KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 07/31/13


News for Wednesday 073113

By Dave Graichen

 

Entergy  announces it will lay off about 800 employees  in  the  Gulf South. A spokesman with the company says about 240 Entergy employees in Louisiana  will be let go; a 5% reduction in its workforce in our state. He says  the layoffs are to reduce overall costs. People have already started to  be let go and Entergy says the layoffs should be completed by the end of the year.

 

The Covington Police Department says its investigating a shooting at a law firm where  upwards of 80  rounds  were fired by a man. They say the only person there was a secretary who  was able to escape, but there is a dead individual inside the building.  The  report indicates the shooter  was a former client who went inside and opened  fire,  then shot himself.

 

The Livingston Parish Coroner's office has reportedly confirmed that a  14-year-old  child  has drowned at the Cajun Lagoon water park in Livingston Parish. Authorities are not releasing much information at this time other than to say it happened around 2pm.

 

A nationwide FBI sting  has  recovered  105  juveniles from underage prostitution.  Four were from New Orleans and two  were  from  Baton Rouge. Working with  local  officials  they arrested over 40 "johns" and adult prostitutes in both  cities as well as in Lake Charles, Shreveport and here in Alexandria.

 

State  Police  are  urging  citizens  to  download  their  new  "See Something, Send Something" smart  phone  app,  which makes reporting possible  criminal behavior quick and easy. LSP Superintendent  Mike Edmonson says  one  can  remain anonymous when using the app, if you wish. He says the app is a  help  for  law enforcement, because they cannot be everywhere at once. He  says a similar app was instrumental in quickly  identifying  the Boston  Marathon  bombers.  Versions for Android and iPhone are free downloads at the Apple store or Google Play.

 

Officials in Caddo Parish say there were no serious injuries  in a train  crash  that  happened  in  Vivian  Tuesday  morning. They say two Kansas City Southern trains collided along  the tracks that run next to LA Highway 1 just before 8am.

 

Louisiana   could   soon   have  its  first  commercial  wind  farm. Metairie-based Southern States Renewable Energy is planning to build eight, 498-foot-tall wind turbines  near  the Port of West St. Mary. Frank Fink, economic development director for  St. Mary Parish, says Southern  States  Renewable  Energy is working on a  power  purchase agreement with Cleco. He says  the  wind  farm  will also be located near the substation. Fink says they hope to begin construction on the  project before the end of the year.

 

The Jindal administration is moving forward with finding a replacement for CNSI, the Medicaid claims processing contractor fired by the state. The state health agency is asking for professional help in figuring out the kind of information technology system needed in Louisiana. The multiyear contract is the most lucrative in state government. The Medicaid claims processing system is responsible for paying doctors, hospitals, clinics and others who provide medical care for the poor who rely on the government insurance program. About one of every four Louisiana residents are part of Medicaid.

 

After a wetter than normal spring in Louisiana, a good portion of the  state is now experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says there's been a lack of rainfall in  north Louisiana and down into southwest Louisiana.  However, it's not been a dry summer for the entire state, southeast  Louisiana is running above normal for precipitation.

 

The  area  of  low  oxygen known as the dead zone off of Louisiana's coast is now measured  at  58-hundred square miles. The dead zone is the result of certain nutrients,  like  fertilizer, flowing into the

Gulf  from  the  Mississippi  river,  killing  off  oxygen.  Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of the Gulf  Coast  Restoration Network, says this is a major concern for the Gulf fishing industry.

 

New Orleans police are searching for a stolen fake  police  car.  It was  part  of  a  movie  shoot  and the real police caution that the vehicle contains explosives that create small holes to mimick bullet

holes. It looks like a police car  however  it  will  not  have  the official NOPD markings on it.

 

Crews will drill a relief  well  to properly seal in the natural gas well in the Gulf that blew out and caught fire last week. No one was hurt but the rig was destroyed by  the  fire.  Sand and silt settled

into  the well hole, sealing it temporarily and snuffing  the  fire. The relief  well operation is expected to take a little over a month to complete.  When  done,  the  well  will be sealed in with mud and cement.

 

State sales tax will take a holiday this weekend, giving consumers a chance to save on the purchases of clothes, appliances, electronics and other goods. Lifting the 4 percent state sales tax is a tradition that dates back to the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, when legislators wanted to help storm victims replenish their households. The August tax holiday stuck as a boost for parents preparing children for the new school year.

 

Good economic development news for Washington Parish, as defense  contractor General Dynamics announces plans to open a branch in Bogalusa  - bringing hundreds of new jobs.  General Dynamics plans a Contact Center for its I.T. (information  technology) branch, which should mean jobs in  administrative and customer service positions.

 

 

 

 

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