News for Friday 010413
By Dave Graichen
The owner of BP's ill-fated Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Transocean Inc., has made a $1.4-Billion settlement with the federal government for civil a criminal fines related to the 2010 oil spill. The recently passed “Restore” Act means hundreds of millions of the billion-dollar Transocean settlement will come to Louisiana for coastal projects.
Shreveport's now-closed GM assembly plant will soon reopen--making low cost, high mileage 3-wheeled vehicles. Paul Elio (ee-lee-oh) is head of Elio Motors. He says the front-wheel drive "car" can get over 70 miles per gallon of gas. Elio's vehicle is a two seater, but the passenger sits behind the driver, reducing wind resistance and increasing fuel efficiency. The price tag about $6,800. Elio will hire up to 1500 workers by 2015--paying average salaries around $47-thousand. Production should begin by June of 2014.
The 113th Congress has been sworn in and the new term means bigger responsibilities for a couple of Louisiana federal lawmakers. Quitman Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander is now a chairman of an appropriations subcommittee. Alexander says this position will give him a larger say on how the federal budget should be constructed. Republican Senator David Vitter has become the top GOP member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Vitter says this panel has jurisdiction over environmental regulations. The committee also has supervision over the Corps of Engineers and has a say in funding for highway transportation projects.
It's crawfish time again and it looks like it's going to be a plentiful season. Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association Executive Director Stephen Minvielle says at the start of the season you'll typically see small mudbugs with hard shells, but this year they're nice and big. He says crawfish farmers are off to a great start.
Contained within the " fiscal cliff" legislation passed by Congress is an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. The short-term extension is good through September and then the federal government will have to pass a new Farm Bill. State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the extension keeps in place many subsidies for farmers. Strain says the Farm Bill extension also blocks milk and bread prices from drastically increasing.
Detectives are investigating the deaths of two people found dead inside a Shreveport home by a family member. Police Corporal Marcus Hines says when officers arrived, the bodies of an adult female and adult male were found inside the home. Hines says if it is a double homicide, it would be the first two murders within Shreveport's city limits this year. He says they are in the early stages of the investigation.
It’s just one month until the Super Bowl is held in the Superdome in New Orleans. Already crews are hard at work, getting the Dome ready - inside and out - for the big event. Hundreds of thousands are expected to come to the Crescent City for the 47th Super Bowl; over 5000 media people will be there too. Police warn locals to expect street closures near the dome and for parking to be...difficult.
Let’s not forget the everyday heroes, A state trooper and an off-duty firefighter rescued a woman from her burning car, after she ran it up under an 18-wheeler yesterday morning in Livingston Parish. The woman is believed to have passed out behind the wheel due to a medical condition. The fireman and trooper were nearby and pulled the woman from her car before she could be seriously injured.
Two Tioga men are behind bars after locking themselves out of a home and trying to break back in using an axe. Rapides deputies say Joe McCartney and Travis Barlow - both 25 - were pretty drunk when officers found them fighting in the home's yard. They've both been released on $250 bond. Deputies kept the axe.