Thursday, January 24, 2013
FOUR LAFAYETTE CITY PARISH COUNCILMEN ARE SPONSORING A RESOLUTION THAT CALLS FOR CANCELLING THIS APRIL’S ELECTION ON A NEW PROPERTY TAX FOR THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT. ONE OTHER COUNCILMAN SAYS HE WOULD VOTE FOR THE RESOLUTION, WHICH IS THE MINIMUM NUMBER NEEDED TO APPROVE IT. ONE OF THE SPONSORS, COUNCILMAN KEVIN NAQUIN TOLD THE DAILY ADVERTISER THAT THERE IS A FEELING AMONG THE COUNCIL THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE A MORE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO ADDRESS THE FINANCIAL NEEDS OF THE PARISH AS A WHOLE. ONE ITEM UNDER DISCUSSION IS A NEW ONE CENT SALES TAX THAT WOULD RAISE 40 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY FOR THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT.
THE THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS ISSUED A STAY OF PROCEEDINGS IN THE VIDEO VOYEURISM TRIAL OF DR. PETER LAFURIA, A FORMER LAKE CHARLES GYNECOLOGIST ACCUSED OF TAKING PICTURES OF HIS PATIENTS. THE APPEALS COURT ISSUED THE STAY UNTIL THEY RULE ON LAFURIA’S REQUEST THAT EVIDENCE TAKEN FROM HIS TRUCK BE RULED INADMISSIBLE. THE JUDGE IN THE CASE, DAVID RITCHIE, HAD ALREADY DENIED THE REQUEST. THE PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE BOTH SAY THAT IF THE EVIDENCE FROM LAFURIA’S TRUCK IS THROWN OUT, IT WILL LEAD TO EVIDENCE TAKEN FROM HIS HOUSE ALSO NOT BEING ALLOWED IN THE TRIAL.
THE IBERIA PARISH COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A RESOLUTION IMPOSING A FINE OF 500 DOLLARS OR 30 DAYS IN JAIL FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWINGLY VIOLATES THE HOME RULE CHARTER. THE NEW LAW COMES AS THE COUNCIL HAS HIRED ATTORNEY DONALD WASHINGTON TO INVESTIGATE PARISH PRESIDENT EARL ROMO ROMERO FOR POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS OF LAWS CONCERNING HIRING AND FIRING. COUNCILMAN TROY COMEAUX HAS ALSO ACCUSED ROMERO OF VIOLATING THE HOME RULE CHARTER BY NOT FOLLOWING PROPER PROCEDURES FOR RENEWING PROPERTY AND LIABILITY INSURANCE CONTRACTS. THE COUNCIL’S LEGAL ATTORNEY DEAN WATTIGNY SAYS THE NEW LAW WOULD ONLY APPLY TO FUTURE VIOLATIONS.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has scrapped plans to shutter the state's Medicaid hospice program in February, meaning the state will continue to provide end-of-life care to people on their death beds who can't afford private insurance. Jindal's health secretary Bruce Greenstein made the announcement Wednesday evening — as hospice program supporters were gathering for a candlelight vigil to protest the cut — that his department will use grant funding to cover the hospice program costs this year. Elimination of the hospice program would have made Louisiana one of only two states that don't pay for hospice care through its Medicaid program. Jindal's plan to cut the care for the terminally ill faced strong resistance from state senators, who were seeking ways to stop the cut.
LAST NIGHT THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD APPROVED A SCHOOL SAFETY PACKAGE WHICH INCLUDES THE HIRING OF ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO IMPROVE SECURITY AT SEVERAL CAMPUSES. A SAFETY OFFICER WILL BE ADDED ON THE ACADIANA, COMEAUX AND LAFAYETTE HIGH CAMPUSES AND TWO OFFICERS WILL BE HIRED FOR N-P MOSS PREPARATORY SCHOOL, BECAUSE IT HAS THE DISTRICT’S ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM FOR AT-RISK STUDENTS. AN ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL WILL BE HIRED FOR LAFAYETTE AND COMEAUX HIGH SCHOOLS WHO WILL DEAL WITH HIGHER ENROLLMENT AND CARENCRO HIGH SCHOOL WILL HAVE A DEAN OF STUDENTS BECAUSE OF AN INCREASE IN DISCIPLINE ISSUES. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA BILLEAUDEAU SAYS THEY WILL LOOK TO FIND FUNDING SOURCES SO THEY CAN PURCHASE NEW ALARM SYSTEMS AND SECURITY CAMERAS FOR ALL 42 CAMPUSES.
THE TOWN OF OBERLIN IN ALLEN PARISH IS DEALING WITH A BUDGET CRISIS. THE TOWN GOVERNMENT IS FACING A 209 THOUSAND DOLLAR DEFICIT AND MAYOR RICK SMITH SAYS CUTS NEED TO BE MADE. ONE AREA THAT HE’S LOOKING AT IS THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WHERE THEY SPEND 42 THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH, BUT POLICE CHIEF GRADY HAYNES SAYS THEY’RE ALREADY TAKING CUTS. A PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD AT THE NEXT TOWN COUNCIL MEETING SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY ELEVENTH.
L-A RICE MILL IN MERMENTAU WENT UP IN FLAMES LAST NIGHT.
A Baton Rouge judge is hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal's 401(k)-style retirement plan for future rank-and-file state workers. The Retired State Employees Association of Louisiana claims the law is unconstitutional because it didn't get a two-thirds vote in the state House of Representatives. The trial before Judge William Morvant is Thursday. It's expected to last all day.