KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 05/02/13


News for Thursday 050213

By Dave Graichen

 

It appears a local couple was very happy with the decision of the Louisiana college board on Tuesday to support it’s president Dr. Joe Aguillard. Yesterday, Aguillard announced an anonymous $10 million donation, the largest single donation in the history of the 106-year-old college.

 

Louisiana is Number One among the 50 states for its rate of births to  unmarried women. The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, and shows  48.7% of all births are to non-married mothers. The city of Monroe ranked highly among U.S. cities for  births to single moms; with 62.5% of all births in 2011 to non-married women. Finally, the report shows that nearly a third of all un-married mothers  are women with less than a high school degree.

 

Yesterday the CEO of   Idaho Timber, Ted Ellis,  announced the company will reopen a sawmill in Coushatta later this year, creating 90 new direct jobs. The site was closed in 2008 as a result of the national recession. Idaho Timber LLC recently purchased the facility from Hood Industries. Idaho Timber, based in Boise, will make a $3.5 million capital investment to refurbish and reopen the mill by the third quarter of 2013. Hiring is under way and will be completed when the mill comes online.

 

The House Governmental Affairs Committee rejects a proposal to place term  limits on statewide elected officials. The governor is already term limited  to two terms and Erath Representative Simone Champagne believes the other  statewide elected officials should be limited to three terms. Champagne's legislation would have  asked  voters  if  they  want to restrict   the   Lt.   Governor,   secretary   of  state,  insurance commissioner,  attorney  general  and  agriculture  commissioner  to three, four-year terms. They, as you may suspect, all spoke out against the plan. The measure was defeated on a six-to-two vote.

 

Governor Jindal says 8000 students attending failing  public schools have been matched with the Fall 2013 Louisiana Scholarship  Program, which  provides  state-funded  vouchers to pay private and parochial school tuition. About 12-thousand  families applied for the vouchers this year. The state is appealing a  court  ruling  that the program makes  unconstitutional  use of public school dollars to  pay  those

vouchers.

 

A House committee rejects a bill banning discrimination  against any state employee based on their sexual orientation. Opponents  say the measure  would  advance  a sexual politics agenda. They say existing laws  provide  adequate  protection.  That  bill  was  involuntarily deferred.

 

The  House  Committee  on  Criminal  Justice  has approved a bill to reduce sentences for possessing marijuana, and  give those currently in prison for that offense a chance at possible early  release.  New Orleans  Rep  Austin  Badon  says state prisons are overcrowded and straining the state finances to house non-violent offenders. Under the bill, a 2nd offense would get up to a year in prison.

 

HB152 by Chris Hazel which allows  parole  eligibility for juveniles convicted of murder, advanced to the House floor  today. The bill is silent  on  whether  the  eligibility  would apply to those  already convicted and incarcerated. That issue would  be left for the courts to decide.

 

A state lawmaker  decides not to move his bill that would ban public schools from being  involved with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Abbeville  Rep.  Bob  Hensgens  filed  the  measure  in response  to  the  LHSAA's  decision  to  separate  its  high school football playoffs. There will be split football playoffs this fall, public schools will have their own post-season, while private and parochial schools will have their own brackets.

 

A Senate committee rejected a proposed  bill to make the position of Education Superintendent an elected one.  Currently  BESE  picks the Superintendent,  often  at  the Goveror's urging. Monroe Senator  Bob Kostelka brought the bill and was critical of current Superintendent John  White,  as  a  New Yorker who  doesn't  understand  Louisiana. Opponents say educations  gains  of the past several years were made

under an appointed Superintendent. The bill failed by a 2-to-4 vote.

 

The new owner of The Advocate introduced himself to managers of the newspaper Wednesday morning and said he was “extremely proud” to own Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper. John Georges, the CEO of Georges Media Group and publisher of The Advocate, said he had an enormous responsibility to The Advocate’s 450 employees and the Baton Rouge community.  Earlier in the day, governor Jindal told the press the paper could not be in better hands.

 

Here comes the  bride,  but  not  exactly what you may think. Zoo of Acadiana officials have invited the  public to attend the wedding of two giraffes on Sunday. They say their  16  foot giraffe Gabriel has waited  a  long  time  for a mate and thanks to donations  from  the community, they were able to get Evangeline, a new 14 ft girl in the habitat. Sunday is a celebration of this accomplishment.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and  Fisheries  is now offering an  app  for smartphone users to report outdoor related  violations. The app is  called, "LADWF Tips" and this is part of their Operation Game Thief program  which  could  offer cash rewards for information leading to arrests or convictions.

 

The  state  Department of Transportation says work on I-49 south  of Lafayette should  start  early  next  year. The project will upgrade U.S.Highway 90 to Interstate standards, and add a third lane in each direction.  The  first  section  will  run from  Ambassador  Caffery Parkwway to Albertson Parkway, at a cost  of about $75-million. DOTD expects to be bidding the project out by January.

 

Forcing a minor to undergo an abortion would be considered child abuse  under a bill approved by the House Criminal Justice Committee. The bill passed unanimously and heads to the House floor.

 

A state appeals court has ruled as unconstitutional a Louisiana law that makes it a felony for non-citizens to drive without documents proving they are legally in the United States. The decision, handed down Wednesday by the Lake Charles-based 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, found that the statute is an improper effort by the state to enforce immigration laws, generally the exclusive realm of the federal government.

 

After defeating McNeese Tuesday night, the number three ranked LSU baseball team is set to open a three-game  series against the 19th ranked Florida Gators tonight. You can hear all the games on 970 KSYL. Airtime this evening is at 6

 

 

 

 

 

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