KSYL Local News

News For Monday 10/08/12


NEWS FOR MONDAY 100812
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

DREW BREES GOT SUSPENDED COACH SEAN PAYTON IN THE BUILDING, BROKE A PRESTIGIOUS NFL PASSING RECORD AND LED NEW ORLEANS TO A DESPERATELY NEEDED FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON. FOR ONE MEMORABLE NIGHT, AT LEAST, THE ENTIRE BELEAGUERED SAINTS ORGANIZATION AND ITS FRUSTRATED FANS COULD CELEBRATE A SPECIAL MOMENT IN FOOTBALL HISTORY AND RECAPTURE THAT WINNING FEELING THAT HAD BECOME COMMONPLACE BEFORE AN OFFSEASON OVERSHADOWED BY THE NFL'S BOUNTY INVESTIGATION. BREES BROKE HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK JOHNNY UNITAS' HALF-CENTURY-OLD RECORD BY THROWING A TOUCHDOWN PASS IN HIS 48TH STRAIGHT GAME, AND THE SAINTS DEFEATED THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 31-24 ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

JUST A REMINDER, IF YOU HAVEN’T REGISTERED TO VOTE YET FOR THE NOVEMBER 6TH ELECTION, TOMORROW IS YOUR LAST DAY TO DO SO. YOU CAN REGISTER AT THE PARISH REGISTRAR OF VOTERS OR ONLINE AT WWW.SOS.LA.GOV OR WWW.GEAUXVOTE.COM. EARLY VOTING IS FROM OCT. 23 THROUGH OCT. 30 WITH NO VOTING ON SUNDAY.

THE CLOSURE OF THE PHELPS CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN DEQUINCY IS PROCEEDING. AS OF FRIDAY, THE PRISON HAS ABOUT HALF ITS FORMER POPULATION. 461 PHELPS INMATES HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANGOLA STATE PRISON THIS WEEK, LEAVING FEWER THAN 400 REMAINING AT PHELPS. THE STATE PLANS TO CLOSE PHELPS BY NOVEMBER 1ST, FOR A SAVINGS OF NEARLY $14-MILLION OVER THE NEXT TWO FISCAL YEARS.

STATE LAWMAKERS ARE BEING ASKED TO CALL THEMSELVES INTO A SPECIAL SESSION TO LOOK AT RECENT BIG BUDGET CUTS MADE WITHOUT THEIR INPUT. THIBODAUX REP. DEE RICHARD MADE THE SESSION CALL, AND IS WAITING TO SEE IF ENOUGH FELLOW LAWMAKERS VOTE TO HAVE ONE. RICHARD SAYS HE AND OTHER LAWMAKERS WERE BLIND-SIDED BY THE JINDAL ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION TO CLOSE THE PHELPS STATE PRISON IN DEQUINCY, AND WITH RECENT DEEP CUTS TO LSU HOSPITALS. RICHARD SAYS HE'S RECEIVED BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR CALLING A SPECIAL SESSION TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION TO OVERSEE SUCH BUDGET CUTS. HE SAYS HE HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR A SPECIAL SESSION. STILL, IT'S BEEN OVER 50 YEARS SINCE THE LEGISLATURE CALLED ITSELF INTO SPECIAL SESSION. USUALLY THE GOVERNOR DOES THAT.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORT 25 NEW CONFIRMED CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN LOUISIANA RESIDENTS; SEVEN ARE THE POTENTIALLY DEADLY WEST NILE ENCEPHALITIS. NO NEW DEATHS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. SO FAR, 11 PEOPLE HAVE SUCCUMBED TO THE DISEASE IN OUR STATE THIS YEAR.

FORMERLY CONSIDERED ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S WORST, LOUISIANA'S OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE HAS RECEIVED NATIONAL HONORS FOR INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS UNDERWAY. OJJ DEPUTY SECRETARY DR. MARY LIVERS (PRONOUNCED LYE-VERS) SAYS WHAT'S DIFFERENT IS THAT NOW EACH NEW CASE IS HANDLED BY JUST ONE CASE WORKER, TO FOLLOW EACH
CHILD--MAKING SURE THAT INDIVIDUAL'S CASE IS BEING HANDLED PROPERLY AND
WITH COMPASSION. UNDER THE SYSTEM, FEWER JUVENILES ARE INCARCERATED AND FEWER ARE ON PROBATION. HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAS RECOGNIZED LOUISIANA’S "BRIGHT IDEAS" PROGRAM FOR BEING INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE.

