News for Friday 011113
By Dave Graichen
The rain has stopped for the moment. Flooded streets and yards have started to drain. That after a very slow moving storm moved it’s way across the state over the past few days. The National Weather Service reported rainfall totals of 7.30 inches in Alexandria between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday. The Rapides Parish Highway Department closed 62 roads Thursday due to flooding. In Concordia parish there are unconfirmed reports of up to 17 inches of rain from the storm.
St. Martin Parish has declared a state of emergency, after an EF-1 tornado touched down in Breaux Bridge Wednesday. The twister was about 50 yards wide and cut a three-mile-long swath through the area. About 30 or more homes and businesses sustained damage; some minor, some severe.
Security cameras at the SNF Flopam plant in the town of Plaquemine captured images if an EF-1 tornado that tore through the facility; doing structural and roof damage. Employees hunkered down and rode out the twister. No one is reported hurt.
There is a plan circulating from the governor’s office that may prove quite popular with a lot of people, but is far from being a done deal: eliminate the state income tax and corporate taxes. Governor
Bobby Jindal's office says their plan would replace the lost revenue by increasing the state sales tax. According to the Monroe News Star, eliminating the state income tax would require increasing the
state sales tax from four to seven percent. The governor says he'll be meeting with legislators during the coming weeks to discuss the plan.
The Rapides Parish sheriff’s department reports two inmates who walked away from a detention center Wednesday night have been recaptured. Both were found and taken into custody without incident. The men were booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and each charged with simple escape.
Local authorities have shut down a meth lab in Pineville. According to the Rapides parish sheriff’s department, it was a tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrests of three people at 1715 Oakland St., and the seizure of the lab..
Public school counselors said Thursday their education role would be radically diminished or even eliminated under a plan by state Superintendent of Education John White to give local districts more flexibility. Under current rules, high schools are supposed to have one counselor for every 450 students.
White’s proposal would eliminate that requirement. A committee of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to take up the issue on Tuesday of next week.
Louisiana got an F for public education achievement Thursday for the third consecutive year in an annual study done by Education Week magazine. However, better grades in other areas allowed the state to finish 15th in the nation in the rankings, up from 23rd last year and 44th in 2008. The review, which is called Quality Counts, assigns grades to each state in six areas, including academic performance, standards and assessments and teacher quality. Louisiana got an overall grade of C+ for the third consecutive year.
Congratulations to Bob Tompkins and Lyn Rollins. They are the state’s winners of the 2012 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Awards, announced Thursday. Lyn Rollins, a resident of Pineville who is a broadcaster for Cox Sports and host of Tiger Talk on 969 KZMZ, was named the Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year for the fourth time. Tompkins, a senior sports reporter and columnist for The Town Talk, was named the Louisiana Sportswriter of the Year for the fourth time. They’ll be honored as part of the 54th Annual NSSA Awards Weekend in Salisbury, NC later this year.
After a brief spell of prices around or below $3, gasoline is on the rise again. Louisiana AAA (Triple A) fuel analyst Don Redman says tensions in the Middle East, and the threat of possible war between
Israel & Iran, are behind the recent spike in crude oil prices. He says that means we all pay more at the pump. Average retail gasoline prices have risen 6-cents in the past week.
An 8-year-old Houma girl is the youngest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. Quvenzhane (kwa-vin-jin-ee) Wallis was just 6 when she appeared as "Hushpuppy" in the independent film "Beasts of The Southern Wild", which was shot here in Louisiana. Critics are raving about the girl's stirring performance. The Oscars will be handed out in late February.