KSYL Local News

News For Monday 10/29/12


News For Monday 102912

By Dave Graichen

 

It appears, imprisoned Former Ball Mayor Roy Hebron, will be losing his retirement account. In court papers filed last  week, federal authorities say they plan to garnish his municipal retirement account to pay the remaining $68,237 he owes for overcharging the federal government after hurricane Gustav and using the money to fill holes in the town budget. Hebron pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government and was sentenced in May of 2011 to 48 months in federal prison, he’s due to be released in December of 2014. The 58-year-old six-term mayor is serving the sentence at a minimum-security facility in Pensacola, Florida.

 

An attempt has failed to get Louisiana lawmakers into special session to consider reversing Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent cuts to health-care programs and a state prison. State senators blocked the effort, and the lawmaker leading the charge could not meet a Friday deadline to garner enough votes. State Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, an independent from Thibodaux, needed 13 senators to sign onto supporting the idea, the threshold for triggering a mail-in balloting of the Legislature, only nine signed the petition.

 

A federal grand jury has indicted two St. Landry Parish School Board members for conspiring to extort money in exchange for their votes for a new school superintendent. U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says indictments were handed up Wednesday against 50-year-old Quincy Richard Sr. and 71-year-old John Miller, both of Opelousas. From mid-July until Sept. 24, the defendants each accepted $5,000 from a superintendent candidate who was cooperating with the FBI. If convicted, both men face up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison on the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in prison for the bribery counts.

 

State Police and Livingston Parish  sheriff's  investigators want to know  how and why  a funeral home employee managed  to  accidentally cremate  the  fetus  that  was  cut from its mother’s womb last week,

before the baby could be autopsied. 31-year-old Jeffrey Reynolds has been  arrested  for  1st degree feticide  in  that  crime,  and  for attempted murder for the attack on the mother.

 

State health  officials  report  another  17 confirmed cases of West Nile virus among Louisiana residents, bringing  the  total  infected this year to 338. The Department of Health & Hospitals also confirms

another person has died from the neuro-invasive form of the disease, also  called West Nile Encephalitis. So far 13 people in the  state have died from West Nile this year.

 

A new commanding officer is on his way to Central Louisiana to take charge of Fort Polk and the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center located there. Brig. Gen. Bill Hickman, who until Friday was deputy commanding general for support of the famed 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., will replace Brig. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn as the commanding officer at Fork Polk.

 

Lake Charles Clean Energy is expected to announce today a new project to  produce clean energy from gasified petroleum coke. Development partner  Hunter Johnston says about 1500 construction jobs will result, with  nearly 200 full-time permanent jobs at the finished plant. Johnston says the plant will produce methanol, hydrogen, argon and  sulfuric acid; all of which will be sold to eager users.  Johnston says, when completed, the plant will use state-of-the-art  technology to capture 90% of the cardon dioxide released by gasification  to sell for use in enhanced oil recovery techniques. He says the plant

will be clean, efficient and will provide needed jobs in southwestern  Louisiana.

 

There are nine Constitutional amendments on the November 6th ballot.  Today, we spotlight proposed Amendment Five, which would let lawmakers  pass laws to deprive public officials the state-paid part of their  retirement, if they're convicted of corruption. Metairie Rep. Tony Ligi  authored the original legislation.  A "yes" vote on Amendment Five will give the Legislature authority to  enact state laws for the forfeiture of state-paid retirement benefits to  those found guilty of public corruption.

 

A three day paid "business trip" to Venice by several members of the  Louisiana House is being called a "fishing trip" by some. Lawmakers  were paid $149 a day in per diem and .55 cents per mile so they could

meet at a popular fishing site near the Gulf of Mexico. Political  watchdog CB Forgotston says this was a costly trip for taxpayers. Some lawmakers who attended the retreat reportedly say the trip included several productive meetings and discussions. Forgotston says  there was a clear effort to keep this trip quiet which seems fishy. Some lawmakers admit they were looking for a getaway  where they could be candid with each other outside of the public's  eye.

 

The LSU Board of Supervisors have approved the merger of the positions of president of the LSU System and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus into a single position. The board's unanimous vote Friday created the new position, "President of LSU." LSU is currently managed by interim president and chancellor, William Jenkins who replaced John Lombardi as president in April and then assumed the chancellor's responsibilities when Michael Martin departed in May.

 

A recent U-S-D-A survey forewarns of a potential crisis in the ag  industry, because of the lack of young people involved in agriculture.  According to the survey, only 5-percent of the nation's farm operators

are under the age of 35. Louisiana's Agriculture Commissioner Mike  Strain says society needs to do more to get young people involved.  Strain hopes more younger people consider a career in ag. He says there  are plenty of excellent opportunities. Some people may steer away from agriculture, because of manual labor.  But Strain says there's plenty of lucrative positions within the ag  industry that do not require work in the field.

 

According to the state’s attorney general, significant rate increases for state-sponsored wind and hail property insurance policies that Citizens Property Insurance Corp. approved earlier this year were legal. Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell issued the opinion last week. The rate increases brought the cost of insurance up more than 100 percent in some coastal parishes. State Treasurer John Kennedy had attacked the rate increases, saying he believed they were illegal.

 

The New Orleans Saints are now 2 and 5, after an embarrassing 34-14 loss  to the Broncos last night in Denver. Interim head coach Joe Vitt says he  made mistakes and the team made mistakes, and failed to manage Payton  Manning and the Broncos offense.  The Saints were plagued with missed cues, incomplete passes and dropped  balls. Vitt takes responsibility for the teams lack of preparation for

 matchup in Denver. Vitt says there's a lot of work ahead to get the team tightened up in  time for next week's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

The week Purple and Gold fans have been waiting for has arrived. Some  are calling the LSU-Alabama rematch Saturday the biggest in college  football this season and ESPN Magazine is even dedicating an entire  issue to the contest.

 

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