News for Wednesday 061213
By Dave Graichen
It appears Ft. Polk is safe for now. A Senate panel on Tuesday approved legislation rejecting the Defense Department’s request to shutter installations and facilities in the United States that are no longer needed as the military branches cut the number of troops in uniform. Last week, The House Armed Services Committee also said no to more base closings, and even took the additional step of adding a provision barring the Pentagon from even planning for another round of cuts. The House and Senate refusals effectively ensure that a final defense policy bill approved by Congress for the 2014 fiscal year won’t give the department permission to close excess bases even as lawmakers clamor for ways to cut the federal deficit.
Governor Jindal yesterday signed senate bill 116 that will allow voters in Pineville to go to the polls in October to decide whether or not they what alcohol to be sold in local restaurants. Supporters say restaurants that are interested in Pineville but currently shying away, particularly national chains who say they would come to the city if alcohol sales are allowed. It’s hoped, that, in turn, would attract more development, including hotels, that would open up economic opportunities in the city.
The Alexandria City Council adopted resolutions Tuesday confirming two people to city posts who had held the positions on an interim basis. Daniel Williams was confirmed as director of community services. Williams was confirmed by a 4-3 vote, with council members Chuck Fowler, Harry Silver, Lee Rubin and Jim Villard voting yes while Ed Larvadain, Mitzi LaSalle and Jules Green voted no. David Gill was confirmed by unanimous vote as director of public works.
Governor Jindal's coastal advisor is critical of BP's decision to end active deepwater horizon oil spill operations in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Garret Graves questions why BP would end response efforts in those states when there's an estimated one-million barrels of oil still in the Gulf of Mexico. BP says oil response efforts will continue along 84 shoreline miles in Louisiana.
One of the bills passed by the Legislature and sent to Governor Jindal's desk reforms the state's practices for collecting outstanding debts. State Treasurer John Kennedy supported the legislation. He says, currently, the state's many agencies handle their own collections – and do so poorly. House Bill 629 centralizes all debt owed the state under the Department of Revenue. Kennedy says it will more effectively collect some of the nearly $2-billion in outstanding sums owed to the state. Kennedy says the centralized collection system will be implemented with the Governor's signature and could produce millions for state coffers before the year's end.
3 death row inmates have filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana State Penitentiary for what they call appalling conditions under extreme heat in their cells. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of the inmates by the Promise of Justice Initiative and deputy director Mercedes Montagnes who says the state of death row at Angola is unacceptable. Montagnes says they are not asking for "comfortable" conditions on death row---they are asking for humane conditions... in addition to the extreme heat, Montagnes says the inmates say they get dirty water and when they get ice, it often has bugs in it.
Pairings and game times have been announced for the College World Series and the LSU Baseball/UCLA game will be held Sunday night at 7pm on ESPN2 and ESPN3. The first game on Saturday will be between the Oregon State/Kansas State Super Regional winner versus Mississippi State. The second game on Saturday will be Indiana against Louisville. The first game Sunday will be the North Carolina/South Carolina Super Regional winner versus North Carolina State.
The woman accused of a Memorial Day weekend drunk driving crash that killed three people has been released from the hospital and taken into custody by St. Charles Parish deputies. Jennifer Englade face three counts of vehicular homicide, 3rd degree feticide, 2nd offense DWI and other charges. Investigators believe she was legally drunk when she veered across the center line and into the path of small sedan; killing two adults inside...one of them a pregnant woman. A passenger in Englade's vehicle was also killed.
The US Coast Guard says one person is dead and another fighting for their life after a boating accident in Pilottown Monday. Pilottown is located in the very tip of the boot of Louisiana and rescue swimmers had to be lowered to the location of the pleasure craft in trouble. The two were air-lifted to the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans and upon arrival one person was pronounced dead and the other in critical condition.
U-L Monroe has named three finalists to become the school's new athletic director. The three finalists are Georgia associate A-D Josh Brooks, U-C Riverside A-D Brian Wickstrom and Texas-Pan American athletic director Chris King. The plan is to have a new A-D in place by August 1st.
A New Iberia woman and her son are accused of burglarizing the same home twice. Morgan City Police say 47-year-old Tina Collier and her 17-year-old son Brandon allegedly hit the house on May 17th and again last Sunday. They've been booked in the parish jail.
Bossier City's newest casino resort is growing closer to opening its doors. Margaritaville spokesperson Christy Wood says State Police Gaming division officers are visiting this week, to test casino systems, gaming machines, staff training and compliance with state laws. Wood says the tropically-themed Margaritaville is very much on track for
it's Grand Opening celebration; coming up in early July. Jimmy Buffett is scheduled to perform at the grand opening.