KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 09/24/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 092512
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

OUACHITA PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARE SEEKING THE PERSON WHO CALLED IN A BOMB THREAT TO THREE SEPARATE SCHOOLS MONDAY. SHERIFF'S CHIEF DEPUTY MARC MASHAW (MUH-SHAW) SAYS A SINGLE CALL TO 9-1-1, AT ABOUT 7:30 AM, THREATENED ALL THREE WITH BOMBS. HE SAYS THE SCHOOLS EVACUATED QUICKLY AND SAFELY. MASHAW SAYS THOROUGH SEARCHES OF OUACHITA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, RIVER OAKS SCHOOL AND ST. FREDERICK'S HIGH WERE CONDUCTED IMMEDIATELY, AND NO EXPLOSIVE DEVICES WERE FOUND. HE SAYS SOME SCHOOLS RESUMED CLASS AFTER THE "ALL CLEAR", AND SOME DECIDED TO CLOSE EARLY.

AFTER A MONTH WITHOUT A SUPERINTENDENT, THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HAS NAMED GERALD WOODARD AS INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
A 5-4 VOTE AT A SPECIAL BOARD MEETING MONDAY CLINCHED THE POSITION FOR WOODARD, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF GRANT PARISH SCHOOL DISTRICT. WOODARD RETIRED IN JUNE 2000 AFTER 36 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN GRANT AND RAPIDES PARISHES.

A COMMITTEE FORMED TO FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR RETIRING LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DAN RENEAU HAS ITS FIRST MEETING TODAY. UL SYSTEM BOARD CHAIRMAN WAYNE PARKER SAYS THE SEARCH COMMITTEE IS MADE UP OF NINE UL SYSTEM BOARD MEMBERS, PLUS TECH FOUNDATION PRESIDENT-ELECT JACK BYRD AND RUSTON MAYOR DAN HOLLINGSWORTH. HE SAYS SETTING A TIMELINE FOR THE SEARCH WILL BE
PART OF TODAY'S AGENDA, BUT HE HOPES TO HAVE A SUCCESSOR FOR RENEAU FOUND BY THE END OF THIS YEAR. RENEAU IS RETIRING NEXT JUNE, AFTER 46 YEARS OF SERVICE TO TECH – MOST OF THOSE AS ITS PRESIDENT.

MOTORISTS ARE SEEING SOME RELIEF AT THE PUMP AS GAS PRICES ARE DROPPING IN LOUISIANA. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR GASOLINE IS MOVING TOWARDS $3.60. A WEEK AGO IT WAS AROUND $3.68. TRIPLE-A FUEL ANALYST MIKE RIGHT SAYS GAS PRICES ARE REACTING TO THE END OF THE SUMMER DRIVING SEASON. RIGHT SAYS THERE'S ALSO BEEN SOME MODERATION WITH CRUDE OIL PRICES AND WHOLESALE GAS PRICES. HE ANTICIPATES GAS PRICES WILL CONTINUE A STEADY DECLINE.

THE VIOLENCE POLICY CENTER HAS RELEASED ITS ANNUAL REPORT THAT RANKS STATES BASED ON HOW MANY WOMEN ARE KILLED BY MEN, AND LOUISIANA CAME IN AT NUMBER 4. THE REPORT INDICATES 43 FEMALES WERE MURDERED BY MALES IN LOUISIANA IN 2010. VPC LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR KRISTEN RAND SAYS THE STUDY USES THE MOST RECENT DATA AVAILABLE BY THE FBI AND IS RELEASED EACH YEAR TO COINCIDE WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH IN OCTOBER. SHE SAYS MOST OF THE WOMEN HOMICIDE VICTIMS WERE MURDERED BY AN INTIMATE PARTNER. IN LOUISIANA, 66 PERCENT
OF FEMALE VICTIMS WERE SHOT AND KILLED.

