News for Monday 092313
By Dave Graichen
Today marks the first full day of Fall, and the weatherman says we should be returning to normal Autumn temperatures and rainfall amounts. State Climatologist Barry Kein says that's only a long-term forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, but still welcome news. If the CPC is correct, we should see more frequent periods of rain, and high temperatures ranging into the 70's or 80's through the Fall months.
A tax amnesty period begins today for delinquent Louisiana taxpayers. Now through November 22nd any Louisiana taxpayer who owes the state money can come forward and pay their overdue taxes without facing a penalty. Louisiana Department of Revenue spokesperson Doug Baker says they hope this tax amnesty program generates 200-million dollars to help balance the state budget. He says the department of revenue estimates there are 443-thousand Louisiana residents and businesses who are overdue on their taxes.
The state Department of Health & Hospitals confirms five new human cases of West Nile in Louisiana. Of those, three have the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease, which can lead to death. This year's total cases number 39. Last year 160 got the virus from mosquito bites.
Louisiana has hit an all-time high for the number of people who are working in the state. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission 1.9 million people were employed in August exceeding the previous high set right before Hurricane Katrina. LWC Executive Director Curt Eyesink says also in August, Louisiana set a record for private sector jobs at 1.6 million. The sectors which added the most jobs over the year were trade, transportation & utilities, leisure & hospitality and
construction. Government employment which includes federal, state and local is down 5100 jobs over the year.
New data from the US Census Bureau shows Louisiana's poverty rate has remained the same since 2000. Twenty-percent of Louisiana residents live in poverty and that was the percentage in 2000. Demographer Greg Rigamer says despite the state's efforts to bring more jobs to Louisiana, a
segment of our population has trouble making a living wage. The latest batch of Census numbers also show Louisiana's median household income rose four-percent from 2000 to 2012, while other states in the south, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee had large declines. But Louisiana's median household income of nearly 43-thousand dollars in 2012, is still significantly behind most of the US.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is spreading the word about child abuse to schools across the state. Spokesman Trey Williams says they are going to schools to train leaders how to report suspected abuse and what to look for. Williams says if a teacher or administrator suspects a child may be in danger, DCFS will come in and investigate to make that determination then take the appropriate action.
Governor Jindal has begun running new ads across the state that slam the federal Justice Department for challenging his private school vouchers program. In the ads, Jindal says the U.S. Government is out of control. The Governor paid for the ads with excess campaign money. In the spot, he says the "know-it-alls in Washington think they know better than Louisiana parents." The Justice Department argues that vouchers can impede federal desegregation efforts.
LSU is 4-and-0 as they prepare for its top ten match-up with Georgia this Saturday.
The Saints are 3-and-0 after a convincing 31-7 win over Arizona on Sunday. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
With most of the top teams merely tuning up, there is little movement in The Associated Press college football poll this week. Alabama remains No. 1 and the first 14 teams in the rankings held their positions from last week. LSU remained at No. 6 in the poll.