KSYL Local News

News For Thursday 05/23/13


News for Thursday 052313

By Dave Graichen

 

State  Police  say  a  76-year-old  man  from  Pollock is dead after crashing  his  truck  late  Tuesday  night. They say Coy  Kirtland  was northbound on Hwy 165 in Grant Parish  when  he left the roadway and slammed  into  two culverts before over turning.  Kirtland  was  not wearing his seat-belt and was pronounced dead on scene.

 

The  House  Appropriations  Committee approves a Senate-passed  bill calling for $263-million in construction  of community and technical college buildings. The bill is sponsored by  Benton  Senator  Robert Adley,  who says enrollment at Louisiana's 2-year schools has doubled in recent years. Adley's bill calls for selling bonds to  finance  the building plan. The  committee  passed  the  bill--sending it to the House floor for

what could be final passage.

 

Plans to wrestle tuition-setting authority away from lawmakers and put it in the hands of educators fizzled and died in the state House of Representatives this week,  representing a major blow to Louisiana’s higher education community. Currently, two-thirds of the state Legislature must sign off before colleges and universities can raise tuition. It is the toughest threshold in the country to overcome. At the same time, Louisiana is near the bottom nationwide in funding colleges while keeping tuition at some of the lowest rates in the country.

 

Good  news for Louisiana public school education as this year's LEAP and iLEAP test results show an  increase  of  students  in  grades 3 through   8   performing  at  or  above  their  grade  level.  State Superintendent  of Education John White says this reduces the number of students performing  below  grade  level by nearly 5000.

In Central Louisiana, Evangeline Parish was listed as one of the most improved districts in the state, while Vernon Parish ranked as one of the top performing districts. Overall the performance of the voucher-supported students in private schools in the state scholarship program improved by less than a percentage point.

 

Legislation is moving through both chambers of the state legislature that attempts to make it difficult for Planned Parenthood to build a new  facility  in  New Orleans. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny has a resolution that was  passed by the Senate, which urges the state not to provide any tax incentives  for  the  construction  of  the  four

million dollar building. Planned  Parenthood  Gulf  Coast spokesperson Julie Mickelberry says the new health center in New Orleans is not just a place where women

can receive assistance to terminate  their pregnancy. She says women and men will also be able to receive reproductive health care, including breast exams and cancer screening.  Planned Parenthood doesn't currently operate  an  abortion clinic in

Louisiana.

 

A watered-down “Equal Pay for Women” measure cleared the Louisiana Senate on Wednesday. The state Senate voted 23-13 for the legislation after making it apply only to women who work for state government. Senate Bill 153 originally applied to women whether they worked in the private or public sector.

 

The Louisiana Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a year’s delay in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new pension plan for future state employees. The Senate voted 35-0 for a Louisiana House-passed resolution suspending the law scheduled to go into effect July 1. The Jindal administration originally opposed the delay, but reversed course with the filing of the special resolution that can suspend a law without the governor’s approval. The administration has filed what it calls a “clean up” bill to fix flaws.

 

Louisiana’s judges would get steady pay raises over the next five years under legislation approved late Wednesday by the Louisiana Senate. The Senate voted 27-9 to accept the recommendation of the Judicial Compensation Commission which is embodied in Senate Bill 188. The bill now heads to the House for debate.

 

Consumers looking to pick up meat for this weekend's cook-out will see  beef prices are higher than normal at the grocery store. LSU AgCenter  livestock economist Ross Pruitt says that's because wholesale beef  prices are at historically high levels. Pruitt says beef is not the only meat seeing higher prices this year, the same can be said for chicken and pork as well.

 

A federal court has approved a class-action  lawsuit  for the people effected  by  the  Assumption  Parish  sink-hole.  The  now 15-acres sinkhole apparently caused by work performed by Texas Brine has left about 350 people forced out of their homes for nearly a year with no buyouts offered. WAFB is reporting a spokesman for the company  said

they  only  just found out that their insurance carriers were not in support of the buyout process.

 

Another  suspect  in  the  fatal  shooting of two  St.  John  Parish sheriff’s deputies has pleaded guilty. Derrick Smith is the third suspect  to  enter  a  guilty plea in the

case.   He  agrees  he  is  guilty of  accessory after the  fact  to attempted first degree murder  and  possession  of  a  firearm by an convicted felon. The suspected gunman

Brian Smith, Derrick's older brother and  Kyle  Joekel  are  both charged with first degree murder.

 

Deputies in Lafourche Parish have charged a Mexican  national  -  in the  country illegally - with 2nd degree murder for the death of his girlfriend's  20-month-old  son.  Sheriff  Craig Webre says the baby died from being shaken. 24-year-old Emmanuel  Hernandez  is  being  held  pending a million  dollar  bond.  The investigation into the baby's death is ongoing.

 

A bill that would consider coercing a minor-aged girl into having an abortion  a  form of child abuse has moved closer to final  passage. Denham Springs  Rep.  Valarie  Hodges'  bill  has already passed the House  and  this week was approved by a Senate Judiciary  Committee. She says her  bill  is  to  protect  young mothers who want to carry their baby to full term. That bill now goes to the Senate floor.

 

Sports..

 

LSU shut out Alabama yesterday in the SEC tournament. Today, they’ll be facing the razorbacks at 4pm.

 

Once again the LSU/Arkansas game will be  played  on its traditional Friday  after  Thanksgiving  time  slot  in  2013.  The Southeastern Conference   and   CBS  made  the  announcement  today.  LSU  Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette says since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, the Tigers  and Razorbacks have played 21 times with 16 of those games coming on a Friday. He says some of the other  dates  announced  also makes it look like the  LSU/Bama  game  in  Tuscaloosa  on  November  9th  will  be  in prime-time.

 

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