News for Friday 041213
By Dave Graichen
The building in Shreveport that was meant to house Louisiana College’s Law School, The former Joe D. Waggonner Federal Building, has been put up for sale. The town talk reported today that building is expected to list for about $4 million. It’s believed LC, has slightly more than that invested in the building.
An investigation into possible drugs at an Alexandria residence resulted in five people being arrested. The Alexandria/Pineville Narcotics Unit found suspected marijuana, Ecstasy, LSD and several types of designer drugs Wednesday at a house in the 1800 block of Dartmouth Street. The five arrested, ranged in age from 19 to 23. All were booked and released on bond.
A report from the Legislative Fiscal Office says a ten-year phase-out of state income taxes will cost the state nearly $24-billion to implement. The report is in response to Baton Rouge Representative Hunter Greene's bill, which would lower income tax rates by 10% a year, starting in 2014. The report says the state
would lose $78-million in revenue that first year. Louisiana currently brings in a little over 2 & a half billion dollars in revenue from income taxes .
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says he endorses a ten-year income tax phase-out. Kleckley says, however, that SOMETHING has to replace that lost revenue; perhaps higher tobacco tax or eliminating certain tax exemptions. Though he favors the ten-year phase-out, Kleckley says he'd like to delay starting it for at least two years. The
House Ways & Means Committee will begin hearing proposed income tax phase-out bills next week.
Lawmakers have given final approval to plans to shut down the LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center, in Baton Rouge. The vote came after two hours of oft-times heated discussion of the Jindal administration's privatization of public teaching and charity hospitals. The hospital will shutter on Monday. Almost 780 people are losing their jobs; fewer than 300 have been hired by other facilities.
A plan designed to rein in the cost of TOPS, the state’s merit-based college scholarship, appears doomed at the State Capitol before debate over the program could begin. Senate Bill 83 would cap the popular merit-based scholarship at current tuition levels plus 10 percent. Because much of the money for the TOPS program comes from the state general fund, many legislators said they were open to finding a way to better control the program’s steadily rising costs. Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday he would not sign legislation that limited TOPS awards. The governor called TOPS a good investment for the state.
A Louisiana House committee approved legislation Thursday morning that would require some parents of developmentally delayed children to help pay for therapy and treatment from the state. The House Committee on Health and Welfare advanced without objection House Bill 375. The measure now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.HB375 would allow the state to receive a co-pay for services provided by the Early Steps program.
Today, as you know is Friday. That means the House and Senate have the day
off, as is the tradition until much later in the session. Their work
will resume Monday.
Governor Bobby Jindal announces Louisiana's graduation rate has reached an all-time high. Jindal says 72-percent of freshmen who started high school in 2008, completed high school in four years. The governor says the graduation rate is on the rise, because the state eliminated ineffective dropout prevention programs, rigorous standards are in place to prepare students for college.
The Ouachita Parish teenager who was convicted of killing his parents is going to be re-sentenced. Dalton Fletcher, who was 15 when he committed the crime, was sentenced in February 2012 to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. But the latest ruling comes in light of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled last year states can't impose mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole on juveniles convicted of murder.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office says a 48-year-old man shot his wife, then shot and killed his step-daughter before turning the gun on himself. They say the wife, who survived the ordeal, called 9-1-1 screaming that her husband, William Benham, had gone crazy. When deputies arrived the step-daughter was alive long enough to say what had happened before she died inside the house.
Senator Mary Landrieu's latest campaign finance reports show she's raised over a million dollars so far this year. That's about twice as much as her only declared challenger, Baton Rouge Congressman Dr. Bill Cassidy.
A Louisiana meat processor is recalling over 20-thousand pounds of roast beef deli cuts tainted with bacteria. Baker-based Manda Packing says the beef cold cuts may contain listeria. They were shipped, under different brand names, to eight states.
Looking for something to do this weekend? The French Quarter Festival is on - rain or shine - in New Orleans. In Tangipahoa Parish, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival starts today. And there's the Baton Rouge Blues Festival this weekend. Expect great blues music on multiple stages in Baton Rouge.
A run of the mill car accident on I-49 was what brought police on the. But as a St. Landry Parish Sheriff Deputy arrived a naked 22-year-old Byron Simon of Ville Platte charged him, entering the officer's vehicle. Then when a trooper arrived a short time later he discharged his weapon to draw Simon's attention. A Taser was finally used to subdue the naked man who has been taken to a hospital for treatment. He now faces several charges.
Registration begins today for The X Factor Auditions being held at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans on Sunday. Executive Producer Andrew Linares (Lin-Air-Ess) says they'll begin distributing wristbands this morning and tomorrow, then auditioners will be asked to return Sunday. He says the competition is open to one and all.
The top ranked LSU baseball team faces a big test this weekend as they visit 10th ranked Arkansas. The Tigers have won 9 consecutive SEC games and they are 11-and-1 in the league. The Razorbacks are 8-and-4 in the SEC and LSU Coach Paul Mainieri says this series will go a long way in deciding the Western Division. You can hear the entire series this weekend on 970 KSYL.