KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 07/24/13


News for Wednesday 072413

By Dave Graichen

 

An offshore rig in the Gulf blew out yesterday and overnight caught fire.  Coast Guard Spokesman Petty Officer Carlos Vega says it happened on a rig located  about  55 miles south and east of Grand  Isle.  The unmanned rig is owned by Walter  Oil  &  Gas is located in about 154 feet of water. Vega says the well is currently  flowing natural gas, but no oil is being released. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is overflying the rig site, and monitoring Walter Oil & Gas' response efforts to bring the  well  under control. 47 people were evacuated from an adjacent rig. A safety perimeter keeping marine traffic away from the rig  Vega says there's no plan to battle the fire yet.

 

It is a state investment that is paying off. State officials announced yesterday the massive DNA backlog of over 9,000 cases at the  State Police Crime Lab has been eliminated. Before the backlog was eliminated, state police was unable to process  all their own cases and outsourced some of their forensic cases to other  agencies. State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson says the elimination of the backlog  is attributed to expansion of the crime lab in 2009, as well as  increased funding for new equipment and technology...

 

The  state's  first  case  of  West  Nile  virus in a human has been confirmed.  State  health officials say a seriously  ill  person  in Caldwell Parish has  the  disease. By this time last year, 31 people

were diagnosed with the neuroinvasive  form  of West Nile. In total last year, there were 160 cases of West Nile encephalitis  and 191 cases of the less-serious West Nile fever.

 

The  new school year is just around the corner and the Department of Health  and  Hospitals  is  reminding parents, "No shots, No School. It's the Law." State immunization  director Dr. Frank Welch says now is the time to make sure your student is current on their shots.  Welch says Louisiana law requires children age four or older who are entering kindergarten or pre-k this  year  have proof they have been vaccinated.

 

A magazine that looks at corporate expansion and relocation projects released a report that says Louisiana's business  climate ranked NO. 4 in the nation. Business Facilities also ranked the  LED  FastStart program  as  the  top state workforce development program in the country.

 

The state Department of Revenue says another period of Tax Amnesty will  begin September 23rd. LDR spokesman Douglas Baker says the amnesty will  offer a 60-day window for delinquent taxpayers to pay outstanding state  tax debts without paying heavy penalties.  Baker says LDR is calling the amnesty program "Fresh Start", and they've  put up a special website just to inform taxpayers of how to take  advantage. It’s LDRTaxAmnesty.com

 

American Tank Company  says it will build a $2-million manufacturing plant in New Iberia. When  complete,  in  mid-2014,  the  plant will employ 20 or more people at good salaries. The company makes  oil  &

gas storage tanks.

 

The family of 7 people who lost their life when they  were  hit by a man  on  his  4th  DWI  is  protesting  his sentence citing judicial racism. Brett Gerald of Clinton plead guilty to killing seven people while drunk and was initially sentenced to 70 years in jail, but his sentenced  was later reduced to 35 years and  his  lawyer  is  still appealing.

 

West Feliciana Parish sheriff's  deputies have recovered half of the 80 tablet computers stolen in a school  burglary.  Investigators say five  people, including three juveniles, have been arrested  in  the

theft of  a  laptop  computer and 80  iPad tablets during a June 26th burglary of West Feliciana High School. The search for the remaining 40 devices is ongoing.

 

 

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