News for Monday 022513
By Dave Graichen
Automatic spending cuts at the federal level, or sequestration (see-kwes-trey-shuhn), could mean some Louisiana airports would have to close air traffic control facilities. The US Department of Transportation named 200 sites it would considering closing. On the government's list, Shreveport Downtown, Monroe Regional, Lakefront in New Orleans, Lake Charles Regional and Chennault International also in Lake Charles. Alexandria International did not make the list of airports affected by the cut backs.
BP's civil trail, for damages brought about by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon well explosion and oil spill, begins today in New Orleans. Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino says lawyers for the
plaintiffs will seek to prove that BP was "grossly negligent" in events leading up to the disaster.
Ciolino says a court finding of "gross negligence" could also mean billions more in fines for BP, for violating the federal Clean Water Act. BP has already agreed to a $4.5-Billion federal settlement for criminal charges in the catastrophe.
The state bond commission signs off on a plan for Louisiana to borrow 100-million dollars that will be used to resurface rural roads in desperate need of maintenance. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jodi Conachen says some of the roads that will benefit from this money have not been upgraded in 30 years.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has some ideas on how to make schools safer. He says he's recently discussed these ideas with Vice President Joe Biden and they have nothing to do with gun control. Caldwell believes things like a button under a teacher's desk to alert authorities of impending danger need to be placed in classrooms. Caldwell also proposes limiting access to the schools so that a
potential gunman would have to go through an office that is being guarded. He says he supports armed security guards but he doesn't believe teachers should have guns in their classrooms.
The White House released a statement Friday stating the President has signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana so areas affected by massive storms and flooding in the state in January can receive assistance. The funds will pay for emergency response work and repairs for areas that were damaged between January 8th-17th.
For the second time this year, animals have been killed after being attacked by stray dogs at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe. Director Joe Clawson says they believe several dogs attacked three exotic antelope. He says zoo staff caught the dogs in the act. Clawson blames these horrific animal attacks on irresponsible pet owners and people who feed feral animals.
Several U-S House members from Louisiana are expressing interest in challenging Senator Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election next year. Republicans Charles Boustany, Bill Cassidy and John Fleming are potential challengers. U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says at this point, Landrieu is expected to win a 4th term.
Paul McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of the McIlhenny Co. that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold the world over, has died. The company, based on south Louisiana’s Avery Island, said in a statement that McIlhenny had died Saturday. Other details have not been released. At the time of his death, McIlhenny was also a company director. He was a sixth-generation member of the family to live on Avery Island and among the fourth generation to produce the Tabasco brand sauce on Avery Island, where patriarch Edmund McIlhenny had founded the company in 1868. Paul Mcllhenny was 68.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue wants taxpayers to be aware that many school expenses are eligible for tax breaks. LDR spokesperson Byron Henderson says tuition, uniforms supplies and other education expenses paid in 2012 may be eligible for deductions. Henderson says you can
visit revenue.louisiana.gov for more information.
Louisiana victims of con men, running a driveway resurfacing scam, will get their lost money back. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says the two Texas men, Billy Densmore and Derrick Johnson, cheated numerous people across the state. He says the men preyed on the elderly and vulnerable.