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.