KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 08/08/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 080812
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

LAFAYETTE POLICE SAY THEY BELIEVE THEY'VE FOUND THE BODY OF MISSING UL- LAFAYETTE STUDENT MICKEY SHUNICK. MICKEY VANISHED ON MAY 19TH. LAFAYETTE POLICE CHIEF JIM CRAFT SAYS THEY FEEL THE REMAINS ARE MICKEY'S, BUT THEY ARE NOT 100% SURE. HE SAYS FORENSICS WILL DETERMINE THAT. MOUTON SAYS THE BODY WAS FOUND OFF STATE HIGHWAY 35 IN EVANGELINE PARISH TUESDAY AFTERNOON. BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE IS CHARGED WITH MICKEY'S KIDNAP AND MURDER AND THE MURDER OF LISA PATE OF CHURCH POINT BACK IN 1999. HE'S PLEADED NOT GUILTY.

A DIVIDED ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL VOTED TUESDAY TO ALLOW CITY ATTORNEY CHUCK JOHNSON TO SETTLE A JUDGMENT WITH BATON ROUGE ATTORNEYS JOHN SHARP AND CRAIG DAVIDSON FOR THEIR WORK ON THE CITY'S LAWSUIT AGAINST CLECO. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE DEE DRELL RULED LAST MONTH THAT THE CITY SHOULD PAY $1.3 MILLION TO DAVIDSON AND $700,000 TO SHARP, WHO SINCE HAS BEEN DISBARRED. AN ORDINANCE ALLOWING THE CITY TO SETTLE WITH THE TWO ATTORNEYS PASSED BY A 4-3 VOTE.

TWO ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS YESTERDAY PITCHED THEIR VISION OF A TRANSFORMED RAPIDES PARISH COLISEUM TO THE COLISEUM AUTHORITY AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE JURY. BOTH PLANS CALL FOR, AMONG OTHER THINGS, ADDING ABOUT 1,500 SEATS AND NEW SKYBOXES; BUILDING A NEW EXTERIOR; REDOING THE PARKING AREA AND ADDING SPACES; INSTALLING NEW SOUND, LIGHTING AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS; REFURBISHING MEETING AREAS AND DRESSING ROOMS; AND ADDING AMENITIES SUCH AS A LARGER STAGE AND A REMOVABLE BASKETBALL FLOOR. VOTERS WILL DECIDE THIS FALL IF THEY WANT TO PICK UP THE $23 MILLION TAB TO COMPLETELY RENOVATE THE NEARLY 50-YEAR-OLD FACILITY.

THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD MET IN EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR AN HOUR TUESDAY TO DISCUSS THREATENED LITIGATION REGARDING THE BUCKEYE CANNING CENTER.
THE CENTER'S ONE WORKER FILED A GRIEVANCE AGAINST DISTRICT C BOARD MEMBER JULIE MCCONATHY, CLAIMING SHE IS ILLEGALLY TRYING TO REMOVE HIM FROM HIS JOB OF 20 YEARS. SCHOOL OFFICIALS ARE AWAITING THE FINDINGS OF THE STATE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S OFFICE, WHO ALONG WITH A PRIVATE AUDITOR LOOKED INTO THE FACILITY. THE CANNING CENTER WAS USED TO TEACH STUDENTS HOW TO BUTCHER AND PRESERVE MEAT AND PROVIDE THEM WITH HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE. BUT, NOW THAT STUDENTS ARE NO LONGER BEING TAUGHT THERE, SOME ARE QUESTIONING THE EXPENSE.

A NEAR RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR LOUISIANA LOTTERY TICKET SALES IS GOOD NEWS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. LOUISIANA LOTTERY SPOKESPERSON, KIM CHOPIN, SAYS REVENUE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED JUNE 30TH SOARED PAST $400-MILLION FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1993. CHOPIN SAYS STATE LAW REQUIRES 35-PERCENT OF LOTTERY PROCEEDS IS TRANSFERRED TO THE STATE TREASURY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

