KSYL Local News

News For Wednesday 05/07/14


News for Wednesday 050714

By Dave Graichen

 

The final piece in the Jindal administration’s plan to privatize LSU hospitals neared final legislative approval Tuesday. A state House committee voted 10-8 to close Pineville’s Huey P. Long Medical Center. Under a “cooperative endeavor agreement,” Christus’ St. Francis Cabrini and Rapides Regional Medical Center take over the care of the poor and uninsured in central Louisiana.

The closure of the nearly 75-year-old facility requires legislative approval. The Senate has already signed off by approving a resolution , now all that’s missing is full House concurrence.

 

Louisiana's latest attempt to avoid repaying hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid overpayments dating back to the mid-1990s has been rejected by a federal appeals court. At issue in a Tuesday ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is $240 million in Medicaid money the state received for its charity hospitals from 1996 to 2006. According to the ruling, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said audits showed that nine public hospitals had received hundreds of millions of dollars in excess payments.

 

Louisiana's latest attempt to avoid repaying hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid overpayments dating back to the mid-1990s has been rejected by a federal appeals court. At issue in a Tuesday ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is $240 million in Medicaid money the state received for its charity hospitals from 1996 to 2006. According to the ruling, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said audits showed that nine public hospitals had received hundreds of millions of dollars in excess payments.

 

The former Turner Street YMCA will reopen as the YWCA of Alexandria/Pineville.  The parties closed on the sale of facility Tuesday afternoon. YWCA of Alexandria/Pineville Executive Director Katie Vanderlick said the target date to reopen the facility is June 1. The YMCA of Central Louisiana closed Turner Street at the end of March, following a desperate attempt to raise enough funds to keep it operating and make needed repairs.

 

Starting today, the Presidential search committees for Northwestern  State University and Grambling State University will each meet on  their respective campuses. University of Louisiana System President  Sandra Woodley says  in these early stages, they want to create a profile of a  candidate the search firm can look to recruit when the interviewing  begins.

 

Tuesday,   Legislators  rejected  another  effort  to  increase  the qualification  standards  for  TOPS.  House Bill 1153 not only would have raised eligibility standards, but also changed the structure of

scholarship payments.  The House  Education  Committee shot down the legislation on a 9-to-4 vote.

 

State  Police  and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's office say they've made what they're  calling  the  biggest drug bust in the history of southwest Louisiana.  Twenty-four  individuals were arrested on drug related  charges  as  a  result  of the months  long  investigation, including the main supplier of cocaine  in  the  Lake  Charles area. Authorities say more arrests are likely.

 

The House Criminal Justice Committee shot down a bill that sought to restrict  the  use  of  drones on private property.  The panel heard from the journalism profession,  who  says  restricting where drones can fly will hurt their ability to cover news  events.  Senator  Dan  Claitor filed the bill because he doesn't want  people flying drones into  a  person's  backyard  and  taking  pictures  or stealing the property owner's wi-fi.  It failed on a 7-6 vote.

 

Some lively discussion Tuesday about the Senate bill that would permit lawmakers to  carry concealed weapons. It has cleared committee, but not without some  opposition.   The  bill's author, Franklin Senator Brett Allain, says he feels people in  the  legislature  should have the same personal protections as judges, coroners, justices  of  the peace and constables. The law would only apply to lawmakers who undergo special gun safety training and mental evaluations.

 

A Louisiana House committee rejected legislation Tuesday that would require all government entities to post on its website the minutes of public hearings. The Bill received only one vote on the House and Governmental Affairs Committee.

 

Sunday is Mother's Day and according to the National Retail Federation  we're going to spend a little less on Mom this year than we did in 2013.  NRF Spokesperson Kathy Grannis say people want to be a little more  conscious of spending this year. The NRF's 2014 Mother's Day Spending Survey shows that Americans will  spend an average of just under $163 on mom this year, six dollars less  than last year. 

 

More hot days, larger piles of debris from hurricane storm surge and the increased vulnerability of communities and industry along the Gulf Coast as sea level continues to rise are just a few of the impacts happening now in Louisiana due to climate change, according to a new federal report. Sea level rise also is expected to continue, which puts the roads, cities, airports, oil and gas facilities as well as ports at greater risk to flooding.

 

According  to an East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office arrest report,  a 23-year-old  man  admitted  to lying to his grandmother and stealing more than $100 thousand.  Gary  Michael  Gray, Jr.  has been charged with exploitation of the infirm.  He is being  held  in  East  Baton Rouge Prison on a $100 thousand bond.

 

A  Covington  Police  officer  who was involved in the arrest of two high school referees during a football game last October, has turned in his resignation.  Police Chief  Tim  Lentz  says Sergeant Stephen Short's retirement is effective immediately.  The  act of the arrest was  considered excessive and Short was demoted from  lieutenant  to sergeant and suspended for ten days.

 

Former LSU star and West Monroe High School standout Bradie James has  retired from the NFL. James signed a one-day contract with Dallas, so  he can retire as a member of the Cowboys. James played in Dallas from  2003 to 2011 and during a six-year span he led the team in tackles every season. His  retirement is not a surprise, since he didn't play last season. James  knew it was time to walk away from football.

 

 

 

 

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