KSYL Local News

News For Friday 03/01/13


News for Friday 030113

By Dave Graichen

 

The Rapides Parish School Board is expected to select 10 semifinalists to become the district's next superintendent at a special meeting on Monday. Applications for superintendent of Rapides schools will become public at the meeting after the Board receives them from the private search firm the Board hired in back August. The Board intends to discuss the applications while in executive session and later vote in open session on the 10 candidates to be interviewed. Yet another special meeting of the school board on  April 4 will serve as a "second supplemental interview,"

 

Some thought it would never happen, but It’s now official, the final piece of the puzzle that fill bring SunDrop fuels to central Louisiana is finally in  place.  Ballina Farms sold 1,213 acres to Sundrop Fuels for more than $4.7 million yesterday. The land surrounds the Cowboy Town property, which Sundrop purchased last December for $2.5 million. The combined sale is around $7.2 million.  When all is said and done, Sundrop will spend  $500-million to build the facility.

 

Eighty-five billion dollars in automatic spending cuts will go into  effect at 11:59 tonight unless legislation is passed to delay or avoid  the so-called sequester. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu says 7,000

civilian defense employees will be furloughed and the state will lose  millions in education funding.  President Obama and Congress have not been able to come up with a plan  to prevent the across-the-board cuts. The democrats want to pass  legislation that cuts the budget, but also raises revenues by closing  tax loopholes that mostly benefit the wealthy. Republican Senator David Vitter says he's not interested in increasing  taxes and he believes President Obama is playing a political game with

the American people.

 

The president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System said he is "more than optimistic" that funding for a new community college campus in the Alexandria-Pineville area will pass the state legislature. A new, $20 million home for the Alexandria campus of Central Louisiana Technical Community College is included in a $245.5 million facilities upgrade request for the state's community colleges.

 

The Louisiana School Board Association says districts need more per  pupil funding in order to keep up with the state's educational reform  requirements. Executive Director Scott Richard says school districts are  heading into the fifth year without an increase in per pupil allocation  and many are on the verge of financial crisis. The formula the state uses to allocate per pupil funding is called the  Minimum Foundation Program or MFP. Richard says class sizes are  increasing while reserve funding is being depleted and districts are  struggling to continue to provide quality service. Money from the MFP also goes to funding the school voucher program.

 

State Superintendent of Education John White said Thursday he has talked with plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s expanded voucher law about a new way to fund the program. But Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, which is one of the plaintiffs, said his group remains opposed to any funding method that results in state school aid dollars going to students attending private or parochial schools.

 

If you thought we woke up to some cold temperatures this morning, just  wait till this weekend. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a cold front is going to move through the state tonight and  re-enforce these already cold temperatures for the weekend. He says we can expect near freezing temperatures everywhere north of the I-10 tonight. We can expect even colder temps Sunday.

 

Houston-based Waller Marine will build a small-scale liquefied natural gas facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge in Port Allen to supply vessels with the cleaner-burning fuel they will need to keep up with tougher environmental standards. The facility is small compared with the billion-dollar LNG projects announced in south Louisiana in recent years. Waller Marine plans to spend $200 million initially, though that amount could double as Waller Marine adds capacity. The facility would create upward of 300 construction jobs. It will employ 45 people initially and could double that when fully built out.

 

An Austin, Texas, clean energy company on Thursday officially announced plans to develop a previously reported methanol plant at the Port of South Louisiana in LaPlace. The Billion Dollar plant, billed as “the largest methanol production plant in North America,” will convert 163,000 million British thermal units of natural gas to 5,000 metric tons methanol each day. The state says the plant will create 63 direct jobs with an average salary of $66,500 a year, plus 374 indirect jobs. Construction will begin later this year, with completion expected in 2016.

 

There  is  still  plenty  of concern about the millions of pounds of explosive material that is  improperly  stored  at  Camp  Minden  in Webster  Parish.  State lawmakers heard from State Police and others

today, about what's  been done and what remains to be done to secure that area and the nearby  town  of  Doyline.  State  Police  Captain Taylor  Moss  says a bit over 6-million pounds of the M-6 propellant

has been moved to safe storage, but over 3-million pounds remains in a precarious place.  Moss  says  the  only  way  to  get  rid of the remaining  propellant is to burn it, if it cannot be sold. But  Moss says enough  work  has  been  done  on  the site to make sure nearby residents are not in harm's way

 

Well  control operations have  after  an accident earlier this week  where  a  crewboat  hit  a  wellhead causing a leak in the shallow water near Plaquimines Parish.  The  well,  owned  by  Swift Energy, is estimated to be leaking roughly 840 gallons of oil a day. Containment booms have been put in place.

 

The annual college football bowl game in Shreveport is changing its name  from the Independence Bowl to the AdvoCare V-100 Bowl. Advocare has been  the title sponsor of the bowl game for the last four years, and bowl  chairman Jack Andres says this will allow the health and wellness  company to provide great financial backing to the bowl.  Andres says Advocare plans to make the Shreveport Bowl a great

destination for college football teams and their fans.

 

 

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