KSYL Local News

News For Monday 06/24/13


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

equipment.

 

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

 

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