KSYL Local News

News For Monday 07/23/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 072312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

BUSINESS FACILITIES MAGAZINE HAS RAISED ITS RANKING FOR LOUISIANA AS A PLACE TO DO BUSINESS. THE TRADE PUBLICATION PLACED THE STATE FIFTH IN ITS TOP 10 LIST. A YEAR AGO, LOUISIANA WAS RANKED SEVENTH. THE RANKING REPRESENTS MEASURES OF THE STATE'S CLIMATE FOR INVESTMENT AND JOB CREATION. THE MAGAZINE PRAISED LOUISIANA'S WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAMS AND STATE-SPONSORED BUSINESS INCENTIVES.

REPEATED ROUNDS OF BUDGET SHORTFALLS THAT STRIPPED DOLLARS FROM PUBLIC COLLEGES AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES HAVE PROMPTED LAWMAKERS TO TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE LONG LIST OF TAX BREAKS THAT SIPHON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM LOUISIANA'S TREASURY EACH YEAR. A 14-MEMBER STUDY PANEL OF LEGISLATIVE LEADERS LAUNCHES A SIX-MONTH REVIEW TODAY OF THE $4.4 BILLION IN TAX EXEMPTIONS, REBATES AND CREDITS ON THE BOOKS, WITH AN EYE TO DETERMINING IF LOUISIANA GETS ENOUGH BENEFITS FROM THE GIVEAWAYS TO JUSTIFY THE COST OF THEM.

BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA WAS CHOSEN FRIDAY BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE OVER THE JOB OF MANAGING A STATE EMPLOYEE HEALTH CARE PLAN. THE COMPANY OUTBID HUMANA AND UNITED HEALTHCARE FOR WORK THAT BEGINS JAN. 31.THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION SAID IT WOULD LAY OFF 177 OF THE 327 EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENTAL BENEFITS AS A RESULT, ENDING THE LONG-STANDING PRACTICE OF STATE EMPLOYEES HANDLING HEALTH PLANS FOR STATE WORKERS, RETIREES AND DEPENDENTS. NEITHER THE LAYOFFS NOR THE CONTRACT CAN OCCUR WITHOUT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION'S APPROVAL.

WHILE UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE IN OVER HALF OF THE STATES BETWEEN MAY AND JUNE, LOUISIANA ENJOYED THE SECOND-LARGEST PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN EMPLOYMENT, ACCORDING TO THE U-S BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS. LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON TOM GUARISCO SAYS THE STATE HAS SEEN OUTSTANDING GROWTH IN THE LAST YEAR. THE STATE SAW A 2.8-PERCENT RISE IN EMPLOYMENT. ONLY NORTH DAKOTA ADDED A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF JOBS THAN LOUISIANA.

LOUISIANA'S NEW STATEWIDE SCHOOL VOUCHER PROGRAM PROMISES PARENTAL CHOICE IN EDUCATION, BUT PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS LIKELY WILL HAVE TO GIVE UP SOME SERVICES IF THEY ACCEPT PUBLICLY FUNDED VOUCHERS TO ATTEND MOST PARTICIPATING PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE'S VOUCHER PROGRAM AREN'T REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. PARENTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN STATEMENTS RELINQUISHING THOSE OPTIONS FOR THEIR CHILDREN. IN THE STATE'S LIST OF APPROVED SCHOOLS FOR THE LOUISIANA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, NO SCHOOL NORTH OF ALEXANDRIA INDICATES IT WILL PROVIDE SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAID PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS CANNOT DENY ADMISSION TO ASSIGNED STUDENTS, BUT BECAUSE THEY DO NOT RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING FROM THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT, THE SCHOOLS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OFFER SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES.

IT WAS A TRAGIC WEEKEND ON LAKE CHARLES IN CALCASIEU PARISH AS TWO PEOPLE APPARENTLY DROWNED AFTER THEIR BOAT CAPSIZED ON FRIDAY NIGHT. THE BODY OF 42-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM DRUILET JUNIOR OF LAKE CHARLES WAS FOUND SATURDAY AND 25-YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER ROLLINS OF WESTLAKE'S BODY WAS RECOVERED SUNDAY MORNING. WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES OFFICIALS SAY A STORM BLEW IN WHILE THEY WERE ON LAKE CHARLES FRIDAY NIGHT. THE TWO MEN WERE IN A 16-FOOT JON BOAT AND THE CHOPPY WATER LED TO THEIR BOAT OVERTURNING.

