KSYL Local News

News For Monday 09/24/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 092412
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT FOR RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOLS IS EXPECTED TO BE NAMED TODAY AT A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE SCHOOL BOARD THIS AFTERNOON AT 5:15. ACCORDING TO THE MEETING AGENDA, THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL DETERMINE A METHOD FOR SELECTING AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT THEN WILL SELECT ONE. GARY JONES RESIGNED EFFECTIVE SEPT. 1 AS SUPERINTENDENT TO TAKE A JOB WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. THE BOARD HAD VOTED IN MAY NOT TO RENEW JONES' CONTRACT WHEN IT WAS SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE DEC. 31

SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY HURRICANE RITA MADE LANDFALL IN LOUISIANA. THE CATEGORY 3 STORM WAS THE FOURTH MOST INTENSE ATLANTIC HURRICANE EVER RECORDED AND CAUSED NEARLY $12 BILLION IN DAMAGE TO THE GULF COAST. CAMERON PARISH OEP DIRECTOR EDDIE BENOIT SAYS BEFORE RITA THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 10,000 PEOPLE LIVING IN CAMERON PARISH AND THERE ARE ABOUT 7,000 TODAY.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS CONFIRM ANOTHER LOUISIANA RESIDENT HAS DIED FROM THE WEST NILE VIRUS. THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF FATALITIES FROM THE MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE TO 11. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS SAYS THERE'S ALSO BEEN 251 CASES OF THE INFECTION, WITH 36 CASES REPORTED IN THE LAST WEEK.

GAS PRICES ARE STARTING TO FALL AGAIN IN LOUISIANA. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, THE LATEST STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR REGULAR GASOLINE IS $3.64, THAT'S ABOUT A NICKEL CHEAPER THAN A WEEK. LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME WE WERE PAYING ABOUT $3.40 FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GASOLINE.

A 250-MILLION DOLLAR DEFENSE CONTRACT HAS BEEN AWARDED TO BOLLINGER SHIPYARD IN LAFOURCHE PARISH. THE MONEY WILL BE USED TO BUILD SIX FAST RESPONSE CUTTERS FOR THE COAST GUARD. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU SAYS THE PROJECT WILL HELP EMPLOY EIGHT-HUNDRED WORKERS AND POSSIBLY BRING ADDITIONAL BUSINESS TO BOLLINGER SHIPYARD.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL DISCUSSES HIS PLANS FOR THE SURPLUS REVENUE FROM THE FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED JUNE 30TH. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE ROUGH FIGURE IS ABOUT $130-MILLION, AND HE ALREADY HAS A USE FOR THE MONEY IN MIND, HEALTH ACRE AND HIGHER EDUCATION. THE GOVERNOR SAYS ACTION WILL NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THE STATE'S REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE FINALLY CLOSES THE BOOKS ON FISCAL 2011-12. HE SAYS THE NEXT STEP WOULD BE LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF HIS SPENDING PROPOSAL. HOWEVER, THAT MAY BE EASIER SAID THAN DONE, HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN JIM FANIN SAYS THE SURPLUS MUST BE USED TO REFILL THE STATE'S RAINY DAY FUND.

CARINSURANCE.COM SAYS LOUISIANA IS ONE OF THE MOST MISERABLE STATE'S FOR DRIVERS. MANAGING EDITOR DES TOUPS THE INDEX RANKS LOUISIANA AS THE THIRD WORST STATE FOR DRIVERS BEHIND MISSISSIPPI AND OKLAHOMA. TOUPS SAYS IN ADDITION TO PAYING SOME OF THE HIGHEST RATES IN THE COUNTRY, LOUISIANA ALSO SUFFERS BECAUSE OF A UNIQUE SET OF LAWS REGARDING LAW SUITS THAT GET SETTLED BY AN ELECTED JUDGE.

EVERY SECTION OF INTERSTATE 49 NORTH, EXCEPT THROUGH THE CITY OF SHREVEPORT, SHOULD BE OPEN TO TRAFFIC IN 2016, AND WORK IS UNDER WAY TO MAKE U.S. 90 WORTHY OF BEING I-49 SOUTH. MICHAEL BRIDGES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT TOLD THE JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE ON FRIDAY THAT THE $634.1 MILLION CONSTRUCTION OF I-49 NORTH FROM I-220 TO THE ARKANSAS STATE LINE IS FULLY FUNDED AND SHOULD BE COMPLETE ON TIME.

SOYBEAN PRODUCERS IN NORTH LOUISIANA ARE REPORTING EXCELLENT YIELDS AS THEY FINISH UP HARVESTING THE CROP. LSU AG CENTER SOYBEAN SPECIALIST RONALD LEVY SAYS IT'S ALMOST A RECORD CROP.

THE LSU AGCENTER ESTIMATES HURRICANE ISAAC HAS CUT LOUISIANA'S PECAN HARVEST BY 15 PERCENT. CHARLIE GRAHAM, PROFESSOR FOR FRUIT AND NUT CROPS, SAYS THAT WOULD BRING THE TOTAL TO JUST OVER 11 MILLION POUNDS -- DOWN FROM PRE-STORM ESTIMATES OF 13 MILLION TO 13.5 MILLION POUNDS. IT STILL WOULD BE UP FROM LAST YEAR'S 9 MILLION POUNDS. GRAHAM SAYS PRICES ARE LIKELY TO BE SIMILAR TO 2011 LEVELS.

THE SAINTS ARE AN UNTHINKABLE 0-AND-3 AFTER BLOWING AN 18-POINT LEAD AND LOSING TO THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 27-24 IN OVERTIME.

THE THIRD RANKED LSU TIGERS SURVIVED A MAJOR SCARE AT AUBURN. THE BAYOU HELD ON FOR A 12 TO 10 VICTORY.




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