News for Thursday 091213
By Dave Graichen
A Sabine Parish grand jury has indicted former Natchitoches cop Robert Barthelemy with home invasion, kidnapping and first degree murder charges for the death of Tony Procell last month. He allegedly killed Procell with a baseball bat. If convicted he could face a death sentence.
U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of “America’s Best Colleges,” and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and Louisiana College in Pineville both made the cut. Louisiana College was ranked in a tie for No. 60 among regional colleges in the South while Northwestern State was ranked in a tie at No. 92 among regional universities in the South. Both colleges rank in Tier 1 schools in their respective categories.
Shreveport police are looking into a murder that occurred Wednesday morning. It appears an adult male was driving an SUV when he was fatally shot and then the victim's vehicle ran into a utility pole. No arrests have been made in this case.
The Department of Revenue is ramping up its 60-day-long Tax Amnesty program. The "Fresh Start Tax Amnesty" runs September 23rd through November 22nd. During that time, delinquent taxpayers can settle their debt to the state - avoiding all penalties and paying only half the interest.
A new legislative financial report shows Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of the LSU-run public hospital network is bringing in a lot less in lease payments for the facilities than anticipated.
The budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 was built on estimates provided to lawmakers by the Jindal administration that anticipated the new hospital managers would lease those facilities and their clinics for more than $140 million. But, the Legislative Fiscal Office says that so far, the leases are only expected to generate about $101 million for the 2013-14 year. That would leave the budget with a $39 million gap that lawmakers have to fill before the fiscal year ends June 30.
Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany wants answers on why funding for new veterans' clinics in Louisiana is being held up. Boustany says the two VA clinics, one in Lafayette - one in Lake Charles, are being held up by bureaucratic red tape and incompetence in the Congressional Budget Office. Boustany says he has written a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, asking him to help break the log-jam, and get the VA clinics underway. Boustany says it's shameful that veterans in Acadiana and southwest Louisiana have to drive more than 3 hours to get VA care for combat-related conditions.
A New Orleans Police Department dispatcher and her two adult children were shot to death late Wednesday inside of their Gentilly home. Police report A call of a person shot in the came in about 11:05 p.m. When officers arrived they found the 39-year-old dispatcher, her 20-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son shot inside of the home’s garage. The investigation is ongoing.
Lafayette Police arrest a man for defacing the city's 9/11 monument, which features two girders from the Twin Towers in New York. They says 35-year-old Salvador Perez - in the overnight hours – placed two cutout airplanes appearing as though they were crashing into the girders. A cutout of former President Bush holding cash and remote control was placed nearby. Mouton says Perez is
charged with criminal damage to a historic building and with criminal trespassing.
Is the city of Monroe about to go 100% smoke-free? The city council will discuss banning smoking in any bars or bingo halls, where it's currently permitted. The proposed ordinance would require smokers go outside and remain over 15 feet from the building. It was introduced last night. They'll debate in two weeks.
Doug Williams is reportedly out as head football coach at Grambling State University. The News Star reports Williams indicated he was handed a piece of paper in his office by president Frank Pogue indicating he was fired.
LSu head coach Les Miles fired back at Sports Illustrated today. The magazine is doing a multipart piece on alleged NCAA violations at Oklahoma State while Miles led the football program there. According to today's S-I piece, former Oklahoma State players allegedly had their grades fixed and school work was done for them. Miles denies these allegations.
Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson has been found guilty on three counts of malfeasance in office after being accused of misusing the town's money. Prosecutor Lee Hall is pleased with the outcome. He says one of the charges against Thompson related to improperly paying non-eligible employees retirement benefits. Hall says one of the counts stems from allegations Thompson also paid
part time employees full time benefits. He says the larger portion of the 17-day long trial dealt with improper accounting to the legislative auditor.