THE IDEA OF CREATING A STATEWIDE DWI TRACKING SYSTEM IS GAINING STEAM AGAIN.
PROSECUTORS, MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING LOUISIANA AND OTHERS SAY A COMPUTER SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS AUTHORITIES TO MORE EASILY VERIFY PREVIOUS DWI CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCES ACROSS THE STATE'S MANY COURT JURISDICTIONS WOULD BE A STRONG WEAPON AGAINST REPEAT DRUNKEN-DRIVING OFFENDERS. HOWEVER PROSECUTORS AND ANTI-DRUNKEN-DRIVING ACTIVISTS SAY OTHER FACTORS, SUCH AS UNEVEN ENFORCEMENT OF DWI SENTENCING LAWS BY JUDGES AND THE SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE OF DRIVING AFTER DRINKING, PLAY ROLES IN THE PROBLEM OF REPEAT OFFENDERS. ALCOHOL-RELATED CRASHES CLAIMED 291 LIVES IN LOUISIANA IN 2011.

EMPLOYEES AT CONAGRA FOODS' LAMB WESTON SWEET POTATO PROCESSING PLANT NEAR DELHI WILL DECIDE NEXT WEEK WHETHER TO UNIONIZE. WORKERS WILL VOTE WEDNESDAY IN AN ELECTION ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY WILL JOIN THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION. CONAGRA SAYS IT DOESN'T WANT A MIDDLEMAN BETWEEN MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES. UNION ORGANIZER RONALD HOWINGTON SAYS A UNION WOULD PROTECT WORKERS FROM UNFAIR TREATMENT. HE CLAIMS HE WAS FIRED RECENTLY BECAUSE OF HIS UNION ADVOCACY. THE PLANT EMPLOYS 275 WORKERS WITH AN AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE OF $34,000 TO $35,000, ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY AND THE STATE. THE STATE LURED THE PLANT WITH AN INCENTIVE PACKAGE WORTH UP TO $37.5 MILLION.

LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM PRESIDENT GENE MILLS SUGGESTED FRIDAY THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE IS DRIFTING "INTO SEXUAL POLITICS. THE SCHOOL'S LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER STUDIES MINOR, WHICH BEGAN IN THE SPRING, DREW THE IRE OF THE LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM LAST WEEK AS GOING AGAINST "LOUISIANA VALUES." MILLS' EMAIL SAYS ULL PRESIDENT JOSEPH SAVOIE IS "FOOLING WITH FIRE" BY ALLOWING HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISTS TO INFLUENCE UNIVERSITY DECISION MAKING. UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS SAY THE MINOR WAS CREATED USING EXISTING CLASSES AND DOES NOT COST EXTRA MONEY.

THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM WOULD LIKE TO NAME A NEW PRESIDENT BY THE END OF AUGUST, WHICH IS WHEN CURRENT SYSTEM PRESIDENT RANDY MOFFETT IS SET TO RETIRE. U-L SYSTEM BOARD CHAIR WAYNE PARKER SAYS ADVERTISEMENTS ARE APPEARING ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN THE HOPES OF ATTRACTING A NUMBER OF QUALITY CANDIDATES. PARKER AND FOUR OTHERS ON THE U-L SYSTEM BOARD WILL SERVE ON THE APPLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE. HE SAYS THE U-L SYSTEM WEBSITE WILL PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH ALL OF THE DETAILS ON THE SEARCH.

LOUISIANA'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS FOUR NEW CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS BRING THIS YEAR'S TOTAL TO 14. IT SAYS THE NEW CASES INCLUDE THE YEAR'S THIRD NERVOUS SYSTEM INFECTION, THE INFECTION'S MOST DANGEROUS FORM. THAT PATIENT IS IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH; EARLIER NEUROINVASIVE CASES WERE REPORTED HERE IN RAPIDES AND VERNON PARISHES. PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO BITS IS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID CONTRACTING WEST NILE VIRUS.

WALGREENS AND EXPRESS SCRIPTS REACH AN AGREEMENT WHICH WILL ALLOW LOUISIANA BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD MEMBERS TO GET PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED AT WALGREENS, WITHOUT PAYING OUT OF NETWORK COSTS. BLUE CROSS SPOKESPERSON ROBIN MAYHALL SAYS WALGREENS WILL ONCE AGAIN BECOME A A MEMBER OF THE EXPRESS SCRIPTS NETWORK SEPTEMBER 15TH. THE LAST CONTRACT BETWEEN EXPRESS SCRIPTS AND WALGREENS EXPIRED DECEMBER 31ST, WHICH FORCED THOUSANDS OF BLUE CROSS AND HMO LOUISIANA MEMBERS TO USE A DIFFERENT PHARMACY TO AVOID OUT-OF-NETWORK COSTS.

