KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 07/19/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 071912
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A LAFAYETTE PARISH GRAND JURY HAS BROUGHT TWO FIRST-DEGREE MURDER CHARGES AGAINST A MAN ARRESTED IN THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A LAFAYETTE COLLEGE STUDENT IN MAY. 33 YEAR OLD BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE WAS CHARGED WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH BOTH THE MURDER OF MICKEY SHUNICK, WHO DISAPPEARED DAYS BEFORE HER 22ND BIRTHDAY, AND WITH THAT OF LISA MARIE PATE, A 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO WAS KILLED IN 1999. PATE WAS REPORTED MISSING IN JUNE 1999; HER BODY WAS FOUND THREE MONTHS LATER IN A FIELD IN ACADIA PARISH. THE 15TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE SAYS PROSECUTORS WILL ASK FOR THE DEATH PENALTY IN BOTH CASES.

EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS.. MEMBERS OF THE STATE'S PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION VOTED TO LET CLECO PUT REFUNDS ON ITS CUSTOMERS' SEPTEMBER BILLS. ROBBYN COOPER, SPOKESWOMAN FOR CLECO SAID THE COMPANY'S 280,000 CUSTOMERS WILL BE RECEIVING ABOUT $12 AS A CREDIT BECAUSE THE COMPANY EARNED MORE THAN A RETURN ON EQUITY CAP SET BY THE COMMISSION. COOPER SAID A TOTAL OF $5 MILLION WILL BE REFUNDED TO THEIR CUSTOMERS SOUTH OF SHREVEPORT, IN CENTRAL LOUISIANA AND PARTS OF THE COVINGTON AND SLIDELL AREA.

HOUSE SPEAKER CHUCK KLECKLEY HAS CALLED A SPECIAL JOINT APPROPRIATIONS AND HEALTH & WELFARE COMMITTEE BRIEFING TODAY TO DISCUSS THE $859 MILLION CUT TO LOUISIANA'S MEDICAID PROGRAM. KLECKLEY SAYS DHH SECRETARY BRUCE GREENSTEIN HAS ALSO BEEN INVITED TO ATTEND TO ANSWER MEMBERS QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE THE CUTS ARE BEING MADE. KLECKLEY SAYS MEMBERS WANT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT THESE CUTS WILL HAVE ON THE CITIZENS THEY REPRESENT.

AN ALEXANDRIA MAN WITH A SERIES OF CHARGES AND CONVICTIONS DATING TO 1995 PLEADED GUILTY THIS WEEK TO TWO FELONY COPPER THEFT CHARGES AND WAS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON. 38-YEAR-OLD GREGORY GRANTHAM PLEADED GUILTY MONDAY TO TWO COUNTS OF THEFT. JUDGE THOMAS YEAGER SENTENCED GRANTHAM TO FIVE YEARS AT HARD LABOR IN THE FIRST CHARGE, AND 10 YEARS AT HARD LABOR FOR THE SECOND. THE JUDGE SAYS THE SENTENCES WILL RUN CONSECUTIVELY. ACCORDING TO COURT RECORDS, GRANTHAM HAS BEEN IN COURT ON 22 OCCASIONS SINCE 1995 FACING CHARGES.

NO ONE WAS INJURED IN THE ARMED ROBBERY OF THE MASONIC DRIVE CIRCLE K STORE HERE IN ALEXANDRIA. THE APD REPORTS THE ROBBERY OCCURRED SHORTLY BEFORE 4AM WEDNESDAY MORNING. THEIR INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE WILL PAY UP TO $50,000 TO GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S FORMER EXECUTIVE COUNSEL TO DEFEND THE GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE EDUCATION REVAMP IN COURT. A SPOKESWOMAN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL BUDDY CALDWELL SAYS FAIRCLOTH IS BEING PAID $195 AN HOUR, WITH A CAP OF $50,000. INSTEAD OF USING IN-HOUSE LAWYERS FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, GOVERNOR JINDAL SOUGHT OUT FAIRCLOTH. FAIRCLOTH IS DEFENDING THE STATE, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IN LAWSUITS FILED BY UNIONS AND SCHOOL BOARDS AGAINST JINDAL'S NEW STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM.

THE LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS SPENT NEARLY $100,000 OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS TO COMBAT RECALL PETITIONS AIMED AT GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, HOUSE SPEAKER CHUCK KLECKLEY AND OTHER LAWMAKERS. BY COMPARISON, THE TEACHERS LEADING THE JINDAL AND KLECKLEY RECALL EFFORTS REPORT SPENDING ABOUT $2,100. THAT'S ACCORDING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS REVIEWED BY THE ADVOCATE. THE DOCUMENTS SHOW THAT THE STATE GOP HAS BROUGHT IN JINDAL'S CAMPAIGN STRATEGY FIRM ONMESSAGE TO HELP OUT, PAYING IT $20,000. NEARLY $52,000 HAS BEEN SPENT TO SUPPORT KLECKLEY, LARGELY ON TELEVISION ADVERTISING.


REUTERS IS REPORTING GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL IS ONE OF THREE FINALISTS TO BE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY'S RUNNING MATE. OHIO SENATOR ROB PORTMAN AND FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY ARE ALSO ON THE SHORT LIST. JINDAL IS CURRENTLY CAMPAIGNING ON BEHALF OF ROMNEY IN OHIO.

A STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM LAKE CHARLES IS WORKING TO FORM A COALITION TO CHANGE THE WAY THE BUDGET IS WRITTEN. REPRESENTATIVE BRETT GEYMANN SAYS THEIR GOAL IS TO ORGANIZE A MORE FORMAL GROUP, STARTING WITH THE 40 SO-CALLED FISCAL HAWKS IN THE LEGISLATURE AND ATTRACTING OTHER LAWMAKERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS TO HELP REFORM THE PROCESS. GEYMANN, AND HIS GROUP TRIED TO DROP ONE-TIME MONEY FROM THE CURRENT STATE BUDGET BUT THEIR EFFORTS WERE OPPOSED BY GOVERNOR JINDAL.

