News for Tuesday 010812
By Dave Graichen
Former Governor Buddy Roemer says it might be time for Governor Jindal to consult with he and other former governors on budget cuts and higher education funding. Roemer says colleges continue to struggle and it may be time for some helpful brainstorming on the matter with others experienced in running the state. In 2009, Roemer initiated a meeting with Governor Jindal to talk budget cuts and state colleges. He says he asked former governors Kathleen Blanco, Dave Treen and Mike Foster to accompany him. Unfortunately, former governor Edwin Edwards was, shall we say, pre-occupied at the time. However, this time he is willing and able to attend. Roemer feels that meeting will happen sometime this year.
State Police arrested a school bus driver in Calcasieu Parish yesterday morning that allegedly had a blood alcohol level two-and-a-half times the legal limit. State police say 26-year-old Matthew Richard of Sulphur was observed speeding and weaving on Highway 27 about six miles south of DeQuincy. Troopers say the bus, which is registered to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, did not have any children on it at the time of the traffic stop. But he says the bus was loaded with kids earlier in the morning.
At the same time Gov. Bobby Jindal is launching a study committee on school safety, his administration is cutting a program that helps children with behavioral health problems.The Early Childhood Supports and Services program will stop providing assessment, counseling and case management to young children in low-income families at the end of the month. The program employs 76 people, who will lose their positions. The $2.8 million the program is slated to receive in federal funds over the next five months will be used elsewhere in the $25 billion state operating budget to supplant state dollars.
US Senator David Vitter says Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is an idiot for saying that Hurricane Katrina was nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New England after Hurricane Sandy. Reid made the comments Friday on the Senate floor. Vitter says both storms were horribly destructive that caused human misery. Vitter says it's never a good idea to compare disasters, but even More so when a statement is completely false. He says Katrina caused 1800 deaths compared to about 130 from Hurricane Sandy. Senator Mary Landrieu issued a statement saying Reid misspoke, has clarified his statement and has been a strong advocate for Gulf Coast's recovery.
Vitter says he'll vote against President Obama's choice of Republican former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next Defense Secretary. Vitter says Hagel is hostile towards Israel, who
are the U.S.'s strongest ally in the Middle East. He says Hagel's appointment would embolden radical Islamic extremists. Vitter is on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Just 54 teachers in Louisiana achieved certification in 2012 from a well-regarded national teaching organization, a fifth as many teachers as when the program was at its peak in this state. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced the results Monday. The totals are down from 102 in 2011 and 148 in 2010. Louisiana’s peak for nationally certified teachers was 250 teachers in 2005. The downward trend is likely to continue, at least in Louisiana. Michelle Accardi, director of state policy and outreach, said the number of new Louisiana applicants for certification for 2013 is down 60 percent from where it was a year ago.
The state Judicial Compensation Commission on Monday recommended a multiyear pay raise plan for Louisiana’s judges. The plan would this year increase Supreme Court justices’ pay by 5.5 percent, appeals court judges by 3.7 percent and general trial court judges by 4 percent. The raise would cost an estimated $1.7 million. After that the judges’ pay would increase 2.1 percent a year through 2017 The plan now advances to the Louisiana Legislature for consideration.
Public broadcasting's most popular show is coming to Louisiana. Louisiana Public Broadcasting president and CEO Beth Courtney says PBS's "Antiques Roadshow" will be at the Baton Rouge River Center on July 27th to film three episodes. Courtney says the last time the show came to Louisiana was in 2002, when it filmed in New Orleans. Tickets to be in the Roadshow will be free, but only 6000 (3000 antique owners plus their guest) will be chosen by lottery. The Antiques Roadshow show is watched by over 10-million viewers each week.
The star of another Louisiana based A&E reality show, The Governor's Wife, promises this is one like no other. 34-year-old Trina Scott Edwards, wife of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, says even though her husband is 51 years older than she is, they're your typical married couple. She says that's why she agreed to do the show. Edwards says the show will highlight their home life with her own teenage sons, as well as her step-daughters, 62-year-old Anna and 60 year old Victoria. She also says a large part of the show's storyline is about her efforts to have a child with her 85-year-old husband. The show will premiere on February 27th and will air right after the popular West Monroe based reality show, Duck Dynasty.
Washington Parish Sheriff's deputies are still looking for two men they believe may be involved in a shooting that left two men dead and two injured. They say Denzell Wise and Brandon Alexander were found dead in a vehicle north of Bogalusa. Two suspects are already in custody and two others are being sought. It's being reported the incident sparked because of a dispute regarding the sale of a 4 wheeler.
Vernon Parish deputies arrest an Oakdale man for making threats against a school. Arrest records say 31-year-old Keith Hernandez was booked into parish jail on a $100-thousand bond.
Tigers running back Michael Ford is the latest LSU junior who has decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft. Ford rushed for nearly 400 yards and scored 3 touchdowns in 2012. Tiger Rag Magazine Editor Cody Worsham says Ford is one of nine underclassmen who have decided to leave LSU early for a chance at getting selected in the NFL draft. Worsham says the loss of these players will keep the Tigers from competing for a national title next season.
And in case you were under a rock last night, the No. 2 Crimson Tide of Alabama rolled top-ranked Notre Dame 42-14 for the BCS championship. In doing so, the tide locked up a second straight national title and third in four years