A BOSSIER CITY MAN IS MAKING A 250-MILE JOURNEY ACROSS THE STATE ON A HAND-OPERATED BICYCLE, TO PROMOTE INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR DISABLED PERSONS. 41-YEAR-OLD SCOTT WELLS SUFFERED A SPINAL CORD INJURY 13 YEARS AGO. HE PLANS TO USE HIS ARMS TO TAKE HIM TO THE STATE CAPITOL BY FRIDAY. WELLS IS COVERING 40 MILES ON HIS HANDBIKE EACH DAY NOW THROUGH THURSDAY. ON FRIDAY HE'LL COMPLETE THE LAST FEW MILES TO BATON ROUGE. WELLS WON'T BE ALONE. HE SAYS TWO OTHER PARAPLEGIC HANDCYCLISTS WILL BE BY HIS SIDE.

THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DIRECTOR FOR ASSUMPTION PARISH SAYS WELLS ARE BEING DUG TO VENT AND INVESTIGATE NATURAL GAS TRAPPED BENEATH A COMMUNITY NEAR A 4-ACRE SINKHOLE. AN UNKNOWN AMOUNT OF GAS IS TRAPPED BELOW BAYOU CORNE. THE WATER-BEARING SANDS ARE UNDER A LAYER OF CLAY. JOHN BOUDREAUX TOLD THE ADVOCATE THERE ARE WORRIES THE GAS MIGHT BUILD UP PRESSURE UNDER THAT CLAY. HE SAYS CONTRACTORS BEGAN DRIVING CASING ON SATURDAY FOR THREE VENT WELLS TO GET A BETTER IDEA ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING UNDERGROUND. HE SAID CREWS ALSO HAVE BEGUN INSTALLING UNDERGROUND DEVICES CALLED GEOPROBES TO MONITOR GAS LEVELS. BAYOU CORNE'S 150 HOUSEHOLDS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED SINCE THE SINKHOLE APPEARED AUG. 3. IT IS JUST OFF THE EDGE OF THE NAPOLEONVILLE DOME, A 1-MILE-BY-3-MILE UNDERGROUND SALT DEPOSIT.

DEER HUNTERS IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA FACE A CURTAILED HUNTING SEASON THIS YEAR, DUE TO THE IMPACT OF HURRICANE ISAAC. STATE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES BIOLOGIST KENNY RIBBECK SAYS AGENTS DID AERIAL AND GROUND INSPECTIONS FOR DEER KILLED BY THE STORM, AND MADE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE WILDLIFE & FISHERIES COMMISSION. HUNTING SEASON IN THOSE AREAS WILL BE SHORTENED AND RESTRICTED TO BUCKS ONLY THIS YEAR. HUNTERS CAN FIND ALL THE DETAILS ONLINE AT "DWF.LOUISIANA.GOV".

A SHREVEPORT LAWMAKER IS CALLING FOUL ON THE NEW WAY TEACHER'S IN LOUISIANA ARE BEING EVALUATED. REPRESENTATIVE ALAN SEABAUGH SAYS SOME TEACHERS AT HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOLS ARE RECEIVING POOR MARKS BECAUSE EVEN A SLIGHT DROP FROM A HIGH PERFORMING STUDENT COULD REFLECT NEGATIVELY ON THAT TEACHER. STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE SAYS THIS IS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED AT A HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL, BUT THE CURRENT TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM STILL WORKS.

THE VERMILION PARISH SHERIFF'S IS INVESTIGATING A FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH FRIDAY IN THE INTRACOASTAL AREA. SPOKESMAN RON SONNIER SAYS THE PILOT IS FROM TEXAS AND WITNESSES NEAR THE HELIPORT THOUGHT FOG MAY HAVE PLAYED A FACTOR IN THE CRASH. SONNIER SAYS THEY CAN CONFIRM THE PILOT OF THE HELICOPTER DIED IN THE CRASH, AND HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON ABOARD.

LSU'S 18-GAME REGULAR SEASON WINNING STREAK ENDED ON SATURDAY WITH A DISAPPOINTING 14-6 LOSS TO THE UNDEFEATED FLORIDA GATORS. THE TIGERS PASSING GAME AGAIN LACKED CONSISTENCY AND FLORIDA HELD LSU TO 42 RUSHING YARDS. ON THE LSU SPORTS RADIO NETWORK, COACH LES MILES EXPRESSED HIS DISAPPOINTMENT.

God Bless America!

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