KSYL Local News

News For Monday 07/30/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 073012
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LSU HOSPITALS AROUND THE STATE TODAY (JULY 30) WILL START IMPLEMENTING REDUCTIONS IN SERVICES AND PROGRAM CLOSURES, INCLUDING A 35 PERCENT REDUCTION IN ACUTE-CARE BEDS AT PINEVILLE'S HUEY P. LONG HOSPITAL. LSU HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE NEGOTIATING WITH PRIVATE HOSPITALS TO ASSUME AT LEAST SOME OPERATIONS IN AN EFFORT TO HANDLE A $329 MILLION CUT IN FUNDING. SOME OF THE LARGER PATIENT IMPACT IS AT THE W.O. MOSS MEDICAL CENTER IN LAKE CHARLES AND LALLIE KEMP IN INDEPENDENCE, WHERE DOCTORS, NURSES AND NON-MEDICAL STAFF REDUCTIONS ARE ORDERED, CLINICS ARE TO BE REDUCED OR CLOSED AND SURGERIES ARE ELIMINATED. (TEN BEDS ARE TO BE KEPT OPEN FOR PATIENTS WHO NEED HOSPITALIZATION. THE PLAN CALLS FOR E.A CONWAY MEDICAL CENTER IN MONROE TO IMPLEMENT A PHASE-OUT OF ITS OBSTETRICS DEPARTMENT IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS). (SYSTEM WIDE, DOCTORS WILL ACCEPT LESS TO TREAT PATIENTS AND PATIENTS WILL PAY MORE FOR THE SERVICES THEY RECEIVE.

THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL'S FINANCE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HELD A SECOND PUBLIC MEETING FRIDAY ABOUT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF THE FORMER HODGES STOCKYARD PROPERTY ON LOWER THIRD STREET. THE SOMETIMES HEATED MEETING LASTED TWO HOURS. THE CITY COUNCIL MEETS AT 5 P.M. TODAY TO VOTE ON THE MATTER.
THE DEVELOPMENT, PROPOSED BY DAVID STRANGE WITH THIRD STREET PARTNERS AND NEW HORIZONS DEVELOPMENT OF MISSISSIPPI, WOULD INCLUDE 32 MODERATE-INCOME TOWNHOUSES IN 16 BUILDINGS, A GREEN SPACE, WALKING TRAIL, A SHOPPING STRIP FRONTING THIRD STREET, A SHELL FOR A FUTURE GROCERY STORE AT THIRD AND GREEN OAKS STREETS AND A LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBSTATION. ONE OF THE MAIN STICKING POINT WITH RESIDENTS IS THE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT PART OF THE PLAN. MANY ARE QUESTIONING IF IT COULD BE SUCCESSFUL.

STATE POLICE SAY TWO TEENAGERS DIED SATURDAY IN A SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT ON LOUISIANA HIGHWAY 923 IN CATAHOULA PARISH. STATE POLICE SAY THE DRIVER OF THE PICKUP TRUCK APPARENTLY LOST CONTROL, RAN OFF THE ROAD AND HIT A CULVERT AND A TREE BEFORE BECOMING ENGULFED IN FLAMES. STATE POLICE IDENTIFIED THE VICTIMS AS 18-YEAR-OLD LOGAN D. MILLS OF JONESVILLE AND 14-YEAR-OLD BRITTANY WHITE OF HARRISONBURG. AN UNIDENTIFIED JUVENILE WAS INJURED IN THE ACCIDENT.

UNEMPLOYMENT APPEARS TO BE ON A DOWNWARD TREND IN LOUISIANA. STATE WORKFORCE COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CURT EYSINK (I-SINK) SAYS FIGURES LEADING UP TO JULY 21ST ARE ENCOURAGING. EYSINK SAYS 3,080 PEOPLE FILED FIRST-TIME JOBLESS CLAIMS FOR THE ENDING JULY 21ST; DOWN FROM 3,675 THE PREVIOUS WEEK. WHAT'S MORE, HE SAYS, THE NUMBER WAS WELL OVER 4-THOUSAND FOR THE SAME WEEK LAST YEAR. ONGOING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS ARE LOWER AS WELL, COMPARED WITH THE NUMBER RECEIVING WEEKLY BENEFITS THIS TIME LAST YEAR

NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THE DOCTORS WORKING IN LOUISIANA'S PRISONS HAVE BEEN DISCIPLINED BY THE STATE MEDICAL BOARD FOR ISSUES RANGING FROM PEDOPHILIA TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE. THE NEWSPAPER REPORTED THE LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY AT ANGOLA IS A COMMON DESTINATION FOR TROUBLED PHYSICIANS. ONE FORMER NEW ORLEANS PHYSICIAN ACCUSED OF "UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT" WITH FEMALE PATIENTS NOW PRACTICES AT THE ALL-MALE FACILITY. THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS ALSO EMPLOYS A NUMBER OF CONTRACT PHYSICIANS, MOST OF WHOM DO NOT HAVE DISCIPLINARY RECORDS.

