENTS TO PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. ABOUT 1,700 OF THE APPLICANTS ARE IN AN EXISTING NEW ORLEANS VOUCHER PROGRAM. THE OTHERS WILL BE VYING FOR SLOTS AVAILABLE TO NEW STUDENTS UNDER THE STATEWIDE PROGRAM. VOUCHER SEATS WILL BE DOLED OUT AMONG STUDENTS THROUGH A LOTTERY PROCESS NEXT WEEK. SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE ALSO ANNOUNCED THE CRITERIA FOR SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM, INCLUDING INCREASED SCRUTINY FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE SEEKING TO MORE THAN DOUBLE THEIR ENROLLMENT BY ADDING VOUCHER STUDENTS.

IN WHAT IS BECOMING AN ANNUAL RITUAL, GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS AGAIN ISSUED A PARTIAL HIRING FREEZE ON EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES IN STATE GOVERNMENT. THE HIRING FREEZE COVERS THE 2012-13 FISCAL YEAR THAT BEGAN JULY 1. FOR MOST AGENCIES, COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER WILL SET A NUMBER OF VACANT POSITIONS THAT THE OFFICES CAN'T FILL. IF THEY WANT TO ADD NEW WORKERS WHO WILL SHRINK THE NUMBER OF VACANCIES BELOW THAT BENCHMARK, THE AGENCIES WILL NEED RAINWATER'S PERMISSION. THE MOVE IS SIMILAR TO WHAT JINDAL HAS DONE IN PRIOR FISCAL YEARS, TRYING TO CONTROL STATE GOVERNMENT COSTS. THE GOAL LISTED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER IS TO SAVE $13 MILLION IN THE STATE'S GENERAL FUND.

FORMER GOVERNOR MIKE FOSTER TURNED 82 YESTERDAY. FOSTER SERVED AS THE 53RD GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA FROM 1996-2004. FOSTER, WHO WAS BORN IN FRANKLIN, CURRENTLY LIVES IN A PLANTATION HOME THERE. WHEN ASKED YESTERDAY WHAT HE PLANED TO DO ON HIS BIRTHDAY, HE REPLIED, "AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE". FOSTER, WHO IS A VERY YOUNG 82, SAYS HE STILL RIDES HIS MOTORCYCLE FROM TIME-TO-TIME, AND HE ENJOYS FLYING HIS PLANE AND HELICOPTER.

MORE AND MORE PONDS AND WATERWAYS IN THE STATE ARE TESTING POSITIVE FOR MOSQUITOES CARRYING WEST NILE VIRUS. STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE YOU TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID SKEETER BITES AND DON'T LET WATER STAND ANYWHERE ON YOUR PROPERTY, WHERE THE BUGS CAN BREED.

STATE HOSPITAL LEADERS SAY GOVERNOR JINDAL'S DECISION AGAINST EXPANDING LOUISIANA'S MEDICAID PROGRAM UNDER THE FEDERAL HEALTH LAW, COMBINED WITH A PROVISION THAT SHRINKS UNINSURED CARE DOLLARS, COULD LEAVE STATE HOSPITALS WITH FAR LESS MONEY TO CARE FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT PRIVATE INSURANCE. THE LOUISIANA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION SAYS THE SITUATION COULD LEAD SOME LSU-RUN PUBLIC HOSPITALS AND SMALL RURAL HOSPITALS TO THE EDGE OF CLOSURE AND GIVE THEM LITTLE WAY TO RECOUP MONEY THEY SPEND TO CARE FOR UNINSURED PATIENTS.

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU HAS WADED INTO A DEBATE OVER NAMING THE NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT AND ENDORSED JUSTICE BERNETTE JOHNSON FOR THE JOB. LANDRIEU SAYS THERE IS "NO QUESTION" JOHNSON HAS THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED CHIEF JUSTICE CATHERINE KIMBALL BECAUSE SHE WILL BE THE COURT'S LONGEST-SERVING MEMBER ONCE KIMBALL RETIRES NEXT YEAR. JOHNSON SUED LAST WEEK TO BLOCK HER COLLEAGUES FROM DEBATING AND VOTING ON WHETHER SHE IS ENTITLED TO THE POSITION. JUSTICE JEFFREY VICTORY ALSO HAS STAKED A CLAIM TO BEING THE COURT'S LONGEST-SERVING JUSTICE. THE DEBATE HINGES ON WHETHER JOHNSON'S FIRST FEW YEARS OF SERVICE COUNT TOWARD HER SENIORITY BECAUSE SHE TECHNICALLY FILLED AN APPEALS COURT SEAT WHEN SHE JOINED THE SUPREME COURT IN 1994.

STATE FARM INSURANCE SAYS THEY ARE DROPPING THEIR SPONSORSHIP OF THE ANNUAL BAYOU CLASSIC FOOTBALL GAME BETWEEN SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND GRAMBLING. STATE FARM ANNOUNCED THEY ARE DROPPING THEIR TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF THE GAME BUT WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE PRESENTING SPONSOR OF THE BAYOU CLASSIC THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE AND THEY WILL RUN ADVERTISEMENTS DURING THE GAME BUT AFTER THIS YEAR THEY WILL NOT RENEW THEIR AGREEMENT WITH THE CLASSIC. THIS YEARS GAME IS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 24TH IN THE MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME.

THE MONROE CITY COUNCIL REJECTS A PROPOSED ORDINANCE THAT WOULD HAVE BANNED INDIVIDUALS FROM WEARING SAGGY PANTS WITHIN CITY LIMITS. COUNCIL CHAIRMAN JAY MARX INTRODUCED THE PROPOSED LAW, SO THEY CAN DEBATE THE ISSUE, BUT HE KNEW IT WOULDN'T PASS. MARX SAYS THEY'VE RECEIVED COMPLAINTS ABOUT YOUNG MEN AND TEENS WEARING PANTS BELOW THEIR WAISTLINE, EXPOSING THEIR UNDERWEAR. HE
SAYS HE UNDERSTANDS PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT BUT IT'S NOTHING SOME HE FEELS SHOULD BE CRIMINALIZED. OPPONENTS OF THE ORDINANCE SAID IT WOULD LEAD TO NEGATIVE RACIAL STEREOTYPING AND PROFILING.

ALMOST A DOZEN RACEHORSES IN THE STATE HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR A POWERFUL PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUG. THAT DRUG IS DERMORPHIN; ABOUT 40 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN MORPHINE. IT LETS HORSES RUN FASTER WITHOUT FEELING PAIN. THE STATE RACING COMMISSION PLANS A MEETING LATER THIS MONTH TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM.

THE MANNING PASSING ACADEMY GETS UNDERWAY TODAY IN THIBODAUX. THIS IS THE SEVENTH YEAR THE FOOTBALL CAMP FEATURING ARCHIE, PEYTON AND ELI MANNING WILL BE HELD ON THE CAMPUS OF NICHOLLS STATE. COLONELS SPORTS INFORMATION DIRECTOR CLYDE VERDIN (VER-DAN) SAYS ABOUT 850 CAMPERS ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE FOUR-DAY EVENT.












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