KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 08/21/13


News for Wednesday 082113

By Dave Graichen

 

New  employment figures show Louisiana added 23-thousand  jobs  over the course  of  a  year.  According  to  the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, total non-farm employment in July, was at one-point-nine million.  A 1.2 percent increase from the previous  July.  Louisiana Workforce Commission  executive director Curt Eysink  says over the last  year there's been solid job growth across most industry sectors.

 

According to  the  legislative  audit  released  yesterday  Governor Jindal's  privatization of the state's mental health partnership  is not working  as  well  as  planned.  Apparently  agencies  providing

services are having difficulties getting paid and the plan has added more  costs  not  lessen  them. A Department of Health and Hospitals official is calling the audit flawed and misleading.

 

According  to  a  new  poll  released  by  Bobby  Jindal's political consultants, the Governor's approval rating is at 50% -- contrary to another poll also released this week that says 35%  of  voters  like

what  Jindal  is  doing. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says the latest poll is  inaccurate and  based on a politically imbalanced survey group. A group made up of more republicans than democrats or independents.

 

Democratic polling data released Tuesday shows U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La, currently leading her top Senate challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, by 10 percentage points. The data from Public Policy Polling, which conducts polls mostly for Democrats, comes one day after two GOP polls showed Landrieu either leading by a smaller margin or trailing Cassidy entirely.

 

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo signed up at the Secretary of State's office Tuesday  for the 5th district Congressional district race, he is one of  three   democrats   in   the  race.  The  other  two  are  state representatives Marcus Hunter and Robert Johnson. State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia and Blake Weatherly Of Calhoun are the only two republican to  qualify thus far. Libertarian and former BESE candidate Henry Herford has also thrown his hat in the ring.  Qualifying ends today.

 

The state’s largest network of universities announced a deal on Monday that is supposed to help more than 92,000 students at the University of New Orleans, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and seven other schools across the state have an easier time finding jobs upon graduation. The University of Louisiana System’s partnership with Austin, Texas-based MyEdu is also billed as a way for students to stay on track with their schoolwork, shorten their time to graduation and find internships.

 

A  developer  with close ties to  Governor  Bobby  Jindal  has  been charged by federal  authorities  with fraudulently billing the state Hurricane  Katrina  recovery program.  Praveen  Kailas  has  pleaded guilty to one count of  conspiracy  to  commit  theft  of government funds. Kailas, through his Lago Construction, padded billing for the Katrina Small Rental Property Program; reporting hours not worked by employees he didn't have.

 

A federal jury convicted St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard Sr. Tuesday on bribery charges for soliciting and accepting $5,000 from a superintendent candidate in exchange for Richard’s vote to give him the job. Richard and fellow board member John Miller were accused of accepting $5,000 each from superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere, in an exchange that was recorded by the FBI after Cassimere reported the bribery attempt to authorities. Miller pleaded guilty earlier this year and testified in the trial this week against Richard.

 

 A state teachers union meets today with Education Superintendent John  White to discuss many matters, including the state's stringent new  teacher evaluation system - also known as Act 1 of the 2012 Legislature.  Louisiana Association of Educators President Debbie Meaux (MO) says it's  time to step back and take another look at Act 1. Act 1 changed how teachers are hired, compensated, evaluated and  Terminated...and has been the subject of a number of legal actions. Last  week, a state judge granted an injunction blocking Ouachita Parish  schools from firing a teacher under Act 1, citing lack of due process.  Meaux says they want to work with Supt. White to improve the law.

 

According to the latest Nielson Top 20 ratings for prime-time shows, last week Duck  Dynasty was the most watched show -- and is the only cable network show to  even  crack the Top 15. The numbers indicate 11.77 million people watched the  Season  4 premiere of the A&E show about the Robertson family from West Monroe.

 

St. Landry Sheriff's deputies are  investigating  a human skull; dug up by a dog near Opelousas. Investigators and cadaver  dogs searched the woods in the area near where the skull turned up, but  no  other remains, nor grave site have been found. The skull has been sent  to LSU's  FACES  forensics lab to determine the gender, how long it may have been buried and to possibly do a facial reconstruction.

 

According to data gathered by Survey Monkey for Business Insider  Magazine, Louisiana is the drunkest state in the nation. The same  poll found that Americans feel Alabama is the ugliest state and  Mississippi is the dumbest. Business Insider's Walter Hickey says  respondents felt that we really like to drink in Louisiana. Hickey says the results of the survey were not only hilarious but .

also informative and are very telling of the dynamic between states.  He says Texas was voted No. 1 most respondents would like to see  kicked out of America.

 

The  city  of  Mandeville,  in St. Tammany Parish,  has  been  named Google's 2013 eCity for Louisiana. The award recognizes the city for its strong online business environment; embracing the web to connect with new customers, clients and to help fuel the local economy.

 

Lafourche Parish deputies arrest a Larose man for allegedly engaging in sex with livestock. Deputies say a resident  called  them  saying someone  was  trespassing  in  his  barn.  An  investigation and DNA evidence  collected  led  to  a 34-year-old  man who admitted  to  four  unnatural  acts  with  the animals. Charged with Crimes Against Nature, his bond is set at $37,500.

 

 

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