KSYL Local News

News For Friday 08/17/19


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 08/17/12
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AUTHORITIES ARE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT LED TO A SHOOTING THAT RESULTED IN TWO ST JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES KILLED AND TWO OTHERS BEING INJURED. SHERIFF MIKE TREGRE SAYS SLAIN OFFICER 34 YEAR OLD BRANDON NIELSEN IS SURVIVED BY HIS WIFE AND FIVE CHILDREN. ALSO KILLED IN THE SHOOTING, 27-YEAR-OLD DEPUTY JEREMY TRICHE. HE IS SURVIVED BY HIS WIFE AND 2-YEAR-OLD SON. THE INCIDENT STARTED THURSDAY MORNING WHEN A GUNMAN FOR UNKNOWN REASONS SHOT A DEPUTY WORKING AN OFF-DUTY JOB NEAR A REFINERY ON HIGHWAY 61 NEAR LAPLACE. A SECOND SHOOTING AT A NEARBY TRAILER PARK RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF TWO DEPUTIES. STATE POLICE IS HANDLING THE INVESTIGATION.

THE ALEXANDRIA POLICE SAY FOUL PLAY IS NOT SUSPECTED IN THE DROWNING DEATH OF 24 YEAR OLD DOMINIC BRADFORD. BRADFORD’S BODY WAS PULLED FROM BAYOU RAPIDES WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. BRADFORD HAD BEEN THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB SINCE SEPTEMBER OF LAST YEAR. THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE DROWNING CONTINUES.

THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT REFUSED TO STOP THE LAUNCH OF GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM WHILE A LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROGRAM WINDS THROUGH THE COURTS. THE HIGH COURT DENIED AN INJUNCTION REQUEST FROM TEACHER UNIONS AND SCHOOL BOARDS THAT CLAIM THE LAW CREATING THE VOUCHER PROGRAM AND THE SEPARATE FINANCING FORMULA THAT PAYS FOR IT ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. A HEARING IS SET FOR OCTOBER.

COULD A TWO YEAR OLD CASE OF A MISSING TEENAGER FROM TEXAS BE CONNECTED TO THE MAN WHO IS ACCUSED OF MURDERING ULL STUDENT MICKEY SHUNICK? A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR HIRED BY THE FAMILY OF ALI LOWITZER THINKS SO. MAC SANFORD SAYS LOWITZER VANISHED ON APRIL 26TH 2010 IN A COUNTY NEAR THE AREA WHERE BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE'S WHITE TRUCK WAS FOUND BURNED. THERE ARE OTHER CONNECTIONS. SANFORD SAYS LAVERGNE FREQUENTED THAT AREA OF TEXAS BECAUSE HE HAD FAMILY THERE. LAVERGNE IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT TODAY FOR A HEARING RELATED TO THE MURDER CASES OF MICKEY SHUNICK AND LISA PATE.

GET READY FOR A WET BUT NOT SO-HOT WEEKEND IN LOUISIANA. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS A COLD FRONT WILL BE CROSSING THE STATE BRINGING WITH IT AN INCREASE IN THE CHANCE OF RAIN. KEIM SAYS THIS WEATHER PATTERN WILL ALSO USHER IN COOLER HIGH TEMPERATURES AND THEY SHOULD BE AROUND FOR THE NEXT FIVE TO SIX DAYS. KEIM IS OPTIMISTIC THIS WEATHER EVENT WILL BRING SOME MUCH NEEDED RAIN
TO THE PARISHES IN NORTH LOUISIANA THAT ARE STILL DEALING WITH DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

THE SAINTS ARE BACK IN THE SUPERDOME TONIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THEIR PLAYOFF WIN OVER DETROIT LAST JANUARY. NEW ORLEANS WILL HOST JACKSONVILLE IN PRESEASON ACTION THE SAINTS ARE ONE-AND-ONE IN THE PRESEASON, WITH BOTH GAMES PLAYED ON THE ROAD. KICK-OFF TONIGHT IS AT 7 PM. YOU CAN HEAR THE GAME ON 96.9 KZMZ.

AS EXPERTS PREDICTED, A SINKHOLE FILLED WITH SLURRY WATER AND VEGETATION HAS BEEN SLOWING EXPANDING. ASSUMPTION PARISH OFFICIALS SAY THE SINKHOLE NEAR BAYOU CORNE GREW BY 50 FEET THURSDAY MORNING. TWO CLEANUP WORKERS IN A BOAT NEAR THE SITE ALMOST FELL IN AND HAD TO BE RESCUED BY AIRBOAT. THEIR BOAT, WHICH WAS TIED TO A TREE, WAS EVENTUALLY SWALLOWED BY THE MUCK. THERE WERE NO INJURIES REPORTED AND CLEANUP OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED. OFFICIALS SAY THE SINKHOLE MIGHT BE RELATED TO STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS WITHIN A BRINE CAVERN DRILLED INTO THE NAPOLEONVILLE SALT DOME. HOUSTON-BASED TEXAS BRINE CO., WHICH OWNS THE CAVERN, BEGAN SHIPPING IN EQUIPMENT FOR A RELIEF WELL WEDNESDAY.

THE STATE BOARD OF ETHICS HAS BEEN LOOKING AT REVISING HOW CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR OFFICE SPEND THEIR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. THE CAMPAIGN FINANCES RULES COMMITTEE SAID THURSDAY THEY'RE IN THE PROCESS OF REVIEWING A NEW SET OF RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES. ONCE A DRAFT OF RECOMMENDATIONS HAS BEEN COMPILED, THE COMMITTEE WILL PRESENT THE FULL ETHICS BOARD WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSIDERATION. ON THE TABLE FOR CONSIDERATION ARE CAMPAIGN FUNDS USED BY CANDIDATES FOR SPORTS TICKETS, CLOTHING EXPENDITURES, AND TRAVEL EXPENSES.

