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Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

(KPLC) -

Routine testing in a drainage system in Westlake has caused concern, but is not posing a danger to the public, according to officials. The green tint to the water in the marsh area near the Calcasieu River is just underneath the I-10 bridge.

Westlake Police and OEP officials said that crews with Phillips 66 had permission to use the green dye to test the drainage in the area. However, the public was not notified, causing some concern when people spotted the green water. Officials said it is a non-hazardous, biodegradable dye. The Hazmat report from the Louisiana State Police shows that Phillips 66 did alert state officials as early as Tuesday that the tests would be conducted. The report says that the dye should dissipate in about six days.

(AP) Teacher recruitment for the Lafayette Parish school system is under way in an unexpected though relevant training ground: a local hospital. Bruce Leininger, school system human resources director, tells The Advocate the focus of the recruitment is University Medical Center, where employees will be laid off and required to reapply for their jobs in late June when a partnership with Lafayette General Medical Center begins. Employees with at least a bachelor's degree could become classroom teachers within a year through an accelerated alternative certification program developed by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. On Thursday, eight UMC employees met with Leininger, university officials and Bill Rodier, Louisiana Workforce Commission regional business relations coordinator, about the teaching opportunity.

(KLFY)The Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office has outlined new security measures to help better protect the school district's five campuses. In the proposal handed down Wednesday, Sheriff Bud Torres suggested that the school board should spend about $120,000 a year to hire three resource officers to serve the school system. Torres' plan also calls for parking marked police vehicles in high-visibility areas as deterrents to outside threats. Other elements include fencing off campuses, creating main entrances, and equipping faculty and staff members with two-way radios.

(AP) Forecaster William Gray says he expects a very active hurricane season, but he's not yet giving likely numbers of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes. Gray told hundreds of people at the National Hurricane Conference on Thursday that the first numeric predictions will come out April 10. The hurricane season runs from June through November.


(AP) State Treasurer John Kennedy says he thinks voters should decide whether to rewrite Louisiana's tax laws, if lawmakers pass Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax swap. Kennedy said in a column Thursday that the governor's proposal would impact every Louisiana taxpayer, so voters should decide in a statewide election if they like the restructuring before the changes could take effect. Jindal proposes to get rid of the state's income taxes. In exchange, he's proposing to increase state sales taxes and charge those sales taxes on a list of previously untaxed services. The Jindal administration says the rewrite would shift $500 million in tax costs from individuals to businesses and lower taxes for nearly all households. Critics say it would cost low- and moderate-income families more. The two-month legislative session starts April 8.

(KLFY) It was a season that started off promising, but recent cold weather temperatures and winter flooding have pushed crawfish demand higher than farmers can supply them.

David Savoy, President of the Louisiana Crawfish Farmer's Association said, "Crawfish are cold blooded animals and they go down further and once it gets cold it takes them longer to come out." However, he is optimistic about the future of the season.

Centrica, a British utility provider, has inked a 20-year, $5.5 billion purchase agreement for liquefied natural gas from Cheniere Energy Partners' subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction. Sabine Pass Liquefaction's terminal is located in Cameron Parish. Under the contract, 1.75 million metric tons of gas would be imported annually for 20 years, according to a news release from Cheniere. The imports would reportedly start in 2018 and would be enough to power around 1.8 million U.K. homes, according to company officials. The contract is subject to regulatory approval, however.

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