News for Tuesday 120412
By Dave Graichen
Governor Bobby Jindal was in southwest Louisiana yesterday to announce the largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history. Jindal says energy company Sasol plans to invest up to $21 billion into a project in Westlake. Jindal says this is a "game changer" for the state when it comes to creating jobs during a national recession. Jindal says the new complex will employ over 12-hundred people once
The U.S. Forest Service Monday withdrew its ban of hunting deer with dogs on the federal forest lands of Kisatchie National Park in Louisiana, which was to go into effect Thursday and last throughout eight-day dog-deer hunting season. U.S. Judge Dee Drell was expected to rule yesterday on whether or not the ban should be temporarily halted. But, after the decision was announced by the forest service, the Judge said the court case was moot.
Alexandria City Council members Chuck Fowler and Ed Larvadain III were sworn in Monday for their new terms after having run unopposed for re-election. Fowler begins his sixth term and his 21st year as the representative for District 5. Larvadain is beginning his second term as the representative for District 1.
A Baton Rouge judge refused Monday to throw out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new pension plan for future state employees. The Retired State Employees Association of Louisiana filed suit in August, alleging that the law establishing a 401(k)-type pension plan for future state employees did not get a two-thirds vote in the 2012 legislative session, as required by Louisiana’s Constitution. The Jindal administration had asked state District Judge William Morvant to dismiss the suit, claiming the association and individual plaintiffs did not have legal standing to file the suit. Morvant disagreed at the conclusion of a hearing Monday and set a Jan. 24 trial date.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board will vote tonight on whether to submit to federal court its final report in the district's ongoing desegregation case. The district began its quest to get out from under a 45-year-old desegregation order about three years ago, and a memorandum of support would ask U.S. District Judge Dee Drell to declare it unitary -- or desegregated in six areas called Green factors. Two other Green factors, facilities and student activities, still have not been approved.
Frustration among Doyline residents grows as the town remains under an evacuation order while officials continue to move millions of pounds of explosives from Camp Minden. State Police now say the evacuation could last til late today. The removal of six million pounds of artillery propellant began Saturday on land leased by Explo systems.
State Police are investigating the case of a Breaux Bridge Police Officer shooting that left a teenager dead. Trooper Stephen Hammons says officers were responding to a disturbance Sunday night and they
arrived, 16 year old Daraneisha Harris started driving towards the police car. Hammons says one of the responding officers then exited his vehicle and fired his weapon striking Harris. He says she later died as a result of the gunshot wound and the matter remains under investigation.
A former River Oaks teacher accused of calling in bomb threats to three Ouachita Parish Schools has pleaded guilty. David Reyna entered his plea yesterday morning on the opening day of his trial. He
will be sentenced in February and faces up to 20 years in prison on one count of communicating false information of a planned bombing of school property.
A mental health hospital near Mandeville will remain open. The state announced in July it would close Southeast Louisiana Hospital, because of a reduction in Medicaid funding. But Department of Health and
Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein says they reached an agreement with a private company who will run the mental health facility in 2013. Greenstein says Florida-based, Meridian Behavioral Health Services, will assume control of the 58 inpatient beds and outpatient services at the hospitals. Meridian is expected to give hiring preferences to current Southeast employees where comparable jobs are available.
An article by the Capitol Hill website, "Roll Call" gives Mary Landrieu only a 50-50 chance of winning a 4th term in the U.S. Senate. The piece suggests Landrieu's chances are hurt by the re-election of President Obama. "Roll Call" gives her a 50% chance of winning a re-election race against
a well-financed Republican.
Baton Rouge Police arrest a Bossier City man and a New York state woman for a 28-year-old murder. South Louisiana businessman Gary Kergan vanished in 1984. His car was found then, with blood in the trunk. BRPD Lt. Don Kelly says the Cold Case squad recently took that evidence to the State Police Crime Lab. Kelly says two suspects were arrested for Kergan's death back then, but the District Attorney at that time had too little evidence to prosecute. He says those same two people have now been arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, robbery and murder.
There wasn't a whole lot of excitement from the Tiger Nation when it was announced that LSU would be headed to the Chick-Fil-A bowl. So how many fans will make the trip to Atlanta? LSU travel expert Jim Dumigan says while the bowl at the Georgia Dome isn't a bad one, it's just not what LSU fans were expecting. Dumigan says many fans that he's spoken with had already started making their travel plans to Arlington for the Cotton Bowl so it's too soon to tell how many will make the Atlanta trek now
The ULM Warhawks are headed to the AdvoCare Independence Bowl to face Ohio University for the first post-season game in ULM history. Athletic Director Bobby Staub says so far ticket sales have been
through the roof.
Louisiana Tech A-D Bruce Van De Velde denies turning down a bowl invite. Van De Velde says Tech received an invite from the Independence Bowl Saturday morning, but were not ready to make a decision, because other bowls were in play. Van De Velde says when those other bowl possibilities fell through on Sunday, Tech was left out in the cold. Van De Velde says they felt there was 90-percent chance they would receive an invitation from either the Liberty or Heart of Dallas Bowls, but it just didn't work out.