News for Monday 052013
By Dave Graichen
The Jindal administration has proposed privatization deals with eight LSU hospitals, but lawmakers have learned there's only enough money in next year's budget to fully fund three of them. Department of Health and Hospitals Undersecretary Jerry Phillips says they are aware of the problem and they believe there may be other funding
sources out there to get these deals done.
He doesn’t officially start his new job until June 1st. but, Incoming Rapides Parish schools Superintendent Nason “Tony” Authement is planning to create four “school turnaround teams” as part of a restructuring of the school district’s central office.
The School Board will consider Authement’s restructuring plan Tuesday at a special meeting, which will begin after the regularly scheduled committee meetings that start at 5 p.m. The school turnaround will be charged with helping to improve the district’s 17 schools that were graded as a D or F by the state Department of Education.
The state Senate settles in this week to begin its work with the proposed $24-billion budget for the fiscal year that starts in July. The House passed that bill out over a week ago. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who is a veteran of the legislature, says he's pleased with how the House handled tax incentives for the film & TV industry. Dardenne says the budget bill passed by the House makes some cuts to the departments he oversees, tourism, culture, state parks and most museums but they are cuts he feels he can work with.
Business as usual? State ethics officials pushed a limited legislative agenda this year, but even that scaled-down approach got nowhere. No bills were filed, although Louisiana Ethics Board members says they sought legislative fixes from the Legislature’s leaders and from Gov. Bobby Jindal. Some of the measures that did get filed in the 2013 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature are contrary to the recommendations the Ethics Board had established. The Ethics Board asked for help with a handful of challenges it continues to encounter in enforcement of conflict of interest, nepotism and campaign finance laws. Some of the disputes have led to lawsuits and others concern about creating some big holes that could allow ethical misconduct.
A new report on poverty shows that the number of poor people living in the Baton Rouge suburbs increased by 31.8 percent from 2000 to 2011. But, the good news in the report is that 31.8 percent figure is less than half of the average percentage change reported for the nation’s largest cities. Nationally, the number of poor people living in suburban areas in the 100 largest cities went up 63.6 percent from 2000 to 2011, from just over 10 million to nearly 16.4 million.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office announces an arrest has been made in a murder that happened in 1962. Seventy-three-year-old Felix Vail was arrested in Canyon Lake, Texas and booked into the Calcasieu Parish jail last night. Investigators believe Vail killed his wife Mary Horton Vail, who was found dead in the Calcasieu
River. Felix claimed it was a boating accident. The Mississippi native is also a suspect in the deaths of a girlfriend and another wife.
Marksville police captured an inmate from the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center who was on the run. Authorities say 21-year-old Christopher Roy escaped while on work detail. He was found early Saturday morning at a home in Marksville. Roy has been in prison since November and he was scheduled for release in 2015.
Congratulations to Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson. Who on Saturday received the Buford Pusser National Law Enforcement Award for his efforts to promote partnerships among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The award is given annually to “deserving officers who have exhibited both heroism and leadership in law enforcement.
A state lawmaker will look into whether legislation is needed to allow parents track their children with G-P-S devices while at school. Mandeville Representative Tim Burns says there's rules on the books against electronic devices in the classroom like phones, so legislation might be needed for parents to track their kids at school. Burns says he's asking the state legislature to approve a study resolution this year to get a better idea on what schools have to say about GPS devices in the classroom. He says they'll also look into the available technology and possibly propose legislation next year.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is seeking new foster families. The state currently has about two-thousand foster homes that serve four-thousand foster children. But D-C-F-S Secretary Suzy Sonnier (SAHN-yay) says they are in need of families willing to take large sibling groups or children with special needs. Sonnier says parents can learn more about becoming a foster parent by visiting the department of children and family services website. Sonnier says foster parents take in children who had to leave their family because of abuse or neglect. She says the goal is to eventually reunite those children with their birth parents, relatives or family members.
Whitney and Hancock banks, which operate some 250 full-service bank branches in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are expected to close 40-45 area branches this year in all five states in which they operate, including Louisiana. The specific branches that will be closed — and how many employees might be laid off — will not be released until later. Most of the closings will occur Aug. 30 and all closings will be completed by year’s end.
Sports….After a record-breaking regular season, the second ranked LSU baseball team can focus on the postseason. The Tigers will begin play in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday. LSU will play Against the winner of Tuesday's game between 10th seeded Auburn and seventh seeded Alabama. The Tigers will need to win four games this week to win the SEC Tournament. Hear Those Games On 970AM KSYL.