KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 09/05/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 090512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

THE TWO ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE RAPIDES SCHOOL DISTRICT SAID IT'S BEEN "BUSINESS AS USUAL" SINCE FORMER SUPERINTENDENT GARY JONES' DEPARTURE FRIDAY.
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS EDDIE MAE WASHINGTON AND BILL MORRISON ARE HANDLING DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES UNTIL AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT CAN BE NAMED. BOARD MEMBER JULIE MCCONATHY WAS APPOINTED TUESDAY AS ACTING SECRETARY OF THE BOARD TO SIGN DOCUMENTS AS NECESSARY UNTIL AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT IS APPOINTED. MCCONATHY WAS ALSO GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO SIGN CHECKS FOR THE BOARD.

THE ALEXANDRIA CITY COUNCIL ON TUESDAY PASSED AN ORDINANCE THAT WILL SAVE CITIZENS MORE THAN $1.65 MILLION. IN EARLY AUGUST, THE CITY BEGAN THE PROCESS OF SELLING $10 MILLION IN LIMITED TAX BONDS TO REFINANCE SOME CITY DEBT. AT THAT TIME IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT BY USING A TAX BOND INSTEAD OF A CERTIFICATE OF INDEBTEDNESS THE CITY COULD SAVE ABOUT $140,000 PER YEAR OVER 10 YEARS, CITY ATTORNEY CHUCK JOHNSON REPORTED THAT ON AUG. 30, THE INTEREST RATE WAS CERTIFIED AND THE CITY WILL SAVE MORE THAN $1.65 MILLION OVER THE LIFE OF THE BOND.


THE WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES CAUSED BY HURRICANE ISAAC HAVE NEARLY ALL BEEN REPAIRED. THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION SAYS ABOUT 36,000 HOMES AND BUSINESSES REMAINED WITHOUT ELECTRICITY TUESDAY. THAT'S ABOUT 2 PERCENT OF CUSTOMERS.
THE LARGEST REMAINING OUTAGES WERE IN THE TWO PARISHES HARDEST-HIT BY ISAAC'S FLOODING: PLAQUEMINES AND ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISHES.

THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS ESTIMATES. AT LEAST 13,000 HOMES WERE DAMAGED IN LOUISIANA BY HURRICANE ISAAC. SPOKESPERSON CHRISTINA STEPHENS SAYS THIS IS A VERY PRELIMINARY NUMBER BASED ON INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF FLOOD AND WIND DAMAGE. SHE SAYS THAT NUMBER COULD RISE. STEPHENS SAYS SO FAR IT APPEARS AS THOUGH ST. JOHN AND PLAQUEMINES
PARISHES GOT THE BRUNT OF THE DAMAGE FROM THE STORM. HOWEVER SHE SAYS
THERE IS STILL FLOOD WATER IN MANY AREAS OF SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA. STEPHENS SAYS WHEN FEMA FINISHES THEIR HOUSE-BY-HOUSE INSPECTIONS THEY'LL HAVE A MUCH BETTER IDEA OF HOW MANY HOMES WERE DAMAGED BY THE STORM.

LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DANIEL RENEAU SAYS HE WILL RETIRE AT THE END OF JUNE 2013. HE'S BEEN WITH THE UNIVERSITY 50 YEARS AS A STUDENT AND EDUCATOR, AND SERVED 26 YEARS AS PRESIDENT — THE LONGEST ANYONE HAS HELD THE JOB.
RENEAU ANNOUNCED HIS PLANS TUESDAY DURING THE UNIVERSITY'S FALL FACULTY AND STAFF MEETING.

BECAUSE OF HURRICANE ISAAC, PEOPLE ON WHAT USED TO BE THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM MAY USE THEIR CARDS TO BUY READY-TO-EAT HOT FOODS DURING SEPTEMBER. THE WAIVER APPLIES TO NEARLY 389,000 HOUSEHOLDS ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND ANY APPROVED DURING THE COMING WEEK FOR THE DISASTER SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OT SNAP.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS DECLARED A STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY TO LET GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENTER PRIVATE PROPERTY TO ASSESS AND REMOVE NUISANCE DEBRIS FROM HURRICANE ISAAC THAT POSES A HEALTH HAZARD. HIS STATEMENT MONDAY NOTES THAT WIDESPREAD FLOODING CONTINUES IN SOME AREAS, THE STATE HAS ISSUED MORE THAN 200 WATER BOIL ADVISORIES AND HAS LOST MORE THAN 40 PERCENT OF THE ELECTRICAL POWER STATEWIDE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD. IT ALSO NOTES THAT EVERY PARISH IN THE STATE ISSUED AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND MANY ISSUED EVACUATION ORDERS, AND THAT HEALTH CARE MAY BE DISRUPTED FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD TO MOVE OUT OF THEIR HOMES.