LOUISIANA HAS SPENT MORE THAN $1 BILLION OVER THE PAST DECADE TO ATTRACT MOVIE PRODUCTIONS TO THE STATE, BUT HASN'T RECEIVED MUCH IN RETURN BESIDES THE PRESTIGE OF HOSTING BIG-NAME HOLLYWOOD ACTORS, THAT ACCORDING TO A REPORT RELEASED TUESDAY. THE LOUISIANA BUDGET PROJECT SUGGESTS STATE LAWMAKERS SHOULD PUT TIGHTER LIMITS ON THE GENEROUS FILM TAX BREAK PROGRAM, LESSENING THE CREDITS OFFERED AND CAPPING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY IT CAN COST THE STATE EACH YEAR. AFTER YEARS IN THE FILM BUSINESS, LOUISIANA HAS ABOUT 2,500 DIRECT JOBS IN THE INDUSTRY, ACCORDING TO FEDERAL LABOR STATISTICS CITED BY THE REPORT. TAXPAYERS SHELLED OUT ON AVERAGE MORE THAN $60,000 FOR EACH OF THOSE JOBS.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS TAPPED ONE OF HIS CABINET SECRETARIES TO ALSO BE ON THE GOVERNING BOARD FOR LSU. JINDAL'S OFFICE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT NATURAL RESOURCES SECRETARY SCOTT ANGELLE WAS THE GOVERNOR'S NEWEST APPOINTMENT TO THE LSU BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. ANGELLE, FROM BREAUX BRIDGE, IS A MEMBER OF JINDAL'S CLOSEST CIRCLE OF ADVISERS. IN ADDITION TO HIS CABINET POST, ANGELLE IS THE GOVERNOR'S CHIEF LEGISLATIVE LOBBYIST AND THE ADMINISTRATION'S LIAISON FOR FEDERAL OIL AND GAS PERMITTING ISSUES.

STATE POLICE ARE ASSISTING THE US MARSHAL'S VIOLENT OFFENDER TASK FORCE AND THE EVANGELINE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE WITH A SEARCH FOR AN ESCAPED INMATE. THEY SAY 28-YEAR-OLD KYLE DORE WAS BEING TRANSPORTED BY THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE WHEN HE HOT-WIRED THE TRUCK AFTER THE OFFICER STOPPED TO GET GAS. DORE IS DESCRIBED AS A 5'11 WHITE MALE, 175 POUNDS.

ITS ESTIMATED PARENTS WILL SPEND AN AVERAGE OF 688 DOLLARS ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL COMPARED TO 603 DOLLARS LAST YEAR. RETAIL ANALYST JIM RUTLEDGE SAYS THERE ARE TWO REASONS FOR THE INCREASE IN SPENDING. ONE IS A RISE IN PRICES BROUGHT ON BY THE HIGHER COSTS OF OIL. HE SAYS THE OTHER IS MORE MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF PARENTS.

A STATE JUDGE STRUCK DOWN A 2010 AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION THAT REQUIRES CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS WHO WISH TO GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL AND INSTEAD BE TRIED BY A JUDGE, TO DO SO AT LEAST 45 DAYS PRIOR TO TRIAL. STATE DISTRICT JUDGE MIKE ERWIN STATED IN A WRITTEN DECISION MONDAY THAT HAVING A BENCH TRIAL OR JURY TRIAL RESTS WITH THE DEFENDANT. ERWIN SAID BY ALLOWING THE STATE TO 'FORCE' A DECISION BY THE DEFENDANT 45 DAYS PRIOR TO THE TRIAL, DENIES THE DEFENDANT HIS TRUE RIGHT TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A BENCH OR JURY TRIAL.

A MAN FROM SHREVEPORT LED POLICE ON A SHORT CHASE BEFORE HE PARKED HIS CAR AT THE CADDO CORRECTIONAL CENTER AND RAN INSIDE THE JAIL. 40-YEAR-OLD BOBBY PARKS WAS THEN ARRESTED AND TRANSPORTED TO CITY JAIL. OFFICIALS SAY PARKS IS WANTED ON THREE FELONY WARRANTS.

BATON ROUGE POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR SEVERAL SUSPECTS IN THE ROBBERY AND SHOOTING TUESDAY MORNING OF THE DRIVER OF AN 18-WHEELER. THE DRIVER WAS MAKING A FUEL DELIVERY AT A GAS STATION WHEN THE INCIDENT TOOK PLACE. THE DRIVER IS LISTED IN SERIOUS CONDITION.

