KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 01/23/13


News for Wednesday 012313

By Dave Graichen

 

Sad story out of West Monroe. A house fire  there  has  claimed  the lives of two children. Officials say they believe a 16 month old and a 3-year-old were in a room where the fire started. The cause of the fire  remains  under  investigation  but  no working smoke alarm was found in the home.

 

The  NFL  has  reinstated  Saints  Head  Coach  Sean  Payton.  In  a statement,  Commissioner  Roger  Gooddell said that Payton had fully complied with all of the requirements  imposed  on  him  during  his suspension.  Payton  will reportedly join GM Mickey Loomis and other coaches in Mobile today  where  they are scouting players for the draft.

 

Supporters of state funded hospice care will hold a candle-light vigil  on the steps of the State Capitol later this afternoon. As of February  1st, the state will no longer pay for a Medicaid patient to receive  hospice care. Elizabeth Harper, with the Alliance for the Advancement of  End-of-Life Care, says this budget cutting move will impact 1,700 people. Harper says if the state goes through with its plans, Louisiana will  become one of only two state to not pay for Medicaid hospice care.

 

Senator David Vitter files a series of reform-minded bills, aimed at  promoting "good government". Vitter says he has, again this year, filed  a bill to enact term limits on members of Congress.  Vitter's bill proposes limits of  2 terms for senators and 3 terms for  congressmen. One of his other bills would eliminate automatic pay raises  for Members of Congress. Vitter says it is true that these "auto-raises" have been temporarily suspended during the recession. Vitter has also filed a bill to reform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

 

The state Republican Party says Senator Mary Landrieu  should cancel a  planned  Saturday  event  in New Orleans featuring Vice President Biden. State GOP Chairman Roger  Villere says that's because of what he calls Biden's "crusade to violate the U.S. Constitution" with gun control laws.

 

There may be bills filed in the Spring legislative session to ban  certain guns & magazines, or limit ammunition sales, but many feel they  won't go far. Metairie Rep. Joe Lopinto chairs the House Criminal

Justice Committee. He says gun control legislation has little chance in  the Sportmen's Paradise.  Lopinto says there may be a clamor to enact gun controls in Washington  DC, but Louisiana voters just approved a Constitutional amendment last  fall - aimed at protecting citizen gun rights.

 

Former Governor Edwin Edwards has filed a motion in a federal  district court in Baton Rouge asking that his supervised release end  immediately. Former US Attorney Harry Rosenberg says if lifted,  Edwards wouldn't have to check in with a probation officer.  Rosenberg says Edwards has done his time, paid his fines and done  everything required for his supervised release. Federal prosecutors reportedly support the request to take off the  second half of the three-year supervised release saying Edwards is  "absolutely no risk to public safety”.

 

The production company for Former  Governor Edwin Edwards and wife Trina's cable  reality  show has applied  for state film & TV tax credits. The state is reviewing that application.  To  qualify  productions  must meet  certain  in-state spending benchmarks must be reached.

 

Conservative lawmakers in the state House are devising a package of proposals that aim to expand the state budget areas that can be cut during shortfalls and to limit the use of patchwork funding for ongoing programs. Rep. Brett Geymann, a Republican leading the “Budget Reform Coalition,” outlined the basic concepts Tuesday to a business organization. The bills will be unveiled next week. Geymann says the group, which has been at odds with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration over spending tactics, wants more lawmakers involved in the budget. He says the legislation will seek to expand places where spending can be reduced, so colleges and health care don’t take the bulk of the slashing when budget gaps appear. Lawmakers will consider the ideas in the legislative session that begins in April.

 

Baton Rouge Police say a two-year-old child is dead as a result of a teenager playing with a gun inside a home. BRPD spokesperson, L'Jean McKneely  says the accidental shooting took place Monday  night and the child died from his wounds Tuesday  morning

 

The state Department of Health and Hospitals is getting ready to hire an internal inspector general to help it with Medicaid fraud prevention efforts. The legislative auditor issued a report finding improper payments and falsification of documents in several programs in which it did spot checks. It was the fifth finding of ineffective audit controls in the non-emergency medical transportation program, according to the auditor’s report. The internal inspector general’s main role will be “to assess risk and devise an Internal Audit Plan for the department. The position is expected to be filled by March.

 

St. Tammany Parish deputies  say  a  bicyclist  was hit by a car and killed yesterday in Covington. Officers say the teen riding the bike ran a stop sign and was hit by an SUV. That driver  has been cleared of fault in the crash.

 

Should public and private high schools compete in separate playoffs.  That's the major topic hanging over high school principals as they  gather for the L-H-S-A-A's annual convention which begins today. LHSAA Commissioner Kenny Henderson says the proposal is coming from schools  who think public and private schools should compete for separate titles.

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