THE STATE LEGISLATURE'S TOP FINANCIAL ADVISER IS RETIRING AFTER 33 YEARS IN STATE GOVERNMENT. LEGISLATIVE FISCAL OFFICER GORDON MONK SAID HIS LAST DAY WILL BE AUG. 8. THE 55 YEAR OLD MONK SAY A CONTENTIOUS LEGISLATIVE SESSION CONVINCED HIM IT WAS TIME TO GO. THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET PLANS TO NAME A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT ON MONDAY.

AN OAK GROVE TEENAGER IS IN CUSTODY ON A CHARGE OF ARSON IN THE CASE OF A FIRE THAT BURNED NEARLY 600 ACRES OF LAND IN WEST CARROLL PARISH. 19-YEAR-OLD STACY JAMES GEORGE FACES A MAXIMUM SENTENCE OF 10 YEARS IN PRISON IF HE'S CONVICTED. AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS LAST YEAR THE STATE HAD 2,150 FIRES AND NEARLY A THIRD WERE INTENTIONALLY SET. HE SAYS EVERY ARSON IS INVESTIGATED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. FORTUNATELY THE JUNE 29TH FIRE NEAR THE COMMUNITY OF KILBOURNE DIDN'T RESULT IN ANY INJURIES.

IN DESOTO PARISH...THREE TEENAGERS WHO ARE INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY BEATING AND RAPING AN ELDERLY MANSFIELD WOMAN PLED NOT GUILTY YESTERDAY. A TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR SEPTEMBER 17TH. THE ATTACK OCCURRED ON JUNE 19TH AS A 76-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WAS REMOVING ITEMS FROM HER VEHICLE.

NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY HAS NAMED MATTHEW FOWLER AS ITS NEW SPORTS INFORMATION DIRECTOR. A NEWS RELEASE FROM NSU SAYS FOWLER HAS BEEN ON THE SPORTS INFORMATION STAFF FOR MORE THAN FOUR YEARS. HE REPLACES FORMER ASSOCIATE SID MATTHEW BONNETTE, WHO HAS TAKEN OVER AS MEDIA RELATIONS DIRECTOR .

FORMER STATE SENATOR JON JOHNSON HAS PLEAD GUILTY TO STEALING FEMA MONEY, INTENDED TO HELP NON-PROFIT AGENCIES AFTER KATRINA, FOR HIS 2007 RUN FOR THE STATE SENATE. THE 66-YEAR-OLD JOHNSON FACES UP TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON AND A 250-THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE.

A FEDERAL JUDGE IN SHREVEPORT SENTENCES A SAILOR STATIONED AT FORT BLISS TO LIFE BEHIND BARS FOR HIS PART IN A GLOBAL NETWORK OF ONLINE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. 49-YEAR-OLD MASTER CHIEF ROBERT CUFF WAS A PART OF DREAMBOARD, AN ONLINE SIGHT WHERE MEMBERS SHARED IMAGES AND VIDEOS OF CHILDREN BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED. CUFF IS AMONG 42 PEOPLE CONVICTED IN THE CASE.

A 4-YEAR-OLD BOSSIER CITY GIRL HAS DIED FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED IN A DROWNING INCIDENT THAT KILLED HER TWIN SISTER. LITTLE AUBRIE SMITH AND HER SISTER ANGEL FELL INTO A BACKYARD SWIMMING POOL ON JUNE 24TH. ANGEL WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE. AUBRIE WAS TAKEN TO A HOSPITAL, WHERE'S SHE'S BEEN RIGHT UP UNTIL HER PASSING TODAY AROUND NOON.

POLICE IN THE CAPITAL AREA WARN RESIDENTS OF SCAMMERS SEEKING VICTIMS IN A CON THAT INVOLVES ALLEGED GOVERNMENT HELP WITH YOUR UTILITY BILL. THE OBJECT IS TO GIVE SCAMMERS ACCESS TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, WHICH THEY EMPTY. LAWMEN SAY DON'T BE FOOLED.

POLICE IN HOUMA SAY THEY BUSTED A MAN FOR DWI, WHO WAS DRIVING A PILFERED ELECTRIC HANDICAP SCOOTER FROM WAL-MART. OFFICERS SAY THOMAS PHILLIPS WAS ALSO PULLING A WHEELCHAIR CONTAINING HIS BUDDY. PHILLIPS TOLD OFFICERS HE THOUGHT HE'D TAKE THE WAL-MART SCOOTER FOR A TEST DRIVE. HE REPORTEDLY BLEW A BREATHALYZER RESULT TWICE THE LEGAL LIMIT. HE'S CHARGED WITH DWI AND WITH THEFT OF THE SCOOTER CHAIR.

A TERREBONNE PARISH MAN IS BEHIND BARS FOR ALLEGEDLY HELPING HIS WIFE TO COMMIT SUICIDE. AUTHORITIES SAY BETTY FANGUY (FON-GIE) DIED ON MAY 17TH IN HER HOME, FROM AN OVERDOSE OF PRESCRIPTION PILLS AND ALCOHOL AND NOW HER HUSBAND, 69 YEAR-OLD CHARLES FANGUY HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL ASSISTANCE TO SUICIDE. OFFICIALS SAY THE WOMAN REPORTEDLY HAD NUMEROUS MEDICAL ISSUES AND HAD PLED WITH HER HUSBAND TO HELP HER END HER LIFE.






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