KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 01/17/13


News for Thursday 011713

By Dave Graichen

 

Louisiana's  republican  lawmakers  are expressing  their displeasure  with  President  Obama's plan to  combat  gun  violence.  The President's gun-control proposal  includes  a  ban  on high-capacity

magazines  and  "military-style"  assault  weapons,  plus  universal background  checks  on  all  gun  buyers.  Governor Jindal says  the President   is  abusing  his  authority  by  seeking   to   restrict

law-abiding citizens from having access to firearms and ammunition.

 

Yesterday morning Kentwood Police  Chief  Greg  Newton  turned himself in after an investigation uncovered $2000 seized from a  burglary  that was misappropriated by the Chief. State Police say Newton was booked on  one  count of malfeasance in office and one count of obstruction of justice.

 

Some  state  tourism officials are concerned with Governor  Jindal's plan to eliminate  state  incomes  taxes,  while raising state sales taxes to offset revenues. They worry that significantly higher sales

taxes  could  have  a  chilling  effect  on the state's  hospitality industry--especially in New Orleans, where  local  sales  taxes  are already  high  and there's a 14% tax on hotel rooms. They say they'd be supportive of some kind of exemptions.

 

Cigarette smokers could pay more to puff if Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tax package succeeds in the upcoming legislative session. Aides confirmed Wednesday that the governor is looking at what neighboring states charge in tobacco taxes and is considering putting Louisiana more in line with its neighbors. At 36 cents per pack of cigarettes, Louisiana’s state sales tax is among the lowest in the region. Texas and Arkansas charge more than a dollar in state sales tax. Just two years ago, the governor opposed a 70-cent hike in the state sales tax on a pack of cigarettes. He also vetoed a 4-cent cigarette tax renewal, characterizing it as a tax increase. Now, with the task of replacing nearly $3 billion in state revenue that would vanish through his push to eliminate the state personal income and corporate taxes, it’s believed the governor will take a different stand on the matter.

 

State Superintendent of Education John White got a positive job review Wednesday from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Chas Roemer, president of the board, said the superintendent got the second highest rating of four — effective/proficient, which is defined as meeting between 75 percent and 99 percent of goals. The superintendent has held the job for about one year, and the review was the first of its kind since he took the job.

 

Louisiana's state school board agreed Wednesday to shrink the number of mandates required of local districts, despite concerns the move would let schools eliminate counselors and librarians to cut costs.

 

Superintendent of Education John White proposed changes to 150 different sections of policies governing school systems. They included eliminating the statewide school calendar and changing physical education standards to allow credit for extracurricular activities such as cheerleading and participation in marching band. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education backed the changes with no discussion, after making modest adjustments a day earlier in a committee meeting. As approved, schools can sidestep requirements for how many counselors and librarians they must have, raising complaints that it will let schools do away with the jobs altogether.

 

There’s been another major drug bust in Cenla.  The Rapides parish sheriff’s office reports 5 people have been arrested and charged with the selling of meth and other drugs in the Hineston area.  Deputies said they found meth, three types of Xanax, marijuana, digital scales and drug paraphernalia at a highway 121 home.

 

The word isn’t official yet, but an Austin, Texas, clean energy company’s website says it plans to develop a $1 billion methanol plant at the Port of South Louisiana in LaPlace. Zero Emissions Energy Plants Ltd. said on its website that construction of the facility is set to begin in the third quarter of 2013 and the plant will be operational by the end of 2015.

 

Has the bad weather this week got you down? According to Michelle  Moore, a clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the LSU  Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, it's very common to get the

blues during nasty weather.  Moore says bad weather increases depressive symptoms and also  anxiety. She says when it's cold and rainy outside, it takes more  effort for people to go out and do anything.

 

A state legislative committee meets today to discuss how Louisiana  schools are protecting themselves following the tragic mass shooting in  Connecticut. Chairman of the Homeland Security committee, Rep. John  Schroder, says legislators want to make sure schools around the state  are safe for Louisiana students.  Schroder says during today's meeting, school superintendents, principals  and law enforcement officials will discuss if any new procedures need to  be put in place by the state Legislature.  Schroder says in the light of the Newtown school shooting one popular  topic of discussion is the possibility of arming teachers or school  administrators or having armed security guards on campus.

 

The flu outbreak has been bad in the Bayou state. Health officials say  children are particularly vulnerable to the flu and other illnesses. But  L-S-U AgCenter nutritionist Denise Holston-West says parents can help ward  off the flu by providing their little ones with a healthy diet. Holston-West recommends a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and  vegetables for children along with whole grains and calcium-rich foods.

 She also says proteins can help ward off illnesses. By the way,  Holston-West says it's better for children to get nutrients from the  food they eat, rather than get them from vitamins.

 

A sign outside a New Iberia motel  has  been turning some heads. The recently renovated Mike's Inn Motel has a  sign  reading "drug free, 'ho  free  motel"...the  owner's  way of saying his business  is  no

longer a haven for illegal activity.  He  says  it's  working and he stays booked up.

 

 

 

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