KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 08/16/12


NEWS FOR THURSDAY 081612
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AN EARLY MORNING CRASH INVOLVING AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE HAS LEFT A MAN DEAD IN CATAHOULA PARISH. STATE POLICE SAY 22-YEAR-OLD JAMES R. KEENE, OF CLAYTON, WAS KILLED IN THE ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED SHORTLY AFTER 2 YESTERDAY MORNING. TROOPERS SAY KEENE WAS DRIVING AN ATV ON A PUBLIC ROADWAY WHEN HE LOST CONTROL AND OVERTURNED. KEENE WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET AND WAS EJECTED DURING THE CRASH. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.

AFTER ONE DAY OF QUALIFYING FOR THE NOVEMBER SIXTH ELECTION, REPUBLICAN RODNEY ALEXANDER IS THE ONLY SITTING CONGRESSMAN IN LOUISIANA WHO IS NOT FACING A CHALLENGER. QUALIFYING ENDS ON FRIDAY AT FIVE P-M, AND AT THIS POINT, THE US REPRESENTATIVE FROM QUITMAN IS NOT SURE IF HE'LL HAVE A CHALLENGER. ALEXANDER IS SEEKING HIS SIXTH TERM IN OFFICE.

THREE INCUMBENTS, FOR SEATS ON THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL, QUALIFIED WEDNESDAY FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. INCUMBENTS IN ALL OF LOUISIANA'S NEW SIX CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS ALSO QUALIFIED WEDNESDAY FOR THE NOV. 6 ELECTION.
COUNCIL INCUMBENTS ED LARVADAIN III (DISTRICT 1), CHUCK FOWLER (DISTRICT 5) AND ROOSEVELT JOHNSON (AT-LARGE) ALL FILED PAPERS TO RUN WEDNESDAY. ALICE HAMMOND ALSO FILED TO RUN IN DISTRICT 3, WHERE SHE IS EXPECTED TO OPPOSE INCUMBENT JERRY JONES JR. JONES DID NOT FILE TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION WEDNESDAY BUT IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE HIS INTENTION TO RUN TODAY. THE DEADLINE FOR QUALIFYING IS FRIDAY.

A CONTROVERSIAL CHURCH-RUN SCHOOL IN RUSTON IS DIVIDING ITS CHAPEL INTO FOUR CLASSROOMS AND USING THE SECOND FLOOR OF ITS GYMNASIUM TO HOLD 165 NEW STUDENTS WHO HAVE STATE TUITION VOUCHERS. THAT PLAN AND ONE FOR A BUILDING PLANNED TO HOLD EVEN MORE STUDENTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE. ANOTHER INSPECTION IS SCHEDULED AUG. 22 AT NEW LIVING WORD SCHOOL, TWO DAYS AFTER THE START OF SCHOOL. THE SCHOOL STILL PLANS TO PUT UP A NEW BUILDING, WHICH LIKELY WILL LET IT HOUSE ALL OF THE 315 STUDENTS IT WAS ORIGINALLY APPROVED FOR.

THE CDC RANKS LOUISIANA AS THE SECOND FATTEST STATE IN THE COUNTRY. THE GOVERNMENT SURVEY ESTIMATES 33-PERCENT OF ADULTS IN LOUISIANA ARE OBESE. SO WHY DOES LOUISIANA HAVE SUCH A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF OBESE ADULTS? DR. MELINDA SOTHERN, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH AT LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER, SAYS A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE WHAT DOCTORS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF BEING OVERWEIGHT.. SOTHERN SAYS EDUCATING CHILDREN ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PHYSICALLY FIT AND EATING RIGHT WILL BE LOUISIANA'S BEST HOPE TO IMPROVE ITS OBESITY RATE...

A FEDERAL JUDGE IS SET TO HOLD A HEARING IN THE DISPUTE OVER WHO WILL TO BE THE NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE OF LOUISIANA'S SUPREME COURT. LOUISIANA'S CONSTITUTION SAYS THE LONGEST-SERVING OF THE SEVEN JUSTICES MUST GET THE TOP SPOT. BERNETTE JOHNSON HAS SERVED ON THE COURT SINCE 1994 BUT SUPPORTERS OF FELLOW JUSTICE JEFFREY VICTORY SAY JOHNSON'S FIRST YEARS SHOULDN'T COUNT. SHE WAS ELECTED FROM AN APPEALS COURT DISTRICT AND ASSIGNED TO THE HIGHER COURT UNDER A CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT. VICTORY HAS SERVED SINCE 1995. JOHNSON, SUPPORTED BY THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, SEEKS TO RE-OPEN THE CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT AND BLOCK HER FELLOW JUSTICES FROM TAKING ACTIONS THAT COULD DENY HER THE CHIEF JUSTICE POSITION.

A LAFAYETTE PARISH JURY ON WEDNESDAY CONVICTED ONE OF TWO MEN ACCUSED IN THE FEBRUARY 2009 KILLING AND ARMED ROBBERY OF A LAFAYETTE CAB DRIVER.
THE JURY DELIBERATED FOR ABOUT 90 MINUTES BEFORE RETURNING A 10-2 GUILTY VERDICT FOR SECOND-DEGREE FELONY MURDER AGAINST 22-YEAR-OLD AARON FRANCOIS.
FRANCOIS AND 22 YEAR OLD KEVIN GILDHOUSE ARE BOTH CHARGED WITH ROBBING AND THEN FATALLY SHOOTING 33 YEAR OLD WALLY BADEAUX A CABDRIVER FOR DIXIE CAB CO., ON FEB. 23, 2009. GILDHOUSE IS SET TO STAND TRIAL IN OCTOBER.