THE TOWN CLERK OF THE CADDO PARISH TOWN OF IDA IS UNDER ARREST FOR STEALING. SHERIFF'S SPOKESPERSON CINDY CHADWICK SAYS 71-YEAR-OLD HAYWOOD WILLIAMSON HANDLED THE TOWN'S CHECK BOOKS, AND ALLEGEDLY WROTE HIMSELF CHECKS THAT WEREN'T RECORDED IN THE LEDGER. HE WAS ALSO THE ONLY EMPLOYEE OF THE TOWN WATER DEPARTMENT, AND GOT TWO PAYCHECKS.

A DERIDDER MAN IS CHARGED WITH OBSCENITY FOR ALLEGEDLY EXPOSING HIMSELF INSIDE A LOCAL RESTAURANT. VERNON PARISH ARREST RECORDS SHOW 42-YEAR-OLD SAMUEL BLACKMON FACES THREE OBSCENITY COUNTS. HIS BOND IS SET AT $75-THOUSAND. THE COMPLAINT CAME FROM TWO WOMEN IN THE EATERY WHO WITNESSED HIS BEHAVIOR AND EVEN TOOK A CELL PHONE CAM SHOT AS PROOF.

THE LAKE CHARLES POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS CONCLUDED THAT A JULY 2ND INCIDENT IN WHICH AN OFFICER SHOT A FAMILY DOG WILL RESULT IN NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION. THEY SAY AN INVESTIGATION WHICH INCLUDED WITNESS STATEMENTS BOTH FROM ENFORCEMENT AND CIVILIANS FOUND THAT THE OFFICER WHO WAS ATTACKED BY THE DOG THAT HE SHOT AND KILLED, DID NOT VIOLATE ANY POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICIES.

AN ATTORNEY CLAIMS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BREACHED THE CONTRACT OF THEN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR GREG LAFLEUR WHEN IT ANNOUNCED, THREE DAYS AFTER HIS ARREST ON A MISDEMEANOR PROSTITUTION CHARGE, THAT LAFLEUR HAD BEEN FIRED. A HOUSTON JURY ACQUITTED LAFLEUR ON THE CHARGE EARLIER THIS YEAR. LAFLEUR WAS ARRESTED APRIL 3, 2011, AND ON APRIL 6, 2011, SOUTHERN ANNOUNCED THAT HE HAD BEEN TERMINATED. LAFLEUR ATTORNEY SCOTT WILSON ARGUED MONDAY TO STATE DISTRICT JUDGE TODD HERNANDEZ THAT SOUTHERN BREACHED LAFLEUR'S CONTRACT BECAUSE THE UNIVERSITY HAD NO CAUSE TO FIRE HIM.

FEDERAL LAWYERS ARE PREPARING TO DEFEND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S MOVES TO SHUT DOWN OFFSHORE DRILLING IN THE WAKE OF BP'S OIL 2010 OIL SPILL BEFORE AN APPELLATE PANEL ON WEDNESDAY. THE 5TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS WAS SCHEDULED TO HEAR AN APPEAL BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT CHALLENGING A CONTEMPT OF COURT FINDING U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE MARTIN FELDMAN ISSUED IN FEBRUARY 2011. FELDMAN CHIDED THE DEPARTMENT FOR ITS "DISMISSIVE CONDUCT."

A MAN IS DEAD FOLLOWING A SHOOTING INVOLVING A LAFAYETTE DEPUTY MARSHAL.
THE SHOOTING HAPPENED TUESDAY JUST BEFORE 3 P.M. INVESTIGATORS SAY THE CITY MARSHAL'S OFFICE WAS ASSISTING LAFAYETTE POLICE IN A FOOT PURSUIT OF 20-YEAR-OLD DEVANTE BROWN, OF LAFAYETTE. BROWN WAS A SUSPECT IN AN ALLEGED NARCOTICS TRANSACTION. OFFICIALS SAY DURING THE PURSUIT, THE SUSPECT FIRED AT THE DEPUTY, WHO RETURNED FIRE, STRIKING THE SUSPECT SEVERAL TIMES. THE SUSPECT WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE LATER DIED. THE MARSHAL WAS NOT INJURED DURING THE EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE. THE CITY MARSHAL'S OFFICE HAS ASKED LOUISIANA STATE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE.



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