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS RULED A DECADES-OLD DESEGREGATION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ST. MARTIN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD REMAINS OPEN DESPITE A LACK OF COURT ACTIVITY IN THE CASE SINCE THE 1970S. THE DECISION DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL SEE ANY OPERATIONAL CHANGES, BUT IT LEAVES OPENS THE DOOR FOR POSSIBLE SCRUTINY BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND OTHERS. THE SCHOOL BOARD MAINTAINED THE DESEGREGATION SUIT WAS DISMISSED IN 1974. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND ATTORNEYS FOR THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND ARGUED THE CASE WAS NEVER TECHNICALLY CLOSED.

NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA ARE LAYING OFF EMPLOYEES. LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, THOUGH, SAYS IT WILL CUT ITS BUDGET WITHOUT FIRING EMPLOYEES. THE STATE'S PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ARE ABSORBING A FIFTH ROUND OF BUDGET CUTS SINCE 2008. IN THE NEW BUDGET, HIGHER EDUCATION WAS CUT BY $66 MILLION, BRINGING TOTAL CUTS SINCE 2008 TO $420 MILLION.

IBERIA PARISH DETECTIVES SAY AN ARGUMENT AT A TAVERN LED TO THE SHOOTING DEATH OF ONE PERSON EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SHERIFF LOUIS ACKAL SAYS TWO OTHER PEOPLE WERE INJURED OUTSIDE THE MON AMI TAVERN ON STATE HIGHWAY 90 AT ABOUT 2 A.M. DETECTIVES SAY AN ARGUMENT INSIDE THE TAVERN ESCALATED AFTER THE SUSPECTS AND VICTIMS MOVED OUTSIDE INTO THE TAVERN'S PARKING LOT. DETECTIVES ARE LOOKING FOR TWO SUSPECTS AND POSSIBLY MORE.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES DEFENDED TEAMMATE JONATHAN VILMA IN A COURT DOCUMENT FILED SATURDAY TO SUPPORT VILMA'S FIGHT AGAINST THE NFL OVER HIS SEASON-LONG SUSPENSION. THE AFFIDAVIT WAS ENTERED IN NEW ORLEANS FEDERAL COURT AS EVIDENCE FOR VILMA'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE 2012 SUSPENSION IMPOSED BY NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL, FOR THE LINEBACKER'S ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN A PROGRAM OFFERING BONUSES TO PLAYERS WHO INJURE OPPONENTS. VILMA HAS SUED GOODELL, CLAIMING DEFAMATION. BREES ALSO SWEARS THAT HE WASN'T AWARE OF ANY BOUNTY PROGRAM.





BUSINESS FACILITIES MAGAZINE HAS RAISED ITS RANKING FOR LOUISIANA AS A PLACE TO DO BUSINESS. THE TRADE PUBLICATION PLACED THE STATE FIFTH IN ITS TOP 10 LIST. A YEAR AGO, LOUISIANA WAS RANKED SEVENTH. THE RANKING REPRESENTS MEASURES OF THE STATE'S CLIMATE FOR INVESTMENT AND JOB CREATION. THE MAGAZINE PRAISED LOUISIANA'S WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAMS AND STATE-SPONSORED BUSINESS INCENTIVES.

REPEATED ROUNDS OF BUDGET SHORTFALLS THAT STRIPPED DOLLARS FROM PUBLIC COLLEGES AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES HAVE PROMPTED LAWMAKERS TO TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE LONG LIST OF TAX BREAKS THAT SIPHON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM LOUISIANA'S TREASURY EACH YEAR. A 14-MEMBER STUDY PANEL OF LEGISLATIVE LEADERS LAUNCHES A SIX-MONTH REVIEW TODAY OF THE $4.4 BILLION IN TAX EXEMPTIONS, REBATES AND CREDITS ON THE BOOKS, WITH AN EYE TO DETERMINING IF LOUISIANA GETS ENOUGH BENEFITS FROM THE GIVEAWAYS TO JUSTIFY THE COST OF THEM.

BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA WAS CHOSEN FRIDAY BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE OVER THE JOB OF MANAGING A STATE EMPLOYEE HEALTH CARE PLAN. THE COMPANY OUTBID HUMANA AND UNITED HEALTHCARE FOR WORK THAT BEGINS JAN. 31.THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION SAID IT WOULD LAY OFF 177 OF THE 327 EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENTAL BENEFITS AS A RESULT, ENDING THE LONG-STANDING PRACTICE OF STATE EMPLOYEES HANDLING HEALTH PLANS FOR STATE WORKERS, RETIREES AND DEPENDENTS. NEITHER THE LAYOFFS NOR THE CONTRACT CAN OCCUR WITHOUT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION'S APPROVAL.

