News for Friday 040513
By Dave Graichen
Minden Congressman John Fleming has announced he will not run against US-Senator Mary Landrieu, but he still wants her replaced in 2014. In a statement Fleming says he doesn't want to risk a contest between two Republicans which would potentially split votes and give Landrieu a better chance of winning. He goes on to say the New
Orleans Senator has turned her back on Louisiana.
The control tower at Shreveport's Downtown Airport will close this Sunday. The tower was one of 149 forced to close due to budget cuts forced by the sequestration earlier this year. The airport will remain open, despite the tower closure.
Higher education Commissioner Jim Purcell tells members of the House Appropriates Committee he's not pleased with the governor's proposed budget for next fiscal year. Purcell says 490-million dollars of their budget is tied to other things happening, like property sales, legal settlements and certain bills passing the legislature. If the so-called contingency dollars do not show up, it will result in a massive 19-percent cut in funding for higher education.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley will lead an effort to allow universities, community and technical colleges to set their tuition at the Southern Regional Average without legislative approval. But he says cost controls for TOPS should be part of the discussion to give colleges more freedom to raise their tuition rates. Kleckley says it will cost the state about 204-million dollars to fund the TOPS program.
Voting booths will be open across Louisiana at 7 tomorrow morning as several local issues are on the ballot in 38 different parishes. There are two tax propositions on the ballot in Rapides Parish regarding road maintenance and related items. One for ward one the other ward 11. Election officials are expecting a small turnout.
A survey conducted by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab shows nearly half of Louisiana residents feel Governor Bobby Jindal's tax swap plan is a bad idea. Director Kirby Goidel says they also found that many people don't know how to feel about the tax proposal just yet. The say they just don’t know enough about it. Another interesting part of the survey found that 70% of Louisiana residents feel the current tax system is fine. Their biggest concern, some people who get away without paying their fair share.
State Treasurer John Kennedy supports proposed legislation to aid the state in collecting more of the massive outstanding debt owed Louisiana, at a faster pace. Kennedy says the bill would replace the state's current inefficient method of collecting debts, which will only collect $26-million of over a billion owed the state during the next five years. Kennedy says House Bill 629 would contract with a private technology firm to collect for the state. He says the bill has bipartisan sponsorship.
A Gonzales city cop has been suspended after his weapon went off while he was in the men's room at a strip club. The off duty officer was reportedly adjusting an ankle holstered gun, when it discharged. Gonzales PD has a policy about off-duty officers carrying guns into bars. The strip club reported a gunshot hole in the restroom door.
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Lafayette Parish School System, the father of a 6 year old boy who was dragged to death by a school bus in March 2011 has been awarded $300,000. . Attorneys for the school district argued Marcus Miller was an absentee dad and only had an interest in the boy after he died. Miller also filed the suit against the now-retired bus driver and their insurance companies. He was seeking $2.3 million
A businessman was sentenced today to a year and a half in prison for fraudulently billing BP for roughly $1.4-million for use of a helicopter after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Bay Ingram owned Southeast Recovery Group. He's been ordered to repay over $460-thousand to BP as well. Ingram pleaded guilty to the charges of bilking and overbilling the oil company last year. He could have received up to five years in prison.
A top ten match-up in on tap at the Box this weekend as second ranked LSU hosts seventh ranked Kentucky. The Wildcats are 22-and-6 and they are the toughest test that LSU has faced this season. LSU is entering the second half of its season with a 27-and-2 record. Airtime 6:30 tonight on 970 KSYL.