News for Friday 030813
By Dave Graichen
Some state tax filers are concerned about their tax refunds. Many says it's been several weeks and still no refund. Department of Revenue spokesman Byron Henderson says installing a new anti-identity theft system slowed processing down...but that pace should be picking up now. He says filing electronically will always get you your money faster.
Despite fervent opposition from special education advocates, Louisiana’s top school board Thursday approved a $3.5 billion spending request for public schools. The vote was 8-3 and followed six hours of testimony. A final tally by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set for Friday but no change is expected. The plan would then go to the Legislature, which begins its 2013 regular session on April 8. The proposal, which is called the Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP, would freeze state aid per student for the fifth consecutive year.
Michael Jenkins is ready to move forward with work on the Hotel Bentley and hopes are the hotel will be open by mid-summer. Jenkins, a local entrepreneur and preservationist who bought the Bentley in October told members of the Alexandria Exchange Club on Thursday that he’s totally committed to getting it going. Jenkins plans to keep the original part of the building as a hotel with nearly 100 rooms. The tower portion, which was added in the 1930s, is being converted to condominiums.
Chanting “enough is enough” some 300 people showed up last at Huey p. Long hospital in Pineville to protest budget cutbacks at the facility. Volunteers with the Coalition to Save Our State passed petitions through the crowd, and more than a dozen spiritual leaders and elected officials spoke out against the governor’s plans to close or privatize the facility. Jindal's proposed budget released last month for the fiscal year that begins July 1 does not include funding for Huey P. Long.
With the Legislative session set to begin a month from today, Governor Jindal says the details of his tax reform plan are still a week off. Mr. Jindal says he is still meeting with state lawmakers and other stake- holders, to help formulate the tax swap plan. The Governor seeks to eliminate corporate and personal state income taxes, and replace the nearly $3-billion that brings in annual revenue with higher sales taxes. He says he will unveil the plan a week from today.
According to a report by 24/7 Wall Street, Baton Rouge is the 4th-worst paying city for women. The report indicates men in the capitol city get paid an average of $51,000 while women an average of $35,000. That puts women's pay in Baton Rouge as a percentage of men's pay at just 69.3 percent.
Louisiana motorists have seen some small relief from the recent surge in gasoline prices. Louisiana AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says the statewide average price of regular gas is now $3.59; down 5 cents from a week ago, but still over 20-cents higher than one month ago. Redman says some gas stations have lowered their priced by as much as ten cents a gallon in the past week.
A Concordia Parish prison corrections officer has been arrested for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with an inmate at the jail. Chief Deputy David Hedrick says a routine check of telephone communications at the jail led to the arrest of a 48-year-old female officer. Hedrick says Watts was allegedly engaged in phone sex with a male inmate at the Concordia jail.
Police in East Baton Rouge Parish say a 16-year-old student is under arrest for threatening to bring a gun to school and shoot several students. They say the teen told officers she felt threatened by other students at the school and told them she was going to shoot them. She is charged with disturbing the peace and terrorizing.
Deputies in Natchitoches Parish say a man is under arrest after he put a variety of drugs on a counter as he was walking through a security checkpoint at the parish courthouse. They say 50-year-old Walter Parker Jr. of Marthaville allegedly placed meth, pot, pills and drug paraphernalia on a table in front of security officers on his way to get a birth certificate. He's booked on a variety of drug
She should have seen this coming.. Police in Kenner arrest a psychic for conning a client out of thousands in cash. Police spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor says 20-year-old April Stevens told her emotional customer that she was cursed and that $10,000 had to be taken away and "cleansed". Stevens is charged with theft
The NO. 3 LSU Baseball team begins a three game series against Washington tonight at Alex Box. It's the first meeting ever between LSU and the Huskies in baseball and the first-ever action for Washington against SEC competition during the regular season.