WHILE UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE IN OVER HALF OF THE STATES BETWEEN MAY AND JUNE, LOUISIANA ENJOYED THE SECOND-LARGEST PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN EMPLOYMENT, ACCORDING TO THE U-S BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS. LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON TOM GUARISCO SAYS THE STATE HAS SEEN OUTSTANDING GROWTH IN THE LAST YEAR. THE STATE SAW A 2.8-PERCENT RISE IN EMPLOYMENT. ONLY NORTH DAKOTA ADDED A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF JOBS THAN LOUISIANA.

IT WAS A TRAGIC WEEKEND ON LAKE CHARLES IN CALCASIEU PARISH AS TWO PEOPLE APPARENTLY DROWNED AFTER THEIR BOAT CAPSIZED ON FRIDAY NIGHT. THE BODY OF 42-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM DRUILET JUNIOR OF LAKE CHARLES WAS FOUND SATURDAY AND 25-YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER ROLLINS OF WESTLAKE'S BODY WAS RECOVERED SUNDAY MORNING. WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES OFFICIALS SAY A STORM BLEW IN WHILE THEY WERE ON LAKE CHARLES FRIDAY NIGHT. THE TWO MEN WERE IN A 16-FOOT JON BOAT AND THE CHOPPY WATER LED TO THEIR BOAT OVERTURNING.

THE IDEA OF CREATING A STATEWIDE DWI TRACKING SYSTEM IS GAINING STEAM AGAIN.
PROSECUTORS, MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING LOUISIANA AND OTHERS SAY A COMPUTER SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS AUTHORITIES TO MORE EASILY VERIFY PREVIOUS DWI CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCES ACROSS THE STATE'S MANY COURT JURISDICTIONS WOULD BE A STRONG WEAPON AGAINST REPEAT DRUNKEN-DRIVING OFFENDERS. HOWEVER PROSECUTORS AND ANTI-DRUNKEN-DRIVING ACTIVISTS SAY OTHER FACTORS, SUCH AS UNEVEN ENFORCEMENT OF DWI SENTENCING LAWS BY JUDGES AND THE SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE OF DRIVING AFTER DRINKING, PLAY ROLES IN THE PROBLEM OF REPEAT OFFENDERS. ALCOHOL-RELATED CRASHES CLAIMED 291 LIVES IN LOUISIANA IN 2011.

EMPLOYEES AT CONAGRA FOODS' LAMB WESTON SWEET POTATO PROCESSING PLANT NEAR DELHI WILL DECIDE NEXT WEEK WHETHER TO UNIONIZE. WORKERS WILL VOTE WEDNESDAY IN AN ELECTION ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY WILL JOIN THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION. CONAGRA SAYS IT DOESN'T WANT A MIDDLEMAN BETWEEN MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES. UNION ORGANIZER RONALD HOWINGTON SAYS A UNION WOULD PROTECT WORKERS FROM UNFAIR TREATMENT. HE CLAIMS HE WAS FIRED RECENTLY BECAUSE OF HIS UNION ADVOCACY. THE PLANT EMPLOYS 275 WORKERS WITH AN AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE OF $34,000 TO $35,000, ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY AND THE STATE. THE STATE LURED THE PLANT WITH AN INCENTIVE PACKAGE WORTH UP TO $37.5 MILLION.

LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM PRESIDENT GENE MILLS SUGGESTED FRIDAY THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE IS DRIFTING "INTO SEXUAL POLITICS. THE SCHOOL'S LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER STUDIES MINOR, WHICH BEGAN IN THE SPRING, DREW THE IRE OF THE LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM LAST WEEK AS GOING AGAINST "LOUISIANA VALUES." MILLS' EMAIL SAYS ULL PRESIDENT JOSEPH SAVOIE IS "FOOLING WITH FIRE" BY ALLOWING HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISTS TO INFLUENCE UNIVERSITY DECISION MAKING. UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS SAY THE MINOR WAS CREATED USING EXISTING CLASSES AND DOES NOT COST EXTRA MONEY.

THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM WOULD LIKE TO NAME A NEW PRESIDENT BY THE END OF AUGUST, WHICH IS WHEN CURRENT SYSTEM PRESIDENT RANDY MOFFETT IS SET TO RETIRE. U-L SYSTEM BOARD CHAIR WAYNE PARKER SAYS ADVERTISEMENTS ARE APPEARING ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN THE HOPES OF ATTRACTING A NUMBER OF QUALITY CANDIDATES. PARKER AND FOUR OTHERS ON THE U-L SYSTEM BOARD WILL SERVE ON THE APPLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE. HE SAYS THE U-L SYSTEM WEBSITE WILL PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH ALL OF THE DETAILS ON THE SEARCH.

LOUISIANA'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS FOUR NEW CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS BRING THIS YEAR'S TOTAL TO 14. IT SAYS THE NEW CASES INCLUDE THE YEAR'S THIRD NERVOUS SYSTEM INFECTION, THE INFECTION'S MOST DANGEROUS FORM. THAT PATIENT IS IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH; EARLIER NEUROINVASIVE CASES WERE REPORTED HERE IN RAPIDES AND VERNON PARISHES. PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO BITS IS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID CONTRACTING WEST NILE VIRUS.

WALGREENS AND EXPRESS SCRIPTS REACH AN AGREEMENT WHICH WILL ALLOW LOUISIANA BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD MEMBERS TO GET PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED AT WALGREENS, WITHOUT PAYING OUT OF NETWORK COSTS. BLUE CROSS SPOKESPERSON ROBIN MAYHALL SAYS WALGREENS WILL ONCE AGAIN BECOME A A MEMBER OF THE EXPRESS SCRIPTS NETWORK SEPTEMBER 15TH. THE LAST CONTRACT BETWEEN EXPRESS SCRIPTS AND WALGREENS EXPIRED DECEMBER 31ST, WHICH FORCED THOUSANDS OF BLUE CROSS AND HMO LOUISIANA MEMBERS TO USE A DIFFERENT PHARMACY TO AVOID OUT-OF-NETWORK COSTS.

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS RULED A DECADES-OLD DESEGREGATION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ST. MARTIN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD REMAINS OPEN DESPITE A LACK OF COURT ACTIVITY IN THE CASE SINCE THE 1970S. THE DECISION DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL SEE ANY OPERATIONAL CHANGES, BUT IT LEAVES OPENS THE DOOR FOR POSSIBLE SCRUTINY BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND OTHERS. THE SCHOOL BOARD MAINTAINED THE DESEGREGATION SUIT WAS DISMISSED IN 1974. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND ATTORNEYS FOR THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND ARGUED THE CASE WAS NEVER TECHNICALLY CLOSED.

NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA ARE LAYING OFF EMPLOYEES. LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, THOUGH, SAYS IT WILL CUT ITS BUDGET WITHOUT FIRING EMPLOYEES. THE STATE'S PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ARE ABSORBING A FIFTH ROUND OF BUDGET CUTS SINCE 2008. IN THE NEW BUDGET, HIGHER EDUCATION WAS CUT BY $66 MILLION, BRINGING TOTAL CUTS SINCE 2008 TO $420 MILLION.

IBERIA PARISH DETECTIVES SAY AN ARGUMENT AT A TAVERN LED TO THE SHOOTING DEATH OF ONE PERSON EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SHERIFF LOUIS ACKAL SAYS TWO OTHER PEOPLE WERE INJURED OUTSIDE THE MON AMI TAVERN ON STATE HIGHWAY 90 AT ABOUT 2 A.M. DETECTIVES SAY AN ARGUMENT INSIDE THE TAVERN ESCALATED AFTER THE SUSPECTS AND VICTIMS MOVED OUTSIDE INTO THE TAVERN'S PARKING LOT. DETECTIVES ARE LOOKING FOR TWO SUSPECTS AND POSSIBLY MORE.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES DEFENDED TEAMMATE JONATHAN VILMA IN A COURT DOCUMENT FILED SATURDAY TO SUPPORT VILMA'S FIGHT AGAINST THE NFL OVER HIS SEASON-LONG SUSPENSION. THE AFFIDAVIT WAS ENTERED IN NEW ORLEANS FEDERAL COURT AS EVIDENCE FOR VILMA'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE 2012 SUSPENSION IMPOSED BY NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL, FOR THE LINEBACKER'S ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN A PROGRAM OFFERING BONUSES TO PLAYERS WHO INJURE OPPONENTS. VILMA HAS SUED GOODELL, CLAIMING DEFAMATION. BREES ALSO SWEARS THAT HE WASN'T AWARE OF ANY BOUNTY PROGRAM.


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