TWO INMATES THAT ESCAPED FROM THE FRANKLIN PARISH DETENTION CENTER YESTERDAY AFTERNOON HAVE BEEN ARRESTED IN FERRIDAY FOR RUNNING FROM A CONCORDIA PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTY ACCORDING TO POLICE. OFFICIALS SAY BOTH MEN, WHO ARE BROTHERS, WERE SERVING TIME FOR ARMED ROBBERY BEFORE ESCAPING. THEY SAY NOW EACH MAN WILL FACE ADDITIONAL CHARGES.

A RABID SAINTS FAN FLEW HIS PLANE OVER THE SAINTS' PRACTICE FIELD YESTERDAY MORNING TOWING A REE PAYTON BANNER. PHILIP MARSHALL SAYS HE PLANS TO KEEP UP HIS AIR CAMPAIGN AS LONG AS DONATIONS TO WHAT HE CALLS HE CAUSE KEEP COMING IN THROUGH HIS WEBSITE, FREEPAYTON-DOT-COM. HE SAYS WEDNESDAY’S FLIGHT COSTS ABOUT 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS AND COVERED THE NORTHSHORE, THE CAUSEWAY, DOWNTOWN AND SEVEN CIRCUITS OF THE PRACTICE FACILITY. MARSHALL CALLS THE CHARGES AGAINST PAYTON AND THE SAINTS RIDICULOUS.

CONSERVATIVE GOP CONGRESSMEN CHARLES BOUSTANY AND JEFF LANDRY WERE IN THE EARLY CROWD OF POLITICIANS WHO QUALIFIED TO RUN IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION THIS MORNING. BOTH INCUMBENTS ARE RUNNING FOR THE RE-DRAWN THIRD DISTRICT SEAT. BOUSTANY SAYS MORGAN CITY AND NEW IBERIA ARE THE TWO MAIN CITIES ADDED TO THE DISTRICT HE WANTS TO REPRESENT. HE SAYS HE ALREADY HAS PLENTY OF NAME RECOGNITION IN THOSE AREAS. LANDRY BELIEVES AMERICAN VOTERS ARE READY FOR A CHANGE AWAY FROM OLD-SCHOOL POLITICIANS AND THAT'S THE WAY HE'LL GROW HIS NAME RECOGNITION.

STATE OFFICIALS ARE URGING THE COAST GUARD TO DO MORE TO KEEP OIL FROM THE 2010 BP DISASTER OFF OF LOUISIANA'S COASTLINE. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU EXPRESSED HER CONCERN IN A STRONGLY WORDED LETTER TO THE COAST GUARD. COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION AUTHORITY DIRECTOR GARRETT GRAVES SAYS THE COAST GUARD IS NOT HOLDING B-P ACCOUNTABLE. GRAVES SAYS ACCORDING TO THE LATEST COAST GUARD ESTIMATE, 200 MILES OF LOUISIANA'S COASTLINE IS IMPACTED BY OIL AND B-P IS NOT LIVING UP TO ITS PROMISE OF CLEANING UP THE GULF.

GOVERNMENT REGULATORS ARE FINALIZING SAFETY RULES FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING PUT IN PLACE AFTER THE BP OIL SPILL. THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT PUT EMERGENCY REGULATIONS IN PLACE AFTER THE DRILLING RIG EXPLOSION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO THAT KILLED 11 PEOPLE IN 2010. THOSE REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN FINE-TUNED TO CLARIFY WHETHER CERTAIN SAFETY MEASURES ARE SUGGESTED OR MANDATORY. THE SAFETY MEASURES ARE INTENDED TO MAKE SURE OIL FLOW CAN BE STOPPED IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS. THEY DEAL WITH THE DESIGN OF WELLS AND THE TESTING OF CEMENT AND BARRIERS USED TO SECURE THEM. THE RULES ALSO CALL FOR INDEPENDENT TESTING OF BLOWOUT PREVENTERS, WHICH FAILED IN THE 2010 DISASTER.

LAWMAKERS HAVE CHOSEN A ONE-TIME LEGISLATIVE STAFFER TO BE THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE'S TOP BUDGET ADVISER. JOHN CARPENTER WAS NAMED WEDNESDAY TO BE INTERIM LEGISLATIVE FISCAL OFFICER BY A JOINT HOUSE AND SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE, WHILE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SEEK APPLICATIONS FROM CONTENDERS TO FILL THE POSITION PERMANENTLY.

LOUISIANA AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER MIKE STRAIN SAYS THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS DESIGNATED 11 NORTH LOUISIANA PARISHES AS DISASTER AREAS BECAUSE OF DROUGHT. HE SAYS HE WAS NOTIFIED WEDNESDAY THAT FOUR, MOREHOUSE, RICHLAND, UNION AND WEST CARROLL, ARE PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER AREAS. THE OTHER SEVEN, CALDWELL, CLAIBORNE, EAST CARROLL, FRANKLIN, LINCOLN, MADISON AND OUACHITA, WERE NAMED BECAUSE THEY'RE ARE ADJACENT TO THE PRIMARY DISASTER AREA. FARMERS IN THOSE PARISHES ARE NOW ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION FOR LOW-INTEREST EMERGENCY LOANS AND OTHER AID FROM THE FARM SERVICE AGENCY.
THE USDA SAYS 63 PERCENT OF THE NATION'S HAY ACREAGE AND ABOUT 73 PERCENT OF CATTLE ACREAGE ARE IN AREAS EXPERIENCING DROUGHT. ABOUT 87 PERCENT OF THE U.S. CORN AND 85 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE INCLUDED IN THE DROUGHT AREAS.


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