News for Thursday 110812
By Dave Graichen
It was unanimous across the state, Louisiana voters decided Tuesday to limit school board members to three four-year terms. Each individual school district had the local option vote, after legislation to add the measure to Fall ballots was passed last Spring. This means that any school board member elected after January of 2013 will be limited to 12 years in office. Those who've already served for several years will have the limits engage with their next elected term.
Reactions are coming in, from both sides of the political spectrum, to President Obama's win over republican hopeful Mitt Romney . Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana democratic
Party, says Mr. Obama's re-election is a sign the American people are happy with the direction the nation is headed. Senator David Vitter also chimed in on last night's election, representing the other side of the aisle. Vitter says he knew there was always a very real possibility President Obama would be re-elected. He says losing seats in the U-S Senate though, was not expected.
Governor Bobby Jindal has issued a statement in response to President Barack Obama being re-elected. He congratulates the Mr. Obama and says that in Louisiana we will continue to do what we have always done...which means doing what we think is right no matter who is President.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department reports a burglary victim is offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding the theft of cash, jewelry and financial documents from their home earlier this month in the 1700 block of Tumminello Drive in Pineville. The burglary was reported last Sunday, when the victim returned home from an out-of-town trip to find that an outer door had been pried open. The victim offered the reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Alexandria Police report charges are pending against two juveniles after a vehicle pursuit and foot chase Tuesday in the Lakeside Drive area of the city. The case began around with a report of an unauthorized use of a vehicle in the Lee Street area. The vehicle was spotted, but when officers tried to stop it, the driver sped off. The driver and a passenger, both juveniles, later fled the vehicle, but were caught a short time later.
State Police are investigating a crash yesterday morning on highway 71 south of Clarence, where a man struck the back of a farm tractor. According to police a truck, driven by 40-year-old Jerry. Coutee, had been northbound on U.S. 71 when it hit a tractor driven by 53 year old L.D. McDaniel of Natchez. After hitting the tractor, the truck went into a ditch and then hit a tree. Coutee, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. McDaniel was not injured.
Voters in Rapides Parish approved a proposal Tuesday to spend $23 million to upgrade and renovate the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria. But, it will likely take several months to a year to finalize planning and design, take legal steps to structure and sell bonds and go through the permitting and bidding processes, before work can begin. Construction could take up to two years. The anticipated completion date is sometime in 2015. Jimbo Thiels, a member of the Coliseum Authority, says they are working now with ongoing event organizers to find temporary venues for their events while the facility is under construction.
Temperatures are in the low 40s this morning, which is another sign winter is right around the corner. But there's some good news when it comes to home heating costs. Atmos Energy Spokesperson Ann Hayward says natural gas supplies are higher than normal, which should keep natural gas prices relatively low. Hayward says even though natural gas prices are predicted to be low this winter, customers can still do their part to reduce energy bills. She says a programmable thermostat is a wise investment and there's additional tips on the Atmos website. That link can be found in the “You heard it here” at ksyl.com.
As people are spending more time outside enjoying the fall weather, the cases of West Nile in Louisiana continue to be reported. The state confirms six new cases of the virus this week. Department of
Health and Hospitals Chief Medical Officer Takeisha Davis says it does, however, look like the number of cases is starting to decline the colder it gets.
Louisiana appears to be winning the war against auto thefts. The numbers of stolen vehicles statewide has fallen steadily from 15,640 in 2006 to 9,123 in 2011. Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon credits the drop to advances in technology. Donelon says the Louisiana Department of Insurance is embarking on a campaign to educate drivers on steps they can take to avoid making their vehicle an attractive target for thieves.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness sent off another team of Louisiana emergency managers to New York state to assist local officials there responding to
Hurricane Sandy. Other GOHSEP staffers have already been working in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to assist emergency managers there.
Nucor Steel is set to start hiring for phase two of it's plant in St. James Parish. Nucor is ending its first round of employee-training and will start hiring Monday. They hope to bring on about 150 workers. The facility is looking to start up in mid-2013.
Two men working a drilling rig in Tensas Parish were seriously burned yesterday, when vapors from the rig were on ignited by the motor of a pumper truck, and a vat of drilling mud nearby caught fire.
Both men were flown to a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. The men have not been identified yet. Authorities want to inform their families first. The accident happened in the Buckhorn Wildlife Area near St. Joseph.
Lake Charles Police arrest a DeQuincy cop for DWI, reckless operation and hit & run--in a DeQuincy squad car. Officers found the cop car stuck in some woods off the roadway and arrested 30-year-old Matthew Sollay. DeQuincy Police say he was off-duty at the time.