News for Monday 062413
By Dave Graichen
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, total non-farm jobs in Louisiana grew by 56-hundred between May, 2012, and May, 2013. That totals almost two million jobs, just a few hundred off the record high for the state set in 2005, just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina slammed into our lives. Private employers in
Louisiana added jobs for the 33rd month in a row.
Louisiana's Agricultural Commissioner says consumers will see prices at the grocery store increase dramatically, if Congress can't pass a new farm bill by the end of September. Mike Strain says without a new farm bill, the country will have to follow the rules and regulations set in the 1949 Farm Bill, which would not be good for anyone. If that happens, Strain says you can expect milk to cost in the neighborhood of eight dollars a gallon. The US Senate has approved its version of a new Farm Bill, but the House is struggling to pass one, because there's a big disagreement over the future of the food stamp program.
Summer, 2013, promises to be at least as hot as it usually is, perhaps even more. State Climatologist Barry Keim says right now, there is no El Nino OR La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean to modify weather conditions here in the mid-south. And that means something meteorologists call ENSO-neutral conditions for the Gulf South and southern United States. Keim also reports rainfall should be around normal this summer, easing fears of drought conditions for farmers.
A new state law will allow nonviolent drug offenders to leave prison early or avoid jail time if they complete an intensive drug treatment program. Metairie Representative Joe Lopinto's bill, which was signed by Governor Jindal, establishes an early release program for certain offenders convicted on first and second offense drug charges. The Department of Corrections says over 800 offenders would be eligible for release under this legislation. Lopinto says the measure is also expected to save the state six million dollars next fiscal year. Lopinto is confident the drug treatment program will help low-risk drug offenders turn things around and become productive members of society...
Governor Bobby Jindal has vetoed four million dollars from the states budget that would have gone to home based services for the developmentally disabled. Jindal said the legislature removed too much funding from the program that would have paid for the routine increase in the number of patients being treated through Medicaid.
The governor says lawmakers underfunded the health department by more than 20-million dollars.
Louisiana ranks second in the country in the number of claims paid by State Farm for lightning damage. State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson says a whole house surge protector will help protect your home from lightning strikes. Stephenson says your utility company can install it and the device can prevent damage to your electronic
Shintech has announced plans to increase the capacity of its Plaquemine and Addis plants by 20 to 25 percent. The company estimates the 500-million dollar project should create up to 500 new construction jobs and up to ten new permanent jobs at the peak of building the expansions. Construction is scheduled to be completed
sometime in 2015.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College has announced its taken Southern University off probation. The association and Southern have been locked in a two year back and fourth battle on the probation status for the school. Southern was placed on probation for what the agency said was insufficient data reporting relating to how the university was measuring the success of its students.
Dale Hall, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, died Saturday in his home while recovering from surgery last month. Hall retired from the State Police with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He also was a former assistant superintendent of State Police. Dale hall was 56.
State and federal investigators probing the cause of the deadly blast June 13 at the Williams Olefins plant plan to inspect a key element of the facility this week that one federal investigator said “failed catastrophically.” A U.S. Senate committee also scheduled a hearing for Thursday to look into the fire that killed two and injured 101