THERE MAY BE SOME ANSWERS SOON FOR RESIDENTS NEAR THE BAYOU CORNE SINKHOLE IN ASSUMPTION PARISH. ABOUT 150 HOMES NEAR THAT SINKHOLE HAVE BEEN EVACUATED FOR WEEKS. TEXAS BRINE OWNS THE SALT DOME UNDERNEATH THE SINKHOLE, AND COMPANY SPOKESMAN SONNY CRANCH SAYS A RELIEF WELL HAS BEEN DRILLED AND TESTING EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING SONAR, HAS BEEN LOWERED INTO THE SALT DOME. HE SAYS THEY WANT TO KNOW WHY TREMORS AND BUBBLES IN THE WATER HAVE
BEEN TAKING PLACE...AND IF THERE'S A DANGER TO ANY OF THE 150 HOMES NEARBY.

IBERVILLE PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING A STRANGE DOUBLE HOMICIDE CASE. MAJOR JOHNNY BLANCHARD SAYS A MOTORCYCLE PATROLMAN CAME ACROSS A VEHICLE IN A SUGARCANE FIELD ON HIGHWAY ONE MONDAY MORNING IN PLAQUEMINE, WITH TWO BLACK MEN SLUMPED OVER. BLANCHARD SAYS IT APPEARS THEY WERE GUNNED DOWN AS THE CAR WAS IN MOTION. BLANCHARD SAYS THEY ARE WORKING TO DEVELOP LEADS AND ARE ASKING FOR THE PUBLIC'S HELP.

THE BATON ROUGE BASED ADVOCATE NEWSPAPER LAUNCHED ITS DAILY NEW ORLEANS EDITION YESTERDAY. THIS WEEK THE PAPERS ARE FREE AS THEY ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO TRY IT OUT AND SUBSCRIBE. STARTING NEXT MONDAY, HOME DELIVERY OF THE PAPER WILL BEGIN. OCTOBER 1ST IS THE SAME DAY THE TIMES-PICAYUNE WILL CUT BACK ITS SERVICE TO THREE DAYS A WEEK. ADVOCATE COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY A TEMPORARY OFFICE HAS BEEN SET UP IN THE BIG EASY, AND THE ENTIRE STAFF ARE FORMER PICAYUNE EMPLOYEES.

LOUISIANA PAID AS MUCH AS $7 MILLION FOR A TWO-MONTH EXPANSION OF A TAX CREDIT DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE THE PURCHASE OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES. THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ISSUED A LITTLE-NOTICED RULE IN APRIL GOVERNING THE STATE’S ALTERNATIVE FUEL TAX CREDIT, WHICH ENLARGED THE LIST OF QUALIFYING VEHICLES. JINDAL SCRAPPED THE RULE IN JUNE AMID COMPLAINTS IT COULD WRECK THE STATE’S BUDGET. BUT IT APPEARS HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE EXPANDED LIST WHILE IT WAS ON THE BOOKS. MORE THAN 2,500 CLAIMS FOR THE ALTERNATIVE FUEL TAX CREDIT, TOTALING $7.4 MILLION, WERE PAID. HOWEVER, REVENUE SPOKESMAN BYRON HENDERSON SAYS THE DEPARTMENT DOESN’T KNOW HOW MANY CREDITS INVOLVED CAR AND TRUCK MODELS FROM THE EXPANDED LIST.

ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY, TEENAGERS WHO DRIVE DANGEROUSLY LEARNED THE BEHAVIOR FROM MOM AND DAD. 1700 TEENS WERE SURVEYED AND 94% ADMITTED TO SPEEDING WHILE 9 OUT OF 10 SAY THEY USE THEIR PHONE WHILE DRIVING. LOUISIANA HIGHWAY SAFETY EXPERT JIM CHAMPAGNE SAYS KIDS SITTING THE BACK SEAT, WATCH WHAT THEIR PARENTS ARE DOING. THE STUDY ALSO REVEALED THE MAJORITY OF TEENS SAY THEIR PARENTS PRACTICE "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO" RULES WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVING.

STATE POLICE SAY A TRAFFIC STOP ON I-49 IN OPELOUSAS BECAME A DRUG BUST THAT YIELDED 15 POUNDS OF COCAINE. TROOPERS STOPPED A FORD PICKUP SUNDAY MORNING, AND BECAME SUSPICIOUS OF THE DRIVER. A SEARCH OF THE TRUCK TURNED UP THE COKE. TWO HOUSTON RESIDENTS ARE NOW IN CUSTODY.
 

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