KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 04/04/13


News for Thursday 040413

By Dave Graichen

 

We’re coming down to the wire in the search for a new Rapides schools superintendent. Today the three finalists for the position spend the day in the district. All three candidates, Nason  Authement of Houma, David Carpenter of Pineville and Rick Williams of McKinney, Texas will receive a second interview with the Rapides Parish School board and then visit several schools in the district. The public will have a chance to meet the candidates from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Instructional Resource Center on  Beauregard St., in Alexandria. That meet and greet will be followed by  a public forum beginning at 6 p.m. at the Media Center. The School Board is expected to select the new superintendent next week.

 

Governor Jindal was in  Alexandria  yesterday,  speaking  before the Alexandria Rotary Club, to  tout  his tax reform plan.  But it appears now that plan may be dead for this upcoming legislative session. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Wednesday that the governor’s tax package is on hold until economic experts can clear up the confusion surrounding the plan’s numbers. Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said he wants the Legislative Fiscal Office to review the bills, an exercise that likely will delay debate on the governor’s initiative for weeks. Kleckley went on to say, if the plan has a negative impact on small businesses in the state, he would have a hard time supporting it. The Jindal administration already said the proposal would shift a $500 million tax burden from individuals to businesses.

 

Louisiana has the highest rate of gun violence in the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis of gun violence released Wednesday by the Center for American Progress. The report, released at an event in Baton Rouge and other cities, compares the 50 states on 10 key gun-violence indicators such as firearm deaths among children, firearm homicides among women, and law-enforcement agents feloniously killed with a firearm, among others. The report says Louisiana has the highest rate of gun violence of any state and the state has the highest rate of women murdered by guns in the 10-year period from 2001 through 2010.

 

A new poll conducted  by  researchers  at  LSU  finds  a majority of Louisianans  feel  the  state is headed in the wrong direction.  Dr. Kirby Goidel heads the LSU  Public  Policy Research Lab. He says 52% feel state leaders are doing a poor job,  with  few  confident state government can fix big issues. He says the poll shows less residents

believe  the  economy and education are the biggest problems  facing the state. Goidel  says  last  year at this time, only 39% felt the  state  was headed in the wrong direction.

 

A new Southern Media & Opinion Research poll indicates a majority of Louisianans want term limits for statewide  elected  officials, like the secretary of state, state treasurer, ag commissioner and others. Legislators  are  limited  to three 4-year terms, and governors  are limited to 8 years in office.  Bill  sponsor, Rep. Simone Champagne,

of  Erath, says she'll try to pass term  limits  for  other  offices again this year...her third attempt.

 

A federal report says  almost  $700-million  in  development grants, given to Louisiana to elevate and reinforce homes  to make them more hurricane  resistant,  is  missing.  The report from HUD  says  over 24-thousand got the grants but haven't  done  the  work.  The  state Office  of  Community Development, who administered the grants, says they're working  to  bring  all  homeowners  who  got the funds into compliance.

 

The  state  Legislative  Auditor  says Louisiana's  Recovery  School District, for failing public schools  that  have  taken  over by the state,  is  missing  over $2-million in equipment and property.  The report  says  over 1600  items,  mostly  computers  and  audio/video equipment has been  lost,  strayed  or stolen for nearly four years.

The RSD says 70% of the items ARE still  present in the schools, but have been tagged with incorrect location codes.

 

The Winnsboro woman who claimed she was the victim of a racial  attack  and  set herself on fire, but it was later determined her story was fabricated,  has plead not guilty

to  charges  of  terrorizing and filing a false police  report.  The district attorney prosecuting the case, Mack Lancaster says he's not looking to send Sharmeka Moffitt to prison for a long time...as she has suffered enough, with burns over most of her body.

 

Ouachita Parish school officials confirm two West Monroe High school students were killed this morning in a fire. The two  were  inside a mobile home that caught fire. Firefighters were unable to save them.

 

Texas  Brine,  the  company  that  owns  the underground salt cavern thought  responsible  for the Assumption parish  sinkhole  at  Bayou Corne, says gas has been  detected  under  the  slabs  of  two nearby homes.  The company is negotiating with many residents in that  area to buy out their properties, so they can move on. Many have lived in evacuation since last August.

 

 

 

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