KSYL Local News

News For Friday 10/12/12


NEWS FOR FRIDAY 101212
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FANS OF THE HISTORIC HOTEL BENTLEY IN ALEXANDRIA CAN BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF. A DEAL TO PURCHASE THE HOTEL CLOSED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. MICHAEL JENKINS, A LOCAL BUSINESSMAN WITH SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS IN DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRIA, IS NOW THE NEW OWNER BENTLEY. JENKINS PLANS TO REFURBISH THE PROPERTY, INSIDE AND OUT. ANNOUNCED PLANS HAVE THE SEVEN-STORY TOWER, THE NEWER PART OF THE HOTEL, TO BE TURNED INTO 28 LUXURY CONDOMINIUMS. THE OLDER PART OF THE PROPERTY WOULD RENOVATED INTO A BOUTIQUE HOTEL. THE BENTLEY HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE DECEMBER 2004.

THE NORTHBOUND LANES OF I-49 BETWEEN WOODWORTH AND THE HIGHWAY 71 SOUTH EXIT WAS CLOSED THE BETTER PART OF THE DAY YESTERDAY AFTER AND EARLY MORNING CRASH BETWEEN TWO 18 WHEELERS. THE CRASH CAUSED ONE OF THE TRUCKS TO SPILL IT’S LOAD OF COFFEE AND COFFEE CANS. STATE POLICE REPORT ONE OF THE DRIVERS RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL.

A YEAR-LONG UNDERCOVER DRUG INVESTIGATION HAS NETTED 44 ARRESTS IN SABINE PARISH. SABINE SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES WORKED IN COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL DEA AND STATE POLICE TO MAKE THE BUSTS. THE INDIVIDUALS WILL ALL FACE CHARGES RELATED TO GROWING AND SELLING MARIJUANA AND WITH COOKING AND SELLING CRYSTAL METH.

ELECTION OFFICIALS SAY EARLY STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATIONS SHOW AT LEAST 2.9 MILLION LOUISIANIANS WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE NOVEMBER 6TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THEY SAY THE STATISTICS SHOW THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED DEMOCRATS IN THE STATE IS ON THE DECLINE, WHILE REPUBLICAN AND OTHER PARTY REGISTRATIONS HAS INCREASED BETWEEN 2008 AND 2012.

SAMPLES TAKEN FROM AN OIL SHEEN THAT'S TURNED UP IN THE GULF MATCH UP WITH OIL FROM THE 2010 BP MACONDO WELL SPILL. LSU COASTAL SCIENTIST DR. ED OVERTON SAYS THE SHEEN IS PRETTY SMALL, AND THE OIL LIKELY CAME FROM WRECKAGE OF THE DEEPWATER HORIZON RIG THAT BURNED AND SANK. OVERTON SAYS THE LACK OF ANY SERIOUS VOLUME TO THE SHEEN WOULD SUGGEST THE WELL ITSELF IS STILL SEALED.

AUTHORITIES IN CANADA ARE SEARCHING FOR A 71-YEAR-OLD BATON ROUGE WOMAN REPORTED MISSING FROM A CRUISE SHIP OCTOBER 4TH. SARAH POWELL WAS A PASSENGER ON BOARD A HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE SHIP LEAVING BOSTON, HEADING TO NOVA SCOTIA. POLICE DON'T SUSPECT FOUL PLAY, BUT BELIEVE SHE BY PASSED SECURITY AT ONE OF THE STOPS WITH NO INTENTION OF RETURNING.

POLICE IN BOSSIER CITY ARREST A FIRED APARTMENT COMPLEX HANDYMAN FOR ALLEGEDLY MURDERING HIS FORMER BOSS. SPOKESMAN MARK NATALE SAYS 54-YEAR-OLD ROBERT EARL WALTER WAS LET GO WEDNESDAY MORNING, BUT RETURNED TO HIS JOB AND SHOT APARTMENT MANAGER APRIL FULGHUM TO DEATH IN HER OFFICE. TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES PRESENT WERE NOT HURT, BUT THEY WERE EYEWITNESSES TO THE CRIME. WALTERS FLED, BUT LATER TURNED HIMSELF IN TO FACE 2ND DEGREE MURDER CHARGES.

A DEBATE BETWEEN CANDIDATES FOR LOUISIANA DISTRICT THREE CONGRESS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. DUE TO REDISTRICTING LAST YEAR, CURRENT REPRESENTATIVES CHARLES BOUSTANY AND JEFF LANDRY MUST RUN AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR THE ONE AVAILABLE SEAT. THE DEBATE, WHICH WAS TO BE HOSTED BY UL-LAFAYETTE, REPORTEDLY RAN INTO SOME COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS WHICH FORCED IT TO BE CANCELLED.

SAINTS QUARTER BACK DREW BREES IS MAKING HEADLINE AGAIN, FOR CRITICAL COMMENTS ABOUT NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL AND THE ONGOING BOUNTYGATE SCANDAL AND SUSPENSIONS. BREES TOLD ESPN'S MIKE & MIKE SHOW THAT HE AGREES WITH FORMER SAINT SCOTT FUJITA THAT GOODELL IS ABUSING HIS POWER AS COMMISSIONER AND THE SUSPENSIONS ARE A "BIG SHAM".

THE MAN ACCUSED OF CALLING IN THE BOMB THREAT LAST MONTH THAT FORCED THE EVACUATION OF THE ENTIRE LSU CAMPUS HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN STATE DISTRICT COURT. 42-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM BOUVAY JR. ENTERED THE SAME PLEA IN FEDERAL COURT EARLIER THIS WEEK.

LOUISIANA SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN C. WHITE HAS DELAYED PLANS TO GIVE HIS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GRADING LOUISIANA'S FRAGMENTED SYSTEM OF PUBLICLY FUNDED PRE-KINDERGARTEN AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS. WHITE WAS EXPECTED TO DISCUSS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARD FRAMEWORK WITH THE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION NEXT WEEK. BUT HE SAID WEDNESDAY HE'S PUSHING THAT BACK UNTIL THE BOARD'S DECEMBER MEETING BECAUSE HE WANTS MORE TIME TO MEET WITH PEOPLE AND WORK ON THE PLANS. A NEW LAW PUSHED BY GOV. BOBBY JINDAL AND PASSED BY LAWMAKERS EARLIER THIS YEAR REQUIRED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMON ASSESSMENT AND GRADING SYSTEM FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS THAT ARE SCATTERED ACROSS AGENCIES. IT IS TO BE FULLY PHASED IN BY THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR. A PLAN IS DUE TO LAWMAKERS BY MARCH 1.

STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION JOHN WHITE ANNOUNCED HIS EXECUTIVE STAFF THURSDAY AND SAID THAT, EVEN WITH THE SIX-FIGURE SALARIES, DEPARTMENT COSTS HAVE DROPPED AND THE AGENCY HAS FEWER EMPLOYEES. THE SALARIES ON THE SUPERINTENDENT’S TEAM RANGE FROM $110,000 PER YEAR TO $225,000 ANNUALLY.
WHITE, WHO IS PAID $275,000 PER YEAR, SAID DEPARTMENT SPENDING HAS BEEN TRIMMED BY NEARLY 11 PERCENT AMID STATE REVENUE PROBLEMS AND THAT PAYROLL HAS BEEN REDUCED BY ABOUT 50 POSITIONS. DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS ALSO SAID THAT THE DEPARTMENT’S RANKS HAVE DROPPED FROM 659 FROM MID-2008 TO 446 FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR, A 32 PERCENT DROP.


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