News for Thursday 041813
By Dave Graichen
The world’s largest wood pellet plant is coming to Urania. German Pellets is expected to begin construction soon on a $300 million plant that will create an estimated 500 jobs. The company is the leading manufacturer of wood pellets in Europe. The plant is scheduled to be operational in the spring of 2014 and produce one million tons of wood pellets per year. It will be located on the site of the Georgia Pacific plant in Urania that closed in 2002.
The rapides parish sheriff’s department reports A body found last month in the ruins of a Wardville structure fire has been identified. Dental records and DNA were used to identify the remains of 27 year old Jonathan Sartin of Pineville. Detectives have ruled the death a homicide. A suspect, 44 year old John Purvis was arrested March 19 and is being held in the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
The Alexandria City Council approved an agreement Wednesday with Alexandria Sports Equities that will allow the group to field a professional baseball team at the dilapidated Bringhurst field. Under the terms of the agreement , which runs through Sept. 30, the team’s owners will pay the city $12,000. Team owners have the option to extend the agreement for an additional year. As part of the agreement, team owners will also prepare a feasibility study to renovate and reconstruct Bringhurst, which has serious structural issues.
Louisiana lawmakers advanced a batch of bills Wednesday they say are aimed at pre-empting any stricter gun laws that could make it out of Congress. In heated exchanges the House Criminal Justice Committee approved an array of “state’s rights” gun regulations, including bills that would: Prohibit the enforcement of any federal restrictions on owning semi-automatic weapons. Another bill would Make it a felony to release or publish the names and addresses of people who own or have applied for concealed handgun permits. Plus another bill that would Create the “Louisiana Manufactured Firearms and Ammunition Act” was moved to the full house. That bill would allow gun buyers to circumvent any federal gun laws as long as the guns were manufactured in Louisiana.
The U.S. Senate has rejected a federal bill to expand background checks for more people buying guns. The measure failed by a 54-46 vote. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu voted for additional background checks; Senator David Vitter voted against
A measure to allow optometrists to perform eye surgery advanced in the House Health and Welfare Committee today and heads to the full House for more debate.
The House Education Committee advances a bill requires public schools to have a written crisis response plan; written in cooperation with local law enforcement. The bill also requires all parties involved rehearse those crisis plans. The bill was conceived following the tragic Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.
A bill that would allow students who get an undergraduate degree out of state to use Louisiana’s popular scholarship program for graduate work here passed the House Education Committee on a 13-2 vote. The measure, House Bill 612, next faces action on the House floor. It may also be reviewed by the House Appropriations Committee.
The full state Senate is scheduled to debate Livingston Parish Senator Dale Erdey's bill that would make it illegal to Facebook or Tweet while driving. The bill also applies to a host of other frequently used social network sites. The bill would make that a moving violation and subject to being pulled over and ticketed.
In Tangipahoa Parish yesterday, a suspicious briefcase left in a trash can outside a Mandeville Post Office brought out the bomb squad. Mandeville cops say a janitor discovered it and notified his boss, who - in light of Monday's events in Boston - called police right away. The briefcase was destroyed by the bomb squad. It turned out
to be filled with miscellaneous trash. No one was hurt.
The Senate Insurance Committee advances a bill to require lawmakers' approval before the state's last resort property insurer can make big rate hikes. St. Mary Parish Senator Brett Allain sponsors the legislation. He says Louisiana Citizens raised coverage rates for his constituents by 170% recently. His proposed legislation would
rein that in. Allain's bill passed committee vote and goes to the full Senate to debate.
A Carencro man was arrested after allegedly making a bomb threat at the Evangeline Downs Casino in Opelousas. Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons says Russell Cormier told casino employees he had allegedly left a bomb inside the casino. The entire property was searched, but nothing was found.
Dressed in bright red colors on a windy day, legislators and others gathered on the State Capitol steps Wednesday in a show of support for a state tobacco tax increase.
The likely fate of their efforts is unclear. The House Committee on Ways and Means will start looking at various proposals next week. The proposals include increases of 24 cents, 32 cents and $1.05 in the state tax on a pack of cigarettes.
A bid to give lawmakers more oversight of privatized health care programs created by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration appears on track to passage this year after being vetoed twice before by the governor. However, this time, Jindal said he supports the bill. The state Senate Health and Welfare Committee backed the measure without objection Wednesday, sending it again to the full Senate.
A Baton Rouge man is charged with murder for the death of an 18-month old child. East Baton Rouge Parish authorities says the little girl was found unresponsive on Monday, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies suspected foul play, which was quickly confirmed.
Last night the LSU Baseballers shutout Grambling 4 to nothing. The tigers begin a three game series tomorrow night at Alabama. You can hear the entire series on 970 KSYL.
Also Saturday afternoon at 2, it’s the LSU spring Football Game. That game will also be carried on 970 KSYL.
The L-S-U Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal from the athletic department to name the baseball field after Tigers legendary coach Skip Bertman. Associate athletic director Herb Vincent says the idea has been in the works for quite a while. Vincent says the athletic department plans to dedicate the field on Friday, May 17th when L-S-U takes on Ole Miss. The ceremony will be in conjunction with a 20-year reunion of Bertman's 1993 national championship team. Bertman says it is a tremendous honor.