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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013





SEVERAL SCHOOL BOARDS ACROSS THE STATE INCLUDING IN ACADIANA HAVE ANNOUNCED THEIR OPPOSITION TO A HOUSE BILL THAT WOULD REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO OFFER IMMERSION PROGRAMS. THOUGH THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THE SUCCESS OF LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAMS, THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS DO NOT LIKE THE REQUIREMENT BECAUSE IT IS AN UNFUNDED MANDATE. VERMILLION PARISH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT JEROME PUYAU SAYS HAVING AN IMMERSION PROGRAM COSTS 500 THOUSAND DOLLARS, AN AMOUNT THEIR SYSTEM CANNOT SUSTAIN. STATE REPRESENTATIVE STEPHEN ORTEGO OF CARENCRO, WHO IS A COSPONSOR OF THE BILL, SAYS IMMERSION STUDENTS HAVE PERFORMED THIRTY PERCENT HIGHER ON STANDARDIZED TESTS.





THE HOUSE HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A SENATE RESOLUTION THAT TRANSFERS CONTROL OF MOSS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER TO LAKE CHARLES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. STATE REPRESENTATIVE RONNIE JOHNS OF SULPHUR SAYS THE TRANSFER WILL GIVE THE UNINSURED ACCESS TO THE ORTHOPEDIC, CARDIOVASCULAR AND INTENSIVE CARE UNIT SERVICES AT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. THE PRESIDENT AND C-E-O OF MEMORIAL LARRY GRAHAM AFFIRMED TO THE COMMITTEE THEIR INTENTION TO BUILD A FIVE MILLION DOLLAR OUTPATIENT CLINIC NEXT TO MOSS REGIONAL. THE MEASURE NOW GOES TO THE FULL HOUSE FOR A VOTE.





THE IBERIA PARISH SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL BE OFFERING A VIRTUAL PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS IN SEVENTH THROUGH THE TWELFTH GRADES BEGINNING IN AUGUST. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT FOR INSTRUCTION CAREY LAVIOLETTE SAYS THEY STILL PREFER FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION, BUT THE PROGRAM WILL BE FOR STUDENTS OR FAMILIES WHO DO NOT WANT THE TRADITIONAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE. INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM SHOULD BE AVAILABLE LATER THIS WEEK AT THE IBERIA PARISH SCHOOL BOARD’S WEBSITE UNDER THE STUDENT SECTION. IN THE PAST YEAR, THE VERMILLION, ST. MARTIN AND ST. MARY PARISH SCHOOL SYSTEMS BEGAN VIRTUAL PROGRAMS AND LAFAYETTE PARISH IS CONSIDERING IT FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR.





The House has narrowly agreed to a proposal that would lessen the sentences for people convicted of marijuana possession in Louisiana. Under current law, someone convicted of possession of marijuana for a second time can face up to five years in jail. Third and subsequent convictions can land someone in jail for up to 20 years. The bill by New Orleans Rep. Austin Badon would cut that jail time.





LAFAYETTE CENTRAL PARK, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE HORSE FARM, IS GETTING A MAKEOVER. JULIE DARCY EXPLAINS.





THREE MEN, WHO ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE STOLEN MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF COPPER IN DESOTO PARISH, ARE BELIEVED TO BE LIVING IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA. THE THREE WERE SPOTTED IN SURVEILLANCE VIDEO DRIVING A SECOND GENERATION TOYOTA FORERUNNER PICKUP WITH THE CENTER CAP MISSING ON THE FRONT DRIVER’S SIDE TIRE. THE PICTURES OF THE THREE MEN CAN BE SEEN AT THE AMERICAN PRESS WEBSITE UNDER THE CRIME SECTION. DESOTO CRIME STOPPERS IS OFFERING A THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THEIR ARREST. THEIR PHONE NUMBER IS 1-800-505-7867.





TESTIMONY ENDED YESTERDAY IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF WARREN GAUTHREAUX, WHO IS ACCUSED OF KILLING YOURIC AND MARY COURVILLE OF EUNICE IN 2006. GAUTHREAUX’S EX-WIFE, RITA LABBIE, TESTIFIED THAT GAUTHREAUX HAD CONFESSED TO HER TO KILLING THE COUPLE BECAUSE THEY CAUGHT HIM TRYING TO ROB THEIR HOME. OTHERS TESTIFIED THAT GAUTHREAUX HAD ADMITTED, AT LEAST IN PART TO THE CRIME, MANY OF WHOM ARE FORMER DRUG ABUSERS AND CONVICTED FELONS. THE TRIAL RESUMES TODAY AND THE JURY IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DELIBERATIONS.





Lawmakers have agreed to refinance Louisiana's tobacco settlement bonds to generate millions in upfront cash that could be used in next year's budget.

Unanimous backing Wednesday from the joint budget committee came despite criticism from Treasurer John Kennedy. Kennedy says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration pushed for a refinancing that generates all the savings upfront to plug budget holes, leaving money on the table that the state could get by stretching out the savings over many years. The refinancing still needs approval from the Bond Commission.



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