KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 10/03/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 100312
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

A NEW POLL BY SOUTHERN MEDIA AND OPINION RESEARCH HAS GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, MITT ROMNEY, CARRYING LOUISIANA BUT NOT BY A HEFTY MARGIN. THE SURVEY OF 600 LIKELY VOTERS HAD ROMNEY WITH 45-PERCENT OF THE VOTE, WHILE PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS 39-PERCENT IN WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE A HEAVILY RED STATE. TONIGHT'S FIRST OF THREE SCHEDULED TELEVISED PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES WILL BE AIMED SQUARELY AT UNDECIDED VOTERS IN A FEW KEY STATES.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT A NEW POLL THAT SHOWS HIS APPROVAL RATING HAS DROPPED. ACCORDING TO SOUTHERN MEDIA AND OPINION RESEARCH, 51-PERCENT APPROVE OF JINDAL'S PERFORMANCE, COMPARED TO 61- PERCENT IN A SURVEY DONE IN THE SPRING. JINDAL SAYS HE DOESN'T USE POLLS TO JUDGE HIS PERFORMANCE, INSTEAD HE LOOKS TO THE STATE'S ECONOMY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. THE POLL, TO SOME, SUGGESTS THE GOVERNOR’S POPULARITY IS DROPPING BECAUSE OF CONTINUOUS BUDGET CUTS AND CONCERNS WITH THE FUTURE OF THE LSU HOSPITAL SYSTEM. JINDAL SAYS AS GOVERNOR HE HAS TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS THAT ARE SOMETIMES UNPOPULAR.

THE STATE IS OFFICIALLY STARTING THE CLOSURE OF THE SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA MENTAL HOSPITAL NEAR MANDEVILLE THIS WEEK. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS DEPUTY SECRETARY KATHY KLIEBERT (CLEE-BEAR) SAYS THE RELOCATION OF ALL PATIENTS TO OTHER HOSPITALS IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE YEAR. DHH ANNOUNCED IN JULY THE HOSPITAL WOULD BE CLOSED DUE TO REDUCED FEDERAL MONEY FOR MEDICAID. YESTERDAY, 23 FEMALE PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS ARRIVED AT CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL IN PINEVILLE. NEXT WEEK 37 MALE PATIENTS ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE. THE TRANSFERS WILL DOUBLE THE PATIENT COUNT TO 120 AT CENTRAL.

AFTER A LENGTHY DISCUSSION MONDAY NIGHT, THE RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD EDUCATION COMMITTEE WILL REVIEW A MOTION TO ABOLISH THE DISTRICT'S NO RETENTION POLICY FOR KINDERGARTEN THROUGH THIRD GRADE. THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTED TO SEND THE MOTION TO THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE AFTER PASSIONATE COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS AND EDUCATORS IN THE AUDIENCE. SOME BOARD MEMBERS AND TEACHERS COMPLAINED THAT SOME STUDENTS ARE GETTING TO THE FOURTH GRADE WITHOUT BEING AT GRADE LEVEL. HOWEVER, ONE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DISAGREED SAYING 10-15 STUDENTS PER YEAR WOULD HAVE BEEN RETAINED SINCE 2006 BUT VERY FEW WERE. HE SAID ONLY A FEW HAD TO ATTEND LEAP SUMMER SCHOOL AND ALL PASSED.

THE BATON ROUGE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS WORKING AN UNSOLVED KIDNAPPING AND RAPE CASE. LT. DON KELLY SAYS THE 20-YEAR-OLD VICTIM REPORTED THE INCIDENT OCCURRED MONDAY AFTERNOON IN BROAD DAYLIGHT AROUND 2PM. KELLY SAYS THE VICTIM STATED THE MAN PUT AN OBJECT TO HER BACK, FORCED HER INTO A VAN, THEN DROVE TO A NEARBY WOODED AREA AND RAPED HER. KELLY SAYS THE VICTIM SAID AFTER THE MAN RAPED HER, HE DROVE HER BACK TO THE APARTMENT COMPLEX WHERE SHE WAS ORIGINALLY ABDUCTED. HE SAYS THE MAN IS DESCRIBED AS A 30-35 YEAR OLD WHITE MALE. AUTHORITIES ARE SEEKING THE PUBLIC'S HELP.

THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SAYS THEY'VE DISTRIBUTED $96 MILLION IN AID TO HURRICANE ISAAC VICTIMS. HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS HAVE RECEIVED 78-MILLION FOR HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND 17-MILLION HAS GONE OUT FOR OTHER TYPES OF AID. FEMA SPOKESPERSON RAY PEREZ SAYS THE HARDEST HIT PARISHES BY ISAAC ARE GETTING THE MOST HELP. PEREZ SAYS 191-THOUSAND HAVE REGISTERED FOR FEMA HELP, WITH 28-THOUSAND PEOPLE RECEIVING HOUSING ASSISTANCE.

THE ALABAMA FAN, ACCUSED OF RUBBING HIS GENITALS ON AN UNCONSCIOUS LSU FAN LAST JANUARY IN NEW ORLEANS, REACHED A LAST MINUTE PLEA DEAL WITH PROSECUTORS. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, 33-YEAR-OLD BRIAN DOWNING WILL SERVE TWO YEARS IN PRISON ON OBSCENITY CHARGES. THE DEAL EMERGED TUESDAY MORNING AFTER NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN DOWNING'S LAWYERS AND ORLEANS PARISH PROSECUTORS. UNDER THE AGREEMENT DOWNING WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS A CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER.

A FIRE MONDAY NIGHT IN JENNINGS HAS TRAGICALLY CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A HANDICAPPED MAN. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS OFFICIALS WERE CALLED OUT TO THE BLAZE SHORTLY BEFORE MID-NIGHT. BROWNING SAYS TWO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE HOME WERE ABLE TO ESCAPE THE FIRE, BUT WERE UNABLE TO RESCUE THE MAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR.

GOVERNOR JINDAL ANNOUNCES A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO RENOVATE AND EXPAND LSU'S ENGINEERING EDUCATION COMPLEX. THE 100-MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT IS SLATED TO BEGIN NEXT FALL AND BE COMPLETE IN THE FALL OF 2016 RICHARD KOUBEK, DEAN OF THE LSU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING SAYS THE FACILITY IS NEEDED TO MEET THE RISING DEMAND FOR QUALIFIED ENGINEERS. SO FAR THE SCHOOL HAS RAISED EIGHT-MILLION DOLLARS TOWARDS THE $50 MILLION IN PRIVATE DONATIONS IT NEEDS. THE GOVERNOR HAS THROWN HIS SUPPORT TOWARDS ANOTHER 50-MILLION IN TAX DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THE PROJECT.

THE LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED A MISDEMEANOR WARRANT FOR SIMPLE BATTERY AGAINST A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ACCUSED OF PLACING PAINTERS TAPE OVER THE MOUTH OF A 9-YEAR-OLD WHO REFUSED TO BE QUIET IN CLASS. AUTHORITIES SAY THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED MONDAY FOR 52 YEAR OLD CURLEY HENRY OF LAFAYETTE, STEMMING FROM AN INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED SEPT. 12. POLICE SAY THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED AFTER HENRY FAILED TO COME IN AND COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATORS.




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