AN OVERFLOW CROWD HEARD ATTORNEYS FOR THE ONLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN ON THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT ARGUE SHE SHOULD BE ITS NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE. JAMES WILLIAMS TOLD U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE SUSIE MORGAN THAT BERNETTE JOHNSON HAS SERVED LONGER THAN ANY OTHER JUSTICE, AND THAT'S WHAT THE STATE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES TO BE CHIEF JUSTICE. SUPPORTERS OF JUSTICE JEFFERY VICTORY SAY HE HAS LONGER SERVICE BECAUSE JOHNSON WAS FIRST ELECTED AS AN APPEAL COURT JUDGE ASSIGNED TO THE HIGH COURT. THEY WANT THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT TO SETTLE THE QUESTION.

AN ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING LOUISIANA'S RETIRED STATE EMPLOYEES ON THURSDAY CHALLENGED GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S NEW PENSION PLAN FOR FUTURE RANK-AND-FILE STATE WORKERS. THE RETIRED STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION OF LOUISIANA CLAIMS THE LAW, PUSHED BY JINDAL AND PASSED EARLIER THIS YEAR, IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT DIDN'T GET TWO-THIRDS VOTE IN THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

IN A RELATED STORY, THE STATE OFFICE OF GROUP BENEFITS HAS REJECTED UNITED HEALTHCARE'S PROTEST CONCERNING THE HIRING OF BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA TO MANAGE STATE EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS. UNITED HEALTHCARE'S NEXT REMEDY IS TO FILE AN APPEAL WITH COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER, WHO IS GOV. BOBBY JINDAL'S CHIEF BUDGET ADVISER.

LOUISIANA'S TOP SCHOOL BOARD HAS TAPPED A SEATTLE EDUCATION OFFICIAL TO BE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DESPITE COMPLAINTS THAT OFFICIALS PASSED OVER QUALIFIED APPLICANTS FROM LOUISIANA. HEATHER COPE, AN OFFICIAL WITH THE LEAGUE OF EDUCATION VOTERS, WILL BE PAID $125,000 PER YEAR AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION. BESE SETS POLICIES FOR ABOUT 700,000 PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS STATEWIDE.

PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT INC. HAS RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM THE LOUISIANA GAMING CONTROL BOARD TO OPEN ITS NEW $368 MILLION BATON ROUGE CASINO ON AUG. 29, IF THE RIVERBOAT PASSES A SAFETY INSPECTION. L'AUBERGE BATON ROUGE WILL INCLUDE A 74,000 SQUARE FOOT CASINO WITH NEARLY 1,500 SLOT MACHINES AND 50 TABLE GAMES; A 12-STORY HOTEL; FOUR RESTAURANTS; A BAR OVERLOOKING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER; AND OUTDOOR FESTIVAL GROUNDS.

A NEW EXECUTION DATE HAS YET TO BE SET FOR A FORMER RAGLEY MAN CONVICTED OF RAPING AND KILLING A 4-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN 2001. CONVICTED IN 2004 OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE STABBING DEATH OF MARY JEAN THIGPEN, JASON REEVES WAS SCHEDULED TO BE PUT TO DEATH ON WEDNESDAY. REEVES' DEATH WARRANT WAS SIGNED ON MAY 31 AND ANY POST-CONVICTION RELIEF WAS TO BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS. JUDGE MIKE CANADAY SAID THERE WAS A CHANGE IN REEVES' COUNSEL, AND THE STATE RECEIVED A CALL IN JUNE FROM HIS ATTORNEYS REQUESTING MORE TIME TO FILE. THE STAY OF EXECUTION WAS SIGNED ON JUNE 18. REEVES NOW HAS UNTIL SEPT. 11 TO FILE FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

AUTHORITIES ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT CAUSED A FIRE THAT KILLED A RICHLAND PARISH TEENAGER. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS 17- YEAR-OLD ANGEL JOHNSTON WAS UNABLE TO ESCAPE DURING A RESIDENTIAL FIRE NEAR RAYVILLE YESTERDAY MORNING.

THE NFL ON THURSDAY PROVIDED A FEDERAL JUDGE WITH WHAT IT SAYS IS EVIDENCE COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL DID NOT IMPROPERLY PRE-JUDGE THE FOUR PLAYERS SUSPENDED IN THE BOUNTY INVESTIGATION. THE EVIDENCE INCLUDES A COPY OF A LETTER THE NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION SENT THE LEAGUE ON MARCH 7 ASKING GOODELL TO DELAY PUNISHMENT OF PLAYERS IMPLICATED IN THE BOUNTY PROBE. IT ALSO INCLUDES A SWORN DECLARATION FROM GOODELL IN WHICH HE STATES HE WAS PREPARED TO HAND DOWN PLAYER DISCIPLINE AT THE SAME TIME HE ANNOUNCED SUSPENSIONS FOR COACHES AND EXECUTIVES ON MARCH 21. GOODELL'S DECLARATION STATES HE HELD OFF AFTER VERBALLY AGREEING TO DO SO IN A PHONE CONVERSATION WITH UNION HEAD DEMAURICE SMITH. ATTORNEYS FOR VILMA, WHO HAS SUED SEPARATELY, AND NFLPA LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE THREE OTHER PUNISHED PLAYERS HAVE ARGUED GOODELL SHOWED IMPROPER BIAS WITH COMMENTS HE MADE BEFORE SENDING THE PLAYERS NOTICE OF THEIR SUSPENSIONS ON MAY 2. ATTORNEYS FOR THE PLAYERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN UNTIL THE END OF BUSINESS TODAY TO FILE THEIR OWN EVIDENCE AND BRIEFS ON THE MATTER.

God Bless America!

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