News for Thursday 022113
By Dave Graichen
The National Weather Service says there's a slight risk of severe thunderstorms across Louisiana today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says that means we could see heavy downpours, high winds, hail and there's a possibility of tornadoes. Keim says this latest rain event continues the trend of the above-normal precipitation that's been recorded so far this year.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief financial adviser says Louisiana has more borrowing capacity available under the state debt limit to keep money flowing for construction work than officials thought. The recalculation provides some relief for the Jindal administration, which was faced with the threat of projects grinding to a halt within months. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said Wednesday the state can borrow enough to continue construction spending through June 2014. Previous estimates had the state running out of money in less than half that time. Nichols says an error was discovered in a report from the treasurer’s office.
Vernon Parish officials are calling on the Department of the Army to update the information it is using to make decisions about force and operations changes at Fort Polk. Vernon Parish police jurors unanimously adopted a resolution urging Army and federal officials to update a Programmatic Environmental Assessment that details options for Fort Polk and 20 other stateside bases. In one option under consideration, the Army would reduce Fort Polk's military and civilian complement by about 50 percent. Another option would add 1,000 personnel to the base's current complement of just under 11,000.
A state lawmaker has pre-filed a bill to restrict the use of automated traffic cameras. State Rep. Paul Hollis says his bill would take a different approach than the other bills that have failed in the past. He says drivers whose vehicles are registered in areas with no red light cameras shouldn't have to pay a fine if they're issued a ticket. The representative says unlike their promoted use, red-light and speed-enforcement cameras have nothing to do with helping keeping Louisiana roads safer and that they are nothing more than a revenue-generating tool.
An Amite state lawmaker says he intends to run for Governor in 2015. Democrat John Bel Edwards says he's not concerned about the recent struggles of the state Democratic Party. He believes that by 2015 voters will be ready for change. Edwards says he'd prioritize restoring funding to critical programs that have been cut under the Jindal Administration. He is currently the head of the House Democratic Caucus.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleads not guilty to corruption charges in court yesterday. His trial is set for April 29th and was released on a $100,000 bond. Nagin's travel is also restricted to
Louisiana and Texas.
There's a hubbub in Shreveport over several hundred pounds of donated meat that was destroyed by state Health Inspectors. Deer hunters gave their extra venison - over 1500 pounds of it - to the city's rescue mission for the hungry and homeless. When health inspectors found the meat, they tossed it in a dumpster and poured bleach on it - saying it wasn't regulated by the USDA. A Haughton meat processor says the venison was handled and packaged properly before delivery and the food was senselessly wasted.
According to the Vermont Complex Systems Center, Louisiana is apparently the saddest state. The team reserved 10 million geo-tagged tweets and looked for key emotional words such as love, hope, damn, hate and lied. Based on that criteria, The Bayou State is the saddest in the country followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia. The happiest is Hawaii.
Sources with LSU say former Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon is improving, after suffering a stroke Tuesday . Cannon is reportedly resting comfortably, and his overall condition is much better.
The 4th ranked LSU baseball team is in action tonight as they are scheduled to play B-Y-U at Alex Box Stadium. But the weather forecast doesn't look good. LSU is set to play BYU tonight, Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night and then BYU again Saturday night. The Tigers are off to a 4-and-0 start. If the game is played, you will be able to hear it on 970 ksyl. Airtime 6pm.
L-S-U releases details of new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's contract. Cameron will earn 600-thousand dollars this coming season, then his annual salary will increase to $1.3-million in 2014 and $1.5 million in 2015. In comparison, the average pay for an associate professor at LSU is $100,000