News For Monday 121012
By Dave Graichen
After an unseasonably warm weekend, Louisiana has colder weather on the way. State Climatologist Barry Keim says, as is often the case, the cooler temperatures will come in behind some showers. Keim says we can expect falling temperatures and scattered showers throughout the day today. Temps tomorrow morning will be in the lower 30’s when you wake up.
Jules Green and Lee Rubin were elected Saturday to the Alexandria City Council. Green beat incumbent District 3 Councilman Jerry W. Jones Jr. by 168 votes, while Lee Rubin beat incumbent Roosevelt Johnson by 13 hundred 18 votes. The new council members will take office later this month.
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. won Saturday's runoff election for Louisiana's new 3rd Congressional District, with 60.9% of the vote, securing his fifth term in the House of Representatives. He defeated U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry.
Republican appeals court judge Jeff Hughes won the runoff for an open seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court representing the eight-parish Baton Rouge region. The seat is vacant because Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball is retiring at the end of January. Hughes, a former state District Court judge from Livingston Parish, defeated one of his colleagues for the position: John Michael Guidry, a Democrat and former lawmaker from Baton Rouge. Hughes broke with the usual approach that many judges take when running for office. Instead of refusing to weigh in on hot-button topics, Hughes branded himself a conservative and touted his beliefs as being “pro-life, pro-gun and pro-traditional marriage.” Many legal analysts believe that public stand may come back to haunt some of his legal decisions in the future.
The planned expansion of the Sasol plant in Lake Charles has created an urgent need for the state to develop a well trained workforce to meet the needs of Sasol and other new industrial facilities around Louisiana. Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, says the state plans to ramp up education facilities that target the specific needs of employers. Eysink says industrial expansion across the state will translate into thousands of well-paid jobs.
No compromise has been reached between Louisiana sheriffs and members of the Public Service Commission over a proposal to reduce the costs for inmates calling home from prison. The Louisiana Sheriffs' Association last month asked the regulator to delay a vote on the issue so its members could have more input into the plan. A split commission voted 3-2 to delay the vote until Wednesday, when it will meet again. The PSC leaders have called for a 25 percent reduction in what they labeled "exorbitant" amounts charged for inmate calls.
There are two more weeks left to shop till Christmas; enough time to still do some online shopping and the Attorney General's office is urging you to be alert for scams. Sam Pleasant is the AG's Director of Public Protection. She says they've seen an uptick in charity scams of late. Pleasant there are also a growing number of websites designed to trick consumers into giving their bank account information. She says they've also been getting a lot of reports of text message scams. If you believe you are a victim of a scam you can contact the AG's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889...:
A former state worker files a "whistle-blower" lawsuit; alleging he was fired for complaining about the state wasting money on un-needed and excessive supplies for Hurricane Isaac. Plaintiff
Bruce Ellis worked for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. His attorney Jill Craft says Ellis claims his emails were intercepted and he was terminated for noting that over $2-million was spent on truck-loads of ice that were allowed to simply melt, among other wastes.
Highway deaths across Louisiana have taken a sharp drop from their high point in 2007. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says while Alcohol remains one of the leading causes of fatal crashes in our state even those numbers are improving. LeBlanc says in 2007 45-percent of fatal crashes were attributed to alcohol use, in 2011 it dropped to 41-percent. He credits stepped up enforcement of DWI laws. LeBlanc says younger drivers, especially young men, continue to be the greatest at-risk group.
A 26 year old man accused of killing a girlfriend after walking away from a work-release, was found dead in his cell Friday afternoon in Angola. Prison officials report Dustin Pleasant hanged himself with a blanket. Pleasant, who was serving an 8 year sentence for aggravated assault on a police officer, walked away from a work-release program near Lake Charles back in November. While on the lamb, Pleasant allegedly killed Brittany Grosse. After his arrest in Grosse’s death, Pleasant was sent to Angola pending court proceedings. That’s where authorities say he took his own life. The investigation continues.
The Saints are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, but the odds they will reach the postseason this season are slim to none, after losing 52-27 to the New York Giants. It was New Orleans third straight
loss and Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt called the defeat embarrassing. It was another rough day for Brees who threw two more interceptions. The loss drops the Saints record to 5-and-8, heading into the final three games of the regular season.