Friday, February 22, 2013
A U-L LAFAYETTE STUDENT HAS BEEN INDICTED FOR THE FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF AUSTIN RIVAULT. JULIE DARCY REPORTS.
THE DIOCESE OF LAKE CHARLES HAS BEEN NAMED IN A LAWSUIT BY AN ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM OF FORMER PRIEST MARK BROUSSARD. THE LAWSUIT FILED IN NEW ORLEANS SEEKS 18 MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS WELL AS THE DIOCESE’S OF LAKE CHARLES AND NEW ORLEANS. THE LAWSUIT CLAIMS THAT BROUSSARD ADMITTED TO POLICE THAT HE MOLESTED THE PLAINTIFF AND OTHER VICTIMS. THE CONFESSION IS ALLEGEDLY IN BROUSSARD’S PERSONNEL FILE AND WAS FOUND BY POLICE.
FIELD AGENTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ARE INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF BUBBLING AT LAKE PEIGNEUR. SPOKESMAN PATRICK COURREGES SAYS THE AGENTS DID NOT SEE THE BUBBLING BUT DID SEE FOAM ON THE LAKE’S SURFACE INDICATING THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING. HE SAYS IT’S TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE WHAT COULD BE CAUSING IT. THE BUBBLING COMES AT A TIME WHEN A-G-L RESOURCES IS SEEKING PERMITS TO SCOUR OUT TWO NEW SALT CAVERNS BENEATH THE LAKE FOR NATURAL GAS STORAGE.
Gov. Bobby Jindal says his proposed $24.7 billion budget for next year relies heavily on privatization plans for LSU's charity hospitals to offset the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding. Congress cut Louisiana's Medicaid payment rate last year. That's a significant factor in the state's budget gap next year. Jindal says the budget includes minimal cuts to the health department and, with tuition increases, will keep spending flat for colleges.
A NEW TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM IMPLEMENTED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE LAST YEAR WAS THE FOCUS OF A PUBLIC FORUM ON EDUCATION HELD AT THE DAVID THIBODEAUX STEM MAGNET ACADEMY IN LAFAYETTE LAS NIGHT. STATE REPRESENTATIVE VINCENT PIERRE SAYS HE VOLUNTEERED AS A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER LAST YEAR AND SAW FIRSTHAND THAT THE NEW EVALUATION SYSTEM IS UNFAIR TO TEACHERS. HE SAYS HE WILL WORK IN THE NEXT SESSION TO UNDO SOME OF STUFF HE CONSIDERS UNREALISTIC. THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS JOYCE HAYNES TOLD THE TEACHERS IN ATTENDANCE THAT THEY NEED TO SPEAK OUT AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR CLASSROOMS.
A BIG COASTAL RESTORATION PROJECT IS COMING TO CAMERON PARISH. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION AUTHORITY KYLE GRAHAM SAYS A BID WAS AWARDED IN DECEMBER ON A 45 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT. ITS PURPOSE WILL BE TO BUILD UP THE COASTLINE BY PUMPING SAND ONTO THE SHORES. HE SAYS THE COMPANY SHOULD BEGIN BRINGING EQUIPMENT INTO THE AREA BEGINNING IN MARCH OR APRIL.
AN OPELOUSAS TRANSPORT COMPANY RECEIVED A WARNING LETTER FROM THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AFTER A CHIMPANZEE DIED WHILE BEING TAKEN FROM A MARYLAND RESEARCH FACILITY TO THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE’S RESEARCH CENTER IN NEW IBERIA. THE U-S-D-A GAVE THE WARNING LETTER TO JEFFERY QUEBEDEAUX, WHO OPERATES STONE OAKS FARMS AND TRANSPORT, FOR ACCEPTING ANIMALS FOR TRANSIT WITHOUT RECEIVING CERTIFICATION THAT THE ANIMALS HAD BEEN PROPERLY GIVEN FOOD AND WATER. ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS CALLED THE WARNING LETTERS FOR STONE OAKS FARMS AND THE MARYLAND RESEARCH COMPANY, BIOQUAL, INC. SLAPS ON THE WRISTS. BOTH COMPANIES COULD HAVE RECEIVED FINES OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER VIOLATION.
A key state money panel is moving ahead with borrowing $100 million for rural road work around Louisiana. The plan was scaled back from its original amount as the state grapples with a shortage of construction funds and hovers near its debt ceiling. The Bond Commission agreed without objection Thursday to sell $100 million in bonds to investors for upfront cash for the repairs and upgrades to roads in 37 parishes. The bond sale amount was more than cut in half from previous plans because of concerns about breaching the state's debt cap.