Friday, August 09, 2013
Authorities have opened U.S. Highway 190 in St. Landry Parish in both directions and allowed an estimated 150 people to return to homes and businesses in an area that was evacuated after a weekend train derailment. Lane and speed restrictions were being imposed on the highway near Lawtell as the cleanup and removal of derailed cars continued. A state official says environmental workers were using vacuum trucks and containment boom in the continuing cleanup of ditches and a bayou affected by materials that leaked from some of the cars. Twenty-six cars of a Union Pacific train derailed Sunday near Lawtell.
THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL HAS APPROVED PLANS FOR A NEW 8-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLAR JAIL FOR ALLEN PARISH. SHERIFF DOUG HEBERT THE THIRD SAYS BID PACKAGES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INTERESTED CONTRACTORS VERY SOON AND HE EXPECTS CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. THE FORTY THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT, 180 BED FACILITY WILL BE BUILT ON FORTY ACRES OFF OF L-A 26 WEST OF OBERLIN. PARISH OFFICIALS HAVE WANTED TO BUILD A NEW JAIL SINCE 2002, BUT HAVE BEEN THWARTED IN THE PAST BY DISPUTES OVER LOCATIONS OR CONTRACTS AND FUNDING ISSUES.
THE YOUNGSVILLE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A RESOLUTION URGING THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD TO APPROVE APPLICATIONS FOR PROPOSED NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS. YOUNGSVILLE IS THE FASTEST GROWING CITY IN THE STATE AND, AS A RESULT, THE THREE SCHOOLS IN THE CITY ARE DEALING WITH OVERCROWDING PROBLEMS. CHARTER SCHOOLS U-S-A AND NATIONAL HERITAGE ACADEMIES WANTS TO BUILD UP TO FOUR NEW SCHOOLS IN LAFAYETTE PARISH, INCLUDING ONE THAT MAY BE PLACED NEAR YOUNGSVILLE. THE COUNCIL ALSO GAVE THEIR SUPPORT TO SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER, URGING THE SCHOOL BOARD TO RESCIND A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO COMPLAINTS ABOUT COOPER’S PERFORMANCE.
Researchers at Stanford University say Louisiana charter school students often learn more in a year than their counterparts in district schools. The report released Thursday by Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes said the advantage amounts to about 50 more days of learning in reading and 65 more in math for charter students. The study said 41 percent of Louisiana charter schools have significantly larger learning gains than district schools in reading and 42 percent do so in math. Gov. Bobby Jindal touted the findings Thursday at an appearance in New Orleans.
Two officials at Louisiana State University's campus in Eunice have pleaded guilty to stealing government funds. U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, in a news release Thursday, said Dr. Marvette J. Thomas, of Grambling, and Carra Sergeant, of Ragley, each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote.
Thomas served as director of the Office of Academic Affairs at LSU-E, while Sergeant was an assistant director in the same office. According to Finley's office, Thomas and Sergeant used their positions to take funds from federal grants meant for the Upward Bound and Student Support Services projects.
THE CALCASIEU PARISH SCHOOL SYSTEM IS MOVING TO A UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN SETUP THAT WILL INCLUDE EVERY APPLICANT ON THE WAITING LIST. EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE WAITING LIST FOR PRE-K CLASSES HAD REACHED 394. THAT PROMPTED SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND MEMBERS OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO GET TOGETHER TWICE TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION. KIRBY SMITH, SCHOOL SYSTEM INFORMATION OFFICER, TOLD THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT THE UNIVERSAL SETUP WAS DETERMINED TO BE THE BEST OPTION BECAUSE IT ALLOWS FOR A MORE COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO CURRICULUM.
THE ACADIANA COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO EXPRESS SUPPORT TO THE FAMILY OF THE 17-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO FELL TO HIS DEATH FROM A CONDOMINIUM BALCONY IN ALABAMA. JULIE DARCY HAS MORE.
Republican state Sen. Neil Riser has picked up the support of two Louisiana congressmen for his bid to fill an open congressional seat in the October special election. Riser has received endorsements from GOP U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, of Lafayette, and John Fleming, of Minden, in the race for the seat representing Louisiana's 5th District. The seat will be vacant when Rodney Alexander resigns in September to take a job as veterans secretary for Gov. Bobby Jindal. The 5th District is largely rural, stretching across northeast and central Louisiana.