PUBLISHERS OF THE NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE ARE STILL UNDER PRESSURE FOR THEIR DECISION TO STOP PUBLISHING A DAILY PAPER. SO FAR A U.S. SENATOR AND ONE OF THE STATE'S RICHEST MEN HAVE SENT LETTERS ASKING OWNER STEVE NEWHOUSE TO RECONSIDER THAT PLAN...BUT IS ANYONE LISTENING? NEW ORLEANS POLITICAL ANALYST CLANCY DUBOS SAYS HE DOESN’T THINK SO. WITHIN WEEKS, THE PICAYUNE WILL CEASE DAILY PRINT; MOVING TO JUST THREE WEEKLY PRINT EDITIONS. SAINTS OWNER TOM BENSON SENT A LETTER ASKING NEWHOUSE TO EITHER REVERSE THAT DECISION OR SELL THE TIMES-PICAYUNE TO HIM. LATE LAST WEEK, SENATOR DAVID VITTER JUMPED IN THE FRAY, WITH HIS OWN LETTER URGING THE TIMES-PICAYUNE TO DO AN ABOUT-FACE. DUBOS SAYS VITTER SAW A PARADE FORMING ON THE ISSUE AND RAN TO THE FRONT, "PRETENDING TO LEAD IT". HE DOUBTS THAT WILL SWAY NEWHOUSE'S PLANS FOR HIS FAMILY'S NEWSPAPER...:

NOT ANOTHER LOUISIANA REALITY SERIES…. OH BUT YES.. SPIKE TV IS DEBUTING A NEW LOUISIANA-BASED REALITY SHOW, WHERE TEAMS OF HUNTERS PIT THEMSELVES AGAINST A DANGEROUS, INVASIVE, FOREIGN SPECIES. THE PROGRAM, CALLED RAT BASTARDS, FOLLOWS SIX HUNTERS AS THEY TRACK DOWN AND KILL NUTRIA. MOST OF THE HUNTERS ARE FROM ST. LANDRY PARISH BUT MOST OF THE SERIES IS FILMED IN LAFOURCHE PARISH WHERE THE HUNTERS WORK TO CLEAR NUTRIA FROM PRIVATE LAND. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ALEX EASTBURG SAYS ITS HOW THE HUNTERS, WHO CALL THEMSELVES CAJUN COMMANDOS, GO ABOUT THEIR JOB THAT MAKES THE SHOW SO ENTERTAINING. THE SERIES PREMIERS TUESDAY NIGHT AT 9:30 ON SPIKE TV.

THE NATCHITOCHES REGIONAL AIRPORT WILL HOLD A GRAND OPENING THURSDAY FOR A NEW FLIGHT SCHOOL TO BE OPERATED BY FLIGHT ACADEMY OF NEW ORLEANS.
AIRPORT MANAGER LARRY COOPER SAYS THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION APPROVED SCHOOL WILL BE IN THE HANGAR FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY. FOUNDED IN 2003, FANO WILL TRAIN PROFESSIONALS FOR ALL TYPES OF PILOT JOBS, INCLUDING CORPORATE JETS AND AIRLINES AND FOR BUSINESS OR PERSONAL USE.

LOUISIANA STATE POLICE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE TELLING MOTORISTS TO CLEAN OFF THEIR DIRTY LICENSE PLATES. STATE POLICE SAY IN A NEWS RELEASE THE MOTORISTS CAUGHT WITH THEIR LICENSE PLATES OBSCURED IN ANY WAY, INCLUDING BY DIRT, MUD OR FRAMES THAT COVER PART OF THE PLATE, COULD BE TICKETED. LOUISIANA LAW REQUIRES VEHICLE LICENSE PLATES BE CLEARLY DISPLAYED, AS WELL AS ILLUMINATED AT NIGHT BY LICENSE PLATE LIGHTS. COL. MICHAEL EDMONSON, STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT, SAYS CLEAN LICENSE PLATES CAN HELP CITIZENS MORE EASILY REPORT RECKLESS OR IMPAIRED DRIVERS, AS WELL AS VEHICLES INVOLVED IN CRIMINAL ACTS.

THIS YEAR MARKS THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF AGRICULTURE RESEARCH IN THE NATION. IN 1887, CONGRESS PASSED THE HATCH ACT WHICH PROVIDED FEDERAL FUNDING TO SUPPORT AG EXPERIMENT STATIONS AT LAND-GRANT COLLEGES. DR. JOHN RUSSIN, DIRECTOR OF THE LSU EXPERIMENT STATIONS SAYS AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT STATIONS SPAN THE ENTIRE STATE. RUSSIN SAYS LOUISIANA'S CROPS INCLUDE RICE, SUGARCANE, COTTON, SOYBEANS, CORN AND SWEET POTATOES AND IN ALL, AGRICULTURE CONTRIBUTES MORE THAN $26 BILLION YEARLY TO THE STATE'S ECONOMY.

THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS MAY BE PRACTICING WITHOUT THEIR HEAD COACH THIS SEASON, BUT HE'S STILL WATCHING THEM. A GIANT BANNER FEATURING A PICTURE OF A PURSED LIPPED SEAN PAYTON WITH THE CAPTION "DO YOUR JOB" HANGS IN THE SAINTS INDOOR TRAINING FACILITY. INTERIM COACH JOE VITT SAYS THE PICTURE, WAS TAKEN DURING THE 2009 SUPERBOWL AGAINST THE COLTS. VITT SAYS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, ALL OF THE COACHES AND PLAYERS HAVE GOTTEN "THAT LOOK" FROM COACH PAYTON. HE SAYS IT'S A LIPS PURSED, EYES SQUINTED GLARE THAT LOOKS RIGHT THROUGH THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD. VITT SAYS THE "DO YOUR JOB" MESSAGE IS WHAT PAYTON LEFT THE TEAM WITH IN APRIL BEFORE HE HAD TO LEAVE TO SERVE HIS ONE YEAR SUSPENSION.




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