News For Friday 110212
By Dave Graichen
After 54 years in operation the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center in Dequincy has closed its doors for good. Dequincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan says the real economic impact of the closure has yet to be felt. He says the loss of 260 jobs in his town is like a city the size of Lake Charles losing a thousand. Henagan complains he was never contacted by Governor Jindal or anyone from his administration before the decision was handed down.
Authorities in the St. Landry Parish area are searching for the person or persons who reportedly fired several gun shots on the LSU-Eunice campus. There have been no reports of any injuries from the gunfire. Officers stopped a vehicle in a residential neighborhood, but the driver fled on foot. No weapon has been recovered and the suspect is still at large.
The University of Louisiana System Board says they've narrowed their search for a new system president down to one name. Sandra K. Woodley is currently a vice-chancellor with the University of Texas System. She's emerged as the lone candidate among a field of 16. Woodley will have another lengthy interview on the 9th, after which an official announcement may be coming. U.L. System President Randy Moffett retired in September.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser scrapped a legislative vote Thursday on the governor's proposal to outsource a state employee health insurance plan, when it became clear the contract didn't have enough support to win approval. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols pulled the proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield from consideration after four hours of discussion. Her decision sidetracked an attempt by House opponents to vote on rejecting the proposal outright. Nichols did say the matter will be brought up again at a later date.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission unveils a new web-based tool to help folks find and apply for jobs. LWC executive director Curt Eysink (eye-sink) says you can link to Louisiana Star Jobs from the LWC website "LAWorks.net". He says Louisiana Star Jobs is an intuitive & interactive tool that quickly displays available jobs; searchable by trade, salary level, qualification requirements and other criteria.The web address is the same, but the content is new; online at "laworks.net".
With the arrival of November, State Climatologist Barry Keim says we're pretty much clear of the 2012 Hurricane Season. He says Louisiana has not had a named storm make a November landfall in over 160 years of record-keeping. Keim says the tropics are currently quiet, and he feels our state is safe for the rest of this year
Army Corps of Engineers personnel from New Orleans are now in New York City and New Jersey, to help them with getting the millions of gallons of water pushed inland by Superstorm Sandy OUT. They took with them 25 6-inch and 8-inch heavy duty pumps.
Shreveport Police say one of their officers struck and injured a little girl yesterday morning. The girl was standing in the road, and the officer says he couldn't avoid hitting her. An investigation into WHY she was in the street is underway. The child is in LSU Shreveport Hospital, with serious injuries.
The state Office of Motor Vehicles will host a special event Saturday from 8 to noon to sign up men and women who've served in the military for the state's new Veterans' Driver’s License. The new Veterans DL is the result of legislation passed last Spring. Veterans can swap their existing license for one of the new ones, free of charge.
Deputies in St. Mary Parish have nabbed a man accused of kidnapping & robbing an Amelia woman. Sheriff's spokesperson Traci Landry says 25-year-old Israel Garza forced the female acquaintance into a car, drove her some distance...then beat her, took her cell phone and left her on the Garza was apprehended later at his home. She says he now faces a "laundry list" of criminal charges.
President Barack Obama is the winner in a "mock election" that involved public, private and home school students. About 88-thousand K-through-12 students voted and the President won by a 51-to-49-percent margin over Republican Mitt Romney. The Secretary of State's Office and Cox Communications held the mock election. The President was also successful in getting support of younger voters four years ago.
The architects of a proposed class-action settlement of claims spawned by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are confident it won't be derailed by thousands of businesses and individuals opting out of the deal. Thursday is the deadline for claimants to postmark written requests to opt out of the multibillion-dollar pact between BP PLC and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys. Patrick Juneau, administrator of the court-supervised claims process, said roughly 2,300 potential plaintiffs had asked to opt out as of Wednesday. But Juneau said a final number won't be known until early next week.