THE STATE'S TWO U.S. SENATORS SAY THEY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VISIT MONDAY TO PRESS HIM FOR MORE AND BETTER FLOOD CONTROL FOR ALL OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. SENATOR DAVID VITTER SAYS IT'S TIME TO FOCUS ON AREAS OUTSIDE GREATER NEW ORLEANS. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU ARGUED THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IS UNDERFUNDED. SHE SAYS SHE THINKS MR. OBAMA NOW HAS BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT LOUISIANA FACES, AFTER SEEING DAMAGE
FIRSTHAND. BOTH SENATORS WANT TO SEE BETTER FLOOD CONTROLS FOR AREAS LIKE
PLAQUEMINES PARISH, WHERE HUNDREDS OF HOMES TOOK ON WATER AND TWO PEOPLE DROWNED.

STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON HAS ISSUED AN EMERGENCY RULE ALLOWING MORE FLEXIBILITY AND PROTECTION FOR HOMEOWNERS HIT BY HURRICANE ISAAC. AMONG ITS ACTIONS...ALLOWING CUSTOMERS MORE TIME TO PAY PREMIUMS DUE WHILE THE STORM WAS HITTING AND FORBIDDING CANCELLATION OF POLICIES FOR THOSE WITH ACTIVE CLAIMS IN PROGRESS.

STATE OFFICIALS HAVE CLOSED BEACHES AND SOME COASTAL FISHING, AFTER HURRICANE ISAAC WASHED UP TAR BALLS AND OIL SUSPECTED OF BEING FROM THE 2010 BP OIL SPILL. STATE COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION DIRECTOR GARRET GRAVES SAYS TEAMS ARE ASSESSING THE OILY MESS AND TAKING PRELIMINARY SAMPLES FOR ANALYSIS. GRAVES SAYS IT CERTAINLY SEEMS LIKE THE OIL IS FROM BP'S MACONDO WELL STIRRED UP BY HURRICANE ISAAC.

FORMER LSU FOOTBALL STAR TYRANN MATHIEU IS BACK ON CAMPUS, BUT ONLY AS A STUDENT. MATHIEU HAS ENROLLED FOR CLASSES FOR THE FALL SEMESTER. THE HONEY BADGER COULD ENTER THE NFL DRAFT NEXT SPRING OR HOPE THAT HE CAN BE ALLOWED BACK ON THE LSU FOOTBALL TEAM IN 2013. COACH LES MILES IS STILL NOT SPECULATING ON THE HONEY BADGER'S FOOTBALL FUTURE.

THEY SAY THREE TIMES IS THE CHARM, BUT THAT'S PROBABLY NOT THE CASE FOR A VIVIAN WOMAN WHO'S HOME WAS BURGLARIZED THREE TIMES IN ONE DAY. CADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING THE BREAK-INS THAT HAPPENED BACK IN JULY. AUTHORITIES SAY BURGLAR #1 STOLE A JEWELRY BOX, A GAME SYSTEM AND SOME MOVIES. BURGLAR #2 KNEW #1 AND WENT TO THE HOUSE TO STEAL A SHOTGUN THE FIRST BURGLAR SPOTTED. BURGLAR #3 WAS ALSO ACQUAINTED WITH THE OTHER TWO THIEVES, AND WENT TO THE HOUSE TO STEAL A PAIR OF COWBOY BOOTS. ARRESTS HAVE
BEEN MADE.

A $258 MILLION JUDGMENT AGAINST HEALTH PRODUCTS MAKER JOHNSON & JOHNSON HAS BEEN UPHELD BY A STATE APPEALS COURT. A THREE-JUDGE PANEL OF THE 3RD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL UPHELD A ST. LANDRY PARISH JURY'S DECISION THAT THE COMPANY OWED THE MONEY TO THE STATE FOR DEFRAUDING THE MEDICAID PROGRAM, BY MISLEADING LOUISIANA DOCTORS ABOUT THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF ONE OF ITS ANTI-PSYCHOTIC MEDICATIONS. A SPOKESWOMAN SAYS THE COMPANY WILL APPEAL THE DECISION TO THE LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT, SAYING THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT A FRAUDULENT CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED TO THE MEDICAID PROGRAM.

MOST AMTRAK SERVICE TO AND FROM NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN RESTORED FOLLOWING HURRICANE ISAAC, BUT THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS' SERVICE IN MISSISSIPPI AND LOUISIANA, REMAINS SUSPENDED THROUGH FRIDAY. THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, A DAILY SERVICE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND NEW ORLEANS, WILL CONTINUE TO TERMINATE AND ORIGINATE IN MEMPHIS, RATHER THAN IN NEW ORLEANS, AT LEAST THROUGH FRIDAY. MEANWHILE, THE SUNSET LIMITED, WHICH RUNS THREE DAYS A WEEK, IS RESTORED WITH DEPARTURE OF THE WEST BOUND TRAIN FROM NEW ORLEANS BEGINNING WEDNESDAY. THE EASTBOUND TRAIN FROM LOS ANGELES RESUMED DEPARTURES ON SATURDAY.


God Bless America!

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