News for Friday 032213
By Dave Graichen
The man designated to be LSU's new president meets today with members of the faculty. Dr. F. King Alexander will leave his position as President of Cal State Long Beach to take over the Old War Skule. He says he's looking forward to getting to know professors and instructors. Dr. Alexander says he's not daunted by controversy on campus over his selection. The Faculty Senate voted No Confidence in the LSU Board, over the lack of transparency and inclusion in the presidential search. Alexander says he'll be the faculty's ally, and he intends to be at LSU for "the long haul".
State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson tells state lawmakers he will HAVE to have more new troopers soon. He says there hasn’t been a cadet class since 2008, and troop strength since then has
dropped from 650 to 575. But, the chances of training any new troopers is at least a year or more away. The state budget for the fiscal year that starts in July includes a 15-percent cut for Public Safety, under which the LSP operates.
A good government group says Governor Jindal's proposed tax swap plan will NOT be revenue neutral. The Public Affairs Research Council says the plan could cost the state up to $650-million in
lost revenue, mostly because the plan relies on revenue numbers from 2011, when the state was in the middle of a recession. Tim Barfield, the governor’s lead man on the tax rewrite, says PAR's analysis is based on flawed assumptions, and it WILL be revenue neutral.
Wednesday Former four-term Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards weighed in on Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to replace state income taxes with increased sales taxes, saying the plan is bad for the poor and the state. In a Lafayette Daily Advertiser interview Edwards said "It's a tax plan for the rich at the expense of the poor". On Monday, another former Democrat governor, Kathleen Blanco, accused Jindal, a Republican, of using the tax debate to pull attention away from the coming cuts in the state health-care system.
The Jindal administration on Thursday announced it has canceled a controversial contract that has come under scrutiny by a federal grand jury. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols issued a prepared statement announcing the decision impacting a $185 million-plus contract to process Medicaid claims with CNSI, a firm with ties to state health secretary Bruce Greenstein. The state will work with the current contractor, Molina Medicaid Solutions, to provide services during this transition and until a new Service provider can be found.
Lake Charles Police name a suspect in a triple homicide Wednesday night. Police Chief Don Dixon says the shooter and accomplices approached a group of young men shooting dice in the city's McMillan Park and ordered them to lie on the ground and turn out their pockets. Four men were shot, three of them were killed. Dixon says the shooter is 18-year-old Armonta Hadnot. He is also suspected of a non-fatal shooting just hours earlier at a Lake Charles gas station.
The multistate Powerball jackpot drawing for Saturday night is a whopping estimated $320 million. Louisiana Lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Chopin says this is the 6th largest Powerball jackpot ever. She says more and more people are playing which is why these jackpots get big so quickly. The cash
value of the current jackpot is an estimated $198.3 million.
U-L Lafayette has announced the details of its much anticipated 115-million dollar master plan to improve the athletic facilities on campus. Ragin Cajuns Athletic Director Scott Farmer says a new athletic practice
facility is one project they hope to begin construction on soon. Farmer says the master plan also calls for the major renovation of their baseball park and an upgrade of their football stadium, which will include replacing the current press box at Cajun Field and adding club seats and box suites. Farmer says for the entire Master Plan to become a reality it will take a financial support from all levels of the Ragin Cajuns fan base.
The Northwestern State University Demons will face an uphill battle as they take on a heavily favored Florida team in the second round of the N-C-A-A Tournament tonight. The last time the Demons were in the tournament was in 2006, when that year's squad upset the third-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round before losing a hard-fought game against West Virginia.
The third ranked LSU baseball team hosts Auburn tonight for the start of a three-game series. The Tigers are 2-and-1 in league play, while Auburn was swept by Vanderbilt last weekend. Aaron Nola will start on the mound for LSU. Airtime 6:30p on 970 KSYL