News For Tuesday 061113
By Dave Graichen
A 48-year-old priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria was found dead Friday in a room at a local motel. Fr. Jamie Medina-Cruz was a pastor of St. Mary's Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport and an assistant pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marksville. Medina-Cruz was placed on administrative leave at St. Mary's on March 12 after being accused of improper conduct with a minor. He was relieved of his duties pending an investigation by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office. No charges had been filed. The APD Reports there were no signs of a crime at the scene.
More bad economic news for Shreveport. Barksdale Air Force Base officials say they have issued almost 14-hundred furlough letters to civilians who work on the base. The furlough period starts July 8th. Officials say the cuts are expected to save Barksdale some 1.6 million dollars. The furloughs for workers will be one day per week
for 11 weeks.
The state Board of Regents releases its annual report of teacher preparation and performance, which shows public school teachers doing better than expected. Regents spokesperson Dr. Jeanne (GENE) Burns says the report shows a great many teachers are rating "effective: proficient" or "highly effective" in the new value-added teacher performance reviews. She says the findings indicate that the redesign of teacher preparation is working. Teacher preparation programs in Louisiana underwent a major redesign between 2001 and 2010. Burns says the report shows those efforts are bearing fruit
The Louisiana Civil Service Commission has cleared the way for the state to lay off nearly 4,000 employees at LSU-affiliated hospitals in Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houma and New Orleans. Commissioner Scott Hughes, who last week voted to deny the layoffs, said Monday that the state Department of Health and Hospitals had supplied sufficient information in the interim to convince him that there would be a savings, although he still has doubts as to whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would approve some of the planned financing. The employees to receive pink slips at the end of business June 23.
The coroner in Orleans Parish has positively ID'ed the body found inside a car in Bayou St. John as that of missing school teacher Terrilynn Monette, who went missing in the early morning hours of March 2nd, after leaving a Lakeview neighborhood bar. Divers found Monette's black Honda Accord with her still inside it Saturday. Cause of death is listed as drowning.
A big fundraiser takes place today in Washington DC to help Congressman Bill Cassidy's US Senate campaign. The National Republican Senatorial committee headquarters is the host site. The invitation lists the entire Louisiana republican congressional delegation as "special guests. Latest fundraising totals show, Senator Landrieu has a million dollars more in her campaign war chest than Cassidy
The Bossier City Margaritaville Resort Casino is in it's final stages of getting everything together before opening. State Police and other gaming officials are checking this week to see if the new casino is in compliance with Louisiana law. They say a determination will be made on Thursday. The grand opening of
Margaritaville is scheduled for the July 4th week and Jimmy Buffet with perform at the casino's theater on July 3rd.