News for Tuesday 011513
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Department of Transportation says they're preparing to deal with icy road conditions as the possibility of snow, rain and sleet threatens north Louisiana. DOTD spokesperson Susan Stafford says emergency personal are ready to mobilize crews if roads ice over. Stafford says they will give drivers advanced warning, if roads become unfavorable for travel.
The state department of education is proposing to make it slightly easier for new public school teachers to achieve tenure status. A teacher with tenure has more job security. But state Superintendent of
of Education John White says under this proposal a vast majority teachers will still not achieve tenure status and that's by design. A new teacher must be rated "highly effective" in five out of six years to gain tenure. The proposed change will allow a new teacher to receive a "highly effective" rating if they are in the 80th percentile, instead of the 90th of all public school teachers. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will discuss White's proposal today and a vote by the entire board is expected tomorrow.
Public school teachers are retiring at a higher rate than normal. The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana says there's been a 25-percent increase in the number of teachers retiring. Louisiana
Association of School Superintendents President Michael Faulk says many teachers are leaving the profession, because of the new teacher evaluation system. Faulk says state education officials recognize a problem and will ask BESE to approve changes on how teachers are evaluated. BESE is expected to consider the changes to the current teacher evaluation system at their meetings tomorrow and Wednesday.
Congratulations going out to Rapides Parish Police Juror Joe Bishop. Bishop, who represents District B, was elected president of the police jury, without opposition, at the jury's monthly meeting Monday. District A Juror "Bubba" Moreau was elected vice president, also without opposition.
State police are investigating a crash yesterday morning on HWY 1 in Natchitoches parish that left a Pineville man with serious injuries. Troopers say 28 year old Michael Moore Jr lost control of his vehicle and struck two trees. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
State police have arrested a former Jennings police chief, who stayed on the force as a police officer, on suspicion that he removed items from police department’s evidence room. 52 year old Johnny Lassiter resigned from the department last Tuesday and was arrested a short time later. Jennings police requested assistance from the State Police, which led to an audit of the department’s evidence room and to Lassiter’s arrest.
The former secretary and office administrator for 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson in Lafayette pleaded guilty Monday to allegations of accepting at least $55,000 in bribes to give criminal defendants a break, mainly in DWI cases. 58 year old Barna Haynes faces up to five years in prison on a count of conspiracy in an ongoing federal investigation of bribery in the local court system. U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said Monday that she anticipates more guilty pleas in the investigation. The scheme was carried out without Harson’s knowledge or approval but occurred because of a “lack of oversight and safeguards,” according to a summary of the allegations filed by prosecutors.
The rain on top of the rain in South Louisiana is causing the mudbugs to swim out of their ponds. Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association president David Savoy says not only are they having a
problem with crawfish getting out, predator fish are getting into the ponds and eating the crawfish. The end result will be, as you may suspect, higher prices.
It's being reported that the city of Denham Springs has decided to settle what's being called "the middle finger display" case and will not take action against Sarah Childs. The ACLU of Louisiana filed
suit on her behalf after the woman claimed she was asked to take the unconventional lights down or pay a fine. Law officials in Denham denied such a threat was made.
Police in Baton Rouge say they arrested a 13-year-old sixth grader at a local middle school after a loaded .380 caliber pistol was found in his book bag. School officials made the discovery while
breaking up an argument between the student and another child. The boy is charged with Carrying a Firearm by a Student on School Property and Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm.
The former Shreveport city official convicted of raping a woman after the 2010 Independence Bowl wants his conviction tossed out. Rick Seaton says the sexual contact he had with a young woman that
night was consensual. He's currently serving an 18-year prison term.