News for Tuesday 021114
By Dave Graichen
Due to threatening weather.. The elevated section of i-49 through Alexandria is closed
Most state offices are closed
Schools Closed Tuesday Due To Winter Storm..
Public Schools In Rapides, Grant, Avoyelles, Vernon, Winn & Catahoula.
LSUA & NSU Closed
Cenla Technical Community College (all campuses closed)
All Catholic schools in Rapides and Avoyelles
Alexandria Country Day School
Alpine Christian School
Avoyelles Public Charter School
Bentley Christian Academy
Cenla Christian Academy
Emmanuel Baptist Day School
First United Methodist of Alexandria Preschool and Child Care
Grace Christian School
Hope Baptist School
UniTech Training Academy
Winter weather is back in Louisiana today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a winter advisory and a winter storm warnings are posted in north and Central Louisiana. He says much of the state will experience some kind of wintery precipitation. Keim says temperatures will struggle to get above the freezing mark today in north Louisiana and only to the mid 30’s here in Cenla. Keim says while south Louisiana will avoid mixed precipitation that area of the state will see a lot of rain today, with some areas getting as much as two inches.
The State Department of Transportation is keeping a close eye on roads in the northern half of the state as a result of the icy conditions that are developing. DOTD Spokesperson Susan Stafford says they pretreated roads to help prevent as many closures as possible. Stafford says the crews are going to work around the clock to de-ice roads and remove fallen trees on roadways. Bridges and overpasses will be closed though if conditions are found to be unsafe.
The former executive director for the Rapides Parish Coliseum is on the defensive after a legislative auditors report was released. That report shows Kimberly Neal overpaid herself about $30 thousand dollars over a three year period. The audit shows Neal being paid for unearned leave and an unauthorized $1 an hour pay raise. She resigned from her job last year.
A manufacturing facility in Oakdale has been cited by the O.S.H.A after a fire last year severely burned a worker. The Government agency Monday cited Carol Callahan, doing business as Natural Advantage, for 19 serious violations at the facility. The alleged violations include overexposure to methylene chloride; failing to provide each worker with an appropriate respirator; and failing to implement procedures to detect chemical leaks. The company which makes flavorings for different food and drinks Is facing a fine ofl $91,000.
The Louisiana Democratic Party says it will push to increase the state's minimum wage in the 2014 legislative session. Party Chair and New Orleans State Senator Karen Carter Peterson says raising the minimum wage would help lift many people out of poverty and create an economy that would work for all Louisianans. Peterson says raising the minimum wage is a "no brainer" that national polls show over 70% of people support, including Republicans.
Starting in 2015, public school students in grades 3-through-8 will take a new assessment test that will replace the end of the year LEAP exams. Because this new test known as "PARCC," will be much different from the LEAP, the state education department has released sample questions for
students & parents to see. Hundreds of "PARCC" sample questions will be field tested in almost all
public school districts across the state. The public can see sample questions at "P-A-R-C-C-on-Line-Dot-O-R-G."
Prosecutors in the case against former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin told the jury in the federal corruption trial yesterday morning this was a case of a mayor on the take. The defense said the prosecution presented a highly misleading case. The 21 count indictment trial is now in the hands of the jury.
Governor Bobby Jindal was on hand yesterday for the formal dedication of the Louisiana Digital Media Center. The 94-thousand square feet technology hub on the LSU campus will house the Electronic Arts North American Test center. Jindal says LSU will also use the facility for high-performance computer research. The governor said the dedication of the Louisiana Digital Media Center shows that Louisiana is a strong player in the software development industry.
An investigation by the state fire into a fatal fire in central Louisiana has resulted in the arrest of two teenagers. A fire in Jonesville on Friday killed 36 year old Kevin Wiley. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says his investigators developed enough evidence that led to the arrest of Conner Thomas and Trey Seward. Browning confirms the two 17 year old suspects knew the victim, but
a motive for the crime has not been released.
The state Department of Health and Hospitals says a bad influenza season in Louisiana could get even worse. State Immunization Director Dr. Frank Welch says the entire stat is at risk. He says since October 1st of last year, lab tests have confirmed at least 53 deaths statewide from influenza.